CATCH UP TIME WITH BECKY

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The wild and crazy life of a doctor.   Especially a surgeon who takes ER/trauma call.   You’ve all seen it on TV, right?   Wouldn’t you think being along for that ride would be…..well, wild and crazy?!   So what’s with the end of the day scenario of, “How was your day?!”, “Fine.” “What did you do?” “Saw patients. Operated.” Could it be any duller!!?? On his end, it is definitely NOT dull. Every day is jam packed and never the same. I just don’t always get the story.

Of course the whole doctor-patient confidentiality is taken very seriously by my husband. So many times I’ve run into a friend who said, “I saw your husband yesterday!” And my reply of “You did??” usually follows. Does this fall into the doctor-patient confidentiality thing or the “Oh, I forgot to tell you that my brother and his wife had their baby last week” thing? Am I the only one whose husband fails to mention important information? Is it a doctor thing, or a man thing?

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So, I decided to actually ASK him recently, when we were on a day trip together, what was his most interesting case. “Tell me about someone whose life you have saved. Something really interesting.” As he was thinking, he mused, “Oh yeah, I did have a patient who made me a plaque to hang on the wall because she was so grateful that I saved her life.” Wow! And I never even heard about it. So I pressed, “tell me ALL about it!!” His reply, “Hmmmm, I’ll have to look up her chart and see….” Well, I think I would remember that one! If I get an answer, I’ll let you know.

 

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ENJOYING DOWNTIME AT BRASSTOWN VALLEY LODGE

In case you are wondering why the pictures don’t exactly match what I’ve been blogging about, it will take me a while to get around to the point. Just hang on and enjoy the pictures.

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GOLF AT BRASSTOWN VALLEY

When it’s all said and done, I guess in some aspects being married to a doctor is no different from being married to anyone. I think I grew up hearing the “How was your day, fine” routine and my father was an aeronautical engineer, not a doctor.

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MORE GOLF

But that word routine, only applies in a very limited sense to our lives. That’s my biggest challenge with being a doctor’s wife. I can never count on what will happen, so it is hard to coordinate our lives. Bringing up the kids was a series of “who’s on first” situations – trying to get them and us to school, church, recitals, teacher conferences, sports practices and events with dad screeching in late, or not at all. But he gave it a super human effort and managed to make a huge number of important things.

For the first 15 years of practice my husband rounded on his patients twice daily, 7 days a week. Add in kids activities on the weekends and you don’t have a lot of down time. I know, I know…..we’re not the only ones. Life is busy and I just mention it to bring me to this point: We have a lot of catching up to do as a couple! One such little endeavor in that direction was a trip recently that we took to Biltmore Estates in North Carolina for the weekend.

The house and gardens were beyond fabulous.

And we got to enjoy a round of golf with those beautiful Smoky Mountains as a backdrop.

 

Keyword being WEEKEND. Those used to be non-existent for us and now that the kids are grown and he shares surgical call with his partners, every now and then we take full advantage of having time off!

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And we took ANOTHER weekend trip to Minneapolis to see our son and his bride. While we were there, we all got to attend a benefit POLO event. There was a hat contest that I think we all assumed was just for the ladies. A passing comment I made (“You are NOT going to wear your baseball cap are you?”) spurred the guys in our group to step up their game in that department.

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At the benefit, we enjoyed seeing a collectors car exhibit. I enjoyed seeing an Austin Healey particularly because that was what my love drove his last year of college.   He enjoyed telling everyone that how he got me with that car!   He did look great in it, I must say! My comeback though is always, “right after we got married, he sold the car and got a VW bug, got glasses and went to med school. Now, is that fair?!” If I get the right expression on my face with the right pause, I can get a good laugh.

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I must sign off to finish making the famous chocolate pie that my husband requests every year for his birthday. The tradition started years ago, and his mother was kind enough to pass the recipe on to me. I hate to sound like Donald Trump, but, I promise, this is THE BEST chocolate pie you will ever taste!

CHOCOLATE PIE

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I start with a homemade pie crust. I’m telling you, that makes it for me. But for lots of folks, it’s all about the chocolate, so they go with a storebought crust. Let the crust cool after you bake it, and then whip up this yummy filling.

Melt 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Add 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons milk, beating till blended well.

While continuing to beat, add, one at a time, 4 egg yolks. Beat well. (or as my great-Aunt used to say, “the key is to beat it like you mean it!”)

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Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

In a separate bowl, beat until stiff, 4 egg whites. For years, I’ve read in recipes to beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. I gave up a long time ago trying to figure out what that means, but here’s what mine look like after I finished them.

