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So today was the day! I sent an e-mail directly to the GI I was trying to get in to see last week, and on Monday I received a call from her nurse. She was incredibly nice and apologetic about the trouble I've been having trying to get established as a new patient, and helped me get in to see a different doctor than the one I was scheduled to see. We met this morning, and it went...okay.


Everyone I've dealt with at the medical center so far has been really cordial and has had excellent bedside manner. This is not as easy to come by as you might hope.

Very timely appointment. I didn't have to wait long to be taken to the exam room, or to see the doctor.

The doctor himself was nice, and easy to talk to. I was able to speak frankly about my symptoms, things I sometimes do to self medicate (wink) and didn't come away feeling judged. He made it very clear that I am welcome to call if I have any pressing concerns between now and my follow-up.


The physical part of the exam was the equivalent of kids playing make-believe. I'm used to giving several deep breaths while my GI listens to my heart and lungs, then having my abdomen palpated to check for tenderness. What I got this time around was a brief graze over my heart and gut with the stethoscope, without even lifting the heavy sweatshirt I was wearing. It honestly lasted two seconds. I guess better brief than overly-thorough (meaning I'm glad there was no rectal exam.)

I asked for prescriptions, expecting to be handed paper copies to bring to the pharmacy next time I need to re-up. The conversation went on after that, so I didn't realize I hadn't been handed them until I was halfway out the door. I did have a page with my exam notes on it, and saw that the scripts were listed there. I went back to the front desk to ask if I was supposed to hand this to the pharmacy (and only later noted they had the wrong pharmacy listed, even though I had specified my preferred pharmacy with the other front desk clerk when I arrived.) She told me I was meant to call them to have them call the pharmacy when I needed my meds. It was confusing, but I was not in "self-advocate" mode today and decided to walk away and deal with it later since I don't need any of my meds for another month.

My previous GI sent my records, but they failed to make it to the doctor's hands before my appointment. I overheard one of the nurses say it was her bad, and I appreciate that she admitted it. Not a big deal, really, but I suspect having them prior to meeting would have made the appointment more productive. One of the issues I have with this health center in general is that they seem to have too many people going at once - too many chefs spoiling the pot, as they say. Instead of making things more efficient and effective I find it mostly causes confusion and miscommunications.


The take-away from the appointment was that I may need a colonoscopy to determine if this is a flare-up and requires prednisone, or if we should try changing course to bio-therapy like remicaid (yikes!) I, of course, am hesitant to have another scope, since the last one is what sparked me up back in April. So we're kind of at a stale-mate. I understand why he wants the scope, he understands why I don't want it. We have a follow-up scheduled in a month and, as previously mentioned, I am welcome to call in the interim if things get worse. If anything from my records or blood work from today raise any eyebrows they will call me. Somewhat inconclusive overall, but at least it's a start.

1 comment:

Red Deception said...

Meh, Remicade isn't that bad ;)