Dr. So and So*

* Wish that I could share the song with you but Spotify (which I hate anyway just for these reasons–they NEVER have what I want because I’m not your normal listener) nor youtube have it. You can listen to a clip at Amazon

My GP retired. I needed to find a replacement. Last December, I rang around MANY places and found none taking new patients. Now, I’m not saying ‘nobody’ is but after making 12 phone calls, I got ONE place that said they had a doctor in their group who was receiving new ones, so I snapped that up.

Three months was the wait. Yesterday, was the appointment.

Now, I need to find another doctor. I cannot go back there.

Here’s the thing: as a GP (internal medicine is the modern appellation), I don’t expect you to know everything. I hope that you’re sort of current on big issues but if you don’t know something, there’s nothing like genuine caring and concern, an interest in getting a handle on a medical topic and an openness to learn. Walk with me towards better health, yo.

This doctor was relatively young. I like that! That means they’ve probably gotten some current info and they’re still hoping to save people! Well, that’s what I presume when I see a young doctor. Not to say older doctors are out of the loop or jaded but I have this idea about younger ones. Plus, if it all works out, I won’t have to worry about them retiring on me again-where was I?

Right. This doctor’s office is about 60 miles from where I live because I don’t live near anything but I could find somebody closer. I went with this one because it was the first-nearest who’d take anybody new. I’m reiterating this because boy, is it going to be a PIMA to find somebody else.

I go in and wait, then get a full interview with the first lady. Then, another wait and the doctor’s assistant comes in and gives a full interview. After another wait, the doctor shows. She didn’t make eye contact and sort of mumbled at me. I had to ask her to repeat herself. She was irritated by that. ‘Get up on the table.’ Oh, okay. I can do that but we’re to have an interview first. I think seated would be more normal but She must have Her way, so I clamber on the freak table.

During the interview, she’s reading the assistant’s notes and googling — I swear to God. She’d google something then say something like, ‘WHY ARE YOU TAKING POTASSIUM?!’

I know this is a red flag to doctors who haven’t seen my records. Pity she didn’t bother, so I said, ‘Blood tests showed I was low.’ That pissed her off. Then she asked how often I take my gut tranqs – which had been reported ‘as needed.’

‘For the last two weeks, daily, but before then only now and then since I got the Celiac diagnosis and got completely off things that would injure my gut.’

That pissed her off. ‘You have a counter-indication here.’ It wasn’t what she said but how she said it? Heck, it alarmed me. ‘Really? What?’

She said the potassium and tranq. I asked, ‘Oh, gosh. What would be an indication? Since I don’t have to take it often, I’ll have to watch out for anything.’

She glared at me. After a few seconds, I reworded my concern and that I’d like to know what would be a sign that I’m harming myself, like nausea, fainting, stroke, seizure…you know? What signs?

She started googling. I wish that I were joking.

Look, I don’t believe she has to know everything but if you’re going to bother being LOUD AND ANGRY because something I’m taking counter-indicates, why didn’t you bother SEEING what it could possibly do? I would do that and I bet anybody reading this or WebMD would say, ‘OMG, counter indication?!?! What would it BE?’

Dr. So and So? Nothing. And angry that I asked. I don’t know wtf I’m supposed to do if I need both…I assume get a different prescription that would NOT counter?

Another one she stone-cold flipped on was me taking 10,000 D3 a day. This is not an insane amount but she railed. RAILED. Finally, I said, ‘Celiac? Celiacs commonly are low and need supplementation. While I was only diagnosed less than 3 years ago, I’ve had this since childhood which explains why I’ve always had malabsorption issues and always been prescribed supplements.’ -like in my MOTHERFUCKINGMEDICALHISTORY

wtf childrens blocks

 

‘Celiac is such a new thing…’

 

Okay. You can be not-so-up-to-date but that’s flat-out, fecking, unreasonably ill-informed. Her response as an ill-informed yet professional would’ve been something like: We spent about 3 minutes on that in school. I’m not up on the literature. How do you handle it?

It should’ve been in the nature of trying to get a handle on how she should approach this as my doctor.

It was obvious that she didn’t know a great deal (I’m only sharing about Celiac but there’s other autoimmune and heart disease is RAMPANT in my family. She should’ve been very concerned about the heart issues. She was not.

In case you have autoimmune diseases, especially Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis and/ or Celiac, or know somebody who does and would like to be exponentially better informed than this doctor I won’t return to, listening to this video lecture is going to set you up as a winner.

 

 

 

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Trader Joe’s Greens supplement, NOT gluten free

I do this now and then:

When I see one (I’ve had a few just this week) to one hundred searches bringing people here, I’ll try to answer. If you buy fresh greens (kale, chard, spinach) from Trader Joe’s, it’s produce and is gluten free!

Be aware, their supplements of ‘greens’ (as in drink powder and capsules) are NOT. They contain gluten.

