Saturday, February 28, 2009

Holy Land Theme Park?

Last night DH watched Religulous (another topic in and of itself) and they featured The Holy Land Experience, a theme park devoted to Christianity. I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I recognize not everyone can make the true pilgrimage to the Holy Land for financial and safety reasons and this my be a good substitute. Never being to either the theme park or across the Atlantic, I can't comment on how similar the theme park experience is. Just seeing the pictures of the theme park however, it looks way too "fake" for me. I believe part of the true Holy Land experience would be recognizing the historical/religious signifigance of a city that is millenia old. Also, I've had experiences where I've felt a spiritual presence and I don't think I'd feel the same presence at the theme park as I would in Israel.

Now for the shows...OMG they reminded me of the shows I'd see at the Disney themeparks. And...guess where this theme park is located? Orlando. I'm truly torn on my thoughts of the shows. At first it bothered me that the park so violently imiated Jesus's life, but then I remembered in grade school how we performed the stations of the cross for the younger grades. Then it started to bother me that they turned Jesus' life in a musical and are charging people, but then I remembered how I've paid to see Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat.

So what's bothering me about this place? I don't think I can completely verbalize it. I think a large part has to do with the fact I'm going to through a spiritual crisis right now and trying to redefine my faith. I think I also find the logo too commercialized and the fact that it's in Orlando is overkill to me. I tried to find a picture of the sign and this is the best I could find, sorry it's blurry. I don't know, I just look at that it screams "amusement" to me rather than education or spirituality. I feel like as a society in general we're looking to believe in something bigger than ourselves and some individuals have transformed this desire into a marketing strategy. I believe it's beneficial to provide spiritual opportunities for others but I personally think it's almost criminal to capitalize on society's desire to feel a part of something bigger.

I know this can be viewed as controversial and please feel free to comment with your thoughts on the matter.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Loss of normal bodily functions...

Wow, today I truly appreciated having everything work as it should on a regular basis. My day started off with a trip to the dentist for a filling. Man, my mouth was numb for 7 hours. It felt so weird eating lunch when I couldn't even feel what I was chewing. I caught myself biting my cheek at least twice. A couple of hours later I went to the eye doctor's. Man those drops mess with your vision! I could see distance but I couldn't focus on anything small, yet alone read a text message I received. So here I was with half of my face numb and no ability to read the fine print.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tag, You're It!

The rules: open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th photo and blog it. Write something about it. Then tag 6 more people to do the same.

My 6th album actually only has 2 pictures, but so be it... This is close up of my wedding bouquet turned into a painting. Missy Cannon did such a great job and I'm so glad I ran across this idea. Props to the the chicas on the The Knot for telling me about it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Woman was the first to sin and the second to be created."

I decided not to physically give up anything this Lent. Instead I'm trying to devote more of my time to redeveloping my faith through prayer, readings, and journaling. Since I had it in my possession, I started reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. I'm not very far in, but I wonder if this is actually going to take me farther from my Catholic faith than bring me closer. It's very feminist driven so far and one of the excuses I have for why I don't go to church as often is that the Catholic church is too patriarchal for me. (Yes I know I wrote excuses. I've yet to determine if it's an excuse or a reason). Having been taught by sisters of the Church for over 12 years, I was constantly told I shouldn't leave the church simply because of the patriarchy; instead, I should be a voice of reason in the Church and work for more female equality, etc. Right now, I'm fed up with that thought. It's not that I want to give up and never think the Catholic church is going to have female priests, etc, it's that I don't want to feel like I have to fight so much for my faith to incorpate things I need right now. I want to be in a place where women are an equal part of the faith traditions already.

So, why am I not picking up and leaving the Catholic faith? Part of it is fear; I'm a cradle-catholic and almost all of my family and friends are Catholic. Going to a different denomination would sever a bond I have with these very important people. I know they wouldn't disown me as a friend, but it's nice knowing that I can always go to Mass with them and we generally have very similar beliefs. It's a sense of community. Also there's a voice inside of me that says I was once happy in the Catholic church and I'll be happy there again, I just need some work in that department.

So, fortunately I have never heard the words of my title spoken in any churches I've attended, but it's food for thought. I'm not willing to give up on the Catholic church just yet and I hope this Lent will bring me closer to God in some fashion.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thinking about going back to natural color...

