Too Much Information

One of the cool things about the health system I belong to is what’s called a ‘patient portal’—a secure place online where you can access your medical records. This portal gives you the key to your lab test results, information on your meds, even what was found on imaging scans. The only downside is that you still can’t see what your doctors put in your chart, but then I don’t think I’d want to know what’s in Dr. Awesomesauce’s voluminous notes. Or my internist’s, for that matter.

So I was perusing my CT scan results the other night, and of course being as familiar with medical terminology as I am, I was able to comprehend 98% of what the radiologist was saying. This was one of those times when I almost wish I wasn’t, because the findings regarding the ovarian cysts were somewhat ominous, as was the statement “follow-up strongly recommended”. I’m already a little nervous about this as it is—the gynecologist’s office called me yesterday to see if I needed or wanted to come in sooner than the 6th—but I know I can’t sit around worrying about it because there is so much else going on in my life.

That’s what my mind says…..but the rest of me is demanding to know why the universe seems to think I need another challenge right now. Even if this one turns out to be nothing—and if you go by my history of cancer scares, the cysts are probably completely harmless—it’s going to cost more money (that I don’t have) for exams, tests, and probably surgery to remove the cysts and/or the ovaries themselves. Where do the medical bills stop? 

I also found out that I have diverticulosis, which isn’t the least bit unusual in people my age. These are little pouches that form in the intestine, which sometimes become inflamed. (That’s probably where my belly pain came from.) Additionally, I learned that I have scar tissue in the bases of both lungs, likely the result of repeated episodes of asthma and bronchitis. See what I mean about too much information? Haha!

Ah, so many diagnoses, so little time. This is not what I signed on for when I came into the world, cold and wet and undoubtedly pissed off about being ejected from my cozy little home. Some of it I can blame directly on my own bad habits, like the high blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes, but I didn’t ask for “female problems”, or asthma, or back injuries. And I sure as hell didn’t ask to be cursed/blessed with bipolar disorder. But then, my husband didn’t ask for pancreatic cancer either, and he’s continuing to live and enjoy his life despite all the stress we’re both under. I could take a few lessons from him.

Speaking of positive influences: I have an appointment with Dr. A on the 4th. I have a lot to tell him, but I’m SO much better than I was when I hit bottom about a month ago—not happy with what’s going on, that’s for sure, but I have absolutely no bipolar symptoms and I’m not freaking out. (At least not yet.) Maybe it’s because I’m too busy trying to figure out what to do next and haven’t got time for the pain. And maybe—just maybe—it’s because I’m on the right medications in the right doses. Huzzah!







Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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