Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to you!!!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Meredith,
Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!

I love you!!!!!
Now can we get a wii????

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Everybody Makes Mistakes

Yes, that is 2 times in one week that I have quoted Hannah's starting to get out of hand.

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

Cheap Date

This is what I "made" for dinner tonight:
Turkey and cheese sandwiches on wheat bread
Bananna and strawberries cut up and put in a bowl
Carrots and celery with dip

Syd sat down to eat and said, "Mommy this dinner is so beautiful. I love all the colors together." Then she went on to eat every last bite and raved the entire time. How many nights have I slaved over home cooked, nutritious meals only to have her complain!!! But a sandwich and some fruit and all of a sudden I am Julia Child....go figure.

And, after dinner....bathtime....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Big 3-0!

I know it has been awhile. But, as my better half blogged...we have been "active." The last week has been a the midst of it all I turned 30 and Mere and I celebrated 9 years together. More about our anniversary on the next post.

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 what??????????????

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Other Reason Why

It is official, we have a wild child!

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, 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's too hard :))
Thank God for Mere!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Reason Why

I find that it is often hard to remember why I'm a doctor. The long hours, the politics, non compliant patients, a broken system, and the expectation that you are supposed to be superhuman. It is not a job where people say, "this is just my job." No, it is a life. You are always held to a higher standard. Just when I think......Aggghhhhh...God reminds me of the reason why I am a doctor.

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.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Back in the Closet

It all started with the alarm. A VERY, VERY loud alarm that woke us up on Thursday night. Mere sat up and said, "I think that is the tornado alarm." OK, so it was storming outside but I figured it was just another Arkansas thunderstorm that we have grown to expect this time of the year. We both jumped up and ran to the tv. Yes, there were several "twisters" heading straight for us. There are always tornados in Arkansas but they never go through Little Rock and I've never heard the tornado alarms going off except for the Wed afternoon test. They just kept screaming and screaming. As we are sitting there watching tv I look at Mere and ask, "should we get in the closet?" She is still pretty calm and says, "no, not yet. we are still good." Then another update on the path of the tornado.....yep, right towards are neighborhood. Mere says, "I think we should go in the closet." Then the lights go out and we realize we don't have a flashlight. I grab Syd and Mere grabs Layne (both blissfully unaware of what is going on) and we stuff ourselves into a very small closet in the back of the house. No radio, no tv, no phone, no lights, no flashlight. Just us sitting there wondering what is going to happen. All you could hear was wind and the tornado alarm. Then one of the alarms quit sounding mid-siren. Great, now we can't even hear the alarms.

Syd wakes up and says, "mommy, why are we in the closet?" I explain that there is a storm and that everything is going to be fine. She says, "right, because I'm with mommy and momma and you will keep us safe." I said, "that's right honey, go back to sleep." But I can't keep you safe from a tornado. In that moment everything stopped. All I wanted was to keep my girls safe. All of a sudden nothing else was important, nothing else mattered....just my girls.

It was so quiet and kinda eerie and then we hear, "Nur-Nur, Nur-Nur." Layne doesn't care where we are or what is happening, she just wants to nurse. I'm thinking the most massive, destructive tornado cannot rip Layne away from the "Nur-Nurs." It was a little comic relief when we needed it most.

Anyway, long story short....we survived without any damage to us or our house. The tornado did do some pretty hefty damage but it missed us and our neighborhood...THANK GOD! It was scary but fast. Sydney got to spend Friday at home because her school lost power. Luckily, ours was back on by Friday night. Sat morning Syd woke up and said, "I sure am glad there were no more tornados last night." Amen to that!