Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How is THAT possible???

An X-ray photograph showing a huge kidney stone inside the body of patient Sandor Sarkadi. Photo: EPA

I read about this humongous kidney stone over at Happy's blog and followed his links to read the rest of the story!

I thought a kidney stone the size of a golf ball was a joke and didn't know they really could get that big. When medical staff told me my 1st kidney stone was the size of a golf ball, I figured they were being facetious, but I also thought I had a big stone because the urologist said I had been working on it a long time. It was 6 mm.

This one was said to be the size of a coconut! YIKES!

What I don't understand is how did the kidney accommodate it? Wasn't it heavy? Didn't it hurt? And I wonder if it damaged his kidney or anything else?

That poor man. I hope he is alright.

The giant kidney stone which was removed from patient Sandor Sarkadi.
The giant kidney stone which was removed from patient Sandor Sarkadi.


P.S. I just came back from reading Happy's comment section and apparently it is technically a bladder stone.

So, I shall revise my questions:
How did the bladder accommodate it? Wasn't it heavy? Didn't it hurt? And I wonder if it damaged his bladder or anything else?

And one more: HOW could it happen in the first place???


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Husband Annoyed and Hair Like Hickory

After I came home from grocery shopping tonight, I pulled up along side the mail box to get the mail. I smelled smoke as soon as I put the window down and I saw smoke seemingly drift forcefully downward from the roof at the end of our house to where I could see it in the spot light.

Fire? Someones wood stove?

I forgot about the mail, quickly turned into the driveway, turned the car off..leaving the window down and everything in it. I ran into the house and BURST into the bedroom exclaiming to my sound asleep husband, "WAKE UP! YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THERE ISN'T A FIRE IN THE FURNACE ROOM!"

With that...the man shot up like lightening and landed back down, directly into his pants and shoes.

Well he got up and out so fast it seemed that way.

As he is rushing through the house to go check, I was following behind...THEN saying...well it could be our neighbors wood stove ... but I saw smoke coming off our roof down into the spotlight.

He checked and somewhat disgruntled said it was fine.

"So do you think it is our neighbor's wood stove?"


"Well it does smell like hickory. Wait! Don't go to bed! Um... could you just check the attic..real quick before you go back to sleep?"

"It's fine Pat."

"I know... but the house smells smokey now and we did just have those mice running around up there making all that noise."

Husband shoots me "the look", but proceeds to open the attic door, does a visual from the floor and states, "It's FINE!"

"Well... you know those mice could've done damage and something could be you please just go up and look and turn the light on too?"

He shot me "the look" but went up to check.

He came back down and said "There's nothing wrong up there!"

"Okay well that's good... better safe than sorry. Come to think of it ... I don't think we have anything that would smell like a ham smoking up there." While following him into the bedroom, I went on to say "Well you had to see the smoke. So a neighbor's smoke could travel over here and show up in a down draft?


And so with a sheepish expression I said..."Sorry."

But his back was to me as he was removing his pants and shoes and I couldn't hear what he was muttering and decided... I probably didn't want to... said "Thanks! Nite!" without looking back, breezed out and shut the door behind me.

To my defense... I smelled smoke, saw smoke coming off of our roof. Our attic vents are higher then the family room roof and so smoke could've been coming from the attic or chimney. And prior to my bursting into the bedroom to wake him... hadn't detected a hickory smell... just smoke.

I did speak with a friend afterward and she agreed better safe than sorry.

And so now here I am typing this and my hair smells like HICKORY! It's totally permeated with that smell. I'm surprised Bob (our dog) isn't chasing me down!

* I am just posting this now ...on Wednesday night and my husband is over it. Neither of us even brought it up today. :)

Great Hair Day! :)

Kind of like this sans bangs.

I love my hair! My hairdresser cut it perfectly again. Whatever she did with cutting my hair last was great. Perfect layers, falls wonderfully on my shoulders, flips in all the right places and I loved it.

My friend's daughter noticed and complimented it on New Year's eve and for a 16 yr old to like it... that was a compliment. She's sweet and thoughtful anyway...but I didn't even get my coat of when she said "Your hair looks so pretty!" :)

It was the cut.

I have a skilled hairdresser and I usually like almost everything... but sometimes and I don't know what it is...maybe the sun and the moon and the stars line up... but some cuts really stand out.

