Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sebaceous Cyst Violation!

Ephesians 4:26
When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.

Psalm 4:4
When you are angry, do not sin. Think about these things quietly as you go to bed.

I was going to write an angry blog post, about my experience last Thursday. I was even going to write a letter to the local newspaper. I was angry. Then I read the above and I'm glad I waited a few days before writing this post. I'm still angry... but it's under control. Sort of.

Diary - Thursday December 17th, 2009
"I have been VIOLATED! I feel like I've been taken advantage of. Am I just another piece of meat? A number? I AM NOT A NUMBER! I am human. What the heck just happened to me? Could I have prevented it? Did it happen because I'm a quiet and shy person? Am I a door mat? .......
 I was unprepared...... If I had been prepared this wouldn't have happened to me today....

"Here's your robe." the medical administrator pulled a surgical green gown from a drawer, "The doctor will be with you shortly." She was gone by the time I thought to ask , "Why do I need a gown?"
I was there to get a cyst drained. My Doctor was on a leave of absence, and I met this doctor last Monday. He told me I had a sebaceous cyst that needed to be drained and he could do it there at the clinic. "No problem.... easy procedure." were his words. I didn't think to question it. I received no other information about the procedure. No pamphlet.... No "Do you have any questions about this procedure?" I pictured a needle sucking out the puss and that would be the end of it. I was naive and stupid.
 For the past 2 years I have had a pea sized lump under my left breast. It was now the size of 2 lima beans.
"You have to see a doctor!" my husband insisted. "Just to rule out cancer. Okay?" He was right, but I didn't like doctors. I haven't seen one since my youngest daughter was born. She'll be 10 this January. I don't like the way they rush through the appointments. They don't take the time to see why the ailment is happening.... what about prevention? They stick a band aid on the boo boo and call it a day. My mother was on heart medication for 7 years..... then she went to see another doctor who questioned why.... and there was absolutely nothing wrong with her heart. Never had been.
"Maybe they just don't want to get puss on my clothes?" I put the gown on with the ties at the front and wrapped it around me like a Monks robe. I left my pants on. I sat in the chair.... rebel that I am... I didn't want to lay on the bench just yet..... I picked up a Garden's West magazine and read calmly, because I  was oblivious to what lay ahead. If only, I had thought to Google 'Sebaceous Cyst Removal', I would have had a few days to prepare myself. Was it my responsibility to get the information for the procedure?
There I was casually reading a magazine as the doctor walked in.
 "Please lay down." I thought it odd....  he didn't say hello. Straight to business.
I lay on the small bed with my legs dangling from the knee down as he began the procedure. He placed a cloth around the area which acted as a curtain, preventing me from seeing what he was doing. He froze the area with 2 needles then left the room for 5 minutes. When he returned, he gave me one more needle, took a scalpel  and cut me open.
"Do you feel anything?" He asked.
"You ask me that after cutting me?" I thought to myself. "No." I whispered tensely. I didn't know what he was doing. Why did he cut me open? I should have brought someone with me. I panicked.
"Oh dear Lord, give me strength to face what ever it is I need to face with this procedure. Let it go and be the way it has to be." I prayed, "OWWWW!" The doctor just dug a little deeper.
"That hurt?" He questioned.
"Just a little pinch." I took a deep breath. He turned away and moved towards the cabinet. Opened the door and took out another needle and filled it with freezing liquid. I remember thinking it odd that he didn't change his gloves.
"Did he just touch those things in the cabinet with my blood on his fingers?" I closed my eyes. I prayed again. "Give this Doctor your wisdom Lord. Let him do his very best on me. I don't understand what's happening but I know I've got to trust that this is for a reason..... Is that my rib bone he's rubbing?" I panicked again. I started to chant, "Calm... Calm... Keep me calm... Oh God... Help me....I'm going to throw up.... keep me calm.... calm.... calm.... breath... in out... breath!" I forced myself to concentrate on something else.
"Wow... there's a lot of dust on that fan up there. They should dust the ceiling every once in a while. If it's dirty up there.... do you think they would clean well.... down here? What if the tools he's using are unclean? NO! Don't go there... Don't think that!" My heart beat faster and faster. He dug deeper and deeper. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. Then he turned his head and coughed. I noticed he wasn't wearing a mask.
"This cough is terrible." then he continued digging.
"oh." I said weakly. Where was my strength? Why didn't I speak up?
He turned away and walked towards the cabinet again. He took a tissue, blew his nose, threw the tissue in the garbage and continued to take another needle and fill it with more freezing liquid.
"Ummm?" was all I could say. I was frozen, "This isn't really happening to me.... it's too surreal."
"Ummm?" I tried again, "will this take much longer?" my voice cracked.
"Deep... almost done." he said as he poked me with yet another needle. " deeper that I thought." he continued to probe for the elusive vesicle.
When the digging finally stopped, he walked once more to the cupboard opened the top door with his bloodied latex glove and took a few packages of sterile pads out of a box and walked back to me. He took a medicated gauze out of a package with a pair of tweezers and then grabbed the sterilized medicated gauze with the hand he blew his nose with and pushed it into the gaping hole he just made in me.
"This is a medicated pad to plug the wound..... The cyst is too deep to get out... so this will plug and draw up any more fluid from the cyst." He finished plugging up the hole and put a bandage over the 'wick'.
"I'd like to see you on Monday to check the wound." Then he was gone. I was stunned. It took me a few moments to collect myself.
"What just happened to me?" I felt like crying. I felt like throwing up. No one was there for me. Why would they be? It was supposed to be a simple procedure. "I'm cut open with a plug." Somehow I managed to get dressed, make an appointment for Monday and dropped off the library books.  As I closed the door to my van, and sat down in the drivers seat.... the flood gates opened. I lost control...
"Where do I go? What do I do?" I cried and prayed, " Do I need to change the dressing before Monday?  It's only Thursday now. Can I take a shower before Monday? Will the cyst grow back? What can I do to prevent infection? What do I do now?" as I drove home, I had a great urge to go see Deb, a RN nurse. We had been friends since her son and my eldest daughter were in kindergarten, and now her daughter and my youngest are BFF's. She is also a member of our coffee group (when she's not fixing boo boo's in the emergency ward). I felt human again, just at the thought of seeing her.... and a renewed strength filled my spirit. I was again in control.
She answered all my questions and then some.... The following day she freshened up my dressing (which was caked full with blackened blood.... and this was supposed to last till Monday?) Her bed side manner was impeccable.... we enjoyed a chat while drinking tea...It was wonderful.... now.... don't get me wrong.... I don't expect to have tea with the doctor next monday.... when he does.... well... I don't really know what he's going to do.... he never told me.... but what ever it is.... it won't be a chat and some tea.... However, my husband will be chaperoning me that day and I'll have a tea with him.

