Friday, September 27, 2013


I was searching through old photos to find something to add here, and this one literally jumped out at me. I can't tell you when I took it... but clearly it had a purpose.

"Maybe happiness didn't have to be about the big, sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place. Maybe it was about stringing together a bunch of small pleasures... Maybe happiness was just a matter of the little upticks- the traffic signal that said "walk" the second you got there - and downticks - the itchy tag at the back of your collar- that happened to every person in the course of a day. Maybe everybody had the same allotted measure of happiness within each day. Maybe it didn't matter if you were a word-famous heartthrob or a painful geek. Maybe it didn't matter if your friend was possibly dying. Maybe you just got through it. Maybe that was all you could ask for." - The Sisterhood of the traveling pants Ann Brashares

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: When sharing is a problem

Conversation between doctor and 4 year old female patient

Dr: That looks like a really good lollipop! Can I just have one lick??
Patient: (pauses to think really hard) No Dr D.... because, because it has all of my germs all over it!
Dr: Oh, so I can't have it?
Patient: No! You can have your germs and I can have mine.
Dr: Ok then.. (Looks at tupperware container of chocolate chip cookies next to patients and points while he counts) Well look here... you have one, two , three, four cookies. So that can be one cookie for me, and three for you!
Patient: (once again thinking hard) No Dr D. Because.. Because... I have to keep them all together!!
Dr: Ok... well (looks at the multitude of tiny animals she has on her lap) you have a lot of animals there! Can I just have one, can I just have one so I can go back to my office and not cry?
Dad: Come on -----, you can give him one! You have three lions there, give Dr D one!
Dr: You can give me one and you'll have all your others, and then I won't cry
Patient: (Who has been sitting there the entire time, quiet, with the wheels clearly turning in her head) Well... how about you have one of YOUR toys from the playroom. (Stands up and goes to toy box, picks out a toy, comes back and puts it in the doctor's hands) There you go Dr. D. I'm giving you THAT toy to take back to your office so you won't cry.
Dad: You can't fault her reasoning... even if she is generous with other peoples' things!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: Peeping Patients

5 year old male patient is in his room alone, kneeling on a chair, looking out the window contently for a good long time until:

Patient: Is that Lady DEAD?!?!
Nurse: What lady??
Patient: (pointing to lady sleeping in the adult ICU room visible across the way) That one! She's DEAD!
Nurse: No honey, she's just sleeping
Patient: Why would she be sleeping? It's the MIDDLE OF THE DAY. She's definitely dead.

You can't argue with that logic

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: A different kind of fudge?

Conversation with a 5 year old boy

Bethany: Did you eat all your dinner?
Patient: No, I don't like any of that
Bethany: Really? You have chocolate cake right here!
Patient: Yes... but, chocolate cake will make you constipated.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Depression Lies... and it's a big bully

** Disclaimer- although I DO have a B.S.. in psychology and M.S. in child development and family relations, with graduate work in clinical psychology, I am NOT a licensed therapist, and the opinions below are my own. If you are suffering from any type of mental health issue, please seek out professional help, there is hope of a better tomorrow, I promise**

There's a dirty little secret about long-term depression that only people who have suffered will understand:

It never completely goes away.


Sunday, June 2, 2013


Im staring at a blank wall right now.

It's been a rough month. For all the posting I did in April, the words were not flowing in May. I was in survival mode, one day at a time. Things are changing, just not in the way I anticipated, and Im not ready to process yet. Hence the lack of writing.

Yet amidst all the chaos, the one bright light in my life has been Lilly. My stubborn, strong-willed, beautiful little bunny who had beat the odds and survived. Its amazing how therapeutic she could be (even while being a royal pain in my ass). No matter what crap might come at me at work, home, or in my personal life, I always had a warm bunny to come snuggle with, sometimes even with her consent.

But last night right around 9 pm, my precious baby was finally given peace from her pain, and she breathed her last.

Taken a few weeks ago when her health seemed to be at its prime

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Riding out the storm: Week Two

Post Seven in this series.

