Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I am finishing up a VERY long weekend in Newport. The ER has been trying this weekend. 2 people dead on arrival, one young man in a car accident that will likely leave him paralyzed, and a child in respiratory distress (just to name a few). Everyone always talks about how hard they think Oncology would be, but the truth is people die in all fields of medicine. Man, I need a break. Thank God after tonight, I have 2 weeks of NO MOONLIGHTING!!! I am so excited. I'm also off the 23rd-28th....I mean, OFF, OFF....no fellowship, no ER, no hospitalist. Just me and the family. Oh...heaven.
This week was a tough one. Monday started with our appointment with the RE. We spent about a hour in his office. We had a plan, we were set. He went to talk to the legal department to get the forms we would need for Mere to donate her eggs to me. He comes back into the room and says, "our legal dept says we can't do it." What????? Long story short, the "legal" dept said not to get involved. Some bullshit about us being married in Vermont and that we could move to Vermont and there could be battles over embryo custody. What???? After arguing with our doctor for awhile I asked, "could my sister or a friend donate?" He said, "yes." Ok, so what is the difference here? He had that deer caught in the headlights look about him. He essentially had no idea what he was talking about and he knew it. He kept saying, "I don't care, I don't have any problem with it." Obviously, his "legal dept" does not actually have an attorney because the argument that he was making made no sense at all. He said we could do in vitro w/ Mere or she could donate to me and we could go out of state and they would do the monitoring here. The actual retrieval and transfer would have to be done at another facility. We were both so shocked we just didn't know what to say. He finally said, "I will talk to my partners and see what they say." I haven't heard from him since. And since he is the only partner in his group that will even see same sex couples, I am guessing that the answer will be no. I have called Memphis and Dallas fertility clinics and none will see same sex couples. I have cried, been depressed, and been mad. Mere has been SO supportive. She keeps saying, "we will do anything and everything if you want this." And I do. But, now is just not the time. It was going to be enough to do this locally. I was still nervous about the drugs, nervous about how depressed they make me, nervous about us both being pregnant. But now there is this HUGE roadblock and I'm thinking someone is trying to tell me something. Now is not the time for me. Maybe later, but not now. I am ok with this. Not perfect, not happy, no pretending that it is all peachy. Just ok. Our decision now is to do IVF w/ Mere and if there are extra embryos we will save them and maybe we can transfer to me later. Yes, there are a lot of ifs, I know. This is all that we can do RIGHT NOW. Who knows what the future holds?
One thing this has done....make me wonder what in the hell we are doing living in Arkansas!! We do love it here, this is where our life is, but can we do this forever? Live somewhere where it is ok for us to be discriminated against? I really don't know if I can do it forever. I don't know if I want my kids to do it.
On a happier note, Megan and the twins are here!!!! YEAH!!! I haven't seen them yet (because I at work) but I am so excited. When I talked to Mere earlier I could hear them all in the background and it made me smile. I love a house full of family and kids. I can't wait to get home to them all. Warm fires, cookies, and lots of people for me to cook for. Ahhh....it doesn't get any better.
What are your Christmas plans??
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Finally, we have a plan. For the 1st time in a long time I am hopeful and happy about the path we are choosing. So, here it is (BTW, thanks to all the great comments on my last post).....
We have an appointment on Monday where I start a "mock cycle." If everything goes well, then we get on the same cycle and then EGG RETRIEVAL!!! This time, Mere's embryos will go into both of us. Yes, I might get to carry a baby...OMG!!!
The only downside is that we will have to wait about 3 months to do a retrieval because it will take that long for us to prep. But, that is ok. We have a plan. A plan that MUST end in at least one baby, or two, or three. I'm excited and hopeful and happy.
The morning started out terrible but the day is ending on a high note :)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
And the conferences.....DAMN, there are so many!! When are we supposed to actually learn? I guess I'm just not digging this program. I know there is nothing I can do about it. I want to be an oncologist and we aren't moving (says my wife) so here I am. But, that doesn't mean I can't complain about it? Here I am again, digging my heels in for another 3 years of misery. Dear God, please help me see the light (not that light, the one at the end of the tunnel).
Right now I'm in the, "I should have been a (insert another specialty)" mode. I'm doing my Heme/Path month which is SUPER laid back and fun. I spend about 2 hrs a day looking at slides and discussing the pathology. Ok...reading that last sentence does not make it sound like fun, but it is! I'm really enjoying it and thinking....why didn't I do pathology? Oh yeah, no patients. I know that the grass is always greener and I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I am where I am meant to be but the motivation has been less than stellar lately.
And then I think, what am I complaining about? I don't have cancer. I'm healthy. I have a great family. So get over it, right?
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
In other news.....Layne just had her [almost] 2 year old appointment. She is almost 22 lbs....big kid, huh? Still in the 3-5% for weight and head circumference. But when it comes to height....25%!!!! Such a little peanut.
We leave for a week long trip to Chicago on Monday and I am SO excited.....more on that later.
Friday, October 10, 2008
We are STILL NOT PREGNANT. This has been almost 1 1/2 years if you combine the time we have both been trying. I know I was a dud but I really thought Mere would pop another one out w/o much trouble. I thought this was the month....clomid, no nursing, good timing...what happened?
EVERYONE around us is getting pregnant and it is frustrating. Yes, I am happy for them all and a few of them have had fertility issues to BUT I WANT A BABY. I don't care how we get it, who carries it, etc....I just want it. We found out about our friend's pregnancy on the same day that my OB thought I was pregnant (because my progesterone was so high). I had one day of thinking I had done it. Now I look at her baby (peanut's parents) and think....ohhhh we would had that baby by now if I had been pregnant.
