Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Reclaiming My Independence

Happy Independence Day!

You guys are awesome!

I've been more or less MIA since 2015 and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to reach out to me via email or FB. You will never understand the feelings of validation, support, and love I've felt from you all. Many times, I'd be at a low point and, DING! A lovely message would appear at a moment when I needed it the most. You are all so loved!!

So, now,  I'm just going to tell you what happened to my blogging.

Yes, work started flaring up and getting in the way of my blogging schedule. But moreover, in 2015, we had a kid graduating from high school. As luck would have it, many of her friends were interested in medicine. Do you see where I'm going with this?

These damn kids are all over cyberspace.

And a parent who blogs needs her privacy. 


I first found a IRL friend following on Twitter. The FB. Then THE BLOG. Then more friends swarmed. And then, even more!!!!

I panicked. I did what any self-respecting mother, who didn't want their children to know they had been posting their life story for every person and Russian bot to read; I started deleting posts that were stories with any specific detailed references to them.

My blog is now un-whole and in tatters.

But now, years have passed. We reminisce with many of these stories around the dinner table with laughs. We've come through, and find ourselves all the better.

So, bear with me as I repost over the next few months allowing these stories to live on, and allow my blog to live in its whole entirety.

Today, this little blog reclaims her independence.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Closing Chapters

So, I have to tell you... I feel like we’ve been closing a lot of chapters lately.

D2 graduated from college. We talked her out of medical school and are thrilled she’s decided to go the surgical PA route. D3 just has one more semester and she’s on a gap year before MA/JD madness. So basically the girls are done with their undergrad work. We are proud and most definitely blessed.

That leaves LB (Little Buddy) who I now stand eye-to-nipple with. He just finished high school. So, there you have it. When he leaves for the dorm in mid August, we are officially empty nesters.

What the ?
How the?

I know our boobs are a little droopier than yesterday (yes, I'm including DocH's in there, too, but don't worry. He's still the sexiest man to me), but what just happened?

But, I knew this day was coming. I started preparing last Fall. I savored every second of LBs senior year. Every game, every meet was attended. I recorded, photographed, and saved ticket stubs. I edited highlight reels for him and the team. We tailgated EVERY WEEK, not caring if it was a home game or away game until we, the parents, got busted by the principal. When LB got sick the last week of school, Doc H and I went to his graduation dinner dance without him. We took his framed senior portrait and let it occupy his seat at the banquet table. I danced the mother/son dance with it along side his friends and teammates. His GF took photos with it. I mean, we felt bad he stayed home with a terrible cold, but we felt an uncontrollable urge to celebrate #4, and the last kid’s high school graduation. I mean we did it!! We survived the high school years!!

So, there’s a couple chapters done. But, they were done SO well!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Surgeon Envy is Pure Evil

Envy is the genesis of many evil; even between surgeons. Just sayin'.

Here's the bottom line. I absolutely, one-hundred-percent promise you at one point post-training things will go horrendously horrible. Everyone thinks it will never get worse than those good ol' training days when you didn't have pot to piss in, nor a dime to buy a bag of ramen.

But, guess what? It will. And, here is the monumental difference...

In training, you know things will get better. Post-training, you're stuck. This is it. This is your life.

Sounds daunting? It should.

So, here's what I'm willing to say at this moment in time to those bright and bushy tailed, those energetic sponges who have youth on their side...

You better be going into medicine because it is your calling and you can't imagine doing anything else with your life.

Don't be going into medicine simply because you:
come from a family of physicians,
want to make your parents happy,
were told by your SO you would make a good doctor,
your SO dreams of marrying a doctor,
think it will be a good way to make a ton of money,
want to bring honor to your family,
know it is an honorable occupation within your culture,
your sibling is a doctor,
you *think* you'll like it.

Because, medicine is a doggy business. What do I mean by "doggy"? I mean you work yourself to the bone. And, if the passion isn't there, eventually you will tire, and you never be the best at what you do. In fact, your colleagues will know it, your patients will feel it, and eventually the dissatisfaction oozes into all compartments of your life.

And after a bit of loathing, envy enters. You will become envious of those working around you with, and from a bright seed of PASSION. And, that my friends, is when the sh*t hits the fan.

I know. I'm watching it all happen. It's going down.

Stay tuned.

Monday, March 12, 2018

My Letter to Kelly (and YOU!)

