Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dr. Meanie Pants

It's about to get real personal.

I've been experiencing some bowel problems lately. Like I need to run to the bathroom about 30 minutes after eating anything. That started last Saturday and just kept happening. Like clockwork. So finally by Wednesday, after having lost 4.5 pounds in 5 days, I made an appointment to see my family doctor.

I hadn't seen this guy since before the whole infertility-ovarian failure thing, so I had a lot to tell him at my appointment. I brought in my list of herbal supplements (admittedly, it's ridiculous), informed him of my dietary changes (gluten free, reduced dairy and sugar), and told him my Premature Ovarian Failure story. Half hour later, I left in tears.

In fairness, I know this guy has about the worst bedside manner of any doctor I've seen. He's got the empathy of a slug and I know this. My whole fam goes to this doc and we talk about the insensitive or downright mean stuff he's said. An obvious question arises: why the heck do I keep going to this guy? Yeah, fair point. The thing is, he really knows his stuff. He's a great diagnostics guy, he's super thorough and every time I've been there, he's given me at least 30 minutes of time instead of the usual 3-5 minutes. After my appointment last week, I'm not sure how long I'll consider this list of pros as outweighing the cons, but hopefully I have some time to figure it out before I get sick enough to go back.

Anyway, there are a lot of things that could be causing this bowel issue. Here were my initial thoughts:

  • One of my supplements: my "newest" supplement was one I had started about four weeks prior, and hadn't caused any problems... but maybe something was taking a long time to act? 
  • Gluten: maybe I had accidentally eaten something with gluten in it... after being Gluten free for about five weeks, could my body reject gluten now??? I have no idea. 
  • Stomach Bug: could just be I picked up a little virus. No fever or anything, but I did have eight days of diarrhea in 2008 that I think was just a bug. 
So I went over this with the doctor and he was SO UNSUPPORTIVE of the infertility. He looked at my list of supplements and said with disgust (which is key, here), "WHY are you doing all of this? I mean you don't even know if this is effective; there's no science." 

At that point, I remained calm and explained to him that Western Medicine can really do nothing for me in my situation. That there isn't a fix, no way to make it better. And if you're in my situation, you're willing to try anything. 

Then he said, and I quote, "You know, women in your situation often try for a couple of years and then realize, you know, you just have to turn the page. Move on."

Um, okay. Thanks for the vote of confidence. It's not like my entire life to this point has been laying the foundation for someday being a mom. No big deal. I haven't really thought about it anyway. Getting pregnant was just a whim. I hope you sense my sarcasm. 

I wanted to tell him: I've changed my whole life because I need to be a mother. I will do every single thing I can to get there. The alternative is so crushing I feel suffocated by the air I'm breathing when I even think about it. I understand there might be risks along the way and I am willing to take those risks. And I have to take those risks. I am not ready to give up or to "turn a page" now or maybe ever. And doc, what do you know about the heavy weight of inadequacy as a woman? Of wanting something so much that it shakes your core when you realize you can't have it? Especially when to everyone around you, it seems to come so damn easily? 

But I didn't say any of that. I shook my head, through tears. He asked what they've said my options are and I told him my chances of getting pregnant on my own and the recommended treatment of donor eggs. I was crying hard then, and had to get up to get the box of tissues. He ran some blood tests, and I walked out of there as fast as I could. 

No word yet on the blood test results, but the bowel issue seems to be getting better. I'll keep you posted. 


  1. Tell me about how you feel the accupuncture and herbal supplements are going? Would you suggest anything? What is the best thing you have done for yourself mentally/emotionally/physically since diagnosis?

    And, sorry the DR was a meanie pants. You dont deserve that.

  2. Kate, I actually have a post in the works about all of the herbal supplements I'm taking! It's hard to know what's really actually working, but my first recommendation is to get on daily wheat grass. I take five pills of that stuff a day and I think it's that stuff that is controlling my hot flashes. It's truly disgusting and foul, but worth it! Get the pills if you can find them - I was on the powder for a couple of months and it was just too terrible tasting!

    Acupuncture: Seriously. Get acupuncture. I. Love. Acupuncture. Especially if you're lucky enough that insurance will cover some of it!

    Diet: I'm on a gluten free diet right now and trying to limit my intake of refined sugar and dairy. Honestly, I don't know if that's working at all, but I hear that gluten stays in your system for a long time, so I'm giving it at least three months, possibly six.

    Mentally & emotionally, the blog has helped, and finding other people through it (like you!) who are having similar experiences. And I really think just talking about it helps. I think about it ALL. THE. TIME. so it's unreasonable for me to never talk about it!

    Definitely check out the book "The Infertility Cure" by Randine Lewis if you haven't already. That was my first step to actually doing something about POF.

  3. Thanks so much! I will check it all out!