Friday, June 17, 2011

Chillin' on a dirt road . . .

       As Angela informed you, we arrived to Louisiana late on a Friday night after an epic 19 hour drive.  If any of you ever have a chance, take a drive through Tennessee and Alabama in the end of spring.  The mountains, green hills, twisty rivers and expansive lakes collide to make a beautiful landscape.  I thoroughly enjoyed the drive as Angela slept.
      Upon arriving in Louisiana at 2a I was promptly invited to play co-ed softball the next morning which I gladly accepted.  However, after going 1-5 and realizing may baseball swing was no match for the difficulties of slow pitch, I have officially retired from the game.   (Until the next game I get invited to play at which time I will pull a Favre).   Besides playing softball I have filled my leisurely time fishing.  With the skill provided to me by beginners luck, I am proud to say I out-fished Angela.  I think it was because I used organic bait and California cheese (Happy cheese makes for happy fish :)).  Toledo bend is beautiful and if I could go fishing there every Saturday morning I do no think I would ever leave.
      When I am not enjoying the outdoors I am working.  I have been privileged to work with a Hem/Onc doctor in Shreveport for the last two weeks.  I was really impressed with the city of Shreveport and the friendliness of the people.  As one doc said "its a big city with a small town attitude".  I might also add the greater Shreveport area has managed to engineer a way for 200,000+  people to commute back and forth from work without any traffic jams.  I was also really impressed with Oncology.  It confirmed my passion for medicine and my desires to be an oncologist (maybe).   I enjoyed the challenges of talking with and treating patients in all stages of cancer.  There were some triumphs and some sad situations but every patient was rewarding.  Hearing all the patients stories was real enjoyable.  There was much to learn about cancer and even more about people's journey in faith.   It is amazing how much and how wonderfully faith plays a role, no matter the religion, in the well-being of patients.  In my two weeks I have learned to appreciate the complexity of cancer and the strength of the people who battle it every day.
      Though Angela and I have spent most of our time in Louisiana on medical rotations, the main reason for being in Louisiana right now is Liddy, and she is beautiful.  She was born a little over a week ago and has already been a blessing to all that have met her.  Kris and Nick are going to be wonderful parents and I am sure Angela and I will never feel too far away from Liddy with all the pictures of her that will be posted.  Nick and Kris have hogged her in Glenmora all week but as I write this she is on her way back to Noble for the weekend and I am excited to see Liddy again.
      Sadly our time in Louisiana is rapidly coming to an end.  It feels like we just got here and if every part of our journey goes this quickly we are gonna be a resident before we have a chance to learn anything about medicine (stay away from any hospital I may be working in next July).  I have loved being here.  You cannot beat bbqs every weekends, hot DRY weather, lakes to fish on, and family to hang out with.  I am thankful for the warm southern hospitality that has been offered to me, especially Angela's parents who have let me crash at their place for two weeks, and to Granny and Pa who have let Angela and I study for boards on their computer every night.  It will be sad to leave but I am excited to continue the journey, we are getting closer and closer to Africa and graduation!  Though hardcore board studying is in the near future so I am not excited about that.
       Until then I am going to enjoy this weekend in the warm Louisiana sunshine and hopefully enjoy one last bbq!  We are then off to Las Vegas to celebrate Daniel's graduation and birthday!  I think we have found a new birthday tradition for Daniel :).  Things we are praying for:  Kris, Nick and Liddy, focus for boards, safe traveling, peace and health for both of our families, and that Mark does not maim himself or any customer while he sells knives.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Louisiana Lovin

A long trip home...
After working call on my last day at Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth, I made rounds at 5am and drove to Lexington where Phillip joined me after selling his car. We drove for another 14 hours and arrived in Louisiana at 1am, stopping only twice along the way. Phillip woke up early on Saturday and played in a co-ed slow pitch softball tournament with Mark where he made several amazing plays and turned alot of heads- a great way to get even more attention than just being a stranger in a small town. That evening Kris and Nick came home and we were reminded of how cramped a house can be with seven people in it.

Phillip and I started work that Monday at Highland Clinic in Shreveport. I began working with an ENT specialist, Dr. Parker, and Phillip across town in a busy oncology practice. It was an amazing first week- I arrived early several days to assist Dr. Parker in the OR while Phillip learned the ins and outs of many chemotherapeutic drug regimens. I made several new friends in Dr. Parker's office and also ran into several old friends along the way. Dr. Parker was more impressed at how many people I knew more than how much medicine I knew (not surprising I know).

On Wednesday we had the greatest blessing of all as we welcomed Ms. Lydia Belle Davis to our family. She was 6 lbs 4 oz and 21 in long. She is a gorgeous little princess and she already knows it. The moment Nick brought her from the OR, she had these big, beautiful wide eyes- opened and staring at everyone, tyring to soak it all in. She had such a crowd waiting on her, I have no doubt she instantly knew how much she was loved. She has been a great baby so far and her mom is healing well. We cannot wait to watch her grow up!!

This weekend Phillip and I got the opportunity to go fishing with my dad. We left at 5am and were on the lake by 6! It was an amazing day with perfect weather. The lake was so beautiful and peaceful that early in the morning. and we had a great view of the golf course from the water. Phillip ended up pulling in most of the fish. He called it beginner's luck. I'm not sure what he was doing, but he stole almost every bite I got! (I'm still a little bitter) Either way though, it was worth having such a great dinner. All together we caught 47 white perch, 4 bream, and 1 small catfish! Quite a day!!

Sunday we said goodbye to Ms. Liddy and made another trip to Natchitoches where we met my long time friends Jessica, Corey, Tommy, Brandon and PJ at the CSO. I have missed them all so dearly and it is always a little bitter sweet to go back, because I never want to leave! It was really good to get to hear Fr. Jason preach again too- it always ignites my spirit when I go back to Holy Cross!

It's been a busy first week and things aren't looking to slow down any time soon. We have one more week in Shreveport and I started a neurology rotation with a young female doctor today, which is very inspiring for me. It should be an interesting week and we are already looking forward to the next part of the journey when we meet Daniel in Vegas to celebrate his recent graduation!! So stay tuned to see what happens!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The journey begins

This is the first of what I hope to be many entries detailing the events of the next year of our lives. We have now completed yet another chapter of the text book we call med school. As we turn the page and leave Ashland we will miss the friends we've made here and the times we've spent at Bellefonte, but we move forward with high hopes and great anticipation of the things to come.

I moved away from home at the age of twenty and have lived in a different place every year since, priding myself on how quickly I could pack my belongings. I did not, however, anticipate how difficult it would be to prioritize everything I own and live from two bags all year. It was a very frustrating and yet humbling experience. We are blessed with so much and most times still feel it's never enough!

My goals for this year (outside of sweeping boards, acing my interviews and landing an awesome residency spot) are to see the world... as God sees it- with a bleeding heart and eyes wide open, ready to embrace it. I want to soak up everything the world has to offer and hopefully make a an impact along the way.

It's been a long journey and the road is finally winding down but I feel like it's only beginning. We are so close to finally realizing our ultimate goal of being physicians and as we draw closer we would like to invite you to join us in our quest for adventure, knowledge, and faith.