Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Faith,vs Reason, EMR's in a Newly Discovered Med Blog

I'm providing a link to another fabulous medical blog I discovered, "MD Whistleblower", authored by gastroenteroligist and writer, Michael Kirsch MD. I wish my time wasn't limited today because I wanted to keep reading more posts and comments. I find that not only do I learn by reading medblog posts, but also from the comments. I highly recommend this blog and give it a
5 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_C2ioePV9tsA/Ry4hXQ2S5kI/AAAAAAAAAHo/VtXR5eGcDzQ/s200/starfish.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/_C2ioePV9tsA/Ry4hXQ2S5kI/AAAAAAAAAHo/VtXR5eGcDzQ/s200/starfish.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/_C2ioePV9tsA/Ry4hXQ2S5kI/AAAAAAAAAHo/VtXR5eGcDzQ/s200/starfish.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/_C2ioePV9tsA/Ry4hXQ2S5kI/AAAAAAAAAHo/VtXR5eGcDzQ/s200/starfish.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/_C2ioePV9tsA/Ry4hXQ2S5kI/AAAAAAAAAHo/VtXR5eGcDzQ/s200/starfish.jpg (starfish) SeaSpray rating. :) Check it out when you have a chance.!

I was immediately drawn to a recent post called "The Healing Power of Prayer: Faith vs Reason?" because ..well you (my readers who follow me) know how much I have resisted getting the ureteral reconstruction surgery and while certainly remaining under my urologist's care ...have simultaneously been hoping for a healing miracle. You also know that it now appears my options have been exhausted and now it's not a matter of if I have the surgery, but rather when I have the surgery.

Still ...hope springs eternal...

And if I don't get that 11th hr and 59 second rescue then all this energy I have spent on avoiding the surgery, will go into believing for a successful surgery ..without complications and a quick recovery process ..with a excellent and permanent healing.

Either way ..my head needs to be in the right place ...a positive place and focusing on my faith and the promises of God in the scriptures. My heart knows what to do and believes all things are possible and my head (my knowledge of the situation) fights my faith..opening the door for discouragement when I allow it. Fear and discouragement also have a way of blindsiding me when I'm not expecting it ..usually when all is quiet in early morning or late night.

I loved this "The Healing Power of Prayer: Faith vs Reason?" post! It really spoke to me because this is EXACTLY where my heart has been. I UNDERSTAND why the patient went this route ...I 100% understand. And now I will share a few excerpts with you:

"A patient I saw some months ago in the hospital illustrated another conflict that we physicians face, from time to time. Although the case was a typical case of internal bleeding, it could be classified as a Case of Faith vs Reason. Here’s a brief synopsis of the case."

"Most physicians at this point would advise the patient to consider surgery, to remove the section of the large intestine that is continuing to bleed. I requested that surgeon evaluate the patient and anticipated that he would perform surgery on that very day. My assumption was incorrect. The surgeon, a careful and compassionate physician, agreed that surgery was indicated, but no operation would take place. The patient preferred a different therapeutic plan, which I will paraphrase here.
“I think I’m just going to pray. If I’m still bleeding after the weekend, then we can talk again.”

"I would have opted for the surgery for myself, and would have enthusiastically supported his decision to undergo it. But, I wasn’t the referee in this contest, he was. He listened carefully to the medical professionals, and then viewed this information through the prism of his own life experiences and beliefs. I’m sure there was a contest occurring in his own mind, but he was able resolve it calmly and confidently. He didn’t say that he wouldn’t have surgery, only that he wanted to try something else first."

And here is a partial comment to the post from the The Medical Contrarian:"I lesson from the good Dr. Kirsch is a valuable one. Yes the patient should have the final word. What decisions may on the surface appear to be irrational may in fact be no more irrational than our recommendations. Trusting in a higher power, whether real or not, has its merits and may contain as much or more truth than what we base our experts opinions upon.

One final caveat. There are times where our medical recommendations are really based upon hard data. We need to know when these are and when the stakes warrant making a strong stand."

You can find out the rest of the story- about the patient, his medical case and the outcome of his decision to pray first vs immediate surgery. What an awesome story!

