Monday, September 29, 2008

OVERWHELMED

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If I thought just screaming would make a difference...I'd do it and you'd hear my scream reverberating off the mountains.

I am overwhelmed.

I am afraid...but trying real hard not to be.

I am frustrated.

I am exasperated.

And I am angry. Because I am angry...

I feel guilt.

The anger is partly from fear..exasperation... and frustration. I want to talk about it...but I can't.. not here anyway... not yet anyway.

I wish I knew someone going through these things.

Early this evening I got a call from a local police officer who stated he was calling from my mother's apartment. He told me that the paramedics and first aid squad were there as well.
And he told me that she was coming around but refusing to go to the hospital.

When the woman who was delivering her medicine didn't get an answer from my mother, she got the building mgr who lives across the hall from her. They had a difficult time rousing her and felt her pulse was barely there and so called the emergency services. The police officer didn't feel a strong one either.

It turns out that my mother hadn't eaten since morning and she stated it was because she was so tired. I had spoken with her around noon and she mentioned being tired... but I wasn't concerned any more than I usually am.

That being said... it seems I am constantly concerned... like the kinds of feelings you get when you feel a foreboding about something... which is not the norm for me.

They felt it happened because she had a drop in blood sugar and so someone made her a peanut butter sandwich and she rallied back after eating that.

I said I would be right over, but I discussed it with my husband and we agreed she should go to the hospital. So I called back and spoke with the same officer, told him I thought they should transport her up to the hospital to be checked out because it didn't make sense that would happen. She just had a good physical last week, labs came back good except her magnesium was low. Her A-1c was 5.5. I was concerned about change in mental status that caused her not to eat. She said she was tired and she did tell me she was tired today and she was sleeping when son and I went over Friday night.

The officer told her I wanted to speak with her and as soon as she got on the phone, she immediately and defiantly stated "I'm NOT going to the HOSPITAL!" I asked to talk with the officer and he said he was sorry they can't kidnap her, had her sign a refusing treatment form but he thought she was doing better. I knew they couldn't force her... I was just frustrated.

I am so overwhelmed with the complications-frustrations connected to my mother that I feel like I have a paralysis of my thought processes as they pertain to her...like sensory overload. There is so much to deal with that I am not mentioning here.

So I tried to assess what happened when I got there and she just told me she was tired and not hungry. I reminded her that she should be eating 6 small meals a day. Discussed that she needed a better system for tracking her meds. Her neighbor went back to her apt. to get an extra pill box she had. I tried this a couple of years ago and my mother refused to use it. She agreed to this...I guess because both ladies said they used them. I will type up a daily medication sheet for her to check off in conjunction with her meds. I did that once before but she stopped doing that. She is good about taking her medication but I have relayed changes to her in how much coumadin or magnesium and she sometimes mixes it up. Although...her coumadin levels were perfect as of last week.

My mother has been and is resistent to my doing things for her. She is letting me control her money and pay her bills and I have her in the green. She is starting to let us take her garbage and recycling out...but there is so much more.

I also observed that she could hardly raise herself up from her sofa. She does not seem to have much strength or stamina. My husband thinks she should be in a nursing home, but her doctor agreed with me that it would be counterproductive to her well being (emotionally) to be placed in one. I struggle with it because I am concerned about her physical safety, yet she very much has her faculties... aside from mixing some things up.

The doctor wrote an order for her to get a hospital bed. That is a great idea. She refused. Finally today and tonight...i again made the case for the bed and then tonight in exasperation said... "Look..it's your choice Mom. Dr and I are trying to assist you in living independently and you need help with certain things now. So you choose...live here...or live in a nursing home. your choice Mom." She reluctantly agreed.

I KNOW it must be so hard to see your body fail you and have to give up certain things or accept what you perceive as interference vs help from someone. I am trying to be respectful of these things. I just know it can't keep going on this way.

I am also going to find out about a trial meals on wheels. She resists it but even her friends suggested she give it a chance. And I am going to find out about a visiting homemaker on top of my going there.

I will call her doctor tomorrow. I am wondering if the a-fib could be causing the extreme fatigue she seems to be experiencing. ?

My mother is a good person... but she is not an easy person and resists things like even me dusting or cleaning because she doesn't want me touching/moving her things. (here is where I get very overwhelmed because there is so much to do and she won't let me) She won't allow me to do anything without getting frustrated and angry.

Personally...I would be grateful if someone cared enough to help or want to help. And I admit...I snapped at her when she accused me of snooping through her medications. I blurted out..."Do you think this is FUN for me? Do you really think I am just being nosy?!" She said no. I am not proud of that. I am not. I was trying to straighten her medication area, toss out empty med bottles and loading her new pill box.

I kept trying to tell myself..."Step back from this. Look at this as if she were a pt." But it is so hard because of all the emotion, oil and vinegar personalities and our mother- daughter history together... and even through all that... I do love her... she is and always will be my mother.

And how do people do it?

How do they make the decision their parents should be in a nursing home?

Some families prepare and work these things out ahead of time but I am guessing most do not.

The thought of having to do that is heart wrenching to me.

The ED doc thought she should have 24/7 care of a nursing home in case she fell... being on coumadin...she could bleed out.

The PCP...agrees with me...it wouldn't be good for her. She would be devastated with worry and a broken heart over her cats. She is a loner and would not fair well if she had a roommate.

But am I letting emotion cloud my better judgment?

I have to try these things first.

What do other people do?

What would you do?

I hope God will give me the strength and wisdom to best help my mother. And I want to experience joy around her... not argue over every little thing I try to do. I love her. I wish we could have healing in our relationship... that we could just "be" together.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It All Matters

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I was perusing the web looking at old post secrets and this one spoke to my heart because it reminds me of how valuable we all are and how like in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", where Clarence the angel shows George how bad things would've been for the people he knew...if he had never been born. George was so distraught, discouraged and had lost all hope and thought it would be better to end his life because he had no value. After being given the gift of seeing how much he helped people...even with the little things...he realized what a gift life was and he wanted to live.

