Well, maybe not pen and ink! With computer keyboard and my fingers I’ll share my heart with you and update you on some things in my life. Maybe I’ll ask a question or two – we’ll see – but I have some things I wanted to sit down and tell you.
First, an update on our daughter. I shared an update about her here and I haven’t said more since then. Some of you have been praying for her through the last months and we know that God has held her and her precious baby girl safe in His arms. Our granddaughter is due to arrive the first week of May but it seems she has been trying to arrive for the past couple of months. There have several trips to the hospital with overnight stays as the medical team administered care and medication to stop or control the contractions that were coming hard and fast. Our daughter was placed on total bed rest and that helped a bit but didn’t stop the process entirely. She recently developed gestational diabetes and has needed hospitalization to manage high blood sugars. As I write this she resting at home again but she is being watched for pre-eclampsia and toxemia. Our special baby girl is being monitored twice a week now to follow the development of her lungs and we are about a week away from the point that the medical team feels will be the ‘safe zone’ for her to arrive if she does come early. The doctor doesn’t plan for our daughter to go to her due date – plans are in place for a birth date about a week early if little Miss Hannah hasn’t shown up by that time. I’m sure you realize that we are all on pins and needles – on hold – until both our dear daughter and our precious baby girl are safe and sound. God is holding them close and we appreciate your love and prayers on their behalf. Don’t worry – I will keep you updated and informed and there’s no way you will be able to miss when we welcome Miss Hannah into our hearts and arms!
Over the past couple of months I have gone through what I call a ‘medical nightmare’. The clinic where I had gone for many years moved a ways farther away from my home and since my long-time, trusted doctor did not make the move to the new clinic location I chose to find a doctor much closer to my home. I was told that my former doctor had moved to a Portland hospital that is about thirty miles from my house. After quite a search process for a local doctor in my town I found a lady doctor who was very nice to work with. In November she told me she would be leaving the clinic at the end of the year to be married and move out of town. She assured me that a wonderful lady doctor had been hired to take her place and that she would give me good care. When I first met the new doctor I was impressed and liked the way she handled things. I felt I was in good hands! Soon I found that she was having me return every week or two to change some maintenance medication and through that process my poor body was trying hard to continually readjust to new medication and side effects. It wasn’t long before the first big red flag waved clearly in my mind. At one office visit we discussed possible future lab work she thought should be done – routine things – suddenly she ‘switched gears’ and began to give me information that didn’t make sense to me. She told me what she wanted me to do the following week and that I needed to return so she could educate me and treat me for a diagnosis I had NEVER had. She had not at that time done any lab work and even I knew something was wrong with what she was saying. When I questioned she told me she was sorry – she had confused me with the previous patient! OK, I was on guard but willing to give another chance. Two days later her nurse called to ask what pharmacy I would like to use for a prescription for a medical condition the doctor had suspected, tested me for and discussed the day before with me. Big red flags: I had not seen nor talked to her the day before, she had never done the kind of exam that would lead to the type of testing required and we had discussed nothing of the sort! I didn’t have any sign of the type of problems that this medication would treat. I told the nurse I was very upset and I told her to go back to the doctor and let her know that she had mistaken me for another patient – again! A few days later when I was in the office the doctor apologized by saying that she had been overworked because other doctors in the clinic were on vacation. No excuse in my book!!! Still I continued to give her a chance but I realized I didn’t trust her. My heart longed to find my former doctor and hear what she would say and do. The new doctor had changed all the meds my former doctor had long and successfully used to manage my needs. The last straw came when the new doctor overdosed me on a new medication. Her written and verbal instructions to me didn’t match what the pharmacist told me. I followed the written directions and within a day or two I knew I was in trouble. The frightening thing with this situation was that I knew mismanagement of this medication could damage my heart! Soon I was in the office – not in good shape I might add – and office and medical staff in the clinic were alarmed with my situation. When I saw the new doctor she ‘felt bad’ that she hadn’t explained the new medication well and she took the blame for the fact that I was seriously overdosed. I was having problems: my heart was racing and pounding harder than I ever dreamed it could, I was hot and flushed and felt like a spring inside had been wound tight and would send me into orbit at any moment! Within a few days most of the bad reactions had settled down but not to my satisfaction. I decided not to go back to the new doctor – she had been given more than one chance to prove herself and she had failed. Seriously failed! She had put my health and my life at risk. Late one night, in desperation, I ‘Googled’ my former doctor and when I found her, just five miles from my former clinic, the tears poured down my face. My thoughts were filled with peace and security and safety now that I had found her again. The next day I called her new clinic and made an appointment. When she walked into the exam room she was happy to see me – and I felt safe at last. Like I had come home! As she listened to my story she constantly shook her head and, at times, rolled her eyes. She slowly went through my detailed list of medications and numerous supplements I had been given. And she explained why she wouldn’t prescribe each one for me – either a reason not to use the medication at all or why the dosage was way too high and the side effects of those amounts potentially dangerous. By the time I left her office I had a much smaller list of medications to pick up at the pharmacy, all with lower doses. She said each of the supplements I was taking have merit but it was too much – overload. She expressed concern about how hard my heart was beating, even on the lower dosage of the mismanaged medication for blood pressure, but she assured me we would get this settled down. She was so comforting! Within days I began to notice a difference and I feel like myself again. My pharmacist has become a real friend. When I explained why the change in doctor and medications he told me he knows both doctors – he knows my former doctor who I went back to very well. He told me she is very good and trustworthy and I made the right decision. That was another confirmation to me - a medical person expressing the wisdom of my decision said a lot to me. Some have suggested that I need to report the doctor I left. I’m not sure what to do about it so I’m praying for wisdom.
And finally, a note about following your blogs. If you keep close track of how many blog followers you have you may notice that you have one less today. The ‘Followers’ mechanism has been messing up my blog reader for some reason. It has duplicated blogs to read and frustrated me no end. While you won’t see me listed in your Followers list I am still ‘following’ your blogs. I may be sneaking in and reading and leaving quietly at times but I’m there. Don’t worry – you didn’t offend or upset me. Until I know what to do to fix the blog reader problem I’ll keep stopping by to visit and to see what you have to share. Rest assured, I’m not going away – you’ve come to be treasured friends and I’ll stick with you. All the way!