Thursday, March 5, 2009

Twitter Virginity Lost!



I lost my Twitter Virginity yesterday!

Oh sure..I joined last summer... but really..I only got to first base..maybe rounding to second. nah..stuck on 1st. I was too shy. Seriously...a shy SeaSpray. It happens sometimes. :)

But then Dr. Ramona Bates (Suture For a Living blog) linked her post she wrote for ExmaxHealth, "Are Patients in U.S. Over- Exposed?", to Twitter... and like a moth to flame... I was drawn in to read it... which is probably not the best thing for me to do.

I did take some comfort from these words, "7 percent of patients will have enough radiation exposure from CT scans during their lifetime to slightly raise their risk". Emphasis is mine. I liked the word slightly in reference to this topic.

It also helped me when Scalpel ... a while back stated in his comments (somewhere) that the long term studies regarding over-exposure to radiation weren't in yet.

And so like the "Slowly I Turn...Step...by ...Step" routine in the old Lucy episode... I reacted when I saw the words "Over- Exposure" and "Radiation" because of my own medical history. Suffice it to know..that if my radiation history were on a resume... it would be one impressive resume. And if I were a firefly... well this Jersey girl could light up the east coast. Okay..I am exaggerating a bit.. but I feel that way.

I have been blessed with very good health until around the time the urology issues began. (DARN kidney stone!)

But still... because of various circumstances... Dental, MVC's (2), infertility work-ups, pregnancy, routine work check-ups, rule out tests... I have had plenty of radiologic testing... even prior to the urological reasons. When I was a teenager..my dentist didn't use the led shield and that was in the early 70s when I started with him. And then even when working at the hospital... I got caught behind the curtain a couple of times when the tech shot a portable x-ray on a patient.

And of course ..environmental... sun, radon, EMF waves... and perhaps there is something I am not thinking of.

As a lay person...I just don't know how to take this..these medblog posts about the controversy/concerns about overexposure to radiation and *possible* future consequences. And so sometimes when I read them... they momentarily take my breath away. That would be the moment the fear shoots through me like an arrow piercing through to the other side and out again. I don't hold onto it. It is more akin to an attack that I refuse to let conquer me. It's a split second thing.

But I want them to all go away.

I don't want anymore attacks on my body.

Not emotionally.

Not physically.

Who among us does?

I also appreciate another blogger who a while back pointed out to me that years ago, people would have died without the tests/procedures they have today and that unfortunately... the tests that are needed to help me...could *possibly* cause harm. They followed with the advice to basically..just enjoy life. They were right. I know I would not be alive today if it were not for modern medicine.

So this shy twittering girl responded to Dr Bates' post... by writing a virtual POST about the topic on twitter!

Wild horses couldn't have stopped me at that moment. I had to vent! Hence... I lost my Twittering Virginity. For better or worse... I have now officially crossed over.. or out into the Twitterverse. I am one- of- them. I've joined the cult. :)

I didn't expect anyone to twitter back, but I appreciated their responses. I can see where it is fun and even addicting. Good thing I don't have a blackberry! :)

It is a waste of energy and counterproductive to allow worry to compromise the good quality of life you are living at the moment. None of us have any guarantees about life. All we can do is our best each day and make the most of it... enjoy what we have now.

And last but not least..and I believe most important... is faith. Faith that all things will work out and trust that God is in control. I do believe that... but..I just take the control back every so often. :) I prefer it though...when I surrender and know that all is well..better than I could make it... because he knows what's best... and where I need to be in the future.

So..in the end..I am grateful for my doctors and the tests/procedures that have facilitated healing in me. It was what it was. It is what it is. And I am glad I know to be discerning about future tests...while all the while knowing... I also may still need them.

I do think it is important for patients to be proactive with their health care and for good, open communication between physicians and patients. I am fortunate that I have 2 very special doctors who are good listeners, answer questions, know me well and I know take good care of me as a patient. I am grateful for that.

I think it is important for physicians to discuss the risks of certain tests. And I can see where a universal EMR system would be beneficial to alert physicians to prior testing while patient was being see elsewhere, as it may alter their decisions on how they will proceed with future testing and treatments.

And sometimes... you just have to do what you have to do... even if it's not the best solution... the alternative would be worse.

I have a question that I have been pondering.

Hypothetically speaking... if a patient has been "Over-exposed" to radiation...what can they do to protect themselves from the "slightly" *possible* negative consequences?

I briefly discussed this with one of my docs. I said all I know to do is to take better care of myself. Get good sleep (I am so bad with this), eat well.. feed my body with GOOD nutrition, vitamins, exercise, lose weight and basically do what I can to nurture/nourish my body.

He agreed with me. He also recommended a book. I ordered it and look forward to reading it.

I believe faith and hope are important to one's well being too.

And then finally... ! :)

2 comments:

Chrysalis Angel said...

I can understand how you feel Seaspray. With all the tests I've had and the local radiation I went through, I'm left with some scarring in my lungs. We don't know about my heart.

I know some of the chemo drugs I was on can cause other cancers as well, like Leukemia.

You just have to keep things in perspective. All we can do is the best we know how to do at the time. You weigh your options and make a decision.

You can drive yourself crazy left up there in your head alone. Don't dwell on those things you can't control. Just like you said, "just enjoy life."

SeaSpray said...

Hi Angel-I was thinking all about this and then I decided that if I or anyone really thinks about these things... we could all make ourselves worry about our future and that of everyone we know. And to live like that robs us of the peace and joy we can have in the present.

My mother getting so ill like this, even though I know she is 85 1/2, causes me to realize how short life is. I mean I kind of knew it.. but it really opened my eyes.

While the blog posts scared me..I am glad I read them because at least now..in the future..I know to speak up if necessary. And as I said..my 1 doc has an alternate plan if necessary.

You know... we can all waste time on the thing that scares us and it might and probably won't ever happen and yet something else could take us by surprise.

Jesus was wise when he told us not to worry because it can't change anything and then he reassured us by telling us that God even knows the number of hairs on our head and if a small sparrow falls to the ground, etc., ..letting us know that God is aware of all.

I heard Pastor Charles Stanley say once that nothing happens to a Christian that isn't 1st sifted through by God. J's case was going on then and I took comfort in hearing that..in other words..there is a reason and no matter what it looks like..God is in control.

I do know better and every now and then I take it back.

I am sorry you have gone through all that Angel.

Thank you for your thoughtful words. :)