Monday, September 12, 2011

Go get some exercise...

Those were the words of my precepting physician today at 630pm after a normal clinic day. It was bright and sunny out and he was stuck there for a bit longer...said I should go enjoy it for him. It never takes much to convince me to get outside and this was no exception. Went home, changed, and grabbed my bike to check out some of the UAF trails.

It's amazing how comfortable I was mountain biking when I was 13, and how utterly fearless. I started on a narrow single track trail I would have never thought twice about back then. However, came down a hill, around a corner and the trail abruptly narrowed to the point my handlebars wouldn't fit between the trees.


I slowed down enough that it didn't do any real damage, but still felt it in my shoulder and wrist. However I had just started and couldn't give up yet without a major strike to my self esteem. So kept going for another few miles. It was beautiful and peaceful until I rode down another hill into a clearing...there 8ft away on my left was a moose and her two calves. You know it's way too close when looking straight at the moose you can't see the entire animal without moving your eyes! Fortunately the calves were behind her; I took a hard right and booked it hoping she wouldn't feel threatened. Glanced back once I got to the trees on the other side and I was free and clear! :) Decided that this was enough and turned on the trail to take me out of the woods and back home. I had studied the map, was sure of where I was going but the trail slowly got wetter and wetter until it ended at a pond/swamp with the full moon reflecting off it.

It was gorgeous, not where I had intended to end up, but a beautiful blessing anyway. Stopped and spent some time to just be and appreciate my surroundings. Thanked God for protecting me against a funky shoulder and/or wrist deformity. Thanked God that I didn't become a moose's tap dancing surface. And thanked Him for the unexpected detours that remind us of His glorious never-ending presence in life.

Found the "trail" back to the road (which quickly disappeared and wasn't really a trail even by my standards) but I didn't care. Just waded through the water and brush carrying my bike. I finally got to the road and biked home under the clear sky and full moon; sore but completely at peace. Thanks Lord, I love you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why do I trust people?

I don’t understand it. Neurologically it makes no sense whatsoever. But I study really well in a bar with wireless. I think it’s something about the complete over sensory stimulation that goes beyond irritation (causing a migraine) to just background noise that drives me to an intense concentration interrupted only by brief moments of people watching that reset my eyes from staring at the computer screen and going blurry. That being said, too many people (shoulder to shoulder) put me on edge, almost to the point of a panic attack, and I can’t really cope with that at all. I think it was kind of the same as emergency medicine, I did well at that except for the motion sickness in the back of the ambulance. However, the sicker the patient was, the less I was affected. Give me a taxi ride patient and when we got there the doctor would look at me like “who’s really the patient”; severe patient, no problem. I liked throwing out all the irrelevant and just focusing on the problem and the task at hand.

So here I am, at a bar for my once every three week routine. Just finished writing my community and behavioral health paper, one beer, and feeling really weird. Not saying that anything happened for sure, maybe I’m just more stressed than I thought and it affected me a lot sooner and different than I’m used to. That being said, why do I do this? I got up and went to the bathroom leaving my drink on the table when the bar is 75% full and I’m by myself. I’ve gotten ruffied before, twice for sure; you think I would have learned. As far as I have noticed, no one has spent an excess amount of time looking at me, but I’m an easy target. Always am. So why do I trust people? Why do I think people are inheritantly good despite experience? Is it a faith thing? I really don’t know, but I have faith that tonight will be okay anyway. Maybe if someone starts hitting on me I can tell them about God’s love (or just scare them away if they’re not ready yet). I know, strange way of think about it. Why do I trust people, even strangers, so much? …but back to physiology, maybe I’ll still remember how norepinephrine works through the haziness…

Monday, March 15, 2010

A really good trip home (Part 1)

It’s not over yet, I’ve still got one more day to see friends, visit the fire department, catch up on some studying and go to Moose’s Tooth. However, this trip home so far has been awesome and much needed!
--spend time with the Hawes family…check
--spend time with the Doepken family…check
--visit Dr. Perkins…check
--try to set up some 3rd and 4th year rotations…kind of check (tried, but…)
--go to the Girdwood Chapel…check
--beer with the pastor…check
--enjoy little kids and just life in general…check!!!

I love being home. It’s snowed, it’s been sunny, and I got to see real mountains again. I miss this place…I miss the kids, I miss the community, and I miss having a church family that knows everyone. One of the reoccurring comments this trip was that I need to find a church for fellowship in Yakima. It’s not that I don’t know this and haven’t been trying, but nothing seems to fit. There may be a lot of areas in my walk with Christ that still need a bunch of work and he’s still working on me; however, I feel I’ve learned to recognize the Spirit’s proddings. If I have failed at everything else in my life, this has gotten me to where I am now and I know I’m where I should be.