So when I went in today... I let her know that I always like what she does(only once in 6 years did she go too short with layers) but this last time was my most favorite of all and if there is anyway she could do the exact same thing..I'd be thrilled.

I don't wear bangs anymore, but wear them cascading down off to the side.

It's just so fun and bouncy! And it falls perfectly down onto my shoulders, back and chest.

The only thing...she used a large drummed curling iron and is how she probably got the flippy pieces. I don't own a curling iron because I don't want to damage my hair.

Also she is a hairdresser and skilled and knows how to style hair.


Suffice it to know that God gave me 2 boys because he knows I couldn't do a French braid if my life depended on it. I am NOT adept at styling hair! But when I use large rollers I can get the flippy, bouncy hair.

So for the last hour ...I have been shaking my head and watching it fall and bounce.

I do hope I can duplicate it with rollers.... or blow drying with a big brush. know how I feel. Tis a good thing when we have a great hair day! :)

Fashion Faux Pas II - Embarrassing Moments!

I did something really embarrassing today! *sigh*

Fortunately... there weren't many people up at the front of the shop at the moment when I took my coat off.

After I took my coat off, hung it up and I then pulled my sweater down... I was perplexed because it wouldn't really move.


It seemed to be... what the heck... tangled u-u-up?

I grabbed it out of the closet last minute because I wanted to switch into something black.

I always wash my sweaters inside out on gentle and sometimes hang them up inside out.

So I grabbed it, threw it on and never checked myself in the mirror.

It is a faux 2 piece sweater. It has spaghetti straps and looks like a one of those summer tops under the sweater. The under top has little iridescent beading across the top part and then has the sweater part tie across the front under the bust and then is open in front and flares a little on the bottom. It's cute.

But it wasn't cute when I realized what I did.

I thought I tangled it up somehow, but what I really did was put it on inside out. And so now there I was with this top, with the attached piece looking not just inside out... but totally weird and those long rubber thingies that hold the top on the hanging out my arm and my back!

It was a long walk back to the bathroom where I could change... but fortunately there weren't too many people. I was embarrassed but chuckling to myself at the same time.

It's a good thing I can laugh at myself... but then I've had a lot of practice. :)

Speaking of a fashion faux pas, I had an even more embarrassing experience in summer 2006. (see through blouse)Unfortunately, I was totally clueless until later that night and so had been to the urology office and other places. This is the second post I wrote when I was a newbie blogger" "Fashion Faux Pas!"

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Betwixt and between.



I don't like where I am.

I do not.

I will like where I want to be.

Where I hope to be.

Where I believe I'll be...

In the end.

It's the getting there...

That's the challenge.

The past is ...

A comfort zone..


I look forward to

The future...

Well... most of it.

I am... afraid of ...

Losing my mother.

What matters...

Is the now.

And I know...

We only have the now.

We can't go back.

We cant fast forward.

I do appreciate...

The good things.

I do.

I have needed to ...


Not sure why.

As a wounded animal...

Goes off to heal.

I wish...

I could bypass...

So many things.

I feel like ...

I need to recreate...

Within myself.





My quiet place.

I think most of us must have our seasons in life..where we have things we have to face...even though we don't want to.

I am there now.

I don't like it.

But it doesn't matter.

I have to keep pressing through.

I have to do...

What I have to do.

I can't help but wonder what good things are up ahead because I believe when you go through the tough times... things have a way of balancing out or even becoming so much better.

I look forward to the good things on their way... to experience at the right time.

To everything...

There is a season.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thank You Mr President

For anyone that would like to say thank you to President Bush, you can go here. I found this over at Scalpel's blog.

And by the way...Scalpel has a great blog and so you may want to take some time to peruse through his interesting/informative/entertaining posts and comments or bookmark/blogroll for another time. :)

I would still like to send him a letter. Does anyone know where I would send it? It would be neat if it actually got to him and I do know how to write a heartfelt thank you. :)

Would it be Crawford Texas?

I am guessing they know who he is. ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Personality In a Bottle! :)

Ummm.. I think I'll have one of those.

You got any for PERFECT weight?

It should be so easy.

A girl can dream.


Mr Pharmacist..just make mine a bottle of pith please. Pith. Pith! No..I don't have a lisp!!

(sorry couldn't resist-guess I've been around urology for too long. ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So Very Tired

I don't know what is wrong with me but I am profoundly tired.

Dorothy going down in the poppy fields tired.

