Saturday, May 30, 2009

Postcards

A little photo catch up from the last few days... first the elephant seals we saw just south of the Big Sur coast. This one fella was woofing up a storm, must have thought he owned the beach...





















The scenery continued to be stunning...
















We took the Pacific Coast Highway all the way up to just north of the Golden Gate bridge. As usual, it was a bit cloudy in San Fran.
















Last night we went to a Giants game at the new stadium. It was one of the best views I've ever had in a baseball stadium. Pictures of that to come. (I don't know why blogger wants to underline this)

















From the corner of the stadium you could see the Bay Bridge all lit up.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Postcards, Days 6 & 7.

I have never, ever been on a more beautiful stretch of road that where we've been driving the last two days. We watched sea otters play in the surf this morning. We drove over the Golden Gate bridge this afternoon. Now we are settled in with Aunt Ruth Ellen up near Sacramento. Photos to come later.

Love,
Jeff and Aubrey

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Postcard, Day 5.

On the road..... we started up the Pacific Coast highway today, but first we stopped to see the seals at La Jolla.
Even in the car, this is a beautiful state.

The train here even runs right next to the ocean - I bet that would be a beautiful train ride.
More from the road tomorrow!

Love,
Jeff and Aubrey

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Postcard, Day 4.


Aahhh. A relaxing Lord's Day - Church, lunch with friends, a trip to the beach, and watching the sun set over the pacific ocean. I loved swimming in the ocean - Jeff stayed warm and dry on the beach. Only 1 more day until we leave to drive up the coast.


More from the road!
Love,
Jeff and Aubrey

Postcard, Day 3.

We spent the morning exploring some tide pools with good college friends.

Then it was root, root, root for the CUBBIES who played (but lost) to the Padres.

At least we were there with good friends.
Still having fun!

Love,
Jeff and Aubrey

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Postcard, Day 2

Hippos,
and Giraffes,
and Koalas, Oh My! Spent the morning at the San Diego Zoo, followed by a picnic lunch at Balboa Park.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of the views.


Wish you were here!

Love,
Jeff & Aubrey

Friday, May 22, 2009

Postcard, Day 1.


Having lots of fun, the Pacific ocean is amazing ....wish you were here!

Love,
Jeff and Aubrey

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aahhhh.

I am breathing a slow, deep sigh of relief that I am home.

I love my husband.
I love my bed.
I love my dog.
I love my couch.
I love my house.

I was so ready to leave yesterday. Overall, I'd say it was a good experience, and I did get a good number of deliveries. But I realized something important. As much as I love delivering babies, doing it all the time makes me a little crazy. So bring on some diabetes, some hypertension, some well child checks. Bring on pneumonia, uri, suturing, and even back pain.

I'm ready to get back to family medicine.
(But not before we spend 2 whole weeks in California!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Strange.

They make army fatigues in maternity sizes.

I see women walking around every day, as soldiers, in camo and boots, wearing their maternity jackets, their camo pants with the stretchy waistband.

There is something about it that doesn't seem right.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rock-a-bye.

He was holding the tiny baby, swaying back and forth. Ever so slowly, cradling her in his arms. Like he was rocking the baby, or trying to calm her cries. The room, though, was too quiet. She had never cried. She came out perfect - dark hair, dark eyes, 10 tiny fingers and toes. But she came out silent and limp. The quiet was broken only by the occasional shudder of her mother as she tried to hold in her tears.

Her husband was not with her. He was, and is, across the sea, fighting to bring peace in a land that has known war. Her family was right there with her, and it was her father I watched slowly rock this tiny, silent baby. Did he even know he was moving? Was it just a reflex, this slow sway?

There are many things I do not understand.

This is one more to add to the list.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Six Quick Takes.

1. Fayettteville is not exactly a lovely city. It is filled with tattoo parlors, "gentleman's clubs," and strip malls. On the positive side, though, it has BOTH a Target and a Barnes and Noble.

2. I just saw possibly the most unfortunate mis-usage of quotation marks on a billboard:
First Baptist Church - We "Love" Everyone.

(!!??!!)

3. I have the best husband ever. I was having a bit of a rough day yesterday, and he sent me flowers at work (a mixed bouquet that included irises and the roses that are yellow with pink edges), and drove to Fayetteville so I could see him. He also brought our dog with him, so I could see her too. I love that man.

4. I delivered 3 babies yesterday! It was definitely the busiest day I've had. Yay for delivering babies.

5. I just got the best skirt ever from Target. It's jersey knit, stretchy, feels like pajamas, but looks nice.


See what I mean? I have a feeling I'm going to be wearing this one all summer long. (And it cost only $15! Score!)

6. I can't think of anything else to write. And my husband is in town, but leaving to drive back home soon, so I'm just going to quit here and get some lunch with him.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Commentary

I was just reading Cornelis Houtmann's commentary on Exodus 15:22-27...

"On purpose he does not lead the people straight, without pain and trouble, to the promised land. He uses the stay in the wilderness as a training school for Israel, so that they may learn to live with him and know that only with him they are safe."

