Wednesday, March 31, 2010

With Pen And Ink

Pen and Ink

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!

12 comments:

  1. I did notice one less follower since I dont have that many. And I wondered why......I thought it was you and yet you still commented on my pages. Im glad you said something here because while I dont have many, most do hang around even if they dont show up lol.

    Sorry to hear about all those medical issues with the new Dr. Its sad that we trust them even against our own gut feelings sometimes. Somehow we want to give everyone a chance but its not always for our own good. Im glad tho you were able to resolve it and get your old Dr. back without any major incidents. It can be scary. Hope everything works out well for your daughter too. Im sure everyone will be nervous till the baby is here. Hugs.

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  2. I'm praying for your daughter and baby, Adrienne.

    I am so sorry to hear about your medical dilemma. We must always be vigilant and be our own advocate or have someone to watch over our care, if we are unable to do so. J's brother goes to the same doctor we do. They both take blood thinners. Several years ago, the assistant mixed up who was who and almost gave J the wrong info, after his brother's monthly blood test for the blood thinner. We knew it was not he, who had the blood test, but his brother and let them know. It only happened a couple of times, but scary nevertheless. My mother was over medicated one time and became extremely mentally unbalanced. She thought someone was trying to take her great grandchildren. She became violent before they figured out the cause. Very scary time.

    I noticed I had one less follower, but that happens every now and then. I always think the follower discovered the Back Porch isn't for them afterall.:-)

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  3. You've been through some scary situations. It's hard finding a doctor you are comfortable with and when they move or leave the practice finding another one can be a nightmare. So glad you got back to the one you like.

    I'll say a prayer for your daughter and sweet baby. My daughter had a similar situation. She developed cholastasis and had baby Mia at 35 weeks. She's 2 years old now and a getting to be a handful.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting on the laundry post....great advice about the dryer sheets.

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  4. I too live in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The medical world is a challenge, and we all need to be on our toes. Glad you were able to find your old doctor and return to her practice.

    I too hope all goes well with your daughter's pregnancy.

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  5. Wow! Sorry you had to go through all that with that other doctor. I'm getting ready to change my GYN MD because her answer to menopause is to just start prescribing hormones with no blood test whatsoever! We'll see how they work she says. I'm not going along with that! We really have to be responsible for our own health!

    I'll add your daughter and baby to my prayers. I had gestational diabetes toward the end of my pregnancy and it wasn't any fun that's for sure!

    Manuela

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  6. Hi Adrienne, I'm so glad to get the update on your daughter and on Hannah. I know it's a frightening time for you all and I will continue to pray for God's peace to surround you. Your story about your medical experience was truly an eye opener. I try not to go to the doctor unless I absolutely have to. I like my doctor but his office staff - not so much. I love his nurse but his office staff people are often rude and are less than helpful. I've left a doctor before because of his office help and I don't want to have to do that again so I stay away when sometimes I probably should go. Oh well... blessings, marlene

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  7. Oh my you are going to be a grandma sooN! We will pray for a safe and on time arrival!!

    So sorry to hear about the Dr nightmare! I have a terrible issue with Drs. and started going to a more holistic approach on my health issues and to a DOM- They just seem to approach everything differently and more reasonably than the DOM do.

    THanks so much for coming by and being a faithful non follower! LOL!!

    bee blessed
    mary

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  8. First off, thank you for the kind words at the loss of our kitty Peanut. The past couple of days have been very hard.

    Secondly, I agree with you about life not always being rosy. I get that people want their blogs to be a happy place, away from the realities of life, but mine unfortunately (to some people) reflects some of the bad as well. If people don't want to read what I have to say when things aren't 'nice', that's their choice.

    And I have lost a couple of followers over the past several days, probably for that very reason.

    I wish your daughter well, and do keep us posted.

    As for your own situation, good grief! I have an older friend (mid 70s) who just found out that she's got very low blood pressure (she had an episode this past weekend), and it's because she's on four different meds for high blood pressure!! Four!!

    I'm glad that you've found your previous doctor and hope that you're feeling completely yourself soon.

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  9. Here's a hug .... mmmph .... (what sound does a hug make???)
    *hee hee*
    Love ya, cutie!
    B :)

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  10. Oh my, I am so happy you have resolved your medical issues. It is so good to follow our instincts.

    To tell you the truth I don't follow alot of blogs, but yet I have many bookmarked and really do follow them regularly. I find it easier for me that way.

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  11. I just stopped by to wish you a Happy Easter, and wow, had my eyes and ears full!! LOL! You have really been through a lot with the medical issues, your dh's job, and of course your daughter and her family. Praise the Lord things are working out now! He goes before us to prepare the way!

    Katherine

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  12. Adrienne, I was catching up on your blog posts today. Please know that I continue to pray for your daughter and baby Hannah. May God protect them both! Please keep me posted.

    You and your husband have certainly had some mountains to climb recently with so much going on. Good for you for taking your medical concerns to a better doctor! How frightening. I'm singing praises with you for how your husbands position at work was just the answer he wanted. There was a day Mr. H wanted to stay in management, and now he runs the other way. The pressure is just not needed at this time in our lives.

    Hugs,
    Lallee

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