I won’t keep you waiting. The magic word is: Levsin. Now for the blah blah blah: After six months of this crap I went in today for a third opinion. The second opinion had been uneventful and unremarkable, like trading ground hamburger for ground turkey–no thanks, I’ll stick with what I’ve got. This visit, however, illuminated just how mediocre my care has been. For one, a doctor sat with me for more than half an hour getting my history. Then I received a brief physical. THEN the actual doctor I’d set up the appointment with came in, and together they answered all of my questions, and then that doctor conducted his own physical. Last, the first doctor sat with me for another twenty minutes answering additional questions while he set up appointments for another flex sigmoid and a sooner dose of Remicade. I thought I’d won some kind of contest. Or that they had my medical record mixed up with someone worthier. This kind of time and attention is unheard of, a completely alien experience. I was there a total of two hours, and walked away with several revelations, the most mind-blowing being: THERE ARE MEDICATIONS TO REDUCE CRAMPING!!!
Maybe you knew this. But holy cow, I did not! Not once, not ever, did my GI or the nurses mention a little thing called Levsin which – and I only just have the prescription so the personal review is forthcoming – reduces cramping associated with irritable bowel disorders, diverticulitis, peptic ulcers, etc. What was even more surprising was that they brought this up on their own, I hadn’t even thought to ask the new docs about pain management! I mean, I thought discomfort was a fact of life. Every time before I’d been told to “Just take Tylenol.” (Which is such a joke, Tylenol doesn’t touch it.) Fingers crossed that Levsin does.
In closing, this “discovery” further reinforces my belief that even if you’re madly in love with your doctor, a second (or third) opinion never hurts. It should, in fact, be mandatory if your situation is not cut-and-dry. I trusted that my doc was giving me ALL my options, and come to find out, she was not. Whether she didn’t think my situation rated it (and that’s pretty strange because I’m on the phone with her office once or twice a week) or whether she (or her staff) weren’t aware that things like Levsin exist I can’t say. It’s not like I didn’t ask if there was anything we could be doing for the abdominal pains. A doctor-patient relationship shouldn’t be like communicating with a genie, and since you’re paying them for their expertise, they should be informing and educating you. Caveat emptor, friends.