Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Where, Oh Where, Did Our Good G.I. Go?

We had a great GI. He diagnosed Ellie with MSPI at 12 weeks old and FPIES shortly after the introduction of food. This, in the FPIES world, is unheard of. Why? Because for most doctors around the country FPIES is unheard of.

Our GI landed in Sacramento after learning from some great FPIES docs in Chicago. He was the new Pediatric GI in his office, and most likely why we got in to see him. He was supportive, listened, and had an amazing amount of knowledge. Sometimes he still gave me the 'you are a crazy mom' look, but that was OK, because he followed it up with 'I have no idea. That makes no sense.' He got us diagnosed. He got us moving forward. And I am convinced he saved Ellie's life. And he left. BUMMER!

About two months ago the news escaped through the local FPIES mama's that he was expecting his first child and moving to Texas to be near family. DARN! I scheduled a follow up for Ellie right away, and pushed for him to do the upper biopsy and dissacharidases test that we had been putting off. After looking at me and saying, "My leaving is not a good reason to do a biopsy," I further discussed with him why I felt it was time to do it and how there were a few remaining questions that needed to be answered for Ellie. He agreed. (I also did not want him to leave and then have one of the other, less knowledgeable doctors, perform these tests or know nothing about them....but I kept that part to myself).

Ellie's procedure was performed about 5 weeks before he was to leave. I could have sworn he said he was leaving April 1. We were not having success moving Ellie past the meat broths and onto vegetables, and she had huge issue with carrot, which made me pause to wonder if the dissacharide (sugar intolerance) test would shed light on this. I then realized it was the last week of March and I had not heard from the GI. Wait a minute! He had emailed a few times with preliminary results, and said he was waiting on the final test to provide a treatment plan.

The last Monday of March I called the GI office to check in, and was told - "He is gone." What!?!? I was MAD. He told me he would check in before leaving! He just left??? Just like that??? Now what was I to do? I asked to speak with his nurse and waited for a call back.

And that was when things changed. It was as if we had been sucked into a new realm. I received a glimpse of what it must be like for FPIES moms who had to fight from the beginning, received no help, and some of who even were accused of Munchhausen by proxy.

The new nurse is who called. To tell me that the results were lost and had to be requested again. And that there were no open appointments to get Ellie in to one of the other GI docs, even though she needed to be seen and had a food fail. Did she need to go to the emergency room? No. OK well the next appointment was not for 4 weeks or more. Who did I want her to see? Dr. D was scheduled out to May, and Dr. M the end of April. Why? Because Ellie is a new patient. I argued. But they want to have enough time for the first appointment. Ridiculous. Call me with the results when they get in. Get me the results of the test.

Another phone call. What are the test results? Can't give them out because no doctor has read them to interpret. Give me the results! Here are the numbers but I can't counsel you on what they mean. They are low - very low. I would believe that she needs to be seen sooner rather than later so you need to see Dr. M. OK. Soon. How soon? The end of April. That doesn't sound like a priority appointment. It's all they have. Another phone call. Has a doctor seen the test at this point? Yes I can read you his notes. Please do. His notes say that he does not believe the results to be consistent with CSID and that the other numbers do not make sense. There was an error with the biopsy.

There was an ERROR with the BIOPSY? He is saying Dr. B made an error with this test and none of the others that were FINE?

No. He is not saying Dr. B made the error. He is saying the lab made the error.

OH...that lab that is one of the only ones in the country to even do this lab?? The EXPERT lab?


I would like a copy of the results so I know how to feed my daughter. Have the nutritionist call me. And try to get us in sooner.

And with that I knew it was time for a change. I went from an understanding doctor who never made us wait more than a few days to be seen because of the urgency of Ellie's condition, to an office that could not fit her in. This is not acceptable to me, and I really don't care how short handed they are after losing our GI. I don't care that the new nurse does not know what FPIES is, or that the remaining GI's do not know Elianna's history. I don't care who has won what award for fantastic medical contribution, or how great of a colonoscopy these other GI's can perform. I care that my daughter needs to be seen by a knowledgeable doctor when she is ill, and that does not wait four weeks unless you live in a country other than this one with less than stellar medical care. I am not new to this. What is that expression? This is not my first time at the rodeo? I am not the new FPIES mama looking for an answer and being sent away with 'she has the flu'. I am a Professional FPIES mama. And I come equipped with experience, information, medical studies, and an attitude of advocacy for my child.

Hello Dr. M. Nice to meet you.


  1. Love you Nichole. Well put!! You are a professional FPIES momma! And you know just what to do to get Ellie better....a knowledgeable doctor would help and I hope you find one- whether it be MD or ND...

  2. This may be one of my favorite FPIES posts of all time. Phenomenal Nichole. Just right.

  3. wow. That is such a humbling thing to say!


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