Re: The Good News and the Bad News

From: Christine M. Smith (
Wed Oct 13 07:14:40 1999

At Tue, 12 Oct 1999, Marilyn wrote: >
>Just to add my two cents worth on doctors. My original GI doc retired a
>couple of years ago, and I knew that I'd never find another that could
>measure up. He was everything that you long for in a doctor, but can't
>find anymore! Reassuring, compassionate, knowledgable, and all with a
>great sense of humor. Whether it was true or not, he made me feel like
>he really cared about what was wrong with me, and he always diagnosed
>correctly and if I had any kind of tests, he would call me on the phone
>to give me the results.
>I Just dreaded having to start from scratch with someone new, going
>through all the old history, etc. But since I had had colon surgery, I
>knew I should be checked out for polyps or worse. So I finally saw a
>new doc last week. He was polite, impersonal, and efficient. Didn't
>ask me any specific questions about my history, except the dates of my
>different surgeries, and yes, that I needed a colonoscopy. He scheduled
>it for today, and walked out of the room.
>That was it, until I saw him in the hospital today for the procedure. He
>walked in, did the colonoscopy, told me it was fine and I didn't need
>another one for five years. (that was the good news!) Then he started
>to walk out and I asked him to wait, that I wanted to discuss my
>adhesions---that I had had the NG tube once, and had come close recently
>to coming in, in the middle of the night. (However, I had barely
>avoided it by resorting to my old doctor's "little bag of
>tricks"---which almost didn't work this last time.)
>His reply (with one foot out the door) was that he never touches
>adhesions, that surgery for them makes them no better and sometimes
>worse, and that it's a waste of his time and my money and hopeless, in
>the long run. The sad part of it is, he's probably right.
>Sorry I went on so long, but needed to get it off my chest.

Hi Marilyn: Is your GI doc a surgeon? When someone refers to a "GI" doctor they usually mean gastroenterologist who is not a surgeon. Gi docs do colonoscopies (among other endoscopic procedures) but not surgery. If that is the case with yours, then I'm not surprised by his negative attitude towards surgery. I wouldn't be put off by it though and consider finding another GI Doctor. Since you have had colon surgery, why not a colo-rectal surgeon? Sometimes they treat problems like IBS that don't involve surgery, but do involve the colon. Perhaps this is what you meant when you referred to GI doctor. As someone just posted, everything is individual. No blanket statements can be made about adhesions. I would be very suspicious of anyone who said something "never" works. In my case, the first batch of adhesions did NOT return 6 months after the surgery. I don't know about the second batch because I didnt have another surgery. (original batch of adhesions worked on in two parts) I did have return of pain but that's another story. I hope you find another doctor you admire as much as your first. I know how that feels. My gyn of 20 years just died and I feel lost.

Chris S.

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