Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spousal Chatter

{On our way home from dinner last night, Doc H and I were trying to remedy the logistical issue of shipping some furniture (bar stools) we purchased from a private seller (read: used) who lives over 350 miles away to our new place.}

Doc H: How can we get them here?
Me: I could fly and take them to a shipping company.
Doc H: You could drive with your father. We could take the seats out of the minivan and you could bring them back with you.
Me: I don't want to drive 12 hours in one day with my father.
Doc H: You could split the driving.
Me: We would have to spend the night at a hotel.
Doc H: You can do it in a day.
Me: Why don't you drive down with me. Take a day off work! We could spend the night. OH! That would be fun! We could go to the amusement park out there that I love!!!
Doc H: What? Why? Without the kids?
Me: YEAH! I love that place! We could just go by ourselves. It would be as if we were dating!
Doc H: Nooooo.....
Me: You would do it if we were dating. Just because, we are old, doesn't mean we have to act old!
Doc H:  humphhhhhh....

So, that's what we did. He may have even enjoyed himself...

... a little.

Friday, March 30, 2012

You Think the Life of an Attending Is Easier?

I hate nights like last night.

I always hope Doc H will come home in a good mood. I love it when he comes home happy and had a great and productive day at work. Instead, he called before he left the hospital to say it was a hard day and he was tired, still had to work on his talk for an upcoming conference which was due that very day. It was 6:48pm.

So, despite the fact that we were child-free, and I was hoping for a night out, I whipped into Rachel Ray mode, surveyed the pantry and freezer and whipped up a chicken pasta meal in less than twenty. It was ready by the time he walked in the door looking like this...

While we ate our dinner, his fatigue was palpable. So palpable, even though mustered up enough energy to ask my how my first class went, I felt bad sharing my excitement and joy about my day knowing he was exhausted and still had a full night of work ahead of him. So, I outlined my day in a low-key manner. I just don't have the heart to rub my good day in his bad day's face. Spouses day's should be tethered together, so we can either celebrate or have a bitch fest together.

He quickly inhaled his dinner and went to work. He used to sit at the computer late at night writing papers. Now, it's to put together presentations for talks...

At 11:00pm, I couldn't hold out anymore and turned off the lights. This morning, he left the house under morning darkness to get some work done before he heads into the OR for a full day of cases.

I know he'll be coming home today more spent than a bull in his own personal harem of heifers.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Being Selfish and Loving It!

In the midst of everyday life, it's so easy to lose yourself, isn't it? Especially after becoming parents. Let's face it, once the you pop the first watermelon-sized bundle of joy (who later fries your nerves) from your who-who, your life is no longer yours. Subsequent melons just prolong any parent from once again standing in the spot light of their own life. Mothers and fathers are just supporting actors in their kids' lives. Ask them... as teenagers they are more than happy to point out your short-comings or the fact that "you have no life". Unfortunately, sometimes, I have to agree with them.

So today, I fixed that. For the first time in eons, I did something for myself and I FEEL GREAT!  I'm not talking a mani-pedi or a quick bite to eat with my girlfriends. I'm not even talking a weekend get-away with my bffs. While those are all fantastic and appreciated, let's be real... as soon as we get home and someone starts whining, or another starts nagging, the warm fuzzies all flitter away and we find ourselves back in the same exact spot as we left. Today, I did something with a little more substance.

Today, I began my education course in marine mammal husbandry. I have signed on for a year's worth of docent and teaching work. Despite a three hour round trip commute, I am thrilled to be back in the classroom, learning something new and having the opportunity to work with these animals, and share my enthusiasm for these creatures with others.

I drove home today on a natural high....I'm still feeling it as I type this. I feel re-invigorated, energized, and proud to be part of a community of volunteers who not only work to rehabilitate wounded and sick animals, but more importantly, gather scientific data to help further our knowledge and understanding of these fantastic, intelligent animals and their effect on our ecosystem and environment.

I feel alive! I feel I have something in my life that's all about me! I think it's been over twenty years since I've had such a selfish feeling. I'm learning...filling my brain with all sorts of new information and I just thrive on learning. I'm telling you, I could've been a college student for the rest of my life. But, I think the best part is knowing that I'm doing this all for me.

Oh! And for these cuties, too. Who wouldn't love to work with faces like these...
baby harbor seal pups grey love Pictures, Images and Photos

Be my hero and hit the Facebook "Like" button, would 'ya? Thanks!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Your Doctor's Wife's Fortune

Wordless Wednesday Link Up

"You'll accomplish more later if
you take some time for yourself. "

Taking time for myself today.
Tell you all about what I'm up to later!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Look Kids! It's the "Liquid Chicken" Truck!

From the age of 4 to 9, LB would only eat chicken nuggets, corn dogs, pizza, plain pasta and quesadillas. Any efforts to expand his dietary menu options were all in vain. This kid would eat nothing outside his "regulars".

I'm not a complete stickler for organic, homemade meals, but I will admit that I do try my best to put healthy food on the table. I cook from scratch. I like to know what's going into my body. After having a few benign tumors removed from my body, I don't think I need any chemicals or additives in there messing with my healthy cells, you know what I mean? 

At his mother's house, LB would dine on frozen corn dogs, frozen chicken nuggets and frozen pizza bites. I'll never forget the day they came to the house and told me the absolutely love chicken cordon bleu. I thought "Wow! Their mom is a fancy cook! How am I going to compete with that?" (See...that's the step-mama in me talking.) Then they asked if I could buy some from the freezer section of the grocery store next time I'm shopping. Nope. Not gonna happen. I figure if I can't pronounce it, it's not going in my shopping cart.

I hated watching LB and the girls chow down on chicken nuggets. It made my skin crawl. Was that really chicken? I couldn't tell.

