Friday, February 4, 2011

Fine line between ‘empowerd’ patient / hypochondriac / annoying whiner?

So, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I have a distinct knack for getting nothing but more questions from most of the medical tests that I’ve had done since the surgery.  Well, I have also gotten some guesses from my GI and the scrunched up ‘This doesn’t make any sense’ look from my family doctor.  I’ll put those in the theory pile.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very relieved that some of the recent tests have ruled out certain issues especially with my family history.

I know there is something not quite right going on in my body.  It is nice enough to tell me that every day.  It just hasn’t figured out how to leave me a nice, simple text message with the details of what is causing it to freak out.  Until said time where my internal organs become sentient and take over my smartphone I’m left to play the treat the symptoms and slowly figure out what to even test games. 

I am impatient, yes, but the multitude of doctor’s visits and still not being able to function for an entire normal day is really getting to me at the moment.  I’m starting another cycle of getting passed back and forth from my family doc and my GI.  I’m currently in a holding pattern with the family doc for a couple weeks until they redo some blood tests and even if those are still off it’s not really indicative of anything (wbc levels).  So it’s back to the GI.  In an effort to save time I called to see if they want to send me for any tests (hopefully the gastric emptying scan next) to get a more concrete picture of whether my symptoms are actually gastroparesis.  I’m waiting to hear back.  I don’t do waiting very well. 

I know from experience that it is easy to fall through the cracks if you’re either a) not currently exploding in some fashion, literally and b) not vigilant about following up with doctors and reminding them that they are in the middle of figuring out what’s wrong.  I don’t blame them, they’re crazy busy with a ton of people with the view that they should be priority number 1. 

Which gets me back to my point, where is the line between trying to facilitate diagnosis and care, versus just being an annoying whiner to everyone around you or being viewed as a hypochondriac as symptoms evolve and tests show things that the professionals don’t think is a big deal.  You know, like when a small part of your lung is collapsed in xrays and the doctors just shrug it off. 

Anyway, it’s been a grumpy and more recently, itchy week.

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