(Facebook status from April 10):
Update on Lilly: i apologize if this message is disjointed. We have been without internet for a week which means i am trying to write this on my phone. things have been... Crazy over the past week. On Sunday she rapidly declined out of no where and upon examination at the vet we discovered her gi system has begun to shut down due to the antibiotic. The whole visit with the vet was an incredible God moment that i am still processing, and at some point I'll write about. Needless to say, i know God orchestrated that meeting for his good. The vet gave me a new plan of care along with his personal cell, and has been in daily contact with me monitoring her progress. Lilly seemed to bounce back a bit with the help of her new meds, new diet, and tummy massage multiple times a day, however tonight she began to show signs of extreme illness again. If things have not resolved by morning we will be again visiting our good friend dr bo at country club animal hospital. Please pray she again begins eating and drinking on her own, and that her urine production and bowel movements regulate. I have not a single doubt it was the power of prayer last week that got her through, so I'm calling on it again. There was a great quote from our sermon Sunday, it was a quote from a guy writing about turning his cancer to a blessing. He said "you will waste your cancer if you find comfort from the odds instead of from God". This has been my mantra over the past few days. The odds have been against us since day one, but by the grace of God she has continued on. I really believe deep down that his will will prevail in the end. If that means i lose her i Will be devastated of course, but i will choose to believe there still was a purpose in this all. So prayers for her health and my sanity are appreciated. If nothing else i have a whole new level of respect for my parents at work. If things are this hard for me with a pet, i can't imagine how heartwrenching it is for a parent to make these decisions about their child. I love you all, and promise to be a better friend as soon as the crisis resolves

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You will waste your suffering if...

This post (part of this series) was written on Sunday, April 7, after a vet visit that significantly impacted how I view suffering. The original article was talked about in a church sermon that morning, and while the pastor only touched on a few of the topics I was inspired to read the entire selection. In doing so I felt God asking me to process my experiences and use it as a framework for reflecting on what I had learned (At that point).

Although there is much I could add to my musings (in the two weeks since it's original conception), I've chosen to leave it in the original form. Part of this process has been documenting my reactions in real time (or as close as I can get). It's important to me not to fast forward through the growth process, and to recognize each step along the way.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Power of Hope

This is the fifth installation in this story series.
Sunday, April 7 (cont):
For the first time since this entire experience began, I no longer feel alone. I recognize this is largely due to my own unwillingness to reach out and ask for help. If nothing else this experience is teaching me sometimes I need to swallow my own pride and admit that I can’t do it on my own. I’m glad she’s here; I know that she will support whatever decision I make, prevent me from being pressured into making choices I really do not want, and if the worst is confirmed and we have to put her down, at least I won’t be alone.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Grace in the midst of suffering

This is the next part of this story.

I have to preface this post by saying it is the one I have been dreading writing the most. I get emotional just thinking about that Sunday. Part of this documentation process, Ive realized, is making myself process and heal from the experience. As I mentioned in the last post, God kept me from writing prior to this point. I instinctively knew it was not time to reflect, and I have to believe it is because he has something else to teach me about it now.. two weeks later. But still, its been more difficult than I anticipated to continually put myself back in those shoes. I apologize if this post is more disjointed and I seem less emotionally invested, it's a coping mechanism.

A conversation with a friend via text:

"I'm blogging and hating every second of it. Not because I don't want to write, but because it's so scary and overwhelming revisiting these experiences... I'm scared to write Sunday, I started hyperventilating just thinking about it."
Her response:

"[Your posts so far] are both fantastic and I love you for having the courage to put it out there!! Keep being brave, it's not only for you :)"

And maybe that's the heart of the matter. I feel overly indulgent writing these posts. It's so personal and raw, that it feels unfair to burden others with the events of Week Two. But maybe that's the point. If one other person can take heart from my struggles, from my vulnerability, then it is all worth it.

So I will write, stop procrastinating, and write, because week two is where the game began to change.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bunny Day Camp and Medications

This is the continuation of a story that first started here. It's incredible to me how difficult it has become to write each post, but I have this gut instinct that it is a story I am supposed to tell. So we continue, one agonizing day at a time:

Thursday, April 4:

(Facebook status update):

Update on Lilly: "We have urine production!" the doctor told me very excitedly yesterday when I came to pick her up. It's a good sign, it shows the kidneys have not totally shut down, but we still have a very long way to go. I dropped her off this morning again for monitoring and subcutaneous fluids, will do so again tomorrow, and then Saturday is the real test to see what her numbers at at. My one source of hope (As dangerous as hope can be) is that her activity and appetite are surprisingly normal. The receptionist yesterday relayed to me that the vet told her he was SHOCKED that she wants to eat, with those numbers she should be on death's door. The girl told me that she then stated "Well clearly she's not ready to go yet, she's a little fighter and she's not giving in." It brought tears to my eyes (which I'll admit is not uncommon these days) because that is the epitome of who Lilly is- she has always been a fighter, singularily stubborn and determined. I've been struggling with finding the line between how hard to push and when to let go and stop prolonging the inevitable. After hearing that, my answer was clear: as long as she has the determination to fight for her own life, I'll fight with her. When she starts giving up and succumbing, I will respect that. But as the vets office told me: "it's not often we see an animal that determined to keep living." So for now I'm trusting, and praying, and even begging God for more time with her. Thank you so much for all the support, at times I get hard on myself for being this upset over a rabbit, but you all haven't let me give up hope and for that, I thank you. Keep praying, for me, for her, for discernment as we move forward.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