One summer, we found ourselves driving from Arkansas to Texas. As usual, all six of us were piled in the minivan; all kids hooked into their electronic i-something gadgets. As we drive down the interstate, I noticed we were gaining on what seemed to be a gasoline tanker truck. Doc H came up behind it and we couldn't believe what we saw....
"Haulin' Liquid Chicken"
Doc H: YUCK!
Kids: What? What is it?
Me: Look at that truck! Read what it says.
Kids: (after reading) EWWW...What's "liquid chicken"
Me: It's what they use to make chicken nuggets.

I don't know if my last statement is true or not, but the words just flowed so effortlessly off my tongue and lips....sounded logical to me. I don't even really know what "liquid chicken" is, but I think all moms will agree "liquid chicken" sounds about as appetizing as a bowl of deep-fried cow patties.

The minivan was filled with the sounds of disgust and disbelief of kids. I'm surprised none of them yacked right there and then.

That was a dietary changing day in our family. If you're trying to wean your kids off the nuggets, I highly suggest you track this truck down. It seems to do the job.


Please show the love and "Like" Your Doctor's Wife Blog on Facebook from your personal page. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Doctoring in the Kitchen

When we purchased this house, we thought we were purchasing a turn-key home. Since we closed escrow last Spring, we have pretty much renovated the whole kit-n-caboodle with the exception of cabinets and appliances. I like to refer to these unplanned renovations as the snowball effect. You know..."Oh, we can just change the carpet." The carpet is lifted and you find water marks on the concrete slab foundation (which in no way could have been spotted by an inspector) and you must further investigate. This investigation leads to mildew in the baseboards, which leads to sheet rock removal...yadda, yadda, yadda. You get the picture, right?

I thought we were done. I thought we could just relax and enjoy the place for a bit before we start our next phase of planned renovations to the property (which are basically outdoor landscaping and gardening - the type of stuff I love).

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my tweet:

{SIDEBAR: I will note the oven door has been under an appliance repairman's care. One hinge has been acting up and we've been working to get it repaired. Nonetheless, the oven had been working fine up until this last oven fail. We have had our consult and the repair has made his suggested course of action known to the home warranty company. Just like in medicine, the home warranty company must approve use of replacement insurance. We are waiting.}

Nothing like having company over for dinner, your chicken is half raw and the oven door to your hot oven is laying outside on the patio.

(Notice in our desperation to get some food on the table, Doc H carved the cooked top layer of the chicken off. Now our chicken took on the shape of a poor bunny rabbit.)

My blogging friend, Delilah at Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama, tried to guide me towards the silver lining with this tweet:

But, that's not going to happen, when the oven can be rigged back together like this:

Note the fridge doesn't match the oven and micro...
that was the last appliance that failed us.

What you can't notice in this picture are the cardboard wedges Doc H folded and inserted in the gaps of the door to enhance the sturdiness and safety. It really just needs some surgical tape to make it a "true" Doc H repair.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Play It Again, Sam, Sundays

How Facebook Saved My *BEEP*

The archaic beast
It’s happened more than once and I’m positive I’m not the only doctor’s wife out there whose evening plans have been abruptly thwarted by the archaic, high pitched beep of a hospital pager. 

We’re out to dinner... a semi-date night. These types of dinners are not a ‘real’ date night, because we know that we may have to flag down the poor wait staff and ask for our dinner to go. A movie is COMPLETELY out of the question no matter how quiet the hospital seems. We tried a movie. Just once. We didn’t even have time to ask for a refund. We just ran straight through the lobby, across the parking lot and straight for the car. 

Sometimes, the beep can be satisfied with a phone call - some lengthy in duration, some short and sweet. Other times, we’re allowed to finish our main course, but don’t think of ordering another glass of wine (that’s me, not Doc H) or a dessert, ‘cause HE’S GOT TO GO!
Our night can quickly go from this...
Early last year, we considered a move. We finally felt we could afford to move to a larger home in a better neighborhood. We combed through active real estate listings every day. Every weekend, we toured homes and....nothing. We couldn’t find a house that suited our needs and desires (for a price we were willing to pay) enough to pry us away from our current home. Our current home is small for a family of our size, but it has been good to us. We have re-modeled it to our liking. I have personally planted over 300 bulbs I had imported from Holland in the garden.  Our kids have grown up in this house. What have we put down in this house? Oh, yes.. ROOTS. And this house has one other aspect to it which is incredibly valuable in these types of scenarios...It is within walking distance to the hospital (in comfortable shoes). 
Normally, when the beep brings our life to a screeching halt, it is an irritation which brings a bout of tolerable frustration which is usually quelched with a very active and cogniscent round of ‘let’s focus on the postives’ as our car comes to only a rolling stop at our drive way and I jump out. 
However, it is when ANOTHER hospital (where Doc H has privileges) beeps for back-up that really chaps my hide and leaves me unguarded and ill-prepared. So much so, that one dark night, I found myself sitting outside the main entrance of a hospital as Doc H was inside one of the ORs working on a poor chap. I had already been there over an hour and it was going to be a long wait.  

... to this.
I know. I KNOW!! I should’ve known! The second I took the curing iron to my hair on a night my husband could possibly be called in, the night was DOOMED! 

