Thursday, February 13, 2014

How It All Began

At the age of 19, I had to have surgery to remove my appendix.  My Mother had suffered from Endometriosis as a young woman and was worried due to the fact that I had difficult menstral cycles.  She discussed her worries with the ER Doctor and as a result of that discussion, instead of doing a simple appendectomy, the surgeon decided to do a pelvic exploratory.  I awoke from surgery with a searing pain in my abdomen caused by the 10 inch incision. 

I healed and life went back to normal.  That is, until the adhesions reared their ugly head.  I started having constant pain on my right side.  Pain that would not go away.  I went to a local Gynecologist and had my first laparoscopic surgery at 21.  It was revealed that my right ovary had grown fast to my intestines.  The surgeon separated them and I went home to heal.

Since that time, I have had twenty plus surgeries.  Included, by not limited to a total hysterectomy at the age of 25.  The adhesions have always returned.  I've had every possible adhesion barrier available in the United States...Seprafilm, Intercede, Saline Solution.  Nothing worked.  I actually had a very prominent surgeon from Hershey Medical Center tell me that it would take a 55 gallon drum of Seprafilm to take care of all of the adhesions in my abdomen...that was in 2005.

After that, I was to the point of desperation.  I began searching Internationally, and that is when I found Dr. Daniel Kruschinski and Endogyn.  I contacted him via email and from there we planned our trip to Germany.  The fee for two surgeries, a first and then second look, was 7,500 Euro.  As this was out of the United States, we had to pay for the surgery out of pocket.  I wired the funds, purchased our airline tickets and we left for Frankfurt, Germany on May 13, 2006.

Now, having surgery is a scary thing, but leaving the country for the first time ever to have surgery is terrifying.  When Tim and I arrived, it was early morning...misty, green and beautiful.  Oh, and there were soldiers with machine guns at the gate.  That was intimidating to say the least.  We were met by a petite woman named Jutta (Utaa) holding a sign that read "Endogyn".  She drove us to the very quaint little town of Selignstadt, which was about 30 minutes from Frankfurt International Airport.

Upon meeting Dr. Kruschinski for the first time, we were impressed.  He did an ultrasound which revealed that my intestines were attached to my right side.  He sat us down and explained that he didn't feel comfortable doing the surgery in Selignstadt as they did not have an ICU, and as a precaution, he was going to do the surgery in Rotthalmunster, which was quite a distance away.  Now, we had only taken so much extra money with us and when he explained that I would be in the hospital for 16 days, I panicked.  He told us not to worry, he would take care of it.  We were amazed, as something such as this would never happen in the USA.

We left for Rotthalmunster early the following morning.  It was an added bonus to be transferred as we got to see just how extraordinarily beautiful Germany really was.  I was apprehensive, but had faith that I was in great hands.  When we arrived at the hospital, Jutta walked us in and began checking me in.  As we do not speak German, I remember thinking to myself, "what the heck am I doing?  I can't understand a word and I'm going to have surgery??".  I almost ran out of the lobby screaming, but had nowhere to run to.  I said a quick prayer for strength and peace and continued with checking in.  It cracked me up that I was "Frau Wensel".

Dr. Kruschinski performed two surgeries.  I distinctly remember waking up from the first surgery, a drainage tube and bag hanging from my side...yet I had no collarbone pain, no bloated, gassy feeling.  I felt...good.  That was May 15th, 2006.  My second surgery was on May 23rd, and again I was completely amazed at how quickly I bounced back from a laparoscopic surgery.  The absolute difference between these two surgeries and the multiple ones from my past was that Dr. Kruschinski preforms a "GASSLESS LAPAROSCOPY".  He used a device called the AbdoLift, which basically "lifts" your abdomen so that the surgeon can see instead of insuffilation with gas, which causes the bloating and collarbone pain always associated with surgery in the USA.

Tim and I had an amazing stay in Rotthalmunster, we met amazing people.  I can honestly say that those 16 days changed my entire life.  We got home on May 31st and I immediately began to enjoy my life once again.  Had I never found Dr. Kruschinski, who knows where I would be today.

1 comment:

  1. Your early life so parallels my own: first surgery at age 19, early hysterectomy, ..... . I had been directed to Dr. K's website but first read your experience. How are you know? I too am praying for God's leading, to someone who can help. Surgical mesh in pelvic bone area is involved in my case, as well as lots of adhesions. No surgeon will accept me for mesh removal.