When It’s Time You’ll Know…

When it’s time you’ll know.  What, you may ask?  Hell, I don’t know.  I started writing this blog a week or so ago.  I had a concept in mind, but I didn’t write it down.  Somehow I  thought the title would trigger the essence of the concept.  Um…not so much.  Let’s see if I can time travel and figure out who I was 10 days ago.

 

 

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Beep. Bop. Boop.  (The sound of the time machine)

 

It turns out I’m pretty much the exact same person.  I know what I’ve been going through lately.  I’m guessing I’m ready to share. Sometimes do you pray?  Well, sometimes I do too.  I was praying for clarity about two weeks ago.  Guess what I finally figured out?  Everything in your life happens FOR YOU not TO YOU.  It was very important for me to figure this out….finally.  (Thank you God and the whole Universe) I mean, I received it at a deeper level.  It felt so good to get rid of that negative baggage.  It felt so good, I want everyone to feel this good.

 

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When the evolved people tell you that everything happens for you, they really mean it.  Not just the pleasant experiences in your life, but the ‘bad ones too.  Especially the ones you think are the worst.   The bad stuff.  Let’s talk about it.  It’s easy to accept missing a parking spot, for instance, that caused you to drive down a different street causes you to bump into just the right person at just the right time.  Maybe someone you’ve been looking for, for a while.  But what about the big stuff.  What about when you lose your job…and you’ve been hungry, or you marry young and you do realize that smile hides a monster.  Maybe you let your guard down and confidential in someone with loose lips and your business walks up to you.  When you have been deeply hurt and disappointed, who can see the good?  At first no one can.

 

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That’s the key.  It takes TIME.  One day you will be fed up with the direction your life is headed in and you’ll consider there must be a better way.  You will know it because you’ll see it all around you.  Soon after that day, you will consider unpacking all of that baggage you carry around.  Maybe your neck, back or shoulders hurt from carrying all of the metaphysical junk.  When it’s time to let it go, you will know.  Don’t chastise yourself for how long it takes you to get there.  Some of the ‘mistakes’ you make take years to correct and it’s hard to heal when your going through it, but you can do it. Your personal evolution always happens right on time.  In the meantime in between time, just know all of that stuff, especially the stuff you hate the most, is happening for you.  You will be OK because you’re already ok!

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Umm…..A Love Letter To Myself

Are you you worst critic?  Well I am.  When I decided to write this blog, I decided to write for a purpose.  I said I would post a few times per week.  Then life happened, as it does sometimes, and came with a whole hurricane of B.S. that I allowed to trash my focus.  Worst yet, my creativity.  I have always been good at making stuff up (creativity), but I couldn’t for a few weeks.  I’m recommitting myself to my blog.  So, please enjoy this love letter to myself, from myself about….myself.

 
My Dearest Stacie,

Hey Stacie!  How have you been?  I can tell you’ve been a little testy lately.  A little hurt, a lot disappointed in people.  I can tell when that happens because you stop talking, or writing in this case.  I thought you were lost.  Do you know how I found you?  I followed the trail of empty cookie wrappers, kettle chips, low-sodium Better Made Chips (I know, you don’t like the salt), Ibuprofen (from the headaches).  I said, my Pumpkin’s upset.  Heavens to Betsy!

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MMMM!  Fresh baked cookies!  Let’s learn about my favorite desserts!

 

It’s going to be OK, you know.  A little upheaval is good for us all sometimes.  I know you were already feeling like it was getting to be too much again, but you needed to shake things up too.  Afterall, some pretty good things happened too! You needed to pray and re-center your thoughts.  So, don’t be mad that you didn’t write a blog.  You did your best…plus you lost those hot 2 pounds! You are so outstanding you should reward yourself with a dessert from Astoria Bakery! Ha!

 

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My favorite dessert from Astoria Pastry Shop!