I took to people watching for awhile. I saw green scrubs, white coats, blue scrubs, sweats, jeans, hospital gowns, and pj’s even! Doctors, nurses, patients. hospital visitors, volunteers, vendors, and even a very late and weary looking UPS man walked by. I looked at them and they looked at me. Dressed up in my best date night clothes (you know, the ones that make you look skinnier than you really are, the bra that hoists the girls up and around your neck like a choker, and the shoes that make you look as tall as you possibly can look without falling over), I must have looked like a pitiful case, cause I began to feel uncomfortable and desperate for a way home. OH, why didn't we drive two cars?!  My wallet didn’t hold enough cash for a cab ride and I wouldn’t dream of paying that much in fare anyway. I grabbed my phone and updated my status. 
God bless Facebook!
“Anyone in the __________ Hospital area and headed North? I could use a”
I didn’t expect anything. I threw my phone back in my purse. In less time than it takes to say ‘ruptured abdominal aeortic anuerysm’ my phone rang and I HAD A RIDE ON IT’S WAY!
Thank you, Mr. Zuckerberg! I treasure you and your little website! You saved my *BEEP*!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekend Doctor Humor #9

Because you all know how much I dread the colonoscopy...

Posted on YouTube via bowserandblue.

Friday, March 23, 2012

House Calls

Have you ever had a doctor make a house call on either you or a family member?  Me neither. Although, Doc H did remove some stubborn sutures for me at home. Does that count?

The seemingly out-dated, impractical service of house calls has all but vanished from today's medical scene.  Deemed "too expensive" by insurance providers, the sick and elderly must make their way to their  doctor's waiting rooms despite pain, chronic illness, and whatever other ailments they endure.

Doc H has always run a very busy practice. He is always on the run...OR, breakfast meeting, clinic, department meeting, consult, emergency, rounds, assist, admin, M&M's, chief meeting, lunch meeting, dictations, emails, phone messages, phone calls, conference call, regional meeting, order CT, order MR, schedule call, schedule case, prep case, order devices, re-schedule call, cross-cover, bump case, reschedule case, counsel patient, counsel family... There's so much more; the list goes on and on and on. Just watching him run in and out of the house as if his drawers are on fire is exhausting.

In fact, I'm guessing he's not feeling that great at the moment. He came home very early by our standards and is in bed sleeping as I type. It's 6pm.

My point? Doc H is one busy, tired man. Yet, despite it all, he will still go out of his way to make an occasional house call...even if, while he's inside, yours truly is dressed up and waiting for a fancy night of wining and dining... in the passenger seat of Doc H's car.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Father Became a Doctor at 65

My father became a doctor after retiring from high tech at the age of 65. Incredible, right? Well, let me tell you how he did it.

As retirement was approaching, my father had to make some decisions with regards to healthcare and insurance. He researched and completed his due diligence in choosing the right Medicare program for himself, but decided it would be wise to have additional medical coverage.

He questioned me about our coverage. Working for a hospital, Doc H has excellent medical benefits. It even covers parents and in-laws. Upon hearing this news, I swear I saw my father float up off the floor and reach a nirvana I had never quite seen in him before.  He signed up for coverage under Doc H's policy faster than you can say "ganglioneuroma".

A few weeks later, he received his insurance card and immediately made an appointment. He was actually giddy to go to Doc H's hospital for his appointments. He  calls me every time he has an appointment to ask if Doc H will be in the OR or clinic. He wants to know if there is any possibility he will bump into him in the hospital corridors. The hospital is a busy place with tons of people walking, running, wheeling around. The likelihood he will ever run into him is slim. I've told my father this time and time again, but he still calls and asks every. single. time.

Now would be a good time to paint a picture in your mind of my father. My father is a kind, family man with an incredibly naive sensibility about him. He (legally) immigrated to this country in the sixties from South America and somehow, despite the foreign land and foreign tongue, together with my mother, managed to raise a family and send us kids to private school. Sometimes, I have to think his naivete worked to his advantage in life. Sometimes it's better not to realize what's going on around you. You know, the "ignorance is bliss" mentality.

Physically, my father is a man of smaller stature. Maybe 5'9" in height and a slim build. He actually looks something like this.... 

He called me after his first appointment.
DAD: Tell Doc Eche to call me when e can, okay? I, uhhh, have some questions dat I nee to as'.
Me: What about?
DAD: Aiyyyyyy.... nat'in really. I jus ave question bout dese papers da doctor gava to me.
Me: Dad, didn't the doctor explain everything to you?
DAD: Aiyyyy...ja, but steel, I wan' to talk to Doc Eche. I come to da house when e is done operatin' with dese papers I ave. I wan show em so e can splain dem to me.

When my father's  insurance card arrived in the mail it looked just like ours. Now, you may think all insurance cards are the same (with the exception of the name and account number, of course). Not true. Our cards are the equivalent of an American Express Centurion (formerly the "Black") Card. When we check in with the receptionists for our appointments, they immediately know we are either a doctor or the family of a doctor. I guess I don't look like a doctor, because every time I show up for an appointment, I am questioned by the receptionist. I politely confirm her (or his) suspicion is true; I'm not the doctor in the family. I'm merely the doctor's wife.

Later that night, Doc H came home to find my father waiting for him at the dining room table, with all the papers his doctor sent him home with. Doc H looked them over and assured him everything looked pretty good and further explained the test results, what they meant, and how his meds have been adjusted based on these new figures.

Doc H is perplexed and somewhat disappointed the doctor didn't take the time to better explain the tests and medication changes to my father.

DocH: Didn't Doc X go over these with you?
DAD: aiyyyyy.....jes, but, well....juo kno, e use all dese big words, dat I don rehconize, jou know?
DocH: (knowing full well my father understands english almost perfectly, he is a little annoyed and in disbelief a colleague would not make sure his test results and instructions were completely understood) Really?
DAD: E uszed lotta worz I donna kno. I nee a medacine di-shon-airy.
Me: (smelling something funny and getting REALLY annoyed) Maybe you need to switch doctors Dad.
DAD:, no, no, hijita. I jus nea Doc Eche to splain.
Me: Dad, why would the doctor not take the time to explain this all you and make sure you understand?
DAD: (waving me off) No, is ok. Don worry. Is ok.
Me: No Dad, you need a doctor who will explain this to you. It's not really that difficult.
DAD: No, is ok. Is my herror.
Me and Doc H: What? How?
DAD: Wen da nurse call me in, she call for Dr. Sal Sanchez. So, jou kno, I juss go wit her. Aiyeee, but den she tell de utters I'm a doctor! (he slaps his forehead and holds it there as if he has a headache)...Wat can I do?

