A friend of mine suggested that I blog about my experiences with Ulcerative Colitis and the surgery I just had to handle it. I’ve been meaning to, but haven’t gotten around to it, but that little push has inspired me, so we’ll start small and I’ll try to cover everything in and amongst my other random thoughts about life.
The first thing I can think of to write about is the difference working with professionals at the top of their game. I have worked with many doctors over the years and I finally got referred to OHSU. What a difference. Not to knock the other guys, but the doctors at OHSU know their stuff, and they are a pleasure to deal with. Everyone is very friendly. I really can’t say enough how much this meant to me as I was deciding to have the surgery and going through it.
My surgeon was amazing. OHSU is a teaching hospital so when you stay there, it’s kind of like Grey’s Anatomy–all sorts of people come visit you. And it’s usually the same people over and over again so you sort of get to know them. And I had several say that my surgeon (Dr. Herzig in case anyone wants to go see him) was the best person they had worked with so far for various reasons. And he did a great job on my surgery. It was done laparoscopically (little camera and tools) so I didn’t have a big wound to heal, just four little ones and the one for the ileostomy. After about day two they didn’t hurt. I was definitely sore when I tried to move, but otherwise no real pain medicine. I took more pain medicine from the muscle cramps I got from sitting in the hospital bed for several days than I did for the whole surgery.
It takes a while to get into OHSU since you have to be referred and they are booked for a long time for new patients, but it’s worth it. It’s like getting into an exclusive club with all the good stuff. I’m sure other institutions where they are at the top of their fields and doing research and teaching are similar, so I definitely recommend finding one rather than sticking with your local doctor if things aren’t going perfectly.