Monday, April 25, 2016

Dear Doctor

Have you ever been nervous about going to the doctor? How about meeting a new doctor for the first time? Well, those nerves are extra jumpy if you have a chronic condition because you never know if your visits will get you the kind of help you really need.

Several weeks ago, I got a phone call from my GI's office informing me that he has transferred all of his Ulcerative Colitis patients to a different GI in the same office and I had an appointment in April.  I had mixed feelings about the meeting because, firstly,  an appointment with a specialist was hard to come by so it can be a golden opportunity I did not want to pass. However, since I have self managed my UC in the past few years I am unsure what I need from this doctor. Secondly, I am also not in a flare. Another factor of my uncertainty is I have had little luck finding support from doctors in managing my UC in the past few years. With trepidation, I reached out to my fellow IBD friends for supports and received some valuable advice. So in preparation for this upcoming meeting, I decided to write the following letter to help me sort out my thoughts and ask for what I need to improve my health.

Dear Doctor, 

It is my utmost pleasure to meet you today. However I am a little nervous about our initial meeting because in the past,  I have been told by other doctors that either they were unable to help me or that my attempts to improve my chronic condition through lifestyle and diet was insufficient. Since I was diagnosed 3 years ago with Ulcerative Colitis,  I have managed to weather a few flares with minimal medical interventions. I credit my ability to maintain health to following the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol shortly after diagnosis. Since I have removed grains, nuts, seeds and nightshades out of my diet on this protocol,  my UC symptoms have stablized up until this past January when I started experiencing hormone imbalance with peri-menopause. I had been feeling more unexplained bloating and anxiety was quickly building up. With persistent research, a supporting Autoimmune community and a hopeful disposition, my symptoms seemed to have stabilized once again after a difficult February. 
What I am looking for today is, with your help, find the missing puzzle pieces in my plan. I have managed to navigate through my healing mainly by following my intuition and observing my changing body. I hope you will help me establish a clearer picture of my current baseline through specific blood work testing.

I would love to hear your suggestions for my intended purposes. With your compassion and medical expertise, I hope to gain a better understanding of my current state and continue to move forward in improving my health with more clarity. 


Astrid Fox

After writing this letter,  the weight lifted off my shoulders and I was much more confident about the meeting.

On the day of my appointment,  my new doctor's friendly greeting put me at ease right away. After sitting down at her office, she began to ask me about my IBD history. Without delay,  I handed her my letter and anxiously wait for her reaction. As she read it, she nodded in agreement and even commented on how many of her patients did well on Paleo. Wait! did I just find a doctor who speaks my language? The rest of the meeting went like a dream. We bounced around acronym like SCD, AIP, GAPS without pausing to see if the other person needed further explanation what these letters mean. She even gave me a handout about FODMAP. I left her office holding requisitions for testings I had asked for plus more.

We should not have to look for validation from others about our own healing path, but when you meet a medical professional who supports and even applaud your efforts to take charge in your health, it really feels good! I am quite proud of myself for taking my health in my own hands. I also realized that perhaps I am just practicing another  AIP Evolved Manifesto ideas from our friends at Autoimmune Paleo .

Reclaim your health one step at a time!


  1. I'm about to craft my own letter - I love this!

    1. Thanks, writing the letter really helped me be clear with what I wanted. <3


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