Tag Archive | doctor

Why not just move on?

I have heard people speak those words regarding people who have had something devastating occur in their lives, wondering why those people seem to linger in their misery long after the initial event has passed.  Sometimes it seems people just can’t seem to get past a particularly bad event in their lives. Maybe they stay in grief mode years after a death of a loved one. Maybe they have post traumatic stress for months or years after being mugged. And those around them, whether its people who love them or people who just like to pass judgment on others, can’t help but wonder why the person just can’t seem to pick up life where they left off? Just brush it off and MOVE ON already!

Well, as someone who suffers daily with chronic pain and anxiety related to a botched surgery that occurred in November 2005, let me just say that it’s not as simple as one may think.  I truly wish it was. But when every single waking moment is filled with pain from that incident, it’s really hard to just “get past it.” And the anxiety that I suffer with is also hard to just blow off…I suffer with anxiety and worry daily, regarding my declining health, my pain, my bleak future, not being able to do things I would like to do, not being able to make money to contribute to our family, incurring medical bills that keep us in debt, fear of future medical issues, feeling like a burden, and fear of the medical profession as a whole.  It’s hard to put trust back into the very group of people that caused your situation. It wasn’t just the surgical mistake the doctor made, it was me laying in ICU for days with infection burning thru my body, eating my insides like acid…with both nurses and doctors not picking up on it. It was that next year where 200 days of it were spent in hospitals, enduring 15 further “repair” surgeries, open wounds, flesh eating virus, pneumonia, blood clots,  wound vacs, poorly fitted ostomies, skin infections, central line infections, blood infections…caused by poor medical care in some instances. Nurses who didn’t wash their hands properly for instance. There was one instance I can prove this, I was of course very ill, laying in a hospital bed, a CNA was caring for me, cleaning me up for the day, and during the bedbath she had to wash around my central line in my chest, so she would touch it and move it aside during the bath. She was young and very sweet and I liked her, she was one of the few who actually talked to me and treated as a human being in the bed rather than some practice dummy. She and I were conversing, mostly her since I wasn’t feeling real chatty, but she used some little hand sanitizer she pulled from her pocket before she left and I said it smelled good, she said she got it at Bath and Bodyworks and she had many, so she handed the little container of sanitizer to me saying I could keep it. I said thank you of course, and she sat it on the bedside table and left. The lighting in the room was dim, but later I turned on the over-bed light and picked up the sanitizer…it was then I noted the little bottle was smeared with fecal matter. Yes…POOP. So, obviously at some point the girl got poo on it but didn’t realize it and was then squeezing it onto her hands to “sanitize” her hands, but was really contaminating her hands in the process…

So, that long story was really just to show that when we are helpless in a hospital or nursing home setting, we are depending upon the medical professionals caring for us to follow Universal Precautions to help keep the rate of infection down. But sometimes they do not. Sometimes they don’t wash their hands, or don’t do it properly. Sometimes they think, “I was wearing gloves when I cleaned up that poop, I don’t have to wash too” and move on to the next person.  But maybe the glove had a tear or small hole. Maybe some of the matter got on her wrist or her shirt or her stethoscope (another potential portal of infection), they maybe washing a dirty area then wash a clean area, or touch your IV caps or your foley cath tubing when emptying your bag…there are so many ways for infection to spread. They don’t mean to. They are just trying to do their jobs…which are extremely stressful, with the corporation rules, the constant short-staffing and heavy patient loads, the management breathing down their necks to keep costs down but do more work…it’s no wonder there are so many staph infections and MRSA infections, among others that get spread throughout healthcare settings on a daily basis.

But, this entry really wasn’t supposed to be about infection control…so I apologize for the tangent. My point with that was that I ended up with so many hospital acquired infections during that horrid year, and witnessed so many medical mistakes…wrong meds they attempted to give me, watched them perform treatments or instill meds in ways that were not following proper protocol, leaving me to lay in a dirty bed for far too long, or just being unprofessional or even, I am sad to say, downright cruel in some instances…I had one aid strip me down and park me in a shower chair, tossed a rag in my lap and left me there under the cold running shower, while she went to do something else. At the time I couldn’t stand or walk, I had lines coming from everywhere, my intestines were open with my belly having a softball sized wound, covered in saran wrap and hooked to a wound vac…a foley cath to collect my urine, and was so weak, ill and drugged I could really barely speak or move. I sat there with my teeth chattering, naked and vulnerable, freezing water spraying on me, no call light in reach and unable to call out for help. Another aid came in and half way dried me off, threw me in a gown and rolled me back to bed.

Nurses who yelled at me for wetting the bed, or soaking it with perspiration during high fevers or the hot-flashes after the ovary removal. A doctor who was abrasive saying “This is the hand you were dealt, you gotta decide how to play it” when I was fighting for my life…and just trying to live from one minute to the next.

So, yea…I have anxiety issues when it comes to the medical profession. I must go to the doctor every month, the Coumadin nurses every month…and I live in fear of my intestines becoming blocked or twisted by adhesions and ending up back in the hospital, facing another surgery in a life or death situation. Or having to go due to bloodclots or heart problems. 

