Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sad Call

There are times when my neatly-wrapped theology fails to comfort me, and I simply have to trust in a God who has proved himself gracious and who I know is in control. Last night was one of those nights.

I received a STAT page to Labor and delivery, where a young woman who was 25 weeks pregnant came in and the nurses were having a hard time finding the baby's heart beat, and the heart beat they did find seemed too slow. The on call OB-Gyn also rushed into the room and on ultrasound we could see only the slightest glimmer of cardiac activity. We rushed her back and did an emergency C-section, got the baby out, and then I helped rescuscitate the baby for 20 minutes, all the while noting the perfect tiny little hands with beautiful fingernails laying motionless on the blanket.

The baby never moved. Never cried. We gave medications to try and get the heart going, but it was too late. It seems Mom actually starting bleeding behind her placenta, which cut off blood supply to baby for too long.

This is one of those days where being a doctor is hard.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Giveaway

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I've been watching in amazement for a few days as the links over here keep growing and growing with people who are hosting giveaways. The last time around I didn't participate, but now that things are slightly more settled in my somewhat crazy but wonderful job I thought I'd make an offering. The softies I make don't quite compare to amazing things you might see here or here, but I still think they are pretty cute.

All those who leave comments will be entered to win the homemade softie of their choice, either an owl:
(You can pick the colors you'd like, from a list of colors I have.)

Or a penguin:
Who will come with sunglasses, goggles, and a winter hat. (Because every good penguin should be prepared.) You can also pick (from a limited list) colors for the penguin's hat and glasses.

I'll hold the drawing on Monday, since I'll be on call on Sunday, and the post the winner on Tuesday.

Feel free to leave in your comment any favorite crafty blogs - I'm always looking for new ones to read!

Overheard

A favorite quote from clinic recently:

"She is actin' the fool. Pardon my french, but she is actin' the fool."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Birthday

It was very fun to wake up this morning and discover that I now share my birthday with two babies, a boy and a girl, who were born to two very good friends whose husbands I work with.

Jeff also made me baked oatmeal, another very fun thing to wake up to.

Now I'm going to go and enjoy my day a little more outside in the nice weather.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Labor."

During a fun call night recently (3 deliveries=a fun call night) one of the deliveries I attended was a nice Mennonite woman who was having her seventh child. I have NEVER seen a delivery quite like this.

First of all, she got to the hospital with her hair neatly pulled up into a bun, a small white cotton cloth covering it. Even at 4:30 in the morning she was already neatly dressed. Unlike me, who looked like a bum in blood-spattered scrubs. Her husband was right at her side, quite excited about having another child.

Secondly, she wasn't even sweating. NOT A DROP. She just looked like she had breezed into the hospital from the beach, after a few days of soaking up rays and lying down. Instead of where she actually came from, which is working at home caring for SIX children aged 19 to 7. And possibly various farm animals.

Thirdly, she did not get any kind of anesthesia. Nothing. Not even IV medication. She just calmly and extremely quietly sat in the bed, as if she couldn't even feel the large, nearly eight pound human making his way down through her nether regions. Even while pushing, she did not look like she was doing much more than sneezing.

Then, shock of all shocks, she BEGGED the attending to cut an episiotomy. (If you don't know what that is, ask your wife. Or look on wikipedia.) She preferred to deliver that way.

Well. I guess after 6 deliveries, she would know.

Her beautiful baby boy came out squawking and red. Mom took one look at him and said to her beaming husband, "He looks like our babies." It made me a little teary.

And the whole time, they were just praising God for his goodness to them.

I hope my labor will one day be like that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Books!

There's nothing better than a good book club to help you really enjoy reading a good book. I had a great book club back in Charleston with two excellent guys, Chris and Cy. We read Paradise Lost, Pilgrims Progress, and the first few chapters of Augustine's Confessions before disbanding due to Chris moving away. It was great. I enjoyed the books much more for reading them in community than I would have reading them alone. So I'm quite happy to be in a new book club. My professor Dr. Eve's and I are now reading The Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible by Emanuel Tov together. Granted, its no John Grisham, but it looks like its going to be pretty enjoyable. We just had our first meeting and had a good time discussing the Samaritan Pentateuch and the textual tradition behind the Septuagint. It was a wild and crazy time. If any of you readers would like to get in on this book club just let me know!

