Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So Called Adhesion Expert!

I was on a mission trying to find an American surgeon who would be able to surgically remove the adhesions that had been pulling, tearing & ripping through my body. After spending hours on the internet I finally found a facility within the USA that specializes in treating adhesions.

I remember it was a Sunday afternoon I immediately emailed the surgeon my contact information & to my astonishment he called within minutes of receiving the email. We spoke about half an hour where he explained how he has successfully surgically removed adhesions from more than 200 patients.I then explained that I had been diagnosed with a frozen abdomen & that no surgeon will touch me unless there was an emergent situation.

I am sure this surgeon could hear the urgency in my voice! I then agreed to forward my medical records to him for review, within a couple of days I received notification that this specialist was taking my case.
The process began for me to travel down south to have surgery with him. I was then contacted by his billing department stating I needed to pay a $1200.00 down payment prior to surgery. I explained that my health insurance carrier was participating with this provider as well as the hospital. Still I was told no surgery will be performed until the $1200.00 was received prior to surgery. Still to this day I don't understand what the deposit was for when this specialist is participating with my insurance carrier.

During this time I was out of work on medical disability going through a financial hardship but I used my last bit of savings for travel expenses, hotel stay for two weeks, transportation, meals and prescriptions ordered by this specialist. It was going to well worth it because I was led to believe this adhesion specialist was going to help me!

I arrived at this prestigious adhesion center excited to meet this specialist I had spoken to on the phone.
On my initial visit to his office as he walked in very confident that he would be able to penetrate my frozen abdomen & lysis the adhesions that had rendered debilitating symptoms.

The following morning was the scheduled lysis of adhesions. I was prepped for surgery went under anesthesia   when I woke up from the anesthesia diagnosed by this so called adhesion specialist as having a "frozen abdomen". Initially I thought I was hearing incorrectly, of course I have a frozen abdomen that was not news in fact, that was the reason I was there for surgery. This surgeon had the audacity to tell me that proceeding with the surgery would not be beneficial to me! I still was in shock as this man spoke, in my mind all I could think about was the deceit.

This man just took my $1200 & my insurance company will eventually pay him over $32,000 & all I received in this was the explanation that surgery would not be beneficial to me & that I had a frozen abdomen.
Something just didn't seem right within my spirit. During my followup visit prior to returning back home this so called adhesion specialist reassured me that he had a plan for my care. When I inquired what the plan entailed I was told to lose weight & have physical therapy for manipulation of the adhesions. I was told I would be part of his research study program where I would be followed up every 2 months or so.

Yes, his research team has called me on several occasions but when I would inquire about any current adhesions research I would be told the same thing repeatedly that there was nothing at this time.

There were times when I would have horrible painful flare ups. I would call this so called adhesion specialists office to speak with him but now there were never any call backs just promises that he this surgeon would return my call on the following day. I am still waiting for his call!

Is the reason why I have never received a return call is because this so called adhesion specialist knew he was unable to treat a patient with a frozen abdomen? Was I an easy target because I was desperate for surgical treatment to relieve the pain caused by adhesions?, was it because of the $32,000 that could be billed to my insurance company?

Uhmmmmm, food for thought isn't it! This was one of many scandalous medical professionals I had the misfortune to meet along my adhesions journey.

But there is hope............

Thursday, December 22, 2011

This Is How I Came To Know About Adhesions

As I lie on the couch this cold winter morning thinking about what to blog I remember how my journey with adhesions began.

It was over 20 years ago when I complained to my physician of severe abdominal pain after numerous test & hospitalization the physicians still missed that my appendix was infected & was on the verge of rupturing. By the time the physicians realized it was my appendix a massive infection (peritonitis) had infiltrated my abdominal cavity resulting in emergency surgery.

During recuperating from the surgery I complained to my physcians of severe abdominal pain, chills, malaise sypmtoms. I was told over & over that these symptoms were because my body had gone through so much that it needed time to heal. Weeks turned into months, months turned into years & still I had these same symptoms. I then began having "female" problems which led to multiple surgeries for ruptured ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors, endometriosis, hysterectomy.

It was not until approximately surgery #7 that I was told I had adhesions but not to worry because the adhesions could be excised & all the pain would go away!

This was not true! The adhesions starting having a life of their own attaching to multiple organs causing immense pain. I went from being admitted to the hospital for surgery from every two years to every six months to monthly sometimes weekly!

The medical treatment I began to receive starting changing. Now, I noticed certain physicians who had cared for me for years were basically dismissing my complaints because imaging tests (ct scans, mri, xrays) did not show any abnormalities. Although I was in severe pain lab work & imaging tests were normal; how could this be? There were times during what I would call "flare ups" I felt my inners were tearing & ripping apart! I would be in the fetal position unable to speak beause of the pain the only relief came from a morphine injection!

The symptoms were debililtating I had become unable to work & slowly losing long term friendships. There were even family members that were doubtful I was suffering. It was as if I was alone not even medical professionals understood this insidious condition.

My pain was now being controlled by narcotics but I knew that was not the answer just a temporary solution. I knew there help out there! Where? Who could help me? I knew the Lord would not give me more than I could bear!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What are adhesions also known as scar tissue?

Hello all, I will give you the definition of adhesions as per

  • Abdominal adhesions are a common complication of surgery, occurring in up to 93% of people who undergo abdominal or pelvic surgery.

  • Abdominal adhesions also occur in 10.4% of people who have never had surgery.

  • Most adhesions are painless and do not cause complications.

  • However, adhesions cause 60%-70% of small bowel obstructions in adults and are believed to contribute to the development of chronic pelvic pain.

  • Adhesions typically begin to form within the first few days after surgery, but they may not produce symptoms for months or even years.

  • As scar tissue begins to restrict motion of the small intestines, passing food through the digestive system becomes progressively more difficult.

  • The bowel may become blocked.

  • In extreme cases, adhesions may form fibrous bands around a segment of an intestine. This constricts blood flow and leads to tissue death

  • Adhesions in the abdomen pull on parts of the intestines and sometimes cause an obstruction. Symptoms may include:
    • pain
    • cramps
    • intermittent vomiting
    • difficulty with passing gas or having a bowel movement
    • swelling of the abdomen
    • Symptoms vary depending on the tissues involved. For example, in the gastrointestinal tract, bowel obstructions may occur.