Not As Seen On TV



I had an appointment with Dr. GI a few weeks ago. Well, to be clear, the appointment wasn't even with my regular Dr. GI, it was with the nurse practitioner in the office. Despite the fact I was having problems, my actual doctor couldn't fit me into his busy schedule until April. That's pretty much where the frustration started.


I actually really like the NP though. I have had to see her several different times in the past and never had a bad experience. When I saw her a few weeks ago everything seemed fine as well. She seemed concerned about all the issues I was having and scheduled me for some testing. She explained that if those results came back negative (showing nothing) that she would investigate further with additional testing - including and EGD and colonoscopy which I wasn't looking forward to, but it has been quite some time since I have had either and I felt perhaps it was an appropriate next step. But first, lab work and a simple ultrasound was in order. She wanted me to come back in a few weeks to go over the results and figure out the game plane from there. She even said that because my regular Dr. GI was so busy that she would schedule my return appointment with her on a day where the two of them worked at the same time so she could pull him into my appointment. Sneaky, but effective. I liked it. I felt hopeful. Tests were scheduled and the return appointment was set.


After I completed my testing the results trickled in through the patient portal thingy so I could actually review my results before I even went back to see her. Everything was "normal" - as usual. (I mean for someone who feels like shit most of the time I really have amazing lab work.) I awaited my return appointment with the NP and Dr. GI so we could come up with the game plan for the next round of tests. Even though my tests were "normal", I actually felt confident that I would find some answers to what was going on after this next appointment.


Between the time of the first appointment and this appointment I had a new symptom arise as well that I was eager to have addressed. NP came into the room and sat at the computer and reviewed my test results. I knew they were all negative so I awaited for her to go get Dr. GI and talk about that EGD and colonoscopy. Didn't happen. What did happen was her looking me dead in the face and asked, "Have you tried taking fiber? I want you to take fiber and see if it helps you." This has not been mentioned or suggested to me since I was misdiagnosed over 25 years ago. I almost couldn't even believe she said it. I was still waiting for her to talk about scheduling more testing, and even go grab Dr. GI like she said she would. She didn't.


So then I explained I have what feels like a cyst or even an abscess forming in a really delicate area. She said she would take a look. It's a pretty big lump about the size of a quarter and there is no way to miss it. It's much too large and not characteristic of a hemorrhoid. (I have quite a bit of experience with those) But, it's there and is causing me quite a bit of pain. She looked, and then proceeded to tell me nothing was there. I said, it's right there, I can feel it. It hurts. A lot. She again said, there is nothing there. I didn't understand how it was possible that she was not seeing, or even feeling, this obvious lump. It's not like I can stand on my head and view it myself, but something is most definitely there that should not be, but I wasn't exactly in a position to argue at that point.


As I was sliding my pants back on, humiliated that I even had her look to begin with, she continued to make light of all of my symptoms, again, suggesting that I simply try taking fiber. That's what the very first doctor told me to do when I first got sick so long ago. Fiber made everything worse and I ended up in surgery where they found 3 feet of diseased intestine. Saying this to me again made me cringe and I really wanted to scream at her for the sheer audacity of even suggesting such a stupid thing. "Okay" is what came out of my mouth.


She then suggested that the pain I'm experiencing could be the result of scar tissue from my previous surgeries. I also have two hernias that she explained are "just fat and not like actual organs pushing through" and perhaps I should speak with a surgeon to discuss possibly having those fixed (again I guess, because I technically had one fixed years ago but it's still a problem) and getting the scar tissue cleared out. Another surgery? Really?!? I also don't understand how one doctor can say that scar tissue can cause a problem and another doctor says it doesn't. It either does or it doesn't. I have been told both so many times by so many different doctors I honestly don't even know anymore.


So I guess I am going to go talk to a surgeon. I have zero desire to have another surgery. I have zero desire to even think about having another surgery, but maybe it's my only option at this point to find some relief. My fear is that they do another surgery and say everything looks "normal" and it would have been pointless to even have it. The healing process isn't something I feel like dealing with right now either. I feel quite defeated, confused and a little bit hopeless. This isn't anything like what happens on Grey's Anatomy.

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