By Amalia Sweet
At the end of last summer I stopped eating. It wasn’t that I wasn’t hungry — I was, constantly — but rather that pretty much everything I tried to put in my stomach triggered excruciating abdominal pain.
While still in Chicago where I was working toward my master’s degree, I went to University Health Services. When tests revealed I was anemic but free of ulcers and Celiac disease, they suggested I work to reduce my stress and follow up with a gastroenterologist when I returned home to Boston later that month.
I called every medical practice I could think of in the greater Boston area and no one had availability sooner than four months out. Without a primary care physician and desperate for a diagnosis, I went to the ER. In spite of my anemia and the fact that I had lost a scary amount of weight in a short period of time, the ER refused to provide a prioritized referral and told me my symptoms were a product of me being sedentary when in fact I was sedentary because of my symptoms.