Tinkerbell ain't got nothing on this fairy. She has health-healing pixie dust!
I have a client who is facing new, and quickly worsening, GI symptoms. We've been working together for nearly 6 months and honestly tummy troubles were never a huge area of concern. We'd focused our attention on other things like sleep, creating daily routines, meal planning, and body acceptance.
We were approaching our final week together when she called me in a panic last Sunday evening. She filled me in on her symptoms and I was happy to hear she got an emergency doctors appointment first thing on Monday morning.
She needed comfort and was nervous about a few things:
-how to communicate her symptoms in a clear and
-if the Doctor would give her the dreaded and vague
IBS diagnosis and brush her off
-that she wouldn't know what tests or procedures
to ask for/insist upon
-she would be left with no real answers...
frustrated and back at square one
THANKFULLY she has a Personal Health Fairy (aka Health Coach) and I knew
what to do. I have been down this crazy, winding road before so I was cool, calm, and collected. I instructed her to "grab a pen and take some notes".
The first thing I assured her of was this; yes, a small-town general practitioner probably won't be up to speed on all the latest and greatest science regarding digestive health... and that's OK. (MANY GI specialist aren't even well versed in a holistic approach to overall gut health, which has proven to be most effective... they tend to rely on "tried-and-true" medications & diagnostic procedures) All you really need is to get the ball rolling on testing during this first appointment. Test don't guess.
Because IBS (which she was diagnosed with almost immediately) is SO misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and can be caused by so many things, we talked about what to realistically expect during her first appointment. Specifically, that she probably won't have any real answers until testing completes, lifestyle changes she can make in the meantime, and additional support I can point her towards while she awaits more answers. Simple things like food journaling and avoiding the biggest dietary culprits (which you can read about
We then discussed a few key terms to use in the exam room, notable personal/family histories to mention, and what she DID and DID NOT feel comfortable with. She DID want two specific procedures done and blood/stool testing. (Since she had never experienced these symptoms before it was best to rule out any major disease or culprits.) She DID NOT want heartburn medication. As I predicted, meds were prescribed and she felt empowered to explain why this was not a viable option for her until the results of the testing came back.
I thoroughly enjoy giving my clients permission to be their own health advocate while reminding them that
are PAYING the doctor and therefore deserve respect and courtesy.
Sometimes eating what heals you isn't fun. I TOTALLY get it.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, we talked about the reality of what this new road was going to feel like. Chronic, unexplained, digestive symptoms SUCK! And as she put it "they really affect my quality of life". Indeed.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping women handle the emotional roller coaster that ensues with chronic health issues. ESPECIALLY health issues that are treated with dietary changes (gluten free, low glycemic index, low FODMAP, diary free, etc). It is hard to not feel isolated, excluded, frustrated, and ticked off when you HAVE to change you diet to help yourself heal. Even the prep for a colonoscopy or endoscopy can be hard. Lives have to be put on hold, work has to be rearranged, and children need to be cared for. If GERD, Celiacs disease, SIBO, or gallstones are discovered there will be
changes that need to take place. Your favorite foods may turn into very occasional treats and eating out becomes as pleasant as, well, a colonoscopy.
If you are suffering and want your very own Health Fairy, please reach out for a FREE health consultation. It's over the phone and there is 100% no obligation.