Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Pox Upon Our House

Oh, what a sense of humour the universe has! The health of the Whoo household has been less than stellar this past week. Last Wednesday, Bean had his 6 month shots (at nearly 8 months) and got diagnosed with an ear infection for which he started Augm.entin. Last Wednesday evening, I decided to get a sympathy ear infection and spent the next 3 days in the most pain I have had since labor, and I started Augmen.tin and any other decongestant I can find to clear the constant sensation of my ear being filled with fluid. Sunday, on call, with the ear infection, I delivered a baby at 6:30 am, shipped a 32 week pre-term labor patient to the high-risk hospital, rounded on various complications of the post partum variety including an adrenal hemorrhage and a vaginal hematoma, labored a patient all day long, sectioned her for failure to descend past zero station despite pushing for 2 hours, and admitted a complex ovarian cyst. Monday, noticed a couple of raised bumps on the Bean's head, chalked it up to his sensitive skin, and whisked him away to daycare. Got to clinic, saw the 7 patients that were scheduled between 9 and 10 am, and got a call from the daycare that Bean's rash was spreading. Mr. Whoo picked up Bean and brought him to the office, where it was obvious that he had the chicken pox. I felt like the worst mother in the world for not noticing it that morning. I took him to the pediatrician on my lunch break, who confirmed the diagnosis, and canceled the rest of the day in the office to care for my poor sick baby.

I took Monday afternoon and Tuesday out of the office (but not off of the pager, which continued to sound every 1-2 hours like clockwork) to care for the Bean, and went to see the ENT on Tuesday. He essentially told me what I had already deduced; I had an acute otitis with an effusion. The otitis was clearing but the fluid in the middle ear (which is giving me moderate functional hearing loss, BTW) could remain until almost a month. A fragging month! Feeling like I have fluid lolling all through the right side of my head, and torturing my family with the high tv volume, and muttering "Huh? What? 'Ay?" like a little octogenarian with her "listening cone" anytime someone tries to speak to me for another freaking month. Fan-tastic. He added a Me.drol Dose.pak for extra fun with steroids to my treatment regimen.

Wednesday I had a 12 hour surgery/work day, made stressful by a surgical complication on one of my favorite patients. Mr. Whoo stayed home with the Bean, and proved himself un-house-husband worthy by failing to have dinner ready when I dragged myself and an exhausted CindyLou through the door after 6 last night. Mr. Bean had a particularly fitful, itchy night last night, so either of us slept very well, and today I am again taking out of the office, but on the pager to care for him. Call me crazy, but I am running out of patience and sympathy for the patients that just have to be rescheduled *next week* due to the fact that their golden ticket, ahem, "free" medical card runs out at the end of the month. Go to the freaking health department for your pap, for goodness sake, it's still "free" (ie. I will be generously subsidizing 30% of the salary for which I work 24 hours a day/26 days a month, so that you can play Wii and smoke weed all day long and still not have to pay a whopping fifty bucks for a pap smear). I'm just about all out of doctorly concern, and eyeing up my liquor cabinet right this minute, even though it is not quite noon yet.

So that, dear readers, completes your lovely week-in-review from the Whoo household. So, how are *you* doing?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ow ow ow ow ow...

This is the full extent of my vocabulary for the past three days. I have a rip roaring ear infection. I don't believe I've had one since I was a kid. Thank goodness not, because the only thing that hurts worse, my friends, is labor. No epidural for this kind of pain, either. I have been eight kinds of miserable these last few days. It started on Wednesday, after the Bean (finally) got his 6 month (!) shots. Coincidentally (or not) he was also diagnosed with an ear infection. That evening, I heard a rubbing noise in my right ear, followed by an immediate sensation of fullness that did not resolve. I took and antihistamine and a decongestant and woke up the next morning at 4 am with severe pain. As I lay in bed, trying not to move, lest the fluid crackle and make my ear hurt even worse than it already did, the pager went off signaling the arrival of a labor patient. Grudgingly I got up and showered, finding my movement extremely limited. I couldn't even bend over to wrap up my hair in a towel without twinging my ear so badly it wrought a stream of curses.

