Monday, September 27, 2010
So, this past weekend, Emily and I went with a group of friends to whitewater raft the Upper Gauley in West Virginia. Now, I have rafted the Upper Gauley about 6 years ago and I can only come to the following conclusion: I was just young and stupid enough back then to not know what the hell I was getting myself into. I am under no such illusions this time around. To give some background, the Upper Gauley is a section of river in West Virginia that is known for its Class V rapids. The Gauley is impounded by the Summersville Dam to form Summersville Lake. Downstream of this, recreational boating occurs. Every fall, for 6 weekends starting the Friday after Labor Day, the Army Corps of Engineers provides a series of twenty-two controlled releases for the express purpose of downriver recreation. These releases are collectively known as "Gauley Season" and water is released at approximately 2800 cfs (cubic feet per second). It is reverently referred to as the "Beast of the East" to serious rafters and kayakers. That being said, I am not a strong swimmer and now firmly believe that I have no business on the Upper Gauley. Four days before we went, a female student from the University of Illinois died on the Upper Gauley. It took them 7 hours to fish her body out. Two days after this, a seasoned kayaker was also killed on the upper Gauley. To keep it short, I was tossed out on the second of five class V rapids on the river. I went for a DEEP swim, popped up downstream and had to be rescued by a park ranger in a kayak. The only thing I could think was, "I'm trusting my life to a stranger and I'm completely okay with that." I was skittish/paranoid from that point on. Thank goodness our guide, Rose, was excellent and kept me from dumping the rest of the day. All things considered, it was fantastic sightseeing, an intense day of rafting and a fun weekend camping.
Em and I went to see Kings of Leon in Indy a few weekends ago at the Verizon Amphitheater. I had an absolute blast. Em was disappointed, though. There were three songs that she REALLY wanted to hear... They didn't play ANY of the three. Bummer. We still had a blast:).
Well, there has def been a lot going on since the last post. (I actually don't think that I even completed all the posting from the trip - but I am forging ahead:P) First off, Mom and Dad came to visit Emily and I on their extended anniversary weekend. I think the pics say enough.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Emily and I encountered quite a few strange things/people on our trip. We took pics of a few. One of them is actually just corn in the back of a truck, but we had never seen corn transported this way, so... we're geeks:). The construction guy/kid is sitting at the end of an exit ramp and there is no construction for MILES. He is sitting there by himself, in flipflops. Huh? The sign is from our hotel room in Grand Portage MN - which by the way, one of the tour guides there thought we had Australian accents. Again, Huh? Enjoy and draw your own conclusions:).
Oh - and I nearly forgot an unexpected bonus this week! Em and I timed our drive just right so that we were able to play chauffeur to the niece and nephew:). It started with some sleepy kiddos who were trying to figure out why they were riding with Aunt Julie and Aunt Emily instead of Momma and Dada. First half of the ride was filled with some chatter about going to Papaw's and Gamma's and seeing Miss M. The aunts did their best to sing some songs but let's face it: we're a little out of practice. When Sisaye Claire started to insistently say Momma!, I figured it was time for another diversion. Unfortunately, my story-telling skills are even worse than my singing skills. I proceeded to butcher the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. My apologies to the author. However, my fave part of our time with the kids was Saturday morning when I woke up to hear Sisaye Claire saying this: "Come ON, doggie! Let's go!" If only I could have gotten it on tape... The funny part was that M was actually following her:). Love.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Okay, so this may only be comical to fellow nurses and medical profs but I enjoyed this one so much that I had to retell it. This story is about the parents of a friend of a coworker. An elderly couple arrived to the ER one night after the man had passed out while on the toilet. After examining him and running a few tests, they sent the man home. The man returned the following evening with the same problem. The physician examined him again and reviewed his medicines, ran a few more tests and sent him home again. 45 minutes later, the man returned, stating that it happened AGAIN. At this point, the medical staff began to suspect that perhaps the wife was poisoning him somehow or causing these episodes. The attending assigned a nurse assistant and a resident to monitor the man and his wife. A little while later, there was a code blue called to the gentleman's room. When the attending arrived, he was told that the wife had taken the man to the bathroom and that he had passed out again. The attending turned to the wife and said, "What are you DOING to him?!" The wife tearfully replied, "Nothing! I was just putting his hemorrhoid medicine on him!" Upon closer inspection, the "hemorrhoid" cream was actually NITROGLYCERIN.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I was riding home Thursday after work and it was a beautiful day. Mid 70s, almost no humidity, the sun is shining, the music is up-beat and I am relaxed. Can't wait to get home and love on the little dog, work out and head to a softball game. I get home, snap the leash on M, and we're off for an awesome walk. We get halfway down the block when I realize that M's left eye (ok - so where her left eye SHOULD be) is slightly swollen. I wonder if she's run into something that day and bend down to examine. At this point, I realize that it's not just her eye, but her jaws and pretty much her whole face are swollen. I try not to panic and immediately turn around: ABORT WALK. Next step: the vet. By the time I got back down the block to the house, her face has more than doubled the original swelling. I'm totally freaked out at this point and trying not to panic. I mumbled a few words to Emily that I think barely made sense and Emily carried her to the car while I ran behind her. By this point, M looks like she has a giant peach in each one of her jowels. Long story short: $70, a steroid shot and a lot of benadryl later... it was a bee sting to the left side of her face. Turns out this is very common, although it has never happened to M in her lifetime. My education continues... (oh- and these pics were taken a couple of hours AFTER the steroid shot, after much of the swelling had gone down and I was no longer in panic mode)
As with most dogs, Miss M is not a fan of thunderstorms, fireworks or really any loud obnoxious similar noises. They result in the above pics (documentary of a recent thunderstorm) as well as whining and serious panting. Yay for this 4th of July weekend. Oh joy.
This is Emily's attempt at gardening thus far. I wish I could say that I too have growing plants but sadly, a friend, in an attempt to be neighborly, decided to "weed" the garden and accidentally removed all of my 6 week old plants. There will be no fresh veggies for Julie this year. Our hopes rest entirely upon Emily and her carrots.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
At work this week, I had the fortune of caring for an elderly gentleman while his heart was evaluated at our office. I spent the better part of the day recovering this patient, talking with his wife and family. This is always the part that I miss about working in the hospitals: the rapport we establish with one another. In nursing, we are constantly trying to remember our impact on patients, focusing on and hoping that we are leaving a positive one. As I walked my patient and his wife to the car where their son was waiting, they both turned and hugged me and left me with a small heartfelt reflection of their time with me. Then they turned, hand in hand, and finished their walk to the car. I often forget the positive impact that my patients have on me.
After Joe's graduation, the whole family stayed for the weekend. When I say "whole", I mean it. All eight of us made it home along with spouses, boyfriends and kids. Sisaye Claire loved the animals. Dinkeneh only wanted to play basketball. We picked strawberries, drank margaritas, had a bonfire with s'mores and there was a serious wiffle ball game. I love you guys! And I can't remember EVER such a great weekend. Love.