Which will make Kimmy happy, since she is one… or is going to be one… I never know what they’re called when they’re doing rotations.
Anyway, this isn’t about Kimmy, it’s about ME (isn’t everything?) and about my awesome new girl doctor. It’s no secret around here that I do not see chick doctors. Yep, I’m prejudiced against them because all of the girl medical professionals I’ve ever met were of the “well, I made it through med school with the big boys so here, have a harsher-than-necessary pap and a smile” variety. That and because when I finally got over myself and went to a female doctor, she turned out to be an appointment-missing quack who put me on unnecessary hormone shots for six months.
But again I decided to get over myself; after all, most everyone is nice in Boise, so maybe there’s hope for the girl doctors. Plus, you should see my insurance list. 4000 girl doctors to every 1 guy doctor, it seems.
I finally asked my church peeps for a recommendation, and one of the girls gave me a couple. The first one she mentioned is Dr. Ashley Davis, hereafter to be known as Dr… Crap. No, she’ll not be known as Dr. Crap. I mean, crap. I’ve already used Dr. Wonderful and Dr. Awesome… Oh! I know. Dr. Super-Fantastico. Anyway, my friend at church told me that she’s big into the celiac thing and really gets gluten intolerance. Done a lot of studying on it, celiac is her BFF, all that. So I figured she’s my best shot at an understanding doctor.
I knew I was going to like her before I ever met her. Walking down the hall toward her office, there was a big old Texas Longhorns poster right next to the sign pointing people to her office. Being that the majority of transplants here are from California, a Longhorn was a welcome warm fuzzy.
Her nurse weighed me (that reminds me, I really do need to tell y’all about the falling out I had with Mr. Wii Fit a few weeks ago, but that’s another sad sad story for another time), and that was depressing, but I already knew it was coming because my neuro’s office weighed me last week. 164. Yes, I know, I’m supposed to be in the 140s now, but there’s a story behind it, really. Okay, so fine, whatever, I’m a cow. Blood pressure high for me (128/86, I think, and I’m normally 96/68).
The waiting for her to come in and see me seemed interminable. Normally I am totally cool with the waiting at the doctor’s office, because hey, I’m not the only sick person in the world, and plus, it’s quiet, and you can put me anywhere with an iPod and a book, and I’m good. But knowing that she’s big on the celiac kick, I could not *wait* to meet Dr. Super-Fantastico. I was so antsy and hopefully anticipatory.
She finally came in, and I knew I would adore her. She was in long shorts and a tank top. No stuffy lab coat, no pretense, just hey, what’s up, I’m your new doctor. Sweet. She ignored that the main reason for my appointment was to get a referral to an endo (you have to put down your #1 reason, and if she can get to your #2 reason in your allotted time, consider yourself lucky, so I had to choose, and being that my meds are almost out, I put down the referral as #1) and skipped right to where I put down that I have the tinglies. She said, “I already have one blood test I want to run for you.” Coolio. She asked how I found out about her, and blah blah blah, since you’re big with the celiac, I think you’ll be the doctor who will understand me best. She perked up. “Why? Are you celiac?” Well, it’s complicated, innit? I explained the negative bloodwork, negative biopsy, and all of my symptoms (actually, I think I missed mentioning several symptoms, because I didn’t feel the need to prove to her that yes, I do have celiac or gluten intolerance, because she was already taking me seriously, and I wasn’t on the defensive). By the time we’d even gotten to the possibly-misdiagnosed epilepsy, she told me she thinks I’m celiac. I told her about the negative DQ2/DQ8, which technically doesn’t rule out celiac, just gives me a <1% chance of being true celiac. So she said that at the very least I’m gluten intolerant. I agree! She also asked if I’d considered having my poo tested. I have considered it, yes; studied Enterolab‘s whole website a while back. In fact, if I’d known about them pre-gluten challenge, I would have sent them my poo first instead of making myself sick on sweet, sweet Totino’s pizzas. We talked about Dr. Ford, one of the big experts in gluten intolerance and celiac, and she pointed me to his two-minute YouTube video about how gluten makes people sick. That video is wacky, you should watch it. Gave me a good morning laugh. Everything he says is true, but it is way oversimplified so doctors can understand it ;-) and the prop demonstrations are comedy gold.
