chronic illness

Appointment Update & Reflection

Another update in my daily life with chronic illness. I had my doctor’s appointment this morning.  Going in, I was very apprehensive and nervous but I feel much better now that its over.  My wonderful husband went with me (I am such a lucky woman!).  Of course the first thing stated was the obvious – we don’t know what to do next.  We talked for awhile about what all was going on, both related and unrelated to the pain.  We went back over my list of medications and what we thought was or wasn’t working.  Then we went through my massive file looking at past tests and procedures.  Then came the fun part – the exam.

From there a couple things were decided.  1) Redo my blood work to check my thyroid and vitamin levels (as both could play a role in my symptoms).  2) Check for Interstitial Cystitis.  3) Get a 2nd opinion from a Gastroenterologist.  Three vials of blood later #1 was complete.  I go in Wednesday to have some medicine injected into my bladder that will both help the sensitivity plus serve as a diagnostic tool for IC.  #3 is in the works.  They sent in the referral forms this morning.  I knew that I needed to see a GI doc.  I just didn’t want to see my GI doc.  Their last recommendation was to “eat more yogurt.”  So I was happy when she suggested getting a second opinion.  She said that it seemed most of my pain and tenderness stemmed from my colon and she just has a gut feeling that something was missed.  Getting a 2nd opinion probably means having another colonoscopy but if it leads to answers I will take it (I will take that over drinking barium for a scan).

Even with all of the productive medical stuff, her frank conversation with me is what meant the most.  She said that I understand where you are in life.  Working, finishing up grad school, and having a family.  Its tough and its so easy to aim for the day when everything will all of a sudden get better.  For me, that day has been May 17th . . . graduation!  I have planned for months thinking that everything will miraculously become easier once that diploma is in my hand.  She said that that day will come and go and there will always be something else.  Grad school will be finished but Abby will be a toddler.  Then maybe it will be a new job.  Then maybe starting the adoption process again.  She said “I have learned that I cannot keep aiming for a day in the future for things to get easier or make sense.  That day will never come as life continues to go on.  You have to learn to live in the present and take each day as it comes.”  Profound statement.  I mean its easy to hear that and know it but its another to truly know it and grasp it.  I keep holding out hope for a day in the future to be finished with grad school, to lose 40 lbs, to be cured from my illnesses and be truly healthy, and to win a million dollars (ok…scratch the last one).  In the meantime, I am missing out on today.  I need to learn to be truly present today.  I think I have been selling myself short in so many areas both at home and at work.  What an eye opening moment it was!  These few sentences may have been the best thing to come out of this appointment. Daily life with chronic illness is ever evolving.

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