Monday, April 5, 2010

Collection of Posts For Easy Reading

Here is a collection of five of my favorite posts (these things really happened :) - 4 funny (So I've been told :), 1 sweet. My usual readers have probably read them before ..but check just in case you haven't. If your in the mood for a laugh, get something to drink , kick back and get comfortable. If you're a new reader ..I hope you enjoy them. :)

Sutured on Sunday

Years ago, I was working on an Easter sunday morning in emergency registration. I was wearing a silky 2 piece dress that kept opening in the front, revealing my lacy slip. So, for a couple of hours I performed my tasks, clutching the front of my dress so it wouldn't fall open. (It was going to be a looong day.) Finally, in exasperation, I went back into the ED (still clutching the front of my dress) to see if anyone had a safety pin. They didn't.

For some, thoughts of an emergency department conjures up images of drama of some sort, accompanied by pain, suffering, illness and long waits. This particular morning was obviously getting off to a slow start as the ED Doc cheerfully volunteered to suture the dress (the part that covers my chest) closed for me while I was still in it. In desperation - I agreed. So, there we were, standing in the cardiac room with him skillfully (Thankfully - given WHERE he was suturing!) suturing my dress closed while we were surrounded by our co-workers amidst their delightful comments - use your imagination!

Obviously all the Doc's schooling paid off as he was able to save the day for this damsel in distress! ;)

Later that day, someone else told me it was o.k. that my dress was falling open as that was the style and it was supposed to show the lace. Sigh! :)

Mommy, when you wear makeup...

Mommy, when you wear makeup - you look like a bouquet of flowers. (Christopher - 4yrs old)

One afternoon when I was getting ready for work up at the hospital, our then 4 year old son, Chris walked into the bathroom. He wanted to be with me because he knew that I would be leaving soon, so he sat down and talked with me while watching me apply my makeup. (I can still see him there, so cute looking up at me with his big warm brown eyes.) I remember smiling at something he said and turned to look at him.

He then ever so sweetly said "Mommy, when you wear makeup - you look like a bouquet of flowers." I stopped what I was doing and went right over to him and gave him a big hug and told him that was such a NICE thing to say and that I loved him so much. He was smiling so broadly after that and I could see that he felt good about what he had said to me. It was a special moment in time - the kind of moment that touches us to our very soul, leaving an eternal impression within our hearts - the kind of moments that really matter.

Our precious son truly amazed me and warmed my heart that day. :)

Ever Ask An Embarrassing Question?

Have you ever asked someone an embarrassing question? The kind of question that you know you are embarrassed to ask and possibly embarrassing to them too, but you really WANT the answer? Although really, physicians have probably heard and seen it all.'s different when it is you doing the asking.

I have wanted the answer to this question since the summer of 2006. Actually, I have had the question since the days that the Phil Donahue show was on but I basically blew it off and forgot about it and that is when I first heard about it-in the 1980's.

So, I have googled it but nothing is conclusive. I asked a couple of girlfriends. One said she didn't know. The other one said yes. After doing some personal research- I still don't know. I think it is "possible" but so many variables.

The medical conversation kind of provided an opening and so I decided to take the plunge. I guarantee you I am not someone who has a difficult time communicating but it probably took me a good minute or more to work up to the question after I announced to him that I wanted to ask this question. He was patient and I can only imagine what must have been going through his mind as I was saying everything but the question while trying to work the courage up to ask.

He contained himself and remained professional and I am thinking that in all his years of training and practice, no one has ever asked him that. It's possible- but I doubt it. (honestly-it would be a funny blog story from a physician or as dinner party conversation (definitely would evoke chuckles and comments) so long as pt was anonymous. The humor of this doesn't get past me!

That being said-I was really serious. I really wanted/want to know. He didn't know the answer and he said it wasn't mentioned in the medical literature pertaining to his field. I had reasons to think there was a possible connection.

So, this inquiring mind still wants to know, but I am thinking that his "I don't know" probably is the answer....that there is no definitive answer. Besides if true- I would think it would be obvious and common knowledge wouldn't it?

