"It's not a cure, it's a tradeoff"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

 Throughout this entire process friends have been saying things like "I can't wait until you are cured" or "once this is over you will be better". I just smile and say thanks...but unfortunately many normal people who have not been down this road, which is mostly all of you, thank God, do not understand what is really happening. There is no cure in known medicine for hereditary chronic pancreatitis. Everyday I have been here talking with different parts of the surgical team they have made one thing very clear, you will never be 100% better or cured. You will be trading chronic pancreatitis for a some form a diabetes, which the degree of severity will not be known until it is all said and done. There is no crystal ball to check out how this would work. Even if they get a TON of islets (the full amount in a normal panky is 1 million) they could still die in the liver because I guess our livers are hostile environments. Who knew? Not me, nor did I ever CARE to know:-) Even if you are not diabetic now you could have lost many islets along the way with each bout of pancreatitis.

Sounds so doom gloom, huh? Today I let all this get in the way of my thought process for a bit, but I think I can let that go now and move on. I got a little down on my luck and began thinking about this like: "-Wow, this stinks- I will go through all this pain just to trade one disease for another- Not to mention all the horrible complications they have been telling me about-." OH AND...GET THIS...The day after surgery I will be getting the same amount of pain medication that the whole hospital uses in a day (all the patients combined). Apparently, when this transplant program first began the trauma center got on the doctors case about the amount of meds being given. Now, they understand better and it is cleared up that these patients doing this surgery are doing the most painful surgery known to man! They told me the first two days are the most painful days of your life.  I hope they are also the quickest passing days of my life. The first week is when complications can occur, and they can be serious and require more surgery. Bleeding, bile leaking into the stomach, yada yada, lets not dwell. Of course I hope I don't have to worry about all of this! I guess I will be learning new meditation and breathing strategies, like it or not. Bring on the healing CD's!

After coming to my senses, which I think I have pretty good senses about me, I have decided that they (the doctors here) have to tell you about life after pancreas so that you don't run out the door thinking you are ready to go on the next pub crawl in Old Town Scottsdale with your friends! I get it, I get it, it just stinks listening to all the bad things that can happen after you have gone through a life altering surgery to try and get your quality of life back. So attention friends, even after this surgery I will still be on a long road to recovery. I learned today that I will still have surgical pain for a while, a year while, and I will probably still need my heavy medications for a while too. Thats okay though, because unlike the tunnel I am currently riding in, there is light at the end of the after surgery tunnel.

I have spoke to my family at great length tonight about my chance of becoming a brittle diabetic. I am going to plan on being some form of diabetic, considering 70% are after surgery. Even without the surgery I am at great risk of developing it throughout the progression of my disease. I already showed some abnormalities in my glucose test I had a few weeks ago and it will decline as years go on with CP.  I have decided that  more research dollars will be spent on diabetes since more are affected. Less than one percent of the WHOLE population suffers from what I do. Many more than that are affected with diabetes. My point is I believe more advances will be made in my lifetime with diabetes than with chronic pancreatitis. Also, my biggest factor (besides the fact that what I have now causes chronic pain) is that my genes make my pancreatic cancer risk very high (50% higher). Even though I will be trading one serious medical condition for another serious medical condition, I feel I have no choice. Ready or not, here I come!

UMC Testing is finally here!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First day ever at the UMC!
Ready to take life head on! 
Testing is going great so far. I have my list of questions (and so does my mom and so does my dad...) all ready to go for our surgeon meeting tomorrow. My mom and my 91 year old grandma who I adore are here with me in Tucson. My dad is driving in tomorrow for the meeting with surgeons. I thought I would have all this time to meet up with some old friends from high school and some new "pancreas" friends, but its been test after test and then sleep! One of my friends from high school lives here and her hubby actually works as a pharmacist at the UMC so they are going to stop in during surgery recovery and see me.  Oh well, there will be more time for seeing friends later.

My mom and grandma and I are all staying in a nice room at the Windmill Inn here in Tucson. My mom has been AMAZING! Words can't even describe how blessed I have been to have a mother like mine. No hurdle, no test, no scary anything will ever take her down. She always has a smile on her face and always encourages me that every little thing will be okay! She is right so that helps too. Tonight we made our list of questions together and one of mine was mortality. We spoke about it together, and she said to me so positively "You are NOT going to die. You are going to live and live much better then you have been." My mom is so strong. Stronger than me, and she is so positive. She always tells me how much worse this could be, and again she is so right. I have so much to be thankful for and so much to live for. Today, my mom came home from running around town while I was napping after tests and she had sugar free, fat free, ice cream for me! I don't know how she finds these things, but she is always thinking of me. I am just a lucky gal.

