Monday, June 28

simple pleasure

I took an early weekend last week to go camping for girls camp. Needless to say it was nothing like the rough out camp I had in my youth. We slept on a nice grass lawn adjacent to a building with showers, toilets and a fully equipped kitchen. Despite the luxuries I still came home Saturday morning exhausted.

After napping and spending time at the pool our original plans of going to the Art's Festival didn't sound so great. Instead we ate our red butte cafe on the front lawn and walked to 7eleven to share a Slurpee. It was such a simple night but sometimes the most simplest activities bring the most pleasure and best memories.
What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, June 23

on my mind today

My favorite part of working at the hospital is the interaction with individuals. The University of Utah is a melting pot of the West coast, particularly; Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. All walks of life come to the cardiology clinic for the routine appointment, simple procedures or major open heart surgery. I have learned so much about my heart and how to care for it and the consequences if you don't. (or sometimes if you are just unlucky).
I specifically work in preventive cardiology and we work closely with heart failure patients. There are many different types of heart failure but all of them mean exactly what you expect your heart is literally breaking. Most people discover they have heart failure when their heart is working 10-30% of it's full capacity. Lots of things lead to heart failure.... smoking, lots of sodium(eating out a lot), no exercise, genetics etc. etc. Well sometimes a patient heart failure is extreme enough that they will need a heart transplant. Because it can take quite some time to get a heart transplant some patients get an LVAD or a Left Ventricular Assistive Device. A LVAD works as your left ventricular which helps pump the blood more effectively. It is literally a machine that is build into your heart, a driveline comes out of your side stomach and connects to a small box which connects to the wall for power. You can detach it from the wall and put it on battery power when you need to move around. LVAD's typically work for about 2 years, so that gives a patient about 2 years to wait for a heart.
(this is a visual of an LVAD, that big greyish/whitish box is not inside a patients body, the top driveline coming down from the heart would come out of flesh and plug into the box, the two black boxes are battery packs which can last about 8-12 hours)
Because I spend so much time with LVAD patients I typically get pretty close to them. They come in about one week before they get their LVAD and I will see them twice a day until their procedure. After surgery I work with them again until they are ready for discharge. Once discharged they come to our outpatient cardiac rehab where I see them again three times a week. It's hard to not get attached and really want what's best for them. One of my good friend's at the hospital has a LVAD and has had two strokes since he got it placed in late February. A stroke is a sign that they LVAD isn't doing a good job so he came into the hospital and had to stay until he gets a heart transplant. Once he recovered from his second stroke he got moved the top of the heart list. Once on the top a patient can only stay there for 30 days. If a heart becomes available the person on the top of list has seniority, and if the heart isn't a good match you move down the list. Well, early this morning he got a heart. He had only 9 days left and his spirits were going as he anticipated the possibility of being moved from the top of the list to the bottom without a heart. His lift will start again and he deserves it, he's been so sick for so long, and now at 68 years old he can finally live his life.

I would never hope that I would leave this life early or in a tragic accident but if I do I hope that my organs can save someone else's life. America has one of the lowest percentages for organ donations in the world. You have to check yes when you renew your license. I urge you to think about being a donor if you aren't already and think about how many people you could save... 2 healthy kidney's, 1 healthy liver, 2 healthy lungs, and a healthy heart= at least 6.

I was recently touched by a story of a little girl who is the grand daughter of a neighbor, if you want to cry check it out here.

Wednesday, June 2


Sam was hired today by LDS hospital as an orderly. I am so proud of him and excited for this adventure ahead. This job is a stepping stone to his plan of PA school. Way to go!!