Monday, June 30, 2008

I Agree-these Are Attractive Traits in Men :)

Here is a link to an MSN article on 6 things she loves about you. I agree with them all... except while I appreciate creativity in a guy, it's not for the same reasons the author mentions.

I see there are comments to my previous post (Thank you) and I will come back later to respond. I just journaled my heart out elsewhere and now am going outside to show my husband where I want the various herbs I bought.

2 different parsleys, thyme, oregano, dill, rosemary, 2 different lavenders (I want one by the front patio) and basil. We already grow mint. I'd love to put some garlic bulbs in in the fall. someone told me that the fresh garlic is so much better than what is in the stores and I still want chives too.

Then going in pool, float read on raft and hopefully later to farmer's market to buy all the fruits and vegetables I am very much craving. We are out of everything!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shave My Urethra?

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This is what I use. What's not to like. I mean it rhymes with..... and it's turquoise.

I am going to the OR tomorrow (Thursday) and so I just spoke with a nurse in PAT again to question about shaving because I knew there was a rule about no shaving on the day of surgery. ( I always do it the night before and just before going to bed.) I think because you run the risk of introducing infection at the surgical site.

So I asked her about shaving and she said you can shave but not at the surgical site.

I said it's my urethra.

With both of us laughing heartily, she said... if you can do THAT...you're g-o-o-d!

To which I said...I have hair every where but ...I just can't find a shaver that won't nick me there. ..but when I do-o-o... more laughter and good-bye. ;)

I have a feeling that was probably one of her funniest PAT conversations for the day. :) LOL!!!

Now there's an image! Sheesh! I don't know which is worse... having a hairy urethra or shaving it. Both frightening thoughts! ;)

Especially with me wielding a shaver. I nicked myself so badly the other morning that it looked like a scene from psycho. No...I Don't think I'll be shaving my urethra any time soon. I want to keep Bajingoland in tact! ;)

*I'll be back later with a post about my pre-OR routines...which is the point of the post...that anyone should have a pre OR routine.???

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Three Goats..Hello... 911?

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At 2am they really did look this scary! :)

One night last summer I was driving home from a friend's house around 2am. I decided to take the long way around on my road because it was such a balmy, beautiful full moon night and I had the windows down with my hair flying in the wind. I love that feeling! I like how the mountains look like tidal waves and the fields look so pretty in the moonlight. I get totally lost in the beauty of a full moon and the silver lite cascading down onto everything. Moonlit nights are my favorite and I also enjoy driving into the moon as the road changes directions.

I also liked the song that was on. I live on a pretty road and so if I like a song that is on, I will often take the long way around.

But I didn't get very far onto my road this night before I was stopped by three goats who were blocking the road, refusing to move and were just staring at me. (No I wasn't drinking earlier) And I didn't want to get out and chase them because I didn't know what the goats might do....they have those horns and eyes. Their eyes unnerve me a little...I don't know why. Besides, one goat maybe...but three? I was out numbered! So we were having a stare down and they were winning. I beeped and they didn't budge.

I could've tried to back up but it was around a bend and I am not the best backer upper anyway and besides what if a car came and besides what if I get past them but someone else hits them?

So I decided to call the 911 dispatcher from my cell phone.

Hello? 911 dispatcher? Um...I'm sorry to bother you..but uh there are goats in the road...blocking the road.

Yes..goats. Three of them.

Where? Uh..on SeaSprays road...at this end, near here, etc.....

What color are they??? N-o-o-o they're not pink.??? (I'm teasing here)

Oh they've done this before? Uh huh.. o-h-h-h..they're his goats?

Well.. they're just standing in the middle of the road looking at me and they're not moving, not even when I beep my horn.

I hate to bother you with this when you have other more important emergencies, but I hate to see someone get into an accident because of these goats.

Oh wait...they're moving now...okay they went back in the field.

Thank you..bye-bye!

And you know? I think they just liked the song that was playing. They left as soon as it was over. I'm KIDDING! ;)

The goat story is true though.

I have some cow, bull, horse and rooster stories too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Catheterization 101 for the Bladdering Idiot :)

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This foley bag/catheter can be your best friend post-op. :)


Credit for the title goes to John McElveen and his delightful humor. :)

My blogging friend John (Full on Forward blog) never fails to make me laugh and usually out loud! He wrote an amusing post about his colonoscopy and then at the end of his post he surprised me with "Tune in next week as my guest will be Seapspray, to walk us through, Catheterization 101, or How to become a Bladdering idiot! Urine trouble now for sure."

Um...that's PeeSpray to you John. ;)

As always...Thanks for the laughs John! You must be fantastic with your patients and if laughter facilitates healing, then no doubt they are well on their way to healing with you around. I would've loved to have you around when I was in the hospital. Hey...how do ya feel about working in the OR June 26th? I wouldn't mind having a good laugh before the Margarita cocktail has it's way with me. :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Birthday-Giraffes-I Miss My Friend

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It's my birthday today but we're not celebrating it until Sunday.

