Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lemons, curve balls, and bowling balls

I apologize for my absence….actually, no I don’t.  If you recall in my very first post I made it very clear I’m not much of a blogger.

And so we commence into the holiday festivities with feasting and singing and laughter and mirth…except not really this year.  A week ago my 10 day old niece was rushed to Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital, the thinking was that she had pneumonia, strep B, and sepsis, and the prognosis was not good.  When she arrived at Vanderbilt they immediately recognized that she had a heart defect.  She had heart surgery on Monday and is still there, waiting for her respiratory condition to level out so she can come home.  As my family was out of town on a business trip to Dallas and I was home I was there with my brother and sister in-law, I drove them to Nashville and stayed with them till my mom arrived.
It has truly been a sobering and thankful thanksgiving and beginning to the holiday season as I am reminded how fragile life is.  On one hand I am beyond words that can express how thankful I am for the life of my niece and that her prognosis now is far, far better than it was a week ago, but on the other hand the realization that we are a mere vapor that can quickly vanish without a moment’s notice,  settles in slowly and I am forced to reconsider just HOW thankful I am for everyone and everything around me.  It forces me to reconsider how often I acknowledge the existence of those around me.  It forces me to reconsider those things that I so foolishly consider of utmost importance to me, but are really quite meaningless.

We decorated our Christmas tree today, this was unusual for many reasons.  First and foremost being that we never get a tree until December, today is the 27th of November. The second unusual reason is that we only got the darn thing yesterday and it’s already up and decorated, usually it sits outside for the better part of a week before we haul it in and then it sits bare for a day or two, and THEN does it get decorated.  But we got our tree yesterday because we didn’t know what a week from now (the first Saturday in December, the date we usually get a tree) would hold for us; would Lilly be home? Would we be in Nashville? Would we have our families thanksgiving dinner that Saturday that has been postponed?

I sit and stare quietly at the tree, it is very nearly perfect, and I am reminded that life is fragile;  I told a friend last week as Lilly’s life seemed to hang in the balance that “I feel like my life is cracking all around me.”
Yes, life is fragile, but this does not mean to walk in fear, not at all, it means…

Enjoy the little things

Enjoy the big things

Laugh often

Smile much

Sing out

Live life

Live well

Think hard

Make an impact

Impart a vision

Glorify God

As we drove to Nashville on Saturday night, now knowing what the next day would hold I looked at my brother and shared with him an analogy I share with my patients.
“Sometimes life throws you lemons, and you get to make lemonade, right?  Then there are times life throws curve balls at you, and the best you can do is just swing, swing hard, swing away, and just try……..Then there are the times that life chucks bowling balls at you and then you just run and hide and try to get out of the way….I’m still trying to figure out which of these three circumstances fits us right now.”

Life is fragile, but God isn’t, so dance and laugh and enjoy life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

good times and bad times.

I've learned a whole lot this semester;  I've stepped up my game, gritted my teeth, hurt my back, and taken more people to the bathroom than I ever thought I would.  and I've loved every minute of it.
There have been days I have come home elated and thrilled. other days when I'm cranky (thankfully that patient was discharged ;p). and others when I've sat out in my car, my mind heavy with sadness.

There are several reasons I am doing what I'm doing.  Near the top of the list is because I like helping people, and I like leaving an imprint on someone's life.  I know there are some people that wont get better, either because of physical problems or they just don't want to, and I dealt with a fair share of both types last spring.

There are good days in therapy, and there are bad days in therapy; I've experienced both, as a patient and as the therapist.
Today was a good day and a bad day, the past week has been a week of good days and bad days.

I have a patient who had a stroke, a pretty bad stroke, a couple months ago.  Today, with the help of three people (two holding him up, and one following with the wheelchair) he walked 94 feet. One week ago he couldn't take one step.  he can't stand without someone holding him up. He can't walk without two people and a walker holding him up, and he can't really sit straight either.
Finishing "stepping-off" at 94 feet was a good moment today, and announcing that to everyone and having all of the nurses and therapists, and other patients cheer, THAT was a good day.  Those moments are the moments that I love. and I mean really really love.
But it was a bad day too.
Because the fact of the matter is that due to how severe his stroke was, chances are high that he will never walk without someone holding the majority of his weight up. chances are high that he will never go back to his home. chances are high that he'll always, ALWAYS need help moving from one chair to another. chances are high he will never take a walk with his wife again.
There is a moment of celebration, when we find out how far he walked, and then everyone gets really quiet as we all recognize the cold, bitter, hard truth. 

Visiting hours for our unit start at 4 oclock, and his wife comes walking through those elevator doors at 4:00pm EXACTLY.  He waits patiently for her in his room all day long, and when he sees her, his face is split in half by a smile the size of the moon.  I can't be there when that happens. I was there one time, and had to leave as fast as I could because of the tears that came unexpectedly to my eyes.When we see his wife step off the elevator all of us silently shake our head at how devoted she is to him, and how horrible the situation is.

so today was a good day and a bad day.  there's no point in lying to yourself, and denying the bad, but its better to look at the good and look forward to tomorrow when we try to go for 100'.

