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Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Doctor availability


06-26-2017, 05:20 PM   #1
Crispix73
 
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Doctor availability

I just switched to a new GI that specializes in IBD. My previous doctor was very nice, but didn't see IBD all that often, and didn't seem that knowledgeable about the disorders or their treatment.

It took over 5-6 weeks to get the initial appointment with this new GI and that was after having my GP send a fax saying that the appointment was urgent due to current symptoms of a flare. They originally told me they didn't have anything for me for at least 14 weeks.

I was happy with the doctor during the consultation. She asked a lot of questions and was very thorough. It's clear my current medication (lialda) is not working, as I've been flaring mildly to moderately on and off since I got pregnant in July 2015. My old GI had my diagnosis as Indeterminate colitis, although I'm pretty sure it's crohns based on the presence of patchy inflammation and inflammation in the terminal ileum. The new doctor wants to run tests (colonoscopy, endoscopy, and pill cam) before changing my medication, which I completely understand, but when I went to the front desk to schedule the testing, they don't have anything available until October!

I guess I'm just surprised and kind of frustrated that I have to live with the current symptoms and hope it doesn't get worse over the next 4 months. The old GI was much more prompt with scheduling these types of things.

Is this the norm for other people? Is it normal to wait 4 months for testing/new medication when the current medication clearly isn't working? I'm considering going back to the old GI just for convenience, but I know I'll probably be better off in the long run with the new GI.
06-26-2017, 06:02 PM   #2
ronroush7
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I would think it would be important to be tested and to have new medication before that.
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06-26-2017, 06:11 PM   #3
my little penguin
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Testing or following a up appt?

Typically testing is scheduled through the hospital surgery or radiology etc
And front desk schedules GI appt
So was there some confusion
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06-26-2017, 06:26 PM   #4
Crispix73
 
Join Date: Jul 2016

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Testing or following a up appt?

Typically testing is scheduled through the hospital surgery or radiology etc
And front desk schedules GI appt
So was there some confusion
The woman at the front desk was scheduling the endoscopy and colonoscopy. She said that it's done at the hospital and not the GI office, but she schedules the appointments. Apparently the first available appointment is October 24th. I then have to wait for that testing to be completed before they can even schedule the small bowel pill cam, which would be scheduled at the actual GI office. They said they then try to schedule the follow up GI appointment within a month of all the testing be completed.

So I'm probably looking at a wait of at least 5-6 months before I can be put on a new medication. I expressed my concerns to the woman at the front desk and she said I can call every week and see if there are any cancellations, but she didn't seem all that confident that I would get in any earlier.

I feel very concerned about waiting. I'm having mild symptoms right now, but in the past symptoms have escalated quickly.

I also feel concerned that this office doesn't seem all that concerned with scheduling timely appointments in general. This is a disease where things can quickly get out of control, and I feel anxious that I may be made to wait weeks for an appointment/treatment if I end up having moderate to severe symptoms.

I'm thinking I should try to contact the doctor tomorrow and relay my concerns and see if there's anything that can be done. If she says there's nothing she can do, I feel kind of lost and unsure of what my next move should be.
06-26-2017, 06:38 PM   #5
my little penguin
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The difference is that you haven't had the testing yet
We had this issue prior to dx for ds
Wait time was 8-12 weeks to get a colonoscopy etc...
But once Ds was dx completely different treatment of a few weeks to direct admit if things get bad
Definitely express your concerns to the doctor
They can expedite things of needed
And call a few times a week
You maybe surprised
We have gotten in quickly by cancellation
06-26-2017, 07:41 PM   #6
Crispix73
 
Join Date: Jul 2016

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The difference is that you haven't had the testing yet
We had this issue prior to dx for ds
Wait time was 8-12 weeks to get a colonoscopy etc...
But once Ds was dx completely different treatment of a few weeks to direct admit if things get bad
Definitely express your concerns to the doctor
They can expedite things of needed
And call a few times a week
You maybe surprised
We have gotten in quickly by cancellation
Thank you for your response. I'll definitely call every week and hope they can fit me in sooner. I do think this doctor is more knowledgeable and I'll most likely be better off with her in the long run, so I'm just going to try to ride this out. I'm most upset because I had planned to get pregnant again this summer, and I'm obviously going to have to put that off indefinitely for now. It's just a bummer when this creeps up and changes how I'm able to live my life.
06-26-2017, 08:33 PM   #7
xmdmom
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If you speak to the nurse who works with the doctor and let her/him know about the wait and your concerns, it is very possible that your doctor can get you an earlier appointment.
06-26-2017, 09:10 PM   #8
ronroush7
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If you speak to the nurse who works with the doctor and let her/him know about the wait and your concerns, it is very possible that your doctor can get you an earlier appointment.
I agree.
06-28-2017, 04:31 PM   #9
Jabee
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Doctors generally have times left open (deliberately) for emergency patients. Your new GI needs to know how long your wait is and she can ask her assistant to give you an earlier appointment. I think she needs to convey the urgency for you. At least that is what happens with my GI. Sometimes I get tests quickly and at other times I wait. It all depends on how I am doing.
06-29-2017, 09:43 AM   #10
ShawnK
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: New York, New York
Probably you should visit another doctor?
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