Outcomes: A patient journey
Like most 22-year-olds, Amanda Jones has a busy schedule. Between studying for a career in medical imaging, engaging in her passion for all things equine and maintaining the frenetic pace that is the hallmark of her age group, she doesn’t let things slow her down much.
Her bout with endometriosis might be the exception.
Once routinely dismissed as simply part of being a woman, endometriosis was cited in a recent study as one of the ten most painful medical conditions. Affecting one in ten women, the painful disorder commonly involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis.
The pain and stomach aches that would plague Jones began at the age of 16.
“I really just thought it was something I was eating or something I was doing that just made me not feel good,” said Jones.
For years, she more or less just toughed it out. But the pain continued to get worse. One day Jones got sick and had to leave work; that week she lost ten pounds. She went to see her doctor, who thought it might have been an ovarian cyst that exploded.
“You should be fine,” was the outlook.
But it didn’t get any better.
Jones would see a number of specialists and endure numerous tests in an unsuccessful search for a solution. Seemingly, there was nothing to be done.
“At this point, I pretty much just kind of gave up,” said Jones.
By chance, Jones needed a physical, which she scheduled with a new primary care practitioner, who asked about her medical history.
Jones told her story and her new primary said, “I think you’ve got endometriosis.”
Considering her recent path, Jones was just a bit skeptical.
“I had endometriosis, so I think I know exactly how you’re feeling,” the primary said. “I had the surgery too. I think you should go see Dr. Kaldas.”
Providing care in the area since 1996, Dr. Rami Kaldas built his practice and reputation on helping women who have repeatedly heard that there is nothing to be done. The gynecological surgeon’s skills in the treatment of endometriosis have made Appleton’s Kaldas Center a destination for women.
Once again, Jones would tell her story to a physician. A half an hour in, Kaldas said the signs point- ed to endometriosis. His next words were just what Jones wanted to hear.
“We’re going take care of this and you’re going to feel better,” said Kaldas.
Within that first appointment, Jones scheduled her surgery.
Later, Jones sat down with her mom and compiled a list of questions and concerns that she presented to the Kaldas team at her pre-op appointment. All questions were answered.
Kaldas performed laparoscopic surgery to remove the endometrial tissue.
“He is probably the best doctor that I’ve ever dealt with,” said Jones. “He’s understanding, he answers all of your questions. He told me flat out this was not something I should be dealing with, and they were going fix it. That made me feel great.”
While endometriosis can come back, Jones has had no issues since her surgery. She’s focused on preparing for her medical career and credits her mom – a phlebotomist, EMT, first responder and health care navigator – as the inspiration for her pursuits.
“Whenever an ambulance went by, we always wanted to know what was going on,” said Jones.
Jones hopes to join the fast-paced environment of a hospital imaging/radiology department upon completion of her degree.
And her love affair with horses continues unabated. Owner of horses TJ and Titan, Jones has a rich and rewarding history of showing horses and is a longstanding member of The Pink Ribbon Rebels Equestrian Drill Team.
Her schedule is jam-packed, but Amanda Jones has no intention of slowing down.