Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time crunch

Unlike the Rolling Stones I don't know if time is really on my side, or anyone's side, for that matter. For some reason even more than before I have spent a lot of time obsessing over how I spend my time or lack thereof. Like most working moms I constantly question the amount of time and energy I spend giving to my job and always wonder if the time I spend away from my kids helps or hurts them. Don't get me wrong, I don't see the big C at 12 years old robbing a string of liquor stores at gunpoint and saying that his mom was a, a working mom - as an excuse or anything.

But there is that twinge of guilt that runs across me when I can't attend a field trip or a class party because of work, or that sadness that fills my heart when I see a child with their mom while I am out during the middle of the day on a lunch break. I think any mom, or dad even, can relate to this feeling.

I also commute an hour each way to work which means I am up and gone before the kids are even awake for the day. I can't tell you many times I have agonized over this, but at the same time on the days I am home with them rushing through the morning routines, scrambling to get out the door on time, I find myself feeling guilty for being late for work. I get home around 5 in the evenings which isn't so bad, but I also miss out on a lot of the things other moms do on a daily basis. I don't get to pick the kids up for school very often and before the husband was home full time there were several times when I found myself rushing in at the very last minute to pick up the kids from daycare.

However, since the husband is able to be there for them when I am not it has really been nice. I told him if I had known how nice it was to have a wife at home I would have gotten one years ago.

Note to self, I don't think he likes that joke.

So yes, it is nice that they have a parent at home, but to be honest I am a little jealous. More than ever before I have started to realize that the time is coming that all the Cs will soon have lives of their own and it makes me sad to think I may have missed out on something. But of course, on the other hand, I am extremely grateful to have a job that allows me to provide for my family and allows me time to be there for them. I may have not attended every school or class function, but they have always had someone at every event, not to mention how many evenings or weekends I have spent at various sporting events cheering on my favorite athletes.

All time well spent.

Then there is this other pressing matter of time I have been focusing on lately:

How much time before the old liver really decides to call it quits?
Will it ever really happen or can I continue to mentally wish it away?
How will I know it is time or will I just feel sick one day and never feel better?
If I ever make the list will a new liver be found in time?
Will it last until I am at least 125, old, cantankerous and ready to go?
Basically, how much time do I really have?

Isn't that the million dollar question for us all? I could just as easily get hit by a bus tomorrow as I could wake up sick. I always wonder why people use that expression. I don't know, or haven't heard of anyone that was ever hit by a bus - a car , yes. Even a train, but never a bus. So until the time comes, whether it be a failing organ, or Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock on an unstoppable bus out to get me, I guess I will just continue to do the only thing any of us can do - live.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spot check

Recently I went for yet another round of spot checks to make sure that my liver was still being my friend and not growing any tumors. I am happy to report that, once again, everything aside from the liver's statuesque appearance all is well! According to my CT scan results not much has changed in almost three years. I know this because each and every time I have any kind of lab work done I pick up a copy of the report for my own file and my own sanity. This may seem very strange to some, but I have seen lab results get mixed up, lost and have even had doctors not tell me results for weeks at a time. Now call me crazy, but there is just something that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you know as soon as possible that you don't have cancerous tumors in your liver.

This time in addition to picking up my lab report I also picked up a CD with the images of the scans. I am not so far off the deep end to think that I can even begin to read these scans. To be honest, I couldn't tell what any of those white blurs on the screen were. The last time I looked at anything even remotely similar was when I was looking at images to see if the latest addition was a boy or girl and thankfully, there were no other humans in these images or the husband's urologist would be in big trouble.

I only got a copy of the CD because one of the many latest ridiculous rules that are in place, you know the rules that are supposed to protect patients from having their medical records violated, but all they really do is make you have to move heaven and earth to obtain a copy of the results of the stuff that was taken from your own body, and make you have to argue with the lab workers and insist that as a patient you have a right to your own records no matter what the lab manager says, those rules. Can you tell I was more than a little annoyed???

The latest rule at this particular lab in this hospital said that I could not have a copy of the CT scan report unless I picked it up from medical records on the 2nd floor, which supposedly closed at 4:30 but the door was locked and the lights were off at 4:20 when I arrived. I went back down to the radiology lab to explain to the lady behind the counter that the records office was closed and she stared at me like I had five heads rolling down my back and asked if I was sure because they didn't close for another 10 minutes. I nicely tried to explain that unless they were scared of intruders or were chanting in the dark I was certain they were closed. She said there wasn't anything she could do and I would have to wait. I started to walk away when I just happened to notice a sign in the window that said CD images picked up here. I asked if a copy of the report came with the CD and once again, I got the head-rolling glare as she said yes but it costs two dollars, over emphasizing the amount like she totally expected me to say WHAT?? OH MY GOD DID YOU SAY TWO DOLLARS WHERE AM I GONNA GET THAT KIND OF MONEY and then all five heads down my back would repeat the phrase over and over.

Then I had to go to yet another floor to cashiers office to fork over my life savings and bring a form back to the bitter shrew kind lady at the window  and wait patiently as she took her sweet time and hit print on the computer after she had to go through the complicated task of typing in my last name and date of birth to access the record. Oh yes, and she also had to pick up a blank CD and insert it into the computer and I am sure press at least another two buttons to burn the images to said CD. It was incredible, I am telling you she had some mad skills, I can totally see why it costs TWO WHOLE DOLLARS.

In addition to gaining the image CD, I also did one other thing differently this time. I did not have my MELD score checked. Since my last score was 8, technically I don't have to have it checked every six months like I have to have the CT scan. According to UNOS standards people with a score less than or equal to 10 only have to have their labs checked once a year. Normally though I usually beg and plead ask my wonderful doctor to indulge me and go ahead and check everything out so I can keep some sense of sanity. This time, however, I decided since I had a good report and I feel just fine (still convinced my liver is playing tricks on everyone and really isn't sick at all!) that I should have a little faith and wait until March to see if my score has changed or not.

So it looks like I am all in the clear and good to go. Yippee! I am going to try to do a better job of keeping up with the blog, I really stink at doing that. Also, I do want to add, that while I may have gotten and great report and I feel totally fine, there are those who do not. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers and give your thanks if you are blessed with good health.