Monday, October 15, 2012

Christmas in October

A random mid October post for two reasons.  
1) I was just at Freddie's tonight and they have poinsettias on display, for sale.  
What?!  I don't get it.  
Have I had my head in the clouds in previous Octobers i.e. is this normal?  
Unusual, I say. Maybe wrong.

Poinsettia-taken DURING Florida Christmas-'06 
2) I went on an outing a few weeks ago with some friends.  A little cabin in the woods type weekend.  Thankfully, I was in charge of breakfast. (I'm not much for making a good dinner these days.  An area that needs and will be getting attn soon!)  So, best breakfast casserole I know of is Mom's Christmas morning casserole.  Every year we have it.  Every year I eat seconds (and pick at thirds when no on sees me).  Delicious and easy!  Who could ask for more?!  I'm sharing it here so I have a record of it somewhere.

Here it is:

1 doz. eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 lb. diced bacon, uncooked
1 lb. diced cheese, (cheddar or mont. jack)
6 green onions, chopped including green tops
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Beat eggs and mild well in large mixer bowl.
Stir in cheese, bacon and onions.
Add dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour into lightly greased 9x13 pan.
Bake @ 350 about 1 hr.  Check in 45 min. Insert knife in center, if comes out clean it's done.
Cut into small squares
Serve warm.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Status Post

I've learned to use the term "status-post" when giving report and or communicating information about the condition of my patients.  Here I am, communicating the condition of my self, status post 15 months of excruciating, mind-bending, steep-up-hill curve learning.  Survival, yes.  Surviving well, that's debatable. Outwardly, yes.  Inwardly, it has been a deep, heavy struggle for me.

Last Wednesday was my last clinical shift as a nursing student.  On Thursday, I felt a sense of joy that has not been present consistently for the last 15 months.  Friday, I received a phone call to interview on the unit I've been on this summer.  Saturday, I acutally played and forgot about the few things left to finish for my final grade.  And today, Sunday, I was nourished in a way I've missed over these many months.  I've been nourished by my church, prayed for and held tight by a dear sister as my sweet Lord gently ushered into clarity the rumblings that had been set aside these many months.  It's as if the veil of school being lifted is now allowing my being to remember the possibilities in the gift God has given me in nursing.  He has been sweet to be patient with me.  I am remembering who I was prior to school-the dreams and visions-living beyond the physical and into the mystical, remembering Jesus Christ and the joy of being united and in relationship with Him.  Hope for today, strength for tomorrow, purpose in this life.

Thank you, Father, for loving me patiently and tenderly while I was blind and numb.

Status Post-deeply grateful.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Catching up.

School is kicking my behind, blah!  I've really wanted to try and keep some sort of log of events to remember because I knew this year would fly by and it {mostly} has.  ONE day and FOUR weeks to go until a break and then my final quarter, summer Integrated Practice, aka clinicals.

Times with the Lord have been sweet.  I still wonder how He'll wrap up some of these pulls I'm beginning to feel.  Tis good, I'm confident in His plans for me!  And each morning I'm setting my prayers before Him.  The burden is lifted in this action.  I'm thankful.  

Sort recap:

Snowed on my b-day wknd in Sunriver.  Yep, 35 this year.
[ LOVE ] We still had a wonderful time, really great.

And then the sun did shine and we rode bikes. [Refreshed]

Round-up with the fam and good folks.  Gorgeous day and weekend. 

Dad @ E's. Good. 
Running.  Sometimes I feel real tough, like this day in Forest Park

Sunday, April 08, 2012



Last Quarter of Classes

I really hoped to be better at keeping a record of life's happenings on here, especially as I'm in school and the weeks/days fly by.  I'm older.  My memory is going to start going.  I want to keep a record of all the lovely things God does and provides in my life.  I'm simple minded and I often need the reminder of all His goodness in, toward, and for me.

Last quarter was in the hospital.  Pediatrics @ Doernbecher-5 weeks-enjoyable, quite.  Cardiovascular/telemetry @ Kohler Pavilion-5 weeks-fantastic, really.  I heart the heart and the vascular network and all of it.  I find it captivating, intriguing, challenging, and exciting.  And…big news…I'll be spending my summer clinical rotation on the same cardiovascular unit!  I'm thrilled!  God continues to show up in such tangible ways.  This quarter, for my population experience, I'm in Hood River at La Clinica.  Again, my top choice.  I'm so pleased and feel this will be a rich experience and useful in my future work abroad.

