Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Secret's Backlash - My Catholic Guilt

The Catholic Guilt has set in.

After letting my secret out of the bag with yesterday's post, the guilt ran amok in my dreams...

I lost my engagement ring. It's uninsured and I am in hysterics. Doc H (who's mad) and I are driving somewhere down a dark, dusty road. He pulls over into a gas station with a little mini-mart. In the dull, dusty, dirty, greasy gas station mini-mart, they sell engagement rings. They're not displayed in a glass case...the are individually wrapped in cellophane and hung up by size on a round display rack

He buys me one and slips it on my finger in an effort to make me feel better. I look down at it. It is four flakes of diamond that still don't pull a TCW of even an eighth of a carat. PLUS, the setting is a gray plastic and the ring also doubles as a radio.

When I woke up and realized it was a dream, I woke up Doc H to tell him of my dream (I'm sure he appreciated the 5:30am wake up). Still slathered in slumber, he managed to say, "That's right. If you loose your ring, the next one is from a gas station."

Ugh. The nuns and priests successfully did their job on me.

I hope the karma for writing that post ends here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Little Secret: The Doctors' Wives

I've cracked the code. I can walk into any surgery banquet dinner and tell you if Doctor X's wife is wife #1, #2, #3, or a mistress. I don't need to meet them, nor talk to them. Just give me one good glance at them and I can give you the 411.

I've done so well guarding this secret technique that Doc H doesn't even know (well, he will now once he gets around to reading this blog - maybe by Christmas).

Now, please understand, this is not a scientific experiment, but, rather, a crude generalization. This is just from my own observations. Just like a police officer who can spot a druggie a mile away and identify their drug of choice, I think I can tell if a doctor's wife is #1, 2, or 3.

Here it goes...

Wife #1 (now, I'm talking the older ones, the ones who have been around for decades) will be talking easily amongst the crowd. She mingles independent of her husband. She has her group of friends and really doesn't  care to meet "new" people (read: new wives or girlfriends 'cause you never know how long they'll be around for). Take a quick look at her left hand. She'll have a small (usually under one carat), but very sentimental wedding/engagement ring. Her doctor husband scraped together every penny he had to buy it when he was a poor med student or resident.  He doesn't have time to actually take in her original ring and upgrade it. The bigger bling will be on her right hand.

Wife #2 will be wearing a fabulous rock. It will size somewhere between one and two carats.  Her doctor husband's poor days were over when they met, but alimony and child support are killing him. She will spend an equal amount of time standing next to her husband listening to the blood and guts talk, but will stray away every now and then to talk with other wives. She will have her group of friends, but it won't be the first wives club. (One exception only- if the first wives club didn't like wife #1. Then wife #2 might have a chance). No, her friends are other new women (new #1 wives, other #2 wives, or SOs) to the group; the younger set.

Wife #3 will be wearing a diamond so large, you could use it to bring home the space shuttle. It had to be a bigger and better ring than that of wives 1 and 2. Doctor husband can afford it now. While he is paying alimony to wife #2, he is done paying child support and college tuition. He can afford to spring for Wife #3's beacon. Wife #3 doesn't ever leave her husband's side. She remembers what happened to wife #1 and wife #2.

And the mistress? No ring, but she's got one HELL of a tennis bracelet and/or diamond necklace. She's very quiet, doesn't speak to anyone except her SugarDaddy (oops, I meant her boyfriend). She smiles at everyone and avoids direct eye contact. Underneath her three pairs of Spanx, you know she's miserable and bored to tears. They are the first couple to leave the banquet. She feels out of place.

Wow! My secret is out. I may just sit on this post for a few days to see if I'm really ready to let this one out.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Modern Era Female Teen Brain: How does it work?

I am beyond perplexed.

Obviously, the teen female brain has evolved (I'm not even sure if that is the right word here) since I was a teen. At first I thought it was just me, so I consulted an expert in this field - my mother.  She readily agreed- she was perplexed as well. She confirmed what I already knew... I was nothing like that during my teen years.

I found myself shaking my head in disbelief the other night in the car. Here's what went down:

Teen Daughter:  I have, like, this bump on my head where I got hit during practice.
Doc H:  What happened?
TD:  I got hit by, like, an elbow or something. It hurts. I have a concussion.
Doc H:  You don't have a concussion.
TD:  YES, DAD! I have a concussion!
Doc H:  No, TD, you don't. Did you lose consciousness?
TD:  No, but it's, like, a concussion. I know, 'cause, sooooooo many girls on our squad have concussions!
Doc H:  Really? They all lost consciousness?
TD:  No.
Doc H:  Then they don't have concussions.
TD:  YES, they do!
Doc H:  No, TD, in order to have a concussion you have to lose consciousness.
TD:  NOOOO that's not true.
Doc H:  (laughing) Yes, it is.
TD:  NO, It's not. I know they have concussions. They told me.
Doc H:  They probably have minor contusions.
TD:  NO, DAD! Concussions!

(Little Buddy finally can't take it anymore. He chimes in.)
LB:  TEEN SISTER! He's a DOCTOR! He should know! You're not alway right!
TD:  LB, you don't know what we're, like, even talking about! Mind your own business!

Me:  TD, how can you argue with your father who has a degree in medicine?!
TD:  He's not right!
Me:  You have to learn how to be open to the possibility that you may be wrong from time to time and it's okay to say, "Thanks for explaining that to me."
TD:  Well, that's not right. (sulk, pout, texts away on her phone - probably to her BF telling him how stupid we are.)

