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When medicine chooses you....

12 years 7 months ago #69847 by momRNtoDO
I have been inspired to share some of my experiences after reading some of the blogs here on MomMD. There is a lot to say, but it is late, and I want to carefully think about what I want to say.

First, I will just introduce myself and tell you a little about me. I am a nurse and have been for almost 10 years. I have wanted to be a doctor since I was a little girl. I don't have any doctors in my family and I wasn't at the doctor often nor did I have any sick family members. I think that God put that desire in my heart and for several years of my adult life I suppressed that calling.

I am a married mother of three. I have three sons: 3,5, and 8. They are my life. I married at 18, and started nursing school shortly after that. I thought that would be "good enough" for me to fulfill that desire I had. I graduated with my AD RN at 21, and had my first son later that year, and went right into prereq's for the BSN program at KUMed. I knew after the first semester of my AD program that nursing was not going to be my be-all-and-end-all. :goodvibes: As I started to manipulate the intestine, it was as if a shaft of light from Heaven shone down on me and I had the proverbial cathartic moment when I was hit with the realization that not only could I do it, I could be a doctor--I had to be a doctor. I came out of the room and immediately shared the moment with my nurse friends. That day I looked into prereq's and enrolled in classes.

Now, three years later, I am starting at KCUMB and the dream is taking a real shape. I am beside myself. I hope that I will be able to inspire, garner inspiration from others and just share life with you all.

It is an honor to be among so many fine women in medicine, or on their way to realizing their dreams.

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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12 years 7 months ago #69848 by momRNtoDO
Okay, I may seem a little overzealous, but hey, I start school in less than six weeks and I am full of nervous energy. I have so many things to do and not enough time to do them, but the funny thing is, I can't do any of them if I wanted to. I don't have my financials from the school yet, my house that we are trying to sell has been on the market for 4 months with less than 10 showings :mad: and I have to have surgery. The surgery thing really seems like the least of my worries. By the way, any hysterectomy input? I am 30, but have some issues, and have had my 3 boys, and I thought better now than in the midst of med school. My husband is in law enforcement, so I don't have any one bringing in big bucks. As a nurse, I could work part time and still make more than he does.

I am not slamming him at all, he is the hardest worker I know. Just that the financial burden is really weighing heavy on him now. He even asked me if I would consider putting school off another year. :boggled: I had to explain to him that this is a hugely competetive program, and I don't think it would be wise to just toss it off and tell them to wait until next year.

To compound this however, we have decided to move in with my in-laws....Fortunately we all get along very well. But, I can forsee issues for a house with 7 people in it. I know it is temporary. I actually find that kind of reassuring. We are just trying to get the ground rules worked out. My mil should be sainted for all of the help that she has given me during my studies, but I don't want to ever take her for granted. I just don't know about living together for very long. It could end up being all year.

The program I am entering is at KCUMB, into the College of Biosciences, where I will earn a MS in Biological Sciences with an emphasis on research. After that year, as long as I keep a 3.0 or higher, I automatically matriculate into the College of Medicine. I am not giving myself the option of not earning a 3.0. If that means for stability purposes for the family we live there until the year is out, so be it. But I also don't want to wear out my welcome. The kids seem to live there half time anyway, so it will not be a huge change for them. My husband has suggested we get a camper :ouch: While having a lovely family outing at the local ice cream shop, I reached for my 5 yo. He apparently was walking toward me as I was reaching out and I caught him in the eye. I felt awful, but felt even worse when I took him aside and saw what had happened!!!! I had cut his cornea with my finger nail. Talk about feeling lower than low. As a nurse for years, I knew that you don't mess around with eye injuries, but my husband said oh, he'll be okay. :mad: So after a deep breath, knowing it was 8pm and the walk in clinic we go to would close soon, we rushed on over. I have never seen such a deep cut in an eye. When the dr. came in she was so sweet with him, and really talked to him. He is pretty squeamish, and wasn't as impressed as all of us were at the half cm lac on his cornea. The black light and yellow eye drop just didn't do it for him. Nor did the white eye patch he had to wear. Bless his heart, when I had told him not to rub it on the way to the clinic, he listened better than 99% of adult patients I have cared for. He is so smart and sweet. When I tucked him in tonight, I asked him if he forgave me for poking him in the eye. He looked seriously into my eyes, nodded, and gave me a perfect hug. I am forgiven. Thank God for children.

