Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Of biopsies and such

Remember that little lump I found in my right cheek the last week of December? Well, it never went away with antibiotics or steroids so the ENT did a CT scan. It only showed up in one frame of the CT and didn't show that it was attached to the parotid gland or anything else for that matter. So she decided that I needed a needle biopsy or, more accurately, a fine needle aspiration. Thus began the pursuit of a pathologist in my insurance network.

The doc's office had no luck as there were only two listed - one was no longer in business and the other was actually an opthamologist. My ENT doc insisted that it must be read by a pathologist so she was starting to make noises about my going out of network to find one. Well, at that exact time was when E lost his temp job so I put the brakes on the whole thing because I can't afford to pay full price out of pocket.

On Tuesday of this week I saw my primary care physician and she fussed at me for not having that biopsy done yet. In fact, she made me pinky-swear that I'd have it done right away. She said that the insurance company had to contract with someone to cover me or I could sue them. So yesterday I got on the phone with them and, miracle of miracles, they had two new names of pathologists for me. I called the ENT's office and they set me up to have the FNA at 7:30 this morning.

I was there all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 7:30. When the pathologist walked in and I told him that the mass was inside my mouth, he said, "Oh, I don't do anything inside the mouth. You'll need to see an oral surgeon." I must have looked utterly shocked (and I was) because he said for me to hang around a few while he called my ENT to get this straight. After nearly an hour, he came back with the news that I was to be at my ENT's office at 1 pm today and he would be there as well. The ENT was going to do the FNA and he would be there to gather and read the slides. Talk about the run-around!

Finally, at 1 pm this afternoon we all gathered in the ENT's office for the procedure. I just love having two doctors around that don't know each other. Every time one left the room, the other one rolled his/her eyes. After lots of posturing and feather ruffling, my ENT sprayed my mouth with the most foul tasting crap to numb it. The stuff tasted like rotten bananas. That's right - this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Then she stuck the needle into the mass (Dixie, here's where you need to avert your eyes and skip to the next paragraph) and began to bounce it around 6 - 10 times. I thought it was going to come through the outside of my cheek during a couple of those bounces. Quite uncomfortable. As is my luck, she didn't get enough of a sample the first time so she had to do it all over again from the B-A-N-A-N-A-S to the bouncing. Bleh! I'm glad it's all over now.

The pathologist took the slides, quite please with the amount of the second sample, and headed off to his lab to read them. Before I even got back to the office, my ENT's nurse called to tell me that there is no malignancy and the cells all look pretty normal. The pathologist is going to let them grow in the culture but they don't expect anything abnormal. The decision is that nothing further will need to be done.

Bless my ENT's heart - she truly is very nice. She had the nurse refund my co-pay as she said that I'd been through enough today. [vbg]


  • At 8:12 PM, Blogger butterflygirl said…

    Glad to hear the great news. And you got your co-pay refunded-WOW!

  • At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Kay said…

    I can't believe I'm reading about this on your blog!!! I know your picking S. up from the airport or I'd be on the phone chewing your butt out for not calling me.

    I'm so glad to hear that everything is OK. :)

  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger Marybeth said…

    I'm glad that everything is okay!

  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger Dixie said…

    All's well that ends well!!

    And I want a prize because I read the whole thing and I didn't faint once!

  • At 4:00 PM, Blogger thatfarmgirl said…

    Glad all is well. I've had that banana stuff...can't remember for what...and you're right in that it is GROSS. And yes, your network has to provide you with a specialist or your out-of-network coverage should be covered at the in-network level!


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