We get home. Doc H comes out holding one of his med school textbooks.

Doc H:  Look, TD,  (he reads)..."Concussion affects only mentation, with return of consciousness moments or minutes after impact."
TD:  (rolls her eyes) Whatever, DAD!
Me:  TD, just soak it in and you can teach your cheer friends the difference next time it comes up. They'll think you're so smart! (trying to be positive and upbeat)
TD:  Whatever, it's not like they really care about that anyways. (stomps upstairs)

Dear God, give me patience...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Doctor Humor #5

Hello. Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline

If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.

If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want. Just stay on the line so we can trace the call.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press. No one will answer.

If you are anxious, just start pressing numbers at random.

If you are phobic, don't press anything.

If you are anal retentive, please hold.

Click here for more doctor jokes like this one.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Doctor Daddy, Give Me Boobs...Please!

This takes the whole Doctor Daddy to a whole new level...Way too far and over the line!

With three teen girls under our roof, I'm grateful Doc H didn't go into plastics.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Your Doctor's Wife's Vacation Update

Just in case you were wondering...

I got here late. Just today. What can I say...teen girls. Doc H and LB have been enjoying father-son time up until this point. So we are here...three out of six. *sigh*

I envy those who have spouses who can go on vacation and really be on vacation.

Within ten minutes of arriving to our new place, our phone was ringing. It was the hospital. That was a lengthy conversation. Who gave them our number?

Five minutes after he hung up, Doc H's cell phone rang. Bio-tech consulting work.

Right after that, he had to open his lap top to send a work-related email.

...all the while, LB is just waiting to go on a bike ride with his dad.

I shudder when I think about the day surgeons can telecommute to work. Then what? Blood and guts 24/7. That's what.

Or worse, an app. He'll be slicing and dicing an aneurysm through his IPhone. I'll be enjoying the beauty of Barcelona while he's sitting there dragging his pointer finger over the screen for hours.

I really hope that doesn't happen during my lifetime.

...Oh, and the diet my brother told me not too long ago, "I'm so hungry I just might start eating my new leather shoes."

The Racks Of My Life

So, if you happened to see my tweet from Tuesday, you know I started Weight Watchers on Fat Tuesday.   I found myself chuckling at the irony of it all as I pulled up and parked my car.

I really don't have that much weight to lose, but when I became a lifetime member (reached my goal weight for those of you haven't been to WW) back in '06, I promised myself I would go back if I hit a certain weight. I wouldn't call myself fat or skinny. I'm certain my BMI is still under the "normal" category, but my clothes are tight and I refuse to buy larger clothing!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about our upcoming Doctor's Perk trip to Maui. I started a diet that day. It failed. I actually gained a pound. It was probably Valentine's day and all the little pieces of chocolate I like to eat after every lunch and dinner. Hello, my name is Your Doctor's Wife and I am a chocoholic.

For years before I ever stepped into a WW, I always told myself, "As long as my boobs protrude further than my belly, I'm looking good!" That mentality held me over through my 30s. God had blessed me with an ample rack and I used it to its fullest potential. It's main job was to draw the eyes away from the muffin top which resided just underneath it, my fat arms, fat back, and fat chins. If you've figured out how to suck in multiple chins when you say "Cheese", please share with the rest of us!

In my teens and early 20's my rack was comparable to a hat rack or coat rack...hung high. Had I known then, what I know now, I would have ran around naked and showed off my body's fleeting former self. Instead, I covered up as every well-behaved (well, maybe not that well behaved) Catholic school girl is taught to do.

After breastfeeding, they deflated. Then, I found my mantra to be, "Well, they're like a pair of tube socks with golf balls down in the toes, but as long as I can roll them up and set them up in some Victoria's Secret push up cups, I'm fine." That got me through the rest of my 20's.

Well, today, I find my rack more comparable to a shoe rack. Sad, but I speak the honest truth. In fact, just the other day I tripped and I'm pretty sure it was over one of the girls.

In my forties, I would love to be able to report I find myself at WW to gain further knowledge about leading a healthy lifestyle and diet, demonstrating maturity and wisdom. Sure, that component is there, but is it truly the motivating factor? Heck, no... I just want hike the girls up and show off as much as a hourglass figure I can suck together by the time I get on that plane to Maui!

Open Heart Surgery and Twitter Mix

Now here's something I'll have to be sure to share with Doc H...

World's First Live-Tweeted Open-Heart Surgery is a Success [PICS]

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The BioTech - Real Estate Connection

Doc H is using some vacation time this week since three of our four kids have winter break. We decided we would half the week at home and the remainder of the week at our new place. Yes, I said new place.

We have this special spot on this great, big Earth that we both just love. For years, we would make weekend getaways to enjoy the peace and serenity of our spot. I have loved this locale since I was a kid. My parents would take us out there any chance they had. When Doc H and I started dating and I realized our relationship was going to be serious, I couldn't wait to introduce him to this special area. I knew he would love it...and boy, did he ever!

We ended up marrying there. Shortly after our wedding, we started looking for land with the hopes we could just sit on it and one day build our retirement home. The prices were astronomical. We simply couldn't afford it.  What can I say...divorce takes its toll on the finances.

Fast forward YEARS later...

