"I have gained so much from this experience. I can eat again, and I can function again. I will forever be grateful!"
Morgan Freeland, 33, exudes energy and positivity—her wide smile and outgoing personality are immediately apparent when meeting her. But earlier this year, she was a completely different person.
For about two months, Morgan struggled to eat, she suffered from severe abdominal pain, and she lost an unusual amount of weight. Lack of answers and an abundance of pain kept her from leaving her home, and she subsequently suffered depression. She entered The Surgery Clinic of Northeast Louisiana with a feeling of hopelessness.
"I went into my first appointment with Dr. Patrick Smith trying to stay positive, but at that point, I was not sure if he could even help me. I was so depressed because I just wanted to live a normal life," Morgan said.
Her mood quickly changed. "My experience at his office was amazing from the first time I entered. His receptionist was so sweet, and the lab technicians were so much fun. I hate needles, and they were so gentle and made it very easy. They laughed and kept the mood light, which helped me relax so much."
Then she met Kacie Brown, Dr. Smith's nurse. "Kacie never rushed me. There was something in her eyes that showed me she cared and was even sad for me regarding what I had been going through. She told me that she was sorry for what I had been dealing with. She also assured me that Dr. Smith was amazing and so good at what he does."
Morgan's unexplained pain created a significant disturbance in her life, she said. "I missed out on so many things during this time. The extreme pain was hindering my ability to do my job, so I stepped down. I was unable to play with my daughter. As a mother, I always try to put on a strong face and not let her see the struggle, but that was completely impossible," Morgan said. "Not knowing what was wrong with me took a toll emotionally. I was slipping into a state of depression. When you don't know what is going on, your mind can wander, and mine was definitely going to a bad place."
Dr. Smith determined Morgan needed her gallbladder removed. And, he reassured her, Morgan said. "Dr. Smith was very relaxed and confident. His calm energy allowed me to express my emotional pain, as well as my physical pain. He was determined to make sure I got better," she said. "We discussed my symptoms, and we even talked about some other issues I had been having. After learning about my other pain, unrelated to my gallbladder, he suspected I had endometriosis. He assured me that while removing my gallbladder, he would take a look and make sure all other things were well."
At 16 years old, Morgan, who grew up in Rayville, began experiencing extreme pain related to her menstrual cycle. She believed the pain was simply something she would have to accept, so when Dr. Smith told her he would thoroughly examine other areas of her abdomen, she felt a renewed hope.
Morgan said she was "very nervous" because the gallbladder removal was her first surgery, and she was unsure what to expect. However, Dr. Smith made her feel confident about her upcoming treatment.
During the gallbladder procedure, Dr. Smith diagnosed her with endometriosis, which was likely the source of her long time pain. The endometriosis was treated simultaneously.
Morgan said, "This made me so happy because he was going the extra mile to take care of me in every way, not just to address the original reason I made the appointment. My menstrual cycles have been so miserable for as long as I could remember. It has always interfered with my life—sometimes I couldn't leave the house. The pain would be so bad that I would run a fever and even throw up most of the time. Now, I don't experience even a third of the pain, and it has not interfered with my personal life."
She said she will always appreciate Dr. Smith for diagnosing her gallbladder disease and determining the cause of her longtime menstrual cycle pain.
"I have gained so much from this experience. I can eat again, and I have gained the weight back that I lost, plus some. I will forever be grateful to Dr. Smith because he went above and beyond for me. Now, I can function again!"
In addition to Dr. Smith, the clinic is also home to surgeons Dr. Walter Sartor and Dr. Bart Liles. Contact the clinic today at 318.398.2984 with any questions you have about gallbladder disease or other surgical needs.
ABOUT GALLBLADDER DISEASE:
Gallbladder disease involves the inflammation, infection, stones, or blockage of the gallbladder. Symptoms of chronic gallbladder disease include nausea, gas, and abdominal discomfort after meal consumption. Some people may also experience fever and chills. A person may also feel a steady and severe pain in the upper right abdomen near the rib cage, which can radiate to the upper back. A blood test and ultrasound can determine the presence of gallbladder disease. Treatment may include laparoscopic surgery, which is what Morgan underwent.