I received a comment from Kelly over at Kelly's Reality. Do you know her? You should. She is another active doctor's wife blogger whose dedication to fitness is inspiring!

As I was replying, I felt like I owed all my wonderful, dear, and supportive readers this update. So, I share my response to Kelly with you. I miss blogging, and you can bet my butt I miss you!

Ok so you really need to come back to blogging pleaseeee! Can't believe its been a year miss all your witty comments.

Kelly- You are too sweet!! Your comment made my day - no, week!! I am working again, and find myself with very little time to dedicate to blogging. Besides that, the wind has been taken out of my sails and I find myself suffering from an enormous bout of writer's block. The only way to shake it is to write about the saga, drama, and trauma, but I need to let some time pass to gain better perspective. Don't fret. The core of my life is well- THANK GOD! Yet, there is still much to write about. When I can, you can bet I will.... and many should be scared, VERY SCARED, because you know me, when I write I don't hold any punches.

In the meantime, know I love my life, my DocH, and my kids. We are all good and life is progressing just as it should. We are happy and I've learned that is the best revenge.  ;)

So, all I can say at this juncture is stay tuned. I'm here. I'm available to all via email at I've been posting here at there on my FB page. You can join me there, too!

Today is also Match Day. Best wishes to all who matched, and especially to those who find themselves scrambling. Stay calm, all will be well! I have yet to meet a doctor whose journey from A to B was a straight line.

Monday, January 16, 2017

When Things Aren't Going Well at the Hospital

In the past, I've written about my husband's role as Chief of his surgical department. While you may think this is fantastic and full of bullet points to put in the "Pro" side of a list; really, it's not so wonderful. At this point, the "Con" side outnumbers its counterpart.

I mean, seriously, I'm beginning to realize the only thing Shondra Rhimes hit nail on the head in Grey's Anatomy, is that the Chief is always under stress. Don't believe me? Here's my proof... simply Google Dr. Webber and the majority of images are much like these...

Angry and tired, or, "I can't believe you pushed that case on a partner when you have open OR time."
Disbelief, or, "You're getting paid a full-time wage, you're expected to work a full-time schedule."

 Simmering Anger, or, "Don't you ever talk to me like that again."

Schedule inequality, or, "Why the hell am I Chief and carrying the largest amount of patient volume?"

 Shock, or, "Are you seriously hiding in the bathroom with the reading material, while we are being overrun by patients?"

And, ultimately, it's sad and lonely at the top, because no one likes the person who has to lower the boom.

There are hardly any happy photos of Chief Webber until you hit these...

"Oh, thank my lucky stars. I only play a Chief of Surgery on TV!"

"I get my scrubs from wardrobe, not Aramark!"

James Pickens, Jr. is a lucky man. He only plays a Chief. In reality, he's not being squished like an overly-tall sandwich waiting to be devoured by budget croonies, having to justify every move of his department to his higher-up (oh, puh-leeze, don't let me get started on the hospital higher-ups)

I'm just going to say it... there's dead wood in Doc H's department. I'm telling you, there's nothing worse than having a lazy surgeon for a partner.  For Pete's sake, don't become a surgeon if you really don't have a passion for surgery. 

And, *sigh*, here's the deal. Everyone know it. Even Dr. DeadWood knows he's dead wood. Yet, he doesn't seem to care that he's: weighing down the department, causing stress to all his partners, being incredibly rude and unfair, creating a hostile work environment by spreading lies and untruths, and costing his partners and his department money

Despite all this, Dr. Deadwood has the audacity to believe he's being treated like a child, being told when he has to work, how he can take time off, how many patients he has to see, etc, etc. 

Um, no. It's called working a full-time job. If you don't like it, go find yourself a private practice who needs a part-time physician!!

I'm tired of Dr. Deadwood's actions bearing down on my Doc H. 

Can you tell?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Hope You Never Understand How Lucky We Are To Have Husbands Who Are Doctors

So, here's the deal. I knew my Doc H was awesome, but not THAT awesome!

Like I've told my kids, "I hope I never have to give you advice on how to be a step-parent", I'm telling you, "I hope you never REALLY get to understand how incredibly lucky we are to have a doctor for a husband".

Confused? Let me explain.

I am absolutely, two hundred percent certain that my father would not be alive today if I was married to, let's say, an attorney or any other professional.

