Thursday, November 14, 2013

Another Year

So, it's nearly my birthday, and another year gone by in my life.

One of these days I may even get things right, but until then I guess I'll just have to be happy with all my imperfections.  I guess it is fitting that for those born under the sign of the Scorpio the Tarot card that signifies death and rebirth are their card.  The Death card is our card.  The end of one thing, the beginning of another.  I'm not sure about all you other scorps out there, but that tends to be very true for me.  I'm constantly seeming to be in a state of flux.  One thing or another ends, and I must then struggle to seek a new path, a new way, or to rebirth myself.  It's interesting, but it's also exhausting.

I'm so tired of change, I just want for once in my life for something to be constant.  And I don't mean being unemployed either LOL.  I'm sitting here trying to think of what things I have had that have been constant.  My family, and my love for them, that's one, a good one.  Which, by the way, I had a call from my big bruvver the other day, that was nice.  I love him, and don't get to see him often enough.  I think maybe that's the only constant I have had.  I suppose it's kept me fairly sane despite all the ups and downs.  I think at this point the downs are ahead, but I'm working on that.

Hopefully, once I claw my way out of this hole, I'm out for good...........think I may need a long hot bath once I do, it's a bit musty down here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Autumn Lessons

In a disposable world, we find that everything is "disposable".

People seem to think everything is disposable.  We throw away furniture that's well worn, electronics past their "top of the line" date, pets that they think are too much problem and even people.  Autumn was a 6 week old puppy with some severe medical problems.  Her original owners thought that this was a problem that was too deep, too expensive or too much trouble and so they were going to throw this little doggies life more victim of a disposable lifestyle.  Her last owner saw the gem in her and took her and her medical problems on.  Then Autumn got lost.

I had moments where I questioned the wisdom of a God that would saddle someone like me with a little dog, traumatized as she was and with a problem I knew instinctively was not her fault.  Especially on a "sticky poo" day.  Poor little thing her butt must have itched when the little pooplets didn't just fall off and so she decided to "paint" the carpet with her butt scooting.  That day I had to be proactive, and keep a close eye on her after several carpet scrubbings, all the while assuring little Autumn that it was ok, she wasn't in trouble.  And then washing her hind quarters as gently as I could.  By the end of the day, she didn't necessarily like the tooshy washes, but she was extremely patient and even wagged her tail while I took care of her.

During the 3 weeks she's been with me, we've only had 2 days of sticky poo, so that is definitely a good thing, and only one of those days was multiple times during the day.  The first such day was only a one time thing in the morning.

What I learned from Autumn is possibly more valuable than a lot of lessons I could learn elsewhere.  Autumn chose me, from the hundreds of people that were at the pool at the doggy dive that day.  She saw in me, perhaps a kindred spirit, someone that was battered, bruised and broken.  Perhaps she knew I'd been thrown away as something disposable too.  This little dog had the sweetest temperament of any dog I've known, aside from my little Aceroni, who's been gone now for about 10 years.  She is smart, ultra sensitive, patient, and just a loving little joy.

Granted the problems with her pooper might be a little trying, but everything else about her makes up for that little problem.  Maybe she saw the same thing in me, and that's why she chose to have me take her home and nurse her back to health.  Perhaps she knew that I'd instinctively know that her little pooplets were not her fault and rather than be scolded, I'd be patient with her and do my best to help her through it and calm her anxiety.

I'm glad to say, she seems fully recovered.  I'm also glad to report that her original owner has come forward, gotten things settled and was ready for her to come home.  Little Autumn is now Bubbles (bubbies) once more.  Fatcat and little kitty had never seen a dog before, but they kept the peace during the time she was here.  Perhaps, they too, instinctively knew this little lady had some healing to do, and little kitty had to be the most patient of all, giving up her rightful spot as mommy's hip attachment and making room for a little doggy.  I can say that Fatman(Loki) and little kitty(Ciara) seem fairly joyous to have their home back.  Fatman has been jaunting around the apartment playing as freely as before she arrived, and babykitty has reclaimed her position as mommy's hip attachment.

For my part, I will miss her, and the lessons that came with her.  Nothing is disposable, least of all people and pets.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn's (Bubbles') Story

I have been contacted by the 4 year owner of Autumn.

Her name was Bubbles, they were in the park playing when I gather that Bubbles suddenly ran off.  I'm not sure what the circumstance was surrounding her just taking off, but suffice it to say, she did so.  Her owner looked for her for several days, and then finally gave up.  She was apparently perusing Craig's list in the community pet section and came across my article and sent a response to it.

Since then, I've learned a few things about Autumn.  She was a puppy who had a problem with her tooshy.  She couldn't go and so needed what I gather was a costly surgery to correct it so that she could go poo.  The original owners either couldn't afford it, or saw this as a potential life long and costly affair.  They were prepared to destroy this 6 week old pup.  The last owner took her on, saw her through her surgery and knows about her dropping little pooplets.  This is apparently a side effect of having to correct her pooper so that the opening was large enough to pass her waste.

Her owner recently lost her job, and in her words, "doesn't deserve her any more".  I disagree with that.  Everyone falls on hard times as I very well know.  She's currently not sure if she can/will find another job and is facing possibly losing her home.  I sent her what I hope was an encouraging email telling her that we don't blame her for lilpup running off, nor do we think she was a bad pet owner just because she lost her job.  That perhaps this was God's way of telling her it's time to slow down and focus on the most important things in life, which are the ones you love and who love you back.  Perhaps she was getting that message already, and didn't listen so God forced the issue.  Who's to say.

Either way, I've told her that if she wants me to keep Autumn aka Bubbles for the time being until she sorts things out, I will.  I also said that it's apparent she loved this little dog.  She's got some great training already, and you don't devote time and money into something you don't love......well, at least you shouldn't.  I told her that when she gets back on her feet, if she's ready for Autumn to come home, then I'm more than happy to bring her to her.

I certainly hope that she finds another position that allows her to focus on the important things, while also being able to keep her home and pets.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Crazy Autumn

LOL yesterday was a fun day.

I woke up and got Autumn as usual.  She loves attention and gets so happy and excited to be let out of the kennel, so I like to spend time with her first thing in the morning.  Well, when I was brushing my teeth I noticed she had a little pooplet stuck to her tooshie.  So I was just about to grab some TP and get it when she started to put her butt on the floor to scoot it.  I said nooooooo (you know, that slomo movie kind while you're diving for the priceless vase).  Not too loud, but she still thought oh crap, I'm in big trouble, and darted out of sight.

I grabbed some TP and looked around for her, and don't you know, she ran into the kennel and was facing the wall like she was in trouble. >.< LOL.  I brought her out and reassured her you're not in trouble but let's get this off you, and then cleaned her up with some wipes.  Then of course I had to give her tons of affection since she was so wounded.

Later, I took her to pet smart and found her a little seatbelt harness.  I've taken her on a few car rides and keep adjusting it, because her name should possibly be Houdini.  She just wiggles herself out of that and I swear I don't know how since it feels snug enough to me, but I tighten it a bit more here and there and try again.

I also noticed some fleas on her, and not knowing when she's been treated, if ever, I went ahead and got some biospot to try that.  I haven't really seen too many on her since then so that's good.

The vet wasn't in when we were there, I got there just after they'd closed, but we did stop in where they do grooming so I could ask how much things like that would be.  She get's a little nervous around bigger animals, but all in all, I think she had a pretty good time.

I still laugh when I give her treats or food and she carries it around for a while until she decides to eat them.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Healing Autumn

Progress is always a wonderful thing.

When Autumn first came here just over a week ago, she did not bark.  She stuck to me like glue.  She would scream like death was coming for her if I had to kennel her to go to the store......she would of course wait until after I'd left and I'd hear this pitiful wailing when I was coming to my door to unlock it.  She wouldn't go poop or pee very often if something distracted her.

So far, I've gotten her to the point where, she might feel a little anxious when I'm in the bath, but the crying is now minimal, which is wonderful since I don't really like smelling bad........NO MATTER WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD TO THE CONTRARY!  Just kidding :P.  She will stand being kenneled overnight, though getting her in on her own is not happening.  She will, however, tolerate me placing her in, giving her a lot of praise, adjusting her blankies, giving her chewies and treats, and petting her before I tell her it's ninitime.  I'm not sure if she sleeps when she is in there, but I tend to get up during the night for the bathroom or whatever, and if she cries I get her out and let her lie with me for a while til I'm ready to get up get up.

I've begun taking her out without her asking me to take her out, and that seems to actually be helping with the bathroom anxiety.  She's going more consistently while I'm taking numerous trips out with her.  She doesn't ALWAYS go, but then, I wouldn't expect her to.  I'm seeing less pooplets, so I think this is possibly a good thing for her, so she knows she is not bothering me by asking to go out.  I can't confirm of course, but it seems some of this anxiety could stem from being lost, or even from having been left alone for long periods of time and then being reprimanded for going potty on the floor....or where ever she was kept.

