Posts Tagged ‘operation’

Trail of Tears

January 26, 2010

Sung to the tune of “Trail of Tears” by The Crabb Family

I heard about the lonely day
That she hoped would never arrive
It must have broke his mother`s heart
O the tears she must have cried
And though she knew it had to be done
He was still her precious son
It only seemed like yesterday
That her little boy was born

There must have been a trail of tears
From the ICU to the place
Where they laid him down to rest
And placed a mask over his face
And as the nurse walked her down the hall
To a room where she must wait
It must have felt just like the end
There must have been a trail of tears

She knew the day would come
When she`d have to say goodbye
Her son needed this surgery
Or he would lose his life
The surgeon was one of the best
And he had made his plan
It didn’t make it any easier
To let go of her child’s hand

There must have been a trail of tears
From the waiting room to the place
Where they laid him down to rest
Wires and tubes all over the bed
And as the nurse said He’s fine
Your boy came through like a champ
It was just what she had prayed to hear
There must have been a trail of tears

There must have been a trail of tears
From the hospital to the place
Where they laid him down to rest
In his own familiar bed
And as they closed the door to his room
And said Good Night to him
She thought of all he had endured
There must have been a trail of tears

Heart Moms

May 27, 2009

I walked through my door at 10:31 PM, Eastern time. The flight was delayed a bit by weather, but other than that it went well.

Lucas is going to have his first surgery soon, so keep this young man in your thoughts. Keep his mom in your thoughts, also… she’s struggling with the eternal question, WHY?

There’s no good answer to the “Why?” question yet. Perhaps if we find the answer, we can learn how to stop Congenital Heart Defects. But in reality the question is almost never “Why?” but rather an unasked question that every Heart Mom asks: Did I cause this?

As far as we know, NO! My mom, for example (and millions of others like her) did everything right, yet I was born with a heart defect. No one had any clue how or why some hearts were defective back then, so my mom did the natural thing – she blamed herself.

Lucas will undergo the Blalock-Taussig Shunt soon, and his parents will be frightened beyond their imagination. When the operation takes longer than expected (they always do) his mother will fret and pace and stare at the clock. She’ll meet the best doctors and nurses and wish she never had to know these people. She’ll learn as well as any soldier exactly what it means to go into battle. She’ll come to know her son’s heart as well as she knows the layout of her own home, and when something is wrong, she’ll probably be the first one to pick up on it.

She’ll cringe every time the phone rings and he isn’t there. She’ll want to know where he is and who he is with all the time, possibly so much so that he thinks that she is stifling his social life. One day he’ll come to realize that she’s just looking out for him, but it will seem that that day will never come. But she’ll keep at it, never losing hope and never giving up.

Why? Because she’s a Heart Mom. And Heart Moms go above and beyond.

Don’t be first

February 25, 2009

“When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off.” — Lt. Col Hal Moore (Mel Gibson), We Were Soldiers

Well, that’s not smart. Looks good up on the Silver Screen, but it’s not smart.

It’s my first full day back; the Funky Stomach hasn’t turned over once, and I feel (almost) normal. I’ve had to catch up on the mail and paperwork that I’ve neglected for the last few days. One of the things I haven’t been able to deal with until now is the annual paperwork for the government, so I’ve spent a lot of time doing that today. While it may seem intimidating, it is really a matter of organization. You need a large 3 ring binder to hold your financial records, the willingness to place them in the binder once you check for obvious errors, and access to a photocopier. My printer doubles as a photocopier (many of them do) and the cost is reasonable, so there is no excuse not to have one if you need it. Then when it’s time to fill out the forms, all your records are safe in one place, and in chronological order!

I also have those stackable file drawers by Rubbermaid that I store medical records in – one drawer for each hospital plus an extra for “stuff” that doesn’t easily fit a category…. really, it is all a matter of organization.

I thought that I would be too busy to post tonight until I saw this report from the Happy Hospitalist:  Surgeons do better when they “warm up” before operations! Apparently fifteen to twenty minutes of performing a simple simulated operation is enough to restore and improve their skills.

The study also included surgeons just coming off a long workday (in other words, a long period On Call) and even they showed improvement. But no amount of practice or Warm-Ups could restore them to 100% of the skill they had at the beginning of the shift. Even though you can refocus, sometimes the body and mind are just too tired.

This information can be used to your advantage: If you have a a scheduled procedure coming up, don’t be the first patient of the day. Be patient number 2 or number 3. With most surgeons, the percentage of improvement isn’t that much, but every little bit helps!