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Check Up-a Poem

So as you probably noticed from my past few posts, I’m not doing so well lately. I had about a weeks worth of sick days scattered throughout the past couple of weeks with some kind of stomach flu? GI problems for sure. As you may recall, I was trying to find out why my body seems to hate food a while back, but a terrible experience with a terrible doctor discouraged me from continuing to seek treatment.

As time has passed since then, I fell into a dangerous trap of complacency. I started to get used to feeling sick after meals and throwing up in my mouth all day. It eventually stopped occurring to me that anything was even wrong. Even after Halloween and the Weird Bad Feeling, I still felt like involving a doctor was unnecessary. It didn’t help that my “primary care physician” was actually my OBGYN, and I feel like GI issues are not really his job and that makes me very hesitant to bother him with it. It also doesn’t help that he’s an hour’s drive away. Plus, after the Terrible Experience, I didn’t want to pay the hefty price tag of seeking out a GI specialist who will run costly tests that all come back normal anyway. (I recently got ANOTHER bill from Terrible Doctor in the mail – almost $1000! For no information.)

Finally, a post from What Can I Give Today mentioned a great link – a site where one could speak to doctors anonymously and FOR FREE. www.healthtap.com is an awesome site, and when you’re chronically ill, when do you NOT have a quick question you’d like to ask a doctor about? So I checked it out, and tried to think of something I had a question about. Then I remembered that I’m horribly sick all the time and seem to be allergic to all food and drink including water. I found out that you can browse already answered questions, and that seemed efficient, so I started reading what these docs had to say about indigestion and nausea. Every specialist on the site said the same thing – here are some temporary treatments to make you feel better, but you really need to see a doctor. It may or may not be serious, but the constant acid in your esophagus is not doing you any favors, especially if left untreated.

I woke up. I learned a lesson I learn constantly – don’t let things go. Go see the doctor, it’s better than the alternative. I’m sick enough with endo as it is, why let something else gang up on my body? I decided to give my university’s Health and Wellness center another try. They’ve disappointed me in the past, but they’re across the street from my office, cheap, and if I’m assertive they should at least be able to point me in the right direction.

After making an appointment for tomorrow, I felt irrationally depressed the way I always do when I make a doctor’s appointment. I’ll write more on this some other time, but for now I just wanted to share a poem I wrote for my intro to poetry class a year ago.

Check Up

I remember when going was a holiday.

Now, I’d prefer to listen to lectures and formulas

Than hear the incurable is still

Incurable.

 

I don’t want my blood drained.

I don’t want my soft belly pressed on.

I don’t want to be asked if this hurts.

Of course it does.

 

Admittedly,

The needle didn’t sting as much this time

And Doctor says It hasn’t grown or spread,

And what more could we hope for?

 

On my way out, I am pacified

By a perfect chocolate egg for Easter.

As the treasure dissolves, I remember I am stil sick.

 

I will always be sick.

Funny story – after turning this in, I had a flare and had to miss class. This resulted in a terrified email from my big bearded professor who thought I may be dead. I found it so…endearing. It was one of the first times I had really openly shared my illness, and I felt like he really understood. Or, at least, he didn’t assume the worst of me, which is worth a lot too.

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About rachelmeeks

My name is Rachel Meeks. I have endometriosis, an incurable pain condition, IBS, a digestive illness, and PCOS, which causes irregular periods and infertility. After keeping my illnesses a secret, I started to get upset about how my fellow sick people were being mistreated because of ignorance. I knew that I'd need to stand up, make some noise, wear my heart on my sleeve, and admit that I am not well to make a difference.

12 responses to “Check Up-a Poem

  1. miche123

    Rachel, I adore that poem, and the fact that you submitted it to get into your poetry class. The teacher’s response to your missing class is heartwarming; I too have had teachers respond with kindness that blows me away.

    I have indigestion like you have described: vomiting into my mouth, sometimes while asleep; bile rising up my throat; and not many foods I can tolerate, are all things that have made my condition harder to cope with. Just in case this helps you: I saw a doctor of environmental medicine who gave me a stool test to do (I know, not exactly pleasant conversation, but hear me out.), and the results came back that I had three of the four good bacterias missing from my intestines; therefore, my food was not able to be digested properly. Also, I have one bad bug, which just happens to explain my sugar cravings too. I’m now taking probiotics, mutaflora and a bunch of other stuff. If I eat mostly cooked veggies and chicken, I’m okay.

    Anyway, I just thought to share this because it might help you. I wish you luck with finding the help you need.

    Cheers

    Miche

    • The food suggestions definitely help. I’m just starting to learn what exactly I can and can’t eat. Our theory right now is close to what you’ve described – After having two surgeries this year, with heavy antibiotics for both, I think I’ve disabled my digestive system and actually given myself IBS. I’m trying to take probiotics twice a day, though I usually only remember once a day. I guess by dinner I’m too tired, grumpy, and sick to think straight.

