Thursday, February 24, 2011
I was writing about medical testing and then decided to look up a hysterosalpingiogram... a procedure performed on me to determine if my fallopian tubes were open. And then I found this video of the dye going into the fallopian tubes. But was amused by the delightful music accompanying the traveling dye. So HAPPY! Perhaps a happy and wondrous vision for radiologists and other medical professionals to behold.
But, what struck me, is that would hardly be the accompanying music I would've chosen from my end of things on the table ...enduring the hysterosalpingiogram. I was told to take an aspirin prior to the test. I really don't think it helped me.
The sweet nurse offered me her hand to hold for comfort. In those days (24 yrs old) ..I was more of an ice princess when it came to hugging other people or touching them and saved personal contact for boyfriends or at that time my husband. Reserved. I was reserved. I cringed whenever someone hugged me and I had to hug back. So the fact that I even reached for her hand, speaks volumes for the fear that was coursing through me about the procedure.
Thankfully for me ...although unfortunate for the nurse ...I held her hand. As the procedure progressed ..I did not even whimper ...but I squeezed her hand so hard that she may've pondered getting a hand x-ray for herself when it was over. I knew I was squeezing, but I didn't realize just how hard until she commented afterward. But she was so sweet and she helped me so much.
I have had painful procedures of varying kinds over the years and sometimes someone will hold your hand and other times they do not. I think it really helps when they offer to hold your hand. It demonstrates that they think enough of you and what you are about to experience ..they care to reach out and support you. And so not only does it help tolerate the pain during the exam/procedure ..but also helps psychologically - you don't feel so alone in the moment and that also helps physically. Anyway, that has been my experience.
Isn't interesting how tolerance of pain can be assisted with another distraction ..such as holding onto someone or something. Gripping and gouging ...actually. Heck ...my nail imprints are STILL on the patient's chair in the hygienist's procedure/exam room. You should've seen the patient's chair in my dentist's procedure room ...shredded like a Siamese cat was getting a root canal while still conscious! ;) Okay ..well in my mind I'm shredding it to bits and pieces.
But gripping and gouging something does help. And breathing. Breathing techniques helped in early to moderate labor ...until I hyperventilated when the intensity greatly increased and I learned I wasn't progressing and seemingly stuck forever. (So much for the pelvimetry test prior to going into labor.) No more fancy breathing after hperventilating. I just couldn't do it and was very much looking forward to the C-section ...anything to make it stop... the pain ..to make the labor pain stop.
And breathing techniques work in urology exam/procedures too. My urologist does have to coach me to breath a certain way and ...then I relax enough for him to do what needs to be done. We have that down pretty well now, although last summer we didn't think to do it and I was tensing up all the way. And then more recently ..the breathing worked like a charm. And it's not that it doesn't hurt ...just not as much.
So, lets get back to the real reason for this post. As I said earlier, the delightful music accompanying the hysterosalpingiogram in this video, may convey the wondrous awe of the medical professionals performing the procedure and/or evaluating the results ...but, from this patient's experience on the table; having the dye injected into her fallopian tubes with the pain exacerbating as the dye progressed ...well ..suffice it to know that I would've used the music in the following video to accompany the procedure.
It's all a matter of perspective.
I'm just saying. :)
PS Thankfully my tubes were open or I would've had no need to research pelvimetry tonight. :)
PPS Thankfully it was that same year, thanks to God and a good friend ... my mentor ...that protective barrier I had put up (learned from my younger years), thawed and I a became the complete opposite. I am a hugger, hand holder and always there to reassure physically ..not just with words. Touch is therapeutic and is healing both ways in physical encounters. Touch can convey what words sometimes can't and I believe is life giving to one's mind, body and spirit.
PPS Gee ...I guess I really have 2 posts in one here. :)
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I decided we wanted to join a new group that was starting up in our church one night a week. But ...I do have a difficult time with this ureteral stent because it's a large size. And I just wasn't feeling up to it the first night the group started and so we didn't go.
