When a Doctor Saves the Life of Your Son – You Give Him Cookies
Words cannot begin to express the gratitude I have for Cedars Sinai Pediatric IBD department. The love that went into making these cookies, far outweigh the gift itself!
For years my son, Justin, suffered from unexplained pain in his back, hips, legs, and ankles. He would get terrible stomach aches and diarrhea which were brushed off as anything from growing pains to milk intolerance. We would attempt to go have a family day at Disneyland (our most favorite place in the world) and he would end up half way through the day begging to just lay down on the sidewalk and have us rub his legs. We kept taking him to the doctor hoping for answers, but never were given any that seemed to fit or solutions that helped. When Justin was 12, we let him go to his first sleep away camp with our church. During this time, a flare up occurred and he ended up throwing up all over the bunk bed he was in. He then had to traipse through some freshly fallen snow in his pajamas to get to the bathrooms to have diarrhea. I call it his old man story, “When I was young, I had to walk 50 miles uphill in the snow to go to the bathroom.” A tale I am sure he will embellish for years to come. After this episode, which we attributed to a flu, he began an ugly few months of constant pain, diarrhea and vomiting. More so than ever before. Test results showed malnutrition, which was not surprising. Sad and desperate for my son, we prayed for help in deciding how to help him.
It was at this time, that my husband’s company changed health insurance companies which allowed us to switch to a PPO plan. My daughter, since age 6, had been seeing an amazing pediatric neurologist at UCLA for abdominal migraines (debilitating, chronic). Her neurologist had become like family to us since she had been instrumental in helping my daughter lead a normal life for the past 9 years. We took Justin to see her in hopes she might have some direction for us. She communicated immediately that she felt that Justin was suffering from an auto-immune disease. She told us that she felt we should see a pediatric gastroenterologist and recommended we go to Cedars Sinai and see Dr. Shervin Rabizadeh. We made an appointment and, without too much hope, we went to our first consultation appointment. Dr. Rabizadeh spent a couple hours with us going over ALL of Justin’s issues and childhood. From asthma and allergies to pain and vomiting. He looked at Justin’s blood and stool tests and said he wanted to do some more tests to see if he could possibly have Crohn’s disease. We left knowing we had a few things in mind we were looking into, but his bloodwork wasn’t really showing much, so hope in finding answers was small. Little did we know, this appointment would embark us on a 3 month journey that would show us the persistency of this amazing doctor that would ultimately lead us (after multiple tests including colonoscopy and pill cams) to the answers we most needed. Justin, in the summer of 2018, was diagnosed with severe Small Bowel Crohn’s with arthritis complications.
This last year has been a great lesson in patience and perseverance, as we have had to learn the way of shots, deal with side effects of medications, and navigate a new diet. Dr. Rabizadeh has remained a consistent help to us and his passion to see Justin live a “normal” life still remains his top priority. Even now, a year later, he is still advocating for Justin with medicines, research, as well as with other doctors as we try to continue to help his allergies and arthritis. Justin is so much better; his small bowel is in remission and we couldn’t be more thankful. The staff at Cedars have been so kind and immensley compassionate to our entire family. From answering crazed, middle of the night emails and advocating for faster appointments to the kind phone calls every couple of weeks from Jonathon at the Cedar pharmacy to ship us our meds. My son’s life would have been cut short if it wasn’t for this amazing place! We are forever thankful.
So in the affinity to the movie “Say Anything,” : They gave us a healthy son and we gave them cookies!