Every single day since that botched surgery has been filled with pain and anxiety. They can’t fix the physical or mental damage that was done. They can throw meds at the problems, but they can’t fix them. They believe and understand the physical pain I am in, like they said, “You can’t be cut and sewn and cut and sewn on one area of your body as many times as you have been and not have long-term consequences, the adhesions have become rubber band tourniquets around your bowels Tammy, you can no longer digest food properly and the nerve bundles have been sewn up into the tissue adding to the pain cycle, the ventral hernia which we cannot fix will continue to burn and cause pain, we are sorry that all we can try is to keep you comfortable and keep your nutrition supplemented” oh and there’s always the “We are so sorry you have had to live thru this unattended mishap.”

I wake up and the pain is there, I can’t sit up from a lying position without first rolling onto my side. I walk hunched over much of the time because standing strait sometimes makes the pain worse. I cannot cough, sneeze, laugh, yell or blow my nose without bending over and splinting my belly and God help me if a sneeze catches me off guard! Of course running or most exercise is out of the question. I can walk, but not for long, extended periods. I can dance, (badly)…but carefully and not for long, I can’t lift more than 10 lbs, can’t pull wet towels out of the washer, I can’t eat red meat, raw veggies or fruits, fiber, nuts or seeds or dairy, I can’t do much of what a normal healthy person can do…somedays I can’t leave my bed or couch due to the pain in my abdomen. When I do leave my house, I put on my “normal face”…I walk straight even if it hurts, I smile at people and chat with people, I get my groceries and put them in my car…I’m so good at my act people have no clue how I’m really feeling…but what they don’t see is me getting into my car and driving away sobbing…but  CAREFULLY sobbing, because I don’t want to cause more pain…getting home and waiting for the garage door to shut so I can walk all hunched over, crying, holding my belly, carrying in the groceries and putting them away…then laying in the fetal position, as still as I can, while waiting and praying the pain med will atleast take the edge off so I can take a breath without feeling like a knife has been plunged deep into my gut.

My life was completely altered by that botched surgery and the events caused by it. I usually say that I died that day in the operating room…because a part of me truly did. I’m not the same person anymore and never will be whole again. I feel I would’ve been better off for them to have cut off my leg, because atleast that would heal…my insides can’t heal and they can’t just be removed. The pain and scarring from that ordeal is permanent. The change in my psyche is permanent.

Sometimes things happen to us in life, where it’s just not so easy to move on and forget it. When the memory of it hits you in the face everytime you move or cough or take a deep breath…how do you just “get over it already?”

Just as when a loved one dies…who’s to say how long you should grieve? You will never just get over losing that person…your heart will always feel heavy at the thought of them being gone. Or your house burns down, taking everything you own…yes, you can get new stuff and a new house…but its still a trauma that you will carry with you, even if just the fear of fire.

I do what I can to lead a normal life. But it truly is controlled by my pain on most days, even if I can walk and smile my way thru the store or at church…its an act…its not me…because ME is balled up in pain, sobbing and begging God to get me thru the next sixty seconds.

I would honestly give an arm or a leg, if it meant the pain would be gone or even lessened by 50%…maybe then I could “move on” but really I don’t think one ever truly just moves on after a traumatic event in their lives, they just learn to shove it down and hide it from the world, because it’s just not tolerated otherwise.

 

What kind of hand were you dealt? If you have had a strait flush your whole life…be very grateful…and if your holding jokers like me most of the time…I feel your pain!

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Betrayal

betrayal poembetrayal

She rolled out of the bed, shutting off the alarm. Thoughts immediately flood her mind. So many things to do today. The most important one being interviewing a young woman to fill the live in nanny position. She has been looking for a responsible nanny since her previous “super nanny” Margo, had to move to the East coast to live with her son and his family. She had been with them for 14 years, and was fabulous with her 2 children, 14 year old Sophie and 12 year old Stephen. Margo kept the house in order, made an occassional meal and helped with the kids homework when she was running late at the office.

Being a doctor is a wonderful profession, and has wonderful perks…but the hours can certainly take over your life…it certainly took over her marriage. The divorce was two years ago, but the pain still feels fresh. It was true that becoming a doctor and creating a thriving practice took up alot of her time. She worked hard to get here. Being a physician was her goal since second grade, when she had her tonsils removed. She was fascinated with her doctor and all his instruments! The blood-pressure cuff (sphygmomanometer), stethoscope, laryngoscope, otoscope and even just a simple thermometer…it all held so much wonder to her, even at the age of eight.

Her parents were strict. They were “pushers” pushing her to do this after school activity and that activity…pushing her to take AP classes…pushing her to eat right and exercise…pushing her to only socialize when necessary and only with the “appropriate” friends. So, it goes without saying, her teen years and college years, were all very academic oriented, with very few exciting events. Her life-long friend Brandy calls her whole life “Vanilla.” That pretty much explains it. Boring vanilla. But, in reality…living a vanilla life suited her. She wasn’t a risk-taker, she loves to learn, loves to read and research, loves to sit at home and cuddle on the couch with her family. Who needs sprinkles anyway?

At 5′ 1″ and 100 lbs, she is what the fashion industry has pegged as petite. Shoulder length blond hair and deep blue eyes and, as her friend Brandy says, “A complexion to kill for!” would pretty much complete her description. She was always described as a determined fighter by her mother. Sometimes more determined than was good perhaps. Once she set her mind on something, there was no stopping her.

