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So sick and so scared

sherilynk's picture
sherilynk
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2016

My names is Sherilyn and I am a 47 year old mother of two beautiful teenage girls. I do not smoke, I enjoy my couple of glasses of wine some evenings while winding down.  I play squash regularly, I run on average of 20 km a week.  I lift weights and keep my mind and body active.  My journey has just started and I am so scared.  I had gone to my family GP here in Ottawa, ON Canada a few months back as I was experiencing fatigue, night sweats, back pain, anxiety and heavier than normal menstrual bleeding.  He chalked it up to menopause and said I would be fine and prescribed me an anti-depressant to "help me cope".  I carried on with things enduring my symptoms as I felt slightly better (less anxiety).  About two and a half months ago I went back to him as I was so tired and my back pain was increasing.  He sent me for some blood work and my results came back low iron and my TSH was off.  He adjusted my Synthroid (thyroid med) and told me to take 900mg of Fumarate Ferreux (iron pills).  I followed is directions for a week or so but my fatigue was so bad and my headaches were getting worse.  I returned to him for a follow up blood test to check my iron and thyroid levels and he advised the levels still needed to climb before I would see an improvement.  I also advised him it hurt when I urinated and he (without testing my urine) prescribed me an antibiotic for a UTI. After a couple of weeks I started to experience increased neck pain, headaches, back pain, abdominal bloating and pelvic pain.  I called for an appointment and was fortunate that he was out of the office and a female GP was on call.  She gave me a pap, ordered a pelvic and abdominal ultrasound and tested my urine for a UTI which came back negative even though I was still experiencing painful urination symptoms.

I had my ultrasounds done but before the results were in I had to return to follow up with my GP on how my most recent blood tests.  I advised him that my pain was increasing especially in my neck and back. I gave him a list of complaints because I seem to be experiencing issues with my memory and the vision in my left eye is very blurred and foggy.  He pushed the paper away that I handed him away and said "what do you want me to do with this"?.  He asked me what was really wrong with me and what was going on in my life. I told him that I am feeling very sick, worse than I have ever felt.  He again asked me "what is really the problem"  again I told him I felt horrible and went over my symptoms.  I asked him to look at my neck as it was so sore and asked him if perhaps I had an ear infection.  He huffed at me and pulled out his stethoscope pushed it into my ear and in less than 5 seconds told me I was fine.  I told him that I did not appreciate him being condescending toward me and again he told me "well just tell me what you want me to do".  I was quite upset and told him that "I am not the doctor.  I come to him, present my symptoms and that it was his job to suggest what can be done, not the other way around"  I was so upset that I left his office telling him I did not appreciate him being condescending".  

That evening around 7:00 he called me at home telling me the results from my ultrasound came back and they found multiple polyps on my uterus and he was referring me to an OBGYN (specialist) along with suggesting some massage sessions for my sore neck, back along with more bloodwork to rule out "obscure" things that could be making me so fatigued.  He said he was sorry that I felt he was being rude and although “I am new, I think I am thorough and professional”.  He advised me that “although he likes me, I may feel better with another GP”.  He also asked me if I was experiencing night sweats and I told him “of course I am”. I have told him this on different occasions. I told him I sleep with my blanket off as some nights they are bad.  Five days after our phone conversation I had not heard back from anyone on this specialist appointment.  So I called the GP's office again and they advised me that the referral was sent over and gave me the name of the OBGYN.  Because I am barely able to function, I asked my husband to call about the specialist appointment.  He called but there was no record of a referral being sent over. He spend time calling back and forth between them and they finally found me in the system with an incorrectly spelled name with no records of my pap or ultrasound results.  The receptionist at the OBGYN's office advised because there was no urgency my appointment was scheduled for June 16th....4 months later!  My husband is an retired RCMP officer and has a slightly shorter than normal fuse.  Thank goodness for that as he managed to get my records sent over to the OBGYN's office and had me in for an appointment that afternoon.  They have confirmed multiple polyps and an enlarged uterus.  Biopsies were taken as was a scraping of the uterus wall and sent for testing.  

