A Pause for the Cause: Thoughts on Ferguson, MO and Michael Brown from a Future Mom

I am a very socially and politically aware person. However, I try to keep politics and social issues (not dealing with women’s health) out of this blog. Mainly because I want to keep this a neutral place, and for the most part, a light place. But there are always exceptions. The events of this past week is one of them. As a woman, a Black woman, and a daughter, niece, partner, and a potential mother of Black men, I could not let this moment go by without using my voice to say something.

Unless you live in the deep woods with no communication with the outside world, by now you know about the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer, and the subsequent anger and protest in the town of Ferguson, MO. Before I go any further, let me make these few points clear in an attempt to lessen any confusion or misinterpretation.

1) I understand that most law enforcement men and women do their jobs properly and risk their lives every day. To those men and women, I give my respect and support

2)  I am aware that there are some people in the midst of these protests that are agitating by looting, fighting and shooting. I do not condone violence, including looting of stores and riots.

 

With those points out of the way, lets get into it. Michael Brown was shot by a police officer. He did not have a weapon. Allegedly, Michael and a friend were walking in the street when an officer approached them in his vehicle and demanded that they move to the sidewalk. At this point, details and accounts vary, but some type of altercation/tussle happened with said police officer and Michael.  He ran, but stopped, putting up both hands in the universally recognized sign of surrender.  There are multiple eye witness to the shooting and its aftermath.  The Ferguson Police Department  left Michael’s body in the street, uncovered for 4-5 hours. When they did retrieve the body, there was no EMS or coroner van, just a police SUV.  In the following hours and days, the police department would not release any information on the incident. The citizens of this community, many witnessing the shooting and living under the tense relationship between them and the police, began to protest. Some people took that opportunity to loot and riot. As tensions mounted, the police donned full on riot gear and used teargas,flash bombs, and other heavy equipment in an attempt to control the situation. The protests continued. Anonymous gets involved.  Days passed with no word from the Governor, the Police Chief, or the President.  Several journalists and media outlets report harassment, threats, and an attempt to block them from covering the events. After all of this, the Governor of Missouri and The President speak out. After almost a week, the police release the name of the officer, Darren Wilson. They also release footage from a local corner store that allegedly shows Michael stealing cigars and arguing with a store clerk. The family is upset about this newest revelation and accuse the Ferguson PD of smearing Michael’s name. The police Chief releases another statement that the offending officer did not know Michael was a suspect when he approached Michael and his friend for jay walking. That night, some people loot and riot…again. A curfew is instated as of Saturday afternoon, August 16. The unrest continues….

 

In this case I see several issues:

1) Police Brutality

2) Racial Profiling and the default criminalization of Black males

3) The violation of the First Amendment by police in the attempt to prevent the people of Ferguson from protesting and attempting to restrict journalists from covering the situation.

4) The militarization of local police

 

I’ve already gone on long enough, so I’ll try to make my points brief. All of the above listed issues should disturb you as a human and as an American. If the fact that people’s rights are being violated does not bother you, no matter your political affiliation, religion, ethnicity/race, please make an appointment to have your humanity checked.

Police brutality and harassment over petty offenses like jay walking have been going on in Black neighborhoods for years.  Is it poor police training? Is it “broken windows” and “zero tolerance” policing policies? Is it over zealousness? Prejudice? Probably a mix of any of those elements at any given time or situation.  I can expand that point  to say its been going on in poor neighborhoods for years. Because of the years of tension and mistrust, the relationships between minority and poor neighborhoods and the police is fragile at best. This strained relationship leads to everyone, cops and citizens, being on edge all the time. Point number 2 means one thing:  Black men are criminals. Period. No amount of money, education, success, or clothing options can change that in some people’s eyes. And some of those people happen to be police officers. That leads to profiling, and sometimes worse. It happened to Henry Louis Gates Jr, a Harvard professor, it happened to Tyler Perry, and it can happen to any Black Man or boy. When was the last time a WASP man was stopped for simply walking in his neighborhood and asked for his ID? I’ll wait. When was the last time it happened to a Black or Brown man? Probably 5 minutes ago in any given town or city.

The issue is that if it doesn’t affect you, you have no idea. Many people across America can’t understand what’s happening in Ferguson because they have never lived under those conditions. They don’t understand the anger. To them, the unrest just looks like chaos and disorder, but these are the actions of the unheard.

