I Finally Found the Doctor of My Dreams (and now I’m moving)

Today I had my last appointment with my beloved GI, who I will refer to as Dr. Handsome. I first met Dr. Handsome in April, in the midst of my post-miscarriage health crisis. I had been misguided and bullied by my former GI doc, and I came to Dr. Handsome feeling beat-down, scared, and vulnerable—I really hoped that he would hear me out and see my point-of-view, and empower me to make weighty decisions about my treatment.
When he walked in the room, I was captivated: Tall, athletic build, silver hair, ice blue eyes, nice smile, and a friendly voice (hence the name “Dr. Handsome”). He immediately put me at ease. He listened to me nervously rattle on about my medical history, and he rolled his eyes (appropriately) when I told him about the crazy bullsh*t my former GI was trying to pull. But where he stole my heart, was when he shook my hand and looked me in the eye as he was leaving and said “We’re going to take GOOD CARE of you.” I get all teary-eyed just thinking about it—no doctor has ever said that to me before. I believed him.
Dr. Handsome had suggested Remicade at that first visit, but I was not ready to go to “big gun” meds, as there are risks and once you’re on it you will stay on it for years…most of the time it buys you 2-5 years at most, and then you have to look at other meds or surgery if your Ulcerative Colitis can’t be controlled. I didn’t want to be pregnant on Remicade. I didn’t want to have my colon out. So Dr. Handsome referred me to Cedars Sinai for a second opinion. At first I thought he was just trying to get rid of me because I didn’t want to take his advice, but when I said that to him he chuckled and said “Noooo, I’ve never fired a patient before and you ‘re a sweetheart! I genuinely want you to have the second opinion and Cedars is the best of the best.” WOW. Like, wow…I left his office with a smile. In the meantime, my UC got remarkably worse and I started feeling pretty desperate to get it under control.
After a couple of weeks of enemas that weren’t working and a mostly liquid diet, my patience was wearing thin. Then I learned that I have slightly elevated NK cells (which can affect implantation of an embryo) and I learned that Remicade helps to regulate NK cells. After a lot of prayer and soul-searching, I finally decided it was time to try the Remicade, so I went crawling back to Dr. Handsome and practically begged for it. I told him I just want to get pregnant and have a healthy baby. And he said to me “We are going to take CARE of you, and you are going to get pregnant and have a healthy baby.” I was so relieved, I cried.
I bought Subway for lunch for their whole office (20 people) to say “thank you”. What you may not know, is that doctors used to get lunches provided by the pharmaceutical reps almost daily (I worked for a Neurologist and the whole office got catered lunches at least twice a week). BUT there was a law passed in January whereby doctors can no longer accept these catered lunches from the drug reps. SO, if you are trying to get on your doctors’ good side (and really, you ought to butter-up his medical assistants and office staff because they call the shots) then food goes a long way, especially since this law was passed. Just sayin’.
After that, the office staff and medical assistants rolled out the red carpet for me! Now this was not my motivation and I didn’t expect it, but it is nice to have your calls returned promptly and to hear a bubbly voice that is happy to help you.
Anyhow, the reason I went in today wasn’t just to say goodbye. It was to ask Dr. Handsome how I should plan for the future of my disease (UC). We both agreed that I need to stay on Remicade (and all the other sh*t that I’m on) for now, and that it’s not time for surgery. For me, my goal is to hurry up and have a baby before it gets any worse. And then if it gets worse after I have the baby (inevitably it will) I want to seriously consider surgery. Fun facts about surgery:
1. I would have the J-pouch surgery. First, they remove my colon and fashion a colon out of my small intestines. While it heals, I’d have a colostomy bag. But a couple months after the first surgery, I would have a second surgery to re-attach everything. Presto!
2. After the surgery, I would be considered “disease free”!!! Did you know that Ulcerative Colitis is the only disease that is curable?! It is! Because once you remove the colon, it’s gone. No more meds.
3. I’d have more frequent bowel movements (like 7 per day). I could handle that, I think, if it meant no sickness and no more meds!
Dr. Handsome suggested that his preferred surgeons were at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. He said I can always call him, and gave me a hug. I also got hugs from his medical assistants. They said come by and visit whenever I’m in town. I wonder if it’s because I brought them cupcakes today? Or maybe it’s the hilariously long and rambling messages I leave for them. In any case, I hate to leave them, but I’m confident that they are there if and when I need them. I feel good now that I have a plan for “what if”. God Bless Dr. Handsome.
***I brought Dr. Handsome and staff generic grocery store cupcakes. Normally (when I’m not in the middle of moving) I would go balls-out and attempt something pinterest-worthy, like the picture below.
WHOOOOO wants a cupcake?!!

Remember, the way to a doctors heart is through his staff, and they way to his staff is through their stomachs

Remember, the way to a doctors heart is through his staff, and the way to his staff is through their stomachs

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