When it's ok to tell God "Uncle"

This is a continuation of a story started here. It promises to be lengthy... and difficult for me to write. One step at a time.

Wednesday, April 3

(Facebook status update)

Update on Lilly: We visited the vet this morning (After being unable to go last night) and the results are mixed. Luckily her blood counts are normal, indicating there is not an infection, however her metabolic results indicate that she is in kidney failure. The question remains if this is acute or chronic, as that will influence her likelihood of pulling through. The vet said that his prognosis is guarded- neither grave nor stellar. The one spot of hope is that she is continuing to eat and drink (sparsely); the vet was shocked stating that her levels were so high there is no way she should be feeling good enough to be eating (at which point I informed him that she's no ordinary rabbit and has an unbelievable level of stubbornness, which Im sure she gets from her mother). The plan for now is to leave her with the vet today through friday for subcutaneous fluids and monitoring (I can bring her home at night) and then recheck the levels on Saturday. If she can start peeing on her own the odds are in her favor, but if we can't get those levels lowered then I'm going to have some tough decisions to make. Please pray, for her health, that I can finagle getting her to and from with my work schedule, and that i will have peace throughout this process that I am making the right decisions for her.

Thoughts on Prayer Part Three: Where to go and what to do when you don't even know what to pray

And so it begins. I've debated about how best to detail my experiences, and the best that I can think to do is go chronologically. To allow myself to revisit emotions, and experiences as they happened. Some of these recaps will be taken from actual post drafts that never saw publishing. Some will be taken from facebook statuses.

And for the moment, there is at least one critical storyline that will remain untold. I always aim to be transparent. If people will take the time to read my words, I feel I owe it to them to be honest and open. However, one very critical piece of the puzzle must be held back; I am hopeful that in time it too can be shared, but for now, just know I am giving what I can.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Telling the story of April: An intro

"Everyone can tell when they are in a 'bad time' in life, but why is it we never know the 'good times' until we are out of them?"

A thought from a conversation I had with a great friend about two years ago. I decided then and there that I would make a concerted effort to notice those times, to appreciate them. To recognize that things will never be 'perfect' but to choose to ignore the frustrations and enjoy the overwhelming good.

18 months ago I had such a moment; I was driving in the evening in Miami, don't ask where, I don't remember. What I do remember: driving with the windows down in my new car, a car provided to me by God when my previous car had finally crapped out on me. I had a car I could afford and could trust (At the time!) to get me from point a to b, in a new city, with a full time job, enjoying the beautiful weather and  this song came on the radio:

In that moment I knew things were going well; for once I could recognize that for that moment in time, life was ok. That song then took on new meaning for me as I counted my blessings. Every time I hear it now, I remember how I felt in that moment. And in subsequent weeks when the 'good' was gone, when the cycle restarted and I was almost crushed by stress, I had the pleasure of knowing I appreciate the 'good'.

That song came on the radio again today, and for the moment, I choose to enjoy the peace.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: Hope they aren't rotten

Conversation in playroom with female patient, age 4

Patient: Can I take some toys to the room?
B: Of course, what would you like to take?
Patient: I want to take some of that food (Points to play kitchen)
 (Patient and mom begin to fill shopping cart, mom drops plastic tomato)
Patient: OH NOOOO! Mommy, you dropped the tomato... now's its all squished. It's probably just ketchup.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

An unintentional hiatus

Lack of internet at my house for over a week = Bethany's inability to post. Bear with me

Big, crazy, and stressful things happening on this side of the screen, and I have about five posts either written or written in my mind, but until we have the connection at home, posting will have to wait.