Then we thought we would try again last week. I agreed, but as time got closer to leave ...I was pretty much feeling like I had been riding a big horse all day and wasn't comfortable walking or sitting. Now ...that happened because I was on my feet too long earlier, which causes added stent pressure. Just not a good feeling and puts a damper on most activities. Best laid plans ... brain willing and my bladder hollers up to me ..."Um no. Are you KIDDING? No you are NOT doing that!" Bossy bladder gets the last word with major and long lasting repetitive spasms and so wins most of the time these days. And if I ignore my bladder ...it's not long before my right flank or some other body part chimes in and I give up my plans because I am down for the count.
I'm not complaining. It's just the way it is for a bit longer. And I am grateful for the opportunity to hopefully heal my right ureter.
Anyway ...I told my friend I wasn't going. Then because she was disappointed and I really did want to go ...I said I'd think about it and we'd talk in a half hour. Then I still said no. Then I said okay ..yes. Another no. Then finally ...okay I will get ready and I'll be out front in 10 minutes.
We got to the church 15 minutes late. We weren't exactly sure where the meeting was being held. We had the right building, but almost walked into the wrong meeting. I think it was a prayer group.
So we stealthily walked into the stairwell at which point my friend went ahead of me to scout out the downstairs. She hollered up for me to come down because she thought she had the right meeting.
We opened the doors, walked into the meeting already in progress, but were warmly greeted by the leader and the others sitting in the meeting. But we weren't sure it was the right meeting. I sat there taking in what the leader was talking about ...actually trying to figure out what he was talking about (It sounded good, but missed the beginning of his story) and again wondering if we were in the right place.
And then it happened. My cell phone ...set on the highest volume blared Pachelbell's Canon in D and do you think I could find it?! I rarely get calls because I rarely use the phone and that is why I forgot to turn it off. It was my family doctor returning my call. he is the one who closed his practice and so of course I wanted to take that call. I excused myself and talked with him in another room.
The group was singing when I walked back in. The man I had been sitting next to was sharing a music sheet with my friend and I was sitting in between them and so I held the sheet for all of us. I was singing ...mindfully ...because singing is not my strong suit. Well I like to sing ...it's just not all that good. And while I was singing ...I was having this whole other dialogue in my head ...wondering, "Where are we? Is it the right group? The people seem nice. It seems like it will be interesting? IS it the right group? I like what he was saying earlier. Maybe we'll stay even if it's for something else. Where are we anyway?"
Then finally, I just couldn't stand it anymore! I leaned over to the singing man standing next to me and whispered, "Is this the such and such group?" Smiling warmly, he assured me that it was.
It just struck me funny that we could be participating with the wrong group, but were liking it and contemplating staying anyway. :)
I am really looking forward to doing this with my dear friend and making new friends along the way. I also look forward to the positive growth experiences ahead. I think it will be fun and most certainly interesting. :)
Monday, February 21, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I don't know what to call this post. Sad? Devastated? Mad at the System? Feeling VULNERABLE? Feeling ORPHANED and OUT THERE?
It was the weirdest thing.
As I sifted through my mail today,recognizing an envelope from my dear PCP, I had a feeling it was a letter stating he was closing his practice. Sadly, I was right.
I began crying before I even got past the first paragraph.
I feel for him too ...what a difficult time he must've been having ..to have come to this point. I consider him to be in his prime. I don't know what age is considered to be a physician's prime ..but to me he has years of experience, but would seem to have many more ...at least 10 or 15.... I am guessing ...and quite possibly longer, depending on how long he chose to continue in his practice.
His practice ...something I imagine was his dream come true at one time ...one in which he poured his heart and soul into. Thousands of hours ...taking care of so many patients. Some come and go and some ...probably with him longer than me.
I imagine many of them are devastated just as I am. I imagine the phone is ringing off the hook with people calling today ..just as I did. I composed myself before calling, but then as soon as I heard the dear receptionist's voice (such a sweet and helpful woman ..always with a smile and compassionate listener), I cried again and cried throughout and she said other patients were too and that they are all so sad. I said I know all of you must feel so sad too. She said they were. My doc said it in his letter.
