Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What is this??

What is this, a new blog entry? I promise that I've been alive. My blog has been sorely neglected for the last (almost) 3 months, but hopefully this will change soon. My life became an insane whirlwind of activity, but things are slowly starting to settle down into a routine. Rather than give excuses, I'll give a quick recap of the last 3 months.

May - I survived the NICU. I had 2 fabulous co-senior residents that month, and I don't know how I could have done it without them! My worst dark cloud ever followed me closely that month. When I started the rotation, I had called the medical examiner to notify him of a death only once during residency; by the end of the month, I had done it an additional three times. I saw things I never want to see again and cried more than I hope to do for a long time. Again, I am beyond thankful for the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapist, dietitians, techs, and all other people that God calls to work in the ICU setting; they truly are special people!

June - I was GI senior and spent the last week of my residency with brand new interns. They actually did a great job, and the month wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, but 4 service sub-specialty call almost handed my bootie to me a few times. I'm glad my former program is doing away with that because it's just too much work for one senior to adequately cover that many sick kids. I also turned 28, and Hubby and I had a wonderful dinner together to celebrate. He got me the new iPhone plus a new Tiffany necklace; I felt so spoiled!! :)

I finished residency at 4 PM on June 30th and almost danced out of the hospital! I'd already shed my tears several times as I'd said my goodbyes, so the actual leaving of the hospital for the last time wasn't nearly as emotional as I had thought it would be.

July - I slept in for one day, and then Hubby and I left for Paris on the 2nd! We were gone for a whole week, and it was amazing. I posted most of our pictures onto Facebook, so I won't go through the trouble of posting all 480 of them back onto Blogger. (I figure that if you're reading my blog, you're likely already my friend on Facebook. If not, give me a holler!) We ate like kings, saw so many amazing museums, and just generally had a great time not thinking about work and just experiencing the country.

I had about a week to relax after we returned, and then I started my new job. I LOVE IT!! I'm the second pediatrician in a practice, and even though it's only been a week, I am already so happy here. My entire staff is wonderful and have been such a big help to me as I'm getting used to things out here, and the physician who hired me as been fabulous to me. Seriously, there are moments where I can't believe that this is my life! The only thing I don't like about the job actually has nothing to do with the job; it's my 45 minute commute each way. Hubby and I are still trying to sell the house, and as soon as we do, we'll move much closer to my job.

All in all, life is great.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Stepping up to the plate

In the last 60 hours since our new block started, I have spent 40 of those in the NICU. I've been to quite a few deliveries. Most of them have ended up very happy. One did not. I'm still mentally grappling with the things I've seen in the last two and a half days, and I doubt certain mental images will ever leave my mind. I keep talking with my co-workers about it because I don't know how else to process everything, and unless you've been right there, understanding the emotions and hearing the guttural cries of someone just given devastating news can be challenging. Even when you know there is nothing else you or anyone else could have done to change the outcome, watching someone suffer such a great loss is heart wrenching. I cried both at work and after work on Monday, and I've actually cried again today. I honestly hope that I never lose that sensitive side, and I doubt I ever will.

I am so thankful to those people that God has called to work in intensive care settings because I am definitely not one of them. I'm a relationship-oriented person which is a huge part of why I love working in a clinic; I get to form relationships with families and partner with them to take care of their children. I have less than 80 days til I start my new job, and I am so excited that words fail me when I try to explain!

I came home after my 29 hour call (yay for friends who let me leave an hour early) and crashed for a glorious 4 hour nap. I'm now waiting for Hubby to get home. He'll give me a big hug, and I know I'll start to feel a little better. Then he'll take me to get food, and since we all know how much I love food (both to make it and to eat it), I know that will help too. He'll make me laugh, and humor (even when it is dark humor at times) is a necessity to make it through the hard times.

A friend of mine told me about a sign posted in the ICU where she did med school that asked the families not to be offended if they saw providers laughing; it doesn't mean we don't care -- it is simply a coping mechanism for us to continue to keep hope and be able to come back to face another day of the battle against death and disease. Sometimes laughing is the only way not to cry, and there is definitely a time and place for both. I've had my tears today; now it's time to let my sweetheart make me smile.

Soon I will be able to go back to bed and sleep (the very opposite of what I did last night on call). I know tomorrow will look brighter, and I am looking forward to another day of helping people even if it's outside my comfort zone. May God give me strength when I am weak and words of peace for others in their troubles.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


It's 1:30 PM, and I'm still in my pajamas. I worked in the ER til 2:30 this morning, so I don't feel so bad about my choice of clothing at the moment especially since I'll be back in the ER at 6 tonight. I know I need to update my blog, but I have been a slacker. I don't have a really great excuse; it just seems that every time I try to put my thoughts down lately, the words don't convey the depth of the experience.

