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Terrified for my sister

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by allycat0303, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. jaysonsmom
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    by jaysonsmom » May 1, 2012
    I felt strongly about having children too, and reading this brought tears to my eyes. I 'll pray that you sister and her doctors make the best decision for her health and hopefully a favorable outcome for the future.
     
  2. decodelighted
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    by decodelighted » May 1, 2012
    Hey Ally,
    I'm so sorry you're going through this right now. I have a similar situation w/my Mom dragging her feet & being overly selective about doctors/hospitals when, to everyone else, her current situation looks very urgent. I'm dealing by reminding myself that it's her body, her decision. Can't control anything but my (your?) own frustration.

    Hang in there! And good luck on your otherwise extremely taxing week! I think you're pretty amazing.
     
  3. lapelirroja
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    by lapelirroja » May 1, 2012
    Hmmm... ascites....

    She needs to be in that OR now!

    FYI: I'm a PA-C and my practice is solely on women with breast and GYN malignancies in the inpatient setting.
     
  4. Rae~
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    by Rae~ » May 2, 2012
    Sending lots of positive vibes to you, your sister, and the rest of your family.
     
    


    


  5. TooPatient
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    by TooPatient » May 2, 2012
    Ally,

    I hope you were able to push some of your "to do" list to others. You've got so much going on right now!

    Your sister is an adult so the best you can do is be there to listen and gently nudge her to action. I hope she decided to keep her OR appointment for Thursday!

    Take care of yourself.


    ETA: Remember that part of being a friend is understanding when something like this comes up and doing what they can to help. (even if "help" comes in the form of being sad but accepting that you'll miss a party or just listening to your fears and concerns)
     
  6. swimmer
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    by swimmer » May 2, 2012
    Oh Ally hugs! I hope your plate becomes less full...maybe catch a minute of the Cuban sun?

    I'm a ovarian cancer survivor, (almost 13yrs cancer free) pregnant with my second baby (first extensive FET because of PCOS of all things, second total accident). My treatment buddy and roomie from Brigham and Women's had only 1/4 of one ovary at the end of her surgeries and now has two babies with no intervention. Your sister won't have to look far to find lots of survivor stories like ours and we were treated in the dark ages. Yeah, the stats are grim, but for young active women where it was caught earlier -the prospects are much better. I really hope she still isn't thinking that cancer is some sort of payback, of all people a doctor knows that unregulated cellular growth just happens. It killed my grandmother at a young age, but technologies have changed.

    Thinking of you and your family.
     
  7. rosetta
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    by rosetta » May 4, 2012
    How goes it Ally?
     
  8. allycat0303
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    by allycat0303 » May 4, 2012
    I spent a sleepless night feeling horrible. I've written about another resident in the program that had been giving me a hard time (refusing the give sign out, yelling at me in front of the nurses, refusing to take call). A few months ago I had apologized to her, even though I didn't really do anything wrong, I felt it was best for the patients. She laughed in my face saying she was happy she "pissed me off by not giving sign-out". I thought she was disgusting. The relationship got slightly better, but we only talk for essential (we don't even greet each other in morning).

    Last night we were at a work banquet. A resident next to me kept asking about her, and I finally said "we aren't FRIENDS! So I don't know" And then explained the situation. I didn't go into the sign-out issue, only said that we had a blow-out (it's not a secret, she did it in front of all the nurses on our floor). I was not discreet, but neither was I talking to the whole table. Two other residents chimed in about negative experiences with the resident (she yelled at the senior internal medicine, told off a fellow). I recounted when she made a medical student cry for verbal abuse. In retrospect though, I don't know what got in to me. There were 2 other residents in our program that commented "They had never seen her act like that." I'm so ashamed. It was inappropriate and unprofessional to discuss someone in a banquet, when they are sitting at another table!! I did not say anything that was a lie. I didn't call her names. The gist of it was "She's not that nice." But I can't stop beating myself up over it. I always considered that I was a better person then this, and I've stooped to her level.

