Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh, Yeah? Just Watch Me...

Cancer will make you crazy. That's a fact. When you don't have a partner to share the stress, you'll get there in half the time. Menopause will make you crazy; crazy times loony plus nutty, a side of frantic, some whipped rage, and a cup of cuckoo. Put cancer and menopause in the same bucket and stir...it's like handing a loaded gun to a one-eyed drunk.

It's been a difficult few weeks here. After several months' respite with over-the- counter remedies, my hot flashes have returned, providing more off-the-charts misery than I can bear. Some girls are going to glide gently into menopause, with no more trouble than say, growing out an annoying haircut. Some girls are going to leap off a cliff into menopause, and carom and cartwheel off every friggin' boulder and pebble. Guess which group is mine?

So I called my girly doc yesterday. I know, I shouldn't have waited until I was foaming at the mouth, but that's my medical M.O. I have to be near death – my own or the closest bystander – before I will seek help. After being told the earliest appointment was in 2 weeks, I left a message for Rhoda, the nurse, begging her to look at the schedule again and find some way to squeeze me in sooner.

And she never called me back. Never. Called. Me. Back.

I slept less than 3 hours, and was awoken twice with drenching sweats. I finally hurled myself in the shower, dressed, and headed for girly doc's office. Yes, this is exactly why I don't own a shotgun. It was time for Plan B.

You can catch more flies with honey, blah blah blah, and I walked in playin' that cancer card like a cheap harmonica. I'm so sorry, blah blah, but I just don't think I can wait that long, gulp, sob. In other words, either find five minutes of the doc's time, or I'll just sit out here in your waiting room with my pitiful bald head, quietly weeping and sweating, while flames shoot out of my head and catch your wallpaper on fire.

My doc has changed groups, so I fill out a boatload of repetitious paperwork. I've learned to fill out what I want, and leave the rest blank. This time, they stuck in a form saying their "new policy" was to get a patient's credit card, and automatically bill the patient for the balance after filing insurance. I'm tempted to pull down my pants and editorialize on their new policy, but instead, I leave the form blank and dare them to challenge me on it. (They don't.) They wisely got me in to see the doc in less than half an hour. Rhoda claimed she'd just left me a message! Yeah, I thought, was that before or after you learned I was in the waiting room?

I have a brief chat with girly doc, who is duly impressed with my tale of woe. As far as the hormones go, one of the great things about having cancer is you don't have to worry about getting cancer. I leave with a fistful of samples and a prescription, and no one gets hurt.

I was very relieved; I'm not sure exactly what Plan C was, but it probably involved fava beans and a nice Chianti.


tim's wife said...

You are too funny! I am in that perimenopausal phase and I'm not
even liking this part. I wish I could just snap my fingers and say good riddance to the old curse. I'd say 30 years of horrible cramps,ovarian cysts, and fibroids
is punishment enough for Eve eating that damn apple anyway. That and 12 hours of gut wrenching labor. Natural childbirth
my foot. I tell expecting women to be sure and do those breathing exercises so that they are not hyperventilating and are completely coherent when they tell their doctor to get that freekin' anesthesiologist with the epidural in the room NOW!!!!! I don't know what we women ever did to deserve all this hormonal misery.

Margaret said...

Just wanted to thank you for making menopause sound like so much fun. Gee, now I can hardly wait to get there...! :-)

Best quote of my week: "one of the great things about having cancer is you don't have to worry about getting cancer." Hah! Hadn't quite looked at things that way...

Anyway, I'm glad to know you got a prescription, hope it helps!
Florence, Italy

Unknown said...

I don't know how to say this, but this story of your personal misery has delighted me to no end. I think it's my favorite post so far! I hope your meds fix what ails ye.

I'm going to keep you in mind as a personal healthcare advocate should I grow more frustrated with handling it on my own.

And you're totally right-on about the "best part of having cancer is..." My husband pretty much has the Big Daddy of them anyway (brain), so what more can you possibly scare him with?! (Not that anyone needs to scare us with anything more, thankyouverymuch!)

Hope you feel better soon, LaCoot.

Anonymous said...

You have Attitude, girl... and although I've gotten past the menopausal stage, (I used black cohosh and natural yam cream) if I'd been kept waiting during that time frame, I might have used some 'unique' methods to be heard... cuz that's what it's all about whatever the situation - just wanna be HEARD!