~~~~~Note: I will not publish any comments that are negative towards my doctor. I do NOT want anyone to go all worry wart on me, that is my mother's job and trust me when I say she is very good at it. My issues are not life threatening, they are annoying, it could be so much worse. Seriously, read Dream Mom, if anyone can help you put your own issues into perspective it is her. Oh and grab a tissue before clicking over, much of her writing is powerful and you may well fall in love with her Dear Son!~~~~~
I have what I consider a rather unique relationship with my doctor. He is seriously awesome, he treats me with respect and doesn't get all uppity when I disagree with him. He is secure enough in his doctorhood to have a patient question him, no need for an extra large stethoscope to overcompensate for anything. He takes the time to answer my questions and lets me have input in my treatment plan when possible knowing it will work better if it suits my lifestyle. I don't feel like I am just one more patient on his schedule, he takes the time to get to know me as a person and treats me like an intelligent human being. When I saw him the second time after not seeing him for over a year I was shocked that he totally remembered me and my personality, he told me that when he forgets a patient it is time for him to retire. I've totally been spoiled forever and am going to hate losing him after I get my degree! Seriously I doubt I will ever find a doctor that comes even close to him. He puts up with my silliness, like asking him if flomax (prostate drug) is right for me, and after reading an article about a study that found that the appendix has a purpose* I told him I wanted a transplant since I had mine out at 17 (the answer was no to both of course). I generally go in with at least one crazy treatment suggestion to throw at him, and he on the spot totally has a comeback for each, wish I was that quick, his question as to what I ingest threw me off so bad I couldn't really think of anything on my admittedly short list, part of it is that I am still experimenting and looking for foods that "agree" with me.
So this week Doc decided that he wanted to see me, I had sent him a whiny e-mail (I bet he is totally regretting being listed on stalker net, aka the school directory) about side effects of the current drug and such and he decided that my concerns warranted an in person consult (how cool is it that he is willing to talk to me over the phone when it is something simple!) and that perhaps I was finally annoyed with my issues enough to cave on the referral issue. He is trying to get me to see a GI doc, a very specific one, out of the four that are in network there is one and only one that he will send me to (I think it is less about talent of said GI doc and more orneriness of said patient, though he says the doc is great too). He has been pimping the GI doc for months, and I have been shooting it down for months. Last year he sent me to an ortho for my wrist, Dr. Jerk-face pissed me off so bad that almost a year later I am still livid at him (Dr. Jerk-Face not Doc, Doc had no idea I would be treated like I was). Dr. Jerk-Face told me that there was nothing he could do since it was pretty much every tendon in my wrist messed up and if it focused to one he could inject it but otherwise there were no options (funny my doc thought of several and my wrist is functional now because of it). That was fine but then he went on to tell me I should have gotten better by then (it was several months in a splint and medicated with anti-inflammatories) and maybe something is wrong with my body's ability to heal and my immune system and perhaps my diet was lacking (I actually ate decent at that point) but he didn't ask what my diet was like and didn't answer any of my questions about what seems like pretty serious issues he brought up and if there was something lacking in my diet that could have fixed me I was almost guaranteed to try it. Then he gets up and walks out of the room, while I am in the middle of asking him something! I wasn't even ornery with him, he just dismissed me as if I were a waste of time, who gives a shit about a worthless broken microbiology grad student when there are football players to poke and prod, they are so much more worthy**!
