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Letter: Shame on AVH

Shame on AVH

Dear Editor:

It is unfortunate that we, as a health-minded community, do not have any say in who is available to treat us medically. That’s just not how it works. I, for one, am very familiar with the options available to me in this valley and while we have some of the best, we are also very limited in what is close at hand.

In April 2012, I took four doses of Levaquin, a dangerous and commonly prescribed antibiotic whose effects have since turned my life upside down. I have been shuffled around from one specialist to another, without any avail.

I get lots of confused looks with head nodding; not very helpful. In January, a gastrointestinal specialist out of Vail encouraged me to have my gallbladder removed and to call Dr. X’s office for the surgery. While searching alternatives to surgery, I had multiple persons (including a half dozen former patients and three physicians in the valley) tell me to not go to Dr. X and to see Dr. Schultz instead. So I did.

Surgery was a success, end of story. Right? Wrong. Three weeks later, all of my symptoms and illness returned. My GI guy looked at me and literally threw his hands up in the air and with a glazed look in his eyes, said, “I don’t know.” And pawned me off onto another doctor. Again. Talk about disappointing.

Dr. Schultz, however, immediately had me come into his office, made calls, made referrals and while it has been months since he did surgery, he still follows up with me. He still calls me to check up on me, asks me about my symptoms, and makes sure that I know I can call his cell if I ever have any concerns. Talk about a breath of fresh air, not to mention some rare sense of accountability for one’s well-being. Who knew that even existed anymore?

All I can say is that for the first time in over a year, I actually feel like I have a doctor participating in my health care who truly and genuinely cares about my well-being. And let me tell you, I’ve been to a lot of doctors over the last year.

To the board at Aspen Valley Hospital and all others involved in the decision to terminate Dr. John Schultz, I say this: Shame. On. You. I am utterly disgusted and disappointed by your decision, not to mention absolutely terrified about what lies ahead in the world of health care for this valley.

You know that scene in “Pretty Woman” when Julia Roberts tries to go shopping? Yeah, that one.

Big mistake.

Mariam Naibi

Aspen


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