26 December 2011

Holiday Bowling

Last week Scott and I went to Linn Lanes to bowl it up a little. It's not very often that I'm willing to go bowling with Scott, but with everyone out of town on vacation I thought we could use a little entertainment. Once we got to the bowling alley, however, we found that we were in for a whole lot more excitement than we had bargained for. Apparently we had interrupted the bowling alley's holiday party. All but two lanes were full of semi professionals clad in bowling wrist braces. Let's just say that our lane had the least action, though I was hoping we might win a door prize.

Scott and I played two games, and would you believe that I won both? Scott thought you wouldn't. We took a picture of the second round to prove it, because I won... in the last frame... by one pin!

Scott gladly took the picture for me, and then said, "Good luck convincing everyone that you are "H" (for Hon) and I am "S" (for Schnooks). Let's just be honest though - would I take a smiling picture of myself and the scoreboard if I had lost? Case closed.

23 December 2011


I stumbled across this vintage Western Union telegram from the North Pole when I was rummaging through my dad's family photo box. How fun is that?! It made me think of how thoughtful and kind Santa was to send a telegram to such very young children (my dad, the oldest, was only three at the time). I guess it wasn't Santa though... it was Rudolph!

Uncle Tim, Uncle Tom, Aunt Cathy, and my dad
Christmas, family photo circa 1955

Merry Christmas!

19 December 2011

How's Your Flame?

After my CT scan in October, my doctors weren't sure why I had abnormal symptoms. Their analysis showed that my organ activity was normal, though my Crohns was inflamed and had spread slightly. I wasn't really feeling ill, but I knew that my body was trying to tell me it was time for change. The doctors recommended drugs with side effects. While those drugs are a good option for other circumstances, I didn't feel like it was right for me or right for me now.

While I was sitting in the waiting room of my specialists office, I noticed a table tent for their acupuncture clinic. A friend at work had recommended an acupuncturist in Corvallis when I first moved here. I had been to a Chinese doctor before in Salt Lake City. I was intrigued by the experience but it became difficult to make the commute for each appointment. So when I saw this table tent I was open to the idea of accupuncture and figured it would be worth investigating, especially if it meant no side effects. In the meantime, I also accepted a prescription for my usual Crohns medication.

The philosophy of Eastern medicine is sometimes difficult for us Westerners to comprehend. I still feel like I need to study an "Acupuncture for Dummies" edition. My dad said he heard the difference in philosophies explained like this - Eastern medicine is like tending a garden to make plants grow. First you need to check the soil and make sure there are enough nutrients and the levels are right. Once your soil is good you can plant seeds and help them to grow into a healthy garden. Western medicine, on the other hand, is like a fire truck.

During my first visit to this practitioner of Chinese medicine, she explained how my central burner/flame (spleen-stomach) was not communicating well with the rest of my body. Also, she could tell from pressure points on my body and through feeling my pulse that my liver was also involved in this miscommunication. She explained how Chinese medicine is approached through herbs, acupuncture, and diet.

When she asked me what I ate on a regular basis, she was surprised. My diet, she said, was putting out my flame, at least that's how my Western mind understood what she said. She recommended that for my Crohns right now, I should try eating warm foods, drinking warm liquids, and eating things like sweet potatoes, cooked greens, and whole grains like quinoa.

For so many years I thought that avoiding iceburg lettuce, popcorn, and fried foods was "managing my Crohns through diet." This visit completely changed my perspective. I had avoided some foods that were bad for Crohns, but I wasn't focusing on foods that could help my Crohns. Since then I've been walking around talking about my flame, and people are giving me funny looks. "Sorry, my flame doesn't like onion rings." "Ooh, I really shouldn't have that alfredo. It may do bad things for my flame." "Honey, my flame wants oatmeal for breakfast." Scott has started referring to his flame as well, even though he has definitely not had an official flame evaluation.

While it's a bit unusual, I can tell that the process is working. I am more aware of body language, I feel a difference in my immune system, and there are times when an acupuncture visit or dose of herbs has immediate effect on the problems I'm seeing. The point is not to put out the symptomatic fires. Ideally I'm creating a happy qi garden, where my flame is rockin'. Maybe like the eternal flame at Arlington.

For a more kosher explanation of Chinese Medicine, you can visit this site.