Every year my m-i-l makes my birthday cake. I love having a June birthday because she usually makes a strawberry whip cream angel food cake. Strawberries are in season and so they taste wonderful with the whip cream.

This year though she is making a Hawaiian wedding cake (don't know why it's called that-pineapple I guess) but it is with whip cream yellow cake, pineapple, vanilla pudding and nuts. Hold the coconut please. I hate coconut in any form. But I also love this cake. I like whip cream and fruit cakes the best.

I am having my mom come over this afternoon and will be watching Devan then too. We will also celebrate my mother's 85th birthday on Sunday since we didn't get to celebrate it with the family because I was in the hospital. I did take her out to dinner with a friend and younger son on her birthday at the Irish Cottage and she enjoyed that. I wish I felt better...I am not exactly up to party speed. Maybe I will be by Sunday. :)

So at 4:42 this afternoon I will officially be the birthday girl. :)

I am sad too. I am very much missing my friend Pat who passed away in April. Every year she always sent me birthday presents and I always told her not to because I knew it was beyond her budget. She always gave wonderful gifts, usually symbolic of something, great cards and always something more personal written on them. One year she gave me these really arty-pretty long dangling silver earrings. They are cut in such a way that they sparkle and they have giraffes cut out on them. You'd have to see them to appreciate them. She told me that giraffes were symbolic for sticking your neck out to help someone. I don't know if she read that or what but I always think of that when I wear them.

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I guess that is at the crux of my not feeling festive...I miss my friend. I miss her sweet voice...I miss her laughter and how she made me laugh...I miss how when I was scared...she encouraged me with her profound faith an insights and I miss her unconditional love...I miss my mentor, one of my closest friends ever...I miss her so very much.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stented and Don't Know It???



As some of you know I recently had a ureteral stent placed in me and I will post soon about what happened. I am always interested in learning information on ureteral stents and appreciate this post put up by Dr Keagirl tonight called "Retained Stent" over at her Urostream blog.

Interestingly...I owe my blogging hobby to being stented. And as I have stated before, one day I was looking up urology info back in October 2006 when I accidentally landed on Dr Keagirl's Urostream blog and the rest is history. :)

Has anyone passing through here ever had a ureteral stent? When I was first going through my urology issues, I wished I had someone to commiserate with. I would still be interested in hearing urology stories, particularly about your experience with ureteral stents. How did you feel when you had them and what did it feel like when the doctor removed it? Why were you stented?

I am truly astounded that there are people out there who don't know or forget they have a stent. I honestly can't fathom that. How is that possible? Are their kidneys and bladders the size of the Grand Canyon and the stents are just lost in there?

While looking for a radiology picture with a stent, I came across people talking about 18mm kidney stones (YIKES) and others that have a certain kind of stent that they have to pull out of themselves hard and fast. Are they kidding?? I would refuse! WHY would someone have to do that themselves?? No thank you...a masochist... I am not. My Doctor had medical training to remove stents, thank you very much!

If I EVER had to remove my own stent..I guarantee you that I could be in the Guinness book of records for longest stent removal time. Time recorded to beat? ETERNITY!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Great Idea! Check it out! :)

I was just over at Dr WhiteCoat's blog catching up on his wonderful posts. He has a post up called the WhiteCoat Challenge and he is seeking funny medical stories. They can be medical staff to patient or patient to medical staff. One entry per person and someone will win a prize. The deadline is next Sunday-June 22nd. What a great idea! :) Oh and a charity is involved too.

I have been enjoying the comments. :) I know I have something after working 20 years in the hospital or being such a frequent flier patient but am drawing a blank for now. I will have to put my thinking cap on.

Go check it out. Perhaps you have something to contribute too. :)

However, I did share the following story about my some of my registration interactions... just to contribute something.

"When a patient or family member presented to the registration desk, I would promptly inform them that I needed their insurance card and some form of ID, preferably a license. If they told me they didn’t have ID, without missing a beat, I would seriously yet in an upbeat manor say “That’s ok …I’ll just take a picture of your face on the copier.” and then smile. Some caught on right away and some hesitated and then realized I was kidding. I didn’t do it with everyone just people I perceived would appreciate the joke.

But then one day…I was real busy between ER and outpatients when these two women approached my desk inquiring about my registration process. I was friendly but with out missing a beat with my multitasking, I looked up with a smile and said, “Oh I request the insurance card and ID to photocopy and if they don’t have ID, I tell them I have to copy their face on the photo copier.” Heck I was efficient and funny at the same time. They looked surprised, then looked at each other, smiled and the one woman said thank you and they left.