We never know how even the simplest kind gestures... a smile, a kind word, a warm hug or a listening ear will help another person. Sometimes people live in quiet desperation... with secrets and heavy burdens they don't share.

I have a dear friend who's husband... years ago... left her with 2 little girls... for another woman. She would tell you today that I helped save her life because I took her calls ...listened and talked with her in the wee hours of the morning when she thought she couldn't get through it because she was devastated, scared and angry.

She told me this years later. Her life is so much better now. I was surprised to hear she remembered me as having saved her life. I was just being her friend. She would have done the same for me.

It's true... we will never fully know the difference we make in other people's lives... with even the smallest of actions. Hopefully, we will have effected lives for the better.

I loved George's enthusiasm as he embraced his life again, loving even the things that were a nuisance before. Running through the snow filled streets of Bedford Falls, shouting MERRY Christmas! And ever so relieved to see that all the people he knew turned out alright because of how he impacted their lives. Then when he got home to his family...he realized he was the richest man on earth because of the wonderful people and family in his life. That is still my favorite movie!

Again...the message is that we all have value as human beings and we can all make a wonderful difference in other people's lives... and because of our actions... we might save a life without ever knowing it. :)

One Nation

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I apologize up front if I offend anyone with this post. How does it go? They say you should never discuss religion, pay checks and politics. Sometimes great minds just have to agree to disagree. :)

It also intrigues me how people can be so divided on issues, with each side completely...adamantly believing their political persuasion is the correct one and perceive others as selfish or unenlightened for disagreeing. And with each side worried about the fate of their beloved country if the wrong party gets elected in... it can be down right painful and fill one with such angst. I have decided that I will not again get into a political discussion with certain family members because it gets too heated and I love them more than my need for a political discussion. So I will occasionally blog about it...if not here... then in other blogs.

The bulk of this post is a comment I just put up over at Sid Schwab's (Dr and author of Surgeonsblog) new political blog..."Cutting Through the Crap". So far...I think I might be the lone conservative visiting there, but I still have more to read. I may respectfully disagree with Dr Schwab politically and most of his commenters... but that man can write... and since I like to read what he writes, I am following this blog too...even though I feel stressed when reading some of it. I also learn. And I love how he ties in his surgical analogies to politics. I DO hope he comes back to his surgeonsblog when this political season is over... if not before.

I guess after this post, I should lighten up a bit. Should I write about SeaSpray's MOST emberASSING moment in the 20 years she worked with the emergency department?

It seems most bloggers I know remain apolitical, but if anyone disagrees or agrees...I welcome your comments.

Here is my comment which was in response to the comments responding to my first comment, etc.,:

"Thank you for mentioning that link to McCains daughter's blog! (the McCain Bloghette.)

I am not at all voting for him because I feel sorry for him!!!!

Au contraire!! I find his ability to overcome inspirational! I don't feel sorry for him. He is a role model for overcoming and achieving against the odds. He could've ended up on a very different path when he came home. And he has owned up to his mistakes. Who among us has never made mistakes, embarrassing or worse? We are all human. What is important is that we learn from them and the attitude we adopt for moving forward.

I am sorry that (his POW experience)happened. Everything in me wants to rescue him off that stretcher where he looked so vulnerable and afraid..but that was for back then.

I initially registered as an independent but eventually went republican, which has been since 1992 elections.

I am analytical, practical, discerning and certainly not voting for and do not swoon over anybody because they drive race cars, snow mobiles, toss a bowling ball,wear a flag, don't wear a flag,their campaigners toss vile smears at the opponent,were a POW, can fly a fighter jet,believe in God,(which they all say they do),eat barbecue, are friends with actors and actresses, etc, etc., etc.,... NONE of that impresses me! Well...o.k.,fighter pilot is really cool. I could watch those guys in the sky all day and would love to fly as a passenger. :)

BUT...that does not cause me to want to vote a man in office to run the country and could then impact the future of our country and the world...dangerously.

Annie, you stated "The selection affects every single person in the country, so it's selfish to consider only your views without carefully examining the likely impact on the country and the US around the world."

Using your logic...I can turn that right around and say the same of anyone voting for Obama.

And so I parrot your words. "The selection affects every single person in the country, so it's selfish to consider only your views without carefully examining the likely impact on the country and the US around the world."

The number one criteria in my deciding who I will vote for is national security and our military strength and the president and cabinet that I believe will keep our military strong, not cut troops maintain a strong presence as a deterrent. Walk tall with a big stick.

I am glad when the republicans bring up 911...because we should NEVER forget that we were attacked. They will never stop trying. And even if the war stirred up more radicals...they were there anyway. Islamic terrorists want to see the destruction of anyone who befriends Israel...a staunch ally of ours.

We don't live in an isolationist world and unfortunately it doesn't operate with kumbaya foreign policies.

I am not a partisan voter. If I felt a democrat would be as strong and was better for other reasons then I would vote that way in a heartbeat.

The election season isn't over yet. Between the debates and whatever might happen...it is possible I could change my mind..but not likely.

As far as foreign policy..There is no contest regarding experience.

Both of their records are open for review. They should lay out in some easy format (is there one?)side by side...all they have accomplished and voted on. Hey...McCain ticked off republicans too. He has already demonstrated he will cross party lines to pass something he believes in. Has Obama? I realize Obama's meteoric rise has propelled him to the top and so he hasn't had time to build the experience McCain has.

I believe McCain wants the best for and love's this country. I believe Obama does.

The difference is McCain has lived through and experienced so much. Everyone knocks him for being older. What about the wisdom that comes with age?

If you don't have a strong military/national defense...then nothing else will matter in the end.

My understanding is that there are thousands of pages of medical records released on McCain.

And I call myself a bleeding heart republican because I recognize that we need some social programs. We need balance. We need both parties.

I am also pro life, but make exception for life of the mother,rape or incest. I think partial birth abortions are akin to the atrocities of the Nazis.

Clinton recently praised McCain for his efforts and concern about global warming.