To sum up the last 2 weeks in tidbits:
  • I really love my husband. We drive each other nuts sometimes, but I love that man so much!!
  • My experiments in the kitchen have been exceptionally tasty recently. I've made a ton of chocolate chip cookies, one delicious pot roast (thank you, Barefoot Contessa!), several yummy spaghetti dishes with extra veggies, a yummy butter cake, two batches of java-streusel banana muffins, mango sorbet for the hubby, and a batch of vanilla bean ice cream. I've given most of the food away which is why I haven't gained 50 pounds.
  • Swine flu is not my friend right now. Neither are the 300 parents crowding the ER wanting their perfectly healthy kids tested for the swine flu.
  • I think we've figured out where we want to move. As soon as our house sells, we'll re-examine the area to see what houses are available, but it's nice to have an idea of where we want to end up.
  • On the other hand, I really dread packing this house and finding a moving company!
  • Speaking of other hands, I already bought my birthday present even though my birthday is six weeks away. Hubby is taking me to see Fiddler on the Roof when the production comes through Dallas in May. I am SO excited!! I loved that movie when I was little and can still sing all the songs from the musical.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Roller coaster ride

The last week has been quite a roller coaster ride. On more than one day, I cared for patients who have been the victim of child abuse. I actually started to cry in the ER after one particularly emotional case, and I had to sneak out for a few minutes til the tears stopped and I could compose myself. I hate that these kids are suffering, but I love helping them. I held one for a while during one of my shifts and whispered to this little one that they are loved. Who knows if this child had ever heard that before? The very thought broke my heart.

In stark contrast to those awful experiences, yesterday held an amazing moment for me where I sat down with a family and talked over a diagnosis that I correctly identified after two other outside physicians had missed it. I loved being able to provide reassurance to these parents, and 15 minutes after we started talking, the mom thanked me and proclaimed, "I feel 100% better; I think I'll actually be able to sleep tonight." When I left their room for the last time, I felt a serious sense of accomplishment. While I was proud that my knowledge base had expanded enough that I knew the correct diagnosis, I was even more thrilled that I had been able to connect with these parents and relieve their anxiety. They trusted me, and as I was talking with them, I realized just how much I love this part of my job!

I have been given a huge responsibility and a huge gift at the same time. What a thrill!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Those of you who read this blog will know what I'm talking about. I'm praying for Stellan.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Closing a chapter

I've been pondering this post for a few days, and I still don't know exactly where it's going to go. I just know that I need to write it even if only for myself.

Three years plus a week ago, I opened a letter that told me I had matched to a residency in Dallas. Hubby and I had done a great deal of praying over the matter and believed God wanted us in Dallas; opening the letter confirmed it. A month after opening the letter, Hubby and I said our vows and started our life together. Another month plus a week after that, we packed up our two cars and drove to Dallas. I had cried many times as we said goodbye to friends over the preceding weeks, and I cried again as we drove out of Houston. I had spent the last seventeen years in Houston or in nearby College Station, and leaving home hurt. I consoled myself by thinking that it would only be three years before we would come back, and that brought me comfort.

The next year was truly the hardest year of my life, and there are still moments when I look back at it in sheer amazement that I came through in one piece. Intern year raked me over the coals (as it tends to do to most of us), and worse still, I was separated from my beloved most of that year. I missed him and missed my friends so much that it physically hurt. I felt like I was in such a weird position of being a married woman without a husband around, so I didn't know which direction to turn to find friends up here. I felt uncomfortable hanging out with couples being the lone female, but living the single life (obviously) did not feel right either.

At the end of my intern year, we learned that my in-laws were going to be divorced. I knew God had at least one reason for us to come to Dallas, and this was surely a big one. We live only an hour from them compared to three hours from Houston, and being close by has been exceptionally important. Even with this, I know I subconsciously held on to the thought that we might return.

As the time for me to search for a job began to approach, Hubby and I began to talk through the ideas of where we thought we should be looking. We came to the conclusion that staying here in the Dallas area was the right thing for us. My parents left Houston two years before I did, and we have no more immediate family down there. We have no intentions to move to Mississippi where my parents now live, and Hubby's family all live within an hour and a half of us up here. God willing, children will come in the future, and we desire to be near family when that time comes. We had built a new house a year after moving here and were in no hurry to move again. Hubby has also done very well with his job up here, and it would not have been a wise move for him to have to change offices for the second time in three years. From my perspective, I already know the lay of the medical land (so to speak) here in Dallas compared to Houston, so there were advantages for me as well.

I have to be honest that I was and still am a little sad about not moving back to Houston. Leaving my hometown is HARD; leaving friends behind is even harder. Last weekend, one of my close friends from college got married. I miraculously had the weekend off, so Hubby and I spent the weekend in Houston. We didn't have enough time to see everyone we wanted to, but we were blessed with the chance to catch up with several old friends. I almost knocked over one of them from hugging her so hard upon seeing her! I'm hoping that in three and a half months when residency is over, I will have more opportunities to see our friends than once every three years.

Sunday morning we went back to the church where we were members before we left, the same church where we were married thirty five months earlier (to the day!). As the lights dimmed for service and the music began, I nearly lost it. I started to cry and couldn't even sing for a moment because my voice was quivering so hard. I missed Houston. I missed my friends. I missed the roads I had driven for years but was starting to forget. I missed the hole-in-the-wall restaurants where I'd spent hours eating and laughing. I missed the memories that came to mind when I'd drive by a certain coffee shop or store.

