Wednesday, April 25, 2012
There is a little balancing act here between the opposing sides of:
- detecting new or potential cancers early
- keeping the patient calm
- not over testing or over spending
That lovely phrase, 'With your medical history, we need to be sure... blah, blah, blah', that sends me on to more medical procedures than 10 average human beings combined, I am sure I am responsible for more than my share of high health care costs.
My doctors want to make sure any new or returning cancers are caught early to prevent more expensive and nasty medical adventures. So in return for annual and semi annual and three/four time a year follow up appointments, I am supposed to be happy that they are doing their diligence at this endeavor.
My peace of mind these days is fairly calm, except when I need an ativan to get to a screening which causes a nasty case of 'scanxiety'. I usually can live in the sane world where cancer is only lurking in the back of my brain as opposed to screaming in my frontal lobe. I usually can balance this but any time a doctor says 'with your medical history, we need to be sure... blah, blah, blah' I want to unleash my inner two year old and have a nice little temper tantrum and stick out my tongue at them.
But then there is the 'let's not over test' thought process. I am a big fan of this. I have lots of friends who get PETs, CTs and MRIs to look for cancer cooties. I only get thyroid ultrasounds and mammograms these days - accompanied by lots of poking and prodding. I have no desire to get PETs, CTs, and MRIs personally and if I am sent for one, I may need a temper tantrum
I compare this to normal people who didn't have a mammogram until the age of 40. I started at 23 so I was ahead of the curve because of a benign tumor at that age. I also have had more blood tests and prescriptions than the average person and my current total is 8 surgeries to date (my father beat me on that with a lifetime total of 23). So are the high health care costs my fault? I'm hoping not because I am still here which is the whole point of them in the first place.
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