In other book news... I just found out today that because of the degree program I am in at Erskine, I have similar library privileges to the faculty. I can check books out for four months! Is that awesome or what? And at the end of four months I can go online and renew for another four months! I'm going to need a bigger backpack.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More photos

Sweet, big-boy Jackson and his little sister!

He's kissing her foot. In case you couldn't tell.


Snoozing!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Upsets

I had this great post brewing about how I felt like I was living in a bizarre SEC universe where the University of South Carolina AND Kentucky were ranked HIGHER than BOTH Tennessee and Florida.

Then THIS happened. (Sadness of all sadnesses)

Then THIS, a few short hours later.

And now we are back in the reality I have come to know. At least it's familiar.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A boy and his dog.

















Last weekend while Aubrey was still in Peru, Lucy and I went up to North Carolina. Ken, one of my best friends from my St. Louis days, had come down to North Carolina. He lives in Virginia Beach, so Raeford, NC was a perfect halfway spot in which to meet. It also happened to be the sight of the national competition of Whippet Racing. His dog Smarty (a fine writer in her own respect) was competing in the races. Note: the caution tape in the picture above is marking off part of the race track, I'm not actually spectating at an accident scene.

Seeing Ken and Cheryl again was great, and I got to meet their new little boy Cullen. Ken and I talked about life, baseball, and exegesis, we ate Pizza Hut together (which, inexplicably, both our wives dislike), and we rekindled the spirit of competition with some fiery rounds of boggle.

With all the racing dogs around, Lucy got into the spirit of competition too. At one point she slipped on a racing bib, and I caught her trying to register as a whippet.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

She's here!!


We have a niece!

Ashlyn Fields Tell
7.7 lbs, 20 in
brown hair and blue eyes

Congrats to Dave and Hannah

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Trip

There is so much I'm still processing about my trip.... But here are a few thoughts that I've had since coming back.

Each night, as part of our evening devotions, team members would share their testimony. I loved listening to all the stories about God's grace, and amazed at all the very difficult trials these dear people had been through. I was overwhelmed with a sense of blessing and thankfulness for the wonderful family God has given me, the Godly husband he blessed me with, and struck by how he's protected me from so many of the temptations and sorrows of this world. I was newly humbled by God's redemption of ME, saving me from even my own stubborn, prideful heart.

Each day there were numerous Peruvian church members who came to our clinic to counsel those who visited this clinic and pray with them. It was so wonderful to have this involvement from the locals, so that this church made numerous contacts, and many prayed to accept Christ.

My best patient encounter was with this young mother who was pregnant. She already had a 2-yr-old, and was about 4 months pregnant. Because of some prenatal care she had received, she had recently discovered that she, her husband, and her young child were all HIV positive. She was obviously very upset about this, and was very worried about her unborn child. I got to do an ultrasound on her and she could see the beautiful baby growing inside her, one who was perfectly formed and knitted together. I also got to pray with her, this dear lady who I'm almost certain was already a believer, and introduce her to the nurses who come to this clinic each week. I'm certain she's going to come back there to get more prenatal care. Hopefully the clinic can help her get the HIV meds she needs to prevent transmission of the virus to her baby.

As always, I was struck by how thankful the people were whom I saw in clinic. The sweet old ladies down here would give me these big hugs and kiss my cheek, even after I gave them painful injections.

I was reminded how much I love doing prenatal care. Ultrasounds are probably my favorite thing to do in all of medicine. Many of these women had not ever had an ultrasound, and the wonder they felt at seeing their children, watching their tiny hands as they moved, seeing the little feet kick, was always evident in their eyes. One sweet younger girl asked when we could come back because she wanted to bring her dad to show him the baby.

The hardest thing for me was that I wasn't able to visit the street children's center where I spent so much time during my summers in Peru during college. I was hoping for some time to be able to go and see the boys there, but it just wasn't possible. I was reminded of how much I need to pray for them, and that the God I love, the one who has cared for me, will also care for them and save them.

