Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Doctors, who needs 'em? ... I guess me.

For those of you who know me, you know that I was diagnosed in 1999 with Crohn's Disease. For a while it plagued me pretty good. I was sick for a real long time until the situation peaked and I had part of my colon removed and put back together. That surgery was in the spring of 2001 and I've been in a pretty uneventful remission since then. Sure, I've had bouts of pain and have been on some prescribed medicines now and then... but I've been good. I managed to have 2 beautiful kids in the process, which for a while I was thinking I'd never be able to do.

I've been having some brief moments of pain lately. A flare up? I am not real sure. But I'm worried to let it get out of control. I spent months in and out of the hospital when I was first dealing with it and I lost weight uncontrollably, approximately 10lbs every 2 weeks or so. I can't let it get to that point again. I have my kids, my job and my LIFE! to think about. There is no way I can afford to be in a hospital for a few days, let alone months. However, the more I think about the sure fire crash diet, the more I question my thoughts....NO, I kid you. What do you take me for? lol

So what's a girl stranded in little town, AK supposed to do? There are no gastroenterologists for about 600 miles at least. I called the guy I started seeing back in 2000 when I was airlifted to Seattle for the first time. Dr. Schembre is a nice enough guy, he reminds me of a skinny Joe Pesci with a hairy chest. I know this because he usually has his collar unbuttoned down to the 2nd or 3rd and the hair peeps out over the collar or his scrubs. Haha, that's so funny it sounds like I made it up. But I didn't.

But I digress. I called Dr. Schembre's office yesterday to find out what I need to do. I mean do I make arrangements to go see him or try to tough it out until I have to be flown down for surgery again ya know? Well his answering service takes my detailed message and says he'll call me back. And wouldn't you know it? He calls back to my work line while I'm on lunch and doesn't leave a message! Come on Doc! I only knew it was him because who else with a 206 area code is going to call me at work? mmm hmm. So I call his office back to get the scoop. The assistant puts me on hold to check the notes on my file. Here is what she came up with: Dr. Schembre wrote in the file that there are no gastroenterologists in Juneau.

Umm I must be a genius! I figured that out in the 3rd paragraph of todays blog! Amazing, I always knew I was smart, but whoa.

After that revelation I kindly asked the lady to elaborate. She put me back on hold and went to talk to someone. A few minutes later she came back and told me the doctor was with a patient (natch) but passed on the message that I should see my primary care doctor for the course of action I need to take. I'll probably need to make arrangements in the near future to go see Mr. Pesci's doctor twin. Which means I have to go to Seattle soon.

Let me tell you, I'm extremely bummed at the prospect. I mean, leaving Juneau on an airplane for 2 days? For those of you that don't know me that well...I said that sarcastically.

I called my insurance company to find out about reimbursements and such, turns out that they'll pay for my airfare if it's a qualifying medical reason. Cool beans. However, according to the lady I talked to, my reason isn't a qualifier. Yah, they'll cover my office visit and tests, but not the airfare. Because according to her, the tests that they'll do can be done in Juneau. I told her that there are no gastroenterologists here... hey. Didn't we go over this already? I didn't bother arguing with the lady after a couple go-rounds with this information. I figured I'd start with my doc here in town first. I'll deal with insurance stuff when I get to it.

So there it is. This tid bit of Candice gossip has been on my mind for the last few days. Mainly, what am I going to do if this gets worse? I think it freaks Tim out too. He and I got together just after the surgery and I was feeling better. He's never seen me doubled over and unable to eat, think or speak. (ha! in fact, just the opposite) He's heard my stories but doesn't really know yet how bad it gets. He thinks all my problems will be solved by (lol) changing my diet, which helps... but doesn't make it go away.

For those of you who know little to none regarding Crohn's Disease (which is usually about everyone) and want to learn more, check out these websites: http://www.ccfa.org/ or http://www.crohnsonline.com

Well, I must go. I leave you with these words to ponder... I smell bacon. (I really do! And it smells wonderful)


  1. wow candice....i remember when you were in the hospital and they were trying to figure out what was wrong with you..in fact i was there with my own problems (tonsilectomy gone wrong)...take care of yourself and go to the doc asap...oh and i do like reading your blogs...it is nice to read while im at work..lol

  2. am i the only one that reads this thing??