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The Answer I’d Been Waiting For

By CHI Health September 30, 2010 Posted in: Patient Stories

My name is Amy Safford and was a patient this past weekend at CHI Health Hospital. My husband is Pat from Q98.5 and has a great professional relationship CHI Health. Over the past five or so years I have been in and out of emergency rooms, hospitals, and offices with horrible stomach problems. I was extremely reluctant to return to the hospital for fear that once again they would find nothing wrong, knowing with every fiber of who I am, that there was just something not right. I have been so discouraged that there was not a person alive that would find the reason.When I started to feel sick, I really felt helpless because I was so scared to return to the hospital. I thought that once again it was another flare up, but the pain was so intense I was not sure I would make it through the evening. I was pretty sure that this was a kidney stone, again the pain was so intense it was hard to believe I would make it through it. It sounds so dramatic to even write or say out loud, but it was truly how I felt. The Urologist I saw (not affiliated with CHI Health) earlier in the day, did confirm that there was in fact a stone, however said that it was not the cause of the pain. Instead of going that extra step to find out the true problem, I was sent home very sick. Upon returning home, we called Dr. Bott, who was determined to find the reason. He took the time to consult with other physicians, making it a priority to make sure that any decision made was one that we felt comfortable with.

The doctors at CHI Health looked at every possibility and really started putting the puzzle pieces together and FINALLY found the answer. They found that my gall bladder was 100 % occluded and adhered to my stomach wall. My Surgeon, Dr. Sassy said that it was a very sick gall bladder, and it certainly did not happen overnight. I had been sick for some time which answered so many questions. The minute that it was taken out, I felt instantly better, in fact the best I have felt in a very long time.

I had lost a lot of faith in doctors and hospitals. I felt like I was just crazy and I am positive that others thought I was as well.  I am a mom of two beautiful active kids. We are involved in so many positive things in life, but there was always "this." I have prayed and prayed for the answer to come and it was such a relief that it did. I feel like a new person.

I apologize that this is so sappy, however if you knew how much this has affected me you would understand. I was sent to doctors that would prescribe so many medications it was hard to keep track. It was just a never ending cycle, one that I did not want to have in my life. I call it the "band aid effect." I was finally diagnosed with Crones Disease, and had surrendered to the fact that it was something I would have to "white knuckle" through life. I have been told from others who deal with the same problems that people with stomach issues, have a harder time getting treatment because GI issues are not always visible. The problems often go on for so long because it is hard to pinpoint a cause, or even see it on scans and tests.

I really had just given into the notion that there was not anything that could be done and it was just something I would have to live with for the rest of my life. I decided early on that this was just something I would have to live with and I would do the best I could to live a strong and healthy lifestyle. I am happy to say that I no longer feel that way.

I just want to say thank you for the INCREDIBLE staff that took care of me. I do not want to leave out anyone's names, but unfortunately I can not recall everyone that was a part of my care.  There was Shannon, Nicole, and the first night nurse I had who truly was the best nurse I have ever had. I had a CNA named Kim who truly was an angel. She brought so much comfort to me. We have a friend  who is 32 years old and in hospice, and my grandmother who is very ill right now, so it was difficult for my family to be by my side  100% of the time. They knew that I was in such great hands that they could feel comfortable leaving me. My Hospitalist, Dr Ari (can not pronounce his entire name) was incredible. It is hard when your primary doctor is not there, but Dr. Ari and the rest of the Hospitalist doctors were amazing.  My Surgeon, Dr. Sassy made the fears that I had about having surgery so much easier to handle. It is scary to undergo any procedure and nobody wants it to happen, however with my team in place to help me through it, gave me such peace. I knew that I was not doing this alone.

I walked out of that hospital with a truly new outlook on hospitals and healthcare professionals. It is so important for nurses and doctors to know how vulnerable patients can be when they are in pain and hurting. I can honestly say that I have never felt so taken care of in my life. I wish there was something more that I could do to express my appreciation to those I mentioned above. You are a top notch facility and I honestly can not thank God enough that we have you in our community. You are lucky to have these incredible men and women working for you. It is proven that your leadership makes it possible for their outstanding care for patients. I apologize that I can not remember everyone's names, there was a lot going on and some of it is a blur, but their faces and the impressions they left will not be forgotten.

If I have learned anything through this experience is that if you know that there is something that is not right, keep pushing and searching for that doctor that will listen and go that extra mile. It does not matter if you have to go to several doctors, stay the course. You know your body more than anyone else, and any good doctor will trust your feelings and most of all listen to what you are saying. In the future if we have health concerns, we know where to turn to for help. To Dr. Bott and the entire team, I am forever grateful. Thank you for pushing until the answer was found, it saved my life!

Amy Safford and Family

CHI Health
CHI Health

These blogs were written by various members of the CHI Health care teams.

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