Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Backyard bliss

Last night I decided to watch the sunset (in the hot tub, of course!) from our back yard. I marvelled at the sounds of the coming night like a vampire newly "born". The crickets were singing, birds different than the day were calling, and as fall is fast approaching, there were Canada geese calling to each other getting ready for their long journey south. As the sounds of the geese came to a cresendo, a new sound broke into the night. Coyotes began their lonely howl, longing for the birds that had not yet taken flight. While listening to all of this, I watched as the sky slowly turned colour; first orange and yellow, then finally cresting in a sea of reds and purples, as blackness faded in. Such beauty. Such stillness.
Today, I experienced a different joy in my own back yard. With the fence finally in place, the cats were able to go outside to run and play. I giggled as Seven chased after a butterfly, only to have it fly away to taunt her again. And Stupe rolls in the grass, and lays there sunbathing in the warm later afternoon sun. If they could speak I am sure they would tell me they are at peace. They are happy, and they love the new yard.
So often, now, I am struck by how fortunate I am. How wonderful it is, my life, on the Other Side of the Mountain.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hard to be a Patient

Yesterday I was on the other side of things. The other side of the curtain, so to speak. Yesterday, I was a patient. It was so hard to be a patient, so hard to relinquish control. And I believe it is all because I know too much. I know what can happen, and what doesn't. I know what can go wrong, and what I think is right. Just too much knowledge.
No, what I had done was not earth shattering, or even scary for most people. All I had done was a gastroscopy (a stomach scope). I have had one before. In fact, that was how they diagnosed my celiac disease in the first place. That is how it is always done - they scope you and biopsy your duodenum. Last time I was freaked out too. I was still a resident, but I asked on of the staff guys who I thought of as more of a friend to come by and give me some sedation. He didn't end up doing anything, but the internist felt more comfortable to give me sedation, enough sedation! It was still fairly traumatic, although I don't remember anything of the procedure that time, but I didn't want to go for a follow up scope.
So, we come to yesterday , which is 5 years later, and the only reason I am doing this is so I can get disability insurance. Otherwise, I still wouldn't have gone. I feel better, my numbers are better, so why would I get a scope? Sigh, I guess I should have just done it earlier.
It was so hard to be a "good patient". You know, compliant, trusting, not crazy. I failed. I was really keyed up, and kept telling the nurses how much of what drugs to give me. I gagged and coughed and was, unfortunately, not the model patient. I probably apologized to the surgeon 100 times, and thanked her just as many, so at least that was good.
Then, we rushed out as soon as they would let us go (after turning off my own IV, and refusing to eat anything). We stopped off and got a monster amount of take-out, as I had starved ALL DAY for this, and felt like I deserved good food. Yum, grease!
On the drive home, the Gods go me back. Traffic was terrible, as it was now rush hour, and my hubby had to stop and start a lot. So, I got nauseous. I sat up, opened the window, and just tried to breathe. "Slow breaths, in and out", I told myself. That is what I tell my patients, right? I thought I was getting better, and then the blackness started to come. I told my husband I thought I was going to pass out. He looked at me, and after seeing how pale I was (including my lips), he thought he would check my pulse.
"Holy crap, your having a Vagal!" What he meant was that my pulse was plummeting along with my blood pressure (it was close to 30 at the worst), and the lower it got the blacker my vision got. Layer by layer, it got darker, and darker, and I felt like I was hotter, and falling further and further down a deep dark hole.
I have never seen my hubby drive so fast. We were finally on the highway and we have a little kit at home for emergencies when we are driving with pretty much everything we would need (IVs, ephedrine, atropine...). So, he knew that if he could just get me home, he could treat me and make me feel better (not to mention fix my deteriorating blood pressure).
We live 10km out of town, so by the time we pulled into the driveway, I had climbed my way our of the dark hole and lay there reminding myself to breathe. Unfortunately, the greasy food I had thought was going to be so good, just did not sit well. Pain and nausea are not a good combo with take-out.
SIGH. THIS is why I didn't want to do it earlier! Doctors really are the worst patients. Not only because we know too much and try and control everything (its in our nature, we can't help it), but we get all the complications too. Luckily, I shouldn't have to have this done again once my disability finally goes through. Stupid insurance agencies!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

just living life

I haven't blogged in a long time. Sad, but true.
A lot of times I feel like unless something INCREDIBLE is happening in my life, there is just no point in blogging. And, incredible, unfortunately, doesn't always mean good. Lately, I have just been living, and that doesn't seem blog-worthy, but sometimes, that is what people want to read. They want to know (especially if they live far away) just what your day to day life is like. So, here goes.
Over the summer, I have been trying to train for a marathon. I am running the GoodLife run in TO in October. It should be fun. Really, though, it was just an excuse to go to TO and see my friend, Jennie. I haven't trained enough, but I have decided that I really just have to get out there and JUST DO IT (as the commercial goes). If I don't, it will hurt, and that will suck.
My other procrastination project is my Transesophageal Echocardiography Exam (TEE Exam). I just don't feel like writing this stupid thing. I mean, I llike working in the heart room and doing big cases, and I really feel like by doing cardiac anesthesia it makes me a better anesthesiologist (I can handle anything then), but I am just sort of examed out. However, I have paid a huge amount of $$ and will be humiliated if I fail, so again I just have to DO IT!
So, what have I been doing instead of these? Well, working (but not that hard), and enjoying life. We have been at the lake any time it isn't raining (which it has rained a LOT this summer), and enjoyed some time away. We went to BC for a weekend, had a few weddings, watched some of our yard be completed (this deserves its own blog, as it is so frustrating), and I just got back from a girl's Vegas trip (photos and blog to follow).
I suppose I could have blogged about any one of these things, but they just don't seem earth shattering enough. I really like my life, but maybe others who read this will think it is boring, I don't know.
There are a few things I would like to be doing: Jazz class on Sundays, University chorus on Mondays, Pilates on Tuesdays, Learn to swim class on Wednesdays, ball class on Thursdays, and Spanish class on Saturdays, but somehow I think that is too much. If I ever win the lottery (although I rarely buy a ticket and hardly ever check them), I will just take classes all the time, and travel. As it is, I am having trouble organizing running, studying, and pilates.
Anyhoo, enough with the procrastination (man! I am SO good at that), and off to study. At least I will work on one of the things on my list.