I'm so thankful for this opportunity that I had, and hope I can continue doing these trips when I have time. Next time, though, Jeff has to come with me.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yay for home.

I'm home now, and remembering how great my own bed is, especially in comparison to the small foam mattress with a big gulley in the middle that I've been using this week.

I kind of miss everyone around me speaking spanish.

I learned today that when given the choice on an airplane of a breakfast meal that is some egg dish, versus a breakfast meal that is NOT an egg dish, and is something called banana bread pudding, or anything else for that matter, choose anything else. Airplane omelet=very gross. Which should not have been a big surprise.

I love to travel, but coming home is always wonderful.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mmmm...

Nothing, and I mean nothing, tastes quite as good as fresh, Peruvian Mango.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When I for-sure, without-a-doubt knew I had come to a great residency...

....was the moment when I stood with our missions team huddled together around several team members, listening as one of my attendings fervently and TEARFULLY prayed for them and the trials they were going through.

I´m guessing it´s not at too many residency programs where you really get to see your attendings just pour out their feelings and their heart in prayer.

Have I said this before? I LOVE my job.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Update #2

This is unlike any other missions trip I´ve been on:
1. None of the bathrooms I´ve used so far have had any other creatures (bats, frogs, snakes, etc) living in them. I´ve discovered I thoroughly enjoy the clean white porcelain in a well lit bathroom.
2. Yesterday and today when I got back from clinic, someone had MADE MY BED.
3. In addition to the bed-making fairy, there is another one who brings clean towels around and takes away the dirty ones.
4. I have been able to talk to Jeff on the phone twice a day on this very nifty internet phone.

A few highlights:
1. I got to do several joint injections. Anyone who complained about arthritis in a joint, I asked them if they wanted me to inject it. In one lady, I injected both knees and a wrist.
2. I got to do 2 prenatal ultrasounds. It was wonderful. One lady was having a boy, and the other was going to have a girl. They both got to see their unborn children moving and kicking.
3. Treating several older ladies. They were so grateful and very cute with their smiling faces. I love little old ladies. And in Peru, they are even littler.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Too good to pass up.

So today I was perusing a book on the basics of Aramaic. I was starting at the very beginning where it described the alphabet. It gave each letter, along with the name of the letter and a description of how to pronounce the letter. My favorite was the letter Ayin, which in Hebrew is a silent letter. But in Aramaic is a...

"voiced laryngal (similar to the sound of incipient vomiting)"

Aramaic is such a lovely language. I'll bet Aramaic poetry is just delightful, filled with the repeated sounds of incipient vomiting.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Peru!

So I´m sitting in the home of the missionaries who are hosting for this visit, using their computer. Outside, I´m surrounded by the large, rocky foothills of the Andes. We arrived late last night, after an uneventful flight.

Since I´ve been to Peru several times, it was kind of fun to see how the airport has changed. This year, though, I came down with a different group than I´ve been with in the past. I didn´t realize how hard it was going to be to go through customs, and not be greeted by the smiling and familiar face of one of my many friends whom I´ve gotten to work with here, picking me up at the airport. The Peruvians we are working with seem great, though, and church this morning was fun and a good way to get my Spanish brain in gear.

For lunch we had Pollo a la brasa, my favorite Peruvian dish.

I was then told by another American missionary here that I have a "missionary face."

I´m not really sure what that means, (and I wasn´t wearing make up at the time) but I guess it was a complement.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Vacation

One of my attendings just dropped off a suitcase full of syringes and medicines, along with my VIMM shirt and plane ticket.

I guess I really am leaving tomorrow to go to Peru on a missions trip.

It hadn't really sunk in yet.

Please pray for us as we travel and for us to share God's love in a tangible way. And pray for me to remember a few things I've learned in these last few months since this is my first trip as an actual physician and I want to be able to help.

And pray for Jeff not to starve while I'm gone. (Although he is a great cook.)

Lima, here I come!!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Further reasons to love family medicine.