We find ourselves in a collapsed housing market. Literally, the bottom just fell out from underneath us. Lucky for us, Doc H bought the home we currently live in a year before we met and we decided to stay here rather than buy another place just for the sake of calling it "ours" and having both selected "our home". (I'm not the type of gal who would make a guy buy a new mattress just because he shared it with another woman either.  What a waste! I'm rather practical that way.) We were (and still are) lucky we weren't underwater like many others who got caught in this ridiculous debacle that could have been averted had the government not turned a blind eye to all the unscrupulous lending that led up to this crash! Hold on...let me regain my focus and get off my soap box. I worked it, I lived it, I left it. My battle scars are all still fresh and raw.

Okay, I'm back on track...

All the while the real estate market was crashing, we had this miracle happen. One of Doc H's midnight doodles, came to fruition! After 5 years of hard work, rounds of funding, animal trials, human trials (out of the country), FDA approval, and production, his little side company that could, DID! We both signed over our stock in the company and the acquisition was complete!

So, now we found ourselves in this bizarre place. Surreal, really. We HAD the money to purchase a place in our little spot since properties were selling at 50% of their all time high prices.

So we did...and here we are.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DISGUSTING! Entrepreneurs Keeping Surgeons in Business

I don't know whether I should feel an overwhelming sense of disgust or gratitude for adding to Doc H's job security?

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Getting Past the Engineer- Surgeon Mentality; AKA "A Successful First Date"

Before I knew a lot of surgeons, I knew a ton of engineers. From my perspective, engineers and surgeons seemed to share the same traits. Both work in fields where precision is paramount, both have scientific minds, both work with teams where clear communication is imperative.

I did not work in hi-tech, nor did I grow up in a household of engineers. However, as a teenager, I began a professional ballroom and Latin dancing career which spanned (at least as a part-time, fun-time job) into my thirties. Well, guess what? Engineers like to boogie with the best of them!

I think I must have taught about every type of engineer out there. Hardware, software, gaming, mechanical, aerospace, electrical, architectural, bio-medical, mathematical, etc... There's a lot of them out there and I'm pretty sure I've taught at least one from every discipline of the science. 

The Basic Box Step
(photo credit:
These engineers have brilliant minds. They are smart, intelligent human beings with incredibly scientific minds; very linear thinking minds. They live in a world of precision, measurement, exactness, the concrete. Some of them would come to their lessons with old large tape cassette video cameras on tri-pods, others would come with a binder filled with sectional dividers (one section per dance- cha cha, rumba, swing, tango, foxtrot, waltz, quickstep, etc.) and computer generated forms which had a large square to draw a step pattern and lines to write the description of the step (much like the old Arthur Murray way).

I learned very quickly I could not use my "regular" teaching method. I could not simply explain the step pattern and gently ease them into a rotation to let them "get the feel" for it. No, for my engineers I had to talk them through the step and rotation in a very detailed manner before ever moving a foot. My teaching sounded a lot like this..
"Okay, Mr.-I-Build-One-Gazillion-Dollar-Satellites-For-A-Living, now that you are familiar with the basic box step, we are going to put some rotation into it. As you step forward on your left foot, I need you to turn your foot outwards towards the left at about 30 degrees. Once you have placed your body weight over the left foot, I need your right foot to move parallel to your left at shoulder width apart. After shifting your weight to your right foot, you will close your feet, transferring all your weight back onto your left foot."
Phew! Sounds dry and boring, right? But that's how my engineer students learned best. Due to the similarities between their chosen career paths, I think it was pretty reasonable to assume surgeons shared the same type of mentality. 

I wasn't sure if the scientific mind would be a match for my liberal arts type of mind. In fact, I was so unsure, I suggested Doc H and I meet for a simple cup of coffee at a local Starbucks on our first date. I wanted a simple, quick meeting where I could dash in thirty minutes if he began talking in a highly scientific vernacular which would be mumbo-jumbo to my ears and bore me out of my skull. 

[I would be remiss here if I didn't write a quick thank you to my mother who suggested I change out of my jeans and into a pair of slacks for our first date.]

As soon as the door opened and I saw Doc H looking handsome as ever, dressed in a shirt and tie, holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He announced he had made dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant. 


We had had a major breakdown in communication. There was nothing precise or clear about it... and it worked in my favor. Instantly, in that second, I knew this might just be it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Losing Leo: When A Resident Decides to Check Out

I don't know why, but this morning I woke up thinking of Leo.

Doc H has the pleasure (or stress - depending on which day you talk to him) of teaching residents.  They are in the OR with him, they are paging him, they call his cell, and every now and then, when they cannot track him down, they call home.

Here and there, over the years, he'll bring his residents up in conversation. Sometimes it's a funny story, sometimes it's frustration, sometimes it's just shear concern of whether or not a resident has the skills to be a surgeon and the pressure Doc H feels to mold him or her into just that.

Leo was the only resident Doc H has ever invited to our house. The two of them shared a common bond over a certain hobby.  So, he came over, ate with us, drank with us, played around on the computer with us, and worked with Doc H on the hobby they both loved so much.

Leo was much more skilled at their hobby than Doc H. I think Leo found pleasure at the turned tables. I remember him laughing and smiling as he was teaching Doc H new tips and tricks. Likewise, Doc H is always eager to learn new things. God blessed him with a big brain and he certainly works at filling it to capacity.

