Nobody can make you feel inferior
without your consent.
Something to think about....
Specialized Medicine: Progress or Problematic?
As a child, growing up in
south Mississippi, we had a "Family Doctor." Chances were, as in my case,
that doctor delivered you into this world. My family doctor was my
pediatrician, my childhood doctor, and my doctor as an adult. If I needed
surgery, most of the time he could perform it. If not, he could recommend
someone who could―but he, my doctor, would be right there making sure
everything went okay.
Anyway, the surgery went well, they said.
But when the nurse took my blood pressure after I got back to the recovery
room, it was 70/33. I could sense some panic in her voice until she
finally got the bottom number up to 50.
By Thursday, all my "numbers" had settled down, and the doctors were talking about letting me go home on Friday. But―not yet. Thursday night my hemoglobin had dropped from 13, where it was when I came into the hospital, to 8. And my hematocrit (a measure of red blood cells) had dropped from 40 to 24. I had "lost" 5 pints of blood . So now they wanted to "watch" me and see if my numbers came back up.
But the numbers stayed
the same all day Friday and all night Friday night. By Saturday morning
they were talking about giving me two pints of blood. As one of the
doctors put it, "You 'may' have lost more blood during surgery than we
realized, we 'probably' thinned out your blood too much with pain meds,
and we 'probably' diluted your blood with too much drip. You're a mystery
to us." He went on to suggest that I have a blood analysis done so this
doesn't happen again.
1) Doctors can't possibly know all the side effects of every medication out there.
I do think they should
make a concerted effort to find out the side effects, however, especially
if the patient has a strange problem.
My mistake was that I verbally told each
doctor, but didn't have anything for them to keep and read. Also, I said I
"bleed easily." From now on, I will say in ALL CAPS that I'm allergic to
any blood thinner. And I will have a blood lab done on myself and I will
carry it with me in my purse, in case of any kind of emergency, and I will
have copies with me if I ever have to go back into the hospital.
After I was off the drip, the nurse brought
me four little pills in a medicine dispenser. I asked, "What are these?"
"Two are antibiotics, one is an amino acid vitamin, and one is Diflucan,
an anti-yeast infection med." Within two hours after taking those pills, I
had a nosebleed. When they came back around, I pointed at the little
yellow amino acid and said, "You see this little vitamin? This is the only
thing I'll take because one of these others caused my nose to bleed." The
nurse very graciously told me to tell my doctor that I had refused the
meds. Come to find out, the Diflucan is a blood thinner.
Well, this is why I need
one. I need someone who knows what makes me tick. I need someone who will
be at the hospital watching over all the "specialists" and telling them,
"NO! She can't take that." I've decided that the PCPs are our guardians
and we all need one. I wound up having a wonderful PCP assigned to me in
the hospital. He was the one who had the level head. But he only works at
the hospital, so I can't have him as my regular doctor.
I only had one nurse
argue with me in the hospital. I learned early on to tell the difference
in the colors of the different sized cuffs. She started to put the small
one on me and I told her I needed the large one. "Oh, this one will be
fine," she said. So I let her take my bp. It was something like 140/94.
Very high for me. Then I said to her, "Now, use the other one." I didn't
ask, I told her. She did, and the reading came out 120/75. She said, "Hmm.
It does make a difference!"
It is very hard for
anyone to take blood from me. My veins are small, close to the surface,
and have a tendency to roll when a needle is trying to invade them. Proof
perfect: I was stuck at least 25 times while in the hospital. Thankfully,
I'm not a queasy person when it comes to needles. In order to find a vein
to put the stent for my drip, the "lucky" person looking for the vein
would have to stick me two or three times to find a vein that yielded
blood. And in a couple of days, the needle would break through the vein
and start pumping the drip into my skin. I could always tell when this
happened, and would have to tell them. And, of course, they drew blood for
the lab several times a day. I had one nurse trainee who came into my room
3 days in a row. She would try to hit the "big" vein where most of the
others could get the blood, and she would miss every time. She would get
nervous and start shaking. Three days in a row, at least two sticks per
day, then she'd have to leave and send someone else to get the blood.
After the third day, I said to the woman who could get my blood every
time, "Please don't send her back. You don't have to let her know I said
so, but I don't want her back in my room." I never saw her again.
The way the doctors work where I was, it's seven days on and seven days off. So if your stay overlaps their days off, their "partner" will come in and check on you. I experienced this over the second weekend I was there. One "partner" came in and asked me, "How long have you had hypertension?" I looked at him and said, "Hypertension? I don't have hypertension. Never have had it!" I'm sure the disgust sounded in my voice, because I was thinking, "Did you bother to read my chart before you came in here?"
