Check and Double Check

The trip to Philadelphia was for my 6-month check up. I had four appointments in all: 2 ultrasounds, 2 doctors. I’m grateful for my hubby, who sat in the lobby watching Star Wars movies on his iPad, since he was not allowed in with me to any appointments. He refuses to let me go alone, and he insists on doing all the driving.

My first appointment was for a repeat thyroid ultrasound. This is the third one I had. The first two were done locally but the PennMed docs reviewing those reports and films did not think they were done well, and there was no recommendation action in the report. Since I will be going to Penn every six months anyway, it made sense to just have them re-do it. It was certainly a much more thorough ultrasound, but my developed test anxiety had me nervous. The amount of time the doctor spent doing the test made me start to panic a bit, since my default assumption is always that something is wrong. I waited the longest (about a week) for these results. Everything was stable, but they did want me to start seeing an endocrinologist. I have an TeleMed appointment with a Penn doctor at the end of March. Part of me just wanted to find a local doctor for ease of visits, but the quality of care at Penn can’t be beat, so… Penn it is. For those of you wondering why thyroid… This was an “incidental finding” from a prior CT scan that they are required to follow up on.

Appointment number two was a chest ultrasound to continue monitoring the “lump” that we all believe to be a “surgical remnant” but want to monitor to be safe. Everything was stable/same, so that’s good.

Before my doctors’ appointments, I had my vitals taken and my meds/history reviewed. Apparently, my heart rate was higher than normal. I didn’t realize this until I got into my third appointment was with my oncologist. She said, “oh, I see you were tachycardic…” Really? Heart rate was 103. I have to believe it was an error or typo or something. I didn’t feel like my heart was racing or anything like that, so I’m not really worried. But hearing the word “tachycardic” was surprising.

Everything went well. She was happy with how I was doing, that I’m continuing to exercise, that I got my first covid shot (at her recommendation), and that my side effects from the meds were all manageable.

My last appointment was with my surgeon, who I haven’t seen in a year, due to the pandemic. She finally got to check out said “lump” and her thoughts are that it’s a suture. It isn’t the size, shape, etc. of a surgical clip, per her assessment, and it’s just something we’ll watch to be on the safe side.

I love all of my Penn doctors. They always spend a good amount of time with me, and they seem interested in me as a person. Am I still exercising every day? Am I still writing? How is that grandson of yours? I think it’s important to feel a connection with your physicians and I feel so comfortable and confident every time I go there. I could conceivably stop seeing them and stay local only, but I just feel so much better going there (in addition to my local doctors). I am getting checked and double checked.

I will return in August for a repeat of all the same appointments.

IMDb: Check and Double Check (1930)

7 thoughts on “Check and Double Check

  1. I am so relieved it was a suture they discovered and not something else! I’m disappointed that the surgeons who did your initial mastectomy took it for granted you would be reconstructive surgery and take for granted they could just leave what sounds like a mess in there. Every patient is unique, they should have taken you seriously when you said no reconstruction and did a better job so you didn’t have to go through this uncertainty again. Love you!

    • Indeed. The quality of care at Penn is light years from local. Not to say all my doctors here are bad (just the one!), but it’s just a whole different level. Thank you!! Love you!!

  2. Good news! Wonderful to hear this. Always a good thing when your physicians take the time to really know you. Your hubby is a gem.

    • It sure is! It makes it so much easier to talk about even the smallest issue. I feel comfortable asking about anything, especially knowing they are willing to spend the time. Locally, I always feel rushed and my oncologist is perpetually late. So it’s not conducive to open dialogue. And yes, my hubby is a keeper (no matter how much he drives me crazy!) LOL I hope you and your family are well. Love seeing your pictures with the little ones!

  3. I am so happy you have been going to Penn. My cardiologist at Penn is awesome. She literally saved my life. I’ve been seeing her regularly since 2012 and she has also gotten to know me personally, knows John, and always asks about how my kids are doing. Just had a tele health visit with her 2 weeks ago.

    • Glad to hear all is well with you and they will keep their eye on everything. My appointments always give me a little peace of mind.

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