Autumn has found her voice too, now I just have to help her learn how to use it a bit more quietly.  Since I can sometimes have insomnia, it's not a great thing for her to be barking at the trees, bushes, shadows etc at 2 am 4 am etc.

She still sticks primarily to me, but she's more free now.  She's getting down to play, drink and explore, though the periods are brief.  She's a little more curious about the kitties, but she tends to snap at fatman whereas the little kitty she's more tolerant of.  I'm not sure where that comes from, perhaps a feral cat was not nice to her when she was lost, and maybe it was a big one.  Neither fatman nor babykitty has ever seen a dog except through the window, so they tend to be a little careful around her though they won't run unless she charges at them.  The times she does this is typically if she's by my side, or if food is nearby.  I tend to spoil the animals, so they are all allowed some people food if I think it won't hurt them to have some.  I'm trying to give them some near each other and reassuring them all when they get it, so they know no one will go forgotten.

Fatman (Loki) is a big baby, so even though he's probably 5 times her size, he runs away if she shows any aggression towards him.  I'd really like them all to be friends, since it might be nice for her to have someone to play with besides me.  And they could keep one another warm.  Babykitty (Ciara) is a bit more adventurous and walks all over me even when lilpup is by my side.  I'm sure it vexes her that mommy has a new hip attachment, since that's always typically been her spot.  She's finding ways around it though, by sitting on the other side on the chair arm when she wants attention.  Autumn isn't as quick to snap at her, but usually they're both in arms reach and I can pet them both and subdue any inclination to want to snap more easily in these interactions.  That may be one reason, the other may be that babykitty is smaller than her, so perhaps she perceives her as less threat.  It could also be that since she's taken her place at my side, she may have more of that smell so it could be a more comforting or acceptable relationship.

I don't know what the relationship was with the previous owners.  I've had no response from anyone claiming her.  It is obvious that someone played with her at some time since she will fetch and play tug to some extent.

I have been leaving her out of the kennel when I'm only gone for short periods, and she seems to be doing well.  I'm not sure what they all do while I'm gone, but nothing seems to be disturbed when I get back.  She will sit and stay when I go to the door to leave, so she has been taught some of the fundamental things a lil dog needs to know.  Either that, or she's just one smart lil lady, and knows what I want her to do.

She loves car rides, so I may take her with me to Pet Smart to look at car seats, and stop by the vet to ask if she may have a chip in her.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Autumn's Trauma

I guess I should explain a few things leading into this post.

For some odd reason, small children and animals have some kind of kinship with me.  I'm not sure what it is, but it's there.  I've had children in supermarkets attempt to get out of shopping carts for me to hold them or when pushing around friend's infants in stores etc. I've had them just rolling with laughter when I ask what they're smiling halo or my horns.  These are children too young for words, yet they find the joke hilarious.

I have yet to figure out why these little treasures have such an affinity for me, and it's MOST, not ALL of course.  I can't say I mind it all too much since I like them too.

Recently, at an event my sister organizes every year called the annual Doggie Dive, there was a little toy poodle that had been lost/abandoned or otherwise in the pool area for several days.  No one could catch her until the day of the doggie dive when she dove into the pool and I believe it was my sister who fished her out again.

I got there and found her holding this little bundle wrapped in a towel and asked, "wait, what's this.......did you get a new baby?"  My sister told me no, then proceeded to tell me how she'd finally been caught.  I approached the little lady and told her you poor baby, are you lost?  And she decided she liked me and licked me, then of course I had to hold her either in my arms or on my lap all that day.  We found a leash from one of the booths there, and some food, which I had to hand feed her while she was on my lap since she didn't yet feel confident enough to be far from me.

As the day wore on, and there were fewer dogs, I let her down to go and drink water, which she did as long as I was in her view, and then she'd run back and hop on my leg to be picked up.  She allowed my sister to hold her as well, but every time she heard my voice she would cry to come back to me.  That day I let go of the leash and she would never stray far from me, I wanted to test her reaction to having some freedom in relative safety.

Her photo was posted on several sites including the one for the doggie dive asking her rightful owners to  come and claim her.  The day passed and no one came.  The various shelters that were there could not take her as it was the weekend, and she had bonded with me, so I took her home.  I don't need a dog, I didn't want a dog, and yet I have one.  It's not a breed I would have chosen for myself, but she's apparently decided I'm a breed she would choose for herself.

We have a lot of healing to do, she throws a fit if I must leave, and even cries when I'm in the tub because we're separated by a barrier.  I'm also trying to kennel train her so that she knows "gone from sight" does not mean "gone forever".  We have made some progress, she doesn't like the kennel, but she will tolerate it as long as a shirt I've worn is placed in there with her.

I don't know how long she was lost, or what trials she faced while she was gone, but for whatever reason, I am having a hard time getting her to use the bathroom.  She will cry to go out, but if something distracts her, she will not go.  It took me half the day from the time we woke up until a little while ago to get her to go pee today.  For some reason she's got the idea that going pee/poop isn't a good idea or allowed, and so when she does I give her a lot of praise.  I can not imagine how uncomfortable it must be for such a little dog to hold that for days at a time.  Since she won't go for long periods of times, and she's trying so hard to hold it, she might drop little "pooplets" when she gets excited, but since it's not on purpose and is stemming from the trauma she's not corrected for it.  It's a side effect of her feeling like she has to hold it, and we're trying to work through that too.  If anyone knows about these things, feel free to share.

We have discovered that I can leave the room without too much fuss if she's interested in chasing the laser light that the kitties love so much.  She will chase that thing all over and nothing else exists for her in that perfect moment of play.  She carries around treats and food, but she's getting braver, and jumping down on her own sometimes to get some and bringing it back to eat near me, instead of me having to take her and feeding her by hand.

She had no collar and so I don't know her "old" name, and so since she looks like fall colors I'm calling her Autumn.....whenever she's not being called good girl or pretty girl.  I've also added a post to craig's list since I'm not sure where her owners might think to look, but no matter what, no one can have her if that bond is not there, or if she shows any kind of hesitance or fear.  I will not risk having this little lady go through any more trauma at the hands of another human.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

More Thoughts on Bad Medicine

If you can't tell, medicine is where my heart has always been, so this is a subject near and dear to my heart.  Seeing people receiving less than outstanding medical care hurts my heart.

I had another thought about my last post, and rather than make a comment which could be missed since I feel it's an important thought, I thought I'd better post another entry.  Something that is so important is knowing that you the patient are taken seriously.  It is the responsibility of every health care professional to help make that happen.  I, like everyone, indicated in my last post have had to "turn patients away" but never did I ever disregard them.  I did NOT want to run the risk of them feeling like their illness or symptoms were stupid or unimportant.  I TOLD them they were important and it was definitely important for them to be seen so they could be healthy and things would not progress to an even worse state.  I may not have been able to see them whenever I was in an emergent/urgent area if they had a problem that was not acute, urgent etc. but I could definitely help them find the care that they did need, AND ensure that they were validated as a person.

That having been said, I was having other thoughts that I left unsaid.  It is SO important to be honest with your patients.  Honesty, while in this day and age seems to be more rare, is precious.  If you don't know what's wrong with them, rather than take the attitude that it's all THEIR fault that something is wrong and they have wacky symptoms that don't seem to go together, tell them.  I am so sorry, your symptoms are manifesting in a way that this seems a rather mysterious illness, and I don't know what it could be........BUT, we definitely need to work at helping you on your way to recovery and a healthier you, so we will EXPLORE what that illness may be, we will find out what it is, so that we can treat the underlying cause.  Let's do some tests, I'll talk to my colleagues or if all else fails you.........don't forget there's always the internet people!  Let them know, I don't know right now, we will test, we will find out and we will get you healthy again.........NEVER FORGET THAT IT SUCKS TO BE SICK, IT SUCKS TO BE IN PAIN AND ANYONE WITH THE OPTION WOULD NOT BE IN THAT STATE!  I thought I should highlight that for you since so many seem to take that attitude that coming to see you is on the top of everyone's to do list for the week.

When I was having so many odd symptoms, it was a brand spankin new doctor just out of the box that diagnosed me.  She had no idea, but had heard of my odd symptoms and sought ME out.  I didn't know her from adam, she worked in a different area than I did.  She did tons of tests, she talked to me, looked at me, even had me bring in photos of myself and family.  She explored EVERYTHING at her disposal.  She didn't know what was wrong with me, but sought the answer for me.  I thank God for her every day, because I could still be wondering while getting worse were it not for her.  She had an intuition for what MIGHT be, and she followed up on that.  She then educated me about what was known about my illness, and I took it further.  I looked up anything and everything I could get my hands on, I wanted to know what was going to happen to me.  My symptoms are NOT typical of my disease.  I have some typical, but I have some atypical also.  But then again, if you treat symptoms and not the problem, you have a whole list of syndromes, illnesses or medical problems.  So, it very well may be that people with my disorder have joint pain, migraines, arthritis, bone deterioration etc etc.  We may never know until someone takes all the files of all the people with my illness and does a comparative study.

