Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I just want to tell everyone thank you for praying for me. I got a good report! After doing the ultra sound on both legs, the vascular doc (I liked him a lot) said that I didn't have any blood clots and I have good reflux!!! Thank you God!
He did say if I lose weight I could reverse everything and the discoloration in that area would lighten up. So...I know what I need to do and will talk about it in another post. He did to lose weight and everything would get better. So...I will! SERIOUSLY!
But true to form...I have more questions. He is the first doctor that has ever asked for my e-mail address on a form. That impressed me and I like the idea. I agree with Dr Schoor, The Independent Urologist and think doctors should have web pages promoting and informing about their practice. I don't know that he has a web page but I like that they may use e-mail if necessary.
If I had had the re-constructive ureteral surgery, I would have gone to Adult and Pediatric Urology Group (on my blogroll) and Dr Taylor would have been my operating surgeon. He was terrific. It really helped me to feel better when I was reading about him and the practice on line. It definitely put me more at ease and he is every thing his bio says and more. One day he called here and I picked up while he was leaving a message and I said "Hi...How's my favorite Morris County urologist?" (I hardly knew him :) and without missing a beat he said,"Fine...how's my favorite Sussex County ureteral stricture patient?" :)
Of course my regular urologist, the one who did all the work on me and stood by me through so much is my favorite urologist. :)
Anyway...since so many people surf the web, I think it is an excellent idea for physicians to get a site on line for their practice. Maybe...I will call to see if I can e-mail the 2 things we didn't address that I answered on his questionnaire. I am thinking since he was breezy about my returning that perhaps it's not really important and so I will think about that.
After the exam, I asked him if I needed to come back and he said if you want to...you can come back in 6 months. If I want to? Haha! I translate that to my saying "see ya" and never looking back. If someone leaves something open ended with me...they will get open ended. I am not good at keeping scheduled appointments! Urodoc was the exception but now that I am no longer a frequent flier at the urology office ...I find myself distancing. And even though I feel peace about the vascular concerns, I still am not sure about the urology elective surgery because I am out of that mode now. I find that when I had office visits, tests and procedures fairly frequently it just seemed natural at that point to go on to the next thing, but now I am vacillating again. If I am going to do it it will be June. Then I just have to go to work!
I feel silly that I reacted so strongly and in fear about not wanting to go to this vascular appointment. My former co-worker's concern about a blood clot and the fact that they don't normally act that way is what prompted me to act on getting/keeping the appointment and the discoloration in one spot had gotten darker.
The doctor said it was superficial. He wants me to wear support stockings. Shoot...my PCP told me to do that in the 90s but I never complied. However, the med supply shop wasn't far from his office and so I did purchase them today. EXPENSIVE! I just got knee highs but I am going to want sheers at some point. For thigh high...one hundred and something...YIKES! I will try to wear them as often as possible but summer is coming and I swim a lot, etc.
And...I want to give a plug for Bach's Home Health Care Supply in Hackettstown, NJ (908-813-3002) because the two women that waited on me were amazing! Efficient, helpful, supportive and had wonderful senses of humor and they put me right at ease.
And last but certainly not least...my friend Passionstamper graciously put up with me this morning. I am an easy going person but I was stressed about it and was barking out orders...sort of... go here, back up...go this way etc., and even in the office I was a little abrupt because I was focusing on the forms. She supported me through the whole thing. Thank you Passionstamper! :)
I could've driven myself but it is so much better when friends go because it just makes it fun (I know I wasn't very fun prior to the exam) and then we go out to eat afterward. Otherwise this stuff would be a chore and tedious.
The doctor had to leave the exam to go next door to the hospital for a bit and so we got out of his office late, went to the med supply store and then had a late lunch at Applebee's in our area.
We both had the Bourbon steak smothered in mushrooms and onions. AND...I finally had a gin and tonic with a lime twist that I had been craving ever since I wrote about it earlier this month.
Actually I had two! :) I hadn't eaten and sure enough I could feel it on my second sip. Alcohol just hits me quickly...I don't know why. During my second drink I did get the giggles and it was when she was talking about something serious. I was feeling light hearted (understatement) because of the good medical exam and giddy too because of the alcohol. Then you know when you try not to laugh you sometimes laugh more. Every time she started to talk I could feel the giggles coming on but after about the 4th time she laughed with me. I needed that! There has been a lot going on.
It's 1 am and I have to get up at 6am. I should be fine though because I was exhausted and slept a few hours after I came home tonight.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I just like the pic. Guess she had her spider veins fixed. Hmmm....
*I may be taking a blogging break for a while as I have some things to do, but I have added several posts over the last few days. I enjoy getting comments and so please know that I will respond to all when I return.
I have to be at a new doctor's office at 12:15 tomorrow down in another county. He's a vascular doc. Wimpette that I am, I am always wondering if it is going to hurt. I know the receptionist mentioned something about a machine and is why I have to go there.
At least a perk to the day is that...Passionstamper is taking me down and then we will go out to lunch and spend the day together. The last time she did this (last summer)I left the urology office after a procedure and within 10 minutes felt something was significantly wrong and ended up in the ER and then admitted. She had just gotten her Durango 3 days earlier and we were close to the hospital but stuck in traffic.
Suddenly I felt like I was going to be sick! She didn't have any garbage bags, we were stuck in traffic with cars all around and so I couldn't open the door. I knew I was going to have to vomit into my white pocketbook that I loved so much. Just as I got the phone out her daughter held one of those paper car mats under my chin...just in time. I thought I was going to pass out any second as I am vomiting, daughter is holding the paper mat under me and friend is desperately trying to navigate through rush hour traffic and get up to the hospital. Fortunately it was mild vomiting and the new Durango wasn't compromised!
I am trusting that tomorrow will be a lot less eventful. We laugh at that now. :)
Everything in me is resisting the idea of going and I have been fighting with myself not to cancel. I am afraid of what he might say. I know...fear is the opposite of faith.
Last week a former co-worker from the hospital alarmed me stating that I could have a blood clot based on what I was describing and 4 times in the same conversation they urged me to make this appointment and insisted I call them afterward. So I scheduled immediately. I seriously hope they are wrong...seriously!
My computer is in an armoire and the base of the armoire doesn't allow me to extend my legs. Not only that but I have a habit of wrapping my legs and ankles around each other. Admittedly...I get lost in the blogosphere and forget to get up and move around... for hours sometimes. I had superficial vascular things like spider veins that never really bother me and they remind me of the forth of July with their starburst effect. I mean I'd rather not have them but they don't make me crazy like some women feel about them. Maybe cause they're bluish and I love blue. ;)
But during my 18 months of blogging...I have noticed an exacerbation of vascular changes in lower extremities. Definitely blogging induced! I don't have any pain though unless I press the area and then it feels like a bruise. I was told to wear the support stockings back in the 90s by my PCP but I never did. But I also didn't have varicose veins...nothing hard like that. Now I am thinking I might in my front lower leg although I don't see anything other than the discoloration. So...I will find out tomorrow. I am dreading this.
And my life is on hold because really ...I was probably going to do another urology surgery (elective) but wanted to pursue this first. Just want to rule this stuff out. There I vented..I whined...and I am going to do it!
I am planning on going back to the Y to swim this week and sign up for another program. Hopefully our pool will be opening within the month too.
Also if anyone remembers or is inclined to pray or send good thoughts this way...please do. Thanks! :)
Chrysalis Angel wrote a terrific post on why we would want to blog and I encourage you to go here to read it.
I also appreciated Dreaming Again's comment to Chrysalis Angel. And here is one part of it: "I could go on and on and on ... not that I haven't ...but we 'meet' people and we never know ... what need it's going to meet ... and sometimes it's just whimsey and sometimes ... it's a solution to the problems ...