I do realize that we started having babies WAY before most of our friends so even though they are all having babies, they are mostly on their 1st and 2nd kids. Is it selfish to be so upset about wanting a 3rd? Even if we were done now we would have everything to be grateful for and nothing to be upset about. But, I would be. I feel like we aren't complete yet.....we are meant to have more.
What next? We have an appt w/ the RE on Oct 17th and there are a world of possibilities out there. Mere's eggs....my uterus, Mere's eggs....her uterus, Mere's eggs....both of our uteri (is that a word?). I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. I DO KNOW I am not looking foward to bringing those evil drugs back into our house. I am not looking foward to regular transvaginal ultrasounds. I am not looking foward to these hard decisions. I DO NOT WANT multiples and I'm not mentally prepared to get pregnant right now. I thought I was off the hook for awhile. BUT, if you have fresh, good embryos hanging around....what do you do?
I'm not going to make this a TTC blog but I will keep everyone posted.
In other news, everyone is doing great in our house. Layne is turning into such a little kid. She is not our baby anymore (she will always be our baby). She is talking up a storm and just such a joy....ALWAYS keeping us entertained. Syd is also doing great. She is learning to read like a champ and starting to think so grown up. When did this happen?
Mere is also doing great. She is swimming (at 5am) on M/W/F w/ a local swim team and she is working w/ our trainer. Damn Gina! She is going to get buff and I'm going to stay flabby.
We went and looked at a mother's day out program this week. Layne starts Tuesday from 9am-2pm. We are both a little nervous but I think Layne will be very happy there. I know she needs to spend more time around other kids and get used to not being with one of us all the time.
Finally, this weekend is packed!!!! I am not working.....YEAH!!!!!! But here is our schedule:
Tonight: Party at a friend's house....probably not going to make it
Tommorrow: Race for the Cure, lunch w/ my peeps, Syd b-day party, a baby shower, and then we are hosting the 3rd annual pumpkin carving contest at our house...think we will be tired?
Sunday: I think we are supposed to paint Syd's room.....BUT, maybe we could go to the fair instead???
Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Nurse1: "Do you like working here?"
Nurse2: "Yes, but is can be very difficult sometimes"
Nurse2: "Before you come to work here you better prayer up if you want to make it through the day. These people are sick and the work can really get you down if you aren't careful."
Prayer up.....I really like that. Yes, you definately need to prayer up for this job.
I have had to prayer up this week. We have a patient who has been dying of cancer for over a year. The last few months he has been having a steady decline. This hospital admission the writing was on the wall....he is going to die. The question is do we send him home with comfort care and let him die in peace and in his own environment or do we keep doing invasive things in the hospital without any real hope of doing any good? In other words, should we prolong his death? This seems like a really easy answer. But, it is not. Not for families who feel like they aren't doing "everything" possible. Not for sons who cannot wrap their minds around a terminal patient who does not want to eat. Not eat? We have to feed him somehow, someway...right? It is so hard to explain the process of dying to a family. It is worse when the family is divided. Yesterday, we had a final family meeting because the indecision had gone on long enough. The patient is the only person who suffers. It was heart breaking to watch a woman who has been married for 60+ years to decide to let her husband go in peace. It was even more heart breaking to know that she wanted to make this decision last week but was to afraid of upsetting her adult children. I cannot imagine having to be so strong in a time when you must feel so weak. Having to stand up for what you know is right for your loved one when the rest of the family is still questioning.
It was really hard, some days are just really hard. I guess I need to prayer up.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Mere and Me "posing"
Bridget and Holcolmb....so cute!!
My new partner in crime
I love cheesy music!
You can say that again!
Ok, this wild mommy is going to bed. Yes, it is 9pm...so what???
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Today marked a big day for you. You are now officially a first grader!!!! You were so proud this morning with your new back pack and school uniform. Watching you grin from ear to ear and telling Laynie, "ba ba is going to go to 1st grade today" was so cute. As we cuddled in bed last night I was marveling at how time flies. I can still remember the second you were born. I remember carrying you from the delivery room to the nursery, thinking, "Oh my God, this is my daughter." You have been the love of my life, you have given me joy and peace and comfort in knowing that all is right with the world. How could it not be with you in it?
My favorite part of the day is when we sit down and read our latest book. Now it is Ivy and Bean but we have gone through so many and will go through so many more as the years progress. I love to listen to you sing in the car and play pretend dinos and tell Layne you love her. I love to watch you love on your sister and concentrate on your drawings. I love everything about you. Your 1st grade teacher is lucky to get to spend the year with such an amazing person.
You have grown into such a beautiful, smart, and creative little (big) girl. I know that you will someday be an unstoppable woman but for now you are still my baby. I love you my goose and I am SO PROUD of you!!!!!! By the way, you need to stop growing up right now!!!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Here is what it looked like at my house (when we were at home) this week. Mere and I on the sofa, mere w/ laptop in hand. Mary on the adjacent chair, w/ laptop in hand. Steph on the other chair, w/ laptop in hand. I did not have anything in my lap.....just the remote. Mere and Mary were laughing and having what must have been a great conversation, but I wouldn't know because I couldn't hear it. What? I was sitting in between them, why couldn't I hear? Because they were texting each other on facebook. Yes they live hundreds of miles apart but they are sitting a few feet away from each other and communicating via the internet. Something is very wrong with this.....very, very wrong.
On another note, this weekend was so much fun. Sat morning we went to the Rivermarket and shopped, ate, and shopped again. Sat afternoon we were at the Daisy Scout's ceremony, welcoming all the girls to Daisys. More on that later.
We went back to the piano bar on Sat (w/ Mere, Bridget, and Holcomb w/ us) and had a blast. I am definately not able to hold my liquor like I could in college. DEFINATELY NOT. But you cannot have more fun then being at a bar w/ your favorite friends and dancing to Ice, Ice baby coming from piano. Oh yeah, and not caring what others think because I'm not is college trying to pick someone up....I'm just having fun. I'm thinking this is going to have to be an every other month thing.....yeah, that's right Bridget you are going to have to suck it up!!!!
