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The Chao Goes Mu
03-13-2007, 04:16 PM
I'm pissed. Not pissed enough for the pit, yet. But, I'm pissed.
My partner calls me and tells me my doc's nurse called and needed to talk to me about my pap. My heart skips a beat, "Oh crap," I think as I dial the phone, praying that it's something simple like a pesky yeast infection or something.
A receptionist answers and I ask to speak to my doc's nurse. But no! She's gone for the day. "Great, I reply, she called me about an abnormal test, can another nurse tell me my results?" "Nope", she says.
"Soooo, I have to sit on this fear all night?"
"Sorry" she says.

So here I am, wondering what the hell is going on, knowing that the nurses never return phone calls until late afternoon. This normally wouldn't bother me as much but what with the mammogram I have to get in two weeks to find out what that breast lump is. Well, ok, I'm freaking out. Yep, it's official. We're diving headfirst into a full blown panic attack over here.

We need a panic smiley. :(

TroubleAgain
03-13-2007, 04:21 PM
Don't panic. Most abnormal pap smears are nothing. And if they are something, they're usually still not much--a touch of infection, etc. I had abnormal pap smears for *years* before I even got to the dysplasia stage, much less anything worse.

Oh, and the mammogram and lump? Probably not anything there, either. I have dense breast tissue and I get cysts, so I have to go back and be re-squished and sonogrammed every year to confirm, yep, still just cysts.

Jelymag
03-13-2007, 04:26 PM
A friend had an abnormal pap once and the doctor left her a message about it, but the nurse acted like it was nothing when she called back freaking out. Excuse us, to normal people the phrase "abnormal cells of undetermined significance" is scary as hell. Until then we never knew abnormal paps were somewhat, uh, normal.

The Chao Goes Mu
03-13-2007, 04:28 PM
I'm trying to not panic. I'm pretending that the last time I had an abnormal result, where it turned out to be an infection, they mailed a slip requesting I call the office. This time they called me. I'm trying to convince myself that it's just a change in their procedure.

The Chao Goes Mu
03-13-2007, 04:32 PM
A friend had an abnormal pap once and the doctor left her a message about it, but the nurse acted like it was nothing when she called back freaking out. Excuse us, to normal people the phrase "abnormal cells of undetermined significance" is scary as hell. Until then we never knew abnormal paps were somewhat, uh, normal.


Yeah, the time they sent the note to call them, I received said note on a Friday. Nice. I was hysterical. Also, what angers me, is that on the HIPPA sheet I gave them permission to leave detailed messages on my cell phone voice mail. But no!
They call my house and say, "Call us right away regarding you test results"
Grrrrr.

Velma
03-13-2007, 04:46 PM
I received a call like this last year but they didn't have me come in for more testing. They just told me the test results were "borderline" and they would compare them with next year's test. The next test came out just dandy and I got my "everything's fine" postcard in the mail after that one. So don't panic - they probably just call everyone who does not have a perfectly standard result. Regulations say only certain people can talk to you about it, not necessarily the severity of your condition. It doesn't mean you must have cancer.

taxi78cab
03-13-2007, 04:55 PM
Yeah, the time they sent the note to call them, I received said note on a Friday. Nice. I was hysterical. Also, what angers me, is that on the HIPPA sheet I gave them permission to leave detailed messages on my cell phone voice mail. But no!
They call my house and say, "Call us right away regarding you test results"
Grrrrr.
Yup. My doctor (well, her nurse really) did this to me twice. The first call was on the Thursday before my wedding. I was traveling that day so didn't get back to her and then couldn't reach her on Friday. So I spent my wedding weekend worried.

Then I went in for the follow-up visit and they called with my results on a Friday. Again, wouldn't leave a message except to say "Please call us about your results." And then their phones were down for the rest of the day and I was left for the whole weekend thinking "If everything was ok, she'd have left a message saying so, wouldn't she??" Nope. Apparently, like your doctor, they won't leave messages at all. GAH! So I'm worried because you don't like voicemail?? Sheesh.

Anyway, as others have said, it's usually nothing. Mine wasn't. And we're here to listen/provide support any time.

Scarlett67
03-13-2007, 06:02 PM
My NP called me on a Thursday night to tell me about my abnormal pap. At first I was freaked out a little, but then I realized that's probably the best time she has to do it, both to fit in her schedule and to reach people at home.

Same story: no big whoop, they scheduled a more sensitive test, which came out fine. My sister has had "abnormal cells" too, although she had to have some sort of "procedure" (not a D&C, I don't think). Everything's cool with her too.

Don't panic, it's most likely not a big deal.

norinew
03-13-2007, 06:58 PM
Oh, don't you just hate that?? I know, I'm a worrier by nature, and I'd be freaked. I won't tell you not to worry, because you're going to do that, anyway. I will tell you that it sounds as if you have pap smears pretty regularly, and that bodes well. Even if it is "something" (and it probably isn't), if you had a normal one last year, it's nothing advanced.

ZipperJJ
03-13-2007, 06:58 PM
Another vote for "don't panic."