I arrived on labor and delivery, caught a very fast baby about 10 minutes later, and started to move slowly through my hospital rounds. I stopped a kindly family med doctor, whom I begged to check my ear. (You see, I must relate that ears completely squick me out. The fluid, the hair cells, the little bones that *articulate*, the membrane...ick, ew, and gross. Funny, I know, coming from a specialist in one of the arguably more gross professions around. To each their own.) I was just *convinced* some wandering spider had laid eggs in my ear and they were getting ready to hatch. My colleague allayed my fears, but told me that, indeed, my ear was "cherry red" with fluid bulging behind the TM. Great. I got an Aug.mentin script called in, finished rounds, and did a post-partum tubal on my morning delivery patient. Then I headed to the office, where I proceeded to throw a minor hissy fit because I had 21 patients scheduled in roughly 3 hours (of which there were at least 3 new patients, 3 problem patients, and an I&D of a perineal abscess on the list). My hissy fit was for naught, however, as about 10 patients later, I was called to attend another delivery. I happily canceled the rest of the day and rushed back to the hospital.

As I sat waiting, my ear pain kept escalating, throbbing, and ringing. The nurse caring for my labor patient was forever messing with the electronic charting and not helping the patient (a primip) to push in any significant way. The baby kept deceling and the nurse kept ignoring the strip and focusing on the computer, and my ear kept twinging. I did the best that I could to encourage the patient. Her family stood stock-still, lined up against the farthest wall of the labor room, and her nurse hadn't even turned on the baby warmer. At last, in just a hour of pushing (would have been less, had my nurse been more patient focused and less documentation focused) I delivered the baby through a triple nuchal cord and placed her on her momma's belly. Then, I handed her a sterile towel to start drying the baby, since the nurse was still ignoring us both in favor of the computer. Thankfully the baby pinked right up and no resuscitation was needed. I finished sewing the lacerations, and held my ear and moaned all the way home.

Flash forward 'till today, I have had over 48 hours of antibiotics, have been living on m.otrin and sud.afed, and I still don't feel any better. The whole right side of my head is clogged, my ear feels full of fluid that shifts and crackles, and oh, the pain is still there. No real fever, just hovering around 100.0, and I still have to hold my head perfectly still or pay the consequences. Now I'm googling Mastoid.itis and generally being a hypochondriac about the whole thing. Oh yes, and I am also on call. I can only pray that the call gods are kind to my suffering soul.

In other news, I updated my CV and sent it out to a few "backup plan" opportunities. Mr. Whoo says my health is suffering because of the lifestyle I have been living the last 3 years. Maybe he is right, because I feel 100 years old right about now. Hope you all are having a wonderful, spring-like weekend, wherever you are. I'm going to hold a hot pack to my ear and whine about it some more.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Check, check, check, check it out...

Lots of things swirling around, but nothing cohesive...hence, bullets, it is!

~I turned another year older this week, and I was pretty surprised to see that a couple of my favorite bloggers had a birthday this week, as well. Pisces rule...woot! So funny, since we're supposed to be all reclusive and whatnot.

~Last week I pretty much had a baby a day, so I was pretty busy. No birthday babies for me, though. Too bad for them. Hee.

~I'm looking at other job opportunities in other areas, just as a back-up plan, and I am meeting with the physician director later this month. Here's hoping they want to keep me around, 'cause I really don't want to move.

~I discovered Project Playlist last weekend, and have been slowly adding songs to my list. If you want to check it out, just scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click the play button. It is fairly eclectic, but I am loving listening to it. I need to make a CD out of my playlist!

~We are doing some sleep training with Bean. It is time to move from Mommy's bed to Bean's bed. He's doing really well going to sleep in his bed, but he still wakes to eat in the night. It works for at least 6 hours a night, then it is time to nurse and cuddle. Is it wrong that I just am not ready to give it up yet? They are only babies for such a short time.

~I've been playing around on Facebook more than I should. I heart Oregon Trail.

~My grandfather is quite ill, and has started dialysis this week. He has multiple medical problems, and I know, I *know* we don't have much time. I saw him last week and we are taking the kids to see them this weekend as well. The hardest part is that he is still so mentally sharp, his body is just failing him. I am just trying to soak up all the time that I can, and I hope that CindyLou may remember him, even just a little bit. He is such a great man, and I am not ready to let him go. Sniff.

~I am loving Amer.ican I.dol this season, and I heart them a little bit more for featuring the Graham Colton Band as one of their "goodbye" songs (Best Days - the last song on my playlist if you wanna listen). I will go out on a limb and predict the finalists to include Ar.chuleta, Davi.d C.ook, Br.ooke Wh.ite, Sy.esha Mercado, Micha.el J.ohns, and Carl.y Smi.thson.

Sorry for the short, sweet post, but I haven't the ability to mold and shape the roundy thoughts filtering through my brain right now. Hope all is well in your respective worlds. Happy weekend!