About the tinglies and the electrical shocks. It sounds like she thinks my electrical shocks are due to the pinched nerve in my low back (L4-L5), and now that I’ve read more about it, I can agree with that. It’s just that my electrical shocks never happen when I’m not having the major tinglies in other parts of the body. But that can be coincidence. I don’t buy that my hoo-hah tinglies have anything to do with my back. I just can’t see that, because the electric shocks in my right leg are one-sided, and my hoo-hah is right in the center. I know, that’s dumb logic there, but who wants to believe that they get random tinglies in The Hah because they somehow jammed up their lower back? Not me.
The tinglies are a different affair. She went straight to vitamin deficiencies first and decided to take a gallon of blood to run several different vitamin serums, and I was so hoping she would do that. She asked me more about symptoms, and — this was my favorite part — she asked if I have Reynaud’s. She didn’t ask, “Do your fingers lose their circulation and turn colors when you get too hot or cold?” She asked, “Do you have Reynaud’s?” Just totally assumed I’d know what that meant, and I did. “No… I don’t think so. I mean, sometimes when it’s really cold, I kinda think my fingernails are a little blue, but then I realize that’s just because I know it’s out there, and I’m imagining that I have it, but I’m pretty sure I don’t.” “Your fingers would turn white first, then blue, and go numb.” “Nope, I don’t have that one.” I LOVE when doctors respect that you’ve done your research and talk to you as if you have.
She talked about B-12 levels. My mom will love this, because she used to torture me when I’d visit relatives by making me get B-12 shots, and I would hate her and all of my aunts for it. And then I became an adult and was allowed to say “Get that needle away from me, or I will jam it in your eye.” Anyway, low B-12 can cause neuropathies and paresthesias, so she’s checking that. And because of the gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance and the fact that most fortified foods are off my list, she said I need to have vitamin levels checked regularly, because it’s harder for me to get everything I need from my food. I agree, and I feel like an idiot for not having it done sooner. And then she amplified her celiac cred even more. She has patients who have celiac with normal B-12 levels, but they still have the tinglies. So she just called up Dr. Green and asked him how that was possible. I was like, “Oh, I’ve read his book twice!” and she was all, “I’m thinking I’m going to read it again myself!” Anyway, Dr. Green pointed out that gluten can cause nerve damage in celiac patients. That part kind of sucked, because if my B-12 is normal, then that means the tinglies could be permanent. But it also makes complete sense, because your gut is basically your other brain. Then again, I had the nerve conduction studies last year, and at least in my arms and legs, they found that my nerves were really good at feeling the pain of electroshock therapy. But again, they didn’t shock me in my face, head, tongue, or Hah.
She asked if I have symptoms of low vitamin K. I explained some of my low K symptoms, with the bruising and all that — it’s much better now than it was, but I still bruise easier than I should. “Do you get nosebleeds?” “Well, my nose bleeds every time I blow it.” “Oh, just every time?” And when we talked about A and D, I was like, “Which one is it that gives you bumps on your upper arms if you’re low? I have that. And also, before gluten-free, I had lots of bladder and kidney infections, but those cleared up with going gluten-free and taking a vitamin A every day.” She listened to everything and wrote it all down.
What else… We talked about autoimmunes and the increased risk for others once you have one…
Anyway. She’s running panels for A, D, E, K, B-12, kidney functions (to see if the anticonvulsants are affecting my kidneys), and some other stuff. And she said she can handle my thyroid stuff as long as it’s just hypothyroid, so she wrote my scrip for that and is running the thyroid bloodwork to see how my thyroid is doing.
She’s on vacation next week (I said, “What is it with doctors thinking they need to take vacations like real people?”), but at least she told me so. I see her again in two weeks to go over my results. She stood to leave, and I refrained from saying what I was thinking. “You’re the only girl doctor I’ve ever liked! I’m so glad you were recommended to me! Do you wanna be BFFs? You complete me!” Instead I thanked her and shook her hand.
Her nurse came in to drain me like Angelus after pure bliss — took five tubes of blood right there in the office. That was nice, because in Florida, you always had to go to the blood labs for blood. My doc in the Metroplex had a lab right in his office, but I hadn’t seen it like that since then — I guess Boise is just more advanced than Florida.
Oh, you know what? That needle sticking in your vein hurts more if you watch. It’s like magic, the way the pain intensifies.