We don't always attend resident graduations. If Doc H is not working, with four kids, we always have some family event going on. But when Leo graduated, Doc H made sure we cleared the calendar. We were there along with the residents' spouses, SOs,  and family. I shook Leo's hand, hugged and congratulated him on a job well done. He told me he would be working as a fellow near his hometown even though he would have preferred to stay in our neck of the woods. His family needed him close. So, he would leave, even though he didn't want or have to.

Doc H was sorry to see him go, but thanks to modern day technology, they kept in touch via text messaging as Leo began life as a fellow.

More than a few months had passed by and I was riding in a car with a colleague one bright sunny morning when my cell phone began ringing to the tune "Bad to the Bone". (That's how I know it's Doc H calling.) And that's when I had that moment. You's a moment in your life you will never forget. Life almost comes to a screeching halt, but continues moving forward in slow motion. I can tell you exactly what I was wearing and where we were on the road.

Through my cell, I hear a rattled Doc H breaking the news. Leo had died....
What!? What happened!?? Was he sick? An accident? What in the hell happened!?
No, he took his own life.

That's when I got sick to my stomach. My friend and colleague, Gary, asked if he should pull the car over. I had an ache in my heart and shortness of breath. Gary told me I looked pale. It was a feeling I hope I never have to experience again.

Later that day, when Doc H came home we spoke of the different scenarios of what could've happened to drive Leo to such a lonely and helpless place. Was is the stress of a fellowship? The move from behind an attending's guidance and protection to more responsibility?  A hard-nosed superior? A fatal patient mistake? An accusation of malpractice? We didn't know; we could just speculate.

Doc H went back in his phone to read his last communication with Leo. Leo had sent a text indicating he had been working hard and sounded stressed. In Doc H's last text to Leo, he reminded him to balance his life; to take time for himself and make time for their shared hobby.

He never heard back. That was it. No more messages.

So, here's to Leo. A young man full of promise, who decided to leave us all too soon.

And here's to all the young resident's out there who are working themselves to the nub, in order to treat all us "regular" folks.

And here's to all the spouses, SOs, friends and family, who offer support when needed, cut them some slack when they can't be there for every dinner, birthday celebration, holiday, etc..., and most of all.. love them for who they are trying to be.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Inventive Mind: Like Father, Like Son

This is what I woke up to this morning:

I can tell it's LB's work. He's starting to behave more and more like his father every day.

If you don't know what I'm referring to, please read "The Doctor's Brain..Is On" to catch up.

Have a great holiday weekend!

I got it all wrong! It was daughter #3. Let's hear it for all the ladies in the house! HAHAHA!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekend Doctor Humor #4

Who needs a plastic surgeon when you can do this instead? Uploaded to YouTube by Elpaiza3030

Friday, February 17, 2012

Doctor Daddy - Watch What You Say

I linked this post up with Sandra's Writing Workshop Hop; a bloghop focused on helping writers improve their craft. This post is open to all those participating in the workshop to leave constructive criticism to help improve my writing skills. Please remember constructive criticism is kind and helpful. I reserve the right to remove any comments which are rude or mean-spirited.

The culprit
It's true. Doctor's have to walk a fine line when speaking to their patients. While wearing the white coat, they choose their words carefully in an effort to make sure their patient and their family fully understand the state of their health and/or available courses of action needed to regain or maintain their health and quality of life.

Doc H walks that fine line beautifully at the hospital.  It wasn't until our Little Buddy was in the first grade, we realized he must also choose his words carefully at home.

Back then, Doc H and I (or just I, if he was working late) would make the rounds to each of the kids' rooms to tuck them into bed and kiss them goodnight. (Nowadays, they tuck us into bed. Sad, but true.)
This particular night, we each visited LB's room and spoke to him, kissed him, tucked him in, turned out the light and shut the door. The kids were all well, all was good, they were safe.

It was Thanksgiving time and Little Buddy (LB) was asked to bring in a can a vegetables to school to make soup for the class Thanksgiving Feast. Doc H was given this bit of information at 10:30 the night before via email from his ex-wife. Now, this wouldn't have been such a big deal if I normally stocked my pantry with canned vegetables. However, as luck would have it...I don't. Call me crazy, but I just believe in eating fresh vegetables, especially since we live in an area where it is easy to get fantastic produce all year long.

So, it's 10:30pm and I'm in bed exhausted. I decide I'll wake up early and head over to the grocery store to pick up the can of veggies.

Early the next morning, Doc H is dressed and ready to head to the hospital. I am in my yoga pants and his over-sized medical school sweatshirt. The older girls are up dressing, doing their hair, and starting to come downstairs to chow down on the freshly baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I yell at Doc H to get LB down to the table. Next thing I know, Doc H is sternly asking me to look at LB's hand, "Look at what LB did to himself!" Doc H was not happy.  I looked at his little hand and saw it.

We had gone on a vacation earlier that year and our girls had chosen toe mood rings as their souvenir. Apparently, after turning out the lights, LB had slipped out of bed, found one of the tiny rings and slipped it on his finger. He slept with it on all night. All night, his finger swelled from a lack of blood flow.

LB's finger was worse than this...
Doc H was already at the sink with LB standing there on his tip-toes, eye-level with the counter top with his arm swung over into the sink with cold water gushing over his hand. I told Doc H I was heading to the store for the can of veggies. I told him to try butter or oil. And with that, I ran out the door.

