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About Catwoman23

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  • Birthday 23/10/71

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    Maryland, USA
  • Interests
    Medicine, cooking, meditation, charity work, cats, Disney world, Star Wars, game of thrones etc etc

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  1. Mindfulness Meditation

    I started meditating after losing my first boyfriend suddenly in 93 at IMC USA here in Maryland. Since then, I have done uncountable weekends whenever they have classes and quite a few full nine day courses. I got a job with a private group about 30 mins from them after finishing residency and that was 2006. I'm very lucky to be local and been going there many times. They start the retreat on a Friday evening. There is dinner. Soup/ bread/ salad etc. we start our first sitting Friday night for one hour and the teacher explain the rules. There s noble silence meaning no texting, reading, talking, watching tv etc so the mind is free from external stimuli. We start early in the morning at 4:30. Some wake up at 4 and drink tea/ coffee but I get up at 4:25 and brush my teeth and go straight for sitting. I try to stick to the schedule . It s not bad since you can sleep at 9pm. We sit from 430 to 530 then you can take a short break and come back and listen to the discourse at 6. At 6:30 we eat breakfast. Sometimes I help cleaning up after breakfast but you can rest till 8am. 8to 9 am is group sitting. The first five days we focus on samadhi or concentration to get one pointedness of mind. You focus on the inbreath, the out breath and the touch of the breath. Your duty only is to keep the mind focus at one point. We do that first because without a calm mind , you cannot practice insight/ mindful meditation. It is not easy since the mind will not want to stay and wonder all the time all over the world. Trust me. We are trying to change the habit of a lifetime ( or many life times) and the mind won’t stay focus. And that is the reason why we go to a quiet center / place and train with a teacher who had done many courses. 9 to 9:30 is a break and at 9:30 there s checking in with all students. If there are many students, or if they are new and asks questions , it takes longer. I take a break at 10:10 to go to rest room and come back and sit till 11 am lunch time. They have ample delicious vegan food. I mostly help at lunch time to clean up so I can take a shower and wash my clothes with hands. I m so used to my routine now that I have been there many times. I have nobody to talk to so my mind sometimes become obsessed with washing the clothes. Then I can take a break till 1pm and we sit again till 1:40. Then we take a break till 2. 2 to 3 is group sitting . At 3:30 there s checking only for new students. Some are brand new. Some had been to many other centers and are not new to meditation. We have a pediatric er physician who drives up from South Carolina and come sit with us. Then we can sit or relax till 5 pm and there s light dinner. Some keep eight precepts and only drink juice but I eat because I don’t want to be hungry and sit. I don’t help after dinner because I already taken a shower. Discourse is at 6 pm and ends at 6:30. I usually take a walk. Then group sitting again at 7:30to 8:30 with the teacher. Then we can sleep. So you see it s not horrible. I think there are many external stimuli at home. I can never sit for more than total of two to three hours at home. There s always tv to watch, chores to do. The mind doesn’t and cannot get calm when it s noisy. we change to wisdom /insight/ vipassana on Wednesday afternoon. It is looking at bodily sensations as they arise and seeing the impermanence. If you see impermanence you will see life is suffering/(not in a depressing way but in a as it is way). Our goal with meditation is also to realize that there s no self / person etc that way we are not attached too much to ourselves or loved ones. I recommend doing the whole course in April/ May or October. The weather is nicer then. But some might like the hot weather. Hubby usually goes in august for ten days. I usually keep my phone in the kitchen or the car. It s too tempting. The course goes on till Monday morning but most people leave by Sunday after lunch. We talk again on Sunday. For me it is a part of life. I want to do more but I have a full time job. I plan to slow things down later in life for I have worked in dog years. some sittings are better and some might not be. Sometimes you might be lazy/ sleepy/ day dreaming. It doesn’t matter . Your job is to just sit and calm the mind. I will be going there next weekend early March. After that I go off for family med board review in March/ Baltimore. Yes it does help with work and studying even though I don’t need to take the test till 2025. There is a bigger center IMC uk and they have more courses per year. We do believe we are very lucky to be able to learn this practice . We can only practice it ourselves. No one can do it for us. Family cannot do it for us. Our mind always react to something and make stories. If you see something you like on tv you might say I want to eat that pizza too. If you dislike something you get mad thus creating karmic results . I can be a very self absorbed/ angry person at times. So it does work for me. It is also a very good therapy. I lost my first boyfriend due to aneurysm suddenly. My second boyfriend in med school left me, in 1997never even picked up the phone to check and see how I might be doing. That was very painful, very dark/ depressing time/ going thru school and residency many ups and downs. May Be I have done something in my past life to deserve this. But in retrospect because of that I focus more on meditation and doing good things. I never dated anyone till I met my current husband and we married within six months. That was in 2007. Can you meditate to gain wealth, power etc ? May be. But if you truly meditate you won’t be greedy , angry, hateful much anymore. I came to the US at age 17 from Burma. Parents are educated but we struggled. Today I have two homes ( I still keep the townhouse to be near work on days that I work late.) a good job, Parents still alive, still heathy despite working many hours. Meditation is the best form of good deed but there is a prerequisite and that s sila or morality. That s the foundation. Not killing, not stealing, not lying/ cursing/ no adultey/ not taking alcohol or drugs are needed to get a calm mind. That is also why we go to a center to sit. It is like eating sugar. You can be from any race/ religion/ background - you ll still taste sugar. Of course everyone s different and some might do better than others. I never sit leaning the wall because I might become dependent and lazy. But I think it s ok to lean if you have back issues. Some elderly sit in the chair. I have cushions to sit and I take my own shawls/ blankets to wrap myself in. Well I should stop now. Do I think it ll help with one s health? Absolutely. If you want to read one book only about meditation “ be an island” is the one to read. It s very compact . You might have to pay lots of attention. But worth it. I will read the frantic world book and will let you know. For me going to the center is the best vacation. It s the vacation for the mind. I have been to many places in the world but there s nothing quite like it. I m going for a full course in oct and can’t wait.
  2. Barometer and bp

