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Waiting for results of biopsies

Monday, April 05, 2021


I had an endoscopy (otherwise known as "having the light put down") on Thursday and the whole appointment was a bad dream. I won't say nightmare because I guess it could have been a lot worse.

As a back story to why I had the procedure done in the first place: My dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in July 2005 and passed away from it in July 2006. Up until that point I had never heard of such a cancer and we were told by our family doctor it is often associated with Humphrey Bogart who drank and smoked heavily. We were relieved as dad never drank (he tasted beer twice in his life), never smoked and was a very slim and fit man. The specialists were befuddled as to why he contracted this type of cancer and said it was possible to blame it on the paper mill where he worked.

Anyway, I've dealt with GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) for many years. I started out by taking tums and graduated to prescription Nexium. That is why I rarely ever drink alcohol and have never smoked. It is also one of the reasons I am trying to lose weight.

My last endoscopy was 5 years ago and there was some "irritation" that the doctor blamed on the Nexium itself. Talk about irony - you take a medication for one reason and long term use can cause more trouble. Anyway......

I was on the gurney with the IV in my arm on Thursday when in walks the doctor doing the procedure. He is a surgeon (but not the same doctor I have had in the past) and his whole mannerism was brusque and off-putting. First question was how much I weighed and my height. He practically tutted at my responses. Then he asked if I had ever tried to lose weight and I said I had lost 12 pounds since January. He looked at me square in the eye and said that a "mere pittance" wasn't going to help me. I was pretty dumbfounded, to be honest. Then he went on asking me questions about how much I smoke, drink, and take recreational drugs. My answers of "None, rarely and never" didn't appear to win me any brownie points. Anyway, just as they were putting me out, he said "I think the only solution for you in weight loss surgery" and off to sleep I went.

When it was over and we were called back to talk about the findings with him he started out by shaking his head and saying "I found many things" which scared both John and myself. He said he took multiple samples from my esophagus and stomach to be biopsied for cancer.

Then he said he would be writing a letter to my family doctor to recommend weight loss surgery.

He followed that with saying he also is referring me to a thoracic surgeon to have a look at a "very large hiatal hernia" .

He mentioned the stomach irritation and said it was caused by taking Nexium which he increased in the next breath.

Next he brought up the possibility of H-pylori which is a bacteria that can lead to stomach ulcers and cancer, if left untreated.

Then he handed me a sheet full of instructions along with verbal instructions to start eating healthier and to begin exercising. Notice the blatant assumptions made by him? John was fuming by the time we left and I was still very much drowsy from the procedure.

Along with the increase of Nexium, I am to start taking a medication that has to be taken on an empty stomach either 1 hour before I eat or 2-3 hours afterwards. The kicker is I have to take it 3 times a day. Oh, and his parting shot was the new medication is known to increase blood sugar so I was warned again about losing weight before I became a diabetic.

To be completely honest, I feel demoralized about the whole thing. I just received a phone call from my doctor's office making a phone appointment for tomorrow to go over the procedure's findings. I don't know if that means the biopsy report is back or not. I'm thinking if it is, it means bad news as this was a holiday weekend.

I'm at a loss. Do I sign up for weight loss surgery? Do I start taking other drastic measures to lose weight faster? I was feeling relatively proud of myself for losing the weight I had over the past few months but now I'm not sure how I feel. Do I look for a new weight loss program? Weight Watchers? Noom? Ideal Protein? Keto? Cut off a limb?

Of course, all of that is dependent on whether or not I have stomach or esophageal cancer.

I've been told by John's cousin (a doctor) that removing a large hiatal hernia would probably help out my GERD immensely. So that is a positive. I'm worried so much and I don't know if it is needless.

Any positive thoughts are more than welcomed.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Susan, you don't need a new weight-loss program! You need a new doctor! This guy doesn't sound very nice! It sounds like he was purposely intimidating you, and I can understand why your husband was angry. I've already read your latest blog with the good news, which was a relief, but I just wanted to express sympathy for what you endured with this unsympathetic doctor. I am glad it all turned out well, and am so sorry you had to have a more-anxious-than-necessary experience with this doctor.