I feel like I could sleep here and now.

Someone beam me to bed.

Too tired to move.

Must Sleep.



I'm Confused, But Thank GOD For Traditions

Picture from Drudge report

Perhaps I need more enlightenment and I am open to anyone wishing to clarify the following for me.

I find it interesting that prayers are said during the presidential inauguration, and the President Elect places his hand on the Bible when he is sworn in as the next president of the United States.

I find it interesting that there was prayer at the opening and closing of the luncheon.

That is always the way it is done.

I find it interesting because these prayers invoking God...our creator... a supernatural being... to guide and protect us...this acknowledging his existence and calling upon him for the good of being done publicly on government property, at government functions and with government employees.

I find it interesting because there have been people who vehemently try to stop public displays of anything to do with God. They have tried to have God removed from our money, from the Pledge of Allegiance and public schools aren't allowed to acknowledge God. They did ban students from Bible study on school/campus grounds..but that was overturned. Teachers are not allowed to pray with students...even though some students might request it.

They have been successful in having the 10 Commandments removed as public display in schools and government buildings. Christmas. They have even tried to Sanitize Christmas so it is devoid of the religious meaning.

But I digress.

It warmed my heart today when President Obama placed his hand on the Bible. It warmed my heart to hear the prayers and see people praying.

Does anyone remember how Congress prayed after 911? Does anyone remember the 911 memorial services with all the prayers and clergy? And yet this was done on public property for all to witness.

As I am reflecting on this...I am admittedly confused.

I don't understand.

Where are the offended people? The people who feel forced to endure or witness any mention of God? Where are the people who regurgitate ad nauseam "separation of church and state"?

Church and state didn't seem separate today.

Thankfully our forefathers founded this country with God in mind and it is demonstrated on a day like today... inauguration day, through the traditions handed down from them...where we do acknowledge our creator. God is publicly acknowledged during national events in this country.

So..why don't these people sue the entire government? Surely their offenses must be of great magnitude having witnessed on such a grand scale, the invocation of God during such a high profile governmental event? Why the disparity? Why is it okay here, but not there? And isn't it hypocritical that we can't acknowledge God in front of children in school...yet it is alright for the government to do so on a national level?

Where are the cries of outrage? Where are the lawsuits?

I am confused, but thank God for traditions.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Planes-Patients-Pilots, Specialists and Surgeons (Happy Hospitalist Analogy)

Here is a link to the Happy Hospitalist's current post "Studied it and Rehearsed it", a post in which he points out the direct correlation to the pilot's being able to successfully land his plane in the Hudson River and the fact that he studied and rehearsed for an emergency event. The pilot was prepared.

He goes on to make the clever analogy of patients being the plane and the specialists and surgeons are the pilots guiding the plane.

Here is part of what Happy said:
  • "Do you want a surgeon in training who clocks out out at 5 pm to meet residency restrictions. A surgeon that missed that case with the rare anatomical deviation because he/she worked too hard the day before? Because residency restrictions demanded it. Without extending residencies, the loss of clinical experience is a loss for patient care.
  • Do you want an internist who must leave their training at noon to take a five hour nap because they are tired? Because residency restrictions demanded it. Do you want them missing that lecture on TTP. Missing that lecture on glomerularnephritis. What if you are that patient that came in with TTP? Your plane is crashing and your pilot has never studied it. Has never rehearsed it. Without extending residencies, the loss of clinical experience is a loss for patient care.
  • Do you want a nurse practitioner independently managing your multiorgan failure in your ED? Remember. Study and rehearse. Study and rehearse. Do you want someone who has not experienced the breadth of training in both evaluation or management. Do you want them guiding your plane down unchartered territories."
I don't know how they function without sleep, but I want the specialist/surgeon who is trained and prepared for anything that comes at him/her. Someone who has proven the metal they're made of and that they can stand against the storms.
Go over to Happy's blog to read the post in it's entirety. There are interesting comments to read as well.

Friday, January 16, 2009

He said, "Miracle on the Hudson"

AP Photo

"Miracle on the Hudson" is what one man on the evening news said last night when discussing the pilot's landing the commercial airliner so perfectly on the Hudson River between NY and NJ.

Here is an interesting article with pictures. And here is an interview by Greta Van Susteren.

It was a miracle!

Everyone survived! And the plane intact. He didn't even have time to dump the fuel!