 

Anyways, it’s been nice re-centering.  Watching the kids eat Play-doh.  Special shout out to those three baskets you made on the basketball court this month.  Girl, you are killing the game! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😉

So glad you’re better now.  Let’s move it forward.  Happy August!  Keep in mind everything happens for a reason you make you better!

 

Your Pal,

Stacie

 

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I Looooove cotton candy!!

I’m Hungry Too!

Hello!

It’s been 4 years since my Mother first got sick.  Somehow I have managed to be patient while she has been a patient.  The truth is, we are patients together.  She gets poked, cut, infused, transfused, transplanted and scoped and I marvel at the medical profession and wonder if anyone stops to consider how much one person can take.  I can answer that.. Nope!  Do you know what I’m thinking right now?  This shit is stupid.

 

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I get that our patients become cases to us.  Just a series of numbers, labs and images to analyze and match to the treatment plan in the protocol, Up-to-Date or heaven forbid…Dr. Google.  Did anyone actually review the scan themselves or just lazily wait until radiology thinks for you? (Sorry we’re having multiple conversations here) Yes people, there are times when you’re trusting your loved to people who have stopped thinking, years ago.  Folks relying on “the plan”, but never stopping to read the plan or consider why each step is in place. (Yes, I do think you jumped the gun by calling Oncology.  Why are discussing that with me?  We have to think together now? Damn!)  The plan or protocol can be awesome!  It helps you most of the time.  Yet there are times when we simply need to think outside of that plan.

 

 

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So you complete the protocol.  You ordered every lab.  You update your Chief. You finally present your patient to the team with your focus on sounding good.  Your bruised ego gets stroked because your name is sounding great to the team.  But does your name sound good to your patient?          Umm ……maybe………..not….

 

 

 

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Please consider.  Someone pays for every step of your treatment plan.  Choose wisely.  Do you know who pays?  If you’re lucky it’s the patient alone, but we don’t live in vacuums do we?  Do you know who pays?  Entire families, especially caregivers. Caregivers pay Dr. Genius.  Someone had to make sure your patient stayed hydrated enough to follow through with your plan.  Someone has to drive to the pharmacy three times in one week when you decide to change meds…then decide again.  Someone rubs the arms of the blown veins because you forgot to add a blood test after you just sent them for bloods tests.  Oops!  Someone holds your patient’s hair when they vomit.  Someone washes the bed sheets in the middle of the night…again.   Someone is missing their Grandmother, Mom, Dad, Uncle, Aunt, Brother or Sister at their birthday, ball game, school event because of the side effects of following your treatment plan.  Someone woke up 4 hours before an appointment to get everything prepared to make said appointment for you to give medical advice that makes you look good because your crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s, but you never considered the person.

 

 

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Someone is hungry right now and it’s me. And so is my Mother.  Coincidentally, so is her friend we ran into today who’s caregiving service left her in the lobby with me.  They forgot her. Really?  How?  But she’ll show up to her appointment on time and keep some physician’s schedule intact.  Meanwhile, she’s been sitting in a hall confused for 2 hours.  But who knows that?

 
Ask your patient one day what it takes for them to make the appointment with you.  You might be surprised. Please consider more than your ego when you develop a treatment plan.  That’s actually a human being your planning for with a whole family who had their own plan!

 

 

 

 

 

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Remember When?

 

I recently had an opportunity to visit my past.  I was meeting in my old college town and I decided to visit campus and see if I could remember who I used to be.  Ahh memories….

 

 

Let’s visit

 

 
First things first, orientation

This picture right here is responsible for today’s blog.  I was on my way to get bagels when I came across this sign on this building.   East Quad for freshman orientation!  So they still host it here?  Sweet!

My Mother said it was an absolute  must for me to attend the very first Summer Orientation or my entire rest of my whole life would be ruined forever.  This was the day after graduation from high school. I was thinking  of perhaps basking in the glory of my highschool diploma.  She was thinking of dropping me off.

