I saw my primary doctor yesterday. It was supposed to be just a med check to note how I was doing on nortriptyline for my chronic pain. And while we did discuss that briefly, we talked mostly about Pal, the off-the-charts fatigue that has overwhelmed me since Thursday, and a newly discovered lump on the back of my neck.
If you’re in a hurry or just don’t care about the minutia of my visit, here’s your TL;DR: nobody knows what’s going on yet.
After today’s visit, I do have more information to share, though. The lumps in my armpits are apparently not swollen lymph nodes but some kind of skin issue below the surface. Cysts, I guess? However, the new lump in my neck is almost certainly a swollen lymph node.
Dr. A said I should not freak out about going back for additional mammograms on the 30th. She sees patients get called back a lot for asymmetry in breast tissue that turns out to be nothing consequential once doctors get a more detailed look. They want more pictures to investigate the asymmetry, not the lumps.
That does make it a little easier for me to wait on answers.
Taking my extreme fatigue and the neck lump into consideration, I asked Dr. A about the possibility of mono. I don’t know how I would end up with mono—I was self-isolating before self-isolation was cool—I just remember tales of big lymph nodes and crazy fatigue when other people I knew came down with it.
Dr. A did a physical examination of all the bumps and wasn’t sure what to tell me. She didn’t order any kind of bloodwork; I think mostly because I don’t have a sore throat, a cough, a fever, or a history of contact with sick people to point toward anything viral.
“Refresh my memory,” she said. “Your brain tumor was cancerous, or…?” (Dr. A is my primary doctor but this is only the second time I’ve ever seen her.)
“And they couldn’t remove all of it right?”
“They couldn’t remove any of it.”
“OK. I’m going to consult with your oncologist. If you develop any other symptoms that would explain things—like you’ve got a bug of some sort and symptoms are still developing—call the office and let me know. In the meantime, I’ll see what Dr. P suggests.”
She explained that she’d tell most patients not to sweat it, just keep an eye on things and let her know if it gets worse. But with my history that approach felt a little too hands-off for her I think.
With a few glaring exceptions, my entire medical history can pretty much be summed up as “we have more information for you, but no answers” so today’s visit definitely tracks. If I ever do find out anything conclusive, I’ll be sure to let you guys know.
For now, I’m going back to bed. Maybe if I rest a few more hours I’ll have enough energy to brush a tooth or something.
Peace, love, and stop hoarding all the damn toilet paper, people.