Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prayer Requests

There is so much power through prayer. Someone once told me to pray outloud. Satan cannot hear us unless we literally speak outloud (just goes to show you how much more powerful our God is.) When we pray outloud Satan gets to hear our conversation with God which makes him weak. I loved that.

A few weeks ago I posted about my asthma acting up. Let me first say that I am not a hypochondriac. I LOVE being healthy and I DO NOT want to have medical problems but I will not lie, having the Factor V Leiden (blood clotting condition) scares the mess out of me. Maybe it's because I've had a clot and understand the severeity that they can cause. Now that you get my picture, I was afraid that it wasn't my asthma acting up and maybe it was a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs.) So I googled (big mistake) to see what the symptoms of a PE were.

Go figure, the symptoms were exactly what I had. Here I am at 1:00AM, crying because I was scared (I had a moment of weakness, sorry! Hehe!) that I had a clot in my lungs. I woke Joe up and told him, which he responds with, "have you given it to God?"

Nope. I hadn't. So, we prayed together outloud and went to sleep. Joe did offer to take me to the ER but we both knew it wasn't necessary.

The next morning I made an appointment with my hematologist and to make a long story short...NO CLOT! They did find some scar tissue on my right lung which the doctor suggested it could have been from a prior clot or it could have always been there. It's actually quite common for people to have scar tissue without any knowledge or any reason as to why. But what they did find was nodules on my thyroid.

They did blood work to check my thyroid when I was diagnosed as being depressed and all was fine.

So, I am asking for a couple of prayer requests. One being for me personally. I always need prayer, but specifically about my thyroid and whatever these nodules may be. I am going for an ultrasound this Thursday and then I will follow up with my PCP. This could be what is causing some of the tightness in my chest. Especially if the nodules are pressing down on my wind pipe.

The other prayer requests I have is for my family. We have officially outgrown our house. We recently made an offer on a foreclosed home. After a week of waiting, they gave us a counter offer. They didn't budge on the asking price but did agree to all of our other requests. We made another counter offer and are once again waiting for the banks response. We are just asking that if this is not the house that God wants for our family that he will slam the doors shut leaving us without any doubt but that if this is His will for us that this be a smooth process.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Empty space

This past January I had a doctor tell me something that I would have never imagined hearing and I've heard a good bit. After listening to me, making me take several blood tests and other tests he diagnosed me as borderline severely depressed. Apparantly there are 3 stages, mild, moderate and severe. Each stage is through a certain number. For example high moderate depression ends at 69 where severe depression begins at 70. I was that 69! I was one of those people that thought depression was all in your mind but it's not. I was a miserable person. I can remember crying to Joe and telling him that I didn't know who I was anymore. I even remember the moment that I wanted to die. I was that unhappy. I didn't have a reason. I have always been the person that never believed in suicide or wanting to die before your time. It's so hard to describe but I never believed I would have a doctor, one of which is a Christian man that doesn't believe in treating depression with medicine but with prayer, looked at me and said he was going to prescribe me a pill to help me "overcome" MY depression. Still the hardest thing to do was to come home and tell my husband what just took place.

I sat on our bed and as he held me in his arms I cried and I cried. I didn't want to get the prescription filled but did so anyway because I was scared of things getting worse. I made the "executive" decision that I was going to try something else. Joe and I prayed together for God's strength and comfort during the next few months and also for the will for me to lose weight.

So, we didn't have the "extra" money for me to spend going to weekly Weight Watcher meetings and I had pretty good success with WW and with also doing the South Beach diet so I came up with my own plan. I ate somewhat what I "wanted" and a little extra things here and there but I ate until I was comfortable and tried to never get "full." Then at the annual CFA seminar I signed up for personal attention from a nutritionist and a personal trainer. They put me on a new plan that included a workout routine and meal plan. Before I was focusing on weight loss and now I have learned to focus on staying fit and healthy. Which I need to be doing anyways. Because of my blood clotting condition I have to keep weight off so I don't have an extra percentage of developing a blood clot.