The internet is a great tool..... you can find anything about everything on there.... so... why would it be the doctor's responsibility to give the patient information, when I could see the whole procedure on You Tube and get more than enough answers to the questions I seek?  Was it my responsibility to find the answers? Is this the direction the Canadian Medical system is going? What if I'm not an information junkie? What if I don't use the computer every day? Do I fall through the cracks? How many people have fallen through the cracks? Why was the doctor too busy to ask 'Do you have any questions about this procedure?' Do they not have enough government funding to provide the doctors with assistants... or at least a change of gloves? Is it the fault of the clinic's management?.... not enough staff? These are questions the internet can't answer for me.
Too much was left unsaid, Thursday morning, in that consultation room. What happened was wrong.... from the doctor's lack of bed side manner, to his horrible sanitary practices.
 I was going to write an angry letter.... Then I spent some time with God this morning, and I read this:
"In the midst of our peaceful lives, something turns a key in our spirit and triggers the alarm. And our internal peace - not to mention the tranquillity of those around us - is interrupted by the disruptive force of our exploding emotions.
Sometimes anger appropriately calls our attention to an injustice that needs to be addressed, and we are spurred to righteous action. Most of the time, however, our anger is selfishly ignited by the violation of our expectations, rights, and privileges. In any case, it's important to know why the alarm is sounding and to respond in a godly way. But one thing is sure, anger was never intended to continue unchecked."

The things I experienced last Thursday morning needed to be said.... but not in anger. I do not wish to point fingers, only to educate to improve the system. I do have certain rights... I am a child of God after all and my body is a temple.... so I'm told. So how do I turn around and turn this bad into a good? By telling others.... the moral of this story? Be prepared... research and use wisdom in all the things you do..... and trust God......  stand up for yourself and speak up.... and always... always make sure you have a family member or a good friend you can trust..... one that works in the medical profession.

1 comment:

Anuschka said...

So..... Monday has come and gone.... I am still standing. It was great to have my husband there at the appointment. All his questions were answered by the Doctor. Came away feeling enlightened.
We did have to wait about 20 minutes before seeing the Doctor. While we waited, my husband scrubbed his hands and said, "Lay down on the table.... I'll stitch you up." He had seen the procedure the night before on You Tube and had every confidence that he could do it without a hitch. I had to make sure his pockets were empty before we left... he tried to pilfer a suture and thread, steri strips and some Mepore.