Epic Fail of a medical sort

Warning: this is ugly.

Do all hospitals leave the heart monitor hook-ups on a patient after a procedure? I discovered these when I was getting ready for bed. Good grief!

Do all hospitals leave the heart monitor hook-ups on a patient after a procedure? I discovered these when I was getting ready for bed. Good grief!

Yesterday, I had a routine colonoscopy. For those of us of a certain age, these preventative measures become just another nuisance of growing older. This was my third time in this rodeo. I get one every ten years, whether I want to or not. But it may be my last because I walked away with a bad case of PTSD.

To recap: the prep is nothing short of disgusting–an evening of rushing to the toilet followed by a fitful sleep, then getting up at 3 AM to drink my final two liters of cold, yucky liquid to finish tidying up my bowels so I’d be prepared for my 11 AM procedure.

Thursday morning: the nurses were all very nice. I wasn’t worried going into this because I’d never had problems in the past. I thought I knew what to expect. But, for some reason, the anesthesia wore off too soon, and I awoke to the sound my own moans, groans and cries as someone skewered me with a dull blade of some sort. I remember hearing voices discussing the fact the doctor was having trouble finding passage through my troublesome colon, mostly I only remember the sound of my agony.

They must have given me more drugs because the next thing I knew I was alone in recovery, groggy and shaky. None of the nurses were present, but the person who took my initial intake info helped me up and handed me my bag of clothes. I got dressed and returned to be handed a tablet where I was supposed to grade my experience. At that moment, everything was a softly shaded blur. Since I remembered the nursing staff prior to the procedure quite clearly, I gave them high marks. (When I called the hospital to complain today, I told them they might want to re-think the legitimacy of any review given by a person under the influence of drugs. ;-) )

I was wheeled to my husband’s truck and that was that. Until he asked how it went and I remembered that moment of terror and pain and confusion when I awoke in the O.R. Call it a flashback. My hand is shaking while I write this.  My stomach clenches and my heart races every time I think about it.

Normally, I’m not one to complain. But I needed someone to know this happened so, hopefully, it won’t happen again. The hospital seemed to take my complaint seriously. I singled out the specialist who did the procedure…at least, I assume it was him and not a janitor they invited to have a go at me…for reprimand, in part, because he never spoke to me–not before or after. He didn’t wait around to see if I was okay–even though he might have guessed that I wasn’t…unless it was the janitor wielding the scope. As they wheeled my gurney into the operating room, I heard the doctor ask if this was patient number XXX. He didn’t say my name. He dehumanized me. Then he hurt me. But it was probably easier for him since I was just a number, not a person.

So, am I going to live? I hope so. Every twinge has me running for the thermometer, and I’m anxiously awaiting my first bowel movement to check for blood. (Never thought I’d ever write those words in a blog.) I am praying that my poor body has withstood this abuse and won’t hold a bad decision on my part against me. I thought twice about using a local doctor in my little one-horse town, but my primary physician, who I like very much, set up this referral. Next time, I will do my homework. (I did try to research the specialist’s name online, but nothing came up. I assumed that was a good thing.)

I’m diving back into to my deadline book. Wish me luck. And any advice on dealing with PTSD would be helpful.

On the bright side, nothing goes to waste for a writer, so you can probably look for something like to happen to some unsuspecting character in some future book. Guess who the bad guy will be? ;-)

Deb

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I make my entrance

I make my entrance. We do the show. It feels really good until our sound cue (softly chirping cicadas) jumps to the “oohs” from KC the Sunshine Band’s 1975 pop hit “That’s the Way (I Like It).” We pretend not to notice. This season, nobody has yet won two challenges, making it anybody game. That also makes this season unique: it never taken this long for a queen to win two challenges. Sharon and Alexis did it by the third competition episode, and Tyra did it by Episode 5.

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Nearly one quarter of all business

Nearly one quarter of all business executives surveyed agreed that, project is a technology project. Nearly 40 percent of companies feel they are using technology to drive business goals, such as enhancing efficiency or innovation Half of all companies surveyed said the inspiration for digital innovation originates from different parts of an organization, especially at medium sized and large firms where there are different functional departments Digital transformation is helping to curb IT as nearly 60 percent of companies surveyed say IT still plays a primary role in decision making My key takeaway from the report was twofold: the gap between IT and LOBs create a wonderful opportunity for channel companies. Furthermore, digital transformation is on everyone mind.

