Yes, tomorrow I see the surgeon to talk about a biopsy. I decided to go.
A friend of mine (she lives in another state, otherwise she would probably be going with me) suggested I hire a doula to go with me. If you aren't familiar with doulas, they are professionals that support women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. During childbirth, they do things like help with relaxation and pain relief, provide emotional support, and advocate for women with medical staff. Of course, I'm not pregnant, but those are the kinds of things I need help with when I see the surgeon and when I have the biopsy. I thought that was the most brilliant idea I'd ever heard. I told my friend she gets a gold star for thinking outside the box.
So I called a doula in a nearby town (I live in a small town, not many doulas around here, it seems) and she is willing to drive a bit further than she normally does to see clients and to help me with the appointment tomorrow and any future appointments.
I'm not sure what's going to happen tomorrow. The surgeon may be able to do the biopsy in his office but it may need to be done in a hospital. He might be able to do a needle aspiration biopsy, where he just extracts some fluid or cells with a needle; he should be able to do that in his office and might even be able to do it tomorrow because it should be a quick and easy procedure. He might have to do a surgical biopsy, which he might be able to do in his office but which might have to be done in a hospital; even if it can be done in his office, he probably won't be able to do that tomorrow because it will be a longer, more involved procedure. I'd be thrilled if all that was needed was the needle aspiration biopsy and if it could be done tomorrow. Then it would be over and done with.
I specifically asked my primary care provider to refer me to a surgeon that practices somewhere other than at the hospital where I had the terrible experience last November. There is a person at her office that handles all referrals, and despite my request, she tried to refer me to a surgeon that practices at the same hospital. When I told her I would not see him because of that, and pointed out that I had specifically requested a surgeon that practiced somewhere else, she said well, he would probably be able to do the procedure in his office she she didn't think it really mattered.
I was angry about that. She doesn't know if he can do it in his office or not. What if I went to the appointment only to find out it had to be done in the hospital? I'd have to pay for that appointment, but if I didn't want to go to that hospital, then I'd have to find a new surgeon, which would delay the procedure, and pay for an initial consultation with the new surgeon, which would be extra money I really can't afford. If it didn't really matter, I wouldn't have bothered to specify that the surgeon needed to practice somewhere else. I just thought it was very insensitive for her to ignore my needs like that. It didn't really put me in the mood to proceed with the whole thing, you know?
But now I have an appointment with a surgeon that practices at a different hospital, one I've never been to. I looked up some reviews of him online and people say he is a good listener and spends lots of time with patients and seems to care about their needs and explains things well. So hopefully I will like him.
I am anxious about it.