I had a test today that required me to eat radioactive eggs. The idea is you eat the eggs and then you go under a camera and it monitors where the eggs are in the digestive system. As you can imagine, radioactive eggs are so gross. Eggs in general make me sick unless they are made into a yummy omelet or something so I got them and my eyes welled up with tears. They were microwaved in a Styrofoam cup and the lady running the test was less than friendly. I cried a bit then I decided that I was being a nut. I ate 5 huge bites, more like swallowed them whole, and I waited to make sure I ate enough for them to work. The best part about all of this is that my mom finds a way to be in the room with me during it all. Even when they tell her no, we both explain how important it is for her to join me in the test rooms! They usually let her and when they don't I typically beg them after I am already in the room and they go get her. It just is better for me when she is there. Call me a baby, I don't care. I like it!  The lady was not so amused, but she ended up warming up to me a bit after the 5 hours we had to spend together. She even ended up giving me a big hug at the end and telling me she hoped everything went well! The test was so long because the food wasn't really going where it should. I will find out about all that tomorrow. I also had about 27 vials of blood taken since I have been here, all in one shot. That had me a bit nervous because I don't like blood work and I don't like 27 vials....ever. You would think about about 1,000 blood draws I would not mind at all, but it just didn't work out like that :-). Tomorrow I have an MRCP, which is just an MRI with contrast. Thursday I have an EGD which is a scope test and I will be sleeping during it, thank goodness. I also have many meetings with docs! Then, I go home and celebrate Christmas! WOO HOO.

"Something Good will Come of this Situation"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Get well gift:-)
I have a great life! I have learned that through all of this. I don't think I ever thought it wasn't great, as I have generally always been happy and thankful for all that I have. I am even more so now though. Some may look at bad things with a different eye. You can think WHY is this happening or you can think about all the other great things that have already happened. For example, I am in the process of selling a house! What a blessing to have such a flexible job you can do while your sick! I also have a mother who would do anything for me, including drive me around for work and pleasure. Again, what a blessing. I have a wonderful family that can help pay for my hospital bills and my hotel and travel to Tucson. That is a major blessing. I have a whole neighborhood of people in Litchfield Park, where I am from and adore, praying for me. That is the greatest blessing of all. So...I could be mad, and yes I have my days, or I could be glad. Today I am choosing to be glad. Tomorrow all of my girlfriends from high school are getting together to go to dinner with me. They said they wanted to take my mind off of being sick and they want me to just have fun. I have the most wonderful friends. That is yet another blessing in my life. I don't know why this happened or why my genes decided to rear their head and cause a problem after so many years of no problems, but they did. I know that there is a lesson to be learned at the end of all of this. As my mom always says, something good will come from this. Trust me, I am looking for that good and I plan to expand on it when I find it. The first thing is this blog. I am writing it to help so many. It helps me because its therapeutic to write. It also helps me because it allows me to let my friends know what is going on without having to start at the beginning. It also helps friends understand and keep updated. My hope is that it will help some others who have my disease. Maybe they will find my journey helpful when they are on their own journey. Time will tell what the good will be, and I will find it if it doesn't wind up hitting me in the face. Trust me, I will find it:-) I think I have already found part of it!

Total Pancreatectomy with Auto Islet Cell Transplant...

I explained it once before, but now I have a better understanding of what is going to happen.
Here is a LINK to my surgeons web page! Check it out!

The doctors will take out my pancreas in a 10-14 hour procedure. You need your pancreas to create enzymes that digest food and make insulin for your body. Without my pancreas the doctors will need to give me enzymes in pill form for the rest of my life. It will be a challenge at first figuring out the right number and combination of pills. Second, I will be diabetic. To avoid the full affects of this they will the the AIT part of the transplant. This means they will TRANSPLANT one part of my body into another. They will dissolve the pancreas completely in a solution (over the course of 5 hours, while I am in surgery) and they will get all of the cells that produce insulin out of the pancreas. They will then put those cells (2 teaspoons full) into an IV bag and inject them into my portal vein, along with a ton of Heparin (an anti-blood clotting medicine) to keep it flowing. Over the next three months those cells will make their new home the liver. They will not work at first and they may never. 33% of lucky people have those cells working and do not need insulin. The rest do, some much more than others. Some are severe and some less. It is in God's hands for me.

