Monday, March 26, 2012

Get a Lawyer

My records from my current RE came last week. There were really only two things in that stack of papers I wanted: my surgery reports. The night they came, I went up to bed and looked through them, even though I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to go to sleep.

The surgery report from this year was on the top. I read through it, making sure I saw every word. When I got to the end, there was an extra paragraph:
Addendum: Unfortunately as the laparoscopic tower was being moved, there was a lose power to the tower, and as such, images from the laparoscope from the laparoscopic surgery did not get printed. The machine does not have a memory in it and as such we have lost all of these images from the surgery and there is nothing to share with the patient except my op note.
I read and re-read that paragraph three times. Each time the anger welled up inside me.

I work for a company who develops the image capture devices in ORs, and I know how they work. Why? Because I document how they work for a living!

I was so angry because I know that even when power is lost to these devices, the images do not just disappear. And if there was no hard drive, how was anything from the surgery being temporarily stored? Why weren't the images printed during the surgery? Wouldn't moving the tower post-op to print the images anywhere else also result in a loss of power? If so, how have they been getting along without a hard drive in this surgery center all of this time?

In other words, I'm calling foul.

There were also notes in my records about discussions I know I never had with this doctor. Specifically around IVF cycles, protocols, how and when to give myself shots, etc. I have had ZERO interest in doing IVF, and he has known that since the first day I set foot in his office. So why would he discuss protocols around it with me? And I am damn sure he never told me how or when to give myself shots.

As if all of that weren't enough, I finally made it to the beginning of my chart (it was printed from latest to earliest visit), and the op report from my repair surgery back in 2010 is basically absent. The only thing about the actual surgery in there are some brief, handwritten notes that say who the surgeon performing the surgery was, who the anesthesiologist was, what fluids were used, and what type of surgery was being performed. That's it. There are NO surgery notes. There are notes about pre-op and post-op discussions, but no surgery notes. For all I know, he didn't do a damn thing two years ago.

The next day I asked my project manager about the laparoscopic tower, just to confirm what I know. One of my coworkers who knows a lot about our devices was walking by as my PM and I were talking about it, and my PM pulled him into the discussion. When I told them the images were conveniently missing, the first thing they both said was, "You should get a lawyer." They confirmed the way the device works, and that the images don't just disappear. But add to that the fact that there are no surgery notes from my 2010 surgery, and something smells fishy.

I have been doing my homework in the days since the discussion with my PM, and am trying to confirm the brand of equipment used in that OR, because if it was manufactured by my company, I know I have a case. Why? Because I write the documentation!!!

My PM and coworker told me I should at least get a letter from a lawyer requesting surgery notes and images from 2010. You can't tell me he didn't document the procedure other than those 10 handwritten words. Not taking extensive notes is negligence. Hell, loosing the images from my last surgery is negligence.

Luckily, I have both a lawyer and a doctor in the family and am going to consult both of them about this situation. I am also going to move up the later of my two new RE appointments and get their opinion on the matter. I know that most doctors don't want to give their professional opinion about other doctors because they don't want to get caught up in legal battles against their peers, but I am hoping that at the very least they can get the 2010 notes and images for me. Dr D would have a very difficult time telling another doctor no without having a really good explanation.

I don't know if Dr D is hiding anything. Maybe he is just negligent. I mean, I had another woman's lab report stuck in my charts. Guess what? She was pregnant! I kept looking at the Hcg count on that lab report wondering why I had been told I wasn't pregnant. It wasn't until I was going to put that page down that I noticed the name at the top wasn't mine. Do you know what that is? Its a HIPPA violation. And it makes me wonder if my surgery report is in someone else's chart.

Since getting my records, I've been sick to my stomach. I trusted this man, and now I wonder if he messed things up for me even more than the first doctor did when he shaved the septum rather than cut it. Did Dr D mess up? Is he trying to cover something? I can tell you, after my belly button got infected just before my business trip, I have said I am willing to undergo another laparoscopy with a different doctor just to make sure.

Oh yeah, and Dr D found a patch of endometriosis during my lapraroscopy that he sent out for confirmation. I never heard back on whether or not it came back positive. I got a bill from the lab week before last. In my charts that I just got, it says it came back positive. It was an endometrioma. Thanks for telling me Dr D. You're awesome.