    15 days ago
    Go to your Primary Doc and demand another Doc. This man clearly has h'rroids.
    40 days ago
    Susan my husband has gerd also and takes nexium. He has H-plori also He purchased a new pillow that keeps him at angle and it has lesson his gerd at night.
    I would tell your Dr. how that surgeon treated you. He needs to take classes on how to treat all people w/dignity. Praying your tests turn out ok. emoticon
    40 days ago
    Oh my God that is disgusting. Complain about this. I shall pray for good results for you.♥
    41 days ago
    Oh my gosh, Susan, I didn't see this until just now. What a horrid experience and what a HORRIBLE doctor! I will keep you in positive thoughts today. Sending you much love. BTW... longtime experience with hiatal hernia stuff, and many of the same issues if you ever want to talk.
    42 days ago
    42 days ago
    42 days ago
    Susan I am sorry for the way your doctor treated you. Sending Hugs your way.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    42 days ago
    How awful that man sounds! I hope you can find another doctor to consult and I certainly wouldn't do anything drastic until then. Hugs. Keep us posted. You are loved!
    42 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    Talk with your regular doctor with whom you have an established relationship. He/she knows your medical history and can give you better advice than a doctor that you've met exactly one time and who pretty clearly had preconceived notions about you based on your weight.
    42 days ago
  • JAMER123
    Being a nurse, I think that Dr. attitude and conversation with you is implorable. There are several things you can do before going and signing up for weight loss surgery. First, get a 2nd opinion and ditch that Dr. Find out what the biopsies have shown and then take a step in the direction to help yourself heal. Yes, hiatal hernia surgery would be of great help with GERD and that in itself will help heal the stomach. Good luck in your decisions.
    emoticon emoticon
    42 days ago
    42 days ago
    42 days ago
    I am so sorry to learn this news. What a terrible experience!

    First, consider finding a doctor you are comfortable with to discuss this. It can be your family doctor, who can then send you to a better choice for a second opinion (if the results suggest that).

    We pay too much in time, money and energy to put up with rude doctors. Please put yourself and your feelings first.
    42 days ago
  • KAYDE53
    Sorry you can such a bad experience. I’d get a second opinion. emoticon
    42 days ago
    That doctor sounds horrible. I would not sign up for weight loss surgery. You have accomplished a lot in this short space of time. Maybe the hiatal hernia repair would help you.
    The way of eating that is helping me to lose weight in a way that feels healthy to me, is whole food, plant based. It is easy to eat things in the evening that do not irritate and trigger reflux for me. (Bananas and cantaloupe are ideal.) Really, that nexium sounds like it is doing you more harm than good.
    I hope your regular doctor can advise you better and that your tests come back with good news. Anyone would feel awful after being treated like that. Blessings to you!
    42 days ago
    You have done Awesome on your own with the weight loss- How dare he talk to you like that!!! Don't go back and get other opinions. I'm praying all is okay with you - and you get feeling better. Do what makes you feel the most comfortable - Take care and sending you a big Hug!! emoticon
    42 days ago
    First of all, that doctor was way out of line. Even if technically correct, there are better ways. And to increase a drug that is possibly already causing you problems?

    If this guy was a referral, talk to your primary and tell him everything. At this point, to me, anything the specialist says would be suspect and you want a second opinion to work out a game plan.

    To automatically assign you to surgery without knowing you is a cop-out. Talk to your primary. Talk to a nurse! (They often know more.) But don't try to figure this on your own. He's given you too much conflicting info.

    Good luck.