Then you can also follow up on the rest of the partial comment to this post I added in here and read the rest of the fine comments. :)

And then on a lighter note, I just have to share this post: "Electronic Medical Records, Surgery or a Grand Canyon Hike - Which Hurts More?", also written by Dr Whistleblower; which caused me to bust out laughing as he describes the transition form paper to electronic medical records in his office. It's a serious post laced with some exquisite humor. ..and a MUST read. :)

Here is an excerpt:

"Since, I don’t want to communicate to my patients my frustration, annoyance and trepidation, I try to make the experience seem like it's all jolly-good fun. I maintain a fixed smile of delight that must make patients think I administer an hourly Botox injection. Looking deliriously happy when I want to smash my laptop to shards is hard for someone with no acting skill or talent. Therefore, I \prepared some cue cards to assist me. Here’s a sample.

  • Do Not Say: I hate this system and so will you.
  • Say: Isn’t this wonderful? I can now search my whole practice for all of my porphyria patients.
  • Do Not Say: Remember how you used to wait a half hour in the waiting room for your appointment? Those were the ‘good old days’.
  • Say: My partners can view your medical history even at 3:00 a.m. Try it out this weekend when I am not on-call.
  • Do Not Say: I wonder who can hack into these records?
  • Say: Of course, this will really improve your medical care. I already clicked that you are feeling better.
  • Do Not Say: I can check my email during office visits and patients think I’m looking at their EMR charts!"
Another excellent post! Informative ... humorous and another must read. :)







Monday, September 27, 2010

Not in My Bed!



That could've been ME this morning.

Thankfully a tarantula wasn't on my face.

Thankfully Harry wasn't in my bed.

If Harry was in my bed ...I'd have some splainin to do!

Furthermore ...if Harry was in my bed ...I'd be screaming just as if a tarantula was on my face.

And if Harry was in my bed ...not only would I be screaming as if a tarantula was on my face ...but I too would be looking for the crowbar. Or should I say "a" crowbar? Because "the" crowbar seems to indicate that we always have a crowbar by the bed. Now we have a lot of things I could tell you about that are near our bed... but "a" crowbar is not one of them.

But I could cream Harry with beauty cream jars, spritz him with perfume or use my hair scrunchies like a sling shot ... pelting him with tubes of lipstick. I could tie him up with stockings and bash him with books. I could ...wait ..this post isn't about Harry in my bed.

And it's not about a tarantula.

It's about my new found, hopefully short lived arch nemesis.

Ugh!

As I was about to make the bed (I had just gotten out of it a minute before) and so flipped the sheet back and to my horror there was this big, hairyish muscular spider ...right there ..right in the middle of the bed ...which meant it was in bed ..under the sheets with me and near or on my skin while I was sleeping. SHUDDER! Ugh!

So I froze.

The spider froze.

I stared.

It stared.

In my frozen, staring state ..I was also calculating my options.

I am sure the spider was doing the same.

So ...I decided to fake him or her out by remaining in my frozen ..staring state, while simultaneously ... slowly reaching off to the side behind me for tissues ..a wad of them ... pulling out one out after the other and then ever so slowly ... allow my tissue stuffed hand to descend over the spider ..stopping at about 6 inches away.

I had to pause to gather the necessary courage for going in ...knowing that the timing, accuracy and strength of impact of the sudden strike is key. Inhale... "Got em! Oh no! He's getting away! ha! I Got him!" I then squeezed the tissue to be sure and when I opened it, he popped out ...slightly bent in what I assume was defense mode ...AND ...he shot down away from my raised right hand on an instantly spun web (like Spiderman from building to building), in one swift descent ..landed *IN* the open palm of my left hand ...at which point I SCREAMED and flicked it off of me. SHUDDER!

And now ....I have no idea where that darn spider is.

Did it really liked being under the warm sheets?

Will it crawl across our (Not Harry - but Mr SeaSpray) faces or other body parts ...just randomly walk around ...doing whatever it is that spiders do in the middle of the night?

And do spiders have memories?

Just wondering.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

HELP PLEASE!

I just went into my junk mail and saw the following notice and I am wondering if it is some kind of scam or legit. They provided a link to click on to deny or authorize, but I am afraid to do that in case clicking ob it actually authorizes this charge, sets me up for a virus, etc.

Does anyone know anything about paypal and if they contact you this way. Wouldn't they use my name to address me?

Furthermore, I thought they canceled me for inactivity ...which was wrong because I do have a 3.00 charge going through them monthly, but never bothered with it because no problems on my end.

I am not sure how accessible paypal staff is and will look for that.

Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

SeaSpray

PayPal letter follows:


Dear PayPal Member,
We recorded a payment request from "Skype -www.skype.com- Online Number"
to enable the charge of $60.00 on your account.
Because the order was made from an Indian internet address, we put an Exception Payment on
Transaction ID: #4KVB4181P7481062P motivated by our Geographical Tracking System.
THE PAYMENT IS PENDING FOR THE MOMENT.
If you made this transaction or if you just authorize this payment, please ignore or remove this email
message. The transaction will be shown on your monthly statement as "Skype - Online Number".
If you didn't make this payment and would like to decline the $60.00 billing to your card, please follow
the link below to cancel the payment :

I am omitting the link in here

NOTE: Because email is not a secure form of communication, please do not reply to this email.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Merry-Go-Round in the Medical Office

http://www.mightybluegrassshows.com/midway/carousel/carousel_night.jpg

Okay, I just have to share this exquisitely funny post written by TBTM (Margaret Polaneczky, MD), from "The Blog That Ate Manhattan", in which she shares about a conversation she had with one of her patients. Her blog is a "Gyno-Food blog" and so much more. I give her fabulous blog a 5 Starfish SeaSpray rating. :)

I admit that after reading her humorous post, I wondered just what material I have given my own docs for amusing conversations. ? I have written about some in this blog. :) I don't care if my docs share stories or posts about me, providing I couldn't be identified. I'm all for promoting laughter ..even at my own expense. My regular readers know that I am the first one to call myself out on the things I do... funny - serious and everything in between. I do love funny medical stories though.

And on that note ..here is Dr Polaneczky's post:

"Ask a Simple Question

Me:
Are you sexually active?
Patient A: No.
Me: So, when was the last time you had sex?
Patient A: Last week.
Me: I’m sorry, I thought you said you weren’t sexually active. Should I have asked that differently?
Patient A: You should have just asked me if I have sex.

Me: Do you have sex?"

You can read the rest of this exquisitely funny post over at TBTAM:

Enjoy! ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blue Palms

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ykmurA9E-5o/R3p6bMvGFwI/AAAAAAAAAIs/SqxY_8nF0DM/s400/palms_blue_1600x1200.jpg

Last night ...just before bed ...as I was about to wash up for the night and much to my dismay I noticed that the palms of my hands were a bluish cast. I did a double take. SeaSpray Alarm-o-meter beginning to rev up ...I flipped both hands over to look at my nails. They seemed to be a normal hue.

I have 4 fairly bright lights over the bathroom mirror and so I do have good lighting in there. I looked at my palms again ...and they were frighteningly looking like I was losing circulation.

Alarm-o-meter needle rising now.

"Oh no! Maybe THIS time I really did it! Are they cyanotic?! (Remember people - I don't have a medical license) I should've gotten up to walk around. I sat at the computer too long. These jeans are too tight to sit in one position too long. I really should've gotten up to walk around!"

I have an awful habit of sitting ..with out moving much or getting up ..for long periods of time. I don't do it intentionally. I just get lost in thought ..either with writing or reading. Time flies by. And I had been writing a post for PMB and lost my writing mojo in the middle of it My brain went blank and so I do what I always do when that happens ..I perused the web. Hence at the computer too long verses getting up to do something else and moving around. I eventually pulled it together and posted.

Back to my palms.

They were seriously not a good color for the human body to have. Maybe for a smurf ...but not for a human and as much as I love blue ...it doesn't look good as a skin tone on me. This would've scared anyone. You had to see them I tell you.

"Maybe I should go take 4 baby aspirin? No pain and breathing normal."

Then I looked at my lips.

"Okay ..good color there. "

Back at my hands ...still not feeling good about the color, but decided to wash them. And what do you think happened?

The blue all washed off!

They pinked right up!

"What the heck?" she asked ...perplexed yet greatly relieved.

Blue jeans! It was from my jeans.

SeaSpray Alarm-o-meter back down to zero. :)

Evidently, as I was mulling over what to write ...I must've been rubbing my knees and thighs and the blue transferred onto my hands. I have that habit when I am siting for a long time. I think my body gets bored or restless and so I have these little behaviors where I am moving something on my upper body.

But these jeans have been washed and so I must've just been really deep in thought, oblivious to my actions.

Thankfully it was the dye and not die ...God forbid!

Can I use tired as my defense?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Iguana On My Head ..Fox Around Their Necks?

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/blogs/static/dowbrigade/iguanas.jpg

In the previous post I mentioned that we had 2 iguanas, T-rex and Godzilla. Actually they belonged to our older son when he was in middle school. As you can see in the photo above ...they were in constant need of being chaperoned. ;)

T-Rex was actually T-Rexella. ;) I'm kidding ..it was T-rex ...although I don't know what gender they were.

