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Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Other Family

I have been blessed in that I have found a job that has me working with phenomenal individuals. The doctors, although they will drive me insane some days, are marvelous human beings who treat me with respect and love. I am one of their family, as they are mine. We go above and beyond for each other. Here is a prime example.

It was going to be one of those weeks. It is the CHEST conference, here in Philadelphia, and the docs were attending. This left me with one doc a day. The hospital is insane, as is the office. We would be running short and running long days.

My cell phone has assigned rings to individuals (because I can) and the docs all have the same one. I did this so that I would know to answer it when they called without looking. On sunday, I was getting ready to leave the shore to head home when my cell phone rang. It was GSW.

-(GSW) I have a big favor to ask. I am at CHEST tomorrow and was wondering if you could go in early so that HTL is not alone.

- (ME) Not a problem

- (GSW) Good. I have another big favor. It is a big one and will take alot of your time. It might be a big inconvenience.

- (ME) ok, spit it out.

- (GSW) I have a ticket to game 5 of the World Series for you.

- (ME) silence

Ok, so for those of you who are not baseball fans. Game 5 was a 2 night affair of rain, sleet, cold, suspended play, and then a second night of cold excited fans who witnessed the Philadelphia Phillies win the World Series for the first time in 28 years. It was INCREDIBLE. It was a once in a lifetime experience and they included me. I bawled like a baby when they won. (So did HTL...)

In any case, you can see what I mean. These guys work with me day in and day out. We bicker, we joke around, and we worry about each other. I could not have picked a better group to work with....

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Tuesday was my birthday... I turned 35. I heard from many friends that 35 would be a killer, one of looking at your life and bemoaning what you have yet to accomplish. I am happy to say that I have had very little of that. Yes, I am not where I thought I would be when I was 16 but it is ok... I would love to be married with kids but I have time yet and I have a great job and a few priceless friends that I would not change for the world.

Enough about that. The birthday was wonderful. My mother, father, and I spent the morning at the kitchen table with dogs running around while we read wonderful books. When Dad went off to take a nap, my mother and I went shopping. With Dad having surgery, birthday shopping was not in the cards. She felt guilty, I was ok with it. So off we went... I decided that I wanted a watch and we found a beautiful citizen with a couple of diamonds around the edge. When we got home, we found that my sisters and my youngest brother had arrived. The middle brother was on the way. Dinner was the usual raucaus fun affair with lots of laughs and good food. Helen made chocolate chip pumpkin shaped cakes that were delicous and they gave me a bag full of fun- the final 3 books in the Twighlight series, the latest book in the Inkheart series, and a book about Peter Pan by Dave Barry/ Ridley Pearson plus a fun picture of a frog taking a bulldog's picture...

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Week from Hell!

The household has had one hell of a week.

1. We began almost 2 weeks ago with the blind diabetic dog walking into the stool my mother was sitting on, becoming startled, and biting my mother's calf. She sent me a picture that following wednesday, the docs and I scrutinized over it, and advised she get it checked out. But here's the thing, last year about this time, Morgun bit Dad. The health department came out and quarantined him. My parents were convinced the town would take Morgun away. So, my mother didn't want to go to the ER. She, instead, agreed to keep it clean and call me the minute it looked worse. Friday, Helen called me and said that my mom's leg was really bothering her and maybe I could call and check on her. I tried, but the storm from hell was knocking out the cellular sites and I couldn't get through.

I had planned to get my hair cut on saturday. It took much longer than planned but I got to the shore around 4pm. When I walked in the living room, I immediately smelled infection but could not be sure where it was coming from. My mother wanted me to see the leg, so out to the deck we went to get the most light. The minute I took the bandage off, I was hit with the smell and her leg was swollen and red from above the knee to the tips of her toes. The wound was horribly infected. Off to the ER we went and after many tests, we all agreed that she had a nasty wound infection with associated cellulitis, and would need pretty severe antibiotics. The Doctor wanted to admit her for IV antibiotics but agreed to give her one dose via the IV and then send her home with antibiotics on the condition that she would come back if it got worse. My mother realized that the only reason she got to come home was that I was with her... It pays to have your own Advanced Practice Nurse! The leg did improve but the bite is still pretty ugly and will take a long time to heal. The worst part was telling this fiercley independant woman, who never stops, that she could not drive or take care of her animals and that the one thing she could do was sit with the leg propped up. The inactivity lasted until tuesday when she no longer could take it but driving was still out.

2. Several weeks ago, the parents called me because Dad had an awful stomach ache that had been going on for 8 hours. He had tried the usual tricks and nothing made it better. I was pretty sure it was his Gallbladder by his description and managed to talk him into going to the ER to get it checked out. I met them at the ER and 5 hours later, we discovered my amazing powers of phone assessment were correct and that he needed to have it removed. He went to see his family doctor who referred him to a surgeon. He got cardiac clearance from his cardiologist. And today was the day to have the offending organ removed.

I was sure that he would do fine but my job allows me to see all that possibly could go wrong. Subconciously, I have been agonizing about today, all week. I have been short tempered, irritable, and my back and shoulders have been incredibly tense. Dad did great, better than his 3 daughters fared from the same procedure, but the tension has yet to release. They will keep him overnight and I will bring him home tomorrow.

We all have been agonizing over this. They took him off to surgery and my mother dissolved into tears- "He will be alright, won't he?" So, when she insisted on driving the two hours back to the shore house, how was I to say no? It was her form of control. She did turn the car over to me an hour into the drive and passed out in the passenger seat. Finally able to relax, she slept the remainder of the trip home. Her foot is slightly swollen but no worse for wear and with any luck I can keep her relatively off it for the remainder of the weekend.

3. This morning, Helen and MB were taking the dogs to the North Jersey house while Dad had the surgery and my car was blocking them. I moved my car and pulled back in, inches from my mother's bumper. Something possessed me to move my car when we got back to the house tonight and the damn thing would not start. I tried and tried and it just sputtered at me. I cried. Seriously, I could do nothing else. (I would like to point out that it was this same day last year that my previous car died a painful death, causing me to buy this car!) On a whim, I went out an hour later and the car did turn over. Not easily but it turned on enough for me to move it. I will take it to be checked on monday. I am sure that it is the original battery to the car but I thought I was going to lose it if the damn thing was dead... The week has to get better, all the bad stuff is behind us, now ;)