Dreaming again...I think that is so true. It is true in real life and it is true in the blogosphere. :)
I was reading this article on Sexual Late Bloomers and came across the following at the end of the article: "Dr. Wish, the psychologist who works primarily with a baby boomer clientele, laughs, "I had an 80-year-old woman in my office who said, "I'm here because I'm not getting any younger and I want to have an 'organism' before I die."
Very funny and good for her! I hope she got her organism! :)
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Here is the link to Dr Sid Schwab's post in which he is hosting the SurgeExperiences blog carnival this month. I look forward to reading every one of the surgical stories as well as the limericks written by Dr S. to accompany them. Darn! I wonder what he would've said about SeaSpray??
I regret that I didn't submit a story like I had hoped to. As Dr. Schwab knows I had 3 that I was contemplating, but the one I was leaning toward was going to be about what I have only recently come to realize had me so scared... and in a tailspin at just the possibility of having to have the re-constructive urology surgery.
After all I was no stranger to the OR and usually went in like a lemming...no questions asked...nothing significant anyway. What was different this time? And...what happened as a result of the fear that I erroneously allowed to take root? It was both a physically and emotionally complicated year...again...understandable., but if I had it to do over again...I would do some things differently. Why can't we have 20-20 foresight?
All I can say in retrospect is...Thank God I had the urologist I had and I regret any difficulty I may have caused him during that time. He was patient with this patient and because of that he got me through the physical/emotional challenges. We had a good rapport then and we still do today, I trust him implicitly as my surgeon. I shall always be grateful to him not only for facilitating healing in me but for putting up with me when I know I must have been a challenge to his time and patience. Fortunately, it all worked out and I never needed the surgery in the end because the final ureteral stent facilitated my healing. I like to look at it that together with God they both facilitated my healing and as I previously stated...I shall always be grateful. :)
This one moment in time was at the crux of all my fear and resistance to the surgery.
So maybe I will post on this or submit it into another SurgeExperiences Carnival in the future.
Friday, April 25, 2008
This pic has nothing to do with anyone's twitter...other than it is a sea pic...but I LOVE it and so very much want to be THERE! I would also want the chairs closer so we could be cozier together. Love the Adirondacks chairs too. :)
Yesterday I had a problem with twitter...specifically, my Twitter and Dr. Rob's Twitter.
What you say? What's a twitter?
Darned if I know! I only started playing with it yesterday...and haven't had a chance today. Suffice it to know this SeaSpray is technically challenged.
I simply can't twitter my twitter as well as Dr Rob, Dr A and Fat Doctor. I also can't get my twitter to look as good as theirs. Try as I may and try as I might...it's just a plain twitter and doesn't do what theirs can do. So I am one frustrated SeaSpray right now or should I say twitterer?.
Writing this part of post later now and I just got done playing with my twitter for over an hour! Also, during that time, I have gone back and forth looking at all THEIR twitters. They have pictures of other twitterers. BTW guys...I really don't look like THAT, although I do like the aqua. ;)
Anyway, a twitter is some kind of account that you can put little messages on whenever you want and you can belong to a community with other twittering people of your choosing.
I first saw it last year on Fat Doctor's blog and set it up. But, like I said...I am technically challenged and thought it wasn't working. But yesterday...I got messages that I was on different people's twitters. I'm WHAT? How can that be? I haven't twittered and I don't twitter and what the heck...I've been twittering and didn't know it?
And then as I was checking their twitters out... I saw my real name on doctor Rob's twitter...at which point I became apoplectic at the thought of the ramifications of that. My adrenalin immediately kicked in and I shot off some panicked e-mails because my name only would've been out there for...oh... I don't know...A YEAR!
I still am not sure why that happened. So I revised my new found twitter changing everything to SeaSpray. Now, I cant get my twitter to do what I want and am whining about it in my twitter box.
My twitter is all the way at the bottom of my blog page because I am not sure what I am going to do with it. It perplexes me. And I am currently whining on it and thinking of doing weird things with ketchup...no doubt Dr Rob's influence. ;)
Below is part of an e-mail I sent to Dr Rob in response to what he said, reassuring me that my real name was no longer there. I simply could not resist shooting this response back to him and it is with his permission that I mention it and post this. Thanks! :)
You said "It's just seaspray on my twitter"
and in response I say:
Wait! Oh Doctor?...Seaspray on your twitter? Do you have an ICD-9 code for that?
Well... if it's only seaspray...then I think a towel should soak it up.
Seaspray on your twitter... is it contagious?
Oh...I'm so sorry...what else did you want on your twitter?
THANK GOD...it's just seaspray on your twitter!
If anyone would like to add to this...I would LOVE to see what you come up with. :)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
GREY'S ANATOMY Music Video BREATHE Anna Nalick
I am so excited!! My Grey's Anatomy addiction will get satisfied tonight. It didn't take me long to become a surgical groupie/Grey's cult member once I started watching the show. I didn't start watching it until February 06 when I was home on disability because urodoc stented me twice that winter. I worked every other weekend on the 3-11 shift and so I never got into any weekend shows. At that time it used to be on Sunday nights. Anyway, between my personal experiences, Grey's Anatomy and then Surgeonsblog ...I turned into a total surgical groupie. Oh and incurable romantic that I am...I guess I love all the McSteamy, McDreamy and McSomeone plots going on.
I just saw the 1st few minutes of tonights new episode (FINALLY!) and already there is romantic tension and anticipation in the air because McDreamy and Meredith broke up. You just know they are going to be longing for each other and it will heat up. McDreamy was right when he told McSteamy tonight that it was all about the anticipation. Obviously there is more to love than that, but that is one of the highlights. :)
My favorite all time romantic scenes were when Meredith and McDreamy were dancing with their partners at the prom in the hospital, but then their eyes met....with that all knowing look between them. Wow! Then she bolted but he quickly excused himself and ran after her into the exam room. Then they argued and the air was just filled with sexual tension and passion...which culminated in his rushing right into her to kiss her passionately, followed by them making love in the exam room. That is my romantic standard for the show and so far in my book the writers have yet to top those two scenes. This scene is on this video clip.
Also, it appears the surgeons are in a contest and have been practically living at the hospital for two weeks. I love their competitiveness. :)
I love this show! :)
I am a little late getting this up because I was running around the latter half of the day and forgot this was coming on. Thank God for TiVo!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Then someone had left a comment saying what I was thinking, which was basically be more positive and take that energy and do something good with it and they were called a troll and then they got attacked. True no one asked their opinion and I suppose they saw it as a challenge, but I honestly don't get why people have to be that vicious.
I mean I have been to sarcastic blogs and read some sarcastic comments and some are really funny (hey I worked around medicine for 20 years - I get it!) ...but this was different. It actually felt dark in spirit.
I felt yukky like I wanted to shake it all off of me. I didn't leave a comment and I wouldn't want my name over there anyway.
I guess I have led a sheltered blogger's life until now. Ahhh...home sweet home. :)
Now I am going to go play This Little Girl of Mine (one of my happy songs below) and then go visit a blogger that makes me smile. :)
Ha! Just one more thing could be on my epitaph. Anyone that knows me, knows that I always say that when saying good bye, almost always. :) Yet...those closest to me will also tell you if I am in a hurry...instead of hanging up with my usual have a great day-bye bye, I will instead say O.K. bye! And hang right up. They don't even get to say bye. But I usually don't do that.
So the one more thing is that I just started drinking the MonaVie active and OH MY GOSH! I cannot believe the positive difference in 24 hours! I really want to get some sun now so I will come back and talk about this product. I have read the negative comments about this stuff but I am telling you right now...there IS something to this product! This can't be a placebo affect. I'd like to think I am not that impressionable. Besides the I think the cost would jar me back to reality.
Like the Happy Hospitalist...I guess I am continuing my N=1 trial. I will guardedly tell you that my knees are feeling better since yesterday...but...a busier, running around kind of day will truly determine that. Tomorrow will be a tell tale day.