Sunday was also a blast....we spent the day at Linda's pool w/ my mom, Mere, Mary, Steph, Erica, Leah, Ross, and the girls. We had a great time and ended it with Ross, Syd, and Layne running around a local cafeteria signing and dancing. Entertaining for us. Others? Probably not so much. But who goes to a cafeteria on a Sunday evening anyway? You have to expect to run into some sorted characters (us) at Frankie's caf.
Mary and Steph leave today and we are all sad. It was just such a great week. Everyday was fun and Mary is so hilarious. How come it has taken us this long to bond? Probably because we are strangely alike in some ways. Syd was really sad last night because she didn't want them to leave today. She wanted to make sure I have their phone number so she can call them whenever she wants.
Have a safe trip girls! We will miss you.
BTW, check out Mary's blog for some cute pics of the trip (Yeah, I'm terrible at posting pics because I'm always at work when I blog.)
Friday, August 15, 2008
I will say that the acupuncture REALLY helped. I am so sticking with that....now just for generalized anxiety and insomnia. But mostly because it makes me feel so good. My little chinese acupuncturist is so cute :) He said, "you not that bad. we fix you in few sessions." Yeah, we will see about that!
After the exam I came home to a beautiful flower arrangement from my sister in law, Mary and my niece, Steph. It was so nice and meant so much. Yes, there are pics but I am at work and have not had a chance to put them on the blog. I will post them later.
Since I finished earlier then I thought I got to spend the day w/ my girls and Mary and Steph (I guess I could just call them all my girls this week). I took Steph shopping for clothes in celebration of her 16th birthday. Holy crap!!!! She was 8 yesterday, I swear. We went to her favorite store, Hollister Co. I should have known that it would make me feel super old when I had never heard of it but I had no idea. The store is DARK w/ really LOUD music. Basically, I couldn't see or hear anything. There were teenagers everywhere and did I mention the loud music? Then Steph started trying on clothes and that is when I found out that size 0 is to big for her. Ok...I love her, she is my niece and I know that she gets a lot of crap for being pretty and little and well endowed, but, I kinda wanted to hit her when the size 0 was to big. Then I realized that it probably does really suck to not be able to find clothes that fit rather they are to big or to small. But still kinda wanted to hit her. Obviously, I didn't and we had a BLAST shopping.
That night we all went for an awesome dinner at Brave New Restaurant (one of our favorites) and then Mary somehow convinced me to go out dancing. I somehow convinced my sister to come with us. So, Mary, my sister (Jenn), and I all went out for a night of fun. That is all I can say about that :) But I am WAY TO OLD to be getting home at 1am on a work night. Thank God for Zofran and Ibuprofen.
The rest of the week has been great. We have done some swimming, some shopping, a lot of eating, and laughing. Tonight it is off to the movies and tommorrow night another night out w/ Mary, Mere, and some of our friends...it should be fun.
BTW, Steph may be young and cute, but I kicked her ass at Wii boxing (we won't talk about golf, bowling, and baseball scores).
Thursday, August 7, 2008
So, first...the boards. I have managed to get myself so worked up over them that I am in a state of panic. I know this is counterproductive, I know this could cause me to fail, but I cannot help it. I went to another board review this last weekend (which was great) but flying to and from NJ in 2 days is exhausting. I'm just living with a pit in my stomach and constant heart palpatations. At this point in time, I just want it to be OVER. So, on Aug 12 (next Tues) PLEASE send me positive brain waves and good energy. In the meantime I am a studying machine (which means my family doesn't get to see me) w/ breaks for acupuncture in an effort to tame the stress. Something HAS TO WORK!!!!
Second, the fellowship program. Long story short, there have been inequalities between the upper and lower level fellows. Rather these are true inequalities or perceived is still unclear. But, me being me I decided to bring it all out in the open. You know, introduce the pink elephant. Also being me, I didn't do it in the most tactful manner which resulted in a huge uproar and a day of emails back and forth b/w us all. The end result? I look like an ass for bringing up something that everyone was complaining about. I'm just the only one who said anything. When will I learn my lesson? Probably never. Will this pass? Yes...it already has. Will I ever be good friends w/ the upper level fellows? I'm thinking no. It is still just super stressing me out!!!!
That's all for now. I just want this week to be over. I just want to stop oscillating between fear, depression, and anxiety.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Later that same day we had the tv on when the knews about the shooting at a Knoxville, TN church broke. Apparently, this Unitarian church is very open to everyone (including gays and lesbians) and it advertises this point. In fact, there is a new sign outside of their church that states, "Gays Welcome."
In the middle of a children's production a gunman walked into the church and opened fire. According to several church members, "he was yelling hateful things." They refused to elaborate not wanting to give this person's comments anymore attention. The gunman apparently believes in the "old south" and is a fan of confederate flags. So the thought is that this might be a hate crime. Of course, no one really knows what makes someone do something so terrible. Frankly, I don't want to know.
Out of this tragedy, 2 adults have died and several more are injured. No children were hurt. I'm not sure why this particular event has caused so much thought on my part. Probably because we go to a very open church and this could have easily been our Sunday morning. Please pray for this church and their families. Please pray that there will someday be a safe place for everyone.
I won't say any hateful things about the shooter but I am thinking them.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Later we went to see Wall-E....good movie, good message.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
My new iphone :) I am not a gadget person and don't usually get excited about these things. When Mere got her iphone last year, I was not impressed. Furthermore, I was NOT going to like that super hyped up phone just b/c apple is good at marketing. But, over the last year I have grown to really like her iphone and somewhere along the line I decided that I wanted one. Now I have it and it totally rocks!!!!!!