After the service, Hubbs and I went to our favorite little Greek restaurant to meet up with another set of dear friends. Since we beat them there, we had a few minutes to talk and digest everything that had happened that weekend. I confided that I'd cried during service (the bangs can hide things really well!), and he listened as I explained why. I know that we belong here and know that God has a purpose for us in Dallas; I just needed a moment to release my emotions and acknowledge that it's okay for me to miss friends and even a city.

At this point, Hubby said something profound that I'd never considered. He pointed out that coming to Dallas was probably a great thing for our marriage; since we didn't know anyone else up here, we had no other friends to lean on when we felt lonely (me when he was out of town and him when I was on call). Had we stayed in Houston, when I was gone, he would have still had all his buddies and probably would not have "needed" me as much and vice versa. Both of us are fiercely independent creatures, and learning to depend on each other and to have another person be such an integral part of our daily life is something only God could have worked.

Eventually we wrapped up lunch with our friends and began to start the long drive back to Dallas. All weekend long, we'd intermittently talked about missing Sebastian, and now that we were headed back to pick him up, I truly began to get excited. He's our little canine child, and I couldn't wait to see him! Hubbs actually felt the same way, and it turns out Sebastian did too!

An hour after picking up Sebastian, we drove through downtown Dallas. Almost immediately, the thought "we're home" crossed through my mind, and I couldn't believe it. How can two places feel like home? I still don't have the answer, but I know that I'm going to be okay. I know that I'll always hold a special place in my heart for Houston, but I know that my place now is here. I know that God has a plan for me where He has placed me, and I will rest, satisfied in the knowledge that He is good and will not let me down.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009



I signed my contract this evening. I have a job in Plano joining a private practice; I'll be starting shortly after residency ends. Hubby and I are SO EXCITED!! God has been SO faithful through all of this. Now it's time to put our house out on the market and pray for a buyer.

Did I mention that I HAVE A JOB?


Monday, March 09, 2009

Wisdom where I needed it

To say that today has been stressful is the understatement of the year. As I did my normal Sarah stressing-out thing, God provided wisdom and comfort to me through the words of Charles Spurgeon.

"My grace is sufficient for thee."
2 Corinthians 12:9
If none of God’s saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has not where to lay his head, who yet can say, “Still will I trust in the Lord;” when we see the pauper starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith in Christ, oh, what honor it reflects on the gospel! God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring—that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace. There is a lighthouse out at sea: it is a calm night—I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the tempest must rage about it, and then I shall
know whether it will stand.

So with the Spirit’s work: if it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we should not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we should not know how firm and secure it was. The master-works of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties, stedfast, unmoveable,—

“Calm 'mid the bewildering cry,
Confident of victory.”

He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts be many. If, then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it—hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now should be trusted to the end.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I love pediatrics

Today I saw five patients in my weekly continuity clinic; 2 of them were my personal patients that I have followed since birth. Both of them turn 2 next month, and I cannot believe how big they have gotten. I adore both of these babies, and I love knowing that I have made at least a little bit of difference in these children's lives. I've been starting to let patients know that I'll be leaving at the end of June, and it has been so touching to have these families tell me that they don't want me to go!

I love watching my patients grow up in front of my eyes. I love meeting new families and establishing relationships. I love being able to teach a new mommy something wonderful about her baby. I love holding a newborn in my arms and feeling their little bodies snuggle down. While I obviously can't fix everything, I love the opportunity to talk to these families about important topics like obesity and diabetes before it's too late.

Three years ago, I wondered if I'd made the right decision when I chose pediatrics. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is where I am supposed to be.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I take after my dad in many aspects. One of those is my dislike of the uncertain. If you tell me, "I have something to tell you," I want to know now, not later, especially if you tell me that you have bad news. Hubby will back me up on this one; he has learned he can never tell me that we have something we need to talk about unless he's ready to sit down now. I can't stand the suspense!

Tuesday night I got an email from my attorney letting me know that she wants to discuss my contract with me, but unfortunately, she's had a death in her family and will be out of town til early next week. I definitely appreciate her letting me know why she'd be out of touch for several days, but it made me NERVOUS. I had really hoped to get the ball rolling on getting my contract signed this week, but now there will be a delay.

I was so stressed when I got the email last night. I actually had a momentary freak-out til Hubby and my dad both talked some sense into me. Now I'm fine; I still don't like waiting for a week to hear her opinion, but I know that it will all work out.

The situation reminded me of a quote from Evan Almighty; Morgan Freeman is playing God, and he asks Evan's wife this question:

Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?

In my old Bible, I underlined Philippians 4:6-7 (referenced in this post) and wrote "Do not be anxious, Sarah!" right next to it. I know God is using this time to teach me patience through practice. Now it's time to put it into action and be at peace through the next week or however long it takes to complete this.

When I have everything signed, then I will be able to tell more about the specifics of the job. Needless to say, I am VERY excited!!