Elijah's Story

Elijah's Story

“For you all, my colonoscopy and the process that led to it is routine. For me, it was my first colonoscopy,” says Elijah Coleman, who had a preventative colonoscopy performed by Dr. Ann Marie Schreiber, Gastroenterologist with Pullman Surgical Associates.

“I tend to be hyper-attentive to details. That tendency served me well during my service in the Marine Corps and continues to serve me well as a writing professor,” says Coleman. “The staff at Pullman Surgical Associates were incredibly patient with my many, many calls.” 

Coleman has struggled with lower back issues for many years. Going into his colonoscopy, he was concerned about possibly aggravating the pain. “Sonia, Molly, Carolyn, and other members of [the Pullman Surgical Associates] staff, including the Same Day Services staff, all patiently fielded my concerns and questions. I was just one of the many people they had to speak to, yet I always felt that each of them cared and would do whatever it took to make sure I was informed and comfortable.” 

A person can’t just walk in and have a colonoscopy- there’s a preparation sequence that must happen prior to the procedure to ensure the colon is clean and unobstructed. “By the time I was checked in at 7:50 a.m. I hadn’t eaten anything since 4:30 p.m., hadn’t slept in thirty-six hours, and was light-headed, dizzy, and in pain because of my back. I was just one of many you treated that day, but your staff’s consideration made a very difficult day much easier,” says Coleman. 

“One of the most calming people was Wes, who walked me through my concerns about anesthesia,” recalls Coleman. Wes Wolcott is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist with Pullman Anesthesia. “Wes’ personality and information helped a lot.” 

Due to Coleman’s back pain, he requested to be woken laid fully down after his colonoscopy, as opposed to propped up, which is routine. “I was in a lot of lower back pain when the nurse arrived to take me to the operating room, and she called out as she drove me past the front desk to someone to make sure I would wake laid down and said that she would make sure everyone in the surgery room knew,” said Coleman. “As a teacher who stresses attention to detail, that kind of detail stood out, even in my compromised state of mind at that point.” 

“In the operating room, your staff and [Dr. Schreiber] made sure that I was comfortable in arguably one of the most vulnerable moments of my life. I am grateful I had [her] as my doctor for this procedure.” 

Coleman also extended thanks to Dr. Ann Marie Schreiber. “You made clear from the time that I was assigned to you as one of your many, many patients that you took my care seriously and made sure you knew what I needed,” said Coleman. “When [Dr. Schreiber] met with me before my surgery, [she] conscientiously and patiently answered my questions and concerns. I doubt that [she] remembers it, but [she] put [her] hand on my shoulder before leaving that meeting. That one gesture helped a lot with my stress.” 

“I am just a single person out of the thousands of people you treat, yet I felt throughout the process that you knew I was important to each of you as an individual. That matters a lot to me,” reflects Coleman.