I am not a terrible mom.

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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12 years 1 month ago #69849 by momRNtoDO
Well--the first semester is over, and I survived. So did my family. We were able to move out of my MIL house and we are making due with a rental house close to them, so that child care is not a worry. There are several of my classmates who are married and have kids (~25%). One guy is expecting his 8th child--and he is already an adoption attorney. WOW!

Have you ever felt like you were exactly where you are supposed to be in life? That's where I am right now. But, over the last month or so, we have been hit with all kinds of hidrances. My oldest (9) and youngest (3) ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. Great experience with my youngest who went in first, but with the older one, it was a very traumatic experience. He was stuck 7 times for an IV and then discharged less than 24 hours later. He is allergic to almost all classes of antibiotics, and my PCP wanted him inpt. but the CMH hospitalist was very unimpressed with what I thought was a big deal (severe atelectasis with a mostly whited out left lung). Anyway, he is allergic to PCNs, Sulfas, and now azithromycin, which was his saving grace over the last few years. They are reluctant to use fluoroquinalones, and I understand why. But I was not reassured when they sent him home on Clindamycin, and the next day he reacted to it.

Anyway, then I came down with it during finals week, and then, over winter break, I was trying to work full time as a nurse over break to build up a little cushion for the next semester, and somewhere in there, damaged my back just a little more. I have flat L-4 disc and mostly flat L-5. I refuse to give up. I called the secretary for the program I am in and she said my best choice would be to take a medical leave and start the next year with the next class. That is not an option for me! So I am sticking it out, even though sitting hurts more than about anything. I am not a quitter. The epidurals really have made a huge difference.

I sound like such a whiner. I am really grateful for all that I have. I am actually finding a balance between family and school right now. I know that it is going to get harder, but I can do it.

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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11 years 9 months ago #69850 by momRNtoDO
I realized that it has been awhile since my last post. I am getting ready for finals in a week. I have to finish my research thesis for the summer seminar series. And I have to plan my baby's 4th birthday party. Priorities, priorities.

Anyway, I am completely excited about finals. I am ready to graduate from this research program and start the COM. I know that for many of you, this one year program is a mystery, but for me it was a life saver. I know that becoming a doctor is my purpose in life. I have a GPA that has "life experience" written all over it. My MCAT was acceptable, but not spectacular.

I was and am able to prove myself in this master's program I am in. I think I have done the job. Now I am ready to get into the fun stuff :) ). But, first I have a question related to the following:

For starters, my fearless husband was using an extension ladder on a hill today. He has used it a million times, but today he just had to add that little element of fear to it. He was almost done hanging new gutters on the house we are in, when I heard a terrible crash. I came around the corner to see him laying there holding his head. He had hit it on the concrete porch. I was able to assess the part of him that I could see, and that he had not lost consciousness, his pupils were PERL, and he had no neuro deficits. But I still felt like I wanted him to be seen by a doctor. He is so stubborn and refused to go. He said that he did not have any of the worrisome feelings that you are supposed to have after head trauma. He is an EMT, so he has an idea of what to look for.

Regardless, I felt completely at a loss. I knew to put ice on it, to observe him and to check his neuro status, but what else could I do? He refused. This is a lot like what the majority of people do, and his excuse was insurance. I know many people are in the insurance boat. What do you practicing docs think about insurance issues of the day? Is there a doable public health insurance? Is there a way to turn around the money making machine of the current health insurance carriers?

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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11 years 4 months ago #69851 by momRNtoDO
Wow...pathetic really. I have a committment issue apparently. Seriously, I lost my password and then took awhile to request it during finals, and then once again, life happened.

