Friday, September 29, 2006

I hate being a patient

This morning, after I woke up and my throat hurt even worse, I decided to had to take the plunge and go see a doctor. Sometimes, it's hard for me to do that, because I don't want to be one of those patients who go to the doctor for every little virus that comes along. But I could barely swallow this morning, plus my back was killing me. So my dear husband takes me to the student health center. The doctor there, who I've gotten to know fairly well since he taught a small group class I was in, took one look inside my throat and decided he needed to do a strep test. With a flashlight, I've been trying to peek inside my throat using the bathroom mirror, and so far hadn't seen anything that looked too bad. My throat was red, but I couldn't see anything else. Apparently, though, now I have pus on both tonsils. So after he vigorously swabbed both sides of my throat and gagged me pretty well, the strep test came back positive. I have strep throat. Which, in many ways is comforting, since at least now I know what I have and can start some medicine. Plus, he gave me some lidocaine (a numbing medicine) and told me to mix it with liquid benadryl and gargle. My throat now feels marginally better, and I've started my antibiotics. Hopefully I'm on my way to feeling better. Although he did say I'd probably continue to feel bad for another day or two. So it looks like today is another lay on the couch day.

The fun thing, though, was that Jeff and I went to Starbucks and I got a frappuccino. Yum.

Oh yeah....so I must say Go Gamecocks! I listened to the game on the radio last night and even though they lost, they played really, really well against Auburn, the #2 team in the nation. We almost tied it up right at the end. Judging by how we had played earlier in the season, I thought we might get creamed. But we hung in there and had some really great drives. Maybe this won't be such a bad season, after all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

keep the kids away....

After only 3 days on my new pediatrics rotation, I got sick. It started yesterday morning with a half sore throat. (As in the right half is sore, while the left half seems to be ok. Strange, I know.) Thinking I would be fine once I got moving, I went to work anyway. For a while, I felt ok, but after lunch I started getting that achy feverish feeling that only comes along when you have things like the flu.

Apparently, in spite of all the vaccines I have received for every possible communicable disease, my immune system clearly wasn't prepared.....for the big, scary threat that sick 2-3 year olds pose.

Today I'm exceedingly thankful to God that he has provided me with a huge sam's-size bottle of ibuprofen. I'd be even more miserable without that wonderful medicine. Even though I'm not one to take lots of medicine, I have been downing those little salmon-colored pills around the clock.

God bless modern medicine.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Alexander Graham Picasso

Last weekend on a lovely trip to the beach a unfortunate thing happened. My cell phone was in the bottom of the beach bag, and one of our water bottles(not a nalgene) came open. The bag holds water pretty well, and tragically, my phone drowned.

So last week I got a new phone. I had had my old phone for almost 3 years. I knew it. I loved it. It was hard to see it go. It was a fairly basic phone, but a good phone. I always knew which end to put up to my ear, and which end to put to my mouth. And I could always tell when someone was calling because of the familiar ringing sound it emitted.

My new phone has all the bells and whistles. Referring to it as simply "a phone" is almost an injustice to its capabilities. I refer to it instead as my "camephonevideocalendalarmclock." Its amazing how technology can impact your life. For example, since owning my new phone, I have changed in several ways.

1. I have a greater desire to take pictures of all sorts of things.
2. I have subdivided my friends into more categories than ever before, having realized that I have the need to know what category of person is calling simply by the way the phone rings.
3. I am more aware than ever of how often I don't get phone calls. Why don't I hear any of my 12 possible rings more often?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Introducing....

our new blog! Well, sorta new. So I played around enough to figure out how to post a photo for our banner. But now I'd like to add some stuff to the side bars, or find some way to make them more visually appealing. But I like where it's headed. If anyone out there has any other tips on how to make this look better, please let us know.

Friday, September 22, 2006

under construction

Tonight I decided we needed a change..... I'm trying to make our blog less "blah" to look at, because I don't want a blah blog. :) I'm basically just fiddling around with the html and trying to make it look different. Although I like the colors better now, it is still very boring, and not asthetically pleasing. I would like our blog to be asthetically pleasing. But now I need to go to bed. Yawn.