Well with the cold weather quickly approaching I literally got to go through my closet and completely clean it out. Leaving me with NOTHING to wear. I refuse to keep those clothes because I refuse to ever be the size I was again. So, Joe took me for a mini shopping spree. I am so excited to be my new size. I am a size away from being the same size I was right before Joe and I got married. I would love nothing more than to put on my wedding dress for our 10th anniversary in a little over a month.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mi familia

When we went on our trip to the Dominican we promised each other that we would get together every so often to play games. We played cards each night in the DR. We would play garthapotamus, Bull and spoons.

This past Friday we got together for our "familia night." We call it that most in part because at the camp in the DR, the children would constantly ask if the younger girls were our children. Ours meaning mine and Joe's and the other married couple, Jason and Shanna. So, since we were the "adults" of the trip, they became our daughters! Shanna adopted Claire. Claire is 16. Joe and I adopted Raegan who is 22. Yes, that would have meant that I had a baby at 6! Joe and Shanna became brother and sister (which I will discuss in a minute). Anyways, silly or not, we call it that and we enjoy it.

Well we played the games we played in the DR and we played a little Nert's (which Shanna and I KILLED the men at!) We had such a good time. We love being with our "children" and spending time with each other.

So, like I said. Joe and Shanna are brother and sister. Seriously, this could so be true! I don't think I have EVER seen so much in common between a female friend and my husband. They talk sports (especially baseball. Shanna is a pro at softball) and even some of the things they do is so in sync. We have truly enjoyed getting to know Jason and Shanna. They actually have twins as well. In fact, they are backwards compared to us. They have an almost 6 year old little girl and 1 year old twin boys. I love seeing them all together. It reminds me so much of my family and it reminds me of the boys younger days.

The DR has forever changed us and I'm so thankful it did!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

They'll say anything and give you anything

So a few days ago I blogged about my experience and purposefully left out the name of the hospital. Most in part because I'm sure there are some good doctors there and because I have a few friends that work as nurses there. They do not work in the ER but still, out of respect I didn't say anything. Well...yesterday I went back to the doctor. This time, to McIntosh Trail Family Practice which is my primary care practice. I told the doctor about my experience in the ER and he shook his head. You know the kind of head shake, the one where he is in disbelief. Well, anyways. To make a long story short the ER said I was having an anxiety attack sent me home with nerve pills and vicodin for chest pain. This doctor said that you could clearly hear that I am struggling to bring in oxygen. All though my oxygen level is in the normal range my lungs and surrounding muscles are working twice as hard to make it that way and had the ER doctor listened to my lungs he would have noticed this right away. So, to make a long story short, I was having an asthma attack and wouldn't be in as much pain as I am now if the ER doctor would have paid a little more attention.

This isn't the first time our family has had a misdiagnosis with Southern Regional Medical Center! The first time was in 2005 where because of the doctors misdiagnosis, Ethan could have lost his little life. Ethan had a severe case of the roto virus and the ER doctor at Southern Regional said he had a urinary tract infection. He gave Ethan a double dose of antibiotics and sent him home with the same meds. Ethan was so dehydrated he couldn't even keep his head up and they didn't do anything about it. Instead, the antibiotic they gave to my son caused him to have diarrhea which made him more dehydrated. We ended up having a 3 night stay at Egleston. They doctors told us if we had waited just a couple more hours, Ethan might not have made it. When I called to complain I had to wait a month to hear something back from SRMC. The doctor was terminated but they would not refund me our co-pay. They did, however, tell me that I had a case to sue the doctor for negligence.

After these experiences, I'm really wondering where they get their doctors from. One would think they would have doctors in the ER that actually cared. So, needless to say, I would not ever recommend anyone to go to Southern Regional's ER. Next time, I'll take the advise of my friends and go to Fayette.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On cue

Right before Maggie's first birthday I was getting ready to give her a bath. Just playing around I sat her on the toilet and said "go poo poo!" Little to my surprise, she began grunting. I called Joe up to see and she did it again. I then called my mother in law up to see and she did it again. On cue every time I said "go poo poo!"