The next day another "partner" came in and
said, "How's your diabetes?" I didn't bother to hide my irritation at that
point. I said between clenched teeth, "I don't have diabetes!" He said,
"Oh, I'm sorry, that was the patient before you."
A Word From Pat
Is it December yet?
from Pearlsong Press:
Links About The Queen & Her Books
doctor I went to with the gallbladder pain was a female. Even though their
scales weighed me in at 12 lbs more than my home scales―which I seldom get
on―she said nothing about my weight. But later in the conversation she
asked what I did, and I told her that I write romance novels with Big
Beautiful Heroines and that my first non-fiction book, 10 Steps To
Loving Your Body―No Matter What Size It Is, is coming out in 2008.
I'm thinking, "'okay, here's your opening if you want it." But she totally
surprised me by saying, "Oh! I have to get one of those books for my
sister. She constantly battles the body image thing. Good for you for
writing a book like that!" So, of course, I gave the good doctor "10
Steps" bookmark ribbons for her sister and her.
Reader Review of the
I enjoyed that editor's speech, but I still didn't read romance novels, until I heard about Pat Ballard's books. She calls them "motivational romances" with Big, Beautiful Heroines. Curious, I picked up a copy of Nobody's Perfect and spent several hours intrigued and enthralled.
In the novel, the love interests are Nella Covington and Samuel L. duCannon. Are those perfect names for a romance or what? Nella is a young woman in her mid-twenties who has long since given up trying to be thin. She takes good care of herself, eats healthy foods and exercises. The women in her family were heavy and she is no exception. But Nella goes beyond just accepting herself. In this novel, she uses her size to her advantage.
We see her save a child from drowning by using her strong arms and skillful swimming. She helps a young wife frustrated by constant dieting make herself over with makeup, a new hairdo and clothes, without losing a single pound. When the woman worries she might go back to feeling discouraged about gaining weight, Nella gives her a gentle pep talk. "You see what you can be if you want to, and it's your decision whether you spend your days looking your best, or looking your worst. That's a decision we all have to make each day. You're no different than anyone else."
Of course, romance novels have a predictable formula. That's why so many women love them; it's reassuring to know the good characters will win. After a few adventures and problems, the heroine always gets the good guy, and this book delivers that, too. But first, we have evil in-laws, a family home in jeopardy and a little boy who needs a mother. Nowhere does Nella play the helpless female. She is strong yet vulnerable, powerful yet seductive.
And Pat Ballard sure knows how to write a good sex scene. Be forewarned: this story is definitely rated R, and the heroine's large size adds to her attractiveness. What a switch from the message aimed at women in magazines and television!
Although the ending was pre-ordained
(remember, it's a romance novel), I didn't guess how the author would wrap
it up. I lost myself in the story and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of
it. In other words, I had fun. If you read Nobody's Perfect,
I predict you will, too. I also predict you will be left with some very
thought-provoking ideas about what our society's ideal body image does to
every woman's self-esteem.
Communicate with Pat
via her "Amazon Connect" blog on Amazon.com!
Pat's romantic suspense novel Abigail's Revenge is featured on the Beautiful
An article on Pat has been
Calendar of Events
Hear―and see―Pat on the air at Radio Free Nashville! Listen to or download the mp3 recording of Pat's Oct. 29, 2007 guest appearance on the Health At Every Size show with Dr. Peggy Elam on WRFN Radio Free Nashville by going to http://www.healthateverysize.info/2007/10/october-29-2007.html.
Pat regularly guests on Radio Free Nashville's Health At Every Size show, which airs every Monday morning. She's usually in the studio on the fourth Monday of every month. The show is streamed live over the Internet 10-11 a.m. CST Mondays .
Listen to the live
broadcasts over the Internet at
http://www.radiofreenashville.org/. You can also listen to
the live broadcasts through your telephone via UPSNAP.COM. It's free for
wireless internet enabled phones, but there's a small monthly charge for
other phones. See the
Health At Every Size show website or the
Radio Free Nashville website
for details. Davidson County, Tennessee residents can also hear the show
live through the Secondary Audio Programming of Comcast cable's Channel
You can still hear the taped radio shows from Size Matters with Veronica, WCRS Radio, on Pat's website.
discusses Pat's romance novels
Give someone a good
read as well as support in loving themselves.
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Ballard book of your choice at
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Queen's Proclamation is published by Pearlsong Press.