“I’m going to die,” Cindy thought. The pain in her abdomen
had grown so severe she could hardly bear to sit, stand, or move around.
She’d already visited her primary care physician who referred her
to a specialist in Fresno, but test after test revealed nothing about
Besides dealing with debilitating physical pain, the search for an answer
was taking its toll on Cindy’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
She felt like no one was listening to her concerns. That is, until she
met Dr. Carol Machado, a general surgeon with Kaweah Delta Medical Foundation.
“Dr. Machado saved my life,” Cindy expressed. “I visited
her office in so much pain and needed an answer. The tests weren’t
showing anything but I knew something was wrong. She listened to me and
scheduled me for surgery the very next day.”
Dr. Machado performed exploratory laparoscopy, a minimally invasive diagnostic
procedure used to examine the organs inside the abdomen. She would soon
discover exactly why Cindy was suffering. The 53-year-old of Visalia had
an umbilical hernia and extensive scar tissue from previous abdominal
procedures wrapped around her organs. During surgery, Dr. Machado recalled
a previous comment Cindy made about feeling more pain while sitting. Because
of her connection with her patient and her thoroughness as a diagnostician,
Dr. Machado sat Cindy up on the surgery table and witnessed scar tissue
around her bowels twist up in an entirely abnormal way. This was the reason
for Cindy’s pain.
“If she had not been the one to do this, the outcome would have
been different,” Cindy said. “Dr. Machado listened to me.
I’m grateful she looked outside the box. I wasn’t a textbook
case and she was able to look outside the box to find an answer. I’m
feeling great today.”