Jump to content


Do you want up to date information about Scleroderma? Check out our Medical pages at www.sclero.org for all your Scleroderma questions!


Photo

Went To Doctor Today


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 ssakar

ssakar

    Senior Bronze Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Location:Shamrock, Texas

Posted 01 February 2007 - 11:36 AM

I finally got in to see my primary care doctor today about my problem with my stomache/diarhhea/loss of appetite. It sure did feel good knowing that I have medicaid now and can go to a doctor and not pay!! It still hasn't hit yet....

But I am pretty disappointed in the whole visit. I was hoping for some extensive testing to be done and all the doctor did was give me some samples of Zelnorm for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and said let me know how this works in 8 days.

I told him I WANTED/NEEDED tests done because I KNOW something else is going on with my esophagus or something. He said he would have to send me to a Gastro specialist.....but to wait and see how the Zelnorm does. URGGHH

All I know is I sure hope the pills kick in soon - I haven't eaten a thing since yesterday at 2 pm and then when I did I had diarrhea about 30 minutes after eating........it was only some toast too.

My doctor records show that I lost 16 pounds since my last visit a few months ago. I am feeling so weak and so sick. I'm tired of this. I don't feel I have much time to be wasting on 'see if this RX works' and we'll go from there.

I've only been seeing this primary care doctor for 4 months and he is pretty much the only doctor there is in the small town I live in.......so....

Sakar

#2 nan

nan

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 649 posts

Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:04 PM

I am so sorry! The doctor just put me on ZELNORM and I hate it. It makes me shaky and it doesn't work. I am so slow moving and it's not helping. I hope that it will work for you. You do need to have tests done. Good Luck!
Nan

#3 Heidi

Heidi

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 573 posts

Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:18 PM

Hi Sakar,

I am so sorry your visit was so frustrating. Does your general practitioner understand that you have been diagnosed with Scleroderma and all the GI complications that are often associated with it? I think it is ridiculous that he didn't refer you to a GI specialist. Can you call your rheumatologist and ask him for a referral to a GI specialist?

I do hope you can get some relief soon.

Warm wishes,
Heidi

#4 ssakar

ssakar

    Senior Bronze Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Location:Shamrock, Texas

Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:27 PM

I brought all my paperwork from my rheumatologist visit showing I have Scleroderma etc. Apparently he didn't look at it. I mentioned it towards the end of the visit and he said 'Oh - so you have a new diagnosis other than Raynauds?' I said YES and that is why I was requesting some tests be done. That is when he said he would refer me to a Gastro Specialist after seeing if the Zelnorm works.

I think if the Zelnorm doesn't do something within a few days I will call him back and tell him I need a referral NOW!! I can't wait around 'shriveling up to nothing'!!

I did talk to my rheumatologist and she is the one that stated I go see my primary doctor and get some tests done........she said he would probably refer me to a Gastro specialist. I guess I could always call her back and see if she might have any recommendations.......

Sakar

#5 Heidi

Heidi

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 573 posts

Posted 01 February 2007 - 12:48 PM

Hi again,

Now that I think back on it, that is how it worked for me too....That is, when I called my rheumatologist about my GI issues he referred me to my general practitioner who then referred me to a gastro specialist.

Please do make sure that you call back and insist on that referral if nothing changes in several days!

Warm wishes,
Heidi

#6 LizzyC

LizzyC

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:13 AM

Hello!

I am very concerned about the advice given by your doctor especially because you are complaining of diarrhea! Zelnorm is specifically NOT to be used when the patient has diarrhea!

This is an excerpt from information on Zelnorm from the MedicineNet.com website.

Zelnorm Has Serious Side Effects Alert
Zelnorm (tegaserod) is a prescription drug for the short-term treatment of women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Zelnorm is intended primarily to treat the constipation that accompanies IBS. (It has never been tested in men.)

Summary: The FDA has added new warning information to the label of the drug Zelnorm. Patients are warned to stop taking Zelnorm immediately if they develop rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, or new or worsening abdominal pain. These are symptoms of intestinal ischemia in which the supply of blood and oxygen to the intestines are compromised. Zelnorm rarely causes severe diarrhea that can result in dehydration and a need for intravenous fluids. Therefore, Zelnorm also should be stopped if diarrhea occurs.

Google Zelnorm and you will find lots of information. Lizzy

#7 ssakar

ssakar

    Senior Bronze Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Location:Shamrock, Texas

Posted 02 February 2007 - 03:55 AM

Oh wow.......thank you for the heads up on this.

Sakar

#8 peanut

peanut

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 738 posts

Posted 02 February 2007 - 05:51 AM

I'm sorry to hear you're having a difficult time. I totally understand. I'm having gastro issues too. The first time I called my rheumatologist and his nurse called me back with a message saying that it doesn't have to do with my sclero. And I said what!! That doesn't make sense, so I called several times saying I was pretty sure it has to do with my sclero and if it's beyond my rheumys field of expertise that I'd like a referral.