So many things could've gone wrong... but thankfully they didn't.

And I can't imagine how cold those wet people were in the FRIGID air temperatures.

Kudos to that pilot for his quick thinking and professional skills which helped bring them all to safety.

I really do think there must've been angels on the wings or under the plane. He was skilled, but many pilots are skilled and don't have good outcomes. It will be interesting to hear the final assessment of what happened.

And it was awesome how all the boats went immediately to their rescue!

Everything worked out so well...I do think it was a miracle.

It was refreshing to hear something good for a change on the news, particularly something as miraculous as this event is. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Frisky Gene :)

Hallway in old ED we had the snowball fight in. Entrance door at the end provided easy access to the accumulating snow. :)

I LOVE how bright it is when the sun is out and reflecting all the bright snow light into the house! It is my favorite cleaning time. (Yes I am momentarily procrastinating with this post.)

I can't get enough light during the day, but then like cozy at night..unless working... then I still prefer bright.

I wish we'd get a big old fashioned snowstorm.

I don't want anyone to get hurt, lose power, and have the calamities that sometimes come with snowstorms, and make for a very busy ED night... but would just love to have a beautiful winter wonderland to walk through and take pictures.

The kind that you can build snowmen, snow forts, snow angels and sleigh ride/toboggan. Oh and (in fun-ok..maybe MY fun) lob a snowball at an unsuspecting person...or two...or..! I admit...I still like to do that to someone I know. I can't help it. The frisky gene kicks in every time there is a good wet snow around!

I know...I still have to grow up. ;) Pssst! Don't tell anyone...but..I hope I NEVER do! ;)

One fun work memory I have is that on one slow snowy night in the ED... we had a snowball fight in the hallway and upper ED area. Too funny! Then we had to wipe it up.

That would've provided entertainment on cameras! I'm guessing it would not meet with the approval of JCAHO!


LOL! :)

One of my favorite childhood winter memories, is the day Janice (my next door neighbor) and I made this awesome sleigh run between our 2 properties. It sloped down from her property into mine. It had snow walls around the entire perimeter and a solid snow wall running down through the middle. Then we cut out an opening in the center and also down at the bottom.

The opening in center was so we could steer our sled into the other run and if we went fast enough and maneuvered quickly enough we could round the corner at the bottom of the run...but we usually just smashed into the snow wall at the end instead.

We had so much fun doing that and they had to make us come in when it was getting dark and we were so wet and cold and our cheeks were so pink. We went into my house and played Monopoly in my room.

That is my favorite childhood winter memory.

And I am sentimental about and love the looks of the wooden, red metal runner Flyer sleds and I liked how you could steer them. But we did need to pack the snow for the best rides. Ha! And living at the Jersey shore...there weren't really any hills and so we had to build them up too. :)

Now... Carpe Diem!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Doctor Visit Followed By Positive WOM

Starfish on the beach near Singing Sands Bed and Breakfasy, Comox, BC

Well today was interesting and I got a lot done.

And I almost caused a collision! I was paying attention until I guess the last second... or it was the last second that my attention came back to driving. At that point the driver of the other car coming toward me as I wrongfully began turning in... almost collided into me. I slammed on my brakes and so did he! Fortunately there was shoulder room for him to help avoid colliding. We would've been hurt for sure... but thankfully all is well.

The receptionist gave me the wrong instructions. She said their office was immediately after a certain building...and it was was the 3rd one down. And she gave the number which I wasn't seeing as I was focusing on the 1st 2 buildings.

I guess I focused a little too hard at the 2nd one.

I mouthed "I'm sorry" with probably a sheepish guilty face... but he didn't seem to be mouthing "I forgive you." And then he gave me "the look...the evil eye look". I don't blame him.

So..I then continued pulling into the parking lot and drove around, but realized it wasn't even a medical building and so figured it was the 1st one after all, but then I saw his car parked in the back and thought, "Oh nooo...I am going to walk in there and he will be staring angrily at me. Great!" I purposed that I would go up and apologize.

I pulled into that building and it wasn't it either (Thankfully) and so then number 3 was the lucky number.

What a wonderful doctor's office! The people and aesthetically. It is exactly the kind of place I hope to work in. I got my ideas from my 1st choice, but never panned out...but I have had this image in my head in what I would look for in doctors and staff....and aesthetically.

Of course I will take a job in a place that isn't as aesthetically is more important what the job is and who you work with... but if I could have it all...why not?