As soon as I walked back in house carrying the can of veggies, I knew we were in trouble. If LB were a little puppy, he would've had his tail wrapped down in between his legs. He looked miserable. He and Doc H were in the same exact place as when I left for the store. LB has a combination of oil and butter slathered on his hand. Doc H is washing it off. Looking at me in disgust and still washing LB's hand, Doc H irritably announces, "I can't get it off. I'm going to have to take him to the OR to cut if off!"

With that, Doc H quickly dried LB's hand and ran upstairs to call the OR to alert them he was coming in with LB. LB ran to me and buried his face in my stomach balling uncontrollably. I could feel the hot tears and snot soaking through my sweatshirt and it dawned on me. I pulled him off of me and crouched down to look him in the eyes. "Sweetie, you don't think Daddy means he's going to cut your finger off, do you?"

LB had the ugly cry going on. Poor kid couldn't even answer. He just nodded as as he howled in angst. "No, no, Sweetie. He's going to take you to the OR to use the ring cutter! Daddy's going to cut the ring off, not your finger."

When Doc H cut the ring off, it exploded into three pieces. LB proudly took the three pieces to school for show and tell....along with the can of veggies.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Co-Pays, Complaints, and Class

On more than one occasion, Doc H has come home sporting a 'tude (our teens' vernacular for "attitude").  More so than often, he comes home too tired to sport the 'tude, but every now and then it's there. For the most part, I understand why he comes home in such a funk once he let's me in and I hear about his day.

One particular day he came home overwhelmed with his patients' complaints.  When I heard him begin with, "All day long, patients came into clinic and just complained about..." my mind raced ahead of the discussion and started swimming with all sorts of possible scenarios.

What would patients be complaining to Doc H about?
Exam room waiting time?
Patient access (how long they had to wait for an appointment)?
The MAs?
The PAs?
The NAs?
The RNs?
The NPs?
Were they unhappy with him?
Were they unhappy with one of his colleagues?
Oh, Dear God, please don't use the dreaded and most feared "M" word...I don't want to hear it...
What could it be?

Co-Pays. Complaints about co-pays.


Dear Whinny Patients,

First off, my husband has nothing to do with your co-pay.  You chose your insurance, you chose your insurance plan, you decided on your deductible. Your co-pay is not in any way shape or form decided or dictated by my husband.

Secondly, complaining to him will serve you no better. He will not take it up with the powers that be. He simply does not have the time. He is too busy serving your needs and sixteen other patients he will be seeing in clinic today. If your goal is to ensure better physician care by reminding him how much your your visit to Doc H cost you today (a whopping $20), you're barking up the wrong tree. Everyone receives the same service. Doc H will always do his best for you and every one of his patients.

Lastly, here's something to chew on, whinny patient. While this is not a scientific poll, it is an observation from one doctor's personal experience - those of you who whine are NOT those who pay their co-pay with single dollar bills, or those who charge their co-pay and stand at the receptionists desk nervously as they wait to hear if their charge was authorized or declined. No, Whinny is well dressed, well educated, definitely higher on the class scale than the non-whinnies.

The non-whinnies have a higher co-pay ($45+) due to their inability to pay a higher monthly premiums, yet there is a sense of gratitude. The lower classes seem to have a better appreciation for their medical care. They are grateful for their doctor's time, ability, attention, and care.

You, Whinny, have one of the lowest co-pays available, perhaps even the lowest. You come in late, and proceed to complain about your wait. You are upset you had to pay a total of $60 for an operation to resect your life threatening tumor two years ago. You have a clean bill of health, yet still want to dwell on your co-pay.

What is that? A feeling of entitlement? I would love to understand. Enlighten me.

Your Doctor's Wife


To my readers,

Sorry for the cranky rant today. My furnace is not working. I am very cold. I am waiting for a repairman. Doc H couldn't fix it with surgical tape.

                                                        ~Mrs. Doc H

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine Interrupted

Our night started like this...

Thank goodness we got through this... 
(filet mignon with a balsamic reduction & garlic and thyme butter)

before we heard this...

and he went from this...

to this...

and drove down our street like this...

When I was hoping for something like this...

Yet, ended up doing this...

just in case you're wondering...
No, he wasn't on call.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine Message to My Husband

The little things...

Knowing exactly how I like my cup of coffee,
and bringing a cup up to me while I shower...
Laughing with me...
Even laughing at me...
Rolling your eyes with me in solidarity...
Walking with me along the trails...
Packing our dog's bandana... 
Putting up with the cold,
Just to warm and de-ice my car...
Letting me drive your car...
I know you hate that.

                        ...that tell me you love me.

Happy Valentine's Day
I love you

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's a Rough Road: The Children of Surgeons

Being a child of a well-regarded surgeon is tough. These kids don't have a normal average childhood.

Now, please don't start writing me emails about how our kids are spoiled, because we now find ourselves in the 1% (Depending on who you talk to. There are so many different numbers out there). Doc H and I will be the first to agree; we do have spoiled children. Hands down. Full out. No contest. We agree. We're working to remedy the situation. Our kids do have almost every hi-tech gadget they want. (I say almost, because there are certain items Doc H and I draw the line at and they have to save up their own money- we're not complete push-overs.) But, hear me out, because I'm not referring to the tangible items.

Our children will never have the same childhood memories as many, normal, regular, average children from average USA will.

Not us... but wish it was.
Our kids will never have memories of their surgeon parent (SP - because I know you mommy surgeons are out there representing for all the SAHMs who could've been!)