That's my Dad...."Dr." Sal Sanchez.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Crunch Time: A Doctor's Taxes


It's crunch time, people. Doc H and I meet with our CPA later today. Just the thought of it makes my butt pucker.

I am full of fear.

I hope:

  • I pulled all the right information together
  • The corporate taxes are all in order - it's the first time I've pulled these together myself.
  • I act and seem like I know what I'm doing.
  • I paid (I say "I" because I write out and mail the checks) enough in estimated quarterly taxes.
  • I don't seem nervous as he punches out a number.
  • I don't cry when I hear the number.
  • I can write small enough to fit the dollar amount in on the second line of the check (I'm serious about that - the first time I ever wrote out a mortgage check I actually had to void the check because I wrote too large and couldn't fit it all in).
  • I hope we have the money in the bank to cover the check. 

And most importantly, I pray I don't hyper-ventilate, faint or wet myself...or worse...BOTH.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Work the Body, Insure the Body

Anyone remember Mary Hart from "Entertainment Tonight"? I remember being gobsmacked hearing she had insured her legs for one million dollars...each! I thought, "Who does that? How stupid!"

I'm re-thinking the "let's insure our body parts" notion. In particular, Doc H's body parts. They're kinda important in our house hold. Let's be real, his fingers, hands, arms, eyes, legs, back and brain are instrumental in paying our bills.

Last week, Doc H slept in a bad position and woke up with a crick in his neck. He went to the hospital looking like he needed a neck brace. A few years ago, he had (what seemed to be) a recurring muscle spasm in his arm. Quietly, I prayed to God hoping it was NOT an early indicator of a debilitating disease such a ALS.  When he couldn't read anything anymore, he broke down and got his reading glasses. When I probed about seeing in the OR he told me it wasn't a problem, because he wore his loops. He has a bum knee right now. I've asked him to make an appointment, but I doubt it will happen anytime soon. It will mean taking a day off work and driving to a far away hospital in a far away land... all in the name of confidentiality.

Why do I bring this up now? Well, yesterday Doc H tweaked his back and as soon as it happened, he immediately started worrying about his day in the OR today. He has a big case where he will have to wear a protective 25 lb. lead vest for hours with a bad back. I feel for him, I really do. I've battled my own back problems for years. It's painful and awful.

And the culprit? The heavy job which crumpled Doc H and made him grimace in pain?

The laundry. I'm heading to the gym. Need to save the body. Keep it strong.

Maybe we should insure my body parts, too.  I'm afraid if I fall apart, this house is falling like a house of cards.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Self-Prescribed Retail Therapy: Apple's Ipad 3

The weekend packed quite a punch around here. I'll go in sequential order...

  • My father had been visiting his family out of the country for 2 months. His plane was scheduled to arrive at 10pm. It came in at 3am.
  • D3 had to be at a track meet at 7am.
  • LB had a sleep-over birthday party at noon.
  • D2's Beau Hunk was scheduled to fly out Saturday. For reasons Doc H and I are still scratching our heads about, he will be in town for another TWO months.
  • D1 called from college begging for our help. Doc H clearly stated over 3 weeks ago a list of action items which needed to be completed before receiving anymore help from us. She failed to comply. She was hoping she could sweet talk Daddy into doing it like before. Not this time.
  • Doc H spent HOURS talking to D2 in private, counseling her and trying to get her to see the big picture with regards to her relationship with Beau Hunk. She mentally exhausted him.
  • Then Doc H spent an inexplicable amount of time on the phone with D1, reprimanding her for not following through with their agreement.

After all that (plus a call from the on-call attending with regards to a ruptured triple A), Doc H had nothing left to give us. He was irritated and tired. He couldn't even bring himself to enjoy our green shamrock shakes and green cupcakes, all made by D3, or watch a movie with us on PPV.

I asked if I could do anything to help. He calmly said, "No, I'm just so frustrated and irritated."

Ok. I guess I'll just watch the movie with the teens.

I watch him go upstairs. I see him come downstairs and out to the garage. An hour later, we're still watching the movie. I'm sitting in the same exact spot as when I last saw him. I see him walk upstairs with a package in his hand.... Could it be? Is it?

Well, yes, it is...
Apple touts the new IPad 3 has Retina display, 5MP camera, and Ultrafast 4G LTE technology.  I need to add another incredible capability the Ipad 3 possesses...

Mood Enhancer.

Since that little piece of technology has made it's way into our home, it been all smiles and "Oh, wow"s, "Honey, check this you have this app on your Ipad?"

I LOVE seeing Doc H smile!

Thank you, Steve Jobs. What a difference an Ipad 3 makes.

{If you are new to the Beau Hunk saga, you should start here}

{Click here for the next installment of the Beau Hunk saga}

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend Doctor Humor #8

*******WARNING - Not suitable to watch with children in the room*************

Via  on YouTube

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Looking for Guest Posts

I mentioned my vacation plans back here.

I would love to offer fellow bloggers an opportunity to write a guest post while I'm sunning and drinking expensive tropical drinks with an orchid bloom floating around in them.

Ideally, I would like unpublished pieces which fall under the following categories: humor, teen parenting, marriage, or medical life.  If interested, please email me at for more information.

Thanks, everyone!

