Monday, April 27, 2009

Trading Spaces

The Doctor as the Patient:

I am not good at keeping up on my own health maintenance. It's difficult for me to get time off to go to the doctor for routine physicals and such, and even more difficult to have time off for procedures. My older sister is a colon cancer survivor (yay, DeeDee!), and because of that family history, I am supposed to get a colonoscopy every five years.

Well...right after her diagnosis nine years ago, I had my first scoping. The scope itself is not bad. They give you some nice sedation, and it's fun to watch the fantastic voyage through the lower digestive tract. But the prep the day before is gnarly, to say the least. So, basically, I need two full days off of work or prep on Sunday for a Monday procedure to really make this work.

I was supposed to have my first follow-up scoping four years ago. I could've had it at the Katie Couric Colonoscopy Center, or whatever it's really called. But, I was in my fellowship at the time, and the schedule really didn't permit letting me off for a couple of days. So, I kept putting it off and putting it off, until I finally just bit the bullet and made the appointment.

R has had this procedure several times before, which was a big help to me in being able to get through the prep part. The prep was not fun at all, but he was understanding and injected humor into it. He even made up a little song about it, to go with the tune from the novelty jumprope that was in my Easter basket...that went with a little dance to the tune from my jumprope.

Having a colleague that I see at least once a week perform a procedure on me (particularly that procedure) was a little weird. I hope that he doesn't picture my posterior every time he sees me now. Those GI guys are probably used to that kind of thing, but I tried to make extra-sure that I was a model patient all around. I wanted to be well-prepped and polite and cooperative. I think I was pretty-much asleep through the whole thing. The versed that they give as part of the sedation is good that way, causing retrograde amnesia. I remember getting the sedation and then maybe a peek or two at my colon on the screen, then the recovery room.

Anyway, the procedure only took 20 minutes, and I had a nice nap in the recovery room. The doctor had my results printed up before I left, and everything was hunky-dory. I don't have to do this again for another five years. Now for that GYN appointment I've been putting off....


I don't like to blog about my work that much, but I've had two interesting situations in the past couple of days that I feel like writing about.

Physician treating one's friends: I was on backup call this last week, and was called in to do a somewhat exotic procedure on Saturday night (these things always seem to happen on the weekend, late at night). The referring physician gave me the patient's last name only, but as he hadn't actually seen the patient yet, he gave me some misleading demographic information. The last name was an uncommon one, and I know people here by that last name. But because of the information, I thought that the patient was probably an elderly relative of this family.

So, imagine my surprise when I pulled up the patient's medical chart and discovered that it indeed was this particular friend of mine. Several people I know are members of our particular health plan, but I've never had to actually treat any of them, beyond just reading an x-ray or two. It made me a little nervous. I want to give every one of my patients my very best effort, but when it's someone that I know, there's just that much more pressure to be at the top of my game.

I pray at work all of the time for myself, my patients and my team. It is a great help to know that I can rely on promptings for the spirit to get through tricky situations I may find myself in. The worst thing that's happened to me professionally came about by me not listening to those promptings. I also know that Heavenly Father loves all of his children and is very concerned about how things go for my patients and my techs.

I said prayer in my office, then I went upstairs to see her. We both burst into tears shortly after I walked into the room. She said, "I was wondering if you were on call tonight." The funny thing is, I wasn't even supposed to be backup this week. I'd traded one of my colleagues so that I'd be free to go to Utah at the end of the month for my grandma's birthday party.

By the time we got the patient downstairs and prepped, I had put myself in "doctor mode" more than "friend mode", which helped me stay focused and sure of myself. Though the procedure did go well as far as helping to treat her, it wasn't textbook. Perhaps one of my more-experienced partners would have done things a little differently to get the same end result, but I am convinced that things went exactly the way the Lord wanted things to go for my friend at that time.

When I visited her the next day, her symptoms had abated for the time being, which was pretty much all she needed for right then. She said, "You'll never know what an answer it was to my prayers to have you be there." Funny, but my prayers (after I knew that this procedure was going to be requested, but before I knew that the patient was my friend) were more along the lines of: please help this patient stay stable over the weekend so we don't have to come in late at night to do this uncommon procedure."