I think I started with him in the early 90s ...maybe 1990. I will ask him when I go in Thursday.
I can't wait to see him. I should've gone in in the fall ...but put it off. I also called my insurance company to see if I could get a yearly physical earlier than this coming May (when I had the last one in which pcpDoc kept stating my results were PHENOMENAL! :), so at least I will have time to find another doctor. :( And of course ...if he even has time to do that with his patients now.
I told her I want my records. I do not want to take a chance on them getting lost like the other physicians office did a 2 years ago and so I will be right there to make sure I get them directly. I didn't say that of course. But ..she said they are telling people to hold off a couple of weeks because someone may be taking over.
And they moved into this really nice office a few years ago, with a beautifully large window in the waiting room. It seems like the perfect set up for them ..so much more spacious. Oh well.
This wasn't a total surprise and so I wasn't experiencing some kind of clairvoyance when spotting the envelope. There would be no other reason to send me anything from their office.
I can say this now as I am sure this is all public knowledge by now and still I will not name him. But, last fall ...he sent out a letter in which he stated that he was joining HEALSA and moving going to a concierge service ...although he would also still see his regular patients that didn't join the program. For a monthly fee, a patient could have unlimited access to him as their physician, would get priority and I forget all the perks. I didn't sign up because I could not afford the monthly fee and ..really ..I do not have to see him often at all. Aside from uro and check ups, I don't even remember the last time I needed to see a doctor for antibiotics, etc. Oh wait, December 2007 for an upper respiratory infection. My point being, that thankfully ...except for uro and routine checkups ..I don't have to see a doctor for illness much at all.
Here is an excerpt from today's letter: "Over the past few years it has become increasingly difficult to remain in practice. The growing burdens of administration as well as the diminishing insurance reimbursements has reached the point that solo practice has become unworkable. Many of my primary care colleagues are suffering the same problems as it appears that the solo private practice in family medicine, to which we have been ordinarily accustomed, is on the verge of significant change."
Dr Rob from Musings of a Distractible Mind blog and other physicians have been discussing this very issue for a couple of years now ..at least. It always scared me. I did not even want to contemplate losing my excellent family doc. I really didn't think it would happen because ...well ..you know ...you always think it will be the someone else. I can't imagine who could possibly fill his shoes. A twenty year relationship doesn't happen over night ..it happens over twenty y-e-a-r-s.
I told Mr SeaSpray when he walked in the door and his face fell because he really liked him too. Then I feel into his arms and cried. Is that an overreaction? I don't know. I feel that sad about it. I feel like I am losing someone very special in my life. And he sees our younger son. he's a family Doc.
The idea of starting over ... who? ...where? ...when? Will we connect? Will they be as good? Will they like us as patients? Records and prescriptions? I guess I'll know for sure in a couple of weeks if someone does take over? If?
And no matter what ...I am really going to miss this doctor! A lady I was speaking with on the phone at the electric company told me her doctor of 15 years retired and no doctor has ever been the same. She said they are all business and no warmth. I'm one of those ..have to feel it people. I just am.
He always picks up the phone to talk with me. he has this delightful sense of humor and he's compassionate. I know he trusts me. I trust him ...so much! I know when I tell him things, he knows he can trust my assessment or whatever I am discussing. I can't tell you how many times he has gone the extra mile for me ..giving me extra time ..just doing nice things and he got me ...always understanding. I never expected it ...except now I always think he will be that way because that is how he is. And I loved that I could discuss anything and he was immediately up to speed because he knows me and my health history, etc. And we would have other discussions ..other than health sometimes. And he prayed with me if I wanted it. I love that he understands where I am coming from with a faith perspective. Oh my gosh ...I could say so many good things about this excellent doctor!
I wish him every success in his new position as a salaried corporate physician. Even though this must've been so difficult for him, I can imagine a weight has been lifted off his shoulders ..especially once he moves on. And we patients will too. It is what it is.
I will save the rest of my energy about this for one heck of a thank you note.
I know it may seem weird that I am this upset. I can't help it. I feel so vulnerable and out there now.
