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.
I remember when going was a holiday.
Now, I’d prefer to listen to lectures and formulas
Than hear the incurable is still
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.
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.