They used to make a hemp protein that I loved to use as a boost but one day, I bought a canister, got it home and thankfully noticed it didn’t say gf anymore. I rang Trader Joe’s and they confirmed that it had lost its standing. They kindly refunded my money and it was a good lesson to me to be sure to always look at a label, even if you’ve bought something in the past.

This also means at some point, they might change to gluten free. Be wary 🙂

Reference: gluten ingredients and Gluten Check app

Not saying ‘gluten’ on a package doesn’t mean a thing and even if the ingredients are safe, it’s not necessarily safe due to cross-contamination. Isn’t that a PITA?

Many times, there’s simply no way of knowing when possible gluten-containing items are:

  • spices
  • caramel colour
  • natural flavours

I like Gluten Check app for iPhone. They may make a droid version. I don’t like ‘Find Me Gluten Free.’ I don’t feel like reviewing them but here is a review of Gluten Check app.

Celiac.com is a good resource. I personally enjoy trolling their forums (I don’t have an account) for others’ experiences and advice. The following list can be found there.

Abyssinian Hard (Wheat triticum durum)
Alcohol (Spirits – Specific Types)
Atta Flour
Barley Grass (can contain seeds)
Barley Hordeum vulgare
Barley Malt
Beer (most contain barley or wheat)
Bleached Flour
Bran
Bread Flour
Brewer’s Yeast
Brown Flour
Bulgur (Bulgar Wheat/Nuts)
Bulgur Wheat
Cereal Binding
Chilton
Club Wheat (Triticum aestivum subspecies compactum)
Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Cookie Crumbs
Cookie Dough
Cookie Dough Pieces
Couscous
Criped Rice
Dinkle (Spelt)
Disodium Wheatgermamido Peg-2 Sulfosuccinate
Durum wheat (Triticum durum)
Edible Coatings
Edible Films
Edible Starch
Einkorn (Triticum monococcum)
Emmer (Triticum dicoccon)
Enriched Bleached Flour
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour
Enriched Flour
Farina
Farina Graham
Farro
Filler
Flour (normally this is wheat)
Fu (dried wheat gluten)
Germ
Graham Flour
Granary Flour
Groats (barley, wheat)
Hard Wheat
Heeng
Hing
Hordeum Vulgare Extract
Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Kamut (Pasta wheat)
Kecap Manis (Soy Sauce)
Ketjap Manis (Soy Sauce)
Kluski Pasta
Maida (Indian wheat flour)
Malt
Malted Barley Flour
Malted Milk
Malt Extract
Malt Syrup
Malt Flavoring
Malt Vinegar
Macha Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Matza
Matzah
Matzo
Matzo Semolina
Meringue
Meripro 711
Mir
Nishasta
Oriental Wheat (Triticum turanicum)
Orzo Pasta
Pasta
Pearl Barley
Persian Wheat (Triticum carthlicum)
Perungayam
Poulard Wheat (Triticum turgidum)
Polish Wheat (Triticum polonicum)
Rice Malt (if barley or Koji are used)
Roux
Rusk
Rye
Seitan
Semolina
Semolina Triticum
Shot Wheat (Triticum aestivum) 
Small Spelt
Spirits (Specific Types)
Spelt (Triticum spelta)
Sprouted Wheat or Barley
Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Strong Flour
Suet in Packets
Tabbouleh
Tabouli
Teriyaki Sauce
Timopheevi Wheat (Triticum timopheevii)
Triticale X triticosecale
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Lipids
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
Udon (wheat noodles)
Unbleached Flour
Vavilovi Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Vital Wheat Gluten
Wheat, Abyssinian Hard triticum durum
Wheat amino acids
Wheat Bran Extract
Wheat, Bulgur
Wheat Durum Triticum
Wheat Germ Extract
Wheat Germ Glycerides
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Wheat Grass (can contain seeds)
Wheat Nuts
Wheat Protein
Wheat Triticum aestivum
Wheat Triticum Monococcum
Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) Bran Extract
Whole-Meal Flour
Wild Einkorn (Triticum boeotictim)
Wild Emmer (Triticum dicoccoides)

The following items may or may not contain gluten depending on where and how they are made, and it is sometimes necessary to check with the manufacturer to find out:

Amp-Isostearoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein4
Artificial Color4
Baking Powder4
Clarifying Agents4
Coloring4
Dry Roasted Nuts4
Emulsifiers4
enzymes4
Fat Replacer4
Gravy Cubes4
Ground Spices4
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten4
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein4
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol4
Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch4
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate4
Hydroxypropylated Starch4
Miso4
Natural Juices4
Non-dairy Creamer4
Pregelatinized Starch4
Protein Hydrolysates4
Seafood Analogs4
Seasonings4
Sirimi4
Soba Noodles4
Soy Sauce4
Soy Sauce Solids4
Sphingolipids4
Stabilizers4
Starch1, 4
Stock Cubes4
Suet4
Tocopherols4
Vegetable Broth4
Vegetable Gum4
Vegetable Protein4
Vegetable Starch4
Vitamins4
Wheat Starch5

  • 1) If this ingredient is made in North America it is likely to be gluten-free.
  • 4) Can utilize a gluten-containing grain or by-product in the manufacturing process, or as an ingredient.
  • 5) Most celiac organizations in the USA and Canada do not believe that wheat starch is safe for celiacs. In Europe, however, Codex Alimentarius Quality wheat starch is considered acceptable in the celiac diet by most doctors and celiac organizations. This is a higher quality of wheat starch than is generally available in the USA or Canada.