I spent the early part of the summer finishing a research paper that was to be presented over the summer months. Then I was to finally graduate from the Master's program I was in at the end of July. Additionally, I took a part-time nurse job at the local nursing home, where I had my eyes openned about care homes. It was really sad, and completely disorganized. Anyway, the last night that I worked there was in early July, and I ended up being the only Nurse for 51 residents, all but one of my aides called in, and four of the residents were basically crashing. I was a wreck within 4 hours, because the administrators weren't even coming in to help, one of them actually laughed at me. By the time someone did show up, I had shipped out two residents, and had a family member sitting with a third. The fourth was still in limbo I guess. By the next morning when I left, my back was a mess. I had been promised that I would not have to do any heavy lifting, as I had a bulging disc in my back.

Hmmm...that week, I was caught in a pop up summer storm, that I honestly thought might produce a tornado. I tried running into our house and in so doing slipped on the wooden porch, so my already aching back went completely south. That was a Monday. I went ahead and went to school that week, but by Thursday, I was really hurting. On Friday, my back started to feel better, and I was trying to take it easy. I was reading, and laying on my stomach was the only position that felt good. After a while, I noticed that my left leg was asleep, so I got up to try to walk it off, but it wouldn't wake up. So around 8 pm, I decided that I ought to call my neurosurgeon, because my prescribed pain meds weren't really working and my leg was going numb. When I called back a second time at 10:30 pm, basically to tell him that I was now in agony, with my leg in a constant cramp, he sent me to the ER. I knew that was my destination, but I wanted to let him know.

Getting into the car was torture, as my contracted leg really didn't want to work anymore. I rode the 30 miles to the hospital with my left knee pulled to my shoulder. I couldn't walk when we got to the ER. I sat in the middle of the entry and tried not to cry. No one would listen to me that my doctor was to have called orders ahead. The triage nurse was a monster. She told me that I would have to go out to the chairs and wait until it was my turn, and when I told her I needed to lay down in order to ease my pain, she said there was nowhere for me to do that. I told her I would lay on the floor if necessary, and she looked at me like I had sprouted another head. She had me go to a four foot long couch in the spiritual care consult room. I was there for almost two hours, writhing in pain.

A brief aside, I was at the hospital I had just left after working at for over five years. It was also a hospital that had a thirty minute guarantee that a patient would see a doctor with in 30 min of arrival. That didn't happen.

Well, at quarter to one, when I was called back to the department, I couldn't let anyone touch me I hurt so bad. I did my own transferring, so that I would be the one guilty of inflicting pain. Once I was settled, another nurse came in and was getting ready to start an IV and stopped just short of sticking me. She said that she would wait because the doctor might just give me a shot and send me home. Really? I thought.

I told her to check to see if my doctor had called. I got no response. The doctor came in and gave me a perfunctory exam, and ordered some pain medicine IV...one hour later...the nurse couldn't find a vein. The hateful triage nurse came in and started one. I was given a dose of fentanyl. I have a morphine allergy. The fentanyl didn't work. By this time I was in basically a primeval state of panic from the amount of pain I was in. Thank God, my husband was with me. In all the in and out, they never gave me a call button.

When he went out to get the nurse, she came back and told my she had given me all the pain medicine I could have. I was incredulous. I know the pain protocol of that hospital from being an oncology nurse there. I asked her to please ask the doctor for valium to stop the spasms in my leg (they hadn't even lessened with the pain medicine). She came back and gave me another dose of Fentanyl!!! :no: She tried to give me the line about "I would be in control, I would get all the medicine I would need", but I reminded her that I knew the protocols, and I insisted on the change. She left and half an hour later, she came in took off my BP cuff and sent me upstairs with the tart words, "the doctor changed your PCA." All the while, in over 6 hours in the ER, I had one dose of fentanyl and one dose of Valium. I asked the doctor if my Neurosurgeon had called back yet. He said he didn't know anything about that. I told him that I had said to check for orders the first time he came in. He went out to the desk and came back with a lame excuse that the previous shift doctor had taken the orders and had taped them in the wrond place on the desk.

Anyway, I finally got pain relief when I got to the floor. I knew those nurses would take care of me. I ended up getting somethin like 9 mg of dilaudid (Look up the usual PCA dose if that doesn't shock you) before I was able to relax.

