So I’ve been pretty lax with the good old blog over the past few weeks… Partly down to the fact my colitis was being such a knob that I could only muster just enough energy to get out of bed, added with the fact I actually have a degree to study for! Which means I’ve been superglued to my desk for the last few weeks attempting to write a 10,000 word dissertation, two presentations and all my seminar work. And to add to the pile of work I already have I’ve been doing some little projects on the side (I’ve got something very exciting in the works! Keep your eyes peeled for that little gem!). I also kinda want a life outside uni and hospital meaning that I’ve been a little crap recently in divulging all my secrets on here to you guys!
But I did get to see my lovely consultant a couple weeks ago for our monthly catch up! I always get incredibly nervous going to see him but this time we had a lovely chat! He even let slip that I’m his favourite patient (I’m sure he says that to everyone but I felt special haha).
Having a good doctor is vital, especially when they’re essentially your BBF like mine is. Over the last few months I’ve built up a pretty good relationship with my consultant but it didn’t start off that easy.
The first doctor I saw back in July 2016 told me she thought I had bowel cancer without doing any tests; she just looked at me and that was that… Great thing to tell a 19 year old! So I left her office crying uncontrollably. I mean… Cancer… Really? In a matter of seconds I had gone from a totally healthy teenager to BAM Cancer…She didn’t even do a blood test! The second doctor I saw put me through a rushed colonoscopy because of the whole cancer scare. He didn’t really give me the chance to process what was going on and left me just as clueless as the first one did. I mean he did confirm that it wasn’t cancer but the tests came back inconclusive so I didn’t really go anywhere. He just treated me like a scared little girl. Which to be honest I probably was, but it would’ve been nice to be treated with a little more respect and not a lab rat.
So I’d pretty much lost hope in doctor number two.
After months of putting it off, I finally got to see doctor number three. I did my research this time and heard down the grapevine, that Dr Ellis was the man for the job. The first person I spoke to about him said:
‘’He’s lovely, caring and a real family man.’’
This gave me the confidence that he wouldn’t just scare the hell out of me or treat me like an experiment, and I’m pleased to say he’s a fantastic doctor.
When I first met him I was in a bad way. Now I’m willing to admit, at the beginning I was a little rude…I’ve always stayed as far away from doctors as humanly possible and now I was being thrown into a world that I didn’t want to be apart of. To this day I can’t remember what happened in my first appointment with him. I couldn’t hold my own head up let alone absorb all the medical gibberish coming out of his mouth. I was so scared of bad news that I refused to let him help me out of fear. I wanted to brush it under the carpet and get on with my life. Obviously this was stupid and I don’t recommend it!
I only started to get to know him when he admitted me to hospital back in February this year. I had gotten over my stubborn teenager phase, and was so fed up with being sick that I finally caved and let him help me. Seeing him every day gave me the opportunity to get to know him on a more human level, rather than just as my doctor. When I first met him I found that there was a kind of barrier between us; he was very practical and I was very emotional, meaning that I found it hard to fully trust him. I think that is partly due to doctor one and two scaring the crap out of me! But I started to see how much of a caring person he is. The first thing he said to me when I was admitted was:
‘’I’ve been thinking about this all night and I’ve been very worried about you.’’
It is this kindness that allowed me to trust him. I found it hard at the beginning partly out of fear, but also down to the fact that letting him help me meant I was vulnerable. It meant that I needed help and this was hard for me to accept. Now that we have a good relationship however, I find it easier to accept the good, the bad and the ugly! I now understand that when things are good it’s as much a win for me as it is for him; IBD is incurable and the causes aren’t fully understood either, so I imagine it’s as frustrating for him as it is for me when my colon is being particularly stubborn.
We now have a very good understanding with each other. Ok, we aren’t quite on hugging terms (he’s way too straight for that) but it’s nice to get to know the guardian angel protecting me from my own body! Ultimately, he is the one that knows how to get me into remission (hopefully) and I’ve stopped being a stubborn child, letting him actually do his job.
It hasn’t been plain sailing, but he has been there through it all so far; I have experienced every single emotion after our appointments. Sometimes beaming with joy, other times crying my eyes out and a once or twice so angry I could punch a hole in the wall, but I feel that he sees me as a young woman who has been dealt a pretty rubbish deal and he wants to do the best for me. I will always remember what he said the day he discharged me from hospital:
‘’This is a very difficult diagnosis to deal with, especially for a young woman and I don’t think you have given yourself enough credit for how you’ve dealt with it. I think you’ve dealt with it very well and I’m very impressed.’’
So hats off to you Dr Ellis for putting up with my stubborn phase and here’s to combatting my very angry body together!