Saturday, June 20, 2015

Medical Matters, from KIDNAPPED TWICE

In early 2012, my diabetes caught up with me. My doctor put me through different tests, and she told me that my kidneys are working at approximately only 48% of capacity. I had many more tests and two more doctors to deal with. I love my doctor for many reasons, one of which is that she is a woman. She and I know each other very well, so when she told me the news, I could tell that she was worried.

I have always taken pretty good care of myself, but not good enough, I guess. I am finding it hard to follow what I must do medically while trying to keep up with the farmgrass mowing and caring for our animals. God forbid if it should rain, which it is doing right now, as it messes up my schedule and my writing.

My son will be upset when he finds out that I did not tell him about my health problems. He has a full plate of responsibilities. There is nothing he can do about my health, so why give him more to worry about?

A series of medical visits has begun. A few days ago, I had an ultrasound examination of my kidneys and bladder. I write this as I am in the waiting room of a kidney specialist. I am not sure what the outcome will be. The next doctor I’m going to see after this is one who specializes in diabetes. I am guessing that I am in trouble. I know I have to cope with this, but I don’t feel strong enough right now to deal with another problem in my life.

Still, I have overcome other major problems before.

Yesterday I had my last appointment with my doctor of over 20 years. She truly has kept me going many times during those years. She knew right from the start that I was not going to be an easy patient to work with, as I do not like most doctors.

I had not been to a doctor for many years, so when I decided to get a check-up, all hell broke loose. It turned out that I had a tumor that had to be taken out. I went for the normal pre-operation tests, after which the nurse sent me home to pack my bag, as I had to be admitted that day to begin what would be my life-long battle with diabetes. Within five days they had my diabetes under control, and I was operated on.

How I found my current doctor shortly after this I don’t recall exactly. She has been my doctor ever since then. We’ve had our ups and downs, but eventually I started not only to like her but to respect her knowledge. As with most cases of diabetes, other things started going wrong. She took care of each problem, and there have been many.

My latest problem has to do with my kidney. My doctor knew I would not be happy going to another doctor for this problem, but I also trust her judgment. When I asked her over and over why she could not treat me, she talked to me as the trusted friend she had become and told me that I had to go to a kidney specialist, because she could not treat this problem.

Years ago, when Alan had a physical for the fire company at a local hospital, the nurse told him that he needed to go to see his doctor immediately, as she heard a problem with his heart function. He went to his doctor at the time, and that doctor told him there was no problem and for him to come back in a year. I did not feel comfortable with that diagnosis, so I took him to my own doctor. Within 10 minutes she told him he needed to go to the Heart Center and get examined. It turned out that he had two faulty heart valves. He now has two stainless steel heart valves working in his heart, and he is still breathing, which I feel is due to my doctor, my friend.

When I had my finger accident at the apple-packing machine, which took a major part of my finger off, she somehow managed to show up in the emergency room, leaving her practice to come to comfort me. I did not expect her to do that! When Alan was having a stroke in the middle of the night, I called her at home. She walked me through it all as I took Alan to the hospital.

When they found Alan’s brain tumor during the scans for his stroke, that neurosurgeon had many long conversations with my doctor and made the statement to Alan and me that he was very impressed with her knowledge. Alan went on to have brain surgery, and by then I trusted my doctor for anything and everything. That is something I can’t say has been true very often in my life.

Now my doctor is going on to another chapter of her life, which will be at a Veterans Administration hospital, one having no outpatient service, so she will not be able to treat me. I tried not to let her know how devastated I am, but I surely will miss her more than I can say! We promised each other that we will keep in touch, and I truly hope that we do. My only solace in all of this is that she gave me the name of her own doctor, which comforts me a bit.

We are serializing the memoir KIDNAPPED TWICE: Then Betrayed and Abused, by Mary E. Seaman and myself, which tells of her harsh childhood and the partial recovery she has made in the following half-century. Published by Outskirts Press, it is available in ebook and paperback formats from Outskirts, as well as,, and other on-line booksellers.

My writing-editing-coaching site is

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