WE ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE A DOCTOR IN THE FAMILY WHO CAN UNDERSTAND AND ADVOCATE FOR US WHEN LIFE TEETERS. If you do understand this like I understand this you've been through a terrible medical ordeal with a loved one, and my heart breaks for you.

My friends, I don't swear much, but when I do, it is because I cannot emphasize it any stronger. So, I tell you, this summer the shit hit the fan, and my family experienced a fucking nightmare when my father went into surgery. Not once, but twice, I knew my father was dying when Doc H CANCELED his OR cases to spend the day with us at the hospital. He never cancels. He operates with a fever. When he told me he was canceling his day, well- that was when I began to panic.

My mother, siblings, and I took turns sleeping bedside in the hospital. Even Doc H, despite his hellacious schedule, slept in a chair in ICU several nights as my father laid alive in his hospital bed thanks only to full life support. Besides the vent, we had 24 hour dialysis, no kidney function, albumin levels through the roof (liver failure), low blood pressure, tachycardia, high triponin numbers, yada, yada, yada. You get the idea. Things were bleak. It was quite evident my father was suffering. He had to be restrained; he was removing tubes. He tried to chew through the vent tube. I screamed, and with tears running down my face, I begged him, "Please, Daddy, don't chew!" {I haven't called my father "Daddy" in over 35 years. Yet, somehow, in that moment, I felt so helpless, I resorted to being his child.} His eyes and veins in his temple were popping out of his head. The doctors couldn't come up with the right "cocktail" for sedation without his BP bottoming out and his heartbeat flying too high.

Finally, through a cascade of tears and snot, I asked DocH, "How do you know when it's time to give up and stop? He's suffering!!" I'm pretty sure I would have began the campaign to disconnect my father's support if Doc H hadn't replied to me, "We owe it to your father to give him the time he needs to get through this. Things can still turn around."

We were a mess. Yet, doctors, specialists, were constantly coming by to update with new labs, questions, and changes to the plan. We were in a fog. If Doc H wasn't there, we needed two of us to fully recall the conversation and be able to regurgitate it to Doc H on the phone for advice.

I cannot understand how non-medical families make such life changing decisions without fully understanding medicine. 

Let's back up a bit...

My father's initial surgery went okay. But, without going into a longer story, he had complications on top of complications after surgery. One early morning, we found ourselves talking face to face with his surgeon, who wasn't sure if taking my father back in the OR was the right thing to do. We were faced with two options: 1- surgery, but it would be high risk thanks to new heart issues- he most likely would not survive, or 2- wait and see, but he (most likely) would go septic. Gee, let me do some risk assessment and analysis here... on one hand we have death, and on the other, -oh-look!- again, we have death. {Excuse me? Last month my father was cycling 10-20 miles a day.} 

And, here is the point where DocH swung in like THE FUCKING SUPERHERO HE IS. He made phone calls, went over labs, and convinced my father's surgeon and the other supporting surgeons there was a third option.

That is the option we took, and through happy tears, I tell you it all worked. Today (almost six months later), my father is alive and well, almost back to his pre-surgery baseline. He still has some strength to gain back and some weight to put on, but he is back to living life. And, it is in large part due to Doc H. My father knows it, I know it, we all know it. So, later, when we all thanked him, Doc H was true to his humble self, and just said, "No, it was my pleasure."

My family and I are so, so, SOOOOO LUCKY to have Doc H in our lives!! If you have a husband who is a doctor in your life, I pray you never realize how truly lucky you are, because this is a chapter of life we can all do without.

And, to Doc H... I know you'll get around to reading this someday.. no words, just tears (you know the ones) of sheer happiness, gratitude, and love. YOU are my Superhero.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Blogger Derailed, or, What Brought on My Writer's Block

I started this blog January 12, 2012... almost 4 years ago. For two years I wrote religiously; little could stop my blogging habit. I had plenty to say and did so without regard. Never once, had I experienced writer's block.

Then, a funny thing happened- I discovered some of my daughter's friends (who were interested in nursing school), began following this blog and it's social media accounts the summer of 2014.

I panicked. My anonymity has allowed me to write the truth. Anyone close to us and who read the blog would be able to connect the dots.

I did what any sensible blogger would do. I blocked them and (temporarily) deleted the entire Beau Hunk series despite it being the most popular story line. I admit, it chipped away a little at my blogging spirit a bit, but I continued blogging. (FYI- as of 7/26/18 the series is back online.)