My neurosurgeon came in, didn't know how long I had been at the hospital, because no one had called him. Mind you, I had not had an MRI yet. Around one o'clock Saturday afternoon, I was transferrinf myself to the commode, when I realized I couldn't move my left leg at all. I called the nurse and she called the NS and I had an MRI by 2pm. I had a herniated L4 disc with extensive protrusion and moderate to severe cord compression.

The doctor didn't come in that day again. The next day, he came in, and since I had not been ordered NPO, he didn't do surgery that day (Sunday). I was to have surgery on Monday. I got pushed back to after 4:30 pm. I went into with the statement from my surgeon that I might not get any of my sensation or mobility back. I would not know for sure for 3-6 mo.

I still think he is the greatest neurosurgeon, but I was devastated. Why did it take so long?!? :weeping:

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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11 years 4 months ago #69852 by momRNtoDO
That is not the end of my ordeal, but I needed to break up the post...

After surgery, I was thrilled to get some motion back. It was pitifully little at first though. I went home on Thursday after surgery. I was able to walk with a walker. I was very motivated though. While I was in the hospital, my advisor from my master's program came in to visit me, and reassured me that I would graduate, and not to let that stress me out. He is the absolute coolest guy! He teaches cardiopulm. in the med school, and in the resident's clinic...at the same hospital I was in. As soon as he realized I was in the hospital, he made a point to check in with me and to see if there was anything he could do.

Like I said, I was motivated. I had home health PT and was determined to walk at graduation. My surgery happened July 14th and graduation was July 29th. I had enough time. Sure....

At commencement practice the day before graduation, my incision came open and I had a good size amount of drainage from it. I went to the neurosurgeon's office and they checked it and said it was okay. The next day, I was sore, but I was going to graduation darn it!!!! :blush: I had and ECG by a boy that I had watched grow up basically. At that point I didn't really care too much. The house supe came in and I was relieved to find it was an ICU nurse friend that new as much or more than many doctors I know, because he takes initiative to learn. My doctors weren't notified until later in the morning. My infectious disease doc came in and told me I probably had a "Red Man" reaction to Vanco, not really an allergy, but it was given too fast. HMMMM? He told me that I didn't have to take it anymore for the time being, but I was informed that I would need to have an I and D on my back. I was nearly septic at that point, and I knew that he was right.

So, that Friday night, I went back to surgery with the new surgeon, and while being prepped for it, got to listen to the OR nurses and the anesthesiologist complain about having to be late in participating in their weekend plans thanks to me and my doctor. How kind and compassionate. I asked them to be careful, because I woke up during extubation with the first surgery, and they were put out. I was put under listening to the anesthsiologist berate the nurse anesthetist and the student they had about her choice of drawer arrangement. How reassuring.

Anyway...I do not hate doctors. I am going to be one. I believe that I was allowed to have this experience in order to learn what not to do for my patients.

The second surgery went okay. I came out of surgery with a hole in my soft palate from some point of in/extubation. That was pleasant, as well as a hematoma on my uvula. How does that happen?

I am happy to reply that I was able to start med school the following Thursday, with PIC line in place. I had a S. Aureus infection, thankfully not MRSA.

White Coating was very emotional, with my favorite thesis advisor "coating" me. The administration was very accommodating and helpful. I was reinforced in my opinion of the school being the best.

I survived the Foundation of Medicine, passing rather better than I expected. I am in Musculoskeletal now, and having a blast. Two weeks ago, I had the unexpected pleasure of getting all four of my wisdom teeth out. Am I going to be dumber?? Ha Ha :rotfl: !!!

Guess what?!!? I got to go back a second time after that too! I had bone sticking out of my jaw. I don't even want to know what oral bone nippers and a rasp look like. Anyway...Can I be done for awhile????

While doing one of my salt water rinses, a classmate came into the restroom and asked what was wrong. When I told her, she said "Are you trying for the most surgeries by a first year award?" NO!!!!

My family is great. My husband truly deserves the Husband of the Millenium award. My kids are normal and healthy.

Thank God for small miracles.

Let me know if you have any words of wisdom.


“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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