Great news: The Boob Doc I saw on Friday was well-informed and good at conveying empathy. She made it clear that she wanted to do something to help me feel better. She was so well-informed, that she decided to test for three very hard-to-find microorganisms that may be behind this Granulomatous Mastitis. I have a scholarly article about this, sent to me by an American doctor. My new doctor informed me that she doubted I would test positive for any signs of bacterial infection, but she had to rule it out. She was right. No bacteria, not even the exotic ones. It is completely idiopathic (meaning of unknown origin).
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT, AS IN “EW, GROSS! YUK!”
This refreshingly competent and compassionate doctor also recognized that the main reason I was in excruciating pain was because I had formed an abscess the size of a golf ball under my nipple. She seemed pretty flabbergasted that no other doctor had done anything about it. This abscess had stretched the skin so thin, that it became shiny and completely numb. It did some serious damage, and could have done more damage if left undrained.
She drained it. It hurt like hell, even with local anesthesia. She stuck a pretty big syringe about two cm to the left of the nipple and suctioned enough cream-colored pus to fill two large test tubes (or a big shot glass). When she was done draining the abscess, she rinsed the inside of my boob by injecting sterile saline solution and suctioning it out again about eight times. You could see that part of my boob inflate and deflate. Even grosser, the saline solution came out first bloody red, then ever-lighter shades of pink with little greenish particles. Did I already mention that it hurt like hell? I wished she had squirted a local anesthetic in with the saline solution, or at the end of the procedure.
GRAPHIC CONTENT OVER
I cried. Again. It HURT just a little too much. This doctor asked me to describe the pain I’ve experienced the past few months. I spared no simile, no metaphor, no grimace. She prescribed gabapentin (Neurontin) and was cool enough to explain the mechanism of action. My first thoughts were: “Isn’t that for veterinary use? And isn’t it used for severe neuralgia (nerve pain)?” Yes and yes. Well, if it’s good enough for my dog or my cat, it’s good enough for me. If it treats neuralgia, bring it on! Guess what?
IT WORKED! I spent three days completely pain-free! It was amazing to feel normal, to feel no pain for the few hours I was awake over the weekend. Gabapentin knocked me out. If I wasn’t asleep, I was in a sort of twilight sleep. When I was awake, I felt stoned, dizzy and wobbly, and I could not think. Blank mind. I’m glad I had the pain relief. I have ten pills on hand in case of emergency, but I really prefer to be awake and coherent.
The doctor told me to return on Monday for a biopsy, and she wanted to run all the tests again (just as my GP had warned). She wanted to check for hyperprolactinemia (excess prolactin, the hormone that stimulates lactation), as that could also be a cause of GM. Wow! This doctor really did her homework. She’s the first doctor here who has thought to check that. I told her there’s no need, as I had my GP run the test and it was normal. I even showed her the test result. I went home relieved and optimistic, and woke up three days later pain-free and ready to see this clever doctor again.