I know when I was diagnosed, I basically became the leading authority on my disease.  I then successfully diagnosed and encouraged treatment of several other women I recognized with the beginning symptoms that began first manifesting with me.  I was diagnosed in the 90th percentile, which is very far along in any disease/syndrome.  I'm hopeful we were able to avert some of the worse ones for the young ladies I came into contact with after finding out about, and studying my disease.  If you break me down piece meal then I have chronic migraines, arthritis, PCOD etc etc.  But if you look at the entire picture, perhaps there is a treatment for my disease which would treat them all by treating at the source.  I don't want to be the lil old lady with 50 million pill bottles, I don't like taking medicine and have enough trouble taking what I already have to.  Because my disease affects also my digestive system, I take medicine for high cholesterol, which I've had since a little before diagnosis, acid reflux a little after diagnosis, and the metformin for the actual disease itself.  To me, it's evident that one affects the other.  Disease affects digestive system......digestive system decides wheeeee this is fun let's do other weird stuff now!  That's one reason I think it's SO important we look at the person as a whole.  Do ALL the symptoms stem from the same source.....if so, is there a way to treat the source and alleviate ALL the symptoms?  Wouldn't that be awesome?

No matter what, if you know, if you don't know and let your patients know that, that's what matters in the long run.  Letting them know they are important and their health is important to YOU, is important.  When you finally find out, especially in cases like mine, and the link I posted in the previous entry, after years of mistreatment, nontreatment, told you're crazy etc.  Diagnosis is like a banner.  It's like SEE I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG AND YOU PEOPLE TOLD ME AND TREATED ME LIKE I WAS STUPID>>>>>>>>IN YOUR FACE!  LOL

Yeah, there are hypochondriacs in the world, but it's .0000000000000000000001% of the population so you can't go around treating everyone like a loon just because YOU'RE lazy and don't want to look for the answers!

Bad Medicine (Part 2)

Well, I did warn you I had a lot to say on this subject :P

Before I begin, however, I want to lay the groundwork for who and what Corpsmen in the Navy truly are.  I've spent time as a patient in other service's facilities, and I must say, I don't see the same capacity in them.  I'm not sure if this still holds true today, but prior to my leaving in 1997, it was.  The closest I could describe a corpsman would be a P.A. without a license.  This did not hold true for ALL corpsmen as there were those with all ability levels, differing devotion and desires to practice medicine.  I will say that if you were serious minded, and showed an ability and competency and desire to learn, the avenues for you to explore medicine were opened to you.

I have personally worked on surgical wards, with heart patients, the infirm, long term illnesses, acute illnesses, in out patient areas, in a "welfare" or "sociologist" capacity, in ER's, primary care, with the old, young and every age in between.  I've stood in on surgeries, births, and even performed minor surgical procedures.  I've worked as first responder, and the person who holds your hand, or brushes your hair before a family visit.  I remember all the patients I've ever had, and they are all very dear to me.  The lady that called me songbird when I worked nights and used to sing quietly to myself when I would be cleaning IV poles while the ward "slept" and would call me in to keep her company and sing to her between my rounds since she couldn't sleep.  The ones who would tell me family was coming and so I did my best to make sure they looked nice so they could feel better about receiving that company.  Every size, shape, and color have passed my way, and even a few colors you'd never expect to see a human be.......indicating something was definitely wrong.....although one co worker managed a very lovely shade of lavender I've never seen again (yes, they were fine after I'd asked them to sit down, take a break and let me check them over).

I learned more about some diseases and their processes from observing or talking to my patients than you could ever find in a book.  This is why I taught my strikers to look at, and listen to your patients.  This brings up what I wanted to talk to you about today.  A striker in the military, is someone that wishes to take a new path into another profession.  One that either didn't have the original test scores, or a job wasn't open to them when they first joined the military.  It was my job to train them, observe them, and evaluate their performance with either recommendations to our profession or a recommendation to pass if they proved unsuitable.  On one occasion I had about 5 strikers I was teaching while running Military Sick Call.  This was meant for those that fell suddenly ill with flu, colds, minor injuries that didn't need emergency attention to come and be seen.  We corpsmen were responsible for seeing the majority of the patients as #1 we outnumbered the Doctors, and #2 most were your typical illnesses one might see on any given day, this kept the doctors open to see the more serious cases.  We practiced directly under a doctor's medical license, so their license was our umbrella.  That is one reason that not every corpsman operated under the same capacity, since some truly did show no medical expertise and thus were placed in other capacities, either in supply, admin etc.

On one occasion, a young lady I was mentoring approached me reference one of our patients that had presented to our clinic after having been turned away from Tripler Army Medical Center.  We were suited for outpatients and limited Primary Care for more urgent matters as well as Family medicine at our location, and so the army hospital was our outlet for emergencies.  He had atypical symptoms, but my striker was concerned because as she was instructed, she observed her patient.  She told me the symptoms he'd presented with, and what his appearance was, and I said well, this was a wonderful opportunity for us to teach her how to do her first EKG.  I then found out from a co worker that our EKG machine was on loan to family medicine for one of their patients.  I went to also observe the patient she was concerned about, and was struck by his general appearance, although he did not complain about "textbook" symptoms.

Directly after my observance, I asked her to please get me a wheelchair since I would be taking him to Primary care to use that EKG unit and I did not want this patient ambulatory at that time.  My strikers were also taught discretion since our goal is not to alarm a patient that is more serious, thus pushing them over certain thresh holds and so she quietly did as I'd asked.  At that time, a corpsman from Primary Care happened to walk into my clinic to get something, I can't recall what, but I took the opportunity to tell him about our current patient and my feelings on his diagnosis.  I told him he had atypical symptoms but his coloring indicated that it was possibly a heart attack.

This corpsman gave me a wonderful example of what bad medicine and arrogance is.  Sight unseen, he asked the symptoms, which I told him, and added, that the patient's overall coloring was grey.  I've been around enough sick people to know, red, blue, grey, extreme pallor, yellow and other various colors are indicators that there are serious issues.  Petty Officer Gibson either did not hear my physical description of this patient, or he chose to ignore it.  He then poked at the heart chart, indicating that NONE of the typical symptoms were present and therefore he personally was refusing the patient.  I said that was fine, I'd take responsibility for the care of the patient in that case and would take him to Primary Care myself, since our EKG machine was currently on loan.

I walked the patient down to the other end of our facility, hooked him up, and lo and behold what did I see......Myocardial Infarction.  For those of you that don't know about medicine, that's the big one, the one you DON'T want to have.  As it happened, one of MY doctors was on call in Primary Care that day, so I made sure my patient was calm, told him that I'd be right back, and just to relax a moment.  I let myself out of the room where I'd performed the EKG, approached my doctor, and told him both of the interaction I'd had with the Primac staff, the fact that Tripler nurses had turned my patient away, and presented him with my findings.  Ambulance (which I was on duty for 24 hours that day) was arranged, and I had asked that my doctor please have a discussion with petty officer Gibson about his flippant attitude towards medicine and to please educate him about atypical symptoms as well as the world having patients that simply refused to have "textbook" symptoms for illnesses.  This was why it was so important to observe as well as listen to your patients, and why I taught in the way I did.  I took the patient to the medical center, and asked to speak with the doctor on call.  I had some pull there, as I'd worked for a few years in the capacity of liason for Navy patients, and had some rapport in their command as well.  After having had the patient settled in, and making sure his family was contacted so they could come and see him at the hospital, I informed the lead physician of what had occurred prior to "normal working hours" and asked that he follow up with the staff on the importance of not turning away patients simply due to them not presenting with a certain list of symptoms.

God saw fit to let that man survive a horrible ordeal.  One that never should have taken place.  Were it not for my striker's quick thinking and intelligent response to come to me immediately, he may have been placed in "holding" in the waiting room for one of us or a doctor to see him.  I taught them, every time they went to call a new patient/number, to always look at every person in the waiting room.  Anyone can take a turn for the worse and go from "normal" to immediate at any given time.  There were times when we did need to bring someone back sooner, and I'm very happy to say that from that batch of strikers, every single one of them had glowing reviews from me, some with higher marks than others, and the one that brought that patient to my attention, as well as another young man showed exceptional intuition in medicine.  The young man came to me, prior to leaving the military to let me know he loved medicine so much and learned so much from me that he'd decided to go on to medical school.  I was so very proud of him, and of my other strikers, especially when I saw a life saved, God helped him hold on, but make no mistake about it, that young lady was a hero that day.

This was a shining example of both the best and the worst that medicine can do, the man ridiculed for showing up at an ER and told to leave and attend sick call was passed off as crazy, lazy or otherwise, but in my experience, most people don't want to go to the ER, or even to see a doctor.  Why people assume that they do is beyond me.  It's not like it's fun to wait for hours, or that we had games.  We didn't.  People came to us because they were not well and needed our help and care.  That time in the morning should have been the first strong indicator that something was not right.  Who the heck wants to miss out on hours of sleep just to go to the hospital?  That would have been the first clue I looked at, and everything else would have fallen in line right behind it.  When you hold someone's life or health in your hands, it's precious.  We can never look at it any other way.  We can't afford to be arrogant, lackadaisical or indifferent.  It is those very things that kill people every single day.