Also...you know how people in healing services sometimes move their joints or whatever was hurting them after they have been healed from prayer. Have you ever seen that on TV or anywhere in person. I tell you the truth when I tell you that this last hour as I have been getting up and down and walking around doing things I do not feel the same level of pain that I was feeling. I don't know what happened but the knee pain got worse this winter. I am guessing osteoarthritis in right knee and probably left plus I have the meniscal repair history on my left knee. Also...I need to lose weight. Weight alone will make a difference for sure! But right now...I am noticing a difference from yesterday just as I am. So I am paying extra attention to how my knees feel with various movements. I can't get over that it is not bothering me to get up and down without significant pain. I am kind of playing with that testing myself. Ha! maybe i should take notes as I go through my day. :) A little part of me IS feeling optimistically excited. I still have discomfort...but NOTHING like it was! LOVE this product!
I only have one bottle. It will be interesting to see if my knees go back to hurting more with the MonaVie original. They did bother me the first time around on the original but not as bad which is better than nothing.
I used to live on I-buprofen (which helped) but urodoc told me that it's not good for my kidneys and since I have hydronephrosis in one I am thinking that is probably even more true for me since perhaps it may not empty as quickly. So, sometimes I take Tramydl as the lesser of the two evils although nothing works like a good ant-inflammatory. That being said...during the 4 weeks I drank the MonaVie original...I hardly took any Tramadl.
I also notice increased energy, clarity of mind-alertness and stamina. I just keep on going with whatever I am doing and don't feel tired. I only had about 5 hours sleep last night and I don't even feel sleep deprived and I am an 7-8 hour girl.
When I ran out of the MonaVie...after a few days I noticed less energy and the previous transient aches and pains came back.
I would be really curious to know how my labs would be. Perhaps I will still be drinking MonaVie by the time I get around to doing them.
Am I just having a really good day? I don't know. Tomorrow will tell I guess. I KNOW the energy is a direct result of the product. Oh and it is not the same as what you get from caffeine. I do love my morning coffee but this is different. It's a purer increased energy. Feels more natural and not hyper.
Is there a comparable Acai product out there that is less expensive? One site sells a freeze dried version that they tout as being better a better product because of where they get it and it is freeze dried. Is it? I don't know. And...is it just the acai berry or is it also the blending of other fruits in the Monavie product? I have questions. I wish it was cheaper. part of me wants it to not work because I don't want to and really can't spend the money and the other part of me wants it to work because I WANT to feel better so I can do all that I want to do.
Then again...what kind of price should one put on their health? If something is proven to work...
Thanks to my most generous and gracious contact I have been able to get the product cheaper then retail price or I would not be drinking it now. A MILLION THANK YOUS to that person! :)
The downside is it is so expensive and I think difficult for many people to purchase. I am intrigued by the product though and admittedly the enterprising side of my personality is drawn to it's marketing potential. However...I would personally, totally and completely have to believe in the product before I would ever encourage someone else to use it...just because of the price. Hence my own N=1 trial. And if in the end...I decide it was a placebo effect (don't think so) or that I find out you can get another product that is just as good for less money...I will tell you.
I am a natural born pied piper in that if I really believe in someone or something...I can't help but to tell people all about what or who I believe in! This is because I want to share the good news or for someone else to benefit because a product or service is good and I want the people providing the service to benefit because THEY ARE so good. You know I tell everyone to go to urodoc's office when appropriate. I just did the same for my PCP yesterday. I raved about him to a friend who inquired about him yesterday because she is seeking another PCP.
I think positive word of mouth helps everyone! Just ask Dr. Schoor (love that pic of him with his daughter) over at the Independent Urologist blog. :)
I was in a teal and white halter dress with white heels and teal and white dangling earrings. I had bangs and blond highlights in my hair that fell below my shoulders. I was driving in my blue T-bird and immediately blasted the song up and put my windows down. I LOVED the song and still do! I think it is one of those feel good songs and always makes me feel friskily feminine! I don't know...can a girl be friskily feminine? Feminine and frisky, perky...this song does it for me every time. You know that walk where you stride in confidence with a bounce to your step. Actually, one night while walking past radiology, a lab tech hanging out there saw me walking by and hollered out "You have a great walk!" which seriously was just my walking fast mode in high heals. Sadly...now with the knee problems and added weight I can't do that in heels anymore. On a bad day can't even do it in flip flops! :( But hope springs eternal in me that I will reverse some of that through various means. :) I have "Fresh" downloaded into my i-Tunes and sometimes even play it on repeat. :) Do you do that with favorite songs? I always do.
Anyway I am putting up a couple of YouTubes that I think are feel good songs. First up:
MARIA SHARAPOVA - SHE'S FRESH - KOOL & THE GANG by DON SOLT
I chose this one because I love tennis, although... unfortunately haven't played in a l-o-o-n-g time and because I like the ocean scenes. Of course the guys will prefer Maria. She's a pretty girl. :)
And here is the 2nd feel good song: Gary US Bonds "This Little Girl is Mine"
Another fun song! And now I am going out for some end of the day Vitamin D and a little color. Fresh sunshine is the best way to get your vitamin D. :)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This clip is HILARIAOUS! I love her description of the Bajingoland exam and I can especially relate to the line "I've had my feet in more stirrups than Dale Evans". My joke is that I have had so many exams south of the border... I am surprised that every time I see a white coat or blue scrubs that I don't have a Pavlovian response and automatically assume the Bajingoland position...it would be embarrassing in the waiting room! ;)
Thanks to TBTAM for putting this up. I never heard of Mrs. Hughes before but will definitely check her out.
Also this post reminds me of an experience with my urologist last summer in which he pushed a hot button I didn't know I had and so I will post on it soon. :)
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Oh...vom-p-e-n-s-a-d... she whispers ever so softly.
Is it urgent, nurturing, funny or loving? What is this vompensad?
I think it sounds like an order or command.
Can anyone answer this?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Being a Jersey girl who grew up at the shore and likes Springsteen -this clip kind of perks me up a bit and... causes me to feel wistful. The images are familiar and I can almost put myself in those shots. And of course there's my love for the ocean.
Ever revisit a place in your past and feel like your almost really there again? You feel like you can almost touch it or be with the same people ...experiencing those moments again ...same sights, sames smells...your almost there but not quite. Almost like if you could just lift some thin dimensional veil...you'd be there again? And wouldn't it be nice to take it all in one more time, but with senses of appreciation and knowing...even if just for a little while? And wouldn't it be nice if we could do it with the people we loved but are no longer with us...just one more time?
I am grateful for all I have in the present and I am believing for a good future. I just miss my friend and I can't imagine never being able to talk with her again. She ALWAYS had the answers...you know? It always amazed me when she sought my advice because...seriously...there was no comparison.
And even though she accomplished a lot and helped many people ...in many ways she had a broken life and she was sometimes hard on herself for mistakes she felt she made. As a matter of fact...some people judged her, questioning her ability to help others. But what these people didn't/don't realize is that it is sometimes through our brokenness...that we are best able to help others. And she had a gift for doing just that. She was generous to a fault, she always forgave me for my intermittent absences, loved people unconditionally and seemed to make it her lifetime ambition to help others. I know I am a better person for having known her.
