Sunday, March 29, 2009

In memory

In memory...

Ashleigh Sue Bergman
5# 6oz

Infant daughter of Joe and Danielle

Monday, March 23, 2009


Hello out there,

The sky threw up on us today. It spent the night wretching with dry heaves, but by morning, it was full-blown "sky vomit." It rain/iced all day. Ice came falling from the sky and stuck to every surface it came into contact with producing an invisible slippery glaze. I noticed it when I stepped out of the house this morning and suddenly found myself clear across our back patio head first into the recycle bin.

I knew that today would be a lousy one. Why did I keep going? I should have gone back to bed. Mike said the girls slept in until almost nine today. Another good reason to have turned around and gone back into the house.

Instead, I recovered from my visit to the recycle bin and dug through the empties to find all of the stuff that had fallen out of my white coat pockets during the little mishap. I cut my hand on an empty can of sauerkraut. (Who does that?!?) At least I think sauerkraut is bugs could ever live in it, so I don't think I need antibiotics.

Then it was off to work: pediatrics. I had been on call Friday/Sunday and had thirteen (another good sign) patients to round on. Before I had to be at a meeting at noon. A meeting which my advisor from work had scheduled and refused to let me postpone despite the fact that I slept zero hours on Friday night and had slept two Sunday night. I was a complete zombie even after two cups of the gut-rotting coffee in the hospital cafeteria.

Another sign of a great day.

The first patient I saw was a kiddo with pneumonia whom I was planning on sending home today. Instead of feeling better, he was doubled over in pain and had poor breath sounds on his entire right side. Turns out the pneumonia was now an empyema and he needs a surgeon.

It was only nine o'clock.

The rest of the morning I spent rounding on my patients as fast as possible in order to get the work done on time. Rounding on kids is hard work. The parents have millions of questions for you and sometimes you just want to hand them Nelson's Textbook of Pediatrics and say, "just read chapter seventeen." Alas, I don't own that book, and even if I did, it probably would have died during my trip to the recycle bin (see above.)

At noon, I had to leave the peds floor for a meeting at the Family Practice Center...our residency clinic. The meeting was just plain lousy. In ways I can't say on this blog because anybody can read it and I could get Hosed for being more specific. Just go with me on this one.... The meeting was the equivalent of melena* or clostridium difficle diarrhea, shooting from a cannon, onto a neat stack of freshly pressed white bedsheets....for about an hour.

Anyways, this brings me to my point for the day. Before I went to this utterly poopy meeting, I called a friend of mine. I've known him since day one of medical school and he is my kids' doctor. I asked him to go to this meeting with me, to make things more bearable. Without a second thought, he came right away and sacrificed an entire noon hour to attend a meeting with me. And then, he called me tonight after work to reiterate how lousy the meeting had been and offered me his support for any future meetings I may have to attend.

After that, my darling husband poured me a glass of wine and fed me a bowl of chocolate ice cream. He listened as I complained about today, about the slice in my hand, the kid with the empyema, and the meeting from hell. As I was thinking about what I should blog about tonight, I had a thought: I am really blessed. I have a lot of good friends in this world. I have a husband whom I can depend on. I have wonderful people in my life who are willing to drop their free lunch hour to attend an awful meeting with me out of the kindness of their hearts, and then call my house to check up on me. I have friends who would put their reputation out on the line for me. I have friends who bring an extra #2 pencil to exams for me because they know I will probably forget. I have friends who ask if they can walk our dog when we're gone, friends who will pick me up from the car place when I have to drop off the car, and friends who buy two bottles of wine because they know I'd like one, too....especially if it's on SALE.

I guess that the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days put things into persepctive. If we didn't have the terrible ones once in awhile, we'd never really appreciate the great ones.

Here's to bad days and good friends. Let them both be here to stay!

*melena: bloody diarrhea that you see in a G.I. bleed. It is the most foul-smelling thing in the whole hospital.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I have finally found some time to type some more on the blog. We have been having too much fun this weekend for "Mama" to go upstairs, turn on the computer, and think of something to say. I had a weekend off!!!!!!!! Papa was home, too, so we decided that this weekend would be dedicated to our family. We came up with a follow a few rules for the weekend:
1. Stay in Duluth
2. Not drive anywhere out of town
3. Refuse to pass beyond the city limits of the current place in which we are residing
4. Not spend any money, especially if it involves spending money far away from home, say in another town perhaps.

We had a wonderful weekend. We tried to take advantage of the nice warm weather. Saturday started with Papa and Julia getting up early and making pancakes for breakfast. Then, it was off to the Great Lakes Aquarium, to pet the sting rays, watch the otters, and play in the water at the display of the great lakes. Julia threw some Kix into the carp tank and made them very happy. They were following her to the edge of the tank after that...just in case she decided to be generous again. Carp have these slobbery round mouths that remind me of suction cups. Ew. I hope to God I never run into one of those while I am swimming.

Mary enjoyed the parrot at the aquarium until he squaked at her. She promptly burst into tears and made him feel bad for squaking. Serves him right.

Then, it was home for naps, followed by a trip to the park. Julia has great endurance. She walked the mile and a half to the park, and still had the energy to play while we were there. She had missed the slide over the winter and broke it in again. Mary had her first experience in a baby swing and laughed out loud for ten minutes straight. It was hilarious and I wish I would have brought along our video camera.

Today after church we made homemade pizza, took naps, and then brought dinner over to our neighbors, who have twin boys that are Julia's age. I was able to GRILL our chicken!!! I also made a strawberry rum cake, which turned out to be quite a delicious experiment. After eating a piece of that, we didn't really care that our kiddos were tearing around the house...

Oh how I dislike Sunday night. Tomorrow is work. This week, I have clinic on Monday and Tuesday, and then I am on call every other night: Wed, Fri, Sun, and Tuesday. Oh Joy. Good thing we had some I will pay the price!

Here's to rum cake!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hi friends,

Well, we haven't posted some pictures of our clan in awhile, so here you go. I have no excuses...I just haven't been taking pictures lately because there hasn't been a camera handy when the kids are being cute...

I know, excuses, excuses.

Here is Miss Julia trying on her flower girl dress for my cousin Dan and his fiance Lindsay's wedding in July. Julia LOVED trying on dresses. I think we have a princess on our hands.

After we spent an hour at David's Bridal, we went home and watched "Bambi." Julia was very curious about the part where the animals get "twitterpated" in the springtime. Flower the skunk and Thumper the bunny meet a cute lady skunk and lady bunny and get all goggle-eyed and end up strolling away from Bambi in wedded bliss with their newly-found mates. Then Bambi meets Felline, the lady deer and the rest is history....

ANYways, as I was tucking Julia into bed, she asked me a peculiar question.
"mama? Are Dan and Lindsay twitterpated?"

"I guess they must be, Julia. That's why they're getting married"

"Are you and papa twitterpated?"

"Well, I ....."

I think that's incredible insight for a two-year-old. !

Then, later on, our clan went shopping. The kiddos were pretty good. Mary loves to ride in the cart. Julia loves to run away and hope that we find her.

We bought some Dairy queen as a family treat. Just FYI: the "chocolate extreme" blizzard is REALLY tasty. One large blizzard, three spoons, and four cups.

Mary also enjoyed the blizzard. Dr. Tieben, I hope you aren't reading this. :)