Monday, July 19, 2010

One of My Obstacles

In a previous post, I mentioned my health problems. Here is the beginning of my health journey.

After much frustration and anger with a previous doctor, I made the decision to change primary care physicians in March 2009. I liked my former doctor well enough. He was a kind man and had a decent bedside manner. His office was easy to work with and I’d been a patient of his for several years. I was nervous about change, but I knew it was what I needed to do. The voice in my head got louder and louder until it was finally louder than the voice telling me it doesn’t like change. I sent out a request for recommendations for a new primary care doctor from my local friends. My ideal doctor would be easy to talk to, have good listening skills, be a good diagnostician, have a good office staff and welcome my input. I’m a reader and a researcher. I like to be informed. I am the patient that will ask the doctor why this or that is the case and what all of the options are before proceeding. It isn’t that I doubt the doctors, but I am an intelligent person who wants to partake in her own health care. My friends had several recommendations, but one name came up over and over again. Luckily, she was covered by my insurance.

I had my first appointment with my new doctor (Dr. L) in late May of 2009. I went in with an open mind; although, I thought I knew what I might hear from her. I told her about my symptoms and she immediately thought a celiac panel was in order. Although, I had recently had digestive symptoms, those were not my primary symptoms. The most frustrating of my symptoms were fatigue, anemia, depression, and an inability to regulate my thyroid levels for any length of time. The fatigue I felt was indescribable. I would have slept for days on end without getting up, if I didn’t have a family. I didn’t have that option. I needed to get up and care for my family. For months, I got by with doing the bare minimum of everything.
After that appointment with Dr. L, I was referred to Dr. G (a local gastroenterologist). I had an upper endoscopy, a colonoscopy and more blood work and we finally confirmed that I had celiac disease. I got the diagnosis on August 4, 2009. That day I ate one last Big Mac and started by journey to live a gluten-free lifestyle. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. It is NOT an allergy. There is no cure. There is no medicine one can take. The only treatment is to live the rest of your life gluten-free.

I’ve been on my journey for nearly a year and it has had many twists and turns. I’m not free of issues, yet, but I’m working on it. There is much more to the story.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! (so I'm catching up all in one day..sorry for the barrage of comments ;)) I know absolutely nothing about celiac disease, but I have been reading up on eating "primal". I'm pretty sure it is gluten free and supposedly very healthy. Have you heard of it? Just wondered. ML