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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

lessons from my patients

Work is going great. I can't believe that next week will mark my 2 month anniversary of being (an employed) Pharmacist! I have learned a great deal already and have finally started to become more comfortable with caring for my patients. The first few weeks I was petrified of hurting someone or making the wrong decision. I took my time and asked alot of questions of the more seasoned Pharmacists on the team, and now I feel so much more confident about the decisions I make each day.

I can already tell that my favorite part of the job is having the chance to talk to my patients everyday! Everyone has a story, everyone has survived so much. They have so much wisdom and I truly love listening to them talk. Many of the patients we see are older than 70. Even more are older than 80.  I saw someone that was 94 years today, and she had more energy than me! I swear I had to chase after her down the hall....she was twisting her hips and moving wayyy faster than I was. Ha! I loved her spunk! I have found out fairly quickly that many of the patients love to discuss politics, religion, the economy, and the way things were way back when.

They also love to share their opinions. One patient swore that Kennedy was the best President we ever had. She remembers what she was eating when they announced on the radio that he had been shot. She also went on to say that President Clinton was the next best President but, (I quote) "that nasty bastard couldn't keep his zipper up". Ha! Well then, Mrs. Hazel...why don't you tell me how you really feel? LOL.

Then there are the lessons about the economy. I had a patient complaining about the national debt crisis and how wasteful our nation is. She declares that this is not an economic depression...she remembers the real depression....way back when she wore shoes that were made out of brown paper sacks. She declares those tough times were much worse than the national crisis we are in now. She said, clear as day, if we are really in a depression now then "there wouldn't be so many fat people running around. Being fat is a luxury! I was never lucky enough or rich enough to be fat!" Then she looked at me and said "Honey, you are skinnier than I was during the real depression. Did you bring your box lunch today?" Ha! I look back at her and stutter slightly as I reassure her..."Yes, Mrs. Esther, I bring my lunch everyday" At that point her husband, who has severe dementia....and hasn't said one word the entire appointment says (VERY loudly) "You've gotta great body for a nurse!" Mrs. Esther gives him the stink eye and hollers back, "Hush up, Hank!" I swear I saw a twinkle in his eye.

They teach me about patience and how to handle even like the grumpiest of patients. I saw Mrs. Ruth my first week there and she did not want me to touch her with the needle because I was "too new".  Mrs. Ruth may be one of the oldest patients we have. I understood why she didn't want me to "practice" on her...and respected her decision (but it did hurt my feelings). I saw her again this past week and was hesitant to try to see her again. This time she said "You're not that new anymore, are you?" I was relieved as I realized that she was going to let me see her this time. As soon as we got in the patient room, she looked at me and said in a questioning tone, "You much be old-fashioned?" I looked at her and wondered what she meant, and then she said "You've got a bobby-pin in your hair, I haven't seen one of those in over 40 years". I brought my finger up and realized yes, I had put a bobby pin in my hair that day in an attempt to tame the humidity attack....I laughed and told her that "If bobby pins make you old-fashioned than I guess I am!" She smiled and went on to say that her Mom used to wear bobby pins to pin down her curls, and she had the prettiest hair she had ever seen. I smiled and realized that this was Mrs. Ruth's way of letting me know that she accepted me. She went on to talk about her Mom, and didn't even flinch when I poked her finger.

It feels like a gift everytime one of the patients share stories about their past with me. They share happy stories and sad, painful ones too. I had a patient talk about her stillborn baby she had back in 1948. Obviously some things stay with you no matter how much time passes. The happy things stay with you too. Mr. Arthur told me his wife's birthday was next week, and I asked how they were celebrating. Then he told me she had passed away 12 years ago in her sleep. I was about to apologize and he said with a big grin, "I am going to celebrate in a big way and have her favorite cocktail and sit and look at pictures of the 63 years we had together". He looked so happy when he said it too. I almost cried when he left.

One especially spirited patient made me laugh today. I was taking her blood pressure and commented on how teeny her arm was (she was maybe 4-10 and 90lbs) and she said "Sweetie, I am like that Lady Gaga, I was born this way!" I am still laughing about that one. I can tell now, that even though I am finally out of the classroom, my patients will be teaching me lessons in a different way. It's a privilege to be there to learn from them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Going out with a bang!

The kids both had great ends to this school year.


Dylan finished the school year by winning first place in the school Science Fair . His project entitled, "Which fruit is the best conductor of electricity?" was deemed worthy of the first place ribbon. He compared kiwi, banana, apples, grapes and lemons to see which ones were best conduits for electricity. Kiwis were the winner! We were very proud of Dylan.

The judges thought his project was original and interesting. We thought so too, and we also thought it was MUCH better than his first idea....."Which gun shoots bullets the fastest?" Um, No. Not for school. Not for anything, Dylan. LOL


Karsen finished the school year by setting a record at their school. For Earth Day they had a "design the cover of the annual Earth Day calender contest". The kids were all challenged to draw/design what Earth Day means to them and the winning illustration wins the cover. Their school is     K-6 and they voted the best design for each grade level. Karsen won for the 3rd grade!

From there all the individual grade winners were voted for the final winner of the whole school. A 6th grader usually wins, but not this year! Karsen's won for the whole school! Way to go, KG!

Her drawing of a little girl swinging in a tire rope in a field of flowers will be on the cover. They planted a white oak tree in her honor at the front of the school and her name will be at the base of it on a plaque! We were so proud of her.

The coolest part of all of this is both of these things happened the same week that I graduated, so it felt like a very special week for our family. We are so proud of Dylan and Karsen! They ended the school year with a bang!