I go between feeling sick and angry every time I think about how I trusted this man. What makes it even harder is knowing my husband did not like him from the get-go. But in my defense, my husband RARELY likes any doctor. He thinks they are all quacks. I quit making doctor/dentist/massage appointments for him because he never has anything good to say about the people I send him to. So I figured his dislike for Dr D was just like him with every other doctor.

For now our plan is to consult the new REs and get their opinion on everything. If I don't hear back from Dr D's office soon regarding the missing surgery notes (I called them on Thursday morning to ask for them and still have not heard back), I will have my lawyer write up a letter demanding them. Until then, I am trying to stay as calm as possible and ignore as much of it as I can until I absolutely have to face it.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Someone's Missing

One day last week, Hubs and I were loading Baby Bean into the car to go get some dinner. After I had her all buckled in she pointed to the seat next to her and said, "Someone's missing." The look I gave my husband probably said a million things all at once.

I swore up and down over the past year that a laparoscopy was our last step, and then we were moving on with our lives. I did over a year's worth of medicated cycles, just so I could say I tried. I was tired of fighting this losing battle, and I just wanted to enjoy my life and the blessings I already have in it. I wanted to move on from the 5-year battle.

While I was in California for business a couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in a meeting in a woman's office. On one of her shelves were pictures of her three kids. My coworker asked about her kids, and she told us two were in college, and the last was in high school. She talked for a few minutes about her kids, and then all of a sudden, I felt like someone was grabbing my heart and squeezing. I wanted to cry. It took everything I had to keep from crying.

I'm not done. My family is not complete.

I can't tell you what was said during that hour+ meeting, because all I could do was breathe through the pain that was flowing through my veins. I kept envisioning my life 15 years from now, and that life had three kids in it. I have always wanted three kids. Even when I was in high school, three was my desired number.

For an hour, a battle raged in my heart and head. I was done. I swore I was done. I felt so free after the surgery and since. I had done all I could, or rather was willing to put my family through. I drew the line at fully medicated cycles and stood by that. But my heart ached so much in that moment. I wanted so badly to call or text my husband for comfort and support.

A couple of months ago, BB found my fertility monitor and asked what it was. I told her it was to help mom and dad hopefully make another baby. She handed it to me and said, "Here, make a baby, and show me when you're done." I laughed so hard. Every time she sees the monitor since then, she tells me to make a baby.

Tonight we were at the store, and a baby was crying a few rows over. BB made a comment about how the baby was sad, and asked if we should go get it to cheer it up. She then asked if we could take it home and keep it.

For months BB has told me she has a brother and a sister. Funny enough, she calls them both Kate.

The other night while I was bathing her, I was asking her number questions. "How many eyes do you have? How many fingers do you have? How many people are in your family? How many people do you wish were in your family?" The answer to the last question, five.

I don't know if my daughter knows something I don't. Maybe all little kids go through this phase where they want siblings. But one thing I do know, is that her seemingly constant desire for a brother and sister have made it very difficult to put down my weapons and walk away from the infertile fight.

When I made my appointments with the two new REs, I had no intention of getting into cycles. I only wanted a second and third opinion. After receiving my records from my current RE, I know I was right in doing so (more on that in another post). But now, I am not sure which way to steer this ship. I guess I will wait and talk to them before making any kind of decision. Being in limbo is so much easier than making decisions sometimes. Just keep on doing what you're doing and calling it good.

I just wish I knew what I needed to do. What path I needed to choose. More importantly, I wish I could find a doctor I could trust. I wish I knew the future, but, "it is hidden from us by infinite wisdom."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Life in Color

I am trying harder to keep up with my blog posting and reading lately. I have been reading a lot of the blogs in my reader, but not always commenting due to time constraints and interruptions. But I AM reading. (SIF, every time I go out to your blog, I can't find the comment link. Where did it go?!)

As you all know, I was on a business trip last week in San Jose/San Francisco. I had a great time because I was with one of my coworkers who has become a really good friend since the trip. She went with me when I went last year too, but this time she stayed as long as I did. We get along so well and talked the whole time. There was never a moment with awkward silence. There was rarely a moment with silence at all. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to have such a great travel companion. And, she is an excellent co-pilot/navigator. While I didn't feel like I accomplished as much as I would have liked to on the business side of things, I did nurture some good friendships.