Many speak of phantom pain after surgery. That too is in God's hands. Even if I experience this it is still a much needed surgery. I have a very high risk of pancreatic cancer, but with this surgery I will have no pancreas. Also, the cells that will be in my liver will be cleaned of mostly all of my pancreas leaving a small percentage of cancer possibility in the liver. The risk of cancer is much smaller than if those cells were still in the pancreas. Diabetes will be possible and I am expecting it. Other issues with digestion can arise and most experience them. Again, I am ready.

After surgery I will be in the ICU for 3-7 days or longer depending on my case. I am hopeful for a seamless recovery with a short ICU stay. After ICU I will be moved to a transplant floor where I will be in my own room to heal. Immediately after surgery and once I wake, a physical therapist will arrive at my room and try to get me to sit in a chair. I will try every day to move my body in some way and I will try every day to not let pain get the best of me. They say you do better when you are able to move your body. I have thought up milestones that will mean I am doing well, but I know these milestones can change depending on my amount of pain. Doctors say that the pain will not be controlled for 2 days, but that after that it will be well managed. I will have a pain pump and I will be able to press it for IV pain medication every 6 minutes. This surgery is especially painful because there are many nerves associated with the pancreas. Also, they are cutting out a vital organ and putting your internal organs back together again. The surgeons will carefully be placing body parts that have never been linked together next to each other. These internal scars will have to heal and will be painful. The external scar will be from under my breast bone all the way down to my belly button. This will have staples and will take time to heal as you can imagine. I will be on the transplant floor anywhere from 15-30 days and then I will return to a condo that my family will rent in the Tucson area for 7 weeks, or until I am cleared to travel home. The surgeons want me to stay close to the UMC even after I am better, just in case I need anything and also until all of my tubes are out!

I am going to have drains, a feeding tube, and other various "plugs and cords" as I like to call it. I will need to stay in Tucson until they are gone. In the hospital my parents and I will attend diabetes training, feeding tube classes and much much more! We are going to learn how to handle my illness without nurses so I can do it at the condo. It is going to be a lot to learn for all of us but I know once I reach the "learning how to handle my condition at home" phase I will be ready to scream hallelujah from the mountain tops!

My hopes for the first two weeks after surgery:
I pray I wake up and hear "everything went well" or "just like normal".
I pray I wake up and see my Mom, Dad, and Brother.
I pray I wake up and know the world around me and everyone in it and feel like myself.
I hope to be in less pain that I think I will be in the first two days.
I do not mind being over medicated the first few days, I hope I am!
I hope to not remember waking up with any ventilators or any other scary thing.
I want to be walking within the first 2 days.
I want to walk everyday and get strong faster than normal.
I want to spend MAXIMUM 2 weeks at the UMC and then I want to go to the condo.
I will be eating Popsicles sooner than later (I know the feeding tube part will stink and I want it out asap).
I know I will feel better when my swelling goes down and I can wear my own pajamas.
I know I will feel better when I can do my own hair and take pride in what I look like.
I can't wait to feel like showering and having my mom help me with my hair!
I hope I am well enough to enjoy my friends visits.
The day I put on makeup- I am probably feeling much much better and should be home!

Dear Lord,
My hope is that when my pancreas is gone my pain will be too. My threat of cancer will be gone. My life will resume to normal. I will be able to plan things again and actually follow through. I won't be in the hospital every three weeks and I will live life to the fullest. Please Lord help me to achieve these things through you. Please watch over me Lord and let me be healed. Let me make it out of surgery stronger than ever and ready to fight for my life. Thank you for all that you do for me Lord.

UMC- University Medical Center

I leave on Sunday for the UMC in Tucson. This is the hospital that the University of Arizona has and it is a level 1 trauma center. It is where Gabrielle Giffords went after her horrific ordeal when she became a shooting victim and it is where they saved her life. These doctors at the UMC are doing unbelievable things with technology and medicine today and are always learning for the future.