Incidentally, if anyone knows how I can change the header on our blog to make it more exciting (i.e. with photos) please leave me a comment. I'd appreciate it.

Peach Season

Sigh. I think we've hit the end of peach season. All summer long, I've been enjoying lots of lots of peaches. At its height, I was eating at least 2 peaches a day. I couldn't go to the grocery store enough to keep us in stock. And now, sadly, I think peach season is over. All the inexpensive local peaches in the grocery store have been replaced by NC apples. Which are also good, but not peaches. I think if there is a fruit that tastes like summer, peaches are it. I have one peach left of what must have been the last delivery to the grocery store of peaches. My favorite breakfast lately, courtesy of my friend Rachel, has been a cut-up peach topped by some Dannon light and fit vanilla yogurt, a little drizzle of honey, and crunched up cereal. Yum. And good for you.

Well....I should leave for work. Today is my last day on my externship! Which doesn't mean much, but I don't think I"ll be on call again until I start residency. Yay.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Good low-fat dessert

I've posted this recipe before, but since then, my mom and I had an experiment and adjusted the recipe further. So now these cookies are even tastier. I've always been a huge chocoholic, and when I think about eating something sweet, what I often want is something gooey and chocolately. Unfortunately, there aren't too many items like this that fit in with trying to eat healthy. That said, one of my favorite dessert recipes lately are for these yummy lemon cranberry cookies. When I make these, I don't even miss the chocolate. So here you go:

Lemon Cranberry Cookies
1 box lemon cake mix
1 egg
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4-1/2 c. apple sauce.
2/3 c. (or so) craisins

Mix the above ingredients together, smooshing the oranges into little pieces. I usually add the oranges first and mix them with the cake mix and the egg, and the add just enough apple sauce so the dough looks gooey and everything is moist. Then I dump in enough craisins so it looks like there are craisins throughout. Drop onto greased cookie sheet and cook for 10-12 min. at 350. I like mine when they are still fairly soft and the cookies stick together.

I keep a box or two of lemon cake mix around just in case I need to make a quick dessert.

Enjoy! and check out the other tips at Rocks in my dryer.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Speaking of small creatures...




Well, I caught a rat. He chose wisely. He choose the live trap, and at least extended his life, if not preserved it totally. Although, I think there might be more rats, so I gotta put the trap back out.

And what in the world am I going to do with a live rat?

Monday, September 18, 2006

All creatures great and small...

















When Jeff and I were visiting Clemson a few weeks ago, we went walking through the botanical gardens before church on Sunday. Everywhere we looked there were the tiniest frogs! So I caught one and took a photo. I didn't know they came this small.

Plus, I love morning glories. They are just about the nicest shade of blue-purple around. Right up there with hydrangeas.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sabbath Rest


Today was wonderful. As often as I think about all the things I'm going to enjoy about living somewhere else, there are lots of things about this town that I'm really going to miss. This past week was fairly stressful, with birthdays, and call, and tutoring sessions, and having to work on saturday. Then Jeff and I had a "disagreement" which didn't help. But today God was truly gracious in offering us his Sabbath. First this morning we got to go to church, which was wonderful, and see our dear church friends and sing some good songs. Then we came home, ate some leftover pot roast for lunch, and headed out for the beach.

I guess there are few places where we could live next year where it is feasible to drive to the beach for a relaxing sunday afternoon. With some wedding money, we bought these great beach chairs, and we have a inflatable raft and a boogie board for riding the waves. So we are set. Today the weather was perfect. It was warm, and sunny, but not hot. At the beach, the breeze kept us cool, and the waves were ideal for riding with our raft and boogie board. I got to sit in the sun, read a book, and enjoy the company of my husband. Ahh. And then on the way back, we stopped at Sonic and got a peanut butter fudge sundae. Sabbaths don't get much better than this.

The above photo is from last november, so you might not get the "perfect beach day" feeling from it, but just so everyone knows what "our" beach looks like, I included it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I give you two (2) choices....




