Monday, October 31, 2011


You know it's gonna be a good day when this happens!

And that reminds me of this...

Happy last day of the Gastrointestinal System! And, I suppose, Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Babies Babies Babies

They seem to be everywhere! Which is totally awesome.
Don't these guys just make you smile.
I got to be a part of telling a woman she was pregnant yesterday as I was spending the day in the Coldwater clinic. SO incredible. I want to tell people they are pregnant all day long. The look on her face was the highlight of my day. Unfortunately this encounter was very short; I just wanted to stay in the room and ask her all sorts of questions and hug her and smile a lot. But, I'm pretty sure the resident I was with would not have appreciated it at all. He clearly didn't understand. Maybe it's a girl thing?

I also met the most amazing woman in the clinic this week. She was absolutely, hands down, the fourth year medical student I hope to be someday. A wonderful teacher. Incredible communicator. Caring, respectful, and an extremely compassionate mom. She was 36 weeks along with their third child. We got to talk about missions...her husband is a pastor and they go all over the world...and even take their kids...and she is just so cool.

We also saw a lady with Fragile X. And last week one of the patients had been diagnosed with Guillen Barre. Both diseases I'd only seen/heard about in lecture, but who knew they really existed! It makes things much more real. Can I skip the rest of second year and go right to the hospital? Please?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Catch Up

The game of catch up. Are any of us really ever ahead?
Life is busy. But very fun. Here are some things I've done and thought "I should blog about this" but never did until right now. And this is not in chronological order. My sense of time is being replaced with clinical signs of renal insufficiency and GI disaster scenarios.

I dumpster dove. Luckily it was pretty empty. But I thought I dropped my mail key in there when I threw my garbage in there. Turns out I didn't. I dropped it on my way out of the apartment. Instead I ripped the dress I was wearing as one of my neighbors watched me jump out.
No worries, the dress is fixable.

Remember how nice these days were last week? I rode my bike to study at Lake Lansing. The rain for the past 48 hours makes me miss it...

 I bought a guitar. It's a little one. But, it's just about all I can handle. I'm working on CCR's Bad Moon Rising. It's fun and a lot harder than it looks.

Then the Jones' went to the Tiger's game to celebrate Nana's birthday and Mal and I went to the Wings game right afterwards. It was great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. They both won and I still passed my exam the next morning. Win-Win-Win.

Oh yeah, and I ran a marathon. It took us 4 and a half hours. The last 10 miles were a little crazy. I said I'd never do it again after about mile 20. We'll see though, I guess i should never say never.

  And that guy is Bre's fiance, who let us stay at his apartment, then drove us to the race, then stood in the wet cold rain and cheered for us, and then drove us back afterwards.

Thank goodness for those two; Bre and Erin. Without them, this would not have happened.
Plain and simple.

The day after the marathon I bought this. A beautiful new road bike. I went for an 18 mile ride wih Chrissie a couple days ago and am so unbelievably happy to be on it instead of running. Bre helped me pick it out and Charlie gave me the magazine that led to the purchase. So thankful for the biking friends I've met up here. They are a great influence.

Oh, and I have plane tickets to Denver and Montana for Christmas break. And tomorrow I start working with a family doc in Coldwater. Hooray for clinical work.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Detroit Marathon

If all goes as planned, at this time tomorrow I will have finished the marathon.
I can't believe I'm actually doing, in fact, I've felt kind of like I'm lying to everyone I tell.
I'm getting excited. I've been a little preoccupied with school...we have an 8 am exam Monday morning...ugh. So hopefully I don't sleep through my alarm. But, on a positive note, I've never been this prepared this far in advance for an exam! Knowing this was coming up made me more proactive than ever.
Me and Erin at Detroit last Fall running the half

I'm so thankful to have these two girls running with me...Erin and Bre. It's fitting that the only two half marathons I've done have been with them, so putting them together gives me a full marathon!

Me and Bre in Traverse City running the Bayshore Half

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A War Story

A recent article from Christian Medical and Dental Association. Worth the read. I promise.

When Every Turn is Toward Death
by Jim Ritchie, MD, Captain, Medical Corps, United States Navy, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, VA

A friend of mine found himself in the middle of a war. He was a general medical officer in the Navy, fresh from his internship. He was in a tent combat-support medical unit, far forward in the fight. Along with the help of four corpsmen, he was desperately trying to save the lives of three badly injured U.S. Marines. Their injuries were prodigious.

Though the Marines might possibly be saved, there weren’t enough people to do all the work, and they were beginning to lose the battle against death. Just then, soldiers brought in an enemy combatant prisoner who was also very seriously wounded. His wounds appeared to be more serious, but he remained conscious. Knowing his obligation to the enemy as per the tenets of the Geneva Convention, my friend turned to treat the enemy soldier. The corpsmen and other conscious Marines were outraged, and called for him to return to treating the Marines. Just then, the enemy soldier caught sight of the injured Marines . . . and laughed at them. As he was in the same unit as the injured Marines and knew them personally, my friend was disgusted with the enemy soldier and returned to his Marines. But that wouldn’t do. The soldiers who had brought in the enemy belonged to a special forces group; they had been pursuing this man for a week and had lost two of their own men in the firefight that day. This combatant was a “high-value unit” and possessed valuable information. They told him, “Doc, you have to save this guy.”

Imagine yourself in his place. What would you do? The war is raging outside your tent. You must act. Decide now. You don’t have time to think. Each choice will result in death. But you’ll have to live with that choice for the rest of your life.

[I skipped a few of the other stories he tells...CLICK HERE to read the rest]

We hate the “no-win scenario.” We want to be like Captain Kirk from “Star Trek” who contends, “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.” We want to have a last-minute revelation that will save the day and the patient. Such an idealistic mindset is the stuff of fun movies and great stories. I think it is hard-wired into us by our Creator, who has given us a vision of Heaven or of the world as He made it originally. But if misunderstood, this idealistic mindset can create horribly inappropriate expectations. I know of many military personnel, medical and otherwise, who have been crushed emotionally by overly idealistic expectations of themselves and their abilities.

This isn’t Heaven. It’s a fallen place. And here, the no-win scenario is very real. War and catastrophe provide an overabundance of no-win situations. By all means, we should try for the right outcome. But when confronted with a no-win situation, we should recognize it as such, pray for guidance and realize that the power to make it all better is not ours.

Let’s return to the story of my friend in the tent hospital. The special forces soldiers ordered him to take care of the injured enemy soldier instead of the Marines. He refused and treated the Marines. As a result, he saved two Marines and lost one. And the enemy soldier died. He was later charged with violations of the Geneva Convention and with disobeying an operational order. When I last spoke with my friend, he was the subject of a formal investigation. (I am embarrassed to say that I lost contact with him, and am unaware of the outcome of the investigation.) When he told me of his predicament, I tried to tell him that the accusations were unjust and that he was innocent. I tried to reassure him that surely he would be found not guilty.

[This next part is so so good...!]

But he corrected me. He realized that he could have called for additional resources and could probably have saved all of the Marines, as well as the enemy soldier. He told me, “After I got past my denial, I realized that I am responsible for the death of two people, and indirectly wasted the loss of the special forces guys who died bringing in the enemy soldier. What I don’t need is for some judge to declare me not guilty. I am guilty. What I need is to be forgiven. And I asked God to forgive me, and He has. After that, all this other stuff isn’t as important anymore.”

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Comic Relief

Last night studying for growth and development until I actually get to study it for real when seeing patients during third and fourth year! Enjoy these delightful pictures and videos...