My stay with include 4 full days of post-op testing at the UMC. No matter how many pins and needles I have had to endure, it is still not normal for me! I used to be the little kid running around the doctors office screaming about shots or blood work and now it has become second nature, but I still don't like it! So anyways, this week will be a long one, but it's funny because I only thought about that tonight. I have been so busy thinking about the surgery that I have not even had time to think about these tests. Below are the tests (for those of you thinking about TP-AIT or in my situation)

  • MRCP with contrast- Basically an MRI where they will be checking not only the pancreas, but also the liver to make sure the islets can make that their new home. Prayers please for a healthy liver. 
  •  A Gastric Emptying Test- This will involve a radioactive food substance that I will eat and the docs will watch as it does through my body. They will be able to tell what my body does when I eat and how well it gets rid of the food.
  • Labs- Believe it or not, this is the part I am the most freaked about! It is 27 VIALS of blood! Yea, you heard me, 27. Never had that many before, and I hate it as it is, so I will be asking about taking a relaxing medication before hand to get through it:-(
  • Upper Endoscopy- This will be a camera down my throat while I will be sedated. Also worried about this one because normally they put me under general anesthesia for it and this time it is just a sedation...let's hope a heavy one! 
  • Dietitian Meeting- I will be meeting with a dietitian to discuss what to eat up until the surgery and possibly what a diet to manage my diabetes will involve. I now weigh 125 pounds, a first for me, as I am almost 5'10"! But I still look fine, not too skinny, although I would like to gain about 10 pounds since you can lose up to 30 after surgery. YIKES. 
  • Psychological Evaluation- I will have to be mentally evaluated for the surgery. All patients must go through the process. They will be making sure I can handle a surgery of this magnitude. This means they will make sure I have family support, caretakers, mental stability, and understand fully what I am going to be like after surgery and how to care for myself. 
  • Surgeon Meeting- I have already met Dr. Rilo, who will never leave my pancreases side once it is out of my body. He will begin his work on that monster from the time it leaves to the time the islet cells are transplanted back into my liver. I will be meeting Dr. Gruessner, who will be "holding the knife" as my pancreas is removed (unless we do robotics, more on this to come). 
  • GI Meeting- I will be meeting with my GI doctor to discuss my results and talk about what each thing means. 
  • Neurological Evaluation- Oddly enough, I have had migraines from a young age, I mean young, 2nd grade! So they want to study this and make sure they are just headaches and not a form of seizures before they put me through a very long surgery. 

Dr. Rilo is confident that I need this surgery to live. He told me at our last meeting that as long as this study comes back "normal" with no surprises, he will proceed with the transplant. He said he was looking at end of January or beginning of February. He also asked me to begin researching and thinking about robotics. Robotics is a new way of doing surgery, not laproscopic, but it uses a robot to do the actual cutting. Doctors are "manning the machine" from a screen that magnifies everything x 12. It is still  very new and has only been preformed on total pancreatectomy with islet cell transplant a few times! My heart is pounding just writing this! I would be the first ever at the UMC and they would be bringing in a doctor who had experience with the robotics machine and TP. If it did not work after they began, they would change it and go to the normal old-fashioned way. There are positives to doing it this way: less risk of infection, faster healing time, shorter hospital stay, and a much small wound/scar. We will see, I am still thinking about it. I am a prime candidate because I am skinny and small in the stomach area. I will probably be in a medical journal if we chose to go this way!

Back to the E.R.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dad and I in the E.R. waiting for my bed.

This is what we do every day around my house...
The pancreas sits about 2 inches from your spine....
Thus, leaving you with a bad backache!
This week was an interesting one to say the least! After I went to tucson to visit Betsy I came home and became really ill. I have no idea why but it just hit me Sunday evening. I was at my condo watching TV when I realized the pain was getting really bad. I called my parents to warn them and told my mom I thought I could sleep through the night. I successfully did that and when I woke I was doubled over in pain. I knew I needed to go to the E.R. This time felt like one of the first attacks I had when I was living in San Diego. I threw on clothes and threw more clothes in a bag for the hospital just in case. When I got there they put me in a wheel chair because I could not walk. I had to wait 2 hours, which is a long time for the Mayo, and was finally taken back. My lipase actually was a little high at 100, normal for me is about 15 (and some of my worst attacks have been at 5,000). They had me wait all day from 11am to 7pm in the E.R. until they got me into a room. Two of my friends, Ali and Kerri came to the hospital to see me that night when I was in my new room. They stayed until my pain medicines were corrected and Kerri even straightened out my nurse by having her call my doctor to make my dose higher since I was in pain. It worked so good job Kerri! 
Baby Cole and I in my hospital bed.
The next morning I awoke and the doctor came in to tell me my labs were worse the second day meaning I would need to stay another night. BLAH. I slept the entire day, I mean I had visitors and I do not even remember them being there!  Jessica and her mom came and I think I cried AND fell asleep while they were there. Sorry about that, girls:-) Good thing I have known Jessi since 4th grade, she won't get rid of me! The last day my best friend Katie and her babies came to see me! What a great day that was for me. I was well enough to enjoy them and we all left the hospital together:-) It was like the kids knew I was sick. They were so sweet and angelic making me even happier! Cole laid with me on my bed and didn't make a peep! He did try to pull out my IV...but good thing his nurse mommy pushed it right back in:-) I was supposed to go on a girls trip to Denver this weekend. I had been praying I would be well enough to go and hits me and I can't go. I will be so thankful for the day that things like that don't have to happen anymore. I have been bargaining with God lately. I notice myself asking for things and Denver was one of them. I know now that it wasn't meant to be this year and that Denver will always still be there. Let's hope my girlfriends and I can go on a girls trip next winter! Maybe I can even have a glass of wine then. Oh what a glorious day that would be!

