alt=Doctor and patient chat in agreement

Finding The Right Provider

As a child growing up with undiagnosed IBS-D and knowing something just isn’t right can be a burden. For me, it was just how life was. Once I became an adult and had a child of my own I realized I had to take the steps to try and "fix" me. This started my journey of finding a provider who listened. You never have to settle. It took me way too long to realize this.

My big move

Moving to Illinois was a big deal for me. Being away from my family and the safety net of people I knew was hard. I grew up the majority of my life in a tiny town of roughly 300 people. I never really had a primary doctor so being 24 in a new town looking for one was very stressful. I only knew a handful of people so I did what made the most sense to me. I went to google, picked the first provider I saw, and made an appointment.

My first primary IBS provider

The first primary I had seemed great at first. We discussed the issues I had going on and he gave me a couple of recommendations and I went on my way. Not knowing much more than I did before the visit, I just thought okay this is just how it is. I stayed with that primary for well over a year. After hearing that it is "probably just stress related" I tried to go on living as stress-free as I could. That didn’t work for me. I had other medical things going on as well that I felt were dismissed.

My second primary IBS provider

The second primary I saw was amazing. She listened and really did seem to care. I finally felt heard and listened to. We made some diet changes and worked on my other medical issues. We were able to get everything under control except my gut. I found a way to help the symptoms so I was okay with it. Shortly after seeing her for about 3 years, she moved. I felt like I was back to square one. The search began again.

Years of IBS providers

For the next several years I went through several providers looking for the one who could "fix" me. That didn’t happen. I did find great providers that did run tests and gave me the diagnosis I was searching for. I thought that would make things easier but those of us with IBS know that it really just gives us a name. I moved back to my hometown in December of 2020. Coming back home came with its own challenges but for me, luckily finding a provider wasn’t one of them.

Over the last few years, my siblings have gone to the same provider and have said great things about her. With my options being a lot smaller I decided to go with it. This was the best decision I have made in regards to my health. Finding someone who really does listen, care, and wants the best for you can make all the difference.

I still struggle with IBS-D daily. I have flare-ups weekly (sometimes daily). Things do feel like they are looking up though. Just knowing I have a provider who will listen and let me talk means the difference to me. Knowing I can send her a message and she will reply or call just means something. Don’t give up. Trust me when I say you aren’t alone. Keep looking and don’t settle for a provider that doesn’t make you feel heard.

Have you had issues with finding a provider who not only helps but makes you feel heard in your health journey?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.