First term went incredibly well, better than I could have ever hoped. Second term has been more of a challenge, especially after a 6 day pain-induced insomnia stretch that led to failing 3 out of 4 tests by one point each. It was frustrating and discouraging, but I came back from it with a LOT of prayer. My grades are doing pretty well now, and have even been asked to start tutoring one of the classes. But I miss having a community. I must have tried 12 to 15 churches in Yakima, even tried to force a couple of them to work, but it’s not there. I think it may be time to go back to the Catholic church for this season. Maybe not for good, probably not, but at least at this point I may need to face the issues and stereotypes that drove me away in the first place. The church I grew up in was Catholic… we were strongly discouraged from praying to God because he was too busy and we’d just say the wrong stuff anyway. Instead we could only pray to Mary and the saints (to me this seems like worshiping them, so please someone give me another insight). We also weren’t allowed to read the bible because we were too stupid and would just misinterpret it. (I’m with Luther here) Those are the two biggest issues for me, there are other little ones as well, but I won’t drag on with those.

Over the last three years, I’ve made several Catholic friends that I highly respect and do read the bible and pray to God. They even seem to have a personal relationship with God, something I’ve only known was possible for the last 5 years. I’m starting to feel this is just another stage of journeying and maturing with God…to go back my roots and embrace what was good and true and holy, and yet be able to sift out the rest with prayer and dedication to His Word. I’d appreciate any insight and guidance from you guys…this is a really big step for me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Here's the obligatory apology for not posting since school started despite my best intentions... And here's the sincere reason that ties in with the entire post...

I want to be positive, about everything, all the time. I want to be strong and competent; never showing weakness, fear, or know that type of person you expect your doctor to be, right? Well the truth is, there hasn't been much of that at all this year. Every time I started writing something, even with an awesome positive incident, it just started taking on a negative feel that's been overwhelming me. (I'll try to go back and put in some of the funny stories) The spring term has gotten worse. It's not the course work, I can handle that. But the other aspects have been more challenging. Three weeks in to the school year, my shoulder was reinjured setting me back over a year of rehab. Somedays I can handle the pain and muscle spasms, other days I try to hide so no one can see. Friendships are strange here, we are all just going 130mph so that nothing seems real...more like a dead shell with nothing on the inside. Even worse though has been the homesickness. I miss all the Alaska kids so much that just thinking about them can make me cry in under 30 seconds. But here's the positive side. While praying tonight, I remembered the 'Footprints' poem and it was definitely a God thing. Nothing remotely close to that had crossed my mind since Ecuador. I'll post it below in case some of you don't know it. But my faith has been a struggle here, not that I don't believe or anything like that... more that I feel luke-warm without any passion that used to be there. I've been wondering why I can go through the motions, but I can't feel like I'm walking with God. Tonight I realized that I haven't been walking with God for over a month...He's been carrying me the entire way. People have commented that I'm still making it, despite all the shoulder and migraine problems...but I'm not making it, and I can't do this. However, that's okay because Christ can and that's is more strength than I'll ever need.

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's the REAL day 1 tomorrow

So I should be sleeping instead of writing in a blog I haven't had time for in almost six months, but... Now that I have internet access consistently maybe I'll jot down some quick stuff more frequently. In case some of you don't know, I'm in Yakima, WA and tomorrow starts the first day of medical classes. I should be nervous and anxious and all that other negative stuff after hearing how hard it is, but for now I'm just excited. Eight am clinical skills tomorrow, I can't wait.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Hi there, especially you lower 48 people,

I know I should be putting up a post about getting into school, or that I'm going to Yakima, WA next year. But right now I'm too distracted to do much productive studying or write anything about it. So instead...

OUR VOLCANO REDOUBT ERUPTED!!! Here's the last three USGS releases
2009-03-22 22:35:33
No eruption has yet occurred, however at these heightened levels of seismicity, there could be a quick escalation to eruptive activity.

2009-03-22 23:02:22
An eruption of Mt. Redoubt began at approximately 22:38 AKDT, March 22, 2009 (0638 UTC). AVO is raising the aviation color code to Red and the alert level to Warning. Initial height of the eruption cloud is estimated at less than 20,000 ft above sea level at present. Further reports will be issued as more information becomes available.