Over the weekend I got so much done around the house. I felt awesome. I mowed the lawn; pulled up the weeds from the lawn (we live next to a field, so weeds and our grass think they are best friends); scooped dog bombs; filled in holes dug by the puppies last summer; bought and planted some veggies, herbs, and flowers; did laundry for BB; cooked breakfast and dinner; organized the last of the unorganized cabinets in our house; mopped the kitchen floor twice; mopped the entire downstairs (hardwood/tile); shampooed the upstairs carpets; did general house cleaning; researched and bought BB a playhouse; ordered a bathroom cabinet; went grocery shopping twice; and took a nap with BB on Saturday and Sunday.

It was one of those weekends that felt awesome because I got so much done. The best part is, I still have the drive to do more. In fact, we went and bought more veggie and herb plants tonight, as well as a blueberry bush, to replace one we lost last year in the hottest summer in U.S. recorded history, a lemon tree, and a lime tree. Oh yeah, I found out you can grow hydrangeas in Texas, so I bought and planted a couple of those too. I can't wait for them to grow and bloom!

This weekend I plan on getting my bathroom cabinet in, and then cleaning the bathroom from top to bottom. I think I will then finally tackle tearing down wallpaper in our master bathroom. A project that has been on the To Do list since we moved in 4 years ago. But before then, I will plant all of the plants we bought tonight.

I love it when I have so much energy and drive to do things, so I am taking advantage of it while it lasts.

In other news, I have scheduled appointments with two new REs. While both of them could get me in this week, I opted to schedule for 2-3 weeks out. I put in a request to Dr D's office on Friday to obtain a copy of all of my records. I didn't tell them why because I didn't feel like it was any of their business. I asked them to release the records to me, as opposed to the new RE's. That way I have a copy and can give them as I see fit.

Something happened to me on the baby front while I was in San Jose, and I am debating over whether or not to talk about it on the blog. No, I'm not pregnant. Part of me wants to keep it to myself, a big part of me, actually. But at the same time, this blog is about my journey. So I am going to sit on it for a while and see how I feel as time goes on. The only reason I'm mentioning it now is so that if I decide to talk about it later, no one thinks it is a split decision.

To end on a cute note, I ordered Baby Bean a personalized Easter basket today. It is so cute, and I can't wait to get it. I am so excited to go buy things to put in it. Knowing me, the basket won't be big enough. My baby may be spoiled, but she is not a brat. :D

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Where is our Journey?

You know you have chosen the wrong doctor to perform your surgery when he tells you your stitches will dissolve, and 6 weeks later you attempt to cut them off yourself.

You know your doctor is a piece of crap when two weeks after you cut your stitches as close to the skin as you could, you get an infection and have to call your brother-in-law, who is a doctor, and ask if you need to go to an instacare to have your infection taken care of before you go on a business trip in two days.

You know you chose to see the wrong doctor for two years when you ask your brother-in-law if the RE should have removed the stitches and he tells you yes.

Thinking back over the last two years with Dr D, all of his incorrect diagnoses, and all of the things he should or should not have done has lead me to believe I need to seek a second opinion. I'm still done. I'm still not going to do treatments anymore. But I still want to know how full of shite Dr D is and has been.

He told us my husband was infertile, and that our only chances of conception were IVF. That's not what the urologist said. In fact, the urologist said my husband is pretty stinking fertile. Hubs has done loads and loads of research the last couple of weeks that confirms what the urologist said.

Dr D told me that even if we repaired the rupture from when Baby Bean was born, I would not be able to go on to get pregnant, and if I did, I would rupture and bleed out, and my baby would die if it wasn't born early, blind, deaf, and retarded. The doctors at Mayo said he was full of crap.

He's been telling me for over a year that I have low estrogen. He told me after my surgery that the scar tissue trapping my ovary and fallopian tube were not affecting my fertility.

He was wrong about everything else, how do I know he isn't wrong about that?

But do you know what really scares me? What the hell did he do during my last surgery? What did he do during the first one? Did HE mess it up so that we would have a hard time conceiving again?

After the belly button infection last weekend, I told my husband I wanted to go get a second opinion. If I have to do another laparoscopy this year, then so be it. Because as of right now, I don't trust a damn thing Dr. D told me about my surgery or anything over the last two years.