When she first saw Scott…her determination definitely kicked in. She first laid eyes on him in the medical library of Vanderbilt teaching hospital here in Nashville. They were both in their first year of residency. He was tall, at 6’2″ he towered  over her. He had dark brown hair and big brown eyes…those eyes…they are what drew her to him. He could flirt with the best of them, she was not exactly shy, but having led her “vanilla” type lifestyle, she wasn’t a big flirt by any means. He came over to her table there in the library that day. Struck up a conversation about hematology, referencing a book she had laid out on the table about a blood-clotting disease called Antiphospholipid Syndrome. They talked for quite awhile about that particular disease and others before he paused and asked if she would like to go for coffee. She hated coffee. But…some icky flavored brown water was NOT going to keep her from continuing some conversation with this competely perfect man!

Perfect. Yea…not so much. Here she is 16 years later…the last five of which she knew Scott was having an affair. At first she couldn’t believe it. Scott would never do that to her or their family! But, the signs were there. She asked him one night after dinner, as Margo was putting the kids to bed, if he was seeing someone. He laughed at her and told her she was crazy. She dropped it, but after another call from him saying he was having another “late night” at the office, she couldn’t repress her instincts anymore. She became the woman she swore she never would. She started snooping on her husband. She would go thru his pockets, check his calendar, check his phone, but it was checking his computer that confirmed her suspicions. She clicked on a folder entitled “L” and there on the screen was a picture that caused her heart to jump right into her throat! It was Lisa. Scotts old girlfriend. She was a model, and the picture before her made that all too clear. But this was more than just beyond some “headshot” this was a fullly nude Lisa…and there were many of them. She stood staring, mouth agape. Her heart was beating so hard she could barely breathe. Her head was swimming. Why? Why does he have these photos of Lisa? They hadn’t seen each other in 15 years…or had they?

She began running the past few years in her head…was he having an affair with Lisa? Or just fantasizing…how recent are these pictures of her? Her head was spinning. Anyone but her! She had always felt insecure when it came to Lisa. She was this perfect looking woman, never had children so nothing was stretched out of shape on her! She was not the smartest woman, that’s for certain…why? She continued checking out Scotts computer for anymore evidence…THERE. There it was. Messages. Lots of them. He and Lisa have been conversing. He’s too stupid to delete his history. She read thru their messages quickly…they were having a full blown relationship. Worse…they discussed her and the children! That devastated her. To find out that Scott was with Lisa. He always said she meant nothing to him. She was just a “bimbo” he said.  He said the two years he spent with her, were the most miserable of his life…that she was vindictive and immature. But, evidently vindictive, immature bimbos were more his type. She confronted Scott with what she had found. He blamed her, blamed her long hours, said she was too boring for him….she was devastated. She went to confide what was happening to Brandy. She had trusted Brandy. But as she was explaining it all to her, Brandy dropped a bombshell. Scott was seeing many women, including her! She said it was a one time thing…but one time is all it takes in these matters, isn’t it?

She couldn’t believe that Brandy could betray her like this! She had been her best friend for as long as she could remember! How could Scott? How could Brandy? She had done so much for Brandy over the years! She had let her live with her rent free, she bought her and her daughter clothing and other items over the years, they came over every weekend to watch movies and have dinner or play boardgames…the betrayal by Brandy stung more than he one by Scott.

The anger has eaten at her since she had found out. She proceeded with the divorce and stopped communicating with Brandy. Brandy begged for her forgiveness, blamed it on alcohol and one night of weakness. The excuses weren’t gonna cut it. From either of them. During that time, she found out about so many lies. Lies by Scott, lies by Brandy. Brandy always talked so poorly of her family. She called them white trash. She claimed her mother was a drug addict/alcoholic. She said she may as well been raised by a pack of wolves. She claimed to have no-one in her life that cared about her. She made her feel so sorry for her and her baby girl. But, after finding out about all the lies, she then wondered if all those stories were also lies. She wondered what lies Brandy told her family about her?

How can people do those things to each other? She struggled with that question that past couple years. But she has decided now to make a fresh start. To not dwell on the betrayals by those closest to her. She focused on her children and her career. And she is happy. She recently met a man at work. They had been to coffee, she had developed quite a taste for it by now, and she enjoyed his company. The future was looking up.

The interview went well. She hired the new nanny. She let go of all the resentment and anger and mistrust that had accumulated over the years. But, she wonders…everytime a person is treated like she was, lied to and betrayed…how does one ever fully trust again? If the ones who profess to love you the most can treat you so badly…what can we expect from those who don’t know us at all? Or do people just have their own versions of the truth and feel they are doing nothing wrong when they lie to you? How do they live with themselves when they are scheming and making up lies? Do they have a conscience? She hopes to never have to feel that way again. She prays her children never know what it feels like to be betrayed by someone they love…but she knows that prayer will likely not get answered. It’s inevitable.

 

 

 

Again…just a flow & type story. Just practicing…thanks for reading!

