Last year I had a Bilateral Risk Reducing Mastectomy and Immediate Reconstruction with Tissue Expanders. Unfortunately I couldn’t tolerate the expanders and they were removed after 18 weeks of constant pain and spiking temperatures. Initially all of my pain disappeared but I’m left with tightness in my upper chest almost constantly. At my last Out-Patient appointment I cried as my chest is very disfigured and I can’t see it ever feeling any better either. This prompted a referral to the Psychological Medicine Department.
I saw the Psychologist last week as suggested by the Royal Marsden and guess what?? The Psychologist said that the way I feel is completely understandable and reasonable after the past year and a failed reconstruction and she will write to my Doctors and tell them they need to diagnose properly what is causing this continual tightness in my chest, put it right and get on with reconstructing me once and for all!!! Result!!
She was very surprised that I’d been referred at all (the letter said it was because I was still complaining of continuing chest tightness) and felt that unless something is done to alleviate the physical symptoms I will be “stuck” here forever. She doesn’t feel that I’m depressed, don’t need anti-depressants but do need answers and now!! She said that Doctors are very bad at diagnosing what a problem is and prefer to just reach for a tablet and if that cures it pronounce that it “must’ve been that then”!! She also tends to agree with me that my chest muscles were probably damaged in the original surgery to put the expander implants in and that I should’ve been taken more seriously when I said I was in pain and could feel the implant moving and catching on my ribs.
I’m very glad that I saw her as it justifies that the way I’ve been feeling isn’t all in my head after all. Unfortunately some Doctors would like us to believe that our problems are imagined, don’t you think?