I guess Mom was right because I’m still alive today! If  that horrible ass tofu burger I had during orientation didn’t kill me, I really don’t think anything can!  I mean, it was terrible!  What’s worst than terrible?  That would be too kind to call that thing!

 

 
Moving on

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What happened to South University?  It was one of my most favorite streets since I first visited in high school.  What happened to the funky and unique shops in Ann Arbor anyway?  What happened to Middle Earth?  What about the Safe Sex Store? The Mc Donald’s with the big M table?  Are all gone too soon, but never forgotten.  Special shout put to The Princeton Review for all you did for me.

 

 
Hey it’s The Rock!

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I told myself as a freshmen I would come paint the rock when I graduated.  I lied! I forgot all about the damn rock!  At graduation, I just wanted my diploma.  See ya wouldn’t want to be ya!  “Sayonara Suckers run my sheepskin” is all I remember saying.  Nothing about paintbrushes.  Hmm… Maybe I will remember to bring a little paint next time. (NOT!)

 

 
Huron Parkway and Washtenaw

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I spent so much time in my life praying on this corner and listening to my SoSoDef purple cassette tape.  What do you think I was praying for?  Sucess with my classes, my future, world peace, a White Christmas?  Nope, I prayed for Public Transportation everyday.  It was cold out there!!  Stacie didn’t want to be in the cold!  Thankfully my prayers were answered each time.  Almost like there was a bus schedule or something.  🤔

 

 

 

Finally Home Sweet Home!

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This is the apartment I lived in as a Senior.  It’s coincidentally on Huron Parkway and Washtenaw. I have conveniently circled my kitchen window for your viewing pleasure.  This is the exact spot I made up that random dish in college that my Nephew says is his favorite meal today.  He’s so surprised he’s the only one that’s ever eaten it in his class.  Poor boy will recognize college cooking in due time!

 

 

 

 

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This concludes today’s visit.  Can you believe we conquered undergrad and graduate school here?!  All that praying for buses, I suppose…

 

 

 

 

 

S

 

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Another Appointment

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I have had the opportunity and priviledge to experience a few miracles in my lifetime.  None more powerful than being my Mother’s caregiver as she was gifted a Heart Transplant.  The entire experience has been overwhelmingly exceedingly and abundantly more than my mind can conceive.  My experience as a caregiver,who just so happens to be a physician, is actually why I started this blog in the first place.   Yep, Dr. Smith saves the day!  It sounds so awe-inspiring doesn’t it?  Well, maybe you don’t know Dr. Smith…..

 

If you had told me I would have become a carrgiver I would have called you crazy.  Not me, never me! Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a kind and empathetic person, but just didn’t think I was right for the job. You see, Stacie grew up on the careless and slightly clumsy side of life.  I have misplaced things right on front of my face. Did you know I wasn’t allowed around glass, knives or fire as a child, and that was in high school!  I didn’t think I was very domestic either.  I would have never placed myself in the roll of caregiver to a plant, much less a person. (Except for babies and children.  I always loved little children.  They’re so cute!) Do you want to know what they told me? They said,  ‘Stacie has book sense, but not street sense’, and I believed them.  It turns out we were all wrong!

 

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As it turns out necessity and a little stress exposed my true character to me.  I had the opportunity to meet myself on road, and I liked who I met.  It’s nice when life teaches you somethings about yourself, you didn’t know, about yourself.  Did you know I’m an excellent caregiver?  It’s partly because of the clinical skills I gained from practice Medicine, but mostly because that’s the kind of person I am.  Guess what I figured out?!  Just because you can provide and prescribe care TO a person doesn’t mean you are doing it FOR that person.  We’ll discuss that in another blog. Do you know what?  I’m surprisingly very domestic. Who saw that coming?! Guess what else?  I’m pretty good with fire and knives too!  I’m still cautious with glass though. 😆 I’m glad I was given an opportunity in life to pause and see myself with fresh eyes.  I’m still learning new things.  I hope you’ll get that chance too.

