21 July 2010 – A Kick in the Gut

Today when I came to the Peace Corps Office in Accra Perpetua, the receptionist, told me that Amel, Peace Corps Medical Officer) was looking for me. I had passed my physical with two thumbs up and she said I was Ok for the extension so why was she calling me? Maybe it was about my moving troubles? Yesterday during the exam I had unloaded on her about the troubles with moving. I hoped maybe she had talked to the Country Director and got him agree to move me from Sandema to Trotor. Then I realized she would need my permission to discuss anything from the exam with the CD. So why did she want to see me?

I went to the med unit and Amel called me right in. She told me she found a small growth on my uterus. Omph boy did that let the wind out of my sails! My mind started to race. What does that mean? Why didn’t she tell me yesterday. Will I get to go to America? Will I me Medically Sperated from Peace Corps? Will the surgery be done in America or South Africa?

When I recovered from the shock she was saying that the reason I bled small small yesterday during the Pap was the growth. At first she decided to wait for the Pap results but then all night she thought about it and decided I should see a gynocologist today. She had an appointment for me at 4:00 p

After the Gynocologist

I got to watch Oprah at the Gynocologist. I don’t know if it was just this show or if she has also gone tabloid/reality tv. She had this poor woman who’s husband committed suicide on the show. Before he committed suicide he did everything he could to make sure she would not be financially solvent. He took a second mortgage and spent it, canceled his life insurance and spent all the money in their bank accounts. Oprah and Susie Orman brow beat this poor women because she didn’t know any thing about the financial aspect of her married life; she had always left it up to her husband. Then they brought her family and friends on and begged them to help her. Oprah’s excuse was so that this wouldn’t happen to other women. I thought Oprah had more class than that…. Ok so why did I watch. I would have watched WWW Wrestling that afternoon if it kept me from thinking about why I was at the gynocologist!

It’s Ok and it’s not. I have a polop and two fibroids on my uterus. Dr. Darko, (couldn’t help thinking of Donnie Darko!) is pretty sure they are not cancerous. So that’s the OK part. The best and biggest part of course.

Dr. Darko is a German about my age. She has worked in Ghana for 8 years and in Nigera for 5  years before that. The exam table is a little different. There are two leather cuff that look like ½ a leg cast on metal rods. They are about 1 foot off the exam table. When I sat down I totally expected she would lower them somehow for me to put my legs on. No she expected me to lift my legs up there! I laughed and told her i was 50 something not 20 something. She had no mercy and I had to manage!

During the exam she used ultrasound and we could see two dark spots, they were the fibroids. After the visual exam she said they look benign. She was very polite when she answered my next almost obnoxious question “How can you tell just by looking?” I found interesting that she never used the word cancer, but  when she said growth I heard cancer. when she said benign i heard not cancerous,  Even though she wasn’t mentioning the lizard in the room I saw it poking it’s head around corners or out from behind the curtains.

So good news it’s most likely not cancerous. Bad news I still have to have surgery. Dr. Darko said it’s just an outpatient procedure. I will go in and come out the same day.  Again I didn’t hear everything she said because my mind was racing. What will this do to my home leave? Will I do it when I am home in America? Will they send me to SA. Procedure, that doesn’t sound as scary as surgery. How long is recovery time? She says it’s benign but what if she’s wrong….