And could someone please explain to me...(because I really do not understand this) why democrats have continually voted against offshore drilling and nuclear power plants...and then decry the republicans dropped the ball and is why we have an energy crisis?

McCain is for these things as well as alternate sources as diesel, wind power, etc.

I believe in less tax. Everyone says tax the big corporations. hey go right ahead. Then when said corporations move the jobs out of state or out of the country...we can send everyone out for unemployment benefits and subsidized charity care for the hospital.

I have another question if anyone wants to take it on. Which candidate has the better health policy? I do not mean this as a gotchya question...I sincerely want to know. What do you physicians think? In the end...I am sure there would be revisions, if they could get it off the ground.

I think it is important to put money in the hands of the public (lower taxes) so they spend and you have an economic upturn with business growth, i.e. more jobs, more things to export, more money coming in.

I know taxes also pay the bills and there has to be fiscal responsibility...BUT...big government sucks up the taxes.

There HAS to be reform and BOTH parties have to start doing their jobs and actually work together for the good of the country. And I think it is time the voting public starts paying attention, hold them accountable and vote the partisan at all costs, politicians (on both sides) OUT!

The Wall street debacle is disgusting!

And isn't it interesting that all these years...starting in the 90's with the Clinton administration (Fanne May and Freddy Mac)right on through these Bush Administration years ...all these years...they did nothing to prevent the financial disaster going on now that we...the American citizens are now going to have to pay for? And yet..in these recent DAYS both parties have come together with some plan to try to save the day? Where the heck were they before? And if they could do this now in days..then WHY couldn't any of them do anything to prevent this in a decade or so? I'm just sayin.

And regarding his demeanor during the debate...so what! He was debating and everyone has a style or they do what THEY need to do for themselves. This is serious business leading up to the presidential elections. He was focused.

And when Obama stuck in that "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran in there...he didn't react like I am sure people hoped he would. And I don't care if Obama interjected that jibe in there...it is a DEBATE.

I am a warm friendly person. I wanted McCain to look up at Obama.

But GEEZ... I would hardly vote for Obama because he is more congenial or a better orator...any more than I would not vote for McCain because he is not. And I have seen where he congenial. he has friends on both sides of the aisle. It was a debate.

I am looking for SUBSTANCE.

I am praying the best man wins... no matter who it turns out to be.

At this point in time I still believe McCain is the one... but I am not so "selfish" to want my guy at all costs. With all my heart... I do want the best one for the job in there.

And they can both espouse all the rhetoric they want to. Unfortunately...then the lobbyists, etc., bog the Washington machine done and it becomes a tug of war.

I take hope in the fact that McCain has crossed party lines,he has been adamant about reform in Washington for years and he chose a VP who has demonstrated the same ability. (Do I have my concerns about her? Sure..and I am anxious for the debate this week.) To me...they do bring the real possibility of change for the good of the people."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A SeaSprayism

Never assume your chicken pot pie isn't burning in the oven... when you are burning a Spiced Pumpkin candle in the house. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crisis is hidden opportunity for God!


GREY'S ANATOMY BACK ON TONIGHT-2 HOURS!


Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars (from Grey's Anatomy)


Grey's Anatomy- How to Save A Life (the Fray)

Grey's Anatomy is my FAVORITE TV show! I couldn't decide between which video to put up because I LOVE both songs!! With the "Chasing Cars" song I have a whole collage of good memories that run through my mind every time I hear it and"How to Save a Life" reminds me how much I like working around medicine. and some good memories. :)

And that dance floor scene with the way Meredith and McDreamy look at each other is still my favorite scene of all time. HOT! :)

So to all my fellow Grey's groupies I say YipEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! :) I will TiVo it because I think it conflicts with E.R. (last season for that show) and I like to rewatch some Grey's episodes if they are really good... and I can zip through the commercials. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Over Regulated!

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Some physicians, other medical people and the average nomad wandering through here may find this link to the Throckmorton's Other Signs blog both interesting and amusing.

His current post "Stark Reciprocity" takes Congressman Pete Stark's medical regulation laws applies them to Congress. LOL! I do think if the medical regulations you docs have to jump through hoops for were indeed applied to government officials...that you would most certainly see a change for the better and quickly!

Look at this latest financial crisis. At least a decade, with two different administrations at the helm and they didn't do anything to prevent this.

(Well bush tried and was voted down by democrats and a few republicans.)

But look now... what these politicians who are supposed to be working on OUR behalf couldn't do in over a decade... as of last week...it took them THREE DAYS to come up with some save the day plan! THREE DAYS! I don't know if it is a good plan, but my point is they actually made an effort for the good of the country to work together. What would happen if they did this the rest of the year? I believe America would prosper in many ways...but I digress.

So go check out Throckmorton's Pete Stark post. :)

P.S. It just hit me..I was looking at this from a being amused perspective...but really... it is sad, a shame and just not right that these regulations are allowed to cause unfair decreased income for our hard working doctors and so they have to work longer hours to maintain their income. Also, it steals time that would be better put to use in their medical practice attending to their patients and have time to be with their families and friends, along with pursuing other interests

That is my take on all of this anyway...after reading the med blogs for almost 2 years now.

Also, I read in our local paper last week that the hospitals in the system I worked for and the one in which I have been a frequent flier patient, scored high in the state and country with patient care. I apologize that I don't recall in what areas. I know cardiology outcomes was one of them. surgery another. And so obviously regulations and standards of excellence ARE important. But it is the over regulating..in areas that cause a compromise of the physicians time and consequently..possibly optimum care for their patients that should be toned down.

I just don't understand why the pencil pushers and medical staff don't reason together (or they don't seem to) before they implement said erroneous regulations. Balance. There has to be balance.

I also don't think it is right that physicians, after years of schooling, training and caring for patients...should have their incomes challenged with unfair low reimbursements or even denials that they then have to challenge...again wasting valuable time that could be better spent. No doubt the insurance companies count on keeping the money longer and hope they will give up.

Pretty soon doctors will need both an MBA and a law degree added onto their medical degrees.

I'm just sayin...

