Thursday, December 22, 2011

# 103 - Gotta Do It

When you are dealing with a chronic illness, you must stay on top of your daily care. You've gotta do it.

In my situation, I have several specialists I see on a regular basis in Houston's Medical Center. Traveling into Houston is no big deal since we live a short distance outside of Houston's city limits. The only problem with the Medical Center is the growing congestion.

Going to the doctor is something that must be done, even if you are passing by several places that you'd rather be visiting. Such as the golf course.

Even more fun, would be to spend a couple of hours walking around the Houston Zoo or going to see an IMAX Movie...maybe a tour of the museum would be awesome...but I can't stop; I'm on a tight schedule and must make my doctor's appointment.

The Medical Center reminds me of an overgrown village. Everything is tightly packed together and one wrong turn can mean a lengthy detour to get back to where you need to be. So, make the congestion work for you and take your sweet time getting to your destination the first time around.

I drove the big Dodge truck into the Medical Center and this is where my "Texan" status is evident. Not only can I drive around in a tight parking garage while driving a large vehicle, I can find a parking space next to a concrete pillar and I can BACK INTO the space on the first try. That is Texas training in action.

Since my doctor's office is located on the 28th floor, I had to take a series of elevators to get to my destination.

Once there, I enjoyed the view. Even though I was born and raised in the Houston area, I still get a kick out of sky-rise views. So, I went to the window in the waiting room and took several shots of the beautiful, even with my camera's reflection.

And while I was at it, I wanted to make sure you know that I am wearing my Medic Alert Bracelet. I've had Addison's for over ten years and not always felt as if this bracelet has done me justice, but I decided to not give up on the chance that it might do its job one day and save my life.

Being patient in the waiting room is something that I have previously written about in my blog. Being a patient often requires great patience.

It can be a dreaded experience to sit in the doctor's office, but I had such a peaceful trip on this day that I relaxed and enjoyed the break. Besides, it seems that not that many people want to see the cardio-thoracic surgeon around Christmas time.

And the drive home made me thankful to live in a greater metropolitan area. Even after we move to the country, we will still be within one hour's drive to Houston's Medical Center. Not too shabby. I'm looking forward to country living with city conveniences still within our grasp.

In the picture below, you'll see the famous DeBakey Heart and Vascular Institute. This is the place where artificial hearts were created. I had heart catherization performed here at the Methodist heart institute. The artery in my groin area would not seal and the surgeons had been manually compressing the artery, taking turns until they were exhausted, so they brought out the clamp. Yes, a clamp. It looked exactly like a wood working clamp that my husband uses when doing projects with wood. They clamped my leg to the gurney and I had to stay that way for a very long time as I spiked a fever and was told that I was going septic.

As I was clamped to the gurney in recovery, a frenzy of activity swirled around me. My blood pressure dropped and part of this journey I don't remember, but they did increase my fluids and beat the deadly septic situation. I had no idea what this word meant on this day, but I soon learned how fortunate I had been to recover.

Not fun, but I'm glad I had been at Methodist. My mother had been by my side through this ordeal and her making me laugh probably didn't help my situation with the artery. But, sometimes, you gotta laugh. You just gotta do it.

Texas Children's Hospital is an incredible place for sick children to receive the utmost in care. They have tiny versions of everything an adult dreads. I always opt for the "Texas Children's" size IV. (Just remember...High gauge # means Smaller tube under the skin). Texas Children's was there for my children while growing up --- my daughters are beautiful adults, and I'm thankful to have had this hospital at our disposal.

And since we are an Aggie family, I can show you the picture below, but I can't say those dirty words. Okay, I'll whisper them..." texas university."

I guess for us Texans, the state is so darn big that we have to enjoy a bit of Southern civil rivalry. Who would've thought that Texas itself would've been divided into "North" and "South?"

So, if you must go to the doctor, get going and stay focused. Pass up all the fun things so that you can enjoy them another day, and if you must park the tank in the squat parking place, do it with bravery. Back it in!

Always remember that taking care of yourself is a priority, you can make time for the zoo in the near future. I'll be sure to say "hello" to the monkeys for you.


  1. Lana, thank you for checking up on me. This year has been full of turmoil for me, not just coping and recovering but much stress and change on the job. It's been nose to the grindstone, but I'm beginning to think my planets are coming back into alignment. I'm hopeful for the New Year!

    Merry Christmas! Be well,


  2. Michael...I'm so sorry that you've had to go through so much physical and emotional pain. Job changes on top of it cannot be easy to deal with, but you can do it. Sometimes it's too much to take it day by day, so take it moment by moment and keep telling yourself that the day WILL come when you will be able to put some sense together out of your trials. I do hope all goes back into alignment, even if a little off kilter, it may end up to be better than before.

    Here's to you and to your New Year bringing you good things, sweet things, and blessings of all kinds.

    Merry Christmas to you too!!!!!



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