16 December 2011

Lost Video of Princesses

I was looking through my photos and videos the other day and found this video from our New Year's visit to Burbank last year.

My nieces love to dress up and pretend, though it's obviously not too difficult for them to channel their inner princess. In this episode of Princess Academy, Princesses Mackenzie and Casey learn to share, curtsy, blow kisses, and say "Hello, everyone!" in royally sweet tones. My favorite moment has to be when Casey thinks I'm taking a picture and dryly says, "Cheeeeese." Oh I miss these adorable girlies!

14 December 2011

Christmas at the Foundation

One day at work I walked into the break room and it was filled with Christmas tinsel and ornaments. The foundation events team decorates the exterior, reception, and break room with holiday cheer every December. By the end of that work day the lights were twinkling and greenery was hung.

I love coming to work and the halls are decked with garland and wreaths. It makes December so much more exciting!

12 December 2011

Weekend Review

The Chandlers surprised us by coming up for the weekend from Sacramento. The main event and purpose for the trip was the Oregon City High School's rendition of South Pacific, where Scott's cousin had the lead role of Nellie Forbush... and of course we're here too!

We introduced them to The Original Breakfast and discovered their stuffed french toast with boysenberry preserves.


Then Martie and I were both introduced to ABC's new TV series, Once Upon a Time. LOVE! It would be fantastic as a movie, and I'm stoked that it's a TV series and I can enjoy it that much longer. If you haven't seen it yet, I would recommend starting from the very first episode. I can't wait to see where they take the plot. In fact, I'm pretty sure this show is going to replace many of the other shows I'd been DVRing. Priorities!

It was a whirlwind weekend and I definitely forgot to make a trip to the grocery store, but we had a blast!

09 December 2011

Chilly Not Cold

To give you an idea for what our weather is like lately, here is a picture from a sharing site with our local newspaper taken in November. Nothing much has changed since then, though we did have freezing fog this week.

Doesn't that just sound like a super villan power? I can just imagine the Joker spraying something from his wrist (I know, that's Spiderman) that creates a thick fog, freezing everything it touches. I've heard a rumor that the locals "made up" freezing fog as an excuse for slowly delivered mail. However, I can be a whitness to the frozen spider web, like in this picture, that was in our work parking lot this morning. Though there are no other indicators, if that is the power of freezing fog then I'm a believer!

Many mornings I wake up and the fog is so thick from all the rain the days before you can barely see the barns on the side of the road. I hope to get a picture of that some day!

07 December 2011

Bombs Away Cafe - Corvallis

By the look of that signage, what would you expect on Bombs Away Cafe's menu? Pizza? Video game themed burgers? Nope. Bombs Away Cafe, officially a taqueria, is not at all what you would expect. Unless of course, you're just expecting tastiness.

Their menu actually goes beyond just tacos and your normal Mexican fanfare. Bombs Away menu includes burgers and sandwiches, and probably my favorite feature is their $5 lunch specials.

The interior is very cafe like, with Christmas lights and small tables. In fact, space is pretty limited. So during their busy lunch hours Bombs Away Cafe uses their stage to house more seating. That's right, I was sitting on a stage! A stage where they host various local bands and performers on a daily?, weekly at least, basis. Again, not exactly what you would expect of a taqueria, but definitely capturing the cafe feel.

A couple co-workers and I visited Bombs Away Cafe on your average school session weekday, and it was fairly busy but we were served quickly. Luckily, my co-workers were not at all weirded out that I took pictures of their food.

Bombs Away is a great option for a casual lunch, maybe a party spot around dinner and happy hour, and not the place to go if you want to be classy. I'd say the only downside is parking, but that's the case with any restaurant you visit near the university.

05 December 2011

How to Attend an Ugly Sweater Party

This last weekend was the first Ugly Sweater Party I have ever attended. Prior to this event I had nary a Christmas sweater in my closet, much less an ugly one. So for those of you who are unfamiliar with Ugly Sweater Parties and how to prepare, I am happy to map it out for you.

Step 1: Get invited to an Ugly Sweater Party
There's one happening every year and most likely being hosted by someone you know. When we found out that fellow med school wife, Amanda, was anxious to throw a party this year, I made it known that not only would I attend, but I would be extra supportive of her efforts to plan. To be honest, my support was offered more in the way of enthusiastic phone calls, but that probably helped...

