No Downward Dog

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I do wonder why I ever go to a doctor. It’s all about money and business these days. Doctors cram as many patients into a day in order to see as many patients as possible. Usually 12-15 minutes apart. There is no real time to practice their skills. No time for research or actually taking time with each patient. Might as well be a drive through window.

Once you see the doctor, more than likely any follow up appointments a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician’s Assistant will see you. With all our medical advancements and technology, we have lost good health care.

There was a time in this country if the doctor didn’t know what was wrong with you they researched the problem. Doctor’s didn’t have computers in every examination room and they certainly couldn’t afford all the medical books required. Get this: doctors actually spent time in a medical library looking up symptoms and possible cures. Really, I’m not making this up. My father in-law was a doctor, old school, he did these things before computers came along.

Since 1996 I have suffered with IBS, (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Off and on, and mostly on, for the past nineteen years I have been only able to treat the symptoms. All the doctors I have seen have told me there was no cure and the diagnosis was a general statement given when you gut is irritated and they rule out all other diseases. I won’t go into the gruesome details of this condition. Let me just say, the food I eat for the most part just does a drive through. Fruits and vegetables hardly slow down for any kind of digestion, leaving me in a race to the nearest bathroom. Sometimes the symptoms last only a day or two but then this past event, the races have been held almost every day for over a month. You would think I would be a skinny woman. Not so much.

After several new medicines during this last bout, I started researching again. I didn’t know why, as for years I have always read just what the doctor’s had told me. This time thought, I saw a new report linked to IBS. What caught my eye was the statement of 30% (or something like that) of patients diagnosed with IBS actually suffer from BAM (Bile Acid Malabsorption). Huh?

When I had my Gall Bladder removed was when my symptoms began. My father in-law had told me then I would have problems with diarrhea since I no longer had a Gall Bladder. Bingo, the light came on as I was reading this report. Everything the report said sounded as if it was writing about me. I could have written the replies to the article. I researched and found more reports on BAM. I was on to something!

Today was my follow up with my doctor, or I should say my NP. I started telling him about my symptoms and all that had happened during the past three weeks. Symptoms less often but gone away. Then I told him about the research but held back on telling him the name. I then asked him if I could be suffering from BAM. Low and behold, he looks at me and says, “You took the words right out of my mouth.”

I was dumbfounded, “You know about BAM?”

He admits he does and he feels bad that it didn’t come to mind during the first two visits. HUH? I’m thinking: here I sit with a bit of college but no degree, only life experiences and being Doctor Mom for 18 years, yet I have enough sense to research my symptoms. You and my doctor are being paid for this stuff. Did anyone think to present my symptoms and what has been tried so far to see what else can be done or what else may present itself? Oh, I forgot, my 12-15 minutes were up, no time to research a patient afterwards.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am the first one to say there is a reason they call it practicing medicine. However, you can’t practice good medicine if you don’t have the time. Doctor’s resources are better today than ever. It doesn’t help much if they are having to push hundreds of patients a month through their doors just to pay their malpractice insurance before they can pay staff and other expenses. No wonder we are pushed through like cattle on their way to the slaughter.

Fingers are crossed that the new diagnosis is correct and the new medicine actually stops the BAM. If you are one of the 45,000,000 people in the U.S. that suffer from IBS, do your own research. It could be something else. Don’t be afraid to bring it up the next time you see your doctor, NP or PA. I have a follow up in four weeks to see if there is any changes. I will keep you posted. For now, still no downward dog poses and no trusting of farts. If you suffer from IBS you understand that last statement.

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