Category: Marilyn's Earlier Blogs
My husband, Dr. T. Stacy Lloyd Jr. just came home last night from a two day hospital stay. He went crashing into a bedroom door at about 5:30 AM several mornings ago, and said he felt dizzy.
I took his blood pressure and it was very weird 190/90 and his normal BP is 110/70. And his pulse didn’t seem to have a normal rhythm. After calling a family member and the hospital triage nurse, it was decided he should go to the hospital. The rescue squad was called when he was too shaky to make it down the stairs.
At the hospital, because of his heart attack history in May, they were checking for a heart attack and what caused this syncope. After a bunch of tests, the conclusion was only speculative: mild dehydration. They even checked his carotids with an ultrasound and an echo cardiogram. But this landed us in the hospital for two days of hell.
I say hell because this time the nurse on day duty for 12 hours for two days was about the worst nurse I had ever encountered. She wanted to give him his daily aspirin without me having the results of a brain CAT scan. She must have been delusional for me to consent to that. I guess her passive aggressive behavior for two days was a result of a power struggle. She had me labeled as a trouble maker, which is farthest from the truth. I have a nursing background and know protocol and nurse’s positions. I was being the patient advocate I should be.
Many times in my writings I have commented never leave a patient alone in the hospital. Someone needs to monitor everything including every drug given. I do practically everything for my husband when he is in there. So the nurse basically had to give him 3 pills and make phone calls to expedite his tests and release.
And then we come to the food. It is virtually impossible for a type O such as my husband to get adequate nutrition in a hospital especially when they label you a cardiac patient.
I asked for eggs for him for breakfast. There is a menu in the room, and you have to order your own food. The answer to that question is “it isn’t egg day.” So a frank n food egg it was. They didn’t hesitate to put the cheese in it though.
The luncheon menu left little choice except a tuna fish sandwich both days.
Now dinner is the real challenge. There are no decent fresh vegetables on the menu. The only thing I could think of was turkey which didn’t look like real meat either. Yesterday night Stacy ordered some lasagna. By that time I had given up on the food. But what really fascinated me was the health shake. Here are some of the ingredients: milk, corn syrup, water, high fructose corn syrup , whey protein, corn oil with BHA and BHT malodextrin natural and artificial color calcium phosphate, trebasic, sodium hexametaphospate. mono and diglycerides, titanium dioxide Color (xanthan gum, ascorbic acid magnesium oxide carageeenan red dye 3, salt ferric orthophosphate alpha tocopheral acetate and it goes on and on.
4 g fat
17 g sugar
6 gram protein
total carbs 35g
In anyone’s wildest nutritional plan, I would like someone to tell me how the heck this could be called a health shake? Full of bad sugar, bad fat, and very little protein on top of a bundle of preservatives, this shake is enough to make someone sick. And it looked terrible too (an artificial strawberry looking gook.)
I told my husband not to drink it, but let me take home the carton for proof of the health food in hospitals.
If I hadn’t been under so much distress from the nurse, and one of my children had been there, I could have gone out and gotten him some decent food. But this time I was all alone, except for a friend who spent the night with him.
The hospital called this morning to ask how the stay was, and I was still so upset by our treatment, I forgot to mention the food. However, apparently the hospital is going to follow up on this, and then I’ll at least put in my two cents about the hospital nutrition.
My cousin wondered what happens to patients who don’t have someone to help them order. I guess the nurse would help. Who knows?
Another problem was my food in the hospital I basically lived on the A bars, but I had to have something else and consented to a turkey breast sandwich one night and a tuna fish sandwich the next night that made me gag.
Anyway, we are back home and back to eating an A and O diet. I made Stacy two poached eggs for breakfast, and for myself an A powder mixture with soymilk and pineapple and cod liver oil. He usually eats a type O shake but wanted eggs today. My advice for person of any blood type in the hospital, have your own food brought in if possible. Take some blood type bars and organic fruit with you with some blood type specific nuts. And then just pray you don’t have to stay too long.
Eat Right for Your Baby is a marvelous book which covers just about everything: Pre pregnancy, getting pregnant, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and the baby blood type diet. Then why didn’t I review this book sooner since it has been available since 2003?
