Ok, so you have two options. Number one: the next time you’re having pain so strong you can barely walk, bring yourself to the emergency room. Now, be prepared to settle in, because you’ll likely be there waiting all day since you’re not missing a limb, but this is probably your next step.
Or, make an appointment with a Gastroenterologist. It’s possible that it will take a while to get an appointment, so if you’re still waiting for your appointment and you have pain so strong it makes it difficult to walk, go to the emergency room anyway.
Be very clear with the doctors you speak with. Say:
- I’m having the following symptoms: X, Y, Z, in addition to the pain in my abdomen that is currently making me unable to walk.
- This began happening X number of months ago.
- The pain lasts for X number of hours.
- _______ makes it better, and ________ makes it worse.
- My family has a strong history of colorectal cancer.
- I understand that colorectal cancer usually occurs in older people, but because of my family history I need to be certain that I don’t have it. Additionally, this pain is insufferable. If it’s not colorectal cancer, I’d like to figure out the cause so it can be treated.
- Will you be able to preform a colonoscopy today, or should I come back next week?
With clear presentation of facts, any provider that you speak to cannot brush you off since the pain you’re experiencing is a significant red flag. Even if they’re certain it’s not cancer, it could be a number of other things and they can’t just send you home without identifying it.
This technique can be used for any health concern. Lay out the situation clearly and accurately, and tell the providers that you would like to have testing done to clarify the situation. If they say no, ask why. If their explanation is that you’re low risk for a certain condition, ask them how they can explain your pain/bleeding/discomfort/etc without doing testing.