And I am concerned about what he means by things changing in family medicine. I know this was happening before the Obama care and I wonder what that all means for other medical practices too? I've always heard we had the best health care and took it for granted. I can hardly believe that patients and our physicians even have to be concerned about this stuff.
Dr W-E-L-B-Y--Y-Y ...where are y-o-u-u-u? Or ..I should say ...the DAYS of Dr Welby ...where are y-o-u-u-u?
And again ...I know I may be overreacting somewhat. What can I say? Goodbyes have never been my strong suit.
Although...I just asked Mr SeaSpray how he felt about DrPCP closing his practice and he answered, "Not Good. Where an *I* gonna go now? I'm NOT going to go to x,y and z!"
Then I said that he'll go where ever I go. It will work out.
He asked about his medicine. I said they will probably five enough refills to carry over to finding another physician. I don't know, but it makes sense.
Mr SeaSpray has only seen him a few times and bonded well with him ...which let me tell you ..says a lot because Mr SeaSpray has an extreme aversion to anything ..anyone medical. It's in his DNA. Seriously. He has an aunt who couldn't walk into a hospital without getting nauseated.
If he is feeling the loss and uncertainty ...how much more is it hurting us long time patients?
You docs matter to your patients ..believe me.
In my previous post, I commented that there weren't any outstanding Super Bowl commercials during the first quarter. I did forget that the pug chasing the Dorito commercial was cute ...although not outstanding. And the Pepsi Max commercial where the jerk guy gets two full Pepsi Max cans at him was funny ..still not outstanding in my book.
Oh and by the way ...I didn't really like that the woman on the park bench was hit with a pepsi max can in the head (even if it was empty), because it really took her down and then the woman who through it says she's sorry ...as the both run away without assisting her ..checking to see if she was alright. I know it's just a commercial, but I think in today's society where so many people seem to look the other way and not accept responsibility for their actions ...it was the wrong message to put out. Also ...even worse ...to see someone has been injured and leave the scene.
I love to laugh. Comedies are my favorite. But the way this was done ... I just felt it wasn't the most appropriate. Maybe everyone will disagree, but it was my immediate reaction.
However ...hat tip to le0pard13 for sharing the Volkswagen commercial that was aired later during the Super Bowl. I LOVE it! And have watched it about 10 times already. So CUTE! :)
But the amount of commercials ...interrupting the flow of the game ...wayyyy too many.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Is it me ...or were there too many commercials during the Super Bowl? Egads!
I prefer some of the older commercials.
We were rooting for the Packers. :)
Anyway, I only stuck with it to the end of the first quarter.
Mr SeaSpray also thought the commercials were excessive. I haven't watched an entire Super Bowl in a long time and was shocked to see so many commercials in such a short period of time.
It seemed there was more commercial time then game time. And I didn't think any of the commercials up to that point were anything outstanding. And the guy sucking the Dorito crumbs off the guy's finger and another guy's pants - GROSS!
Perhaps the commercials improved as the game progressed?
I wanted to get into the momentum of the game, but they stopped every other play for the commercials... or it felt like it.
They lost me early on. I don't usually watch football though or I would've hung in there.
Anyway, I've always been partial to the Budweiser frogs and the Budweiser horses.
And if you have a little more time ...the next video is a compilation of past frog, lizard and ferret Budweiser commercials. Funny! :)
Oh ...just one more. :)
Saturday, February 5, 2011
He is so beautiful ...that I almost can't stand it. The love I feel rushing out of me and toward this picture is beyond any words I could possibly write. W-0-W-W-W-W-W ...
Thank you God for such a wonderful blessing .. with all my heart ...Thank you!
I love him so much ...it hurts. I know exactly what someone meant when he said "You love your children so much ..it hurts."
It's true. And it isn't any less for the grandchildren.
It is such a profoundly ..deep and unconditional love ..for all time and beyond.
I remain in awe of God's creation.
I am in love with you Myles and always will be.
