In December of last year, my friend Maggie Olena ( or as some may know who Marge Wagner) was having chest pain. Out of concern for a heart attack, her doctor sent her directly to the emergency room. She was admitted and released the next day. Three days later, she was taken back to the hospital by ambulance. After numerous tests, a feeding tube, pain medication, they finally determined her gallbladder had gone bad. Her pancreas had become severely damaged; diagnosis of acute necrotizing. This was the start of a list of health problems that she is still dealing with today.
After 12 days in the hospital and much pleading to be allowed to go home with her family for Christmas, she was released with strict instructions and numerous doctor appointments for after the holidays. The gastro doctors determined 75% of her pancreas was now dead and also had a cyst around it. Because of this, she is now insulin dependent. The cyst had to be treated and cleaned out before they could remove the gallbladder. Unfortunately it would be three weeks before this could take place. As she was becoming weaker, her family decided it was time to seek a second opinion.
Her records were obtained and presented to doctors at Hershey Medical Center. It was now discovered that her pancreas was 90% dead, but the cyst was putting pressure on 2 major arteries that supply blood to her lower organs. Treatment was scheduled; a stint was placed to bridge the stomach and cyst to evacuate the blood and dead pancreas particles. She had a series of 4 endoscopy was violently ill, twice being readmitted to Hershey Medical. During this time she lost almost 50 pounds, which has made her very weak.
Recently, when she got out of the shower, she realized a lot of her hair is now falling out. At one point while combing her hair, she was dizzy and not real steady on her feet and poked herself in the eye with the comb, causing a cut in her eye. Maggie was seen by an eye doctor, she is fine, but just incurred more bills. Now that she is a diabetic, she will need to see an eye doctor on an annual basis since the diabetes can cause fluid in the eyes. Thru all of this her vision prescription has also changed & will need new glasses.
Maggie will remain under the gastro doctor’s care for at least a year. The Gastro doctor group of Hershey will see Maggie on a monthly basis. An occasional CAT scan will also be required to assess the condition of the cyst and pancreas and gallbladder. Maggie will also need to see a nutritionist to help her learn new eating habits and appropriate foods to eat to keep her sugar levels regulated. She will also need to see a diabetic doctor, at Hershey Medical.
Moving forward, The Gastro Doc suggested she see another specialist, an Oncology Surgeon, to remove the gallbladder. Since there could be additional issues going on inside her body which a regular surgeon would not be able to handle if something arose. She had yet another CT Scan scheduled so the Oncologist could see what exactly was going on inside her body, The results of the CT scan was that the body has grown a lot of little veins, because it seems that when the pancreases went berserk, it blew up a major vein in the process. Two days before her gallbladder surgery, she received a call that her CT scan revealed a mass on her right kidney. She then had to see a urologist. The appointment was made and she saw yet another great doctor at Hershey Med, only to find out she has cancer. After she heals from the Gallbladder removal surgery she will have to undergo another surgery to remove the cancerous mass on her kidney.
The gall bladder surgery seems to have gone well, but requires Maggie to be off work another 4 to 6 weeks, added to the three months she has already been off. The treatment of the kidney mass will add to this time off from work. . While she does have medical insurance, her medical bills are piling up. The co-pays, travel to the hospital and doctor appointments, the cost of the medication and the loss of wages are creating a financial stress. Her husband has taken off from work to be her caregiver and drive her to the hospital for all of her doctor appointments.
Maggie is trying to remain positive as she continues to fight her health issues, but she is under a lot of stress of her medical situation.
- Jackie C.
- Donna Smith
- Frankie Torres
- pamela michael
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