Patrice knew something was wrong when she began having chronic pain in her lower abdomen that got so bad she couldn’t stand long enough to cook dinner for her family, drive out to her son’s basketball tournaments or do her job without extreme discomfort throughout the day.
She consulted two different primary care physicians, had multiple tests and scans done which were unable to diagnose the cause of her chronic pain. She was told she needed to lose weight, or that because of several car accidents earlier in her life that the pain was due to the trauma, but she knew it was something different.
“I’ve been dealing with this pain for almost a year and a half and I knew something more was going on other than needing to lose weight, something just wasn’t right” said Patrice.
During one doctor’s visit she had a painful episode in her abdomen in front of the doctor that took 15 minutes to pass. It was then that her doctor agreed that something wasn’t right and she was referred to UT Health Austin’s Women’s Health Institute for a specialist consultation.
In December 2017, Patrice met with Christina Salazar, MD who specializes in the management of complex gynecological conditions including endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.
“When I came here [UT Health Austin] they were focused on making sure I could have some type of relief,” explained Patrice. Upon further examination, Dr. Salazar felt a mass in her lower abdomen and determined that Patrice was a candidate for surgery and would need a full hysterectomy to treat her chronic pelvic pain.
“Dr. Salazar explained everything to me. She really went into depth about what was going on in my body, what was causing the pain and she told me she would do her best to make sure everything was taken care of and that’s exactly what she did, she’s like my angel!” says Patrice.
Patrice had her procedure done in early December. Several fibroids and cysts were removed, one of which being the size of a grapefruit. After her procedure and full recovery, she was able to return to her everyday life, pain free.
“My experience was wonderful, they [the physicians] kept calling to check in on me every other day after my procedure and I had never had an experience like that before with any other doctor,” Patrice said.
Patrice was able to become more active again with her four sons and explained that she was happy to be able to do simple things again like bend over and tie her shoes without pain.
“They [the physicians] made me feel like I was important, and they just wanted me to be happy and be able to get up and move around easily. I even showed them that I could bend down because before the surgery I couldn’t even do that.”