  • coaching or being team mom
  • chaperoning field trips
  • attending every school event
  • being in the stands, cheering for them, watching after school games or meets
  • becoming great friends with other classmate's parents
  • attending practices
  • volunteering in the classroom 
  • knowing all their friends' name's

You know the made a goal and while celebrating with your teammates on the field, you look over to the sideline to see your parents clapping with delight and pride.  Or, there's also the flip of the made a horrible play, or you came in last place, but in the end your mom and dad were there to hug you and share words of wisdom to help lift your spirits.

No, these memories are highly unlikely for the kids of a SP which I think is so sad. Some of my stand-out childhood memories stem from those situations. And guess what? My memories are balanced between both my parents. Most children of SP will have these memories, but the scales will be tipped in favor of the non-SP.

I realize in today's world with many children coming from households where both parents work, most children may not have such dual parent memories. However, they will have memories of each parent being involved and attending such activities.

Our kids will not have those memories. They may have a memory that when recalled with family and friends may begin like this: "I remember the one time my dad came to watch, I ....." or "My dad never saw me run track for my High School, but one time..."

From my own personal experiences and observations, even children whose parents are divorced fare better in this particular department. Those kids will either have one parent there for them or both (!) as they each compete to be the "better" parent.

And I haven't even begun to touch on the expectations...


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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lottery Winnings

I feel like I just won the lottery. Excitement! Anticipation! Joy! Relief!

This morning, both Doc H and I woke up tired. He was worse for the wear. The archaic beast shrilled like a siren twice last night; first around 1am and again around 3:30am. Ugg. By 7:45am I had returned home from school drop-offs to find him up and ready to leave for the hospital.

We noted how this was the beginning of a weekend with no kids, no call, and no bio-tech related travel in a very long time. Great! A quiet weekend all to ourselves! We should plan a day trip to go out for a hike? Maybe brunch and walk by the water's edge? Doc H thought those were nice ideas, but turns out he is nursing a bum knee he strained in the OR, or so he thinks. Not sure. No hikes or long walks for him. Darn! No day trips. That's okay, we'll have a nice meal out and a movie. If I'm really lucky, he might agree to see chic flick. It's a stretch, but a possibility...especially if I play the "but it's Valentine's!" card.

In a despondent manner and with a defeated sigh, he said, "I wish we could go to __________."
"Why can't we? We could come back on Sunday."
"Really? You want to? We would have to be back on Sunday."

Spontaneous, spur of the moment road trip. Packing up for just us... me, Doc H, and the dog.  I think this is the first spontaneous trip we've ever taken. A medical career just doesn't allow such behavior. Our vacations are planned well in advance to make sure his hospital responsibilities are covered.

This is almost surreal. This is so much better than a chic flick. It's like winning the lottery.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mothering Bio-Tech at Practice

Yesterday, I took one of our kids to practice. Traffic was horrendous and I couldn’t stomach the idea driving home only to turn around and fight the traffic a second time for pick up. So, I packed my computer and Ipad with the intention to use this precious two hour window of  time wisely and compose a blog post.
None of my hi-tech gadgets made it out of my bag. I started visiting with  the other moms who found themselves stuck in the bleachers for the two hour practice. 
Here’s what I love about the area I live in. Our mom talk doesn’t center around just our kids, school, and their activities. (Don’t get me wrong, we talk about that, too.) No, I found myself talking with two other mothers: one, Lisa, who works in a bio-tech start up whose technology focus is in oncology, and the other mom, Cathy, a RN who works in orthopedic surgery. Great conversation ensued!

We covered the following topics:
  • practice schedule
  • tournament costs
  • jobs
  • nursing
  • medical insurance
  • dental insurance
  • siblings
  • private practice
  • hospital politics
  • US medical system
  • Canadian medical system
  • federal government's role in medicine?
  • start-ups
  • bio-tech
  • where we grew up
  • oncology research
  • bio-tech marketing
  • car-pools
  • patents
  • FDA regulations
  • human trials
  • funding
  • medical research
  • VC's
  • acquisitions

...and what we were cooking for dinner. That's life in the Mommyhood.
Having lived through the first bio-tech start-up phase of our life, I am working on mustering up the strength to walk the yellow brick, start-up road again, with the hopes we reach the Land of Bio-Tech Oz.  During this first phase, I am the paper-pusher. Paper-pushing doesn't excite me, but the thought of what can be, the possibilities, does. Up to this point, I have taken a break from our little corporation (our baby). 

Doc H is hot to trot down the golden path again. He has a passion for creating new medical technology and devices. And who can blame him? There is a romance to the notion of creating a legacy, cementing your name, in the lofty world of medicine.

While Doc H's first foray was rather successful and rewarding, raising capital, can be quite an ordeal. Last time, angel funding was scouted out immediately after I returned home from Kinko's with the freshly printed and bound business plan. Today, we are no longer green and would love to take this project as far as we can without funding. Eventually, funding will become necessary. However, for now, we'll take it as far as we can, working to increase our little baby's value.

Who knew hanging out at practice, conversing with the moms, would re-invigorate my interest in paper-pushing? 

So, off I go...down the yellow-brick, start-up road.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Doctor-Food Evolution

The other night, Doc H and I were chatting and he paid me one of the nicest compliments, "I really didn't have a great appreciation for food before I met you."

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!!!! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!! Music to my ears!

