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Sunday, 18 February 2018

History

I'm typing this not even sure if it will be published or not. Maybe I just need to type it and it can sit in my posts which are only saved. In 1997 I had a wee girl who was one year and four months old, a husband of six years, I was working professionally, and my husband and I owned a gift and home d├ęcor store in a small town. We had moved locations of the store and spent a lot of time fixing up the building so it would be just right for our style.

We attended the wedding of the man who was our best man in our wedding. The wedding was at the end of August. I began to get ill about the second week of September. By ill, I mean I had uncontrollable diarrhea, at times bloody, was so weak I had trouble standing, felt nauseous... was just a mess. I stopped work because I was put into a small town hospital, put on IV fluids for dehydration and my own doctor was in the process of moving her practice, so I was left in the hands of whoever happened to be on call. Trust me when I say you do not want to be extremely ill on a weekend as it never seemed that doctors could be reached, or decisions could be made.

I won't go into all the sordid details, but all told, I was in three different hospitals, was told I  had ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease. A nasty little piece of work doctor stood at my bedside and told me I would be looking at a colostomy bag for the rest of my life. At the same time, I was put on a variety of medications, including a central line being attached into the side of my chest while a sweet young nurse held my hand because I was terrified of having a tube inserted into me while I was still awake. One of the medications was called prednisone. It is used for severe inflammation. One of the rare side effects of prednisone is a form of psychosis. I developed that rare side effect. Slowly but surely I lost myself, unable to explain to anyone what was happening. I didn't want to see anyone, I sunk into a horrible depression, I had no muscle strength and couldn't even get myself out of a bathtub or walk down the hall. My eyesight became effected and I had difficulty seeing. All this time, I was in hospital, having clear fluids, graduating to semi-solid food. Two of the hospitals were quite a distance from our home. My husband came when he was able, but he also had work, as well as run our store, as well as our little girl to take care of. His parents came to help out for a little while, when they could. My own parents, especially my mother, were not strong enough or capable of helping.

Finally, after two months, and another colonoscopy (my first one was an emergency one), a doctor informed me that I had an ameobic infection. Entomeoba histolitica . I never had any of the terrible diseases they said I had. I was sent home, still suffering the effects of the prednisone, and given a horse dose of antibiotics which would clear up the dysentery. Unfortunately, with being bed bound in hospital for so long, and apparently another possible side effect of the prednisone, I developed a DVT in my right leg (blood clot). I was so messed up on the mind altering drugs, I just assumed I'd pulled a muscle somehow. When I did end up going to the hospital, I was told to go directly to a bigger hospital in a town farther away (husband was with me - I was incapable of driving or making decisions). Through ultrasound, they determined I had a bad blood clot and was immediately given a blood thinner which would "keep me alive" (direct quote from a hospital staff member).

So now I'm still mentally very messed up, can't sleep at all, or so it seemed to me, was in horrible pain and swelling with the blood clot, now had to have injections of blood thinner in my abdomen from a nurse who just wanted me to learn to do it myself, and my mind won't allow me to believe that I don't still have Crohn's disease. My husband called the doctor himself, so I could hear it again and the doctor seemed utterly bewildered that I didn't believe it.

In the end, a nurse pulled my husband aside, outside of the hospital and told him that "mistakes were made" on me, which we believe was about lab tests not being done properly, or results not being communicated. I also ended up going to a hospital and was seen by a psychiatrist who admitted that prednisone was likely the problem and prescribed anti-psychotics which I took while I slowly decreased the dosage of the prednisone.

I ended up being off work for about seven months, had long lasting repercussions with the leg that had the blood clot, developed a solid mistrust of people in medicine, and was quite damaged psychologically. There are many other things that happened while in hospital that don't need to be written about, but it was the hardest thing in my life that I've ever been a part of.


Why do I write about this now? It was twenty some years ago. Well, I've been dealing with some bowel issues for the past two weeks. Not nearly as horrible as the first time this happened to me, but enough that it wasn't going away, so I tried to see my doctor. Yes, in Canada, we have free health care (to a certain extent), but I can NEVER see my own doctor right away . Often it is a two week wait. There is a nurse practitioner who you can also see, but she was sick! So I went to emerg. and told my symptoms. I was asked, in triage,  if I had been out of the country in the past 21 days. I said no. Then when I was seen by the doctor on call, she enquired further and I said that we had gone away for a week at Christmas (that was more than 21 days ago) Where, she asked. Mexico. Did you leave the resort, she continued. Yes, we did. So she sent me away with a recommendation of the BRATY died (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, yogurt) and a lab requisition and many little bottles in which to put "samples". You may not be aware, but this is a holiday weekend for us, with Monday being "Family Day". I delivered my samples on the Friday and Saturday, cringing at the thought of anything being done on a holiday weekend. I will only be told if something is found. I will hear nothing if the tests are negative. However, I am aware that these tests aren't foolproof and sometimes it takes many samples to find the needle in the haystack. I will need to see a doctor again to ask for more lab requisitions if I don't hear anything.

