Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Faxing Away A Year's Worth of Tears

So, I did it. I wrestled with the decision for about two weeks. I cried over it, mulled it over in my mind, pondered several applicable Scriptures, and, of course, talked to and prayed with several trusted friends about the issue. I even mentioned it to my pastor and he prayed for me. We discussed it at Care Group. Was I trusting God by taking this possible course of action? Was I trusting God to issue His justice, as opposed to me circumventing His plan? Was this act stemming from bitterness I was holding onto? And on and on and on I wrestled.Then, I thought of different ways to accomplish a similar purpose, all to no avail. Several friends, by the grace of God, were very direct and helpful to me. Thank you. You know who you are. Finally, I had to sit down, pen and paper in hand, and just do it. Hours and hours later at my computer, probably a whole ink cartridge and a hundred sheets of paper later, it was done.

An eleven page document, a "masterpiece" if you will. I poured everything I had in it to make it thorough and effective in communicating the events of July 13, 2008 and the days that followed. I filed a grievance with my insurance against my former doctor and the hospital that I had Julia at. Please note: it is not my intention, in any way, shape, or form, to reveal the specifics of who and where Julia's birth took place on my blog. I am not confined to HIPAA regulations, but I am confined to a conscience that believes in going through the right channels to "air beefs" so to speak. And so I did.

My insurance will look at my allegations and inform both entities, my former doctor and the hospital, of the grievance. They will have their chance, without having to pay attorneys' fees, to respond to my claims. Apparently, according to the patient advocate that never called me back after 10 weeks (I finally called him), the grievance is taken very seriously by the hospital. After all, the review committee with the insurance is a branch of the American Medical Association and they have the power to go as far as suspending licenses to practice medicine. (I know, though, that the AMA is well-known for protecting their doctors).They can also impose fines. My insurance pays a huge chunk of my former doctor and the hospital's paycheck. It's a big deal. It should be. Julia could have been seriously injured or, even worse, she could have died. (I won't even get into the mental and emotional fallout I suffered from being profoundly traumatized by the whole experience. Those of you close to me know how I've struggled. Thank you for your faithful love and patience with me over this past year. I really needed all of you.) Those parties responsible in any way should have to answer for the decisions and words they made and spoke, or neglected to regarding me and Julia.

But it was heart wrenching for me. The main reason was that I know how sensitive and fearful my former doctor is. Through various conversations I had with him during my pregnancy it became apparent to me that it was hard on him when his patients perceived him to be uncaring,incompetent, or unavailable, even when the patients made foolish choices and he was not to blame. Pleasing his patients, and being thought well of by colleagues and patients, was very important to him. But he has a temper. And he could be selfish at times.

It will be up to my insurance to look over everything I prepared and make their own determination as to whether their "standard of care" was met for me and Julia. I'm not asking for money or an apology. I really get nothing out of it, except the satisfaction of knowing that the details surrounding my delivery and subsequent conversations with my doctor will be exposed and scrutinized. A judgment will be rendered. I will never know what it is. I'm ok with that. I'd rather not know.

As I faxed all eleven pages to my insurance yesterday morning, I saw on my printer screen "Page 1 sent...", "Page 2 sent...", "Page 3 sent...". I felt relief creeping into my soul, page by page - "sent." The burden of feeling powerless and victimized over this last year with no apparent recourse was unbearable. A friend who was praying for me about the situation prayed something like, "Lord, your Word says that your yoke is easy and your burden is light. Please help Laura to give this burden to you and take upon herself your easy yoke and light burden." I was so comforted by that prayer. Prayerfully, painfully, and thoughtfully I felt that faxing that eleven page document was giving Jesus my burden. The battle is not over, though. I have to remind myself that I've faxed into God's hands and my insurance's hands my grievance and that it's over for me in a bigger sense. Any remaining issues in my heart God will deal with.

And he will- with his unrelenting love and faithfulness. Thank you, Lord.

I do feel hopeful in a way that I haven't felt in a long time. I believe with all my heart that God will use this for good for my former doctor, the hospital, and all the women who follow in my footsteps to that little corner of the world where my doctor practices medicine. God bless you, Dr. ------. I really mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, September 7, 2009