 

Mr. Whole Grain, convo with a stranger about rocks (Celiac disease, explained)

Most people think ‘gluten’ is a fancy word for wheat OR a cool way to say, ‘low carb diet.’ To them, gluten-free is a weight loss diet fad. Celebrities do it!

Gluten is an indetectable-to-the-human-eye PROTEIN. There’s nothing fancy about this. Call it a rock. There’s this rock in some food.

Celiacs cannot digest gluten–I mean rocks

Celiac is a genetic thing. Those in advanced stages of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, can’t digest lots of things (like me!). If rocks are continually ingested, Celiacs progress to worse things (like mum, from whom I inherited this). Not to mention getting some rocks in my food might shut down organs–which don’t come back.

They end up with bowels removed, colostomy bags, liquid food ports in their chest, etc. — all because they unknowingly ate rocks (or chose to continue eating rocks). They suffer from ‘failure to thrive.’ Mum looks like the photos of people coming out of concentration camps after WWII. She also takes a lot of medication, one steroid costs $1800 a month. Just to keep alive!

Mr. Whole Grain was queued in front of me at Chipotle.

They remembered me. This caused a bit of a stir in the queue as workers quickly changed gloves, removed ladles and switched out food bins (food can still be used by others but I require ‘untouched by rocks‘ to avoid cross-contamination; in effect: poisoning). Remember when I said rocks are indetectable to the human eye? There’s no way to tell if rocks are on or in something (plate, knife, butter in a tub or lettuce in a bowl)! Since restos are well-prepared, they have bins of ingredients, waiting. They move the rock-contaminated bin to the side (to be used next for normals) and grab a fresh one, with fresh gloves and fresh utensils. Chipotle is great because I can watch them doing this and don’t have to trust them (that means you, Bluefish Grille–poisoned me from their rock-free menu, in their rock-free kitchen–symptoms of 3 days food poisoning and 3 more weeks of the worst flu ever).

Mr. Whole Grain: What are they doing?

Me: I’m Celiac. I can’t have rocks.

Doesn’t that mean bread? Excuse me, wheat?

I don’t like talking to people about it because they think that you’re making things up. RARELY do you see the light of recognition click and when you do, it’s a relief. ‘My friend’s kid…’ or ‘My ex-girlfriend was…’ and it’s followed by ‘concern face.’ Thank you, goodly concerned people! I don’t need your concern but it’s a lot better than people calling you a charlatan or making a joke about diarrhea. I don’t ‘just’ get diarhhea. It’s like having the worst flu you’ve ever hand (I got H1N1 that first year it went around and that was similar but not as bad).

We had Rock 101 in queue.

But…But…WHAT DO YOU EAT????!

The light had clicked on! 

Everything else.

He said the smartest thing ever — smarter than I!

You should NEVER eat out!

Indeed! Let me just say my trips to Chipotle came in at about twice a year and that was the first few years of my diagnosis. Now, I take food with me and eat it while others order wonderful-looking things, wherever we are.

When I got off rocks, I gained tons of fat because my body healed (and I’m a great Ozark cook, which means I eat it all)

I’d been diagnosed with anemia and malabsorption since I was a kid. I could eat twice the amount–I put away 4,000 calories a day without blinking.

When my body healed, it started absorbing all . that . food . I ballooned. Worse, I was in a depression over the diagnosis and I ate to console myself.

Mr. Whole Grain continued his lament for my life, explaining that I’d better be very careful:

I surely wasn’t getting the nutrition I needed to be healthy (in spite of the fact I’m obviously 25% body fat, therefore “healthy”).

You need to eat whole grains to STAY ALIVE–for your heart, for cholesterol, for…

Mr. Whole Grain spewed forth everything the US government tells us is healthy’ and required for staying fit, avoiding heart disease and cancer.

I listened with interest. It’s not that I’d never heard these things. I’ve always loved reading about nutrition and fitness (if behaved poorly). These things I, too, had read/ heard/ taken to heart for decades.

It was amazing hearing them all thrown at me (with great fret-filled emotion). I had so much compassion for Mr. Whole Grain. What a sweetie! He was so worried about me: not eating BREAD and PASTA! Amazing.

At this point, we were both leaving.

You must spend a lot of time studying health. Have you ever heard of Paleo? He hadn’t. If you get a chance sometime? Google it. It’ll explain what I eat. It works for me. ::big smile, wave and goodbye::