Published: Dec. 21, 2010
Updated: Dec. 21, 2010
I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 11. I am now 25 years old and have experienced all of the predictable and unpredictable ups and downs that come with the territory.
As a child, the care and treatment I received from Dr. Ulshen, my pediatric gastroenterologist at Duke, had kept my illness under control and ultimately I ended up in remission.
However, when I turned 17, I attempted to transition to an adult GI outside of Duke, closer to home. And over the next several months and couple of years, my symptoms returned and worsened.
My new doctor changed most of my medications in order to do things his way -- meds that were working and keeping me healthy. Eventually, I ended up in the hospital the summer of my junior year of college.
I was told I might need up to five surgeries and that the complications from such a severe flare I was facing were very serious -- not the least of which was my drastic weight loss that brought me down to 80 pounds.
I insisted on being transferred to Duke. Once I was able to do so, I was reconnected with nurses and physicians who paid attention to my symptoms, what treatments and therapies would work best for me, and would avoid invasive surgery.
I then began seeing Dr. Martin Poleski on a regular basis. Dr. Poleski and the others in the GI clinic at Duke have taken such incredible care of me ever since that horrible summer when I thought I would never feel better or be able to eat normally again.
I have never met any group of doctors and nurses who are so kind and attentive. They always listen, and even the ladies in the lab know me and how to get a successful blood draw from my tiny arms.
The care I have received at Duke over the years is unmatched! The doctors who have cared for me at Duke set the bar pretty high, and I hold all other hospitals and physicians to that standard from now on.
I owe them my life and my well-being! Thank you!