Sex on the Brain?

I wish a could spend a day in Doc H's brain. I would just LOVE to know what's going on in there. I have my own theory, but it is completely unproven.

Time and time again, I have asked Doc H, "What are you thinking?" or "Whadda' think?" or "What's on your mind?" and, of course (what kind of wife would I be without this one), "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!" No matter how the question is phrased, I always receive a vague reply which never satiates my burning desire to know how the man I married and love thinks.

I have read tons of the research. If I believe the various articles I found on the web, because Doc H is beyond the age of 35, sex is no longer the #1 thought on the brain. Apparently, the thought is still incredibly prominent, but just no longer the leader.

That's nice to know, 'cause I hate to think he came to a full and complete stop at a busy intersection at a green light and actually sat there 'til I screamed, "IT'S GREEN!" due to visions of me swinging from the chandelier naked.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Adult Brownies Are In the Freezer

For Medicinal Use Only, Right? 
As mentioned before, we have an older friend who is currently battling lung cancer. She is as feisty firecracker and after two rounds of chemo, she is kicking cancer's booty all over town! Great news!

Her daughter, who is around my age, hosted a dinner for family members the night before she was to meet her surgeon. Doc H and I were so touched to be included in this "family only" affair.

When we saw our cancer-stricken friend, we were so pleased to find her looking great! Of course, she wore a head covering to hide her shaved head, but besides that cancer identifier, she looked normal-- good weight, good mood, good appetite.

No more pain, no more morphine, no more nausea. All thanks know it's coming.... pot medicinal marijuana. Her daughter, Missy, tells us how she had got hold of some adult lemon pound cake. She didn't know how strong one slice would be, so she tested a slice out on herself. And good thing she did! Apparently, the medicinal stuff is really strong and she told her mother the proper dosage was half a slice.

It should come to no one's surprise that one firecracker gives birth to another firecracker.

At dinner, we were all laughing over the lemon cake stories. I don't know why (perhaps it was the wine), but I found it appropriate to let Missy know I have never experienced marijuana (or any other drug while we're at it). Yes, I am a prude.

I have never seen any one's eyes roll back into their skull quite like Missy did in my life!

Missy: WHAT! NEVER?!!!
Me: Never!
Missy: WHY?!
Me: I went to Catholic School and they scared me half to death. I was afraid my kids would be born with three heads!
Missy: OH, NO WAY! We can change that! I'm sending you home with brownies. I've got brownies in the freezer for Mama Firecracker. I'm sending you home with those!

And so she did...with this prescribed dosage and usage instructions...

Dosage: 1" x 1.5" pieces only. Give yourself one hour to experience the full effect of the brownie. Have fun!

Doc H drove us home with my aluminum foil "doggie-bag" in my lap, while being adamant about not wanting to take part in my experimental foray in brownie-land. Well, that's no fun.

The brownies remain in my freezer. I'm taking them all back to Firecracker. She'll need them after her next round of chemo.

I still remain a brownie virgin.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Meet the Surgeon Day

Nothing really exciting in here
Once again, I found myself in an medical exam room. This time it was for my mother. After a year of trying to rehab a herniated disk, she has exhausted all possible methods of treatment and is left with surgery as a last option.

My mother was nervous about meeting this surgeon. Why? I don't know. For months, she has been diligently doing her physical therapy exercises which have been unsuccessful in relieving pain. Her quality of life has suffered. She has not been able to travel, garden, or even sit long enough to watch an episode of Modern Family. Currently, she is moving thanks to strong narcotics and she hates them. It is obvious to our family and Doc H surgery is absolutely necessary.

This was not our first trip into the exam room together. It was just me and my mom when I was diagnosed with a tumor (many years ago). It was just me and my mom when she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  And, today, it was just me and my mom again. So, I guess this answers the "why" question in the previous paragraph.

We had a fifteen minute wait in the exam room, but we're okay with that. We understand what's going on and what's at stake. If you don't, click here.

The surgeon came in and was very skilled at putting patients at ease. He took his time discussing my mother's medical history, symptoms, and reviewing her studies with us. We (well, really, I - my mother was a bundle of nerves) listened intently on his suggested course of actions. I probed this young surgeon to be a little more specific by sharing my mother had recently retired from the hospital he slices and dices in for over 40 years.

I asked questions, why this and not that? Prep? Recovery? Re-hab? Why not take care of these other potential future issues while you're in there? What are the risks, how many of these procedures did he perform a month? Will he be working with residents? (The answer was no. Good. Not that having residents involved in a case is a bad thing. It just would have led to another whole line of questioning and I was already pressed for time myself.)

Grandma's got issues
By the end of the appointment, our questions had all been answered. My mother was at ease and felt comfortable to go ahead and schedule surgery with this Doc. The doc turned to me one last time and asked if he had answered all my questions. I assured him he had.

Then he asked me one last question...

SPINE-DOC:  You work in medicine, too?
ME: Oh, god, no! One person in a household tethered to a pager is enough! My husband's a surgeon.
SPINE-DOC: Ah! (smile) Got it!

I guess he figured I know enough to be dangerous or a pain in his a**. Either way is fine with long as he knows I'm there and I've got Doc H right behind me.

In case you were wondering, Grandma got to keep her clothes on, but I did remind her to wear appropriate panties...just in case.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Break Gone BAD

Let me tell you, if you're a parent and ever get to the point where you're filling out a FedEx Airbill and holding your "adult" (read 19 y.o.) child's spare key, you know it's Spring Break Gone BAD. Real BAD.

Nothing like getting a phone call almost 10pm telling you she and her roommates decided to leave the state and take a two day drive to a popular college Spring Break destination. And by the way, she's already been there a whole day. Last night the entire wallet was lost along with the car keys at a beach party.