Anyway ..in previous post I mentioned that I liked to put them on my head and walk with them. We all put them on our head. Well ..not Mr SeaSpray.

I don't know exactly *why* we did. Maybe because we could? And it was funny how they would just stay there.

Evidently ..it seems to be a popular past time of iguana owners because as I was perusing the Internet, I came across several pictures of people with ...you guessed it .. an iguana on their head.

Well ... here is a SeaSpray proverb: A live iguana on your head is better than a dead fox around your neck. ;)

I tried to find a picture of a (hard to believe it was fashionable to wear), Fox shoulder wrap. I think it must've been back in the 30s or 40s not sure. I saw a picture with my grandmother wearing one. But ..it was the entire fox! I mean ..like the fluffy tail connecting closed to the mouth! Why ..in the world did they think sporting a dead animal ..that LOOKS like a DEAD animal around their neck was fashionable? I will try to find that picture sometime.

Photo credit

Dog/Pet Talk

http://www.aspca.org/news/images-misc-sizes/2006-adsm-03.jpg
Photo credit

Just a bit more about adopting a dog.

I am disappointed that we won't be getting the dog in previous post. It was like spotting the love of your life at first site. Of course if that were true and it was meant to be ...we'd be getting her. I have been looking on line and she was it.

I know you have to pay shelters a fee ...but I think 150.00 - 300.00 is way too much. I know they have to transport the animals from the south and then there is the food, shots, and neutering and spaying- if the puppy is old enough.

We would do all that.

And last night I looked again. I was looking for local shelters. It seems many of the animals are shipped up from the Carolina's. I'm not sure why that is. Especially since NJ is the most densely populated state. You'd think ..more pets ..more people.

And ..when I was trying to place one of my mother's cats back in November 2008 ...the shelters were all full and they all said the poor economy was having an impact and people were turning in there pets. Now the economy is worse. They were the lucky ones because people also just abandon them on the road. THAT is so very CRUEL! And dangerous for the pet or oncoming cars.

Oh and a while back there was an article about a local farm that ends up with a lot of abandoned pets. I guess people figure they have room for one more on the farm.

And what about the poor animals being ripped away from their families ..their people?

I know there are desperate situations ...but don't leave them without a way to be fed and safe.

There was this beautiful 8 yr old shepherd in one of the sites and her owner had to surrender her. Well behaved, walks well on a leash. I can imagine that was hard on both the dog and her people.

I love German Shepherds and we had to have ours ..Bob put down last January. I haven't blogged about it yet and may do a series on our dogs ..from the beginning to present. We have cats too.

And we had Iguanas (Godzilla & Rex), a Russian hamster, a white mouse (I did not like because it bit me), salamanders, chameleons (Hated feeding them those ugly beige crickets),beta fish and gold fish, and from outside, snakes, turtles, bird, and frogs. Oh and the ant farm. (What was I thinking with that one?)

I don't know why ..but I liked putting the iguanas on my head and then walking around or on the sliding door screen. I'm lucky they didn't christen me with some body function substance!

Anyway ...where are the people with puppies in a box outside a local store?

I was thinking of calling a local pound where I know the animals are euthanized. I know someone there. I was thinking I could let her know I am looking for a puppy or dog now.

Mr SeaSpray knows I really liked these two puppy sisters, but I don't think he realizes how intent I feel about this now. He misses Bob ..but also likes the freedom of not having a dog.

So ...it's another one of those things that I will give to God because he knows what's out there and a good match for our family and has perfect timing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

In a HEARTBEAT!

Oh ...How I WISH We Could Adopt This Dog!!!


Her name is Amber, but since she is only 8 or so weeks old ..I would change her name.

She is perfect! EXACTLY the dog for me. I know the guys would love her too. I showed my guys and I saw their eyes soften. My heart cries out for her ...but it is not meant to be or we'd be able to get her.

I have been looking at dogs on petfinder.com, type in my zip code and voila ..all these beautiful animals ..but these are the two I am drawn to ...like a magnet. Well first I saw her sister Gracie ..very similar in looks. She got adopted.

I e-mailed about this one yesterday and she is available. YAY! For 300.00! UGH! Forget that! Not possible at this time. 250.00 plus 50 for spaying.

We always spay or neuter our pets.