I will say, medicine is not an exact science.  It can be part knowledge, part intuition, part curiosity, and part a care of others.  You must love puzzles and solving them.  Every illness deserves attention and care, even the most mundane.  Becoming jaded is a strong indicator that you should not be where you are, you will cost lives, or psychological damage to others simply by your attitude towards them.  if you don't know what's wrong, don't assume that it's nothing.  Just because YOU don't know doesn't mean someone else doesn't either.  Even patients I've had to turn away from emergency care, I've taken the time to sit down and explain, this is for immediate care, and I can't see you here, simply because if someone comes in, things can get very ugly very quickly and I may need the room for emergencies, HOWEVER, you are absolutely right, your illness does definitely need to be seen, and it just so happens I have access to the scheduling system in such and such clinic, and if you'd wait one moment I will look and see what kind of opening I can find for, we're in luck, there's a doctor that can see you this evening, please take your medical records with you and tell so and so on duty over there that I've sent you and set you up with an appointment and they should be able to check you in right away.

Sometimes no doesn't have to be NO, it can be I can't but someone can.  An explanation and exploring the options goes a long way.  And NO ONE should ever be made to feel as if their concerns are not valid.  Just because they're not emergent today, doesn't mean that if we turn them away, they can't take a turn for the worst tomorrow.  After all, I had a disease for years that no one ever knew about, and it's changed my life in so many ways, I can't even count them.  I had it even before I had symptoms for it, and long after they came, I had a name for it.  I knew something was wrong, sought help, was passed over, told I was crazy or making too much of this or that, but you see, I wasn't.  Never would I or did I ever treat one of my patients the way I'd been treated by some.  I hope that the ones I taught, have a big impact on medicine where ever they are, because people deserve to be cared for.  It's called Health CARE for a reason.  Get over yourselves!  Just because you know a lot of BIG names for things doesn't make you better or smarter than someone else.  You don't walk in their shoes, you have NO idea how they feel.  They came to you for help........SO HELP THEM, BE A HERO.

It only takes a second to reassure someone that their welfare is important to you.  It only takes a touch, a look, a word, don't be so stingy, if you're there because you have the talent for it, take the time to care, it will mean the world to your patients and it will give you a sense of fulfillment and joy in a job well done that you can never fathom you could ever have had.

I'm going to try this......

I'm not sure how to do this truly, but I am going to try and post a link on one of the blogs I follow regularly.

I don't always post comments, but hopefully the blog writers I do follow know I do care about what they have to say, even when I'm silent.

I felt compelled to post this since I have a lot to say on the subject and his current experience in delving into a very frustrating and serious medical issue.  Most of my readers don't know me from personal experience, but they do know me from what I've written here.  Any that do know me from personal experience can perhaps understand what I'm about to write about.

I was in the military for nearly 10 years.  I worked in the medical portion as a Hospital Corpsman.  I have to state my appreciation for that profession as the Navy, from my personal experience with other branches, has the best trained enlisted personnel in their medical ranks.  I've also had the pleasure to work with some fantastic doctors, and the misfortune to work with a few, who's abilities I would rank as less than dubious at best.

In my experience while working in the military, I've trained other medical personnel, as well as running clinics, training and evaluating others who wished to branch into medicine etc.  I always tried to encourage those I trained to look at our patients first as people, know them, even as far as knowing what shift they worked when possible.  In that way, you could best serve to cater to special medical needs.  I was very well acquainted with my patients, and tried to always be mindful of looking at histories as well as their current illnesses.  Whenever faced with something new that I'd never dealt with before, I always did extensive research to know what it is my patient was likely to be facing.  I took nothing at face value, and even when working on a busy ward, I found the time to go to the medical library and read up on whatever it was I wanted/needed to know.

I can not say the same for some of the doctors I worked with.  As I previously stated, I worked with some doctors who were just amazing.  Always caring and always looking to better the care they gave to our patients, and I am eternally grateful for all that I was able to share and learn from them.  After all, no matter how much training/education/experience you have you can never know everything there is to know about medicine or patient care.  There are new diseases that are discovered every single day, and the ones that have been around for what seems an eternity are so many, there's no way to know them all.  The doctors who left something to be desired were the ones I worked with who's attitude seemed to be that of arrogance.  They thought because they could tag an M.D. after their name, that gave them license to dismiss others as ignorant, liars etc.  In short, they thought they "knew it all", and quite frankly I could dance circles around them since they simply had an air of not caring about them.

These are the kind of doctors that, when you do have an odd, special or out of the ordinary problem give you that look.  You all know what I'm talking about.  I'm sure you've run into it at some point in your lives, and I hope you took the opportunity to leave and find a doctor who did care.  It's that look that says, you're full of crap, you have no idea what you're talking about, you're crazy and you're lying to me.  It's that look that says, you just wanna "milk" some medical issue to try and get some time off, or something along those lines.

I have heard some of these same doctors literally speak the following words to their peers "You can't listen to what a patient says because they'll just lie to you."  Quite frankly, when I heard this uttered from the lips of one of the doctors I worked with, I was highly offended.  It was not aimed at me, but I took the opportunity to tell that doctor that his bedside manner sucked, he was a horrible doctor, and that if he had such a low regard for medicine and the patients we treated, I was certain that he could find a job where he would never have to be around another living person.  I can't be certain since I turned on my heel and walked away directly after, and stormed off to cool down, but I could swear the other doctor smirked and snickered at that........hopefully in agreement with what I'd said.  I took my role in helping people become and stay healthy very seriously, and it was an atrocity to me to think that a doctor I worked with could actually work against my personal goals of having healthy, satisfied, well cared for patients.

This was just months prior to my beginning to have serious medical issues myself, and after years of attending "fertility clinic" to try and find out what was wrong with me, so that I could look forward to having a child of my own.  The doctors I worked with there, viewed me as a "normal healthy woman" that simply had issues with getting and staying pregnant.  I won't say that they disregarded the underlying issues, since they were very caring, and listened to me.  It wasn't until later, when I did begin having issues that the underlying causes were actually searched for, and that was also years in coming to light.

During that time, I began to gain weight for no apparent reason.  I was very active, swam every day, ran, lifted weights etc, and this was a noticeable weight gain.  I began having very serious migraines, abdominal pains that literally brought me to my knees.  I began to have issues with pressures in the atmosphere, with pain and discomfort in my hands and feet, hips that would crack and "get stuck" at times, and just general aches and pains in joints.  I was also becoming depressed because of being treated like a second class citizen with some of the very same doctors I'd worked with for extended periods of time.  I had one doctor tell me, "There is no way that you can be eating what you say you're eating and still weigh what you do."  This after I'd gone to one of them in desperation for help since I was fighting this mysterious weight gain so fiercely that I'd begun to eat 2 cups of rice a day and once a week adding a can of campbells's soup to it to add some much needed nutrition.

Anyone who has never been in the military can not fully understand what it means to be gaining weight, or over weight while in the military.  You are regarded as a slacker, useless, stupid, or somehow less than competent at your job.  Since I was in charge of the area that I worked in, this was not a concept that held weight, regardless of how common it was, and was found to be inaccurate after I was in for surgery and out of the clinic for 30 days to heal.  I had written extensive instructions for every single thing we did every day, and was still consulted at my home during my healing process, and even had to come in to straighten things out while on medical leave.  Yet, all of a sudden, I was "stupid".  It's not something someone says to you, it's how they treat you.

Once diagnosed, I ended up losing 30 pounds in a month, which was a terrifying loss, and all of a sudden I was "smart" again.  A doctor I'd worked with for years overheard an interaction between me and some patients one day, and approached me to say, "I've never realized what a great Corpsman you really are."  I knew I was good at my job, LOL so it wasn't news to me.  It was just further evidence that ignorance prevails when people overlook someone simply due to outside factors.  My peers and subordinates knew my worth, and so did I, so quite frankly, I didn't need the outside confirmation.

During that time I was treated as if I were crazy, that one symptom and another just simply made no sense.  My vision was completely blacking out due to sudden onsets of my migraines, I was shrinking, and a spinal xray showed that my scoliosis was advancing.....which according to doctors I worked with was impossible in adulthood.  Then I tried to encourage the doctors to look at my diagnosis as a big picture, that one thing had very much to do with another.  The onset of it all was too closely related and manifesting in such a matter of time to be anything but one whole rather than a bunch of tiny pieces.  I was told then that they could not say that PCOD was the reason for my weight gain, migraines etc.  Yet 20 years later, they now know that it is a system wide endocrine disorder, and that I need metformin/glucophage to properly process food or it goes straight to the fat cells because though I produce insulin, the receptors are malformed.

