Happy Birthday my sweet Niece!

Sweet Sixteen!

We are all starting to heal, just a little bit!

My precious niece was given a new car for her sweet sixteen! I was happy and fine all through the dinner. When my niece opened the keys to the Jeep, I had to hold back my tears.

Most people don’t understand. As we were walking outside for her to see the new Jeep, it was difficult to keep my shit together! I could just feel my Brother. We are a Jeep family.

My parents, her Mom, and I had kept this secret. I even cancelled plans with her that week because I knew she would ask questions, and although I could lie, this girl see’s it all written on my face! She is a carbon copy of my Brother.

Although I appreciate my niece’s Mom thanking Gary and I for writing the check, it was unnecessary. The debt will be paid back shortly with the life insurance money. (Now, I just have to convince my husband to accept it) This gift was truly from her Father, my sweet Brother who provided for her, in life, in love, and in death. We all cling to her. She is all we have left of him.

Tonight, was a good night. Happily dosing off to sleep early. Happily thanking God it all worked out. Happy to have my family, and so much love.

As a friend texted me earlier me earlier in the week, “We have turned ashes, into something beautiful”. Corey’s celebration of life and fundraiser for youth like my niece is March 12, 2019. Corey’s Birthday is March 7th. A day we will never forget, and his beauty remains forever. Please join us.

For at risk youth, in honor of Corey

Thank you to the 62 emails, 43 texts, and all the love we have received. If you know our family, we pay it forward.

Xoxo,

Mask of the Doctor’s Wife

Raw…September 8 & 9 2018 …St.Mary’s Hospital

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Today I had an alert on my Bon Secours patient portal account.  I logged in to see a bill that needed to be paid and continued with that process.  Afterwards, I decided to review the notes on this particular visit to the Emergency room visit.  I can remember my husband taking me to the ER around 10:00 pm on September 8, 2018, for an exacerbation of suprapubic and left lower quadrant pain.  After a CT, and multiple tests we basically confirm that there has been another episode of a belly full of scar tissue due( a knot in my gastrointestinal tract) to multiple surgeries prior to my diagnosis of the bleeding disorder of Von Willebrand’s Disease, or more importantly the late diagnosis thus leaving me without most of my disposable organs, only one half of a left ovary remaining that couldn’t even be seen by the CT.  It’s not life-threatening but it is extremely painful.  It can be controlled most of the time by a good diet, exercise, and stress management.  I had just opened a new business and basically stay on the Keto Diet and probably had indulged in too much red meat.  Depending on your overall health, medication usage and the state of your digestive tract, it takes 24 to 72 hours to fully digest red meat.  This coupled with the IBS in general probably caused this attack.  It will eventually dissipate, it’s just painful, scary, and takes time and rest.  Rest is hard to come by when building something new.  I eventually begged to be discharged around 4:00 am, to go home to my own bed.   I was still hurting badly but for some reason, I just knew I had to go home.

I can’t remember the exact time of the phone ringing.  We had just gotten into bed around 6:00am.  My cousin was calling, and I had several missed calls.  My cousin called again and I just knew it wasn’t good so I answered to hear my sweet cousins voice saying, Stephanie, I’m so sorry about…I dropped off the side of the bed and starting crying and screaming begging her not to tell me that my Brother had died.  Please, I begged, No…No…No…I couldn’t catch my breath, I remember her asking me if Gary was home.  That’s it.  I cannot recall the order of events that led my three grown children, my Sister, and my parents to all arrive at my Brother’s house.  I just remember seeing my Sister and that stained face running towards me as we hugged and cried.  I remember the group hug with my boys and my oldest son that arrived at Brother’s after his late shift at the gym to find Police there and they made him wait outside.  My belly kept growing in pain, my back that had been pain-free for a full year suddenly hurt so bad I couldn’t move.

My husband said we have to go back to the ER.  It’s getting worse……..The FOLLOWING are the notes I read on my chart that shocked me…Edited to protect the staff and their names…

ALLERGIES: Nsaids (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug)
Von Willebrands Disease
Review of SystemsGastrointestinal: Positive for abdominal pain. Negative for diarrhea,
nausea and vomiting.
Genitourinary: Positive for difficulty urinating.
Irregular heartbeat, tachycardia tremor
Vitals:

09/09/18 1310
BP:
(!) 159/94
Pulse:
(!) 114
Resp:
20
Temp:
98 °F (36.7 °C)
SpO2:
99%

MDM
Number of Diagnoses or Management Options
Diagnosis management comments: Impression: 46 year female presenting
to the emergency department with a re\re exacerbation of suprapubic and
left lower quadrant abdominal pain. Seen here last night, CT scan
revealed no acute findings, possible IBS, multiple surgeries, scar tissue. Nor did
any of the laboratory analysis. She did have mild urinary retention. History of herniated discs, husband tells Dr. she hasn’t suffered from back pain since pt went off pain med.
The patient this morning received news that her younger brother had
unexpectedly died. She returns now with continued symptoms.

Differential includes urinary retention.

Plan of care we repeat labs will hold off on CT scan we’ll do Foley
catheter treat symptomatically likely for
relief. This may be all secondary to adhesions as well.

ED Course

Procedures

PROGRESS NOTE:2:19 PM
Provider updated patient and patient’s family on results.

3:59 PMChange of shift. Care of patient signed over to Dr.
Handoff complete.