My appointment is Thursday. I'm nervous because I'm sure they'll find something. I've had heartburn for years. Hopefully they'll find a way to fix my belly.

Good luck.

You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate
my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#9 felines4ever

felines4ever

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:58 AM

You definitely need to see a GI specialist for the lower GI problems and to have a scope to check your esophagus. Have you ever had one? Those of us with SD often need periodic scopes to watch for any pre-cancerous conditions that the constant GERD can cause. Your primary doctor (like mine) probably does not have any other patients with SD, and his knowledge is based on what he may have learned in med school. The drug reps push samples on the doctors so much, I wish they would spend more time explaining who should or should not be taking it. I would stop the Zelnorm, call my primary doctor & tell him why (contraindicated in those with diarrhea), and strongly request a referral to a specialist. JMO. All the best, Patl

#10 susie54

susie54

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 259 posts

Posted 02 February 2007 - 10:18 AM

Hi Sakar,

If you have lost 16 pounds then you need evaluation by a gastro doctor. That is alot of weight and you may have several things going on motility, malsorption, any kind of things. I have a motility problem which caused food to sit on stomach of 24 hours before. Also I have had diarrhea or loose bowels with bacterial overgrowth and mild malasorption. All of my symptoms are under control with medication now and I feel better. Hope this helps you . SUsie54

#11 ssakar

ssakar

    Senior Bronze Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Location:Shamrock, Texas

Posted 02 February 2007 - 01:17 PM

Yep, I wasn't having these type of problems BEFORE I was diagnosed with Sclero........so that is why I am almost positive something pretty serious is going on AND I feel it is due to Scleroderma.

I plan on calling my doctor Monday morning and insisting that he refer me to a GI specialist. I just hope he WILL!!! If not, I wonder if my rheumatologist has the means to refer me to one??

I have finally eaten some toast and a salad.......but I'm still not feeling good.
Plus the diarrhea isn't as liquidy - it has firmed up a bit. But I'm still not quite right. So not sure if the Zelnorm has helped or if it was just the timing.

And Peanut....I do wish you lots of luck with your appointment......please let me know how it goes.

Sakar

#12 LisaBulman

LisaBulman

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,135 posts
  • Location:Massachusetts

Posted 03 February 2007 - 04:53 AM

Hi Sakar,
I can totaly relate to your symptoms because the same thing happened to me about 7 years ago. I lost a ton of weight really fast but the gastro I saw was a real doosy. She did two scopes, saw nothing and said I was anorexic. I was living off of coffee and 1 bowl of cereal a day just to stay awake to take of my baby and get through a day of work. It was horrible and it went on for what seems like forever. One day I was walking into work and I remember one of the guys I worked with saying to me, "Lisa you are not looking good at all. I know you are sick, but are you going to die?" That was the last straw, I called my general practitioner, went in that day, told him what the gastro had said and sent me to someone else. The new gastro looked at me, read my chart and siad. "The sclero has moved into your inestines." UGGGG! After all that I finally had an answer!

Please, speak up for yourself. You know something os wrong! With your new insurance are you sure you need a referral? Can you make an appointment with the gastro on Monday then call your general practitioner to have them send over the paperwork. Please don't let yourself get dehydrated either.

Hugs,
Lisa
Lisa Bulman
(Retired) ISN/SCTC List Coordinator
(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager
(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide
(Retired) ISN Fundraiser
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#13 ssakar

ssakar

    Senior Bronze Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 62 posts
  • Location:Shamrock, Texas

Posted 05 February 2007 - 01:17 PM

I called my doctor today and was told I wouldn't get a referral until I have my followup (in 4 days) to see how the Zelnorm is doing.

I told them the Zelnorm IS NOT working and was told it takes a week or so for it to work. Well - I don't feel I have much time to be wasting....
I'm still not eating and still have some diarrhea every time I eat the smallest amount of anything.

So I guess I'm kinda outta luck until I see my doctor.

My problem with the Medicaid is that I actually won't get my card until March - so I'm not sure how easy it's gona be to get in to see a GI specialist anyway.....until THEN.

Then I still have to go through the waiting period once I get an appointment for the GI doctor. I know I had to wait a good long time to see my rheumatologist specialist.....I just hope it won't be a month before I can see the GI specialist.

Sakar

#14 Heidi

Heidi

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 573 posts

Posted 05 February 2007 - 01:37 PM

Hi Sakar,

How frustrating! You may want to try sticking to the BRAT diet for a few days and see if that helps at all. The BRAT diet is supposed to be good for diarrhea and stands for the 4 foods that make it up: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast.

Please keep us all posted.

Warm wishes,
Heidi

#15 bookworm

bookworm

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 292 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 06 February 2007 - 06:53 PM

Sakar, I forgot to ask: Are you still taking that Zelnorm?

Mary in Texas