They still know relatively little about my disease/syndrome for my liking, and I'd be more than happy to be an example of a learning patient for them, however, there are still far too many doctors out there that "know it all" to listen or learn from medical disorders or to listen.  The ones that have looked at my overall symptoms and illness, I'm sure, are the very same ones that helped to further understanding about it, though there is obviously still much to learn.

I feel for anyone who has ever had the misfortune to be treated as stupid or crazy due to a doctor that simply refuses to listen.  I know all too well the desperation of crying for help to get better, when there seems to be no one listening, or worse yet, regarding every word you say as some crazy person's imagination.

Typically, we see a LOT of that with "women's" issues in medicine.  Since they manifest so differently sometimes, and women can have some very mysterious symptoms.  Also, our society seems to be so "sexist" still in regards to viewing women as ignorant, crazy, or hysterical with little or no reason to be so "dramatic", which is definitely more apparent in medicine.  But that tendency is NOT solely unique to women's's just more common.  Evident in the following blog, who's link I hope posts correctly here for you now.  This person has been so brave, and I know things have been difficult, confusing, frustrating, and just plain ridiculous at times evident from his recent post, regarding a fellow church member basically telling him maybe his illness was due to his being a "hypochondriac".  It's all too easy and all too prevalent for people to be disregarded, passed over, passed by, disbelieved, mistreated, misunderstood or simply even ridiculed rather than for people to be loving, supportive, and kind to others when they're going through hard times.  I'd rather see people understand how very much it sucks to go through life knowing something is horribly wrong with you, and knowing how many times a doctor has looked at you with "closed eyes" or a "closed mind", thus denying you even the peace of mind of having some kind of diagnosis.  These are not people to be disregarded, they are the ones we should be most mindful of, add to our prayers, and add the doctors they interact with to be prayed for as well.  Let God touch their hearts and minds so that they can once again view their patients as people with real problems and pains so that they can treat them, the whole person, not just a symptom.

I hope everyone who reads this can add others like this or any you know to your own prayers.  We need a movement in our world, so that we won't overlook others who are very much in need of our attention and prayers.  People like this brave soul who has recently been passed off as untreatable to finally find out he has a diagnosis.  Keep him, his doctors and all those who have yet to be diagnosed or treated in your prayers.

I hope that no one out there has had the opportunity to be treated like I and others have, and depending on the doctor still am, but if you have, my prayers are also with you.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Under the weight I feel beginning at the top of my head.

There are just some days you feel the weight of the world so heavily on you that it literally feels like you're being compressed under the weight of it.  I'm not quite sure how or why it is, all I know is that it IS.  I'm not even sure that clear thinking is able to be done at these times, because I feel as if it's relatively difficult to form a complete or logical sentence.

I've recently had a bout of nostalgia and have been trying to look up people that I remember from days gone by to see how they fare.  Hopefully they fare better than I, since my life leaves a lot to be desired.  Rather a lackluster affair right now LOL.  But I'm happy to say, the ones who's names I could remember seem to be faring fairly well thus far, and for that I'm eternally thankful.  I'm not sure why it's important that others are doing well when you're in a state of fluctuation, instability, or upheaval, but for some odd reason it is.

Perhaps it's because it reestablishes hope or peace to know that sometimes things can work out for others, even if not for yourself.  It soothes me to know that I'm not completely lacking in my ability to determine goodness in others.  Perhaps it wasn't me choosing poorly that resulted in the current pains of the day, but perhaps it was poor people choosing me which led to it.  I am gullible, and do tend to believe in others, giving the benefit of the doubt until it's proven I shouldn't have put faith in them.

It's just nice to know that my impressions of who/what some people were still holds true today, where others closer to me have failed.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Inundated with Messages

Today, all day, I've had little tidbits of things coming to me.  Rather than clog my status on FB with more of them, I thought I'd try and recall and put them all down here.  That way there is some record of the things that have been coming to me.

At one point a funny thought came to mind, that I could perhaps start the 1st Edition of the Christian Dictionary.


  • Those people that God in his wisdom provide to us to guide us when our conscience or common sense fail us.
  • Those that love us enough to be brave and tell us when we're being stupid, even though they know it might make us angry.
  • Those who know our faults, weaknesses, trials, tribulations.  Who know we may be battered and bruised or even broken and they love us, not despite it, but perhaps because of it.
  • Those that God provides either by blood, marriage or love to help us through the rough times.
  • Things we try to hide because even those that follow Satan or the ways of the world find them abhorrent. 
  • Things we feel compelled to hide because we know we are doing wrong, hurtful and unjustified things to others.
  • Things that can never be hidden from God or Satan.  God weeps, Satan rejoices.
  • Things we tell others when we can not face the shame in what we are doing.
  • More things that make God weep and Satan rejoice.
  • The act of doing wrong to others and expecting them to accept it and bear it as their own fault, insofar as lording it above them.
  • Expecting others to suffer in silence while we take advantage of them, disregarding their feelings and living as if the world were there to cater to our every whim.
  • The act of being completely self absorbed, living for self, and being egocentric.
  • That which God graced us with to let us know right from wrong, just from unjust, and that which all too often is ignored or stamped down.
  • That which, when we choose not to listen to it causes us to lie, forgetting that if we must lie, we ought not be doing what we are.
  • See Family.
  • That which we can find in "every day events" and proves the existence of God in it's extraordinary rareness.
  • God's grace in providing for us those who seek to love us, even though we are imperfect creatures and do not deserve it.  He gives it to us anyway.

I may have forgotten some, but if I think of them I'll have to come back and amend this or write another post.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Ok, so for a few weeks I had my crash on Friday night sleeping a large portion of Friday through Saturday.

That's progress since before I was not sleeping for weeks at a time, then I might have a crash for one or more days giving me a false sense of security thinking that I'm going to be able to sleep....maybe.  Well, in the past few days, I've been sleeping for a few hours at a time, one or more times a day, it's unpredictable when this might happen.  I'm still exhausted from overall lack of sleep, but it seems that it might be moving toward a better outcome....?  I'm hitting REM sleep during some of the 2-3 hour naps, so that's a good thing I think, since you need REM for long/short term memory, and also to get more restful sleep.

It could just be that it's been months since I slept normally for any period of time, or it could be that my body is trying to say, you know what, I really like sleep and I'm gonna have some!  I'm not sure yet what will happen of course, and I do a lot of "resting" hoping for sleep at the moment since I am so tired all the time and sleep seems to come whenever it wants to and not necessarily when I want it to, but it's not really restful rest since the whole time you're thinking of wanting, wishing for, or wondering if sleep might happen LOL.  It's kind of ridiculous really.

Also, on my past birthday, my mother gave me a wonderful pair of shoes that went well with a skirt that I'd gotten, but also a pair of fuzzy socks.  I think I may have blogged about fuzzy socks at some point in the past, but those posts have been long gone, so I'll just reiterate.  Fuzzy socks are one of the world's greater goods, and it's my express opinion that if everyone had some, there wouldn't be any war in the world!  Ok, so maybe that's a bit extreme and far fetched, but it could happen!

Anyway, the pair my mother gave me is so soft I just love them!  If I could wear them forever I would, but alas I must change socks when they get dirty......sigh.  So, I'll have to try and find out if she remembers where she got them because they are some of the nicest ones I have.  When you put them on, they're so soft your feet say aaaaah, and it's just like your feet are getting a lovely hug all day long.  I think they had some kind of foot softening thing in them too, which could account for the softness, but yep, they're some of my very favorite ones!  THANKS MOM!  I'm also wearing my flamingo pj's my mommy got me, they're comfy too LOL.  AH PJ'S and FUZZY SOCKS!

The answer to all world strife......I salute you!

Friday, May 24, 2013


Normally, I'm a stickler for proper spelling, but I thought it'd be funny..........DON'T JUDGE ME!

Anyway, I spent the last 3 days with no hot water.  I had some valuable lessons during that time......  The hot water heater kept making a loud popping sound when ever the maintenance man reset the breakers.  Of course it never did it while he was in here so he never got to hear it.  It turns out it was the heating elements.  A professional water heater dood was called in to fix it.  He forgot a hose to empty it, tools to work on it etc, but luckily the maintenance man here had everything needed.

Ok now that I've told you about the heater, I'll tell you what I've learned.  Cold baths are horrible on arthritis......  Also, cold water is much worse on hair that tends to tangle than hot water.  But when you're determined to have a bath, you take one, even if it's cold as heck.  And then, you spend about an hour trying to detangle the rat's nest that has become the stuff that USED to be on top of your head.

I'm glad that I now have hot water back, but I think they may have set the temperature a bit too hot, so I might have to ask them to lower it so I don't cook myself in the bath.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Damn you MURPHY!

Murphy's Law......chit happens.

So, you know when you pay your cell phone bill, and a few hours later your cell phone just decides to not boot up and just stare at you with the login screen?  Well, it's a fine example of Murphy's Law.  I was so mad you can't even understand.  I hadn't slept since my Fri/Sat crash session, paid my bill, phone died, called tech support from another phone, recording asks for obscure pin after ensuring you're calling from another phone, sends broken phone that won't turn on.......such intelligence.  Paid for handset protection, extra in bill every month for over a yr for pc of handset costs money.