Left: Highlighted Right: Non-highlighted

All comments and thoughts welcome! I really truly like my hair highlighted, but I don't like the cost of it. At the minimum, I think I can get away with getting it highlighted 3 times a year, amounting to at least $300 a year. That doesn't factor in the 3 hours I need to find for the hair appointment. So, looking ahead, my income isn't going to increase much in the near future and my time constraints are certainly going to worsen, so I think it's just easier to go back to my natural color. Anybody want to convince me to continue my highlights? I'm thinking of growing it back out...well Joe wants me too, we'll see how patient I am.

Holy Crap, Lent Starts Tomorrow!

I feel completely detached from the outside world this year. I didn't even realize tomorrow is Ash Wednesday until the hospital cafeteria was promoting Fat Tuesday today. If I had been fulfilling one of my New Year's Resolutions (going to church) I'm sure I would have known Lent was so near. So, that being said, I hope to use Lent to redevelop my faith, or at least get a jump start on redevelopment. I'm picking up a faith related book and will try my darnest to go to mass every Saturday or Sunday. One of my friends said it best, faith requires work. I never realized how true that is until I stopped putting as much effort into my faith life.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Critical Care is So Not for Me!

Over the past two days one of my patients has deteriorated rapidly. His liver is not functioning anywhere near par and he's become much more confused, to the point where he doesn't recognize his wife. The problem is, we can't figure out what's wrong with him. We have run a laundry list of tests to no avail and have not found anything to explain his symptoms. Just last week he was in great spirits joking with me and I really thought he was making a turn around. I knew yesterday was a bad day, but I hoped so much today he would be back to the happy guy of last week. He's not. Right now the prognosis isn't looking good and when we were talking to his wife today I nearly burst into tears. She's done everything in her power to care for him and she sits with him all day everyday. It hurts me thinking about my patient dying, but it also hurts me thinking that this wife will be losing her husband. Fortunately she has kids in the area, but no one can replace the man with whom she's spent the majority of her life. None of us has a crystal ball, so I really don't know what will happen, but today he did not look good.

I know in pediatrics I'm gong to have patients who die, but fortunately most of my patients will be healthy and only the minority will be chronically ill with a poor prognosis. I'm glad there are people who can deal with critically ill patients, but I am not one of them and will never pretend to be.

Walmart had Amish Macaroni Salad!

I'm so freaking excited that Walmart had Amish macaroni salad. I tried finding out here in Omaha for a while, but I just gave up thinking I'd find it. Lo and behold I serendipitously found it today. I can't wait to make sloppy Joe's tomorrow night and have some yummy Amish macaroni salad with it! Ah, the little things in life that excite me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I won the beard bet!

Joe always says how much he hates to shave, and I don't blame him! He's also a clean freak and would take 2 showers a day if he could. I bet him he couldn't go 30 days without shaving. He could trim it, shape it, yada yada, just not completely shave it. He says to me, "You underestimate my laziness."

Well, nine days in he couldn't take it any longer and shaved. Ha! His wife knows him better than he knows himself.

So what did I win? More fresh flowers. I'm on a fresh flower kick, but I might look for a nice plant instead since it will last longer. If he won I had to pay for a movie date. Here are some pics of 9 days of growth. I think it looks a little like a mug shot... I also can't decide if the first shot is "artistic" and sexy or if his eyes look like he's been drinking.

Second Set of Valentine's Flowers...

Joe kindly ordered me two dozen roses from Proflowers for Valentine's Day. Six days later 2/3 of the roses were wilted and some dead. Proflowers guarantees their flowers for 7 days. Deciding to take advantage of any guarantee offered, I inquired and lo and behold they're sending me another bouquet of my liking as long as it is of equal or lesser value. I'm going to go with some purple lisianthus this time.

Taken x2

So, last night I watched Taken, twice! ...and not just twice, but two times in a row. How did that go down? Literally as soon as the movie started Joe got called into work. Well he already paid for the tickets, popcorn, etc, so I felt it a waste if I left too. Joe got back to the theater just as the movie was over. I knew he really wanted to see it (especially since it was his idea to go to the movies and I really could care less). Joe bought another ticket to the later showing, I hung out in the bathroom for a while, and then went and met him in the theater again. I feel a little bad for not paying for the 2nd movie, but it was the same exact movie, so it's not like I used one stub to watch two different movies. Either way, Joe loved it. It disturbs me that the topic of the movie actually occurs, but that's a whole other discussion. If you like action movies, I'd check it out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A trip to the train station...

I had off this past Saturday and it was an absolutely beautiful day. I headed out to the train station where Lara did my TTD shoot. I loved the colors and lines of this train station. Now I have to find some more great places to take pictures.

