Well I got through yesterday alive and in one piece without hiding in the bathroom or under my desk.
Today is already a better day. I went to class last night and sat under the tutelage of my nuerotic Chemistry professor. I had already taught myself Stochiometry from the text book when in the hospital last week and was pretty confident in my ability until she tore it all apart with her own method which we must use on tests perfectly if we want credit for our work. She made a seating chart and my showing up really threw her for loop and the fact that several people dropped the class (it's not hard material-she's really just extremely crazy). So not only do we have assigned seating but she stamps our notes, group work, and homework with a pink heart stamp . . . good grief this feels like 8th grade!!! I'm post bacc. with a Bachelor's of Science and made Dean's List while taking 23 accelerated course hours and working full time-please have mercy-leave me alone !!! This is a cake walk compared to that.
Good news is that the open hostility displayed by my peers in class exhausted me mentally (along with pointing out her equation and computation errors on her handouts and Power Point slides-10 mistakes I found and pointed out-which got me sent to the nosebleed section of the lecture theatre :goodvibes: .
I'm looking forward to Biology tonight and hope it does the same thing only in a more "adult way".
Last night was a tough night. My husband's brother had been diagnosed with a brain tumor several months back and it has upset him mightily. He has been concerned about whether or not he has a tumor in his own brain and I tried to reassure him that being asymptomatic (his brother had visual disturbance, headaches and personality changes) he was likely to be fine but made an appointment with our FP (Dr. K) to talk about it and have an MRI ordered if needed. Dr. K talked with him and gave him the order if he decided to go through with it. He scheduled at one of our offices close to home and went to his appointment yesterday afternoon. Dr. H (one of the docs I worked for) called and told me she read my husband's films. I joked with her for a second about did they find anything up there? Is he officially normal? She didn't really joke back and so I got real quiet and asked her how it turned out. He had some sinus disease which we suspected but they also found a meninigioma that was 5mm x 8mm. She said she hated to even mention it that is was a relatively minor finding and would require followup in two to three months. I thanked her and hung up a tad stunned. I went to various web-sites and read what I could and was reassured that this was typically benign and slow growing and grew in protective membranes and not the tissue itself.
I did not want to tell my husband. He picked me up from work and was driving me to school and popped the dreaded question. I had decided to be straightforward with him and deal with the aftermath as best I could. I explained I'd rather talk to him about it after I got back from class but he insisted on knowing. I told him basically what I wrote above and I could see tears welling up in his eyes (the last time I saw him cry was our wedding day when he first saw me and boy was that man a mess-I decided right then and there to use my "power" judicially in our marriage)and I knew he was putting himself in the same boat as his brother. He didn't want to talk about it further and we drove to class in silence which is not typical for us. I worried about him all night and he was a little short-tempered when he picked me up which IS NOT in his personality at all he has the patience of God (you need it when living with me ) I asked him if he wanted to talk and he said "no". I dropped it and told him I would be there when he was.
He came to bed about 1:30 in the morning and made a fair bit of noise and commotion which I took as my cue to actually open my eyes and sit up. He was playing Playstation and he mumbled "Are you awake"-"Yep" I replied my heart thrilling at the prospect of talking this elephant (you know the proverbial elephant in the room everyone knows is there but refuses to acknowledge) out of our room for the night. He asked if I was worried and I reassured him that I wasn't (can't afford to be truthfully, someone's got to be strong and keep their head about them). We sat up and talked I told him why I wasn't terribly worried about this which by no means meant I wasn't concerned about him :tired: and the snoring that so often requires me to shake him awake was a source of comfort because I knew for the next 5 hours he could shake this demon from his mind.
Please keep my DH in your prayers, his spirit as much as his body if you would and remember me as I work to be an encouraging, cheerful and prayerful wife. I adore this man and I cannot think of losing him (not physically I don't see that happening) but emotionally and intimately. :boxedin:
Last night was soooo much fun again in Biology. I really like this professor. I have it figured out that Chemistry I with the nutty professor is the cross I must bear to pass over the threshold to Chem II and that Biology is God's little way of smiling down on me and making this whole endeavor ALOT of fun.
