Healing.

Have you ever been hurt? I have. I learned that IVs can really hurt.

“Since the mind and the soul find expression through the body, both mental and spiritual vigor are in great degree dependent upon physical strength and activity; whatever promotes physical health promotes the development of a strong mind and a well-balanced character. Without health, no one can as distinctly understand or as completely fulfill his obligations to himself, to his fellow-beings, or to his Creator. Therefore thy health should be faithfully guarded as the character.” Education p.195

I have now been hospitalized a second time for similar symptoms. Now I can more fully accept that I am sick and am coming to terms with accepting a new diagnosis. I am still determined to not let illness be a handicap or stop me from pursuing my dreams of becoming a physician.

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A friend

“What is your definition of a friend?” I asked my friend today. He responded immediately ““The opposite of an enemy.”

A friend to me many times gives a listening ear. Someone I can bounce ideas and who I can confide in. Some that shares in my ups and downs of life.
I am an extrovert so I love to be around people. In fact, being around people re-energizes me. This is great because I’m studying to become a doctor and will inevitably be around many different types of people. I hope to be a “friendly” doctor to all. Even though many of my patients I may not be considered to be a friend I hope to gain his or her confidence and listen to them as a friend would. And like a friend help them to whatever degree and connect them with local resources available. A friend at times can also help give you that support as you endure a hardship or rejoice with you in victory.
I sometimes get random texts from people asking if I know someone that does ‘x-service’. For example, earlier this week a classmates & friend of mine, who is getting married soon, sent me a text message asking for musicians to play at the ceremony. A few names came to mind and after asking my musician friends to share their number (it is my policy to ask people if its okay to share their number because I expect to be asked if my number can be shared) I hooked up my classmate with the musicians. I am thankful for my broad network of friends (and I don’t mean ‘Facebook friends’) who have stuck by my side and continue to let me know that they care for me. When I was hospitalized at the beginning of this year I received many cards, text messages,flowers, calls, gifts, etc., from many of my friends. There were so many people that reached out to me and my family and showed their love and support for me. And would you believed it if I told you that I made more friends in the hospital? Yup, even when I’m sick and hospitalized I’m socializing, true story🙂

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly:
and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

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Redeemed.

Redeemed how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the lamb!

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

Psalms 107:1-2

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians 3:13

I have been given another chance. 2013 has already been a year where life for me has taken a turn. It was on 1/1/13 that I became a patient. I was taken by ambulance for having convulsions. My mom is now my roommate as I recover & she has been by my side through this whole scary ordeal. It has been over 8 years since my mom & I have lived together. I’ve looked at this as a way for us to redeem the time & enjoy being together again.

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Blessed.

I am blessed because…

God, the creator of all calls he His own daughter.
I have a large warm & loving family,
My mother is a mighty woman of prayer.
I have a large support system and network of friends,
I have the opportunity to make a different person’s life.
I am studying medicine.
I have religious freedom.

These are just a few of the the blessings that God has bestowed upon me. How have you been blessed?

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Surrendered.

So yesterday I posted six words that I believe describe the point that I am in life. The first of those is surrendered. I have surrendered (or yielded but not given up) first of all to God. God has been working in miraculous ways and I must continue day by day to be led gently by Him. He also is continuing to show me how to surrender each day to Him and give up my burdens so that He can carry them. Here’s an example of how He has been working in my life. My mother is a diabetic who has to take long acting insulin (glargine AKA brand name Lantus).  She has been taking care of me and is in a different part of the state away from her primary care physician’s (PCP) office. Well almost two weeks ago her bottle of insulin broke. We prayed. And silence (or at least it felt like that).  The physician faxed over a prescription to a nearby pharmacy but her insurance denied to cover the insulin. We currently lack the funds to pay out-of-pocket so my poor mother was with out her insulin. WE were back and forth with the insurance.