Dave Chappelle explained the relationship between Black people and the police (and White people’s reactions)  the way only he can in his 2001 stand up routine “Killing them Softly”: (We need a little levity right now) The clip is kind of long (7 minutes), but in order to get the full idea you have to watch it all.

 

 

What he said was 100% truth.

What about the blatant disregard for the First Amendment?

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The actions of the Ferguson Police Department definitely trampled on two of the three rights of the people in Ferguson. The people are angry and frustrated. They want answers. They want justice. They have the right to assemble and protest. Even with social media,  live Tweets, and cell phone video, we still need stories covered from a journalistic point of view. Of course Ferguson police  didn’t want the world to see what they were doing…look at what they were doing. The fact that two journalists were pushed and punched, detained with no cause given, then released, without an apology or explanation is frightening. “Where they do that at?!”  Apparently, in Ferguson, MO. This sounds like a story from Iraq or Russia. Not the United States, but it was.

This all makes me think about my journey into motherhood. When you face difficulties getting pregnant, you often stop and ask yourself  ‘Is this really what I (we) want to do?’ You think about the money, the meds, the heightened risk of complications during pregnancy, along with the questions any woman considering motherhood would ask herself: Am I ready? Do we have enough money? Am I going to be a good parent? As a Black woman, I also  have to also think about bringing a Black male into this world. The thought that no matter how well I raise my son, no matter where we live, he could still be a target is sad and disheartening. He doesn’t have to be a gang member, or a drug dealer, or a bank robber. His skin tone would be enough to label him dangerous and suspicious. How would I deal with that? I don’t want to add the “how to deal with cops as a young Black man” speech with the standard teenage speeches parents give about sex, texting while driving, drugs and all the rest. How do I explain to my future son why we even have to have this talk? How do I explain that some people just can’t get past stereotypes and unfounded fears? That they’re too close minded to learn and see who he really is?  I hope that by the time any child I would have is old enough, this will be a thing of the past.  I’m sure Michael Brown’s mother had the same thought 18 years ago.

 

One of my favorite book series and movie franchise is The Hunger Games. The people revolted and they were forever punished by an oppressive government and a yearly sacrifice of children for entertainment (and as a form of repression and control). When it becomes too much, the people organize and…(I won’t tell it all because I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read the trilogy). When I read these futuristic novels or watch those types of movies, where the government is extremely repressive and brutal, I think there is a small shred of plausibility in this, but it  is mostly a work of fiction. Until I see it happen. Until I see police throw tear gas and flash bombs at people who are (mostly) peacefully expressing their frustrations and the need for answers and transparency. When journalists are harassed, roughed up, and arrested without cause.  Most importantly, these citizens have a right to do these things under the First Amendment of our Constitution. It makes me again wonder: what kind of world will I bring my future son or daughter into? Will they be allowed to express themselves freely? To speak out against injustice without fear?

Panems "Peacekeepers" but how much peace are they keeping?
Panems “Peacekeepers” but how much peace are they keeping? Is this where we are headed?

I wonder if I want to bring a child into a world like what I’ve seen over the past week. A world I know exists, but  try to rise above or have hope that it will some day be a thing of the past. Instead, it seems as that not only is it not going anywhere, its getting worse. Going backwards. And it makes me sad for our country, but it also makes me angry. I am in no way naive or unaware of what happens in the world. I feel that I can’t afford to be. As they say: “I stay woke”, but  I generally just choose to be hopeful. There is good in the world, and being aware and hopeful for me is the best way to go about things.

 

If I am so blessed to bring life into this world, I will do my best to teach tolerance, love, compassion,  self awareness, to speak up against injustice, and possibly the dos and don’ts of being stopped by police as a Black man.

Lets hope I can leave that last one off.

 

Justice and Answers for Michael Brown and his family.

Peace and Healing for the Ferguson and St. Louis, MO community.

 

 

 

Power Morcellators: The Saga Continues

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about on the current power morcellator debate in women’s healthcare as it relates to myomectomies and hysterectomies.

Well, this is NOT going away any time soon. In fact, it seems the research and debate are really just getting started.

The insurance company Highmark ( a part of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield) announced Saturday that it will no longer cover laprocsopic uterine procedures that use power morcellators. Highmark is the first, and right now the only insurer to do this.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the largest hospital network in Western Pennsylvania, has suspended the use of power morcellators. 

