Thursday, September 9, 2010

Doctor's Denial

Today I called the imaging center to schedule my yearly screening mammogram, and immediately called my health care provider to request a doctor's order. I was told that they would forward a request to my doctor. As I continued on my drive to work, I thought to myself "when I am walking by the physician's office tomorrow on my training walk, I can pick up the order."

Fast forward about six hours: I get a call from the nurse at my doctor's office, and I was in complete shock by what I was told. She said my doctor wouldn't give me an order since it has been over a year since my last physical. I immediately stated that it was September of last year that I had a COMPLETE physical including gynecological exam, and in April and May of this year, I had many blood tests, an EKG, and abdominal and pelvic CT scan before having my gallbladder removed. I then stated a physical wasn't in the budget this year due to the expense of surgery and ER visit. She had no response except that my doctor wants a physical before giving me the doctor's order for the mammogram. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and at the time due to the shock, the only reply I had was to call my gynecologist to get a doctor's order.

Then I did what I do best when something is bothering me and buried myself in my work, but no matter what I  did, I couldn't get over the denial of a doctor's order for a mammogram. Several factors made me increasingly upset. This will be my fifth mammogram since I started getting them three years ago, and I have had the same doctor through the process.  After my first mammogram, I was called back for more images and then sent to a surgeon for a consultation by my doctor. Luckily, the surgeon didn't feel that a biopsy was necessary due to the microcalcifications, but he did suggest mammograms every six months. Two years later, I found a lump and the same doctor sent me for diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. Thankfully, once again I had good results-eggshell rimmed cyst (fat necrosis). Due to my breast health history, my mom being a 12-year survivor, and my doctor's involvement,  I am left wondering "how can this be?"

Don't think for a minute that this is going to keep me from getting my mammogram. In fact, it has only inspired me. Not sure exactly what I am going to do, but it I will start by calling the doctor's office back tomorrow to speak with the head physician, who is a breast cancer survivor. If she isn't in there, I will live by the motto that "tomorrow is another day" until I talk with her. I am usually an easy going individual, but this has really stirred my emotions because anyone that is willing to do something as bold as walking 60 miles over 3 days won't let a simple NO keep them from achieving a goal. Besides "everyone deserves a lifetime" and that everyone includes ME!

Hugs and blessings,


  1. Wow, Heidi. :( Keep going and I hope you get the order. I'm due for my annual soon and hope I will be able to get an order from my doctor to get my first mammogram.

    You're walking on Sunday, right?


  2. I can't believe that! I would be outraged! Keep fighting, and get your mammogram! Best of luck to you :)


  3. Got my doctor's order for mammogram and an apology from the office. Persistence pays!

  4. Honestly, I was all fired up and I was about to leave a HOT comment about how frustrated I was for you about how this was handled...and then I saw your comment that things have been corrected. Good for you for not taking no for an answer. As you know, a mammogram is what saved my life. I can't imagine any doctor refusing to order one once a year at least. Good for you too for doing the walk. I'm so proud of you.