Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Most Patients Need a Medical Advocate

Enjoy a Threesome

My sister Karla has suffered with a knee problem for over a year. She’s had surgery. Been on crutches. Walked with a cane. More surgery—the doctor scraped the bone. No relief from swelling or pain.

She’s seen a family practice doctor, a surgeon, an orthopedic surgeon, an infectious disease doctor. She’s spent time in the hospital with IV’s and at home with home health and more IV’s. I can’t remember how many doctors have tried to drain the fluid from her knee. Several put the icky fluid in a Petri dish to grow—trying to find the cause of the problem.

Nothing grows.

When Karla’s knee swelled to horrific proportions, the orthopedic doctor said, “Probably more surgery, but I’m sending you to a rheumatologist first.”

My sister Karen and Lil, Karla’s friend, accompanied Karla to the new doctor appointment. All three ladies fell in love with the doctor.

“He’s just wonderful. He said he has absolutely no idea what my problem is, but he didn’t recommend surgery again.” No wonder Karla liked him.

Lil and Karen are still Karla’s advocates. Between the two they remember everything Karla complains about between appointments and then share the details with the doctor.

At the last appointment the doctor asked Karla why she didn’t call him when she had a problem. She shrugged. The doctor turned to Lil and Karen. “Here’s my card. If she says anything about the pain, swelling or whatever….call me. We are going to figure this out—together.”

My two-cents: Never be ashamed to ask someone to attend a doctor visit with you. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

What I Learned from Breast Cancer

In April 2009 I did the squeeze, squash yearly mammogram thingie. The radiologist said he saw no problems and in a few days I received the card. The card that confirms there are no problems. But in June I found a red spot on my left breast.

I ignored it like you do a mosquito bite. When it didn’t go away, husband and I talked about it. Like, after all, what could it be? The yearly mammo didn’t show a problem. By late July husband gave me the ultimatum, “You will call a doctor tomorrow.”

Tuesday morning I saw our primary care doctor. She sent me to a surgeon at a cancer center that afternoon. Husband became my number one advocate and cheerleader—until he died right after my fifth chemo.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crawford's Smoothie


It did work for husband. He had lost from 240 to 153 while struggling with Psuedomyxoma Peritonei (PMP). A few weeks after his surgery at Creighton University, I drove husband to No Name in West Omaha. Katie looked at husband and said, "This is what I'd do...." So we followed her advice and husband started to gain weight.

Protein Smoothie:
1 Cup rice milk
1 banana
1 heaping teaspoon ALL ONE POWDER multiple vitamins and Minerals.
1 Tablespoon Udo oil
1 heaping scoop of rice or whey protein*
2 Tablespoons hydrolyzed collagen protein*

Pour the rice milk in a blender, add banana and pulse. Add powder and UDO oil. Then the proteins. If you use the Tablespoon for the oil and then the hydrolyzed protein, the hp will come off the spoon easier.

Not sure husband’s tummy could stand the oatmeal in the beginning, but eventually he added about 2/3rds cup steel cut or hard oats and then blended on high.

About the time Katie suggested the above smoothie a doctor listed a similar recipe in a Sunday Parade. His didn't have the extra protein, but he added all that other stuff and feeds it to his kids every morning.

Also, husband used Barley Max. Sometimes he added 2 spoons to his shake. Healthy, healthy stuff.

*I use rice protein --I'm allergic to so much stuff. Husband likes vanilla whey.
Hydrolyzed Collagen is by Twinlab LPP regular (contains predigested whey protein)"
*Use rice or almond milk (not soy. Soy is too hard to digest and remember, no dairy.)