hello. first of all let me just say that i am soon to be a student nurse. although, the advice i seek isn't for myself. my mother has been having severe gastrointestinal distress for over a year. last year at the age of 52 she finally had a colonoscopy done. it showed pre-cancerous polyps (they were biopsied) in her colon, but no other signs of serious infection were found. they told her to come back in a year and have it done again to re-evaluate the polyps. they also found a "suspicious" polyp in her esophagus which they did nothing about so far. she has been telling them for most of this time that her bowel habits are not normal and she is distressed about that. they keep telling her it is nothing.
anyway, for the last month she has had serious pain and diarrhea along with fever and chills. i've been insistent she see her doc. they kept telling her that she must have pulled a muscle in her back (explaining the back pain) and the diarrhea, well they figured she had irritable bowel syndrome and to take imodium if she had probs. she finally felt bad enough to insist on further treatment. they did a ct and blood work last week. the nurse called her today and told her she had diverticulitis, not to eat seeds or salad, and hung up. i made her call back. they told her it was an infection of her colon and if she had any more pain or severe symptoms to call back and they would send her to a gastro doc and that doc would probably put her on antibiotics. my mom wasn't even sure what any of this meant. so, i explained it to her and sent her several links so she can read about it. i'm so angry at her for not taking the initiative to ask questions and finding out alternative treatments, diet guidelines, etc. i know this can become serious if left untreated. i'm angry at the doc's office because they did not take the time to educate her on her condition. i told her to call another doc and go see him/her. to keep fighting until she finds someone who will explain her options and treatment protocols to her. i live 4 hours away or i would be there in her face and dragging her to the doc.
so, for those of you who work in the field, do you have any suggestions or advice? i'm so upset because my mom feels so defeated and is depressed because she has been sick for so long. she told me today she didn't even care anymore!! please help! sorry for this long, long post but i don't know what else to do. thank you for reading my story.
Oct 13, '08
unfortunately, we can't give any medical advice here.
but what i will say is that if your mom has diverticulitis, she needs to be evaluated by a physician ASAP... whether it be the ED, urgent care, or another GI doc.
i hope she feels better!!
Oct 13, '08
I know, I really wasn't asking for medical advice. I don't know what I'm looking for really. I just feel helpless. The problem is that she has been evaluated and they are just blowing her off. I just feel like the little guy below:
Thanks for your response. I'm going to try to get her to see another GI doc.
Oct 13, '08
First-- This IS NOT medical advice--just info from experience! If she has diverticulOSIS then there is (usually) no antibiotics prescribed because it has not become an infection or inflammed. Seeds and other foods can become 'trapped' in the "pockets" of diverticulosis and can cause irritation that can cause them to become inflammed---> diverticulITIS. If she does not feel like her dr. is sufficient, then it is her right as a patient to seek treatment from someone who does. Also, maybe she should speak to the physician directly (if she's able to)-- he/she may not be aware of the situation with his/her nurse. The dr. may not realize that your mother does not fully understand the diagnosis, and, as I said, it is her right as a patient.
Oct 13, '08
You seem so frustrated with the care that your Mom has rec'd. Is there any chance you could have her make an appt and go with her?
It is very hard for the non-medical people to navigate thru our medical system. Take care.
Oct 14, '08
I don't quite understand your anger and frustration w/your mother when it is her medical professionals who have fallen down on the job and failed her!
Your mother is close enough in age to me that you need to understand that she comes from a generation who were still brainwashed into thinking doctors walked on water. You didn't question them. You told them your symptoms and trusted that they would do what was necessary to get you feeling better.