Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gut Instincts (cont)

Back to "Gut Instincts":

After getting nowhere with that doctor, my family decided to switch to a new family doctor, and I was ready for a real diagnosis. No jokes, just facts. I just wanted to be, and feel normal again.

I was losing weight rapidly, was nauseous all the time, had diarrhea multiple times a day, and the pain was getting worse. I was told to quit my dancing lessons and gymnastics by my old doctor. I wasn't happy about it, but I just didn't have the energy anymore. I was also having such bad joint pain that I was finding it all very difficult anyway.

I left my first appointment with the new doctor, had some blood drawn and x-rays and was hoping that he would be the answer to my prayers. But he didn't help either, he thought that I was a hypochondriac, or that my symptoms were just psychosomatic. And because he was an M.D. and didn't think anything was wrong with me, my friends and family decided that he was probably right. That didn't sit very well with me, they treated me like I was crazy and just making it all up.

High School was ending, and I was working two jobs. I was getting worse and kept going back to see the new doctor over and over again, but nothing changed. At one visit my doctor was away so I saw one of his partners instead. I thought maybe he would have some new ideas. Oh, he had ideas alright, he told me all I really needed was a good shrink! and he gave me a script for some antacid. Really helpful, not.

When my doctor got back, I went to see him again, and told him that I really believed that there was something inside of me that wasn't supposed to be there. I told him that I wanted to go and get an Anatomy book, cut myself open, and remove the object of my pain. He looked at me like I was nuts and just sent me for more blood tests which came back negative for everything.

Because of my weight loss, anorexia was brought up. I knew that wasn't the problem. I swore up and down that I wanted to eat, was hungry, but it just hurt too much every time I ingested anything.

I started smoking pot to help with the pain, especially at bedtime because the pain would wake me up so many times during the night, that on top of being drained, and feeling weak from not eating, I was exhausted from being up and down all night.

I graduated from high school, got a new job with an Engineering firm and quit the other two. The company was owned by a friend's Dad and I loved it there. I should have been healthy, happy and enjoying my new life.

But with friends, my boyfriend, my family and my doctor thinking that I was faking my pain, I started to doubt myself at times and wondered if I was just imagining it all, or maybe not taking care of myself properly. That was really hard, thinking that I was doing something to cause this all to happen to me. I decided to make some changes to see if they would help.

I started running again, that had always been one of my favorite ways to get exercise. I started to make healthy lunches (and making myself eat them) to bring to work with me instead of going to the fast food places with co-workers. After a couple of months of implementing these changes I was feeling worse. The pain was increasing and I was literally spending hours a day in the bathroom with diarrhea.

This was a really hard and lonely time for me. No one wanted to hear about my pain and other symptoms anymore. Some friends stopped being there for me. I would sit cross-legged on my bedroom floor and meditate on the pain and it's location. The worst pain was in my lower back, just above my belly button and in my lower pelvis. I had been doing this for months and I really could feel like there was a foreign object inside me that needed to be removed. I knew that I wasn't crazy or imagining it. I knew that there was something really wrong and I wasn't going to stop bugging my doctor until we had answers. I was going to listen to my "Gut Instincts"!

I decided that I just wouldn't talk about it anymore, and no matter how I was feeling I would pretend that I felt great. It was very stressful, and I would cry myself to sleep some nights praying for God to either heal me or let me die so that I wouldn't have to suffer anymore.

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