Gently fold chocolate mixture into egg whites. Add about 1/3 of the chocolate mix at a time until it is all folded in. Turn mix into prepared pie shell.

All ready for the fridge!

 

Chill several hours in refrigerator until set.

Serve with whipped cream.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | August 19, 2015


DO VARICOSE VEINS COME BACK?

Don’t give up if you still have varicose veins, even though you had treatment in the past. Many people feel that since “it didn’t work the first time” that it is pointless to try to get rid of a vein that just will come back. Sometimes we hear from patients who have had previous treatments for varicose veins and now years later feel that the treatment did not work because they are seeing similar veins appearing on their legs.

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But did the previous treatment fail? Probably not. Although sometimes that can be the case, depending on what treatment was given and who gave it, of course. Always insist on a board certified doctor, who is certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. Most of the time, the problem is not old veins coming back, but new veins that have developed venous insufficiency and need to be treated.

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There are several reasons that varicose veins can reappear. Our first step to determine the cause is to do an ultrasound evaluation on these patients. Then we can determine the next step.

So why do you still have unsightly veins, even though you have had treatment? d3d66472-3d72-49ed-8a15-75bab12cd76a

There are three basic systems that can cause trouble with varicose veins:

  1. The great saphenous system
  2. The small saphenous system
  3. Perforating veins.

A patient can have one system treated successfully and then have one of the other systems malfunction later on, resulting in new problems. With the use of ultrasound technology, we are able to focus on the areas that are broken and treatment will result in a successful result.

We are also seeing another problem caused by the old vein stripping procedure, done in the hospital in years past. Some patients who had their veins stripped have developed another problem named neovascularity. This is the development of new varicose veins related to the actual stripping procedure. It appears that the actual incisions that were made with the old procedure stimulate new vascular activity which results in varicose veins in 10-20 years. We are not seeing this problem with the new thermal ablation procedures that we are using now. For this reason, we do not recommend going into the hospital for a vein stripping. This outdated procedure does not give a lasting good result and is unnecessarily painful and expensive.

Whatever has been done in the past, we are able to use exciting new techniques to treat these recurrent problems. Varicose vein innovative treatments are quick and non-invasive. And they are now done in the doctor’s office with the patient walking out and returning to normal activities the next day. The end result is that our patients are happy and highly satisfied.

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This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | August 19, 2015


PREGNANCY AND VEINS

 

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It is very common to develop some form of varicose vein problems after going through a pregnancy. This is the time when there is high pressure on the lower extremity venous system. The baby is sitting in the pelvis, putting pressure on the pelvic veins and resulting in increased pressure in the lower extremity veins. This can result in dilated veins that can sometimes return to normal . Unfortunately these dilated veins don’t always improve after you give birth. They can make you uncomfortable or just unhappy with the way they look.

“I guess now I’ll have old woman legs and not be able to wear shorts and skirts.”   Comment from a 20- something eight months pregnant woman

Preventative measures can be taken during pregnancy .  If you are prone to varicose veins, we recommend compression stockings during pregnancy to help protect the distal superficial veins in the legs. You can also elevate your legs and avoid unnecessary prolonged standing and walking, both of which increase the venous pressure in the legs.

Unfortunately there are some patients who develop permanent damage to their leg veins and require treatment to reverse the problems.  Varicose veins can itch or hurt and later on lead to serious problems like swelling and sores that don’t heal well. If the problem is not corrected, future pregnancies cause even more problems and the legs become even worse. We recommend treating the varicose veins as soon as the patient is able to.

We usually wait at least two months after delivery before doing vein treatment procedures. Many women don’t know that they can proceed with treatment within a few months after delivery. We recommend that the patient wear compression stockings and use leg elevation to treat the symptomatic veins In the two months after delivery and make plans for treatment.   The treatment has such a simple recovery that the patient is immediately mobile and able to return to work and family activities.

Varicose vein treatment is covered by insurance. In light of today’s high insurance deductibles, it is worth noting that the insurance deductible will probably have been met at the birth of the baby. So it is not only safe, but economical to go ahead with treatment in the months after delivery before a new insurance year begins.

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It is always a good feeling seeing a women leave my office feeling good about her legs after treatment.   So many young women express during their pregnancy that they will now probably have to act like what they feel is an older women, hiding their legs, no longer wearing shorts and short skirts….because of the veins they are developing during pregnancy.   Eliminating those varicose veins allows a woman after pregnancy to return to a normal physical and mental state in her life with a spring in her step.


This post was written by Vein and Skin Laser Center | August 13, 2015