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Don't let the doctor fob you off

Updated on December 29, 2011

A heard a true story once. A young man was having trouble with his bowels. Cramping, bloating, constipation etc. He went to the doctor and was told it was IBS(irritable bowel syndrome). He was told that he was too young to be worrying that it was anything else. Few more months down the line the same things were happening so he went back to the doctor. Doctor still thought it was IBS and gave him suggestions on what he could do to help with the symptoms. But as time passed the symptoms just got worse and worse until a close friend to this young man said he should really go and get a second opinion. By the time he found out what was wrong it was too late. The young man was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer. One of the most treatable cancers if caught early.

This story really saddened me because he was young and he had put his trust and faith in the doctor. But doctors are only human too and you have to be persistent about your case. The reason why I’m writing this is because I went through a similar situation last year. Thankfully it wasn’t as devastating but it was quite tiresome. I’d been getting a lot of heartburn which started off whilst training for a half marathon. It became so bad one morning I thought I was having a heart attack that an ambulance was called for me. When I got to the hospital it was confirmed I wasn’t having a heart attack and all my blood work checked out okay. The doctor sent me home with Ibuprofen under the impression that I had a muscular injury.

Two days later after taking the Ibuprofen the pain only got worse. So I went to see my local GP. Who examined me and still couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and sent me home to try and see if the pain would subside. Unfortunately it didn’t, not only was the Ibuprofen making the reflux worse, which I didn’t know at the time, I was also unable to eat anything. I was sick all the time, stomach pain and terrible bloating and gas. So I made another trip back to my doctor. This time she noticed that the Ibuprofen was making the symptoms worse and wondered if I was suffering from GERD. So I was prescribed Omeprazole and this seemed to ease the pain. But something still wasn’t right; as soon as the Omeprazole ran out I was back to square one. It took me fifteen visits to my GP for them to finally request an endoscopy and a CT scan to find out if anything else was going on in my body. Fifteen visits. I had to be persistent. Finally it was found that I had a hiatus hernia. That put my mind at ease that it wasn’t something serious like cancer.

Right now I’m going through the same thing. I’ve been suffering with back pain and the doctor has kept sending me back with pain killers. The pain has just got worse and I’ve been back to my doctor and low and behold they found blood in my urine and I will now be having a blood test and a scan. The point here is this, when it comes to your health only you know what you are feeling in your body. Don’t let the doctor fob you off hoping it will get better. Sometimes it will get better but there is always that little voice that’s telling you something is not right. Don’t ignore it; don’t ignore changes in your body that aren’t normal. Rather be a pain than have pain.

It is important that we give ourselves priority and yes doctors are only human but they can only help you if you help yourself. You need to care enough about yourself and get yourself heard until they hear you. I’ll never forget what a nurse told me while I was having trouble with my stomach. She said, ‘You keep banging on that door until someone listens to you.’ You owe it to yourself to know if anything is wrong so it can be fixed before it’s too late. With so many advances in medicine nowadays, no one has to sit and suffer in silence after countless visits to the doctor when a scan or an ultra sound or an x-ray can show you exactly what’s wrong.

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