Step 2: Take a friend Ugly Sweater Shopping
The best place to shop for Ugly Sweaters is your local thrift store, and the best time is around Thanksgiving. You may be able to find something online, but it's likely that you wont have much time for shipping after you receive your party invite. Plus who really wants to spend $20 for a new UGLY sweater that you only wear once a year... or depending on how ugly, maybe only once!

I escorted my buddy and fellow attendee, Morgan, to the oh so eccentric Lebanon thrift store strip in search of Ugly Sweaters. Expecting Lebanon to be an untapped gold mine for particularly ugly sweaters, we instead found:
Strange figurines that could double as scary movie props,

unusually large, used basketball shoes,

and a variety of tree skirts, all of which were not large enough to wrap around as a skirt for our Ugly Sweater outfits.

It is important to be flexible in your ideas for Ugly Sweater outfits. You never know when you might find a bedazzled vest, elf hat, or dress length sweater that could pull your whole party image together. We found that the best thrift store for Ugly Sweater shopping in Oregon is Goodwill. Unlike Lebanon's stores, the Goodwill stores I visited were organized and had specific Ugly Sweater sections for browsing.

Step 3: While thrifting, keep an eye out for White Elephant gifts
Many Ugly Sweater parties have a white elephant gift exchange on their agendas. A typical white elephant gift is something unwanted or previously loved, whether from your home or purchased at the store. Clearly there were many items to choose from on our visit! The most popular white elephant gifts are the entertaining ones. While most people enjoy making a crowd laugh with their humorous gift, I would say providing the most fought over gift has it's benefits as well (especially if stealing gifts is allowed in game rules).

We happened upon this lovely pooch portrait with a stunning suede canvas in my favorite Lebanon thrift store. This homemade beauty was only $3!

Step 4: Don't be afraid to look the part
When preparing for an Ugly Sweater party, don't be afraid to match the personality of your sweater combo! Personality is key to making your sweater stand out as the ugliest of ugly. If you second guess your sweater choice, test it out at the local Walmart in December. You should get at least one compliment or see familiar outfits.

And there we have it. I hope these tips help you to have the ugliest of sweater seasons!

02 December 2011

A Middle Way to Capitalism

I thought about apologizing for overusing OPB as a source for my deep blog posts, but really I think you should be thanking me. This is good stuff! If you aren't listening to National Public Radio or changed the channel when the story about Herman Cain came on, you are missing out, because today All Things Considered ended with a great story on social entrepreneurship in India. The kind of story where I wait in my parking lot for the story to end before getting home for the day. The kind of story that reminds me why I want to study business.

Here's the 30 second run down - There's a hospital in India that is not a for-profit business, nor is it a charity. Surgeons in this hospital perform approximately 300,000 cataract surgeries each year. That's about 15 times more than the average US surgeon! AND half of those surgeries are free. It's worth listening to the story or reading to find out how any hospital can afford to provide services for free without outside intervention. Brings a whole new meaning to healthcare reform!

30 November 2011

Twinkle or Constant

My dad sat me down while I was in Medford for Thanksgiving to explain the ways of Christmas lights. Okay, so maybe I was already sitting on the floor. Maybe I was also testing every single light bulb in three strands to find the culprit of our lighting woes and spurred conversation.

My parents had successfully unpacked boxes and boxes of our Alaskan household and set-up their home to be functional before we arrived. I decided it was my responsibility to help their home have the Christmas spirit; because, let's be honest, after you've finished unpacking several boxes, cleaned the space, and organized all your belongings, you may be referring to your belongings as "stuff" or "junk" and really have no desire to set up a Christmas tree. And yet, it's really a necessary step in post-Thanksgiving digestion.

After debating multi-colored or white lights and twinkle or constant, my dad and I finally decided to use the classic constant white Christmas lights, with a note that optimal lighting consists of constant white with a twinkle overlay.

My parents house is now mostly Christmasified! Glad Scott and I could help, especially since it got Scott in the mood to Christmasify our home without any prodding on my part!

25 November 2011

Discovering Memories

Uncle Tom, Grandpa Cavanaugh, Grammy, and Great-Grandpa Cavanaugh
Thanksgiving, family photo circa 1954

Scott and I arrived Wednesday evening in Medford. My parents new home is SO nice! They are unpacking boxes and trying to get comfortable in their new homestead.

