Happy Holidays Letter to Mayo

For distribution to Mayo Clinic staff. Use this txt file if needed for emailing.

Dear Dr. Behm, surgical team, and “butts and guts” floor staff,
I would like to wish you all a happy holidays and extend a heartfelt thanks for all you did for me this time last year. I was out of options for surgical treatment locally and you all took care of me in my time of greatest need.

If you are curious about my post-discharge course, it has been rocky but I’m pleased with the stability I’ve currently achieved. When I went home, I had a nephrostomy, a foley, and was promptly hooked up to TPN. I struggled up the stairs with a cane and otherwise used a walker. I was taking oxycodone a few times a day.

After passing a bezoar of 10-20 bupropion XL (an interesting clinical pearl), I continued to advance my diet and was off of TPN in a couple of weeks. I had ortho PT, pelvic PT, and advanced to a cane. I only occasionally use a walker for longer distances. Thankfully the intense left foot pain faded away and I haven’t needed pain meds in months.

My urological course has been more difficult. My bladder’s new left ureteral opening mostly scarred closed but a subspecialist was able to advance a wire from the nephrostomy down to the bladder, then advance a stent up from a cystoscope. After my first stent exchange in June, I developed urosepsis with VRE and was in the hospital for a week. But I had my second exchange a few weeks ago without complications.

I’m in a pretty good place right now, all things considered. With the AFO and cane, I can go out to eat, do light shopping, use a recumbent exercise bike, and do most tasks around the house. Despite my limitations, for the first time in 2 years, I don’t really feel systemically ill. Again, I can’t adequately stress how truly thankful I am to everyone involved in my care last November-December.

Warmest wishes for a merry Christmas and happy holidays,

Matthew Shook, MD

P.S. I would appreciate it if you could distribute this to the colorectal department, the inpatient floor, and the doctors involved in my care.


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