Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Difference a Good Doctor Makes

Amanda surprisingly made counts for her treatment Thursday (barely). I was very nervous about it and spoke up to the physician assistant about the problems with the last treatment round. The response was to just give her the nausea medication, which we did last time, and then he ordered a different nausea med that doesn't typically work as well. You should order what works best for the patient, not what med is your favorite (my medical Arch Nemesis list begins). Fortunately, the doctor has the final say so and I am very happy with Amanda's physician, Dr. Bruggers, who changed the order when I made the request. If I were to choose a doctor based on clinic visits, she wouldn't be my choice. She's a bit quick and sometimes prickly. But having worked with her closely during out diagnosis phase she proved to be one of the most competent doctors I've ever met. She is so confident of Amanda's recovery that I often replay in my mind her optimism in telling us what the outcome is expected to be. The best part about her is that she does not tolerate patient discomfort. She goes out of her way to find a solution. Even when Amanda was hospitalized, she chewed out a nurse when she saw how black and blue Amanda's arms were from endless blood draws. She knew there was a more comfortable way to get what was needed and she made sure it happened. So for clinic, Amanda was given a higher dose of the better nausea medication, a strict medication regiment to keep up on the nausea/pain, and home IV fluids for a few days. Whatever Dr. Bruggers did different worked and I hope it will continue the next few rounds. Amanda of course came home feeling ill, but she was able to tolerate the pain medication before the headache and body aches exploded. We avoided the extreme pain/nausea cycle. Amanda was even riding her scooter the next day, much to my surprise. I'm much more optimistic that she can handle the next two treatment rounds. I continue to pray that she won't be miserable while I'm away from her.

She's still struggling with bouts of nausea and is hooked up on IV fluids as we speak. Last night we were both up at 4:30 am with nausea. We both enjoyed our Zofran medication (God's gift to the nauseated), a bowl of cereal (the must have diet for the nauseated), and talked about ports and PICC lines. Not your typical mother-daughter bonding activity. But it makes me chuckle that this feels like a normal thing to do now.


  1. Mar, I am soooo glad that this treatment round has proven to be better. Finding a good Doctor who will advocate is priceless. I love your comment about nausea medicine and cereal. One day I bet you will both look back and perhaps smile over that crazy night.

  2. Just a note to say we still are thinking about you and love you guys lots!!