Thursday, March 27, 2008

Life is Precious

This week has been a tough week - not just because I've had a more demanding schedule, but also because I'm reminded that life is precious. Working as a physician can sometimes lend itself to becoming callous, because we experience so much sickness, death, trauma, etc., and it's often a way to subconsciously protect ourselves from becoming overwhelmed. This week, there was too much sorrow in my path, and I think I was too tired to shrug it off.
  • On Monday, I told a very sweet 70 year old man that he had cancer - it doesn't look good - and he could only ask me, in his broken English - "Is it bad?"
  • On Tuesday, I told a young woman, who very much desired to be pregnant, that she was having a miscarriage.
  • On Wednesday, I sent one of my prenatal patients who's 33 weeks pregnant to the ER Crisis Center because she struggles from severe depression and told me she had thoughts about hurting herself.
  • My grandmother went back into hospice care, and she's experiencing a lot of pain and is fearful and anxious. We're hoping hospice will get her back to a point where she's comfortable.
  • My friend's mother "coded" after she had surgery for colon cancer. Fortunately she's much better now, but I can't imagine watching my mom go through that. My friend was sitting by her mother's side when it happened.

In the midst of all these very sad things, I also experienced the precious gift of life in the miracle of birth, as I delivered a beautiful baby boy to a mom who was amazing, valiant, and made childbirth look like something easy. It's not always that easy! She had no medications, and labored like a champ with grace and beauty.

It's an honor to be a physician, but sometimes it's a big responsibility and certainly not all that glorious.

It's the little reminders of how precious life is that helps to keep me humble.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hunting for Easter Eggs

I haven't blogged for awhile, and quite honestly, I'm exhausted right now, but I wanted to include a few pictures of our nieces and nephews hunting for Easter eggs. We gathered as the "Martin Family" to celebrate Easter on Palm Sunday - some of us were going to be away and some of us were going to be on call (yours truly... sigh) on Easter Sunday, so it worked best to get together a week earlier. It's a family tradition to hunt for eggs in the yard at Grandma & Grandpa's house, after Jill hides them all over the place. The kids were super excited to find their eggs and score the treats and surprises inside! Even the adults were out searching for eggs. I didn't get the right egg - the women were all looking for a yellow egg with a smiley face on it that had a winning ticket inside for a complete facial by Jill. Lori was the winner! Maybe next time for me...

Easter weekend call was one of my most exhausting calls yet as an attending. I'm in need of some respite to recover, so I shouldn't be typing on the computer right now, but rather be in bed... Perhaps I'll blog about my weekend later.

Despite fatigue and some emotionally draining stuff going on this past weekend, I was reminded of new life and the joy of salvation every time I walked out into my front yard (to get into the car to go to the hospital again) and saw the daffodils and crocuses popping through the ground and blooming. What a wonderful gift we have been given! Celebrate the risen King!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The things we did in Colorado...

Here is a list of things we did in Colorado while we were on vacation:
1. Played with Manning (4 1/2 yrs old) & Ruby (2 1/2 yrs old) a lot, taking lots of pictures of their precious little faces.
2. Checked out Ann's new Angora bunnies
3. Down hill skied - I actually took a lesson, and while Tim & Ann skied the 'real' hills, I stayed on Panda Peak. My instructor, Jim, was very thorough and patient, and re-taught me skiing through the principles of physics (my least favorite subject EVER!). No broken bones to report! It was a lot of fun after I got over my anxiety of having not skied in 15 years!
4. Watched Manning graduate from Powder Pandas Ski School - down the mountain he zipped!
5. Visited some hot springs alongside the road in Carbondale - delightful! Underneath the brilliant stars with bubbly hot water that must have been near 110 degrees.
6. Sunday Mass at the Monastery at Snow Mass and some time chatting with Father Joseph, the Abbot at the Monastery. Beautiful service, til I started to get sick. :(
7. Altitude sickness - ICK! After skiing in Aspen all day Saturday, I developed a headache, which didn't go away, and only worsened, after a full night's rest. I still had a headache on Sunday morning, and while at the Monastery started to feel very hot and lightheaded. The nausea then struck me with a vengeance. I was able to make it home to Ann's house before my modest breakfast of earlier in the morning was no longer with me. A little bit of naprosyn, LOTS of water and a 3 hour nap cured me of my illness, which I hope to never have again!
8. Dinner at a Nepalese restaurant to celebrate Ann's birthday
9. Several walks into the town of Basalt, a quaint mountain-side town in the Rockies
10. More hot springs! This time at Glenwood Springs, which was also relaxing and lovely. I especially liked the water jet chairs in the therapy pool at 104 degrees.
11. Cross Country skiing - this was a first for both Tim and me, and we loved it! It was great. Ann's friend was very kind to lend us her family's skis and we all had a wonderful time, the kids included. We were feeling some muscles that we hadn't been acquainted with recently on the flight on the way home.
12. A ride up the mountain past Neil Diamond's house to a fresh spring, where we filled up on wonderful, mountainside, ice-cold water.
13. Dinner and a movie with Ann - our last night in Colorado. We had delicious food at Phat Thai in Carbondale with green papaya salad, curry, drunken noodle - YUM! Then we went to the Crystal Theater (an old fashioned single theater establishment) to see The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman - a good flick and a tear jerker - who knew Jack Nicholson would make us cry?
14. Saw lots and lots of wildlife - elk, mule deer, big horn sheep, cows, horses, rabbits, and little girls with elk-style face painting!
15. Got in some rest, relaxation, reading time and exercise.
16. I cut back to one cup of coffee a day! This is a huge feat, and I'm happy to say that I'm not sick, although the craving lingers on.
17. Did some second-hand shopping, and we each came home with an article or two of clothing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vacation in Colorado

Here's a first glimpse of our trip out west to visit friends (Ann, John, Manning & Ruby) in Colorado. We just got home late last night, so we're trying to recover from vacation and get back into the swing of things. Check out the slide show, with more details to come. :)
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