There has been a lot of gastro-intestinal illness and bad cold and flu viruses as well. I am around the public constantly. Could this be something that just isn't working its way out of my system? Perhaps. Could I be harboring some kind of parasite in my intestines? Perhaps. Do I have Crohn's disease. Not very likely, but my brain still goes there. My brain still fears the tests, the mistakes, the drugs, the screw ups...

I don't know why I'm sharing. This isn't my usual blog post. In fact I rarely, if ever, share private information. It's about a health topic that isn't generally discussed, people tending not to talk about their bathroom activities. My logical brain tells me I'll be fine. My scared, wounded brain continues to mess with me. Have you ever had a misdiagnosis? Have you ever suffered ill effects of a prescription medication? Thank you for reading and understanding that certain things can take you right back, even though you've grown up and lived a lifetime of wonderful things since then.

65 comments:

  1. My heart goes out to you. We are led to believe we should trust doctors, but the are shooting in the dark like the rest of us. I hope it is nothing major. Take some deep breaths and hope for the best. Meanwhile ask for as many tests as possible. My thoughts are with you!

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    1. Doctors are regular people who went to school for a long time. Some remain kind and concerned, others become specialists with tunnel vision and forget the human part of their profession.

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  2. What a horrific time. I can’t imagine going through all that and, yes, a healthy dose of fear would be completely normal.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. Normally, it doesn't even enter my thoughts, just being reminded of it all right now.

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  3. An absolute nightmare for you. That's awful. I had my own medical nightmare many years ago when the doctors misdiagnosed an overian torsion. I spent three weeks in agony and almost died of sepsis. I can remember the strong painkillers sending me to a very strange place. I can understand your fear, that is perfectly understandable. I hope you recover from your current problem quickly and if you're not happy with any treatment make it known loud and clear.

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    1. I'm sorry for your own personal nightmare, Sue. I've never even heard of ovarian torsion. How horrible that you had to suffer.

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  4. I am so sorry to read this. It brings back memories of almost the same thing with my mother in 1990 in the UK. She had acute inflamed colitis and when I first rang the doctor he prescribed imodium over the telephone and did not come and see her. I eventually found her a week later and I won't go into detail about what I found but an ambulance was called by the same doctor who had prescribed imodium and she went into hospital at the end of December. Nobody knew what was wrong with her at this stage. She was put in isolation in a side room. The nurses did not want to go near her. My brother demanded that somebody clean her. To cut a long story short she almost died, her stomach eventually blew up like a 40 gallon drum and I was called from work as they were about to carry out emergency surgery. They they decided she had an infection. She had a 6 hour operation, a colostomy bag and she told us about the funeral she wanted from Intensive Care as we sat with her. Eventually she came home, via a convalescent unit we paid for, three months later. One year later she had the colostomy reversed. Although she was only in her early 60s it aged her and she was never the same again. But she lived on. Seeing doctors is the same over here. I never go near them if I can help it. xx

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    1. Rachel, how horrible for your mother and your whole family. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm glad to hear that she didn't have to remain with the colostomy bag, but yes, it would be a life changing experience.

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  5. Sometimes it's good to share bad experiences like this because it's kind of part of the healing process. I am sorry you have such symptoms again. Bowel issues can be quite disabling because it is so private and also you can lose your confidence of doing anything. I hope they find out what is going on and the symptoms improve. The diet doesn't sound great but if it helps...

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    2. Thank you Maggie. The diet is supposed to provide your body with food that is easy to digest. I'm already tired of bananas.

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  6. That must have been absolutely awful for you, and I do not blame you for telling us about it. To not give you a negative test result is just cruel, and adding to your anxiety even more. I would insist that the clinic tells you the results one way or another, because it would be a life-threatening situation if someone forgot to send an email, or a letter was lost in the post. It is their duty to keep you informed. I don't know about Canada, but if your first misdiagnosis happened even here in the UK, it would be grounds for suing for gross negligence. Get well soon and try not to worry.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Tom. My husband was all for a law suit and we started some proceedings. For a variety of reasons, we did not continue with it.