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Every Day is Mother’s Day – Carolyn

I only saw two people this morning—one man, one woman—wearing white roses. When I was growing up, every Mother’s Day one either wore a white rose, if one’s mother were dead, or a red rose, if she was still alive. I don’t know when the custom died out, but I always liked it, although wearing a rose the color of blood for a live mother seems a bit macabre.

My daughter asked what I wanted to do about MD. I told her absolutely nothing. My mother always said, “Every day is Mother’s Day.” That’s because my father and I always turned it into some kind of joke. We once gave her a cake with an icing cigar on the top.

Mother’s Day is another of those “For Marketing Only” days like George Washington’s birthday or Valentine’s Day. I am always delighted with chocolate—preferably Dinstuhl’s chocolate strawberries, which are better than anyone else’s—but since the day I discovered I could actually buy my own chocolate rather than wait for someone else to give it to me, my chocoholism has caused me endless fights with myself. Then I also discovered that women should buy their own perfume, never what someone else gives, even if it’s the most expensive perfume going. That was a big epiphany. Actually, that’s why I seldom wear the stuff. I buy it, then forget to put it on, and it goes bad after a while. I never know how much is enough, but too much is an abomination.

Anyway, in my family every day was Mother’s Day. My mother was a leading actress at the local Little Theatre. She wasn’t a great comedienne, but boy, was she a good dramatic actress. By the time I was twelve I was working backstage, designing and building costumes for shows that she was in, and doing everything from painting flats to finding props. Since my father, the engineer, worked backstage as well, I was always under parental supervision—not that I ever caught them at it.

Eventually, I acted. Badly, in most cases. Sara Bernhardt I am not. I always worried about holding my stomach in on stage. I hated the idea of letting it all hang out. Our summer group—mostly college kids—put on stuff we thought our adults would think terribly avant garde. One summer we did Oscar Wilde’s Salome. Guess who played Salome complete dance of the seven veils? When I dropped that last veil I heard my mother gasp all the way from the back of the audience. The dance got good reviews. The acting did not. Hardly surprising since none of us had any idea what the play is actually about. Neither of my parents ever mentioned the show. Thank heaven.

For those of you who have gone backstage to congratulate your friends, here are a couple of sure fire non-compliments. My favorite is “Darling I could cry!” Then there is “Good God, that was a play.” Bet your friends will never notice.

Anyway, I am in the white rose category and have been for some years. I hate it. I’d give anything to watch one of my mother’s hissy fits again, although they drove me nuts at the time. So, for those of you still wearing red roses, give your mother a call, take her to lunch or the movies, and realize that although she drives you crazy, it’s preferable to the alternative. cmc

 

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You Can Be Whoever You Want to Be! (Pat)

Probably the best thing about being an author is you can be whoever you want to be during the course of the book.

Yes, it is short lived, but it is so great while it’s happening.

I’ve been a lot of things during my writing career.   I’ve been a Scottish heiress, a old west female sheriff (yes, rare but it actually did occur), a saloon owner, the daughter of a mob boss, an army surgical nurse, a governess for a wealthy New York family in 1940, an animal vet, a member of the Underground Railroad before the Civil War, and a paramedic to mention a few of my  temporary occupations.  While you are writing, you become those people.  You feel their pain, their fear, their successes, their romance.

My favorite occupation for a heroine is the reporter.   In my new work in progress, I return to the my first profession.   I was a news reporter with The Atlanta Journal at a time when there were few women in the field and I had to fight for every step  up on the news ladder.

I started as a summer intern, then city news clerk and moved to writing obits before graduating to general news.    At the time, I was the only woman reporter on the news side other than the religion reporter.   I couldn’t cover the police beat (too violent, apparently, for a woman) until I was the only reporter in the news room when three policemen were killed in a suburban county.   I then got to cover the investigation since I was first on the scene..

As a reporter, I longed to go higher.   I wanted to be a foreign correspondent or cover the Supreme Court.   I did cover city, state and federal government and the courthouse beats but never reached that foreign correspondent dream.   At least not until I started writing fiction.   And now, in my book in progress, I can indulge that dream.    Temporarily, at least.