In the meantime, here is a quote from a devotional from work today that really impacted me. It was written by one of our chaplains, Jessie:

Are you currently waiting for the Lord to intervene in some way in your life... One of the struggles we face as Chrisians is trying to understand why our heavenly Father sometimes delays over matters that are so urgent to us... Release your expectations into His hands. The lord is working on our behalf, but sometimes we cling so tightly to a desired outcome that He must wait until we open our hands and let go of our expectations. We need to remember that while we are waiting, God is working. He sees the entire picture and is active behind the scenes, arranging everything according to his will. But perhaps his most important work is the deepening of our relationship with HIm as we learn to love and trust Him in the wait.

Also- if you could say a prayer for my rabbit, Lilly. On top of everything else, I have been dealing with one health crisis after another with her. I am well aware that God is using the situation to teach me, but it's exhausting to keep taking steps backwards after we make giant leaps forward. In the midst of all my other craziness, having her has been such a source of comfort and peace. Prayer has worked miracles so far (major blog post coming soon about it), so I know that it can keep us moving forward. So if you could say a prayer for me and my sanity, as well as her and her health, I would greatly appreciate it!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: Hospital Boot Camp

Conversation with a female patient, 3 years old (who is not allowed in the playroom for a variety of reasons at the moment):

Patient: Can we go to your playroom Bethany,  PLEEEEEASE (cheesy grin)
B: Not right now sweetie, it's really dirty.
Patient: (picks up toothbrush from sink) That's ok, if you get me a cup of water I can clean it for you with this. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A tribute: A girl and her dog

I'm going to write what will likely be the most indulgent post I ever create. And hopefully therapeutic. Feel free to skip if you aren't interested in sappy odes to childhood pets.

A year ago, on March 28, 2013, I said goodbye to my best friend, my dog, Lady.

Thanksgiving 2011

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Recap: Instagram Style

I was without internet for a week. Don't get me started, Im still irritated. As such I am behind in my posting, as well as my tv watching. Don't take offense, tv watching comes first. So while I work on getting my wits together and putting together a slew of deep, thought-provoking posts (excuse while I got snort with laughter and derision at my own comment) I shall leave you with an other Instagram style recap of my wonderful, fulfilling weekend with amazing friends. I've been a bit down lately, and was definitely in need of a relaxing weekend away from Miami! Enter a trip to my hometown:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: Toilet Training 102?

Conversation with a female patient, 3 years old:

Patient: I need to pee!
Dad: Well come over here to the bathroom.
Patient: That's a medium toilet, Bethany. I don't need the big girl toilet yet, but I'm not little, so I use the medium toilet. It's so nice of them to put a medium toilet into this bathroom for me.
Dad: I don't quite know how to tell her it's the exact same size it was 6 months ago.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Reflections on Match Day 2013

I want to introduce you to two of my best friends:

Cooking Baking Extravaganza 2012

That's Anisha, and we've been friends.. forever. We met in elementary school; a bit competitive as we were both super smart... and we knew it. But we were friends. We then went separate ways for middle school, high school, and, for a time, college. However, I transferred schools, met a girl who became my bestie, and then realized her roommate was best friends with... Anisha. So we became friends again. Graduated. Moved on... until I moved to Miami, where she conveniently was attending medical school. Bam. Instant best friends again, as if nothing had ever happened. She is loving, and caring, and kindhearted, basically everything you could ever want in a lifelong friend.

Celebrating her return from India... in unintentionally matching sweater dresses, tights, boots, belts, and scarves...

This is Molly, and we've been friends... since I moved to Miami. She and Anisha met/became friends in medical school, and eventually attended church together as well. Molly and I had a Chili's date very early on in our friendship and from that first encounter it was if we had been friends our whole lives. She is in many ways the yin to my yang (heck, we even dress alike without meaning to!), and has truly enriched my time here in Miami. There are so many things I probably wouldn't have survived without her support.

Molly and Anisha have been in medical school, kicking butt, for the past four years and something very special happened yesterday:

After months and months and months of applying, and interviewing, and flying, and not sleeping, and stressing, and thinking, and eventually ranking their top programs... they finally found out where they will be doing their residencies and continuing their medical careers. Needless to say... it was an exciting day. As a friend who has somewhat 'traveled' this journey with them, I was proud, nervous, and excited to experience 'Match Day' by their side.

And of course... God taught me a lesson in the process (ain't that always the way!).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Dating Cleanse, an update

On July 29, 2012 I decided to take a year off from dating.

A lot of factors went into the decision: a small group sermon series on dating and sex, conversations with friends, self reflection on my previous mistakes.

Not to mention the still smoldering embers remaining in my life from my last major relationship blow up. It wasn't something I ever talked about directly, but I hinted here that things had been particularly difficult for me to muddle through.