Thanks baby....I love you!!!!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
We got there and had a blast. The concert was great and we had a blast with Brooke. The other thing we noticed? There are a lot of lesbians in Little Rock and we know A LOT of them. The only problem? Most of them are single, without kids, and into a much different "scene" than us. Let's face it when you are the only one with kids in a group of people....it is difficult. Fast foward to intermission when we were standing in line waiting for a drink. We were talking about how "out of the community" we felt since having kids. Most of our friends are heterosexual couples with kids. We don't have ANY problem with this and didn't even really think about it until Syd recently started asking about other 2 mom families. Uhmm....we are bad lesbian moms!!! Anyway, we weren't drunk, we weren't going out after the concert, and we were checking our cell phones to make sure our babysitter had not called. We were feeling like we didn't belong in a community that we used to be super involved in/with.
That is when I overhead a conversation behind me. 2 moms talking about their kids. At least I was pretty sure that was what I heard. So I turned around and said, "do you guys have kids?" Their answer, "yes!!!" What happened next? We all started talking about our kids. Similar ages? Check! Living in LR? Check! This was looking good. One of the women, Holcomb, kept saying that she was sure she knew Mere from somewhere. Turns out they had been at a B-day party for a boy in Syd's class (whose mom I work with) and used to live next door to Bridget and Holcomb. Small world!
So, Bridget told me her full name and where she worked (UAMS...same place as me) and I told her I would email her. What do I do next? Email her the next day...can you say stalker? Luckily, she didn't think I was a stalker and got back to me pretty quickly. A few weeks later, a few dinners and phone calls and we are fast friends. The best part? Our kids really get along. Ok, so Layne and Meric (their youngest) are both pretty strong willed but they will be friends, damnit!!!!! Syd and Breck (their oldest) are definately on the same page....she finally has someone to share her love of dinos and dragons with.
It is really great to meet new friends and have everything fall into place. The real point of this post? To welcome Bridget and Holcomb to blogland. When you get a chance, go to their new blog at Life in the Big Green House and welcome them to the family!!!!!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Mon: Pool party for one of Syd's friends
Tues: Mere's photography class. A night alone for the girls and me.
Wed: Pampered Chef party at our house
Thurs: Cancelled work out with personal trainer and ordered chinese food (totally worth it!)
Friday: B-day party at ChunkyCheese + hair appointment
Sat: All day pool party (really fun)
Sun: Shrimp boil at H/B's house (yummy)
Mon (today): Pool party for Mere's Daisy troop
Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it. In the midst of this week we have realized how many AWESOME friends we have and how much we love living in Little Rock. I'm thinking we aren't going to be able to leave. I guess that means I will have to look for jobs here in a few years :)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
It is sooooo good. Sweet, crunchy, and super yummy. The only problem? Each serving has 8 grams of fiber. One serving equals one cup. I'm not sure how much I eat in one day but I can definately put more than one cup away in no time. It just sort of disappears. Until about 2 hours later when the stomach starts to rumble. This is followed by hours of loud, stinky farts. These are not ones you can quitely release....no you need a bathroom and privacy. Not always easy, especially at work. It is so bad that Syd calls it the stinky cereal because we have ALL fallen victim to its yummy crunch. When Syd has it for breakfast and we have been snacking on it, you DO NOT want to be in our house!!!! I know I don't get enough fiber and I know that this cereal is a good choice but I'm not sure how to get past the GI side effects. Maybe they will go away with time? I hope so because I have had more than one uncomfortable elevator ride this week. The plus side? My gluts are getting strong from all the flexing. Yeah, I know....TMI.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
2. 3 heart attacks
3. 1 intraabdominal bleed (read: very unstable patient)
4. 3 MVAs (motor vehicle accidents)
5. Druggies and alcoholics galore
6. BIG stroke that required immediate intubation
7. Tons of stuff in between
The point: it was a crazy weekend with a lot of sick people. But none of them topped mosquito guy. 45 y/o white male with no past medical history who appeared to be mentally normal. He comes to the ER early Sat morning for 2 "bumps" on his head. He noticed them yesterday. Do they itch? A little. Do they hurt? no. What are they you ask? 2 small mosquito bites...no signs or symptoms of infection. Thank GOD I was there to tell him to use calamine lotion and Benadryl!!!!! When he left, I turned to the nurse and said, "I am so blogging about that one."
In other news....it only took me 3 hours to come up with a chemotherapy regimen for a pt w/ recurrent metastatic breast cancer. Just so you know, it probably should have taken 5 minutes or at least I hope that is all it takes in a few years!!!! Slow and steady, slow and steady.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Anyway, when she brought him in this time she was particulary undone. She was VERY on edge. One of the nurses heard her on the phone talking about how she was going to learn how to cook crystal meth. When I went in the room she told me he was coughing and needed a breathing treatment. I told her I wanted to listen to his lungs and get a chest xray. She refused and said, "just give him a breathing treatment, I know what he needs." Then she jumped up and yelled, "you have no idea what I've been through, I am on the edge, I cannot listen to him cry anymore, I am going to lose it!" To that I said, "I'll be right back." All the while, the little guy is sitting there quite as a mouse.
Long story short, I called DHS and demanded they send someone now. I told them I could not send this child home with his mother without fearing for his safety. After several very loud interactions with the mom and calling the police, DHS finally arrived. They spent about 5 minutes with her and drug tested her (+ for cocaine) before they decided to take him into custody. Apparently, she has had 4 other children taken from her in the past. In my humble opinion she needs to have her uterus ripped out and run over by a MAC truck. But, that's just me.
I talked to the DHS worker and she said that the parental rights would likely be terminated. Then I asked her how I could adopt this child. She said it would take about 2 weeks to fast track me through the foster parent track and then once parental rights were terminated adoption procedures could start. I called Mere and she didn't think it was a crazy idea. We talked about it, I thought about it, and we talked about more.