I feel like I have lost a sister, a spiritual guide, a teacher, a counselor, a mother (she was only 9 yrs older than me), a mentor and a best friend. 29 years worth of all that. And boy could we laugh! And I loved that I cracked her up. Sometimes I'd forget during one of our phone marathons, that she was on oxygen and I would get on such a roll that she would get to laughing so hard that she would choke and gasp for air and she'd still laugh but that always scared me. She also could crack me up! :)
One of those conversations revolved around her wanting me to come up and stay over night in her apartment and I said that I only wanted to come up for the day because I could not spend another night in her fold out sofa with that hideous bar going into my side. So she wanted me to take her bed and she would take the awful bed. No way! I wasn't going to do that to her and my luck she'd die because she was so uncomfortable and then I'd have to live with the guilt that she died uncomfortably because I was selfish and it got progressively morbid with black humor as I described the scenario for what I would have to do to get her back in her bed after she was dead so no one would know how selfish I really was, in the next room and the doorbell would be ringing with people coming to see her and ...so on. It was totally inane and your all probably thinking ... GROSS!, but we were laughing so hard she choked and tears were coming out of our eyes. It also doesn't escape me that we were also venting about our fears and frustrations with her being so sick and that she could die and the black humor served as the release for that. BTW...we usually laughed at funny things not death. That night was an exception.
We could be real with each other...most of the time. In any relationship...I still think we hold back on some things, but our friendship was as real as they come. It was a gift from God.
She loved the ocean too and her all time favorite locale was Wellfleet, Cape Cod, MA.
We never went to the ocean together though. Our lives were usually on different paths and while we had a great friendship, we never took any vacations together. And actually, she only lived in this area for about 9 years out of the 29. I think when you are kindred spirits...it doesn't matter how far apart you live or how long it's been...you can ALWAYS pick up like you never parted in the 1st place.
Gee this was supposed to just be an upbeat clip and it turned into this. I will try to be mindful of the fact that regular readers do come in here and you don't want to read depressing stuff all the time. My head is filled with so many memories that have been coming back to life this week and I can't help but to talk about them. Hopefully, I will do something funny in the next post.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I apologize for not stopping by to read/comment on my favorite blogs or to respond to the comments left by friends and visitors here. I had been busy compiling tax info and inputting i c when I received a phone call from a friend that one of my closest friends I have ever had had, died on Monday, the 14th.
My heart is broken. She was my friend. She was my mentor. This past March marked our 29th anniversary of being friends. We are all unique. No one will ever take her place. She has her own special place in my heart...from which I will continue to draw on all she has taught me and hopefully to pay it all forward so that others can benefit from her compassion and wisdom as I have. She has been a major influence in my life. I know that I have been able to help others because of what I have learned from her. And she has helped and blessed me tremendously. She would tell you that I did that for her, but the truth is...I always wondered what someone like her saw in me. ? I have so much to say but I can't do it now.
Her death wasn't unexpected... but rather overdue by about 10 years at least if not more. She confounded the doctors by continually rallying back from her illness. I didn't know I was going to take it this hard. I managed not to cry today but my eyes are still really puffy. I can't keep doing this. I have too much to do. Tell that to my heart though. :(
This Water Lilies by Claude Monet is similar to one she gave me. And she gave me a poster in another version of this with more greens in varying tones. I put it on the refrigerator door and so every time I turn around from the sink...it reminds me of the pond out back.
Pat was arty and had a a flair for decorating in such a way that it was always beautiful and inviting. Whenever I was in her houses or apartments...I always felt like I wanted to stay forever. I think it was a combination of her beautiful, fun loving spirit and her decorating. She loved flowers and in her latter years, surrounded herself with dried flowers and floral paintings (among other things) to bring the outdoors in to her, since she was mostly bedridden indoors. She loved the vibrant colors and their delicate beauty. The first time I fell in love with Monet's work was when she took me to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. And Pat never just gave you something. There was always a deeper meaning, the gifts were symbolic of things past, present and future, depending on what was going on at the time she gave you the gift.
Even her obituary was an inspiration because it shows the professional paths she chose, demonstrating that she has helped a lot of people during her life. I love what she said about her sons and how she acknowledged all of her physicians by name and what she said. And I love the picture of her. It is what she looked like when we met and I imagine her looking like that now.
She's free...finally free.
I want to post her obit and just change names to initials (except I would leave the physician's names), but then I am concerned that if anyone cared to ...they could find the obituary by googling some of the info and then our names and locations would be identifiable anyway. Is that possible? I will most certainly write about her and all that she has meant to me.
I love you my friend.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
They're so sweet I could eat them up with a spoon! :) Older brother must have an amazing temperament because he tolerates the pain so well without trying to retaliate. I love the baby's giggle and that he tries to do it again. :) Adorable! (55 second clip)
Monday, April 14, 2008
I have plans and the air is just filled with anticipation with things I know I'll be doing but also with possibilities of exciting new beginnings. :) The only negative which should really be a good thing is having the elective surgery..and I will decide on that soon because if I don't do it soon... then I am not going to.
And I have to say...that except for when I come to this blog...I do NOT think of my ureter. I actually go through most of the day not thinking about urology which is unbelievable to me but is such a wonderful thing. I figure that is proof that I really am better. AND I haven't been drinking enough water because I don't think about it. So I need to improve with that...but my point is...I AM healed!!! Thanks to my wonderful urodoc! I will never forget how he helped me.
I know there is supposed to be some kind of follow-up but we never set it up yet and this is where I am a bad patient because I am not good with longterm follow-ups. When you go in every week and every month it's different but spread out...it just doesn't feel as important. I know better but life just gets in the way.
Funny thing. When I first met my urology group and was still an inpatient one of his partners was seeing me on morning rounds. I was all scared back then and asked if I would be ok because I didn't really understand the seriousness of what was going on. He reassured me that I would be alright. I thought I would have to continually be seen because of the hydronephrosis. He asked me if I was good with appointments. I put my head down while remembering all my canceled appointments, trying to think of what to say. He then said, "If you don't...we will HUNT-YOU-D-O-W-N! They would! I still chuckle at that. :)
I have MAJOR spring fever! Most people probably do. :) The flowers and trees are blooming, the grass is greener, birds are singing and flitting about and the night bugs are out singing their songs in the woods. I LOVE that sound. :)
We put the Adirondack chairs out today. They are 2 huge wooden Adirondacks that I stained a light blue gray, kind of what you see on some beach houses. They are weathered and need to be redone. The guy that made them guaranteed they would last a lifetime and I think he is right. I LOVE them! And there is one separate piece that can be used to turn it into a lounger or be used for a separate little table.
A former co-worker rekindled my love for Adirondack chairs. I had forgotten about them. But one night he told me he had built some and then showed me a pic he had painted of them. I exclaimed, O-h-h-h D...they're beautiful!! He got the biggest grin on his face. :)
One day not long after that, I happened to be driving by a place that had all this wooden furniture for sale out front. It was all beautiful and so well made. So...I fell in love with these two Adirondack chairs and bought them. Then I went back to get a large square picnic table with 4 benches. The furniture is so heavy and I can hardly move it by my self.
I think Adirondack chairs are so arty and they conjure up all kinds of wonderful memories for me. :)
I love fall and winter but Spring is wonderful too. :)
Sunday, April 13, 2008
While focusing on taxes the last couple of days I have also had 6 word memes floating around in my head...up to 25 now, which I stored in word. I'd think of something and then find myself counting words. It gets addicting! :)
So...I am going to break the rules a bit and do a few broken into categories. My more thoughtful one is at the end. Actually, this post is a few short posts in one and I have divided accordingly for easier reading as time allows. :)
Kegels so strong speculum tug-o-war!
WAIT! How Big Is that Speculum?
I actually said that the first time urodoc was going to do a vag exam on me. With everything I had been through and then having the big ureteral stent in me, I was a tad hyper vigilant about experiencing unnecessary pain.
I hardly knew him or his staff at that point. So I was in the stirrups, his medical assistant was right by his side and as he started to bend over and lean in toward me, I exclaimed "WAIT! How Big Is that Speculum? because...."
I Could see I startled them a bit with blurting it out that way, but it was instinctive. Anyway...he was great and it was an uneventful exam. :)
Things I’ve said to our sons: Don’t throw that sock at him! (Older son liked lobbing balled up socks at his baby brother because he had this pterodactyl scream every time his brother teased him. :)
I’m Only Guilty Of Loving You.