I've enjoyed every second with him. One day I was feeling a lot of pain with the ureteral stent and the pain just disappeared while I was holding him. The healing power of a baby I guess. :)
I was just telling someone yesterday, that "Having one granddaughter was great ..two was wonderful and now with this third precious little one ..a boy ..some one pinch me ..am I dreaming?" It is such a satisfying and blessed feeling to see our family growing. Thank you dear son and d-i-l. :)
They are doing a terrific job raising their children. Their girls are so well behaved and a delight to be around. I could brag on them forever ..for sure. But ..seriously, they are good kids.
And being younger grandparents is great, because we have time to enjoy all the children as they grow and possibly even more to be born in the future.
It feels especially good to me because I grew up as an only child and always wished for a brother or a sister. I would tell that to my teenage friends sometimes and they'd offer them up .."You want em ..you can gave him em! "
Our 2 sons are 8 years apart. Same marriage ...just got busy with other things. I wish we did have one in the middle. Three seems like a nice amount of children ..although a friend once told me , "When you have 3 kids ..one of you is always out numbered." :)
Anyway ...son and d-i-l's girls are 8 years apart. Not that it means anything, but it seems neat/unusual that their dad and their uncle were born 8 yrs apart and now their dad's girls are born 8 yrs apart.
Newborns are so amazing ..aren't they? Fresh from God. I feel like I can't take enough of him in (every sound, movement, expression ...his entire being), and I want to remember these early days forever. I could just watch and cuddle him all day! :)
Friday, February 4, 2011
Okay, the pic above has nothing to do with the post ...other than the fact that medical things are mentioned, but thought this was funny.
Did anyone see Grey's Anatomy last night?
Yeah ...I'm still a member of the Grey's Anatomy cult. Total groupie for the show! I can't get enough of it. And not only do I watch it weekly, but my TiVo records 2 other Grey's shows a week. I really liked the 2006 season and could watch that and the others over and over and over again. And ...I DO! :)
I'd love to work at Seattle grace too. Oh sure ..I'd be a paper pusher ...with a smile ...but working in a hospital can be quite interesting. I really did enjoy my job in Pt Access for the ED. 90% of the time I loved it. That's NINETY percent of the time I loved it. I had posted it with a typo and said 20% I loved it. Not bad for a 20 year run. that I could still say that. But That was a job that I often joked I would pay to do. It was interesting, fun, stressful - sometimes, and rewarding. I enjoyed the patients and my co-workers. I was blessed to have worked where I did. :)
This is really about twittering.
I guess because work is on my mind because I know I am going to be looking by spring ..if not before. I will actually be looking in a different direction ..medical I hope ..but going off in a new direction. God willing anyway ...with the economy the way it is. And I sincerely hope my 20 years experience in medical reception (among other things) will outweigh the fact that I have not worked in a little over 4 1/2 years. I'm seasoned. I'll be a bit shy initially ..especially getting all suited up for interviews. I haven't been interviewed in almost 10 years and for that one ..I was already working in the hospital and so was very much out there ..in the mix of things.
It is intimidating to think about leaving my well developed comfort zones now. I 've never been concerned about being hired. I've almost always gotten any job I went for. I've even had people approach me ...even while at the hospital. But, now ...I hear people say that employers don't want older women. And I am a very positive, energetic enthusiastic, capable , etc., etc., etc., person ...and always with a smile ...says me. Or I've heard, they don't want you if you haven't worked in a while. They are concerned about the gaps in time. I am concerned about the fact that I have been off dealing with this uro stuff. (intermittently) BUT ...I could've been working through most of it. I also just took time off. And I am so glad I had the time during mom's decline and in the nursing home and then through the grieving period ...because I took it really hard. And now my lifelong friend is ill with lung cancer. So ...I am glad I have had the time. It's been a gift of time in one way. Although ...I'd enjoy it a lot better if I wasn't worried about working again. I can't even believe that I am worried about getting a job. Ha! I really just assumed that I'd walk in and be hired immediately and fear never crossed my mind.
But now ...I am letting these different things intimidate me. My aunt Janet would tell me ..."Patricia, don't borrow trouble before it gets here." or "Patricia, you'll cross that bridge when you come to it." And I know that would be right.
