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Mariko D.

We’ve all heard the cliche....”Listen to your body because it’s trying to tell you something.” I can’t begin to tell you how true that is. The first time was in my early 40’s. My period came every 28 - 30 days like clockwork. It started becoming irregular, like every 2 weeks. I monitored it for two months marking the calendar then armed with the information, made an appointment with my PCP. They did an ultrasound and found a complex cyst on my ovary. More tests revealed it was benign and I was asked how I wanted to proceed. My question was, “Can this turn into cancer?”. The answer was, ...”quite possibly”. I then decided since I was done having children that I no longer needed my reproductive system and to have a complete hysterectomy. Best decision I’ve made.

The next 20 years I only went to the doctor when absolutely necessary. About 4 years ago, I started having pain radiating from my arm, going up my shoulder and settling in my chest. It wasn’t constant. Just on occasion. When it started getting more frequent, I started marking it on my calendar and keeping track. Then I started having episodes where my eyes felt like one eye went up and the other went down making it impossible to focus and making me nauseated. I made my first doctor’s appointment in years and explained to the doctor (PA) what was going on. Between the chest pains and the eyes, I was sent to get a stress test and visit an ophthalmologist for the vision issues. Both tests were fine. In the meantime, I was put on cholesterol meds.

Year later after still having issues, I go back because I’m still having the issues, only now the episodes of the arm, shoulder and chest pains are more frequent and the eye going out of focus was so bad that I had trouble walking 5 steps to get to the bed to lay down. I was so nauseated, clammy, had trouble breathing and felt like throwing up. I was totally incapacitated and felt like I wanted to die. Imagine had that happened while driving. That one scared me so much I went to the ER where they said I had low blood sugar. Went back to see the doctor. The first doctor had transferred. I had a new one and when I showed up she sent me to get the same stress test and to see the ophthalmologist again. I told her the previous doctor already did that. She informs me that she’s starting all over. So the stress test is fine, and I saw the same ophthalmologist from the last time and he said everything looked good. I said well maybe I have a tumor then, jokingly. He said “maybe” and that imaging would be the next step.