Friday, September 19, 2008

DSCF0628_628_171 by you.

Two black bears were lumbering through our neighbor's yard, but one already got to the woods before I took this picture. One night I was sitting on the sofa in the family room with the sliding door open, when a big black bear walked right passed the door about 3 feet away. He turned his head and looked in as he passed through (I just stopped breathing..not even moving a muscle) and as soon as he did...I bolted up and shut the sliding door. He then walked up the dirt lane into the dark night.

Another time a bear came right up to the screen door and sniffed. My son was on the other side. The bear turned and walked away into another neighbor's back yard.

One late summer afternoon, my neighbor and her then fiance were floating on rafts in their pool when they noticed a huge bear coming out of the woods walking toward them. Her fiance bolted out of the pool and onto the house deck, latched the little deck gate shut and stood there watching the bear.

The only problem with that was that he left his fiance alone in the pool. LOL! She laid perfectly still. She said that both she and the bear stared at each other as it walked by to go back into another part of the woods.

There is a heavy bear population in our county and people have been at odds about allowing bear hunting to control the population. Some bear have broken into houses or killed small animals and they end up getting put down.

A lot of people up here have some bear stories to tell.

They are very beautiful... although it is a bit unnerving knowing they come up so close to the house at night.

Exciting and Stressful!

As of now...both presidential candidates are dead even in electoral votes. this is such an interesting..yet stressful campaign!

I can't wait for the following debates...particularly...Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. And I am ALWAYS interested in the presidential debates, but this vice presidential one is historic and has a whole lot of excitement surrounding it.

First presidential debate:
Friday, September 26
University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Vice presidential debate:
Thursday, October 2
Washington University in St. Louis, MO

Second presidential debate:
Tuesday, October 7
Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Third presidential debate:
Wednesday, October 15
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

"The first presidential debate will focus on domestic policy; the third presidential debate will focus on foreign policy.

The second presidential (town meeting format) debate will include any issues raised by members of that audience, and the vice presidential debate will include domestic and foreign policy."

I am glad Obama has agreed to finally do one town meeting with McCain. McCain asked him all summer to come out with him to do these town hall meetings. I enjoy that format and watching them interact with the people. I also like to see how they respond off the cuff with their answers.

I would love to be at a town hall meeting!

I WOULD MOST DEFINITELY ASK A QUESTION! :)

I have been pretty much MIA in blogdom because I am now an official 2008 political junkie.

If I am working in November...I will have to be certain that I am not working on election night and possibly the next day... if possible. Obviously the job will come first.

I always make a nice dinner and we eat in front of the TV. I also decorate patriotically. If I am working then I will make a crock pot roast with gravy. :)

I expect it is going to be a tense, exciting night unless there is a major upheaval for some reason.

By the way... shame on that Canadian columnist for stating that "white trash will be voting for Sarah Palin". Ummm... I don't think so!

Attack the issues...not the people!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mermaid Vacuum :)



This past Sunday, little 7 year old Devan was watching me vacuum our pool when she said...
"Mum Mum...you're using a mermaid vacuum."

So cute! I wish vacuuming in the house was as much fun. :)

An Anesthesia Observation

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In most of my OR visits, one of the anesthesiologists tells me he is giving me the 1st part of my margarita cocktail which relaxes me. They all usually tell you when they are giving you something.

Then they tell you when they are about to give you that final push and you will be out. Well... I am always hoping I'm out and not breezily talking about life's secrets or commenting on something in the present that would mortify me if I knew.... but I digress.

This last time I was going into the OR I had planned to imagine the ocean instead of fighting the anesthesia, which I always do because I make a game out of how long I can stay awake. But then some medical staff said that isn't a good idea because you can wake up combative or with tachycardia.

Anyway, I didn't get warned when the final push of drugs were coming and so I didn't get to envision my ocean. The next thing I knew was that I was in post op. That is so weird... that time lapse. I think I like it better when they tell me that is it... because I then have a defined time which allows for a momentary mental preparation. Just going instantly out feels like something was taken from me. Weird..I know, but it does. Like I guess..I want to choose my last thoughts.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

RELIEF!

I had a good doctor appointment! I don't know my ultimate outcome, but ...every day is a good day that my urology issues don't bother me. :)

Urodoc did not tell me I HAVE to have surgery and so that was a MAJOR relief! I was concerned about that because of the NPO post-op in August and he told me he just wanted to be sure I was alright. I always feel so well taken care of with this doctor..I have to say. :)

I will be getting my next renal scan in November. I can't believe I forgot already but I think he was still going with stented once a year and so I will discuss that ..I guess after my next scan. I think he will have a better picture of things (no pun intended), specifically.. my kidney and ureter... after the scan.

So all things considered... while not perfect ...as in you're totally healed and will be forever...SeaSpray is a happy girl tonight! :)

P.S. They really are the best doctor's office I have ever had to deal with. I am so glad I got hooked up with my doctor and other staff there. I would tell the whole world to go there if I could. Well I could I guess. Okay... Go there! :)


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tomorrow's Urology Appointment

I am a bit nervous about tomorrow. I have not seen urodoc since the day of my surgery and so am not sure of what he is planning to tell me. I am so very much praying for good news.

My urodoc is terrific and I am so comfortable with him... I feel like I can ask him anything now and I think he understands me as much as any doc can understand their patients. It helps me to know he knows my case inside out and he understands how I feel about the surgery... that I DON'T want to do it! He has worked with me in this and I am grateful for that and the option he gave me of being stented once a year... which I am seizing upon..at least for now.

The reason I am concerned something is wrong that may cause him to say.. do the surgery...is because he kept me NPO post op until evening in case I had to go back into the OR. He NEVER did that before. And when he called me from the OR to check on me... he was happy to hear I wasn't in a lot of pain. He said if I was then I would have to come back in to get stented and need the surgery. He said that my damage is more than a centimeter and is why it is not healing like it needs to. Those aren't his words verbatim, but the gist of what he said as I understood him.