Oh and one woman ...same age told me that she had worked for an environmental company for 25 years. She had to look for another job because the company closed. She wasn't getting hired. Finally, she asked an interviewer if she could ask him a question. She said, "I can tell that you won't be hiring me and I am just wondering if you could please tell me why not?" She explained that she has been interviewing, but not getting the jobs. He said, "Honestly, I would rather hire a 22 year old with an associates degree, than some one with 25 years experience."
Anyway, I realize that you don't have to be a rocket scientist to do reception work. Actually, I wear a lot of hats and so don't like to limit myself to only that. But with this job market the way it is, I know that there is a lot more competition out there.
I guess ..all I can do is my best ...and give the rest to God ..and just trust the right position will come along when it is meant to.
I really did digress ...again.
I will come back to twittering in the OR and Grey's Anatomy later. :)
I guess ...I just needed to vent.
Oh ...one more thing. I've always thought women in my age group were more marketable because we aren't leaving on maternity leave(Although I haven't hit menopause yet ..I'm just saying ;) ..maybe never coming back after the baby, we don't have to call out for a sick child ...or leave for base ball games, plays and things involving children. And that life's experience matures us and we seriously commit to our responsibilities ..in it for the long haul ...and all. It's how I feel anyway.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I've been remiss in blogging because I have had other things going on and so just not focused on writing. I LOVE all the snow we have. Hate when everything is icy tho, and always pray that people are safe when driving and walking around. ED's get busy for sure in this weather. Oh and ski areas too.
I worked in a ski area when I was in my early 20s one year. One of my tasks was to make the ski condition tapes. Sometimes, they would provide us with false information to put out. Um ..LIE about it. I guess it was a ski area's version of a white lie. Get it ..snow? Snow is white ..hence the white lie. :) Hmmm ..I guess I was just as guilty of that, as I was one of the voices giving the conditions ..to all those trusting skiers. I remember that it did bother me ..although admittedly, I didn't feel too guilty because I saw it as following orders.
The one that stands out to me was "powder packed granular." Anyone know what that really is?
Ice that would get chopped up when they groomed the slopes and then covered with snow, either thanks to mother nature or the snow makers trekking up and down the mountain sides setting up the the snow guns.
Hopefully, ski areas aren't so misleading now. (I would think they have to be report as accurately as possible) The avid skiers probably knew what "powder packed granular" was really code for. Needless to say ...the emergency department is busier around here during ski season ...and especially during icy conditions.
I haven't worked there in quite awhile now (4 yrs, 8 months and 18 days, but who's counting? ;) and I admit that I miss it a bit. I can't help but to think of my former co-workers and the busy ED when it snows. Winter days and nights could be downright crazy with one rig after another pulling in and also the walk ins from the ski areas. Then there are all the other usual emergencies that come in. Call me crazy, but I always loved the adrenaline rush I'd get when it was so busy, you can't eat or even pee unless you absolutely had too. So ..,I didn't drink either. (Kidney stone anyone?) I did like eating and peeing and would always prefer to do that when hungry and when ..um you know ..nature ..specifically, my bladder called. But when you get that busy ..you get in the mode and the night would fly by ...unless the equipment broke down. Then working at McDonalds flipping burgers, being a cashier in Shoprite or spraying perfume in Macy's seemed more appealing. Although ...working with a torn meniscus on a night like that was not fun and it was weird to know I was in more pain then some of the patients.
Gee ..aren't I just being the sentimental girl here?!
Well ...I hope those of you truly getting snowed under in various parts of the country are alright. I'm wondering how some of our blogging emergency docs and nurses are doing in these snowy and icy areas? It might be hoping a lot ...but I hope your shifts are as uneventful as possible.
We got mostly ice here. I just told Mr SeaSpray that I think it's neat that the snow is piled so high, that we can't see our fence and that we have snow walls bordering our walkways. It is all so pretty too. I put some of the Christmas lights on again. :)
Be warm ..be safe and I hope you have some snow fun too. :)