Five years ago today I had my first colonoscopy. March 17, 2011. My primary care doctor at the time ordered it and I believe that a general surgeon performed the colonoscopy itself. I don’t really remember, to be honest. I only met the guy like 3 times. Two of which I don’t remember because of the meds they put me on for the scope.
I had been having problems with extremely painful bowel movements since November 2010. I was having really bad constipation and blood when I was having BMs. Went and saw my doctor and he put me on some meds to help with constipation but things didn’t really get better. So we did the colonoscopy. Why didn’t he send me to a GI right then and there? I have no idea but I really really hate the fact that he didn’t.
After that colonoscopy, I was diagnosed with a mildly chronically inflamed rectum. It should have been red flags for my doctor but it wasn’t. He said I should probably go see a GI but never pushed for me to go or got me a referral. Oh, how I wish I had pushed that point. But I was in college and didn’t have a whole lot of money at the time to be spending on medical bills.
So I went untreated for what was actually Inflammatory Bowel Disease until December of 2013. Had a flare that was pretty bad my last semester of college. Lost like 10 lbs. Didn’t think much of it because I had already had a diagnosis. Just thought that it was ‘normal’. Man do I know better now.
Biggest thing I learned from this is that you need to be your own advocate. And don’t brush stuff off even if your doctor is. They’re not always right. And sometimes misdiagnose you with something and then you’re left untreated for years with an incurable autoimmune disease. I should have sucked it up and found a way to pay for it. Or asked my family for help. I really wish I had put my health first but I was so stressed out with college that I didn’t make myself a priority and I should have. It’s one of the things in life I probably regret the most.