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4 Lessons I'm Taking Away From My Experience With a New Doctor

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“You should try the doctor my brother has been seeing,” my best friend told me as I cried on the phone after yet another failed test.

“The natural pain management one,” I asked. I knew him as she had spoken about him before, but I was weirded out about natural doctors.

“Yeah, he’s a bit quirky, but he helps.”

After some time I said, “Alright, I don’t know what else to do, what’s his number?”

As a “college student” (should in college but am not because of my health), I am supposed to be going to parties, football games, late night study sessions, and advancing my dating life. However, I wait for my dad to get home to take me to yet another doctors appointment. See, for the last four weeks, I have not been able to eat right, keep most food down (chicken, I eat chicken), be out of pain for more than three hours, or sleep. This is abnormal for me even with my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For the last three years, I have had problems with my bowels, and five cases of C Diff. For the last year, I have had problems with severe pelvic pain. Finally, since the sixth grade, I have had problems with chronic knee pain. The day before I sat in a doctor’s office for two hours and was told, “You won’t get better unless you are in therapy, and go to pain management. We think it might be somatic. That just means your pain likes to move to different spots.”

I walked out bawling my eyes out, and even worse, when I got home I found out that somatic really meant she thought it was all in my head. The one doctor I had trust in just ruined it. A few days before, I had an EGD, and I was told I need therapy, and that my symptoms were from my IBS. Days before that I went to two different emergency rooms for dehydration, vomiting, and pain. They all said IBS.

Now we go back to the original story. When I had gotten a call back after taking my friend’s advice, I noticed that these people seemed to genuinely care. They said, we know you are in pain, so let’s get you in, and I had an appointment that night. I was nicely asked about insurance, and was told in simpler terms that paying for healing was an unfortunate but necessary evil. I agreed. After my father picked me up and we walked into the office, I immediately saw a Christmas tree and a bible under it. As someone who believes who believes in God and has been praying for an answer, I thought it could have been a sign. I think it was.

My doctor gave me permission to say his name, so his name is Dr. Charles. He is a chiropractor and is more natural and homeopathic in his methods. For those who are skeptical, my dad was, too. Nonetheless, he couldn’t explain what’s happened. After three minutes of examination, the doctor told me you have an infection. I asked him to prove that it wasn’t all in my head. After one of his methods, I was told it is not in your head. There is something wrong, and I can help you. I don’t know if it will cure or even fully treat me, but I do feel a little bit better.

Here’s a few things I want people to take away from my story:

1. Keep trying. If one doctor won’t fight for you, find one who will. Doctors are supposed to support you, not judge, condemn, or manipulate you.

2. Keep an open mind. If certain treatments haven’t worked, why keep going back? Yes, in an emergency, emergency rooms help on a certain level, but they likely won’t get us to functioning, and sometimes, neither will your general practitioner. So, my advice is to (safely) keep an open mind with different treatments. If it helps, you will be glad you did.

3. If it doesn’t work, don’t get discouraged. What works for some may not work for all. We all have different bodies, blood, and brains. No matter what, you can say you tried it. Trying it and not succeeding is not a failure, it could be a closer step to a solution.

4. You are not alone. Just look at this page, and you will see that hope and camaraderie surrounds us. No matter what we go through, there is someone else out there dealing with the same thing. I will stand by you, and so will many others.

Editor’s note: Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

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Thinkstock photo by Jupiter images

Originally published: February 16, 2017
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