Monday, July 18, 2011

a year later

I couldn't have made it through Pharmacy school without my sister, Suzanne. Remember when she stayed with us last summer and helped with the kids while I was doing my rotations. Here the kids are with their Aunt Suzy last year.


 and here they are a year later. She has been visiting with us the past two weeks, and we are loving having her here with us in OHIO!


Look how much the kids have grown! <3
We love you, Aunt Suzy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

gone fishin'

When I was little we lived down a long dirtroad in a tiny, white house with black shutters. Even further down that dirt road was a small pond that my Dad used to take us fishing in. He taught me how to bait the hook, cast the line and watch the bobber for just the right time to pull in the big one! Once when we were fishing, my Mom caught a water moccasin...as soon as she reeled it in she dropped the pole and took off down the dirtroad running for the house. It scared her to death! Apparently when she dropped the pole she managed to wrap the fishing line around her ankle, so every step she took running the water moccasin also flew down that dirtroad behind her "chasing her". I remember sitting there on a 5 gallon bucket with my Dad watching it happen, caught between being scared for my Mom and being amused by her hooping and hollering like she was.....finally when she was out of sight my Dad just started laughing. Then I started laughing too. We laughed the rest of the day and my Dad told that story for years. My Mom still gets mad when she hears it mentioned. Ha!

Fishing has always been one of my favorite things to do. Still is. We have a fishing hole close to our house here that we have been going to the past several weekends. We will pack a bag of snacks and grab some hotdogs to use as bait. Yes, hotdogs! I had no idea fish even liked hotdogs! But they do! Then we hop on our bikes and a few minutes later we get to our fishing hole!


Dylan and Karsen both love to fish too. They are great casters, always careful to watch behind them to make sure they don't hook each other! I love seeing how excited they are everytime they catch a fish. Dylan was somewhat underwhelmed with this catch. LOL


Look how proud Karsen is! She was the winner for this day. Yes, they were keeping count. Dylan caught 3, Karsen caught 6, Mommy caught NONE! Daddy caught a HUGE catfish that broke the line. This thing was so big it looked prehistoric. If I hadn't seen it for myself, I would have never have believed it! Our goal is to catch him again by the end of the summer!

We are "catch and release" kinda fisherman. We don't keep them and eat them. In fact, none of us really like fish. Karsen always brings bread to pinch off and throw in the pond. The fish will come to the surface and eat it. Then Dylan will cast in that direction in hopes of ensuring a big catch. They are quite strategic and serious about fishing already! HA!


You can't go fishing without a few essentials. Tackle Box. Check! Water and snacks! Check! A big, strong, man that is willing to bait the hooks and take the fish off the hook to throw them back in! Check!

This has quickly become our favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It feels like we are out in the middle of the country somewhere instead of right in the middle of our neighborhood. I love it! I told the kids we should make this a summer tradition. Or at least until we catch that monster catfish again! If that happens, I will definitely post a pic!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

You can hear me on the radio!

OK, Well maybe you can't...but I do have a neat story to share. Since I became a working Mom last month, I now have a favorite radio station that I found for my morning commute. It is 104.9 FM "The River". It is a Christian radio station whose motto is they are "kid safe and family friendly". I found it on the way to my interview wayyyy back in March and have been listening to it ever since.

They always have a "family name game" each morning about 7:30AM. They will announce the name of the day and if you have a child with that name, you can call in for a chance to win a prize! This past week I was listening as usual, sipping my morning coffee, and they announced the name "Evan" as the name of the day and "if you are the mother of an Evan, give us a call and you can win an awesome prize for the whole family!" I was thinking, they may have Dylan as the name one morning, but I doubt they will have the name Karsen, ever! Well the very next morning.....

"If you are the mother of a Carson, give us a call and brag all about Carson!  If you are the fourth caller you and you family will win Family Fun Passes to Kings Island! Call now for your chance to win!

I couldn't believe it! Just as soon as I claimed they would  NEVER call the name, Karsen, they did! I called just as fast as I could! It went something like this:

Mary & Josh in the morning voices answer the phone: "Good morning, thanks for calling 104.9FM THE RIVER!"

Me:" Oh...Hey! This is Heather and I am calling because I am the mother of a Karsen! It's Karsen with a K, so I hope that counts!?"

Mary & Josh:"Of course it counts, tell us about your son!"

Me: "Well, Karsen is my daughter, she is 9 and loves everything girlie! She is fiercely independent, loves math, reading and cooking!"

Mary & Josh: "What's Karsen up to this summer?"

Me: "She and her brother are going to a fun Summer Day Camp, and in a couple of weeks they will be heading to NC to spend time with their grandparents too!"

Mary & Josh" "well thanks for calling and telling us all about Karsen! You are the fourth caller and YOU WON!"

I was the fourth caller, and I WON! LOL~ It was a fun start to the day. I got the tickets the next day in the mail for free admission for the whole family! It is basically OH's version of Disneyland!

(google images)
So, we are heading to Kings Island, in Southern OHIO for a fun day in the sun very soon!   I am not sure if we will ride this ride:

(google images)
Ahhhhhh! I doubt it~ but, I am sure we will have fun!

Monday, July 11, 2011

So sorry....

for the lack of posts. First of all, we were having internet technical difficulties...we are back up and and running and connected to the world again. Yay!

I didn't mind the lack of internet for the first few days because it felt kinda nice to be "unwired". Especially for the kids.....I believe they were having withdrawal shakes. LOL.


In the meantime...we have been on vacation. To the beach. It was wonderful. Perfect. Summer sun. In NC. With our favorite family. The week went by wayyyyy toooo fast.

I will catch up with pics and stories soon~ Just wanted to let you know we were alive!

Deciduous Heather