I’m SCARED

I yell…I’m SCARED

I cry…I’m SCARED

I judge…I’m SCARED

I order…I’m SCARED

I demand…I’m SCARED

I scream…I’m SCARED

I want perfection…I’m SCARED

I want help…I’m SCARED

I want encouragement…I’m SCARED

I want order…I’m SCARED

I want empathy…I’m SCARED

I’m in PAIN…I’m SCARED

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The pain is changing and it’s getting worse. I feel like there is no doctor that will even try to fix the mess that is my abdomen. I’m terrified of leaving my family. I can’t outrun the agony anymore. I am certain noone wants to be around me, because I don’t want to be around me. I’m wound up so tight…every move and every breath is stabbing me harder than ever…the pain causes my jaw to lock with near vomit. I’m feeling hateful and mean, yet sad, ashamed and SCARED.  I skipped my heart test today because the abdominal pain was so severe. I do not know what to do anymore. Why go to the doc? Why go to the hospital? For more tests that I can’t pay for? To hear another dumbass doctor say “I’m sorry, but surgery is too dangerous, it may cause more damage or you may not make it…just pop your pills and drink your Ensure and lay in bed til you croak~!”….

I wish I could go just lock myself in a rubber room…hide from the world, because atleast then I wouldn’t be terrorizing everyone I love. Everyone is either worried sick about me or sick OF me. I am sick of me. I can’t believe they can’t atleast give me pain relief…maybe that’s where I need to focus…on getting better pain control…stop dreaming of a fix…forget healing….just numb me…please dear God…just bring me SOME kind of relief!

I’M SCARED!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feelings

Feelings. What are they? I’ll tell you what they are, they are all I can seem to discuss as of late. How I”M feeling, how OTHERS are feeling. What are YOUR pain levels? What are MY pain levels.  How many doc appointments you going to this week as opposed to me…what new med are you on? How does it make you feel? Side effects? Any relief? How bad are the adhesions ripping me apart this night or that night, how bad is my broken foot throbbing tonight, how’s the nausea? Headache? Back spasms? Left hip?  Energy levels? It’s easy really….Everything hurts worse than normal, drugs suck and so do their side effects. Fake interest in my health doesn’t help anyone. Yes, I get you have a life…one where you jump out of bed in the morning after a great nights sleep and you have a pep in your step as you brush your pearly whites and swish that Scope…check your nose for rogue boogers…grab a tasty Latte on the way to work…jamming to the latest tune…thinking about working out later…going to the Y, or maybe your work gym.  Maybe you have to stop at the store on the way home and grab some grub for dinner…zip thru the checkout lane…no problem!  You’re feeling great, your job is great, your family is great and most importantly your health is great.

This is what makes my FEELINGS seemingly very different from so many. I feel SICK. EVERYDAY. It’s not going to go away. It’s slowly killing me…I wont be making a recovery. People seem to think I should be “well” by now….”how long can this last?”  “Cant she go to a doctor? Have surgery?” How bout a bigger med center? “Maybe its the pills making her sick” “maybe she needs another medication”….or my favorites:  “She Looks GREAT! ” “I saw her out the other day…looked like she was smiling and laughing and having a good time!” “Saw her at the grocery store the other day! She was loading up that cart!”

Well, I’ve tried other doctors, Cleveland Clinic, all the moron ones here in Ft. Wayne…they all say surgery would only be done in a life or death situation, because my situation is so unusual and my insides are so scarred and twisted and glued together, and laying right at the surface, trying to find a place to even make the first cut would take a team…who couldn’t give definitive answers.  Better to just live with the pain and be glad I’m alive! I shouldn’t FEEL frustrated that the medical establishment made me this way. I should feel elated that they managed to save my life.

When I wake up, my first thought is on my belly cuz ive moved or inadvertently stretched and pulled those adhesions and they are barking back at me. I sit up and get my pill box, swallow my pills..hopin they kick in FAST.  I walk hunched over to the restroom for all that needs done there…I come out in search of coffee, but if its not alredy made…forget it…I’ll nuke some tea or have juice.  Jim starts discussing what we should have for a meal….I let him know that my FEELINGS on that subject are not registering yet.

My adhesions are growing around my other organs…it’s like an evil beast inside me….like a rubberband spiderweb. Every breath hurts, coughing, laughing and God forbid a sneeze bring on big FEELINGS. Mostly I just spew out vile cuss words that are aimed at the doctor who butchered me and his devient lawyer who got him off.  That was  a cut and dry case…and my FEELINGS on that are we were SCREWED.

My feelings on people who just do not get it. I don’t blame them. They don’t live it. How can they get it. I can see how it can be confusing to see me shopping, dressed,. make up on, hair done….I look okay….but look a little closer: My eyes are bloodshot, they are tired with no spark of life, my smile is stiff, my walk slow and now with a limp and shiny purple cane.  I walk slower, I search for places to sit and rest due to the pain that has shown up full force as i’m in the middle of Wall Mart. Im sweating profusely just due to the pain and trying to look normal like nothing is wrong.  I can’t think strait. I just want to go home to my bed. I hate this.  I hate people looking at me. I hate feeling foolish. 

I hate NEEDING help from people. I’m not good at asking fot help…other than from my husband and daughter…I ask them for lots of help around here…bet Jess can’t wait til she can move out like her big bro so she wouldn’t have to be here to have a ringside seat to my circus of FEELINGS.