{The head dump}
About to turn 35.  
Just spent a week @ Principe de Paz with women from Powers.  Delightful.
Feeling like senioritis b/c I don't want to study.  
The sun is out.  Spring
That might be why I don't want to study.
Running a half in May.
I haven't run for 2 weeks due to a little bug I brought home from GUATE.
My heart is celebrating today.
Jesus is risen.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Softly spoken, I am moved.  Precious life, fleeting in moments I cannot control.  Forsaken by imperfect human bodies.  Weighed heavily by loss of innocence-eyes 35 years old see things eyes 18 years into the journey just can't receive.  With age comes wisdom, at a price---sometimes paid by the owner, sometimes by way of association.  

Words I have lived by over the last few years, words to look at life through, a banner over the year.
2009-HOPE     2010-surrender    2011-trust    2012-Believe

Go read Mark 8 for context.  For now, this jumped off the page at me today…
Mark 8:33  Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter, "Get away from me, Satan!" he said.  "You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's.

Father, help me to believe, to be challenged by my own perspective and to be mindful of the breath that is this life, but a breath.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tonight, you are therapy.

**I'm posting this without a lot of proofreading and censoring.  Normally, I'd go back and rewrite my thoughts to make it more clear and fluid.  I've reread it, it feels choppy.  It is raw.  It will stay raw. 

I had a good day today.  It's been snowing here in Portland, but I made it to "the hill" fine and was so thankful for the opportunities set before me today.  I spent most of my day in the Pediatric PACU (post anesthesia care unit-the Operating Room) and the Pediatric ED.  Let me first just fill you in on the ED, I saw a few discharges and one admission.  Not a whole lot goin' on today, maybe the snow kept people away, but the PACU was altogether a different kind of day.  I started with patient admission (observing), followed the patient into surgery, yes I watched a "direct vagus nerve stimulation" procedure, and then followed the patient to recovery.

My patient:
27 months old, male, born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice and a knot in the actual cord that caused a lack of oxygen which led to cerebral palsy.

So, I was fine today.  My heart is a little more sensitive tonight.  The surgery was incredible, watching the surgeons, the nurses, the anesthesiologists, the actual procedure, sterile technique.  You could see a square of about 5 inches x 5 inches of his body, but nothing else.  So, when they pulled all the drapes off, I was a little helpless with the fact that this little babe was laying there on the table.  It wasn't the kind of emotion that would push one away from the situation, my word!, this little pacemaker-like-device is supposed to decrease the number of seizures this little body experiences.  It was the kind of emotion that stirs up compassion for our imperfect human bodies…maybe more.  I can't yet nail that one.

I went from the OR to recovery with the little guy and then went to fetch his mother when he was awake so she could come back and see him.  She comforted him, then the nurse asked her if she'd like to hold him and she did.  So, as he was being observed-vitals, pain, breathing on his own and waiting for a room on another floor to open up, his mother sat there and rocked him.

Tonight, as I reflect on my time with her, I want to go back.  I don't regret anything said, it felt special.  She was fairly soft spoken, very nurturing, and we just began to chat.  After all, I wasn't going anywhere, I was following this little guy in an exercise of observing the PACU.  She asked me about nursing school, told me about her other two boys, and then she began to share some things that made me realize the difficult nature of caring for someone utterly dependent.  He is developmentally delayed and will not walk.  I'm learning, cerebral palsy comes in different forms/varying degrees.  His was advanced, including the seizures and this new little device to help since medications were not working.  AND then, Mom began to share his story with me-all about her pregnancies with each boy and how she didn't know anything was wrong.  She recalled the day with me and came to a point where she began to break down, "I always cry when I get to this part."  Then, after a minute or so, she told me how the doctors had returned with the news that her 3rd child was affected by the knot in the umbilical cord.  As she cried and glanced up at me trying to read my reaction, I didn't budge, I just kept my gaze directly on her.  I have learned the significance and weight of eye contact.  I was standing across the bed as she spoke.  Sometimes I'm unclear as to what kind of physical contact is ok with patients and families.  I know it's good and I believe in it, but as a nursing student, I have not yet found my jive there.  So, I hugged her with my gaze.  I know how crazy that sounds, but I almost felt her appreciation-at least I sensed it.

Why do I want to go back?  For more.  This woman shared about a nursing friend doing medical missions in Mexico and how this friend was once a girl from the youth group she helped with.  Well, I said, I've done some of that too!  I'm nearly positive she was a believer.  What would I say to her different?  I prayed for your boy in there.  I prayed while they were setting out all the sterile instruments and when they peeled back the blue sterile drapes that covered his tiny body.  I wanted to stay and offer her more kindness, a pat on the back for her commitment to motherhood at it's most demanding.

I doubt I'll ever see her again. If I do, I think I will hug her and tell her I admire the way she looks at her boy and loves him so well, despite how exhausting and demanding the care.  I think this woman understood the worth of a soul.