Florescent lights, sunny windows, open airy office and beautiful artwork. (I like the building too) I like both doctors - saw one... but got to talk with the other one too. I told him his father delivered my first son, he smiled but was on his way to do something. So when he came back he stopped, came over to me and said "My father delivered you..he did a good job." What? son..1980. Actually, he assisted a doctor who has been long gone." Then I went on to tell him something funny his father said to the anesthesiologist.

I have read so many med blogs that talk about poor insurance reimbursements and how unfair and disingenuous the insurance companies are.

Well this doctor had something interesting at the top of one of his forms.

It was the form the patient signs where they agree to things (I didn't read the whole form..I just signed it) about financial responsibility... or something like that. I didn't read it all because my plan has a good turn around time with provider payments. I don't know if they have ever had a problem with approval reimbursements.

This doctor has a paragraph at the top of the form that explains that some insurance companies don't pay what they are supposed to and how it hurts the practice. Those aren't the exact words. I wish I could remember the exact wordage. But it was an excellent description of how some insurance companies handle (or don't) their provider payments and how it affects physicians. I have never seen that before but was very well said.

The entire staff I had contact with was terrific! Very warm and friendly. Very welcoming medical practice!

So... I am thinking of switching to them or if my current doc retires (he is older) I will definitely switch. I do like him and have thought he was terrific. But the experience at this office was so different 9in a positive way) all the way through the process.

I have to say... who you have out front representing your business/practice is very important. Those people set the tone for a positive experience. You want your office to be inviting... one that says welcome...we're here to help you. :) That is my opinion anyway.

As I was walking out the doors, I actually prayed to God that I would love to work in a place just like that. Shoot...I don't want full time right away... but if they offered... I would start tomorrow! I wasn't applying, but took mental notes..for sure. I will keep a look out because I have seen them advertise in the past.

It turns out I have a staph infection in my eye! I wondered if I could've picked it up in the nursing home, but I guess anywhere. I heard STAPH! But the doc didn't seem to concerned other than that if I don't improve in a week to come back.

I had this since mid week, last week. I just assumed I rubbed my eye too much and played it down until yesterday, when I saw something on my iris that wasn't washing away. Then I couldn't get in fast enough and is why I ended up at another office. I didn't want to wait until tomorrow and now I am glad I didn't.

I have been happy with the other office... they were nice enough... but cold feeling. Except my doctor...he is actually very funny. :) but the techs, the office staff... they take your stuff, shut the window and barely say goodbye. the techs are okay but rush you through. I know volume is money and I get it. can still move everyone through with a positive attitude and helping the patient to feel comfortable. It's all how you word things and expressions.

Nothing turns me off more than a dead fish handshake...or disinterested person. But that is me. Maybe other people don't care...I don't know.

So... I will give this office a positive word of mouth... I will tell people to go there if I hear of someone looking for an eye doctor.

I give that doctor's office a 5 starfish rating. *****

Monday, January 12, 2009

Suffering and joy teach...

"Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. ln those transparent moments we know other people's joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own."
~ Fritz Williams ~

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My FATHER Said It!

basketballpatty by you.

I came across this picture while going through my mother's things. There are not many baby pictures of me... very few actually. I loved that stuffed dog and brought it everywhere. My father gave it to me. I only have one other thing he gave me when I was a little older, which came from one of his travels to South America, but I will save that for another post sometime.

I don't remember if I mentioned this here previously or not.

But, this past summer... my mother said something while we were talking on the phone that stopped me in my tracks. My mother said it in no big deal... but for me... it was like a neon sign suddenly flashing directly before me.

First of all...for my entire life, my mother has not spoken of my father...ever...unless I asked and even then she found ways to avoid my questions and if she did give an answer it was not without great prodding on my part... followed by guilt for my crossing that forbidden line.

I must've been asking her about my father and I don't remember in what context she said this... but she said that my father wanted her to put my snowsuit on because he wanted to bring me to some corner place to show me off because I was pretty.

I stopped her right there and asked "My father thought I was pretty?"

"Yes." She began to talk again and I again stopped her.

"Wait! He actually said I was pretty? ... so...he thought I was pretty???

"YES Patty!"

"So...he actually took me out to show off to his friends?"


She was getting impatient with me. So I dropped it... but truthfully...that is all I remember about that night.