Wait a second... Is this a commentary on Exodus or on life?

Observation.

People in the military (and their wives) gets lots of tattoos. I've never seen this many tattoos on women before. I guess it's a cultural thing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Military tidbits.

1. If you want to do anything on a military base, you will need to fill out a form. And all the forms are numbered and lettered.


"I need to get access to the computer system," I say.
"Well, ma'am, have you filled out forms H953N-4 and PD26?"
"Um.... I filled out several forms today."
"How about form G57?"
(That is how the conversation goes. I never have ANY clue whether or not I've filled out the form. So then they would send me to a different office. You can see why my first day was not fun.)



2. Everything in the military also has some kind of acronym. Here is a small taste of what being around here is like.


"How do I find the number to the lab?"
"You should call the AOD."
"The what?"
"The AOD. The number is right here."
"Um...OK."

(AOD = Administrative Officer on Duty - I looked this one up today.)

3. I also decided to google "army symbols" so I'd have at least some kind of clue about what all the different badges mean, since previously, all I basically knew was that people who wore 5 stars were really high up. Another resident clued me in that if they have three of the upside down "v"s or anything higher, they are a sargeant.

And if all else fails, just tell them you are a civilian.

New friend.

I met this guy while I was running yesterday. He was trying to climb a chain link fence. (It was not going well for him.) Do you see how big he is? I put my foot in the photo so you would have a sense of scale.

I tried to help him by showing him that going under the fence might be a better idea, but then he snapped at the fence and startled me.

I decided maybe he was better where he was.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 4 -- a few random thoughts.

2 deliveries!! I got 2 deliveries today! Finally. This is why I came - to get more deliveries. So yay.

I've been working the 3-11pm shift. I think this might just about the perfect shift for me. I can sleep in a little, get up, run, breakfast, and whatever else I can fit in, then go to work, come home, and go to bed about at the normal time I usually end up getting in bed. But then I don't have to set an alarm. I just sleep until I wake up. It's perfect.

Last night when I was leaving at 11pm, I walked out of the hospital to the sound of taps being played over loud speakers. Yet another thing that never happens at Self.

I'm glad there are no OB residents at our hospital.

I miss my husband. And the always-full glass of water he keeps on his nightstand.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Bible Belt...

We all know that here is the south, a church is just not a legit church unless it has a changeable sign on which to post various ridiculous Christiany witticisms. Things like "God answers knee mail," "Sign broken: message inside on Sunday," or "Prayer - wireless access to god with no roaming fee."

What surprises me is the number of regular businesses that put "christian" sayings on their signs...




























































Friday, May 08, 2009

Day 2....

....was much, much better than Day 1. Thanks so much for praying - I was able to get my computer access, take the class, then spent all day up on the labor deck, after successfully getting access to the scrub machine and my badge that lets me get onto the floor. Sadly, I still didn't deliver any babies, but that was mostly just because none of the patients that I followed delivered before I left. But I did do some other fun things and got to see a lot of patients. Tomorrow, I'm working from 3-11, and will be the only FP resident on at that time, so hopefully I'll get some more.

I'm also really noticing the differences between an OB-GYN approach to delivering babies, and an FP approach. The doctors I worked with today were super nice, but they just have a different mind set about birth than my attendings at home. I certainly learned some things today, and I think it's good to get a different perspective on things.

And remember why I went into family medicine in the first place.

Schooled.

She was sick. She came to the hospital with very little knowledge about just how sick she was. We told her - her platelets were low, her liver not working, her blood not clotting properly, maybe an infection in her belly. We did not completely understand exactly what was going on.

Now she was scared. She looked up at me, told me she was afraid of dying. And I, the one who has the words of life, mumbled my way through an akward explanation of how we do the best we can, but how we never know what is going to happen. How sometimes it is just "your time" no matter what we do.

But me, I DO know what is going to happen. At least in the end, the end of all things. The intern I was on with, ever more bold than I, told her that we have hope because we believe in Jesus. Asked her if we could pray for her. And then prayed - prayed for peace, for healing, that we would have wisdom. I stood mute, only holding her hand.

Then she wasn't quite so scared. She somehow managed smile and thanked us for taking care of her. We left the room to write the orders and think about what we could do to help with her physical problems, trying to put all of her problems into a list, detailing each of her organ systems so we wouldn't leave anything out. This is what we do as doctors. We make our assessments, make our plans, and hope we are doing it right. As the upper level, I am supposed to be the one teaching, helping the intern learn how to take care of sick patients.

My assessment that night?
One patient, suffering from a lack of the peace that passes understanding.
One intern, ready to offer it.
One resident, fearful and needing to be schooled - schooled by the intern.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Day 1

Two words can sum up my first day:
Red Tape.

