Living with chronic pain is challenging and soul-crushing when you do not have a doctor who believes in your pain. There was a time when I wanted to give up on finding a doctor who would validate the pain I was feeling. I suffer from a rare kidney disease called Cacchi Ricci Disease (Medullary Sponge Kidney) and have other medical diagnoses contributing to lower back pain that would become so intense the SVTs in my heart would cycle. This put fear inside me; that I may never have a better quality of life. The pain I had been enduring daily before being referred to a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor through Garden City Hospital left me with little energy to focus on my family. When a close friend of mine who is a supervisor for the local post office saw me struggling, she recommended Dr. Dennis Bandemer. That was four years ago and because of both Dr. Bandemer and Dr. Rothman’s high-quality compassionate care, my family and friends now witness a more positive healthier me.
From the beginning, Dr. Bandemer carefully assessed each pain I expressed with an open mind. He sent me for more specific imaging, referred me to physical therapy, ordered a support brace and tens unit prior to more advanced intervention. Ultimately I had a rhizotomy and continue to have maintenance procedures including joint injections by Dr. Rothman and acupuncture when the pain flares.
I will never forget the day Dr. Bandemer took extra time during an appointment to express his concerns over my mental well being. He validated both my physical pain and psychological pain and put in a request for me to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. At first, I was offended he would suggest a psychiatric evaluation. Shame followed next but strength persevered in the end after I followed his recommendations. The psychiatrist validated my pain just as Dr. Bandemer had and she taught me better coping skills. She placed me into the DBT Group where I found more healing through mindfulness, acceptance, and emotion regulation.
Healing both body and mind is what truly brought me to where I am at today! Had I not been blessed to cross paths with a specialist who believed what I claimed to be experiencing as true, I might not be here sharing my story. Thanks to Dr. Bandemer and Dr. Rothman I am able to work for the hospital that desired for my health to improve. While my primary and specialists stabilized parts of my body it was my Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation team affiliated with Prime Healthcare who brought me back to the things I love in life. When the mind is in pain the body often manifests in a way as to increase physical pain. One’s mind must be in sync with the body in order to heal properly. At my most recent appointment with Dr. Bandemer, he made sure to review proper ergonomics for when I am working at Garden City Hospital. He stated he was not willing to see me suffer from increased pain from not taking caution when working one on one with patients. Four years ago I doubted I would ever return to work and questioned if I was considered disabled. Dr. Bandemer once said, “if you were considered disabled I would not be doing my job right! Self-care is extremely important too. Together we will figure this out and soon you will have more focus on family and finding a job.” I am grateful and beyond thankful to have found two amazing doctors to guide me to rehabilitation and excited to be part of the Prime Healthcare team with them!
Patient & Employee,
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Dennis Bandemer, DO
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Kori Rothman, DO
If you or someone you know is in crisis call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).