It’s been seven months since I last saw my gastroenterologist and the lengthy appointment is normal after surgery due to the Crohn’s being ‘taken care of’, but it’s never truly taken care of so what will the appointment bring?

Dr Who?

Heading out the appointment this morning I picked up my letter and realised that the specialist’s name on the letter wasn’t my usual doctor. I had been seeing my specialist since being diagnosed with IBD by him almost 20 years ago. He’d been with me on the ups and downs of IBD and whilst initially I didn’t find him very approachable in recent years I had found him to be quite understanding and caring. Had he retired?

I suspected something wasn’t right with the new specialist when he began by taking a full history of my disease right back to first diagnosis, medication history, number of surgeries and whether I liked a tipple or two. As soon as I mentioned my old specialist that the penny dropped with him. There had been a mixup with appointments and my specialist was sat in the room next door but it was too later to see him.

Outcome of the Appointment

Not much came out of the appointment apart from the need to make an urgent appointment with my actual specialist as he’s the right person to make any decisions about how I should proceed with my medication. I currently am on just azathioprine but he bizarrely mentioned it may be an idea to start on Humira injections again. Wasn’t expecting him to say that and when I questioned him he didn’t really provide any reasons as to why I would need to start them again.

I’m happy taking medications but the prospect of having to deal with injections again is something I’d rather not have to go through.

Mental Health

As mentioned in other blog posts, the combination of Crohn’s and the stoma surgery has taken its toll on my mental health so I thought I would use this as an appointment to mention my issues in the hope that he would be able to offer some advice or help but whilst acknowledging that I mentioned it, it fell on deaf ears. I have also mentioned it to my stoma team but whilst they are willing to see me, there’s nothing they can do to help.

What’s Next?

I’ll hopefully see my actual specialist next month and discover what he thinks about restarting Humira and in three weeks I’ve got a follow up appointment with my surgeon. Hopefully by then the wound will have healed a lot more. It will be an opportunity to discuss the options of what can be done about the parastomal hernia (a unfortunate gift from the surgery as today’s specialist called it).

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life.

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