    I think your body and blood vessels could react to the weather and humidity much like anything else esp if one stresses out about the weather such as dealing with ice. some studies say headaches have nothing to do with the barometric pressure but I swear many( hundreds may be) of my patients day they know weather affects the headache. And they swear they can tell it s coming.
  3. Mindfulness Meditation

    Hi everybody, I will come back to this topic when I can sit down and have time to write. There are many things and I don’t know where to begin.
  4. Dizzy

    It might just be something left over from the SAH. But talk to the doctor. There can be many reasons.
  5. Hemorrhagic Stroke

    I m sorry to hear that. Is she at home or in s rehab? Did they referred you to neuro and physical therapy after discharge. I will definitely be very careful about falls since most 80 yr olds might have osteoporosis. Sometimes we do refer patients to neuro ophthalmologist for better answers. Drink lots of water except make sure she doesn’t have fluid restrictions due to congestive heart failure. I ll make sure she sees the primary care and neuro and ask them questions. Good luck. You ll find that this site is very helpful.
  6. My story so far

    Ian when I first read your post, I too was upset by the care you got. That is not how you discharge a patient. They need to sit down, explain things, hook you up to ancillary services etc. I wanted to say something but I didn’t want to add fuel. I always see commercials for lawyers telling people to sue their docs on tv all the time. I don’t know if they are short staffed or what but that s not how a pt should be discharged. But you have to understand doctors are under pressure too. I don’t do hospital work since I finished residency. I remember people telling me the average stay for a pneumonia pt is three days. They come and check your chart and they want you to discharge these people even though they have other conditions. I now only work in the office and we also have so much red tape and paperwork. we have to do prior authorizations for simple meds . Has to beg insurance doctor to get mri approved even though they never saw the pt, fill out forms for test strips for diabetic patients every 3 months, forms for diabetic shoes, cpap machine, wheel chair( they need special documentation), diapers, varicose vein surgery won’t be paid because it counts as cosmetic not essential, podiatrists and chiropractors now can’t order x rays, they need icd codes for every single lab we ordered, etc etc. it is not the medical field ten yrs ago. We used to just fill out cpap and mask/ tubing prescription. Now we have to fill out all kinds of paperwork because they don’t trust us. so I do apologize for you not getting the care you deserve. Frmertd, We are looking for a new partner always since one will retire in a year or two so if you ever got tired of the er and wants to deal with paperwork, you can find us. We are private and semi rural with lots of good patients.
  7. Yes I had been doing it off and on since I was in my twenties. Now I try to do it more. I don’t know if you can fly or drive but it s better to do it a proper way with a teacher. I m doing a ten day course in oct at IMC USA. You can go any time when they have classes. They charge you 35$ per day but I m sure they ll waive that fee if you want to try it first. I believe some special forces are there. I feel like I can let go of many things after each sitting. I sent you email but again these are the books you can try. loving kindness i give you my life be an island being nobody, going nowhere the best of inquiring mind. ttyl. Have to work
  8. Lowey family post