A lot of thought and prayer went into the decision, but at the end of the day I couldn't shake the feeling that God was asking me to trust him and take some time off from 'relationships'.

I am now almost 8 months in, 2/3 of the way done with this pledge, and I want to reflect a bit on what has happened and the change it has wrought in my life. Fair warning, this may be the most personal post I have ever written.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: loquacious moppets

From the mouths of three year olds (they make my vocabulary seem puny by comparison):


Patient: There's a squirrel in that tree!
L: I don't see it.
Patient: Oh never mind, it's camouflaged.
L: Do you even know what camouflaged means?
Patient: (in a very condescending tone) Of course. It means it's hidden.


Mom: Just yesterday she was mad that I wouldn't let her do what she wanted and informed me I needed to cooperate with her. I asked her what cooperate means and she very matter of fact told me it meant we had to work together.


Mom: Are you stable standing up there or do I need to help you?
Child: I'm a bit precarious right now Mommy, not stable
(Child sits down)
Child: That's better, I'm not precarious any more, I'm stable.


Patient: Be very careful when you are petting this pink baby chick toy Bethany, he is very fragile. That means he might break.


*I have several 'real' posts in the works, once I get the strength/wits together to write them.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these happy tidbits from my days!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: McDonald Spies

Conversation with a nurse about hospital policies.

Bethany: They're really starting to crack down about policies. Like the one stating we aren't supposed to have patients anywhere near the nurse's station. I mean, I get why they want that, but in some cases, like his (gesturing to a toddler patient who was sitting in a high chair nearby), it's just so much safer to have them close where we can keep an eye on them if they are alone.
Nurse: No, I completely agree. I think they're more worried about privacy. We want to avoid having people out here listening to health information about other patients.
Bethany: Haha, true story, luckily with this one I think we have a bit of time before he starts spilling the beans.
Patient (looks very determinedly at Bethany, and announces) E I E I O
Nurse: Then again.... maybe not

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts on Prayer Part Two: Or the start of the "Positivity Project"

When God closes a door sometimes there seems to be no real reason 'why', and all we can do is trust it was because there was something scary on the other side we hadn't yet seen... like a rabid dog, or a serial killer.

I had a major setback today.

Once again, details shouldn't, and won't, be discussed on an open public forum, but needless to say something I have been praying over, had friends praying over, hit a major roadblock.

It's been difficult... and life affirming all at the same time.

 I should back up

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Reflections on Blessings (plus Birthday week: Instagram Style)

There are moments in life when you are reminded of how you are truly blessed.

Beyond all measure, beyond all reason, beyond all that you deserve.

Celebrating my birthday with my roommate at a gorgeous winery

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: What else would they sell there?

Conversation between two frequent flyer patients, their families, and the child life staff:

Katie*: We're getting a puppy soon!

Katie's mom*: I'm just a little overwhelmed about how many supplies we have to get!

Liam's mom*: I know what you mean. Before we got our dog I nearly had a heart attack at how expensive everything is. Can you believe they charge ten dollars for a rope dog toy at most stores?

Bethany: You know, when we first got our dog we actually found the dollar store was a GREAT place to buy toys, they were cheap, and those toys actually lasted a lot longer than the more expensive ones.

Katie: (With an utterly confused and stunned expression) Wait... you mean they DON'T sell dollars at the dollar store???

*Not anyone's real names

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Thoughts on Prayer: Or why I'm not allowed to think after 11 pm

I've been MIA.

And in Mia... MIA in Mia? Sure. We'll go with that.

Life's thrown a couple curveballs, major ones at that, and it's been a lot to process all at once. not to mention making it impossible to blog. Some excuses are more valid than others.

For instance, having your entire thumbnail jabbing up into your eye causing a pretty severe cornea abrasion that makes it impossible to keep your eyes open: valid excuse.

Getting distracted by new episodes of your favorite shows: not so much.

But regardless, lots of things happening on the other side of the keyboard, things that can't be shared here for a variety of reasons, and it got me thinking about my own worst enemy: myself. More specifically, the part of my mind that refuses to shut off and continues to wander until the early hours of the morning.

Am I the only one who has this problem? During the day, when Im staying busy, that part of me, we'll call her Gertrude, stays firmly put and doesn't interrupt my ability to function. However, late at night, when my defenses are down, Gertrude sneaks out of her confinement and begins pestering me with her doubts and misgivings.

