Thursday, September 27, 2007


So, lately I've been learning that the less I focus on getting what I want, doing what I want, and choosing my way of doing things, the more I am able to be open to the vision that God has for me.

I have had my heart and my mind opened to new ideas, and new dreams have been planted. I don't want to say too much, because these dreams are, right now, like little shoots of green coming up through the last of the spring snow. They are delicate. They are tender. They are very dear to my heart, and I don't want the negative words of others to injure them.

But they are there. And almost daily I see how God is working to bring water and sunshine to these little shoots, and help them to grow. With these new dreams comes an immense capacity for fear. But this fear is unlike other fears I've had. I don't have the fear of failure that I have often had in the past, but rather the fear of going about this wrong. Of moving before God says go, or staying still after He's told me to get on with it. I have a fear of messing up this beautiful thing that God is growing and creating by being disobedient- or worse, by simply not listening to God's voice.

So, I am asking you to pray for wisdom. Patience. Understanding. Obedience.

And maybe a set of hearing aids.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wanted: Intelligent Life Form for Proof-reading Position

So, this semester I am taking classes where we are supposed to submit our rough drafts of things we create and our peers are supposed to proof-read them, not just for spelling/grammar/punctuation, but for the appropriateness of the work and the ability to meet the standards in the grading rubric.

I really try to make sure that the feedback I give is useful, helpful, specific, and encouraging when possible. I put time, effort, and thought into the feedback I give, with the goal of helping the other person get a good grade and improve the quality of their work.

The feedback I get? Yeah. Not so much.
"Good Job!"
"I like your word choice!"
"Wow. I think you did really well."

Okay, dudes. I know that I did really well because I just worked on this for hours on end and I don't, as a general rule, work really hard to create junk. Give me some useful feedback!

So, anyway, if you would ever be interested in proof-reading some things for me (ranging, this semester, from health assessment, creative writing, and technical writing) please let me know. I feel that the quality of my work is not improving because I don't ever have anyone who says "you know, you might improve this or that..."

And this is part of why I like going to school online. Because if I seriously had to look people in the eye when they gave me that generic, feel-good feedback, I might just go nuts.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


“It was, after all, one of the more depressing days in the year’s most depressing month (February), the kind when even the optimists would rather crawl under the covers and the pessimists didn’t stand a chance of getting through without a fistful of Zoloft.”

The Devil Wears Prada

Lauren Weisberger

Warming up.

It was 62 degrees in my house when I got out of bed this morning.

After sitting in jeans, sweatshirt, and a big down blanket for 30 minutes- and still shivering- I decided enough was enough.

And then I turned on my heat.

(Today's high will be in the 70s, but the lows are still in the 30-40s. This is what PA calls autumn. I like it, but it can be difficult to know what to with your thermostat! I will probably turn off the heat and open a few windows around lunchtime, then close up by dinnertime.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Thought for the day...
Friends are like butt cheeks.
Crap might separate them,
But they always come back together.
I love you, Butt cheeks!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Feeling my Boobies

So, some of you may have seen the Breast Cancer Awareness shirts with that catchy phrase "Feel your Boobies." I think it's a great slogan for Breast Cancer Awareness, and really gets the attention of younger women (hehe- and their partners.) Anyway, so I think the shirts are cute, and since next month is NBCAM, I might indulge in one (I can wear it at work, too!)

But, the whole reason I post this now rather than waiting for next month is because I have been feeling my boobies, and they hurt. Or rather, the right one hurts and has a large, semi-hard lump in it. Now, don't get your undies (or bras) in a bunch- it is most likely NOT cancer since cancer rarely "hurts." It probably is an engorged/inflamed axillary lymph node. (Think "B" in this image.) Which begs the question: what would have made my lymph node engorged/inflamed?

I called my doc to see if this could possibly be a side effect of the procedure I had Friday, or if maybe something got accidentally shoved into my boobie during the procedure. I think it is unlikely that they are linked, especially considering the primary function of the right axillary lymph nodes, but since I noticed the pain and lump Friday night, I thought it would be worth a call. Plus, my guess is that the OBGYN docs are the ones who would want to feel my boobie if it is a concern and not related to the procedure. I mean, I have my annual exam with my PCP on Friday, and he will most likely feel my boobies just because this is part of the exam, but he will also probably immediately refer me to the boobie specialists. I think those are gynecologists. Which is kind of weird, since I generally think of gynecology as being pelvis type stuff.

(FYI- Wikipedia reports that in the 1800s, gynecologists performed their exams without actually viewing the female genitalia. That seems as though it would not be terribly productive or effective.)

So, how do you feel, now that you are intimately acquainted with all of my girly parts?

