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?
Have you taken our IBS In America Survey yet?