My Mom just told me how scared this last attack made her as she said she has never seen me this sick. I think I scared myself too. I kept reminding myself that this would pass and I always get better. She reminded me that I would be fine. We have had a few talks today about being a fighter and not letting anything get in the way of getting better. I try so hard to do this everyday. I was worried about my life during this last attack. I honestly felt so bad health wise that I had some concerns about life and death! It is a funny thing, pain. Pain can literally make you feel like you are dying even when you aren't. I know that was a short moment where I thought about it and that I will get better, even from this:-) Let's just say that the surgery can't come fast enough. God has a way of speaking to you and telling you when it's time to do things. After everything that happened this week, He let me know it was time to do the surgery.

Meeting A Fellow Cranky Panky Sister!

A true gift from God
Meeting Betsy and her "Mum" as Betsy calls her:-)
On Sunday my mom and I woke up early to do something I had been planning for a long time! I am in a Facebook support group for those who share my rare condition. I had been communicating for quite some time with a woman named Betsy who was going to fly to Tucson from her home in Massachusetts to meet with the transplant team and discuss her options as well. We bonded over going to the Mayo Clinic on Facebook because I had already gone to Mayo and she was heading there. I told her about my experiences at the Mayo with the pancreas specialists and she decided that after hearing all that she was going to pass on going to Mayo. It is expensive for everyone to travel to other states in the search of better medical care and sometimes when you trust another persons advice it can save you time and money. I wish I had listened when others told me that the Mayo didn't help that much when they went. It is sort of hard to tell people what to do in the group or give advice as everyone has to put so much faith in what they are doing and where they are going. To hear that someone hated the doctor or the experience when you had a ton of hope in that for you is hard. Not sure if I am wording that correctly or if that makes sense. Anyways, Betsy and I both decided, around the same time, to take a huge leap of faith and try Dr. Rilo and his team. She is there now doing her 4 day workup and I just talked to her and she feels very confident too. I go there Dec. 18 and will be there until the 22 hoping for a final approval after that (although I am very confident I will be approved as Dr. Rilo has already said he thinks I need this to save my life). One of my best friends went to college at the UofA and she recommended we eat at Beyond Bread and we sat there for 3 hours! Betsy and her mom have a relationship very similar to my mom and I so our moms could chat and support one another too. It was really a great experience for all four of us! I cried when we first met, I think I had just been so excited about it for so long. My mom drove home from Tucson and I was just so happy the whole ride home!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blood sugar testing
Glucose monitor 
Here is the test they did one me in pictures:-) The left is the monitor that I mailed back to the doctors and they plug it into a computer to check out what my blood sugar has been over the past week. The right is just a kit that I will use for the rest of my life after surgery. I will check sugars a ton at first and then 4 times a day for probably life. I am okay with that though! Give me no pain and a long life and I will do anything! I think its important to add the pictures for those of you who may be about to have the surgery or thinking about it. It will show you what you can expect through the process or maybe even things to ask your doctor about. I will try and post pictures as I have procedures. Unless of course I look awful...then maybe now:-) We will see!

