Category Archives: Wholeness

My 2 cents on exercise


“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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I Heart WordPress!

Why do I heart WordPress? It’s because it is so user-friendly! I am not the most tech-savvy person yet with some patience I was able to figure out how to combine other blogs into this current blog. So today was another day filled with some rest and relaxation.

In the recent past, Sundays for me have meant full study days with attempts to catch up on the house chores (primarily the growing mountain of laundry) and running errands and stocking  up on necessary edibles. Medical textbooks and class notes were the number two thing to do after morning devotion and getting myself ready to tackle the ever-growing to-do list of the day.

Today was different. It was a Sunday but it’s a new year (2013) and I am currently recovering from many things. I honestly can say that medical school and all the surrounding life stressors were getting the best of me and I became overwhelmed that I actually got physically sick. I forgot how to live a temperate life that my body said “Stop everything now” <insert seizures and 9 day hospitalization here>. There was a point in my life during medical school that I was exercising, trying to eat healthily, sleeping and studying. It is when I lost this balance that I ended up in the hospital. This article describes a little of what that balance with sleep looks like.

So back to the present. Today  I woke up when my body needed to wake up and ate breakfast by slowly chewing and not attending to my cellphone (I have been trying for the past couple of days to eat without my cellphone and meals taste better!) and took a nice long relaxing shower. I then set out to figure out how to combine my blogs. In reading through my recent past I was reminded of how blessed I am and that God has not forsaken me. I was also reminded of this quotation:

In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see that God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His Teaching in our past history

Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White p.204

Now back to more rest and relaxation! 🙂

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Personal Wholeness Day #1

Today I was told that I was to go away to a place to reflect. Ideally, I was to go to a place far from home to get away to reflect. When I think of where I am in life now (finishing up medical school) as much as I would have liked to go away today I really just wanted to enjoy personal quiet time at home. For me, my home is a little sanctuary of peace and rest. There are all kinds of trees , shrubs, and flowers around my home. As I was taking time enjoying my backyard filled with chirping birds and sweet smelling roses I realized how blessed I am to not have to travel far to take in nature. In the future I want to continue to have my home be a sanctuary of peace. Presently I am in limbo as I am extending my senior year of medical school. As I look back at my time here in medical school I know for certain that it has been a growing experience. Not only in knowledge but in just about every area of my life. More on that later.

I also took time today to do one of my favorite hobbies that unfortunately I don’t get to do enough of if I’m not at home: bake. My fascination with the oven began in childhood around the age of 7. Captivated by the commercials for the “Easy-Bake” oven toy, I asked my mother if I could get one even though I knew the answer was going to most likely be “no” due to the fact that there wasn’t enough money for extra things of that sort and I already had enough toys.
So being the stubborn and determine little girl, I figured I’d learn to use the real oven we had. I climbed up a chair onto the kitchen counter to better reach a cabinet where I knew my mother kept her cookbooks and started looking for a recipe. I had previously attended a Vacation Bible School where I had learned some basics about cooking with recipes, measuring ingredients, etc and so when I found a simple sugar cookie recipe, I began the hunt for the needed items. I preheated the oven and found the electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar.
It was the noise of the mixer that got my mother’s attention. She came over to the kitchen to see what I was doing and just stood by my side allowing me to continue with my project. She didn’t scold me for touching the oven. She didn’t try to take over my baking project. She allowed me to continue as I was so that by doing I would learn.
My mother has always been supportive of my efforts. She has always been there to watch me as I grow and has allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them. I did bake those cookies all by myself with only my mother’s aid to get them out of the oven. Some of the cookies were a little burnt and many subsequent batches of dough have been scorched since that time but each time I’ve learned how to do it a little better. Now every Christmas season I make sugar cookies to decorate with colored frosting with close friends or family depending on where I happen to be that year. Thanks to my mother (who is not a baker) I have honed my skills as a baker and its this same loving support she has given me that has enabled me to pursue a career in medicine.

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