    My only defence is that I'm so TIRED. I don't think I've slept more then 10-15 hours this week. I shouldn't have gone to the banquet, when I'm exhausted, I lose all filters. My sister elected not to go with the surgery, so my family is so upset about the situation. She's so sad about everything. I was in tears because I felt so GUILTY that she was making ME feel better. She spent 45 minutes, telling me I needed to forgive myself, and that the resident and I had so much conflict that it's not surprising. And she said "Please, she's been talking poop about you for the last 6 months." She has enough to deal with.

    She has significantly more discomfort in the region of the *cyst* then before, but other then that she's fine physically. We are trying not to obsess about it too much because she feels it will make the next 2 weeks interminable. After speaking to her on several occasions, I realize she is realistic about the situation. She says that she also needs the next two weeks to adjust because it's a huge loss for her. I'm doing my best.

    Swimmer: You are a warrior. I have never met anyone that has survived. Thank you for sharing that, I realize that there are positive stories. It can be ok, regardless of what happens. And you've obviously done everything you wanted after the diagnosis.

    Deco, Rosetta, Swimmer, TooPatient, Rae, lapelirroja: Thanks for all the kind, supportive words.
     
  9. Mico
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    by Mico » May 4, 2012
    yikes, not giving sign out is unheard of in my program. They take it VERY seriously. Also, lack of sleep and family issues DOES make it worse. Don't feel bad about how you feel - sometimes you need to get it out.

    best
     
  10. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » May 4, 2012
    Ally, don't think another second about talking about that obnoxious person! We have all done that at one time or another and we just can't be perfect all the time! I find that when I am under stress, my filter is just not what it should be! Thankfully in this case, there were others at the table who recounted similar things, so it could not possibly have looked like you were out to get her or something. I am surprised she hasn't been fired with that kind of behavior!

    I am so sorry for your sister's situation and pray that all will be well.
     
    


    


  11. Aoife
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    by Aoife » May 4, 2012
    Allycat, It sounds as though your "indiscretion" was pretty restrained, all things considered. Look at it this way: You clearly aren't alone in finding this woman difficult (understatement, right?), and if she hadn't been behaving in such an unbelievably unprofessional (borderline sociopathic) way, you wouldn't have been able to say anything negative about her. So whose fault is it, really?

    I'm sorry to hear that your sister chose not to keep the OR appointment for Thursday. I was thinking about her and your family all day yesterday. Still sending positive thoughts and dust your way.
     
  12. lulu
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    by lulu » May 4, 2012
    I did that exact same thing once at a bar function.And someone from my table ran over and told the colleague. Don't beat yourself up-it's not worth it.

    I'm wondering if your sister's other symptoms are inconsistent with a dermoid cyst- no medical knowledge. Mine had hair and teeth-very odd but quite common. It was benign. I remember I told the doctor I was going to take it home and raise it.


    Sending out good thoughts for your sister.
     
  13. VRBeauty
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    by VRBeauty » May 4, 2012
    Ally - please, please, please give yourself a break, both physically and emotionally.

    Sweetie - you know you have a tendency to take more responsibility than you should in relationships - to be more concerned about the other person in a relationship than about yourself. I'm sure that empathy is part of what makes you a great doctor, but I'm also concerned that you're driving yourself to the brink. Let Dr. Obnoxious worry about herself. Know that your sister has her own medical expertise and other people supporting, worrying, and praying for her. Take care of yourself, get the rest you need, and (hopefully) build up some reserves to help see you through the next few weeks.
     
  14. allycat0303
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    by allycat0303 » May 4, 2012
    Diamondseeker, lulu, Aoife, nicstx, VR Beauty

    Lulu: Good to know I'm not the only one that has done that. I know she'll find out, I don't think that will change our ice cold relationship. I mean she's said stuff that was awful too, personal attacks, but mostly she says that "I'm weak, little mouse, that can't stand up for herself and is never going to make it through the program."