Friday, September 30, 2011

sleepy nim

Hullo there!!!
The first week of clinicals is behind me and honestly I'm trying to figure out why the hell (sorry) I'm still awake despite my sheer and utter exhaustion. 
Recently, Emilie Reinhardt passed her last two classes in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at West Kentucky Community and Technical college.  Her two years in the program are marked by 6 B's and 1 A, Emilie is reported to have said "Start Strong, Finish Strong-"  Story continued on page 3.
 In other news, Emilie Reinhardt plans on going cross-country mountain biking in the morning.  Emilie Confirms she will be wearing her helmet and knee pads, and no one should worry...Emilie also plans to attend a tail-gating party tomorrow before the Murray State Football game that she already has tickets to attend.
In a recent interview with Emilie Reinhardt, who recently started a 5 week clinical practicum at Murray Calloway County Inpatient Rehabilitation facility, she reports 3 reasons why today was great.
"1: Had one patient tell me that our trip outside was the first time she had been outside in 3 weeks, needless to say we enjoyed the sun and the beautiful weather a little longer and didn't do our wheelchair management on the ramp (I don't think she minded).
2. Had another patient tell me that our walk outside was "Absolutely bliss", because she hadn't walked that much, pain-free in 1 year, we also took a much needed break on the bench outside.
3. Easily convinced occupational therapy that playing "angry birds" on his Iphone was completely appropriate therapy for one of our patients. I then supervised him resetting his apple password and downloading the game. ps- this patient is upper 80s and navigates is iphone 4 nearly better than I navigate mine.

I totally love days like today, especially at therapy." Story continues on page 4.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Share life.

I shared coffee with a new friend a couple days ago.  We sat for a couple hours, and spread our lives bare before each other.  We laughed, smiled, and nodded thoughtfully. She told me of the current battles of her heart right now, and I listened.  I shared mistakes I have made, choices chosen that I wish hadn't, and opened up windows and doors that I usually keep tightly sealed, willing only to do so if absolutely necessary.  We shared life together, and ended up being late for the meeting we both had to be at.  I gave her advice, gave her hugs, and my prayers.  I made myself vulnerable to her, because of Love. 
As a follower of Christ, I am committed to love. Committed to making choices that are driven by love.
We are called to love and share life together.

Love is not proud
Love does not boast
Love after all
Matters the most

Love does not run

Love does not hide
Love does not keep
Locked inside

Love is the river that flows through

Love never fails you

Love will sustain

Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time

Love will protect

Love always hopes
Love still believes
When you don’t

Love is the arms that are holding you

Love never fails you

When my heart won’t make a sound

When I can’t turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this

Love is right here

Love is alive
Love is the way
The truth the life

Love is the river than flows through

Love is the arms that are holding you
Love is the place you will fly to
Love never fails you
My phone buzzed awhile ago while I was studying. "want to grab coffee?"
I went and shared coffee with an old friend.  One I've known for many years, that has shared life with me in every area.  Knows my highs and my lows, my good choices and bad choices, knows my anger and my love, knows my happiness and my sorrow, and really really knows the messy parts and the clean parts.  A friend, that had something been wrong or "up" in my life, as soon as I walked through the door would have known.  A friend, that even though we've barely seen each other the past six weeks (highly unusual) because of school, is still as deep and cherished a friend as she was 3 years ago.  So we got coffee, and skimmed through books, looked at cards and bookmarks, and shared life together. Because of Love
 It don't have a job;
don't pay your bills;
won't buy you a home in Beverly Hills.

Won't fix your life
in five easy steps.
Ain't the law of the land
or the government.

But it's all you need and...

Love will hold us together
make us a shelter to weather the storm.
And I'll be my brother's keeper
so the whole world will know that we're not alone.

It's waiting for you
Knockin' at your door
in the moment of truth
when your heart hits the floor
and your on your knees and...

Love will hold us together
make us a shelter to weather the storm.
And I'll be my brother's keeper
so the whole world will know that we're not alone.

This is the first day of the rest of your life
This is the first day of the rest of your life
Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It's gonna be alright,
It's gonna be alright.

This is the first day of the rest of your life
This is the first day of the rest of your life
Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It's gonna be alright,
It's gonna be alright.

Love will hold us together
make us a shelter to weather the storm.
And I'll be my brother's keeper
so the whole world will know that we're not alone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I was just reading a friends blog and realized (much to my bewilderment) that I was reading it backwards. From the bottom up, and on some lines, right to left. And (unfortunately maybe?) I was able to comprehend and understand it.  This is what school does to me.  When the stress hits and I lose control of of my firm control of my dyslexia and what seems like an endless fountain of energy.  Oh yes, and it frustrates me >:|

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not enough time...

I am so thankful that as I lay crashed on the couch after two tests, graduation pictures, and having a tooth pulled, for the little hand that patted my face (yes, even on the very side my tooth came out of) to wake me up so my niece could give me a hug and a kiss goodbye, and tell me that she loves me. If I could but live in this single moment forever it would be too short a time.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

here comes the sun

Yesterday ranks as one of the hardest days of my life.  I said goodbye to one of my oldest friends, knowing that there wouldn't be a "hello" again (this side of heaven at least).  The vet came out in the morning and by lunch time it was done.  She went peacefully, the vet actually said he'd never seen a horse pass as peacefully as she did.  As much as it was the right decision, it was still so hard.  She was the horse I learned to side-pass on, and I had my first canter on her.  She soaked up many tears over the years, and gave many hugs.  She was quiet and obedient.  Didn't care too much for Raj though.

See ya girl, you were great.