Today I went to the Gastroenterologist. The build up to here is (quick run-down):
4/30 - went to my General Practitioner because my throat had been hurting for a few months. Hurts to swallow. Can't sing. Can't talk (that's a killer!) or at least limited capacity. Indication was "Acid Reflux". He sent me to an ENT.
5/1 - went to ENT. He ran optical scope down my throat for a look-see. He diagnosed "Acid Reflux" and unrelated "severely deviated septum" (because apparently only one nostril was open for the scope). Since he's an ENT, he volunteered to correct my septum. I started taking Zegerid for the acid reflux, and scheduled the surgery to correct my septum.
5/16 - Septoplasty. I don't regret the Septoplasty because I quit being a mouth-breather after the surgery. I had been waking up in the middle of the night with a screaming sore throat. Now, I breathe through my nose again.
9/18 - my last follow-up with ENT. OK, great...but my throat still hurts.
9/24 - barium swallow at Radiology.
9/26 - diagnosis "Hiatal Hernia".
10/7 - meet with GI guy (aka Gastroenterologist). Afterwards, I ask to see my folder. I discover ENT reported that I was complaining of heartburn???? and that the radiology report was ~inconclusive. I have had zero heartburn (and have said so repeatedly). 6 months after going to the doctor, I'm no closer to understanding why my throat hurts. all. of. the. time.
Today's visit to the GI office was a reminder of all painful aspects of dealing with the medical community. Because I'd been to a different arm of the practice 6 YEARS AGO!!! they had old info on file. Of course I'd given them all of my latest info when I made the new appointment... new address, new insurance, etc. But today, they told my insurance had been terminated (yes, a few years ago my employer quit offering the other company and so I had to change) and the office had NOT gotten the report from the ENT (had I realized the report was only going to be the "I didn't listen to my patient" report from my last visit I wouldn't have bothered).
My loving husband and I spent almost 2 hours at the GI office, with a total of ~5 minutes with the GI physician. We have an endoscopy scheduled for 10/21 ... wait let me tell you that story.
We were sent to schedule the endoscopy and we were asked which facility, A or B? A, we said, it's more convenient. OK, next available appointment is 11/26 (Wednesday before Thanksgiving). I commented on the proximity to the holiday and they told me not to worry - I'd have to fast on Wednesday, but should be OK for Thursday. I've heard from other sources my throat might be sore for a day or so after the procedure). I asked about appointments at facility B.... As I mentioned, we have an appointment for 10/21. 2 weeks from today vs. 6 weeks. Silly to think I might want a diagnosis sooner, or even to think my throat might stop hurting a whole month earlier! Why on earth should they even consider this???!!!! Oy-vay! But goodness, they were quick to offer
It was enough to make a girl think life is better with a chronic sore throat.
Perspective: We have friends with cancer, bone disease, Down's....I have a stupid chronic sore throat. I am sorry to complain and to abuse this forum for a ranting vent. Consider it sympathy in that in the last 8 years I have had 2 biopsies, 3 major surgeries and I'm familiar to the point of contempt for the medical practice. I've had good experiences (my new OB/GYN, my GP) to balance situations like today. I hold out hope that the diagnosis will be something that is easy to correct.
Lesson: We are each responsible for managing our (and our children's) medical course. Keep track of the history, medications, etc. I hate to say it, but - don't trust the doctors to know what's best for you (or your child). Most of the doctors are not listening to what you're saying - they're hearing what is coming through their filter of pre-conceived expectations. Keep it in prayer.
My GP is awesome because he really listens. I was appalled to see the ENT documented "she reported heartburn" when I've repeatedly said "no heartburn". It just shows me he thinks I should be having heartburn.
My prayers go out to everyone who is engaged in the process of medical diagnosis.