In short, cricket sucks.  I've never had such shoddy or shady business practices from another company, until after 15 yrs with Sprint, at which time they changed my coverage without telling me and tried to chg me a butt load of money, which was why I changed to cricket in the first place.  On the up side, you could get a new phone every yr for free if you wanted to, and even when I accidentally spilled water on my phone they replaced it completely at NO COST to me.....and that was MY fault.

A pc of chit phone that just decides to "reboot" and never turn back on is far from being my fault, and yet even with coverage on the pc of chit, they won't replace it.  I'm looking into verizon, there's a turn on fee for me since my credit is less than perfect, so I'll have to save my pennies to get that to go.  It's ok though, Cricket showed me that their customer service and business practices are as huge a pc of chit as the equipment they send out.  ERGO......lesson learned and in less than 15 yrs so I can now go to a more reputable company, who when you DO purchase protection replaces handsets at NO cost to you.  AND they can add my bill onto my existing cable bill so rather than paying 2 diff places I can pay one.  So though overall it's more, it's less hassle.

Wish me luck, LOL, *shakes fist at Murphy*  I'll get you yet!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy "Mother's" Day

Everyone gives tribute to the women in their lives that are mothers, so I wanted to do something a little bit different.

There are a LOT of women in the world that have that motherly spirit and yet can't have children.  There are a lot of women in our lives that represent a positive role model as women, and thusly represent the word mother in all of it's wonder, generosity, kindness and strength, be they mothers themselves, or a positive role model for those of us who admire them to follow, I say a wonderful happy day for your embodiment of the SPIRIT of MOTHERHOOD!

You know who you are, you're truly amazing and we love, and admire you!

Le Sigh

The problem with insomnia is it is tricksy!

You go and go and go and go on little to no sleep until you're finally so exhausted you sleep until you're dehydrated.  Then, being well rested, you get a false sense of security, go to bed and roll this way and that for 8 hours until you finally give up.  Friday night was my night of exhaustion, which turned out well for Saturday since I had dinner with my family for Mother's Day.  So of course, armed with my false sense of security, I marched to bed last night to find that sleep was but a dream.......

After tossing and turning, turning and tossing, I had exactly 0 sleep.  If I get lucky, I might get tired enough for a nap, but I can't let it be more than that since I have to go to court Tuesday, and I'd like to not have a topsy turvy kind of schedule beforehand.

I definitely won't complain since I had restful sleep and a lot of it, though it's a bit strange to wake up so dehydrated and disoriented that you have trouble walking straight.  There have been times when I have my crash that I sleep for nearly 24 hours straight.  It's unpredictable, and probably should be a big concern, but my body needs the rest, so what else can I do but let it have it when it finally is determined to have it?

One day, hopefully soon, I'll have better rest more often and on a more constant basis.  But for that to happen, the medical issues need to be addressed.  Last night's difficulty was both my hands and feet and back pain all together.  Some times it's just one or the other, some days it's anxiety, headaches or whatever decides to manifest that particular day.

All in all, it's just a huge pain in the butt.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Good Morning!!!.......?

I should probably keep a sleep chart or something.

Since I had so little sleep, my body was utterly exhausted and I fell asleep at 630 pmish.....that's when I last checked the clock so it may have been closer to 7.  My neighbors were being very kind, generous and thoughtful and decided to slam their doors and bang the walls around midnight, and now I'm wide awake again.  I was hoping to at least sleep until the early hours of the morning....and though this counts as early morning, it's a bit too much like middle of the night.

I don't mind when my schedules shift to waking in the early morning nearly as much as I mind when they shift to falling asleep in late morning and sleeping through afternoon etc.  To me, that wastes an entire time of day when things are normally open, people are normally awake etc and it causes me to get extremely stressed.  That also makes it hard to make, keep etc appointments at any specific time because you're exhausted to begin with and not knowing when your body may allow sleep to come or for how long multiplies the effect.

At least I got close to 5 hours, which for me right now is pretty darn good.  So I can't complain too awfully much.  Had my neighbor not decided to fight slam or whatever is going on over there I may have even gotten somewhat close to a full night's rest, even though I may have woken early in the daytime.  That would have been perfectly fine with me.

I have lunch with my family this Saturday, so hopefully a little rest is forthcoming, and at some kind of logical time so that meeting people is not a complete stress.  I hate being exhausted when I try to do things.  It's no fun for me, and I'm sure I'm not very good company for them either.  I also have court this upcoming Tuesday afternoon, even though I told the police I didn't want to press charges on the young man that was drunk and kept knocking on my door and eventually tried to push his way in.  I think he was just drunk and confused, not really trying to come into my house so much as he thought he knew who lived here and wanted in out of the rain.  I guess the state picks up whatever they feel the need to pick up regardless of whether we want them to or not.  Besides he's in enough trouble without additional charges being trumped up on him as it is.

If they give me time or license to speak freely, I'll probably make that point known.  I'm sick of our country and legal systems pushing the envelope and trying to make bigger law breakers of us all.  I'm sure that right now, sitting here and blogging, I'm probably breaking some inane law that could land me in prison/jail and those of you reading it in jail as well.  There's probably some law against breathing by now........Ok maybe that's a little ridiculous, but seriously, they're getting ridiculous with laws these days.

Things like aggravated menacing.   What the EFF is that anyway?  If I look at someone and say GRRR, am I guilty?  I'm sorry, but I really think there should be laws, but going nuts with them is a bit out of hand.

At any rate, the point is, I'm hopeful that sleeping is at some kind of logical time to cover all of these times and things I must do in the near future, and such that I won't be exhausted while trying to do them.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Well, after a wonderful hour and half of sleep my body said, ok you've had enough sleep now so it's time to wake up.

So now I'm up for the day (I assume).  I thought I'd just go through the history of my disease and hopefully that way get a better grasp on things.  Sometimes I find it hard to articulate my thoughts about it to physicians because I feel as if they pass it off as if I'm stupid or crazy or whatever else.  Who knows what they think, but I can assure you of this, it's the rare physician who truly cares enough to take the time to listen (no offense to those of you out there who are physicians).  I understand that in today's society, they can be quite busy, but the normal run of the mill patients popping in for a cold, or check up don't typically require the level of understanding that someone with a complex problem does.  I think perhaps they've forgotten about triaging and putting things in an order of importance.

Nearly 20 years ago, I was a young married woman who was sent to fertility doctors because I'd been married for quite some time and the only whisper of fertility I had was a miscarriage that was undetectable because my hormones never shifted.  In other words, my body flat out refused to change in order to support a fetus, therefore traditional means of "detecting pregnancy" did not work on me.  I was frantic, I was pregnant, I knew I was and I begged the doctors I worked with to help me because I was having nightmares that my child was in imminent danger and would die if not helped.  I was sent to a larger hospital from my clinic in hopes that the doctors there would have a further grasp on what, if anything could be done.  I was treated like a stupid child and passed off as an ignorant buffoon.  I was told in no uncertain terms by a physician who had less time in medicine than I did that if their pregnancy test did not detect pregnancy, there was no way I could POSSIBLY be pregnant.  2 days later I was hemorrhaging I went to see one of the doctors I worked with, he did a pelvic exam, which revealed I was in fact pregnant and having a miscarriage.

This was my first experience with doctors that don't listen.  My one chance in the whole wide world of having a child was summarily snatched from my grasp.  Never again did I have so much as a whisper of a chance of motherhood.  This also started the decline of my psyche in regards to my womanhood as well.  It took me a very long time to come to terms with infertility as it relates to being a "real woman".  A few years later when nothing further happened, doctors I worked with at another duty station told me, it might be a good idea if I went to the fertility clinic as we had some amazing doctors there that had great results.  I attended my appointments diligently, and nothing happened other than occasionally having cysts show up causing them to have to take me off fertility medication.  Still, no one knew what was wrong with me.  They chalked it up to an oddity, an otherwise "healthy woman" that for whatever reason refused to get pregnant.  They were all very kind, and in their defense, they had no reason to believe that anything was "wrong" with me.  At that point I didn't even know to think that.

Well, I began to notice I was gaining weight, and oddly, I was a fairly active person.  I had been accustomed to running, or weight training, swimming etc.  So to be gaining weight made me wonder  what was going on in my physiology to create such a change.  I began speaking to doctors about this, and seeing an otherwise "healthy" person, they chalked it up to overeating.  I'd never been one to really overeat, and I'd not recently changed eating habits, but in the interest of trying to help things along, I started trying to alter my eating habits to compensate for this shift in weight.  In the end, I was still gaining weight, and down to 2 cups of rice a day, and once a week adding campbell's soup to it to flavor and add some additional nutrients since I was quite literally starving myself.  I continued to gain weight, although at a very stunted pace.

