Thursday, April 29, 2010

New appreciation for my surgeon...

During the week I tend to check out my bariatric surgeon's forum to see what is up with the other banded patients of his. And today one of the posts reaffirmed by belief that I picked the right doc to do the job. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...

I went ahead and copied it here if you would like to read it because it's really quite refreshing to hear about a doc who will go out of his way for his patients. I did omit their names for privacy reasons.

Post 1

Re: emergency procedure
Dr. Watkins is Awesome!!! (the staff are great too) I was in the hospitalvomiting, fever and spasms with the flu. After giving me some meds fordehydration they were going to send me home but I insisted that something elsewas wrong. They rolled their eyes and said that nothing was wrong. I asked if itwas possible that something was wrong with my band since I kept having seriousspasms in my stomach area and finally they ordered a cat scan. Turns out that Idid have a problem but no one there could help me. Dr. Watkins came to thehospital at 3:30 in the morning to treat me! The nurses couldn't believe it andsaid they would definately refer anyone considering the band to his office. Itwas also a deciding factor for my friend to have it done by Dr. Watkins and didso a few weeks later. His dedication to his patients is amazing. It took a fewweeks but I'm back on the mend and looking forward to continued healthy living.I realize now that I can't do this alone so I'm eager to meet some of my "bandedfamily" at the next support group and staying in touch via this site

Post 2

I wanted to express my thanks and utmost appreciation for all of the staff andcrew at CWLC and especially Dr. Watkins for everything you did for me this lastweekend. I was deathly ill for three days with severe vomitting finally driving me to the emergency room Friday in the wee hours of the morning. After much deliberation about whether to actually treat me because I am a band recipientand it was not performed locally, they finally did a CT scan to check the band and its placement. During the CT scan they said the band looked fine and diagnosed me with a kidney stone. I was sent home with pain meds and zofranonly to return the to ER a few hours later when I couldn't keep the meds downand I was too exhausted to fight the pain any longer. This time it took hours to get back to be seen and even longer to convince them to give me via IV thesame meds they prescribed for me at home. After CT scan, swallowing studies,and enough poking and prodding they said that my stomach appeared dilated and I needed surgery torelease it. Of course, their Bariatric surgeon was out himself. They kept speaking of transferring me here or there to find someone available for the process. In the mean time I called CWLC and was speaking with Holly and Christina. I spoke with the surgeons and nurses regarding removing fluid from my band as Christina recommended. The nurse herself even had a band and still fought me tooth and nail. Dr. Watkins was prepared to come to Huntington WV himself to take a look at my situation with no help from the "medical professionals" here. A surgeon in the meantime withdrew what fluid he could. As they kept speaking of transferring me elsewhere I insisted on knowing the name of the doctor that was willing to help me, that I didn't want transferred to sit for two days like I have already. I never received an answer so in themean time Dr. Watkins arranged for immediate surgery at West Chester. We asked for discharge, which they were eager to issue me, and started towards Cincinnati. We had not even pulledinto the Medical Center parking lot when my insurance had been precertified, a wheelchair was awaiting me at the entrance, and I was taken straight back to begin work-up. I was given more attention in the first five minutes there thanin hours at my home hospital! Within an hour I was in surgery where (if I understand this correctly) my stomach had dilated beyond all hope, had strangulated itself on my band and blood flow was cut off to the lower portion of my stomach. Essentially my band had to be removed and I'm on major restrictions as I allow my stomach to heal. I was told I was 2 out of 5000 banded patients to have to have their band removed due to anything remotely like this - why me! BUT out of it all I am truly BLESSED to have CWLC and Dr.Watkins by my side, not to mention the big man Himself! I owe my life, especially my quality of life, to Dr.Watkins, the nurses, anesthesiologist, and all the other crew I am omitting at this point. The facility was top notch, the employees seemed to ENJOY being there, and my treatment was AMAZING! We now know that if anything arises, we're in the car straight to Cincinnati first thing! May each of you receive a bit ofconfidence knowing the dedicated, trustworthy, knowledgable, and truly caringstaff here for each of us. The road to recovery is going to be a lengthy one and scary for me knowing Idon't have my band behind me right now. You may see me at the occassional support group and I will need motivation and support more now than probably ever. Again, I cannot express my thanks enough! Thank you each and every member of CWLC and may God bless you every day! With my deepest appreciation, E. H. (always banded in heart)

It's a wonderful feeling to know that he is there for you when you need it, but it also poses the question of how much do we really know about all the ramifications of what can happen with the band and how much do we have to be prepared? I think you can research until you're blue in the face but does anybody really think this kind of thing can happen to them? I mean....CRAP! If she would have waited any longer or went to another facility that didn't know what to do, what would have happened? Kind of scary to think about. Also makes me want to make sure I treat my band better. I would seriously hate to have to get it taken out at this point. For those of us who haven't had any problems....we are blessed!

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