One of the boxes my mom unpacked contained family photos sent from Boston after my grandmother passed away. I'm in LOVE with this box! I looked through it all Thursday morning and am taking home more pictures to scan and love on. The box contains mostly pictures of my dad's family, but since my mom and dad met in high school there are a few pictures of young Nancy.

I hope you're having a wonderful holiday!

23 November 2011

Giving Thanks

This week I am grateful for all of our many, many, many blessings, including, but not limited to:

- The person inspired to implement paid time off
- Google's turkey doodler during the slow moments of my half work day
- Cool rain instead of freezing hail or frost
- Adorable rain boots at Target
- Parents who live closer than an airplane ride
- The 90% score Scott got on his most recent med school test
- The fact that I haven't hit a biker with my car yet in Corvallis
- The turkey dinner church gave us because they equate our student status with poor
- A cooperative liver
- 30 Rock is coming back in January
- Turkey bowl football games that suddenly organize whereever my husband visits
- Wonderful friends and family who have sent us their love, support, and cotton candy

We're off to help my parents move into their new home in Medford - setting up the Christmas tree and finding a fun restaurant for our Thanksgiving feast. Maybe we'll throw in a little Black Friday shopping as well. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

21 November 2011

Beaver Basketball

We had a chance the other weekend to go to an OSU basketball game. The foundation had a few extra donor tickets available and no one claimed them by closing time on Friday. Yay for donors and my great job!

I was surprised to see that the arena wasn't packed (on homecoming weekend no less)! In fact, if you ignored the student section on the floor, there really weren't many fans there at all. Granted, we did arrive around half time.

But we arrived just in time to see OSU squash their opponent, 64-33. Fun times!

18 November 2011

Laughing Planet - Corvallis

It's hard to believe that I have a new favorite restaurant (especially when you consider the predecessor), but Laughing Planet is worth the change! The flavors are amazing and the company uses all natural and many local (to Oregon) ingredients. On their website About Us page, they declare, "We are dedicated to making wholesome food accessible to regular folks with time constraints, keeping it affordable, fun, and socially responsible." I love stumbling upon socially responsible and tasty places!

Laughing Planet is very "Corvallis"... if that was an adjective. There are dinosaurs on every table, though the collection may be all on one table if there happens to be a five year old boy in the restaurant. Artsy pictures adorn the walls, and the place is packed with your typical vest wearing, peace sign sporting, organic farmer-types.

Why? Laughing Planet is a mostly vegetarian restaurant. Hear me out! My previous favorite restaurant was Burgerville, so it can't be too drastic of a change. For those of you who wont read on without some meaty incentive, LP's menu does give you the option to add free range, organic chicken to your dish (though, we joked that it must be a rare occurrence, because it took our servers an extra long time to bring out our meal).

I really enjoy meat, which is why when a vegetarian coworker recommended Laughing Planet to me I avoided it. Does anyone else get a really bland image/taste in their mind/mouth when you think of vegetarian food? My brain seems to ignore Indian food and skip right to raw vegetables and tofu. Anyway, after hearing so many comments about this restaurant and suffering a gigantic craving for a rice bowl, I convinced Morgan to go with me on a lunch break.

Oh my deliciousness! The flavors really are unexpectedly vibrant and the whole meal feels light, healthy even. You leave feeling full and completely satisfied. The prices are great too! My lunch was $7.

Don't worry, Dad! I'm taking you there the next time you come to visit.

16 November 2011

Decorating a Cubicle

When I moved cubicles this last summer, I was so excited! I hadn't decorated my old cubicle up until the move, because I knew I would only be working in that space for a couple of weeks before moving. My new cubicle is in an excellent location at the front of the building, below all the big windows. There is so much natural light and heat! It's lovely!

My cubicle is also directly across from some of the OSU archive photos hanging in the Foundation. It made my space feel a little more cozy, knowing that Scott's cousin, Josh, is nearby.

I'm positive the young scholar in the middle is a Chandler ancestor, because I can just imagine Josh standing there laughing at Benny the Beaver try to breakdance.

Also nearby, is Matt Damon from Goodwill Hunting.

How 'bout them apples? No... not really. It's a photo of an OSU student learning Russian. But I'm thinking that student would have had a great career in film back in the 1950's.