When the book first came out, I couldn’t keep a copy in the house. I kept giving them away to friends of my children who were either thinking about getting pregnant or pregnant. Then when I finally started reading my own copy, I would put it down because it made me sad. Why would a book like this make me sad? The answer is simple; I did a lot of things wrong while pregnant with my own children and especially in their first year of life. And Dr. D’Adamo was still in college and was a long way away from writing this book. Just about the only reference to refer to 30 years ago was Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care.
A lot of things about having babies were different 30 years ago. Believe or not, there was just not a lot of studying done around medical things. Most people just listened to their doctors and that was the end of it. Breast feeding was only becoming more popular. Looking back, I set my children up for major food allergies by bottle feeding them followed with starting foods too soon. My son suffered from atopic dermatitis for years and my daughter to a lesser degree. We lived in the pediatrician’s office. One of them was going in with something at least once a week waiting at least an hour or two wait to be seen. My son Will had red cheeks and rashes all over the place. He had bouts with yeast infection on his skin. They both had a lot of ear infections, but especially my daughter, Holly.
In those days even when something happened medically, the doctors would just tell you what to do not why. For example, my son in early infancy had really bad diarrhea. They told me to stop the formula for three days. If they only had explained why, it wouldn’t have been so traumatic. Finally when I called a pediatric nurse at home, and she explained how the intestines had to rest to recover did I understand and relax about it.
Things are better for parents now. They are more informed and they have a book like Eat Right for Your Baby to follow. You could really say that this is the only baby book on the market that is genetic. One’s blood type affects a lot of things as the ERFYT followers know. That is why on the cover of this Baby Bible is the statement that this book is an individualized guide to fertility and maximum health during pregnancy, nursing, and your baby’s first year.”
It really says something about a concept when Dr. D’Adamo writes that “I discovered, almost by coincidence that when my female patients followed the correct diet for their blood type, fertility increased dramatically.” Fertility issues are especially important to those mothers who have postponed childhood and have made their window of opportunity to have a baby decline. So anyone with fertility issues would benefit from reading and applying this book.
Naturopathic medicine is interested in wellness. Therefore, the second chapter in this baby bible is a “Naturopathic Primer.” It gives guidelines for blood tests and check ups to have before one gets pregnant. It is very specific about detoxification guidelines before pregnancy. As Dr. D’Adamo points out, many of the baby’s vital systems are forming before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Smokers need to stop smoking before pregnancy. He gives guidelines for eating in general along with the blood type specifics. There are even a couple of pages on pregnancy preparation for daddy’s to be.
Then, Dr. D’Adamo proceeds to explain each trimester’s challenges and how to meet them like morning sickness in early pregnancy, constipation, supplements, and exercise guidelines plus a myriad of other pregnancy related problems. However, the uniqueness of this book is that it is all done by one’s genetic blood type.
After the baby or babies are born, Dr. D’Adamo writes a chapter on “breast feeding diet strategies also broken down by blood type.
Lastly, there are four chapters on the little one by blood type. Included in this is blood type remedies for “common conditions” such as “allergies, ear infections, diaper rash, etc.”
This is such a comprehensive book that it is still leaving my house like hotcakes. What a great gift for someone thinking about having a baby. Not a week goes by when I don’t recommend this book. Someone will mention someone they know having trouble conceiving, and I mention the book. Or there is a newborn with early food problems or a toddler with rashes. “The Baby Bible” is the way I will always view this book. It is well written, comprehensive, and a guide for generations to come.
My grandsons were born on May 31, 2006 around 5 and 5:30 AM. Frankly, it ranks very high in the traumatic events category of my life. Here is the birthing story.
When the call came that my daughter in law was escorted to the hospital next door to the Ob-Gyn office, I got someone to stay with my husband and raced down to Richmond, VA, 50 miles away. Everyone, including my son on a business call, was about an hour away. I was the first one there. My daughter in law, Kara, was having contractions but not really feeling them. My daughter, Holly, arrived 10 minutes later followed by my son, Will, then her parents, brother and wife, and many friends. There was an entourage in the waiting room. Throughout the first 11 hours of the vigil, we all took turns being with Kara and Will.
By the twelfth hour, only family was left. The 9 of us sat there. But early on I was the basket case. Too much knowledge is not helpful when one’s duty is waiting. My husband thought a vaginal delivery of twins with one transverse (sideways) was risky and I was anxious. Frankly, I cried on and off all night. At one point I went to look for the chapel and couldn’t find it, so I was so distraught, I just got down on my knees in the waiting room downstairs when no one was looking. A lot of praying went on that night by everyone.