I didn’t think a thing about it until telling someone later about my encounter and my co-worker laughed and said the were from JCAHO! OOPS! Never heard anything about it though." :)

I am still going to try to think of something staff to patient or me to medical staff. Surely I have something after working in the hospital for twenty years or being a frequent flier patient these last couple of years. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I don't Know What to Call This

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Father's Day. I grew up without Father's Day meaning very much to me. I mean after all...you do have to have a father in your life to celebrate it. I didn't.

Well, I did up until I was 3 years old. I had turned 3 in June and that following September my uncle (mother's brother) came up to Massachusetts in the middle of the night (when my father wasn't home) to bring my mother and me back to NJ with him. From there we went to live with my grandparents at the Jersey shore.

I remember waking up one morning that fall hugging this big plaid dog my father had given me. I can still see how the morning sun was filtering through the bedroom curtains. And I asked my mother where Daddy was. I don't remember what she said but I do remember feeling very sad.

I don't remember ever asking about him again...until I was eleven. I only saw him two more times after that. I saw him once when I was 6 and once when I was seven. (Actually, I always thought the last time I saw him I was six but my mother says I was seven.) He abandoned me and never bothered to send support.

Kids are resilient and I suppressed all feelings about him deep down and was clueless that he ever mattered to me at all. You might as well have asked me about the weather and I would've responded to questions about my father with the same level of emotion. There was nothing. I felt nothing. And the only reason I regretted not having a father was when we went through tough financial times and I wished some man would come to the rescue and marry my mother. Then I wouldn't have to worry about not having things like food or heat. So...it wasn't even that I wanted a father for love...but rather just to serve as someone in the provider role.

I wasn't heartless. I just didn't know what good fathers do. You don't miss what you never had.

I used to hug my uncles and my cousin Doug so hard, that one day my uncle Jim said to me (a little 6 year old girl) "Patty...your hugging me so hard...your hurting my neck!" Well as an adult, I know that is most revealing regarding not having my father in my life.

I am fortunate in that I did have some male role models. I lived with my grandparents and so had my grandfather until he died when I was 9. I actually don't remember too much about him and I don't know why. My lifelong friend Caribbean blue used to come down for the summers and I was with her almost every day in the summer. Her father was wonderful and so good to me too. He was a terrific role model. And then my uncle Hector took me in to live with my aunt and him when I was 14 and he was very much a father figure for me. I lived with them for almost 6 years. I felt safe and loved when living with them. He was so strict but I have ALWAYS respected him tremendously and we got along so well. His children were grown when I moved in and it should've been a time in their lives when they were foot loose and fancy free, but instead they sacrificed and took in this wayward teenager. I learned so much from them and will be forever grateful. They are a good part of why I like to rescue and help. I know how good they helped me to feel.

But as wonderful as these men were...they were not my father. To me...only my father could ever be my father. I was always very aware of the real boundaries. Not because of anything they had done..but because I had drawn them long ago and that empty room in my heart was reserved for my real father only. No other man could ever occupy that room. I didn't know he even mattered to me until I was 24. And I didn't know I would even care if he died until his sister called me with the news that he had passed away. I didn't know these things. Life is complicated sometimes. If it only involved me...I would have looked him up when I was 26, but I didn't for my mother's sake.

I don't want to bog down with this and perhaps I will talk about him in the future here or elsewhere. I will say my mother was his SEVENTH wife. And I have a half sister and two half brothers...all from different marriages. The only one I know for sure of is Von an airline pilot from Chicago. And he is the only one that maintained contact with my father that I know of. I had his number once...but didn't pursue it. I have since found out through one of my cousins from Martha's Vineyard said his brother was friends with Von. He gave me my other cousin's number in January 06 but I let it drop like a hot potato. But time is marching on...and I may not always have the opportunity to meet the other side of my family (for better or worse my mother cut off all contact from them) but then again...is it better to let sleeping dogs lie? So...I don't know if you want to hear this story or if it is just better for me to journal it in my other blog. But I have digressed...so back to Father's day.

I never knew what it was like to feel the unconditional love and protectiveness of a father. Or even the pride of a father beaming at his beautiful daughter. No hugs, butterfly kisses or bedtime stories. I never heard the words "I love you" from anyone while I was growing up. (My family didn't do that.) I never got to be Daddy's little girl...his pride and joy.

I know some people probably wish their father wasn't around because he's abusive or drunk. They live in situations where there would be more peace if their father didn't exist.

And then some people end up fatherless because their father died. As sad as that is...I do think having a father die verses abandon you is better. Only because he didn't leave you by choice. You weren't rejected. You were valued, but in the end it was fate and nothing you could have done to prevent it.

Fathers...YOU are so very important in your children's lives! Sons and daughters NEED their father's to be active in their lives. You are like the anchor in the storm. You provide the safety net and are key in a strong foundation from which your children can build upon and move forward as productive, loving adults with the tools they need for good parenting skills.

