BRCA 1 and Health

I dislike the end of the year, not because of Christmas and New Year’s. Why? It’s my routine doctor appointments…skin check with the dermatologist, gynecology appointments, blood work, vaginal ultrasound…

Ugh.

I don’t really mind my skin check appointments. I have an amazing doctor who specializes in skin cancer, and is very familiar with the BRCA gene. She’s extremely kind, patient and answers my never-ending questions.

My gynecology appointments usually suck. This year was no different. I needed to get my IUD pulled and a new one put in. I have to be on birth control since having my double mastectomy and being higher risk for ovarian cancer. I had the IUD placed back in 2014 when my gynecology oncologist recommended having it put in. So, I did it. Having the IUD pulled out and another put in place was extremely painful. On top of that, I went to the lab after and had blood drawn. It wasn’t a very pleasant experience and needless to say, I almost passed out hardcore. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to drive home, but managed to pull it together. I called my sister-in-law, and asked her to stay on the phone with me until I made it home. I was in excruciating pain for several days, which isn’t normal. Thankfully, I had the vaginal ultrasound right around the corner, and that’s where they do their thing and confirm an IUD is placed correctly.

The vaginal ultrasound appointment was so uncomfortable. If you aren’t familiar with this, they have you drink LOTS of water well before the appointment; however, you can’t go to the bathroom an hour before the appointment. They want the bladder to be full because the ovaries show up better on the ultrasound. This appointment usually only lasts 10-15 minutes, however, mine lasted an hour. Everything turned out normal and nothing sent them into questioning mode. They weren’t concerned and I’m good to go for a while.

All in all, another clean bill of health for another 6 months. My lab results came back within the normal numbers; to which, I’m grateful.

Knowledge is power. Be proactive not reactive.

PS: All-in-all, my medical bill for the blood work was $157.00, with insurance covering $103.05. My pelvic exam and transvaginal ultrasound was $1,491.00, with insurance covering $1,056.74. My portion was $488.21…insurance and my doctor’s don’t see this as a pre-existing condition and won’t change the coding on these two items. It’s rather annoying and disappointing. I have tried fighting this with doctors and coding, only to not have it resolved, resulting in me paying the full amounts.

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