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  7. Sometimes sharing is therapeutic. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia last year after many years of weird symptoms. I lost much of my hearing in my late twenties and they never knew why. Now they suspect a rare side effect of fibromyalgia.. which doesn't have a specific test to determine that that's definitely what you've got. It's diagnosed with many many test to rule other things out. I'm in pain every day, and it's widespread muscle pain that moves around, too. I have IBS on occasion, pins and needles and hot and cold sensations that moves around - and the medical world doesn't know what causes fibro and there is no cure. The meds they use to treat it aren't often effective and come with a host of side effects. (Lyrica, Cymbalta) What I have found through dealing with different doctors is you have to be your own advocate.

    You know your past experiences, listen to your gut when making choices for yourself in treatment, see another dr. if you aren't comfortable with what you're being told by the current one.

    I know very well that awful mind torment we put ourselves through, so hard not to, but it really does us no good. Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I can't imagine being in pain every day. You are right about worry and its inability to change anything. Do you take anything for your fibromyalgia?

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  8. Oh Jenn... I can relate. I went thru a 2 year nightmare with my #2. She was misdiagnosed and then when we got her back on track she was diagnosed with metal poisoning which caused psychosis. It was the worst time of my life. I hope that you get the correct diagnosis and you find the right treatment.

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    1. It's not until you tell your story that you discover you're not alone - others have also had their own personal nightmares. I'm so sorry to hear of your daughter. Metal poisoning?! As mothers we just want our babies to safe, out of pain, happy, healthy... it must have been awful. She's o.k. now?

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  9. I hope you sued them for mental anguish if nothing else. They put you through hell. Hope they find what's causing the latest problem.

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    1. We had started legal proceedings, but ended up stopping for a couple of reasons.

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  10. I hope it ends up being minor, not knowing can be scary

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  11. Hi, Jenn. I'm so sorry you are going through this. And I'm especially sorry for the traumatic past experiences that are now triggering all this anxiety. What a terrible ordeal that was. I do hope that sharing all this has helped relieve some of the anxiety and stress you are dealing with. Sometimes by putting it out there into the universe, it lessens the load we are carrying. Sending you positive and healing thoughts, and hoping for a good outcome. We are here to support you if you need a helping hand. xo

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    1. Thanks, Martha. I knew that when I hit publish on this one, that there would be others with their own stories. In a weird way, it is comforting to know I'm not alone.

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  12. Oh jenn, I am so sorry you are living through this nightmare. My daughter has Crohns disease. She first fell ill, with much the same symptoms you describe at the beginning of your trip through this nightmare. They were insistent that she had cDiff. We FINALLY got an excellent gastro specialist in Toronto who pinned her disease. It was long hard road that she still walks.
    I hope they figure out your issue SOON. Letting go of that story will hopefully bring you a wee bit of peace.

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    1. Karen, another mother's story. It is so hard when our children are affected. You see so many ads on t.v. now about treatments for Crohns and colitis. I hope your daughter has found some relief.

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  13. That must have been so hard, and with young children. I was misdiagnosed with a tumor of the pituitary gland when I was 19, but the doctor only told my parents. Fortunately it did not turn into all what you went through. Only my parents were a mess. It turned out to be a very bad abscess which took the better part of a year to totally heal. However I was in hospital twice. Do hope all goes well for you now.

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    1. Lilbritbrit, I can't imagine what you and your parents went through. How did they determine it was an abscess?? I'm so glad you were able to recover.

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  14. It is a subject not talked about, but more common than we know. I had IBS for 6-7 years and am just getting over it. I was contemplating and bought adult diapers and knew every toilet in each store I visited. I still don't know the cause or cure, but I started taking extra strength probiotics. Don't know if that worked or not. I think it was a drug for arthritis I was taking that damaged my gut. I have had diverticulitis in the past too. Hope they get it right and meds will work for you.

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    1. Hmmmm, Donna. You are making me wonder. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my lower back more than a year ago. Since then I've been taking a strong anti-inflammatory (Naproxen), although only half the dose that was prescribed. In an attempt to figure out what was causing my issues, I had stopped taking it for a few days now. I'm going to go look up side effects right now.