Just a couple of nights ago, my mother and I again prayed for this issue to be resolved. We surrendered the problem to God. The next morning I received a phone call from her physician’s office asking if the issue of obtaining more insulin had been resolved. Of course it hadn’t and the medical assistant (MA) informed me of some online resources as well as numbers to call the insurance. I prayed after I got off the phone with the MA and went to search online for some discounts on insulin. Well one click led to another and next thing I know I’m on the phone with a real human after pressing tons of options to an 800 number. On the other line was a voice that was like an angel. Okay so I may be exaggerating just a bit but the voice was super friendly! Anywho, my mother and I went to the pharmacy to fill out an application and next thing we know is that we were holding a new bottle of insulin completely free of charge (it runs about $190)! This all happened within a span of about 2 hours after initially speaking with the PCP’s office! I know that this happened so speedily because before when my mother and I were trying to resolve the issue on our own we kept coming up to dead ends. Nothing was working. However when we fully surrendered to problem to God, He fixed it in His timing!🙂

In becoming a patient myself I have learned to surrender to follow the “doctor’s orders”. This part of yielding or surrendering has not been easy as I am studying to because a physician myself. I must be humble enough to accept that the physician overseeing my care has more experience that I do (which Praise God that he does!). I’m not gonna lie but I don’t like taking medicine three times a day and some of the meds taste bitter. However I must surrender and for the time being take them as prescribed. Of note: I like my doctors that I have been following up with here at my university. They are like my advocates. Jesus is also an advocate for us in heaven. (1 John 2:1, 2)

Also tomorrow is a big day as I will officially go back to a rotations! School here I come!🙂 (did I mention that I am a bookworm nerd?!) I love going to school and have been having severe separation anxiety because I’ve just been itching to get back…(although if you were to come into my room you would see how I’ve put Harrison’s Internal Medicine & Cecil’s Medicine books to work and press flowers!)

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I AM…

Surrendered.
Blessed.
Redeemed.
a Friend.
Healing.
Determined.

Who are you?

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Preparation Day

Joshua, the son of Nun was given some promises on his preparation day when the LORD called him to lead God’s people in to the promised land. Now I haven’t been called to lead anyone but I believe that I can take comfort that as I prepare to go back to my clinical rotations this coming Monday. I have nothing to fear.

I’ve been on an extended medical leave of absence due to my hospitalization in early January. In my last doctor’s visit I was prescribed yet another medication and thankfully I seem to be responding well. I have been seizure free for about four weeks now. I am still not allowed to drive. My mother has been my designated driver for the past month and will continue to do so until my doctor says I can drive. But any who, back to the promises Joshua is given:

Joshua 1:5 “..as I was with Moses, so I will bee with thee: I will not fail thee, nore forsake thee.”

Joshua is told three times by the LORD: “Be strong and of a good courage” (See Joshua 1:6, 7, 9)

The words are again found in Joshua 1:18 “only be strong and of a good courage”

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I love the above quotation. I took this picture after meeting with my deans regrading my future here at this medical school and re-starting clinical rotations. So here I go to prepare myself mentally to start Preventative and Community Medicine. First off though I’ll prepare for Sabbath since today is Friday.🙂

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My 2 cents on exercise

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“It’s a beautiful day to run!” That’s what an elderly gentleman said to me as he rolled by on a motorized wheelchair. The weather here in sunny California has made for beautiful days to run.

As part of my healing process I have begun to incorporate exercise as much as possible. I have been going on gentle jogs in the morning. Now I am more of a swimmer than a jogger. Primarily because I hate to sweat. However these past couple if days I have really enjoyed the showers after a good run. I’m also getting better sleep because I exercise in the morning.

Today on my morning run I found a two cents euro (or is it two euro cents?). So here’s my two cents on running: first try to exercise in the morning and outside if possible, and remember with any exercise start slowly & taper off.

As the first month of the new year comes to a close I have yet to make any New Years resolutions but I think this 2013 year will involve lots of exercise.

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Mr. Wise Man

As the sun was setting I made my way to the ninth floor of the hospital. I was not part of the medical team taking care of this patient but rather on a Senior year elective known as: Whole Person Care. The assignment was simple: interview a patient regarding his or her stay in the hospital. Then, after the interview, try to write down the interview verbatim. I had no idea how much this one patient interaction would impact me for the rest of my life.

I found Mr. Wise Man sitting up in his bed watching the evening news.  He motioned me over to his bed and turned down the television. He agreed to the interview and was happy to impart some words of wisdom. Mr. Wise Man began to tell me his life story. He grew up in this city and in fact was born at this hospital. He gave me a brief history lesson on how he had seen this university hospital and the surrounding area grow over the past 50 years, which he had witnessed. With the exception of a few years of service to our country in the U.S. Army, Mr. Wise Man has lived his entire life within 5 miles from this hospital bed.