 

 

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Do you know else I learned about myself?  How about that anger?! There are over 10 million unpaid caregivers in the United States of America.  The intensity of the work varies.  For some it’s a short term project.  For most, it can be an overwhelming soul-draining experience.  The work is invisible, thankless and quite frankly looked down upon. It’s very stressful too.  Most people have no idea what it entails and it can be hard to explain.  Plus, you have feelings too.  Not to mention fatigue that you can’t shake sometimes. How about this, usually you actually care  for the people you’re caring for, and it’s hard to see them sick .  It can create a nice emotional soup. Can make a girl just a little bitter sometimes.  Just a touch.  Just a little salty…

 

 

 

Today, I’m at an appointment with my Mother.  We’re learning how the medications that protect her heart may possibly be damaging her kidneys, ever so slightly. Booooo!  That does not make me feel good at all!  It makes me feel a little sad, actually.  At moments like this, clinical knowledge flies right out the window. Things have been going so well, for the most part, I took it all for granted. Tomorrow I will realize this is a small setback.  Today, I will head to the pharmacy and adjust those meds….

 

 

 

S

 

 

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Are You Serious?

Have you ever asked yourself the question the soul-stirring question Why Is This Happening to Me? Come on, it’s us, just you and my imagination, you can be honest.  I know you have.  Have you ever considered the exact circumstances of when your soul cries out to the heavens for mercy? Or maybe just a cup of wine (a cup because glasses break and we keep it real around here😁)?  I mean, damn.  We are talking about one of those ‘Are you serious Jesus?  Haven’t I been through enough?’ Type of moments.

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Now for the disclosure. (Insert your most mature tv announcer reading voice here).  We all know, cause we watched Oprah, that life happens for us and not to us.  We also know that God, the Universe, Earth puts us in situations to prepare us for what’s to come.  Furthermore, we know that we are actually prepared for this ‘crisis’.  If we surrender to our thou.. Blah, Blah, WHATEVER!!!!!!!  Later for that B.S. Back to why me.


 

As it turns out, I had one of these moments last night.  There I was innocent at 2 am sound asleep.  My niece and I were sleeping together and she had been asleep for hours.  All was right in the World, when I heard a very loud Thud followed by giggles!  I opened one eye to see my niece smiling at me as she ran at top speed down the hall.  This meant one thing, she was headed to the bathroom!  Oh SHIT noooo, not Nadia alone in the bathroom! I jumped up running behind her and begging her not to do this to me.  Not now.  Not this. She made in there. Damn!

 

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Nadia is 6 and she has special needs.  We are fortunate because she continues to progress…very slow progress…but progress nonetheless.  She has development delays.  One of her delays is in the area of potty training.  We are seriously trying to get her out of the pull-ups!  We’ve been trying to get her potty trained for a couple of years now.  Nadia is a smart girl. She’s hit or miss during the day with her potty training. At night, especially after bedtime, she’s perfectly potty trained!  You would be so proud of her.  She says she has to go, makes her way, will sit herself on the hot seat and executes!

 

Cut to 2 am! Guess what?!  Nadia is grinning at me putting herself on the toilet.  She reaches for her Sesame Street book to show me a horse.  Then she wants her toy that sings the alphabet.  Oh, she needs a new book now.  Did I see the duck?  Did I see the boats?  Can I sing row, row, row your boat to you? She motioned.  I’m like girl can you just pee?  We were up in that piece a good 20 minutes! She has delays in her speech too, but she smiled and said a couple of words to me to soften me so she wouldn’t have to leave! Then she tried to call my Mother in to come hang out.  When she started looking for the dog, I knew things had gone too far.   Meanwhile, there was NO PEE!  Not one drop!  We weren’t in the bathroom to use it, we were in the bathroom to party!

 

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Go to hell Robin!