I was w-o-w-e-d the fact that my father thought I was pretty.... ????

I know I am sounding very vain right now and that is not it at all.

As a matter of fact... it is not about the pretty ... not like you may be thinking.

I would think that most parents think all of their children are beautiful.

You see.... my mother never told me much about him. He was basically a forbidden topic and any time I crossed over that line to ask questions...she got upset and very secretive and even cryptic. I know she was afraid of him I know she did not want me anywhere near him.

I eventually gave up... until I was 24 that is... but that is for another post sometime.

The reason I got so excited about this and couldn't get past his opinion of my looks... is that was the first time I ever heard what he thought of me. I don't remember anything he ever said to me. My mother never told me anything about him...never mind what he actually thought of me.

So when she told me he thought enough of me that he wanted her to dress me up so he could take me out to show off to his friends... well it is the first and only memory I have of him actually thinking I was someone worthy of his attention.

I am not articulating this well... but anyone who has grown up fatherless would most likely understand my excitement at this revelation.

My father actually had an opinion of me.

He thought I was pretty.

He was proud of me.

He was proud enough of me to want to show me off to friends.

My father, my daddy... must've loved me... back then anyway.

I saw him once when I was 5 and once when I was 6 and then I never saw him again.

I mostly forgot about him for many years.

I was 24 before I seriously tried to find out about him.

But you can see how closed mouthed my mother was because it took her 29 more years to give me that little jewel of information. It meant the world to me to hear it. It was as if she opened a treasure chest and gave me one sparkling, beautiful jewel out of it.

It doesn't change who I am. It doesn't make my life better. But it just felt so good to hear he thought of me that way. My father had an opinion about ME.

Maybe it makes him more real... thus validating the fact that I really did have a father. I know it intellectually... but in my heart of hearts...there has always been that void... that no other human being could ever fill... that place reserved only for a little girl's father... her Daddy.

It is probably why even to this day... I like to feel taken care of. You will win my heart if I feel that... that safe... I am cared about feeling. I am independent too... indeed I am... but there is just something wonderful about knowing you are valued as a person. I think that is important for all of us. I am just sharing a vulnerability from long ago.

I guess my hearing his opinion of me... allowed that sparkling, beautiful jewel, to light up a little tiny spot in his place in my heart... where he was supposed to reside. Except for the memory of the words my mother described about that moment in time ... his room has remained devoid of a father's love... an empty shell of what could've been... ~~~

FATHER'S (and mothers) ... you are so IMPORTANT to your children. For your sons and your daughters. Remember - you can never go back. Base your decisions on that...when you can. But it is NEVER to late to demonstrate your love for your be there for them... no matter what. Be a good role model. Love, guide, protect and have FUN with them. ALWAYS keep your communication open with them... no matter what. Never punish your children ...but rather discipline them as in disciple, teach. You don't always have to agree... but you should love your children unconditionally for who they are. Teach them forgiveness by being forgiving...and ask them to forgive you when you make a mistake...because you will. Doing that will deepen their trust in you and give you more credibility if/when you have deeper challenges to overcome.

Well..that is the ideal as I understand things...and then there is real life...where things don't always work out...even with the best of intentions. As parents... all we can do is our best at the time... but we should never stop trying to improve where we can and certainly...never..ever.. abandon your child.

There are no perfect parents.

I know I am not.

There are things I wish I could've done better.

But I do know... my sons know I love them and they will have that knowledge in their hearts forever.

I know I did some things really well and I hope those things far outshine my negatives.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pregnant With Thought

I feel pregnant in thought with everything I want to write in my blogs.

I feel pregnant in thought with the personal goals I have birthed in writing elsewhere. Full term and a week overdue pregnant in thought.

I lost my focus...for a long time it seems.

I think it is back.

But for now I am going to go put the chicken divan in the oven. :)

It's snowing out and I put all the white Christmas lights on.

I know Christmas is over... I just think they are so pretty in the snow.

Besides...I march to a different drummer anyway...and leave the lights up through February and on dreary or snowy days turn them on.

Last night I was enjoying the Christmas lights people were still turning on.

People after my own heart. :)

Let your lights shine.

Vive la résistance! ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Last Conversation (Pt I)

I woke up this afternoon, New Year's Day, walked out to the kitchen at which point my husband ...with newspaper in hand hollered out to me from the family room, "I think one of your doctors died." I froze on the spot at the opposite end of the kitchen... scrambling for words... as faces ran through my mind.

