Monday, April 10, 2017

Tight Quarters

This is a heart room. I can see the perfusion (heart lung machine) to the right.

Believe it or not, I have done a cardiac anesthesia fellowship, and I have the credentials to work in a room like this.  (my workstation is one the left, with the monitor)

Fortunately, at my hospital, the leadership saw how devoted I was to my four-year old son, and they opted for another anesthesiologist besides me (one of the 'guys') to take over most of the work, so I could spend more time with my precious boy as he was growing up.

Although it was painful to feel the rejection, and it stung like crazy at the start, I grew to appreciate the wisdom of this decision. The hours are long in the heart room, there's lots of call, and as a single mom it really would have been too difficult.

Besides, the heart room's loss is Reiki's gain!

That's when I started my official curriculum in Reiki and psychic development too.

I am finished with call this weekend. I had to get a hotel room near the hospital. Fortunately I was able to take a one hour nap mid afternoon, then I was in the hospital until almost three in the morning.

That leaves me a little fuzzy and sleepy after a call. Today I had the need for sleep overwhelm me twice. Fortunately the last time, it was only twenty minutes.

I have a couple key insights from this experience, possibly the most important one is how closely I was able to co-create this with Spirit, working as a team, and still having Spirit get the 'work' out of me that I apparently 'signed up to do'.

The night before I asked for 'easy, easy!'...I wanted all of my cases to be easy as it gets, because I knew in my bones there were going to be lots of them.

Spirit, right away, in the morning, told me to book a room at the hotel, which I did.

In the morning as I was heading to the car, I grabbed all the tupperware containers with leftovers from the refrigerator in a huge grocery bag, along with some fruit and my lunch bag (it has my utensils I wash and keep to keep plastic out of the landfill)...All of my food for the day was from home.

As I was exhausted, after my last case, and laying my head on the pillow, here is the insight that was new--I was filled with love and gratitude that technically it had not been worse...I worked hard and the cases were challenging, but everything was caught earlier before lets say, the 'appendix burst' and 'the patients got really sick'.

The second insight is medical care is so good it is taken for granted by the patients who if we weren't on call probably wouldn't have been able to walk out of the hospital, or even be alive for a wheelchair ride out.

People have no clue how very sick they are, how close to dying their conditions make them.

People with bowel that is dead inside have pain, but no knowledge of the impending doom if surgical action is not taken quickly.

People with broken bones have no idea how often bones don't want to go back together right, how difficult the surgeon and teams have to work, especially if the fracture is comminuted (like corn flakes in lots of little pieces).

People who 'are under' have no concept of how difficult it can be for me to keep them alive--from the insertion of the breathing tube or LMA--to keeping up with the fluid shifts--to making sure their heart doesn't get overloaded with fluid or too low a blood pressure during the case.

Often the family members are just as lacking in insight as their loved ones; all they know is their loved one is sick, and they have taken them to us to make them better.

I certainly appreciated the work of our teams during the week. The anesthesia technician who stocks my equipment. The nurses and techs who know how to work the fracture table with ease and skill. The reps for the equipment who know just how to talk a surgeon through a difficult case and to use their technology right the first time.

It could have been worse, for this I was grateful. Everyone did well, and I am thankful I know in my heart just how much of a miracle it is, how we really did, as a team, 'save a life' again and again and again through my call shift.

Today I was cold to my bones.

This doesn't happen often, but it used to all the time in the heart room. The cardiac OR is kept cool to help the patient have less neurological damage during bypass. The regular OR isn't as chilly, but it is still cold for infection control. (just like why you put milk in the fridge and not the countertop)

Back when I used to do lots of hearts I would go into the sauna at the gym once a week to get the cold out.

In the middle of the night on call, I had the Bair Hugger on the patient, but I hugged the hose and put it inside my jacket to warm me up.

The morning shower at the hotel helped a little.

So did spending time with Anthony outside walking in the sun.

Even a long soak in the tub won't warm it. I've had a sweater on and it doesn't help! I even took a nap in the sun on the porch swing.

How I wish things were black and white--so simple!

Here are some recent articles for you--I think they are worth reading:

  • Some bloggers are terrified because recently big accounts (Walmart, Pepsi) have pulled their funding from YouTube and blogs. It is called 'demonetization'. Apparently if something isn't 'the party line' (read--mainstream media)--then the videos are uploaded but no advertising is assigned, and the blogger doesn't get money from the ads. 
  • I went through this a long time ago. The only ads I permit are with a thing that lets you see all over the world. To use that widget, it comes with ads. They don't benefit me. From my blog, I would make all of seventeen dollars a month if i monetized. On YouTube, probably lots less, and I get less traffic. This is why I am thankful I trusted my instinct, and kept the DONOR button off the blog, and also, the ads. Everywhere. I work and support myself. This allows my work to be Under The Radar because it is Small Potatoes to Those Who Are 'Worldly'. 
  • Please take this into account if you depend on 'alternative media' to inform's not without bias any more, if monetization was ever part of the picture.

Now for the good part....shhhh....

I took care of someone who was 'embarrassed of their tattoos'.

The conversation deeply touched my heart.

This patient said, 'You are going to Heaven, I know it.' to me and the RN.

We were like, 'What?'

The patient said, 'Because you help people. My (partner) and I, we want to help people too.'
(in the past some of the choices were not 'good choices' this patient admitted).

It wasn't the versed talking.

It was the heart.

This is why I work such long hours, and have such hard cases. 

Spirit wants me there for the one who once tried suicide and it didn't work.

Creator wants my face to be the one to talk with the family of the patient who had a stormy intraoperative course, and apparently was hoping perhaps 'it was their time' to 'go' and communicating this to the family before the case!

Divine Mother and Divine Father want me to be the one for the patient with the horrible cancer who is going to have life-changing surgery and never be the same again, to smile and say, 'my mother had this exact same thing and is doing well!'

I do a lot of work with my teams, it isn't just me. I'm the one who knows with the 'eyes that see' that there is a whole lot MORE to surgery than what meets the eye. Not just the emotional support, or the psychological support, or the medical skills and talents--but the Spiritual ones too.

How do I feel after twenty four hours almost of this?

Sleepy. Just like everyone else.

And my Spirit/emotional muscles are a little tired too, from all the 'working out'. <3


This is my jewel, my honey, always with a smile, and finding a reason to take care of another who is in need of pain relief, anesthesia, and surgical care, with all of her heart.

After this, Carla comes home and takes care of Anthony, even stopping off on the way home from work to bring him at his request, his favorite breakfast--a small Vietnamese coffee, and banh mi breakfast sandwich with egg. And a little egg roll warm and toasty too.

Carla is love with all of her heart!

Now it is time to be cooking dinner.

There is a small sadness in Carla's heart.

She would have enjoyed making something, a Seder, if you know what that is.

Carla has the lovely Seder plate, and all the recipes.

Sometimes, when push comes to shove, survival is of the essence.

Carla there shall be MANY more Passovers for us and for our family. (he has the nicest, most patient smile, and this I trust)

clap! clap!

Aloha and Mahalos,

Ross and Carla
The Twins