Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When an answer isn't

When is an answer isn't an answer? When the answer isn't an answer. When the answer is they know you're right from your perspective but they don't have anything to prove you wrong, only something to prove them right. Really.

Well, I went for my followup for the colonoscopy three weeks ago. Ok, They took the video, took some samples for biopies and whatever else they do when they shove the scope up your ass (fortunately you're sedated and likely asleep, I was). Anyway, despite the evidence my digestive system hasn't been normal for nearly 3 years, worse for about a year, and even worse for 3 month, there isn't anything obvious.

They didn't see any signs of an infection or other condition. The lab and biopsy results were normal. And so all they can offer was more of the same rhetoric about lifestyle changes, meaning watching foods and diet, drink less coffee, drink more water - the recommended 6-8 (8 oz) glasses per day except that's never been studied let alone proven to be beneficial as your body extracts water from any liquid and not just water itself, so any 6-8 glasses of liqiud will do - and get more exercise.

And above all, find a food regime that works and stick with it. Gee, that's sound medical advice from a Gastroenterologist? I mean I'm not doubting her or her advice, it's good and sound, but it's nothing I couldn't get from any physician or even a naturopathic doctor. Or even any health or nutritional specialist. And for that I paid good money.

The truth is, as she kinda' admitted, they really don't know very much about the digestive system beyond the obvious problems when they are obvious, like something physical or someting lab tests or biopies can find. Anything else is simply beyond their knowledge, partly because the system is complex and partly because the state of knowledge isn't very good beyond the obvious.

I'm sure she thinks I'm a nutcase, like many other nutcases, er people, she sees and hears about digestive problems. And that's why it's call Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the catch-all condition when they can't tell and can't determine anything wrong outside the experience of the patient. We're not dumb, although some medical professionals would like to think we're imagining things, and they're not stupid.

I could tell she knew she wasn't convincing me and it appeared to me she wasn't convinced of her own advice will help beyond the rhetoric already said. She's always kept asking if I had more questions like my expression was that obvious I'm not convinced, and I had to eventually say no and accept the reality this is what I will have to live with, or hope it improves by itself because they don't have anything to offer.

In the end we're just at a place we know what's wrong and they don't know what's wrong to find a treatment. There's a gap of knowledge in between our experience and their knowledge, and there is no bridge connecting both sides because the knowledge just doesn't exist to build it let alone to answer the questions.

And so until they do, I don't think I'll go back again unless it's really obvious to me it will be obvious to them.

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