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The nutmeg chronicles, Part 1

Interesting day, this past Monday. I had a gastroscope – where they stick a tube down your throat into your stomach to see what the heck is goin’ on down there. It took me two years to finally get the procedure, and it all started with nutmeg.
Breakfast, one morning in March 2014, I was introduced to nutmeg, sprinkled on my oatmeal, not cooked into it. Immediately after breakfast I had a strong reaction, a pins and needles sensation all down my esophagus, which Tums did nothing to help. This sensation kept coming back along with strong esophageal spams off and on for three weeks. The symptoms lessened somewhat after that, but after a few more weeks, I went to see my Nurse Practitioner and asked her to arrange a referral to a GI guy for a scope.
I waited three months to get in to see him, which is really not that long a wait for a non-urgent appointment with specialist in this area. When I finally saw him and he heard my sad tale of woe, he was disinclined to perform a scope, thinking the condition would heal itself. He told me to take Zantac as needed and come back in six months. Six months later, still symptomatic, he again declined to do a scope. Well, OK, so I asked if in December 2016, when I came in for my screening colonoscopy would he do the scope then, he said no, the guidelines were every ten years for gastroscopes. Uh huh.
Several months later I’m still having flareups and I call the office for another appointment only to learn he’s discharged me from his service which occasioned another visit to my NP. She was shocked.
“But it hasn’t been a year yet! You should still be able to see him!”
“Um hm. But I can’t. So let’s get someone else for a second opinion.”
She tried to get me into another specialist who refused to see me and recommended I see the doctor who performed my last colonoscopy for an appointment. Who would have been the guy who’d just discharged me.
“I sense the concept of ‘second opinion’ is getting lost here,” I said on yet another visit to my NP. “Perhaps you could get me into see Tony’s GI? I’ve had conversations with him and he seems approachable.”
Another few months wait, but success at last!
I explained my situation to him all over again, and asked if he would be willing to do a gastro with the colonoscopy in December/16 and he said sure! Contrary to what the first doctor said, gastros are done by symptomatology – if you’re symptomatic, you can have one. Yay!
Still with me, gentle reader? Think the story’s over? Not so fast!
Another flareup in December had me calling his office, but they were closed several weeks for the holidays. Sheesh!
“Divine, I really think I need help here,” I kept praying. “I’m putting it in Your hands. Again.”
January 2nd, I get a call, not from his office, but from the endoscopy clinic where he performs the procedures. I call back all excited only to learn they’d made a mistake.
“Oh, we didn’t realize you’re having your procedures at the end of the year. We’ll call you back then, OK?”
“Well, OK, but if I’m having worsening gastric complaints, should I call Dr. K’s office for an appointment?”
“Oh no! We can book a gastro right now for you! How’s February 8th?”
If I could have squeezed my lips through the phone line, I’da kissed her!
So Monday morning I gratefully have the procedure and when I wake up from the anesthetic the doctor gave me the diagnosis – erosive gastritis. Not ulcers yet, but…
First lesson learned? Follow your intuition, and don’t stop until you make someone listen.
More lessons learned and wisdom gained next time in The Nutmeg Chronicles, Part 2.

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4 Comments

  1. Joan Jolin
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Penny-Anne, I’m very much looking forward to your next post. I was grateful when you finally got a diagnosis and happy it wasn’t an ulcer. I’d like to know, now, what one does when one has erosive gastritis.

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted February 14, 2016 at 1:18 am | Permalink

      Ah! then stay tuned, dear friend, for the next exciting installment! Thanks for stopping by, Joannie, and leaving a comment. Appreciate it!

  2. Karen ROCKWELL
    Posted February 20, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Glad you listened to your ‘gut’ and persisted – I’m sure it thanks you!

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted February 20, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      It does! Even now I can feel a difference. :-)

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