Showing posts from May, 2011


I am feeling a bit unsettled.

I suppose I only have myself to blame. First I read a fiction novel called Sarah's Key, a fictional story about a Jewish child who was arrested with her parents in Paris, France as part of the now infamous Vel' d'Hiv roundup. Then I read a memoir called The Lost, subtitled "A search for six of six million." It's the story of one man's quest to find out what happened to his great uncle and his family during the holocaust. He grew up hearing stories about this man, and knew that they died during the holocaust, but wanted to see if he could find out exactly how and when. The author travels all around the globe, interviewing those who survived from this one tiny town located in what is now Ukraine, and ultimately is able to find most of what he is looking for. Along the way, of course, he also hears story after story of the horror and cruelty and violence committed against the Jews and anyone else who tried to help them. These cr…


I mourned for a patient today.

She saw me a month ago after some personal turmoil that necessitated her being tested for STDs. When she was in the lab, she asked for a pregnancy test. It came back positive, but before I could talk to her about it, she left. I tried calling her once, unsuccessfully. She was in today, a follow-up for her usual problems.

I asked her about her OB care, and she told me she'd had an abortion. "There was too much stress," she told me, "My partner and I were fighting; I lost my job; I didn't want to, but I did."

I asked her how she was doing.
"I'm terrible. I can't sleep. They told me to come back there to get a work release, but I just can't go. I don't even drive by the office. When I need to take my kids to the doctor, I go around a different way."

"I'm so sorry," I say. We talk about the counseling available at the local crisis pregnancy center. She has stopped taking the anti-depressant …


I've recently gotten on a clothes-sewing kick. I'm not sure why, other than seeing some cute kids clothes being made on some different craft blogs.

Sometimes people I meet are surprised that I like to sew and I sometimes get asked, "How do you do it all?" The truth is that even though I manage to sew and make things, there are other areas that sometimes get neglected. Like cleaning. I am not a slob, but I have slightly more tolerance for clutter than the average person. So I'm guessing that my house is probably dirtier than yours. I meant to take a photograph of my sewing room as proof, but totally forgot. Since I'm in Edgefield today I couldn't really remedy it. Whenever I sew a lot, my craft room rapidly degrades into a total disaster that looks like a fabric store threw up.

Anyway...on to the photos! First up, more shorts for Judah! I loved this madras fabric and have another color waiting to be cute. The shorts are a little on the snug s…

Top TV shows on the TV in patient rooms in the hospital.

Sometimes, when someone refuses to leave the hospital, I joke that we should "accidentally" break their TV. I sometimes get the feeling that hospital rooms are so nice with great cable that it encourages people to stay and lounge even if they're better.  That said, here is what I most often see on TV when I enter a patient room.

1. Law and Order. (Is there any hour of the day where this is not showing?)
2. Saved by the Bell. (Ditto.)
3. Judge Judy (Or insert your other favorite Judge show.)
4. Maury. (What could be better than finding out the identity of the baby daddy to a cross dressing prostitute?)
5. Obnoxious kid cartoons. (Seriously, I am frequently surprised to see normal-seeming adults watching various cartoons with no kids in sight.)
6. Cops. (Not feeling anxious enough from being cooped up in a hospital room while getting IV medicine/lab draws/ hearing code blues being called at all hours of the night? Let's watch people yell at each other and get arrested …

1 year update, part 2.

In my last post, I completely forgot to mention all the other fun things Judah is doing, many of which are so boyish it suprises me:
1. He has just started to love building things with blocks. He still loves toppling over what he builds, but also will stack his own creations.
2. He will push a car back and forth across his belly while making a car noise. I'm pretty sure I didn't teach him how to do it. Maybe Jeff did? Did he just pick it up from watching cars drive by? I'm not sure. But it's adorable.
3. He heard me toot the other day and laughed out loud.
4. He loves to pick out and bring me books for him to read. (I LOVE this!) His favorite books are: 1. A book called Tails 2. An Usborne book with lots of truck pictures 3. A book with three rubber frogs on it that stretch out  4. Good Night, Moon. 5. A few books that have these peek-a-boo flaps with animals behind them. If I start reading him a book he isn't interested in, he'll close it shut and point to the…

Reason #4,598 why I love my husband.