I think it would especially do me a world of good to be able to bond with a puppy or an adult dog in need of a home. I am home and have time to housebreak a puppy. I could cuddle her and have fun teaching her and playing with her. And puppies ..well their little round bellies and puppy breath .. ah...p-u-p-p-i-e-s. Just the thought of them gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. I want to feel warm and fuzzy and have another focus.

A puppy right now would truly be just the thing. :)

I know J would be resistant ..but I also know he misses Bob. And Chris who was wasn't ready for another dog right after Bob died seemed to like her. I saw their eyes soften and really look at her... like maybe they would be ready now too. Maybe.

I definitely am!

A dog is a welcome addition and completes a home in my opinion. They are wonderful companions. Four legged blessings filled with years of love and loyalty for their family. In our family ..our dogs are family to us. Just a little more hairy is all with the peculiar habit of walking on all fours. ;)

And when I am healing ..it would be great to have a sweet dog in the house. It is a known fact that pets help lower blood pressure and are good for mental health in people and aid in promoting healing because of the good vibes they evoke in people.

I will just have to trust that when the time is right ..someone will pop up in our everyday life ..knowing of an animal in need of a good home ...or a stray will come by.

I just really hope it is soon.

I really liked these dogs because they are retriever/shepherd mixes and I love those breeds. I want a female if possible because I feel they are more manageable... earlier than a male is and a bit smaller. None of our females ever pulled on a leash. As a matter of fact ..we didn't even need leashes ..even when walking the girls on the road.

I love all kinds of dogs. But something about this puppy and her sister just drew me right in. And I am all for adopting adult dogs too. We took in two adult dogs in the past. Mollie ..a Border Collie and Sprocket ..a short Springer Spaniel. And a couple of puppies along the way. :)

These puppies look like they will be a good size. Sprocket looked like a springer spaniel with short legs and that is as small as I would want to go. Mid size to moderately large or large is what I'd like to get.

And Bob ...he was like our shadow off leash ..but because he had a strong prey instinct and came from a lineage with high marking Schutzund training ..we could not chance that he would not go after another animal or possibly a person if he perceived a threat of any kind.

I would take her in a HEARTBEAT!



They look like little bears and I think will be fluffy or could have the course shepherd hair. (a lot of vacuuming again - both breeds shed relentlessly)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ican'thearyouitis -It's Contagious!

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I was standing at the sink getting dishes for the dishwasher when Mr SeaSpray walked in from work. I also had the TV on in the family room and music playing loudly from the living room... opposite ends of the house.

After a quick kiss on the lips and a sort of hug - me just leaning into him because of my wet hands and his grocery filled hands ...he put some things in the refrigerator and then walked into the family room to watch the evening news.

Since my hands were all wet and because I didn't want to have to stop and dry them (well you know ..that's extra work ;), I hollered over the music and TV while simultaneously firmly pointing into the family room ...like I discovered land or something: "Can you get my mug for me?"

"What? A HUG?", asked a perplexed looking Mr SeaSpray.

"No ..my MUG! Can you get my mug I left in there?"

"O-h-h-h ..I was WONDERING why you had to have a hug over there. ??"

We Laughed. :)

So it must've been the Ican'thearyouitis striking again.

Because it was my turn next.

By the end of the afternoon ...my bladder was feeling aching and irritated from the stent and so after kitchen was cleaned up and dinner on ...I decided it would be nice to blog a bit ..off my feet and coffee at my side. And so I did.

But then Mr SeaSpray was wondering about dinner and so I stopped and told him not much longer. But ..then a few minutes after that... he was wondering about the vegetables on the stove. Mr SeaSpray was hungry and he was holding off on a snack because dinner was coming out in 18 minutes. I thought he could see the timer. THEN ..while that set ..I would put the vegetables in the microwave.

Admittedly, I was frustrated because I couldn't hear what else he was saying and I had just wanted to sit down and relax until the timer went off. So ..I got up ...went into the kitchen and I was a little annoyed ...stating that the stent was bothering me today and (Did I say?) that I just wanted to rest a bit.

So as I walked past him and feeling frustrated, I said: "This stent is really BOTHERING my bladder today."

"Take it out."

Then my raised ... in rapid machine gun fire voice spewed out: "NO! I DON'T want this stent OUT! I DON'T want my ureter to CLOSE UP and I DON'T want the surgery NOW!"

"N-o-o-o ..I didn't say take your STENT out! I said when are you taking the DINNER o-u-t?"

