Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Can you see the "sad panda face"...?

This patient suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke 
leaving them unable to move the right side of their body.
They have a living will and DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order in place.
Given their age and medical condition, they will most likely
never recover and will die soon.
And, they wanted it that way.

Their child didn't question the decision.
They had talked about it several times.
The child was their POA (Power of Attorney) for healthcare
and was in complete agreement with their parent's final wishes.
I wish everyone would do this.

I'm getting back up on my soapbox about DNR's and living wills because I spent
an hour during my last shift running a resuscitation on someone who
"maybe has a DNR, I don't know, you'll have to talk to their other child because 
even though they told me they didn't want anything done I can't make that decision."

I've talked about this before, once when I was on my CCU rotation during residency,
and another time when I was talking about conversations Momma and I have on the road.

It's difficult, but have the conversation.
Make a plan.
Put it in writing.
Make several copies.
Have them readily available.
(Put one on the fridge or in the kitchen drawer to hand to EMS.)
Designate someone to speak for you when you can no longer speak for yourself.

I've read several blog posts about advance directives mostly related to cancer patients
and end-stage disease, but tragedy can strike at any time.

I'm an organ donor, are you?
Does your family/partner/spouse/child know your wishes?
In some states even if you have the donor symbol on your driver's license
someone still has to sign for consent.

And, even more difficult to talk about,
the death of a child.
Are you and your spouse prepared to make a 
potentially life-saving decision for someone else?
Discuss it now.
Cry about it now.
It really does make it easier when/if something unexpected happens.

And, to end this little rant,
I send a shout out to my friend B
who talked to her husband about end of life plans
for their beloved pet.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Put It In a Love Song

It's Valentine's Day, and I thought I would borrow this idea from one of the blogs I follow:

Favorite Love Songs

I can't think of any one particular song that is "our song," but my hubby and I do have several songs that have been a part of our relationship since the beginning.

My Girl - The Temptations
This is the first song I associated with my hubby. For some reason he called me "Doll" when we first me, and would sing this to me as we spontaneously danced around the kitchen. I still think of it as his song.

My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
My hubby and I had a long distance relationship from the start. We communicated via AOL Instant Messanger to cut down on phone bills (these were the days before cell phones) and sent letters back and forth. This song was at the center of our relationship during that time. Every time we parted I kinda felt like the characters in the movie...

I Have Nothing - Whitney Houston
I sing this to my hubby any time it comes on while we're traveling in the car... my singing hasn't improved in 15 years, but he still smiles when I do... especially when I try to hit that last bridge where she doesn't even stop for a breath... whew!

Marry Me - Neil Diamond
I was looking for a wedding song and came across this one randomly. It became our entrance song. Love it! And, we both like Neil Diamond, so it was perfect.

Con Los Anos Que Me Quedan - Gloria Estefan
My hubby actually picked this song for our first dance. I don't know how years later he remembered me playing this song for him and explaining the words. It talks about how "with the years I have left to live, I will show you how much I love you." Perfect for a first dance.

Wherever You Go - Marty Haugen, et al.
I played in the church choir when I was in high school, and the song of Ruth with the lines "Wherever you go, I shall go, wherever you live, so shall I live, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God too." So when we were getting married I looked for the song and found this version on You Tube, which is strange considering I can't find it now... Nonetheless, great song, great lyrics...

and, finally, 
Bendita Tu Luz - Mana
Funny, this was another song we randomly found while looking for songs for the wedding. Jerry and I met quite by accident, right place, right time, and this song talks of that, blessing the moment that two people meet and "make of two journeys one journey."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Flight of Ideas

I've been working in Sacramento as part of my physician's group while we start up a new contract in some of the area hospitals.  It's about a 5 hour drive from where I currently live to the state's capital, so there's a lot of time to have long conversations with myself.

Most of the time I am thinking about all the things I have to do when I get home;  making lists of things I need, things the critters need, things the hubby needs, etc.  Some of the time I spend thinking of various scenarios and plots for the book, stage play and TV pilot I am planning to sit down and start writing.... someday...

Actually, on one of our recent trips to Sacramento, my hubby and I talked out a solution to the problem I was having with one of my characters in a story he is very interested to have me start writing since it's based on a dream I had about him... nothing sexy mind you, just your basic "serial killer has my husband held captive" type dream.

Somehow, though, on this last trip home, I found myself thinking about a friend from back home who is battling alcohol addiction.  This got me thinking about things I post on Facebook.  Should I feel bad about posting pictures of alcohol, drinking, glasses of wine, parties, etc?  Should I ask her how she feels about my posting them?  Do I think she even really reads any of my posts and might not have noticed them?  I mean, seriously, over 400 friends on Facebook, do we really read every single posting?

While mulling that over, my mind started drifting to the 12 Steps of AA.  You know, you work your way through the list as you work your way through your addiction.  One of the steps, somewhere around #8, you make a list of all the persons you have harmed.  Which made me think about "My Name is Earl" and his thoughts on Karma.  Which got me thinking about people I might have affected negatively in some way in my life:

 - the girl in high school who we unfriended because of the way she ate her hard-boiled eggs
 - the guy in college who started dating my high school friend
 - the other guy in college whose heart I broke
 - the girl at work who I got fired
 - any number of patients over the years

Sure, I could try to justify why I did the things I did.  And, I'm sure the justifications might even be appropriate.  But, it doesn't mean I still don't feel bad about what happened.   I mean, seriously, I graduated from high school in 1985 and college in 1990, and I can still tell you the names of these people, the circumstances under which the event happened, etc.  And, I'm sure we've all had someone in our life whom we've wronged... And, the bigger question I thought about is what can I do about this now, and what's it really going to matter...?

I guess just like I heard somewhere once we just "keep on movin' on..." and try to learn to be better people.

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