Sunday, November 10, 2013

This Doctor Appointment Did Not Turn Out The Way I Thought It Would

Last Thursday the pain I had in my liver was intolerable and R convinced me to go to the doctor. I thought I was just doing the wrong stretches or something. I wanted to go to Urgent Care but he suggested I establish myself at a family doctor. I set up an appointment  and took Baby with me, despite R's insistence he come too and I get a baby sitter. I thought it would be a quick appointment and I would get an antibiotic and go home.

Instead the doctor was very concerned, immediately told me I had jaundice, which was why my skin was yellow and the cause of the constant itching from the bilirubin underneath my skin. Then she told me I needed more tests at the hospital next door. By this time L was home and I asked if I could run Baby home. The doctor said no, that I needed to go to the hospital immediately and have a CT scan and blood work done.

I texted R and asked him to meet me at the hospital. He met me while I was filing out paperwork for registration. There were so many little things like the fact they could not get our insurance to go through,telling me I did not need to drink contrast fluid and then I did need to, or the multiple sticks with too big of needles to get the CT scan IV when I clearly told them I had small veins or when they thought I did not need to do blood work, and when I asked them they told me since I was under 50 I did not need to do blood work, but I insisted so when they checked again they found out I did need blood work. The blood draw meant more sticks into an arm that was not expecting it.

At this point R had taken Baby home with him to take L to piano and C to merit badge class. I was emotionally done being at the hospital and still in so much pain. Finally at the blood draw station and young man named Sam came in. He looked just like my relative Sam Slade and he took seriously the multiple pokes in my arm. He gave me a heat pack, massaged a vein, used the smallest needle, effortlessly found a vein, and slowly drew the blood needed. The whole time he was being kind and friendly and professional. It was the highlight of a confusing afternoon.

Exhausted emotionally, hungry, thirsty, and still in pain I went home almost 5 hours after I started at the doctor. I quickly grabbed a bite to eat, looked up gallbladder obstruction on the internet (what the doctor had told me they were considering), drank lots of water and went to Stake Primary Training with my Primary Presidency.

While undergoing the CT scan and blood draw I had asked them when the results would be sent to my doctor and they suggested she would get them in the morning. Halfway through the training meeting R exploded my phone with messages saying the doctor wanted to meet with us right away and he was on his way to the church to pick me up. So I made an ungraceful exit from the meeting, and walked outside as R pulled up. My parents who were on their way up to our house, to attend the Primary Program this Sunday called and said they would be here sooner than expected.

The doctor told us she was sorry but the CT scan had picked up multiple spots of cancer on the liver and that was causing my problems. Then she offered both R and I multiple prescriptions of Ambien, oxycotin, whatever. We were both completely shocked and looked the part. We wondered how to tell our kids AGAIN. The doctor promised her office would call the Huntsman Cancer Center and my oncologist in the morning and set up an appointment.

On the way home we called my parents to let them know what they were expecting when they rolled into town. My mom's brother had recently passed away from cancer and I was especially worried about her. Then when we got home we brought our kids upstairs and told them the devastating news. L and C were both distraught and understandably crying. Baby was wondering why everyone was sad. I suggested to C he get a blessing of comfort from his father and he said he would like that if it was not too selfish of a request. We reassured both of them that we would support them in what they needed to do to help deal with the news. C emailed some friends from NV and Camp Kesem. L texted her friends.

I called my siblings and R called his parents. In my extended family there had been some ongoing traumatic life threatening events. My immediate and extended family had been praying and caring and loving those family members, and staying up to date through email. I called one of my aunts and asked her to come emotionally support my parents next day, knowing I was too shell shocked. She was dismayed at my news and sent out a loving email to the rest of my extended family that night. I slept fairly well using some pain killers that night, only emotional pain disrupted my sleep. Baby did not sleep well. She ended up sleeping in our bed between us, despite R's best efforts to help her settle down in her room.


  1. I'm glad you're blogging here again, although it's a horrible reason to have to be doing it. We are praying for all of you. Lots and lots of love from Idaho.

  2. Jeni,
    My heart aches with this news. Thank you for sharing so we can pray for you and your family. These posts comfort me in knowing that you are surrounded by love and support. I am grateful you're near such good specialists right now. You are amazing.
    Love, Arianne