Mr. Wise Man then began to tell me the painful story of how he ended up on the ninth floor of this hospital. He had always been an active person, exercising, and trying to eat balanced meals. Then all of a sudden, one day (just about two months before our interaction) he began to have intense abdominal pain and severe constipation. The pain was so excruciating that he felt a visit to the emergency room was warranted.

After a number of emergency room visits and follow up appointments with his primary care physician, he received the news that his white blood cells were “through the roof” and in fact his physician had never seen a number so high. Mr. Wise Man was referred to this hospital for further work-up and treatment options. Mr. Wise Man recounted the shock of receiving the diagnosis of cancer and the painful experience of having gone through the first round of chemotherapy with some tears in his eyes.

Despite all this pain and suffering, Mr. Wise Man felt God had spared his life. He is a man of prayer and great faith in God. Now all Mr. Wise Man wanted to do was spend time with his loved ones at home.

Here are some of Mr. Wise Man’s words of wisdom that I will always remember:

Life is short. Live like everyday is your last. Why waste your day frowning? Smile!

If there is something that you’d like to do, why not go ahead and do it?

Remember that tomorrow is not guaranteed. God has given you today, which is the same 24 hours that everyone else got. Use these hours wisely.

Most importantly, spend some quiet time with Jesus everyday and get to know him through prayer and reading the Holy Bible.

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Revelation 21:3-4

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Spiritual Heritage

Today I am reflecting on my spiritual heritage. I grew up in a home where my mother taught me about the Bible. I had children’s books on the stories in the Bible. In fact there’s a set of ten blue books which are in my living room that contain just about all the stories from Genesis to Revelation in my native tongue, Spanish. It is from the nightly reading of these books that I learned to read in Spanish but also learned about the God in the Holy Bible.

Lessons from this book: Heartwarming stories of Adventist Pioneers by Norma J. Collins [By the way I would recommend this book to any one wanting to learn more about the men and women of the Second Advent Movement. Another book I’d recommend is: Pioneer Stories of the Second Advent Message by Arthur Spaulding. ]

Heman S. Gurney was a singing blacksmith who was a man of prayer and actually witnessed prayers of healing being answered.

Joseph Bates was nearly hung in the South during one of his preaching tours.

Annie Smith was a poet, editor, and artist.

James White, went on a preaching tour with a horse borrowed from his father.

William Miller (the pioneer I find many similarities with) had a passion for reading and as a young child would stay up late at night reading near the fire (I at times would curl up in bed with a flashlight so I could read in bed all night). Miller at one point was a deist due to being influenced by reading works from Ethan Allen, Voltaire, David Hume, Thomas Paine. It was through studying his Bible even far into the night that he came to know the living and active God. He is known for ‘discovering’ the 2300 day prophecy.

Here’s are some of Miller’s words:

I saw the Bible did bring to view just such a Savior as I needed, and I was perplexed to find out how an uninspired book should develop principles so perfectly adapted to the wants of a fallen world. I was constrained [forced!] to admit that the Scriptures must be a revelation from God. They became my delight and in Jesus I found a Friend

In studying history one can gain much more understanding of the present. This is one reason I chose to spend some quiet hours learning about the men and women who were active in the 1800s and had a desire for truth. They found truth in the Bible.
During my undergraduate years I came to a point in my life that I asked the question: what is truth? Have I been brainwashed to think a certain way? I was drawn to study out various religions of the world and was drawn towards the Bible. I came to accept the religion that I had grown up with as my own. I chose to attend church because I now had a deeper understanding of communal worship and what it means to belong to Christ’s “bride” (His church). I am still on a pusuit for truth. I don’t believe this quest will end anytime soon. I have chosen the yardstick for truth to be the Holy Scriptures.

This really made me think:

It wasn’t easy for these men and women [pioneers] to turn aside from teachings they’d adhered to all their lives, but truth is truth, and they followed it intelligently and willingly Heartwarming stories of Adventist Pioneers by Norma J. Collins

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