 

No one else was awake but us, and I asked why is this happening to me?  I know I was the one who tried to make the toilet a happy place with those damn books and toys, not to mention the singing.  So now  they all have to be used as weapons against me?!  For real? Straight up?! At 2 am?  Were those toys and the whole potty training process secretly praying for my downfall? I don’t know, but at that moment life seemed so unfair.  How did I end up in a hopeless situation like this one?  Where did I go wrong in my life to deserve this?

 
We finally left the bathroom. No one used it!!!!   We got back in bed, only for her to want us to feed her baby.  It turns out Nadi’s a really good Mom especially after midnight.  Her Mom and my Mom finally heard Nadia and everyone came running to make sure she was OK.  Nadia was fine, I was falling apart. We all hung out with her for a while and she finally fell asleep at 3:30 this morning….to be back up at 8am!  That toothless grin, perfectly in place just like it should be…

 

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Meet doggy, bunny and Nadi

 

Living with a child who has special needs requires special love from your heart.  Not to mention special patience.  Not patience sometimes, but ALL OF THE TIME!  Patience wih the child, with teachers and para-professionals at school, with and from their siblings, within a family and from yourself. There is no reasoning with a child that’s so excited and proud of herself for expressing and achieving her needs – without help! Yet, I was so serious when I asked God why me last night.  I asked God, like I have many times, why her too.

 

So why me?  Why not. There’s no time to feel sorry for yourself when you’re feeling sorry for yourself.  Instead, I decided to be honest about how I really felt. Tired.  Then I focused on every skill she was showing me she’d gained by being able to plan her trip to the potty.  She plotted, she planned, she was stealthy, and she rewarded herself with giggles and reached her goal!  That means she’s  thinking !  She even shared those words with me, to let me know she was listening earlier in the evening when I told her I wanted her to talk to me.  That’s when I realized she was doing everything I have been praying she would do, months ago.  This means there’s more to come.

 

I suppose you’ll say then, that I was prepared for this moment, because I prayed for it.  You might even say this moment is preparing me for what’s to come.  After-the-cup-of-coffee-Stacie agrees with you 100%.  Two-am-half-asleep-Stacie says Bah humbug!

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

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The Scary Place!

Have you ever considered the power of fear?!  Fear is a very powerful emotion. It’s primal.  We develop fear as infants- and that’s a good thing! Having fear of unknown places, people, situations and even foods is paramount to  survival for us.  Fear is the parent in our head that looks out for us and protects us.  We love fear and come to trust fear, and when we are in duress, we snuggle up with our fears and they can make the best cuddle buddies. Having us feeling all loved, secured and stuck in one place feeling good about feeling bad.

 

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On the other hand, fear sucks and can go kick rocks! Did you know fear had me afraid of one ladybug? One tiny ladybug! One of my most terrifying life experiences involved a ladybug landing on my shirt when I was 3 years old.  Ironically, my shirt had a ladybug design on it. But that was little baby Stacie right? She’s way past that right?  Wrong!!  Let a bee come flying up and through this piece.  Watch me jump up, wiggle and run with the finess of a hippo on rollerblades.

 

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Fear is very expensive!  It robs of connecting with good people and good experiences.   It shows up as self doubt.  It will have you delaying the launch of a new blog for fear of rejection by ones peers, for instance.  Fear also costs financially.  It will have you driving all out of your way, buying things you don’t like to please people you don’t like, participating in events you don’t like….for fear they won’t accept the authentic you. If you aren’t careful, you will pass those fears on to the children in your life.  We won’t even mention the ways fear shapes parenting (and Auntie-ing) choices. Once and for all fear has to be stopped! ( well ok, minimized because it does make such a good cuddle buddy!😆)

 

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You must declare Fear Has No Place Here in your life!  Rip that band-aid off and face it like a lion!!!  And/or realize you’re being irrational, try to figure out why, and take baby steps forward to affirm your decision, then jump! See?  You are so brave! Choose an area of your life and make a move today.  You know where your cuddle buddy will be if you need them, but happiness is actually a kick ass emotion worth meeting!

 

 

S

 

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