Then, in the Fall of 2014, a terrible thing happened- so terrible I said to the male voice on the phone, "This can't be real. Someone is trying to pull a prank on me. If you really are a Sheriff, give me your name and I will call the station and talk to you." I called the station. They connected me with him right away. It was all real, heartbreaking, devastating, confusing, and subsequently has driven a wedge in my (normally close-knit) extended family.

In early 2015, I spend more time sitting in a courtroom than any one person ever should unless you are employed by the court or are an attorney. There I sat, as my family was represented on both sides of the case. I was, and still am, Switzerland. I don't understand what happened. I don't have the whole story. I have so many unanswered questions. I don't know what to write. So, I wrote nothing and my blog went silent and for the first time, I fully realized I was suffering from writer's block.

Then summer of 2015, brought more heartache as we quickly and dramatically lost a beloved member of the family to lung cancer (she never smoked). Her passing brought on more issues, questions, and family drama. As that wasn't enough, because she was a bit of a public figure, we had to hold a public memorial attended by dignitaries and some high profile people. I spent the rest of the year accepting posthumous awards on her behalf. It was bittersweet, but also sucked the life out of me.  All this activity brought about a seat on a Board of Directors. I am proud and happy to be continuing her legacy. But, my blog still laid silent.

Then, my closest cousin, the one person who I can consider a sister, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I was upset and angry; yet, I just stared at my blank post page with no words. My blog remained silent.

Then in April 2016, my father went to the ED with what we thought was kidney stones. I'm going to make a very long story short here... Whipple done, complications ensued. We spent eight weeks in the hospital,  in and out of ICU, time spent on life support, round the clock dialysis, liver function practically nothing. Medically speaking, my father should have died two times over. Doc H even claims his full recovery is nothing but a miracle. My father is a pancreatic cancer survivor! Yet, still, my thoughts locked up in my head, and my fingers froze on the keyboard. My blog was to remain dormant.

Then, one of our girls was admitted to the hospital with an infection. Doc H had the chief of every department working on her case. I can't tell you how crazy it makes them all when they CANNOT figure out the cause of an infection. I spent another week in the hospital at her bedside (with her mother!). Surely, that would open the locked blogging gates- but, no- I still could not write a thing and my blog laid in its own type of life-support.

Then, one of our son's (he's in high school now) classmates and friend died in a horrific car accident right after school one afternoon. I can't even think about that tragedy. I will never write any more on it.

Then, the day of the election, we learned my beloved sister-in-law was ill and had been admitted to the hospital. Next day, we are told she has stage 4 (aggressive) breast cancer. She is receiving treatment and with broken hearts, we pray for her.

There is more, but I cannot write it. This is enough. I am trying my best to revive this blog and overcome my writer's block. I simply don't know where to start. There is so much compiled in my brain. But, this is a start.

This is how this blogger derailed.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

It's Christmas...yay.

It's Christmas.

The tree is up. LB (now a tall, high school junior) strung the exterior lights. The stockings are hung. I've shopped, wrapped, planned menus for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Brunch. I'm gearing up to grocery shop, cook, clean house, and somehow still manage to make myself look as magnificent as I can get (despite being fifteen pounds overweight) for the social media holiday photo.

DocH is OFF this holiday.

Notice there is no exclamation point after that sentence. Subtext reads: He won't be at the hospital, but he will be on his hospital laptop catching up on charting, administrative duties, etcetera, while I run around in the kitchen like a woman with her hair on fire. I've come to learn and accept there is no true OFF with my DocH.

It's okay.

He will be there to eat with us, he will be there to toast with us. He will be there to open gifts, play some games, and he will bring life, laughter, and love to the table like only he can.

I'm gearing myself up. Who's gearing up with me?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Today Marks the Day

Today marks the day.

Exactly a dozen years ago, at almost this exact moment I type, my life was spared.

It was spared by a skilled, intelligent, young surgeon who took his time to listen to me, was confident enough to ignore other surgeons, and took care of the business at hand when others weren't willing to deal with my "incredibly rare" situation.

Dressed for success in hospital gown, blue drapes, and IV tubes as accessories, my surgeon asked me how I was doing.

"Fine," I said. "Did you get a good night's sleep?"
"Yes," he replied. "Are you ready for this" he asked.
"Yes," I said.  "Don't cut anything you're not supposed to."

And with that, he chuckled as I counted backwards from one hundred and fell asleep.

This morning, I opened my eyes and said, "Thank you."
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