Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Need A New Hobby

So I had to have my gallbladder taken out around the end of May. I was okay, and then, all of a sudden, I soooo wasn't. Really, it's quite sad when you're a patient in your own ER. So I am now gallbladder-less and appendix-less. The appendix was okay, but the doc mentioned he could take it out too. I said "TAKE IT"! Lord knows, it probably would have crapped out in 6 months anyway. Surgeries are no longer going to be a hobby for me. I really MUST come up with something a little less painful and far less expensive. :)

The absolute best part of my summer was having my sister Caylen living with me! We had such a wonderful time. Coffee shops, crab legs, Hurricane Harbor, the lake, movies, make-up, thrift shopping, boba tea, Josh Groban concert, ice cream, pool time, red highlights..... She took care of me after surgery; I took care of her after her concussion. We made marvelous roommates!! Hope she comes back next summer! I already miss her terribly.

It's HOT in Texas right now. We are on day 30-something of being over 100 degrees without any rain. Pretty sure that, if it ever rains again, I'm going to need to play in it. :) I'm learning to surf behind a friend's boat this summer. I've swallowed half the lake in the process. I'm not very good at it, and I give everyone a huge laugh while i'm trying. It's so much fun!!

and that's about all I've got.....

Friday, April 1, 2011

things that matter

WOW!!!!! So I am obviously not as good at this whole blog thing as my older sister is. Pretty sure she writes on one or all of her 3 blogs everyday. She is a punctual, put-together, prepared perfectionist. I'm usually punctual....aaaaaaaaaannnnnddddd that's all I've got. :D

If you don't know all my siblings, let me break it down for you -

1.) Cristan: the sister mentioned earlier. She is a mom of one, lives in CA, is crazy creative, dreams big and wonderfully, generous to a fault, and loves to entertain. As children, she was definitely "the boss". When there were chores to be done, she was the supervising manager and we younger kids were the work crew. It took us waaaay too long to realize how sneaky she was in getting out of work. :P She is fiercely loyal and will come out swinging if anyone or anything threatens her loved ones. I've been able to visit her in so many different places. We've shared clothes, Bible studies, break-up stories, laughs, tears, fights, shoes. Oh the wonderful shoes!!

2.) Me: you know me

3.) Carmen: my twin sister. She is about to be a mommy, lives in VA, is hilarious, spunky, a go-getter, smiley and encouraging. She was the mischievous child! Colored rubber bands on the sink sprayer, convincing the siblings that they were supposed to chew the nasty medicines instead of swallow them, telling people on the phone that they had called our family's madhouse "and to which cage could (she) direct their call". We are best friends (and sometimes each other's worst enemy). She will try almost anything!! She's talked me into doing all sorts of outrageousness, and I, in turn, have had to talk her OUT of doing a few things - usually those things that would threaten either life or limb. Old movie nights, tickle fights (the only way I could win), cooking disasters..... "We are funny girls....."

4.) Nathan: the one and only boy, father to one, the "try anything once and he's already great at it" guy. Nate was our childhood adventure leader (okay, okay - he's still mine). Snake hunting in Africa, fort-building, creek-wading, camping, fishing, rock climbing, shooting - name it, he's tried it, and I was usually in tow. When he and I would go snake hunting, I would usually try to distract the snake and keep an eye on its movements while he got in a good position to chop its head off with his machete. The ultimate white "bush kid"... He's my "I need a different perspective, one with logic" go-to guy. He tells me things I don't always want to hear, but they are almost always things that will make me better. Not to mention the many nights of Texas Hold 'Em where I inevitably lose all my chips or pennies or whatever random thing we are playing for. He loves strategy games like Risk. I don't have that kind of patience and perseverance. I would rather pay him to take over my part of the Risk world so I could be done with the game. British comedies with Nate? HIGH-larious!!!! He is a protector - a job his many sisters made (and continue to make) difficult.

5.) Carla: Our animal-loving, sweet, compassionate, dry-humored gal, lives in TX, working on becoming a vet assistant. This girl is our "heart of gold" child! She will try to rehabilitate any injured animal and cry her heart out if it doesn't make it. She loves kiddos and they adore her. She sees the good in everyone, says the funniest things, and just adores being with family members. One phrase that makes us all laugh...."then a big white buzzard came down and landed on Jesus's shoulder....." Granted, she was only about 6 then :) She has done lots of writing, and, this last year, we got to see so much talent in her painting and individualized gifts. She's lots of our family's soul.... Her own personal struggles with learning disabilities have made her an inspiring teacher for children with the same problems. She has often been the first person a child with mental disabilities will say their very first words to; she has been the only one who was finally been able to teach a child a concept in reading that he could never understand before; she has been the only person an autistic child will allow to hold or cuddle him/her. She is gifted in so very many extraordinary ways. Sometimes, it's easy for me to forget the struggles she has on a daily basis. Then I see her with these children.... She can reach so many people in a way I never can.

