‘I wish I discovered Dr. Sternberg sooner’

A few months ago, when I was perusing this website researching if I should go to Dr. Sternberg, I recall being baffled by the testimonial section. So many sounded like they were writing about me — you’re not alone. I hope that my entry provides you clarity in this decision you’re about to make. I’ll start with this – you probably feel crazy right now. Personally, I’m from New York, and I couldn’t believe that I was seriously considering flying across the country for a ~90 minute procedure. Let me tell you what’s more crazy – going through more than three years of suffering over something fixable.

My first procedure was a massive excision, and I was sent home with an open wound in my cleft the size of a fist, and needless to say, it never healed. Between July 2018 (first surgery) and my August 2021 surgery with Dr. Sternberg, I went through four other corrective surgeries in, what we believed were, attempts to close the open wound from the July 2018. During that time, I really ran the gamut of treatments. Two separate wound vacs, hyperbaric chambers, endoform, medi-honey, not sitting or laying on my back for months at a time, laser hair removal, timolol drops, snap vac (new at the time), promo-gran dressings, silver nitrate, silver alginate, you name it. Truth be told, none (read: NONE) of it worked.

This is no longer surprising, as I learned from this website that it’s not a cyst, but a disease. I’d never heard any explanation remotely resembling that from the 10+ doctors I’d seen prior. That’s when it clicked, for me. Conventional doctors and surgeon’s can’t poke Dr. Sternberg’s knowledge of this disease with a 10-foot pole – THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING. It’s a true tragedy that hospitals, surgical centers, and doctors across the country continue to operate in such fashion, as they are overall providing a net-negative for sufferers of this disease: you and me. I truly hope that you haven’t suffered failed procedures, but if you have, you’ll know that after each failed one, you lose more and more hope. After my last failed procedure prior to Dr. Sternberg’s, I was certain that this was truly a death sentence. I wish I discovered Dr. Sternberg sooner – everything else is a waste of time and money (boy, does it get expensive). If I’d gone to him sooner, perhaps I would’ve gotten fewer sleepless nights, pondering if the pilonidal curse (Dr. Sternberg- I know you read these, perhaps “Pilonidal Curse” is an even more appropriate name than Pilonidal Disease!) would ever be cured. Perhaps I would’ve been able to participate in activities (sports, weight-lifting, swimming) that I love over the past three years, instead of having to awkwardly explain to others that I cannot due to “medical reasons” (was too embarrassed to share what was really going on, which in and of itself is telling!). Perhaps I would’ve been able to graduate college without a blood-soaked pad accompanying me on my walk across the graduation day stage, while then being told shortly after the ceremony that it was a miracle I hadn’t gone septic.

If the above doesn’t illustrate how physically, emotionally, and mentally painful this disease is, let me put it simply. You never know you’re in hell until you escape. So, if you’re still on the fence, I encourage you to weigh your options and their associated consequences. Option A) Do nothing, see another doctor, or try some BS home remedy. Option A will lead to immeasurable suffering and uncertainty. The worst part? You will live with the consequences of this option every.single.day. From the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to sleep, your head will be clogged by “wound. cyst. disease. drainage.”, whichever word resonates with you strongest. Or, there’s option B) Go see Dr. Sternberg and put this CURSE behind you FOREVER. Will it be awkward to explain to friends, family, co-workers, etc. that you’re getting on a six-hour plane ride for a procedure for a condition that they probably never heard of (maybe other than you, if you’ve told them prior)? Definitely. Been there, done that. Guess what? Worth it, would do it again. You’ll laugh at yourself after you’re healed that you contemplated not going.

There are plenty of positive things about Dr. Sternberg’s personality, expertise, and professionalism, and I confirm – all true. Couldn’t be a nicer and more caring individual. I’m truly forever grateful for his existence, he has given me a life again, and I mean that wholeheartedly. C’mon, do you really think I’d take the time to write all this if I thought poorly of him? I leave you with this – just go, there is no alternative. Please end this pain you’re enduring, you wouldn’t be on this website if you wanted to keep suffering.

John M.

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