When you go with someone through adversity, you really get a chance to see what they're made of. One time I heard a sermon where the pastor said something to the effect of "Going through trials is like getting squeezed, and your response shows everyone what's inside of you."

I hate that Jeff has had such a frustrating year. I hate that he is still looking for a job, but right now is not having any success. I ache that he is not able to do all that he dreams of doing, but instead is stuck at home, reading and studying and taking care of Judah when I work.

But I am seeing more and more of what's inside him - and I love it. Even though Jeff is no longer allowed to preach at our church, he is still finding ways to serve it. Since we've been having lots of fill-in preachers over the last few months, Jeff has been serving a sort of a worship leader/elder who leads the initial part of the service like the call to worship, pastoral prayer, and congregational singing.…

Comfortable shoes.

While I don't think I'll be nominated for What Not to Wear anytime soon (I hope), I'm not exactly the most fashionable person out there. I have things I like to wear, and I wear them. I don't really follow a lot of trends or always know what is in style.

What I do know about, though, are comfortable shoes. I love comfortable shoes, especially ones that are work appropriate - i.e. closed toed and somewhat dressy. Even though I constantly hear people say that their high heels are comfortable, I cannot believe that any high heels could stand the test of a 12 hour day walking around a hospital floor. Thus all my shoes are flats. Before I get into all my favorites, I will say up front that I have learned that the most comfortable shoes are pricey. Well-made = comfortable = pricey, at least usually. I have figured out that if I want my feet (and me!) to be happy during the day, then I have to spend a little more. But well made shoes also last a really long time.

When I firs…

1 year update.

We finally took Judah for his 1 year well visit this past week.

Stats: Head 50 cm, 99%, Length - 31.25 in, 85%, Weight 22 lbs, 50%.
I was glad his weight had rebounded some after his last checkup, when he had dropped off the curve a bit. Not surprisingly, his head is still HUGE. And his fontanelle isn't even closed yet, so it's only going to get bigger.

Judah now is the proud owner of 3-almost-4 teeth. His second top tooth is just about to break through, which has made for some slightly fussier than normal days.

He is super close to walking. He will take 6 to 8 steps at a time, if we encourage him, but still prefers to cruise or crawl. He did finally start crawling on all fours, though he will still sometimes break down into his army scoot. He mostly wants to walk holding onto one finger.

His love of anything carbohydrate-related is unparalleled. As is his love of cheese. And bananas. I still have a hard time getting him to eat veggies, but then randomly he'll eat a ton.…

My love/hate relationship with pain medicine.

(Yes, another medical post. Just one more day of working then I'm off for a few more weeks.)

I have a love/hate relationship with pain medicine. Actually, it's mostly a hate/hate relationship. Modern medicine has given us lots of very strong pain medicines, which on the surface sounds like a great thing. Honestly, for many people, it is a great thing. People recovering from surgeries don't have to be miserable anymore. People with debilitatingly painful conditions can find some relief and live a normal life. Those who are near the end of their life dying from cancer can find rest easier.

The problem that arises, though, is that most of these medicines are also incredibly addicting. They can make people feel too good. Working in the ER and hospital I am constantly confronted with people who are flat out addicts. They beg and plead, moaning and groaning and it is always difficult to tell what is true pain and what is them just acting out for my benefit.

The tricky issue is t…

The downside of primary care.

(A sure sign I'm working: several days of no posting, then a somewhat random post about something medical. But there you go.)

I love being a family doctor. I've talked before about how much I enjoy it, how I love taking care of the whole person and managing their chronic problems. Sometimes, though, that means being caught in the middle of several specialists with the unenjoyable task of playing human telephone.

