Hi guys, I just want to say sorry for the intense entry last post. I am still in the stages of Recovery and if any Cushie could tell you, it is quite the roller coaster of emotions. And It was the last thing I expected from a friend during my recovery to do but that's life. I remember reading somewhere about a story about how ducks tend to flap their wings a few times after a stressful event or even a a fight to release their stress out of their system then they move on. Well I guess writing is my way of flapping my wings to let the stress out of my system. LOL anyways, I wanted to talk about getting the most out of your healthcare.
It seems as this is a very common problem that patients face. We go to see a doctor for a symptom and somehow we get rushed out of the docs office realizing we forgot to tell them the most important thing and the tests we wanted
them to order or the medications you were interested in. And then sometimes we just get ignored by the doctor because we don't "look sick" enough. When I first noticed symptoms of irregular periods and hairloss, I went to see a doctor. I told her I was worried about my period and the doctor gave me a pap smear. She then told me everything down there looked normal so I would be okay. She then looked at my hair and gave me a look like I was crazy and told me there was nothing abnormal about my looks and sent me home. In a way I felt like doctor knows best but I couldn't help feeling that she could have done more for me as a doctor and I had much more questions that went unanswered as a patient. So a few months later I went to see another doctor. This time I wrote down all of my symptoms and how long they have been persisting. I then hand the list to my new doc. The doctor then tells me I looked like a healthy young lady and even though I am gaining a little weight, I was still small in the doctors opinion. They then talked to me about birth control pills that would help regulate my menses and maybe help with the hormonal symptoms. I knew that BCP was not what I wanted and that I wanted to figure out what was causing the symptoms rather than masking it. But at the time I was too timid to ask these doctors since they are the expert and the are so fast paced that it was hard to get a word in. So I left feeling like I just wasted more time and co pay for nothing. So, I took their word for it. I guess I was healthy but little did I know. I was very sick.
Having these bad experiences at the doctors seemed to repel me from going to get my annual checkups. I made every excuse not to have to go see a doctor. They will just ignore me, they will just waste both our time, my money, and I will get prescribed things I don't want or need to take. So it took years later when I finally gave up and saw an Endocrinologist. A very expensive one I might add. I thought I was young and healthy and did not need health insurance.. Boy was I wrong about that one too. Well the month leading up to seeing my endo, I made another list of symptoms. This list was a very long one. I felt as if I was making these things up in my head as I was writing them down because it just seemed so dramatic. My list included: sad feelings, crying spells, rollercoaster mood changes, fat cheeks, no periods, belly fat, bloating, acne, hairy face and arms :( tired, joint pains, red face, orange hands, no bowel movement, hunger, weight gain, darkness on my neck oh yeah and armpits! and many more :( It just seemed like a list of symptoms for a sad clown but yes it was all real and all mine. Well I handed the list to my endo and he gave me the eyebrow and stared into my soul. It can also be very distracting that he was the most handsome Doctor I have ever met. And so he looked at me and started typing down all of my symptoms into his computer. Again, I felt the sense of being ignored. He then asks, " you ever heard of PCOS? Ever thought about BCP? I said no, But I am sure I don't have PCOS. I then tell him that I wanted to get to the root of my problem. He then gave me another high brow stare and said he'll do everything he can to figure out what is troubling me. I felt like I hit the jackpot. He then ordered every test under the sun and a few months later he weeded out the high cortisol as the source of concern. I had to take many dexamethasone tests maybe 4 times, then we moved on to 24 hour urinary analysis, saliva, and more blood tests. Everytime the results were positive but he kept making me repeat these tests. At one point I remember I felt like I was hitting a wall and all these tests were wasteful and pointless. I felt as if my fear was that he would be like every other doctor and send me home with no solution. A few weeks pass as I stood by my phone waiting for his call. He calls and tells me to immediately go get a CT that he ordered and I did. A week later I finally get my answer. This time I was glad I stuck through and found myself a diamond of a doctor. He saved my life.
I guess this story is to remind others that you need to be adamant about your health. You know your body the best. I get that doctors are the expert but they cannot diagnose you in the first visit. Sometimes if you feel like your symptoms are persisting. You have to demand to be tested for everything. Go look for a specialist who have treated people with your symptoms. You don't go to a chiropractor to get your tooth cavity fixed. Write down your symptoms. Track any changes. The process of diagnosing could take months and years. Be patient but be persistent. Never take no for an answer if you know you need medical intervention And mainly don't give up on yourself. You deserve the best service you can because it is your life. Have a healthy day!