I start second guessing myself, my decisions, my faith, my life, my hopes and fears. Life always seems so hopeless at 2 am with the lights off, in my solitary bed, far away from friends and family. God feels foreign and silent, if not non-existant, and the hope that life will someday improve all but dissipates.

I've instituted a rule that Im not allowed to think or make decisions after 11 pm.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: We're brothers dontyaknow

Conversation between the twin brother of a patient and my co-worker (with brother and grandma nearby).

Brother: Can we go into the teen lounge?
L: I don't know it's really for the older kids, 13 and above. How old are you?
Brother: Well.. I'm almost 13, I'm 12
L:(Feigning shock because the boys definitely didn't look that old) no way! There's no way you are twelve whole years old. Are you positive?
Brother: Yes yes I am, I promise! I'm the same age as he is (pointing to patient/identical twin brother), we're even brothers, I promise!
L: You're brothers? Now THAT I would never have guessed.
Brother: Yeah... no one believes us
L: Well it's not like you look anything alike
Brother: (confused look)

Child Life Specialists: confusing one gullible child at a time. It's the little things that keep us going.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: The Littlest Handy (wo)man

Conversations with a two year old female while in the playroom.

While trotting down the hall together towards the playroom
Patient: Why are you bouncing? Are you a frog?
Bethany: No. I'm a rabbit. 
Patient: Oh, ok. I'm a dog! Woof Woof Woof 

Patient: going up to an unfinished puzzle on the table This puzzle is broken. The kids broke it!!!
Bethany: It's ok, we can fix it
Patient: goes over to work bench and picks up a plastic screwdriver and wrench It's ok. I can fix it with these.

 Heading back to her room
Patient: Running down the hallway RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN trips and falls flat on face
Bethany: Are you ok?!?!
Patient: Yes. I'm fine. I'm just having fun.

It's encounters like these that makes the rest of the day bearable sometimes.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: Glass(es) half empty?

Conversation between patient and my partner:

L: Well look at you, don't you look very cute in your new glasses!
Patient: I had to get glasses because I can't see far away. My brother got glasses because he can't see close up. You wear glasses, Miss L, do you need them for far or for close?
L: I wear them for both.
Patient. (stunned silence) Wow.

Her reaction? "Bites getting old"

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: Hide your babies... and your baby dolls

Conversation with a frequent flyer, aka a patient who comes in a lot, (3 years old) who was in for a quick check up:

Bethany: So, how is your new baby sister?
Patient: She's good. But she cries. A lot.
Bethany: Really?
Mom: She tells everyone 'This is my baby sister J----, she only cries. She doesn't talk like me, she doesn't know any words. So you should play with me'
Bethany: Well then
Mom: I mean I guess we've moved forward, because before she referred to her as 'it'
Bethany: It?
Mom: Yes as in. "if you want to play with me now, you have to put IT down"
Bethany: Oh dear
Mom: and considering before the baby was born she was throwing her doll out of the stroller violently in order to make way for her other toys, I think we got off easy

I'd say so.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lessons from Jonah


I'm really bad at Lent. Super bad, some would say. I always attempt to give something up, but in the process slip up once or twice, feel guilty, and ultimately stop trying. So several years ago I decided instead of giving up a vice for Lent, I would take on a good habit. In other words, last year I decided to be more proactive in reading my Bible, making a point to read a few chapters every single day.

Not only did I manage to keep that task up for Lent (trust me, no one is more surprised than me), it has continued now for almost a year. Over time the formatting changed, but basically every morning as soon as I turn off the alarm on my phone, before I check email, before I look at the weather, I open the Bible app on my phone and read at least three chapters. As mentioned here, one of my goals for the new year was to take the time to actually process what I am reading instead of skimming through it like I normally do.

I've been relatively successful; not going to lie, there have been many mornings I've had to continually remind myself Digest what you are reading, don't just look at the words, but every so often something sticks out to me.