I spent basically the entire day navigating the hell that is army bureaucracy. I got fingerprinted. Twice. I walked up and down the halls, from office to office, and back, trying to get everything sorted out. Of course this wasn't helped by the fact that the one guy who seemed to actually know I was coming was on vacation today. Or that he neglected to mention that I needed my passport. Or that it might perhaps be better to come for 4 weeks when there is a mountain of forms to be filled out. I do now have an ID badge for the hospital, a second one that lets me get on the base without having to stop and have my car searched (and I mean really searched). I also am well on my way to having access to the scrub machine, (Thank you, Self Regional, for not having any kind of scrub machine in the first place.) and ANOTHER security badge that lets me get onto the labor floor. You all can pray that I get my computer password in the morning, since I need to take a computer class in the morning, one I cannot take without the password, and there isn't another class until Tuesday. I was also able to at least SEE the labor unit, though I didn't come anywhere near a patient. Naively, I foolishly brought my white coat with me today, carrying it around for the first half of the day until I began to get the idea of how the day would be. Then I ditched it in the car. And briefly thought about just driving home. I remembered, though, that at this hospital, they do 260 deliveries a MONTH. Our residency program does 300 a YEAR. So I stayed. Hopefully tomorrow I might do something a little more fun.

On a side note, there were lots of people walking around in camo. Strange.

Pot Pie photos...

I meant to post these the other day. It's not quite as impressive when you post the photos and the recipe separately, but thought everyone needed to see the lovely dinner I made - doesn't it look delicious??

Mmmmm.....


Here's the recipe!
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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Better living with sewing.

This is my old method for "organizing" my jewelry.

I got a little tired of it, and especially before I went on vacation, I wanted to make something a little better. Here is what I came up with, after looking at a few ideas online.
And unfolded:

With places for my necklaces:(that snap shut!)


And my earrings:

And a second one I made for a friend:

Now if only I could sew my way into some renewable energy....
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sir, yes, sir....

Tomorrow I'm leaving for a two-week stint at Fort Bragg, NC, for an OB elective. I'm excited because Fort Bragg is supposed to have a fairly busy OB service, which means I should get some good experience. I'm also a little nervous about being on a military base. Thankfully, I do not have to dress any differently that I dress now, though I do think I should wear my white coat every day. But what if I make some huge military faux pas? Am I supposed to salute anyone? Are there 6:00am push-ups and running? Should I spit shine my shoes?

I guess I'll find out on Thursday....

Monday, May 04, 2009

Influenza

Last night in the ER, I had a patient test positive for influenza A. For those of you living in a hole, the H1N1 flu that is going around now (also affectionately referred to as "swine flu") is a type of Influenza A.

It was a little exciting, feeling like I was on the frontier of an epidemic. My patient really wasn't very sick. She looked like she had the flu, but otherwise seemed fine. I gave her some flu medicine and sent her out the door. I also wrote for the flu swab to be sent off to the state lab, for the culture that could prove if it is, in fact, the same H1N1 flu that has been going around. I haven't seen a positive flu swab in over a month, but it could still be just your regular yearly influenza that came through here weeks ago, and not the new strain.

I got a call today that since my patient hasn't been to Mexico, she doesn't qualify for further testing. What I don't understand is that if we have confirmed cases in the next county over, why couldn't we now have them in this county? How will we know if more people have it unless we actually test them for it? I think a second criteria that can be used to qualify for testing is if a patient is part of a community that has confirmed cases. But if we do not test them for it, there won't BE any confirmed cases in our community. I realize I don't have a PhD in epidemiology, but it must makes sense to me that we are going to be seeing it here in Greenwood, and soon.

But what do I know?

I did wash my hands extra carefully after leaving her room.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Rainbow Row

While our street is not quite as famous as the other Rainbow Row (the one in Charleston), it is still pretty. I just came home from the store, and as I rounded the curve I had a beautiful full rainbow right in front of me, right over the top of our house. (Our house is the shiny white one...)

Friday, May 01, 2009

White Coats - Yay or Nay?

I am somewhat curious what people think about doctors wearing white coats. I have sort of conflicted emotions about my white coat. I haven't even worn a white coat in several months, although wearing a coat in clinic today I was reminded about their good qualities.

1. Pockets - I can carry more things than I could hold in my hands.
2. The hospital and clinic are ALWAYS cold. A white coat is a light-weight jacket and can keep me warm.
3. They make me look more doctorly. I often wonder if I would be called "nurse" less if I wore my white coat more. (Not that I really mind being called nurse - I love nurses. Especially the ones I'm related to.)

On the other hand, here are what I consider to be the negatives:
1. Wearing one often gives me a sore neck - see #1 above. This is probably mostly a problem only I have, since my disorganization problem even leaks over into the white coat and the pockets slowly become like a black hole of papers, reference guides, and hemoccult developer.
2. They harbor germs. And lots of them. I tried to switch them out once a week, but honestly even when I wore them regularly, that didn't always happen.
3. I might be wearing a really cute outfit (it does happen occasionally), and the white coat is just going to cover it up.

And of course, there is the Murphy's Law of White coats:
As soon as you wear a clean or new white coat to work, within minutes you are going to spill coffee, yogurt, or salad dressing on it or get splattered with blood. (This also holds true for when I wear a nice-looking shirt or if I've just washed my khaki pants.)

So any thoughts out there? Should I wear my white coat more? What do patients expect?