Tag Archives: Compassion

My Visit With My New Doctor & Compliments to Lake City, FL VA Hematology Clinic

I had an appointment at the Veterans Clinic in Lake City, Florida today. I was a bit apprehensive about this appointment because I have a new Primary Care doctor. Those who know me know that this is my 5th Primary Care Doctor in the past two years. I have never had so many doctors, in such a short time. What happened was the doctor assigned me when my old doctor got promoted quit because she did not like all the computer BS the VA makes the doctors do, and they had a hard time replacing her. Of all these doctors, I only saw one, back last year, for a whole 5 minutes. Needless to say, I felt like I was being put on the back burner, all the while my health kept declining from an already diminished state. I was in and out of a local private hospital because the pain of the pancreatitis, which they now say is chronic, was too much for me, and the medications I had would not touch the pain. The last time I was hospitalised, June of last year, on top of all the medications I take routinely, they were having to give me 1.5 mg of Diladud every 2 hours. I was very miserable until it cleared up. I could have taken care of things at home had I had something for the intense pain, other than what I already take for the myriad of problems I have. Moreover, I were in the middle of a dose adjustment when the doctor who was supposed to be my new doctor quit. I did okay, for a while, then I needed another adjustment, yet had no doctor who knew me to call on.

The Primary Care Doctor is very important in the VA system. They are the proverbial Quarterback of the team. When you have a severe health problem you do not want second string replacements, you want a real Doctor who is going to stay, get to know you, and you them, so as to develop that special relationship a severely ill patient needs with their doctor.

I am glad to report my new Primary Care Doctor seems to be a good one. It is going to take time for her to get to know me, and understand fully my problems, but we had a great start today. She did not pull any punches with me, and gave it to me straight. I respect that. Moreover, she discovered some medications I had been taking for a long time that are not exactly good for a man’s prostate, and discontinued them, lest I develop prostate problems. I appreciate that. I go back in 3 months. I will see how it goes, but thus far, all is good.

My blood has been tired for over six years now. I had a significant GI bleed back in 07 that created many problems for me. I want to take this time to tell whoever reads this how nice, compassionate, professional, and efficient the Hematology Clinic at Lake City has been to me. I truly appreciate them. Of note, is a nurse named Amy, and an NP named Ruth. They have bent over backwards to accommodate me, and I am truly grateful. Stacy deserves an honorable mention as she is another one who has helped me. Kudos to these front line troopers. The VA needs more like them, especially Amy, and Ruth.

As I have mentioned, my health has been giving me fits. I now have chronic pancreatitis, and it hurts like hell. Most of the time, about 70 percent of the time, my regular meds work, but the rest of the time I am in sheer agony. I had to go to the ER last month for a pain shot. I also am dealing with the crohns (from Accutane given me for my service connected disability), the effects of 11 abdominal surgeries, 5 surgeries to repair a broken bone in my face (Army injury), sacroilietis, fused disks in my neck, myofacial syndrome, osteoporosis, joint pain (severe in my hips), and neuropathy. I am dealing with more than this, but to list it all would take more space than I wish to use. Suffice it to say, I need your prayers, if you pray. Anyone wishing to send cash, that will help too, although it will not take the pain away. I have been in constant pain now for 25 years, 15 of those being severe up to now. I hope that together my new doctor, and the pain team can come up with a workable, practical, and EFFECTIVE treatment. I am grateful for what I have now, but I know they can do better.

Thanks for stopping by!

mark

ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM? THANK A VETERAN!

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Personal

Quality Medical Care Delivered At St. Vincent’s Medical Center – Jacksonville, Florida

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Jacksonville, Florida

With some of the negative feedback/reviews of hospitals, and doctors I have posted, I find it only fair, to report, when  positive events happen, at these facilities.

Recently I was urgently admitted to Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida. From the moment I arrived at the facility, to the day I was discharged I was treated in a very compassionate manner, by highly qualified health care workers.

In the emergency room the nurses, and physicians were attentive to my needs, and listened closely to what I told them had been going on prior to the episode, what was going on at that time, and what I thought it felt like, based on my lengthy history struggling against Crohns Disease. I told them it felt like I had pancreatitis, and I had the same pains I have when I have a bowel obstruction. They were thorough with their questions, and responded to my pain in a very fast manner, not making me go through tests before getting me some relief. I am grateful they did so because I was in extreme grievous pain.