And what would a controversial medical device or procedure be without a class action law suit?!

Yup. On my way to work this morning, I heard the “Have you or a family member  been diagnosed with cancer or other serious medical complications after a power morcellator procedure for removal of uterine fibroids?! If so, call the law offices of ….” (if you actually want to learn more about this gathering of information for the suit, click here)

I feel like there should have been better research and statistics on the instances of uterine cancers upstaging  after any uterine surgery years ago. But, again, fibroid and other uterine disorder research seems to be low on the medical research totem pole. If there were better research and follow up done years ago, and a continuing effort made to understand fibroids, instead of just snatching out uteruses (Uteri? what is the plural of uterus?), some of the controversy may have been prevented. Lives may hev been saved. Why wasn’t some sort of pre screen for cancer (besides an MRI) figured out and made a standard part of pre op testing for myomectomies and hysterectomies of any type? Especially if it is known that MRIs are not effective in finding Uterine Leiomyosarcoma (LMS).

As a woman, the lack of research and information makes me think what MJ said was right….they don’t really care about us (or our uteri).

 

They just don't.
They just don’t.

 

 

 

Power Morcellators, the FDA, and You

 

One of the scariest things about having surgery is that you don’t have any control over what happens, and technically, neither does your doctor. Although everything may seem fine on x-rays or MRIs, and all of your pre op testing could show you’re low risk  and everything should go smoothly, on any given procedure, things can go left. The doctor could find more of a problem that s/he expected, or a problem they weren’t anticipating at all.  You could have a reaction to some of the anesthesia. Your doctor could make a mistake. Your doctor may depend on the research and information on a particular technique or tool used in surgery, only to find later there are risks and side effects not previously known. We’ve seen this with the DaVinci robot, and now with power morecellation.

Power what?

Via Wikipedia:

morcellator is a surgical instrument used for division (morcellation) and removal of large masses of tissues during laparoscopic surgery. It can consist of a hollow cylinder that penetrates the abdominal wall, ending with sharp edges or cutting jaws, through which a grasper can be inserted to pull the mass into the cylinder to cut out an extractable piece.

morcellator

So basically, a bladed, surgical  instrument. Morecellators are often used with laparscopic hysterectomies and myomectomies. When the fibroids or the uterus is too large to fit through the small ports, the morcellator cuts everything into smaller pieces and they are sucked up into a tube.  Seems reasonable right? Well the problem is that some of the smaller pieces of tissue can spray out into the body. Still, the surgeon must go in with suction and get those stray pieces, right? Sure. Or they can use a containment bag  attachment that can help prevent some of the extra spray out of the removed tissue.

The problem is this though: Some women have a “hidden” cancer ( leiomyosarcomas) that cannot be detected until the pathology tests post op. So, little bits of cancerous tissue land on other ares in the body and grow, causing the cancer to become worse. (Upstage. Going from a stage 1 to stage 3 or 4) Now we see the problem.

Morcellation Explained via Prevention Magazine
Morcellation Explained
via Prevention Magazine

 

 

To be fair and to be clear, the incidents of  leiomyosarcomas are very rare, up to 1% of women having fibroid surgery also have cancer. (One study states 1 out of 415 women with fibroids also have leiomyosarcoma)

[UPDATE]

There has been some debate on the actual numbers of women who have surgeries who also have LMS. Several doctors disagree with the numbers the FDA put out (similar to the ones I’ve stated above) and say the instances are even less.

From the blog of Dr. William Parker-UCLA:

Some gynecologists and major medical centers had been quoting the risk of a woman having surgery for what are thought to be “fibroids” and being found to, in fact, have a leiomyosarcoma (LMS) as 1 woman out of 10,000.  However, this number is incorrect.  The rate of 1 in 10,000 is the incidence of LMS in the entire population of women, meaning that for every 10,000 women in the US (or elsewhere) 1 will have LMS.   This is a very different number than will concern women with fibroids.  Although many women will have some fibroids in their lifetime (77% of women by age 50), only a small minority (20%) will ever need treatment.  For these women who have symptoms bothersome enough to need treatment for fibroids (medication, surgery, UAE, HIFU), the risk of having LMS had been previously been stated as 1 in 1,332, based on a study we published in 1994.  So, that’s the first difference: 1 in 10,000 women in the entire population versus 1 in 1332 women who actually have fibroids and need surgery because of fibroids.