    42 days ago
    That doctor treated you poorly and you didn't deserve that. I would not let that doctor touch me ever again. Find another doctor and definitely get a second opinion before undergoing any type of surgery. 12 pounds since January is amazing! Just keep doing what you are doing--the weight will come off, the health markers will improve.
    42 days ago
    I'm sorry you had this bad experience, but I signed the best doctors are sometimes not sensitive. You'll be okay, and the reason he probably wants you to have that surgery is because you will have less gerd problems.Research that bug as many have it.
    42 days ago
    Hang in there. What a rude doctor. Keep on going with your exercise and weight loss and try to be positive until you get the news. Get a second opinion on what mr. Hot shot was saying. You got this.
    42 days ago
  • no profile photo CHAYOR73
    It's nerve racking to not know for sure, keep positive about all of this, many prayers 🙏 that all turns out fine!! Many hugs stay strong!!
    42 days ago
    I'm so sorry you had such a horrible experience. My husband had an endoscopy a couple years ago because he was having trouble swallowing. Turned out to be a result of his anxiety but at the time we didn't know that. That surgeon was equally as brusque. My husband was afraid he would die on the table and I was so exhausted taking care of him for the past several weeks and watching him not eat and refuse to even drink protein shakes. When we were given the preliminary results the surgeon practically accused me of not being a good wife - I nearly started crying. What is it with these surgeons anyway!
    43 days ago
    Duplicate post.

    I did wonder if he’s trying to drum up another surgery for himself.

    You did great this round, don’t let that idiot take that away from you. emoticon
    43 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/5/2021 11:42:57 AM
    Susan, So sorry to read all of this. I’ve had ugly doctors before. They make things worse, and the best solution is a new doctor if possible. Hope your results are better than you are fearing. I’m thinking they’d want to see you in person for bad results, so hopefully the phone consultation won’t be what you fear but will have findings that will be helpful. Take care. emoticon
    43 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    First of all I shave no experience with your Gerd so I am not able to respond to it but I sure know the doc you had was horrible. Do not go back to him and tell your famiky doctor what happened. We are humans and we are all built different. If you have lost 12 pounds in the last few months good for you! Keep it up. I think it is important that you let your doctor know how you were treated and you never want to see that doctor again.
    Weight loss surgery is a last resort amd I know it is not for you.
    43 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    I'm so sorry for that miserable day and provider! I don't know why providers can stop and listen.
    I agree with SusanYounger that the information should go to your primary care provider (or someone else you trust) to review results and options.

    You've done great these last few months and will continue to do great! Don't let 1 person take that away from you!

    LOTS of positive thoughts headed your way!

    43 days ago
    Good going on the weight loss. Get with your primary doc, and see if you cant lose 200lbs of demoralizing gastro doc. Try Noom. I dropped 20lbs and have kept it off for a year now.
    43 days ago
    What a horrible doctor. You have done well to lose 12 pounds, so
    I don't know what this surgeon's beef is.

    I had an endoscopy last May. I also have a hiatus hernia and H Pylori.
    My GP is just telling me to keep taking the generic Nexium and to lose weight.
    I hate taking Nexium as it leeches the calcium from your bones. But I also
    suffer terribly from GERD, so I know exactly what you are going through.

    You were doing so well and now this man has left you demoralised for no reason.
    Don't let it get you down. Research and talk to your GP.

    43 days ago
    I would definitely be looking for a new Doctor.
    43 days ago
    Susan , I think the doctor was trying to be helpful, but hasn't learned any tact or bedside manner. I agree with the lady above, I have female Drs, they understand us so much better. I would discuss that visit with my family Dr and see what comes from that. So sorry you had to experience all of that. Sending positive vibes your way. By the way, you had a great round losing 12 lbs, keep up the great work...You Can do this! Hope the results turn out ok for you!

    Big Hugs
    43 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/5/2021 10:10:43 AM
  • REBCCAH311
    emoticon Definitely getting the hernia fixed will help you very much. It did me. As to the surgeon, I would find another one that makes you feel comfortable. This doctor is a fat shamer. I have met a few of them in my sixty years. They only see our fat not us as human beings. Good luck and peace be with you.
    43 days ago
    Hugs and prayers.
    43 days ago
    43 days ago
    emoticon If I have a choice - I like female doctors. they have a better bedside emoticon manner. Sorry for your experience.
    43 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Sometimes I just want to kick a doc in the ass. So sorry he was such a jerk.

    Talk with you primary care and discuss your options. Positive thoughts heading your way.
    43 days ago
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