I hate not writing regular posts for a lot of reasons. The first being, it makes me feel more connected to the IBD/chronic illness community when I share either what has been going on with me recently, or some thoughts I have based on past experiences. The next post I am going to be writing after this one is Part 2 of Teachers, Students and Chronic Illness but today, I wanted to talk about something different.
I wrote a post a while ago about how much respect and admiration I had for those people who advocate while dealing with a tremendous amount. I tend to shy away from writing and doing other things when I am not feeling well. I have been doing most of my advocacy on Instagram since I feel like I can use it to make my point without having to go into so much emotional detail.
I was in the ER yesterday because my stomach was absolutely killing me, I was incredibly nauseous and could barely walk or stand up straight. I usually have an idea of what it going on when this happens. If I am not recovering from something, it is usually a blockage and while those are incredibly painful and shell shocking to say the least, at least I know WHY I am feeling the way I do. If you have been following me at all on here or other social media platforms, you can probably assume that I am not someone who races to the emergency room at the drop of a hat. The same is true when I reach out to doctors. I don’t bombard any doctor I have for minor things mainly because it is incredibly triggering for me to even reach out to them in the first place, let alone dialogue with them. I would always rather deal with things on my own than ask for medical help.
Without boring you with the nitty gritty details of yesterdays events, I will quickly sum up the highlights so the rest of my post will make more sense.
The doctor who took care of me hooked me up to an IV for fluids, zofran (anti nausea medication) and dialudid for the pain. He said he wanted to check my blood first and if that showed nothing, he would order a CT scan. My blood work indicated dehydration and either an infection or inflammation. Since (thankfully) I still had output coming from my ostomy (which does not occur when you are obstructed,) the doctor left the next step up to me. He said he could order a CT since we still weren’t sure what was causing my pain OR we could try and manage this as an outpatient.
Then said “I am fine with doing whatever you are most comfortable with since I know you would come back if anything got worse or continued.”
I just want to add that I had never met this doctor before yet he trusted what I was saying, did not make me feel like I was fishing for medications, or minimize what I was going through. He was respectful, offered me options, and allowed me to choose what was right for me and my body.
I chose to do things outpatient knowing that I could always have a CT scan done or any other test if God forbid things got worse.
A few hours before I went to the ER, I sent my new gastroenterologist a message telling her I had been feeling incredibly nauseous for days and asked if she would feel comfortable calling in zofran for me. This medication, in my opinion, is pretty harmless and helps enormously.
This morning, I sent her another message letting her know what happened yesterday in the ER. Without copying and pasting the message here, I will just say that it was very cold and dismissive. I wasn’t sure about this doctor after my initial appointment with her, and it was magnified when I received more of a response from a GI who I know through social media than I did my own doctor following a small bowel series she ordered. The doctor who I know from social media actually took the time to send me a couple detailed emails about test results I had received with various reasons why things could be occurring in addition to ways of dealing with it. He was thorough and gave me hope. All while my own doctor wouldn’t respond to a message from me and when she finally did, she expressed her displeasure with me calling numerous times to go over my test results.
I wanted to give this doctor some time to get to know me, and me her. I wanted to see how things played out because I do know it can take some time to develop a honest and trusting relationship with a physician. But after her last message to me, I think giving her so much leeway to show me that she is right for me isn’t the right thing to do.
Like with any other relationship, you either click with someone or you don’t. I had my doubts about her from the beginning and it all has just been proven correct over the past few months. I also want to be very clear in that just because a doctor is not right for me doesn’t mean he/she is not the right person to be taking care of you. We all look for different things in a doctor and that is OKAY. That is why there are a lot of them
For me, I don’t respond well to tough love approaches from physicians (or anyone else for that matter.) I once had a doctor ask my mom to leave the room, got in my face, and scream at me “Do you want to die? Do you? Because that is exactly what is going to happen if you don’t listen to every word I say.” I was 16 at the time.
I have been through way too much, I know my body and I know when something is wrong. I never reach out unless I have no other choice. I like when doctors allow me to make my own decisions based on the facts. I find I am so much more receptive to being admitted or going through more testing if I feel like I am the one in control of things. I like when doctors offer me their opinion and of course when it is an emergency, I expect them to just do whatever necessary. But with other things that are less critical, I like feeling like the doctor taking care of me understands me, has a general idea where I am coming from and also trusts that I will always do what is best for my health.
I guess the point of me writing this is to sort out some of my feelings on this subject. I know many other people have issues with doctors so I also wrote this publicly and not in my own journal with the hope that someone else might be able to relate.
The bottom line, in my mind, is go with your first instincts. I know that sounds very cliche but it is so very true in this case in particular. From the moment I met my surgeon, I liked him. And then as the years went on, the good feelings I had about my doctor in the beginning were just magnified.
The core of a person is what you initially see and feel. Sure, there might be situations that call for someone to act in a way they wouldn’t normally. Everyone has bad days, are caught up in less than ideal situations, etc. I am in no way saying not to give someone (or a doctor) a second chance. But for the most part, whatever “feeling” you get after meeting someone is probably the right one. I am someone who gives people the benefit of the doubt way too much. I am (in some ways) still hoping my GI is the right one for me. But I know deep deep down that I have to find another one.