I know I've talked before about why I love my job, and why I love family medicine, and being a resident.

Today I was again reminded about how great this field of medicine is. In clinic this morning, I saw four patients. The first is a lady who became my patient after treating her in the hospital. Her son needs a doctor, so she asked if he could come and see me! My second patient is another patient I picked up in the hospital who was very, very sick. She is now doing much better and it's been great to see how well she has done after leaving the hospital. The third patient I saw was her mother. The fourth patient I saw was her son.

So 75% of my patients today were in the same family.

I love being a family doctor.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Go Cubbies!!

Tonight marks an historic occasion. Tonight, at 10:00 pm eastern time, the Chicago Cubs will play the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round of the playoffs! Yes, the Cubbies are in the playoffs!

Many of you know that I am somewhat of a Cubs fan. Having been born and bred in the land of Lincoln, the Cubs have remained my hometown team throughout all my travels. This year marks the fifth time during my life that the Cubs have made it to the playoffs. In 1984 they lost to the Padres and I remember crying after the last game. In 1989 they lost to the Giants, and I watched the series from our living room in Sacramento. It might have been good that they lost, since the Giants' lives were then threatened during the infamous San Francisco earthquake. In 1998 the Cubbies were everybody's favorite team, as Sammy Sosa hit 66 home runs in his fun duel with Big Mac, but then they got swept by the Braves in the first round of the playoffs. And finally, 2003. The most tantallizingly close we have come to a world series since 1945. We were five outs away from going to the big show, when, in the bottom of the eighth, against the Florida Marlins, Mark Prior on the mound, Moises Alou in left, Steve Bartman in the stands, everything fell apart.

Last summer Aubrey and I made a pilgrimmage to Wrigley field. I had been there many times before, but Aubrey had not, so I had to bring her.


















This summer, we didn't have quite as much time for an ambitious road trip, but we did make it out to see the Cubbies when they came and stomped on Atlanta. It was actually the first time Aubrey and I have seen the Cubs together that they won!

















The amazing thing about these playoffs this year is that most "experts" are actually picking the Cubs to beat the Diamondbacks, and at least advance to the next series!

So you know where I'll be come 10:00 tonight!

















And you can't really see it past my huge knee, but my shirt says "Eamus Catuli." Not familiar? Google, and learn what this means.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fun from the lake house.

I couldn't decide what to post about today, so I figured cute pictures of kids are always a good idea. So here they are....




Monday, October 01, 2007

Triathlon

I spent most of the day yesterday working the medical tent at the South Carolina Half Ironman Triathlon. For those of you who don't know, this event requires you to first swim 1.2 miles, then bike 56 miles, then run 13.1 miles. All in the same day.

I had a great time. It's always fun getting to do events that require hands-on activities. One of the first things I did when I got there was sew a few stitches in this lady's knee who had tripped and fallen on some stairs. She was a member of a relay team, and was supposed to run the half marathon. So I sewed her up, then gave her some ibuprofen, and put on a bandage. She actually came back after the race was over to say that I had done a good job and that her knee didn't bother her during the run. The rest of the time was mostly spent giving IV fluids to people who were feeling especially bad or dehydrated.

The first triathlon I ever went to was a sprint that Jeff did back when we first started dating. When I went I was amazed because the people there didn't look like super-fit athletes. They looked like, well,... me. At least many of them. In fact, it was at that race that I got the idea that I might be able to compete in something like that. Which I eventually did.

What I noticed at this event, though, is that these people look NOTHING like me. They are like a live anatomy lesson with every muscle visible and VERY well demarcated. Even though I certainly want to compete in more races and triathlons, I do not think I could ever be ready for something like this. Unless maybe I quit my job, started working out four times a day, hired a personal trainer, and started eating only carrots. With maybe some spinach thrown in for fun.

But here are a few somewhat blurry photos, taken with my phone since I had forgotten my camera.
The winner running up the hill (!!) at the end of the course.

No. 2 finisher a few minutes later.

The view inside the medical tent.

The swim start. The sun was aimed directly at us, hence the major glare. All the splashes in the middle are the swimmers.