I managed to blurt out, "WHO?" and impatiently waited for him to answer as he looked back down at the paper. I don't know why but remained frozen in place on the tile. He was still looking at it and said, "I think you just saw him." Walking down to the other end of the kitchen, I again froze and more insistently blurted out "WHO???!!!" And he finally said the name and I have been upset ever since he told me. I darted over to read the obituary and another article that was so sweet about him.

His family, friends and colleagues, the hospital, his patients and the community have lost a fine man and doctor who seemed to have dedicated his life toward helping others. His wife was quoted in the article saying that she felt sorry for his patients. She and her family must be hurting so much and yet... she is thinking of his patients. And they will feel lost and devastated. I am taking it hard and I have only known him since 2003...I think. I was just beginning to bond to him too. I had confidence in him as a diagnostician, but I don't want to go in the medical direction right now and will save that for the 2nd part of this post.

But his patients that have had him for 30 or less years...the long term ones...I feel for them too. I am upset for him and his family, staff friends and colleagues. What a SHOCK!

Speaking as a patient... to compare... my urologist knows me inside out regarding urologic issues and you all know it has been for 3 years now...intermittently. But he has done so much work, I have been through a lot...he has been on the front lines interacting with me, being professional and compassionate and knows how I work... physically and emotionally. He knows.

I think the depth of knowledge a doctor gains from having worked with/known a chronically ill or long term patient is invaluable toward enhancing the quality of treatment... perhaps fine tuning the treatment that a new physician might miss. And they get to know the personality quirks and also that they can rely on the patient's evaluation of what is going on... in other words..they won't just blow the patient off but really listen to them.

I thought I was going to sink through the floor waiting for my husband to say the name. I am deeply saddened by the loss of this fine doctor but if it had been urodoc... well...I don't have the words to describe the grief and loss I would be feeling. My husband would have had to scrape me off the floor.

I am looking at this from a patient's perspective. is a much greater loss for those close to this doctor. But as a patient who has relied greatly on a physician to look out for her and trusts that she has always been getting the best possible care with a difficult case.... and has felt safer as a result of the quality care received... I truly feel for all his patients that have come to rely on his expertise as a physician, compassion and encouragement... and have developed a close patient-doctor bond.

I am so sorry for everyone... including myself. I just saw him last Tuesday... on December 22nd.

I had meant to ask him something that has been concerning me and I think is important and I valued his opinion.

He seemed quite knowledgeable and I had heard he was extremely intelligent and top in his class. I think he was an excellent diagnostician... but more about that in next post.

I just feel so bad about this.

So, when I went in for my last appointment, I finally brought his office a box of cookies and a Christmas card. For 3 years I had been meaning to write him a nice thank you note. I finally did!

I wish I had taken time to do it right and type one out. I actually hand wrote a thank you to him on the top part of the Christmas card while sitting on the exam table waiting for him to come in. I do NOT have good penmanship under the best of circumstances.

I began with that this was a long overdue thank you and how I appreciated his wonderful care. I went on to list the things he diagnosed that other physicians had missed. I said I believed he was an excellent diagnostician. And I told him that he was the only doctor that ever tells me to lose weight and that maybe the other doctors assume I know this and I do... but that I appreciated his verbalizing it and I am not exactly sure what else I said... but I know I thanked him again.

It's a good thing I can write small because I did fit a lot on that card.

I handed it to him when he walked in and told him to be sure to read it because it contained a long overdue thank you and I reminded him when he left.

After the exam... we went out to the reception desk. he filled out some things and then as he turned... I said... "Merry Christmas Dr J!"

At hearing that... he beamed a smile as wide across his face as a child seeing the presents under the tree on Christmas morning... and gleefully exclaimed..." Merry Christmas to you too. We're gonna have a WHITE Christmas! :)"

That was the last conversation.

I was supposed to see him in 3 weeks.

I feel for his staff... that I imagine will have to go in and notify patients. I assume they give referrals or make arrangements for patients to pick up their records. ???

I left the office with Christmas decorations out, Christmas cards hanging up and an office filled with Christmas cheer.

The staff must be heartbroken....

and I am so sorry... so very...very sorry.

Thank you for taking good care of me... for being assertive with me. I know I wasn't the most compliant patient... but I really was planning to be... starting this year...with my next appointment.

Thank you Dr J.