You should be the kind of role model for how you want your sons to treat their wives and children. And you should be the kind of role model for the kind of man you want your daughter to marry. Also hug them and tell them you love them no matter what and let them know that your love is unconditional. Build a strong foundation of unconditional love when they are young so that when they are older...even if they know you will disagree with them...they will know they can still come to you for advice, guidance and love and that you love them for who they are as individuals. You can never go wrong with that.

When our sons were young and I noticed they did something nurturing, etc....I would often praise them for the good thing they did and I would tell them that they would be a good father someday. I did this to reinforce their good behavior and to plant seeds for being a good father. Our older son is a terrific father now and I know younger son will be too. We are very proud of them both.

It may seem that I have idealized the role of parenting, specifically fathers today, but I also know that we humans are not infallible and sometimes our best still isn't good enough, but in the end...all we can do is our best. There isn't any blueprint on perfect parenting that comes with the birth of our children. We all make mistakes. I know I have. But hopefully, we take the good parenting that has been passed on to us from whatever source and incorporate some great insights of our own along the way.

Speaking for myself...I have at times gone opposite what I learned because I know how detrimental some of that was. So...if you grew up in a family say...where your father beat your mother...then you can make the conscious decision to never do that. Life's lessons come in all forms....it's what you choose to do with those lessons that makes the difference.

Then finally, they say a husband loving his wife is the best example he can give to his children and the benefits from that stable and loving relationship will flow down to them as well. The same applies for the wife loving her husband too. It provides a secure foundation as well as role modeling a good marriage.

That is the perfect world anyway.

Happy Father's day to all the dads out there who love their children!

P.S. It's never too late. If you are a dad that has screwed up time and time again... you canstill make a difference. Don't ever give up on your kids. Sometimes it is the child/person who acts up the most that needs the most love. And sometimes people just need to know they are worth the effort, that someone is willing to stay the course for them because they are valued and loved after all.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'm So Excited! :) And Mr. M

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I am so excited that I am finally going to get my herb garden!

Younger son brought his grandmother to D'Angelos (local garden center) and picked up some flowers and herbs for me. Oregano, basil, dill, parsley and a lavender plant (he mowed my other one last year-yard was really fragrant after that) pink and white impatients and a couple of tall grassy things. I don't know why but got too much basil and so maybe I can return and get chives. Definitely want chives. We already have lots of mint.

I also like to put mint sprigs in with the cut flowers we grow when putting floral arrangements together. you can smell the mint. I also add lavender to the arrangements.

I have been having a love affair with herbs since last summer. No that is not with multiple guys named Herb...never dated an herb. ;)

Especially oregano...that is my favorite! Well then again it depends on my mood.

On my very last visit in the field to a lifeline patient (May 16, 2006) and last day I worked at that job (I am quirky with remembering numbers), this sweet little old man brought me out to his vegetable garden.

I actually had gone down to see his wife, but he engaged me in conversation (not hard to do) and wanted to show me his garden. I often chatted with my Lifeline clients if my schedule allowed it, even if it meant I was off the clock on my time and coming home later in the day. I think it was important to do that and they certainly love the company. Many of them were shut ins...but I digress.

After we finished inside, Mr M brought me outside to his garden and was telling me about everything he had planted. He was especially pleased with his oregano and uprooted some for me to take home. He said it was Greek oregano and had the best flavor of the other oreganos and that it was hard to find. I did use it over the summer and regrettably it died because we didn't plant it in the ground. It died when we were away a couple of days. :(

Mr M went on to tell me about some recipes he used it in and one sounded especially good. Fresh garden tomatoes, Greek oregano, salt, pepper and Mozeralla cheese that is baked on a tray in the oven. (I don't recall what else but I did make it and we loved it-always meant to call him) He told me he even made it for his doctor and his doctor liked it so much that he called him and asked him if he could make it for him again to bring to a party. How sweet is that? With a big smile, Mr M proudly told me that the doctor said it was a hit at the party!

So now I always put an oregano surprise in our sandwiches. I love fresh herbs and or vegetables on my sandwiches. If I am making a regular sandwich, I will sometimes place just a couple of leaves of oregano somewhere on our sandwiches. You never know when you will bite into it - hence oregano surprise - but it tastes so good when you do. :) I also like it in tuna fish, sauces, salads and soups.

Right now I am having a Turkey sandwich-wholegrain bagel, turkey, Hellman's mayo, cracked pepper with lots of oregano and parsley. Sooo good! :)

Husband has to rototill an area for me. He always plants lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, peppers, beans, beets, zucchini, yellow squash etc., but never wants to put in an herb garden but I don't know why. It saves money and there is nothing like the fresh taste of herbs. So it will be my little project. I am also going to get cute little white fences to keep the lawnmower away. :) I will put the lavender in a safer place too.