Heavenly Father needed me to be there for my friend, whether to comfort her or because of the way I ended up getting the result I did, or maybe both. Either way, I'm glad that I could be there. I just don't want to make it a habit to see my friends on the table.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Check out Rowdy's blog to see how our paintings look in situ.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crafty Family

R and the kids went to work on home decorating items for our empty wall over the stairs.

Pretty neat, and just over $100 for supplies.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter From the Briccos

We know that Jesus Christ lives and He loves us. This knowledge brings us great peace and joy in our lives. Through the Atonement and the resurrection, we can repent of our sins and live with Christ and our Heavenly Father again. We also know that families can be together forever, through the blessings of the temple. How awesome is that?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Weekend Update

Conference, as usual, was wonderful. How is it that it always seems like it was custom-made for me and what I needed?

R and I were talking today about how I was recently released from my temple calling (which might have been a clerical error), and how I had mixed emotions about it. Immediately after that, there was not one, but two, talks in a row on the temple.

I definitely feel spiritually refreshed and renewed.

Yesterday, while R was watching the Priesthood Session, I cleaned out one of the Primary closets. I was also listening to the talks--all the better to support the priesthood-holders in my life. I found not one, but two "Sing With Me" songbooks. They must be at least 30 years old. They are going into the ward library. We don't have room for them in the closet, and I don't have the heart to throw them out. We also have 28 mini-flashlights and 11 whistle/flashlight/compasses from prior activities, as well as lots and lots of construction paper. No one in our Primary should have to buy construction paper for the next 20 years. Oh, and there were at least two flannel board books. Who does flannel boards anymore? I'm tempted to cut them out and make them, just for fun.

After the PH session, we went to a birthday bbq at a jiujitsu friend's house. It really impresses me how friendly and respectful these guys are. They know how to tease each other, but it really seems like a brotherhood, like they have each others' back. And there was plenty of talk about R's medalling at the Pan-Ams.

That was followed by visiting our friend Andy's art show. His paintings are paired with a friend's poetry. It's not really to my taste, but I can appreciate the talent there. The poems were harsh, but they still drew me in. That, to me, is the sign of good writing, when you might not be totally comfortable with the story but you still want to read it.

Combined with the ladies-only party I attended at Jeanette's and then hanging out with our neighbor Mimi on Friday night, it was the most social weekend I've had in ages!

This afternoon, we went for a 5.4 mile hike in Penasquitos Canyon. San Diego has all kinds of beautiful canyons and open spaces tucked in between neighborhoods. The weather was sunny and beautiful, and we hiked up to a little waterfall. Then we came home and ate chicken tacos until we were full.

The new header picture is from probably three years ago at Mission Trails. It's another area that's tucked into a neighborhood. One side of it is just a few miles from our house, so it's easy to get to. The trails aren't too technical, but it's still a fun place for riders of different skill levels.

New Header

Old picture, old bike, not really heavier, but less-toned than I am currently.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Favorite Weekends of the Year

I don't know (and I do doubt) that there's anyone who reads my blog that is not LDS, but if so, let me explain what happens in our church twice a year.

The first weekend in April and the first weekend in October each year, our church hold a general conference, in which the prophet (currently Thomas S. Monson), the Twelve Apostles and other general officers of the church speak to the members and by extension, to the world. Some members gather in a large conference center in Salt Lake City. The rest of us can watch the proceedings on TV, via closed-circuit TV in our meetinghouses, or on the internet. If you'd like to know more, go to and follow the links to General Conference.

My personal Conference tradition is (when I've had the opportunity to be in my own home to view or listen to Conference) to sit on my couch in my pjs, eat toast with broiled cheese on top and drink apple juice while I'm watching the speakers and taking notes in my journal.

I love hearing these leaders, these servants of the Lord, proclaim the gospel and give counsel and guidance. This morning's session reached me personally, giving me inspiration and revelation for my own life. I really appreciated Sister Lefferth's talk about reverence, particularly since it is the biggest challenge we have in our Primary (Children's group).

President Eyring's talk about dealing with adversity brought a new insight. Though the Savior could have learned all He needed to know about us and how to completely atone for our sins, He chose to learn through experience. It's not that I have never heard that before, but it really hit home to me today. That He would love us each so much that He would be willing to experience all of the pains and weaknesses that we suffer, to the point that he would bleed from every pore, continues to amaze and humble me.

There's more to come this afternoon and tomorrow!
My Rad Life!