A Triumph Over Pancreatitis – Charlene’s Story – The Nebraska Medical Center


26 years ago I had a bleeding ulcer so I’ve
always had stomach problems. I figured that was just part of it.
The only way I could explain it is if you’re a woman and had morning sickness, that’s what
I felt like. 24-7-365. I thought it was normal.
It progressively got worse and worse. My gastroenterologist he just didn’t understand
either. I didn’t realize it and the doctor didn’t
either that it was constant pancreatitis. It was just not going away and I learned to
live with it. Until about 3 years ago when there was no
living with it anymore. I was curled up in a ball and just couldn’t
function. When I have 5 grandchildren and couldn’t play
with them it bothered me. They decided I needed to see Dr. Botha here
at the med center. He looked at all my tests and procedures I
had done. He spoke to my gastroenteroloist. He said I think we can fix this.
What we’ll do is remove your pancreas, send it to a lab. They will isolate your islet
cells which are the insulin producing cells in your body. And then we will transplant
your islet cells back in, I was scared, but I was so miserable.
If it would give me back my life that’s what I wanted. That’s why we opted for it.
It was a great option. Wonderful. I’m pain free. Energy level… I’m doing everything
I did before, but with no pain associated with it.
Not even having to worry about getting up and saying I wonder how I’m going to feel
this morning, should I have a cup of coffee or is that going to make me sick?
No. I don’t have any of that. I had such a great time here. I’ve told them
so many times; thank you thank you thank you. Dr. Boerner has been taking care of me since
the transplant. I thank him very much. All the doctors here at the med center, all the
nurses, especially the transplant nurses were just wonderful.
It’s a new normal. It’s what normal should have been for years.
But now it is normal.

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