He also yanked out beautiful raspberry bushes that kept giving all summer and strawberries. :( I think he gets impatient with things that spread. He doesn't like anything encroaching on the garden area. I want raspberry bushes again and they would've been such a nice border by now. He does all the big work in the garden, but I wish he had the patience for the things that come back every year. I also want one red rose bush. It will be my project to nurture it. They are so fragrant and red roses are my favorite flower.

Of course now we will have to compete with the bears for berries because there are a lot more bears passing through here than when we last had those bushes. :)

I am definitely beginning to perk up and feel like myself again. Well I am stented and am taking Percocet, but I was really out of it this past week.

I love today! :)

P.S. Mr SeaSpray just came home with parsley and rosemary. So he is going along with it. Now we just have to agree where the garden is going. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

A girl can dream... :)

http://stripercam.com/dreamsite/stripercam/default.asp

This beach is to the right of the Jetty Motel in Cape May, NJ. It is the last strip of oceanside beach in the southern most tip of the state. Around the other side of the lighthouse is Sunset Beach on the Delaware Bay side. I'd give anything to be there now!

I love to look at this beach at different times of the day. The sunsets are pretty. This is definitely one of my favorite beaches to swim at. :)

I will be back to post about everything soon.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

White Knight in Shining Armour!

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Good morning!

I am so grateful to God for his goodness and healing mercies and to my urologist, who because of his God given skill and dedication has made it possible for me to be home. I could not be under better urology care. He knows my complicated case inside out and he knows me. I actually feel safer when he is around when I am going through the frightening things that I did.

I was so very sick and on Saturday night became very afraid when I heard what was going on. Once again I was powerless and ever so dependent on my care givers. I was not sure of the outcome but took comfort in knowing that it was my compassionate and skilled urologist at the helm of the ship. I heard he was checking on me often. And believe me when I tell you he was amazing with me in going the extra mile prior to going into the OR, which helped me to feel even more secure going in. I was afraid...but his presence, dedication and the way he takes charge went a long way help calm me down as much as humanly possible. I did not understand what was going on, or why and still don't. Yes...I do to a point but it is still a mystery.

Also, I know it is God who ultimately heals but I also believe he works through people and even orchestrates the people he will use to be in your path. I don't pretend to think that all things turn out well and that bad things don't happen. I just know that even if we don't know it...God is there for us through it all.

And yet while my faith is in God and I in no way mean to detract from that...I also believe that my urodoc has been my concrete presence and reassurance through the difficult times I have had with these urology concerns and he really came through for me Saturday night.

I will come back to this from the beginning when I have a chance. Right now it is about 7:15 am and I am still exhausted and am going back to bed. I feel like I could sleep 800 years and I most definitely found this last hospital stay to be one of the most stressful, both physically and emotionally. I just got up at 6:30 to take my meds and get on a schedule. I need rest, can't shake the nausea and the stent is bothering me. I truly forgot what it was like to be stented. Also, I have a fairly bad headache and so took my 600mg of I-buprofen which I know will knock out the headache. I honestly am having a difficult time physically and I am still requesting your prayers.

Of course all of the staff was wonderful...but to me ...Urodoc was/is the anchor in this storm.

They say that white knights in shining armour are for fairy tales...but I know I have one because he came to my rescue once again last Saturday night.

I am needing to go as I am at the borderline kidney spasm point and hope to head it off. Why didn't I feel this bad in the hospital these last few days? Maybe because of all the distractions or maybe my body is rid of the anesthesia or is just saying enough? I don't know. :( Maybe when I totally catch up on sleep and rest like I am supposed to? I did not get any rest in the hospital until yesterday afternoon.

But still...there's no place like home, there's no place like home...there's no place like home.

Friday, June 6, 2008

PLEASE Pray for Me!

I am in tremendous pain, probably a 7 heading toward 8. It is urological and it feels like there is a vice on my kidney and ureter. I am trying so hard to stay out of the ER because I don't want to incur the ER physician and use of the ER costs. I'm trying to hold on until 8:30 Tomorrow morning when I am scheduled to see urodoc and then if necessary he could do a direct admit and bypass all of that. But my hopes are fading fast that I am going to make it...but...I am trying.

I never got to speak with any of the docs today which is highly unusual for that group. The nurse did relay the messages though.