An example:
I call up a specialist whom I've consulted on one of my patients:
"Dr. X, I'm calling concern my patient with this complicated problem that has gotten worse. What else can we be doing to make this problem better?"
"Well, I don't understand why Dr. Y hasn't done this procedure that I don't do. I really think he needs it. Maybe you could call Dr. Y and get him to do it."

Now I call Dr. Y.
"Dr. Y, this is Aubrey Tell with family practice. I'm calling about my patient with this complicated problem. Dr. X really f…


It's awfully fun watching your parents as they love your baby.

A few photos from my day:

I'm not sure when my baby became a little boy, but in the last few days every time I look at him, I just think that he is so. big. Sigh.

Seriously, he played with this mop for at least 15 or 20 minutes, giving me some time to fold some laundry. It was awesome. Who knew that he would love a mop so much? Next time the floor is dirty, I'm letting him take care of it.

I have had a very productive last several days. I'm not sure what has gotten into me, but I have been on a cleaning tear. First I cleaned and organized the cabinets and drawers in our bathroom. Then I pulled out all the winter stuff and too-small clothes in Judah's drawers and rearranged his closet a little. Today I tackled the closet in the master bedroom, purging a ton of stuff like sweaters we don't wear and towels we don't need. I did the same in the little laundry room we have. I dropped six trash bags full of stuff to donate at the Salvation Army.

I didn't donate all our old towels, though..…

Interesting Links

Did everyone see the fake MLK quote that floated around facebook and twitter the other day? Here is a great link explaining where it came from and how it got so widely propagated.

Another great link which helps explain my position on alternative medicines.

Russell Moore had this excellent post about infertility and Mother's Day. One of my favorite parts was actually this prayer written by someone in the comments about how pastors can best pray on Mother's day.

"Heavenly father, on a day like Mother’s Day there are so many different emotions that we bring to you.
Some of us bring emotions of deep gratitude and joy for the mothers you have blessed us with, mothers who have loved us, 
cared for us, 
walked with us
and taught us how to live well.
We praise you for such love shown to us through our moms and we pray for all those who are moms, that you would give them:
strength where they are weak,
wisdom where they are unsure,
patience with the many demands placed upon…

Mother's Day thoughts.

Mother's (Mothers'?) Day was less than picturesque this year.

Instead of being awoken gently to the aromas of a beautiful breakfast in bed, I was roughly pulled from sleep in the middle of the night to the sound of Jeff caught in the throws of an awful GI bug. The only thing worse than listening to someone barf is actually doing it yourself. Thankfully, the GI bug already passed my way but did not leave me hugging the porcelain throne.

Since Jeff still felt bad this morning, I went to church with Judah by myself. Determined to make the most of it, I picked up some take-out Thai on the way home and a vanilla diet coke from Sonic. I ate lunch by myself, while trying to coax Judah into eating something besides crackers or cheese. (I was less than successful.) I did manage to get a short nap during Judah's afternoon snooze. Then Judah and I played outside in the backyard while Jeff continued to recover.

I was talking to my own mom this afternoon and she was saying that she wa…

Easter 2011

I've been meaning to post some Easter photos, so everyone can see how cute Judah was in his first homemade Easter outfit.

See? Adorable. Even though the vest was a little too big, I still loved the green seersucker.


I caught a few minutes of TLC's Extreme Couponing show the other day. I have always been impressed with people who do the whole couponing thing - it certainly is impressive to be able to work the system in such a way as to get so much free stuff.

What struck me the other day, though, was this particular person seemed to possibly be a better fit for TLC's other show which I've only seen previews for: Hoarding: Buried Alive. She is, of course, much better organized and her stuff is all neatly shelved and divided into categories, but the disorder seems to be the same to me. Listening to her describe why she spends so much time couponing was very much like listening to someone who is addicted to drugs. She talked frequently about the "high" she gets when getting a good deal, about how she spends all her free time (70 hours a week!) searching the internet to make sure she doesn't miss any good deals. She'll leave the house at 11pm to go get a deal. Her stash c…