Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Visit’

A Disappointing GI Dr Follow Up (Part 1)

Back in March 2013 (about the time I got laid off of work), I was not doing well with my gastroparesis.  I wanted to go see my ‘new’ GI Dr that I hit it off with and thought she was the one for me (story on that here).  But now with facing no insurance issues, I decided I could wait.

Come May 2013, I could not wait much longer.  I still felt the same no matter what I was doing.  By this time I was even going the smoothie with protein powder route to help me, along with soup for lunch.   Yet, even liquids would cause the pain to escalate.  So I gave in and called the GI Dr to set up an appointment.  This was nothing my Primary Care Dr could do anything about.

I called the GI Dr’s office gave them the scoop that I needed to see her again as a follow-up.  The lady clicked around in the system and could not find me.  She asked if I had been in anytime after Feb, to which I replied ‘no’.   Apparently they had a new computer system and I was not in the new one.  Lovely!   She did more clicking and found me.  Thank goodness, as I didn’t know I was lost!!   Then she told me that she could not set up an appointment until I go back to my PC (Primary Care) Dr and get a new referral.  Say what?!   I was put on hold so she could figure it out.  Then comes back to tell me the same thing and there is nothing they can do.  I begged, telling her I never had a referral to go there in the first place.  Another moment on ‘hold’, to which I think she was just venting about me to a co-worker.  I didn’t get anywhere and still didn’t know if I really needed the referral.

ImageNext I called my PC to get the referral.  Left a message, as always with that place, but explained fully what I needed.  About 4 hrs goes by and I get a call back from the nurse telling me they got my request and have sent it off to the proper department to issue.  That it should take about a week.  Really?!  

I waited the week (work week) and nothing happened.  If I recall there was a holiday or something during the next week, so I didn’t bother with the follow up then either.  As time is passing I am not getting any better, nor worse.

By the end of the 2nd week I called my PC Dr office to see if they could tell me what was happening with the referral.   A gal checked on it and told me that she sees it in the computer but it has not processed with my insurance company yet.  I told her that I have a new insurance company, gave her the info and she told me to check back in a week.  Again?!

Now we are to the end of week 3 and I called my PC Dr office again for the referral check-up.  Same crap that it hasn’t been processed with my insurance yet.  This gal I don’t think even looked at the computer.  To give it another week.  Yeah right!!

No really pissed I called my new insurance company.  Which is never a good idea, but I played nice.  They looked me up.  Again that was an issue at first, since I have to call the corporation that my husband works for, as they have a dedicated line for the insurance.  And since I was calling, it created havoc.  What doesn’t?!   Finally she got the records up and told me that I do not need a referral, so that was probably the ‘hold up’.  WTF?!   I was livid, but would not take it out on her.  I had worked in Customer Service for many years and hatted to get yelled at when it was not my fault.  I thanked her and hung up.

Now I am ‘hot to trot’ as the saying goes….dialing my GI Dr office.  We are into week 4 of this run around and I am beyond pissed, sick and just plain ol’ hurt!   The voice was different on the other end and I was counting my lucky stars.  I told her who I was and she eventually found me.  Then I proceeded to tell her about the referral crap and how I just wanted to see the GI Dr again.   To my surprise she said, ‘that’s not a problem.  let me do a couple things in the computer and we can get you scheduled’.   At that point my mouth was wide open.  Was it that easy 4 weeks ago?  Should I just have called back the next day to have this done?  I was kicking myself, but now I know!   It really was that easy and she was onto the scheduling calendar.

We were now at the end of May, all of June was booked, plus the Doc was going on vacation, so the first opportunity was July 24th.  Say what?!?!   I took it, I had no choice.  But I also asked if they had a waiting list and they do.  She put me on it.  I rolled my eyes, as I have been through that game with the dentist and never get a call. 

Well, I did get a call and it was for the first available as July 10th.  Fine, 2 weeks early is 2 weeks early.  And when they called me it was 1 week until the July 10th date, so what the heck.

All this to just see a doctor.  I would not have bothered, but if you have ready my first story (click here), you would understand how bad my 1st GI Dr was.   Plus in my town there is only one other option and that group would not even take me, after they reviewed my records.  How sad is that?!

 PART 1 — The End

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Food Journal

When diagnoses with gastroparesis, all I as told was to eat 5 – 6 low-fat and low-fiber meals.  I had a one sheet hand out that told me very little.  But it did out line: no red meat, no raw fruits and vegetables.  Great, so what CAN I eat?  I researched a lot of it via good and bad sources (I will post links later on my blog’s main page).  After trying a ‘new food’ it was hard for me to know how I felt the next day or later when I tried it again.  As you may know, it is so overwhelming to have this diagnosis and figure out how foods affect you.  Since gastroparesis (GP) effects us all in different ways.  You may be able to eat something that I can not tolerate, as so forth.

So I decided to do a journal.  It is an easy format, but takes daily dedication to have the full picture of your heath and figure out what foods trigger what in you.

First step is to make a scale from 0 – 5.  This is your ‘pain’ scale.  0 is your ‘normal’ or you can rank it as having no pain.  It is up to you!  5 is then the worst ever.   I have a scale for the following as these were my main issues:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach Pain
  • Dizzy

Here is an easy journal format:

======================++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==========

May 23, 2013 – Thursday

9am     Woke Up

Headache 2, Nausea 3, Stomach Pain 1, Dizzy 0

2 Ginger Supplements, 1 Fish Oil, 1 Calcium Tab

9:30     Hot Tea & 2 slices of toast with strawberry jam

11am   Headache 1, Nausea 2, Stomach Pain 3, Dizzy 2

Noon   1 cup of chicken noodle soup

2pm     Smoothie: Greek yogurt, banana, blueberries, protein powder, juice

Headache 1, Nausea 0, Stomach Pain 2, Dizzy 3

======================++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==========

If you can be sure to include the amount of food/drink, medications along with amounts, what you are drinking, any supplements, and be sure to do a 0-5 scale when you feel something in your body change.  It could simply mean that a few hours after I always take  ‘___’, I feel ‘___’.   For me it was anytime I had dairy at night, the next morning my nausea was high.  You do have to be a detective, but it is well worth it for your overall health.

Here are two pictures of journals.  I have now decided that I like the calendar style the best.  I keep it at my bed side and took it with to work (so I could log my lunches).  The other picture is just a standard journal with lines.  Pick what works for you.  Even if it is a sheet of paper, your phone or calendar on the computer, taking the fist step to seeing a clearer picture of what foods work for you, is all that matters!

Journal 1Image

TIP Always try a food more then one time to determine if you can tolerate it.  Maybe the food item did not work well on just that day or in combination of something else you ate/drank.  This is also why a journal is key – to weeding out those new foods.   Or keep a journal just for that!

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