Decorating a large grey box can be so challenging! I wanted it to be personal, but I'd also walked around the office enough to know what I liked and what I didn't like. I wanted more color and I wanted consistency. Granted, I'm not finished. There are still so many missing pieces and more grey that I'd like visable. I'm getting closer, though.

I'm trying to become enthused about all things Beaver, so I used oranges, yellows, and whites. A true Beaver would tell you I shouldn't be involving any yellow, since that's a duck color. I had this fabulous mustard yellow vase, though, that worked better in my cube than it did at home. I'm also a fan of the recent grey/yellow combo.

To help my Beaver fever, I made this collage from extra Oregon Stater magazine photos hanging around the office.

I've had many comments on my excellent collage-skills, but I think it has more to do with how much they like orange and black.

I also made a few of these paper stars that I saw on a party blog.
Brown Paper Bag Star Tutorial

You can't really tell from the picture below, but I made the stars using small white and medium orange paper bags. I may need to add more as well.

This picture gives a good demonstration of my attempt to decorate and still lack of substance. The stars take up the whole left wall. My desk wall has hanging clipboards and important information. I'm missing some critical elements, though - #1 a plant! SO necessary for any office space. Also, you see that big blank, grey space above the extra chair. I'm needing something there (a cuter chair would be a start). I was thinking an empty painted window or picture frame. Any ideas? I'm also missing personal photos. I have one picture (not visable in the picture above) of the future Dr. Chandler above my computer. More needed!

Honestly, I'm the last person you would want to ask about design ideas, but I'm pretty proud of how I was able to see what worked in a cubicle and implement elements that work.

14 November 2011

Collaborative Healthcare with Western University

The other day our friend Chase was featured in the OSU student newspaper, The Barometer, for participating in a collabroative health group with Western University DO students and a variety of OSU majors. In the picture above, Chase is the student with the faux hawk, or "fake mohawk" as our older coworkers like to call it.

Each group was given a problem and discussed how appropriate actions can be taken in the healthcare community to find a solution. For example, Scott's group was challenged with this situation (not verbatim):

A little girl comes to her dentist for a cleaning. The dentist notices that the girl is pretty frail and shows signs of cystic fibrosis, but her chart shows no record of the diagnosis. Should the dentist refer the patient to a specialist? What is the best way for healthcare professionals to work together in this situation?

I think there was even a vet med student from OSU in each group, and each probelm involved them. I'm not sure what cystic fibrosis has to do with animals, but there was some connection I suppose.

Scott and I went with Chase and his wife Morgan to an OSU basketball game this last weekend. It happened to be the weekend before a major microbiology exam. Scott likes to say that this first exam in "MCBM" (don't know what that stands for) is like combining five high level undergraduate courses into four DAYS of review and then having a cumulative final. Needless to say, Scott and Chase were studying every moment of the drive and game.

This is what Morgan and I had to listen to:

Scott: Okay, tell me everything you know about Novobiocin.
Chase: Novobiocin is a natural product that stops transcription of DNA. Fluoroquinolones inhibit bacterial replication by binding to topoisomerase II subunits, and topotecan, a eucaryotic topoisomerase I inhibitor, is used for cancer chemotherapy.

Let's just say that in order to ignore my inability to absorb any of that information, I spent a lot of time talking with Morgan about sitcoms, work, or contemplating other non-medical deep thoughts.

09 November 2011

Appletree - Lebanon

While my parents were visiting, we decided it would be a good idea to eat out for breakfast. The only problem was that Scott had a school service project on Saturday and I needed to leave mid-morning for an MBA group meeting. We decided to pick some place local to save on time, and I suggested we try the Appletree restaurant located in Lebanon across from Safeway.

I only knew a few facts about Appletree before walking inside. I had seen the weather-worn exterior and large parking lot when we first moved to town in May. Since it was Strawberry Festival season, Appletree’s outdoor advertising touted their strawberry shortcake special. I just realized, you really don’t have to say much for strawberry shortcake to sound delicious. I’m drooling and there wasn’t even a special description! Anyway, the only other thing I knew about Appletree was that they also have the Oregon State lottery available to play. Not much to go off!

So when my parents and I walked inside on Saturday morning, I really had no idea what to expect… and with no expectations I was pleasantly surprised. The inside has a homey, country diner feel. There’s a pie display case at the front and besides table seating, you could also eat your meal at the counter. The restaurant is decorated with country wallpaper and antique cooking utensils on display. You could tell the “usual” crowd was already there enjoying their meal by the time we walked in. The waitress could tell from memory, as she seated her guests, whether or not they would need a menu.

