Hernia and Gall Bladder Surgery
Late one Friday night, Doug Ireland, Sports Information Director and Assistant Athletics Director at Northwestern State University, began experiencing intense abdominal pain. Thinking that maybe he had a case of indigestion, a stomach bug, or maybe even food poisoning, he hoped he would start feeling better within a day or so. Yet, that would not be the case.
By Saturday morning, Doug grew a little more concerned as his pain continued, and he began running a fever. Sunday and Monday, he felt even worse, and by Monday night, he knew something was seriously wrong. At 8:05 Tuesday morning, he was in his physician’s office, and Dr. James Knecht had blood drawn and then sent Doug to get a CT scan at NRMC. Shortly thereafter, Doug learned that his pain and fever was caused by his gall bladder and he’d need to see a surgeon.
Doug went to NMRC General Surgery Associates where he said everyone was extremely accommodating and responsive. “I saw Dr. Bill Ball who I’ve known for years, and he explained that the gall bladder needed to come out. He had commitments already for the end of the week, so he referred me to his associate, Dr. Damien DeFrancesch who reassured me that this was something they do at NRMC often and that I would be fine,” he said. “Because I was on blood thinners, I needed to see my cardiologist, Dr. Chris Ingram, and he temporarily took me off of the blood thinners and had me wait a few days as a precaution before having the surgery.”
He was admitted Tuesday evening to manage his pain and be treated for his fever, due to the possibility of infection, while being weaned from the blood thinners.
“That week went by as planned, and I knew I was getting the best medical care possible. All the doctors worked together doing their part in my care. I had superior confidence in everyone. From the doctors’ office staffs to the radiology and surgery department at the hospital, to the folks in ICU and the regular room, I was so impressed with the people taking care of me,” Doug added.
While in the hospital, Doug said he noticed a common thread. He felt as if everyone was proud to work at NRMC. “Whether in housekeeping, nursing, whatever the role – they were all very happy and focused on their jobs. Their attitudes made my stay and recovery a good experience, and I felt as if they had my best interests at heart,” he said.
“I had a hernia that needed repairing, too, but I had put it off for a couple of years, but Dr. DeFrancesch said since I was going to the OR for the gall bladder removal, that he could do the hernia repair at the same time and so that’s what we did,” Doug continued. “I was glad to get that done while having the gall bladder removed. I felt better immediately and had the best-case scenario for a recovery. Dr. DeFrancesch explained everything to me including the risks, and yet reassured me that I would do fine, and I did. He was fantastic – all of my doctors were. I’m so grateful to each of them and to the folks at NRMC and my doctors’ offices.”
“I’m from Natchitoches, and I do not want to head north or south on I-49 for medical care, and I don’t have to. Having the option to have surgery at NRMC made my life easier, and I am so glad we have a high caliber hospital and excellent doctors here Natchitoches,” he noted.