WATER DESTROYS! N-O-O-O-O! Stop Chasing the Cat! (I know 7 words)
Always Ready For A Good Laugh
Even though I don't always show it... my faith in God is an integral part of who I am. I am a Christian who embraces the Judeo-Christian ethic. I am not a holier than thou person...believe me (ever read my blog?) and I am a work in progress for sure. ;) All that being said, I do believe there is a heaven and I do believe there is a hell. I have told my sons that family and relationships are important and we are blessed to have each other. Education is important (for various reasons) and that money is great...it helps to make things nice. BUT...the most important thing they can do is to live their lives with their eternal destination in mind.
I hope I don't offend anyone. Please know that I am tolerant of other perspectives. :)
Birth-Life-Death... Life forever after.
Follow Jesus and We’ll Meet Again.
Have you ever thought what you would want your very last words to be to a loved one or someone you cared very much about? If you knew you were on your death bed in an E.R., in your home or anywhere and that you just had seconds to live...what message, words of wisdom or reassurance would you say directly to your loved ones or relay to the medical staff or clergy at your bedside so they could tell your family and friends?
I have. And really...it would be my second meme-follow Jesus. Sometimes when patients would be coming into the ER as a CPR in progress or some other serious condition...I would think what if that were me or someone I loved? And I'd think about last moments. I even imagined what nurse I was saying my final words to. Does anyone else ever think about their own mortality when they are near a dying person? I would think it is inevitable except when you are in the heat of the moment trying to save their life.
The people in my life know I love them so I wouldn't waste my last seconds saying that. But I would tell them to follow Jesus and that because of salvation, we will meet on the other side. I would want to remind them of hope and to keep their focus on what was important.
This little 6 word meme really did get me thinking. Faith would have to be part of my serious one.
I am tagging Marlaquack, Elaine, TBTAM, Sid Schwab, Throckmorton, MbA, Bloghore, Dr Deb, Dr Gwenn, Jenster, John, Mel, Health Psych, Therapy Doc, Chrysalis Angel, The I.U., Dr Keagirl, Canadian Girl, Doc's Girl, Dr Anonymous, and anyone else that wants to play.
Please don't feel obligated to play, but know that I think you would have interesting memes. :) And if you do want to play...you don't have to tag anyone. Some people just do the meme and don't tag. It really is only supposed to be 6 words and it was fun thinking up the little memes. I love the idea of describing yourself with 6 words. I obviously was itching to do a post but just had so much fun doing it and...well... it is a tad longer than 6 words. ;)
Saturday, April 12, 2008
It's THAT time of year again and is one of the reasons I have been MIA in visiting my favorite blogs.
This year's taxes have been particularly stressful because of financial changes and different life events and so I have been scrambling to get the necessary info and still have to go through receipts. Also need to do son and Mom's taxes although those should be a no brainer.
I spent half the day yesterday on the phone with investment companies because I was trying to get info on our stock we sold last fall, purchases dating back to the late 70's etc., for the cost basis. Long story short...it changed hands a few times and no companies have access to the info except for the most recent dating back to 2005. One company said for a fee, they "may" be able to get the information. So...I am thinking that since we didn't get that much money that maybe I am jumping through hoops for nothing. By the time I pay for the records and for the extension...maybe it wouldn't matter that much anyway as far as affecting our tax bracket. Shhh...that's what I am telling myself anyway. You don't want to ruin my pseudo bliss. :)
I couldn't carry over last years tax info because computer crashed this summer during a lightening storm and when son retrieved the info he didn't add that. But I have inputted the info and now just have to find and tally the receipts and perhaps a couple of calls on Monday. So I am ahead of myself this year in that I am not doing it the night before.
Then last night, to my abject horror..a storm knocked our computer off (electric went off) and I thought I lost everything PLUS the computer and here I am doing the taxes AND there not DONE yet! Needless to say...this girl's stressometer skyrocketed! Son...insisted I leave it off but I am happy to say that both sons got it up and running this morning. Thank you boys! :)
The following is an excerpt from last year's tax post in which I recount my first experience with using a computer (90's) to do my taxes that were do the next day:
The only other time I was up all night was the first year that I used the Turbo Tax program back in the 90's. I had worked in ED registration on the 3-11 shift and so as soon as I got home I started doing the taxes. I had everything together, but was going slowly as I wasn't familiar with it and I was reading everything. Around 1:30-2am, I went to get some jelly beans from the kitchen. As soon as I came into the computer area, the light flickered. I turned to look at the light and almost simultaneously thought " Oh no! I hope the comp..." Too late! It crashed and I didn't think to back anything up and I lost everything. Suffice it to know that everything was printing as the birds were waking and the early morning sun began peeking into the room. I didn't realize the state program wasn't included and so had to do that the old fashioned way and fast!
So, except for that year and this year - tax time is usually uneventful other than the fact that I procrastinate in doing them.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Here is what this post was really supposed to be about before I digressed. I already established that I am not much of a drinker when it comes to alcoholic beverages. However, this past January... I decided that I would start drinking wine for medicinal purposes.
I didn't research it. I was just going by what I vaguely remembered about things I have heard or read- that red wine in moderation is supposed to be good for you. I was thinking about the fact that I have mild hypertension and I have some circulation concerns that seem to have exacerbated since blogging. No doubt from sitting at the computer too long and not getting up to move around for such long periods of time. I have brought it up to 3 different doctors and none of them have seemed concerned but I just want to rule some things out and that there is nothing to worry about. I did have an appointment scheduled to see a vascular doc back in March but canceled because I had gotten sick with a virus, but then never rescheduled. (I think I am afraid he is going to say no more blogging for you! ;) I will reschedule this month after I do our taxes.
So one night after dinner I went to a liquor store. It was actually kind of embarrassing because I didn't have a clue what to buy and so the clerk was telling me about different wines and I finally settled on a couple of different bottles. I felt like I should know this.
So I made my purchase and headed for home.
Upon arriving home, I immediately pulled out a pretty crystal wine glass. Then I realized I didn't have anything to remove the cork and now the liquor store was closed. Not to be thwarted from my new health mission, I rummaged through the drawers until I found a bottle opener that had some kind of screw thingy that I guessed was for removing corks. Yeah... maybe for BARBIE wine bottles!
I couldn't get it to screw inward. The cheap thing was bending with pressure. I was afraid I was going to get screwed the more I wrestled with it and end up in the ER! Frickin cheap screw! It didn't matter if I screwed it in or pulled it out...it bent in either direction. So in frustration, I was now trying to screw it inward even though the top half was bent over. I can tell you right now that screwing with something bent over doesn't work! This made it more difficult because I didn't have the same leverage as when it is going straight in. Once I got it screwed in a bit more, I put it between my legs and tried to pull it out. So then I tried putting it under my arm for a different kind of leverage but it was definitely better between my legs.
Now I was sweating and frustrated but oh-so-DETERMINED! And forget doing all this on the counter! I tried that in the beginning but it was too high for me to get the right leverage and when I tipped it a bit I was afraid it would slide right out of my hands across the counter. It was definitely at a better angle between my thighs. In retrospect...I think I should have tried it in the sink or on a chair because they were lower. And even between my thighs, I was constantly concerned that it would quickly pop out and possibly cut me on the way out.
Not to be thwarted for long...I got the idea to rotate it! Now it seemed to be coming out. YES! N-O-O-O! Only part of it popped out along with some tiny pieces. It wasn't screwed in far enough! Then I got a knife...a long skinny one and plunged it back in while on the counter. I tried rotating it around, cutting it and rocking it but to no avail. I gave up and pulled it back out. I was ready to christen the sink with the darn bottle!
And then...I remembered that I still had a neighbor's wine bottle opener from a few years back. (Sorry M, but I did tell you and then forgot about it) Voila! It popped right out. Forget the crystal glass...I took an immediate swig right out of the bottle...tiny cork pieces and all! I figured it really was medicinal because it was probably countering what must've been an elevated BP by then.