I began to suspect that something more was going on......and yet I was being told there's no way I could be being honest about what I was eating and weigh what I weighed.  Now, any of you that have ever been in the military know, being fat and being in the military do not mix.  According to military standards I was now fat.  By civilian standards I was probably more like above average?  I don't know how to compare it.  At any rate, I was told I was crazy, a liar or whatever else.  I was seeking help, not seeking a label wrongly placed on me.  I was frantic.  I had had occasional migraines before all this started, and now they were occurring nearly every day of the week.  This was all the more alarming because at the onset of some of them, my vision would completely black out.  At the time, I was working in immunizations, and it's a bit offputting when you're getting ready to give someone a shot and out of no where you can't see for a few minutes.  For this reason I prepped the needles and then called in the patients, that way, if my vision inexplicably disappeared, I could stand perfectly still and wait for it to return, continue on with my patient and then seek help once I was done.

I was also starting to have pains in my hands and feet whenever the weather shifted, and I was having more and more spinal pain.  At this point, there were times when I would also be hit with an abdominal pain so sudden and sharp I would literally be taken down to my knees.  I was sent for mri's, cat scans etc.  The conclusion was that I had a "typical migraine brain".  Which means that it's highly vascular.  What happens when a migraine hits is that all the vessels in the brain dilate placing pressure on the nerves, brain etc causing pain.  The best guess I have is that the vessels near my eyes were dilating in such a way it was pinching the ocular nerves, but nothing more serious than that.

Around this time, I was getting depressed because the doctors I worked with every day and KNEW me, knew I was teaching others to care for patients, how to treat them etc., were treating me like a 2nd class citizen.  In the Navy, a Corpsman is near to the equivalent of a P.A. without a license.  We see patients, and treat them since the influx of patients can far exceed the M.D.'s capacity to see them all.  When and if needed we would simply knock on this or that doctor's door or wait til they were at the central desk and get a signature on a prescription etc.  If a patient needed higher than our level of diagnosis we would set that chart aside for a doctor's exam.  Now, I was running the area at the time and teaching and evaluating "strikers" who are people that want to get into Hospital Corpsman "A" school.  Somehow, there was a rift in my ability to do my job and the way in which the physicians I worked with were viewing me.  To be perfectly honest, I think it all hinged in weight....fat = stoopid......and yes I know I misspelled it, when something is beyond stupidity, I tend to label it as stoopid.  In their eyes I had ceased being a credible, competent person, though my duties had not changed, nor my ability to do my job or handle a huge amount of responsibility.  I'm not sure who or what they thought was doing that.....perhaps the thin me took over and they only saw the fat me whenever they were out of their closed doors.

I'm not sure how it happened, but a new young intern or resident that was specializing in internal medicine took me aside to her office.  She asked me to bring family photos, did every kind of blood test etc she could think of.  It turns out her hunch (and mine) was right.  Now, I can't recall the name of the test at this time, it will probably come to me when I'm not trying to think of it.....that happens.  But estrogen to androgen levels should be under 2 : 1.  If it's above that PCOD is suspected.  Mine blew the numbers off the charts.  I was in over the 90th percentile.....meaning at that time 90% of women at my level of the disease had diabetes.  Now, PCOD has also been termed Stein-Leventhal syndrome.  In the past 18 years since my diagnosis several things have happened.  They've retermed it as PCOS, changing it from a disease to a syndrome.....not sure how this benefits things, but to me it downplays it's significance and insidiousness.  I'll explain why it will always be PCOD to me (Polycystic Ovarian Disease).

At the time of my diagnosis, not much was known about it, when I went to the fertility doctors with my brand spankin new diagnosis, I believed more help would be forthcoming.....I was wrong.  All they seemed to know was that it affected fertility and could cause women to become diabetic.  They absolutely flat out refused to believe that it could cause shifts in weight, although when they treated me with birth control (the only known treatment at the time) I lost 30 pounds in 1 about frightening.  Now it's recognized that this is also a systemwide endocrine disorder, and that insulin receptors are resistant to existing insulin created by your pancreas.  Your body is in essence telling you, food? what's that?  IDK what to do with this stuff.....let's send it to the fat cells til we figure it out.  Some food may be processed, but the majority of it is shipped off.  Most foods break down to different types of sugars etc that need insulin in order to be processed and used by the body.  PCOD does not allow for this to happen very well.

It's been 18 years since my diagnosis....roughly could be a bit more or less, but I think it's more.  And they're only just now in the past 5-6 years recognizing the endocrine affects.  I told them 18 years ago what it was doing to me, imagine how famous they would have been had they listened.  They've STILL not heard me fully.  I will illustrate.  When I entered the military, I had a full spinal x-ray.  This revealed a minor curvature in the lumbar region of my spine.  I had NO pain or side effects from this curvature.  After 2 years of struggling with my fertility, weight, migraines etc, either just prior or just after my diagnosis (forgive me I am not sure what the timeline was exactly, I think it was after).  I was having so much back pain, I talked to one of my friends in the x-ray department, and decided he needed the practice doing more time in the dark room, and so he did a full spinal on me.  He brought it to my department, and put it on the viewer.  Now, prior to this x-ray I'd seen one of the doctors I worked with and told him I was having some pretty severe back pain.  He assured me that scoliosis could NOT advance in other words, once you hit puberty your spine would be as curvy as it would EVER be.  That same doctor happened to be walking by when my friend put my x-ray on the viewer for me to see and his exact words were "HOLY SHIT!  WHO'S SPINAL X-RAY IS THAT!?"  To which I replied, it's much for your theory that scoliosis can't advance in adulthood, and btw your bedside manner needs some improvement, could you imagine if I were with a patient and it happened to be theirs?  What we viewed was a spine that began curving at the neck, back and forth all the way to the tailbone, which was also akimbo.

There is far far more to this disease than doctors are willing to listen to or understand.  For nearly 20 years, even without treatment I've fought the symptoms that all came to me during that time period.  I should have full blown diabetes.....I'm borderline.  The doctors absolutely refuse to look at me like a complete picture.  I do think that some understand that it can affect cholesterol, but I don't think all understand that aspect of it.  Mine has been high since my diagnosis.  I should have had a stroke, high blood pressure etc from that.  I haven't.  It is my firm belief that everything is related.  The frequency of migraines, the arthritic type pain, the spinal curvatures.  I believe that this disease if sapping the calcium or connective tissues from my body causing this to advance at an accelerated rate.  I'm now at a point where my body acts like that of a 90 year old woman, instead of a woman in the prime of her life.  It scares me to death the lack of understanding.  MY GOD ARE YOU BLIND!?  All of these things began happening to me simultaneously.....that would be one HELL of a coincidence.  Sherlock Holmes would say, the simplest solution is usually the correct one.  I'm sorry, but the simplest thing I can think of in this situation is, I'm one hell of a learning case, AND a prime example of just how insidious this disease is and can be.  Even if my symptoms can't be reversed Please God let them their eyes and help keep another woman from going through the suffering that I've had to go through due to sheer blindness and disregard!  How can all of this happen at the same time and NOT be part and parcel of the same process?  It's not a piecemeal picture, it's a full mural painted in perfect detail for you if you're willing to see it.

After my initial diagnosis, I ran into other women that had also had symptoms similar to mine, and I encouraged the doctors that I worked with to do the estrogen and androgen comparison for them, they were diagnosed earlier than I was, so I'm hopeful that they were luckier to avoid some of the more insidious effects of this disease, but Doctors have GOT to open their eyes and listen to patients.....learn to look a the full picture and not just this or that piece.  It's all well and good to treat symptoms but if you're not addressing the problem, it won't do any good.  I wish a doctor would stumble on this, see it and say my GOD how did I ever miss this with my patients, it makes perfect sense.  Now 20 years later, I can barely walk without my hips going out of joint, or sit or stand for long periods of time without agonizing burning pain, or sleep without back, knee, hand or foot pain.  I'm a lil old woman in a young woman's, please God help me to keep other women from this agony and terror.

Now I will say my PTSD is not related, however, it is being exacerbated in part due to these things above since I'm so scared about my future.  Longevity runs in my family, my one Grandmother lived til 86 the other well into her 90's  If I'm like this would I be at that age.  I've applied for disability and I pray to God I get it soon so I can stabilize and maybe find some help to slow or stop this process.  If I can't slow it, I'm afraid I am not going to fair very well.  Although nearly 20 years have passed and I've fought the good fight so far.

Hopefully I've covered everything.......although I'm sure I've missed things here or there, I tend to do that since there is so much going on all the time, and I tend to forget when it's not actively happening.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Since I can't sleep anyway, I figured I may as well blog.

So the divorce is final, as you can see my name has changed.  I waited until the change was finalized before changing it on blogs etc.  I still have yet to change my license, but I did change some other things.  It's still very hurtful for me to even think about these things.  In my heart I'm still married to my husband, when in reality he's gotten what he said he wanted a year ago.  He didn't get it in the way he wanted, I'm sure, but he got it all the same.