A letter to my first doctor

Tenley, one of my dearest friends from college, suggested that I included emails and letters from doctors just in case I decided that I would like to turn this blog into my own little book one day:-) I thought it was a great idea so I have included something I have wanted to do for a LONG time! This may sound crazy, but the first doctor I had the first time I ever had pancreatitis blamed me. He said it was because I drank alcohol the night before! Crazy, as all of you would have this disease if that was the case...and some more than others ha ha, Theta what??! Anyways, I decided after getting my genetic tests back that I would write him a letter. I am not sure if he will read it, or continue reading it, as it is rather harsh. I honestly feel a little bit guilty for being so rude to him in the letter, but if you had been in my shoes in that hospital the first time I will promise that you would understand why I feel this way. Anyways, I wrote him a letter telling him to remove some things from my medical records. I sound like a little lawyer in this, which is funny because that was always something I thought I would do. Maybe one day...for now I will get better. Enjoy my little piece of revenge. 

Dr. Warm,
I was a patient of yours at Sharp Coronado Hospital. I was two weeks into my twenty second year of life when my stomach hurt beyond belief and I was sure I was dying! After being admitted to your hospital, you were assigned to be my doctor. After discussing that fact that I had lipase over 5,000 and pain that was horrific, you determined that I had acute pancreatitis. I told you that the night before I had drank 3 cranberry and vodka drinks. You said this caused my pancreatitis. I specifically remember telling you that, “I only had three drinks” and your response was “That is excessive”. I quote you verbatim as I will never forget those words. My mom was in the room when you said that and she was blown away. We asked for you to be removed as my doctor and in turn you put yet another doctor from your same staff on my case. You refused to listen to the GI specialist that was called in to help on my case (he even told us you two had a difference of opinion).
Since seeing you I have had many more attacks of pancreatitis (somewhere around 30) and my doctors have never accused me of being an alcoholic. I do not drink any alcohol because it is not good for my condition. My parents got me out of Sharp and I was immediately admitted to Scripps in La Jolla where I received better treatment and the doctors there knew better than to blame three cocktails on a serious medical condition in a 22 year old female with no history of drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, my time in your care was documented in my medical records. In these records it states that I am a colllege student with episodic binge drinking and it also says that the cause of my conditions is: ALCOHOL! I am asking you to remove any part of the record that blames or mentions alcohol consumption. I want to be a functioning adult who is able to get life insurance and my own health insurance one day and I do not want your mistakes and lack of expertise to compromise this.
In the future I would hope that you would stay inside your realm of expertise. I am not trying to be hurtful, I am trying to save patients from ever feeling as awful as I did about the treatment they received. You are not a GI doctor. You are not a pancreatic specialist. It should have sent off a red flag in your head that you had a patient, whom was only 22 years old, with this severe case of pancreatitis. That is not normal under any doctors judgement. Had you listened to the specialist on the case and had you put aside your ego you would have understood this and you would have much better served me, your patient, which is hopefully why you went to medical school. 
I have faxed my genetic testing to show you that I carry all three of the genes associated with chronic pancreatitis. The most prominent gene is the PRSS1 gene, which is what causes me to suffer from hereditary pancreatitis. This means, Dr. Warm, that nothing I ate or drank caused me to have pancreatitis that day in your hospital. It means that I was born this way and I cannot help that this happened. I also sent you an article titled “Pathophysiology of Chronic Pancreatitis” that was written by those who are actually specialists and those who research this field. We could call them experts. I would like you to pay specific attention to pages 1318 and 1320. On 1318 it mentions, “Pancreatitis almost NEVER occurs in persons who consume alcohol for less than 5 years.” As you know I was 2 weeks outside of being 21. I had been socially drinking for approximately 2 years. Right away, you should have considered this and it should have raised a red flag. The second page, page 1320, mentions that patients under 25 should have genetic testing. The point of me pointing out these pages is that age should have alarmed you. You should have been concerned that I was only 22 years old and you should have known better than to blame my three drinks the night before!
I am now finished saying the things I only wished I had known the day I was with you at Sharp Coronado Hospital. I am harsh, as you can see, because you hurt me badly that day. You offended me and you made me think I caused myself such a terrible and life wrecking disease. This disease has taken away three years of my life and I have suffered greatly. I am now in the care of wonderful GI doctors and expert surgeons who are offering me hope for the future. I am now a self educated expert on the pancreas. I have researched every scientific journal article and have spoken to the best doctors who specialize in the pancreas that this country has to offer. I only wish that you had taken the time to listen to experts when I was your patient. My final request, please remove any mention alcohol from my medical records or I will seek legal action.
Thank You,
Whitney Yates

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