I’ve written several  heroine journalists previously, but my current one in the fifth of the Covenant Falls series is MY personal heroine, the  journalist I always wanted to be.  Jenny Talbot is a free spirit, one who never let anything stop her.   She made it to the Middle East on her own.   The story is always more important than anything else.   More than family, comfort, money, personal safety.     Disabled by a shoulder wound during a bombing raid in Syria,  she is still seeking  stories wherever she can find them, and she finds a number of them in Covenant Falls.

It’s temporary until she can get back to a war zone where she can tell the story not of war but the people affected by it..But will a small town and a charming Ranger Captain be enough to end  her lifelong purpose,  and can he ever trust another reporter after his former fiance, a TV newswoman, dumped him after he was  badly wounded?

I really love these two people, and it’s such a delight to live vicariously through their pasts and present.

 

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Computers – Bleck! – Carolyn

Continued computer saga: This afternoon while I was hunting for a Zumba workout on YouTube, I underwent the ultimate terror in computerland. My screen went white and nothing worked. I have been saying that I need a new computer—mine is seven years old—but I hate not only spending the money, but also going through setting up and working with a new computer. You all know what that’s like. Nothing works with anything else.

I have an automatic backup, although I’ve never had to use it and have no idea how it works. Granted, that’s stupid, but I am a technological Luddite. I spent the next thirty minutes scrambling to get the computer up and running, or at least it to the point where I could shut it down and restart it. I did get it to where I could hear the audio, but not see anything on the screen. Nor turn down the audio, which was just under deafening range. I suspect the CIA is missing a bet—a million decibel Zumba class would wear down the canniest spy in nothing flat.

Finally I decided simply to walk away and let it have its hissy fit in private. I did manage to turn down the audio so that I wouldn’t hear Zumba music reverberating through my house. The cats would not have been amused otherwise.

When I came back I did precisely the same things I had done before to no effect. Wonder of wonders, everything worked perfectly. I am now terrified that it will happen again without warning. It’s like having a car that suddenly stops for no reason. I never quite trust it again. I have a friend who will turn in a perfectly good and nearly new car that stops on her over that very trust issue. I can’t afford that kind of gesture, but I understand it.

There are floods and wind damage all over my area, although we have been spared so far. My pastures are overrun with ranunculus (little yellow flowers) that I loathe. The horses don’t like them either, which is a good thing, since they are mildly poisonous. On the other hand, I do have azaleas and roses that are actually blooming in spite of me. Or maybe because other than using an automatic timer to water them I leave them totally alone. They are safer that way.

My tractor needs its battery charged, as does my truck. My horse trailer needs its tires replaced because of dry rot. Papers cover every flat surface in my house. I haven’t put my laundry away for over a week. I’m scrabbling around in the baskets of clean laundry when hanging stuff up would probably take me an hour tops.

But one short story is finished, I have edited the Malice short stories that I have been sent and the book grows apace. Can’t ask for better than that. Ain’t sweatin’ the small stuff. Except for the welfare of the animals, it’s all small stuff.

 

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New cover choices! You pick!!

Here’s something fun for your Friday: help me decide which font for my new cover. Do you like 1) or 3)? (Number 2, which was my hubby’s fave, was already eliminated by Jane Porter’s readers.) ;-)

or

sweetsummer3

This cover is for my July release, which I’m hard at work on. Leading up to that release, however, my Love at the Chocolate Shop colleagues have two yummy books for you to devour.

Newly released yesterday is THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH by Melissa McClone. (Click on image to buy from your favorite vendor.)

the chocolate touch cover

 Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets former Air Force captain York Parker passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined.

Or you can preorder June’s SWEET HOME COWBOY from Marin Thomas. (click on cover)

Sweet Home Cowboy cover

 When Marietta newcomer Elena Puente is coerced into attending a speed-dating event at the popular Copper Mountain Chocolate shop, she’s blindsided by a serious attraction to local cowboy, Wesley Banks.

 

Happy reading, my friends! And, please, your input would be so appreciated. Which cover grabs you? 1 or 3?

Deb

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