*** A little bit of research has led me to believe that I may have a cyst. The description of the lump is accurate, but obviously the age and relation to your period do not match my circumstances. But again, the description is very accurate. Hmm. Have I mentioned that I love the Internet? Do you have any idea how much I would probably be freaking out if I wasn't able to research this stuff RIGHT NOW?***

Monday, September 10, 2007


* The procedure went well, and recovery was actually really easy. I anticipated lots of discomfort and cramping, but other than being really drowsy Friday afternoon and all day Saturday (and having REALLY VIVID dreams Friday night) I had virtually no side-effects. Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes! I feel great now, and we will wait to see what the biopsies say... we are hoping for clean borders, and very low grade changes.

* Abigail has head lice. Ewww!!!!!!! I guess one of the girls in her classroom has a raging infestation, and was so kind as to share them with Abigail. Wasn't that sweet? Anyway, had to go and pick her up from school today because of it, and then I had to give her an at-home treatment thing. Not so bad as I remember from my childhood, but when I rinsed out the shampoo stuff, 4 lice came out! EWWWWW!!!!! And of course, I had to act all calm and collected because I am the momma and if I freak out, it's all over. But seriously, that was nasty! I hope I don't have to repeat it. I also have to have Doctor John check my hair... of course, my head has been itching like crazy ever since school called to say I had to pick her up. I'm hoping this is all in my head- not ON my head (haha! I'm funny!)

* So, the so-called dead chipmunks? Nope, they are dead baby squirrels. Now I am almost positive someone poisoned them because the maintenance people in my community HATE squirrels. Anyway, they totally rotted for 3 days then got squished by a car and finally yesterday morning someone came and cleaned them up. It was getting pretty darn rank out there, let me tell ya.

* Maybe I should make a sign. "I am not pregnant." I realize it's part of their job, but the surgery people must have asked me about 15 times if I was pregnant. I even had to do a pee test for them. And they STILL asked me after that! Sheesh!

* We went to the York Fair Saturday night. That was probably the most expensive outing we have taken Abigail on... like... ever! It was crazy! And really, not all that fun. Not to mention that the funnel cake was not as good as I hoped. Sigh. I don't think they make good funnel cakes in PA. I might have to learn how to make them myself. But then, if I do that, I will totally make them all the time and eventually give people even more of a reason to ask if I am pregnant.

* The wife of one of John's doctor friends (she happens to be a nurse in the ICU) is pregnant. She has started showing, but no one bothers to ask her if she is PG. Crazy. Maybe they are all scheming against me. The whole hospital. All of Hershey.... Yep. That's probably it. Also, Crystal is very cute pregnant.

* My creative writing class is very dull. Which is sad, because I was hoping it would be the "fun" class. The prof for my technical writing class is named Bim Angst. That's a fun name. Bim. Angst. Hmm. Nursing is, well, boring and stuff. I am using the same exact textbook for this class as I did for a class I had to take at Harper. The content of the class is pretty much the same. And there is a lot of busy work (which you know I hate.) So that's my semester so far. 2 weeks down, 10 to go!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Killing Time

* I'm hungry but can't eat anything because I have my procedure today. Ugh.

* There are 3 dead chipmunks in front of my house. I can't figure out how they all seemed to die within a few feet of each other. There are no obvious signs of trauma (they don't look squished or mauled) so I now think that the new neighbor is poisoning them.

* Abigail cannot pronounce the word "dwarf" properly. She says "dorf." She can pronounce "Dwight" properly, so I don't know what this mix up is all about...

* I like watermelon. Mmm!

* Yesterday at work, I had yet another person ask me if I was pregnant! (Right now I am the same exact weight as when I moved out here last year- I know because I was just in the doctor's office...) Then, I was telling Sharouz the story, and I was all "Am I really that fat that people think I am pregnant?" and he was all "no, you are not fat. But your face is fat." So, I have a fat face. I think maybe he was trying to be funny, but I am kind of sensitive about my fat face. I mean, my face was HUGE when I was pregnant with Abigail, and I felt like it took at least a year to deflate.

* Moriah makes me giggle. Pregnancy hormones are not always that fun.

* That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


It was one of those perfect days; the sun was bright, the air was fresh, and the constant sound of laughter was interspersed with the occasional scream of delight as the little kids flipped on the trampoline. In the background, I listened for Abigail's voice to echo "Polo" to each "Marco."