I laugh, I cry, I scream, I pray, I cuss, I fall to my knees and i plead.  I plead to God, to the Angels…to anyone out there who will listen and care. After so many years of this your family and friends learn to tune you out…Its the same complaints everyday…they get sick of hearing it…I get sick of saying it. I try not to say it…but it comes up here or there…like “Hey, mom…can u drive me to the Mall today after school?” “Well, depends on how i feel I guess, but probaly” “Oh mom, you’re always sick but you can always get the job done. Which is when my Linda Blair head comes out and starts spewing that I get the jobs done cuz no one else is! I go into my laundry rant, dusting, garbage, dishes, dog hair…I let loose…but I get from one “I’m working 12 hours a day and do what I can” which I can’t argue with, I wish he didnt have to do anything but come home and veg. I get from the other one  “I’ve been being tortured at school all day with stupid teachers and I need some me time!”

I hate being asked How are you feeling today? I always say fine. No one cares how Im feeling. They get the glazed eyed look of omg, here she goes with her pain and sickness. Dont they know I would much rather be talking about going to the Y to swim! To go for a long walk thru a woods and have a pic nic. To go to a great rock concert…maybe Kid Rock or Aerosmith.  That I would love to zip thru this house and clean it from top to bottom all while blaring my Rick Springfield cd’s and reliving the 80’s!  That I would love to learn Pilates! I would be thrilled to be able to play softball once again! That I would love to sit and read a book in under three hours like i used to. That I want so badly to help others…to go to homeless shelters and help, to help abused women and children, to help save unwanted animals. I want to be there for my grandparents, parents and kids and husband for all their needs and desires. 

Right now FEELINGS are taking control. They are allover the place. Im sad. Mad. Frustrated. Pissed. Lost. Alone. Angry. Unappreciated. Scared. Hurt. Miserable. Up one minute, in the hole the next. I feel like i’ve been targeted to live in misery…its been bad since birth…when do I get to feel normal?  When do i get to experience living in a body that is perfectly healthy? Not even perfect…maybe just remove a few of my afflictions…I mean Adhesions that are taking over my abdominal cavity grabbing my organs and pulling me apart, tumors on the nerve endings from the 15 operations, loss of part of intestine and severe strictures make eating almost a miserable event, the Degenerative Disk Disease in my neck and back…constant spasms and knots, my Interstitial Cystitis where my bladder is on fire, Fibromyalgia where all my muscles and joints hurt so bad and the brain fog that tags along, the Antiphospholipid Syndrome that makes me high risk for more blood clots, so I must take blood thinners each day and keep tabs on my blood levels or I can die either from clot or internal bleeding. Anxiety problems. My teeth are getting worse by the day and the pain is bad. My eyes ache constantly, and give me migraines.  My left hip has been out of socket for a month from walking with a cane due to my right foot being broken…its taking forever to heal, and costing me  lots of medical bills.

I used to be a person. I used to have a life. I was vibrant. I was fun. I sang, danced and laughed loudly. I was good looking, I was funny and witty, I dressed well. I loved walking thru woods or graveyards. I loved swimming or just being near a body of water.  I loved going to the mall and walking around all day. I loved riding my bike. I loved trying out new exercise tapes…knowing I’d give up…but hey…it was a hope!  I have (had) a job I loved as a patient sitter, which I can’t do until my foot heals…I had a life too.

Now I’m in bed alot. With people wondering under their breaths whats wrong with me. But not really caring to know what is.  On the days I do get up dressed with make up…I’m so exhausted I must rest in between. One outting to a store knocks me back to bed for a couple more days.  I’m still inside this body. I’m in here. My feelings do count. They get hurt when I feel Ive been treated badly or been taken advantage of or lied to…or even worse patronized by people who do not know what theyre talking about when it comes to the multiple diseases I have. These diseases are life threatening. I don’t have the flu and I’m not depressed. I have multiple illnesses atleast two of which could kill me. 

So my FEELING is that Im sick. I hate it. But  I NEED friends and family who get that and who can work around my illnesses to still have relationships with me, don’t avoid me or leave me out of plans until you know Im too ill to partake. Feel free to pitch in when it looks like I need help picking up something I’ve dropped or if something needs done around the house.

I’m FEELING the only ones who understand are the other “chronics” out in cyberworld who are suffering like I am. I am lucky in that my family really tries to help me, they just sometimes don’t know what help needs done the most, or they have different ways of doing things, or they have lives of their owns and just don’t have the time to mess with my piddly problems.

My Grandma is 90. Her knees are bone on bone…its awful, and her feet are deformed from arthritis…but shes proud and she muddles around on that can or her walker a bit here and there. I call her daily, the conversation is always the same…it comes out of my mouth before I can stop it:  “How are you feeling today?” I KNOW how she’s feeling today, cuz it’s the same as yesterday…but I ask cuz I want her to know that I CARE about how she feels….so I guess thats why we ask….in some circumstances we do care how someone is feeling. But only ask if you really care and can really handle the answers.