I commented ..with a slight chuckle that I had just done the same thing he did earlier with misunderstanding what was said. I think it's funnier now, but was admittedly testy feeling by that point and so I didn't quite appreciate the humor in the moment.

Can I blame peri-menopausal hormones? Or the stent? My bladder? All of it? None of it?

I will apologize in the morning. Mr SeaSpray didn't deserve to have me snap at him like that. It really isn't my norm.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Urine Or Your Out!

http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/sra/lowres/sran236l.jpg

I would not want to do anything to make it difficult for people to receive benefits they are in need of in order to feed, clothe, heat and provide for themselves or their families. We are supposed to help the less fortunate in life. Hopefully ..the assistance programs would provide a step up in aiding people to better themselves so that they no longer need the programs. But there are certainly cases in which people do need the long term help and thank God for these programs. However ... we also know there are those that totally scam the system... and are not deserving of the assistance.

Unfortunately ... the negative ripple effect of a drug abusing person failing a urine test would then possibly prevent the innocent people (children or other dependents) from getting the assistance they need.

Everyone knows the system gets scammed and seems to perpetuate generationally in some families. It is a complicated problem. How DO you weed out those truly in need verses those that just want the free ride?

I received the following in an e-mail this morning. (The author (unknown) obviously frustrated ..has a point.) :

"To pee or not to pee, that is the question.

I have a job. I work; they pay me. I pay my taxes, and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit.

In order to get that paycheck, in my case, I am required to pass a random urine test (with which I have no problem). What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don’t have to pass a urine test.

So, here is my question:

Shouldn’t one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on his or her butt — doing drugs while I work.

Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? I guess we could call the program “Urine or You’re Out”!

Something has to change in this country — and soon.

P.S. Just a thought: All politicians should have to pass a urine test, too!"


Friday, September 10, 2010

Whizzie Winkles on Fire - SeaSpray's Heart Thoughts

http://www.mountainside-medical.com/product_images/l/154/urine_collection_specimen_cup__34251_thumb.jpg

I will N-E-V-E-R ...E-V-E-R do this AGAIN! NEVER!

And so what is the diagnosis for flaming whizzie winkles?

I'll give you a hint.

Whizzie Winkles is one of many euphemism used in the sitcom Scrubs.

Whizzie winkles = urine Hilarious!

Yep! This is gonna be another urology post. And to think I was gonna tell you about eating worms Saturday night. It'll keep.

And I know it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things to have to deal with this. But the post is actually about something even more important.

I am in whizzie winkle AGONY right now ..all because I did not do what I suspected I had to do last Sunday ...6 days ago. I knew better.

Here's the thing ..and I know it was dumb.

I have a small ureteral stent in me right now. Been there ..done that. I have experience with all sizes and have routines for how to tolerate them in my body. Always with Detrol LA. Always with pyridium and usually with a pain med ..to more or lesser degrees ..depending on the stent.

This stent ? This stent I should be breezing by with ..at least that is the impression I have from the docs. I had a small one once and they are definitely easier. And I had the mother of all ureteral stents during summer 2008.

Well suffice it to know that I have been in such agony this week ..even with all 3 meds in my body ..that it has trumped the *BIG* stent of 08!

It started last Sunday and every day worse than the day before. I've been waking up in pain. Pain all day. RELENTLESS bladder spasms that don't let up but exacerbate to a higher level periodically throughout day and night. One wave after the other. Affecting other close together areas of my body ..causing even more pain. Also ..low back pain, nausea and feeling pulling in low abdomen/pelvic area. And STILL I did not call. And the burning and frequent urination.

It has ruined my week. I have not been active at all. I did go to church Wednesday night and visit with friends after. The big ice cold beer friend's husband gave me actually helped a little. I've heard alcohol can be an irritant to the bladder ..but it helped or I would not have been able to stay without the meds in me that had lapsed.

I really have not wanted to be vertical on my feet all week ...and so had a wasted week of doing practically nothing. I should've called urodoc's office on Tuesday.

I figured I had a UTI (urinary tract infection). But I didn't call for two reasons. Flawed reasoning and I knew it. Fear ... can make a person do dumb things and I admittedly succumbed to it.

First ..I wanted to be sure. I did not want to go in ..waste their time and have it turn out to be nothing.

