Who Knows/Who Cares?


Sometimes we know too much, sometimes we feel we know nothing at all. Being empowered with information can be a good thing, or it can make us crazy with frustration when we see things we feel aren’t being done correctly or at least up to the standards we believe to be right.

This is the case with me as an ex-paramedic. I’ve had more than I’d like with the health care system lately and am completely discouraged with it all. There are plenty of things I absolutely do know about, and others that may be out of my scope of practice, but that I surely have enough information to sense when something seems out of whack.

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So when my Mom called again today to say she was having left arm weakness and tingling, only three weeks post heart attack/stent, I told her to immediately call the ambulance. She was reluctant given the bad experience we all had, but did what I asked. Thank goodness.

This is where my saga gets frustrating. Why does an ambulance take so long? Why can I take a shower and come from farther away and still beat them to the hospital, driving well within the normal speed limit? Seriously?

I mean I knew, having not even seen her, this could possibly be a stroke/TIA or another heart attack. A little speed on their part might be in order. I don’t get it. And don’t even get me started at the hospital. As soon as I saw her, the first thing I did was look at her face and asked her to smile. I noticed facial droop, but the nurse told me no she didn’t see any.

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Again I say: seriously? Who would know better? Her or the daughter? It’s nuts. Luckily the Stroke RN and neurologist (when they finally arrived, which wasn’t too fast), agreed with me. Wow, there’s a miracle. So the conclusion was, most likely a TIA (mini-stroke) which had mostly resolved itself by the time she had called me (which wasn’t right away) and they had gotten her to the hospital (they took their time).

Thank goodness it had resolved itself!

So why did it happen? Well, that’s the million dollar question. Most likely due to medication changes from her cardiologist because of the stent. Were these prudent? That I don’t know. This is where knowing too much/too little gets me in trouble. The bigger issue may have been being sent home from the 5 day follow-up visit after the stent because they didn’t think she was booked. They messed up there. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened. Who knows?

Does anybody know anything these days? Is it all a crap shoot? Does anybody care really when it comes down to it?

I’m really beginning to wonder.

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The Good Battle


There are certain moments in life where we are given a gift that sets us free. News that lifts us high and helps us to remember life is good and beautiful. Lately I have been given many of these moments and for them I am truly grateful.

It is so easy, with our fast paced, whirlwind lives, to take life for granted. To forget our connection to family and friends. We press on so hard into our daily tasks that we may not stop to look around us to see the wonders that abound. They are all around if we just take a second to see them.

Feeling compelled by life to have material wealth, we sometimes lose spiritual well-being. We take jobs that make us unhappy or keep people near us that really prove to have negative energy.

Because I am getting older and finally see the wisdom in serenity rather than money, my choices from now on will be very different.
This is my promise to myself.

As my Mother heals, I reflect on my good fortune to be able to be near her and help get her stronger. It is a blessing that such an awful thing can actually turn out to be something wonderful because it has bonded us so closely together. She is an amazing woman and together we are invincible.

And I also got a new lease on life today, which I will not take for granted. I’m grateful because I know that not everyone is as lucky as I am. I wish it could be so for all whom I love. But together we fight the good battle, and we’ll win anyway.

Because in the end, our spirits will all collide and meet somewhere someday anyway…….

Back Of The Queue


Having been in healthcare in the US for 20 years, I know what a poor system it is and how one must really know how to navigate within it or get lost. Plus one must be an advocate for ones-self or have an advocate, or simply get lost.

Luckily my Mom has me! The elderly in this country are forgotten about in more ways than one, and within the healthcare system is one BIG way. As a friend said: they get pushed to the back of the queue. No-one cares…not really. Many can’t speak up for themselves, have poor insurance (and we all know it comes down to money) and don’t really know what’s going on anyway.

But not only am I a healthcare provider, but I have a big mouth. A bad combination if someone isn’t doing their job. Hey, I’m the best patient  or advocate in the world, if the people are treating patients like they are supposed to do. That’s because I know what it’s all about: how hard the patients can be, the thankless hours, the endless paperwork, the nasty co-workers and crappy management/jobs. I get it all. So I tend to be very nice until you cross the line of not caring or not doing what you are trained to do.

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So when someone gets sent home and everything is still wrong, the person is still way too sick–we have a problem Houston! When the home-care RN comes and finds actual data to back this up and tries to call the Doctors and no-one returns phone calls…. well, you can darn well believe this ex-healthcare provider AND daughter is going to be making some phone calls herself.