Then I talked to my mom who has been in the "system" for many years as an attorney for children who are taken away from their parents. She burst our bubble and gave us a total reality check. Were we crazy? He probably has a lot of problems and we were opening a can of worms that we couldn't close. No way, no how, forget it!
So we woke up and realized....not a good idea. But I still can't get his amazing brown eyes out of my head. I hope he finds a good home and has a good life.
The mom? I told the nurses that if she shows up in a year w/ a new baby then they better take me in the back and drug me before letting me near her.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The first page came around 10am (not bad at all). I had just finished rounding with the inpatient team and was really enjoying NOT being the resident. I even felt sorry for the intern (but only for a second). The nurse on the other line said, "please get down here we are having a reaction." So to the chemo room I went. I walked in and the nurse at the desk motioned me to the back of the room (this was my first time to ever visit the infusion room). The entire time I'm wondering how serious this is...what kind of reaction are we talking about? How am I supposed to know what is going on?
When I get to the patient, nurse Bill is standing over him. He is breathing fast w/ definate wheezing I could hear without a stethoscope. His his heart was beating fast and he was flushed from head to toe. His vital signs were stable and he was not in any acute danger. The following is the conversation I had w/ nurse Bill (thank God for nurse Bill).
Me: "What was he getting?"
Nurse: "He was 30 minutes into his infusion of carboplatim (I had to google how to spell it)"
Me: "Is this his first infusion?"
Nurse: "No this is his 3rd cycle."
Me (to the patient): "Has this ever happened before?"
Nurse: "The typical carboplatim reaction usually happens after a few cycles because the toxicity builds up"
Me: blank stare followed with "what's a typical carboplatim reaction?"
Nurse: "Wheezing, flushing, tachycardia"
Me: "What do you normally do for it?"
Nurse: "Steroids and benadryl."
Me: "Sounds good."
Another nurse walks up to me and asked if I can talk to Dr. G on the phone (the attending for this patient). He tells me to stop the chemo, give him benadryl and steroids and send him home once he feels better.
Me to Nurse: "Well, let me know if he gets worse or doesn't get better"
Let me note that the patient was doing MUCH better by this point
Nurse: "Ok doctor, thanks for your help."
Help? Clearly this nurse was smoking crack.
Me: "You realize I am brand new and I don't know ANYTHING. Please feel free to teach me, correct me, and tell me what you think. I promise I won't get offended."
All I have to say is thank God I was there. Man, what would nurse Bill have done without me?
What did I do next? Read about carboplatin!
Friday, June 27, 2008
I was sure this was the month. Mere has been tired, moody, and eating beef....none of which is normal for her. She has had a few bouts of nausea. I just knew she was pregnant. Well, aunt flo came this morning to prove me wrong...again. I haven't been getting my hopes up but this time I had. We were supposed to have a baby by now and we don't even have a pregnancy! My patience is really starting to wear thin.
We have started night weaning Layne in hopes that this will help Mere get preggo sooner. My big fear is that she is going to have to stop nursing to get pregnant. I don't want that because they both love their nursing relationship so much. I don't want it to end before they are ready. I feel responsible. If I could have just gotten pregnant (as the original plan called for) then Layne could keep happily nursing and Mere wouldn't have to be back on the 2 wk cycle of hell. Why couldn't I just get pregnant??????
So, here is the latest plan. After I get through with the boards (August 12th), if Mere is not preggo then I am going back to the repo endo doc. Yes, the thought of more IVF makes me want to puke but the desire for a baby is growing. One of us needs to be pregnant dammit!!!! We are not getting any younger. So she has 2 months to get pregnant b/f we start w/ our egg donor (news to her as she reads this blog) on another journey. Dear God, please let Mere get pregnant. Please. Please. Please.
The new coats? Well, they have all been worn out and long since put in the trash. I now have 2 white coats w/o any name or title which I wear occasionally. The new stethoscope? It was stolen a few months ago....so I'm waiting for another new one.
The biggest change: I'm a doctor. It doesn't scare me to walk into the ICU anymore. For 3 years I have been thrown into the fire and I come out with the confidence of knowing I can practice medicine. I have learned a lot and I have a lot more to learn.
The transition is anticlimatic for me. Monday I'm a resident and Tuesday I'm a fellow. Monday I belong to the department of internal medicine, Tuesday I belong to the dept of Heme/Onc. A lot of the people that I went through med school and residency with are moving away....going out of state for fellowships or getting jobs. People I have suffered with for 7 years that I probably won't see again for a long time. There are also a lot of us sticking around here for our fellowships....wondering if we are crazy for continuing when we could be done. Envious of those leaving UAMS for greener pastures. Ready to face new challenges (but scared too).
Should I be sad at the end of this part of my journey? Maybe, but I'm not. I am so happy that I'm done. I'm so ready to move on to the next (and last step) of my training. I never thought I would be going into Oncology but I know it is the best field for me and I think I'm going to be so happy that I did it. I just can't believe it's over....I did it! Thank GOD!
I think the most profound part of this experience is thinking about our family. When I started residency Syd was 2 years old....2! Now, she is 5 1/2 and turning into such an amazing little girl. In 3 more years, she will be 8. Layne wasen't here at the beginning of our residency journey, now she is 19 months old. She will be 4 when I finish, OMG. It's hard to wish away your training when time is also making your kids grow. Hopefully, when I write about finishing fellowship, there will be more kids to mention.
So, on Tuesday I start in the chemo room. I'm excited, scared, nervous, and relieved. I am finally on the home stretch. 3 more years and I'm done!!!! Here we go again......
Monday, June 23, 2008
Her, "I saw your blog. Who tagged you?"
