Showing posts from March, 2006

A Response to Suffering

I think that Wednesday is my favorite day of the week for several reasons. First, it means the week is half over. Second, for the CPE students here at Loyola, it means that there's no "group" that day so one can spend the entirety of one's shift seeing patients. Third, I get to go in late which means that I head off to Dunkin Donuts for my French Vanilla coffee (Large with skim milk) and then meander over to the hospital to begin work by noon.

Today promises to be interesting. Early Sunday morning, I met with a woman whose body has been ravaged by cancer. Clutching her teddy bear, this mother of four adult children cried as she told me that she wanted to die, that she wanted to go to heaven, that she wanted to see her parents and grandparents again. She cried as she told me that her children were having a hard time with letting her enter hospice...that they considered it "giving up." She cried asking me to pray with her that she die.

So I prayed with her th…

A Bad Day to Start Yoga...

So I decided, in the spirit of discovery, to try my hand...or yoga. So I went to the fitness center and really got one heck of a good workout on Saturday morning.

Big Mistake.

I am so sore right now that I can't hardly sit. In addition, I've been completely busy: we had the dreaded "Triple Red" Trauma combo (bad car accident) followed by a death, a gang member who wanted to talk about feelings, two lonely patients, a patient who had to be intubated, a woman who has decided to seek no further treatment, a man who speaks no English and who had to be restrained in the trauma bay, and finally the "Code Plaid" mother of a "Code Argyll" son.

I've had no rest, I'm sore, and I'm really hungry.

God, I love working here!

So nothing really of great worth to report. It was a very peaceful week, so I'm grateful for that. I'm heading out to Denver in mid-April (Week after Easter) to spend a few days with Anne Hall and to play her feis.…

Back in Chicago

After a fun nine days at home, I've returned to Chicago. I had a most enjoyable St Patrick's Day in Detroit where Eric Styles, Drew Marquard, Mike Singhurse, and I made..."apostolic visitations" of a number of different pubs that we might come to know better the dispositions of the people concerning green beer. I also went to see Eli Roth's "Hostel" on Thursday evening. It was very gory and, to be candid, I'd rather watch a trauma surgeon hack up a person's leg than watch some deranged person do it in a movie.

So that's the story! Not too much else to share. Now that I'm back working at the hospital, I'm sure there will be oodles of things to share over the course of the next few weeks. If I recall correctly, I'm scheduled for the overnight on Friday so, with any luck, I'll have something interesting to write about then. Who knows?

Cheers and blessings on your week!

New York City Boy!

So, for my 200th post, I guess it's fitting that my stupendous news be this:

I'm headed to NEW YORK CITY this August!

Yep, my plans for going to Loyola Chicago have been changed (for me) and I'll begin studies at Fordham University this August. Drew Marquard and I will be representing our province there (may God have mercy on their souls).

Due to the larger-than-usual numbers of men applying for First Studies programs (a happy problem, to be sure) the program at Loyola Chicago was unable to accommodate the four men from the Detroit Province. So, we have been split up: two to NYC, two to Chicago. To be sure, I'm a bit saddened because my first choice was Loyola but I am terribly excited to live in NYC. Heck, there are enough feiseanna up there to keep me occupied, enough bars to slacken my thirst, and I suspect I'll get a decent education, too.

At times like this, I'm recalled to the soaring and ethereal lyrics of those artisans of the English language: the Pet Sho…

Home at Last

So I am now at home! Hooray!

Here's my projection for the week: I'll be at St Ignatius High School this evening and all day tomorrow giving "vocations talks" to the students. On Tuesday I'll be out at JCU and will be having dinner with friends in the evening. On Wednesday I'm teaching music in the afternoon and meeting a friend for dinner. Thursday will find me driving up to Detroit where I'll spend St Patrick's Day. I'll return to Cleveland on Saturday (early afternoon) and probably get Chinese food at the house. I head back to Chicago on Sunday...not exactly well-rested, I anticipate, but certainly well-connected with old friends.

This is also my 199th post to this blog. That's a lot, although it does include pictures which accounts for many posts. Still, I'll have to make #200 a big deal. Who knows what fun and creative post that might be.

Finally Finished with the Final!


Just a quick update. I presented my unit evaluation on Monday so, apart from patient visits and listening to the presentations of my group members, I am DONE with my first unit of CPE. Yeah! Being done brings with it the added benefit of an extended home visit which I will embark upon Friday evening...which means I should probably make arrangements with my family to pick me up at the airport.

Our Jesuit community has also completed its move. It's been a tiring four days of packing and unpacking, but it is surely worth the time and effort. The house is gorgeous and I'm so glad to be living there. I'll try to post pictures of it soon.

So that's it. I pulled some muscle in my back this morning while I was working out, so I'm a bit sore and stiff now. I'll find a few Advil and, with luck, my pain will abate and I'll be able to be fully present both to my own feelings (because that's important) and to my fellow group members (because that's polite)…

Being Alone at Death

SO, I made it into work at 6:15 this evening. This was fifteen minutes before my scheduled start time and I figured that I'd have enough time to buy a coffee to accompany my protein bar. Wrong! I wasn't here five minutes before we were called to a death, an elderly man who died after a long struggle with a disease.

What made me so sad is that he died alone. His mouth agape with his jaw slightly askew and his lower lip sucked into his mouth, a consequence perhaps of his lack of dentures and his dying breath. His hands rested at his sides and his bare feet jutted out from under the cotton blanket, toenails yellowed and untrimmed. And he was totally alone. No family. No friends. No one.

This makes me wonder how many of us are really alone. The idea of dying alone and unloved scares the hell out me. I can't help but wonder what mother may have held this man as a baby and delighted in his new life, a new mother and a new father who selected a name for this child and spent evening…

Beginning Lent

I was doing morning prayer today when I came upon the word "hoar-frost" in Psalm 147. Puzzled, I said to myself, "Self, what the heck is hoar-frost?" My curiosity piqued, I resolved to find the meaning of hoar-frost and then, as it is my custom, forgot completely to do so. That is, however, until I arrived at Enstein's Bagels (just one mile north of our house) and bought a copy of the Chicago Tribune. There, at the back of the "B" section, someone posed a question about how the "hoar" got into "hoar-frost." So I learned that basically hoarfrost is frozen dew that forms a white coating on a surface.

I bring thus up simply because I found it serendipitous that I mused over the meaning of "hoarfrost" (a word I doubt I've seen before, although I did know what 'hoary' meant) on the very same day a question about the "hoarfrost" appeared in the paper. My dorky nature thinks this is very cool and I wanted t…