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University of Washington Medical Center Patient Education ETC.

A decade or so ago, my pulmonologist, Christopher Goss MD, was introduced to me as Super Fellow by Dr. Raghu when I first visited the University of Washington Medical Center to find why I’d suddenly gotten even more short of breath several years after my Emphysema diagnosis elsewhere.

An open lung biopsy showed the fibrosis and granulomas that something called Sarcoidosis had beat feet to my lungs.

Over the years, Dr. Goss earned a “Super” Doc title too.  Dr. Goss looks at the whole patient when they complain of other medical stuff and helps educate the patient – he knows the parts of a person hook up to other parts.  In my case, COPD began the long march to other medical stuff.

A week or so ago I turned up at the U for my lung, (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) appointment in a wheelchair wimping and moaning in pain, maybe a few tears and he took a look at my hard distended belly and ordered x-rays and a blood lab workup.

Dr. Goss was waiting in the blood lab after the blood work, telling me where my room was and about the ultra sound test coming up.

Not knowing I would be staying over, I was prepared for the stay by many people including the first to set the tone for the rest of my two-day stay at the U.

First on a long list of friendly staff was Eric Higashi, BSN, RN, BC, Nurse Manager of 6 Northwest, General Internal Medicine /Family Medicine Unit.  He went out of his way to orient and assist in making this patient comfortable and at ease.  He succeeded – they all did.

Dr. Goss helped pull this patient’s life back together to make some sort of sense when the.  He and the University of Washington Medical Center medical professionals made it all happen.

The night of the same day I showed up for a pulmonary appointment with Dr. Goss, blood was drawn and x-rays taken showing black nothing inside my belly.  Soon I met and watched Dr. Lauge Sokol-Heissner give me an ultra sound  showing the same degree of dark nothingness – apparently telling the same story of a belly full of fluid.

Dr. Sokol-Heissner established from the ultra sound where to insert the needle and explained the procedure to me.  I was so enthralled being educated, I forgot to grab my camera and take photos of the procedure and, with permission, the doc.

It was amazing to watch the tumor filled fluid splash out and fill each of the bottles the doc had lined up to fill.

At all times I was kept informed of the test results.  To date no cancer cells have shown up in the tests, including testing the 1.5 gallons of blackish fluid they drained out of my belly tumor.

I’m told that even without all the fluid, the “Ovarian mass” is too big and needs to come out.

After a few more exams and testing, I am scheduled for surgery, however expect to be home within a few days in time to write about it and begin again conditioning for the long recumbent trike ride I have planned for six years.

Its time I began to pedal down that road.

Brian S. Porter, MD, helping educate a patient.

Janell’s idea to write my questions down on the board so I wouldn’t forget to ask – it worked!

Dr. Porter showing the remains of the tumor after removal of 1.5 gallons blackish fluid.  A contrast kt scan was used.

Dr. Porter explained the photos to my daughter.  Educate the patients and family – YES!

Dr. Porter showing the size of the tumor.  Janell Peck, RN, BSN.  Friendly, helpful – a patient’s friend.  Thank you!

COPD and a forty-year smoking habit brought me here.  If you smoke, please stop.

Thanks for reading… Sharon  O’Hara

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