When I was admitted they told me the CT confirmed pancreatitis, and they needed to do an additional lab test on me to exclude something. After a couple of days I was able to give them what they wanted to perform the lab test, and within a day, and a half had the results. They discovered I had an infection that had released spores into my colon causing my colon to become inflamed. I had colitis from this infectious spore problem, and that is what was making me feel as if I had a bowel obstruction.

My Hospitalist was Doctor Sanchez, and she was the best Hospitalist I have ever had. She was very patient with me, and responsive to the problems I was having, including the severe pain caused by the Pancreatitis, and infectious Colitis. Moreover, she fully explained everything  that was wrong with me, and did not push me to leave the hospital early. The Physician Assistant, Dawn, who covers rounds for Dr. Abassi was  very thorough, with the questions she asked, and the exams she gave. Dr. Abbassi, of Digestive Disease Consultants, Jacksonville, Florida, (904) 388 – 9696, watched over my case closely, and understood when I declined a probe of my pancreas because it still hurt too bad. Dr. Abassi, and Dr. Sanchez supervised a brilliant diagnosis, and miraculous treatment. To sum up the medical care I received, “They saved my life!”. 

The entire Nursing, and Associate Care Provider staff was respectful, considerate, compassionate, competent, responsive in a timely manner, and all the other great qualities a person wants from these professionals who have constant contact, and interaction with patients while they are in the hospital.  I am very grateful for all they did for me. From getting my pain shots to me quickly, keeping up with my voluminous medications, getting my routine medications to me on schedule, and watching out for changes in my health, the nurses did an outstanding job. Christa, Jessica, Jose, Gracie, and Denise are some of the nurses who took great care of me. The ACPs did a great job keeping up with my vitals, changing my bed sheets, giving me new hospital gowns, keeping my ice water filled, bringing me juices, talking to me in a compassionate way that helped keep my spirits up, telling the nurses when things were not right, assisting me into the shower,  and bunches of other stuff. The Nurses, and ACPs did an exceptional job delivering top-notch, compassionate care, to me, at a time I could not advocate for myself. I am grateful for all they did for me.

Had they not checked me for that specific infection it would have killed me. People are dying around the world from it.  Even my Gastroenterologist’s Mother in Law passed away from it. The weird part of it all is I did not fit into any of the predisposing scenarios, nor did I have any of the risk factors for it, yet somehow I got it. I thank the Good Lord he inspired someone to test me for it.  After being on antibiotics for just 2 days I started feeling better, and after the full course, I must say I have not felt this well in a very long time, years even. I still have problems from all the surgeries, and the wasting from the Crohns disease, but the problems from the infectious Colitis were weighing heavy on me, unbeknownst to me, and after receiving the treatment for it, I feel so much better!

Here is a significant indicator things have improved. I have been seeing a Hematologist for 5 years due to long-term blood loss, from inflammation, due to Crohns disease. Over these five years, no matter how much iron was infused into my veins, nor how frequent, my Iron Saturation has stubbornly refused to go into the normal range. Single digit iron saturation values, and a few low double-digit values were the best that could be realised for me, in spite of a very hands on, and highly qualified Hematologist Team, led by Dr. Mary Aplin, and over the past few years, carried out by Ruth Davis, ARNP, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Lake City, Florida. Guess what happened? Sixteen days after I got out of the hospital, I went to the VA, and had my blood pulled. When the results came back from the lab, not only did I not need an iron treatment, my Iron Saturation Value was 22, in the NORMAL range! Obviously this other problem with the Colitis was causing problems with my blood, over, and above the problems I was having cased by the blood loss from recurring bouts of Crohns Disease.

I thank Almighty God for placing the people at Saint Vincents Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida, in my life, as well as giving them the knowledge, and the skills, to care for the sick. They are His tools for helping people. They use the knowledge God gave them, and He does the healing.  The Hand of God is in all of it.  I am very grateful.

Thanks for stopping by!

mark

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Filed under Crohns Disease, Florida, Health, Jacksonville, Life as a Disabled Veteran, Local, Personal, Spiritual, Veterans Issues