I don’t know if I will ever feel better than i do right now, or if I will just continue to decline. I have a wish that I would find a caring doctor that was up for a challenge and could go over my rather extensive medical files…all of them, starting from having encephalitis as a child clear thru the fibro/lupus and botched surgery that really brought me down. Have him study it. To talk to me. To really care. To WANT to help me…..like the show House…he’s a doc I want! or anyone who really wanted to help people, to care about people…thats what I wish for.  A doctor who KNOWS me. KNOWS my history. Cares about my FEELINGS.

My feelings today are lonely, sad, feeling useless, fed up with pain, sick of people who are only absorbed in themselves and in seeing how much they can get, wanting, wanting, wanting, but they don’t want to work for all these wants…then have the nerve to act like their feelings are hurt or crushed, some people just don’t know how good they have it. Even i know with all my problems, I am blessed, because I know there are many others out there who are sooo much worse off than I am…so many. That is why I do try to make the most of my life…even if in a limited way…I want to find a way to help other people who actually NEED some help…Not the drama queens/kings who blow things out of proportion or lie about their conditions….nope, not them.

How am I feeling now? Well, the pain is ripping my belly in two…BUT my mind feels clear now since I purged it all out finally…My neck is in spasm and my foot is on fire. It’s another night of insomnia for me. But……………

You are certainly welcome to ask me “How you feeling lately” tomorrow! I may just tell ya!

I don’t have the energy to find pretty pics to put on here tonite or to check it over…just gonna post it.

thanks for reading and for caring, sometimes i find it interesting that the ones you want to understand you the most, are the ones who don’t take the time to know you, but that’s worked out pretty good cuz I’ve made some pretty awesome friends on here!

Butchered again!

I look so good...what could possibly be wrong?

Dr. Butcher wondering why I'm upset?

On November 3, 2005 I was butchered.  On September 30, 2010 I was butchered for the second time.  The first time as most of you know was during an ovary removal…by a doc whose name I won’t reveal quite yet, just in case.  Now during that surgery, there is no question that the doctor punctured my intestine with the trocar (a spear type intrument that pokes the initial hole in the belly for laproscopic procedures).  He failed to note this 5 mm hole, even though he knew he had gone thru the omentum which is a filmy covering that lays on top of the intestines.  He also ended up having to cut me open (laparotomy) due to finding adhesions in the pelvic cavity and not being able to get to the ovaries the way he needed to.

Now it may or may not matter to this scenario at all, but he was scheduled to leave on his family vacation some hours later (was his mind on the surgery or on his flight plans?).  At any rate, he left me in ICU and went to Disneyland.  For three days in ICU I grew more and more ill.  High temperature, delirious, swelling, copious drainage from the incision.  My husband kept telling the nurses, who said they had told the doctor on call for my original obgyn.  The nurses were even getting angry that the group doctor wasn’t doing more.  Finally on the fourth day a general surgeon was called in.

When she cut me open from breastbone to pubic bone, she was aghast at what she found.  My abdominal cavity was so full of infection that my intestines were the consistency of tissue paper and literally fell apart in her hands in sections.  But she could clearly see the hole that went thru one side of the small bowel thru the other right under the umbilicus.  She didn’t understand how it was missed.  My abdomen was left open for almost a year, first about softball sized opening, gradually to about a pingpong ball for my intestine to poke thru.  I had a wound vac attached to drain the infection.  I wore ostomy bags to collect waste.  I had drainage tubes.  I had central lines in my chest, peripheral lines in my clavical area, IV’s in my arms.  I was fed intraveniously.  I was in a coma and on a ventilator, as I went into respiratory failure due to the sepsis (blood infection).  My family was told to get my affairs in order in the beginning.  I endured around sixteen further surgeries to correct the damage, some to remove parts of bowel, some to debride the dead tissue.  I developed necrotizing faciitis (flesh eating disease) in my abdomen.  I had pneumonia (hospital acquired).  I had many blood infections due to the various lines.  I developed blood clots.  I had to go thru physical and occupational therapy to try to build my body back up.  My hair fell out due to stress and nutritional deficiency.  My electrolytes were dangerously out of whack at different times.  I spent most of a year in three different hosptials, including the burn unit and a nursing home type floor.

I missed holidays and birthdays.  My son graduated high-school and left for Marine bootcamp and I wasn’t able to celebrate with him and the family or prepare him or send him off as I would have had I been able.  The day he left for bootcamp, I truly believed I may never see him again, and I could barely get my arms around him to hug tight enough, then I sobbed like a baby. 

can't move...gotta layand cry and pray

There were moments during that year I can’t remember, mainly during the first three months…its pretty foggy.  But thru it all I can vividly remember the pain…horrendous pain.  I mean I was eviscerated, literally.  My insides were on the outside.  When they would change dressings I would be screaming in my head, if not outloud (but there was plenty of that as well).  The couple of times they pulled my vent tube out were extremely traumatic, suctioning was a nightmare…as they disconnect you from the vent and you literally cannot breathe while they suction the mucus from your respiratory tract…I remember laying there, looking up at the respiratory therapist while he watched the tv on the wall while suctioning me.  I was terrified and he wasn’t even looking at me, I wasn’t a human.  During much of this time I felt non-human.  There were periods where my hands were tied to the bed, for my own protection to keep me from pulling lines or tubes out, I can’t tell you how awful that sensation was.  I felt like I was going insane, and in fact at one point they diagnosed me with drug induced psychosis and depression…well, duh!