My Pity Party

Truth be told, I'm absolutely miserable this month. I'm not cut out for critical care, the patients are just too sick for me and even if when we treat this acute flare up, the chronic disease continues. I'm working almost 80 hours a week. I have no time to study. I have no time to work out. I'm constantly rushed through meals to continue working. I'm almost too tired to make healthy meals. Right now my life is the complete opposite of the types of lives we encourage our patients to live. Tell me, how does that make sense?

I think what makes me more frustrated is this month's rotation is an indication of what residency is going to be like (ok, last month was more similar to residency-like conditions, this month is just crazy) so I'm dreading it. I'm starting to learn about the things I want and don't want in my residency program, I'm just not sure I'm qualified enough and have the scores to be too picky. Sigh.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty

It made it up to 60 degrees out here today! I took advantage of the great weather and headed outside, camera in hand. I found this cat weaving through the flower displays. It wouldn't sit long enough to get many shots or let me be too creative, oh well.

An Irish Country Doctor

I just finished An Irish Country Doctor and it was quite an enjoyable read. What could appeal to me more than a book about a doctor in Ireland? I really loved how the main character was a doc right out of school and the book explored how he dealt with older docs cutting the corners, building the trust of rural patients, and establishing how he's going going to practice medicine. While I'm making it sound heavy, it's really not, I just really related to the book. If you're looking for a quick enjoyable read, I'd definitely check this one out. It's by Patrick Taylor, a doctor himself.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Crappy Wedding Portraits...

Putting it simply, of all the vendors with whom I worked for the wedding, I'm least pleased with my photographer. I won't go into specifics here, because I'm just down right tired of dealing with unedited "edited" photos and his poor customer service. I know church light is difficult, but I'm so hoping my editing makes our group photo look better.



So, the walls are now white instead of orange. How'd I do it? has a teeth whiting feature, well instead of whitening the teeth, I whitened the walls. Let's hope this one prints better. Oh! and what makes me more frustrated is now that I'm picking up photography as a hobby I found out our photographer could have prevented this by using manual white balance on his camera. GRRR!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First Death of a Patient... about to occur in the next day or two for me. It hit me today how quickly patients can take a turn for the worst. Yesterday one of my patients was awake, oriented, and happily talking about her family and daily life. I came in this morning, less than 12 hours later, and she's intubated, on the ventilator, and sedated. I was shocked. Yes she's old and has a history of lung disease, but she looked so good last night. Her likely diagnosis that brought her into the hospital had a poor prognosis, but not as poor as what I walked into.

What really got to me today was talking to the family. She has 8 children, 6 of whom were there today. Our attending took them to a conference room, sat them down, and discussed the poor prognosis and the limited options. It tore me up seeing the family coming to terms with what they already knew and asking for time for the other siblings to get into town. But on top of that as much as I wanted to think about our patient, all I could think about was my grandmother and her death. Like this patient, Mom-mom had 8 children, 5 of them were there when the doctors told my family a very similar prognosis and a 6th child tried his darnest to make it to town in time. I wasn't at the hospital when Mom-mom passed, but today I saw the emotions that my mom and her siblings likely experienced. My classmate asked the results of the meeting when we came out and I couldn't answer him for a good 30 minutes. I had to remind myself this wasn't Mom-mom and detach myself from the similarities of this family and my family before I could talk about it. In terms of my patient, it comforts me that she is 2 decades older than my grandmother was, has been suffering for decades, expressed her wishes to her children, and she's truly ready for the peace of Heaven. I'm not quite sure if Mom-mom was ready for death; I know her family wasn't.

Other things I learned from this experience:
1. There must be a more serene room to tell family members about likely death than an unused patient room with file cabinets, extra chairs, a table, and a sign on the outside that says "conference room."

2. Hospitals need to invest in softer tissues. I felt so bad handing the family members tissues that just chafed my nose when I had my cold.

3. There's no easy way to deliver bad news, but there are tactful and sympathetic ways and my attending was a great example today

I definitely learned more, but that's enough commentary from me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

If I were a wedding photographer...

I'd stop using figurines and try these lighting effects with real people. Oh well. I guess I have to stick with my cake topper, lol.

Ben and Jerry's One Cheesecake

Last night I decided to splurge and get some ice cream. I deviated from my normal cookie dough and tried B&J's cheesecake brownie. Not for me. The ice cream is cheesecake flavored and way way too sweet for me. Yes, I know, hard to believe. It didn't really taste like cheesecake though, more like "I wanna be cheesecake, but I'll always be ice cream." Oh well. Should have gotten the cookie dough.
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