Why is it getting cold?

Cincinnati is getting cold this weekend and it makes me sad. I want summer back. It is my favorite time of year. I love to spend time at my parents lake house with family. I can only reminisce for now until next year.

This first picture is cousin eddie. When he is older he will be exactly like cousin eddie on National Lapoon's Christmas Vacation. His nickname is Ediot. We love having him with us. He lives in Columbus so we don't get to see him that often. He is a ton of fun to be with.

This is my sis Elizabeth showing us her surfing moves

and this is the wipeout...

Our family has been known to be a little rowdy. Have you ever gone to function and there is a group known as "those people" that are annoying, and you want them to leave. Well on 4th of July we were "those people" at the fireworks. These pics are before things got out of hand.

(L to R) Kyle (Liz's boyfriend), my Tennessee brother Ric, and my brother Charles

Liz and Kyle....this is what happens when the sun starts to go down

Its always sad to see the summer end but always something to look forward to next year.


So is the year over yet?

Its been a crazy year. If it could go wrong it did. I got mono in April that landed me in the hospital and sick for over a month. My dad just recently fell 11 feet and broke everything on the left side of his body. Then there was lots of other random stuff that took this year by surprise.

I was trying to think what to blog about that others would be interested in so I thought up a few things that I'll blog about over the next few months...

decorating... Josh and I moved in our new house a little over a year ago so we are still in decorating mode.

arts & crafts... I love to design and make things and I am going to get back to that. I need to make time and so that is what I'm going to do.

family... my family does some of the most random crazy things and everybody needs a good laugh.

Today I'm going to leave you with a few pictures of my crazy family...

These three are my brother Oliver mastering the flip on the wakeboard this summer!


Random Sevens

My friend Ryan asked us to put up 7 random things so here it goes........
(Click on Random Sevens for a link to Ryan's Random and check out Ava one of the cutest little girls in the world)

1. 7 places I want to visit someday
-Italy (all of it)
-Australia (to hold a koala bear, and site see)
-NYC (I have been all over New York and never to the Big Apple)
-Africa (any country will do: for a mission trip and a safari)
-Brazil (I hear its incredibly beautiful and lots to do)
-Ireland (because I like England so much I think I would like Ireland too)
-Northwest USA: Oregon, Washington (I don't know why)

2. 7 favorite movies from the 80's: movies I've watched 100+ times
-Dirty Dancing
-Uncle Buck
-Adventures in Babysitting
-Troop Beverly Hills
-Back to the Future I & II (I hated III)
-Can't Buy Me Love
-Pretty in Pink

3. 7 favorite TV shows (current)
-The Office
-Desperate Housewives
-Brothers & Sisters
-Friday Night Lights
-Law & Order: SVU

4. 7 favorite shows from growing up
-Saved By the Bell
-Full House
-Facts of Life
-Charles in Charge
-The Brady Bunch (I know it was from the 70's but I watched reruns like crazy)
-The Wonder Years
-The Dukes of Hazzard

5. 7 cartoons I watched as a kid
-Fraggle Rock
-Scooby Doo
-Duck Tales
-Inspector Gadget
-Dennis the Menace

Enough about TV, you probably think that's all I do...

6. 7 things I want to buy but probably never will
- Mini Cooper
- 70-200 2.8 lens for my camera
- Netbook
- Pool
- Hot Tub
- lasix surgery

7. 7 places I love to shop
- Gap Clearance Center
- TJ Maxx/ Home Goods
- Target
- Old Navy
- Anthropologie
- Hobby Lobby
- Tuesday Mornings


True Ethical Dilemma

I often come across things in my line of work that don't sit right with me or I don't agree with what a patient chooses to do with their life but it is their choice so I deal with it. This week I came across a dilemma that had me in pieces.

I have a patient that has AIDS. She is in full blown AIDS for about a year. She is currently living with a "friend" that doesn't know that she has the disease. I asked her if they were having sex. She said no and gave me a long explanation as to how they were just friends. Then I was talking to the nurse who told me she had reason to believe otherwise. So what do you do?

My first thought was this man needs to be informed. My second thought was I can't tell him because I am bound by patient confidentiality. I talked about it with supervisors at work who decided we need to find out legally what we can do. The answer is NOTHING. According to the Health Dept. STD Clinic there is not one thing we can do. If she had Syphilis we have a duty to report and someone goes out and checks on the situation and takes proper action, but with AIDS there is no governing body that says we can't do a darn thing. Why lobbyist for AIDS patients wants complete confidentiality for their patients even at the risk of someone else's.

A side bar: Did You Know: If a patient doesn't want hospital staff to know they have AIDS or HIV it can be removed as a diagnosis from their records. So hospital staff is not even properly protected, or properly treating for that matter. Now hospital staff should always take proper precautions but we all know some don't.

What it all comes down to is I know a man that has cancer and a compromised immune system and now possibly has AIDS because a woman was more concerned about how he viewed her than what was safe for everyone.

AIDS is on the rise in Cincinnati according to AVOC. We as a community need to continue to education about STD's and the effects on someone's life and eventual death in some cases. My personal dilemma is that I know she could be killing him and there is nothing I can do about it. It goes against every grain of my being, but somehow I need to reconcile it in my own mind.


So its been a long time......

Its been a long time since I last blogged. Since then: Josh and I have moved into a new house and have been bogged down with house stuff. I'm going to give blogging another whirl. So here it goes............

