Listening Makes a Difference

Recurrent Infections Led to a Complicated Health Condition

Listening Makes a Difference - Northern Nevada Health System, Sparks, Nevada.

Taylor Johannesen is no stranger to being in the hospital. After undergoing a hernia repair in 2004, she was advised by her doctors to maintain good health to prevent a recurrence. However, she was not aware that she was living with a 14-pound tumor that prevented her from being able to walk.

“I gained weight from not being able to move around and developed another hernia,” she said. “Because I was overweight, doctors were unable to perform a CT scan and I needed surgery to locate the tumor.”

Doctors removed the tumor and Taylor was diagnosed with a hernia mesh infection. “After undergoing so many different surgeries, the fascia on my abdomen was too weak. They were unable to operate again to remove the hernia mesh and clear up the infection,” she said.

As a result, Taylor spends two to three months in the hospital every year for antibiotic treatment and suffers from severe lipedema, which is abnormal fat buildup. Beyond her time spent in hospitals, Taylor also spends 20 hours a day laying down and elevating her stomach to control lipedema symptoms.

New town, better experience

“I started experiencing a flare up from my infection a couple of months after moving to Reno and I went to Sierra Medical Center’s (SMC) emergency department,” she said. “I do not present with symptoms in the same way that other patients with infections do, and that can sometimes make it difficult to have my concerns taken seriously at a facility unfamiliar with my history.”

However, Hospitalist Brandi Kindig, MD, listened with compassion and was able to provide effective care for Taylor’s needs.

“Dr. Kindig saved me from having my infection worsen and spending months in the hospital and rehab,” said Taylor. “Had I gotten this type of treatment in the last decade, it would have greatly reduced the amount of time I spent in the hospital over the years.”

A trustworthy healthcare provider is gold

Taylor knows her condition will require hospital treatment in the future, but said SMC is her top choice to receive that care.

“The nurses are so good at what they do, the doctor followed through with my care plan, and my pain was well-managed during my stay,” she said. “It has been a couple of months since my visit at SMC and I haven’t had to go back for further treatment. They listened to me, respected my wishes, and became a partner with me for the care I needed.”

Taylor feels it is very important for people suffering with chronic conditions to have a healthcare provider and facility they can trust. Because of her great patient experience at SMC, she feels comfortable knowing that she can get the care she needs, when she needs it.

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