And they ain’t gonna be pretty!

Come on people! Are you serious here? Is it really only about the money or what? Does anyone care anymore??

So after a rather FIRM, shall we say, discussion with the doctor’s secretary…she said in a very meek tone: hold on please. Oh, yes, I’ll hold on alright. And then I was put through…imagine that!

I finally got a PA on the phone. And finally some resolve. No, Mom won’t go back to the hospital…ever again as a matter of fact thank you very much thanks to all you people! No, that wasn’t an option. And I don’t blame her one little bit. But after much convincing, she did agree to go tomorrow (instead of waiting until Tuesday) to see her Doctor that did the procedure. Thank goodness… It took some doing because she’s fed up with everything, but I was firm with her too. There is just too much going on and she deserves more. I won’t let them turn their backs on this patient.

She was the boss for a long time, but I am now.

You can bet I’m going into that room tomorrow too. And this time, I’m calling the shots!

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Dis-Ease


My blog has become such an important and integral part of my life on many levels. It started as a project as a ‘public journal’ to help me discover myself more and dabble as a writer. But over the last year or so it has come to be so much more. The friends and followers I have come to connect with has made it greater than a project. In fact, I got off of Facebook so I could spend more time on my blog  rather than waste time reading silly posts on FB.

This all leads into today’s topic. One particular avid follower of mine, who has become to be an “off blog” friend, emailed me yesterday to say she has been ill. She is such a lovely woman, amazing photographer and creative writer. I’ve been honored to have her as a follower and now as a pen pal. The news of her illness really struck me. It made me think of illness– and being a medic, I’m surrounded by the topic on a near daily basis.

I once read about the word disease. How if you break it down it becomes: dis-ease. Our bodies being not at ease with ourselves. Made perfect sense to me. After hearing this I began to look at where disease landed in a particular person. What part of the body does the disease live and does it correlate to the person’s personality and lifestyle?

The closer I looked, the more often I found it to be true. The above mentioned blog friend has such a huge heart and has suffered many emotional struggles related to love, family and other ‘heart’ related issues. Her illness is now cardiac, obviously one directly attacking one’s heart.

I have a dear friend, a woman completely devoted to her children her whole life for all the years I’ve known her and from when they were babes. She nursed them, cared for them, was a stay at home Mom, doing all a woman could do. She’s lived a healthy life and discovered a year or so ago she had breast cancer. This, to me, is such a dis-ease of we women that carry all the weight of womanhood, motherhood, sisterhood and femininity in our core.

Recently I watched an amazing TED talk where a woman who studied strokes had a stroke herself! One wonders if we almost create our own realities? She studied her own stroke while she was having it! I actually did this while I have having my own first seizures.

And I’ve thought about why I have my mild seizure disorder-a neurologic disorder of the brain. Mine are caused most likely from traumatic injuries to the head. I’ve had repeated ones. Why do I keep injuring my head? Do I live too much there or do I need to live more there? Is the Universe giving me some messages? Many famous people had seizure disorders and were able to use them to create. Is my disorder truly a gift?

Maybe there is food for thought about where we hold our dis-ease, our anxiety, our pain. What parts of our bodies do we make ill? Our minds do control our bodies. This is proven. And if this is true, can we control these things and be more healthy? We all know mediation, calming thoughts, happiness, positive relationships make for better health. The question always is how to attain it with regularity.

Then of course, we have always met the person we believe is at utter peace but falls ill. And this is the mystery of the Universe. What each of our cells holds may not be ultimately known by us. All we can do is the best we can is to relieve ourselves from any unnecessary noise, feelings or emotions that may produce possible dis-ease within us. To this end we may lead the healthiest and happiest life we can.

Poem: Cycle


From the incessant buzz buzz

I throw my feet to floor

And freeze myself into clothes

To walk my dogs at 5 am

Before my day begins

It starts with chilling strokes

In lap lane latitude

Splashing, slashing, flipping round

Ready to face the pace

Blood pumping

And thoughts in a row

Then enter the world

Where we wait to be called

Who will fall?

Will they die?

We wait…

Are they old or young?

Is it their heart or brain?

We wait….

And the tone

Makes my heart leap

But I go and give

The day is filled

With movement

And sounds

Energy goes out

Till the day winds down

I long to go home

To open my door

Fall on my bed

Lay with my pup

And prepare

To start it all again

Tomorrow