I had an appointment arranged with Digestive Diseases by the Rheumotology department several months ago. It’s taken a while to reach the top of the list, but was well worth the wait. That said, it was of course one of those awkward times where I had no childcare, so had to take LittleCrafter with me, which is always a) somewhat humiliating, and b) always expensive as I end up buying all sorts (in this case, a book because comics are now the same bloody price so it might as well be a book, a Costa strawberry cooler bloody drink, and a slice of bloody cake. Sigh. Spoiler; he was superbly behaved thank YARN and even the doctor complimented how he had he had been, which was rather a relief, as I can’t help feel extra nervous taking him with me.
This appointment came through, and off we went to the hospital (book, drink and cake in tow), and wove our way through the maze of hospital floors, until we finally found where we were headed. We were only waiting about ten minutes, and there were designated wheelchair spaces in both areas, so it was quite pleasant, in as much as these things can be. There was a nurse who faffed a tad too much because I was in a wheelchair, but I managed to keep a smile firmly on my face, almost as firm as my “no thank you, I’m fine”. These little moments are always hard to handle, because she did mean well. But she paid far too much attention to me in comparison to the others in the waiting room, and that’s when it become slightly difficult to handle.
When the doctor called us in, he informed me he had two medical students in with him. I never object to medical students, and that’s two fold. Firstly, every training doctor needs to learn as much as they can, and I would hate to waste their time, having them be sat in the waiting room when they could be gaining knowledge seems pretty crappy on my part. Secondly, I am a complex case, and so possibly present more information, or at least more variation of information, which I hope could help patients to come. All of that said, I also respect it is entirely individual, so I am in no way judging those who chose not to have medical students in the room, these are just my personal musings.
I had been anticipating the appointment for a while, and since starting Zoladex, my symptoms have changed so much I was worried he would think it was a waste of time seeing me. I couldn’t be more wrong. He took a full medical history, then we discussed the change in my symptoms since beginning Zoladex. He pressed on my abdomen, which was delightfully painless (or at the very least, with no major pain) and then agreed with my theory. The theory being that there is endometriosis on the bowel. My symptoms have changed so much in so many ways, but the bowel related changes have been particularly interesting. If you’re squemish feel free to skip the next paragraph.
Before December, my bowels were very problematic. Urgency (and I mean, only just making it), extreme pain, constipation, nausea, stabbing and spiky and swirling pain. It was a massive surprise and delight to find these things changing when my Zoladex kicked in. What I thought was lactose intolerance disappeared. Even my senstivity to wheat vanished, although I have still been keeping that as a low to be safe. All of this pointing me in the direction of thinking that there is endometriosis on the bowel.
I discussed all of this (with Little Crafter having headphones in, listening to an audio book), and the doctor agreed with me that it certainly seemed that way, and gave his support to my theory, which if nothing else is reassuring that I’m not totally losing my mind. He ordered some blood test and a coeliac test (which, for anyone who doesn’t know, involves a poo sample. Yes. A poo sample.) to check things over, so I am now eating a lot of wheat for six weeks, and then a sample. One suggestion in our discussion was that I do have lactose intolerance, and / or possible coeliacs, that is then being irritated by the bowel endo when it is in flare.
In all it was a really positive appointment that I felt I really benefited from, and hopefully has pointed things in the right direction. If nothing else, I felt it was important to go to my next gynecology appointment with back up having ruled out IBS as a cause of pain (because any woman out there will know that it is that and hormones that apparently cause anything).
This recent health journey has been complicated, emotional and hectic, but I feel like we’re really getting to where we need to be now. Fingers crossed.