These next few months my health issues were starting to progress pretty quickly. At this point, there were only five foods I was able to eat without having an allergic reaction and flare of my symptoms. I decided it was time to schedule an appointment with a GI. Afterall, several of my symptoms correlated to my digestive tract. I was hesitant to schedule however, because I was unable to take any medications without reacting. Desperate for answers I scheduled the soonest appointment. Which happened to be seven weeks away.
Two weeks out from this appointment I was getting worse by the day. My flare ups were becoming more intense and lasting longer and longer. These two weeks felt more like two months. Never the less, I made it to the day of the appointment and it went nothing like I had expected.
Being sick at a young age is hard. Exspecially when the sickness you have isn’t visable to the outside world. Most of the symptoms I experience, people can not visibly see. For some people, they assume that because they can’t see it, it’s not there. Unfortunately, many of the doctors I have been to seem to have the same thought process.
The first Gastro I went to was the first of a series of doctors who refused to listen to me and instead make assumptions on my age/stage in life and my lean figure. For months, I went to doctors and listened to various things that only made me loose the little bit of positivity I had left.
“ You are afraid of food and need to just eat. Start with small bites of something new everyday”
“You are physching yourself up to having these symptoms”
“We are going to refer you to a therapist because your relationship around food is unhealthy”
“You have depression and anxiety and need to see a therapist”
Leaving this office, I didn’t know what to feel. I felt the assumptions that the doctor made were unfair not only to me but to others. Eating disorders and mental disorders are very real problems, and should be treated seriously. They shouldn’t be a diagnosis that is tossed around when a doctor is stumped. Even though I knew myself better and knew this was not the problem I began to believe the doctor was right. That is, until I tried to eat like he had suggested.
Within 2 days of eating a few new foods that were part of my green “list” my symptoms began to get dramatically worse. By listening to this doctor instead of going with my gut, I sped up the downward spiral of my illness. From this point on, I was even reacting to my 5 “safe foods” . The waves were beginning to role in faster and faster and I was struggling to keep up.