The back of the menu had all of their breakfast options. I didn’t peruse the menu much. I’m surprised I can’t even remember when Appletree stops serving breakfast. That’s an important thing to know! I must have been pretty hungry. In fact, we all were. The Cavanaugh’s don’t normally order a meal without needing an extra plate for sharing. We all chose our own meals at Appletree from a variety of classic breakfast options.

And they were delicious! My dad commented at how fast our food came too! He said it was as fast as McDonald’s but so much better. We also kept comparing our experience to The Original Breakfast in Albany, Oregon (since that was the last place we had all eaten breakfast together). Appletree’s menu was just as good and the location is much better for us! If you’re looking for a breakfast spot in Lebanon, Appletree is your best option! And if you go there often enough, I’ll wager they remember your name and order… maybe even have it ready before you come in.

07 November 2011

Limeberry - Lebanon

Picture by me taken of Albany's Limeberry

My parents new favorite thing is frozen yogurt shops. Maybe it's not their NEW favorite thing. My dad has always loved the soft serve ice cream machines, especially if you could build your own sundae. Well, since they have moved to the "Lower 48," my mom has developed a sixth sense for yogurt shops. She can smell them out from a distance. The first time she ever came to Lebanon, she made sure to tell me she saw that a Limeberry frozen yogurt shop was opening up this summer.

The Limeberry in Lebanon, Oregon opened up sometime before the school year started, I think. It wasn't until my parents visited again that we tried it out. It was SO tasty! They provide you with LARGE cups, which you may or may not want to fill all the way with your choice of frozen yogurts and toppings. My dad chooses to fill his cup up. Waste not, want not. I actually don't know what that means, but it sounds right.

Limeberry posts their frozen yogurt flavors on their Facebook page, as the flavors change often. We found that out the hard way when we visited TWICE in two days. Scott had a really scrumptious Wild Berry yogurt that we were both dying to have again the next day... only to find out it had been replaced by Island Banana. We will definitely be watching for more Wild Berry. Topping choices were vast, from berries, granola, and sprinkles, to candy, cookies, and even juice pellets.

Limeberry frequently has coupons to clip in the local Coupon Connections that comes in the mail (or can be found at Safeway). If you're in town, I would definitely recommend finding a coupon and a friend and heading over to the Limeberry!

04 November 2011

Parents Visit from Medford

I love having my parents so close! Scott especially loves it too. There have been a couple times already when he's asked if I thought it would be a good idea to invite my parents up for the weekend. Scott's motives are usually medically related, as I consider both of my parents to be well-qualified resources in all things healthy. This last weekend my parents came to visit and help Scott with a physical test he had this week.

It was a quick trip, but my parents were so helpful! Scott was able to get his physical down from 20 minutes to 11. We were also able to visit some restraunts in town that I've been meaning to see and blog.

Thanks for being our guinea pigs, Mom and Dad!

02 November 2011

Chance to Photobooth

I forgot to post this when we visited Sacramento for Trevor's wedding. I stole Scott from the head table and made use of the rented photobooth at the reception. We were warned in advance by Michellie and Erik that we had about three seconds between pictures to pose. We decided the poses before hand... and then later I saw everyone break out the props! Oh well, still a very fun momento to take away.

I was definitely wearing Scott's tux jacket as I was FREEZING! I know... it was California. I'm weird. Also, I didn't realize my tongue was so long!

31 October 2011

Carving Pumpkins

Happy Halloween!

Our apartment complex is having a pumpkin carving contest, so Scott and I thought we would participate. We were hoping to carve one evening with some of the med students I haven't met yet, but that didn't pan out.

We carved two pumpkins, one medium and one small. The milk jug in the middle is a Young Women's personal progress activity I did at church this month based on this blog post.  The young women didn't want to keep this one, so I'm putting it out with our pumpkins.

Can you guess who carved which pumpkin?
Pumpkin #1
Pumpkin #2

Scott is going to be Waldo at school today. So excited! He really wanted me to be Wanda, but I don't think I look as much like Wanda as he looks like Waldo. Hence... no costume for me. I'll post pictures of Scott soon!