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  15. I am so sorry you had this terrible and terrifying experience and hope what is happening now is nothing so dire...I have had a misdiagnosis. In 2010 I was told I had metastasized melanoma and nine months to live. Then every three months for more than 3 years I had an hour long radioactive test where I was in a long tube for a PET CT scan. They never found another melanoma and finally said it was a misdiagnosis. However, I have had two cancers since then, and my endocrinologist thinks the thyroid cancer was a result of the radiation. Still, I have to be happy that it was not a true diagnosis and I am relatively well. I shuddered reading what happened to you. It sounded much much worse. May you be well.

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    1. It isn't until you hear other people's stories that you realize it could always be worse. I am so sorry that you had that horrible ordeal and then had cancer because of it. I sincerely hope you are feeling good now.

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  16. I worked in a hospital for years and the horror stories I could tell....but won't. I am on prednisone long term and don't have much of a side effect from it---except I feel clammy sometimes and, because I take them with an anti-inflammatory, I am also light headed at times. Some of the things I took prior to this have had horrible side effects.

    I hope for your sake it is just some little 'bug' you picked up in Mexico. When we stayed in resorts there in the past we were warned not to eat in town or off the carts because there were no regulations placed on the preparations/sanitariness there.
    Thank you for posting this. If it helps even ONE person to speak up and question a diagnosis or ask extra questions you have more than done a service here.
    Blessings- keep us posted, Jenn. xo Diana

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    1. Oh Diana, I couldn't imagine having to be on prednisone long term, or even short term. I hope it is written in bold, capital letters in my health files to never put me on it. However, it must obviously be o.k. for you. I'm sorry you have to take anything, I'm assuming it's for an auto-immune thing? Thank you for commenting. You are always so sweet.

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  17. I think it's imperative to tell. As hard as it is to believe, people must take control, understand, challenge. Like you, I've had a life time of medical challenges that had to be sorted by more than the doctor. The doctors have to be sorted, too. We get through them, don't we. We're tough, as well as smart. You're doing a good job.

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    1. You, Joanne, are the poster girl for strength and determination when it comes to medical issues! Every time I read of what you have been through, in the past, and now more recently, my heart goes out to you. I need to become more feisty when dealing with medical professionals. Just like you.

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  18. Oh Darling my heart and love are going to you at this very moment xx I can't talk about my own health struggles at the moment because this is about you; and I know what you have been through and are sre still going through; just sending love and hugs love and understanding and wishing you betterxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Maureen (that was my mom's name!).

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  19. Sweetheart, be very, very kind to yourself right now. I had a year from hell last year, misdiagnosis, dangerous things brushed off as nothing to worry about, simple things pronounced life threatening. Thank God I trained as a nurse, makes it easier to spot poor care. One team of docs so wonderful and kind, they saved my life, the other truly scarey. A year later still going to doctor to follow up on mistakes made by second team. Unfortunately I am no longer exciting or interesting so have to fight my corner, as you know the hardest thing to do. So hang in there for a few more days, then start to rattle everyone's cages. Be calm, explain your history, demand time and attention, take someone with you if you are not up to it yourself. Your fears are completely understandable, it's OK, and important, to tell people you are afraid, I'm holding your hand. Sue

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    1. Hi Susan, I found your blog and read the post where you explained what happened to you. Holy cow! How do you know if you have the "A team" or the "B team"???? So frightening. I hope you are doing well currently.

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  20. I understand exactly why you did this post and I am glad you posted it and didn't just keep it in the save box. So before sharing something from my end...

    First off, make sure you get the results, positive or negative, no matter how long you have to stay on the phone with the lab. If it's fine and I hope it is, you will be able to relax on that front. If it's not, you can make your plan, wrap your brain around it. Second, when you go to the doc next, be sure to have your husband or someone with you. With a notepad. Probably goes without saying but don't let them say a word without someone else there to hear it and write it down. Ask them to spell things if need be. Because the brain hears one thing and then the rest turns into mushballs that you are mad you don't remember later. And third, if you feel you need to, get a second opinion. Or a third. If it means you have to travel, consider it. If you need to come to the States, we have several remarkable research hospitals right here in Michigan and you have a place to stay. And be careful of googling. It can provide info and it can also scare the heck out of you.

    And how did I come by these words of wisdom? I don't think we'd "met" back in 2013 when I was going through issues related to my lung disease. I was referred to an infectious disease specialist who came up with a diagnosis with a super-long, scary name that was a cousin to TB and required two years of a chemo-like protocol with all sorts of side effects. They even said, "The cure is as bad as the disease." But before they started, they re-tested for another three months. I will tell you it was the most stressful time of my life. And the tests were relatively OK. That diagnosis led to my retirement and I will say I've had no problems since, which tells me that stress played into things a great deal, too. Point is -- they were wrong. Like your Crohn's guy. Doctors get it wrong sometimes. WE have to be vigilant to make sure they are testing the right thing, not relying on one set of results before treatment and looking at all diseases. (They are looking a C-dif, aren't they?)