2009-03-22 23:20:21
Current estimate for eruption cloud height are 50,000 ft above sea level.

Here's the website if you want to look:

I'll post more later, on the volcano and on school. Now it's back to the thesis (ick)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wine Pairing

Well I haven't posted in a while, so I figured a short, laid back post was good. So tonight's meal featured cookies and chardonney. Not really that bad of a combination if you wear carhartts.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Good-bye to O Chem

I can’t believe I’m saying this, and friends tell me I’m crazy…but honest to goodness, absolutely no sarcasm, I’m sad that my organic chemistry classes are done. Less than a year ago I would have never imagined. There’s a couple reasons I think. One: In comparison to my two intro biology (now that could be a curse word) classes I actually got to think and not just memorize. There was actually a challenge, one that was only attainable with work and logical reasoning. It’s like learning a foreign language with all the amazement of how everything comes together but with less nouns, verbs, and adjectives to memorize.

Two: Dr. Perry, our professor wins the award for the best professor I’ve ever had. He hit all the critical points that are so hard to do. Knowledgeable in the subject (don’t laugh, I’ve had plenty that aren’t), speaks English (another don’t laugh one), genuinely interested in what he’s teaching and wants you to be too, knows how to communicate the material simply and concisely, doesn’t make students keep doing something over and over again just because he can, has high expectations of students and is challenging, and is approachable. I definitely have a list of the top four profs, and surprisingly two are from UAA so yeah, go there.

Three: After spending so much time with the other students in the class, it was a bonding experience. “Hey let’s try to pass Dr. Perry’s chem class!” I actually know every single person in my lab and have had a conversation with them and studied together. That doesn’t usually happen. It was nice that it was a lot of the same people from the summer lecture. We’d be in the middle of the hall or in the lab talking about chemistry and it wasn’t even near the class time. It was such a great relief from Girdwood, “dude, man, that was some sick pow.” Don’t get me wrong, I love skiing, but I’d like to have an intelligent conversation about something else sometimes…especially ones without the funny slang. Anyway, it just reminded me of trying to figure out different wave phenomenon in my electrical engineering courses by bouncing jelly beans off the walls and observing which colors bounced better. (Not a Michigan Tech sanctioned study technique, but if you’re curious the pink ones bounce the best and the white ones are the more of duds.)

So I will miss O chem, but am enthusiastically looking forward to all those experiences in med school. God willing, it won’t be delayed…in his perfect timing, right?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Now I know I'm an adult

Every once and a while something happens, or doesn't happen, that reminds me I'm really an adult. This time it was Halloween. I bunch of my classmates were going to parties but they're younger than me and most under 21. I don't need to be at that kind of a party. Instead I didn't plan on doing anything. Last year I got candy, but no one came down, so this year I didn't bother. I had a little oh, no moment when I got a call from a friend with kids who said they were going to bring them down. Then ran to the gas station to get some candy quick. My big accomplishment was to clean all the frost build-up out of the freezer. Yup, definitely an adult now. And like I'm sure every does, I tried to come up with many creative ways to make the process much more efficient. So for those of you with access to syringes, the best method I came up with was to take a small syringe and boiling water and inject it into the ice build-up. Don't delay at chipping it out though, otherwise it just freezes harder. Sorry, being an adult is kind of boring sometimes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Midterm Time

I wish I had something exciting like a mountain climb, bear chase, chainsaw carving contest etc to write about but nope. I could make something up, but it's midterms and I probably shouldn't spend my time that way. So here's my uneventful life update. I'm still doing school applications, it is absolutely ridiculous how much they can find to ask about. Happily, I've gotten secondary requests from every school I've applied to so far. Three of them are done, but I'm still working on the WWAMI second personal essay... I'm three-quarters the way through the osteopathic primary. Classes are going well. I've gotten one test back so far, 100%. I can't help but get excited every time God numerically tells me I'm going to be a doctor. Sweet. Unfortunately I'm not as excited about the classes this term. They're easy but time consuming...not my favorite combination. Organic chemistry lab is still pretty interesting but there's a lot of basics and tedium to filter through for the good parts.

I'm back on calls for the fire department, since Sept. 1st actually. That's been really nice. Still light duty, I don't know how long that will be for. Drafting work has been slow. I'd appreciate any prayers for more work.

Upcoming events: Fairbanks trip perhaps Nov.1st, Youth retreat in Hope Nov 14-15th I'll probably have something exciting to write by then. Most likely with mud fight pictures too. Have a great evening, I've got a text book to cuddle up with.