Harrison provides busy mom the surgical care she needs close to home For three months, Bainbridge Island resident Marissa Wachter experienced excruciating, unexplainable bouts of abdominal pain.
“When the pain hit, it became nearly impossible to do anything but lay down,” Marissa remembers. As the busy mother of two children under five years old, she could hardly manage such episodes. Repeated tests failed to pinpoint a cause. Finally, an urgent care physician witnessed yet another painful bout.
“When it happened in front of him, it was very clear what needed to be done,” says Marissa. The doctor sent her to the Harrison Emergency Department in Silverdale for an ultrasound right away.
Quick Relief The ultrasound showed cholecystitis, commonly known as gallbladder disease, in which gallstones block the tube leading out of the gallbladder, resulting in bile buildup and inflammation. About 750,000 Americans suffer from gallbladder disease each year. “Like the appendix, once the gallbladder gets sick, there’s no way to get it healthy again,” says James Clemen, MD, a general surgeon with Harrison HealthPartners Silverdale General Surgery. “The best treatment is removal.”
“I didn’t realize how serious it was until the ER doctor suggested I may need to have surgery right away,” says Marissa. “I was so grateful when he and the on-call surgeon decided it could wait, so my family and I could make plans.”
Three days after her diagnosis, Marissa was prepped for surgery at Harrison Bremerton. On the recommendation of friends, Marissa chose Dr. Clemen as her surgeon. “He was excellent, and never made me feel rushed when I had questions.” Since she was sick when she was admitted, Marissa was immediately put on fluids and antibiotics. “The nursing staff was so caring and concerned, I didn’t feel stressed at all.”
Just Minutes Away Because her diagnosis and surgery happened so quickly, Marissa and her family were grateful Harrison was so close to home. “It made such a difference to go to Silverdale and Bremerton instead of taking a ferry to Seattle at the last minute,” she says. “My husband and mom were able to take turns at the hospital and at home, and it just made everything easier.”
Following a smooth recovery, Marissa’s life is full once again, shuttling her kids to school and activities. Marissa is focused on preparing healthy foods for her family, and enjoying yoga with her daughter once more. “I don’t take my good health for granted like I did before,” she says. “If you have pain, you can’t plan and take care of yourself or the people in your life. It’s so nice to be free of that pain.”