The Anxiety of Change
Most people don't like change. I am one of those people. I hate it to be honest. Change brings me anxiety. I almost wish I could change, change.
I realized new years often bring change, but I didn't realize it would come so soon. I saw my doctor a few weeks ago and let's just say, it wasn't what I'd expected.
I had my colon removed years ago and although many people see that as a "cure" for IBD patients, it's unfortunately not. I won't say I regret my decision. I honestly don't. For years I went through so many treatment options. I'd battled insurance and coverage in the same way I was battling my disease. I tried injections, infusions, you name it.
Surgery was my last option and I was hopeful. It has changed my life in more ways than one, and for that I am forever grateful. Although I am not "cured" and I still fight daily, the fight is not the one I once knew. In many ways, this fight and this life is much easier than my old one.
But it's a battle nevertheless
I still have many complications so I didn't expect my appointment to go extremely well. I knew I was getting worse. My stomach feels tender and my symptoms haven't been improving at all. I know I cannot continue to live with inflammation, but I wasn't expecting the news my doctor gave me.
Besides our normal back and forth with options and symptoms, he'd mentioned something I'd only ever heard him mention once before, years ago: seeing another doctor. I obviously was hesitant. The only other time he'd ever recommended an outside opinion was one for a surgery consultation.
He told me the doctor he wanted me to see actually specializes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This came as a surprise to me because in the past I'd searched for an IBD specialist and never had any luck finding one. The only ones I saw online were hours away and that would be difficult for me considering the nature of my disease.
I was torn
I don't like change and I'd grown close to my doctor. While we didn't always agree on treatment plans or recommendations, it was always a conversation and he has always respected my right to decide as a patient. I was comfortable with him and I know whenever I need something, I can count on his office to come through. Whether it's a same day appointment, or trouble with my insurance. They are good at what they do.
It's scary to start over
There were so many what ifs in my head: What if I'm not comfortable with him? What if the new doctor doesn't treat me right? What if he's mean? What if his office isn't as efficient? Even after my appointment I still worry about these things. It's brand new and a huge change for someone who has seen the same physician for over 5 years now.
But it always comes at the right time
One thing about change is, it always comes at the right time. Maybe not on our time, but right on schedule. Although I am terrified, I am open to the new possibilities.
Have you completed the IBD in America survey? Answer poll for survey link.