So, I had a couple of minutes after finishing school this morning and I got to thinking about my trip to the Bonaventure the other day. Sarah and I and 8 kids (I know - I'll never take them all there again!) went to the revolving lounge at the Bonaventure at around 5:30 on Friday afternoon. As we were leaving I was waiting for the hostess to bring me my stroller. All 10 of us are waiting by the hostess podium-thing and we see two young, fresh-faced couples dressed to the nines walking down the stairs toward us. They check in with the hostess and I noticed one of the young men in particular. How could I not? He was tall, young, blondish and handsome. What I really noticed, though, was his bright white dazzling sports coat with matching pants and white dress shirt. The material was beautiful. It was shiny satin white stripes on white cotton material. (I loved textured clothing! Especially white dress shirts that have textures - very classy!). I looked over at his date who was young and gorgeous. They mentioned they were in a party of like 15 people or something. It appeared that they were having drinks before dinner or some fancy event. They all had anticipatory "we're going to have a lot of fun tonight" looks on their faces, but they did seem a little nervous. It was an interesting sight.
And then I looked down. I noticed it and looked again. Was that a - a - no, it couldn't be. Was it supposed to be like that? I noticed a rip in the tall, white in shining armor - oops, I mean suited- guy's pants. Agh! The pants were very loose, and there was a darkish color coming through the 3-inch rip at the seam of his backside. I stared for a moment and then thought Do I pull him aside and discreetly inform him of his unanticipated air conditioned pants? Do I ignore it, hoping every one else will, too? Will one his buddies or -God forbid-his date point it out? It was a brief dilemma which I pointed out to my sister in a very discreet manner. We looked at one another and tried not to laugh. I was embarrassed for the guy!
But, my stroller came and we left the young, beautiful people, one with a wardrobe malfunction, to themselves. I wondered what happened. What would you have done?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sensational Sleep

(Isn't this baby so precious? I love newborns!)I just finished my second week of homeschooling and I haven't given up yet (despite a 4th bout of head lice in 9 months. Ugh...)Is there a medal out there for me? I am just kidding. It's actually gone very well. The girls and I are on a productive cleaning schedule and our morning school schedule yields finished assignments and plenty of instruction and learning, although I'm always needing to tweak it here and there. So far, I'm very pleased with how things are going. My mornings are VERY busy and I'm usually disciplined at not answering the phone, which typically throws me off.(I love to talk! But then, you knew that...) The mid-afternoons tend to vary a bit, but everyone has a quiet time and I'll either run errands or lay down myself for a nap.
Ahhh...naps...sleep. What's that?!?! Seriously, though, when I lay down at the end of the night for sleep I feel extremely gratified at the industrious day I've put in at my home and with my children. It's such a pleasing thought to fall asleep knowing I made wise use of my time and resources and spent quality and quantity time with my kids (most of the time). I'm always confused when I hear of all the Americans who have trouble sleeping at night - and not due to pregnancy or babies that don't sleep well. It baffles me to think people need pills to fall asleep at night! I'm definitely not passing judgment, but I couldn't imagine that!I do remember, however, during some seasons (like when I only had two kids) when I would sleep too late or didn't do a lot throughout the day that I had a more difficult time sleeping. And then there's my last post that I typed up at 2 am. Sometimes I do have a lot on my mind, but most of the time I sleep quite well when outside forces don't impede my quest for quality sleep.
It's not that I love to sleep for long periods of time, nor do I need a lot sleep, but the sleep I get needs to be good quality sleep. Since I got pregnant with Julia a good night's sleep has detrimentally eluded me. She's sleeping better now, but she still has her crazy middle-of-the-night wake ups. Overall, though, we're both sleeping better.
I love everything about sleeping. I love my bed, my sheets have to be silky and soft (and a lovely color!), my down pillow can't be too thick or bouncy, and my pajamas have to be ultra comfortable and pretty. I've discovered the newer spandex-y material that they are making high end pajamas with these days. I can't buy cheap cotton or combed cotton pajamas anymore. And no pajama gowns-they're too twisty. Marshall's tends to have the best quality and best prices for the pajamas that I simply must have. When I do sleep, after all, it should be as enjoyable as I can get.
When I awake from sleep I rarely remember my dreams. I've heard that's best-my sleep was deep enough to forget what I dreamed about. There have been a couple of dreams in my life, however, that I've never forgotten. These have been very vivid visually. Most recently, since Julia's birth, I've had some real humdingers. I've had about 5 very vivid dreams not only in terms of visual impact, but emotional as well. One in particular was very powerful. And I don't know what it means. These dreams I've had in the last year have been loaded with MEGA imagery and meanings that I can only guess as to what they mean. Others that I have shared them with have had their opinions, but by and large I'm rather baffled by them. But they were very real and very powerful. For a time I believe I misinterpreted them and that was very troubling (sleep deprivation really does a number on my thinking!). These dreams had very exciting and encouraging parts as well as very troubling and mysterious parts. I believe really, though, that they're best left alone. I don't dwell on them or think much about them anymore. They are in my past - along with a whole lot of other stuff I'd rather forget about.
I was not planning on blogging about sleep or dreams, but I couldn't help it once I got started. I simply love thinking about, talking about, planning for and doing SLEEP!
I was actually going to blog about my trip to the Bonavista lounge at the Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown LA yesterday. I saw this amusing sight that got me thinking....but I have many things to do right now like check on Julia. Where is that adorable busy baby? It's so quiet...gotta go!