Me, "It was Jenn"
Her, "You know you should ALWAYS say who tags you when you respond to a tag"
Her, "You need to put that you your blog"
So, to Jenn (aka Amateur Mama)....I'm sorry I didn't recognize the fact that you tagged me!!!! Apparently, my blog manners suck :))
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Here it is:
How long have you been married? 9 years (10 in April!!)
Where did you meet? We met at work. I was the intern and she had been working there for several years. I had a HUGE crush on her for about a year before we became friends. Then I found out she was straight....yeah right. Another 6 months later and, well, lets just say she realized she wasen't straight.
How long did you date? Hmmmm....not sure. After our first kiss we only spent a few nights apart and a year later we got "married" at a protest in DC during the March on Washington. We are still waiting for the day we can get married here.
How old is she? 39
Who eats more? Probably equal or maybe me
Who said “I love you” first? Me
Who is taller? I'm not sure....I think Mere
Who sings better? Me...of course...yeah, neither one of us could be in a choir
Who is smarter? We are smart in different ways. She is much more mathmetical and is really good at puzzles and putting things together. I'm better at studying!
Whose temper is worse? That would without a doubt be me.
Who does the laundry? She does, we used to share that chore but now that she is at home I don't think I've done laundry in a long time. I'm not complaining.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Meredith
Who pays the bills? Mere. It used to be me until she started staying home. Much like the laundry, I don't miss it.
Who cooks dinner? Only me....Mere is allergic to cooking and I love it.
Who drives when you are together? Mere, I NEVER drive when we are together and I don't know why.
Who is more stubborn? Me.
Who kissed whom first? I kissed her because she basically told me that she was NOT going to kiss me first.
Who is the first to admit to being wrong? We both have a problem with that but Mere is definately more willing to admit to being wrong. I'm still working on that.
Whose parents do you see the most? My mom, she lives 30 minutes away. That is all I'm going to say about that.
Who proposed? She did
What’s her best physical attribute? I love it all but the eyes and the eyebrows are just so AWESOME.
Who has more friends? I'd say about equal. Now that she is doing Daisy Scouts she has become quit the socialite at Syd's school
What are you most proud of her for? Being such an awesome mom and making such a great life for us
Who has more siblings? She does
Who wears the pants in the family? We are equal. There are some things I insist on and some things she insist on
I'll tag Raz-ma-taz.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
When I met Matt he was a single, Jewish guy living with his parents in Arkansas...with little hope for finding a Jewish wife in his current location. Now he has a beautiful wife (who I am happy to call a GREAT friend) and 2 perfect children. When he met me, Mere and I didn't have any kids and were still adjusting to life in Arkansas. He was the one who predicted we were pregnant the time that we actually were and then he predicted the due date (and was right). He was the first male to hold Sydney. I will never forget how tiny she looked in his arms. He was the first person I called when Layne started having trouble breathing in the nursery....he is the lifeline that kept me from losing it.
We have been through so much together. So many LATE, LATE nights in med school when no one else could truly understand the hell. So many afternoon study sessions in his tiny apartment (after he moved out of his parent's house) eating pretzels and hot pockets. Marathon sessions at Sufficient Grounds just trying to cram in all the information. Long talks about the future and what field of medicine we would enter. I will never forget how excited he was after our first pediatric small group when he KNEW what he would spend the rest of his life doing.
After med school we formed a great group of young couples with kids working through residency and continued to lean on each other. He has always been one person I can call on for ANYTHING. Broken toilet? No problem. Broken heart? No problem. He knows everything about me and never judges. We have had so many real conversations and experiences together. Watching our kids play and grow together, watching our spouses bond, and becoming REAL doctors all with each other!
Matt, I am so lucky to have you in my life and I will really miss you. This is not goodbye because we will be seeing a lot of each other in the years to come...it will just take more planning. And you better start working on Keren and the cruise now if we want to do it in the next 5 years :)
So...to my token jew from your token lesbian...I love you and I will miss you. Oh yeah, and go kick some butt in PA!!! Or at least take care of some ear infections or whatever it is you pediatricans do :)
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
So, for the last month or so Syd has been having headaches. Most of the time it is when she is tired and it seems like she is looking for attention. But it has been off and on and not always just when she is tired. Before we went on vacation she was complaining of a headache and then she threw up....just once. There was a bug going around at school so we attributed it to that and kept going. While we were on vacation she did not have any headaches but I did notice that she didn't eat much (which isin't abnormal for her). Yesterday she started complaining of a headache and upset stomach again. It was after a long day at a friend's house and she seemed fine, but still. One of our friends who is a pediatrician suggested that she may need her eyes checked. She had a brief eye exam at her doctor's office last year and it was normal. We have asked her to read a few things far away and she seems to have no trouble with this. I know you know where this is going but let me tell you why.......
One of the nurses that I work with in small town hospital has a grandson with a brain tumor. I have heard the story several times about how he had nagging headaches for several months. All the usual investigations were done and nothing came up.....after about a month they did a CT scan and their worst nightmare was realized.
So I talked to our ped doctor today and he agreed that we should do a CT scan. He also thinks it is nothing but he still AGREED to do a CT SCAN!!!! Now I'm scared. I know it is nothing because it has to be nothing but I'm still really terrified. This fear has been lurking in the back of my mind for the last month. I was hoping all of this would resolve and we wouldn't need to investigate it but she continues to complain of headaches and unfortunately for her I am paranoid. I'm also worried that we are exposing her to radiation for no reason.....she is so young to have all that radiation. But, we have to look. PLEASE LET THIS BE NOTHING!!! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE.
Keep us in your prayers tommorrow.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
We were fortunate enough to see Wicked, Rent, and The Little Mermaid. Can I say that Wicked was super, duper, incredibly AWESOME!!!!! Of course, so were Rent and Little Mermaid. But, Wicked was definately the top....I could see it over and over and over again.