He also added:

Let me say this clearly: any study of surgery for fibroids where no LMS was found was excluded from the FDA calculation! This is a very large number of studies since LMS is a very rare disease and is infrequently found.

Dr. Pritts looked at ALL articles where surgery was performed for fibroids and the pathology of all the removed tissue was both analyzed and reported in the paper.  So, studies where the incidence of LMS was “0″ were included, as they should be.

To read Dr. Parker’s full post and other information, please click here

This very thing happened to a doctor in Boston, Amy Reed, which is how this whole debate began.

She and her husband have been on a campaign to stop (even if temporarily) the use of power morcellators in fibroid surgeries. Several hospitals in the Boston area limited the use of mocellation (with bag only) shortly after she went public with her story and her concerns. Later, they enacted a full moratorium on morcellators.

In April of 2014, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued a warning against the use of power morcellators in uterine surgeries.  Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon  stopped selling its morecellators after the statement from the FDA .

In July of 2014 after an open comment period, the FDA held a meeting on the safety, risks and usage of power morcellators.

You can find some of the materials from the meeting  here.

There are several video presentations available on-line as well. Here are the links to a few.

Dr. Shannon Laughlin-Tommaso – Uterine Fibroids:  An Introduction (This is a great presentation on fibroids!)

Dr. Jubilee Brown – A Balanced View of Power Morcellation (Presenting on behalf of the AAGL)

 

So where do I stand on this issue? I wouldn’t choose to have my fibroids or a hysterectomy dealt with by power morcellation. Why?  I wouldn’t want to take the additional  risk that I could spread an un detected cancer through my body.  Surgery is risky enough. Even though the risk is low (less than 1%), its just not a chance I would be willing to take. The stakes are too high for me.

HOWEVER, I will say I believe that more research is needed before completely banning its use. Since this has become an issue, several women have come forward to say they now have stage 4 cancer, and some have died (obviously their families speak for them) as a result of power morcellation spreading undetected cancerous tissue throughout their abdomen.

I think the patient,  should have the ultimate say in the type of procedure until there is definitive proof on the risk. There should be a way to test before having  surgery to see  if  leiomyosarcomas are present. This way, the patient and doctor can make a safe surgical treatment decision.  I’m an advocate of “My body, my decision” on medical issues anyway. As a patient, you have to ask all the questions, get as many informed, educated opinions and make the best decision for you, whether it’s for allergy pills or a surgical procedure. You have the right to make the decision you believe is best for your body and health that you are most comfortable with.

The fear for some women and doctors, is that options will be limited if the power morcellator is no longer available. Especially for those who face hysterectomy. Again, I say choice is key. More research and ways to pre screen for cancer can make this choice easier for patient and doctor.

Which leads to the question I’ve had for a while: Why isn’t there more fibroid research?

 

So, what say you? 

Would you choose this method for your surgery?

Have you  had a myomectomy or hysterectomy using power mocellation?

Do you think there should be a permanent ban?

The Surgery-Part Two: Preparation

The decision has been made: remove my fibroids.

Prior to this, I had never had any type of surgery or extended hospital stay. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I thought I’d just make the appointment, take time off and go in. I was very wrong. There was a lot that needed to be handled before I went in. In the month leading up to the surgery, I had a lot to do.

I was very wrong.

Time off from Work

Well, I definitely did not think this step was going to be as involved as it was. I had only been on my job six months at that point, so my paid leave was scarce. I had 5 days of vacation and 5 days of personal/sick time. problem was, I would be out at least 4 weeks, maybe more. The solution was to put in for a leave of absence, where at that point I would earn a portion of my pay. I should also say that I work for a mid size non profit, and its not extremely bureaucratic or formal all of the time, but obviously this had to be. I should also point out that my Deputy Director, also a Black woman, had several myomectomies and knew exactly what I was going through. The fact that she understood what was happening to me and the recovery process was very comforting to me. It was easy for me to tell her what was happening. On the other hand, my manager, (who was awesome and I had a great working relationship with) was a man, so it was a bit more awkward explaining to him what kind of surgery it was, even in vague detail. I also had to present a note from the doctor to verify that I would be having surgery and would need time to recover/recuperate. Make sure you get all of the proper documentation from your doctor’s office

In the end, I worked out the 5 weeks using all the sick and vacation leave I had, then using leave of absence and a week working from home.

