TMI Medical Filter: Previously, I had sometimes crippling stomach pain. That went away. Now I'm, uh, bleeding. Rectally. Um. Yeah. But my HMO doesn't seem to care all that much. MetaFilter is not my doctor, but I can't go to my doctor to ask... should I skip my HMO and go to the hospital?
Demographics note: Caucasian male, 20 years of age, only other major prior health problem--familial (?) migraine headaches.
Around August, I started having these awful, crippling bouts of mid-torso (stomach-area) pain in the morning and night, accompanied by abdominal bloating and upper-back pain. This continued for a week until I stopped being a moron and went to see a gastrointestinal doctor through my HMO, who put me on a preliminary regimen of Prilosec and ordered a round of tests.
For awhile, these bouts subsidied (with no word from my doctor RE: my tests), but then mid-September they began again for no readily apparent reason, prompting me to schedule another appointment, which I was not able to get in until October. I learned that apparently turned up negative for my H. Pylori scan (which apparently is predictive of having an ulcer?), though my HMO/doctor lost (!) all of the other related tests (I don't even recall all of them--one of them was an "occult blood" test). My doctor quibbled about perhaps performing an endoscopy, but would not commit to any further orders.
With a significantly increased dosage of Prilosec, the painful episodes had until recently subsided into occasional odd, funny, light pain in my stomach that I had been unaccustomed to feeling prior, but nothing that interfered with going along my day-to-day business. I had largely put that out of my mind until a few days ago, when I started to bleed rectally at almost every defecation. This began as a few drops or a bloodiness of the feces, but in my very subjective perception seems to have gotten steadily worse day-by-day. Accordingly, I've made an appointment with my doctor, but it won't be for another two weeks!
I've been calling for the past few days to try to catch a dropped appointment or see if any doctors at associated facilities have openings, explaining my circumstances, but have had absolutely no luck. Today, my bottom-torso even hurts some.
My own self-diagnosis was Meckel's Diverticulum
, but, uh, then I noticed that this is mostly diagnosed at youth, and really, I don't understand anything. The symptoms seem to match me exactly, though (minus the, uh, life-threatening ones, as far as I know).
These are a lot of words to ask: At one point should I say "fuck you!" to my HMO and decide to seek some ER help at one of my great local hospitals? Is this potentially life-threatening in the immediate term? Should I have said "fuck you" the moment I started bleeding? I'm worried about incurring unnecessary hospital costs as my family and I are in a difficult financial situation (though I'm lucky to have healthcare at all, I suppose). If it helps at all or if anyone has any experience working with them, my HMO is Kaiser and I live in the Northern Virginian area.