When a Doctor Dismissed My Symptoms as Results of My ‘Poor Choices’

“You’re making poor choices for a 22-year-old.”

Those words have stuck with me for five years since I came in to see you, looking for an answer to my long list of ongoing symptoms, many terrifying and embarrassing to say out loud.

Instead of getting an answer, you limited your investigation to my diet and exercise routine, because at my age that had to be the only reason why I was experiencing debilitating, red-flag symptoms. I left the appointment having been told I had a lazy bowel, there was no point in doing a rectal exam or seeing a specialist at this stage and that I should work on my diet and take better care of myself. I wanted to feel better, so I got stuck into exercise and focused on what I was eating, but after a few months I knew it wasn’t making a difference and my symptoms started getting much worse.