Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hazy and the Pups

I recently took a trip to Minnesota to pick up Hazy (above) who is Dr. L's dog. She is prego in this picture, but had her puppies 4 weeks ago.

Sage, the papa of the pups.

Me and mom holding some 6 week old yellow pups from another litter.

This is big fat boy my favorite baby! I wanted to take him home!

Hazy's brood milling around the door. Check out the passed out pup getting trampled by his sibs. He doesn't seem to care.

Wild yellow pups!

Swarm, Swarm!

Playing with Hazy's babies.

Dennis and Jan's farm where the puppies are kept is beautiful. It is in Houlton, Wisconsin just across the St. Croix River from Stillwater, MN where we stayed. It is very old and the deed goes back to homestead days, but the buildings have been restored. The farmhouse has gorgeous wide pine floors and pine cabinets and beams everywhere.
There are 9 adult dogs that live there all the time and currently 16 puppies. Another litter of 10 just went out the Friday before we arrived. The difference between the 6 week old pups and the 4 week old pups is amazing. The 6 week olds (yellow) were running around everywhere chewing on everything in sight including us. The 4 week olds (black) were barely creeping around the floor and just starting to wrestle a little with each other. We tried to put one of the black ones out with the yellows but that was a bad idea because the yellows immediately ganged up on him and started pummelling him. He had to be rescued from under a pile of tawny furballs. There were also horses at the farm, and we got to pet them and did a few chores to help out.
Overall, I think I love farm life in spite of the many chores that go into keeping animals and such. We also ate dinner at Dennis and Jan's and had fried duck and grilled Louisiana shrimp with fresh blueberry lemon pound cake. Yummy. (Sorry, we forgot to get pictures of that, John.) More pics to come from the B&B, town of Stillwater, MN, and delectable eats. Stay posted.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My favorite nephews...

Ok, I had to add a few more favorites. Here is Joshy eating a popsicle on Thanksgiving Day.

Carson and cousin Myles cruising for chicks.

Carson's Halloween rocket.

Joshy's first birthday party. How cute is this little guy?

Joshy zoning out because it is his naptime.

And, here is the finished product when his mom said, "Ok, I think it's time for presents..."

Carson helping Uncle John.

Joshy in his "solar system" costume at his first Halloween.

My brother and little Joshy in Colorado.

Carson picking out his crocs. He ended up with navy ones somehow, but is clearly eyeing the pink ones...

Carson at a neighborhood parade. This later doubled as his rocket halloween costume shown above. Nice helm, buddy.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

All in a day's work...

Whoa! That's some scoliosis! We see and fix a lot of these in the practice.

The next few pics are of a different patient than above with severe degenerative disc disease. Ouch. As you may or may not be able to tell, there is supposed to be a disc space at that level, instead of bone on bone.

And you can probably see the disc better here on MRI. It is the flat black bulging one.

And, here's how you fix it! This person required a 2 level fusion because the disc above was also contributing to the pain. Between the screws you can see the bone spacers we put in the front.

And that's how it's done folks. Mission accomplished. FYI: The thing on the left is an implantable battery pack that helps stimulate bone to grow.
The next few pictures contain actual surgical footage. View at your own risk. Chub, you better be sitting down in a low chair with some catchers ready.

Here is a surgical picture, different case than above. This is an iliac crest (hip bone where your belt sits) we cut a chunk out of to put in someone's neck in place of their disc.

Bzzz, sawing away. The noise is acually hellacious and burning bone doesn't smell the best either.

Ah, the finished product. We will then go on to reconstruct the iliac crest with cadaver bone, and insert this baby into the disc space in the neck. Awesome. I wish I had some xrays of a postsurgical neck, but I don't, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

And that's some of what I do on a day to day basis. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

Depresso Girl...

Today I was feeling a little out of sorts or as Dr. L calls it "depresso girl". I sometimes have days where I really struggle with things of my past and no matter how much I know I am forgiven I just can't make my emotions believe it. Today my study took me just where I needed to go, in Philippians 3:12-14: "...but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
I think it is very easy to get bogged down in the past and to rehash and struggle with things done in the past. Even though I know I am forgiven, it is sometimes really hard to accept the forgiveness and forgive myself. This verse helped to remind me that we are to forget what is behind and instead keep our focus on what is ahead, and take hope in the fact that we will see the glory of God, and he will deliver us one day forever from our sinful bodies and make us new. Hallelujah!

Thanks be to God...

This semester I have been going to BSF or bible study fellowship which is an international bible study that does not take denomination into account but instead focuses on the study of the bible only. It is sort of like a college course with homework and stuff but not nearly that hard, and, of course, no tests. I encourage everyone to go if they can, it is an excellent study and they have them all over the US and other countries. Anyway, we are studying Romans and so far it has been a really amazing eye opener for me. Some days I don't feel like doing my study, but I have found when I consistantly read God's word, it really does change me. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But no matter how much I am comforted, the very next day I will no doubt want to choose to do something else besides my bible study!
In Romans 7 Paul writes about his own struggle with sin when he says in verse 15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but (do) what I hate to do." He then goes on to say in verse 20, "Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it." This whole section was very encouraging to me, because this is exactly how I feel all the time. And Paul is actually stating that it is a mark of a mature christian that we feel this inward conflict probably more and more as we grow as christians. If Paul, an amazing apostle for Christ, struggled with sin, how encouraging since I do too! Also he points out that as christians, we are dead to sin and alive to Christ, but the law of our minds (God's law) continually struggles against our bodies (Sinful Nature) and though we do have victories over sin, our sinful nature sometimes (or a lot in my case) wins out. But, when I do sin, Paul says it is not really me but sin living in me. Wretched woman that I am, who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!!!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Palm Beach Pics

What would a trip to Florida be without an RV sighting?

Left over hurricane damage.

A night out on the town with some of the Sea Spine crew. From left, Dr. L, me, Leah, Amy, and Colin. Note the lovely pink china and tablecloth, very nice.

This is a sad little "guest house" across the street from the big house. If anyone's looking they are both on the market for a low, low $75 mil. What a steal. Apparantely Michael Jackson looked at the house at one point and thought it was too small. Hmmm...

This one's for John. Yummey...

Me next to an amazing tree by the bay. It was from Madagascar. Kind of wierd to see this rainforest like tree with buildings in the background.

The beautiful beach outside the hotel. We enjoyed 80 degree weather during the blizzard in Oklahoma.

This one is for Aaron. A putting green IN the airport. The shadows do not make for a good photo, but you get the gist.

Yummy seafood from the Seafood Bar in the hotel.

Another picture of the amazing tree. If you look closely you can see tiny me on the right.

So, all in all an excellent trip. The weather was so beautiful. I went swimming on Friday whilst everyone in the midwest was slipping around on the ice. There was kind of an older crowd on the island, which is to be expected, and everything pretty much shuts down at about 6 or 7. We managed to find some things that were open though on West Palm Beach. The meeting, which is really the reason I went, was quite boring unfortunately. I did learn a few things, but most of it was not applicable to everyday job stuff and mainly just a bunch of science nerds reading their research findings in monotone one after another. But I got those CME's and that's what is important. It was the Bess meeting ever.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Jumping on the Famwagon...

Well, I finally decided that since pretty much everyone else in my family has a blog, I better start one too. I fear I may not have the gift of witty gab and deep soul searching insight some of my other siblings have, so my main objective here is to share some pictures and events going on in my life and give people with boring jobs (I won't mention any names Aaron) something else to look at and heckle. You are welcome.