I'm reading at the end of the Old Testament right now. Let me tell you, I thought getting through Numbers/Deuteronomy was a chore, I had never tried reading some of the prophets. Seriously, how many times does one group of people need to get told that they are going to suffer numerous afflictions because of their horrendous behavior?? I have been starting every morning super depressed. So when I got to the book of Jonah the other day, I was excited. FINALLY! A story with some plot and intrigue. Yet as I was reading though, a few details emerged to which I had never before paid attention.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: Happy Combumbus day

Conversation between elementary school patient and my partner (middle age female)

L: So did the teacher come to see you today?
Patient: Yes, we talked about Christopher Combumbus day
L: Oh really? What did you learn?
Patient: Well, he sailed on the ocean with a lot of ships, and he met the Indians, and he lived a long long long time ago. Did you know him Miss L?
L: (shocked pause) Um no.... he lived a long time before me.
Patient: Oh, then that REALLY must have been a while ago.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Weekend recap: instagram style

Saturday: TREE OF LIFE every year we plant oak trees in honor of the patients who have passed in the last year due to cancer (clockwise): the grove showing trees that have been planted (and growing) for years; a newly planted tree honoring one of this year's patients; a robot and matchbox car truck gracing the foot of the tree honoring a previous year's patient; flower pots placed at the tree of another patient from this year; christmas decorations on a tree

Gorgeous sky, gorgeous weather, afternoon at a local park
Perfect lakeside retreat for reading

Playtime with Lilly outside to soak in more of the perfect weather
Dinner out with a friend and the most AMAZING dessert of my life- half triple ghiradelli chocolate, and half chocolate chip

Sunday: celebrating a friend's birthday

Amazing burgers, amazing ice cream- epic win
Mimosas, disney movies, and jalapeno corn cheese dip with my bestie

I've been struggling a lot lately with the concept of time: not having enough, feeling like I don't use mine appropriately, experiencing the sensation of my life passing me by. Coincidentally (or not so) my pastor's sermon this morning was on just that: time. He talked about how we as humans have been learning to slice time in smaller and smaller pieces (days into hours into quarter hours, to minutes, and now nanoseconds); this sensation actually causes us to feel like we have less time instead of more. (I'm boiling down an entire 40 minute sermon into two sentences) His suggestion was that we take more time to relax, to unwind and to experience each moment instead of trying to control it. I think that was a task well accomplished this weekend.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: What are they putting in those drugs?

Double dose of kiddo humor today, because I seriously can't make this stuff up, although this did happen a few months ago:

Conversation with a patient as she returned from a long procedure, still slightly sedated:

Patient (as she is left on the stretcher in the doorway while the staff preps her room): It's ok, you can totally just leave me here in the middle of everyone's way, I'll make it work.
Bethany: How was the procedure
Patient: Weird.
Bethany: How so?
Patient: There was a cat in the operating room.
Bethany: A cat?
Patient: Yep. His name was Felix
Mom: I mean, the anesthesiologist's name was Felix (insert Bethany trying not to laugh)
Patient: Yeah, that's what I meant
Bethany: Well, aside from roaming felines, how was today's procedure compared to yesterday's?
Patient: Oh today's was much longer
Bethany: Why was that?
Patient: well because today they gave me a  (In full singsong voice) Duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh. CATSCAN

Tales from the Kiddos: Disneyland?

Conversation with a little boy who was being discharged after two weeks in the hospital:

Bethany: Are you excited to FINALLY go home today?!?!
Patient: No. I don't wanna go home.
Bethany: What? Why? I thought you were going to go to Disney next week!
Mom: Tell her what you told me.
Patient: Don't wanna go to Disney, your playroom is more fun.

I guess we're doing something right?

Meeting Young House Love, or the time I managed not to totally humiliate myself multiple times

Signing the 'new' yearbook

I'm going to admit something: just like pretty much any other female (I'm stereotyping) blogger and/or DIY enthusiast out there, I am head over heels obsessed with John and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love.

Call me a crazy fan girl, but for the past few years I have read their blog on a daily basis. More recently, as I was on bed rest due to a very painful wisdom teeth extraction, I endeavored to read their entire blog from start to finish. Safe to say, I admire them greatly, and the task was accomplished in record time thanks to their affable and eclectic writing style

So when they wrote a book, and announced a book tour, I may or may not have squealed out loud upon discovering they had a stop scheduled for Miami. Finally living in this city pays off!

Ok so Miami is also pretty, but that's all I'm giving the city

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tales from the Kiddos: Little White Cuban Lies

Conversation with a former patient today:

George*: Hey, what are these? (holds up hand to show white spots, aka leukonychia, all over fingernails)
Bethany: I don't know, what do you think they are?
George: My Abuela says they are little white lies and they show her when I'm not telling the truth.
Bethany: (while avoiding eye contact with Abuela so as not to burst out laughing) Oh really?
George: Yes, let me see your hands... why don't you have any when I have so many??
Bethany: Maybe it's because I don't lie
George: yeah right
Bethany Well maybe it's just not something I get
George: Yeah, I guess it's cuz you're not Cuban.

