Sunday, May 24, 2009


Sorry I've not felt like writing lately. I'm not sure if I'm just too worn out, just not interested or just not interesting. Anyway, take heart, I still thoroughly enjoy reading y'all's blogs. So please keep those updates coming :)

The pictures from the last post are from Oceanview Beach. Only about 10 minutes from us, its the strip of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay. I was so impressed! Keep in mind, none of these beaches stand a chance next to the Gulf of Mex, but considering VA Beach is a whopping 45 minutes away, I'm sold on Oceanview! Rowen had a blast, the beach was clean and not crowded and they allow dogs :)

Unfortunately and not surprisingly, I'm starting to resent the hospital (again? already? ha.). When I'm on call, especially on the weekend, I let these feelings of sadness, helplessness and even regret build up because I know this is precious time I could be spending with Rob and Rowen. And Rob will be gone for 6 months in just a few weeks! Usually my sadness/helplessness/regret fizzles out into fatigue and I never actually get rid of the feelings, just leave them simmering there for next time. Oh well, welcome to me.

But seriously, didn't I sign up for this? I so vividly remember literally begging God to just let me do well enough on the MCAT to get into medical school and then, I promise, I'll never ask for anything else. Don't we always say that when we're desperate? And isn't it always a lie? (Thank you, Jesus, for loving us anyway.) I had this old blue couch that Dori gave me in college and I remember spending spring breaks cooped up in my apartment on this couch memorizing formulas and protocols for the MCAT and wanting to go to medical school more than I had ever wanted anything else. God was good to me and he came through and I got in. Once I got in, I was scared to death because I was pretty sure I would never be smart enough to actually get through. Once again, I pleaded with the Lord to just get me through. Because of Him, I excelled. I still figured it was all a cruel joke when I graduated from medical school and that I could never actually be a good doctor. That was when I came to Jesus again and pleaded for his mercy as I faced internship. Some of you know this already, but internship is arguably the hardest year of a physician's professional life. I've had to watch too many people die, pronounce too many people dead, stand helplessly by as people make decisions that will kill them, call child protective services one too many times, counsel women who are sure abortion is the right choice for them because they just can't take care of another baby, see young bodies ravaged by gang violence and drunk driving, witness organ harvesting of a young suicide get the point. I will still see these horrible cases as an upper level resident, but for better or for worse, there will be some new poor intern who will bear the brunt of it.

To make internship even more challenging, I'm married to an intern (who has suffered his own frustration and sadness with patients). And we have a baby! We knew this year would be tough and we did all we could to prepare, but I think its fair to say there was no way you can be fully prepared because internship is harder than we could have imagined.

But alas, there's always a silver lining when God's involved, right? I also never could have been prepared for the immense joy I feel when people welcome me into their lives to take care of them for a while, to welcome their new miracles into the world, or to comfort them in their last days. Have you ever had a feeling you just couldn't shake? I recently cared for a dying elderly woman for the last few days of her life. I've never seen such a large family infiltrate a hospital room and actually be comfortable and at peace and even smile and laugh. They pulled in furniture from waiting rooms all across the hospital and just waited. It was such an amazing event to be a part of. Just before my patient took her last breath, she opened her eyes, looked all around the room and saw her children and grandchildren. Then she closed her eyes and slowly drifted away. I was left with such an amazing feeling that I just couldn't shake.

I guess its all worth it in the end. Hard to tell me that when I leave my baby for 30 hour stretches about twice a week, but my call schedule will improve. The next six months are just gonna be hard. There's no way around it. But I'm so proud of that amazing man of mine. And if he ever tries to leave me for six months again, he'll never hear the end of it ;)


  1. I'd be honored if you were the doc for most of my patients! I know most people don't understand why anyone would EVER get into hospice or end of life care of ANY kind, but we need more docs like you, who really seem to understand! You really seem like the kind of doctor that a nurse could get on board with, and if you don't know that already, that's saying A LOT! I think you're a wonderful mother and an excellent friend, and I have no doubt whatsoever that you are an amazing doctor.

  2. tell rob thank you for his service for our country. it is because of men like him and dan that make me confident we can sleep soundly at night. and thank you for the sacrifice you are about to make. i totally understand it. call me anytime: day or night when you are feeling down or alone. trust me, i GET it! i am proud of you and that man of yours. thank you for your sacrifices.