    I m definitely not an ICU physician and we are not allowed to give med advice. It is still very early. I m not sure what other medical conditions he has such as heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, kidney disease etc etc. I think there are many things at play here . If he s on a vent, he needs to be sedated and I m not worried about him not responding much. I know it is hard. Everything has to be in balance such as his sodium, potassium, magnesium, heart rate,urine output, nutrition, what meds he was on before SAH if any etc. how are the liver and kidney doing. Any infections from catheter etc etc. The vent setting also needs to be adjusted from time to time and I m sure they are addressing that. I ll ask questions to icu doc, neuro and neuro surgeon. I m sure they are taking good care of him. Please be patient and get rest yourselves as well. Good luck to you. You ll see this website s very helpful.
  9. You are welcome. I think worries and stress are what you make of it. I have patients who get upset by a wrinkle in the bed sheet after they retire😀 I don’t know why they react to such thing and get upset. Sometimes I think people forget the present and the big picture. Music can be soothing for stress so can pets. Helping others such as volunteering can be helpful too. I don’t know the why . some say smoking, drinking , aggression such as working on the stock market or the ER? might be the cause but who knows. I definitely believe in past actions and we don’t know what we did before but we are here and our job is to do good things in the present so good things follow us in the future. I also try to sit and meditate 20 minutes three days per week at home when I can, so far it kept me healthy except for aches and pain due to being 47 years old. Goodluck.
  10. Kris, sometimes you can’t find answer for the why. Wether you believe in past actions or the action of God, it happened but you survived and you are here now. I have a patient who has multiple sclerosis and she says God gave it to her because She can handle it better. I have lost patients before sometimes I don’t know the reason. I lost a young, promising medical student a few years ago. She had surgery at a very prestigious place and got a blood clot in the lung. She was being transferred to a different floor and the order for blood thinner shot was missed. It was not fair.There are many things we can’t explain. I would suggest not thinking too much. Live your life to the fullest, travel if doctors allow it, keep looking forward. I would suggest a book called loving kindness. I m a worry wart and it always relaxes me and make me thankful. I m in Maryland and I do sit for meditation at a place called IMC USA whenever I can. There is also a UK branch. So far no one had been harmed by meditation. The key is knowing the breath, keeping it still at a focus point and not letting the mind wonders. Whenever the mind is calm and clear, there is no hate, greed, anger, fear etc and when the mind is calm, the body is affected in a good way too. Good luck to you.
  11. My story so far

    I have been a doc for almost 20 years so I have seen a few things. I have seen many people who have everything in life and still are not thankful or happy about it. I think stress is what you make of it, how you react to things. If you react to someone on the road for passing you, you might get road rage. But if you think may Be he has something important to get to and let it go, you won’t be stressed. It s called wise attention. I believe in five virtues, not killing any living beings, not taking what is not given, not lying, not having sexual misconduct, not taking any intoxicants that clouds your mind. That makes yourself safe and others safe from you. One should practice the opposite of these; loving kindness, generosity, reliability and loyalty, right speech and mindfulness. Somehow it makes sense to me. One can not control the people around them. Again I have seen many people change when a loved one is sick. If you are good and kind and they cannot be with you, they do not deserve you period. It is their loss forever. This is a good website. Trust me I have patients I see over the years and I am always on the lookout for the websites. Diabetes and hypertension etc have lots of info out there. Obesity also( many are fat here in this country unfortunately) has lots of info. Multiple sclerosis is another tricky disease that people need support groups. So is dementia. lupus and rheumatoid arthritis patients tell me sometimes websites can be depressing for them since they start thinking about things they don’t have yet. Ehler Danlos is another rare and tricky disease. I don’t have many patients with SAH. The fact that you can read this website says you are very lucky. Please do good things, meditate , have patience, take one day at a time. I do believe in us reaping what we sow eventually. good luck to all. We have ice today so we are slow.
  12. I m not sure if there are genetic tests but I ll definitely get second or third opinions.
  13. Head cold

    Plenty of rest, fluids, pain and cough control. Stay upright most of the time and not flat since it' s better that way, infection won’t be trapped. Make sure it' s not flu or pneumonia. Still not too late for flu shot. Please remember we want to think of the worst not because we want you to have it. We just have to be cautious because we care and we have seen the worst. It' s not about being positive or negative but we just have to see the things as they are. Need to see the primary if not better to rule out pneumonia.
  14. Carer new to SAH

    I know we are not supposed to give med advice. But check her medicine list. Was she given a new med such as for cholesterol? It can give lots of cramps in some people. is she dehydrated. Were her potassium and magnesium needs rechecked. Did she have restless legs before? I would follow up with primary care as well as neuro soon. I m not sure how old she is but i would make sure she doesn’t fall. Many people are afraid of words such as cancer but falls can also be scary since it can lead to fractures, immobility , bed sores , clots etc. Make sure she gets physical therapy if needed. Make sure she drinks such things as boost, ensure etc. check and make sure she has no swallowing problems. Ask gp if she got a swallowing study. You will find that this is a very good website with lots of info. Please remember care takers also need a rest. Good luck to you.
  15. It is a stroke but I would kind of agree with what Chris G s neuro said. We have about close to one million stroke per year in the US and about 200,000 SAH in the US. I have been with this practice for almost 12 years. And I know my patients well. We mostly see adults. And geriatrics. We have may be total of25 to 30 000 patients and very few patients have had SAH. But many have had a stroke. You should feel very lucky that you have survived a life changing event . I have only seen one lady who was having acute SAH only one time as a med student in Ireland many many years ago. I still remember her having severe headache. I don’t know about other physicians but to me SAH is more serious than a stroke or mini stroke since stroke can have many degrees. You are very lucky if you have survived a SAH.