Daughter #1: (After breaking the news) Could you please call the bank and cancel all ATM and credit cards. I lost my car keys, too. Can you FedEx my spare key? Oh, and all forms of identifications are gone also. And, oh, when I left I only had $100 in my bank account so could you send me some money?

Unsanctioned Travel = No Money Honey

So, there I am at 11pm on the phone with the bank canceling cards, making sure there have been no unauthorized charges over the last 24 hour period. In the meantime, after having a rather terse conversation with his ex (D1's bio mom) about the situation at hand, Doc H is doing his best to let it all go so he can concentrate on a very tough case he is performing early in the morning on some poor 81 year old.

Doc H is done bailing out D1. I stand behind him.  Doesn't mean I'm not calling everyone asking if they have heard from her or biting all my nails down to the nub. It's tough love on both sides of the coin.

This is just #1. We still have 2, 3, and 4 to go. Sweet Baby Jeezus save me or at least send me down a bottle of Xanex... I don't think the bottle of vino is going to do it tonight.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekend Doctor Humor #7

Posted on YouTube by ZDoggMD.  Check out his website for more medical laughs!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Girls, Girls, Girls...Carpool Conversations

Carpool duty landed on me yesterday. I LOVE being carpool mom! I learn more in one car ride about what going on in D3's life in one 45 minute car ride than I do all week long. I'm talking the good stuff...boyfriends, potential dance dates, who's together, who's not, who just broke up at lunch today and why. Isn't that what all moms want to know? We want to stay on top of things before their little young lives go sideways and we have a mess to clean up? It's as if they forget I have ears. I'm basically a fly on the wall and I love it!

Here's what I learned yesterday..Power high school. Who knew? Anyone? Not me. One power couple just broke up and D3's friends are trying to encourage her to ask a certain boy to the upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance.

BFF: D3, you should TOTALLY ask Steve to the dance!
D3: No...I don't wanna.
BFF: Why? He's soooooo cute!
D3: I'm going by myself.
BFF: If you and Steve became boyfriend and girlfriend, you guys would be, like, the new Power Couple in school. It'd be so freaking awesome...
D3: EWWWWW! NO!!! Kissing him would be like kissing my brother or something. It's not right. We've known each other since we were, like, 5! Gross.
BFF: You're soooo picky!

I will say, I do think Steve is a cute kid and very well mannered. I wouldn't mind them dating in group I know his parents and where they live. But, I'm thrilled D3 feels confident enough to go to dances solo. 

PICKY - a word moms hate when associated with their children...until they become dating teens.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Your Doctor's Wife and Taxes

I'm working real hard. Trying very hard to get do taxes. Well, not do them really...just gather all the numbers together to hand over to our CPA. The last time I did my own taxes was almost two decades ago and I believe it was on a 1040 EZ form.

I follow many blogs written by medical students, residents, and their wives. I find it amusing how they have all already filed their taxes in hopes to receive their refund any days now and here I am...waiting till the last possible second to file mine. (To those friends of mine- just wait, the tides will change! Hang tough!)

Doc H and I will be sending a check with ours. We always do. A big. fat. check. The type of check that makes your heart palpitate. The type of check which sends you flying to the liquor cabinet to self-medicate. No matter what we plan with our CPA, how we manage our deductions, it never fails. We always end up owing the IRS and State.

This year should be interesting. In 2011, we sold all our stock in Doc H's start-up to the acquiring company, bought our retirement house (aka The MoneySucker we pray won't break us), and I left the workforce. I know, you're not crying for us and I don't expect you to. We are very fortunate and lucky to be where we are, but, nonetheless, writing that check hurts. BAD.

Every year prior to this year, I would sit and listen to the numbers just roll off the tongue of our CPA as if she was telling me to write a check for just a buck. She was so matter-of-fact about it. If I had to deliver that kind of news, I think I would turn all motherly and apologize for being the bearer of such bad news, give soft pats on the back, dispense hugs, and say "I'm so sorry" profusely and at nauseum. I might even shed a tear for the the poor couple. Our CPA just pushes a computer printout with the amounts and addresses of where to send the checks and tells us to have a good year.

I think Doc H hates the walk out to the car and drive home afterwards. The conversation is always the same:

Me (being overly dramatic and overly exaggerating): WHY DO I WORK! My entire year's income just goes to taxes!
DH: (trying to be supportive) No, it doesn't.
Me: I think of all the time I spend with clients and away from our family! For what? (totally decompensating; in 2009 I even cried)
DH: (reasoning) Think of all the write-offs.
Me: It's not worth it!!! Oh. my. god. I have a headache now.

This will be the first year we won't have that conversation. I know I'll feel good about that. Yet, I'm fairly certain once we hear our numbers we will walk to our car in silence and completely numb.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Beau Hunk

The subtitle of my blog is no lie. Doc H is too nice to say some things. I'm not.

Case in point:

Beau Hunk look alike
Daughter #2's Beau Hunk. I think it's fair to say no one in our family is particularly fond of him, except for my mother who, after eating dinner with him said, "He's not that bad".  He's GTL all the way. I didn't know what GTL stood for, but LB brought me up to speed - Gym, Tan, Laundry.

Well, I do a little of the G, none of the T (my blood work up says I'm actually vitamin D deficient), and a whole helluva lot of L.

I had always envisioned having the girls' boyfriends around the house, going out to dinner as a big family, laughing and carrying on. I thought we could all enjoy day trips together...maybe get to know his parents well...maybe even a weekend trip. I was going to be a cool mom..a hip mom. I wanted that idyllic picture. I wanted to love (or at least like) my girls' boyfriends.

