So I found swelling and pain in both armpits and over the past couple of nights I've been kept up at night with the pain in both breasts. I was in a fair bit of pain at work today and one of the ladies there was urging me to phone the breast clinic to see if I could get in sooner. Four phone calls to four different numbers later (they don't make it easy to contact them!) and I was told that I wasn't even on the waiting list yet!! I was really down after that so I phoned my gp office and asked if my doc could give me a call at any point, to which they said the earliest would be Wednesday.
When I got home from work the pain was pretty bad so I phoned NHS24, just for advice. The lady was lovely and said the swelling and pain that had come on since I saw the gp was concerning so she told me to go to the G-Docs at my local A&E dept.
The nurse was the most lovely woman - I get very nervous in hospitals and she was so reassuring - and she took my temperature, blood pressure etc etc. She said I had a very slightly raised temperature but not 'feverish' or alarming. Only very slight. She examined my breasts and underarms and could obviously see the redness and said the right one was definitely swollen. She was baffled -she thought it must have been hormonal - so she went and got one of the doctors. He wasn't great, to be honest. He examined me again and said that my right breast felt more firm and also that he could feel lumps on the right hand side of it but then quickly said "but you're only young, so don't worry about those"... Typical! I was too nervous to challenge him as I had to go alone - my best friend who knows about this and is coming to the clinic with me is in a different country just now! Anyway, he told me it was most likely an infection (even though the gp was pretty sure it wasn't..) and prescribed me with Erythromycin to take for a week and told me to go back to the gp once that was up.
Fingers crossed they work. Sorry for the long post - just wanted to vent as I'm starting to see what everyone means when they say doctors won't take you seriously if you're young!
Hope all of you are doing ok 🙂
Thank you everybody for your replies! It's unfortunate that we have to meet under these circumstances but you are all so supportive and friendly.
Do any of you know/remember how long it takes to get the initial consultation with the specialist? I know I only saw the doctor on Wednesday but I'm just itching to get my appointment letter through. I'm not even sure why - I just feel a little helpless at the moment. Stuck in that awkward, lonely part of all this where I can't really talk to anybody about my worries about IBC for fear that they will fob me off or even laugh at me for thinking I might have something so serious so young. But as I said before and as too many unfortunate young people know - rare doesn't mean never - so I don't think my worries are laughable.
I plan on taking a friend with me to the specialist and pushing for answers. I don't want to leave there thinking that I'm not doing everything I can to get to the bottom of this.
Thanks again for all your kind replies. Good to know I'm not alone.
Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums where I am sure you will get lots of good, honest support from the many informed users of this site. I have put for you below the link to a couple of BCC's publications you might like to read before your hospital appointment. I know that your fellow forum users will tell you not to Google, as there is a lot of wrong/outdated/inaccurate information out there, stick to reputable websites such as this one and Macmillan. Our helpline team are also just a free phone call away, 0808 800 6000 lines are open 9-5 Mon-Fri and 10-2 Sat, the staff are here to support you and answer any questions you have.
Apologies in advance for what will be a long post!!
I just wanted to find somewhere to vent a little and get some more information on IBC and after lurking around at a few posts, these forums seem like a great place to do so 🙂
First of all, I'm in my early 20s so I know that the chances of what I have being IBC are very slim BUT I also know that 'rare' doesn't mean 'never'.
A couple of weeks ago I woke up and looked in the mirror and noticed that literally overnight my right breast had grown to create a significant difference in size to the left. There were also stretch marks all around the top of it which there was absolutely NO signs of beforehand. I then realised that my breast was a funny colour. The whole thing was red and I just put it down to sleeping on it funny or something and hoped it would go away - though the very sudden growth and stretchmarks did confuse (and upset!) me. I took some photos of it on my phone to make sure it definitely wasn't in my head but I could clearly see that something was wrong with it and it was indeed, very red. A week later I took my phone out again and took some photos of the underside of my breast and was pretty shocked as it was still very red but also looked a little purple - almost as if it was bruised. The redness has not gone away and it's now been two weeks. Every now and then I get a small shooting pain in it but nothing unbearable - just noticeable.
I went to my GP yesterday (I have to say - he is the BEST doctor I've ever had - he actually listens to me and is very pro-active, unlike many others that I've had) and he seemed a little concerned by it. He said there was a definite size difference and the colour change was very noticeable. After reading a few other women's posts about this, I had assumed that he would just tell me that it's an infection and give me anti-biotics but he seemed pretty adamant that it wasn't and has referred me to the breast clinic at the local hospital. I am just waiting to get my appointment date.
For the last week or so I've also been having a lot of nausea - sometimes so bad that it keeps me up at night. Before anybody asks, there's definitely no chance of pregnancy! I've been single for over a year and have not slept with anybody in that time.
I was looking at my breast again this afternoon and I can see very tiny thread-like veins amoungst the redness which I had not really noticed before.
I'm obviously really anxious to get the clinic date through the post so I can get this seen to asap and I just wondered what your thoughts are on this as I'd honestly never heard of IBC until I Googled 'red breasts' a couple of weeks ago!
I hope I'm just being paranoid but I'm so glad that my doctor is actually being pro-active instead of my usual response from doctors about things - "you're young, it'll be nothing.. come back if it's not better in a month".
Sorry again for the super long post - just looking for some support!