Well...for sure- since I have asked this question, I can honestly say there isn't a question that I will ever be too shy about asking. Liberating in a way! :) I then asked a couple more and I have 1 more to ask and possibly revisit question 2 and 3 I asked today. It is important to me and oddly it ties in to something else that I am considering, although even if it didn't ..I still want to know.

Really...I don't know how doctors keep straight faces sometimes. :) What is their secret? is there a "No Laughing" 101 course in med school? And if there were such a class...what would they have to do to pass? Would they be faced with a daily barrage of the most outlandish and hilarious scenarios and then penalized for laughing? What about a smirk when looking off to the side? Although, I suppose if you even run the risk of losing it all together. I know...Seaspray's imagination gone wild again. ;)

Actually, I do have a funny story about a PCP I used to see who was dying to crack up at something I stated (as relayed to me by someone else) and then questioned. I swear he was turning magenta and looked like he was going to explode while still trying to answer the question. would have relieved the tension in the room if he just would've given in to his heaving shoulders, magenta face oh and dancing eyes. Well, I'll save this story for another time. :)

* I liked this pcp but when he and his partner split I went with the partner because he (my current pcp) liked to talk during the appointments and I like the extended visits and not being rushed. Conversely, this pcp who I am talking about in this post was more of a wham bam -thank you mam type. Real nice but in and out and rushed.

Btw - this statement and question had NOTHING to do with the question I asked my Doc today- 2 totally different topics.

The cartoon above has nothing to do with the post other than I am discussing automated phone systems. Just amused by the cartoon. :)

The inspiration for this post came from Dr Keagirl over at her Urostream blog which has a new post up about her frustration as a physician in dealing with automated phone systems.

(Chuckling now) Once, I accidentally ordered life insurance while trying to respond to something from J C Penny when trying to discuss something on my credit card. One of my sons interrupted me when I was listening to the number sequence and so I hurriedly pressed a number thinking that was the correct one. Then when I got my credit card bill in the mail I was puzzled as to why I was now being charged for life insurance. Then it took a while to get removed, but I don't remember why.

The most awful one is my current credit card. You would think that when you call the customer service# on the back of the card that it would be user friendly. You know...customer s-e-r-v-i-c-e. But ohhhh n-o-o-o. Suffice it to know that any internal bliss I may have been feeling pre-customer service call was shattered in short order.

I needed, wanted and desired to speak with a customer service rep...a living, breathing thinking live human being. It was important! There were 5 numbers to press and I did keep trying to press 0, but to no avail. Finally, I gave up and pressed one that I remotely thought might give me a live person. FIVE more options but nothing that offered a customer service rep. I also had continued pressing 0. I then pressed another option which brought me back to the first menu. I am muttering out loud now and really hitting the zeros hard. I kept looking at the customer service number on my card as though it were going to reveal some secret code to get through. Silly girl! I press another number which I KNOW isn't what I want and it brings me to yet ANOTHER menu??? HOW MANY FREAKIN OPTIONS DO THEY HAVE????? Still HITTING ZEROS but to no avail. Practically apoplectic now... I go back to the main menu again. I honestly don't know HOW or Why but THIS TIME somewhere in the first menu- hitting A ZERO ACTUALLY WORKED.

The customer service rep comes on. I admit that at that point I was testy and I vented! (I am someone who is nice to telemarketers on the phone and Jehovah's witnesses when they come to the door, so for me to vent like this I was ticked!) She was polite and calmly stated that I could access them on line. Hahahahahahahaha! I didn't laugh, but I was beginning to feel like what Richard Dreyfus must have felt like in his role of the crazed Psychiatrist in "What About Bob?" Did I not just tell her that I was extremely frustrated because I had such a difficult time getting a customer service rep??? I make 3 payments a month on line to my credit card. I K-N-O-W I can access them on line!!! I can't talk to them on line!!!!

I don't get it though. Why don't they automatically give that option? I feel like canceling the card just on principal! And they DO have a number for that! :)

In keeping with the topic of this post, the following is an old joke that had been passed around the hospital years ago:

Welcome to the psychiatric hot line.

If you are obsessive compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

If you are codependent, ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are paranoid we know who you are and what you want. Please stay on the line so we can trace the call.

