Come one... come all

This weekend I attended a beautiful wedding. The priest who presided the mass was also the leader of a retreat I attended some weeks ago. The theme of celebrating well really stuck with me through both events as he encouraged us to continually celebrate the sacraments well.

I've been reflecting on what it means to celebrate your marriage everyday. Is washing the dishes or doing laundry a celebratory act? Dinner and a movie perhaps? I've become convinced that it begins with recognition. A recognition that starts as an intellectual lightning bolt, but leaves a residue in the form of your hearts disposition. Being disposed to love more fully or welcome a challenge can bring you to celebrate -- especially when what was previously a burden becomes a joy or the context for encountering the joy. I think parents must experience this. Changing diapers can't be the most thrilling work in the world -- but the joy that comes with caring for the child must move the heart in a deeper way. With that said -- have a happy Shrovetide and may your celebrations be abundant!


Emergency Room update

Night in the ER:

Errors = 2
1. No laughing until the doctor, patient and guest laughs.

Scenario: I'm standing at the foot of the patient bed. The doctor asks about her health and the patient says, "I'm absolutely, fine." Jokingly, the doctor replies, "Well you can't be doing that well because you're here." The patient's son, who is in the room, adds, "She suffers from slight dementia." I take this statement to be a funny retort to the doctors comment until I realize I'm the only one laughing... oops!

2. Don't make the nurse mad.

All hospital beds are not created equal. I take a patient to another unit where the beds have some type of space age design which I'd never encountered. After pestering the nurse a bit, she finally comes over and shows me how to undo the wheel lock within two seconds. Don't they usually send someone else to take the patients. She does this in a undeniably perturbed tone that says "don't come back here!" You got it.

Great moments = Two biggies

1. I was able to do the history of a patient experiencing chest pain. I wasn't that nervous. I managed to ask a pretty comprehensive set of questions. I reported my findings to the resident who was impressed at the amount of info I'd attained. Although, my diagnosis was wrong it was wicked cool watching the spiral ct scan that they'd taken. The human body is amazing!

2. One patient and one hospital employee asked me diabetes questions I was able to answer! Yay, I have learned a few things that are patient relevant in my research.

Newly acquired knowledge courtesy of a 4th yr. medical student:

Remember these things to take a good patient history... OLD CARTS

O - Onset of symptoms. (when things went wrong)

L - Location of symptoms. (which way did it go george?)

D - Duration since symptoms began. Duration of an episode.

C - Characterized symptoms (short, shooting, stabbing, dull pain, etc)

A - Associated factors (standing, sitting, allergy)

R - Relieving factors (what helps it go away -- ice, ice baby, meds)

T - Timing. When is it worse or better? (day, night, during Shark Week)

S - Severity. Rate by scale from 1 to 10.


The Journey

The main point of this blog is to chronicle my journey to medicine. As a primer, I'm a researcher, Masters student and now volunteer in the ER of a Level 1 Trauma Center, which means I'll see some incredible cases. Tomorrow is my first day and I am ecstatic. I've just submitted my Texas applications and the national AMCAS application for the Fall of '08. I've also begun preliminary writing of my secondary apps. I'll keep you posted on my adventures tomorrow. Until then, gnite!



It is I.

This is my new forum to engage a community, to log some of my reflections and to slow down in life. Although, I can be a bit anti-tech at times, I think blogging can foster virtuous habits. A friend, who happens to be a priest and graduate student, once commented to me that information overload can rob mankind of its ability to reflect. While I agree in part, I think blogging, however, is different. It can be a way to lasso a fleeting thought and making it subject to closer scrutiny. A recent Catholic convert released notes that he'd made for himself during his conversion process. How profound! I'm sure I've had strong turns in my thinking about significant issues, yet seldomly have I written out the cogent thoughts that led me to such a radical shift.

Anyway, I meant this as a test blog. Maybe my ramblings reveal a truer sense of my hope for this page. Please leave comments, disagreements, insights, etc.