Wait, hold my beer

Meet my gastroenterologist. This man knows more about my body than my own husband. I first went to him 10 years ago. I was having some stomach issues and a friend recommended the practice. It was close to home but the first available appointment was with him. (I don’t think he was that popular back then lol). I was desperate so I took the appointment thinking I was dying of colon cancer. I arrived for my appointment to meet this young geeky looking doctor. Here I am thinking “this explains how I could get an appointment so soon”. But it turned out to be the exact opposite. He knew I had been through all the tests in my 20s, and he saw no need to put me through that again. He suspected I might have a condition called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). The test involved breathing into a bag for a few hours, nothing naked. I was ecstatic. Half way through the test my bacteria levels were so high I was excused with a prescription for an antibiotic, and in a few days I was feeling much better. Over the next few years when the symptoms came back, I called the office and got a prescription for the antibiotic. Easy peasy.

Then my body went through a change and things got really complicated. I was in a massive hormonal flux that was giving me all kinds of issues, mostly digestive in the beginning. I was below 80 lbs and hemorrhaging non stop. I was completely drained of everything. My GP and OBGYN at the time were both female. My GP actually prescribed a medication that could potentially kill me and and my OBGYN told me “yeah, you are gonna have to deal with it”. I am like “hold my beer”. Back to my gastro and within a few days I was 85% better, more progress than I had made in months. So my symptoms had stabilized but were not fully controlled. He wanted to run tests to be sure he wasn’t missing anything. Was I excited? No. Was it worth it? Yes! Truth be told, he and I have no secrets, which was mortifying for a few months. By doing the tests, he ruled out any underlying conditions. He was then able to treat my symptoms. How? By listening and having empathy. He had no idea what it was like to have these hormonal changes so he had to really listen to understand. Also he had never experienced them himself, so he was not biased about them. He wanted me to feel better. Period, pun intended. Women can be witchy. I know, I am one. (See his bio and philosophy in Related Articles.)

If you don’t live near an office location, let this this be your standards for seeing a doctor.