However, by 5AM Kara’s mother, my daughter, and I were all in tears, because it became an ordeal for Kara trying to push out that first twin. Kara was a real trooper. And my son was very supportive.
Around that time, a new baby entered the nursery. I was the first one at the window admiring the little one. Babies had arrived in the nursery all night long. But this time the nurse held up the baby. I still didn’t get it at first. So I called everyone to the window to look at the baby, and it slowly dawned on us. This was the first Lloyd twin.
So here are, all of us standing and crying as we are looking through the window. Then for comic relief I said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we were crying over someone else’s baby?” So we called on the phone and sure enough it was Peyton Thomas Lloyd. (Thomas is one of my husband’s names.) We all laughed because he had big feet just like my son, me, and my father. My son in law climbed up on a big chair to look down at the baby and get the first pictures. We were overjoyed and elated, but still scared. The other twin wasn’t coming right behind.
So the sheer terror returned. Finally, thirty minutes later Carter Patrick arrived. (He had the middle name of his other grandfather). Both looked in really good shape. Then my son finally appeared beaming, exhausted, and looking like he had endured one of the biggest traumas of his life. The first twin he said was a vaginal delivery, but the second turned into an emergency C section. The doctor had a hard time getting the baby out even then. My son was right there through it all, and he saw more medicine in action then he ever wanted to see.
I wish the trauma ended there and the rejoicing about the twins remained. However, it was not to be. My daughter in law was not been able to stand or walk the first three days postpartum. She had two MRI’s to rule out the worst things. The doctors were puzzled but settled on the diagnosis of femoral nerve damage. They fitted her with a leg brace and walker.
Two days after the delivery, my husband and I finally got back to Richmond to hold the boys. This was my husband’s first big outing since his heart attack two weeks ago. These are his 9th and 10th grandchildren. And my first biological grandchildren. They are so beautiful, but I am prejudiced I guess. Through it all, Kara has an amazing attitude and fortitude. She is also a great mother already. Our son, Will, has made us proud. He has barely left her side, helping with the babies and taking care of his wife. He jumped into fatherhood like he had done it all of his life. Of course, I told my son how I felt several times. But Will’s father says fewer words than I do, but they are always profound and important. And he told his son exactly how he felt.
Will and Kara and the boys went home 5 days after the delivery. Kara got around with her walker and brace. I got to Richmond that day with groceries just in time to see them come home. It was quite a sight watching the boys in their car seats, and coming into the house to meet the dogs. Will and Kara have two big part labs and they did their sniffing and gave their approval. The dogs have a big job to do guarding those two precious boys.
We count our blessings everyday. However, it has been a difficult situation with Kara’s mobility. Those twins were a full time job for Kara, my son, and her mother helping as much as she could. Her father was also there as much as he can. (He is taking care of another grandchild during the day.) All of us have been very concerned over this unusual situation. My husband never saw this with 6-8,000 deliveries. When someone can’t walk themselves, the babies have to be carried to the mother, changed etc.
Our son went back to work last week. Kara’s mother continues to be a Godsend. The twins are growing well, and we all continue to monitor Kara’s recovery. She was able to move her leg up a few inches yesterday. And she gets around now quite well without the brace. However, she is at risk for knee buckling and falling which has happened. Tomorrow she sees the rehabilitation doctor.
Yesterday was a big day for all of us. Father’s Day takes on a whole new meaning when you are watching your son be a father. Yesterday we took a picture of him holding both boys. Then we had to take the generational picture of two babies, my son, and my husband. My husband’s Father’s Day present from the “boys” was a picture with them both wearing toy stethoscopes and holding toy thermometers. The caption was “Our Opa, Our Hero.” It was really cute.
The smile on my husband’s face when he holds those babies is so touching for all of us. It brings him so much joy and he is constantly asking when we’re going to Richmond again? Being a grandma (Oma) is wonderful. Life goes on. . . .
What Is It About the 23rd?
Today is the 23rd of May, and I called my son and said, “Charge up the camera batteries; I bet your twins are being born today.” Sounds kind of weird doesn’t it? But it seems like all the best and worst events of my life have occurred on the 23rd. I have come to almost freak out around that date. My father died on the 23rd, but on the plus side my husband and I were married on the 23rd. And there were many other positive and negative events.
