Friday, March 11, 2011

Week From Hell (I get a bit ranty)

I had an appointment with MY doctor on Tuesday to see if I could convince him to send me for a Barium Swallow. Shortly after leaving work, I got stuck at a really busy intersection, so I checked my mirrors, and did a shoulder check - no traffic in the other lane as far as the eye can see (which is about 2 blocks), and I started to change lanes. That's when it hit me - literally - "it" being a Subaru Impreza. So we pull over, and exchange insurance info, with her yelling at me for a while, and we check out the damage to our respective cars, my rear passenger door is pretty dented, and she has a couple little scrapes on her front bumper. No injuries, so we continue on our way.

I arrive at my doctor's appointment precisely on time, put $2 in the parking meter, only to find out that it's broken, and head into the office anyway. Twenty minutes later, the doctor walks in, and we sit down, and go over a small percentage of my symptoms, and with no warning he reaches over, lifts up my shirt, and pokes me in the gut. Exactly where it hurts. He does it a few more times for good measure, and tells me "it's gastritis" and starts to write a prescription for pills to lower the production of acid. At this point I tell him that I think it might be gastroparesis, and that I'd like to be sent for a barium swallow to either diagnose it or rule it out.

He went crazy at this point, telling me that HE is the doctor, and that I had no reason to doubt his diagnosis, and that "That's the problem with you Canadians, you always want to have so many unnecessary tests done." Cue the tears. Mine. Then he starts telling me to calm down, and that crying isn't going to get me anywhere, at which point I tell him that I'm not crying to get anything, I'm crying because he's yelling at me, and telling me to calm down "WILL NOT MAKE ME ANY CALMER!!!!" So this is where he yelled at me for yelling at him, and then he wrote me a prescription for a medication which speeds up the stomach-emptying process, and sends me on  my way.

I was so angry, and frustrated, because for whatever reason I was unable to articulate that the last time a doctor threw medication at me without a real diagnosis, I ended up in the hospital for three days. During the visit the doctor also told me that I had to eat food, and I'm not allowed to drink Ensure or Boost instead. He didn't give me a reason. He didn't care that eating food is EXTREMELY PAINFUL.

I researched the side effects of the pills he prescribed me, and one of them is "Tardive Dyskinesia" which is a movement disorder, characterised by the patient being extremely sensitive to dopamine. So I'm definitely NOT going to be taking that one, and it looks like my mystery movement disorder might actually be Tardive Dyskinesia. The symptoms fit, the onset fits, the hospitalisation after taking dopamine agonists fits. So there's something else to look into.

Other things going on this week:

My hubby broke a window in our house, because it got caught on something when he was trying to open it.

I had to scare the pants off my roommate to convince her that she really did need to go to the hospital (she did, and she is doing better now).

I've been to the grocery store 3 times this week, each time thinking that I had gotten EVERYTHING on my list... Now that I think about it, I need conditioner... Gotta love brain fog.

My car, with its nice shiny dent, had to go to the mechanic (my power steering COMPLETELY crapped out). The mechanic didn't let me know that we needed to order parts for it until the end of the day, even though he'd known for hours. He didn't give me the necessary information to order those parts until the next day, and I ended up walking home from work on Wednesday, after I told the mechanic he'd have to bring me one of the canes from the back seat of my car. Walking home was an adventure. For the weather conditions (icy, melty, slippery) it should take a healthy person about 10-15 minutes to get from where I work to my house. It took me 50 minutes. When I got home I was in incredible amounts of pain, and it felt like I had dislocated my pelvis. It later turned out that it was a combination of my radiating hip pain, digestive issues (because I was stupid enough to eat food), and "aunt flow" decided to stop by for a visit this week as well.

There was also a water main break outside of where I work, so they came and dug up some of the street, and turned off our water for a day, at the same time my aunt flow reared her ugly head. It would have been a nice time to have running water.


saurou said...

I would like to head up to Canada and kick people for you. Kick them in the bits. It makes me so mad. Please take care of yourself as you see fit and best of luck finding whatever it is you need to settle your tummy. :Gentle hugs from the states:
ps: Doctors say that about us Americans too.

Achelois said...

Poor poor you. This rant is entirely justified. I am so off doctors at the moment for these very reasons. Being misunderstood just for knowing about our own condition is a just insulting. Nasty nasty nasty man how very dare he shout. I am so so annoyed at him all the way from the UK. I hope he feels that.

SO like saurou I am sending very gentle hugs but from the UK.

ps: doctors are very arrogant a lot of the time.

I am going to look for a document on EDS and doctors that is on another computer and will come back and give you the link. I think the content applies entirely in this situation.

Car bumps are very very stressful.

All associated stress is the icing on the cake which you didn'tneed.

You are right - do not take the meds prescribed. Stupid doctor.