In November 2006 the general surgeon was able to finally close my abdomen up, they also inserted a mesh to try to fix the abdominal wall because all my muscle tissue was gone from the flesh eating disease and all the surgeries, this mesh has since then failed and I believe contributes to the pain. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to finally be closed up.  I had scars like a map, no belly button and still had pain…but it was closed and my bowel was reconnected!  I could eat!  The pain gradually got worse and worse but I wanted to stay as far away from the medical field as I could, so I just took over the counter meds by the handful and limited my activity.  Then in July of 2007 we were rear-ended in a car accident.  I got whiplash (my neck was unstable from having neck surgery in 1999 and degenerative disk disease), I went thru a couple months of therapy for that, then was sent to a pain center where they started me on pain medications.  I never heard of Pain Centers before, so was thrilled there was a place that gave medications for people in pain…not just injections which I had received in my neck years ago without relief. Meanwhile my abdominal pain continued to worsen.  I saw my family doctor who said I would always have pain but did a CT scan, which just showed a large ventral hernia from breastbone to pubic bone.  I went to the Cleveland Clinic and that surgeon said it was a shame, but that no doctor would touch me with a ten feet pole with the condition my insides were in.  My abdomen is full of adhesions/scar tissue, all the organs are basically glued together.  I’m not a candidate for surgery because the surgery would be too dangerous, probable perforations and possible death.  That the only way a doc would go in was for life or death, as in the event of an obstruction or death of bowel or strangulation of bowel.  So these doctors said all we could do is manage the pain and change my diet.

So at the end of that Summer, while at the pain clinic being checked for my neck meds, I asked those docs if they thought they could do anything about my abdominal pain.  After their exam they said the pain was caused from many factors, the huge hernia, the adhesions, neuromas (little tumors on the ends of the nerves after being cut and resewn so many times) and just the movement of the intestines as they digest food (since they are glued to the abdominal wall and other organs)…it is a horrid pain, I can only describe as a burning, tearing, ripping and stabbing pain.  It’s worse with any increased abdominal pressure, such as laughing, crying, sneezing, couging, blowing my nose or lifting or pulling, also with prolonged standing or sitting or walking.  At any rate, these wonderful doctors put me on strong enough pain meds that it takes the pain from about an 8 to a 6…which means I live in constant severe pain…but it’s duller than when I don’t have the meds, and I’ll take it!

me waiting for the meds to kick in and help dull the fire!

I have to watch what I eat, as anything gas producing kills me, I can’t eat lobster, shrimp, redmeat, raw veggies/fruits or anything high fiber.  I spend most of my time in bed, on the computer, watching tv or reading.  I work very little and its a sitdown job.  I can’t do alot of things I used to do, like ride a bike, dance, hike or walk for long.  My hernia makes my belly look about 7 months pregnant. I must wear an abdominal binder 24/7, and they are uncomfortable and hot.  I can’t pull laundry out of the washer.  I can’t run the vacuum.  I can’t do alot of things.  My husband and daughter must handle alot of the housework, and care of our three not quite trained dogs. (But I must say, my life wouldn’t be the same without these dogs, they are with me on my bed most of the time and provide me with companionship and affection when no one else can.)

So, all that sounds like enough tragedy…does  it not?  Well let me add a bit more.  Now, I know alot of people do not believe in law suits.  I never liked them either, until this happened.  Now we have no money, so my husband went to a firm when I was still very ill, and for whatever reason they turned down the case and somehow my husband ended up with an attorney who did take it.  It was filed within the 2 year time limit for medical malpractice cases. Then due to the many hoops one must jump thru in the state of Indiana to get a case like this to court it took until September 27, 2010 for it to go to trial.  A jury trial, with seven jurors.  Now, we don’t have money for a good attorney…do you think the doctor had money for a good attorney?  HELL YES.  His attorney had around 10 partners and many assistants.  They had all this high tech stuff that looked impressive!  Had 4 doctors testify on his behalf.  Criticized our expert witness.  Tried to make me sound like a drug seeking liar.  Had the nerve to blame my fibromyalgia, claiming I had been on narcotics for that since 1997…which I was most certainly NOT.  My lawyer was outgunned in my opinion.  I don’t place blame on him, I mean he tried, but it was clear by day two that we were not making our case clear enough…my lawyer only called me, my husband and our expert witness to testify.  That surgeon who spent so many surgeries fixing the damage?  Yea, she refused to testify on my behalf, saying it was a mistake (she in fact herself has been sued more than 5 times I now find out).  A mistake….yes, the whole trial his “people” kept calling this a mistake, a mal occurance, a recognized danger of the surgery.  They kept yelling that I signed the consent KNOWING a perforation of an organ was a possible mal occurance of this surgery!  I agree.  I knew it could happen…but I also was told that should anything go wrong…someone would FIX IT!!!!

