Tuesday, February 23

This Imprudent Heart

At times I long for
Forbidden fruit untasted,
Rash as that might be.

Sunday, February 21

Sabbath Fun

Hark! 'Tis a Martina!

Christen gloweth

Christen says I look like I'm holding on by my one super strong arm

Erin has an epiphany for a silly pose


What fun Poplarites we are

Ironically enough, Martina looks quite natural as the center of attention here.

This is probably my favorite :)

Saturday, February 20

Recipe for Disaster

This is by far the most awful sounding recipe I have come across, I'm pretty sure. Whilst having dinner tonight with Ivan, Erin, and Christen, I noticed this recipe on the lid of my Smucker's peanut butter jar. I'll let you be the judge of the potential for yourself, but to be completely honest, it sounds to me like the result of some pregnant woman's cravings, except without the mayonnaise and pickles.

1 cup Smucker's Natural, stirred or Organic Peanut butter (off to a good start)
1/2 cup warm water (nothing too dangerous yet)
1/2 cup Dickinson's Tomato Ketchup (ketchup?! really?!)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (you lost me at ketchup)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (perhaps this was an effort of salvaging)
1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (no further comment)
1 pound uncooked rotini pasta
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

1. Combine peanut butter, water, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic powder, and vinegar in small bowl with a whisk, until smooth and well blended.
2. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain well.
3. Toss hot pasta twists with sauce, until evenly coated. Garnish with red bell pepper and shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired.

Wednesday, February 17

My Inbox

A perspective on my life based on the contents of my email inbox by subject line:

Dr. Bietz Convocation Credit
Visit #2
what do you think?...
Olympic watching Thursday
Soccer Team!
dearest :)
Evangelistic Series
Applied Stats
Recipes :-)

Random, I know. But I wonder if it says anything about me. If nothing else, it certainly is an interesting conglomeration of subjects in my mind.

Sunday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day

My first year truly participating in Team Black:

Tuesday, February 9

Grave Situation

I miss linguistics. Not the class, but the subject. I thoroughly enjoyed my etymology research on the word sweet, although, if you were to ask me, I honestly couldn't recall what the history of that word in English is, and I think I lost my paper...

This morning as I was writing part of my introduction for my research paper in Aging & Society, I made a completely unintentional pun that made me laugh, ironically. My topic is on evolving attitudes toward death and dying throughout the lifespan. Thrilling, I know. The sentence that made me laugh starts like this:

"Often, when one considers such a grave topic. . ."

In French, the word grave, from my understanding, means serious. When I was in Chad, some of the other SMs and I would use the phrase, "Oh, c'est grave," fairly often, sometimes jokingly. I remember talking to Stefan once about the lack of an equivalent usage in English. "What am I going to say when I'm back in America?" I asked in dismay. Then I remembered that the word grave does exist in English; we just don't often use it.

Anyway, the point of all this is that after writing that sentence for my paper, I thought of how much I would love to do a short etymology of the word grave just for kicks. Random? Yes.

Sunday, February 7

Work Stats

For those of you who have wondered what I do at work for the IV team, here are some stats from last night.

Within an 8 hour shift:
Successful IV starts: 7
Unsuccessful IV starts: 3
Total sticks: 15
Difficult sticks: 5
Site care/IV dressing changes: 2
Central line dressing change: 1
Consult/Questions: 1
Code Blue/Rapid Response calls: 0 (praise the Lord)

At the end of each shift we have to charge things to each of the patients we've seen and then total up our stats and write them down in various places. Now you know a little better what an IV team nurse does. Well, at least for one night. Last night was a bad night for sticks for me.

Oh, and a clarification on difficult sticks; we actually do have to count those each night, and there are certain criteria for them. Anyone you stick more than once is automatically a difficult stick. Also, if you are in the room for 45 minutes, they are a difficult stick. If they are confused or fidgety, they're considered difficult, and if you make a recommendation for a PICC line, they're a difficult stick. So it's not quite as subjective as one might think.

