How do I get my doctor to help me?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 6/27/2009 10:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm so frustrated. New doc doesn't want to give me prednisone until after doing a colonoscopy. My last one was 2003 when I was diagnosed and I have the report to pass on to her. I told her that my insurance has an extremely high deductible so I would have to pay for the colonoscopy out of pocket and hubby isn't getting paid at work for the last 7 months and I only work part-time. Can't possibly swing it. I know it's all this stress that is causing my flareup, and her delaying treating me with pred is only adding to the stress. I really miss having doctors who trusted that I knew what was happening in my own body. Don't I have the right to refuse an expensive and invasive procedure with risks considering they've already done one and it shows I have cd? My IM doc picked up that my white cell count is elevated on some recent blood work. Oh, think?????? Maybe because no one there is giving me what I need. How do I get through to these docs? I really don't want to have problems because we are ignoring a flareup that could probably respond fairly quickly to pred.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 6/27/2009 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
If you can't afford a colonoscopy and they won't give you pred, why don't you try a couple of alternative therapies? At worst, they might not help, but they don't cost the earth and they might help. The most useful option is probably a probiotic (Culturelle and Align are both well documented to help GI problems). Then there is the diet adjustment. A fair number of people at HealingWell report good results from the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (see: SCDiet and Pecan Bread, and if nothing else, it can give you some ideas about what might cause problems. There are several other possible options, but those are the ones to try first.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/28/2009 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Your family doc won't prescribe it for you? Maybe try explaining the situation to them and see if they won't help. I always keep an emergency bottle in the house, just in case.

Good luck,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 6/28/2009 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't think a colon test is necessary, esp. when you have bloodwork that shows something is going on, but then again I am not a g.i. doctor. You have went 6 years without a colon test, to be honest it may be time for one, but moving on...

Worry not, I have solutions for you, provided you can swing the 10 bucks needed to fill the pred prescription.

1.) You can go to the ER, just about any doctor there will give you pred. once you mention crohns disease.

2.) You can go see a different family doc, or an internal medicine doctor, they will usually give you pred., and they don't charge as much as a g.i. doctor, or they shouldn't.

3.) You can go to a free clinic, where licensed doctors work at, and they will script you pred, again, just mention crohns disease.

Also; Keep in mind that once you go behind this doctor's back to get pred. I doubt he will want to help you, so you may need to look for a new one. I have found that this can cause them to leave the room, and yell out in profanity, it's about the only time I have ever seen a doctor show such emotions.

Take Care
CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 20mg every other day
Phenergen PRN
Zantac 150 - Twice Day
Pain Meds

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 6/28/2009 2:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm going to try a more direct explanation tomorrow since my symptoms are increasing since the last time we spoke. My regular doc was extremely uncomfortable handling anything to do with my cd. This is kaiser, and they seem to be in cahoots with each other. I'm sure she knows every other gi there and if I get on one's bad side I'll probably be looked at suspiciously by all. I'm really normally very compliant. I'm just at my wit's end with the crazy, ineffective things that they've suggested so far. Knowing how the pred has helped me in the past, I just feel like they are making me suffer needlessly. It'd be cheaper to hop on a plane back to my old docs at this point.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 6/28/2009 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
You have a right to refuse any medical treatment so yes you can so no to a colonoscopy.
Your doctor has the right not to treat you without the results of those tests. An elevated white cell count does not indicate a chron's flare. Do you have other lab results-SED and CRP? Other symptoms you are reporting-those are more likely to get you treatment.
Without a colonoscopy (yours is 6 years old) you could have strictures or other problems that would not respond to prednisone.
I definetly understand where your doctor is coming from on this one.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 6/28/2009 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   

Oh my family never had good experienes with Kaiser!

I was going to suggest a family doctor, because that's what I do. GI docs are scope happy IMO. My last one would do a scope if I told him I sneezed! To me it was unnecessary and expensive, and would result in the same kind of treatment (or worse he missed something, and acted like I was fine, ignoring my symptoms). My primary doctors goes off of my symptoms, and will look at my blood work. But always treats me.

I'm not fond of GI docs as of right now, we don't have any good ones in the area!

Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Lexapro.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/29/2009 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had CD for more than 15 years, and have had more than 6 surgeries.  I have had to be on steroids so much during my CD lifetime, that now, at the age of 32, I have severe osteoporsis, so I would just like to preface this response with the warning that while steroids can certainly help you to get over a flare, just please be careful on relying on them for too long, or on a high dose.
Also, I understand that you say that your last colonoscopy was in 2003, and that you really can't afford to pay for another, but honestly, 2003 was six years ago, and that is an awfully long time, and a lot could have happened to your intestines/colon during that time, especially if you have had any surgery, as you could have developed adhesions or scar tissue.
You could always go to the ER at a hospital for uninsured people, and if you just told them that you were new to the area and had not had a chance to find a new GI doctor, perhaps the ER doctor would prescibe the prednisone until you could "find a new GI and get in to see them soon".  They may even perform the colonoscopy or at the least a CT scan to make sure you aren't obstructed or something serious. 
It sounds like your bloodwork has indicated that you have some infection going on because your white cell count is elevated.  Did the bloodwork include a C Reactive Protein (CRP) count?  That measures the amount of inflammation in your body. 
Have you attempted to contact the hospital/facility where you would be having the colonoscopy performed by your GI to inquire about any programs that you could apply for that would either provide you with financial assistance, arrange for discounted rate, or if you qualify for a free colonoscopy?  Or perhaps, they would work out a payment plan.  One other thing I would try is to contact the CCFA chapter office in your area and ask them if they have any resources or ideas that may be able to help you in your situation.  They would definately understand that time is of the essence in getting your symptoms and/or flare under control ASAP.
I definately would express your concerns to your current GI doctor calmly and cafefully, as you certainly don't want to get black-balled or labeled a "problem child".  Unfortunately, that is a very real concern, especially when all of the GI docs know and talk to each other (despite that being unethical and most likely illegal, it happens all the time).  If after having a frank and calm discussion with him/her about your situation, and they are still not assisting you in in any way to try and figure out a way to get the treatment or tests that you really need, despite the obvious fact that your CD is flaring, I would find a different GI doctor.  But don't leave the original doctor on a bad note, or "burn a bridge" because you are with Kaiser.  I probably wouldn't even tell the doctor that you were "firing" them, I would just make an appointment with a different doctor under your plan.  Every doctor should absolutely be sensitive to their patient's financial situation (especially in today's economic climate), and they should be doing whatever they possibly can to get you treated ASAP.
I hope that eveything works out and that you are able to get the appropriate treatment ASAP, so your flare doesn't lead to something more significant.
Good Luck,

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 455
   Posted 6/29/2009 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
hmmm 2003 is a while ago, could be other things in there now growing away that you can't feel. Just tell your doctor it is not an option and such and he might be able to work a different route. Prolly don't want to be on nasty pred forever if something else is avail
SCD since 01, remission since 01, occasional random junk food breaks :)
No meds ever.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/29/2009 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   

I'll go against the grain here and say that getting symptoms under control is more important than a colonoscopy -- at least to you.  More than that, if the colonoscopy isn't going to change the course of treatment or change the outcome, then it's unecessary.

I'd familiarize myself with ASGE guidelines and ask the GI to point out in them, specifically, why you need a colonsocopy before treating symptoms.  A diagnosis is a diagnosis, and if your doctor can't trust the records of another doctor, what's the point of it all, anyway?!  If the treatment is pred and maintenance meds, you do not need to satisfy your doctor's curiosity with scope.

Good luck.  You may need to find another doctor in the process.


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 6/29/2009 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Good news for now: She agreed to start me on 20mg of pred and do a telephone appointment in a week at no cost. I've got so much going on that I just need to get these symptoms and pain under control. I will eventually have the scope when I can save up the money or hit my deductible. I hate that I've had to resort to pred, but you all know how it goes when it's choosing the lesser of two evils. Thanks for all the helpful advice. I guess if I don't respond to this pred we'll know there's more going on. But based on what I'm feeling, I think it's just a typical flare that went a little longer without treatment than I'm used to.

Is 6 years really that long to go between scopes when there's not been a lot of problems?
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