The wise jury of seven, took less than 45 minutes to find him NOT GUILTY of malpractice.  When the verdict was read, that butcher doctor and his slimy lawyer smiled, laughed and patted each other on the back, then celebrated with the rest of their deceitful cronies, while we left the courtroom.  Stunned.  What the hell just happened?  How?  I cannot tell you the feeling.  It was much like the rape victim being victimized allover again on the stand.  That’s what they did to me.  They used my past medical history to make this surgical “mistake” look like either my fault or not that big of a deal. At one point during the Butchers testimony he said he prays for me every night and that he was so happy when he saw me because I LOOK so good!  Anyone who knows me, knows I am one tough cookie.  I also have pride.  I also try to look my best whenver I can.  So, yes…I had combed my hair and put on mascara and a pants-suit and was standing erect.  I had taken my pain meds so I could bear to sit thru this trial.  Was I sposed to look my worst?  Not comb my hair?  I have a wheelchair, I could have used…but I don’t do that.  I don’t show my agony to the whole world!!!  Only my loved ones really know the extent of my pain.  They see me crying almost daily, in the fetal position in bed.  They see my limitations.  I don’t want the worlds pity!  I don’t want that bastards prayers!  I WANT JUSTICE!  He should fess up to what he did!  Yes, the lawsuit was for money, as distasteful as that is! But I will have medical bills for the rest of my life due to this one event!  FOREVER!  I suffer every minute of everyday.  I was owed restitution.  Instead I got butchered, yet again.

My lawyer said we can’t appeal…and I figured, fine.  But when I started looking stuff up, that doesn’t seem to be the case….but I’m still looking into that.  If I can’t appeal, I have other things in mind.  It won’t get me monetary restitution from him, but it may get me just a minutia of justice, even just mental.  I need to make sure anybody who is thinking of going under the knife realizes the danger they are in, not to blindly trust their doctor.  Really be careful about who you choose as your physician.  Study about your illness or upcoming surgeries.  Dont’ just go to Healthgrades.com and accept their rating of the doctor, because if they have settled cases out of court it wont’ be there, neither with most malpractice cases or info.  I will try to educate people about that, and also try to change some of Indianas laws regarding malpractice, because quite frankly, they are bullshit.

So, here I am again, another Friday night in bed with the dogs, watching reruns.  But I’m not dead yet.  I have a fire in my gut of another kind.  This isn’t over…like I told my friend Julz…”It aint over til the fat lady sings, and I haven’t even cleared my throat!”

song requests?

Thank you for reading such a long post, I left some stuff out for lengths sake. Let me make it clear…I didn’t present every iota of this case nor was this doc found GUILTY of negligence. 😉

this blog is the property of tammy spice and tammy spice only

I will prevail.  I will.  Wait for it.  You will know it when it happens.

Should I just give up?

Laying here in bed….in my usual position, propped up on pillows, on a heating pad.  TV on Hallmark channel, although I’m not really watching it.  Computer on lap.  House phone and cell phone within reach.  Bottle of water and pills on bedside table, several books/magazines  next to me.  Pain levels are thru the roof of course, as they have steadily been as of late.  The plethora of pain meds I take routinely … not doin their job.

Have a raging UTI with possible right kidney involvment just for fun.  Waiting out to go to the doc til Monday…but I am drinkin lots of water and cranberry juice, taking AZO and leftover pyridium. 

Wondering if I should just give up.  Not on life completely per say.  But give up trying to be NORMAL.  Trying to behave as if I have no health issues, when I most definitely do.  Give up trying to please everyone, when I am only failing repeatedly.  Give up trying to do anything resembling worth while when I can’t seem to.  Give up trying to fight all the damn health problems I have…the list just keeps growing.  Give up trying to keep going to doctors and keep taking pills, it’s all just costing us money we don’t have.  Give up trying to look decent, when its a fail.  Give up wishing the past could’ve been different, cuz it can’t.  Give up trying to be the best mom, cuz there ain’t no such thing.  Give up on trying to keep dreams alive.  Give up on thinking I’m here for a purpose.  Give up on trying to figure out my phone/internet bills, cuz Verizon is obviously trying to drive ME (yes, just me) completely insane with their billing practices.  Just give up. 

I will just stop showering.  Lay here in bed.  Eat like a depraved elephant.  Have people wait on me.  And wait for death to come and take me to a place where there is no illness, no pain, no hate, no fear, no misery, no anger, no spite, no stupidity, no envy, no competition, no bad people….just take me away.  I’m tired of it all.  Sick and damn tired of it ALL.

No one needs to freak out.  This is not some sordid suicide letter of any sorts.  This is me purging my mind because I am laying here pissed off as hell at the world.  I am supposed to be trying to get ready…we are supposed to be going out to dinner with friends tonite.  So after I am done crying, I will get the Visine, and go to work with the makeup to cover my blotchy face.  Find some clothes and TRY to look human and force myself to go out and pretend to be normal for a few hours.  I WANT to go out.  I WANT to see my friends.  I WANT to eat a great meal.  I WANT to be normal.  But the best I can hope for is just getting through the night.

So…see there, I guess I’m not giving up.  Yet.  Not sure if I will actually make it out tonite yet or not.  At this moment…it seems doubtful…but who knows…I will atleast get dressed, take my drugs…then when 6:30pm rolls around, my poor husband will then know if his disabled and useless wife will be able to accompany him on this Saturday night out….or not.  He should’ve run for the hills long ago.

Hope the rest of you are having a better weekend than I am.  Sorry to be a downer….but somedays…..it’s hard to pretend.

No inspiring quote today….not feelin it.

xo