Next week, I will be finding another RE and going for a second opinion just because I want to know. Every other doctor we've seen for second opinions so far has said Dr. D was full of crap. Why should this last time be any different? I want to prove him wrong more than anything right now. I want the opinion of another doctor to throw in his face. Again.

I just want to know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dude, I Rock

I have been a busy lady lately. I've been saving money aside from my weekly budget to buy a few needed and wanted items. Between the money I saved and a few gift cards I got for Christmas and my birthday, I've been able to cross a few things off my wish list.

The first was this little bitty:
It's a sonic jewelry cleaner. This was a priority because my husband bought me a jewelry armoir for my birthday, and none of my jewelry had ever seen a cleaner. Some of it I have had since I was in high school, and so as you can imagine, it was in desperate need of cleaning. I could not believe how clean this thing got everything. It did such an awesome job, I lent it to a good friend for the weekend.

After that, I got me this:

I've been wanting another bedspread for some time. I have one, but sometimes it has to go to the cleaners and I need a backup. I found this one and fell in love. And, it was on sale. Like majorly on sale. The price has since gone back up. I got it for a steal.

Then I really wanted one of these:
That's a food dehydrator. My grandma used to dry bananas, and it was one of my favorite things to eat when visiting her. She died a few years ago, and I have really missed those bananas, so I finally bought myself a dehydrator. I have already used it multiple times. I've dried well over a dozen bananas, 10 pineapples, loads of apples, a few kiwis, some pears, and I even tried watermelon. The best part? My bananas taste just like grandma's!

Another thing I've been wanting for years is one of these:

Sorry to all of the professional floor cleaners I used to call in to clean my carpets. It just wasn't as cost saving as this buying my own cleaner. Plus, I can clean my carpets whenever I want now. I haven't used it yet, but believe me, I fully intend to. This weekend even. This thing is going to rock my world. I just know it. But if that doesn't, do you know what will? All of the music I recently downloaded courtesy of my dad. (Thanks again dad!)

Thanks to a generous donation from my dad, I was able to clear off my Amazon music wish list. I downloaded 15 new albums, or 19+ hours of music. Guess how long it took me to download it all? About 15 minutes. It made my week, and I had had a hell of a week.

As if all of that shopping wasn't enough, I have also been doing some major spring cleaning around my house. I have been reorganizing and ditching. It all started with the master bedroom closet, and then it went downhill from there. Next I cleaned and organized the attic. Then Baby Bean's room and closet. Then the cabinet in the bathroom. Then the kitchen. And finally the kitchen cabinets. I'm not done yet either. I still want to do the rest of the house, but especially our garage. I have just been on such a cleaning/organizing streak lately. All of that is in addition to my regular cleaning and mowing the lawn.

My next purchase will be a cabinet for our half bath. I can't WAIT to get everything in that bathroom into a cabinet!

I've gotta say, I am digging this drive. My house is starting to look pretty awesome... and organized!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Well, Hello

Hello friends, I know, I know, its been weeks. Weeks and weeks. I even have a list of post ideas written up and sitting on my desk... at home. Where am I? I'm on a business trip away from my gorgeous baby and super hot husband. While I enjoy business trips, I don't because I have a hard time being without my little family. Hopefully this trip will reap some good rewards though.

So, I have to show you all something new. Something that I love. Want to see?

These were the pictures we got taken for Baby Bean's 3rd birthday. I absolutely love the way they turned out. You would never know that my child was having a melt down just a split second before this picture was taken.

Want more?

Would you guess that these were taken a week after my surgery? There I am, in blue jeans, button digging into my belly button, and laying on my tummy. It hurt. But I smiled because I was so overjoyed to be in that moment. There, with my perfect little girl for her 3rd birthday. A day I never thought I would see.

Worth it. All of it, worth it. I am the luckiest woman to be a mother to such a sweet little girl. She is everything to me.

I had such a hard time with the thought of going on a business trip without her that I booked it almost 3 months in advance, so I would have time to work into the idea. And then she slept in bed with me Saturday and Sunday night.

These trips bring me such mixed emotions. When I come out here, I get to meet up with friends and coworkers, and we always go out for a night on the town at least once. We hit the pier and shop and eat and goof off like kids, even though we are all in our 30s. But the whole time I am wishing the days would go fast so I can get back home to my family.

I know this post is short, and kind of random, but I am going to cut it off here so I can go call my husband before he goes to bed. I promise another post will be coming soon!