    VR: You're right of course. Dr. O can handle herself. One of the things I said was that she was tougher then all of the males in the program, combined (I don't say that as a negative. I wish I was tougher). I doubt she's going to spend 60 seconds thinking about it. It's more me that feels I've acted poorly. She's not going to lose sleep over it.

    Thank you for the kind words. I spoke to my close friend about it, and she explained the reason I feel so bad is for the past 3 years, (it's a small program), I have tried to be different then the other residents. And trust me there's stuff in this program that is morally repugnant. Last night, I sunk to their level, and in essence after 3 years of fighting NOT to become like them, I've just behaved exactly as they have. 2 years ago, the Chief resident was in the OR, bad-mouthing me, saying that I wasn't *surgical enough* It I was terribly hurt. It was a fair assessment, but I hated him so much for saying that in the OR in front of work colleagues.

    When I got home, I told my husband and he said "I'm disappointed in you. You're not like that." It was hard to hear. He said that although I should feel bad but did throw me an olive branch "she was a b&^%h and she deserves it. If she was nice and behaved professionally, none of this would have happened." Still, he didn't want me to justify it and make it right in my head, because that's essentially how all of this starts. I deeply regret it. I just want the guilt to go away so I can rest!
     
  15. dragonfly411
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    by dragonfly411 » May 4, 2012
    Ally - I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's amazing that you can be there for your sister and I am hoping for the best for you both.
     
    


    


  16. VRBeauty
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    by VRBeauty » May 4, 2012
    I understand - you feel like you're on a slippery slope and you don't want to be there. Personally I don't think you are there, as proven by the fact that you're agonizing over this one incident. But if you are concerned about it and you "just want the guilt to go away," well, you control that guilt and it's entirely within your power to make it go away.

    I once had a deep resentment against a colleague. I did a lot of internal work on that resentment and eventually was able to let it go. Then one day I found myself interviewing with her for a position that would be a significant promotion. I knew I had to air that resentment to go into that new working relationship honestly, so in the interview I explained and apologized. She managed to misconstrue that but never mind... that apology was good for my soul.

    In the end she offered me the job. :appl: Then someone who had declined to apply the for the position earlier changed his mind, and she retracted the offer! All that hard work on the resentment paid off for me though, and I was able to let that slight/breach/etc. etc. pretty much roll off my back.

    You're the only one who can make the guilt "go away," and you can't do it by turning back the clock. You can write about it, or write Dr. O a letter that you may or may not choose to send, or go to confession, or apologize directly to Dr. O... or just set it aside for now, let the guilt you feel now shape your future actions, and deal with it more directly when you're in a better place. But you've carrying enough of a burden as it is, please ditch this rock and move on.
     
  17. junebug17
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    by junebug17 » May 4, 2012
    Aw Ally, try not to be too hard on yourself - you're going through a really rough, stressful period and there's a lot going on, cut yourself a break on this one. Seriously, a lot of us have done this at one time or another. I don't really *know* you, but I can tell from your posts that you are a kind, considerate, caring person and so it's pretty obvious this was a fluke. I would just chalk it up to a learning experience and try really hard to not feel guilty about it. Forgive yourself - we all have to do it from time to time, none of us is perfect.

    Hugs to you, you have a lot of stress in your life right now and I hope things get better for you really soon.
     
  18. Smores84
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    by Smores84 » May 13, 2012
    Dear Ally,

    The fact that you even feel any guilt over the situation with that co-resident shows that you are different from them. Please try to remember that you have behaved graciously, despite the stress that you've been under and the unfair way that she has behaved.

    Hugs
     
  19. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » May 14, 2012
    Ally, it has been 10 days since we have heard from you. Any news?
     