      The first food that I discovered had to go forever? SpaghettiOs. I don’t think anyone will ever really understand the special place they had in my heart. I imagine I’ll have to give up more of my favorites soon. I had chicken and veggies for lunch, but it had a heavy sauce that seems to not have agreed with me. Ugh. Why isn’t there a store that ONLY sells food for sensitive tummies?

  2. Hey Rachel-
    I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. I know with past experiences under your belt, appointments can be dreaded occasions, but I’m glad you’re going. Hoping that it goes well.
    *Spoonie Hugs*

    • Thanks so much Tosha! I’m glad we’ve been able to connect in the iPhone world. 🙂 Definitely helps to have something to do in the waiting room.

      The appointment went much better than expected. I’m seeing a specialist on Tuesday, and hopefully that will have some solid answers. For now, I’m on prilosec and bentyl. The prilosec had great results instantly, but I’m still getting used to bentyl.

  3. Lindsay

    Sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well! I can relate to many aspects of your post – the (expensive) bad doctors, getting used to the discomfort/pain. I always debate whether or not to make an appointment (especially with a new doctor) for longer than I should. In the end I usually give in and realize, like you said, that dealing with one permanent illness is hard enough. I should give my body a break and do what I can to save it from any more.

    Hope you feel better soon! Let us know how it goes!

    • Thanks so much. It’s a comfort to know I’m not the only one who goes back and forth about it. Now if I’d just learn my lesson! The appointment at school went well, and I have my first appointment with a new GI specialist tomorrow. I’m optimistic… here’s hoping I don’t get let down!

  4. Pingback: God’s Just Giving me More to Write About « Do I Look Sick?

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  6. Billie Jo Kimbrel ⋅

    I wrote my own poem, its my way of venting, I hope you don’t mind me sharing it.

    BEHIND A FAKE SMILE

    I GET DRESSED UP, EXCITED TO GO OUT, MY HAIR IS PERFECT NOT A STRAND OUT OF PLACE.

    I PUT BLUSH EYESHADOW, EYELINER LIPGLOSS ONTO MY FACE.

    AS I CHECK IN THE MIRROR FOR ONE LAST LOOK, IF ONLY YOU KNEW THE ENGERY TO GET READY IT TOOK.

    I KNOW WHAT YOU THINK WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME AND SEE.

    HOW CAN SHE SAY SHE IS SO SICK WHEN SHE LOOKS JUST FINE TO ME?

    I SMILE AND LAUGH JUST AS ALL OF YOU DO, BUT IF YOU ONLY KNEW THE DEEP FEELING OF BLUE.

    THE TIRED, THE PAIN, THE SEIZURES THE FALLS. I WONDER ALL THE TIME WHAT I DID TO DESERVE THIS ALL?

    ON THE WORST DAYS I WISH THE LORD WOULD CALL MY NAME.

    TAKE ME TO A PLACE THAT I DONT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS HELLISH GAME.

    I SIT AND I HIDE FROM THE WORLD AS I SHED MY TEARS.

    I DESERVE A ONE OR TWO AFTER THE HELL MY BODY HAS ENDURED THROUGH THESE YEARS.

    FAMILY AND FRIENDS, THEY WANT TO HELP OUT.

    IF ONLY THEY KNEW WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO BE THIS BURDON WAS ALL ABOUT?

    I LOOK IN THE MIRROR THE BRUISES AND BUMPS ONLY TO WONDER WHERE WILL BE THE NEXT LUMP.

    I LAY IN MY BED WISHING FOR JUST ONE GOOD DAY.

    AFTER A FEW HOURS IT ALL TURNS TO DISARRAY.

    MY BODY IS TIRED, AS I AM TIRED OF THE PAIN.

    PEOPLE SAY HAVE HOPE AND STRENGTH YOU WILL GAIN.

    AS THE YEARS GO ON I THINK ABOUT BEING TOLD IM SICK THAT DAY.

    I SAT THERE WONDEING, AS I STILL DO NOW,

    WILL IT ALWAYS BE THIS WAY?

    I’D GIVE ANYTHING TO BE MY OLD SELF AGAIN,

    BUT AS IT LOOKS OF NOW, THERE WILL BE NO END.

    THEY SAY GOD ONLY GIVES YOU WHAT YOU CANHANDLE.

    DOES HE SEE THE LIGHT SLOWLY GOING DIM ON MYCANDLE?

    WHAT YOU DON’T SEE IS THE HELL I HIDE.

    IN WHICH THERE ARE VERY FEW THAT PEOPLEI WILL CONFIDE.

    JUST REMEMBER WHEN YOU LOOK AT A PERSON ANDWHAT YOU MAY SEE,

    MAY BE THE SAME THINGS GOING ON INSIDE OF ME.

    PAIN DOESN’T ALWAYS SHOW ON THE OUTSIDE,

    YOU WOULD BE SURPISED WHAT A FAKE SMILE CAN HIDE

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