I've had a really bad few weeks. It started a month ago with a soft lump behind my left ear. Went in and the doctor said it was something called a "lipoma" but absolutely nothing to be concerned about since it was half the size of my fingernail, squishy, non-painful and movable. A few weeks later I felt something else lower by my left earlobe. Went in again and a different doctor (actually a N.P. it's a large clinic) said that what I was feeling WAS a lymph node, just not swollen. I guess my nodes are just naturally large on that side? Felt all around my neck and reassured me that she felt nothing out of the ordinary. That was a week ago. Then this week I started feeling bulges higher up on my skull. I went in AGAIN complaining of an itchy head (which I actually did have), and (this time a D.O.) checked all around my head and again said, "don't worry". What I was feeling was part of my skull! And it's natural I think for a skull to be bumpy and have ridges in it. But it seems every day I'm feeling something or another.
Then yesterday, another hard bump, but I think this one is under the top part of my earlobe, on the skull itself. Again, maybe pea-sized, half a fingernail, etc. Yes I Googled again but this time I think it was a good thing because I realize that this is probably part of the skull because there other hard parts around it. I have a similar (yet smaller) bump on the other side, and there aren't even any lymph nodes there. This time I am determined not to give in.
I go to a walk-in clinic and it's just an hour out of my life and $10 copay out of my wallet. I used to be very afraid of doctors offices and would rather worry and check the Internet than subject myself to the white coat syndrome. These last few weeks I'm afraid I've gone too far in the other direction.
I think doctors just want to get you in and out as quick as possible and unless they really suspect something serious they will just dismiss your concerns. Thatís kind of a good thing though because I tell myself that they are more detached and rational about these situations and we have such a litigious society and thereís so much going around about unnecessary testing to bump up insurance billing, that doctors will err on the cautious side. So if they say itís nothing, itís REALLY nothing. But like I said, I lack that moderating voice to really convince myself of that.