by Nesreen Suwan, M.D.
Elmhurst resident Teresa Pulido, 29, is far too young to be living the nightmare that has crippled her since leaving high school. But when the effects of an unprovoked attack began to surface four years after she was injured during a soccer game, the demons came knocking and would never leave her door.
Pulido's life has been severely impacted since her head and facial pain reemerged - adversely affecting her academic, professional, and social life. She enrolled in classes in the criminal justice program at UIC in Chicago and was dropped from the program in 2002 for missing too many days of school.
"I had to petition the school and the board of appeals to get back into classes, and needed letters from doctors who treated me," Pulido said. "The school would not admit me until I registered with the state that I had a disability and the college kept me on probation for the next three years." said Teresa.
In the meantime, Pulido's journey from one doctor or specialist continued unabated throughout the next ten years. By October of 2010, she estimates having seen no less than 30 doctors and visits to eight hospitals including the famous Mayo Clinic, where she hoped she would finally receive a definitive diagnosis. Sadly, no answers were found.
And then Pulido's breakthrough finally came, thanks to nothing more than a simple internet search, where she found Dr Suwan.
Pulido said shortly after meeting Suwan, the neurologist-with extra certification in headache and pain medicine- told her that based on her symptoms that she believed her patient was suffering from a complex pain condition that is said to involve "irritation and abnormal excitation of nervous tissue, leading to abnormal impulses along nerves ."For years I've had this daily pain which changes in terms of severity every day," Pulido said. "This was the first time anyone had been able to put a label on what was wrong, and it was such as relief to finally get what I believe was the right diagnosis."
Suwan and her patient have now built a five month relationship which has resulted in Pulido feeling considerably better than she has for years. A combined treatment with nerve blocks and medications had significantly reduced the pain. She says that Suwan's role as a doctor far exceeds that of anyone she has ever known.
"She has been such a good listener and I've never felt like she didn't have time for me," Pulido said. "I have also found her a lot more accessible than other doctors I have known. She gave me her cell number and email, and there have been times I've written to her at 10 o'clock at night and she has answered my email in five minutes. She really cares about her patients."
Pulido refers to her physician today as a "friend" and actually credits her neurologist with possibly saving her life.
"There have been times over the past ten years that I've been in such pain and distress. I really didn't feel even like living anymore and wanted to just escape from this however I could," Pulido said. "I told Dr. Suwan about that and we agreed that this will not be the case with the significant improvement that I have been experiencing. I could always contact Dr Suwan if I felt that hopeless. She has been kind of my lifeline and I've told her I feel like she has actually saved my life."
Pulido believes she has finally received the diagnosis she was unable to find for ten years and said she remains thankful she and Suwan have crossed paths.
"I actually look forward now to my doctor's visits and feel like there is a real hope there," she said. "Dr Suwan is very educated and really good at what she does. I'm working now in security at a large department store, and I'm hoping I can return to getting my life and career back on track."
Nesreen Suwan, MD is Loyola-Trained Neurologist, American Board Certified in Neurology, Electro diagnostic Medicine, and Pain Medicine with additional certification in Headache Medicine. Dr.Suwan has privileges at Adventist Hinsdale hospital. Her practice is located at 2867 Ogden in Lisle. For more information, call (630) 420 8080 or visithttp://controlchicagopain.com
Headache Sufferer Finds Real Hope
As Featured In Glancer Magazine, May 2011