Syd loved the Museum of Natural History b/c there were dinos and a horse exhibit...talk about heaven for our little animal lover. Of course, she calls it the "night at the museum." Out of all the fun stuff we did, that was her favorite part. Even better than swimming w/ the dolphins...go figure.
Layne was really good. She sat through a ton of dinners in nice restaurants, the Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. She learned how to say "no" and "mommy" on this trip. She grew a lot and is starting to get some hair!
Mere navigated the subway and buses w/ both girls during the day while I took my course and she was a pro by the time we left. I'm not sure if I would have had the gusto to take them both all day, everyday into the city....but she did...they squeezed every moment out of our vacation.
And I got to shop. OMG, the "fake" purses on canal street....amazing!!! I got 5 and would have gotten more but I had to carry the damn things all through the city. Next time I am going there last and buying as many purses as I can get! The girls were all very good sports while I did my shopping.....I seem to be alone in loving this pasttime. But, Layne sure does like shoes so there may be some hope for a future shopping buddy.
Now, I have to go catch up on reading all of your blogs. I feel like I have been so out of the loop:)
Friday, May 23, 2008
1. Giggidy, giggidy, giggidy, giggidy (ok....I know only a few of you will get this one)
2. Maddie overcoming her fear and touching a stingray
3. Late night talk with my sister in law
4. Watching Maddie, Colin, and Syd get pulled into the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom and dance with the cast
5. Layne's face everytime she saw a new animal and waved, "hi"
6. Hysterical laughing at the most ridiculous stuff
7. Senor smoothy buns
8. Sydney in Dinoland....need I say more? Follow it with, "when I grow up I'm going to be a paleontologist."
9. Snorkeling with Sydney in the coral reef.....underwater, holding hands, just us...amazing!
10. Layne touching the stingrays and laughing hysterically
11. Quality time with family
It has been soooooo great. Now onto my dad's for some much needed rest and relaxation but I will really miss the Maddie and Colin (and, I KNOW syd will)
Friday, May 16, 2008
So, here I am in small town, AR moonlighting for the weekend. I can't quit smiling....I don't even care if I sleep because I am almost done :)))))
Thursday, May 8, 2008
But today she still loves to snuggle and hug and sit in my lap. I'm going to soak it up as long as I can.
I can't wait to go to her ceremony tonight and watch her sing and dance and walk across the stage in her little white cap and gown. We found the cutest dress for her and a heart locket (that will be a suprise) to give her before her show. Of course we are having mac and cheese for dinner....Syd's favorite. I can't wait to get home and curl her hair (at her request) and dote on her.
I'm so proud of our little girl. Stay tuned for super cute pics! Now, if Layne can just behave during the graduation (crossing fingers and praying).
The graduation was awesome!!!!! Sydney did such an excellent job during her show and all the kids were so great. It really is fun to watch them all grow up and change. These events always remind me of how much I love Syd's school and our community. How did Layne do?? Great...she was actually a little transfixed. I think she enjoyed watching her "ba ba" perform. I know pics are in order but Mere has control of the camera and she took a gazillion pics. So go to her blog and bug her to post them (I want to show them off at work!).
Monday, May 5, 2008
Then I reached over and pulled Syd over so we were all cuddled up together. It was definately one of those moments that you never want to forget. Such sweetness!!!!!
And yes, they do still sleep with us. And no, I don't need any negative opinions on co sleeping (in case you were tempted).
On another note, we found a really great shirt for Mere this weekend. It says, "I make milk, what's your superpower?" Love it!
Friday, May 2, 2008
Her: "Dr. Joheim, this is XXX calling from XXXX (nursing home)"
Her: "Ms. X who is a regular pt of Dr. X scratched a mole at the base of her neck"
Me: Silence....waiting for the rest
Her: "It was bleeding but I put a band aid on it and it is better now"
Me: Still silence....wondering if she is going to tell me something important
Her: "I just needed to tell you."
Me (to Mere): "I am totally blogging about that conversation!"
Another random conversation for you. We were at the movies a few weeks ago (in small town) when we had a very interesting conversation with a stranger in the restroom. Syd was standing in front of the mirror wiggling her loose tooth and telling me how it is "sooo loose." About that time a young (around 20) women walked up to me and said, "she has a loose tooth?" I said, "yes." She then told me that she recently had tooth surgery and it "really hurt." She then opened her mouth and showed me the tooth that she had surgery on, repeating, "it really hurt." OK.....I am rarely left speechless but I did not know what to say. I know I said, "gross....I mean, I'm sorry." I grabbed Sydney and we walked away as she left the bathroom. I looked at Mere and said, "I hope she was high." Super weird!!! I really do hope she was hoped up on pain meds.
That is all I have for today. Happy Friday. I have the whole weekend off....yeah!!!!
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This is a post for my SIL, Melissa (and anyone else who reads). In a previous post, that has been deleted, I said some things that were hurtful. I did not intend to hurt anyone or be mean but I can see how that post could have been hurtful. I AM SORRY!!!!!! To set the record straight, I love Mere's family (who I consider my family). I have been with them for 9 years and we have all grown and changed a lot. AND, I will be with them for many, many more. I love Melissa and her family, Mary and her family, Megan and her family, and my mother and father in law. I would do ANYTHING for anyone of them at any time without question. It has never been my intention to hurt anyone and it really pains me to think that I have. I honestly did not think that what I wrote would be hurtful, but I WAS WRONG.
I am certainly not perfect, I admit. But my intentions are not bad....I just sometimes lose the ability to filter my thoughts/words/etc. Again, I'm sorry and I love you.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I was never one of those people who had a list of things I wanted to do before I turned 30. I remember in college friends who would say, "I want to be married and have 2 kids before I turn 30." I figured I'd be single and busy with my career. My only "goal" before turning 30 was to be a doctor. Luckily, life had other plans.
