Calm before the storm
Written just before my diagnosis in November 2018
I remember the first ultrasound I did. It was at a medical lab close to the doctor’s office. I went in for a morning appointment and I was in and out in 15 mins. It felt routine, pain-less and just no concerns needed in general. I went in the morning and went to work, carried on with my busy day at work as usual. It was like any other day, except I lost a few hours of working time to ‘get this out of the way’.
I tend to think I’m fairly healthy and active. My husband I signed up for a HIIT (high intensity interval training) gym about a year ago, we’ve been coming here regularly for a year. A HITT workout is typically a 45 minutes class with different workout programs designed for a high intensity calorie burn. After 45 minutes I can generally burn about 500+ calories. Well at least that’s what my tracker tells me, based on my heart rate levels. So we’ve been coming here and eating well, and I’ve lost 10 lbs since January 2018. I am at my best shape in the past few years and went back to my regular clothing size from 2 years ago. I’d say I felt pretty good. If I had any fitness goals in the new year, I was going to work on eating better and getting more visible abs and tone my body to get higher muscle percentage vs. fat. Sounds like what a fitness junky right? In fact, I was feeling happy that I could lift heavier weights at the gym and work on my endurance during cardio workout sessions. At least, this was the only physical thing I needed to worry about at the time.
There was on Friday, after our routine 5:30pm class. My cellphone rang. I picked up and it was my family doctor. This was her second call of the day as I’ve missed a call earlier and she didn’t leave a voicemail. I picked up, and amongst the noise from the gym and the inpatient thoughts to get on with my weekend, I managed to make up some facts. 1) She called bout my ultrasound result and 2) she needed to refer me to an ear nose throat (ENT) specialist. 3) Her office was going to do the paperwork and I just need to wait for the appointment to be arranged. I said thank you, still thinking it was strange, but hung up with a bit of an uncertainty. Told my husband about it and we went on to eat at a new Indian restaurant that just got opened a while ago. Let me tell you, the food was amazing! In the midst of the delicious lamb shank and house made cheese, I spent the night not thinking there was going to be something 'big'.
I thought this was gonna be my life, work at my job during the day, continue to look for challenges in my career, work out outside the office, trying different restaurants with my husband, family and friends. We just got married so the plan was to start a family and live what other 33 years olds do. Become a mom, buy a stroller, the natural progression of life of becoming a working mom. I thought this was going to be the only few things I needed to think about, what my next job will look like; is it gonna be easy or hard to get pregnant; the list goes on with more exciting things that about to happen. I could even dream about the next vacation or which other restaurant on Instagram that we should go to next.
Having all of these thoughts, the weekend passed. Comes Monday, I kept my cellphone close all day and there was no call from the doctor’s office. I got impatient and set a reminder for myself to call t the doctor’s office on Tuesday, I called and was given the contact of the ENT specialist. I googled the doctor. Of course I googled. Why doesn’t google something before doing it these days? Like a true millennial, I googled the hell out of this doctor while still waiting impatiently. I decided to give her a call. The receptionist person told me I called too early and they still haven’t gone through my file. Once the ENT specialist reviews the file, they will call me to schedule the appointment. I thought, it wouldn’t be a big deal, my family doctor probably just wanted to make sure I was okay by consulting a specialist. Another week passed, still no calls.
I work in an office in a fast paced environment. Every day I try to figure out how many different things I could do at the same time so that I can achieve my maximum productivity. I’m a productivity fanatic. I plan out all my projects with a clear timeline, with most projects planned out 3 months out. As long as I follow my timelines, things can carry out without a hitch. Once they do, I will do my best to course correct and make sure I meet my deadlines. Almost a week and a half after the call with my family doctor, I finally got a call from the ENT doctor's office and was given detailed instructions for another ultrasound and a fine needle biopsy. I wrote every single detail down, including that I have to arrive 20 mins earlier for the ultrasound, and go back on a different day for the fine needle biopsy. Feeling a little uneasy, I put all the details on my phone calendar and moved on with my busy day.