A Network of Doctors Solved the Mystery
By June D. M. Lien
Elizabeth is the mother of two boys. Cohen, her youngest, is “more sickly,” she says. One incident in particular, stands out in Elizabeth’s mind: the time Cohen couldn’t walk.
Now 2.5-years- old, Cohen’s medical record is so extensive that it includes countless visits and even some surgeries. He is so familiar with his pediatrician, Dr. Hana Zibdeh-Lough at ARC Round Rock, that he’s often giving her hugs when he sees her.
Fever and Intense Pain
Cohen had a fever of 101 on day one of his symptoms. On day two he returned to the clinic because the intense pain in his right foot and heel hurt so much he couldn’t walk. They saw Dr. Hana Zibdeh-Lough, lovingly referred to as “Dr. Hana” by Elizabeth, other patients, and staff.
On day four the intense pain continued and Cohen’s foot became red, swollen, and felt warm – all indicators that it was something serious. During his ARC After Hours Clinic visit, the pediatrician who saw Cohen sent him to the hospital suspecting it might be an infection.
“No one knew what it was,” Elizabeth says.
Over the course of his disease and recovery, Cohen went to three ARC pediatricians, a pediatric rheumatology specialist, and a children’s infectious disease physician. Dr. Hana conferred with numerous other doctors in ARC and the radiology team.
A Confirmed Diagnosis!
On day 23 of Cohen’s mysterious illness, he was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease called osteomyelitis, a bone infection. Cohen’s was such a subtle presentation of the disease that the infectious disease specialist was intrigued. To say his case was out of the ordinary and unexpected is putting it mildly.
There are fewer than 1000 cases in the US each year, and when it does occur in children, it usually affects the long bones of the legs and upper arms. The doctors suspect the infection reached Cohen’s bone through the bloodstream since he had no punctures on his foot. Luckily for Cohen, his treatment was also out of the ordinary requiring only antibiotics. Normally, treatment of osteomyelitis requires surgery, then a round of antibiotics.
A Network of Support, Every Day
Elizabeth credits the ARC network of doctors with the care they took to help diagnose Cohen.
“Because it was ARC, it was easier, cheaper to figure out why Cohen couldn’t walk,” Elizabeth adds that with any other doctor, she would have been alone; referred from one doctor to the next with no one helping to manage them all.
From Dr. Zibdeh-Lough, her nurse Cara, the phlebotomist, to the other pediatricians, every member of the ARC care team that saw Cohen, knew his case.
“I never felt frustrated. Every day, a lot of people were trying to help,” Elizabeth says. “Dr. Hana is amazing. The group that she works with makes her even better.”
All of The Information
From Cohen’s mysterious illness to his surgery this year, Elizabeth relies on ARC.
“I’ve been to other ARC locations and they are just as great because they all have his
information,” she says. Elizabeth is referring to the integrated medical record system that connects all ARC care team members, at all locations.
“You have the doctors that are checking their [patient portal] messages and checking on their patients. They see that Cohen had a fever last night or a visit recently,” she says. “You really feel like they care about you.”
This year Cohen is getting surgery and Elizabeth said, “I bet you a $100 Dr. Hana calls me the next day.”
Elizabeth knows this is a winning bet and that she can always count on Austin Regional Clinic.