Patient Stories ~ Hobbies: Pets

Ronald

Profession: Retired
Doctor: Dr. Kushagra Verma

Briefly describe your symptoms and the medical condition that brought you to see the doctor.

I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and two discs with compression fractures in mid 2016. These were treated with a brace and given time to heal. This appeared to be successful.

By early 2017, I’d completed chemo and was being prepped for an autologous bone marrow transplant when the back pain returned - a lot of it. I was taking some pretty strong pain meds and it was getting worse.

What one or two things stand out to you about your experience with your doctor and their team?

My initial contact was with Dr. Theodore Wagner who diagnosed me as having a burst disc and referred me to Dr. Kushgara Verma.

The most noticeable thing was that none of them treated me as a patient, they all treated me as a friend who they were going to help.

I don't know if I'm explaining this right, but the warmth, caring and concern they showed me is unmistakable.

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Julia

Profession: Other
Doctor: Dr. Winston Warme

Briefly describe your symptoms and the medical condition that brought you to see the doctor.

In May 2016 I started experiencing aches in both shoulders (among other symptoms), by October both were frozen. I began twice weekly PT in November, but saw no improvement. In April 2017, I was diagnosed with systemic Scleroderma. My rheumatologist, Dr. Sacksen (fantastic doctor), performed an ultrasound on my left shoulder (my dominant side and the most restricted) and gave me a cortisone injection. Cortisone helped with the pain, but did not allow any more progress from PT. In June 2017, Dr. Sacksen referred me to Dr. Warme for evaluation of my shoulders.

On September 5, after much research and consideration, Dr. Warme performed an arthroscopy with manipulation on my left shoulder. I have my right shoulder scheduled for December.

What one or two things stand out to you about your experience with your doctor and their team?

From the moment I met Dr. Warme he showed sincere interest in my condition, not just my shoulders, but the greater impacts I was experiencing due to Scleroderma. When he noticed that my left hand was essentially unusable, he pulled a hand specialist into the appointment and then personally walked me over to occupational therapy to begin treatment with Carol Recor (outstanding therapist). Every appointment thereafter his first inquiry was about my hand and he showed as much excitement at its improvement as I did.

Out of his commitment to first do no harm, as well because he doesn't see many Scleroderma patients, Dr. Warme did not rush into surgery. He contacted colleagues around the world to discuss my circumstances and to try and understand what we might encounter both during and post-surgery. He was honest with me about what he learned, even though he didn't find many surgeons who had worked on Scleroderma patients, and together we decided how to proceed.

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Shannon

Profession: Health Care
Doctor: Winston Warme

Briefly describe your symptoms and the medical condition that brought you to see the doctor.

5+ years of progressing arthritis/bone spur formation and pain of the sternoclavicular joint. I wasn't able to tolerate my arm hanging at my side for periods of time after my arm was at rest, primarily in the mornings after waking up. I could not raise my arm above my head without pain and I also couldn't do any strenuous activity on my right side (I am right handed) including carrying my 2 year old son. I consulted with 2 other orthopedic doctors prior to being referred to Dr.Warme. One of those physicians diagnosed thoracic outlet syndrome (which I don't believe I have) and sent me for physical therapy, which only helped a small amount. Once at UW, we tried a steroid injection in the joint initially because I was hesitant to jump right into surgery. The steroid injection took the pain away for 1-2 glorious weeks but it returned, so we moved forward with a surgical debridement of the SC joint. I am currently 6 weeks post op, and feel better than I thought I could. The pain is gone and other than strengthening the muscles in my shoulder and back that I have compensated with for years, I feel more normal now than I have in a long time.

What one or two things stand out to you about your experience with your doctor and their team?

Dr. Warme and his whole team including MAs, nurses, fellows, residents, PAs and every other staff member I encountered were caring, friendly and knowledgable. Dr. Warme is the only (attending) surgeon I encountered in my journey as a patient that never made me feel rushed, listened to my concerns and understood my disease process and needs.

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S.

Profession: Construction
Doctor: Dr. Reza Firoozabadi

Briefly describe your symptoms and the medical condition that brought you to see the doctor.

My girlfriend and I decided to rent a jet ski on Memorial Day weekend while spending the weekend in our RV at Moses Lake. We left the dock in the early afternoon on Memorial Day and were driving to various coves checking out all the wildlife on this sunny summer day. The weather was great high 70's and the lake was smooth. We decided to head back to the dock to have some lunch. On our way back we encountered 3 huge waves. When we hit the first one we both came off the seat of the ski and then back down on top of the ski with the passenger landing on top of me, and into the water we went. A couple (Mike and Linda) in a boat saw us in the water and offered their swim platform while we assessed if there were injuries. I felt as I had only had the wind knocked out of me and just needed a few minutes to catch my breath. When I tried to get up thats when I felt the sharp pain in my hips and agreed to seek medical attention. Mike and Lynda were so nice and gave us a ride to the dock were they had called for help to meet us there. Their son took the ski back to the dock and tied it up for the owner to pick up. The EMT's met us at the dock and put me on the stretcher and off to the Moses Lake ER I went. After the scan I was notified by the attending physician that I would soon be on my way to Harbor View. The flight there was quick and the two lady EMT's that attended me were great, they managed my pain and every aspect of my care. I woke up in the ICU on Monday to meet Dr. Firoozabadi and his team of experts. He explained that I had an "Open Book" fracture of my pelvis and I needed surgery and what would be accomplished during the procedure. He and his staff also helped my family understand the procedure and put any concerns to rest. Being a member of IBEW the word was getting out to the brotherhood about what had happened and soon many of the brothers were by to visit. Being an employee of one of Washington's top 100 companies, there were soon many visitors from work as well, including several owners. The support of all these caring people was and is greatly appreciated. It seemed as though this huge family was always there for me and my family. I woke up post-surgery and was soon met by Dr. Firoozabadi assuring me of the success of the surgery and answering any questions that my family and I had. His team also helped with all the paperwork for insurance and post-operative and ICU care. They went above and beyond all of my expectations. After several weeks at Harbor View I was transferred to an assisted living facility while my home was being modified to accommodate me in a wheel chair. After a couple of months at home in the wheel chair I was able to start taking steps with crutches. At 4 months post-surgery I was able to begin taking steps without the crutches. At 5 months I'm walking although a bit wobbly. I'm looking forward to being able to get back to work in a few more months. I have been working out 5 days a week most of the time in hopes to help my body get back in shape to be able to do the heavy physical construction work I'm used to. Thanks to Dr. Firoozabadi and his excellent team this will be possible.

What one or two things stand out to you about your experience with your doctor and their team?

Dr. Firoozabadi and his team of experts were always there for anything they could help with. Even sending me to this website so I could help others.

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