Life.

-Or-





Death.

Take your pick, Mr. Rat. But you may not enjoy the run of the house while my wife and I are sleeping, leaving your little tell-tale signs throughout the kitchen and dining room, acting like you own the place. That is unacceptable.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

29




Today I, Jeff, am 29 years old. So far, this is the oldest I've ever been. I don't want this age to come without wisdom, so I thought I should pause a moment to reflect on what this means...

1. Only one more year of being in my twenties. (yikes!!)
2. Which means I only have one more year to accomplish my life goal of being fluent in greek by the time I'm 30.
3. Its gonna be time to start a real career soon.
4. I'm still older than little brother Andrew. (hehehe) But still younger then older brother bro.
5. If I were John Calvin I would have published a 500 page theological standard setter by now. Thank goodness I didn't fall into that trap, whew!

Year 29 got off to a good start this morning with some baked oatmeal, and had a sweet end tonight with some homemade german chocolate cake. The picture above makes it look like Aubrey and I really lived it up in celebration, but that pic is not actually from today.

Year 28 highlights include...

1. Road trip involving rocky mountain national park.
2. Taking Aubrey to Wrigley Field.
3. Big promotion at work.
4. Becoming an uncle. Twice.
5. Holding my nephew. Once, the other's still cooking.


What will this year hold?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The hard part about being a doctor

Tonight I participated in my first "code."For all of you non-medical readers (probably only Jeff and Mom and Dad Tell) :) a "code" is called whenever someone passes out, or stops breathing, or if their heart stops beating. Everyone around comes into the room to start CPR, give drugs, intubate, or whatever else could be done to try and save someone. Unlike what you see on ER or other doctor shows, most people in this situation do not survive. I haven't been to too many of these, but there are rarely those dramatic recoveries that are portrayed on TV.

I was sitting in the doctor's library when they called a "Code Blue" on the third floor. The resident and I ran up there, and when we arrived, there were tons of nurses, doctors, and other health care providers standing in a patient's room doing CPR. For a while I actually thought it was going well since she still had a rhythm to her heart rate, but after a little while of working, we lost her pulse. We gave her lots of medicines, shocked her heart, but nothing was working. CPR gets very tiring so I actually performed CPR on this lady, which is the first time I've ever had to do that. She looked awful. Her lips were blue, her eyelids were blue, she felt cold, her eyes were half open in that very scary way that made me think she probably wouldn't make it. I guess I've never actually been watching as someone died. I've seen lots of dead people since starting medical school, and have had many patients die, but I've never actually been there watching. Tonight, though, I was there watching as her heart stopped beating. As I was doing compressions, and looked into her face, all I was thinking about was her family, whom I could actually hear crying in the hall (they had been watching and visiting with her when she suddenly fell over), and wondering if she knew Jesus.

I think that's the strangest part of medicine for me: every day, I'm a part of people's lives at very strange times, when their lives are completely changed. Sometimes, it's during incredibly happy events, like the birth of a long-awaited child, or the successful removal of a cancer. But sometimes, like tonight, I'm a part of something awful and horrible, a day that these people will remember with great sadness. And it is sad, but at the same time, it's my job, and I'm there every day, seeing many of the same events played out over and over.

So I leave the patient's room as the family gathers in mourning. Tonight, there was a sweet-looking girl who was maybe 5 or 6, standing close to a person I imagine was her mother, who was weeping for the loss of a dear family member, and I'm wondering if she will remember this day when she is older, and what she will think about it. Will I remember this day when I am older? I'm not sure. And I go on, walking back downstairs to the doctor's lounge, to await our next call, maybe get a little sleep before it gets too busy, looking forward to all the happy events, but knowing there will be plenty more days just like this one, where I watch as someone slips away.

Days like this make me hope for heaven.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11

Been thinking a lot today about 9/11. Like most of the nation.

