So, let’s get some things out of the way…a few disclaimers and such.
This is a blog about being chronically ill. Sometimes that isn’t pretty. We’re going to talk about allllll that shiz here. We’re going to talk about things that may be uncomfortable for some folks — things like butts, poop, hemorrhoids, private parts, puke, blood, and maybe a stray hair or two. If these things make you uncomfy, I’m sorry for you. Maybe you should read another blog.
In January of 2015, I woke up with a pain in my butt. I mean an actual pain in my behind. I could barely sit. I wanted to carry around one of those donut pillows. I walked like a duck…legs spread apart. It happened late in the week and I didn’t really know what was going on. I didn’t think anything was an emergency. I mean, I figured out for myself that I probably had a hemorrhoid. I knew it was unpleasant, but I thought with some over-the-counter meds that it’d probably go away.
Then over the weekend, still in pain, I jumped in the shower. And I realized I was bleeding…from my ass. A lot of bleeding. And my brain immediately went to the dark place — I was clearly dying. I thought I had cancer. I cried in the shower…all by myself. I remember coming out to Mrs. Robinette and telling her I was bleeding and that I was scared. We talked things through and I would be making a doctor appointment for the following Monday.
When I saw my primary care doctor on Monday, he took a look at things (mortifying) and said that I had a hemorrhoid that had ruptured. We then discussed my bathroom habits, and he looked me dead in the eye and said, “You have IBS. You have IBS with constipation.” Apparently, only “going” once a month wasn’t normal. I had no idea…I’d been like this my whole life. I left his office with a referral to a Gastroenterologist (a gut/butt doctor) and a prescription for some meds that were supposed to regulate my system.
The Gastroenterologist confirmed that he thought I had IBS-C. But, he wanted to do a colonoscopy to make sure nothing else was going on. THAT was fun…NOT really. The prep for a colonscopy is like purposefully giving yourself the worst case of food poisoning everrrrr.
Anywho, the colonoscopy showed that I had hemorrhoids, but nothing else. And those hemorrhoids were from my severe constipation. I spoke to the doctor and explained that I was already doing all of the right things dietary-wise. I ate ALL the fiber, I drank ALL the water. Things SHOULD have been moving normally. The Gastro doc changed up some of my medications. And then he prescribed…A HIGH FIBER DIET. He prescribed a high fiber diet after I told him I ate a high fiber diet.
It was like he hadn’t listened to a thing I’d said. He hadn’t heard the explanation I made straight to his face…he didn’t listen to me say I was doing all of the right things. He didn’t acknowledge my real-life scenario or my concerns as to why I was constipated if I was doing all of the right things. It was so baffling that I had no response. I just took the new scripts and left his office with the knowledge that I was already doing what he “prescribed”. I was hoping the meds would make the difference.
When we climbed in the car to leave his office, Mrs. Robinette turned to me and said, “It was like he was just putting you into one of his boxes. He didn’t even take the time to listen to what you said. He just recited his normal speech.”
She was right. And as a chronically ill person I’ve seen the same scenario with several other doctors. They don’t listen, or they pretend to listen and then they put you into one of their boxes. All patients with such and such disorder need this…or all patients with such and such disease are like this.
But, chronically ill people are not all the same. We’re individuals and we don’t all fit in boxes. We’re looking for individual treatments and attention. We want you to address us and our issues as singular things, not as just one in a line of the same types of complaints.
I’ll say it again…we don’t all fit in boxes. Boxes aren’t for people anyways. Boxes are for things like ramen noodles. They’re for old books and photo albums. Boxes are filled with things you’re donating to the local church. They’re even great play things for cats. But, boxes are NOT for people.
I mean it. I want to say it to all the doctors. Boxes are for ramen noodles, not people.
Oh, and I immediately went out and found another Gastroenterologist. Because I’m in charge.