I did it for a few nights. I personally think she's a little too young to be potty trained. As much as I would like for her to be out of diapers, she is our last child and I want to cherish every "baby" moment with her.

Well this past Sunday after church we were eating at a Mexican restaurant. Maggie decided it was the perfect time to go "poo poo" which she did for about 5 minutes. Thinking she was finally finished I took her to the bathroom to change her. We realized that we were on our last diaper.

When I took off her diaper she had VERY little there and I knew she wasn't finished. We were not going home immediately after lunch so she had to finish. I didn't want to put a soiled diaper back on my daughter so...I put her on the toilet. And yes, I did use a seat cover for her :). I tell her the magic words "go poo poo" and she did! When she was finished she shook her head no. I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell someone. Thankfully we saw some church friends eating at the same place and we were able to tell them.

Like I've said, we've just been playing around with the whole potty thing so we went a few more days until yesterday. Maggie was eating lunch (there must be something about lunchtime) and she began the process. I asked her if she wanted to go to the potty and she got excited. She held her little arms up for me to pick her up. So off to the bathroom we go. I say the magic words and again...she goes! Once she was finished she shook her head no.

I think once she finally decides to walk I am really going to focus on potty training her. She knows what she's doing she just doesn't know how to express it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What a night

A little over 12 years ago I was diagnosed with asthma. It usually acts up when I'm exerting myself too much or because of the different seasons. Before yesterday I've only had 2 severe attacks. Once going into my junior year of high school and the other a few months ago where I ended up at Henry Medicals urgent care center. My oxygen level was in the low 90's, my BP was elevated and my heart rate was abnormal. They gave me a steroid shot and monitored me for a little while. You noticed I put the words "before yesterday." So, yes I had another attack yesterday. I had gotten worked up and couldn't get a grip on my breathing. I took my inhaler but it was too late. Since I'm not a pro at asthma attacks I began panicking. We ended up going to the ER.

When we got to the ER we had to wait to sign in. The nurses were looking at me and standing there. Some were actually working. I signed in and Joe told them I was having a panic attack instead of an asthma attack. They brought me on in to get my vitals. My BP was elevated, my heart rate was abnormal but my oxygen level was at 100% of course it was on 100% before they put the monitor on my finger and even after they took it off :/ so I don't know if their machine was messed up or what. Considering the rest of my visit it wouldn't surprise me if this was a standard number to "help" patients.

Anyways, a male "nurse" (I use that word loosely) and told me I needed to control my breathing. Ha! That was the reason I was there! Are you kidding me? He kept getting rude with me telling me to stop breathing so hard. Finally another nurse came in and told me to breath in a brown paper bag. She said to focus on the breathing. When she walked away the other nurse told me I was doing it wrong. The other nurse came back and told me not to listen to the man. She calmed me down and helped me focus on my breathing. She wanted to get an EKG because of my heart rate and because I was having chest pains.

To hurry to my point I got the test done and went out to the waiting room. As Joe and I was sitting in there we were so disgusted. This place was truly the nastiest place I had ever seen! There was trash all over the place. The walls were full of filth and the stench was almost unbearable. There were crumbs and liquids all over the floors. Now I'm the person that is usually disgusted by going into ER's because of the people and why they're there in the first place but never because I was afraid to sit in a chair.

As Joe and I are sitting down, another male nurse tells us that we might want to move because 2 chairs down someone had spilled some kind of liquid. His words to us were "y'all might wanna come sit over here. That spill is not something you want to have a part of. I'ma get somebody to clean that up." So this lady comes out with gloves and a towel. She throws the towel onto the ground and uses her shoes to clean up this spill. Then picks up the towel and heads back to the back where they're taking other people's vitals. ??? If this spill was so serious to the point of us having to move, why on earth did they not get a mop and bucket??

So we wait and we wait and we wait! I completely understand that this is an emergency room. Sadly, we witnessed someone lose a family member. I get the wait. I understand the wait. Yes it's annoying but it is what it is. They finally call back a large group. I believe there was about 5 of us. As we all walked like a heard of cows to the back she tells me to go into the first room. Then tells the second person to go into the first room. WHAT?! I have to share a room?!? Are you kidding me? I have sat out in this nasty place with screaming kids, having difficulty breathing, my chest (and now back) is killing me and now you're putting me in a room with another patient?

