Thursday, December 12, 2013

Listening to My Body and Myself

I have been having a lot of stomach problems and have been to several doctors, one recently in which I left in tears. It all started just over a year ago with a burping problem, I know really embarrassing, but unfortunately this is my problem. When my burping problem started it was just in the evenings where I would burp non-stop for about three hours. Sometimes the burps would come so fast and furious that I could hardly get a breath in.   About six months later the problem started happening all day long.

There were also three different instances where I had such severe pain that I almost went to the ER, but after about an hour or so the pain would start to subside.  My regular doctor put me on a daily dose of Prilosec, but the problem has persisted with it only marginally getting better.   After the third episode of intense stomach pain my husband talked me into seeing a specialist.

I finally made it in to a specialist, but I was so angry and upset by the time I left that I didn't want to go back.   He was absolutely convinced that my burping problem was just me swallowing air (my niece pointed out that for over 40 years I have been able to swallow just fine, but all the sudden I don't know how to do it anymore, I don't think so) and he was certain that when they did an endoscopy that everything would be just fine and that the intense stomach pain I have had was probably just an esophageal spasm.   He told me that he has been doing this for 30 years and he was certain of all of this.

I did go ahead and schedule the endoscopy even though I was so upset with this doctor because I had promised my husband that I would get it looked at.   I ended up having to reschedule the endoscopy and while I was on the phone with the doctor's office I asked if it was possible to switch to one of the other doctors on staff.  The nurse cleared it for me and we rescheduled with a different doctor.

The new doctor was a little surprised to see me at the endoscopy having never seen me before but understood my reasoning for switching to him. He was so much better, he believed me and wanted to help me get to the bottom of the problem. After the endoscopy he told me that they found a hiatal hernia and inflammation of the stomach of which they took a biopsy. He has me going to do a CT scan using contrast for a closer look at the gallbladder, etc. and he has me going back in a few weeks to do a colonoscopy (yeah, super excited for that one).

So, unlike the first specialist who was convinced there was nothing wrong with me, there were a few problems which the new specialist said may or may not be causing the burping and/or pain.  He wants all the tests completed and then we will go from there.  This doctor listened to me and cared about finding out what was going on instead of just blowing me off.   In the past I would have just listed to the first specialist and then suffered through all of this.  I have a friend who says that you are your best doctor and I need to remember that it is okay to fight for myself and keep going until I find someone who believes in helping me.  The other thing to remember is that when you are feeling pain, it is the body telling you something and I need to listen.