    We share things like this because it is important to know we are not alone. It is important to know that SOMEONE out there, besides the people who know and love us and know what's going on, can provide their support, they're prayers, their positive energy and good wishes because I believe having that stuff in the universe helps. And it is important to be able to say it, write it, wrap our brains around it and pick anyone else's brain too. You are not alone. My hope/prayer/wish for you is that you get results soon that are conclusive and positive (meaning OK, not positive like bad positives) and that this is something that can be effectively treated and soon. Don't hesitate to share. Your real blog friends will stay no matter what.

    If you want to read any of my story you can google marmelade gypsy verdict is in and it should come up. Or let me know. I can send the link.

    Big hugs to you from the other side of the Great Lakes. They say "Keep Calm and Carry On." Easier said than done, but try.

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  21. Jeanie... thank you so much. I called the hospital today and the results that came back already are negative for parasites, etc. but there are still a couple more that need to come in. I will be insisting that I get an appointment with my doctor (and get past the gatekeeper receptionist!). I always go with questions, and symptoms written down when I see my doctor. I'm pretty good at writing things down and asking for clarification, but you are absolutely right.
    As to your ordeal. "the cure is as bad as the disease" Now if that doesn't strike fear in your heart, I don't know what does. My own sister was told she had pulmonary fibrosis and would have limited time on this earth, or could, at best, hope for a lung transplant!! She suffered with this in her head for over a year (didn't even tell me!). Then when she went back for a follow up scan, they said there wasn't anything there. She was fine. Insane. I'm so sorry you had to go through what you went through!

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  22. Just went to your blog, Jeanie, and read your post, "verdict is in". Your post was eloquent and beautiful and probably only showed a fraction of the joy you felt knowing you weren't as seriously ill as had previously been diagnosed. Thanks for letting me know about it.

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  23. Thank you for sharing your experience. My heart goes out to you and pray that it is only stomach virus. I am going through a similar experience at the moment. As if the physical symptoms and medical treatment weren't difficult enough. The emotional and mental toll it is having on me has caused me to be treated for anxiety and depression. I am blessed with doctors that I trust.

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    1. Oh dear, Sophie. You're not feeling well right now, either? I hope both of us get solved quickly. My current doctor is pretty good. He had no part in the previous debaucle. -Jenn

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  24. Doctors can be very dangerous beings! I've worked for several as well as in Acute Care, Skilled Nursing and Home Health. When I have any kind of problem, I research and find the doc that specializes in 'stuff' that includes my symptoms, then I check references. I avoid the two ER's and hospitals in our town at all cost! Scary!

    I truly hope your problem resolves itself without having to wait for test results. You might make friends with a really good nurse, they are often the people who tap a confused doctor on the shoulder and say, "Have you .....?" And guess what, she's right!

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    1. Thanks, Toni. For us, we need to have referrals from our family doctor in order to see specialists. I agree with you about nurses! -Jenn

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  25. You have showed great courage in posting this very personal experience, Jenn. I also read through most of the comments and indeed others have had some similar misdiagnosis and pain. Fortunately, I do not have any medical stories to share, but the fact that you were willing to share your own and in such detail was I'm sure very helpful to so many others and perhaps an emotional release for yourself as well. I am hoping the remaining test results are all negative for you.

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    1. Thank you Beatrice. I'm glad you do not have any of your own stories! Yes, I think telling my story is a good outlet, but I also don't want my story to define me, either. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I just get on with my life. -Jenn

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  26. Hoping and praying that it is nothing serious and you have a speedy recovery.

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  27. Interesting health journey & a brave post - well done you Jenn. Glad to hear it is not parasites but still frustrating as hell to not know what it is. I have also been on a bowel health journey for years & I was given the final diagnosis by a gastroenterologist of "gum to bum" disease & yes that was written on my chart. Anything that goes in past my gums can create bum problems. I did most if not all the work to improve, (not gone)I still have flare ups, but mostly I can live with it now. For me it was giving up all meats, you'll need to unfortunately figure most of it out yourself. Sending you lots of positive, healing & caring thoughts. ... Mary-Lou =^..^=

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  28. I'm deeply impressed that you were able to impart all that while riddled with the worries that must be flooding back. No news may be good news, but how impossible it is to wait.