Anyway, enough about that, it makes me cry, and I'm a bit tired of crying.

My hands, feet, hip and one of my ankles has been acting up lately whenever I try to lie down.  They just feel all hollow and achy.  That just makes me fidgety and unable to sleep.  I'm kind of tired of not having a set schedule, ANY SCHEDULE would do.  As long as it was consistent I think I'd be happy.  It's all well and good to sleep when and if I can, but at some point I'd like to see if I can get to the point where I'm healthy and consistent enough to get back to work.  If my issues with sleeping, anxiety attacks and back pain can be addressed I think there's a really good chance that can happen.

I'm not sure what of these things can be helped, if at all, but I'm willing to try, as long as they don't torture me to death in the process.  There are other issues, but I think these are the worse ones, and the ones keeping me from being able to see any kind of future for any career at the moment.  I've consistently prayed that God help me find the stability I need to get better.  I hope that comes sometime soon.

I had a weepy day today, I have a lot of them, but today seemed to be a bit worse.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A New Life

Well, I call it that at any rate.

At the moment, I've been living a substandard life.  SSA sent me to 2 evaluations.  One with an orthopedic doctor, and the other with a psychologist.  The orthopedic doctor had orders for a spinal xray, which was only for the lower portion of my spine, though I told him it really should be a full spinal xray in order for them to properly evaluate what I've been telling them.

For those of you that have been to San Fransisco, I could compare my spine to that old famous street....Lombardi street.  Well, even those of you that haven't might recognize it as it's been on a few movies.  It's curvy from the top to the bottom.  Of course, the original curve was what the doctor had the benefit of viewing.  He had me walk and bend this way and that, asked me questions about this and that.  Then as I was sitting on the examination table I must have made a face.  He happened to look up and asked does sitting make your back hurt too?  I said yes, everything does, sitting standing, walking.  He asked if I needed to stand up, I said I think I'll be ok I'll just stretch it out.

The problem isn't in what I can or can't do, it's the length in which I can do them.  I explained to him, I'm trying to stay active by doing things around the house, going shopping with my mother etc.  But for instance, one day when I did go shopping with her, we were out for a few hours.  I sat down when I saw a seat if I needed to give my back a break from walking, or if my mother wanted to try on clothes or what have you.  The bigger problem was the next few days.  I had a very hard time walking.  My hips were so stiff and this was new.  I didn't realize what had happened until the 2nd night afterwards, my right hip popped, probably back into place, and then the following morning the left one did.

The other problems are the insomnia.  I'm not even sure it's TRUE insomnia, except on some occasions.  I simply can't sleep due to pain, anxiety attacks, arthritis in my hands, feet, hips etc.  I'm exhausted all the time.  I can't sleep, and when and if I do fall asleep, it's usually at a really bad time of day, and then I try to let myself sleep undisturbed until my body says ok wake up now.  Because it's so infrequent.  I have no schedule.  I try to sleep at normal times, but that just simply fails.  A set schedule seems an impossibility right now.  I sleep when my body finally allows me to, and I wake when it says ok enough sleeping....or now you're not so tired you can't feel the pain.

To be perfectly honest, there are days where I feel perfectly fine, and I think ok maybe I'm getting better and I can go work now, then I do something and either have an anxiety attack, or end up in hot burning pain, and I think oh yeah, I forgot about that.

The psychologist, like the MD also asked a lot of questions, including whether or not I was suicidal, to which I responded, no, I don't believe in that, but there are days I am in so much pain, or am so miserable from all the reasons I can't sleep and out of frustration, and utter exhaustion I pray to God to let me just go.  He said from all the responses I gave on this and that, that I sounded agoraphobic.  I said, oh no, I don't think that's it, I don't go out my front door, freak out, scream and dive back in slamming and locking the door.  I think it's more that I get nervous about all the anxiety attacks that I've had, so I don't want to go places alone, or drive far, because it's a danger.  Not to mention, a full blown attack if I can't breathe, or respond to let people know it's ok it will pass, they're likely to call an ambulance.  I wouldn't need one, I just need to let the attack pass, and then I'm fine.........exhausted but fine.

I've had full blown attacks after a long day of working before all of this started to get out of hand in my car on the highway on the way about terrifying.  Fortunately, I was working until 2 am, so there weren't so many cars on the road.  I'm not sure if any of you have ever had one, but they are horrifying.  You can't breathe, your chest, shoulders etc just feel so tight, it feels like you're just going to die.

The anxiety attacks have gotten out of hand since that photo I had posted a few years ago had shown up on FB.  So I know where and when and what has made them get worse, but why all the other things?  Why more and more headaches, all different varieties.  Why the back, arthritis etc.  All of the things that I held in check for 20 years, it's like my body just said ok I give up, I'm just going to be a problem now.  But why so severe, and why all at once?

Honestly, I'm a bit scared.  If I'm this bad now, what will I be like in 20 or 30 years?

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I realize it's been a while since my last post.  I haven't been in the best state in any regard.

Once Alex's photo showed up with another woman on the internet after having told me and my family he had to work and couldn't make it to Christmas, my overall health has been in a steady decline.  This resulted also in my having lost my last job, though they couldn't state that due to the FMLA paperwork that had been filed regarding certain health issues.

I've since had to face filing disability which has had me in a state of despair since I've worked formally since I was 15 and babysat since I was 10.  It's frightening to think of altering my life and lifestyle in such a way, but considering my health decline has included constant anxiety attacks even while driving on the highway, I think that's the safest solution for me and for others that may have to share the road with me.

Alex and I have been to court and I've signed a divorce decree.  We had a tax appointment recently prior to final signing, to which he brought his girlfriend.....I know it was a very low class, Jerry Springer, trailer trash sort of move.  The only thing I can think of that someone would do such a thing was to attempt to goad me into a fight in which I could be arrested for disturbance or worse.  Perhaps he thought if he could goad me into such a thing, he wouldn't have to pay alimony........

I'm a bit smarter than that.  Needless to say, it seems that with his recent activity, it's sucked the life and spirit out of me resulting in changes in my physiology, mentality etc.  I know I'm in a full blown state of shock, dismay, sadness, and probably deep in a state of mourning.  I'm not sure if or when I can ever pull out of it, but I know one thing is certain, I have no intentions of ever opening up to anyone in that way again.

My mother and sister are very concerned about me, I can't say that I blame them, but I wish I could assure them that as soon as things are stabilized I'll be fine.  I just need to reach some state of stability so that I can begin a healing process with less worry over an uncertain future.  I don't know who of you out there have a belief in God, but He really does answer prayers.

The other day when I went to my lawyer to sign the decree, I was weeping on my way home, and I cried out to God for help.  Alex hadn't paid the alimony as he was decreed to do by the court, I had $14 dollars in the bank and had no food in the house.  I told God, I can't do this alone, I need help to gain some stability, and I was at a loss as to how to accomplish that.  That day when I got home, I had several calls.  The first one from Citizen's Disability, another from my Doctor's office, and I'd made a call to a local psychologist's office to set up an appointment with them to discuss my issues with anxiety attacks.

I'd say that was a pretty clear answer.  The Doctor I've seen recently volunteers to help those with little or no money, and uninsured or underinsured.  It's a christian office, and that's their way of ministering to others.  Granted they don't require that you be christian in order to be seen, but they do ask you if they can pray with you on each visit that you make when you go there.  It's a beautiful thing they're doing, and I have to say, how wonderful it is to have people like that in any community, and I hope every community has people like that in them.

It actually put my mind at ease to have an answer, because for me, filing for disability in any way was not an easy thing to face, and it seems that God thinks I should take time to try and heal also.  I just hope that I'm able to heal.  I don't know right now, when or if I'll ever be whole again.  I just feel so broken and bruised.

But I have people in my life that I love and who love me.  I just wish I could assure them I'd be ok, because I love them so much, and it hurts to see them worry about me.  For now, I can just hold onto the ones I love as tightly as I can without squeezing the life out of them.

My lawyer is kind of funny, he'll call names where I won't.  I think he feels indignant on my behalf.  I sometimes think he feels a bit protective of me because he's seen me try and help Alex through this as well as trying to do the best I can for me....and failing miserably.  But he's told me to keep him updated on the alimony, because if it doesn't happen, he will be bringing up contempt charges on Alex, which would not be a good thing.

I've been kind of chicken to call the psych office, and put that off for months and months, because I just know they're going to want me to talk about things that are either going to make me cry, put me into a full blown anxiety attack or both.  But I did finally call them the other day as well, and I guess we're just going to have to see where that goes.......  Either way, I've felt like Alex's actions have killed my spirit, and I think that's a large part of why my health kind of took a swan dive into the pooper.  Let's see if I can manage to breathe back some life into my spirit.  Maybe if I'm successful, with help of course, I'll start feeling a bit better.

You'll notice too, that I've removed all previous posts.  I'm not sure how well, I will keep up with this, because it's been an emotional roller coaster removing old posts, and even making this new one, but I'll let you know.