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Author: Rafael Reisfeld MD

After Years of suffering Stephen is speechless

Just six days post-op and I must tell you, I am speechless! I am extremely happy to tell you there is at least an 80 to 90% improvement in the way my foot feels! For the first time in five years, I can honestly say "this procedure did the trick!" As you well know, this chronic pain I have been dealing with for five years this October 17, has taken its toll on nearly every aspect of my life. The conversations you and I shared for almost three years were sometimes rather painful. Painful, in part due to your complete honesty that there might not be a cure for the pain and suffering I was left with immediately following the three-level lumbar spinal fusion that was performed by one of Los Angeles' top orthopaedic surgeons!

However, I now realize you were taking your time, listening empathically to me as I tried explaining where the pain was; when the pain began; if there was anything that made the pain better or worse; and finally after trying everything from physical therapy to acupuncture; lumbar sympathetic blocks to intrathecal steroid injections, not to mention narcotics that would put a horse down, you made the determination it was time for me to make a trip to Beverly Hills!

Once I arrived, I immediately felt like something special was about to take place in the next few days! Returning to your office for the first time in almost 12 years, Sandra and your entire staff made me feel welcomed and again, made me feel "special!" Trust me, that is not the case in so many doctors' offices I have visited! When you opened the waiting room door and greeted me, I could not help myself but to give you a big hug and handshake! At that moment, I knew I had done the right thing by coming to see you, as I did 12 years ago when you treated me for a severe case of hyperhidrosis.

For almost 40 years, I suffered the humiliation and frustration of dealing with sweaty hands, face and feet. The very thought of having to shake someone's hand with the palm of my hand dripping wet, caused a level of anxiety that only those who suffer from it can truly understand.

It was almost as if I had just seen you a few days before and you had just performed the thorasic endoscopic sympathectomy that changed my life forever. For the first time in almost 40 years, my hands and feet were not only dry but also warm to the touch, something I had never felt before! Never will I forget awakening from that procedure, touching my dry hands, my dry feet and to my surprise, a very warm and dry face! It was a feeling of elation that not until now have I felt that feeling once more!

Arriving at Olympia Medical Center the morning of my lumbar sympathectomy, I had just made a great new friend with John Crickellas , the van driver you and your staff arranged to have me picked up from my hotel! Again, I was beginning to feel like something special was about to unfold. The women working in the medical center's admissions office confirmed what I have know since we first met. When they learned you were my surgeon, all I heard was how compassionate Dr. Reisfeld is and how kind and considerate you are and they wished more doctors at this hospital shared your approach to working with others.

Finally, I want to thank you for listening to me whine and moan about the pain I have been dealing with for the past five years. Honestly, Dr. Reisfeld, you have the finest bedside manner of any physician I have ever known and I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me again...given me hope and reassurance that everything will turn out fine! And if not, I can always give you a call!

Sincerely,
Stephen B


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