I was a bit worried the first time I had one, then I polled some women in my life and they all said "don't worry."

The doc said "don't worry." She had me come in again in 3 months for another. It was fine, I am fine.

Abnormal happens to me once every few years, and I end up having to come back in 3 months for another.

Not dead yet.

Dangerosa
03-13-2007, 09:41 PM
If its "oh, my God, we need to do something NOW" they wouldn't be cavalier about it. A former coworkers brother had a brain tumor discovered during a routine eye exam, and didn't even go home - he want from the eye doc to the hospital, and had surgery a few days later.

Fearless Leader
03-13-2007, 09:50 PM
Try not to worry!

It is nerve wracking, though. When my results came back abnormal the office called me and asked me to come in later that day but wouldn't/couldn't give me any information as to why it was urgent - those were an interesting couple of hours between the phone call and appointment!

lisacurl
03-13-2007, 10:30 PM
I don't understand what the heck HIPAA has done to my doctor's office's rules about notifying me about test results, and frankly, I don't know if it has affected it at all. Sometimes I think it just changes based on how overworked the assistants are feeling that day. Granted, they do not leave specific phone messages anymore, not even to say "call us back about your test results". (It's just "call us back.") I rarely get written test results in the mail unless it's in a sealed personal and confidential envelope and then only if the results are normal with a "see your doctor next year" recommendation. Last year, I had my gyn's assistant call me a few weeks after my physical and leave a message and I worried, thinking it was an abnormal pap smear result, only to find out she was just calling to say everything was ok. So this year, I *didn't* worry when she left a message, and just non-chalantly returned it when I got a chance, and the results *were* abnormal and I have to follow up with a colposcopy.

The point is, even -- worst case scenario -- it is something that's going to need a follow-up procedure, if your doctor's office is anything like mine... it will take a week or two to schedule the follow-up anyway. It's just another routine screening procedure to them. It's really minor in the grand scheme of things.

That's actually meant to sound a lot more comforting than it reads back, by the way. :D

Green Cymbeline
03-13-2007, 11:08 PM
This has happened to me too and I HATE it! Something really needs to be done about this... seriously. It is a horrible thing for a woman to have to go through. They need to have a better system to communicate test results like this. Do they call up people late in the afternoon on a Friday to tell them that their biopsy results are in, but you'll have to wait 3 days to find out if you have cancer? Well they probably do... but it should be against medical ethics. It is certain horrible bedside manners at the very least.

Spacegirl
03-13-2007, 11:55 PM
Well apparently this happens a lot! Same thing happened to me, it turned out to be some sort of irritation, and the next one was normal. They called me about it too; and it turned out to be no big deal.

Not a Platypus
03-14-2007, 01:34 AM
I also say don't worry too much. I swear every pap I've had has been "abnormal", which for me has meant there was too much mucous and not enough testable cells. Every year I end up going in at least twice before they figure out what the hell they need to do, and every year I either get a phone call or a slip in the mail telling me about how the first go was abnormal and I need to come back in for more tests.

Ellef
03-14-2007, 02:53 AM
Hi Chao - I'm another one who'd say don't panic. Unless I've misread your post, it looks as if they didn't actually say your test was abnormal, just that they need you to call them about it. I went through this last year and ended up re-taking the test twice. It was all because most of the lab technicians were away being trained in a new technique, and those left behind were having to rush through a heavy workload and turning out a lot of inconclusive results. Nothing to do with my state of health at all. Chances are it'll turn out there's nothing to worry about, but good luck!

uglyduckling
03-14-2007, 04:15 AM
Abnormal paps are normal, sometimes taking a multivitamin helps. You may have to get a biopsy or a scraping of the cervix but most of the time it ends up being normal

The Chao Goes Mu
03-14-2007, 08:19 AM
Thanks for all the encouragement everyone. :) I'm much more calm this morning. Their office opens in 45 minutes so I'm going to start stalking the nurse right at 9am.
I'm still perturbed about the whole thing though.
It's funny (not "ha-ha" funny), when my aunt was having thyroid problems, they called her on a Friday and told her, "hey we found a mass, don't know if it's cancer or not, come in on Monday to discuss the result with the doc."
That was not a fun weekend.

Oh, it wasn't cancer by the way.

The Chao Goes Mu
03-14-2007, 10:42 AM
Well, I talked to the nurse. Apparently the problem with my PAP was that there weren't enough cells to test. So I get to have another date with the icy cold speculum.
I'm relieved. :)

Cheez_Whia
03-14-2007, 03:12 PM
Well, I talked to the nurse. Apparently the problem with my PAP was that there weren't enough cells to test. So I get to have another date with the icy cold speculum.
I'm relieved. :)

If I were you, I'd be pissed.

The Chao Goes Mu
03-14-2007, 03:16 PM
If I were you, I'd be pissed.

I am and if they think I'm paying for the second office visit and the second lab test, they couldn't be more wrong. :mad:

TroubleAgain
03-14-2007, 08:42 PM
Poor Chao. All that stress over basically nothing. I'm glad it's okay. :)