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So after being called three times to reschedule around things that shouldn't be my problem (a parade on the road outside the main gate at 0700 on a day I had an afternoon appointment, my PCM wanting to take leave on the day I had rescheduled to, etc.) I finally got seen.

I showed up 15 minutes early and was taken in promptly by Apologetic Airman to check my vitals, then had no more than the five minute wait for 2Lt. Gripper [Nurse That Listens]. She took my gynecologic history for the umpteenth time, had me address the Pap results postcard, and had me fill out the standard checklist that touches on birth control, more gyno history, and domestic violence. She then gave me a gown and told me Lt. Jackson [Lieutenant Hands Tied] would be in in a few minutes.

When Lt. Jackson came in with 2Lt. Gripper ten minutes later, she seemed surprised to see me again. (I saw her on 30 June at sick call as 29 July was the soonest appt available on that day.) I explained the pain and cramps were intolerable to the point of sleep deprivation and that I was told I was fine at my 17 July appointment with the Women's Health section, without getting the Pap smear or pelvic exam I'd made the appointment for.

The new handheld light that attaches to a disposable plastic speculum with a molded-in coupler looked interesting until she'd gone through two speculae trying to find my cervix (my normal discharge in response to having something unlubricated stuck in me wasn't clear enough to see through) and sent 2Lt. Gripper to get the Women's Health provider, Cpt. Locke [Captain Chirpy]. Despite the fact that Cpt. Locke is the only provider (not an assistant) in Women's Health, she was available and came over.

Cpt. Locke talked in a bubbly rapid-fire the entire time she was in there. She pointed out to Lt. Jackson that my cervix is "up and to the left" instead of "straight in" as in most women, then suggested I might have a tilted uterus. (Wouldn't that have shown up when I was pregnant with Laurel?) Due to the angle at which she had to continuously hold the speculum to access my cervix, Cpt. Locke offered to do the Pap and swab. (Lt. Jackson offered to also do both a bacterial & fungal swab and an STD swab if I wanted; I told her it didn't matter to me so I got the bac&fungal only.) She went back to Women's Health and Lt. Jackson checked my breasts (I do a breast self-exam twice a month, but I wasn't about to complain), lymph nodes, thyroid and stomach and then left so I could get dressed.

Since once again nothing was obviously wrong but she finally acknowledged my family history of feminine cancers and problems, Lt. Jackson decided HRT wouldn't be beneficial (she had previously suggested estrogen to make the bleeding abate, then a few cycles of oral contraceptives to get my cycle back on track) and that just the oral contraceptives would fix me right up. If I'm *still* in pain after three months of that, then we can do something. I told her I'd be leaving in a month after my husband goes on terminal leave so I wouldn't be in the state then. She replied that I can follow up with her in a month. That's it.

I went to the pickup window as soon as we got out of the lab (hCG urine test before starting the Pill) and was told it'd be ready shortly. A half hour later, I went up again and was told 'shortly'. At the hour mark, Laurel was antsy, fussy and a few minutes away from a full-blown tantrum (which I was going to let her throw in there because it should not take an HOUR to get something that comes in a freaking blister pack), at which point one of the uniformed folks working in the pharmacy asked to see my ID and filled it right there.

I am still in gut-wrenching pain from the cramps. I am unbelievably tired since my quality of sleep sucks with cramps waking me up. A psych stopped me as we were walking over to the lab and offered to fit me in on Monday, but I told him no unless he could stop me from bleeding every other week or do something for the pain. I'm about to turn into the Hormonal Raging Bitch From Hell (that and exaggerating my mood swings is why I've avoided the Pill since I tried it six years ago) because I have no recourse if I turn down their plan of treatment.

I wish life was like the GTA games so I could blow things up and run people over instead of having this simmering resentment at the fact that I am bleeding every other week, am in miserable pain and they're "fixing" it by making me a hormonal raging bitch with birth control pills. I want to see a real doctor. I also need to buy a DivaCup or a Mooncup because having to use my Keeper every other week has caused my latent sensitivity to latex to rear its head and other sanitary methods aren't an option.

Also, I plan on flooding the clinic with copies of their own stupid feedback forms. I took a 1/4" stack of them with me when I finally got that scrip and I'll be scanning it later tonight for anyone interested in filling one or more out on my behalf.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2003 11:05 am (UTC)
when I went to the er they had those speculums with the lights on them, they put water based lube on it though!
Jul. 31st, 2003 11:12 pm (UTC)
Aren't they wild? I'd never seen a light-up speculum before, so I was just fascinated by it.

I finally got lube on one when the Women's Health provider came in to assist... or as she put it to the nurse (who was assisting), "Goop. I need more goop." (Say that in a helium-sucking high voice and you can imagine why I was trying not to giggle when she was in the room.)
Jul. 31st, 2003 11:06 am (UTC)
note: they didn't do a pap, only a swab for bacteria
Jul. 31st, 2003 11:17 am (UTC)
I hope that you feel better soon and they they find out what is causing all of this..
Jul. 31st, 2003 10:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 31st, 2003 10:54 pm (UTC)
As long as we've been here the main pharmacy at the clinic has been for new prescriptions and the satellite pharmacy in the BX did refills. Now they're doing some sort of renovation to the clinic pharmacy waiting area so now people have to wait in the main entrance lobby and getting scrips takes twice as long, if not longer, as before. (In late 2000 I had scrip filled for three different medications, only one blister-packed, during the afternoon rush ready in ten minutes. Today it took over an hour to get three blister packs of Ortho Tri-Cyclen.)

Base medical care seems to be hit or miss -- around here, Pope AFB is really efficient and on top of things while the clinic here at Seymour seems to be one step closer to closing entirely every time I'm there. My best friend's wife hated the Peterson clinic but now they're at a regional medical center in Germany so she's very happy with that; one of the first things I heard about their housing unit was "this is great, we're XXX yards from the west wing of the hospital!".
Jul. 31st, 2003 03:09 pm (UTC)
I was going to say something about going on the pill, but I figured you prolly had your reasons for not wanting to go that avenue. I know what yu mean about being pissed off to wait for it, though. I mean, it's in a package...grab it and give it to me. In any case, the first two months weere terrible for me as far as mood swings but after about a year I'm lighter and have less cramps. I hope *something* works out for you or that your doctors in colorado have a better solution. Warm wishes your way.
Jul. 31st, 2003 11:05 pm (UTC)
I was on Ortho Tri-Cyclen for six months when I was in high school. In addition to making me the hormonal raging bitch from hell (I had to replace my metal bifold closet doors because I took most of my rage out on them, but I also destroyed most of a 3' diameter stump in my parents' backyard and crushed hundreds of empty beverage cans -- the only productive result of that rage), when I wasn't raging I was brutally, suicidally depressed. Instead of realizing this started after I went on the Pill, my doctor thought I was depressed and put me on Prozac, which made me so wired I could have been mistaken for a methamphetamine addict. Other bad psych things happens, but suffice it to say several months of my life are simply blank because the medications affected my short-term memory. This royally upsets me since I otherwise have a photographic memory.

I have to take it or I'll be going against my plan of treatment, which could cause me to be denied further medical care, so I'm going to suck it up until I see a doctor in Colorado. I need to get Laurel in for her 3-year checkup as soon as we're back there anyway, since with the misery I had getting into the clinic I didn't feel like doing that crapshoot for her to be seen by some other provider I don't know (the pediatrician that saw her here when she was <1 year old has moved on to another base). She will be happy to see Dr. Ted when we get home -- she remembered him so vividly she got excited when we stopped by the office in May while we were on vacation so I could get a copy of her shot record.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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