Friday, October 14, 2016

Megan, and the Mystery of the Missing Tampon - A Medical Mystery

So, a couple of weeks ago, my kid sister came over with her adorable AF kiddos to go swimming with my son and I. I was on my monthly thingabob (With an IUD, calling it a period seems too dramatic of a term for it), so I tampon-ed up when we got ready to go swimming. All 3 pools by my house were closed due to different things, so we ended up walking around in our swimsuits then distracting 4 unhappy kids with dinner and some Netflix.

Fast forward a few hours, my kiddo is passed out and I remember the tampon. I go to the bathroom and spend about 30 minutes digging and reading articles on the internet on what to do if it gets stuck. After that fails, I text one of my best friends to see if she was game to test the limits of our friendship since Gil was busy at work.

We apparently have zero boundaries, and she could not find my tampon, but she did manage to straight up YANK out my IUD, which had apparently dislodged from it's regular position, making it easily accessible. (And explaining some of the weird stuff that had been going on in the last 3 or 4 months with my body)

My body straight up goes into shock, since my constant stream of hormones for the last 6 years quickly evacuated my body, and we go into panic mode since we fished out an IUD, but found no traces of my tampon.

I was terrified that it was in my urethra (which is a thing that technically can happen, but is really hard to do in practice) or jumped up past my cervix. SO, off to the ER we went, making a quick stop to drop Monk off at her house so her husband could watch him sleep.

We get to the ER, and literally had the quickest wait time ever, and within a half hour of getting there, I had 2 more hands all up inside of me, all trying to find the tampon.

They didn't find it. Instead, they found what they thought looked like Cervical Cancer. (!!!!) I had TWO separate doctors give me two different speeches about how they couldn't technically diagnosis me, but they see cancer and I need to go to my OB and get a pap smear ASAP. One was very warm, and even put their hand on my shoulder in sympathy, the other was more brisk and said "Well, if you get it taken care of soon, it won't be a big deal, but if you put this off at all, you are dead."

This was a Friday night, and the very next day I was scheduled to go to Flagstaff for the weekend with Monk, Gil, his family and his band. It was VERY hard to keep a happy face and hide my terror for the weekend.

I called the doctor that following Monday, was in to see him first thing Tuesday and he was LIVID. If you tell someone they have cancer, you need to be damn sure, and Cervical Cancer can NOT be detected by the naked eye. He did see the abnormalities they saw, but thought the doctors to be careless and irresponsible to give me such anxiety. With the tests he took, it takes a week for results. So I had to wait. Hanging out in this terrible What If Limbo.

Both of my grandmas have had multiple cancers coursing through their bodies, one died when I was 3, the other has beaten all the bouts I have heard about. My grandfathers have also had their share of cancer in their visceral organs and some skin cancer. Since before I could drive, I have been living under the assumption of "When Not If" in terms of cancer, and when I met my ex-husband I was certain I would be dead by 30 with some sort of cancer.

I have been preparing myself for this diagnosis for half of my life, and I think that I'm pretty well adjusted to the idea. Knowing that at worst case scenario I would temporarily go bald (and get to experience warm lotion on a freshly shaven head), and have hormone pellets 15-20 years earlier than expected (Isn't being a woman FUN?!?), didn't really bother me. But I still cried a lot waiting for my results. And Gil, had no clue any of my medical history, and had to come to terms with a lot of depressing realities of what an early hysterectomy would mean for him if he plans on being a long term fixture in Monk and my's life. (We literally just signed a lease on a bigger place for the 3 of us, so that is the current plan)

I had to wait 10 days for my results. 10 days where I went through my life pretending absolutely nothing had changed, but going through all sorts of emotions and thoughts, and having my boyfriend pretty much velcroed to me. I had all these years to adjust and be ok-ish, he had 10 days and he was not ok.

SO. I waited to post this until I had my results, and I wanted to wait until I knew my next steps, but apparently my doctor is a fan of automated systems over human interactions.

I, do NOT have Cervical Cancer. I have something called HPV, which is a virus that can, one day, turn into Cervical Cancer. I also have some sort of deformity thing going on in my cervix, but I don't remember what it's called, and google is an asshole when looking up anything related to this.

When I last spoke to my doctor, he mentioned wanting to do some ultrasounds and some other blood tests to see where I lay on the risk scale. The automated system told me I need more paps than the average person, but no time table was given to me.

So, relief? Kinda? Right now, I'm clear, but my odds of that changing have gone up some unknown amount, and as glad I am to know it's not cancer, YET, I think I'll settle a bit back down after I know exactly where I lie in this matter.

As for the tampon that started this entire mess? No one knows exactly where it is, but if it was inside of me I'd be a giant ball of Toxic Shock Syndrome, so the best guess is that the applicator was a dud, and it never made it out of it's cardboard to begin with.

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