Thursday, April 25, 2013

What the psychologist said.... Subtitle: Possible pitfalls when getting a 2nd opinion

I went to see a psychologist yesterday. I ended up seeing the same one I saw when my dad died and I found myself saying the same thing I am sure I said then: "He is a sage". I like him.
He said some interesting things. Essentially he seems to agree with The Lymph Lady that I am not healing from the hysterectomy because I am holding onto the anger. He said I am like a baby whose bottle has been taken away and who keeps crying for it.
He also said because my identity is wound up (he used different words, not "identity") with doing research and then making informed decisions, I cannot believe I made an error **, that I am not invincible.
He also said the doctor seems arrogant and he is surprised the doctor did not say to me: "We are taking an extreme approach...". I don't think the doctor believed that.
On Monday The Sage is going to hypnotise me, and can you believe it, I cannot remember why. I am both excited and a little apprehensive.
I just wish I felt ok. As I am writing this, am feeling horrible pains. And last night I was laughing and happy and then my stomach blew up like a balloon and then I panicked, went online to determine more about "diagnostic and preventative hysterectomies" and then got anxious that I will never get better, never get to be how I was before.
I am scheduled to go back to work on Monday. I am seeing The Sage at lunchtime. On Tuesday night I plan to go to the theatre. Will decide on Monday evening if I am well enough.
One brightness - but also slight trepidation - on the horizon is that I am going away tomorrow, for two nights. To a five-star hotel in Umhlanga, Durban area.....
When the doctor and I were still on good terms, ie prior op, he suggested I go away to recuperate. I checked this again with him post-op, while in hospital. It is a one-hour flight. I don't have to leave the hotel except to go for walks on the beachfront right outside, or to have a meal/drinks at the other five-star hotel next door which, I was laughing at the psychologist about yesterday, now seems a possible better option than the one I have chosen - all part of my new insecurity, vulnerability, feeling crushed, whatever you wanna call it....
Should be fun though. Just hope I will be ok at least 90% of every day.

PS: Just remembered. The Sage said the doctor left me no choice, saying I was playing with fire.

**My error:
My main error in this whole process was the 2nd opinion. The gynae had told me during one of two pre-op consultations in the week before the op (I thought I was a real smart alec) that I needed to do it within a month. Also, he would be away from the 22nd. And he couldn't do the 8th. And he operates only on Mondays (unless it is an emergency).
He said I was welcome to get a 2nd opinion. (This was after I saw the pathologist report recommended only a D&C). Did I want to get my own, or did I want him to suggest someone?
I thought: where am I going to get a 2nd opinion from a gynaecologist so quickly, who would I go to.... and so, STUPIDLY, said: "Ok, you suggest someone". When he suggested the head of the gynaecology department at a leading university, it seemed fine. And he only sees patients on Fridays, said my doctor, so would a phone consultation be ok?  I said yes.
Now, even writing this, I feel crazy. What an arsehole I was. The only thing in my favour is that when I did speak to 2nd Opinion Gynae, I let him know I was unimpressed with what he said: that I got breast cancer so young (huh?) that I could have the gene and therefore it was a good idea to take out my ovaries too. I told him that if those issues were relevant to me, they would have been brought up by The Tango Man four years ago when I had cancer. I then put down the phone and told my gynae in disgust: "He threw the textbook at me. A waste of time".
So why did I persist with the severe and harsh approach?
I know that even if I had got an independent 2nd opinion (my gynae had conferred with 2nd Opinion Gynae and given him my reports so it wasn't independent), and it was contrary to my doctor, I would have wanted a 3rd opinion. And why not? Why didn't I have the courage to say: "I am taking off work until I resolve this?"
It was the "you are playing with fire" that got to me.
As it happened, I wasn't.
Worse than that, I am in agony. I have not had a single day since my hysterectomy on March 18 that I have been fine for the entire day and night. Last night my entire stomach blew up like a balloon....think I wrote that already.....I just want to get better now....but I guess I also want to understand this.....

1 comment:

  1. I don't believe that the doctor made a customized recommendation for you but rather it seems like he used "a one size fits all" approach. Hindsight is 20/20 but it was only possible to realize this all until after the fact. I hope you begin to heal soon and that your getaway gives you some peace.