 

Last Friday night my back and neck pain were so bad that I went to ER.  A multitude of blood tests (all came back fine) and x-rays, CT scans were done with only recognition of Uterine polyps substantial swelling of my neck lymph nodes.  They were able to rule out lymphoma and leukemia.  The ER doctor advised they were not able to do a lot of tests there in the ER that should be done still by my GP and specialist. He told me he was sending the results and recommendations to my GP for follow up.  I waited 3 days for a call and again he did not.  I called him and left a message regarding the ER doctors follow up request and guess what…3 days later and still no call from him.   So here I sit waiting, still no answers.  I am so scared.

oldbeauty
Posts: 316
Joined: May 2012

You have not been well-served by the medical community thus far.  At least you are in the capital city and should have access to qualified professionals.  I don't know about Canada's medical system; I am under the impression that all physicians are employees of the National Health Service. Are you able to self-refer to a GYN oncologist?  Or must you start with the OBGYN?  Whether or which, when I went back for the follow up consult (and I would not be satisfied with anything less than an in-person visit, not a phone call), I would specifically state that I am there for an explicit ruling in/out of uterine cancer.  Whether that will make them sit up and take notice I don't know (here in the US it would put them on notice of being mindful of a malpractice accusation).  If you found this board, then clearly you are worried about cancer.  So, make sure you get a thorough diagnosis and not a pat on the head like you've experienced thus far.  Good luck to you.  Oldbeauty

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

Your GP is an a**, but you already know that.  Now that you at least got in to see an OB/GYN, I would start dealing with her directly.  Have you gotten the biopsy results back from those tests?  I agree with old beauty.  You have not been well-served.  It makes me furious when any concerns women have around the time of menopause are simply chalked up to menopause without any further testing.  Please keep us informed about what is happening.  And kudos to your husband for cracking the whip.  It sounds like you are going to need more of this.

Chris

Anonymous user (not verified)

I can only echo what you and others are thinking.  Your GP doctor isn't helping you. Since he suggested you see someone else, can you do that?  It seems like he is always going to be uncaring and right now you need a doctor that will keep on your health situation.  It's pssible that some of the symptoms you are having are side effects to the anti-depressant you're taking?  Certainly vision, and memory problems are common on some medication.  The fatigue and pain might also be caused from not sleeping well?  I certainly don't want you to panic, there can be other explainations.  However the neck lymph nodes are a cause of slight more concern but again if you have any kind of infection (ear) going on, that could be a explaination.  Welcome, and I think you have a lot of medical concerns, but maybe not all or any will be cancer.  I didn't have any symptoms other than slight pink discharge, which you didn't mention, so that's almost always a significant sign of uterine cancer.  Hugs Nancy

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

This is about the worse case of a GP that is a jerk that I have heard of.  If you at all can, I think you need to find a different one, one that will treat you with dignity and respect.  It does not to long to listen to your patients.  I know it must be hard not to think th worse considering how long you have been suffering, but try not to panic.  There can be so many other reasons than cancer, and if it turns out to be you I'll have unbelievable strength to see you through.  And we will be here for you.  Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

sherilynk's picture
sherilynk
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2016

Agreed Lou Ann and thank you for the words of support :)

Hugs

Sherilyn 

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1478
Joined: Oct 2015

(((Sherilyn)))  I am so sorry you are going through this.  When I went to a new GP with my concerns, she told me "You get old" in her Romanian voice and wouldn't listen to a thing I was telling her.  She did a PAP and it came back negative and would not refer me to a gynecologists.  I was so upset because I KNEW something was wrong.  I made an appointment to see a different GP who listened to me, sent me to a gynecologist who did an endometrial biopsy that came back positive for cancer.  I was not happy it was cancer but I was relieved to find out I wasn't losing my mind.  

I agree with the other ladies - go see that second GB and get the results of that biopsy!!

Let us know what happens - we all care!!

Love,

Eldri

sherilynk's picture
sherilynk
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2016

Hi Eldri, 

Thank you, I needed your words of support to keep pushing myself.  I was being led by my GP to think I was losing my mind, but I believe women have amazing instincts.  Years ago I followed mine when an ER triage nurse suggested I go home with my 9 year old daughter as she had the "flu".  I persevered and it turned out that her appendix had ruptured and she was hospitalized for 9 days following her appendectomy fighting infection.  

We know our bodies and we have to listen to it...after all no one else is listening for us.  

I am still searching for another GP but there is a shortage in our city...sigh. I will continue my fight!

Lots of love and kind thoughts,

 

Sherilyn

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 906
Joined: Jan 2016

My heart goes out to you! What horrible treatment you received! Is it possible for you to see another doctor without a referral? Do not give up! It sounds like your husband might be able to push for more help. Know that we are all here for you! Praying for answers!

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1795
Joined: Jun 2015

I agree with the other ladies. You need a new doctor! No one should be treated that way. And, that guy calling himself a doctor is a stretch of the imagination. That is just too horrible for words.

I hope you get the answers asap and get on a plan of treatment that brings you back to great health. Please keep in touch with us and let us know how all of this turns out for you. And, if you do end up with cancer - you have wonderful resources on this site to help you through. Don't hesitate to ask anything. Someone will have an answer for you.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

BabyCoach's picture
BabyCoach
Posts: 95
Joined: Mar 2016

GO to the NEW gyn office.  Sit in the waiting room until someone sees you.  Enough with phone calls.  Your referral needs to get past the office front line personnel.  This doctor needs to SEE the pain of the patient. Don't allow yourself to be pushed around.   GO SIT IN THE OFFICE TODAY.