  • Read up and talk to your HR department about your extended leave options and time off. Depending on the method of surgery, your time off could be 1-6 weeks.
  • If your job offers telecommuting, I suggest using this option for a week or two before you head back into the office. It gives you a chance to catch up on what you missed without getting too stressed out, and you can still lay or sit in a way that will be comfortable for you, make any follow up visits, and maybe get a nap in. You will need naps as you recover.

Insurance

Hopefully you’re going through this with at least some health insurance. If not, it can cost you. But just because you have insurance, it doesn’t mean they will cover everything. Call your insurance company and see what is covered exactly. Also call the hospital where you will have your surgery to see how they bill. See what you will be responsible for out of pocket, co pays or other fees. Particularly for the Anesthesiologist.

Believe it or not, the anesthesiologist is not always covered with the doctor. You would think they come as a package deal, like a cable/internet bundle but, wrong again! The hospital often bills for the anesthesiologist separate. Speak with hospital billing and ask who/what practice they use and see if your insurance covers that individual/group of anesthesiologists, AND how they bill.

Fortunately for me, I had excellent health insurance and my surgery costs were covered. The rep I spoke to said I may have a $40 or $50 co pay the day of. Bless the Lord, I didn’t even have that. The hospital billed my insurance for the anesthesiologist in a way that their costs were also covered. Won’t HE do it?!

Physical and Blood Work

Your doctor will probably have you to get a general physical from your Primary Care doctor just to verify that your are in general good health and OK to be put under anesthesia and have surgery. They will also request blood work, but that in my case had to only be done within a certain window leading up to surgery. I think it was 7-10 days. The doctor/lab performing these will send the information back to your doctor.

Support

This is probably the biggest thing to have in order: Who will help you while you recover? Again, depending on the method and your particular situation, you could be down for a while.

At the time, I lived in a 1 bedroom apartment. Its was a nice size for me, but all the people who wanted to come help and wanted to stay with me was the issue. Of course O would be around, but he didn’t need to stay, he lived close by. My Mom was coming, of course, and my Dad insisted on coming. My parents are not together, but they get along, but I was still worried about awkwardness in close quarters. Neither of them was going to stay in a hotel 1)because neither of them had a bunch of extra money for a hotel 2) They both felt their 24 hr help was necessary.

My Mom stayed for about two weeks, my Dad only stayed the weekend, which was perfect. I had two couches and an air mattress, so I figured everyone would be OK for those few days.

House work

Its a small thing, but the last few days before your surgery, tidy up your apartment/house. You might not be able to for a while. Also, if you have people staying to help take care of you post surgery, hit up the grocery store so they have meals and snacks. Also, pick up soup, jello, crackers, cereal for yourself. Those are about the only things you’ll be up to eating the first few days.

Now that you’ve got your help lined up, your insurance coverage confirmed, your time off approved and your out of office responder is on. You’ve prayed, you’ve shopped, you’ve done all of your last minute running around. Its the day before the surgery. They probably have you to…

Cleanse

…and not your palette! Also known as a “bowel prep”. Because they will be operating so close to your bowel and bladder, they prefer that they are as empty as possible. I’m not going to lie to you, it sounds innocuous on paper when they give you the detailed instructions. Just a little milk of magnesia, dulcolax and a liquid diet after 12 noon. I had never been so wrong. In real life, its so, so much more.

Stomach Problems

You’ll start this all the day before your procedure. If you can work from home, or take part or the whole day off, it would be wise. You can eat solid food for breakfast. I don’t do a heavy breakfast. Trust me. They usually suggest toast, cereal, yogurt, fruit. etc. I think I had toast, turkey bacon and orange juice.

At noon, you take a large dose of milk of magnesia. Now you’re only on water and clear liquid like jello or broth. Several hours later, you take another dose of MOM with 2 Dulcolax (or similar) pills. I think you can see where this is headed…. It comes in waves and will last you well into the morning.

6-12 hours before surgery, you can’t even have water.

Now you’re insides are all clean and you’re ready to go in.