Oops, I digressed, a lot, like normal! So Doc has been trying to get me to see the GI doc and I have been dodging it with everything I can think of. Several reasons, Dr. Jerk-Face is one of them obviously, but more that I adore MY Doc and his nurse and don't want to have anyone else, and there is a bit of a psychological thing of if he is willing to let me get away with it that means it isn't so bad because we both know that he can and will put his foot down (which is why I have an appointment with a dietitian even though I think it is a total waste of everyone's time) if and when he deems it necessary and I will do what he says. He prefers us to be in agreement about whatever it is but ultimately he is the doctor and I am his patient and he will do what is best for me even if I don't like it. A big reason I want to avoid the GI is that I know he will likely make me have all kinds of tests, and he will likely not be a happy camper if I try to get out of any of them. While some tests are likely a good idea for me, there are some that I think would just be a waste of time and money, like I know food stays in my stomach way longer than it is supposed to, I don't need to spend all day in front of an x-ray or whatever to prove it. Either way, after my whiny e-mail he was going to put his foot down, and after a bit of protest just for show I was going to cave and go, it was time and I had to compete with the other bloggers in my blog roll who have cool medical pics, like Deb! And of course NukeDad and I could totally compete/commiserate about the wonderful life of having a defective GI tract, only his test showed he might be pregnant and I am definitely not (I'll so watch for you on Oprah! Oh try to make her show when I'll be in Chicago next and we can totally hang out!).
The receptionist had given me a survey card so they could see how much time I spent in each of the 4 locations in the clinic, exam room, lab, x-ray, and pharmacy. I told Doc he had to send me to each so I could fill in all the boxes, he told me he was going to send me to the lab but not x-ray. He did the exam and I mentioned the palpability of my large intestine and admitted that sometimes it hurt, usually during water aerobics. Up until now all my issues were upper GI, I was reluctant to admit the colon issue because that brings lower into the picture and I did NOT want lower GI in the picture! He then told me I get a trip to x-ray after all. I wander over, get stabbed by a nice vampire, and then got irradiated twice. In that time Doc was telling my nurse to get ready to submit my referral for the GI doc, I was definitely going! Then he looked at the pretty picture the nice lady had took of me and became the first person to accuse me of being full of shit/crap and mean it literally (he didn't actually say shit, nor crap, he laughed when I did though as did my beloved nurse). We'd already discussed that I have no problem going to the bathroom and do so on a regular basis so I was pretty shocked that my colon resembled the road between my apartment and campus that is under construction and down to one lane in each direction.
Bringing lower GI into the mix made my acceptance of going to the GI fly out the window. I had come to terms with the idea of having a camera down my throat, especially if I got pictures, but I am totally not into the idea of a camera shoved anywhere else, in particular one that I would feel way too uncomfortable to blog about! Once a year lady doc visit is bad enough, can't I have one unviolated hole, is that so much to ask!? The amusing thing to me was that the new symptom may or may not be a huge reason I am sickly and so Doc let me off the hook on the GI referral, for now, and gave me a med to get things flowing, but not flomax ;). If I am not doing better in two weeks he is shipping me off and I got nothing left to stall it with. My nurse was quite shocked that I had dodged the referral again, she expected me to be sent to her not the pharmacist, but then so was I! I thought extra symptoms would guarantee my one way ticket not give me a miracle dodge with the potential of getting rid of the referral threat. So for your enjoyment, the proof that I am literally full of shit and not just figuratively:
One last fact that I find amusing, Doc can't e-mail me back to protect my privacy, but being a somewhat shameless blogger who loves the full of shit line so much there was no way I can not post about it I think the privacy thing is kinda shot!
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* It is now believed that the appendix is a area that good bacteria hang out in and if something happens to wipe out the other beneficial microbes in the intestines they can help to recolonize. The bacterial community in the human GI tract is very important, that is why it is common for one to get diarrhea when on antibiotics, they don't differentiate between the good and bad bacteria and then an opportunistic pathogen can take over and wreck its own havoc. Normally the intestines are filled with bacteria and one way they help is to take up all the room so many pathogens can't establish themselves. This is why a normal healthy adult can eat honey but one is not supposed to give it to babies, honey can contain botulism spores and they can colonize and cause a very fatal infection.
** To be fair (not that the jackass deserves it), I've talked to others who have seen him and worked with him and he was nice/respectful to them and treated them and none were athletes. I can understand him feeling there was nothing he could do for me, but to bring up possible issues and not being willing to discuss them with me?! Doc has me a bit spoiled with the degree to which he is willing to discuss issues with me but all the other docs I have seen have been more communicative, and that list includes two orthopedics, one for my knee and one for my wrist when I had wrenched it.
3 weeks ago