 

sherilynk's picture
sherilynk
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2016

Hi BabyCoach, I have been trying to get through to their office and made a trip down in person yesterday.  There was a sign on the door that their office is closed until March 29th for "spring holiday".  Just my friken luck!

 

sherilynk's picture
sherilynk
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2016

Hi Cindi,

I am activly looking for a new GP but our city has a cronic shortage of them.  Many thanks for the kind words and suggestions :)  I am so glad I found this site.

Sherilyn

sherilynk's picture
sherilynk
Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2016

Thank you everyone for your understanding and suggestions.  After persistence my GP finally saw me last Friday afternoon.  He advised that my symptoms are unexplainable and he advised that "I've done all I can do".  I advised him that other than bloodwork he's really not done much.  It was only because of the Doctor On Call that I had the pelvic ultrasound done. I requested a CA125 test and testing of my neck lymph node which is still painful and swollen.  Please note that all of my blood work thus far has been perfect.  I was given Tramadol and Naproxen to assist with the pelvic, neck and head pain and it has helped mask thing.  I am still waiting for the biopsies that my specialist did 2 weeks ago now.  Unfortunately I just found out today that their office is closed until the 29th for spring vacation and they are the only ones who get the test results.  I'm not sure what it is like in the US but 4 to 6 weeks is not uncommon (unless urgent) here in Canada.  What are biopsy wait times like in the US?

 

Also I wanted to add that I am currently searching for a new GP.  Unfortunately Ottawa has a chronic shortage of family doctors.  For now I will have to count on my specialist and pray that I'm in good hands (when their office is open that is).

Thank you again for your thoughts and suggestions.  Keep well everyone 

Sherilyn

Anonymous user (not verified)

I'm sorry, but I had to laugh, how casual for a doctors office to close a whole week for "spring vacation".  I would keep being persistent with their office on getting the results of your biopsies.  I had my biopsy on a Wednesday, doctor said probably get the results on Friday or Monday.  As it was, I saw the path results in my patient portal on Friday, they also called and set me up for an appt. the next week.  At the appt they also called and set up an appt with my gyn/oncologist for the next week, he scheduled my surgery again in about a week time frame.  Since I already knew I had cancer, but not stage, type, he told me after surgery that everything looked good, nothing was large, the frozen section was not conculsive for serous cell, however, the final path report found both endometrial and serous cells in uterous and one lymph node.  Again, I found out through my GP's patient portal before the doctor called me, but I knew in a week or less what my cancer was.  I'm sorry that Canada is short handed, however, my doctor did say a few weeks difference between starting chemo or any treatment didn't make much of a difference.  I think my cancer symptoms began in Mar/Apr of 2015, I didn't make an appt to see a doctor until Sept and then surgery in November.  Hugs Nancy

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1478
Joined: Oct 2015

There is only one gynecologist/oncologist in my HMO.  I met with him the end of August after my endometrial biopsy showed cancer (my gynecologist called me a few days after the biopsy to give me the not-so-good news).  He was going on vacation for two weeks in September so I didn't get my hysterectomy scheduled until September 30th.  But, when he found out I had UPSC which is aggressive, things moved much faster but I still didn't get my port placement until October 26th with my first chemo the next day.  The thing is, I can usually get in to see my GP within 24 hours and then SHE gets me in to see a specialist quickly.

I don't think health care is that much better or worse than in Canada AND yours is free!!

Love,

Eldri

Scubagirl608's picture
Scubagirl608
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2016

i read your posts this evening. How are you? --Becky

BabyCoach's picture
BabyCoach
Posts: 95
Joined: Mar 2016

my findings, in any health care system-especially if you are as worried as we all are with this news - one has to become a yappy little chihuahua and just nip at the ankles constantly. You can't be a sweet golden retriever with her sweet countanance. Or a perky little lap poodle who adores anyone who will play. Or a wary and threatening pit bull trained to fight. Just a persistent, non threatening, alert, and determined chihuahua who never gives up until success. I try to be respectful always but I just do not quit. To get my biopsy slides (actual slides, not report) in in order to see a gyn oncology surgeon in one day I had to impersonate a state official.  Just never stop nipping.   

The only way. Good luck. 

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2016

Baby, I love your chihuahua analogy!  So true.  I grew up with a chihuahua so know exactly what you mean.  Yip, Yip, Yip....

ConnieSW
Posts: 1570
Joined: Jun 2012

Thanks for bringing this to the top again.  Sherilyn hasn't signed in since March.  Hope we hear from her.

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