I had a friend in college share about a book she'd read about autism.  There's one thing she said that has stayed with me over the last 14ish years.  I don't know the book, sorry, but it was something about how children (people) with developmental disabilities will be even more glorious when they are made new in heaven.  That God has a special place for these kids of His and that, when we are all made whole, they will no longer be inhibited to express all the beauty that makes them who they are.  I thought about that today.  I thought about that little guy, unhindered by his physical and mental constraints.

I'm grateful for today, for my time with this little guy and his mom.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Learn from me...

Nothing wonderfully insightful here.  Just plain and simple.  A verse that is often referred to.
Sometimes the familiar is overlooked, passed over quickly.
This is how it goes when I read words I've read before.
I quickly read past.
Nothing wonderfully insightful.
A simple reminder.
HE says, "learn from me…".  I like that.  
The NLT is, "Let me teach you…".
Rest does not always come with sitting still. 
My body may be busy, even my mind, but I will look for my soul to rest when I go to Him. 
"Come to me…and you will find rest."

Matthew 11:28-30  NIV

Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

Sunday, January 08, 2012

This brought peace and rest.
I am so often caught in between death by paralysis or death by over exertion.
This is the solution.  I know it, I have known it.  I will practice it.
This year, this blog, His Word.
I'm hopeful this place will be my go to when I want to stash away a
lil' somethin' that's sweeter than HONEY.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Running Analogies

I was never much of a runner in high school.  It seems running has gained popularity in recent years or maybe it's that I've come around to this pastime and given it more attention over the last several years.  In giving it more of my attention, I'm now aware of running gear and magazines and the latest technology be it shoes or GPS systems to track distance and time.  Nevertheless, it was "not my thang" until I went off to college.  In high school, it was volleyball-basketball-track, repeat.  Year after year.  And track, well, I didn't participate willingly, but was HIGHLY encouraged (or rather it was decided for me) by my father who very firmly believed in "off season" training.  In his wisdom, he knew we (the girls I played with) wouldn't perform well in volleyball and basketball if we sat out track season and laid around all summer long.  So, I did learn to run in track, but it was a bit unwillingly.

I'm back in Powers for the holidays and have been working the old stomping grounds, pushing it up that hill more than usual.  This morning, I had several flashback to those track workouts and in so had a little insight into life.  Those track workouts were unpleasant, mostly because our coach made us run hills with 5 pound leg weights.  You might not think that's much, but the hill I'm referring to is no small feat.  '"Run 5 hills and then you're done," coach trumped as he handed me two bright blue sand-filled bags with black velcro straps to wrap around my ankles.'  UGH!

This morning, starting out 2012 with a healthy dose of resolve, I went and ran hills (albeit minus the extra weight).  No, it was not pleasant.  No, I did not run 5.  I ran 2.5, walked the remaining, and was satisfied that I could still run that hill.  I tackled it PARTLY because I took up running as a pastime after high school to try and stay in shape, which means I've learned to enjoy running.  I tackled it MOSTLY by sheer will of my mind and body.  The Nike slogan, "Just do it," might suffice to describe my sentiments toward this feat.

Here is my profound point amidst the throw back to nearly (gulp!) 20 years, I know how I get through pain.  I did it this morning when I ran those hills and I don't think I'm alone or special in the use of this particular strategy.  I wore a hat this morning because it was raining.  The hat became an imperative piece of clothing in undergirding this strategy.  I put my head down and just ran.  I could see out of the sides of my view and I have the cracks of the hill and Cruiser footprints imbedded in my memory so I knew where I was and how much further I had to go, but for the life of me, the thought of looking up and seeing the corner and then the top of the water tower was too crushing a sight and even thought to make myself look up from under my cap.  So, like I said, I put my head down and ran.

I do this when things seem tough.  I do this when I think things are going to be tough.  It's a coping mechanism that has worked and pushed me to get through.  I focus on the little tasks, the cracks in the road, the small imminent details of school, work, family, friends…focus on the little things and the big things either disappear, in some cases, or are dissolved by finishing the small things.  On one hand, I think this is a mighty great strategy in accomplishing goals, but it's only useful if you've stopped long enough to set the big goals and work toward them.  On the other hand, it's a lousy plan if you lose sight of your surroundings (family, friends, life etc.) because you've focused on the details and grit to get through.

Oh my, I do not claim in this to have an answer to the juxtaposition I present.  I'm merely presenting it as my own insight and possibly as a challenge to the way I move through life.  It reminds me of a saying I think is common in our culture, "Your greatest strength may also be your greatest weakness."

So, in this new year, 2012, I am going to continue to put my head down and work hard, but I am also going to work on the balance of looking up more often to see the water tower ahead, to check myself in the going and not bury my head 'til it's over…because it's really never over.