I feel like I am walking on a tightrope just trying to make it to the other side. I have my reasons for not wanting to do the surgery. I thought I was healed. I had 16 wonderful months of no problems. My renal scans were good. I'd like to say that no pain means I am fine...but obviously that is not the case. Ha! And pain... doesn't necessarily mean I am blocking! I know he will test me more often now...at least I think that is the plan.

I used to ask urodoc questions ad nauseam ... back on 2006 and early 2007. But I was so afraid and all of this was so knew to me. Now I know how to cope with it and things to expect, etc., and so do not have any problem working around and with this condition. And I have another surgeon lined up if I HAVE to do it. So where everything was a rollercoaster ride of emotions to me back then...they are not now. Been there..done that. Thankfully urodoc was very patient with me. This summer..after this most recent event... I just thought.. no..I am not asking anything... it will be what it will be.

Reading all the med blogs has enlightened me to the plights of a physicians time and rate of reimbursement and I don't want to cost him money, etc... so I am trying to be sensitive to that.

I have to say to my doctors credit... if he sees I am concerned...he takes his time with me.

This surgery is nothing to sneeze at. It is a high risk surgery for me...hence my resistance. In one way...I am putting my life on hold... I know. Where I would have breezily gone into surgeries before... THIS ONE has the OR staff trying to wheel me into the OR...but they can't because I have all fours braced against the doorway holding myself out.

I actually have two separate urology issues but the 2nd one takes a back seat to this. I realize the 2nd one will have to be addressed too and I was stalling on that.

I have said that regarding the urology issues I am between a rock and a hard place.

Can't I just cancel this? Wave a wand? Make it all go away? Please.

I know, I know...life doesn't work that way and we have to do what we have to do.

And maybe he has another solution.?

I don't care what it looks like...I STILL believe in MIRACLES! :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can't Respond :)

I can't respond to any e-mails today...something has crashed on my computer...

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...and the mouse is missing! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Girl Talk

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When I believe in something or someone.. I can't help but to promote the product or the person. So in this case...I want to tell all the girls what a great new product the new Venus shaver is! Specifically, the new Venus Embrace by Gillette. They advertise it as having 5 blades for a smoother shave along with a moisturizer. And let me tell you...we're talking silky smooth and soft. Just like in the commercial...I can't stop rubbing my legs together or feeling how soft they are.

I saw this product advertised in a TV commercial the other day. I know how good the original Venus was and have been using it for years now and so when I saw the commercial... I instantly wanted to try their new shaver. I went out to two stores on my quest to get it yesterday.

So, I used it in the shower tonight and ooh la la... it is everything they promote in the commercial. I LOVE it! I actually had to shave fast because our older son was coming back with pizza. I didn't nick myself once. The shave was very close and like I said my legs are silky smooth and soft.

After dinner I was raving about the shaver to my d-i-l and had my husband feel my legs. He agreed. I know... there are more important things but , personally...I am always open to a newer and more efficient product on the market.

Everyone is different and so perhaps you have a favorite shaver already, but if you don't try this product you may never know just how silky smooth your legs can be. Really... why settle for the same old, same old when something this good is on the market?

That's this girls opinion...anyway! :)

P.S. Kudos to Gillette for improving an already great product!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Now I Know What You Look Like When You Cry



A doctor at work noticed the tears in my eyes as I was walking back into the main ER. His partner had just put drops in my eyes to help them stop itching. It was my 2nd allergy attack ever. Anyway... the other doc said.."Now I know what you look like when you cry." I smiled.


But his saying that moved me profoundly. I don't know why.

Even all these years later it seems like such an unusual thing to say.

But it was the way he said it.

It moved me.

It was so personal, so private ...as though he had reached into the depths of my soul and captured a part of me I didn't show.

I also wondered if he was the type of guy that had tumultuous relationships where the girls cry... and was he turned on or moved by their tears.

I had all these intense feelings, poetry in motion... in response to those 10 little words.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Tribute to September 11, 2001

All this time...I have never watched one YouTube video of 911..until last night...and then I cried. I can't look at them without crying. The audio of the man excitedly talking to his wife but then screaming "Oh my God" and you knew he died because he was instantly cut off...

Maybe it isn't PC to show these things... but it is important that we remember what started everything... and why our life in this country will never be the same again. It is a different world. It is a more dangerous world. People in other countries have known this. That was our first full out attack in modern times.

I think when people have the freedoms and blessings that we do have in this country ...it is so easy to gripe, complain, take things for granted and become complacent. We have never had to endure the atrocities like in the Sudan or the killing fields of Cambodia and I could go on. The fact is...their are people that would destroy this country, taking all our citizens with it.

We should never forget what happened and that it could again... and worse.


9-11-2001 World Trade Center Attack


Up Close Angle


On the ground 9/11/2001

It should Never Happen Again

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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fb/National_Park_Service_9-11_World_Trade_Center_Debris.jpg

Thanks to President Regan the Berlin Wall came down and the cold war was declared dead.

But now... the Russians have recently invaded Georgia.

First I read an article that said the Russians may "point missiles at strategic US targets in central Europe, as well as planned American missile shield sites in Poland and the Czech Republic."

"Moscow sees the plans for new US missile defence facilities in central Europe as part of an effort to encircle Russia.

Washington insists the planned facilities are directed against "rogue states" such as Iran and in no way threaten Russia"

Then I read that 2 Russian bombers landed in Venezuela for military exercises. (The comments are both interesting and alarming.) It just doesn't feel right knowing Russian bombers landed in a country so close to ours, who's leader does not like us.

Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel as well as the other middle eastern countries, Korea and China (What is going to happen with Taiwan?) ... all countries requiring our attention and strong foreign policy with us.

Not only do we need to be concerned with the countries that pose a threat around the world but we need to have strong interactive foreign policy with our allies as well.

I wish we could get by with a Kumbayah administration and that we had a Kumbayah world... but we can't and we don't. We need a strong national security vis-a-vis a strong national defense. We need a strong, experienced leader in the White House who is savvy with foreign policy.

