Scary . . . frustrating . . . great.
These words best sum up Kathleen “Kathy” Brown’s past year beginning on July 1, 2014. It was her birthday, but instead of celebrating, Kathy found herself in the Emergency Department at Speare Memorial Hospital with severe abdominal pain, noting, “For me to come to the ER means I wasn’t feeling well at all.”
For years, Kathy had been experiencing on and off pain. She describes it as cramping, and chalked it up to gas build up. She noticed the pain when she was at home resting or sitting, noting that when she got up and moved around she had no discomfort.
Calling Hooksett home, Kathy explains that she and her husband live out of their camper, dividing their time between visiting their son in Campton, her parents in Hooksett, her husband’s mother in New York, and the rest of their year moseying about the southeastern United States. “In Florida they call us snowbirds,” says Kathy, “but I think of us more like gypsies.”
Two years ago, she visited an urgent care center in Florida for the same pain. The doctor there thought there could be a blockage in the colon, but the diagnosis was inconclusive. The CT, or CAT, scan ordered by Dr. Casey on that fateful day last year left no doubt about it . . . Kathy had a blockage in her colon as a result of scar tissue build up after two C-sections, a hysterectomy and gall bladder surgery.
She was immediately rushed into surgery to have a colostomy, or bag as most refer to it. And none too soon Kathy says, “My husband asked how bad it was and Dr. Casey said I came in just in time. Another 24 hours and my colon could have ruptured.” A couple of weeks later she had another surgery to remove the blockage. Her bag remained, and had she wintered here, would have had it removed in January or February of this year. However, given Kathy winters down south, she and Dr. Casey decided that it was best to reverse the colostomy once she returned this summer.
“I love Dr. Casey,” enthuses Kathy. “He is so down to earth and makes you feel comfortable and at ease. He takes the time to talk with you.” While not thrilled to have the bag over the winter, Kathy admits there were days she forgot she had it, and others when it seemed, “front and center.”
On June 11, Kathy was back in surgery at Speare to have her colostomy reversed, and a colon resection. Six weeks later, not only had Kathy celebrated another birthday, but everything was back to normal.
Reflecting back, Kathy says, “The whole experience at Speare was personal, you aren’t just a number like at other hospitals I’ve been to. The nurses were all really nice, and I just can’t say enough about Dr. Casey. Anyone who needs surgery should have him do it.”
Plymouth General Surgery is open Mon-Thurs 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Fri 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. For more information, to make an appointment and/or get a physician referral please call (603) 536-5670 or Click Here to visit the Plymouth General Surgery page.