Doctors, Nurses, and Frustrating Experiences

I mentioned in my last few posts about having some medical stuff going on…  I’m trying not to get too graphic here, but this post probably goes into more detail than I have in the past…  If it’s too much for you, please come back tomorrow when I’ll have a new post!  It’s also really quite frustrating…

I finally called up my doctor’s office and asked to come in last week.  Based on some research I’d been doing, I suspected I had too much yeast in my system (yeast is supposed to be there, just like bacteria, but when our systems get unbalanced we can have issues).  I’ve been pretty good about using probiotics (maybe too good – more on that in a bit), but sometimes the system can get seriously out of whack.  Based on my symptoms (please don’t make me get into them here!) I thought there was a good chance.

The good news is that I don’t have an overgrowth of yeast.  The bad news is that I have a bit too much bacteria (oops – guess it’s time for me to cut out the probiotics for a while!). The other bad news is that it doesn’t seem like that was causing my intestinal issues (again, I won’t get into all the specifics here).  I’ve seen two doctors in two weeks, and explained the whole saga to them both (from having a shorter intestine as a result of emergency surgery after my car accident 16 years ago to having the stomach flu in January 2009 to getting prescribed antibiotics in early 2010 that had a horrific effect on my GI tract to all the doctor’s appointments and experimenting with diet in between).

My normal doctor actually seemed really dismissive of the whole thing (she isn’t the same one I’d seen in 2009 and 2010, because my insurance changed), and even suggested that I was probably just experiencing normal monthly hormonal fluctuations (um, no, that would not create this kind of urgency five or six times daily for months!!!!), and then said I probably “just have IBS.”  Which is such a frustratingly vague “diagnosis” that I wanted to throw something at her.  At least she seemed to take this more seriously than my last doctors – she even mentioned that she was surprised I hadn’t gotten scoped.  Scoping sounds just so pleasant, doesn’t it?  But at this point, I’ll do just about anything if they can figure out what ELSE is going on (since cutting gluten and gums made a significant difference, but hasn’t completely fixed all of my digestive issues).  She ordered a celiac resistance test for me, and a stool sample (sorry, I tried to figure out how else to say it, but I couldn’t).

I haven’t done the former test yet, because I was waiting for clarification from her.  She’d said I’d get more information about the blood draw at the lab, but once I got there the worker didn’t know anything about how a celiac test works (specifically how much gluten you’re supposed to eat, and when in relation to the test).  I asked for clarification yesterday over e-mail and was told by a well-meaning but completely stupid nurse that the doctor had said for me to eat gluten for three months.


Imagine if I was someone who didn’t have a clue?

I’m sure the doctor intended for me to have eaten gluten within the last three months.  Not to eat it for three months straight.  Of course this particular nurse also asked me where I would get gluten from.  She further asked if I’d eat it straight.


The doctor I saw this morning actually listened to me, seemed interested when I told her about my experiences with gluten and gums, asked if I’d still be avoiding gluten even if the celiac panel came up negative (my answer was yes, and she agreed that it was a good one) and suggested three more stool tests (um, yay?).  She asked if I tend to have symptoms when I’m stressed, but doesn’t think IBS is a particularly good explanation.  I’ve also got a blood allergy panel scheduled.  Yay pokes, prods, and disgusting samples.  The only thing that’s made this bearable was the hilarious lab tech I saw today who was giving me instructions.  Again, I’ll spare you the details, but it was nice to be able to laugh about this!

I’ve had headaches on and off this week, but have mostly felt okay digestively since my meeting with my doctor last week.  Well, except for the disgusting frozen meal (by a company I really like, whose other meals have been quite good) I had for lunch today (now my stomach is seriously upset!).  We’ll see how well my body tolerates this round of antibiotics.  I am feeling pretty discouraged about the whole doctor thing, but I suppose at least I’m working toward getting some answers.  Or not.

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