I thought I'd put this question out there to all you knowledgeable and experienced people. I first saw my GI in July 2008, had my colonoscopy and official UC diagnosis in October 08. I've been seeing her ever since, pretty regularly (at least every 3 weeks) because I've been flaring the entire time without relief, including a 2 month period of severe illness during which I was bedridden. She started me off on Asacol which didn't work at all, in fact I think that's what made me so sick in November. I was unmedicated for a while then I went on prednisone, starting at 40 mg and have now tapered to 20. I also started Imuran 2 weeks ago.
I'm seeing her this week and I'm kind of nervous about it. The thing is, my visits generally go like this:
GI: How are you feeling?
Me: Not so great actually, I...
GI: How many bowel movements?
Me: Heh, on a good day or a bad day? Generally on a good...
Me: Um, maybe 6-10 on a bad day.
GI: Is there blood?
Me: Yeah mostly.
GI flips through my file, peers at her computer screen for a minute or so.
GI: Okay I'm going to give you a prescription for [enter your favourite drug here].
Me: Um, okay. I'm a little nervous about starting another drug treatment.
GI: You don't have to take it if you don't want to [or some other platitude]
Me: I've still been avoiding wheat and dairy and most fresh fruits and vegetables...
GI: Yes, keep doing that if it's working for you.
Me: Okay, but I'm not sure if it's really working...
GI hands me a prescription and stands, telling me to make an appointment for 2 weeks hence.
Now, I'm not a shrinking violet and I've done a fair amount of research and I've talked to friends with this problem etc etc. But for some reason I just can't get through to this doctor. I spoke briefly to my GP about it last week, and her advice was to make sure I know what I need to say going in and be strong about advocating for my own needs. I fully intend to do that at each and every visit but for whatever reason I get in there with her and my resolve just crumbles.
My question (sorry for the long preamble and thanks for sticking with this post) is, Is this normal? Do all GIs behave this way? Is it possible to find a more "mind-body" GI doc? I'm not too much of a believer in alternative medicine (I've seen a homeopath for other issues with no discernible benefit) but I guess I do believe in a wholistic approach. I'm not a fan of simply throwing a pill at the situation and hoping for the best. I need, and I need for my health care provider, to see the big picture. So what do you think? Start shopping around for a new GI?