But then I poured the wine into my pretty crystal glass and put together a small plate of cheese and crackers with a few grapes. I went into the family room, put my feet up and finally relaxed.
I didn't have cheese every nite. I had 1 or 2 glasses of wine maybe 4 nights a week if that. I never did look up what amounts you are supposed to have but it didn't matter because after about a month...I stopped drinking it. I just can not handle that taste so often! I guess you could say I got wined out! :) AND...I gained 10lbs! So much for the benefits of drinking wine.
But then about a month later, thanks to a most gracious person, I was able to get a case of the MonaVie health drink. I had been wanting to try it ever since I read about it over at the Happy Hospitalist's blog, but it's expensive. Anyway, as fate would have it someone I know kindly offered me some from their personal stock.
As you can see from the picture above it looks like a wine bottle. I took one bottle from the case and put it in the fridge to chill. I was drinking the recommended amount of 2 oz in the morning and 2 oz in the late afternoon. (BTW...the energy and clarity of mind I experienced was amazing!) I have this metal 1 oz/2oz shot measurer that I just drank my 2 oz right out of and then rinsed it. I had been doing this for a week or so and then one night noticed my husband was looking at me funny. Ha ha! I figured he thought I was still drinking wine but now I was so desperate for it that I was now drinking it by the shots! LOL! I quickly told him it was a health drink and he looked relieved.
I also never thought about the fact that younger son must have been wondering what I was doing too. He is usually home in the morning working on his laptop before he leaves for class and so he evidently had been watching me pour the MonaVie into the shot measurer too and then drink it down while I was standing at the sink. However, none of this occurred to me and about 3 weeks into it, one morning after I swigged my shot serving down, I hear him say, "MOM! WHAT are you DOING?" I turned toward him and saw that he had a concerned look on his face. I then said this is a health drink- a juice that is good for you (he also looked relieved) and then proceeded to tell him more than he wanted to know about the acai berry.
My poor guys...because I drank wine some evenings back in January...they thought that I had now taken to drinking morning and night! Gee...I wonder if they were each thinking I was turning into a wino and in need of an intervention?
Haha...not to worry...if it were wine...the price of MonaVie would prevent me from ever needing an intervention! ;)
*If you are interested in the MonaVie product, go to the link I provided to the Happy Hospitalist and you can read about it there. You can also follow his weekly progress with the product which he has listed on his side bar and you can also find links to the MonaVie site.
I am out of the product now, but hope to drink it again at some point in time. I do believe that I benefited from the product.
Honestly...part of me didn't want the MonaVie to work because it's too expensive and the other part of me wanted it to live up to it's reputation because I wanted to feel better.
The one thing I do wonder is if taking pure acai berry supplements would offer the same benefits? It should be a quality product- but then how do lay people really ascertain that...the quality I mean?
In thinking about my appreciation for gin and tonics I recalled that I had written about where I first developed a taste for them. You may get a chuckle from this excerpt (from a 2006 post) regarding my experience as a nanny who's most important responsibility was to make ice for the gin and tonics.
The only time I ever got a job from the newspaper was when I was 20 years old. I left my accounts receivable job and decided I wanted to work in the county for the summer before getting married in the fall. It was working as a nanny through some county agency.
I went for the interview and hit it off right away with the guy and his daughters. He was a 35 yr old state trooper and widower. His wife had recently died from kidney disease, leaving behind 2 beautiful young girls who were 12 and 8 yrs old. I was honest and told him that I didn't know how to cook or do laundry but that I could clean. Well, he appreciated anything I did, but I am sure it was more about the girls having someone around all day to care for them and I really did care about them. We also had fun. I used to take then swimming at the lake and do all kinds of things with them. They were a nice family!
Bob, (my new boss) was really funny and we got along well. (I remember he liked Frank Sinatra and Chicago) The first time I did laundry, he said he had to call a repair man because I had broken the machine. Evidently, I didn't realize all the clothes had to be pushed down into the machine (I am guessing that I overloaded it too) because a sock got wedged between the drum and outer wall of the washer.
One morning when I went in, he was there, sitting in his bath robe at the dining room table. He said that the pork chops I made the night before weren't cooked all the way and that he had gotten food poisoning and spent the nite up at the ER in a local hospital. I felt bad but he was really nice about it. (In retrospect - shouldn't HE have been able to tell if the meat was white and the pork cooked? I hadn't evolved that far in my cooking skills yet!)
Every nite he would come home at 5pm and he would make a gin and tonic with a lime twist for both of us. (I rarely drink, but if I do that is still my favorite drink) I would stay and chat a bit and then be on my way. Well one nite, while I was setting the dining room table, he turns to me and says "Pat, did you make ice?"
me - "Ice?"
Bob - "Yes Pat - ice."
me - " No, no I didn't make ice Bob." (I could see that he was really disappointed)
Bob - " Pat - the most important thing you have to do here is MAKE ICE!"
me - "o k Bob, from now on I will make ice."
From then on, every night when Bob came home, as he was walking up the stairs he would say "Pat - did you make ice?" and I would say "Yes Bob, I made ice." and we continued to have our evening gin and tonics with ice, until I left to get married.
In reflecting on this, I am totally amused that- a broken machine? Food poisoning? No big deal. No ice - BIG DEAL! I also don't remember cooking anything else but those pork chops, but I must have! He also never told me in the interview that making ice was a prerequisite to the job! :)
Gee...I digressed somewhat from my original intent of this post and so will finish it in Part III. :)
Part I- A Little Drinking History
Gin and tonic with a lime twist is my absolute favorite drink and I admit I have fantasized about filling up my 76 oz water bottle that I got from the urologist with that concoction. I think the limes would look pretty floating around and no doubt it would be a refreshing beverage on a hot day. ;)
As a matter of fact, one day while at another doctor's office, a man in the waiting room was impressed with my water bottle and suggested it would be great for gin and tonics. I didn't tell him I had already thought of it...but ahhh...a guy after my own heart. ;) Now... I feel the alcohol go right to my head on the 2nd sip of any alcoholic beverage, so I am thinking I would end up in Scalpel's ED for sure if I drank even half of that amount...but I'd be polite and compliant like Gumby...if I wasn't comatose. :)
I suppose it is the fact that I know what a hellish existence it is to be caught up with someone in the throws of alcoholism that has been a deterrent from getting a bit too happy with it. Fortunately, that person got well a long time ago.
***Let me just say here to hopefully encourage someone, that if you or someone you care about are caught up with alcohol addiction and you think you or they can never stop...YES...YES...YES YOU or THEY... CAN STOP! I know how you feel. I have felt that way too. I am a person who believes in miracles and that all things are possible with God...but...I lost my faith that this individual would ever get well and stop drinking. I even stopped praying about it. I gave up.
But they did stop! I admit that even now I am amazed when I think about it.
I would encourage you to look up information on the Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon programs. They are listed on line and in the phone book and there are free meetings everywhere. I don't know if this is still true but I had heard once that the AA programs had a statistically higher success rate then rehabs. And it's FREE!
Perhaps I will do a post on this sometime because maybe it could be the catalyst for someone regaining their hope and seeking help.
I don't like it when people get sloppy and slur their words and their whole countenance changes. And personally speaking...I like having my edge and being alert. Mellow is nice but I don't like anything past that point.
All that being said...I have been totally wasted drunk where I can't account for time, 4 times (before I was married) and then I was only drunk once in my entire adult life and that was in the spring of 1986. My girlfriend and I polished off a gallon of wine in her living room one night because we were celebrating her divorce was final. I am ashamed to say that I drove home (5 minutes away) and thankfully did so without incident. I had the worst hangover ever the next day and my husband was really ticked at me.