If you are schizophrenic listen to the little voice inside you to tell you which button to press.

If you are manic depressive it doesn't matter which button you press because none of them will work anyway.

It WAS a Bizarro Afternoon!

First of all, as you know, I saw my doc 2 days in a row. 1st day a little weird (my doing)because I asked the infamous question...well it would be if you knew. Admittedly, I am STILL thinking about it! OK, I am dying to ask it! Put it out for a poll or something. Yeah...THAT would be interesting! What to do? (she taps her fingers on her chin in perplexity) What to do? I want could work, but then the weirdos might come out to play. OK...NO!

See...I want the science behind it if there is any and if the doc didn't know given his field and years of experience...then while a nice thought...probably ain't so. Truthfully...I don't know if I am disappointed or relieved. Well...I guess I would be really happy if.........and.......! Hmmm...

2nd day-bajingo on display! After the bajingo appointment, I decided to go to the town Burger King because I hadn't eaten all day and it was now around 4:00pm.

When I am out, I don't like to eat things that mess up my lipstick. Which btw is ridiculous because I am always bad about applying lipstick when driving.
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So, I ordered onion rings and chicken tenders. I didn't need both. I also got that spicy"ZESTY" sauce (love hot/spicy) that goes with the onion rings. Now you know how little the sauce containers are, right? Well...I didn't know they could be pressurized. It had this little "bulge" at the top. I decided to open it before going out on the main road (yes..I know...eating and driving) and it was a good thing I did because it EXPLODED ALL OVER ME! I kid you not! It was like the gift that kept on giving... like it was bottomless!

The worst part was on my stomach and chest and I -really-liked-that-pink-sweater! :0 The sauce also sprayed my entire face that wasn't covered by the sunglasses, the sunglasses, my hair down on the sides and my upper side bangs and it was all over my fingers which were now transferring the sauce to my pocketbook as I was scrambling for something to wipe my sunglasses with. I had nothing but tissues and yet I didn't want to wipe my prescription sunglasses with a hard paper product. I have a sense of humor but I was NOT laughing!

Did I mention that because it was rush hour that the Burger King drive through was packed? Oh and I am also blocking the other people who want to leave AND holding up the line...but I had to clean my glasses, so I did the only thing I could think of. N-o-o-o...I didn't lick them (although in retrospect...that may have worked better) I used the lower part of my sweater that didn't have sauce on it. But I was afraid to press too hard because I wasn't sure if something in that fabric could scratch them. Now the person behind me is beeping and I so I decide to pull out onto the main road.

But I hadn't cleaned anything off yet and my windows were open and so my hair with the sauce still in it is flapping against my face and sunglasses. My sunglasses were still a little smeary because I didn't want to wipe them hard and now they're getting spotty with sauce. I try to hold my hair down by the window and I hadn't wiped off my fingers yet. So, not only was the sauce transferring back and forth between my hair, fingers face and sunglasses but the steering wheel is also getting saucy.

I am driving in a lot of traffic and I can't do a frickin thing! I don't know if the other drivers could actually see the sauce in my hair or on my body, but they sure as heck could see it on my pink sweater! I couldn't put the windows up because it was hot and muggy out and my a/c went on the fritz. So, it is a fact that I am always miserable in humidity-even makes this easy going girl grouchy! Suffice it to know that I was beyond grouchy at this point!

Not only am I frickin covered in this frickin sauce, but I am also frickin wreaking of it AND I am frickin sweating......with my frickin hair -frickin blowing all over my frickin face and frickin sunglasses! Got the picture? I was FRICKIN IRRITATED!

While this was all going on I also decided to go home on a different route this time because the day before- after I left his office, I had taken my usual route which seemed to be bogged down in traffic. It was clear sailing for a minute and then there I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic..only worse then what I had encountered the other way the day before. And now I have to PEE! (I make pretty whizzie winkles if I am happy but I have to PEE if I'm PI**ED!) Just great! "What else could p-o-s-s-i-b-l-y HAPPEN???", I hissed out loud.

