03 November, 2008


So what a fun month of health care I have had. Here are the fun stuff i have had done in order of pleasantness.
1. Flu Shot
2. Pelvic Ultrasound
3. Pap smear
4. Endometrial Biopsy
5. Mammogram
It has been a super fun month.

So, the reason for the extra fun tests like the ultrasound and biopsy is that I am anemic and my periods are being irregular and very heavy. I have been checked for fibroids, put on iron supplements, and now had a biopsy done to check for pre-cancerous cells. It is highly unlikely that I have the pre-cancerous cells but more likely that I have Dysfunctional Menstrual Bleeding or DMB which I have renamed to DuMB. It seems like a cop-out diagnosis. But the increased bleeding is causing the anemia which needs to be fixed by reducing the bleeding. I have a few options on the table and have discussed them with my doctor, my gynecologist, and my wife. I will make my decision with the gynecologist once I hear the results of the biopsy. It has been a week today, the promised time in which I would hear. But, no news. I am not worried about having cancer but would really like the results so I could move on and leave all this behind. I am wicked cranky about it.

Also, mammogram, it was the worst and I do not look forward to repeating it ever again.

I Did. Did You?

Diner Fun

27 September, 2008


I've had two medical appointments in less than a week and feel unsettled about the whole thing. Monday's appointment was my yearly physical. First, the johnny they gave me had a heart lead sticker stuck inside it with some one's hair stuck to that. Eeeww! So, I took it off and put the johnny on only to find that it did not even come close to fitting. It did not close, in fact, there was a good 3 - 4 inches of exposed flesh. So I covered up with the paper "blanket." So very undignified. I tried to go through the exam acting like none of that bothered me or made me feel wrong for being a person of size. But inside, I felt I was the wrong size, not the stupid johnny. It was not fun.

Today, I had my first mammogram. The woman seemed almost irked that I did not know how to stand or move my body. Her directions were vague like "turn in." When I asked her to clarify, she said never mind. She did not even direct me how to place my breast, MY BREAST, on the machine. Instead, she grabbed it and placed it there and moved it about. Did you know it isn't just your breast they squish the hell out of? No, it is your chest/shoulder muscle and that is the part that hurts. When I would close my eyes to try to go to some inner peace place, she would tell me "eyes open." I have no idea why. After 7 x-rays, I left the room with red marks all around each breast and feeling useless and stupid.

I am deeply unhappy that I felt like I was the wrong size at my physical, like the johnny was a not so subtle message from the nurse to loose weight. And I am deeply unhappy about the mammogram tech. One should not leave an appointment, especially one as important as screening for breast cancer, feeling useless and stupid. This has been a very bad week for health care experiences for me.

Sadly, I have at least one more undignified appointment coming up, a uterine ultrasound, both external and internal. I cannot wait to see how that one goes.

17 September, 2008

Poor Clementine

Clementine wrote this blog about me today. However, I feel for her today. She had a baby wake up at nap time and cry so much, he woke up the rest of the group, many of whom cried. She is having the worse day.

15 September, 2008


Someone close is taking a step into either a new way of being or back to a destructive time. I pray it will be the first. Please be careful.

14 September, 2008

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

I joined Facebook this weekend.


I was unsure what to say when my daughter took my underware (boxers with flames on them) from the dirty cloths bin and said "cute." Any thoughts?

12 September, 2008


So yeah, it is 4 AM and I am awake. I cannot sleep. The dog woke me up by barking a ton and throwing up. After taking care of that, I still could not sleep. Too many things on my mind.

Work has been wicked stressful since I got back from our vacation. I think it was stressful before the vacation but I had not relaxed for so long, I did not know just how stressful it had become. I recently had to gather together all the things I have done at work for our clinical advancement program. When I typed up all the committees I have been on, the special projects I have worked on, the research I do, my different actions as a leader, etc., I saw there was a huge discrepancy between how my boss treats me and what the paper said. I had so many more points than needed to maintain my clinical leader status (highest level of the clinical ladder). So my questions since vacation has been "why do I feel like I am on the verge of fucking up when I actually am far from a fuck up?" And the answer is within management. I wish I could say more but fear retribution if found out. However, the other thing I have learned of recent is how much I am respected by other managers and upper management. When I hear that the head of the medical branch of the hospital, a world renowned researcher in burn care, respects my work and research, I about cried on the spot. Medical facilities are so very based on hierarchy and I am very low on that hierarchy. To be noticed by the chief medical officer is pretty good. So, I have decided to not feel like I am a fuck up but to look at the macro view of me and the hospital. However this shift, although less stressful for me in the long range, is very stressful in the short range. Shifting perspectives like this is taking me time to adjust to. Hence, I am up at fucking 3:30 AM.

There is plenty more stress at work though that adds to this inability to fall back asleep. Abstracts for the American Burn Association are due on the 21st and I need to have my data analyzed so I can submit. I do not know squat about stats and have to rely upon other staff. They are always quite happy to help but I feel bad that I cannot do this all by myself. I know, no man (or woman) is an island. But I have built my career, including my research, by myself, except for the stats part. I have not had the luck to get a leg up from anyone.

Until now. There is a resident at a hospital next door that wants to continue his research on the effects of music on hypermetabolic state at my hospital. I was asked to help him out. We met yesterday, the resident, the assistant chief of staff, the research nurse, and I to discuss his research plans. My bottom line to help out was to be an author and the resident agreed. I was not too sure because much of the meeting was conducted between the doctors and I felt like I was not even there. I was wicked stressed for that meeting but it worked out.

I have had so many meetings of late that I have not been able to devote adequate time to my clinical load. I see some kids 1 to 2 times a week instead of every day I am there. This is bothering me greatly.

Oh, a few years ago, I received a grant award that is funding one of my research projects. It was to be completed in one year but has not been completed yet. There are a myriad of reasons including red tape, subject evaporation (when your study finally gets approved and all potential subjects disappear even though the hospital was filled with them the week before), clinical load not allowing me time to do the research sessions, procedures starting without me there to conduct the research, etc. But it is poking along. I have 8 more subjects to do to complete it.

Well, the 10th anniversary of the grant award is coming up and at this conference in Nov., I have been asked to present on my research (my incomplete research). Great. So, I said yes and hoped it would be completed. Well, the due date for the PowerPoint slides is MONDAY and I have not started yet. Luckily, it is a 10 minute presentation but FUCK, what am I going to say? And my hospital wants us to use their new template with the new branding design for all talks but I cannot figure out how to use their template. It is too much in the graphic designer stage and not a simple template that has all the colors and shapes they want that I can just enter my text. Crap. Now I have to see if the graphic design guy at work can help me out TODAY and I still do not have any fucking clue what I am going to say in the presentation.

And it is day surgery day so I am in pre-op all morning without a second to work on any of this other stuff. Or see my regular patients.

And the dog is sick.

And I have not had more than 5 hours of sleep any night this week.

And Sarah Palin. Or however she spells her name.

And friends are in distress.

And I have a HUGE to do list for the house.

And I have hardly seen my wife or daughter this week.

I am gonna buy the BIG coffee today cause I am going to need it.