Maybe it’s the writer in me always looking for symbolism in things, but this whole week of May has me totally spooked too. As I spent three days in the hospital this past weekend with my husband who had a heart attack, I remembered that it was the same week I was diagnosed with breast cancer ten years ago today, May 23, 1996.
Emotionally the last few days have been really tough. Not only did my husband almost die, but I knew the twins could come and I would miss everything. It has been a very stressful time and still is. And if those twins come today, the crying will continue. These are my first grandchildren and my husband’s 9th and 10th.
However, at the beginning and end of each day, I pull myself together and count my blessings. I’m still alive after ten years thanks to Dr. D’Adamo. A lot has occurred in my life the last ten years. And I relished all of it. Both my children graduated from college. Both were married. And my husband and I have gone on a lot of wonderful trips together. And I have made many wonderful friends in the cancer survivor community.
These last three days have seen a lot of blessings. My husband, Stacy, a retired OB physician, showing his age (80) and having a lot of medical problems, recognized he was having a heart attack. And his symptoms were not severe. All he had was a little burning in his chest and a little pressure. No severe pain or pain radiating down the arm or breaking out in a sweat or nausea and vomiting. The critical key to his own diagnosis was that he had never had this feeling before. My husband is not an alarmist. When he finally told me he was having this chest discomfort, I asked how long? He said, “About and hour.” I had given him some stomach enzymes for indigestion and he said, “They didn’t work.” I asked him if he thought he should go to the hospital and he said “Yes.” Then I panicked. First I said that I would drive him, but then my rational thought kicked in and I asked, “Should I call the rescue squad.” He said “Perhaps I should dial 911.” Then I panicked double. I had enough sense to make the call, give him an aspirin, and then call the neighbor to direct the ambulance up the hill. It was 9PM Friday night. I also might add we never take aspirin and had none in the house. Just two weeks ago I thought what if someone has a heart attack? I should have this on hand.
When the rescue squad came, they couldn’t tell anything except his blood pressure was up, when his normal pressure is 100/70. They said they would take him to the hospital and I should follow. Here is another blessing. I almost got into an accident driving there. I didn’t yield and had to slam on my brakes. I have a great car that can stop on a dime.
When he got to the hospital, the doctor was excellent. He did all the right things. He was started on the anti clotting medication, and his heart enzymes were taken along with an EKG. There was only a slight thing wrong, and the heart enzymes were barely abnormal, but the doctor said in his experience, he thought it was a heart attack. Sure enough the second set of enzymes showed indeed it was.
We were in the emergency room from 9PM until 3AM, and when he was sent to a room, I went home quickly to leave out the dog and then return to the hospital to spend the night. The next day was so stressful. I had to make major medical decisions. The cardiologist who I trusted implicitly was a former colleague of my husband. He thought that whatever the result of the echo cardiogram, Stacy was NOT a candidate for a bypass. He also said an angioplasty with possible stent was risky for someone with Stacy’s age and medical problems. And it was even more risky on a Saturday when the hospital was not as well staffed. But he thought he should have it immediately. After I signed the paper, the staff was mobilized and they were wheeling him to the cardiac catherization lab 30 minutes later.
I was sitting there shaking, because I knew his children hadn’t gotten to the hospital yet. One was coming from North Carolina. Two from Richmond 50 miles away, and one about 30 miles away. Two of his sons made it on time as they were wheeling my husband down the hall, and low and behold my daughter- in-law ready to burst with the twins came waddling in too. My other daughter in law was there. It was such a relief to see them. My husband also got to talk to his two daughters on the phone before being wheeled in to the cardiac catherization lab.
Then we waited. Later we were told that Stacy had a 30% chance of not making it during that procedure Saturday. He did well and was transferred to the cardiac wing where the nurses gave him excellent care. One nurse especially who attended to him several days was the best nurse I’ve ever seen in my life. Lynda Lee took care of my husband with such empathy and efficiency. We have a close family friend that spent the other two nights in the hospital, since I was so exhausted. All of his children got there to visit with him that Saturday and Sunday, and even 4 grandchildren. He was discharged yesterday. He was doing fine until he almost choked to death on a peppermint candy. He came into the kitchen not being able to talk and pointed to his throat. I have done the Heimlich maneuver before, but was afraid to do it with his stent etc. Luckily he was able to suck in a little air and spit and drool until the crisis had past.