The doctor comes in. His "white" coat is more of a stained tan look. It must have been reddish/brown polka dots on it as well because I refuse to believe it was blood stains! I'm not trying to be rude or ugly as I describe this man to you but I want you to understand my thoughts...his clothes were about 2 sizes too big, wrinkled and un-tucked. I have never had a doctor like this before. This man had a very dirty appearance about him. He begins with the questions. The first? How are you? Ha! Why do they ask that? I mean come on! If I was good would I be here? OK then! Then he asks about my medical history. Now I have no idea about this but what is the patient confidentiality stuff all about? The paperwork I have to sign every time I see a doctor or my kids see a doctor? The ones that state they are not allowed to discuss medical history with or in front of anyone. (side explanation: One of my false alarms with Maggie, the nurse would not allow Joe to come in the same room with me because she said I could sue her for breaching my privacy and she wasn't putting herself in that position. This might have been the only time I've ever gotten rude with someone in the medical field. She said that the new HIPPA or HIPAA laws said that my medical history is mine and mine alone. ??? I don't know) I kept looking at Joe. The doctor looks at me and asks me why I'm worried? What I was afraid of. I told him I wasn't worried or afraid but uncomfortable discussing my history with other patients in the room. Speaking of other patients in the room...it was a woman with her little boy. Every other word out of her mouth was a cuss word. F this and BS that. She belittled the baby's father to the little boy. She made a scene with the nurses and cussed them. She even made the comment that she was sorry for being ghetto but she had **** things to do. Sorry, back to the story.

The doctor says he was sorry but there's nothing else he could do. So, what choice do I have? I've waited, I'm hurting and I need answers. I told him about my factor V Leiden and he (the doctor) asks me what that is. Huh? So, he calls for an x-ray. By this time, my breathing was normal again but my pain in my chest and back had increased pretty bad. The X-ray lady came in. Again, I had to share an x-ray room with ANOTHER patient. Oh forgot. On the way there, I'm wheeled past someone being guarded by a security guard who is telling them they cannot run into patients room because it was a a violation of the patients privacy. Ha! So I get into this room and have to change...where? There wasn't a place and I was in the room with another man. Uh, I don't think so. Again, feeling like I had no choice, I went into a back corner and well...whatever. I had to put my chin on the machine and again...the smell! The lady didn't bother to clean it. My chin had to go on to this thing that smelled like a dog that hasn't had a bath in years. And no, I'm not exaggerating.

To finish up this horrible night the doctor came in. You're fine! All your tests look good. I'm going to give you something to calm your nerves, something for your pain and more inhalers. Now I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I developed that after having the boys naturally. My pain was pain but I wasn't screaming about it. The doctor ended up giving me vicodin and a nerve pill. Something to ease my pain and something to calm my nerves. No explanation of what was going on, just some paper work and prescriptions. He gave me VICODIN! I am upset! Why? Because I didn't go in because of pain. I went in for breathing but after waiting 4 hours my breathing became normal. I get the nerve pill because I was panicking and needed to calm down but VICODIN? Yes my chest was hurting but could it have been due to the difficulty breathing? It just amazes me. I have seen and been to so many doctors that are quick to prescribe you a pain pill to "make you happy."

Needless to say I will never return to this particular hospital. I was literally more afraid of catching something from the wall, floors, toilets, toilet paper, water, soap, pens, chairs, etc. than I was from another patient. The doctor was terrible. I mean he was a nice man. But he never told me what was going on. He didn't even say, it could have been an anxiety attack or abnormal chest pain that wasn't heart related. He simply gave me prescriptions and sent me on my way. The smell of every room in the ER was terrible. So, to all my medical field friends, is this common? Is this what we should all expect from our ER's? Has anyone ever had an experience like this? What did you do? I want to make a complaint but because I hate confrontation, am weary of doing so.