6.) Caylen: the diva, trend-setting, hilarious, lovable, crazy fun, joyful lil' sis! This one is a riot! She keeps us all in the know regarding clothing, hair, make-up, music, and all things cool. She is our "life of the party" gal and will keep us laughing. Lots of people are drawn to her just because she is so gracious to people she meets and so vivacious about life (unless she has strep and bronchitis like she does now), but don't be fooled, if I step out of line, she lets me know and fast! She will be living with me for the summer, and I'm so excited! This girl is a natural people person, and challenges me all the time to know what I believe and why. She is a whiz at languages! it's amazing how quickly she can pick up language concepts - Russian, Arabic, some Persian. And this from the girl who insisted on teaching her Hungarian kindergarten class English so that she wouldn't have to learn Hungarian!!

7.) Natalie: the baby, the tallest female in the family, brilliant, sporty, witty, wise and gentle. How we all adore Tasha! We all have nicknames for her - Punkin', Scuzzy, Sunshine, Knucklehead.... She is a marvel on a skateboard, ripstick or anything with wheels, loves basketball, is becoming quite the accomplished improv comedian, always has very "beyond her years" good advice, is a calming, joyful, insanely fun person to be around and spend time with, and pretty much the coolest kid ever. Her sense of humor (especially considering the weird family she got stuck in), is spot on, and she is so grounded and beautiful. She doesn't live close, and my heart is in a constant state of "missing Sunshine". Before she was born, I always felt like there was someone missing in our family, that we weren't yet complete. After her birth, I never felt that way again. She is our joy...

There you have us - the whole clan. I feel incredibly loved by all of them and undeservedly blessed to have them as my siblings. There are some things in life one can never say enough "Thank You's" for...... You've just met six of mine.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Allergies, allergies, allergies

Spring is vicious! I find it so sad that a season I so look forward to results in Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin and eye drops. My body will be happier when it's 104 degrees and everything is dead. sad, sad, sad.....

i'm typing this with only my left arm because i had right shoulder surgery about 8 days ago. my mom is concerned that i'm going to get addicted to pain meds. i'm not anticipating that being a problem. i can't stand staying home all day every day; so i'm living on advil so i can drive places. i start pt on tuesday. OUCH!!

the new job started wnderfully well. I have really enjoyed it although i've had to take quite a bit of time off for my shoulder. it has been difficult going back and forth. i feel like i have to start over every time. there have been some uncomfortable moments of my feeling like i'm the knot in a tug of war, but i guess it's just the adjusting that everyone is having to do.

i find myself constantly questioning whether or not i'm where i'm supposed to be. a friend continually reminds me that i am simply b/c it is where i am. i'm not convinced it's quite as simple as that; however, i heard a short message by brian houston (hillsong) that was a huge encouragement. the title is -using the things in your hand. he talked about how "calling" is what's in our hands - our talents, gifts, careers, what we are good at. he defined purpose as that which is in our hearts to do - the dreams god has given us to make difference. if you want to be challenged to live in your calling as god works to fulfill your (really HIS) purpose, i would encourage you to listen to this message!!

i am going to have to get creative. i've got several weeks of recuperation, and everyone else is at work. we shall see how it progresses......

sorry for the ee cummings style. only one arm, remember? :p

Monday, January 4, 2010

If "Change" is the Norm Would "No Change" Be the Exception

The holidays are officially over - at least for a little while. It was extremely difficult to drag myself out from underneath my very warm blankets this morning. Snooze was hit multiple times, and Mollie was snuggled up against my legs, quite content to sleep a little longer. Oh, Mondays......

So the big news is that I will be starting a new job on January 18th. Although I am sad to be leaving my sweet friends at NTIDC, I am really excited about this new opportunity. I will be one of the research coordinators at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. There are so many reasons that I feel this job is going to be a great "fit" for me.

1.) The nerd part of me that loves to see research happening and loves to see the results will be oh,so very happy!
2.) I am FINALLY getting back to the pediatric world. I have really missed working with kiddos.
3.) I will get to utilize different aspects of my Master's degree.
4.) My commute will go from almost 3 hours a day to approximately 45 minutes. I will get my life back (and hopefully by rear back in shape :)
5.) There's a Starbucks IN the hospital!!

The list goes on and on.....

Other changes - - - - - Mom, Dad and Natalie will be moving out of the country near the end of February. This is always so difficult for me. I'm such a family gal.... Thankfully, God has graciously provided some dear friends and families that live very close to me. So glad they will be there to help me through the "missing".

Nate and Joy's baby girl is due near the end of this month or the beginning of next month (or whenever she decides to pop out). The contest for "favorite aunt" begins. I have the one-up on the other gals because I live closest!

One of the roomies is getting married this summer, so Lisa, Erin and I are on the hunt for someone new. Helping with all the crazy wedding planning and travel plans... Lisa will be getting a puppy in the spring so that she won't go into withdrawals when Buddy moves out with Tonya. Hopefully the new dog will be more of playmate for Mollie than Buddy has been. Of course, Buddy is still trying to learn to be a dog. He occasionally thinks he's a cat.

As of right now, that's about it, but there are still 361 days for that change. Hope everyone had a wonderfully blessed holiday season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WooHoo for the Holidays

YAY!!! I love this time of year. Family, family,. family!! I haven't seen my twin sister in a whole year. :( That's just wrong!! Day before Christmas Eve (which she and I call Christmas Adam) is when I will finally see her!! In fact, the entire family will be together this year. All the drama, all the chaos, all the drama, all the noise, all the drama, all the laughing, all the drama....