The other night (while Mere was at a photography class) the girls and I had a blast. Somewhere along the way we were dancing around the kitchen to Hannah Montana, oh yeah. "Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has those days." Love her (don't care if it makes me strange). Layne was clapping her hands, Syd was twirling around, and we were singing and laughing. It was SO MUCH FUN. It was one of those moments that you wish you could freeze in time for 10 yrs down the line when my kids are too cool for me.
I'm 30 and I have so much more than I ever thought I would! Yeah, I'm a doctor but better yet...I'm a mom to the 2 most perfect children on the planet and a wife to the greatest woman alive. I would say that life is definately what happens while we are busy making plans....thank GOD.
I'm 30....so what??????????????
Monday, April 14, 2008
When Syd was little, Mere and I used to look at parents with "spirited" children and say, "we would never let our kid act like that." Temper tantrum? What is that? No, not our perfect, wonderful child. Airplane rides, restaurants, movies....you name it and we could do it knowing that Syd would cooperate and behave the entire time. From the time she was 15 months old you could tell Syd no and she got it. Don't get me wrong, we have had our fair share of time outs and discipline with Syd but she has always been a laid back little soul. She is sensitive and thoughtful and not willing to take many risks. She was the kind of toddler that you really didn't need to childproof for (but we did!) because she always stuck close to us and took our cues. I could have easily stayed home with Syd and spent every waking moment with her. Mere and I rarely went anywhere without her and just couldn't understand parents who needed a break.
Well, that was then and this is now! Layne is Syd's polar opposite. She is a fit throwing, fast moving firecracker. She is stubborn and fearless and persistent. She has more energy then all of us put together and she will WEAR YOU OUT FAST. She is our little monkey. Mere and I have both handed her off many times with the phrase, "you take her because I can't take anymore." But when she smiles the room stops and her laughter is pure sunshine. When she snuggles up next to you and cuddles it's the closest to heaven you can get on earth.
I love both my girls more than life itself. I love time with them. They are so different and so wonderful. Tonight Mere called me after taking them to a church function for 2 hours and she sounded like she had run a marathon. I mean, she sounded exhausted. She had a full day of taking care of the girls all by herself and then a night out with them alone (I am pulling a 24 hr shift). I could tell by her voice that she was as exhausted as I have ever been and she has to get up and do it all over again tommorrow. Chasing Layne around is a FULL time job.......I know she is always going to challenge and suprise us and WEAR US OUT!!!! That is the reason why I could not be a stay at home mom.....it's too hard :))
Thank God for Mere!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Yesterday I was in the University ER (in the city, not the small town) and a patient came in who was ready to die. She had lived hard.....drugs, alcohol, unprotected sex, and I'm sure a lot of things that I can't imagine. She has Hepatitis C and combined with her lifestyle she found herself suffering from end stage liver disease. She had a rapid decline over the last 4-5 months which happens when the liver finally quites working. She had been discharged from the hospital 4 days before and told that she had a very poor prognosis. She went to a nursing home in hopes that she would be able to stay off of drugs and alcohol. As she put it, "I have been to every treatment facility in the south." To get on the liver transplant list you must have 6 months of documented sobriety and AA meetings......that is just to get an appointment with a liver specialist. Even if she did get completely sober she would be looking at somewhere around a year to 18 months before she would be able to get on the list. And then the real waiting would begin (assuming she ever got that far). Like most people, she would have died waiting for a transplant. And this is not a pleasant death.....I have told Mere on multiple occasions that long, drawn out liver failure must be one of the worst ways to die.
Anyway, she came in from the nursing home with severe shortness of breath secondary to her huge abdomen (full of fluid because her liver is failing) and a desire to be put on hospice. This woman had spent time working for hospice and knew exactly what she was saying. Essentially, she was ready to die. No more working towards sobriety, no more doctors, no more needles, no more suffering. She just wanted to be made comfortable. This poor, emaciated, bruised, yellow woman was clearly in so much pain (physical and emotional) and she was by herself. Her dad and sister had unrealistic expectations and she knew they would not be ok with her choice. She has 2 adult children that would not be ok with this choice. But she knew this was the only choice she could make. She had made her peace and "was right with God" and wanted to be made comfortable. One of the things that I was able to do to make her comfortable was to draw some of the fluid off of her abdomen, otherwise known as a paracentesis.
Usually when I do procedures I go look for med students or interns to help and often guide them through the procedure. But today it was just the patient and me. I couldn't even find any nurses to help. So it was her and me, alone, for almost a hour. I put the needle in and started draining fluid, 9 liters to be exact. The fluid doesn't flow super fast so essentially I was sitting there holding the needle and we talked and talked. She alternated between crying and being very composed. We talked about her life, her children, her business, life, death, what to expect, how much time, and a few other things. I sat on the edge of her bed (after she offered) and allowed myself to connect to her. We are from 2 separate worlds but in that moment I let my guard down and found myself feeling very close to her. It is hard to explain. I was the first person she told that she had decided to go to hospice. I was the first person that she had really discussed death with and it was a honor to be that person. No judgements, just compassion and love.
She said, "I guess I'm pretty lucky that I almost made it to 50 living the life that I led." I just can't imagine being in that situation. Knowing that you are going to die and knowing that you did it to yourself. She said, "I wish I could tell people that it is not worth it." I finished up the procedure and reassured her that she would not be alone, that hospice would be there for her. I thanked her for letting me sit with her and I left. But, she did not leave me.
There is a growing handful of patients that I know I will always remember. Some for very profound reasons, some for funny reasons, and some because they were just so sad. But they all gave something back to me. They all reminded me what a honor and privilege it is to be a doctor. To be trusted with such intimate moments, to have the ability to comfort people when they need it most, and to connect to people on such a primative level.
So, in the end...........these are the reasons why I am a doctor. Despite all the daily shit it IS worth it.