I was sleeping, actually, when the two planes hit the two towers. My roommate woke me up because someone had called her. I just remember being confused and horrified. It was awful to watch, especially since I saw both towers fall, knowing that was the end for so many. I cut one of my classes that day, just wanting to know more about what was happening. In the afternoon, though, I went to this class I had called "Echoes in Blues" where we were learning how to play harmonica. I do remember we played a very lovely and soulful version of "Amazing Grace." My non-believing professor I don't think really ever got the song, but for me it was such a wonderful reminder that God is good, even in the midst of tragedy that I couldn't understand. Even though this terrible thing was happening, I could remember that Jesus died to save a wretch like me, and I have no hope except in him. Today, my thoughts and prayers have been with all the families who woke up this morning remembering especially that person who is no longer here.

I was glad to be busy at work today, because I was trying to avoid all the images on TV. Those pictures are already permanently etched in my mind, and being a very visual person, I just didn't need any more pictures that terrible to float around in my head. They just really start to affect me after a while.

On a different note, today is the birthday of my grandmother. She's 90! And still has a wonderful sense of humor. In some ways, I'm glad she's older and doesn't remember things too well, since hopefully she doesn't really remember 9/11 and this day won't be ruined for her. Now I just need to write her a note.....

Saturday, September 09, 2006

What's in a Name?

Many friends and family are now in the stage of life where they are starting to have babies. There is always much spirited discussion about what to name the baby. So for all my readers, I offer this blog post as a free bit of advice. I have spent the last three years (almost) working at a credit union in downtown Charleston. Which means I have lots of contact with the African American community, and boy do they know how to name their children. "Wilhelmina" and "Earthalee" are standards. Nothing to bat an eye at.

Want your child to grow to be royalty? Give them a head start with their name, I have personally met people with the first name, "Mister", "Queen", "Princess", "La'Royalty", and I've heard about a "Ya'Majesty" (thanks Melanie).

Last week I met "Rearthuree" which I'm not exactly sure how you pronounce. I often see a lady named "Monalitha" whose middle name is "Alien." Although I think I recently found the name to end all names. Can't settle on just one good name? This is for you. Last Friday before leaving worked I helped a 22 year old open up a new account. His full given name was...... "Charles Fitzgerald Leviticus Demetrius Quantay Shakah Xavier Tootah Noble." No kidding, his drivers liscence had six of the middle initials, the last one wouldn't fit. Several of the spellings are estimates, as even Charles didn't know the exact spelling. But I wrote it down while he was there, because I knew it was too good to risk forgetting.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Labor Day at our Lake House

So for Labor Day this last weekend Aubrey and I went up to our lake house in the upstate. Technically speaking, its Aubrey's parents house, but it is near the lake, so we consider it to be our lake house. And last summer they bought a ski boat to entice us to come visit more often, and I must say, their plan has worked beautifully.

I have finally learned to water ski:

And as you can see, Brendall is keeping a close eye on me in case I fall, which I did often. This last weekend Father-in-law Stan got out a second pair of skis which they had bought, while complaining that they were more expensive, and he had no idea why. Well as it turned out, they were about 100 million times easier to use than the others. Aubrey successfully completed her goal of learning to slalom:



I also gave slaloming a try....



Although the real miracle of that picture is that is was taken in the one small fraction of a second in which I was upright on one ski. By the time the shutter had finished closing I was sprawled out all over the water.

When she wasn't skiing, Aubrey looked cute sitting in the back of the boat...


Somehow when I did my 360-double-sommersault, the camera wasn't charged. Oh well. Maybe next time...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Step 2 is over!!

So this is what my day consisted of: Getting up early, showering, and driving over to West Ashley. There, I entered the Prometric testing center where my photo ID was checked against the name on my registration. And then i signed in, but the lady actually made me resign my name because it didn't look identical to the signature on my license. The next 7 or so hours consisted of me sitting in a cold room, trying to remember everything I've learned this year. I bet all of you wish you could do this. :)

Thankfully, though, it did go pretty well, and now it's over! No more tests this year!! Hard to believe that was my last test of medical school. I really like the way that sounds. ANd now Jeff and I are leaving to go up to Clemson to have some more time on the boat! I love Labor Day.