I nearly went home after lecture because I hadn't eaten for many hours and was starting to feel nauseated :goodvibes: . Alot of the class was having problems because things like the common bile duct and duodenum and the three parts of the colon weren't broken down in the text book but required labling on the worksheet. He gave me half the class and he took half the class. My group seemed to having more fun than his and we were soon chanting "Follow the poop! Follow the poop!". That's all the GI system is and if you make it simple for them it doesn't seem so scary. They asked all sorts of things. How do gall-stones occur? What happens if your colon gets diseased or they have to take some of it out? What keeps your poop from falling out of your body? Why do we have an appendix? What does the spleen do? And on and on. I explained it in rudimentary terms so I didn't confuse myself or them.
Interestingly enough when we got to the part about removing colons and small bowels and resections and ostomies of all varities one of the girls exclaimed "I would just die if that happened to me!" . I reassured her that she "wouldn't just die" if it happened to her but she just might die if she allowed her obstructed colon or small bowel to rupture and then yes, you just might really die because you have feces floating freely in your abdominal cavity and some people really DO die miserable deaths like that. I for one have an ostomy and they all got really quiet and I told them specifically I have an ileostomy and pointed out that my life began to open up to me after my surgery. I could stay in class during lecture regained my confidence to go on dates that didn't mandate we sit next to the bathroom, I felt shiny and new because I didn't have active disease wearing me out. She said "wow-I didn't know that actually happened to people" I assured her it does happen to people with various diseases and cancers of the GI system and that my reaction before my surgery was exactly the same as hers and don't feel bad for her initial reaction (I was there once) but to really keep things in perspective-the world is sooo much bigger than your gut. She hugged me after class and I walked her to her car later and told her take what I told her and help someone else. . Thank you Dear Lord.
PS: DH and I are finding a sitter for tonight and going out to a nice dinner with dancing-I'm very excited . . . Now where did I put my "Come and get me dress"? :laughing:
This week has been fairly uneventful except for my brother-in-law's brain surgery. It was a little upsetting because it was originally scheduled for KUMC (Popcorn's home away from home VERY excellent nuero unit) and then last minute was moved to the VA center. The reputation of our VA hospital is such that you don't go there for stitches let alone brain surgery and this change upset DH. Thankfully they flew a surgeon in from Atlanta, GA to perform the operation and it took a little longer than they anticipated but he made it through pretty well. It was determined that the mass was indeed malignant and they didn't get it all out during the surgery for fear of permanently damaging his optic nerve. Word from my MIL is that they plan on treating the "left over stuff" with "medicine". Still have not figured out entirely what is meant by "medicine" whether it's chemo, radiation, voo-doo, or something else entirely. My husband's family is very strange to me because in my family everyone knows EVERYTHING about everybody's business and their family seems to be really private-from the outside it always looks a little cold even though I know they aren't but our families are so very different. For example it was really important that my husband not only like my father but had potential to be good friends with him same with mom to a certain extent. By contrast I never really sat down and met his parents until our rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. By that time my husband had already taken a fishing trip with my dad, gone along on vacations, and hung gutters on my parents' house and had Sunday dinner weekly with them for over a year and a half. This might seem weird to some people but since my diagnosis I became closer to my parents than I ever was growing up and I know that to be married to me he would need a support system for those times when I got terribly sick. That happened while I was in the hospital during 10/02 thru 1/03 and sure enough the three of them began to "gel" and lean on each other a little. I didn't worry about DH (then fiance) so much because I knew mom and dad "had his back".
