Doctor: ‘These types of conditions: migraines, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, bladder sensitivity, etc, they seem to come in trifectas. We don’t know why, but they do.You seem to have a very sensitive system. You get really sick, really quickly and then it takes ages for things to get back to normal.’
Me: ‘Well… I guess I’m just lucky like that.’
This is from a conversation I had last week with one of my new doctors.
Since 2009, I’ve had to battle to be heard. If you are sick and no one will listen, please don’t give up. For 2 years I had doctors tell me I simply had depression and that what I needed was antidepressants and a therapist. But I knew what I had was something more… something that was being overlooked because I was so young. I was depressed because I was in severe pain and couldn’t live my life. I honestly thought I was dying. But I kept pushing and finally got a doctor to agree to send me to a specialist. When I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, I wanted to call up all those doctors who had ignored me. I felt betrayed and heartbroken and angry that I had spent all this time being ill. Once on the proper medications, I was able to gain back much of my health which eventually led me to see a naturopath so I could learn to manage my illness without drugs. About a year into seeing him, I was off all my medications and my flares were few and far between. But sadly, my immune system is far from perfect and about two months ago a new symptom developed. A started feeling immense pressure and sharp pain in my bladder. This pain and pressure was constant and there was no relief. After seeing my primary care physician on three separate occasions in one month, I decided it was time to move on. She wasn’t listening and I’ve learned from past experiences that there was no way she was going to. That’s what led me to my new doctor and I feel really good about the direction we’re going.
The trifecta I have is the ‘migraine, ulcerative colitis, bladder sensitivity’ one. Yes, it is just as thrilling as it sounds. I want to tell you something extremely important: chronic pain and immune disorders are no joke. They are aggressive, debilitating and draining. And because there is still so much we don’t understand about these conditions, there aren’t really any specific answers on how to ‘fix’ it. I don’t know what the future holds for me but I know that I refuse to ignore my pain. We all deserve to live a happy, healthy life and some of us unfortunately have to fight for it.
There has been a lot of tears shed over these past few months. To have thought I had gained control over my illness only to develop a completely new symptom feels like a cruel joke. When you feel lost and out of control sometimes the only thing you can do is escape for a while. Cory and I decided to escape to the waterfront and enjoy the cherry blossoms before the immanent rain took them all away.
Do you have a place you go when you need a break or need to seek clarity?