Well, it's not happening. Nope. Not at all. At least not to this point. D1 never had a high school boyfriend and she's flown the coop. Not going to happen with Beau Hunk, so I have to hang my hopes on D3.

{Originally, I listed all the reasons I take issue with Beau Hunk here in this paragraph. I self-censored my post to save my hide should D2 ever discover my blog. However, I'll give you a clue. Imagine you have a teen daughter...think of all the things you would never want a boyfriend to do to her. That should sum it all up.}

Beau Hunk finally did something positive with his life when he and D2 were on a "break". He joined the Marines. YES! Good for him! He finally did something honorable! I think the military will help him mature and develop a better life perspective. They will break him down and re-build him. He needs that. If their relationship survives this separation, I'm confident he will be a better person after completing his service.

He leaves for boot camp in two weeks. D2 has been asking us to invite him over for dinner. Up to this point, we have been brushing off the dinner. Neither Doc H or I really want to spend time with him, but being that he is leaving soon, we agreed he could come over for dinner.

Dinner day was upon us and I was out running errands with the younger D3 for the afternoon. I return home and ask Doc H where D2 is. He tells me Beau Hunk came by and they decided to take her new promise ring (yes, he gave her one two weeks before he ships out) back to the jewelers to get sized. They'll be back for dinner.

We have other younger ears in the house, so Doc H leans towards me and we whisper the following conversation:

DH: He came over just wearing shorts and barely there tank-top.
Me: Did you tell him to go put on some clothes?
DH: No, (brushing it all off) it's okay...he's just real immature and doesn't know better.
Me: Well, I'll tell him!
DH: No, don't. (Seeeeee.....he's too nice to say anything)
Me: He can't come over to have dinner with us and sit at the table half naked. That's gross! I'll tell D2 to tell him.
DH: No, she'll get mad.
Me: No, I'll put it nicely. I'll text her.
DH: (sounding defeated) *sigh* I guess.

So I text:
Hi D2, we will be having dinner just after 6pm. Could you please ask Beau Hunk to wear a t-shirt rather than a tank top? I would really appreciate it.

They came back for dinner. He was dressed in clean shorts, a nice t-shirt, and a baseball cap which he remembered to remove half way through dinner after I kept staring at it...on purpose.

It takes a village, people. It takes a village.

{Click here to read the next installment of the Beau Hunk Saga}

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Back Side of Medicine and Technology

Technology and medicine have come a long way.

Thanks to the Internet (and Al Gore) my husband is, sometimes, able to field pages from home. From our home computer, he can pull up medical records, look at a patient's CT scan or other study to determine if he needs to go in or not. Technology has definitely been a game changer, not only for the doctors but patients as well.

For instance, once my father was suffering from a bad, itchy rash. He was trying to describe the rash to Doc H over the phone. Doc H suggested he Skype him with his webcam. We were amazed at the clarity of the picture and Doc H was able to diagnose the rash and made treatment suggestions. Viola! Tele-medicine.

I bring this all up because we recently experienced another first in technology and medicine--a blunder, really. A doctor colleague of Doc H's has been should I phrase this... hemmoroidal issues. This particular doctor (let's call him Doc O'Roid), is the exact opposite of Doc H. When Doc H has any issues, he will make me drive him to a far away hospital where no one will (hopefully) recognize him. Doc O'Roid felt comfortable enough to make his appointment right there in the hospital where he works. Good for him! Great for his wife! She doesn't have to drive him outside of town for his appointments. (Honey, if you're reading this, I really don't mind. Honest. I don't really don't mind, cause you'll be driving me out of state for my colonoscopy.)

Doc O'Roid was a little miffed when his colleague, Doc I-Fix-Roids wouldn't break protocol and documented his appointment and reason for the appointment for all the MAs to see. Humiliating, right? These are co-workers knowing your business.

Then the bad got worse. Infection and pain set in. Doc O'Roid needed help. It was his back side and he couldn't see...he couldn't make a self-diagnosis. What's a Doc to do? Call the wife, that's what. I imagine it went down something like this:

DOR: Honey, come help me!
Mrs: What?
DOR: I think I have an infection, can you grab my IPhone?
(Mrs comes in the room with the camera. DOR moons her, grabs his cheeks and spreads them. She dutifully snaps the photo.)

Doc O'Roid texts the photo of the infected area to his friend and doctor, Doc I-Fix-Roids.  Doc O'Roid (who is home using sick days and heavily medicated at this point) mentions the text to Doc H.

At the hospital, Doc H runs into Doc I-Fix-Roids. Doc H asks if he received the lovely photos on his phone from Doc O'Roids.

Doc I-Fix-Roids: Huh?

Then it all came together for Doc H. He remembered awhile back he tried reaching Doc I-Fix-Roids on his cell phone and a strange lady had answered. Doc I-Fix-Roids had changed his cell phone number.

I'm thinking she's changing her number today, too.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Don't Forget Your Panties

Yes. I do mean panties. When going to see a doctor, please wear them. Not thongs, not g-string. I'm talking briefs. Better yet..break out the granny panties.

Yes, doctors are professionals and they behave in a professional manner, but don't think for a second they won't come home and grimace while telling us wives about some ill fitting or questionable panty judgement. Only do it if you want to give us a chuckle.

I don't care if you're some uber-skinny super model (even they have cellulite until they get airbrushed), nothing looks hot under a hospital gown. In fact, I'm pretty sure when you put on a gown it immediately turns you skins a funky color of green. I know. I've been there and think of the ramifications for me!

Here's what went down.

To make a very long story short, I had some non-elective surgery. It left me battling a pain syndrome in my jaw of all places. I was referred to a neurologist at Doc H's hospital. I followed the MA into the exam room and was perplexed when she handed me a hospital gown and asked me to undress leaving on my undergarment. The pain was in my jaw; not my back, not my leg.