I remember as a little girl having drills in 2nd grade, where we had to crouch in the hallway to practice protecting ourselves in case the Cuban Missile Crisis escalated. My girlfriend's father built a bomb shelter...just in case.

And I remember how heart wrenching it was as I watched (through tears) the last United States helicopters leave the roof tops and airplanes leave the runways, packed with people leaving South Vietnam for the last time...and leaving all those people below who were desperately begging and hoping to leave with them... knowing that in a short time they would be over run with the communist North Vietnamese. They knew (so did we) what atrocities would most likely become their fates. I remember all the South Vietnamese boat people risking their lives for freedom..hopeful to get to a safer and freer destination.

And I remember what it felt like to see our soldiers leave Vietnam having lost the war and the negative affect it had on our national moral. Then under the Carter years our standing in the world declined even more, particularly during the Iranian hostage crisis. That is the weakest in modern times that I remember this great country being.

And I remember a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning...September 11, 2001...where almost an hour from here...the the World Trade Center was attacked. And I remember the abject fear I felt when the phones didn't work when I tried to call our older son at his office and I didn't know if he was working in NY that day.

And like everyone else in the country I didn't understand what was happening in NY, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania that day. Our son was fine...but for thousands of families that September 11th, 2001... their loved ones were not. They will never see them again on this side of life.

We should never forget about the horror that all those HEROIC ground zero workers had to witness and work through and that some have since become sick because of the environment they worked in.

None of us want to see an attack like this on our soil ever again. We should never grow complacent about what happened. We should be ever vigilant as a nation. We should never forget that beautiful , sunny Tuesday morning in NY, Washington D.C. and in the fields of Pennsylvania.

We have to be ever ready to protect our freedom, in whatever direction that leads our nation..be prepared..but walk tall with a big stick...whenever possible. A strong military is a strong deterrent.

What would this world be like now if Hitler had one the war? What if the Russians had been able to overcome the United States? And what if we didn't stand up to the Islamic terrorists? Where would the United States be? And without a United States... what about our allies? What kind of world would it really be?

The Government in the US hasn't always made the best decisions and we are not without our mistakes...but we are blessed in this country and we have also been a blessing and give aid around the world more than any other country in the world. Why have so many people left their homelands to become American citizens? We must be doing something right!

We don't have the luxury of being isolationists. We live in a dangerous world..more so than ever before.

The man who is elected as the new President of the United States of America in November, 2008... has to be an experienced, strong and decisive leader. It is up to all of us to vote and hopefully elect the man who we believe is truly the best choice for the job at this time in our world history.

If we don't have a strong national defense...then no other policies will matter in the end... because there won't be anything to legislate for. There might not even be a USA as we know it..with all it's wonderful freedoms.

It reminds me of Risk... the board game. Reading these things and thinking about world foreign policy caused me to think of this game. Risk where you have to use strategy to take over countries and eventually the world in order to win. We need to be strong militarily and in foreign policy so that the borders of the free world are maintained.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Surgical Eyes

* I don't presume to know for certain what my doctor was really thinking, but rather.. this post is subjective and based on what was going on with me and everything I was feeling while
en route to the OR.
Having said that...his compassion and concern was evident to me and helped me tremendously in those moments preceding my surgical procedure.

Back in June, the night I was being wheeled down to emergency surgery I was really scared.

First of all...I had this relapse of a constricted ureter after I thought I was healed. So that was more upsetting than any words can convey. And I had a serious blood infection. So I was already thinking about what all this meant and I was afraid I was going to be told that I had to have the surgery I have been resisting.

I was already thinking that I would beg him to let me stay stented as long as possible to give me time before the surgery.

He will never know how much he helped calm me by coming up to my room and assisting in wheeling me down. Although... he knows me as a patient pretty well...maybe he did. Maybe that is why he did.

But then while up in my room, he expressed his concern that if he couldn't open it and stent me that I would have to go to the larger hospital to have a tube put into my kidney. My fear-o-meter exploded at that moment. I didn't say much. I was questioning a little but I also said that if anyone could do it...I knew he could. I meant that with all my heart. I had and have that much confidence in him.

But now I was even more scared.

And this seems trivial by comparison...but I had been NPO for so long, that my inner lips were sticking to my gums and my throat had NO saliva in it and was very difficult to swallow and I figured by the time they got me ready for transport and I arrived to my destination... it would be at least 2-3 hours before the procedure in the other hospital. So that was an immediate physical comfort thing.

But truly the most important thing was that I did not want to have these more invasive things done to my body and the consequences of what it all meant. And...even though I knew and know the goal is to get better... I just wanted to remain under his care. I know if I have the big surgery I will have my other surgeon that takes on these surgeries (I am high risk and my doctor wanted me in a larger teaching hospital for various reasons) and at least I met and like him and had the sense he would take care of me. And we did have an excellent rapport at the consult and on the phone.. we clicked and maybe I am stupid..but that is important to me.

Even so... I still wish my main urologist was at least there for the surgery. Hey..ya can't blame a girl for dreaming! ;)

So I was scared.

I remember small talk on the way down and then I got quiet and the fear was looming large. I was thinking I know you can do this. You have to do this. Please ..I DON'T want a tube in my kidney! I don't want to be transported. I felt bad for my husband, that he was having to go through this...again.. but maybe worse. All this stuff and more was swirling around in my brain at lightening speed.

What I didn't realize... was that I had locked eyes with my dear doctor when we all got on to the elevator. I held his gaze or visa-versa... I don't know. But our eyes were locked onto each other's and I have no doubt that he could read my fear and hopes and everything in my eyes in that moment...because without breaking contact he gave me a slow deliberate wink, to which I think I faintly smiled back.

When he did that... I interpreted it to mean... I know you're scared, I am going to do everything I can... you're going to be alright...try not to worry. And his making the effort to go the extra mile to help in transport (which believe me I did not and do not expect) and to care enough to want to reassure me to the best of his ability... well let me tell you...I will never forget his kindness....and it went a long way toward reassuring me prior to his doing the procedure. Yes... I was still scared but not as bad as I otherwise would have been going into that OR.

