When Blair Wilson moved to Waverly in 2002, she didn’t immediately select a health care provider. She’d been living with Crohn’s disease for many years but her condition was fairly stable. When she did select a doctor, she picked Dr. Clay Dahlquist.
“I wanted to find a doctor who was able to look at all aspects of my health and my life,” Blair commented. “Dr. Dahlquist was a great choice for me.”
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. It can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. The disease can be both painful and debilitating and may lead to life-threatening complications.
Shortly after she started seeing Dr. Dahlquist, her Crohn’s Disease flared up. She was admitted to Waverly Health Center (WHC). After a few days, Dr. Dahlquist decided that she needed to be transferred to the University of Iowa hospital for more advanced care. There she became connected to the Center for Digestive Diseases. After she was feeling better, she came back to Waverly and continued to manage her health with Dr. Dahlquist’s help.
“I really felt like I was part of a very well connected team with Iowa City and Waverly Health Center,” she shared. “Dr. Dahlquist and the team in Iowa City were in frequent contact to provide the best care possible for me. It was crucial that information was passed back and forth and it always did. Dr. Dahlquist truly listened to me and took my concerns seriously.”
In 2009 Blair had surgery in Iowa City and once again witnessed great communication between the large teaching hospital and WHC.
“With my chronic condition, I’ve needed to visit the emergency department (ED) many times. I absolutely love Dr. John Zehr and nurse Mary Ventullo also provides such great care – all of the nurses and doctors are great. When I come into the ED, I feel so comforted and special to know there are people who know and care about me. I’ve been to a lot of other hospitals and Waverly Health Center is by far the best.”
In May 2015, Blair wasn’t feeling well. She waited for a while to go to the doctor thinking it would pass. “It didn’t feel like my Crohn’s Disease. I came for an appointment and told nurse practitioner Randy Wirtz what was going on and he decided to do some blood work and ordered a CT scan. It was my gallbladder!”
Randy referred Blair to Dr. Amber Crawford in the General Surgery Clinic. “From the minute I met Dr. Crawford I felt a connection to her. She was just so caring, concerned and willing to work with my challenging health issues.”
Blair continued, “I thought that Dr. Crawford really did her homework. She’d contacted Iowa City to get my surgical records and past history. After reviewing everything, Dr. Crawford determined that I needed to have my gallbladder removed the ‘old fashioned’ way.”
Because of the effects of Blair’s Crohn’s Disease, Dr. Crawford did not feel a laparoscopic surgery was appropriate. She would need to make a larger incision and Blair would need to stay in the hospital a little longer.
“I told Dr. Crawford that I really hated having a Nasogastric Tube (NG tube) after surgery. She promised to take it out as soon as she could and she kept her promise. The tube came out the next morning. Dr. Crawford came to see me at least two times a day to check on me. I felt so cared for.”
Blair was also impressed with Rocky Fletcher, the nurse anesthetist, who cared for her during surgery. “I first met with Rocky a couple of days before my surgery. He answered all of our questions. I mentioned that I normally have trouble with anesthesia. When Rocky came to see me the day of surgery, he told me that he had the right combination of medicine put together so I wouldn’t be sick. I had no issues at all – it was fantastic!”
“I’ve heard so many people in Waverly say that we are fortunate to have such great health care. I couldn’t agree more. I feel part of my health care team and that is critical to me. We really have the whole package where our health can be managed at WHC and we can get access to more advanced care when needed,” Blair concluded.