Before & After

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Fly and fit in the seat
8 People
 in progress, 
7 People
 achieved this
Eliminate high fructose corn syrup from my diet - forever!
1 Person
 in progress, 
0 People
 achieved this
Surgeon Testimonial

Aniceto Baltasar, M.D.
My PCP (Marnie Foley - very cool chick) initially referred me to Emma Patterson at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
My experiences with Dr. Patterson were less than positive. I have come away with a great distrust of her, and am thankful my insurance ended up NOT covering surgery. I did end up following up with Walter Lindstrom regarding my insurance - however, learned that our coverage (ODS Health Plans of Oregon) simply have an air-tight exclusion. My husband's employer also refused to eliminate the clause that excludes treatment of M.O. from their insurance product.
So, I end up a self-pay. I've done much research, and am confident that the BPD/DS and Dr. Baltasar in Spain are the right choices for me. So, what it all comes down to is the money - I'm saving my pennies, and praying for the surgery to come soon - before my health gives out.
8/10/2002: 5 weeks and 4 days ago I had my surgery with Dr. Baltasar. My first impression of him was that our meeting was something akin to running into someone you've loved and admired your whole life, but only knew from afar - yet on first meeting, I was genuinely welcomed, and made to feel as if the feeling were mutual. My impressions of Dr. Baltasar did change over time - but all only for the better. Not that I can think of a single negative thing. It's just that I grew to love and respect him more with each passing day - as I still continue to do.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to go to Spain and feel so fortunate to have Dr. Baltasar as my surgeon - and new friend. My surgery couldn't have gone smoother, and my recovery has been phenomenal. Dr. B is simply the best.
Latest Surgery Support Comments

  • Comment by Valerie G. 8/23/07 3:28 am
    Hey Dina, If you see a feather while under sedation, it's the magic of the chicken I'm swinging. It's sending you juju to do high kicks in the near future. Happy hip replacement. Val
  • Comment by KRWaters 8/23/07 2:35 am
    Dina, I am only thinking good thoughts for you on this day. May your surgery be uneventful and your recovery smooth.
  • Comment by Redhaired 8/23/07 1:11 am
    Dina- I hope your surgery goes well today. You are in my prayers for a successful surgery and an easy recovery. ~~~~~~~Red
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DinaMcB's Blog
DinaMcB's Blog


posted 2/2/08 2:35 pm

I was horribly anemic before my DS.  I know my numbers were always marginally low due to extremely heavy menstrual bleeding for – well – decades!  But they went way south when William was born via emergency c-section – his head was so stuck in my pelvis they had a hard time getting the kid out, and I lost 9 units of blood in the process.  For over 5 years before my DS I was *always* battling anemia.  Tried all sorts of iron supplements, but my doctors didn’t feel like anything horrible was happening because of my anemia.  So I accepted it for what my normal would be.

Had my DS.  Started taking different iron, and lo and behold – my iron numbers finally came up in the normal ranges – and stayed that way for over 5 years!

The past year or so my H & H were kinda wacky, so when I went in for my hip replacement in August my surgeon felt strongly that I needed a 10-day course of Procrit injections to get me ready for my surgery.  He went majorly to bat with my insurance company – finally talking them into covering the injections.  (Which is good, because even with great insurance coverage, our co-pay was still over 0!)  So – had the injections.

The day of my hip replacement surgery I remember waking up in recovery and seeing a bag of blood hung and being given to me.  I asked the nurse about it and she told me that they’d harvested my own blood and were giving it back to me.  (I’d been told beforehand that hip replacement is a very bloody surgery.)

So, I go on with recovery – nicely, I might add.  Did notice some kind of different things going on over the past few months – some insomnia, some itchy skin, some little owies that took AGES to heal, and then this big need to consume sour stuff (was keeping Smartees in business!).  Went in for my labs at the end of December and the next business day I got a call and letter – both – from my PCP notifying me that my ferritin level was 10!  Good grief!  It had been fine in August!

So, it was determined that I needed to see a hematologist and pursue iron infusions.  Saw the hematologist on Monday of this week.  His opinion was that the Procrit injections, combined with the hip replacement is what finally did my ferritin levels in.  They scheduled me for an iron infusion – had it on Thursday, actually.

Had iron dextrose given – which can sometimes cause an allergic response, and being that I’m the queen of the allergic response, they proceeded cautiously.  I was given 50 mg of Benadryl via IV and then given a test dose of the iron.  No reaction – woo hoo!  So, I got cozy in my comfy recliner, and slept through the 4 hour infusion!

I'm pretty amazed at the changes that I've noticed since the infusion:

I've slept through the night both nights - I've not slept through the night in over a year - before the hip replacement it was from hip pain, since then, from anemia!

I haven't had a single sour candy - don't want them, don't care about them.  Amazing!

I'm not as cold.  It was taking four quilts and a heating pad on my side of the bed with me wearing flannel PJ's and 45 minutes to get me warm enough to fall asleep.  I love that I'm warmer!

I feel more satisfied with what I've eaten...  I don't know if that's the right way to say it - but it seems that I'm not as hungry or something.

Just a few things.  So far - only positives from the experience.  I'm so thankful for a proactive PCP, a really educated hematologist, and the wonderful care I received during my infusion!



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