It's not that I am bashing doctors here but I do want to make other women to understand that it is very hard to be heard when it comes to this monster. Not to give up until you are satisfied with the answers and these resonate as your "truth".
Short back history (2012) to help fill in why I was so determined to get to the bottom of my symptoms this time around of not feeling good.
I must admit that I ran into much of the same thing (excuses) when I was trying to get to the bottom on my thyroid cancer issues as well. Finally found a Dr that would listen to me and bingo once an ultra sound was done...there was no doubt that my thyroid was riddled with disease. Surgery and followed up with Radiation using Radioactive Iodine I 131.
My endocrinologist informed me that after that treatment that at some point I would have a 95% or higher chance of having a secondary cancer down the road from being exposed to the treatment... isn't that sweet. REALLY?
So from Oct 2012 through 2013 we finally got my medications balanced to where I was feeling like a human being but still not myself.
So fast forwarding to The beginning of 2014. Now that the medications were not the probable cause of feeling poorly, I continued to find out why I was having tummy issues.
Each one of the following reasons were given at each follow up appointment.
I have always had an iron stomach so when I would eat a normal item for me ( nachos) from a restaurant that we frequented weekly for lunch... I found it odd that I was not able to tolerate them any longer.
Scheduled an appointment with the PA and her conclusion was that it was my diet and that I was after all, YOU are getting older and maybe couldn't handle things that I did prior.
Next visit IT has to be your diet and you need more exercise. Other than when we eat out we eat organically or as close to it as we can... No purchased canned food etc. We enjoyed homemade meals, breads and canned our own veggies, sauces etc.
April 2015, my husband ends up taking me to the ER because of all the pain I am experiencing on my lower right side of my abdomen.
The Surgeon made an odd statement before removing my appendix.When I asked him if he could go ahead and fix the hernia that they also found, he said NO I have enough to deal with with all of that? What do you mean I asked, he said you have a lot of scar tissue that I have to work through.. Ok. So I recovered from the surgery and was still having lots of issues.
Next visit with my PA, she said IT takes 6-9 months to recover from the surgery
Next visit, YOU need to lose weight... Yes I am fully aware of this and was biking 3 times a week for exercise. So she finally suggests that maybe she would prescribe a proton acid inhibitor to settle my acid re-flux like systems. By this time I was grateful for anything for some relief.
Next visit MAYBE it's stress and that you need to review if that could be causing these issues that IT's pretty much has to be your imagination.
In late December of 2015 I go back to the Dr and express that things seem to be getting worse. I explained that just the night before I had a baked sweet potato and was experiencing some of the worst pain I had ever had to date. She said maybe I have too much fiber in my diet and needed to change from Natural fiber to a water dis-solvable type. Really, processed fiber instead of natural from food? Blew me away.
In Jan 2016 I continued to complain of the pains and that now my flow of urine has significantly decreased and that I felt like I always needed to urinate. I also made her aware that the size of the BM seemed to be smaller and flat which was not normal for me. She said if it was scar tissue there really wasn't anything they could do about that... it would just grow back. She also suggested that the next time I had issues to call and have some lab work done as soon as possible and maybe it was pancreatitis due to your diet. As for the urination issue... THAT'S what they make depends pads for.
Needless to say at this point I am thinking I am loosing my my mind.
On Feb 28th I woke up in the worst pain I had experienced up to this point. Felt too bad to even go to the ER this time and even asked my husband to stay home with me... Had never asked him to miss work in the 8 years we had been together.... so he knew this was a big deal for me.
I insisted on seeing the Dr the very next day. She tried to use the same excuses as previously and I was very adamant that I was not leaving until a scan was ordered, that I honestly didn't think I could live through another episode of what ever that was that I lived through.
My daughter said that what I discribed sounded like a cyst rupture and to go see an OB/GYN.
When I asked the PA about this she said didn't you have a partial hysto already and I said yes and she said.. well the annual wouldn't reveal anything.
She reluctantly agreed to schedule the scan... She had her assistant call me when the results came back the following day after the scan.
I can only pray that she has learned to "listen" to her patients better than she has in the past. That she rethinks that portion of the oath that that equates to practice two things in the dealings with disease " either help or do not harm the patient."
Several years and countless appointments with 11 best guess "possibilities" and nothing was even close.
Previous blog posts document the progress of this journey.
I can not stress enough how important it is to continue to listen to your body until the answers resonate as the truth for you...
If even one lady requests a baseline ultrasound at their next annual and follow up with it either every couple of years or if signs start... All of this that I have been through will be well worth it.
Both the OB/GYN and GYN/ONC dr's that I had been referred to said that with my record of complaints etc this should have never gone this far... they were truly saddened that regular DR's / PA's are so un- aware on these signs and do not pursue them more aggressively.