I woke up 10 am this morning with renal colic in r flank at about a 2 on pain scale. I drank Walmart aloe juice and had some coffee and a little water. I was hopeful it would go away. By noon I began to feel that I have a UTI-not horrible but with repeated visits to void and no relief really. I have so many things to do and was trying to weather through but when the pain hit about a 7 I called urology office and left a message out front and on nurses line. I asked if I could take tramadl and so took 2. Then after about 45 minutes I got relief and actually called back to say that I felt silly, I'm feeling better but know I have a uti and that I don't want to go to ER for just a uti and could I see the dr. Then I drank about 8oz more of water (I am feeling dehydrated) And then the pain came back and now is right back up there. I have to take more meds but am afraid to drink. I haven't eaten since about 2 am last night. I want to have something light but don't know if I should. The nausea is coming back. I have low back and rlq pressure. I told the nurse that I thought I'd be in the or tonight because my ureter is so narroew that it doesn't pass even tiny kidney stones.

I had a History of sepsis, pyelonephritis and hydronephrosis back in jan 2006. However I have been doing so well and last two renal scans came back normal..thank you God. But something is very wrong. And now here it is the weekend and no one is around. :( My temp is still 100 even with the tramadyl.

i don't even want to put pants or a bra on and I don't care about makeup. I have to go and try drinking for the tramadyl.

I have plans and have been excited about some things. This is NOT happening. Beginning to feel like I am burning up and have to pee. I am so thirsty..should I just drink a lot and take the consequences?

If I go to ER I hope I don't get shoved back in the trauma room and forgotten.

I am pretty sure I am going to need a procedure. I wish I knew who or what.

I will come back when I can.

I am feeling a little scared and wish...never mind.

My Worst Doctor's Office Experience

I just want to say that after working so many years with the emergency department and after having read so many medical blogs I can appreciate that this doctor may have been having a bad day. I know there are patients who use and abuse the system. And yet... sometimes patients are given labels they don't deserve. And I know I presented somewhat unusually and perhaps that colored this doctor's opinion...I don't know. I do know I went in to that office for help and left feeling worse than when I went in...and THAT is saying a lot. Not only was I still ill with what caused me to go in there in the first place, but now I was emotionally wounded as well.

Part I
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My exam table was in the center of the room and so I think added to that free falling feeling. If it had been near a wall I might not have felt so dizzy, vulnerable to falling or sick. I chose this picture because the sloppy, jaggedly torn paper just left hanging is symbolic of how I felt after being examined by that doctor.

Part I

One day back in March 1992, I had an appointment with a counselor I had been seeing on and off for awhile. (This was an extremely stressful time in our lives because of a legal case my husband was wrongfully involved in and at that time had already been going on for seven months.) This doctor was wonderful! He was so good to me and really cared about me as a patient. He was always accessible by phone and if he couldn't talk then he called me back. He always welcomed my calls. He often scheduled me as the last patient at the end of the day because he gave me extended time for which he never charged me. He did participate with my insurance and took my balances too. Although, sometimes I was not able to pay and so was going to drop out, but he told me not to worry about it. One day while on the phone with him, I asked him how much money I actually owed because it was a couple of years worth at that time. He chuckled and he said, "Oh-h-h...an amount somewhere between the cost of a used Volkswagon and a Porshe." I pressed him for how much and he said we'll talk about it but he never did tell me. Obviously this is not the awful doctor who treated me so terribly. Someday I will write a post about this terrific Doctor and the benefits of counseling if you are fortunate enough to work with the right one.

After I left this appointment, I was headed back home when out of nowhere I got this hideously strong and bad migraine. I hadn't had one since my first one in 1987. One second I was fine and the next bam! Not only was the head pain excruciating but the nausea was overwhelming.

I was only a few miles out from his office when this all hit and was coming up on a stretch of road where there are a lot of doctor offices. I just wanted to get home which I am guessing was about 9 or 10 miles away at that point, but I was trying...desperately trying to get there. Then my fingers began tingling as I was trying to steer the wheel and I must've been hyperventilating because I felt that I was going to vomit any second and I felt like I was going to pass out. I was really scared and didn't know what I was going to do and I was thinking that I needed to get help.
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Part II

There were two medical buildings next to each other and so I did a Mario Andretti turn into the first parking lot, parked the car and flew inside. I immediately ran right up to the reception area and asked to use a bathroom because I was going to be sick. I barely made it in there and sure enough it was quite eventful!

Finally, I was able to wash up a little and went back to the desk and asked to be seen. They wanted to know if I was ever there before and I said not in a long time but I couldn't think how long because my head hurt so badly and I said I had to go sit down.

Someone brought over a clip board with an information sheet to be filled out. I did it but just barely and was very close to lying on the floor when someone came to bring me back into an exam room. I got up on the exam table but then the little room started to feel like it was spinning and the nausea was exacerbating.

I know this next part is going to sound weird. I get that, but I honestly could not help it.

The nurse began asking me questions but I urgently interrupted her to tell her I had to lie down on the floor because being upright was causing me to feel dizzy and I felt like I was going to vomit again. She instructed me to lie back, I complied, but by then I just felt dizzy being up in the air on the exam table and stated that I had to go lie down on the floor. I then got off the table and headed straight for the carpeted floor. I was on my side with my back against the wall and behind the door. She gave me one of those little basins in case I got sick because at this point I felt like I couldn't move. My head was still pounding.