When we first started dating, it became very clear Doc H had a rather peculiar relationship with food. On one of our very first dates, he took a whole day off and we went on a day trip to a nearby, beautiful and picturesque city. We drove by all the sites, took leisurely walks along the water, held hands, and enjoyed a late lunch at a lovely restaurant. We were given the best table, situated up against the corner windows which overlooked a spectacular view. It was really quite romantic and I expected it to be a leisurely meal...but not quite that leisurely. Holy Guacamole! I have never seen anyone eat so painfully slow!

I was a bit embarrassed as I sat there in front of my empty plate. I inhale food. I always have. I like to blame this trait on my brother who loved to torture me anyway possible, including stealing food of my plate. I'll be brutally honest, I wondered what the heck was wrong with Doc H? Who eats so painfully slow? It was driving me nuts! I had to fight the urge to pick up his fork and start hand feeding him like I had done so many times with my toddler..."open comes the plane!"

I finally couldn't take it anymore and did what I often do - laugh at the situation at hand.

Doc H explained after years of eating quick bites here and there, eating standing up, eating while walking, hardly ever finishing a complete meal, he wanted to savor every second of this tasty, leisurely gourmet meal. Now, that I could understand. After all, it was a spectacular view and exquisite food.

As our relationship progressed I got to know my way around his kitchen. It was definitely a bachelor's kitchen. His fridge was comprised of soda, OJ, yogurt, some moldy cheese and mayo, mustard, ketchup, and beer. The freezer was wall to wall frozen dinners.

Early in our relationship, Doc H's morning breakfast consisted of Hostess powdered donuts, yogurt and coffee. He ate that religiously, every single morning as he ran out the door to the hospital wiping the powder sugar off his lips and shirt. I found this shocking. For the love of God, wasn't he a doctor? His explanation? "It's calories in, calories out. Your body functions on calories." ...and apparently multi-vitamin pills.

EXCUSE ME?! What about vitamins? Nutrients? Protein? You know. All that stuff that keeps us healthy? I realized very quickly that there was some work to be done on my part.

Apparently, I've done a pretty good job. Yes! We've come a long way Baby!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Superbowl Fail and a Lovely Bubble Moment

Earlier in the week, in my head, I had envisioned a nice, little family Superbowl party. All the kids (minus our college student)  and Doc H and myself watching the game, commenting on the commercials and eating yummy foods. We would all be cuddled up on the sofa - maybe wrapped up in some warm blankets - cheering for our team of choice. Smiling. Laughing. Having fun. Like a Norman Rockwell painting. Sounds simple enough, right?

SURPRISE! It was not to be. 

Doc H was finally home for a weekend and without call only to have our home penetrated by the flu bug. The Norman Rockwell painting crashed and burned. We resorted to quarantining the infected. Doc H was in doc mode (well, more of RN mode) all weekend. Day and night he was monitoring fevers that went as high as 103, dosing out the ibuprofin, and schleping up and down the stairs with jello cups and cups of water or juice. Yes, he's a gem. 

I, on the other hand, made sure the non-infected were shuttled to practice, social events, and fed home cooked meals. Divide and conquer, that's how we roll. I did my best to keep up with the house, but there's so many of us, I can't keep up with it all. Some stuff just has to wait until Monday when the kids are back in school and Doc H is back at the hospital. In all honesty, sometimes I just let it go so I can do clean up on Monday. It's so much easier to clean up when the house is empty. It's the only time progress can be seen by my efforts. Otherwise, it's a "put one dish in the washer and two more appear in the sink" type of day. Who needs to be running on that hamster wheel? I know I need to lose some weight, but come on!

Finally, at the end of our weekend, Doc H and I found ourselves in bed, chatting away, laughing at little funnies the kids told us or did and commiserating about the little hardships they are currently working through. Those are my tiny, fleeting "bubble moments". The moments when the rest of the world, the hospital, his colleagues, and his patients are waiting outside our door, because just then.. it is just the two of and my Doc H.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Birthing Bio-Tech in the Bedroom

People do funky things in their bedrooms. Some more mainstream than others, but, hey, to each their own.

What do you have in your bedroom? Candles? A romantic. Insense? A free spirit, spiritual. More than a normal amount of mirrors? Maybe a little slap with that tickle? or perhaps a vanity issue? Brass pole and trapeze? (Don't laugh or disbelieve. I've seen it! Don't judge either. Trust me, it's not what you think, but it definitely was a "Sweet Baby Jeezus!" moment) Kinky- don't give me a hickey. Leather whips and chains? Beast-o-Freak!

Doc H and I don't have any of those. Well, candles. We used to have those. We are down to one and it is on my side of the bed. It is now used to help calm and soothe, rather than set the mood - HEY! What can I say? It's marriage!

We now have books. Papers. Folders filled with papers. Computers. His laptop, my laptop, his Iphone, my Iphone, my Ipad, his pager, our landline and our dog. Sounds like an inviting place to rest your weary head, doesn't it? At this juncture, this post could splinter into a million different topics, but I would like to draw your attention to Doc H's papers.

Do you see them? Can you picture them in your mind? To me, they are doodles; many times on the backside of a printed document. Sometimes they are on yellow legal paper, torn with a ragged edge. Almost always in blue, fountain ink. Some of these doodles broke my REM cycle when he abruptly sat up in bed, turned on the light, and sketched his doodle while it was fresh in his mind.