Update: Tonight's stats
Successful IV starts: 9
Unsuccessful IV starts: 1
Total sticks: 19
Difficult sticks: 7
Cathflo: 3

Cathflo is a really fun drug we mix up to declot PICC lines.

Saturday, February 6

Light in Darkness

This past week was rough. Thursday was a particularly low point for me. But God is good; He has blessed me with the most incredible and encouraging friends, and He speaks words of comfort and reassurance. One way God spoke to me was through an illustration brought up at Bible study on Thursday night-- the parable of the talents.

Someone made the comment that the Master was just as pleased with the servant He had given two talents to. That servant had invested and put to use all that he was given, and even though he didn't make as much profit as the servant who was given five talents, the Master was equally delighted with both servants who put their talents to use for Him. And He would have been equally pleased with the servant He had only given one talent to had he done anything worthwhile with it for his Master. Sometimes I feel like a one- or two-talent servant. I don't always feel like God has given me much to work with, but I pray that He will help me put to good use what He has blessed me with that He may be just as pleased with me as any of His children.

The other passage that really spoke to me was this:

You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You're blessed when you're content with just who you are-- no more, no less.
That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God.
He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
You're blessed when you care.
At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
You're blessed when you get your inside world-- your mind and heart-- put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.
You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.
That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.
The persecution drives you even deep into God's kingdom.
~Matthew 5:3-10, The Message

Monday, February 1

Code Blue

I witnessed my first real code at work yesterday.

I was walking down the hallway to go to a call I had gotten to restart an IV (take out an old one and put a new one in). As I neared the end of the hallway, I heard moaning and pained exclamations coming from an open door.

"Please don't let that be the one that needs an IV..." I thought, knowing full well that it likely was the one I was headed to see.

Sure enough it was. "Ok, God, here we go." I walked in the room, introduced myself and asked if I could notify his nurse that he was in pain. I noted a crash cart in the corner of the room and wondered if he had recently been coded.

He replied that she already knew he was hurting, and then began to exclaim, "Ahh, my legs are cramping up again. It hurts so bad."

I tried to calm him down, and then proceeded to the task at hand. As I looked and felt on his arms for a good vein, he spouted off intermittent curses and supplications to God while restlessly tossing in bed. A nurse came to give him some potassium and tried to soothe him; his new nurse for the night shift also came in, talked to him, and then took the crash cart out of the room mumbling something about not needing it anymore. I managed to get a 20 gauge IV in a good spot, hesitated, and then, "Sir, would you like me to pray with you?"

"I don't care," he replied crossly as he turned his face from mine.

"Alright, well," I paused. "I'll go let your nurse know that you're still in pain." I turned to walk out the door with an apprehensive feeling: he's going to code. As I left, I reprimanded myself, "Why didn't you pray with him? Well, then again, he didn't seem very receptive to the idea..."

An hour and a half later while attempting to stick another patient, I heard the announcement over the loudspeaker: "Code Blue, room 363 (*room number changed). Code Blue, room 363." My heart sank. I finished up with my current patient, then walked briskly across the hospital to his room. When I arrived, there were nurses littering the hallway, staring on apathetically. I peered inside the overcrowded and slightly chaotic room. I talked to his nurse who was outside in the hallway and asked if his IV access was good enough since I had just put in the line a little over an hour ago. He replied that it was fine, so I decided not to join the multitude watching helplessly.

I haven't been able to get the image of his face and the nurse doing compressions on his limp body out of my mind. Running fake codes for ACLS certification this morning didn't help matters. I can't help but feel that I should have done more. I should have prayed with him. I should have tried harder to say something encouraging or comforting. I should have talked to his nurse, maybe had them call rapid response team. Mostly it boils down to this: I left that room intuitively thinking he was going to code, and did nothing.

How often do I interact with people thinking that they're headed downhill in a spiritual sense and yet do nothing? God, forgive me for my severe lack of concern for the souls of your children. Even more, God help me to overcome my timidity and act boldly in Your Spirit for their sake and Yours.