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  29. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all that...and now have all those memories that rear their ugly heads and are making the waiting and worry so much harder! Thinking of you, and praying for a full recovery!

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  30. Oh, Jenn, I can totally understand (without going into the details of what I went through) how something like this would bring up so much of the simply horrible effects you suffered at the seemingly incompetent hands of the medical profession.

    I have a gut level feeling you are having a bad bout of the ugly-bugly flu that seems to be rampant right now. Not that that's anything pleasant to have, but oh-so-much better than any of the other scenarios going through your mind.

    If for any reason you feel you need to pursue the situation (and you will know if you do), you will have to be proactive and very strong and firm when speaking with medical advisors. Even if they label you a b*tch, you know more about your own body than they do.

    Sending hugs and prayers that your emotional upset eases and you're starting to feel 100% again shortly.

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  31. Thanks Mary-Lou, Marty, Alica, and Mama Pea for your kind words and encouragement. To add... contacted my dr.'s office this morning. Now HE is sick (probably with this cold/flu) and the soonest I can get in is March 5th!! Ridiculous. I bought myself some probiotics today and started taking them when I got home. Can't hurt. -Jenn

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  32. You poor thing. I was diagnosed with proctitis (early UC) last July. After months of rectal blood, convinced I had cancer. :( The year before (when I think the UC was actually starting), my docto inadvertently got me hooked on anti-anxiety benzo, lowest dose, taken only 9 days, and I was physically hooked. It took me over 6 months to get to a somewhat state of normalcy. I have heard the horrors of prednisone (more than a z-pack), and biologics for UC. I can totally understand. If you ever want to email me, please do. It's hard to discuss this kind of thing in public. I get it. Hugs to you, and hope you feel better soon! (and yeah, I don't trust doctors much either anymore.)

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    1. Thank you Silver, yes I do recall your blog posts where you were trying to figure out your food, etc. I feel for you, too. Honestly, this time around, it is just diarrhea that is hanging on too long. I almost think it could either be a long lasting version of a gastro thing that has been going around, or perhaps a result of a very stressful couple of months (nope, didn't blog about that either). I just don't want to have to go through a bunch of tests and waiting and mistakes all over again.

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  33. My gosh Jenn...I could tell you stories...all involving chauvinistic doctors who labeled my anxiety and digestive issues as "all in your head"...up to this day I've been labeled with IBS - what I call (intense bullshit syndrome) because that's a generalized disease with "no cure"...i.e. they have no clue and likely don't care. Anyway long story short I figured out my own problem, it was diet related with milk protein from cows...I have no faith in doctors here. I'm SO SORRY you are going through this, it's ridiculous. I agree with what Donna said, and I'm glad that you got some probiotics...sometimes it takes a while, but if it's going to help you, it will help you in more ways that just digestion. Fingers crossed that it's just that simple! I hate the idea of you going through all of this!!! xxx

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    1. Thank you Rain. I hope I can figure this out before too long, and I know it will be me who has to fight for it.

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  34. I have been a registered nurse for 27 years. My entire career has been in traditional, Western medicine. Yet when I had my own health problems, my Kaiser doctor did what I have seen done repeatedly, prescribe a medicine that might work because they weren't sure what the problem is, but if the drug works, then we know the problem is probably A, B, or C.
    Instead of loading up on drugs with lots of not great side effects, I went to a Naturopathic doctor who did a lot of blood and saliva testing. Found I have a lot of food sensitivities and too much insulin. She put me on a diet avoiding the food that I am reactive to, and within a week I was feeling great, no diarrhea for the first time in years.
    The take away I have from all of this, Traditional Western medicine is great if you need surgery for a major problem, but for most else, I believe the process of looking at the whole picture, which is what Naturopathic doctors do, has better results. Often pharmaceuticals don't work, aren't necessary and/or have such adverse side effects that I will always go to a Naturopath before beginning any meds.

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  35. Yikes!
    I sure hope you are better...have you been tested for Celiac?
    My eldest daughter has this disease...took years to diagnose...
    Best of luck Jenn...
    Cheers!
    Linda:o)

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  36. Oh, for crying out loud, Jenn. I don't know how I missed this post. What a freaking nightmare! I am so totally turned off of Western medicine and the inept doctors to whom we are constantly foisted. Who would want to relive that nightmare! I am playing catch up and will read ahead.

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  37. I'm not a doctor or even very science-y, but have you ever tried kefir? It's like a yogurt drink and people say it is good for the gut. It is delicious too.

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