The next step in the MRE process – other than determining that I NEVER wanted to do THAT again – was waiting. (If you missed any of this story, you might want to catch up: first, my cat saved my life; then, I realized my cat was a hero and I was in the Top 2 percent; and those posts were followed by my rendition of an MRE experience.)
When I finished the MRE on that long Tuesday, the radiologist had said that the docs who would read the scans were just “twiddling their thumbs and drinking Mai Tais – no, probably tea, not Mai Tais, haha!” and were just waiting to look at my images. I believed him. So my expectations were that the docs were reading the scans as my husband and I drove home from the imaging center… and that my doc would get the results that evening, look at them on Wednesday morning and confer the results to me as soon as possible.
Because I’m sure my doc was as all about me as I was. After all, I am one of the Top 2 percent. (Please read my former post so you know why I’m saying that.)
I heard nothing Wednesday.
OK, I thought, so maybe the surgeon was in surgery or did have patients other than me.
Thursday morning, I sent a message:
Thursday late afternoon, I received this reply:
Hmmm… did that mean that the images weren’t clear (and, horrors, would have to be redone – over my dead body, certainly not on my dime if it were my live body in that machine)? Or did it mean that the doctor didn’t understand the images and needed to discuss them with the radiologist? Or did the physician’s assistant not understand the images and was portraying that?
I heard nothing Friday.
Friday – after 4:30 p.m., realizing I likely would have to go through the entire weekend without hearing anything, I sent this:
I had tried what I hoped was a somewhat humorous peek into the mind of the patient, attempting to portray a hint of my anxiety while not being pushy or impatient. After all, I didn’t want to make an enemy of someone who might eventually decide between laparoscopic holes or a full-scale incision from which to remove a chunk of my intestine.
I figured that 4:30 on a Friday was much too late to expect an answer from a doctor’s office. So I settled in for the busy weekend, enjoying life rather than worrying about test results. The weekend included out-of-town guests, my grandson’s 2nd birthday party, and a retirement party for my boss.
My guests had arrived Saturday afternoon, and we were in full birthday party mode when I got an email notification that my doctor had left me a message in the online chart system. Of course, I hurriedly opened the online chart and the message in the inbox.
I puzzled through it, then read it aloud to the party guests. What stood out more than the less-than-clear test result was the initials the doctor had chosen to use in his message.
“ ‘FU’? What? And ‘… FU in the clinic again’? ” I stormed. “Again? I don’t even remember the first time!”
(I think we all went to the colloquial “f**k you” interpretation of the letters “FU.”)
“Your doctor sent you a text message?”
My sister-in-love was more amazed by the thought that my doctor’s office would send a text message than offended by the letters “FU.” But shortly after she said:
“Wait! The F is just above the C on the keyboard. Maybe he meant ‘CU’ as in ‘see you.’”
We took that as his intention, but it seemed curious to me that a message otherwise written with complete words would include “FU.”
Later, when my husband arrived at the party, I shared the details of the message with him.
The “FU” left him unfazed.
“That’s just standard for ‘follow up,’” he told me. (My husband is a medical professional.)
Oh. That made sense.
Even if the MRE results did not.
Unfortunately, the MRE did not give a clear diagnosis or satisfactory closure. (Fortunately, no one mentioned a redo of the procedure. Shhh.) The surgeon, in my FU, ultimately left the choice up to me. I could have a “look-see” surgery, in which the doctor would open me laparoscopically to see if I were a Top 2 percenter and remove the Meckel’s if it were there. If it turned out to be simply a collapsed bowel, he would do nothing except stitch me together and send me home.
The choice was mine. The choice is mine.
Yesterday, I had an appointment with my regular doctor, and together we went through my medical records and some of the limited research that exists on the condition of Meckel’s diverticulum in adults. We both came to the conclusion that a “wait-see” (no cutting required!) is a more conservative, better option for me. It’s quite possible I’ll remain symptom-free and never give my cat another chance to save my life. And if I do have another episode, well, we’ll know how to deal with it.
And so the waiting continues. It wasn’t the intended result of the MRE, but it is mine.