Dr. Friedman Solves This Medical Mystery in Just One Appointment
“Dr. Friedman gave her back her childhood,” said Carolyn, mother of 12-year old Amanda from Illinois. Looking at her now, over 5 feet tall, with long golden brown hair and an easy smile, you’d never know she’d been through so much. You see, Carolyn’s only child had spent the majority of her childhood sick in bed, and in and out of hospitals and medical offices.
Traveling from doctor to doctor, taking test after test and trying one medication after another, it’s no wonder Carolyn gets emotional when talking about her daughter’s long and tedious medical journey. This medical nightmare began shortly after Amanda was born when she was diagnosed with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) at 5 months. For the next 3 years, Carolyn thought her daughter’s unrelenting sinus, allergy, and cold issues would finally disappear once her adenoids were removed at 3 years of age.
Unfortunately, that “simple” surgery left her daughter even weaker and sicker than before. And so this mother and daughter’s daily life continued as before, with Carolyn still researching doctors and therapies, hoping to discover why her little girl was in even worse shape, and feeding Amanda a daily regimen of steroids, antibiotics, and nose sprays. Over the next eight years, little Amanda developed even more health issues, including migraines so debilitating that she ended up in the emergency room 2 to 3 times a week for pain relief.
To make matters worse, doctors claimed Amanda’s pain was in her head. As the years passed, Amanda missed more school days than she attended, and she was noticeably absent from dance recitals, family events, school functions, and summer camp. She basically spent the first 11 years of her life feeling sick. One night, Carolyn was sitting at the kitchen table scouring the Internet and came across the name of a doctor she had never heard of: Dr. Michael Friedman.
“Before we met Dr. Friedman, Amanda and I must have talked to at least 30 doctors. All the ENT doctors we met were surgery-happy. But my husband and I both felt there was a piece of the puzzle that was missing. And we couldn’t forget how sick our daughter became after her adenoid surgery.”
Carolyn knew Dr. Friedman was different from the minute she met him. “I brought Amanda’s full chart, complete with every cat scan and every test result. Dr. Friedman took one look at this huge folder and then looked right at me and said, ‘Moms always know best. I want to hear what you think is going on with Amanda.’
“For the next two hours, he sat there and listened to me to review Amanda’s history. When I finished he said, ‘I don’t think anything is wrong with her sinuses. It’s something completely different. An immune deficiency.’ I had never heard any doctor suggest that. He performed a simple blood test that day, got the results a little while later, and then set me up with his immunologist, Dr. Siddiqi, who took one look at the results and told us to stop all her medications and throw out the inhaler. She prescribed a single medication to strengthen her immune system.
“Just 3 months later, Amanda was like a different kid. She had energy. Her dark under-eye circles were gone. And she felt great.” That’s when Carolyn’s eyes begin to well up with tears. “Amanda didn’t miss one day of school last year. And she made the National Honor Society.” Then she chuckles to herself as she recalls how, a few weeks ago, for the very first time her daughter Amanda had her first “normal” cold. Her prescription? A big bowl of chicken soup.
Dr. Friedman Cures Seven-Year Cough Through an Accurate Diagnosis
“If it wasn’t for Dr. Friedman, I’d still be sick in bed today—coughing and drugged up on different medications. I’m sure of it.”
That’s how our patient “Mrs. G.” describes what her life would have been like if she hadn’t met Dr. Michael Friedman. After spending more than seven years living with an unrelenting cough, Mrs. G. felt more than just sick, she felt isolated from her friends, her family, and the world. She lived in fear that she’d begin coughing uncontrollably, which made her feel self-conscious and unable to enjoy herself. So she spent most of her days either home alone or seeking new remedies from a variety of different specialists all over Chicago.
Over the years, Mrs. G. tried almost a dozen different medications to get rid of an ongoing cough which she was told was caused by reflux. She even gave away her cat as one doctor convinced her that was all she needed to do. It didn’t work.
“Dr. Friedman was the only doctor who took the time to listen to me and actually run his own acid reflux test. It came back normal. I realized I’d wasted so many years taking strong opiates to cure a condition I never even had.”
Thanks to this single non-invasive test, her whole life changed. “As soon as he looked at my test results, he diagnosed me as having laryngopharyngeal reflux. He put me on a medication that was much safer than the opiates I was taking.
“I stopped coughing almost immediately.
“It felt almost too good to be true. I was no longer embarrassed to go out in public for fear I would break into a coughing fit. I no longer went through a bag of cough drops a day or walked around clutching a water bottle. And I could go to a restaurant with my friends and not be the one everyone’s staring at.
“I got my life back. It’s as simple as that.”
His snoring was so severe and his breathing so difficult, he thought CPAP was the only answer.
When our patient, “Mr. G.,” describes how he feels post-surgery, he can’t believe it himself. For more than a decade, he suffered from sleep apnea that was so severe, he couldn’t sleep lying down on his bed unless he was surrounded and elevated by a pile of pillows. Unfortunately, his breathing problems didn’t end there. He was usually tired during the day from waking up so much during the night, and he couldn’t eat without gasping for breath.
Mr. G. told us that his sleep apnea had affected his whole life.
“Over the years, I tried to so many doctors and they just told me the same thing: CPAP. I tried it and it wasn’t comfortable for me so I never really used it. I thought I had no choice but to live like this forever.”
Fortunately, a friend convinced him to see Dr. Michael Friedman. “I looked him up on the Internet and was really impressed with what I read. His credentials were amazing; everyone agreed he was the go-to guy for snoring. Nurses, patients, even other doctors all agree that Dr. Friedman is the best.
“My wife and I had tons of questions. He answered each one—didn’t rush us one bit. He has a quiet confidence about him. It put me right at ease.”
After Mr. G. met with Dr. Friedman, the entire team at Chicago ENT got right to work that same afternoon. With all the diagnostic testing performed on-site, Mr. G. went from specialist to specialist, taking the necessary tests and meeting with a number of doctors in the practice. “The office was packed, but you’d never know it from the way they treated me. I felt like I was the only patient there.”
And then he scheduled his surgery. “I thought I’d be scared going into surgery, but Dr. Friedman and his whole team gave me such confidence about the procedure I was actually looking forward to it.
“The very next morning after my surgery, they removed my bandage and my breathing was completely normal. I couldn’t believe it.”
Just a few weeks after surgery, Mr. G. still marvels at how different he feels. “I’m sleeping less now, but so much sounder. I wake up feeling like I should—rested and ready to go. My wife actually made sure I was breathing the first night I was home because I was so quiet. She’d never heard me sleep so quietly.”