So back to the beginning, here we sit on the 23rd of May. It is possible that one of the worst events of my life ten years ago could be balanced by one of the most magnificent events of my life, becoming a grandmother. (My daughter in law is 2cm’s dilated and 75% effaced as of yesterday.) I’ll keep you posted. However, I would add that 10 years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer I wrote an essay in the paper describing being diagnosed with cancer and asking for prayers at the end. So I’ll just ask again. We could use some prayers around here. That my husband continues his recovery, and that the twins are born without complications and are healthy. And that I can work it out to be there and witness the blessed event. Thanking you in advance.
February 2006 was a big month for birthdays in my family. On Feb. 13th, my son turned 30, on the 15th, my brother turned 50, and on the 16th, I turned 60. I was in the first year of the baby boomers and my brother in the last year. I keep good company with some very famous people turning 60 this year: Diane Keaton, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Cher, Goldie Hawn, Sylvester Stallone and the list goes on and on.
How was I going to celebrate such a momentous occasion? I decided it should be in a place where I could eat not only my favorite food, but also an ERFYT appropriate meal. So, I picked an International Buffet. I will admit I did a little cheating with Alaskan crab legs and some shrimp. This place had such a huge selection, so the guests had no problem finding something to eat. We had a private room for about 40 family and friends.
My daughter and son-in-law arranged everything, and the theme was “Calling All Angels.” The tables were decorated with a lot of angels from my collection. This birthday was not only celebrating a milestone in my life, but also survival for 10 years from a diagnosis of breast cancer. According to medical hexing in the beginning, I wasn’t supposed to see this birthday.
The present I gave myself was to have a video slideshow made of my life. I’ve been an amateur photographer for years, and with 52 photo albums to pick from, I had a lot of crucial decisions to make. What pictures should I include? What music should I use?
Having taught a film class many years, I ended up really writing a screenplay; story boarding most of it, and having it put together by a professional videographer.
It took me at least 50 hours of work for my part of the video. The videographer stayed up nights to get it finished in time. And after some fine tuning and editing, the end result was spectacular. I thought it might bore the guests. It lasted about 40 minutes with 11 sequences including family history, our family life, a sequence on my father, friends, pets, friends, celebrations, trips, and finally a survivor’s tribute including a picture with Dr. D’Adamo and myself. The video was the absolute hit of the party. Several people asked for the soundtrack. That surprised me. I picked old time songs: The Theme from Major League about Cleveland, My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music, two hymns I would be True and Faith of Our Fathers, It’s a Wonderful World, Bless the Beasts and the Children. That’s What Friends Are For, Up Up And Away, Celebration, Sunrise Sunset and ending with the song Calling All Angels which showed all of my cancer walks and my survivor friends. It brought a lot of tears to some.
My old timer friends could really identify with my black and white pictures of my childhood. And everyone enjoyed seeing the childhood pictures of my children. There were several negative things about making the video. For one thing, it brought up a lot of loss issues. Many of the people in the video were no longer here. I cried a lot doing it. Especially the sequence about my father. And there was one very important picture missing in the video. No picture exists of my mother holding me. Apparently that one opportunity for picture taking that occurred before she died was my baptism, and it seems she took the pictures. She thought she had a whole lifetime with her newborn daughter, and she had eight weeks.
Also, there was a period in my life that was very difficult after my father remarried and I was almost nine. A lot of overcoming was needed for the next 13 years of my life. All that pain came flooding back as well. But I was determined to make that video realistic and honest. And I feel I accomplished my goal. Now it is just a joy to watch (except for the few sad parts)
After the showing of the video, it was very touching when my children, step children, and friends started talking about me. Letters were read including one from my brother and writings from two of my Amazon list serve “ bosom buddies.” It was something everyone should experience while they are alive to enjoy it. I sat there listening and shaking the whole time. I told them “I have had a “wonderful life.” (And hopefully more time to “live life to the fullest” as Dr. D’Adamo always says.)
Now that the partying is over, it is back to the real world. But that four hour party on Saturday is something I will never forget. It was a blast!!!!