But there was an upside to this traffic...I could now clean the sticky, oily, smeared and drying sauce! I did my best. They only gave me TWO napkins! Usually, they give you a wad of them! My tissues were old and crumbly. Anyway, they were good enough. However, there was still a sheen on the steering wheel and I just drove with my glasses the way they were because I was afraid they would smear worse then they already were.

The traffic was moving at a snails pace and I was kicking myself that I didn't go home the usual way. And I had to PEE! (btw-it's moments like these that I get penis envy-I'd have an emergency bottle in the car!) WHERE is a foley cath when you need one???

Hey-I forgot about the food! Of course it was COLD and there was no sauce for the onion rings. I was full after the 1st few onion rings but I ate them all anyway. Then I ate all the cold chicken tenders. YUK!

I don't even like fast food anymore. I used to eat it all the time when driving on my Lifeline job because it was fast and easy. But I have gotten away from it these last couple of years. I can taste the hideous oils they use which are carcinogenic btw and the food is way too salty.

I regretted that I ever went to Burger King. I regretted that I took this way home. I regretted that I ate the food even though I wasn't really that hungry anymore and I didn't like it. I regretted that I now had this awful taste in my mouth AND now...I was thirsty. I was concerned that I had to PEE. Yet...I looked over at my big beautiful (it was to me at that moment) water bottle....longingly... I looked at it. Do I dare???

Then I was almost at my turn off- a back road I take that really saves some time and gets me to another road that I can usually travel across quickly. :)

WHAT??? The highway is now DETOURED??? All-this- rush-hour-traffic-is-being- DETOURED onto this LITTLE country side road??? You're FRICKIN KIDDING ME???

OMG!!! I-just-wanted-to-get-home! I-have- to- PEE! And I am THIRSTY! I was miserable!

And then something happened.
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I usually fly low over this little road. It is a scenic road but I never pay attention to it. Now, because we were crawling on it (actually might have been faster if we got out and crawled on our knees at a steady pace) I was seeing some things for the 1st time.
***Not my pictures but this is what it looks like in our part of NJ except I am guessing we are at least an hour north of this place and our mountains are larger.
New Jersey's Finest Hand Sheared Christmas Trees
Welcome to the Holly Bough Tree Farm in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

Like I never knew there was a Christmas tree farm there. They also were selling gourds and pumpkins. If I wasn't wreaking of and covered in sauce and if I didn't have to PEE, I would have stopped in to look around. (Hmmm..mental note made - I'm going back there.) Even though it was God awful hot...I could smell autumn in the air and hear the rustle of the cornstalks and drying leaves. For the 1st time I noticed I had music on and I liked the song. And it seemed there was a run of great songs playing that I was thoroughly enjoying as I was taking in this beautiful autumn countryside experience. My mood totally changed and I was feeling light hearted except for the fact that I was even thirstier and REALLY HAD TO PEE. What would normally take me 3 minutes to travel on this road now took a half hour before I got on the next main road!

I couldn't stand it - I took a swig and then another and another and OH BOY did that water taste good! :) Aside for the fact that my bladder was now hurting because I had to go so bad, the rest of the ride was uneventful -Thank God!

I walked into the house kind of funny so I didn't wet my pants. (Let me just say that it isn't easy to walk with your legs closed.) I walk in to the family room, kind of peek around the door and said, "Hi -how was your day?" to my husband who was sitting at the other end of the room. He couldn't really see me because of the door. As I exited left into the kitchen (hard to go up a step with your legs closed) and did this sort of penguin walk he said back to me, "How was your day?"(Heh heh! Bajingo on display, exploding sauce and hideous traffic while trying not to wet my pants was all flashing through my mind) As pleasantly as I could muster up I said, "Oh fine...just fine", I hollered back out through the other rooms as I J-U-S-T barely make it into the bathroom! And I DO MEAN BARELY!

**Please know that I do know there are worse things in life and I don't for a second want you to think that I think that these little events were catastrophic or something. They were what they were. A kidney stone can cause someone hideous pain, but if you have a tiny hangnail, that tiny hangnail still hurts you.

***The reason the traffic was backed up is because they blocked off the roads because they had emergency crews and volunteers looking for an autistic girl who went missing. Thankfully, she ended up being alright.

I have a lot of blessings to be grateful for. :)

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