Nate and Joy are having a little girl in January, but they are refusing to tell what the name is going to be. In fact, Nathan will deny that they know what they are going to name her although I have inside information that reveals that this is false. He's just not telling. :)

Caylen will be home from college (for both Thanksgiving and Christmas). The girl is hilarious. She adds so much spice to the family dynamics. She will educate me on my lack of musical knowledge. :) Carla is one the "family rocks". She takes everything in stride, and then all of a sudden will say something that has us in the floor rolling with laughter. She will want us to all go horseback riding with her. Natalie is the sunshine! She's the baby of the family and got all the best parts of everyone! She is a Ripstick fiend and a great cuddler.

Dad will tell his dad jokes and do a check-up on everyone's cars. Mom will bake and bake and bake and constantly be pushing everyone to eat something. She will also want to play a few hands of peanuts (a card game).

Cristan and Dan are coming in from San Diego - driving with 2 dogs, no less. They have little Cha-Cha and Lexi. Funny, little, yappy dogs that are going to drive my parents insane. These dogs are waaaaaaaaaay spoiled!! Pink collars, pink bowls, pink playpen, pink stroller, pink pillows, etc.......

Carmen and Doug are coming from Richmond. They are flying, but Carmen will talk about her dog Rooney the ENTIRE time she is home. :D He's a black lab that is afraid of the water. Go figure.

And me and Mollie, my crazy, cuddly, loveable mutt.

There's the round-up, folks!!

Friday, September 25, 2009


There is an absolutely fascinating psychiatric disorder called a fugue state. Following is Wikepedia's definition:

"A fugue state, formally Dissociative Fugue (previously called Psychogenic Fugue) (DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders 300.13[1]), is a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality and other identifying characteristics of individuality. The state is usually short-lived (hours to days), but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity. After recovery from fugue, previous memories usually return intact, however there is complete amnesia for the fugue episode. Importantly, an episode is not characterized as a fugue if it can be related to the ingestion of psychotropic substances, to physical trauma, to a general medical condition, or to psychiatric conditions such as delerium or dementia, bipolar disorder or depression. Fugues are usually precipitated by a stressful episode, and upon recovery there may be amnesia for the original stressor (Dissociative Amnesia)."

No joke!! People just walk away one day. They remember absolutely nothing. They have started whole new families, whole new lives. Then, they "wake up". They remember everything - - - - except for all that occurred during the fugue state. The brain finds many ways to escape that which it cannot comprehend - whether it is the old reality or the new.

How many of us, at one point or another, haven't wished we could just start over? A fresh start where no one knows us or the mistakes we've made. A start that begins with a whole new person. If we can't have a physical fugue state, maybe we can make do with an emotional one. An escape from ourselves, others, circumstances, pain, tragedies.....

It seems ideal except......
I don't want to forget all the wonderful spite of some hurtful ones
I don't want to deny the significant people in my life........whose love keeps me going.
I don't want to relearn all the lessons I've learned and am learning......those took 30 years.
I don't want to forget the experiences, both amazing and painful, that shape who I am.
I don't want to let go of dreams and hopes and wishes that I've had for so long.
I don't want to forget the laughter........or the tears.
I don't want to lose who I escape to a different (but maybe not better) me.

What about you? Would you change the things and the people that have made you "you"? Sometimes, escape can be dangerous. It makes us try to live in the future or the past or even in a non-existent place. The here, the now - - that's what we've been given. I pray we all live each moment fully - whether good or bad - because we will never get to live them again.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

In Memory Of....

One of the most beloved and respected physicians at Baylor ED died on Saturday. It has been heartbreaking for many of us, and yet we have been able to laugh at so many wonderful memories. Dr. Portera was the gentlest doctor I have ever known. I don't think any of us ever saw him struggling with "compassion burn-out". He cared deeply for each and every one of his patients. Once he befriended you, you knew you had a friend for life.

As a doctor, he was calm, steady and confident. In critical situations, he never became frazzled. It did not matter what rolled through the ER doors. If he was on duty., every nurse knew that the day would be good. Traumas, codes, crashing patients, broken limbs, sniffles, stubbed toes - neither the severity nor the drama that is part of any ER fazed him. People needed to know someone cared, and Dr. Portera was that caring person - not only for patients but also for their families, for the nurses, the other doctors, the radiology staff, the clerks, the techs., the housekeepers, the security guards, the social workers.

He was a man who simply loved people in the way Christ loves them. Dr. Portera did not see social status, gender, or race. He saw fragile hearts that needed to be handled with gentle love and sincere compassion. He entered every patient's room with the words, "Tell me about your troubles". And the amazing thing was that he really wanted to hear and know and understand.

Dr. Portera was a healer in every sense of the word. He taught us by example; he led us with gentleness; and he loved us with humor and grace. His was a life richly lived. I pray that I may continue to learn from his example of unselfish, overflowing, Christ-like love.