The sun was shining directly into my eyes as I tried to talk to yet another "VIP" that John felt was necessary for me to meet. They were, of course, "delighted", and I was likewise "so happy to finally meet them!" since John "always speaks so highly of you." With the sun blazing, I could feel my pale skin turning more and more pink by the minute, and the heat of the day combined with the heat of the burn had me half in a mind to take a dip in the cool water myself. However, the constant need to make a good impression on the "somebodies" won out; having all these people see me in a bathing suit would not help the endeavor.

This left eating as the other amusement of the party, and out of the corner of my eye, taking care not to seem disinterested in Mr. Somebody's lecture about the need for furthering funding for enabling more research about the blah blah blah, I tried to catch John's eye and indicate that I was ready to hit the buffet. He saw and smiled, but as usual, was oblivious to meaning of my gestures. He waved back.

I held back my sigh of frustration and tried to think of an intelligent question for Mr. Somebody. The heat, the rumbling in my stomach, and the way my tongue felt so sticky in my mouth were all serving to make logical thought difficult. Mr. Somebody droned on, and I waited to hear Abigail's voice holler out "Polo." Instead, I heard a sound like a metal pole being hit... a sort of clang... followed by a splash. For a moment, there was silence. Even Mr. Somebody stopped his incessant soliloquy. Then the sound of terror filled the air. "Mom!" "Dad!" Their distress was palpable in their tone.

Before I could even turn to look at what had happened, many of the parents surrounding me were at a run and diving into the pool. I turned and tried to see what all the commotion was, but the pool, once so clear and calm, was now nothing short of a giant washing machine: churning, undulating, chaotic. I listened for Abigail to call out to me, but in the noise, I couldn't here her voice. And then I knew.

"Is that my kid?" I felt the horror tightening my stomach and burning in the back of my throat. "Is that my kid!" No one answered, but I saw the water where the men were diving to the bottom of the pool slowly streak with deep maroon. "IS THAT MY KID?" Fright and urgency made my own voice sound foreign in my ears.

I could no longer wait for an answer. I ran to the pool and jumped in, stopping only to kick off my kitten heels, forgetting my white dress. I waded across the shallow end, fighting the water that had taken on incredible weight. It restrained me, as if I was trying to advance by walking against a thick rubber band. I felt heavy and slow; even though the water was only just above my waist, I felt as though I was drowning; my lungs were starved for air.

I could hear the repeated screams "Is that my kid?" but I did not know they were coming from me. I pressed forward, pushing a few crying children out of my way. They were not Abigail- what could their tears mean to me? The world seemed silent and overly-bright. I thought of the world that only Harry and Dumbledore and the sad, crying infant inhabited: the world was overly-large and empty; it was all light, but undefined; nothing was clear but that which was directly in front of me- and then it was pristine. I could see, almost drop by drop, the blood that flowed beneath the surface of the water. I watched it touch my dress. I saw the dress repel it for a moment, then suck it in, changing itself in the process. And still the voice continued on: "Is that my kid!"

Without knowing why, time changed. I no longer was suspended in time, unable to move, unable to reach the destination. Weightlessness left me as I was pulled from the pool. The cement beneath my feet seemed to jolt up my body, shocking away all inabilities and filling my lungs with air. I ran to the long pale body lying in the sun. I saw the pool of blood forming, mixing with the water and strands of brown hair. I saw the way one shoulder was unequal to the other. I saw the pool of water that had formed in the indentation of the belly button. I saw all this, but I looked at her chest. She was not breathing.

In that instant I came completely into myself. This is my kid, and she is not breathing.

I was unable to tell where nature left off and training took over; in this moment, I was both. My maternal instincts took me to her side, and my training directed my finger to point and my voice to issue the command, "You, call 911." Momma gently touched the injured body of her child. Nurse felt for a pulse. I did not know who I was, yet I was more than I ever thought I could be.

A pair of black slacks knelt next to me and prepared to start compressions. I tilted back her chin and pinched her nose, calling for John. I leaned down and delivered two breaths to her; I blew into her air, and life, and love. The slacks began compressions and John's name was immediately on my lips. He could not love her as much as I did, but I knew he loved her more than the slacks. Two more breaths (airlifelove, airlifelove) and the slacks began his rhythmic count to thirty. John's name was again on my lips, but before the breath came, he was there.

Only minutes before, so oblivious to the meanings of my looks and gestures, he now knew in a glance what I needed. He knelt across from the slacks. Two more breaths (airlifelove, airlifelove) and he took over the count for the slacks. I felt stronger and bigger; my lungs filled with more oxygen to give her (airlifelove, airlifelove.) Thirty times he pounded into her chest a will to live, a drive to overcome, a hope for the future. Then twice I blew into her with the present: air, life, love.

***Sorry if I freaked anyone out... this was just the recurring nightmare I had earlier this week!
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