Understanding - compassion - reassurance - protection is what I saw in his eyes.

That was a true language of the eyes. No words were necessary. It was a conversation between two people..with their eyes.

That is one conversation I am so glad I had.

NO!!! Never Say Die!


Weeping Cherry Tree and Daffodils - 16"x20"oils
painted in Bethesda, MD
Link to artist's site.

NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!!


NO!!!

I REFUSED!!! I DO REFUSE!!! I WILL REFUSE!!!

I AM SO ANGRY AND UPSET THAT I COULD SPIT NAILS... I MEAN IT!!!


What are they crazy?

(I welcome suggestions anyone may have.)

A man, a tree cutter was here this morning informing us that the power company is exercising their right to remove... I said remove ... not trim... but remove any tree within 15 feet of the main power line that runs in front of our houses.

Our little blue spruce can be relocated.

Our weeping cherry is 6 years old and is so pretty, especially the way the weeping branches sway in the breezes. I don't want to lose it!

And worst of all and he isn't sure what they will do (he thinks it will be all right and they will just trim-it isn't even NEAR the wires yet!) ...our October Glory tree which has grown to be a perfectly shaped tree and is 15 years old!

I actually call it the
Christopher James October Glory tree because our youngest son's birthday is in October. The leaves turn a beautiful, rich cranberry color in the fall.

I have so many pictures with him by that tree. The first one was when he was in pre-school and now he's a sophomore in college. I am attached to that tree!

We did have what would be a large apple tree by now that was dedicated to our first born son. It had 7 kinds of apples on it, one type was Jonathan apples and so that was Jonathan's tree. Sadly, that had to come down because we had a new septic system put in.

So we had to sign and indicate whether we agree or refuse. Well there's a no brainer.! I REFUSED!

I know because of public domain, utility companies can exercise their rights to do what they want to do.

They also want to take out a row of my neighbor's 22 year old blue spruce. C'mon! They can top them and they will just bush in together! They want to take out someone else's Japanese Maple and they are expensive!

The tree cutter told me that he was up at our neighbor's house yesterday. This neighbor has a son on a ventilator. The electric was out on this road because of a thunderstorm and this man had to go to their house to tell them that the power company is going to take this big, established and beautiful tree down so it doesn't knock the power out.

The power was out and their tree did not cause the problem and hasn't all these years! Oh the i-r-o-n-y!

All the trees have value..both monetarily and more importantly aesthetically.

So what to do?

Pray about it. I will say why at the end of this post with another short story.

Well... 1st I think call the power company and find out who is in charge of this decision and get all the facts and discuss options..if any.

Contact our town hall... the mayor? Who would handle this, what do they know about it and do to work on our behalf? They are working for the community ...right?

Depending on how it goes...start a petition.

Write an editorial for the local paper.

And if all else fails...TIE OURSELVES TO OUR TREES!!!

Oh and WHY do they want to do this? To prevent power outages? Well I don't like them either...but why can't they just top the trees WHEN it is necessary? Our cherry tree has a lot of years before it gets near the wires.

Is this a budgetary decision? Spend more money now for complete removal and then it won't be necessary to pay for trimming in the future? WHY?
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Some years ago back in the early 90s, the health inspector and engineers were going to force something on my neighbor and us that I KNEW wasn't right.

We live in a wetland area. NJ law states that those lands are protected and today no one could build in this area. Which frankly would've been better because most people have had problems with wet basements or septics that had to be elevated because of the water in the area.

We had the prettiest side lot that unfortunatley had to have the new system put in and it's huge. So... I turned it to a positive and said we now had a 10,000 hill for slighriding and boy did the kids use it. :)

But it is a pretty area and I have loved living here. And the boys just had the neatest and prettiest environment to grow up in. But I digress.

Our adjoining neighbor was the first one to have to replace their old septic system with a new one that was up to code for this wet area. Their property was limited in size. The new system should have gone on the other side of their house, but thier neighbor on that side built an addition without getting a variance and consequently encroached on our neighbor's property which left them with a smaller side lot...which forced them to have to put it on our side of their property.

But then the engineers decided that they should add an extra drainage ditch running down to the back of their property which would've been 17 feet from our well. I immediately contacted the engineer and he said it would be alright because they would use sand and that would purify the water.

I countered with telling him that CARCINOGENS DON"T BREAK DOWN! I didn't yell but I felt like it. He told me why they couldn't do anything on the other side their house. I still resisted and in exasperation he said..."What do you want us to do? Condem their house???" I said "No."

So I called the county health inspector. He said yelled "Oh your water isn't any good down there anyway!" I think he said that because it is a wet area and maybe he figured it was compromised in some way. I didn't argue with him.

But following his logic... your water isn't any good and so we will just compromise it all the more and throw in a few cancer causing agents. ???

By the way... our water tastes so GOOD... people have said we could bottle it. It is very HARD water. We use a softener. But when it lapses... I LOVE the taste of the hard water even more.

So...I had the water tested. The test came back that we had good water. High hardness content but good. Some people around the county have sulpher or high iron. We don't and it tastes so good. I don't know if it could cause kidney stones though? Hmm...

Then I called the state of NJ, specifically the DEP.

According to them, the regulations for putting any septic systems near wells is that they should be NO CLOSER THAN 90 FEET TO THE WELL.

Thank you very much!

I again called the engineer and informed him of the state regulations and again stated that we did not want our drinking water compromised.

Both of our systems aren't 90 feet away but they sure as heck aren't SEVENTEEN feet away, running parrallel to our WELL!

I called the county health inspector and informed him that our water test came back good and i informed him of what the state DEP's regulations were.

He was annoyed and said "Oh...it's all that clay down there that saved your water!"

Then when talking to my neighbor, I told her of a scripture that I knew that God can change the course of a river and the mind of a king. (I don't remember that exactly anymore and so may be off just a bit, but that is the gist of it.) And so he could change their minds and we should pray about it.

They DID NOT DO the additional drainage ditch and our well was spared!

