Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all who read this blog! I began my day this morning with an 8:15 am page from my partner asking what to do with a patient who just couldn't understand why her gallbladder couldn't be taken out today even though she had suffered with it for 10 years and was certainly NOT an emergent/urgent operative candidate! Being somewhat disgusted with this ungrateful and downright rude patient, I got out of bed, showered, and headed out to the hospital four rounds in a less than cheerful mood...
I guess God had some things in store, because rounds totally changed my outlook on the day! While all of my patients were kind and doing fairly well, two really touched my heart. My 86 year old patient for 2 months now smiled and proudly told me she was ready for dinner and introduced me to her grandsons who were visiting. While this doesn't seem like much, one has to undertand that this lady rarely talks and certainly has NEVER smiled in the time I've been seeing her! The second patient was even better. He received a tracheostomy from me last week, though I know that in his heart he didn't want to have it. This morning, he was wide awake (a first in the last 10 days) and smiled when I entered the room. I asked himif he remembered me (he was sedated the first time we met) and he smiled and nodded "yes." He shook my hand, gave me a thumbs up, and clearly let me know that he was grateful for his trach and the opportunity to begin weaning off the ventilator. His gratitude for something so small was truly amazing and rewarding. It obviously changed my outlook on the day!

Since Thanksgiving is a day of recognizing all that we are thankful for, I decided to take a moment to count my blessings. Here are the things I am most thankful for...

1. God and my faith...
Without these I wouldn't be where I am now!

2. My husband, Adam.
Adam is my biggest cheerleader and has weathered the storms of my training and establishment of the new business with extreme patience and love.

3. My family.
I'm blessed to have wonderful parents who have supported me in many, many ways and are in my business with me every step (even when it's not going perfectly). Their company and support here in Tennessee have been invaluable and for that I am truly grateful! My grandparents have also been wonderful in their support of me. Their words of encouragement and visits are well-appreciated and certainly do not go unnoticed! Leslee and Trey are the best siblings an older sister could ever hope to have and I'm so glad that we are blessed with a closeness that most siblings never can understand. And obviously, I'm thankful for Joey, Job, and the rest of my extended family as well.

4. My friends.
Tiffany, Sarah, Jennifer, and Dinah are the best friends I could ever hope to have and I'm truly grateful that God placed all of you into my life. (And while I don't see or talk to Teah, Cynthia, Miren, Maggie, and Blerina, as often, I think the world of you all as well and am honored to have all of you in my life!)

I'd venture to say that most of you who read this blog are truly the people in my life that make every day another adventure and truly a blessed existence! Thank you for being a part of my life and once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bears, Bears, and More Bears

See the little cub standing up? Bear Family Photo.
(Unfortunately of their backsides!)One on the roadside and one in the tree!
It's not every day that you see a bear blocking traffic!
Adam proud of his find...

After I finished a case and rounds, Adam and I decided to go explore a part of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park where Mom and Dad had recently seen several bears. So, we headed out towards Crosby, TN (just outside of Gatlinberg) to see if we might just be lucky enough to find a bear or two. We turned into the park onto a gravel road and crossed several 1 lane wood bridges. About 1.5 miles down this simple drive, Adam spotted some movement about 1oo yards away, across the creek, and in the woods. We pulled over and were excited to make out the figures of 4 bears! Since they were across the water/rocks and very far away, we got out of our car to shoot some photos. The bears seemed unbothered by our presence and began to come towards us (slowly of course). We retreated quietly to the car and sat patiently hoping they would come closer. Well, they did! (One even blocked the road for awhile!) We watched a Momma and her 3 cubs forage in the leaves for food. 1 cub stayed close to the Momma, while the other 2 headed up into the trees...wayyyyyy up! The cubs in the trees were eating little "round" objects (nuts, buds, ?) and shaking them down for the others to eat off the forest floor as well. Overall, we watched them alone for about 15 minutes and then were joined by several other cars. Several unintelligent people got dangerously close to the bears and kind of ruined the beauty of the experience. Overall though, Adam and I feel very blessed to have enjoyed these animals alone together in solitude for many minutes! Here are some photos I managed to take before my camera battery died... (PS If you click on the photos, you'll be able to see the bears much better!)

Thanksgiving Preview...

Waiting on Adam to join us...The cooks...

This post is a little late. Two weekends ago, we were fortunate to have Trey, Grandmother, and Grandaddy to come to visit. Trey had a break in school between his OB/GYN rotation and his Surgery rotation, so he flew down to Maryville to spend a long weekend with the family. We really enjoyed seeing him and Grandmother and Grandaddy. Since he will not be able to come home for Thanksgiving, we decided to have an "early" feast at my house. With some creativity, we merged our two dining tables into one large table and enjoyed a wonderful meal. Here are the only pics I took...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grotto Falls and Our First Smokey Mountain Fall!

Part of our drive through Wears Valley. Adam and I at Grotto Falls.
(You can actually walk behind them!)

Me on the "wrong" trail.
Adam and I on the trail.
Adam on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

Since the weather report promised a beautiful day, we decided to make the most of it today! I got up early (ie 6:30am....on Sunday), made rounds at the hospital, went home and quickly changed into church clothes and grabbed Adam, went to church, came back home and changed again, had a quick lunch at Sonic, and headed out to Gatlinburg. We decided to try the Roaring Fork Motor Nature trail driving route to enjoy the fall leaves. Off of this road is the Grotto Falls trail, which we decided to hike. (We also hiked for about a mile to discover that we were on the wrong trail...then drove to the correct one!) The hike to the falls was 2.8 miles round trip (plus that "wasted" mile) with a 560 ft elevation gain. Overall, we didn't see any animals but the falls were really beautiful! We then went back into Gatlinburg and had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, which we both agreed was highly overpriced and over-rated! We then made a relaxing drive home through Wears Valley. Overall, it was a fabulous day full of beauty. Unfortunately the photos just don't do the mountains justice...they were amazing!