But the second reason ..is at the crux of my delaying. I did not want to do anything that could rock the boat and cause me to have to have the reconstructive ureteral surgery any earlier than I have to and even though some people think I am stalling ...and in my heart of hearts ..since I have to do it ..I do not want to do the surgery until January-February. I have my reasons and they are important to me. I just want to get to that point and then I will do what I have to do.

So ...I suffered ..wanting to be sure I had to call. But ..gee misery and pain 24/7 should've been the big tip off. And so finally ...I caved late yesterday afternoon and the office called for me to come in to see them today. I did not have the energy to do it and wished I could've just been beamed onto the exam table ..bypass driving, signing in, etc ..just beam me from being on the phone with the receptionist to the table and then beam me back home again. Unfortunately ...I had to do it the traditional way and go get the prescription too.

A big tip off to how bad I was feeling ... I did not want to talk with any staff. I LOVE the reception staff there and am always chatty. This was the first time ever I spoke with minimal words. That just does not happen with me when I am there. Ha! I talk and laugh with them coming in and going out. All I wanted to do was give my urine sample to the clinic staff.

matter of fact ...I was more chatty with the hospital staff in between vomiting at the hospital then I was in the office today.

So ..I've learned something new about how to determine a pain level or sickness in me. I have always said that if I don't put makeup on ..worry ..something is REALLY wrong. I remember Dr Sid Schwab, a blogging surgeon said that he used to look for the lipstick sign in his female patients. He knew they were feeling better when he saw they had put their lipstick on. That would be me. And I will still do it even when I feel bad.

But after today ..I realize ..if I stop talking and being friendly and isolate ... then I am hurting. Now I feel kind of bad ..but I am sure they understand.

However ..once on the clinic side ..I had a mini meltdown with the nurse and then the new urodoc I met for the first time. And it all poured out. Talk about first impressions. I said hi and was shaking his hand as the tears were streaming down my face. "Hi ..I am really an upbeat person.", I said ..wanting him to know that wasn't my norm. later after through most of it I said and maybe some of the tears are just my peri-menopausal hormones and he said they could be.

Yeah ..that's it ..I'll hide behind peri-menopuasal hormones ... and not the abject fear about the surgery. :)

So ...it turns out I do have a UTI. I was actually relieved to hear it. And so I really should've called them on Tuesday.

But then he had to do a PUP. Oh great! I hate PUPS! Oh the procedure really isn't called a PUP. I can never remember that it is a procedure for getting a urine culture... in which they siphon it directly from your bladder. So I always think of it as Pure Urine Procedure ...with the acronym for it being a PUP. :)

I missed not having my regular urodoc because he is used to me and my wimpette ways and so I had to explain some concerns to him. He was very patient and sweet. That helped.

So ..I hope that I don't have a worse infection and that the stent is not affected.

And I just want to say ..that anytime a person thinks they have something physically wrong ...they absolutely should not waste time and should schedule to see the appropriate medical professional. because if you delay ...a problem that would normally be simple to correct ...could exacerbate into something more troublesome and difficult to correct.

I actually wrestled with that during the week. But I let fear ... trump my common sense.

No matter what ...I will never do that again.

And even if it turned out to be nothing ..my urologist has always told me to call with any concerns. I know this. I didn't want to be a bother ...and I didn't want to possibly hear ..I have to do the surgery now... right now.

There was an incident in which my mother almost died because she refused to let me take her to the doctor and I listened to her against my better judgment. I will post about that sometime. But it would seem that the apple doesn't fall that far from the tree after all.

So ...don't do as I do ..but do as I say.

In the previous post ...I linked to a post over in the Positive Medical Blog in which I discuss my urologic history and my concerns. Yesterday ..Dr Deb commented in this blog, "My heart goes out to you for such a brave post" , in reference to that post.

I actually felt good when I read her words. She validated my feelings. Sometimes ..when I write ...because I discuss my uro experiences ...particularly now being open about my having been fearful of the impending urology surgery ...I worry that people think I am weak or shallow or oblivious to the more serious pain or medical issues that other people have and many are definitely more stoic than I am ...at this point. But I really am a strong person and have often been the go-to person for others. I want to be the model patient ...brave and stoic person.

I will be.

I never intend to come across as poor me. The woe is me type. *I really am upbeat!* But unfortunately ...this is my path in life right now ..my personal medical journey. I know it could be worse. I am grateful it is not. I initially began this blog while relatively new with the urology concerns. I have used writing and this blog as a tool for coping with my feelings about it all. Along the way ..I have made wonderful friends and gained new insights and reassurances because of them. I am grateful for this outlet in which to vent my feelings about it all. And sometimes ..my wacky Bajingoland posts or urine posts or whatever ...well they are just a way to channel my anxiety over all the exams, procedures, stents and whatever else comes up. If you don't laugh ..you cry. I am happiest writing from a humorous perspective.