I can take or leave alcohol and some years if I had 2 drinks a year that was a lot. Sure...I enjoy it when I have it...but it's not on the top of my list for must haves. But I don't refuse it when offered or when I am out with the girls, I will order a Gin and tonic with a lime twist. Actually, I do use a shot or two of whiskey in my eggnog at Christmas and I don't know if this is safe but I haven't become ill from it yet. I am still using the same bottle of Seagram's that I have had opened since the early 90's. (Ha! I don't know if that is good or bad!)
I don't really care for sweet drinks and can't believe that a slow gin fizz was my favorite drink when I was in my late teens...ugh! I also enjoy champagne, wine and beer. My two favorites would be the Gin and Tonics or beer. One hot summer day while still living home (19) I walked out to my car with car wash, bucket and a beer. I started washing the car, stopped to pick the can of beer up, flipped the top open and proceeded to drink it. Ahhh... a nice cold beer on a hot day does taste good. As I am drinking it, my neighbor who I didn't even know was on his roof hollered down to me and said, "Pat...you just ruined your image!" I know we bantered a bit but that statement is the only thing that I remember now. I don't know what image this married guy in his late twenties had of me just because I drank a beer. I mean I was your typical dating girl (and at that time I was with my future husband) but I had been picked up on motorcycles, in sports cars and trucks. I played tennis, badminton and swam. I was a happy girl if I had a racket in my hand or was immersed in any body of water. Anyway...I have wondered about that. ??? So what kind of image does a beer guzzlin girl stir up? (I didn't really guzzle...more like chug-a-lug...I'm KIDDING!)
Monday, April 7, 2008
I guess I don't watch enough TV, because I don't understand how a man can murder his wife by shooting her in the head while she's sleeping, and then be released on $500,000.00 dollars bail and then allowed to go live back in his house, in the community. ??? (I know...everyone is entitled to and should have a fair trial and it takes a while to build a defense, gather evidence and everything has to go through proper channels and it has to be proven in a court of law.)
Back in February, he allegedly murdered his wife and then had a failed suicide attempt after shooting himself in the head. He had been in the hospital and then sent to rehab. Last week after being discharged from rehab he was arrested near his home and charged with first degree murder of his wife and unlawful use of a weapon.
I do not want to be of a lynch mob mentality but I am being frank with you when I tell you that it is disturbing not only to me but others as well. We all know this family and cross paths with them and so it is close to home and not some strangers you hear about on the news. While it appears to have been a domestic situation...what assurance is there that this person won't snap and be a danger to himself or others?
I mean...c'mon...it would seem this was premeditated and cold blooded. She had no chance for self defense!
A person simply can not be in their right state of mind if they perpetrate a crime such as this. And so what is to say that house arrest is a deterrent? According to the paper he hasn't had a mental evaluation yet. So...how do you release a person who at the very least, you suspect committed a murder and was suicidal before evaluating them? Why would the authorities/medical personnel do that???
OK...innocent until proven guilty. But what if? What if he killed her?
I would think that the police could prove this forensically. Gun powder, position of body, trajectory of bullet, etc., but maybe it's not as black and white as it would seem.
This latest information was published in the papers over the weekend. His lawyer indicated this case could take a while.
My heart does go out to the family. I am so very sorry this happened. I do not wish them any more pain. And I do not want to see an innocent man prosecuted unjustly.
I also don't want to see anyone else harmed.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I wonder how many people take the time to write a thank you note to their doctor? Or bring them food or something to demonstrate their appreciation to the doctors and their staff? I must confess that until recent years, I did not take the time. Do you? And doctors...do you and your staff take the time to say thank your patients when they do something nice for you?
Sure I would send the occasional Christmas card or bring a box of candy or Christmas cookies to the office, but I didn't take the time to sit down and write a nice thank you letter. Yes...I ALWAYS said thank you... with a smile and then I'd be happily on my way...out of site -out of mind.
I will even go so far as to say that I took my doctors for granted. (couple of exceptions) AND...I worked in a hospital for 20 years (Emergency registration) working closely with the ED staff. I KNEW how much hospital personnel LOVES getting food, thank you notes and letters. I did too and I still have the letters/notes/Press Ganey's (yes I copied them) that patients sent to administration expressing their appreciation. Still...I didn't take the time for my docs.
BTW...I pretty much think the staff has built in homing devices so that no matter where they are in the hospital ...they know there is food sitting in the ED and descend upon it in short order. ;) The same goes for a fresh pot of coffee...but I digress.
While perusing the various med blogs, some med professionals have discussed how much they appreciate it when they receive a thank you letter or food from a patient. There is one post that stands out in my mind. When I read it, I immediately hoped that some of my thank you letters/cards also warmed someone's heart that way.
I wish I could remember which doctor wrote this beautiful post. He wrote about a patient who he had worked with in helping her to overcome an illness and she did. She had moved out of state. She sent him a wonderful thank you card with a note inscribed on it thanking him for all that he had done to facilitate her healing. He was so moved by the card that he said he keeps it in the glove compartment of his car and when he is feeling down... he takes it back out and reads her card again.
I have to say...I was profoundly moved when I read his words. Just look how her card moved him so much, that he wrote about it and that affected me, even though it has been quite awhile since I read it. And who knows how many others reading his blog? Now I am writing about it and all of you are reading about it and some of you may now do something good because of it. The ripple of good goes forward. And it demonstrates how we ALL can make a profound difference in the life of another if we are willing to take the time to do so. I haven't always done it myself...hence the post on Regrets that I wrote a few posts back...but I try.
And speaking of blogging doctors...I came across this post written by Dr Wes (internist, cardiologist, and cardiac electrophysiologist) while perusing the blogosphere tonight. Another great medical blog!
He posted a thank you letter from a patient (with their permission) but went even further with it. Dr Wes went on to say thank you by acknowledging all the other medical people that help make it possible for him to do what he does. I love it! Way to go Dr Wes! :)
There have been other doctors as well as nurses who have expressed their appreciation in the blogosphere regarding the kind gestures from their patients. I remember reading something Dr Schwab from Surgeon'sblog, wrote (forget which post) in which he mentions that he was cleaning some things out and came across the thank yous that he had saved from his patients over the years.
I admit that I didn't send a thank you note to the first urologist who rescued me from the first kidney stone and 2 weeks later the next three. I always meant to but I had a crazy work schedule and a lot going on in my life and one month blended into the next and then I never did.
As a matter of fact...fast forward 2 years and now I was waking up in post-op s/p procedure that was done by a different urologist (my current one) and I vaguely see the 1st urologist walking past my stretcher. Barely able to open my eyes, I called out,"Dr ___...is that y-o-u-u-u?" He stopped and came over to my bedside. "You probably don't remember me, but.." "Yes I do...your the lady from ___ Hospital!" "Yes I am. I just want you to know that I am sorry I never sent you a thank you note after you helped me with that first kidney stone...I'm really sorry." He smiled and said "Oh that's alright." and then walked away. I still feel guilty about that.
I met my current urologist and partners when I ended up at the ED quite ill (I think 16 months after that 1st kidney stone) from a totally constricted ureter. My current urologist worked hard at facilitating my healing and it was a long process because the ureter continually seemed to want to close. I joke that I was stented silly in 2006 and early 2007.
About 6 months into treatment I wrote a nice thank you letter to my doc, his partners and the entire support staff in which I let them know how much I appreciated them and why. I also have brought them a lot of food. Also my way to say thank you. I was very grateful then, still am and always will be. Frankly...I feel like I can never adequately say thank you enough for all that my doctor personally did while working on my case as well as the other docs and their support staff. When appropriate...I tell everyone to go to that group. Their compassionate professionalism made a difficult medical situation more tolerable.
It warmed my heart to see how much they appreciated being appreciated. I also was amazed that they sent thank you cards for my thank you to them. No other medical people have ever done that.