BubbleGirl said...

I'd love a visit from a fellow bendy, especially if you kicked my doctor in the bits! It might make him sit up and pay attention to me.

Thanks for the hugs!

It's comforting to hear that I'm justified in my ranting, and not just short on marbles, as my doctor would have me believe.

Thank you for the hugs too!

because it all matters said...


While the Reglan/metaclopramide the doc gave you does have a side effect of tardive dyskinesia, it's a rare side effect. I took it daily for years with no problems. And still take it from time to time. I have cared for many people who took it daily for years (at much higher doses than I was at) with no side effect. But it does, in fact, do a good job of increasing gastric (and sometimes intestinal) motility.
However, because you already have a movement disorder, there's a chance that it could in fact give you more trouble (because of all the medications I'm on now, my neurologist worries about me taking more than single doses at very spaced intervals, to reduce the chances of serotonin syndrome, which is a rare but very serious side effect that can occur with this type of drug).
It might be good to talk to an internist, or a few of them and just ask for opinions on the drug itself and the drug with your medical history. I've found that second and third opinions are worth the cost when it gets you more information.
I really hope you find something that works for you and that you don't, in fact, have gastroparesis.
I'm struggling with gut problems myself (also suspecting gastroparesis, among other things) and with one of the conditions I have being virtually untreatable because it's so rare, my GI and I decided alternative medicine was worth a try. I've been doing acupuncture for two weeks now and have already noticed a difference in symptoms. I'm cautiously optimistic now because I was skeptical at first, but now I'm really starting to think that this could do me a lot more good than I ever realized.

So maybe there's something out there that just hasn't come your way yet.
And hey, if you've never tried acupuncture, I highly recommend it. It really is great. If nothing else, it's a really great relaxation tool. And those of us who are sick know that an escape like that is something that is very much needed.

::hugs:: Feel better hun. Always here if you need to talk.

BubbleGirl said...

Because it all matters,

I'm going to take your advice and speak to a few more people about the drugs I've been prescribed before I completely dismiss them. My biggest problem with the "rare but serious" side effects, is that I already have the symptoms from before I start taking the medications, so how do I know if it's just my normal-for-me symptoms, or if it's new drug-related side effects?

The worst ones are the "call your doctor immediately if you experience the following: dizziness, fainting, etc..." because they supposedly mean really bad things are going on. Ummm... I'm always dizzy... Should I only take this medication if I live with a nurse or doctor, so they can monitor me constantly?

Anyway... Must. Stop. Ranting.


because it all matters said...

Yeah, the side effects on some of these drugs we're given is outrageous. And I know the doctors weigh the pros and cons before prescribing the drugs, but at the same time, I wonder if some of them completely think through what we're already going through, what other side effects we're having from other drugs and then the possible effect from the new drug and the total impact it will have on our lives. Because we're the ones who have to deal with it.

I have gotten to the point where, even though you're supposed to read all the information that comes with a new prescription, I don't bother myself with learning all the ins and outs of a new med. I trust my doctor to tell me whats important and the crucial stuff that I'll need to look out for and trust my body to give me cues if something isn't quite right. Because knowing everything about a drug can be more harmful than helpful sometimes.

All that said, I'm trying my damndest to get off as many prescriptions as possible and manage my symptoms and body with more natural and eastern approaches. I have just two doses of Zoloft left. And an appointment with my neurologist Monday. I'm hoping I can convince her that the Topamax isn't worth taking anymore. If so, I can come off that over the span of a month and be done with it as well. That would leave me with just 3 prescriptions and the rest vitamins and natural supplements. Which is a BIG change from where I was at a year ago with like 10 prescriptions.
Everyone has to find what works best for them. And find a doctor who's willing to help them get there. And that's what I'm working at now. And I hope you can get there too. I know how much it sucks to know there are things going on in your body that no matter how much you explain, you can't completely get it across.
I really hope you get what you need soon.
::hugs and good thoughts:: Always here for support.

BubbleGirl said...

Thanks for the support!

If I had a single doctor out there I could actually trust with my life, I wouldn't be so stressed out and paranoid about medications. I've never (in my entire life) had a DOCTOR go over any side effects. It's only ever been pharmacists, and they usually just hand out little tiny printouts. I have to ask for the full printouts if I want any real information. (This excludes my one really good pharmacist who has the same working hours as I do and is very hard to see.)

Even though I've seen my doctor numerous times about numerous things, I think he's under the impression that I only ever have one thing wrong with me at a time, because he only ever lets me talk about one thing per visit. If I could convince him to actually talk to me for more than 3 minutes before he belittled me for the rest of the appointment, I might be able to get across that I have multiple problems SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Such is the life of a zebra, I guess.

because it all matters said...

Such is the life of a zebra, I guess.

So very very true.