So I began to undress. As I removed my slacks, I realized my mistake (a mistake that would come back to haunt me for years and still does!). I forgot to wear my most modest, granny panties.

Now, you must know this about me- I gave up wearing any kind of bikini briefs as soon as my butt bubbled thanks to the phenomenon known as the freshman 10. I'd walk to campus and by the time I got to Chem, I had a wad of material stuffed up my cheeks. Brassieres are uncomfortable enough, why suffer any more than necessary? PLUS, I just hate panty lines. It's one of my pet peeves.

There I was in my g-string and hospital gown waiting for the neurologist. I figured, no harm, no foul - the pain is in my jaw, right? Didn't stress out too much about it.

Dr. 'I Have a HUGE Forehead Cuz My Brain's So Big' (aka Dr. Forehead) walks into the exam room and greets me. He questions. I answer. Even though I know it's noted my medical record, I mention something about Doc H since he seems to be the giant pink elephant sitting in the middle of the exam room. HIPAA. Dr. Forehead is receptive and makes a little small talk.

This are going well. We are almost done.  Yippee. Home free!

Then it happened. "Mrs. Doc H, I would like to take a look at your spine. Please turn around and bend over to touch your toes." GASP! and DOUBLE FML!

I've got news for you. There is no way under the sun you can bend over, touch your toes and hold the back of your hospital gown closed. So, Dr. Forehead was (basically) mooned by Your Doctor's Wife.

I run into Dr. Forehead (and sometimes his wife) at conferences and hospital banquet dinners. Every time I shake their hands, I always wonder if they're both thinking of my g-string like I am.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Show Me Your Juicy Boobs Please"

To the pervert who found my blog by conducting a Bing search for "show me your juicy boobs please":

C'MON! Juicy? Are you emotionally damaged from your mother's decision to only bottle feed you? 

Here are the only types of juicy boobs I know of:

And after that, I've just been left with something like these:

Do those turn you on?

Didn't think so.

Get off my blog, 'ya BOOB!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dying...The Doctor's Way

What happened to the days of bridal and baby showers? Life has morphed from those pretty pastel colored parties to rather dark gatherings... consolation divorce gatherings at a dimly lit bar, or worse, funerals and memorials.

Even before this latest round of mourning, Doc H and I have shared numerous conversations of what living and dying mean to the each of us. More precisely, how we each would like to experience death. The conversation rolls around when Doc H works with a particularly heart wrenching case at the hospital.  Usually it's after one family member is left to make a distressing medical decision for an incapacitated family member. It's one of those conversations you must have with your spouse and family, but it definitely leaves your tongue feeling like it's just been licking the bottom of the birdcage.

Just the other night, Doc H emailed me a WSJ article, Why Doctors Die Differently, by Dr. Ken Murray. I suppose it is Doc H's way of underscoring his wishes on how he would like to die. I am to use to no extraordinary measures if there is little hope of recovery or if his quality of life would be compromised.

While quality of life is a factor to be considered for me, I have a list of other factors I would like to consider. One factor is age. I think the younger I am (and the kids), the more I would want a fighting chance. Is that the mom in me? Is that a gender difference? Regardless, my bottom line is I want to be around to see the kids grow and mature for as long as I can. 

Quality of life is to be the main factor if or when I ever need to make such decisions for Doc H. He cares more to live whole, rather than a whole life. I hear his horror stories from the hospital. Patients who will not live, yet are coerced by family to undergo painful surgeries, grueling re-habs to live out the rest of their days only a small fraction of the person they once were for a negligible slice of time longer. I suppose it's only natural for a doctor to come to such a place after witnessing such appalling human pain time and time again.

They're not joking when they say "growing old is not for the weak". I'm getting a taste of what's coming down the pipeline and I don't like it...not one bit.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Living a Bubble Life

I'm thinking of bubbles. The kind children blow. Some are big, some are small. Some will last an incredibly long time. Some will pop before they are even completely formed. Bubbles are incredibly fragile and fleeting.

This morning my face hurts. I wish I could tell you it was from laughing, but sadly no. Last evening, I learned our dear, kind neighbor and friend passed away at lunchtime. I'm not sure it should be called "passed away". That term conjures images of someone, well into their prime, slipping off to another unknown world while sleeping peacefully in their bed. No, Jerry just flat out died. Jerry collapsed in his driveway while talking to another neighbor who said he looked as if he were dead before he hit the floor. Shocking, stunning, and numbing.

I received the news first and immediately dialed Doc H on his cell phone. He came home as soon as he could and asked if I had called Jerry's wife, Melinda. I had not. I was conflicted about calling. Would it be too soon? Maybe she was too distraught to talk? Maybe her phone was ringing off the hook and she really didn't want to talk about it anymore? Maybe I should give her some time? Maybe she wasn't ready to talk? Maybe I should give her some space? What could I possibly say that wouldn't sound trite or stupid on such a horrific occasion? Paralysis by analysis.

As soon as Doc H heard me say "No, I haven't called, yet" he immediately, instinctively and without thought dialed her number. I was so impressed how he could just pick up to dial and know exactly what to say and how to say it; asking if the news was true in a caring and non-nosey manner. He expressed our sympathies in a loving and non-corney manner. "How does he do that?" I thought to myself and then it was clear...his job.

Sunday, Jerry knew I was home alone. He came over to invite me to watch the Academy Awards with him and Melinda at their place.
Monday, Jerry phoned me to ask me if I needed help with anything in our new place. We had a lengthy conversation.
Tuesday, Jerry was dead.

Today, I'm seeing life as bubbles....floating, fragile, fleeting. I suppose we all are just living a bubble life. Let's try not to forget that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...