My Sixteenth Street Story | Tony

“I think a lot about how hard it must be for someone who is struggling with an addiction and trying to quit cold turkey without help. It must be nearly impossible.”

After years of a good living working in manual labor, then in a chemical plant, I found myself in the hospital. I’m a diabetic and was experiencing excessive weight gain, among a whole string of other issues. My daughter was worried, and she was right to be.

Once in the hospital, I was put into a coma to be stabilized because my heart rate was too high. After being stabilized and brought out of the coma, I went home with a long list of medications to help with my pain, diabetes and heart problems.

A few months later, I went through some life changes and found myself without insurance. I’d always had great insurance through work, so this was new territory for me. But I knew I needed to find a doctor. I was on so many medications, not doing well and I needed care.

That’s when my neighbor recommended I go to Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers. What I found at Sixteenth Street was a wonderful clinic with professional, excellent doctors and staff. The facilities were great, the lab was on-site – just a high-quality place all around.

The doctor I saw, and continue to see to this day, is Dr. Pludeman. He was fantastic. In our first encounter, he took all my information and was so professional and thorough. You can tell he is really interested in me and truly cares. When I see him, it’s like good friends getting together and talking. We know about each other’s interests and family. There was even a time when I was considering having a major surgery and mentioned it to him in an appointment. When I came back the next month, he had done a ton of research on his own accord about the procedure to give to me and talk through with me. How many doctors do that for you?

Dr. Pludeman helped me control my diabetes and start on a very successful path of weight loss. As I was losing weight, he was like a kid in a candy store waiting to see how much weight I had lost since I last saw him. It was really great.

The other very important change I went through with Dr. Pludeman was weaning off opioids I was taking. I had been prescribed opioids for a few years to deal with chronic pain. After seeing Dr. Pludeman for a bit, when I was starting to lose weight and feel better, he said, “I’m going to help you get off those pain meds. I think you’re ready.” And I was ready. So, little by little, he worked with me to lower the doses and get me off the meds. I am now completely off them. My body had really grown accustomed and I felt it as we lowered doses. I am so thankful for his time and attention to help me get to where I am now.

I think a lot about how hard it must be for someone who is struggling with an addiction and trying to quit cold turkey without help. It must be nearly impossible.

I feel very blessed to have come in contact with Sixteenth Street. It is an exemplary place. I actually have insurance now but haven’t changed clinics. Dr. Pludeman is a great doctor and Sixteenth Street is a great clinic. They helped me to get to a great place. Why would I change?

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