  20. Kaleigh
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    by Kaleigh » May 14, 2012
    Yes I have been thinking of you too. Hugs!!
     
  21. rosetta
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    by rosetta » May 14, 2012
    Me too. Whatever you're going through, I'm sending you my silent support.
     
  22. NewShiny
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    by NewShiny » May 16, 2012
    Sending prayers your way!
     
  23. lulu
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    by lulu » May 23, 2012
    Ally-any updates about your sister? You've been on my mind.
     
  24. allycat0303
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    by allycat0303 » May 29, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    I just realized that there were some inquiries on this thread recently. My life has been pretty hectic lately, and I haven't had time to check PS.

    My sister had surgery yesterday morning. They removed one of her ovaries. The pathology on that ovary has not returned yet. It had grown by another 1 cm since the initial round of U/S. The surgeon visualized the second ovary and felt that it would need to come out too, but that's another battle to come later depending on pathology of this ovary. The ascites was also sent off for some tests. They decided on an overnight recovery, and she should be getting home soon. Mentally, it was hard on her, but there were no drastic freak-outs, I think she had a few weeks to fully process and accept the issues at hand. Her boyfriend has been wonderful, and they are trying to keep going with their life and plans. They are planning a trip to Miami in June, and are going for 3 weeks to Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia) in September. Of course, all of this hinges on the pathology and the decision about what happens to the ovary, but I think she needed to make plans and feel like she was enjoying her life. My sister has never really travelled before. She always said she wanted to travel with someone and has never been a position to do so.

    As for me, I got through the hell week and then got REALLY sick. I'm prone to UTI which are resistant to about every antibiotic. I'm also highly symptomatic, so ended up needing IV antibiotics. I'm not hospitalized but have to return for the doses (Rosetta: I'm on freaking piptazo for UTI. Can you imagine? What are they going to use on me when I have a really bad UTI and I'm in septic shock????).

    In the past weeks, I've also firmly come to peace with the colleague from hell. There was no interaction with her, but I stopped taking her behaviour personally. I used to hang on to the facts that we *used* to be friends, therefore, "How could she do this to ME???" But now I'm dealing with her from a detached point of view. She's being unreasonable, not to get back at me, but because she is selfish, unreasonable, individual at the core. It has nothing to do with me. For instance, this month, I made the call schedule. We are 4 residents. Everyone has 8 calls this month. She called, complained, said it was too much yelling, threatening etc. I just agreed with her sympathetically that it was obviously *too much for her* (insert sarcasm). So I changed it and gave all the other residents 9 calls and I took 10 calls. She now has 5 (by convention she should have the most.) In any case, when the other 2 residents got furious about why she only had 5 and we all had 9-10, I told them, "I'm doing more calls then all of you. If you have an issue, speak to the resident that insists on having the least number of calls." Usually I would have gotten emotional, upset because everyone was upset, I was really zen about the whole thing, and didn't lose sleep over it. Usually, I would have been fretting and stressed.

    Fingers crossed about the pathology. Thank you for all of the wonderful support!
     
  25. tyty333
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    by tyty333 » May 29, 2012
    Glad to see you have gotten through some of the issues. You seem to be in a better place. Fingers crossed for your
    sister.
     
  26. VRBeauty
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    by VRBeauty » May 29, 2012
    Thank yo for the update on all fronts, AK. I'm glad you found that inner strength! Fingers crossed for you and your sister.
     
  27. movie zombie
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    by movie zombie » May 29, 2012
    thanks for the update: great breakthrough re the co-worker from hell. next time, though, schedule her as you would anyone else and tell her to suck it up as a big girl who thinks she's dr material.

    glad your sister is facing reality, had some of the needed surgery, and is creating a future by planning travel.
     
  28. minousbijoux
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    by minousbijoux » May 29, 2012
    All of This.

    And Ally, you write from a more detached, less anxious state. I hope and pray for you that that is how you feel. Big hugs and dust to you.
     

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