I got 100% on my Stochiometry test Tuesday night-I was one of 4 people in the class to do so and I was the last one to leave but I did it!!! :goodvibes: . For anyone interested March 30th is National Doctor's Day. I always try to do some little something for a few of my docs that I see the most but most importantly I will be commiting their spirits, minds, hands, health, and practices to prayer. I believe that physicians are often battered and beaten with all the abuse (of self, disease and by other people) they see in their patients that it weighs heavily on them to long for a simpler life. Perhaps my prayer for my doctors will be for simplicity in their lives and a hedge of protection for their spirits :grouphug: .
This week has gone really well for my Crohn's disease. I see Dr. A in a few weeks and I can't wait to show him how healthy I feel and look. He has been through hell and back with me and I'm looking forward to giving him good report. There have been friends who have accused me of suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" that mysterious affliction where a hostage begins to empathize with and defend her captors because I like and enjoy my doctors so much. These people usually are guided by the misconception that my doctors hold me hostage when in fact it is my disease. My doctors are actually my "hostage negotiators" and this has been a healthy paradigm shift on my behalf. There was a time in my life when I was horribly non-compliant and refused certain medications, sedation, lab sticks and barium contrasted tests. I hated taking the medications they prescribed every four hours because it was a constant reminder that I wasn't a "normal" 18 yo. Doctors were my nemesis-I was angry with old man Crohn's and since I couldn't take it out directly on him my poor doctor was the next in line. In general I made a pain in the butt of myself in fits of immaturity and denial. God bless physicians who stick with patients in that mindset . . . I'm an example that sometimes we turn ourselves around with a little patience and love.
Chemistry class is going down-hill really fast to the point of no return. I have for the first time in my long and sordid collegiate career lodged a complaint with a department chair. Her shouting and belittling has reached a new crescendo and must stop. One of my classmates recorded her tirade and had already talked to the Dept Chair before I did and he said because of the number of complaints he is being forced to look into the problem-at the very least she will be recieving a suprise visit. It is a twice weekly struggle to muster the where-with-all to go to lecture and lab is sheer hell. I would rather shave my head bald than ask her for help because she shouts and points out perceived shortcomings to the entire class, and it's not just me . . . Ironically I'm being tutored this weekend by one of my HMO reps, you know it's pathetic when your HMO reps know you well enough to tutor you through class :tired: It could only get worse from here. So now that I'm completely honest with myself that most days I want to hide behind my voicemail or under my desk :scratchchin: . I would be pretending that I'm something I'm not. I want to inspire someone else to ask questions that haven't been asked, find answers that haven't been found, maybe even be privileged enough to help unravel some small auto-immune or cell differentiation mystery that would supplement someone else's research or lead to a treatment or drug innovation that hasn't been explored yet. That excites me to no end, I feel a deep peace about that dream.
For heaven's sake I didn't expect my last post to generate so many responses from some of my friends here who emailed me on my private account or those family and friends that go to church and school with me.
They are interestingly split down the middle, "No! Don't give up the MD dream!" and the other camp "This is the wisest decision you'll ever make". One good friend even said she was saddened that women such as myself wouldn't be tomorrow's physicians but knowing what she knows from having practiced herself and walking away from it she said it probably the healthiest (in the truest sense of the word) choice.
Ladies, the truth is I think so much of the inner-tumoil I was feeling about this decision was the fact that I knew I am called to medicine but wasn't sure why, how, or even where. The most obvious thing that jumps out at you when you begin to explore a medical career is Doctor or Nurse, I had some inkling but no real true understanding how many choices we all have for medical careers that make for outstanding and rewarding lives.
Obnoxious patient of the week award goes to the spleenomegaly lady who threatened to make me pay for all her lost therapy appointments when I explained to her that we needed to reschedule her appointment or make out of pocket payment arrangements if she wanted to keep this appointment because her HMO had not approved her test yet. I tried my best to explain that her doctor and I had been doing all we could for the last five days to get this approved but her HMO was dragging its feet. She didn't want to "hear that from a dumba*! :twocents: