Lenten WildernessIt started well before Lent. By "it", I mean the medical issues I have previously detailed here . Since writing that post, I had the visit with the gastroenterologist. After talking with me for all of maybe 10 minutes ( at most), she wanted to do a colonoscopy. I joked that I've always felt that a doctor would need to give me drugs before suggesting such a procedure, let alone undergoing it. She said she would consent to doing a completely useless celiac sprue test first. Even though I don't eat gluten. I agreed just because I hoped for ANY alternative.
By the time the letter arrived telling me that it had come back negative, I had gone through another excruciatingly painful cycle, and it was now Lent. When I called to schedule follow up, I asked about alternatives to the scope. What about a CAT scan or MRI? Should I not have a fecal occult blood test first?
No, no and no. We will do nothing more for you until we can shove something up your ass.
I went ahead and scheduled to scope, because at it's worst the pain is so bad I feel like I can't breathe. It was scheduled for Good Friday.
I soon discover that physical pain is NOTHING.
Without going into great detail, I will say that I Have Issues. My mental health quickly began to deteriorate. I couldn't sleep, or eat, I felt panicky all the time, and just getting through my days was an exercise in will power. Over the course of the 2 1/2 weeks I had the appointment, I must have called the gastro's office at least 3 times, asking if there was ANY other test we could do. On the third call, I explained my issues. The nurse asked if I "wanted to wait until I was more stable". I explained that I had been stable for almost 20 years and that the thought of this procedure was the cause of this instability. At this point the thought of a a doctor performing the scope on me and me then having to look her in the face and speak to her made me feel like vomiting. I constantly felt like a bird beating it's wings futilely against the bars of it's cage.
During this time, the few people who knew me well enough to know my issues were saying one, or both, of two things.
"You can use this as an opportunity for personal growth"
"You're the patient. No one can make you do this. Demand another test or another doctor."
I went with the latter.
I called my regular provider, and after explaining things to her nurse, was seen the next day. I was treated with sympathy and respect. She ordered the FOBT and the CAT scan. The CAT scan was scheduled for...you guessed it...Good Friday. After talking about the current progression of my symptoms, she feels the likely culprit is endometriosis. I can live with that...literally...although that is not enough to keep my mind from going to bad places. Getting a test on Friday means you go into your weekend with no idea of your results. In this case and because of my beliefs, the most sacred weekend of the year. A time of hope and resurrection. I am at peace, though I know on Monday I'll be keeping my phone close.