Anyone that knows me, knows I can be quite the little germaphobe and my hospital coworkers used to tease me about throwing out the bloody pens. (I'm not bad-just cautious in medical/bath and cooking environments) There is no way in God's creation I would ever choose to lie down on the floor in a medical environment, but it was a matter of survival. Those thoughts didn't even occur to me at that time.

The nurse was very compassionate. I answered her questions with my eyes closed. I don't know why...but it did help to be on the floor. Then she tried to take my blood pressure but couldn't get a reading with me so low on the floor, so she had me sit up and it still didn't work. She said I was too low and that I would have to get back up so she could take the BP. I got back up on the table and as soon as she was done, got right back down on the floor again. I just stayed real still with my eyes closed.

Then the doctor opened the door to come in, she cautioned him and said that I was down there behind the door. He said something about almost hitting me in the head. And he told me I had to get up on the exam table and so I got back up on it again.

When I saw who it was I felt relieved. It turned out he was the second doctor I had up here. I started with him when I was 15 and stayed with him until just before I got married in the fall of 75. I was 20 the last time I saw him. We had a terrific rapport all those years. Not that I saw him much, but you know routine stuff... flu, bad colds, poison ivy...that kind of thing. He was very happy for me when I told him I was getting married. However, after I got married...I never went back to him. I rarely got sick and when I did, I just went to my husband's doctor who was right near by. I didn't feel any sense of Doctor-patient loyalty, but I was in my twenties. It just never occurred to me.

During the exam I briefly explained what was going on about the case and resulting stress, that I had just come from counseling and was on my way home when this migraine hit. I told him about my symptoms leading up to that moment. He finished his exam and turned his back to me to write in my chart which was on the counter. The nurse was doing something by his side but I don't recall what. They both had their backs to me.

I told him that I was sorry but that I had forgotten my wallet and my insurance card was in the wallet. I said that I had my checkbook though.

With that he turned around and eyes as cold as steel, with utter disdain said to me, "Is your check gonna BOUNCE?" At that point he might as well have plunged a knife into my heart and ended my misery because not only was I so sick and in pain but now he was treating me like a lowlife. He was not the warm, friendly and compassionate doctor I once knew.

I meekly said "No...the check won't bounce." With that he turned back toward the counter, then looked over to the nurse and said, "Cancel that shot!", to which she responded with, "What?" and he again barked "CANCEL THAT SHOT!" She then said, "I thought you were kidding." "NO I'm NOT!" Then he turned to me again and said, "You don't come in here for 17 years (don't know how he knew that but he was right) and now think you can just come in here without insurance and money?!" And then he bolted out the door. I can't even express how embarrassed and hurt I felt. I was thinking he thought I was some lowlife scum not worthy of his respect.

I went back down on the floor. The nurse asked me if anyone could pick me up and she called a friend for me. The doctor came back in but I didn't look at him. I just kept my eyes closed. I don't remember what he said to her but as he was exiting the room he said in frustration, "Why do these things always happen to me on a Thursday?!" I would've given anything to not be there...but it was what it was.

The nurse sweetly said I could stay on the floor until my friends arrived. That was a good thing because I really couldn't do anything. She came in to get me and gave me the script for Darvon and a big garbage bag when my friends arrived. I told her we would be back to get the car in the morning.

My head was still hurting so much and I was vomiting into the garbage bag. My friend's poor husband was driving with the window open. Not a fun ride for any of us that is for sure.

I was never so happy to see my house. My husband was home with the boys but couldn't pick me up because the other car was at the mechanic's garage. I don't remember who got the Darvon, if we stopped at the pharmacy before they brought me home or if he went back out for it.

It didn't work! The Darvon did absolutely nothing for me! I knew from my first migraine experience all I needed to do was fall asleep. (I remembered that the first time I ever got a migraine was 7 years earlier when in desperation I called one of the ER docs I worked with and he asked me if I had any Benadryl in the house. Yes-I did. He said to take 50mg because I just needed to relax and fall asleep. It worked!) So I asked my husband to buy some Benadryl, I took it, fell asleep and woke up feeling fine. Very embarrassed and hurt at what had happened, but most importantly ...I was fine.
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Part III

The next time I went to work, I told the ED staff what had happened. They were appalled! The ED doc said, "If he was going to withhold treatment on you...I'm surprised he didn't just have them call an ambulance to take you to the hospital." They also thought I should go back to complain.

I never did though. I just wanted to put the whole miserable experience behind me.