On the emotional side, I was pretty steady. I prayed very diligently about healing. I prayed for my doctor and his team every day the week of . No matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs are, this, I think is the most important prep work. Pray, meditate, read scriptures, whatever gets you closer to God and calms your spirit. I wasn’t afraid at all. Maybe because I knew it had to be done. I also didn’t look at this as the major surgery that it is. I just kept saying “Its not like I’m having open heart surgery or anything” The truth is this is a major thing, even if it is fairly common. I was touched that so many people offered to help and support me. I felt loved, which is always a great feeling. I also think I was so distracted planning and prepping, I didn’t really have time to think about all that was going on, until the day of.

The Surgery-Part One: Making the Decision

I’m going to break this down in to parts because, it really does happen in parts: The decision, the prep work, the actual surgery, and  recovery. This would be the longest, most boring blog ever if I did it all at once. Plus, everyone loves a good cliff hanger.

If you are anywhere in the myomectomy process, I hope these posts can be a guide for getting through and what to expect.

 

I went to my doctor for a consult after she had the opportunity to review the ultrasound images. I had fluid on my kidney, several fibroids all around my uterus, including one in the back of my uterus that “died” (the blood flow cut off), which is what caused my lower back pain. Basically, my uterus was like a big ol’ bag of marbles. Well, a small sack stuffed with marbles? She couldn’t say how long they’d been growing, since no other doctor had made me aware of them. She couldn’t tell me how fast they grew, for the same reason.  She spoke with me about my options: Just “wait and see” since they weren’t causing too many symptoms (mainly heavy bleeding), or get them removed. Since I wanted to have children, she didn’t recommend UAE (Uterine Fibroid Embolization). Her recommendation was to get them removed because I wanted to have children but mainly because of the fluid on my kidney. Her concern was that there could be issues with my kidneys that could become serious. Little did she know, I had pretty much made up my mind on day one that these suckers had to go. She did not have to convince me to have surgery.

After the ultrasound and the consult, my GYN referred me to a surgeon. My doctor is awesome, but doesn’t do any thing but examinations /basic gynecological services and tests. No baby delivery. No surgeries. Just exams. Which I guess other doctors in the area love, because she gives them a lot of referrals and a lot of business.

She referred me to a doctor who is one of the best in the field: Dr. M. He is tops in my region (Washington DC area), and known nationally. He also had a personal stamp of approval- a friend of mine’s girlfriend also had her surgery with this doctor earlier in the year. He thought the doctor was awesome, and Tim* is very picky. If he liked this doctor for his boo, I knew he was good. But even with T’s stamp of approval, I did my research, which I highly suggest. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Google. Ask anyone you might know personally in the medical field what they may know about the doctor. Ask people who have been  through this who they used. This person is going into your body with sharp instruments and basically has your life in his/her hands. Consult with more than one surgeon/OBGYN if you need to. Me, I want to know everything when I pick a doctor: What were other patients’ experiences? Where did they go to school?  Where did they do their residency? Have they written any papers? What certifications or specialties do they have? Do they like Chipoltle? I need to know.

 

At least the waiting room was nice....
At least the waiting room was nice….

Fortunately for me, I was sold on visit one. O and I went for the first in April. Dr M** was awesome:  he had Saturday hours, multiple locations, and his staff was friendly. The only downside was the wait. We did wait for a long time. However, I’ve just come to take this as part of the  deal of healthcare in America. Especially of you have a doctor who is good with a lot of patients. His staff  did the best they could….I guess

Here’s where he sold me: I had my records sent from my GYN….except, they never sent them. Womp. So I’m going in prepared to talk with this man in detail about whats on the ultrasound, and he didn’t even have them. BUT what he did, was based on my symptoms and the information I could give, he drew what my uterus looked like with the fibroids and could describe the symptoms I had but hadn’t said.  You sir, are magical. We agree, surgery to remedy this.

Another piece of advice: Bring questions. Write them down, use your phone or tablet note app, whatever, but bring all of your questions and ask them. Also, be prepared to take notes and write down the answers the doctor gives you.

O and I discussed surgery and my options over brunch at a diner. I called my mom and let her know what was going on, and asked if she wanted to come down. Of course she did. So that Monday, I called Dr. M’s office and set the surgery date: June 7, 2013

Next: Part Two: The Preparation

 

*His name is not Tim. I do not use any real names in this blog without permission

** Similarly, if you are interested in the Details for Dr M, please contact me.