28 October 2011

On the Crohns Front

I usually don’t give Crohns updates, but the topic typically comes up every time I’m in a conversation with close family and friends. Since this is, after all, a newsletter about me, I figured I’m probably due to give an update.

I started this post a few months ago, when I realized that my last report on Crohns was over a year ago. When I started the post in August I felt great! I had gained weight, and while that sounds like a bad thing, it is a really good sign for me. In fact, I think it was the first time during my marriage to Scott that I came home with the happy news. He was puzzled.

About a month later I started feeling nauseous every day, an unusual occurrence for Crohns (No, I'm not pregnant.). I decided to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist here in Corvallis to see if he had any ideas. He didn't think it sounded like Crohns either and ordered some blood work to get initial clues. Note: The sign of a good gastroenterologist is the ordering of blood work. Not exactly sure why, but my favorite doctor's always have, and my least favorite NEVER asked.

My blood work showed a high level of liver activity, which is not something typically related to Crohns. It could be a sign that something else was malfunctioning, like my gallbladder. Without knowing for sure, my doctor ordered a CT scan, which I had done a couple weeks ago.

Now, don't freak out! Apparently CT scans are the new X-ray. It is a fairly common way for doctors to get a visual of what's going on inside without actually going inside (surgery or scoping). When I told family and friends that I was going in for a CT scan, many of them immediately referred to House or Grey's Anatomy episodes where a CT scan means imminent death. You should know, if no one's told you already, that House portrays an over exagerated, not to mention unethical, practice of medicine. Just ask Scott. He's had to watch episodes for homework... or at least that's what he told me.

The CT scan came back clean. My gallbladder's fine, by kidneys are fine, my liver looked fine. However, Mr. Crohns, in addition to where he's always been, has expanded his territory a tad. My immune system is still a bit overactive, meaning I catch every cold virus passed around the office or church nursery (even though I'm in Young Womens). But hey, the nausea stopped! I'm having discussions with my doctor this week about medicine. I expect that I will be able to get Mr. Crohns under control without any further references to popular television programing.

26 October 2011

Notes from Medical School

Life has been so busy that whenever Katie has asked that I blog about med school I've never had the time to sit down and write. She got tired of waiting and sat down to ask me questions for an update post. Here's the Q and A:

Describe your medical school schedule.
Busy. It's extremely busy. The content isn't that difficult, it's the pacing. If you had 8 years to learn all the material then anyone could do it. We only have two years to learn every little detail of the body before getting into the hospitals for rotations. It's been three months and we just finished studying gross anatomy, head and neck, and as of Tuesday began studying molecular and cell biology.

How is med school different from undergrad studies?
Med school requires more time and energy. In my undergraduate work I could attend class if I wanted to, complete the homework, and do well in the class. In med school I get up early to study, attend all lectures and labs, study more before going to bed. All to wake up and do it again the next day.

Does med school meet the expectations you had?
Yes. I felt well prepared. BYU prepared me well for med school. A lot of this stuff I'm already familiar with.

If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing to better prepare, what would you say?
Take more biology courses.

What has been your favorite med school moment so far?
I enjoyed TAing. It put me in a good position for the rest of school - socially and academically. I have a lot of good friends coming from different backgrounds. It's the real deal.

24 October 2011

Sunset Ceremony

Groom walking his mother down the aisle
This last weekend Scott and I were able to get away for a day (with much preparation before hand) to attend the ring ceremony of his good friend, Trevor. Scott and his buddy Erik were co-best men. It worked out pretty well, especially for the maid of honor who was sandwiched between these men walking down the aisle.

Trevor and Ester were married in the Oakland Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A ring ceremony was performed by Trevor's uncle in Roseville, CA for friends of the couple who were unable to attend the temple sealing.

I liked the example Trevor's uncle used to explain how to approach a temple marriage and sealing for time and all eternity. He shared a story of a husband and wife who owned silver utensil set to be used on special occasions. The husband felt the tedious work of cleaning and polishing before and after each use, only to be packed away for another six months. He asked his wife one day why they went through so much effort and why they didn't use the silverware more often. She replied that "if you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by."

We really enjoyed our short, SHORT trip to Sacramento and only wish we could have spent more time with family. Now back to the nine to five... more like seven to six.

21 October 2011

A Little Mario

Scott is in a wedding this weekend. It is a welcomed break from studying and working! Even better, we get to see these little characters! So excited!