You know...I do realize that I didn't present very well to him with my being on the floor like that. I can honestly say that in my twenty years working with the emergency department, that I never once saw am emergency patient on the floor because they were too sick to be in the bed. I get that it looked absurd. If it was a full bed with railings...I would've been fine, but I had this really dizzy, spinning sensation and felt like I was going to fall off because I was going to pass out. That never happened to me before or since then.

Also, about presentation...I was dressed professionally- a suit, nice heels, make-up and hair were all good. I was Clean. I say that because I really felt judged as not being worthy of his effort like I was just trash. No one deserves to be treated that way and certainly not when they sincerely come to you for help when they are sick and in pain. I didn't know he would still be working there. I just had to turn off the road right then and even if it was a grocery store...I would have bolted inside. I needed to get help right then. Ha! Maybe that would've been better because they WOULD HAVE called an ambulance and I WOULD HAVE gotten the help I needed.

And I have since wondered about his remarking about my not coming in for seventeen years. Was he mad at me for that? Did he take it personally? Why even say that? I feel he completely over and under reacted. Is it because in his mind the fact that I mentioned a legal case and I mentioned counseling and I was on the floor that he wrote me off as a loser of sorts? If that was the case...he was so off base, but I'll never know.

I am proud to say that not once, not ever in my 20 years working in ED registration did I ever treat any patient badly. I don't care if the patient was well to do or a dirty homeless person...I always treated (still do) people with compassion, dignity and respect. You know...there is a saying..."But for the grace of God, there go I." I am not saying I agree with lifestyle choices and abuses of the system and every patient certainly isn't wonderful. But I do think that people should be careful how they judge others because unless you are walking in their shoes...you really don't know what is going on in their lives. And I am not condoning the behavior of obnoxious patients...they do need to know that their bad behavior is not appreciated and won't be tolerated when applicable.

Maybe I should have gone back and requested to see the doctor. Just to politely, yet assertively let him know how hurt I felt. I thought about writing a letter to him but just decided to let it go. Shoot! Some people would probably sue over something like that...but that is sooo not me. People make mistakes and boy did he...but I never wanted to hurt him AND... I never wanted to go near the place again.

He had white hair when I met him and he still had the same white hair that day. I am guessing he has long since retired. And I am guessing his Thursdays must've been one hell of a bad day! Kick the dog and all that.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Over...or Under ...What's YOUR Preference?

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IS the right way! ;)

Seriously! IS there ANY... QUESTION? OVER of COURSE!

I realize it may come down to a matter of preference. We're all designed differently and so we view and feel things differently. Our abilities to physically maneuver vary too. I get it. There is a physical component to it that just feels so right...when it is the right way for you. And then even with the visual, some see it differently or just don't care. To me...how it feels AND how it looks makes all the difference!

My husband and I are opposites in many ways and even here we differ. He would say UNDER. And we have always disagreed about this...always. Not fight worthy of course...just compromise. If I do it, I get my way and if he does it, he gets his way...unless I just do it my way anyway...but I try.

And for those of you that do it sideways...well that's the ultimate compromise and not an issue for you and so you can stop reading now.

I have wondered if it is because he is a lefty? Maybe things just work differently for a lefty? Or is it a male thing?

But then ya know? What about the logic? It's pure logic really (In SeaSpray's world) ...it truly works better on top...so I don't get it. Then I come back to it must be a male thing because even our pastor worked it into a sermon once while talking about himself and his wife. Go figure. How does a pastor work it into a sermon? Well...suffice it to know...he is very funny and sometimes these odd things just come out. Anyway...his wife prefers over and he prefers under and he thinks SHE is wrong.

He's wrong! My husband is wrong! And anyone who thinks under is better is just wrong...says me.

Even this morning, my husband takes the initiative and sure enough...it's under. So I just flip it around and voila! Over again and all is right with the world. :)

And the thing is... it is s-o-o-o obvious in the kitchen, but he still doesn't see it. He just wants to do it his way and that's it. That is where logic comes into play. Okay...maybe I am too analytical for my own good, but I have to have it on top in the kitchen and when I do it his way... it ends up just not working out...both visually and physically. Admittedly...there is more leeway in the bathroom and I am not as particular in there. He can have it his way in the bathroom...unless I just can't stand it and change my mind. After all...it is a woman's prerogative to change her mind. Right? But I really do try to compromise and let him do it his way in the bathroom and my way in the kitchen.

What about you? Are you an over or under type?

Oh! What am I talking about??? Paper towels and toilet paper!

The logic and visual comes into play with paper towels because the patterns on the paper towels are best displayed from an over the top perspective. That is the visual proof right there for the over argument! Physical comes into play because they tear off more easily from over the top and therefore don't waste as much by dragging a long unnecessary stream of towels off. Although...toilet paper tears better from the top too. And if it is against the holder on the wall it doesn't get lost behind the roll like it does when under.

I'm just sayin... ;)