So the moral of the story is HAVE FAITH and NEVER GIVE UP...at least not without a fight.

In the end... all you can do is your best... but IF YOU DON'T TRY...YOU WILL NEVER KNOW!

P.S. Is there any kind of save the trees organization out there that might be able to assist or enlighten us even more..for our cause?

P.P.S. WhiteCoat... you win. :)

P.P.P.S. I love our little weeping chery tree.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blogging Vacation

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I am going to take a break from blogging for a bit. I love this wonderful hobby and so I will of course be back. I have posted a lot of things lately and there is also a lot in the archives should you get a little SeaSpray withdrawal. HA! In my dreams.. I'm that popular. ;)

I can be reached through my e-mail addresses.

Even though I AM breaking here... I will probably lurk through your blogs... although..if it is something I just have to answer I may... but then that may draw me back in to blogging again. :)

I have also been busy writing elsewhere because I feel a need to focus on myself in more personal ways at the moment..things I don't usually say here.

It's fall and I LOVE fall and there's lot's to do! :)

So... to sum it all up... I need some time for personal recreation and by that I mean re-creation as in... I am my own project and there are changes I want to make and goals I want to achieve.

You do realize of course ... that I might be back to post tonight... because I love my SeaSpray blog. I think that was just SeaSpray's blogging addiction talking. ;)

Let go of the key board SeaSpray. Now slowly... get out of your chair... step...back from the computer. You can do this SeaSpray. That's it...slowly...back...back... back... You DID IT! Wait!

No! What are you doing?

Have a GREAT day, week September or Fall!!! :)

SeaSpray ALWAYS tries to have the last word! ;)

P.S. If you were a betting person... how long would you bet she can stay away? :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Is Mcain Palin's Bitch and My Take on Her Speech-WOW!



I apologize for the bad language in this... but still... I think it is very funny! Thanks to Scalpel for putting this video up first. :)

I think I have a crush on Palin and Guiliani after last night! ;)

People say Guiliani milks 911..well I say we should never forget how we were attacked on that perilous day..September 11,2001. NEVER! Complacency is dangerous.

She's amazing and wowed both sides.. even if they disagreed with content. And to give a speech like that... with being on board less than a week, with the pressure of knowing eyes around the world are watching, to rally the delegates as she did... what an amazing and capable woman! She IS a breath of fresh Alaskan air!

I was amused that the dem commentators were annoyed at her sarcasm (ever watch Keith Olbermann and hear his nonstop MEAN snarky comments every night on his show?) because they seemed totally oblivious to the mean things "some" not all of them say about McCain and Palin... and I don't think she was mean... she made her points. They have a right to do that..they weren't vicious... but she did call it as it was...in my opinion.

What? Is she supposed to be some shrinking violet? I think not! She did exactly what she needed to do.

She is also a gifted and compelling orator.

The only thing I took issue with is the way in which she seemingly mocked community organizers. Anyone helping their community should be commended for helping people in various ways needed. I don't know exactly what they do and perhaps it depends on the needs of each community.

But you have to look at that statement within the context of the point she was making.

It is necessary to make a comparison... because while important...it isn't as weighty on a resume as what she or Senator McCain have done. She also responded to the attacks on her being a mayor of a small community and she did a good job of demonstrating the difference.. and then there is her being Governor with all it's executive decisions.

But I felt bad for all the people who devote their time to being community organizers and I think she should clarify and validate the importance of having people that use their time doing such things for the betterment of communities across our country... because after all, we all matter and can make a difference in this great land of ours... BUT...it isn't a qualification for VP or President.

And regarding her flip flop vote on the bridge to nowhere... what is wrong with initially getting on board because you think it is right but then realizing.. you were wrong and having the courage to buck the system to oppose something.

Too many politicians stick with the status quo. (democrats and republicans) They put their fingers up in the air to detect which way the votes are blowing in the wind... instead of voting for or against what is right for THE COUNTRY...not them or their party.

John McCain and Sarah Palin seem to be the two... that if they are elected.. will perhaps be able to move some mountains of resistance to change in the congress and senate... and truly get people to cross party lines with votes for the betterment of all.

Obama promises change..people are eager for it. The speeches all the more clarified for me why I don't have faith in Obama to keep us strong militarily. I knew that before the speeches.. but they underscored my feelings with a big bold marker!

I personally believe McCaine and Palin should be elected... but I sincerely want whoever is the best party for the job at this time in history to move into the Whitehouse in January. I do mean that. I just happen to think it is them... at this point in time.

I can not wait for the debates!

I hope I haven't offended anyone... not my intent... just expressing my honest opinion. If anyone disagrees..I would appreciate your dissenting opinions. And of course if you agree...I welcome your opinions too. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

SeaSprarax CREAM Created Just For YOU!

http://www.hotel-paradiso-fishing-diving.com/ilustrax/couple-sailing.jpg

SEASPRARAX is for people like you who suffer from ureteral surgeaphobia, the inability to parallel park or Bajingolandaphoria.

Side effects may include:

* Itchy, flaky schwing schwang schwing schwong

* Turquoise rashes

Do not take SEASPRARAX if you think you might be Perky.

Most people who use SEASPRARAX

experience a feeling of OH WOW!!

within two weeks.

If you think SEASPARAX is right for you, talk to your sprayer today.

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A clinical research organization , CEDRA created this site for our amusement and to possibly draw us in to volunteer to participate in clinical trials for new drugs. Hey ..I can use some extra money..do I want to do this? :)

Thanks to Medblog Addict...I squandered... oh... just a bit of time creating some new drugs. What can I say..it's an important job and someone has to do it. ;)

*I just don't know how Mba and Scanman (Vijay) got the picture of the brochure to transfer. It would not let me copy no matter what I did! Soooo... I just took a picture with my digital camera and will put it up at another time. :)

I picked the Father and son pic on the shoreline. Of course SeaSprarax has to have a Sea background. :)

SO go check out the CEDRA site and create your own drug. The sound bites with it are funny and it's fun writing through the Doc's hand. Totally HILARIOUS! :)