Kia Carter had reservations about coming into Rush University Medical Center for an essential, but delayable procedure at the beginning of May. Like many who have had to visit a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were definite anxieties about exposure.
Carter’s chronic pain stemming from a benign tumor in her liver — a tumor that ruptured back in 2017 — was too painful to try and wait until the pandemic was over to get treatment. Because of the location of Carter’s tumor, it is not recommended that it be removed but instead monitored and treated. And like anyone with struggling with chronic pain, Carter knew prolonging treatment was not the answer.
She decided to talk with her doctors at Rush and ended up being scheduled to come in on May 8 for an embolization of the tumor in her liver. While Carter knew coming into Rush for a procedure meant there could be a risk of exposure to COVID-19, she put her anxieties aside because she knew she was in good hands.
“When my doctors came to me and said you should get another embolization, and it's during COVID-19, and elective procedures had been paused, I was scared,” Carter said. “But I also knew how good it was when I didn’t have the pain. It was really hard to say, ‘I’m gonna wait.’ Because COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon.”
Carter explained that as an employee for Rush, she felt like she had an inside look at all of the work Rush doctors, leadership and employees were doing to keep patients safe.
“If I’m going to trust anyone, I’m going to put my trust in Rush,” she says.
Carter decided to record the day of her procedure through videos to display how the staff works to reduce COVID-19 exposure risk for non-COVID patients when they come to campus.
The procedure went off without a hitch. Not only was she completely separated from COVID patients but she was also tested for COVID before her procedure, to ensure a lower exposure risk for others on the Rush campus.
Chronic pain is something people should not have to struggle through out of fear of exposure to COVID-19. Rush has been able to alleviate this type of pain for numerous patients throughout the pandemic. There are many people struggling with medical conditions who can’t afford to put off care and while Rush has been a leader in treating COVID patients, it has never stopped providing excellent care to non-COVID patients who have needed it the most.