Today's Topic: Infertility

As many of our friends know Josh and I have been trying to conceive for about 4 1/2 years now. We have done it all (well not all); but as the start of a new year begins, I always say.... is this the year? My gut says no (after 4 years its hard to think otherwise) but then you always think in the back of your head maybe it could be possible.

So far we have done: 3 inseminations (at the tune of about $350 a pop), multiple rounds of clomid (luckily that is cheap about $10-$40 bucks a try depending on how many the doctor gives you per round), probably 20+ doctors visits at $15-$30 copays depending on if its a specialist or not, classes to learn about natural family planning $30/class, and 1 surgery to clear my fallopian tubes at the tune of probably a $1000 by the time it is over. Then there is the blood test here, ultrasound there, one more medication here and there... FOR A GRAND TOTAL OF $3000+!!!!

And people say raising kids is expensive. Every time I do something else or Josh does I think.... should I give up or what could I do with this money instead. Josh could upgrade his motorcycle to whatever he wanted. I could have taken an extra vacation. We could have bought a smaller house and retired in 20 years. Who knows maybe we still will but that money is still gone and I have no baby to show for it.

At the same time... because I have no baby, Josh and I took a last minute trip to Mexico and it was wonderful. Literally last minute... I booked it on Wednesday and we left of Saturday after Thanksgiving. We have traveled to England, Costa Rica, Belize, Nashville, Indy, Chicago; Norris Lake (any weekend we want).

I have a ton of friends with kids I can borrow anytime. They are free and I can give them back and I still get to sleep through the night. Its wonderful.

So why blog on this now... because I was thinking of New Year's Resolutions and mine reads like this...

New Year's Resolution 2010
1. Get Pregnant or
2. Have fun trying.
3. Get better at Muay Thai kickboxing
4. Take another wonderful vacation


Be the Kind Stranger (if you can)

In this economy its easy to be selfish and only think of yourself. I know I do. I came across a very nice couple that had it all at one time. Good jobs at P&G, driving a Lexus, owned a home; the American Dream. Now they have nothing. Literally. For example, I would often say I have no food in my house but I could probably make do for a week with what I had. When my patient said this they really meant it. As I was doing my assessment she took me into the kitchen and literally the only food they had was a jar of peanut butter (the wife hoped hers wasn't recalled) crackers and a can of coffee. I think they also had a couple apples. They are now living in a one bedroom apt, very well kept with some very fancy furnishings (from their "good ole days" that she is trying to sell to make rent) There was also Lexus parked out front, but it doesn't run. How did they get here?

My patient (the husband) was diagnosed with early Alzheimer's and the wife took a leave of absence to care for him take him to testing, specialists, the whole nine yards. His disease was progressing so fast she couldn't/ can't leave him home alone. After her twelve weeks of leave she was "let go" at her job because they were "downsizing" and obviously the husband is unable to work. So they foreclosed on the house and got the apt., then they cashed in their 401K's and took big hits but were able to pay rent for 1 year and get by. This coming month they have no income and may be evicted from the apt. They no longer have any income at all. The wife applied for social security disability for the husband back in August so when they ran out of money this month he should be getting Social Security by then. What she didn't know to do was keep following up with Social Security. She found out in December that the man a Social Security didn't input their info correctly so they have to start over with the 6 month process. What do they do for the next 4 months?

And to answer your question... No social security doesn't care if it is their fault. They are still having to start over from square one. I talked to them myself.

As a social worker I felt helpless. I can't make money appear. The wife was so organized and has applied for everything possible with no response. The county gave her $60 dollars a month ago and hasn't heard another word since. I was going to give her money out of my own pocket so she could get food but remembered she has absolutely no transportation. The lexus parked out front doesn't mean much if you literally don't have 2 nickels to get it fixed.

I was able to finish the rest of my day and then I went to Kroger after work. Took the $85 out of my purse and bought them as much as I could with it. I'm not going to say it was easy for me to do this. It wasn't. I had a lot of things I wanted to buy with that money (mostly crap I didn't need anyway), but couldn't go home to a house full of food knowing someone that only had crackers. I'm not telling you this to toot my horn but because I learned I need to be a little more giving. Especially right now. Times are hard for a lot of people. I have a lot more patients like this and I can't give to all but if I can just one its worth it. My patients wife cried in my arms for a long time. She said she never expected this type of kindness from a stranger. I can't tell you how much better I felt for doing this. I could sleep well that night. I know it won't get them far but hopefully another stranger can help them too.


What is God teaching me?

Today Josh and I went to church at Lifespring. They asked Josh to help in the band so I went there too. The message was on Forgiveness. The key line that stood out to me was.... When you don't forgive you are the victim. When you forgive you are the victor. I thought about that and my life in the past week. I was playing the victim with someone breaking into my car. I was angry, upset, pissed and wanted revenge. After the service I told Josh that message was for me. I can be all of those things above but it doesn't settle anything. If the person that broke into my car felt he needed to do that then he must be desperate for something. I'm not sure what. I hope its a pink camera, 4 year old iPod, and a pretty green purse with purple flowers. Oh yeah, and $4.50. I'm sure they were disappointed not to find my credit cards and gift cards but it is what it is. I can't say that right after that message I was saying "oh I forgive them" and its done. I'm still a little angry but its not worth it. The window is already replaced, and there are a million cameras better than mine, and lots of purses that I would love to have iPods galore. I'm thankful that I am blessed to have a job that allows me to afford these items, and that I have a car to drive to bad neighborhoods to help those that have needs greater than mine. I have learned a lesson from this, and hopefully the person that did this to me doesn't have to do it to anyone else. Its not likely but I can hope.