Should I See My Doctor? How Sick Is Too Sick When Chronically Ill?
Hello friends and welcome back! By the title it may not seem so, but I did want to share a more personal post. Not all things personal have to tell your deepest darkest secrets… This post won’t do that at all. It does, however, give an idea of how I personally think and operate when it comes to my health. A little patient perspective is always nice.
So today I am asking a question that should be simple:
when should I see my doctor?
For people who do not suffer from any kind of illness, you may be thinking, “once a year” or “for your physical and if you get pneumonia” … Honestly, I don’t know what someone without any kind of condition or illness would think because I’ve never had that luxury.
From Anemia to Ulcerative Colitis, finding out I was RH negative alongside miscarriage… Let’s just say we can pretty much confirm two things: 1) I have seen my share of physicians + 2) My body has always betrayed me.
What does all of this have to do with my question? Well a lot. When you constantly have an uproar going on inside, when should you see your doctor? Are there certain things that may not be that serious? Are there certain things that are more serious than we think?
For the past few weeks my stomach has been hurting. Not just hurting, aching. It’s not like my pain of Ulcerative Colitis. It’s not sharp and it’s not random. It may be most comparable to the feeling you get after you’ve eaten too much Halloween candy. – But I get these pains when I haven’t eaten anything… When I eat a banana, when I drink water. – Anytime. Of course because I am a UC survivor this is not what I am complaining about. I mean it’s uncomfortable but it’s not like the torture of … well anything I’ve been through really. What’s bothersome is the vomiting. I vomit every other day now, usually around lunch time. I hate vomiting and when I do, because I did vomit, it causes me to get sick to my stomach even more and vomit again. – It’ gross.
So when should I see my doctor about this? Because I’m a UC patient, would it just be a waste of a copay? A waste of time? A waste of an occurrence? – These are really questions patients ask themselves. I mean it’s a burden. Who wants to be sick?
A deeper look into my little head,
I’ve had Pouchitis before – (Inflammation of the J-Pouch). When I have Pouchitis, my physician prescribes Methotrexate. – Don’t get me wrong… I hate this medication. It’s has the worst side effects and it is way too strong for me if I take a full pill. – BUT, it works. I’m not sure if I have Pouchitis but it seems pretty similar and I admit, I did take an extremely small bit of Methotrexate last night.
This is sad but it’s the reality of healthcare. Not everyone can afford to continuously go to the doctor. Not everyone can afford to take off work. Some people don’t have insurance at all.
As a patient, would I love to have the ability to make a “quick trip” to my Dr for a checkup or new RX? Yes. – But then again if he’s going to prescribe the same RX that I already have literally laying around in my medicine cabinet, then what? That’s time and money out the window.
Not to mention…
When you’re a patient or suffer from a chronic condition, you know your body so well. You begin to notice everything because you have to. It almost becomes your job. You have to track symptoms, you have to stay alert. Things healthy people are slack on may be detrimental to someone with a chronic condition.
Thoughts as a patient:
My thought process for taking things into my own hand is simple. I’m thinking: I want to get better. Right now it’s just not feasible for me to visit a doctor. I’ve just started at a new job and I still haven’t hit the 90 day mark yet. My physician works the same hours as I and I am not willing to risk everything with someone new just because they’re open an extra hour on Friday.
Ulcerative Colitis is pretty tricky, IBD in general. In the past when I’ve gone to the hospital and used the word “J-Pouch” or “Ostomy” … it’s like I’m speaking another language. The staff gives me the strangest looks, as if they want to say, “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT?” – I don’t mean to be rude but honestly when I have a blockage, the LAST person I want treating me is someone who has never heard of my condition #SorryNotSorry.
So this little ramble was really just to stress the questions: Should I See My Doctor? If you’ve ever asked yourself this question before and decided against going to see your physician leave in the comments why you made that decision.
As always, thanks for reading. Before you go:
How do you know when it’s time to see your doctor? Do you wait for certain symptoms to arise? Let me know in the comments below!