I don't even know where to go with that...

*Not his real name

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The year of 13

It's that time of year, it's resolution time! I always stink at this, I have lofty goals that are never actually met. I work at it for a week or two, then something happens, and suddenly I give up entirely. I've decided 2013 is going to be a year of growth and change, and that requires significant work. So to force myself to think creatively, I decided to come up with a list of things I want to work on. 13 of 13. They aren't resolutions per se, I'm not going to beat myself up if they aren't met exactly, in fact most are not exact goals. However, I intend to aim for the spirit of each item. In no particular order:

1. Write 13 blog posts a month- I love writing; it's how I best process my experiences. I know I don't have a significant following, but I never started a blog intending for it to be big. It is a (public) forum for me to express myself, to work through issues, and to commentate. If other people gain some insight from my thoughts, then great. However, I have been inconsistent in the past and I want to break that habit. I think it's unrealistic to think I'll actually write a post every day, inspiration doesn't always hit that often. However, 13 posts a month is roughly 3 posts a week. Will I meet that number? Probably not. I want to be more deliberate in my efforts is aLL.

2. Walk 13,000 steps a day.- Let's be honest, a "I'm going to exercise regularly" will probably not be realistic for me to state. However, most health experts recommend getting at least 10,000 steps a day. Given how much I walk at work, this shouldn't be too difficult, but I want to focus on improving my activity level at a realistic and beneficial pace.

3. Clean out/Give away 13 items a week- I'm an emotional packrat. I have trouble getting rid of things that have any sentimental value. My goal is to weed through my belongings and really take a hard look at what I own. Do I really need the top that I wore on a significant occasion but not again in the next four years? Do I need to hold on to books I know I will never read again? 13 items is arbitrary, but I want to consistent in clearing out and getting rid of things.

4. Visit 13 new places (cities; historical sites; etc).- I love travel and new experiences. I want to see more, more of my own city, more of my own country, more of the world even? This is a jolt to my psyche to make a deliberate effort to make plans for these trips instead of just waiting for them to happen.

5. Make 13 new friends- Shouldn't be too difficult, but will be necessary. I'm faced with the reality that the majority of my social network in Miami is graduating/leaving in May. If I end up staying here i need to branch out and meet new people. If I happen to leave at any point in the next year (you never know, anything can happen!), then I want to make a conscious effort to reach out and build a new network.

6. Try 13 new foods- Im very unadventurous with my eating habits. It's time to expand my palate and try new foods

7. Spend 13 minutes a day reading the bible- Last year I set a goal during Lent to read the bible every day, and surprisingly I have kept it up. Every morning (more or less) I read approximately 3 chapters. I am on goal to finish right around a year after I started. However, I often just 'read' without really processing. It becomes a chore to get through sometimes. So this goal is to not rush, and take time to really absorb what I am reading.

8. Read 13 classics- There are so many amazing books I have never read but always mean to. My goal is to read a different classic every month or so. Dickens, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, etc. The only catch is they must be something I haven't read before. Suggestions are appreciated.

9. Sew 13 new items- I love sewing, and Im actually quite good at it (with practice). I get frustrated by how much effort it takes to get everything set up and taken down, so without specific projects (aka my sister's wedding) things don't happen. I want to be more deliberate and use my fabulous sewing machine more often.

10. Spend 13 minutes every evening straightening up- I can get lazy at times, particularly after a long day's work. Usually i let things pile up for a day or two and then do it all at once. I would like to be deliberate about taking time every day to get things organized.

11 Give to 13 different charities- I think giving financially is a great way to shift from materialistic thought and to help others. I want to expand my giving, share my blessings, and give to those who need it more than myself. I'm also going to be more deliberate about tracking my spending.

12 Ask 13 people how their day is going every day- aka be more deliberate about talking to other people and getting to know them. I am an open book with my own life, but I think it's better that I spend more time listening than doing the talking.

13. Enact 13 acts of random kindness- One of my favorite stories from this past year was the time God encouraged me to give away a very significant chunk of money, even when I couldn't really afford it at the time. To this day the person has no idea it was me, but I've felt blessed seeing what a difference God made in her life through me. I want to make an effort to find more of these opportunities. It's not about giving money away, it's about going out of my comfort zone for someone else. So creativity is a big part, as well as keeping my ears and eyes open for situations as they present themselves.!

So that's it. My 13 goals for 2013. I'm going to update at the end of every month where I am at with each in an effort to keep myself accountable. Happy New Year everyone!