Laughter is healing.

I really believed I was healed. I wanted so much to be ..you know. And now ..I have to plan for the inevitable. I will be doing a 180 in attitude. I will. That being said ...right now ..I have tears in my eyes as I share these feelings. I had tears in my eyes as I lay in bed this morning ...contemplating the surgery ...random surgical thoughts about what will happen in the OR..post op ...getting through it all and to the other side ..done with it all ..once and for all.

My tears betray me.

Darn peri-menopausal hormones! :)

http://michaelnajim.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/serenity-prayer-and-sea-sunset.jpg

Oh ...not that I'm tenacious or anything ...but I'd even be happy if when the docs open me up ..they see a new ureter miraculously in there ..replacing the damaged one. I'm just saying. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

About the Surgery

I usually write any posts about my urology experiences in this blog. However, this time I decided to share my heart about the reconstructive urology surgery in the Positive Medical Blog so that I can update new readers on what has happened with me these last few years as a urology patient.

I have decisions to make. It would seem the big one has been made for me.

I really do hate not having control over this.

Saturday was my turn around day in beginning to accept the inevitable.

The post is called: Reality to Fantasy ...Sharing My heart About Surgery.

Shhh ..don't tell anyone ..but I'm still hoping for the 11th hr and 59th second miracle. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Do the Surgery

http://www.aorticstents.com/images/open-surgery-photo.jpg

Four years, 8 months...

Resistance.

Denial.

Abject fear.

Faith challenged.


It is in God's hands.


I do still think there could be a miracle.

I mean as long I haven't hit the steel table ...

there could be

a miracle ...

somehow...

an 11th hour rescue and all.


I've heard God likes to do that.

Well ...this would be the time.


My ureter betrays me.

CT and KUB.

Surgeons.

Family.

Friends.

"DO the surgery."

Just...

"DO the surgery"

Collective voices ...

"DO ... the surgery."


It would seem that God ...

himself ..

my path directed ..

"DO ...

the surgery."


Why can't I feel it?

Why can't I get on board?

Where is my green light?

My spirit light reverberating "YES!" within?


I want to live.

***********************************
This past month, Dr Charles has been hosting a poetry contest. If you appreciate poetry ..then I highly recommend you check out his blog "The Examining Room of Dr Charles" to read the fabulous poems that were submitted for the contest.

Poetry is definitely not my strong suit, although I do appreciate it. I didn't comment on many of the entries, but was profoundly moved ..time and again. Poetry ... the heart's window to the soul.

One of my favorites (so many actually) .. but affecting me profoundly a verse from "Vigil in the Night" by Anna Cospelich:To my amazement I saw a light from inside her pass by the window of her pupil
And simply go out,
Like the lantern of a lighthouse along the shore as it makes its circular rounds.
Unlike the lighthouse, this light went out forever.

I was both intrigued and moved at the thought of one's spirit light being visually perceived. Our eyes are the window to our soul ..the most real part of our being ..and thankfully ..eternal.

Dr Sid Schwab's "Surgeon's Song" spoke to me in a way I wish it didn't ..moving me deeply as well. There are so many excellent poems over there.

And after the turn of events in my personal life ..I found myself writing something for me. Then I thought ..what the heck ..I'll send it in to Dr C . Mind you it was now 12:56 ..4 minutes before deadline. :)

I just wanted to feel heard.

I want someone ...somewhere to hear my heart's cry about all of this.

I feel like no one hears me ..including God. But feelings are not fact. Often we need to override our feelings and do the right thing ..whatever that is. But ... admittedly ..I am struggling with the reality of all of this. Still resistant ... not my choice at all.

I have often wished God would just drop a sign out of the sky and tell me what to do. Because ..you know ..if God says it ..then it has to be the right way to go.

However, after submitting this to DR C and rereading what I wrote ..I couldn't help but wonder if my answer was in the poem. ?

Medical reports and procedures, surgeons, family and friends? Perhaps this IS how God has been answering me all along. ??

"Do the Surgery."

It would now seem that it is a matter of when.

I pray the battle I think is lost ...will really be the battle won.

And I still pray for the 11th hour and 59th second miracle rescue.