It feels good to do something nice for people and I think all too often we are so caught up in the busyness of our everyday lives, that we just don't stop to think that a kind gesture from us... will mean so much to others. My urodoc thanked me a few times after Christmas for the food I brought them this year and he really warmed my heart doing that because then I knew he and his staff felt appreciated for the hard work they do. Not only did he personally thank me more than once but then after that, they still took the time to send a thank you card from their group/office. :)
Please know that I was/am grateful and wanted to repay them and knowing they appreciated it made me smile and that was enough. But then as it turns out (mentioned this in a previous post) I was feeling down a while after that and it was on THAT day that I received the thank you from them in the mail. A simple little card that they probably sent out to all their thoughtful patients...yet they brought a smile to my face because of their kind gesture. I have a good life - just happened to have been having a bad day...but just imagine how special that gesture would be to a little old lady who is a shut-in.
In my opinion...when someone takes the time to send/give you their thoughts in writing...that is extra special and like the blogging doc...you can read it again when you need to be reminded of something good.
We never really know what heavy load of responsibility or concerns someone may be carrying. We all have those days where we question our choices in whatever capacity or we just feel down because we are oh- so- human.
So write that letter, send that card, bake those cookies and bring them to the special people in your life. Not only will you lift their spirits then, but perhaps as with the blogging doctor... they will reread your encouraging words...reminding them that indeed...they DO make a difference! :)
Friday, April 4, 2008
This really happened to me at a family picnic-my husband's family and I was still getting to know them. Just another one of my embarrassing moments.
There were relatives of all ages at the picnic. Some were in the house, some were playing games or meandering around and a whole group of us were sitting in a big circle in lawn chairs just laughing and having a good time. Someone said something funny and I cracked up and I also stomped my leg on the ground in laughter. But then I felt something slide down my calf and land along side my bare foot and ankle.
I looked down and to my utter dismay ...I saw my panties that I had been wearing the day before! I kind of shrieked a little with embarrassment, I scooped them up, family was now laughing and I laughed too, but I could feel my face getting hot and red with embarrassment. Then I quickly bolted back in the house and stuffed them in my pocketbook!
I dreaded going back outside because I was afraid I would get shy/embarrassed all over again. I have a fair complexion and my emotions (if they are strong) will sometimes show with an either pink flush, red or magenta...depending on the moment and I can feel the warmth. (So much for poker face if I want to conceal emotions) But no one said anything after that. If that were my family... they would have shown no mercy- they can tease! ;)
And yes...I wore the same jeans the day before but they were clean or I wouldn't have worn them. However, it obviously never occurred to me that I took them off at the same time leaving the panties in my jeans. Lesson learned! :)
I thought I was the only one this ever happened to until I saw this video called, "The Preacher, The Panties and The Policeman" from the In The Motherhood web series. This is a short funny clip in which this happens to a woman in the grocery store.
Finally...I feel vindicated! Someone else wore their pants two days in a row...Ha ha! And so now... I am wondering has THIS actually happened to other people? Too funny! I thought the clip was hilarious and hope you enjoy it too. :)
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
On a lighter note...according to The Independent Urologist-Dr Schoor...insurance carriers are now dictating how his semen analysis patients can procure their specimens. And here is another interesting post by I.U.
I recently put up a lot of posts and will be busy over the next few days. I love your comments and if I don't respond please know that when I come back, I most certainly will respond. I think getting comments are like getting a postcard in the mail...they're fun! :)
And if your just happy being a lurker...that is fine too. Thanks for stopping by. :)
What is it about death that hits you head on with a dose of reality? It's abrupt...even if still impending. And even though expected...you're never really ready to say goodbye with such finality.
As we were sitting in the chairs against the wall facing her bed...I was remembering that she was in the same room that I was first in a couple of years ago when I had sepsis. We never know how life is going to play out, but who would have thought that a little over two years later I would be visiting a dying relative in that very same room....a thought I could have done without.
We brought some spring flowers in for her to see. I made sure there were 3 sunflowers in the bouquet because my husband grows beautiful sunflowers and I wanted to remind her of his garden because she always admired it. And I wanted to bring a little springtime into her room.
She asked to hold something and we figured it was the sunflower. So my -m-i-l dried it off and and placed it in her hand. She could barely hold it and then wanted to give it back and then said she couldn't hold anything anymore. She could barely get her words out and it was hard to understand her. But she did remark about the flowers in the vase a couple of times. It warmed my heart to know that even through her dire pain and illness that the flowers had cheered her.
My m-i-l is a stoic woman and rarely if ever lets you know she is hurting physically or emotionally. She never wants to burden anyone with her problems. She was sitting by the window, facing her sister when she suddenly burst into tears, sobbing silently. It broke my heart instantly to see her grieving for her sister. I instantly thought of 35mm b&w pictures...the kind that capture these real life moments in time. And then my husband jumped up to console her and again my brain was clicking away with imaginary 35mm B&W pics. You know the kind ...they're arty with their varying shades and shadows, capturing the poignant moments of real life, speaking volumes about that moment in time.
There is never enough time at the end to say everything. I wanted to say so much more on Thursday but I followed the others. Because after all... if I spoke with my heart...then it would've been obvious it was a final goodbye. But no one else was addressing anything that way.
The second I saw her...I knew...I knew this was the end. But this was the dance of denial and I was caught up in it...but as a hostage...not a willing participant.
The others went over to say goodbye and that they would see her tomorrow. I was last.
The whole time I was there she was restlessly lying on her side and then someone turned her on her back and she seemed more comfortable. She had her bed raised up and it seemed she was much more alert now that we were leaving. I know she didn't want to be alone there.
Her eyes were open wide now. My heart was breaking inside and I wanted to say things...so many nice things...but no one else did...and so I remained silent with those thoughts. But I took her hand and while looking into her eyes I simultaneously gently squeezed her hand and said, "I love you D." And she mustered up a slight smile and said, "I love you too." Our eyes still locked and probably, mine were now searching hers and wanting to tell her so much more and I repeated"I love you." while again squeezing her hand. She again repeated that she loved me but this time there was a glimpse of something different.
Did she recognized something different in me? Did I alarm her in some way because she saw my sadness and concern or worse desperation? Had she still had hope even then? Because neither she nor anyone else ever mentioned that she might die. Did I take that hope away at the moment our eyes were speaking? I know she knew I loved her but did I say too much with my eyes or telling her I loved her twice? And truthfully...I didn't know if I would see her alive again. As it turned out she could no longer effectively communicate by the next day.
The unspoken dance of denial is a difficult dance and I am not sure if it really helps anyone. I think it's better to be up front, honest and open...there is freedom in that. But it wasn't my call and really...who is to say there is a right way or a wrong way. It's whatever works for the patient and those most involved in their care.
She came home a day and a half later to her hospice bed. She was unable to communicate but one sister told me that she seemed to perk up when she was told that she was home now. I believe that. They say the hearing is the last to go and I think she heard everything. The house had been bustling with family and friends that came to say goodbye. I got there later because I had to take my mother on errands. But when I went in to see her I said, "Hi D...it's Pat" and with that she did seem to stir upward ever so slightly and I do think she knew we were all there.
Our 6 yr old granddaughter made her the sweetest most heartbreaking card on printer paper. In big letters across the upper half of the page she wrote in all large boldly colored letters the word PLEASE and then underneath she wrote:
PLEASE (Across the top half of paper)
To my aunt dee from little Devan (and mommy/peggy)
get well soon.
and i love you with all my heart
so goodbye (crying face)
I don't want you to go.
Get well soon.
and i love you with all my heart
so goodbye (crying face)
I don't want you to go.
I was reading it out loud and choked up and other people got teary eyed as well.
She was in her home and with her loving family now. This is what she wanted. She died peacefully sometime in the early morning hours before 3 am.
Death is so final. It pierces your heart like nothing else can.