It drove me nuts. Yet, I love this about my man. He has a very sexy brain. Every doodle is evidence of his intellect and a reminder of why I fell in love with him in the first place. So, we keep every one of them.

Then one day an interesting thing happened. Doc H came home and said he met an engineer who had worked with the type of technology he would need for one of his doodles to become a reality. Doc H wanted to meet with him at our house to explore his idea to see if it had any legs.

And so our crazy, stressful, eye-rolling, gag me (literally), unbelievable journey began...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Weekend Humor #2

You Never Know When You'll Need a Surgeon....

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Husband’s Girlfriends

No, that’s not a misprint or typo. My husband has girlfriends. From what I’m told by the one of his assistants, he has many, many girlfriends. Am I worried? Nah... Concerned? Nah... Actually, I find it a little amusing. 
You see, Doc H doesn’t refer to these ladies as his girlfriends. It’s just the opposite. These ladies refer to him as their boyfriend. They are ladies - little ladies - of the frail and elderly type. 
Julie, Doc H’s assistant, painted the picture for me one day when I was waiting for him in his clinic. These little, blue haired ladies come into the clinic for their appointments, asking for their “boyfriend, Doc H”. Some have to hobble in and some wheel themselves into the exam rooms. Apparently, they are the cougars of all cougars. 
Some of his girlfriends have even sent me gifts! Yes, me! How sweet is that? The first gift I ever received was this...
Don’t laugh! We actually use this handy-dandy, hand crocheted, plastic, hand jar opener. I’ve even had to wash it from so much use. When this particular little lady sent my gift home, she told Doc H that while I may be too young to find use for this today, I should just throw it in our kitchen drawer. She knew there would come a day when I would need it. 

Well, she was right. I hate to say it, but I use it all the time. I'm using it much sooner than she probably thought I would. Notice the hand crocheted trim...

I have also received table linens, a couple of home cooked meals, and lovely cards thanking me and the kids for sharing Doc H with them. The sense of satisfaction I feel when we are acknowledged and thanked for our sacrifice as a family by Doc H's patients is immeasurable and so appreciated. While Doc H receives many thank you's and tokens of appreciation, the wives and kids of your doctors seldom do. When it happens, I won't lie, it feels fan-bloody-tastic. 

Now, while some of his girlfriends like to send gifts, some of these ladies can get quite spry, too! Apparently, as one of my husband's girlfriends was getting prepped for surgery in the OR, the sedation made her a little frisky! So frisky, she pinched Doc H's scrub covered tushy! These ladies mean business! Poor Doc H came home and felt the need to 'fess up...immediately. He had her arm extended out from her side and the anaesthesia was about to take effect when he turned his backside to her for just a moment... and PINCH! It happened! What the heck!

Hmmm, I'm now rethinking my level of concern about these girlfriends. I may have to watch my back and hold on tight to my man. The cougars are out and about.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Off-Topic: Gender Inequality in Politics: Santorum and Trisomy 18

I'm going to go a little off topic today. Is that okay? You don't mind do you?

Can we talk about Rick Santorum? I don't mean in the "let's discuss his political perspective or campaign platform" type of way. No, I could care less about that. Political discussions and debates are not on my top ten list of discussion topics. Personally, I can not imagine why any one person would want to engage in a life of politics in today's brutal mass media world. A highly interlinked world where every bone which makes up the skeleton in your closet (c'mon- we all have at least one - maybe even two or three) is just itching for their 15 seconds of fame when they can call your bluff or, simply put, destroy your life! 

No, I want to discuss Santorum, his daughter, and the media. Has anyone else noted the gender inequality which has been displayed by the media? If you have been knee deep in diapers, baby food, and spit-up,  or just plain living under a rock, bless you! Let me bring you up to speed...

Rick Santorum, GOP Presidential candidate, has been out pounding the pavement, campaigning for the GOP nomination. He and his wife have a three year old daughter, Isabella, who is inflicted with trisomy 18, a rare and deadly genetic disorder. Over the weekend, Isabella became so ill, she was admitted to the ICU. Rightfully so, Santorum placed Daddy Duty over politics and cancelled his day of campaigning. On Monday, his camp released a statement indicating Isabella had experienced a "miraculous" recovery. Because of this, Santorum was able to leave his daughter, still in ICU, and continue his march on the campaign trail. As of last night (Tuesday), she was still in ICU.


I'm sorry, but if Santorum had anything else but a penis, the news media outlets would be all over him! Let's sit back and imagine the fury if anyone by the likes of say....Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Condaleeza Rice, or Nancy Pelosi, did just that.  A woman who left their toddler in ICU, not to mention a toddler who's life is already in such a fragile state, would be SKEWERED - TARRED AND FEATHERED by the media. Bad mother, careless, detached, unemotional, cold-hearted, irresponsible, reprehensible, awful, unimaginable, foul, an all around 'mommy dearest' bitch of a mother.

...and Santorum? Nothing. Not a word. At least, not one I could find. You?


And if you're just craving a tid-bit of our medical life... 

I had to 'dress for Doctor' today. Besides being verbally attacked by some overly-talkative lady in the parking garage who wanted to know my opinion of Meryl Streep's latest movie, "The Iron Lady", I was given the all-clear to resume my normal work-outs. Good news for me! As for that lady, I hope she found her way to the Department of Psychiatry. I'm pretty sure that's where she was headed.
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