Paul Schumacher had been in pain for so long, he was becoming resigned to the fact that it would be with him for life. A number of interventions performed by his primary care physician aimed at limiting his discomfort were successful in the short term, but eventually the pain – and bleeding – when evacuating his bowels would return.
It felt like an endless cycle for the 53-year-old from Alton.
With his hope all but gone, Paul perked up after seeing a commercial for UnityPoint Clinic’s Colorectal Surgery services. He thought to himself, “What do I have to lose?” in making an appointment.
“I had been dealing with this for so many years, I just figured that was what my life would be,” Paul says. “I’d never even considered UnityPoint Clinic until I saw that commercial. I hadn’t heard of the doctor or anything. I just thought I would see if they could help me.”
His consultation with Gokul Subhas, M.D. in February of this year led to surgery to address his hemorrhoids in early March.
“Initially, I wasn’t even sure what the problem was,” Paul says. “I was kind of concerned that it was something serious. But it didn’t take long for Dr. Subhas to diagnose it. Literally 30 seconds into the exam, he knew right away what my issues were, and he had a plan to take care of it.”
Just weeks after making that call for a consultation with Dr. Subhas, his life changed in ways he couldn’t have imagined. While the pain in the days immediately after the surgery was intense – he says the team at UnityPoint Clinic warned him it would be – he is now gaining a new outlook on life.
“Now that I’m on the other side, I have hope again,” Paul says. “I have hope that I can live without the constant pain and that I can be more active than I have ever been. I realize now that I should have done it a long, long time ago.”
Paul says he is thankful he made the call and for the skillful care and compassion he was shown throughout his treatment.
“Everyone there was so professional,” he says. “The thing I noticed probably the most was how at ease they were with handling everything. You could really tell they knew what they were doing.”
That feeling held before, during and after his procedure.
“Dr. Subhas has given me a lot of advice to ensure I don’t have to deal with this again,” Paul says. “He wants me to stay heathy and that is very helpful. He didn’t just care about the immediate problem I was having. He wanted to help me make the right changes to my lifestyle.”
“Again, the doctors, the nurses, everyone I came into contact with just made me feel really well taken care of,” he continues. “I’m so glad I saw that commercial and acted on it.”