Addendum RN 9/9/2018 2:02 PM

1320: Patient in room from triage, hooked up to BP/SPO2 monitor,
husband at bedside. Patient crying in room, husband requesting pain
medication, assigned MD notified. Labs drawn, Line patent. Patient
crying and twitching during blood draw, states IV site hurts asked
patient if she wanted a new IV at this time, no answer received.  Pt unresponsive, husband, physician, speaks of her history, speaks for pt. she cannot verbalize what is happening.  Physical sympt returned due to trauma.  PTSD.

1327: Primary RN and MD at bedside.

1345: Two RNs present during catheterization for sterility. Patient
c/o pain, convulsing in bed, holding breath and crying during
medication administration via IV. Line flushing, blood returned
achieved. Offered to pull IV and start new line, patient now agreeable
to new IV. Patient HR on SPO2 reading 30s, patient bearing down and
holding breath, cardiac monitor applied. Patient HR low 100s on
monitor.  MD notified, orders
received.

Addendum to RN:

1345: Two RNs present during catheterization for sterility. Patient
c/o pain, convulsing in bed, holding breath and crying during
medication administration via IV. Line flushing, blood returned
achieved. Offered to pull IV and start new line, patient now
agreeable. Patient HR on SPO2 reading 30s, patient bearing down and
holding breath, cardiac monitor applied. Patient c/o back pain, history of the herniated discs, sciatica.  MD notified orders
received.

RN 9/9/2018 1:30 PM

1320: Patient in room from triage, hooked up to BP/SPO2 monitor,
husband at bedside. Patient crying in room, husband requesting pain
medication, assigned MD notified. Labs drawn, Line patent.

1327: Primary RN and MD at bedside.

Patient in room from triage, hooked up to BP/SPO2 monitor,
husband at bedside. Patient crying in room, husband requesting pain
medication, assigned MD notified. Labs draw, patient crying during
procedure. Line patent.

1327: Primary RN and MD at bedside.

Addendum to note by  RN 9/9/2018 1:08 PM

Pt was seen here last night for LLQ and pain, CT and labs are done, CT showed
the sigmoid colon. Also had urinary retention and had a cath done
for this. Pt had moderate relief after last evenings treatment the
and swelling was going down. Pt was discharged and during the night pt
received a phone call that her younger brother died and is having same
and pain and distention again. Denies nausea and vomiting. Pt crying in triage.

I really don’t remember most of this. I remember many nurses, and several Doctor’s trying to talk to me and rushing in and out of the room.  I think one nurse was always present. I only remember wishing that it had been me that had died.  My Brother was so beloved, sweet, kind, good, and he loved me.  I remember praying to God, please bring him back and take me instead.  I almost died in this hospital in 2011.  I am the older Sister by eight years, this is not the natural order things are supposed to happen.  They gave me pain medication but my heart and gut are still screaming.  Dear God, please take me.  My Brother is so good, and my niece…OMG, what about her?  Then, slowly I felt a shift of calm.  I can feel him here with me.  This is real, I can’t fix this.  Ok, Steph, fight, fight for Mom, Dad, and everyone that depends on you.  Fight.

 

When to tell your ghost writer to STFU? Probably never, but then you don’t know me.

I have said on multiple different occasions, I am not a writer.  I am an Author/Publisher/Small Marketing Business Owner for Physicians.  I’m old school, and came from the world of print, and the social media world is forever evolving and somewhat complicated, if you couldn’t already tell – this is what I used to pay people for!  Now, with taking the year or three off to write the book, and for her to re-write I am responsible for five social media sites, and this blog.  I understand I was given a retainer and maybe I should just pay someone to do this for me.  However, I do have a publishing house, and I can read, so given those facts I thought – EASY!  WRONG!

This book is personal, it a journey to help people investigate their family tree and develop a medical tree to see if they are pre-disposed genetically to serious illnesses, disease, and even addictions.  Without this valuable information, you could end up like me, fighting for your life and even death.  If I were not married to a doctor who recognized the symptoms the moment he walked in the door of our home, I would have been a GONER.  I got lucky, and I really believe God, and my departed beloved maternal grandmother is my guardian angel.

The book is also about perusing your dreams and just going for it despite the haters, and naysayers!  If you have not failed a few times, or in my case, a TON of times than you haven’t really tried and put yourself out there.  You will never know what you can achieve until you try, try again, and try again.  My advice is – Don’t be one of those people who is afraid to screw up!  Do you know anyone that is perfect?  I don’t.  Do you know anyone that walks around with a real halo of God above their head?  If you do – please give them my number so that I may be blessed!

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On an entirely different note.  If you are going to put yourself out there in the public light – LOOK your best while trying!  I never thought I would say these words, but they are so true especially if you are a woman.  I know life isn’t fair.  Men have it so much easier.  My husband can be showered dressed and out of the house in 15 minutes!  How infuriating is that?!!  I have so many beauty tips that have been researched and proven to work so that you can look amazing.  It won’t come easy, and sometimes not cheap, but looking the part before you get the part IS half the battle!  So, give it a shot!  Getting through that front door is half of the battle, once you get there, then it’s time to step it up and prove that you have earned the right to be there.  WARNING – There will be women who do not and will not follow the girl code of kindness, and having each other’s back!  That jealous Monster will come out of them and they will try to rip you apart.  If your beautiful, you cannot possibly have a brain, right?  WRONG!  In the beginning befriend these gals, be polite, friendly, and show them that they have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

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Trophy wife?  I think NOT!  Survivor, fighter, believing you can make a difference, loving with all your heart and always paying it forward!

– The Mask of the Doctor’s Wife

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