Darts & Dollars into the Wind

Do you ever feel like you are throwing darts and dollars at an invisible target?

I had a big doctor’s appointment recently with a well-known gastroenterologist that I had been anticipating and on the waitlist for since June. My dad drove me 5 ½ hours there the night before and another 5 ½ hours back right after the appointment.

If you know me, you know being prepared is important to me; so, I read the doctor’s book, watched his talks/videos, read many of his publications, and wrote him a 3-page letter about my goals for the appointment and GI medical history.

During this appointment, the goal was to address my visceral hyperalgesia. The appointment lasted 3 hrs which was very appreciated, but sadly, we didn’t learn anything new. 

Dr. Drossman specializes in the gut-brain connection and functional GI disorders. He is a big advocate for using SNRIs and tricyclic antidepressants to treat GI pain. In the past, I have had bad reactions to these classes of medications. So, he conducted pharmacogenomic testing in hopes of discovering which ones might be better tolerated. Pharmacogenomic testing gives information on how one’s DNA affects the way it responds to drugs, shedding light on which medicines and dosages that might be right. 

The results were interesting. It showed a significant gene-drug interaction with four of the medications of which I had poor reactions.

Other than antidepressants, his only other ideas for treating GI pain are cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, or IB-Stim.  

His empathy was appreciated, but don’t think any of those options are going to be my game changers given my past experience.

Kinda feels like we know the ‘what’, we don’t know the why, and we don’t REALLY know the how.  

Would be nice to be able to eat and drink again, would be REALLY nice to not have constant stomach pain.

Sometimes, it feels like we’re just throwing darts and dollars into the wind.