Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Feel Good Story

Hello everyone-

This will be a short post, as I don't really have anything to write about today.

However, I did want to post this link.

It is a great story that will make you feel good about humanity and life in general.

By the way, the kid in the story - Chad - is my brother's best friend. For those of you that don't know, my brother, Tommy, has Down syndrome. They're both great kids, and they both have made Lauren's and my life much more fun (and funny).

Enjoy your reading!

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weekend Update

Last weekend Jeffrey and I went to Abilene to see family, friends, and the ACU Wildcat Homecoming celebration. It was so much fun!

My favorite part was going to the parade Saturday morning and seeing tons of our friends that we hadn't seen in months. There was so much excitement and laughter as we all updated each other on new jobs and schools and marriages. (There was especially some laughter as the newly-married guys talked about all the burned, undercooked, and monotonous macaroni meals they have had to eat since the wedding day!)

My mom and I did a little shopping on Saturday afternoon while Jeffrey went to the football game with some friends. We met him there later, but much to my dismay, my sweet pale-skinned husband had been fried by the West Texas sun into a little lolly-popster (that's what the younger version of myself used to call lobsters). We are still applying aloe vera, lotion, and milk-soaked washcloths to his face, but it looks like blisters are on their way.

On Saturday night, Jeffrey and I went to the ACU Homecoming musical, All Shook Up. The musical is based on the music of Elvis Presley. We both enjoyed it very much. (Thanks again for the tickets, Grandmother Beth!) The musical itself we both thought was a little on the light side--simply meant for entertainment, not really for serious theater, but the comedic timing was right on par, and the vocal presentation was absolutely superb. Jeanette Lipford sure knows how to make people sing!

Those of you reading who know my mom probably already know how awesome she is, but for those of you who don't, allow me to demonstrate. Both times that Jeffrey and I have visited Abilene since we moved away, my mom has not only cleaned our room and put fresh sheets on the bed, but she has also made us a little gift basket of canned goods, cereal, chips, toilet paper, paper towels, and other grocery goodies to take home with us. What a great surprise! (In the future, though, she will probably also be including sweet-and-low packets because she found out last weekend when we were eating at Carino's that we take sweet-and-low from restaurant tables so that we don't have to buy any ourselves. She calls it stealing--we call it resourceful. I mean, we only take the ones that are on OUR table...that's ok, right?)

With the election coming up, I feel like it is my American duty to share the following with you: One of my dental school friends passed a homeless man the other day. The homeless man was holding a sign that read Vote for Obama: I need the money.

One final thing--does anyone know of a good, fun, cheap Halloween costume for Jeffrey and me? We have a Halloween party this weekend and though I have come up with several outstanding ideas, Jeffrey has veto-ed them all. Examples: We could be "Cardiac arrest." Jeffrey could dress as a police officer and I could be the heart. We could be a doctor and a dentist (except Jeffrey would be the dentist and I would be the doctor--crazy!). We could be Dr. Pepper: Jeffrey wears his white coat, and I come as a pepper shaker.

Again, Jeffrey has veto-ed all of these ideas. Anyone else have a good one?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


One of Jeffrey's and my favorite TV shows is the hit series "House." If you're not familiar, the premise is simple: Dr. House is a diagnostician who solves "unsolvable" medical mysteries. Dr. House is a brilliant physician with a nimble mind and a sharp perceptive ability, but he has terrible doctor-patient skills. He lies to patients, he uses cutting and sarcastic remarks, he breaks rules and protocols, he orders risky tests and procedures, and he hurts people...but he's almost ALWAYS right in the end--so he is forgiven of all wrongs. (Basically, it's an entire show based on the ethical question: Does the end justify the means?)

One of Dr. House's most often-uttered pessimistic remarks is "People don't change." Unfortunately, he's mostly right. People don't change. We don't change for lots of different reasons. To some people, change means giving up something immediately gratifying to attain something more meaningful at a point in the future (waiting until marriage to have sex). To others change means breaking habits that feel as natural as breathing (smoking, drug addiction). Others would say that change is scary because it has unknown consequences, or that it might change them as a person, or it might cause them to lose friends...the list goes on and on, but the bottom line is this: Change is hard, so most of us simply don't do it.

The problem is, we all need to change something about ourselves. We all need to improve.

I don't know who all reads this blog, but I would assume that there are some readers who would identify themselves as Christian, some who would identify themselves as some other religion, and some who would not identify with any spiritual power. Regardless of your spiritual identity, I think you should copy and paste this link into a webpage to view a really incredible video put together by a church in the Fort Worth area.

The video clip is called "Cardboard Testimonies" and it is all about people changing. Some people just changed their minds. Some people changed their habits. Some people changed their faith. Some changed someone else's life. Again, regardless of your spiritual beliefs, I think you will be moved by this dynamic video. I think those of you who are Christians will be especially moved by this expression of God's fantastic power. He can change anything--He can change everything...

Two special notes: Thank you to Tammy M. who put this link on her blog (In the Grip of Grace) where I first saw it. Also, when you watch the video, you should know that the first couple that come onto the stage together are my mother-in-law and father-in-law. How courageous they were to change their hearts...

Anyway, I apologize if this posting sounds a bit "preachy," it wasn't meant to sound that way. It's just that when you live in a world where you see so little change and so much need for it, you forget how dramatic it can really be. It makes my heart literally leap with joy to see these walking examples of courage, will, faith, strength, honor, and humility.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I hope it changes you...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just in Time for Halloween

We had our second Gross Anatomy written and practical tests today, and compared with all of the ghosts, goblins, witches, and gremlins that will soon surface on October 31st...I assure you these tests were much scarier!

The scariest part wasn't the tricky question on the written test, or the difficult structures pinned on the cadavers--it was the cadavers themselves!

In a practical gross anatomy exam, several rooms of cadaver tables are arranged and the students rotate at timed intervals signaled by a buzzer. You only get one look at each pinned structure, so it can sometimes feel like a race against time. I personally tend to make silly mistakes when I work too quickly, so I try to spend the entire time looking at the pinned structure and confirming the answer (ahem--or desperately trying to think up a good guess). I also try to get as close as the smell will allow to see the structure, which sometimes requires light yoga moves and headstands.

During one such maneuver, while I was hovering on three toes like a bad ballerina, I heard a faint beeping sound...

coming from the cadaver.

My first thought: Did they leave a digital watch on the cadaver's body? Surely they wouldn't. And the formaldehyde would ruin its electrical activity, right?

(Probably the whole "digital watch theory" wasn't the most intelligent, but hey--I was sleep deprived. Don't judge!)

My second thought: A bomb!?!? We're ALL gonna DIE!!!!!!

(Again I plead sleep deprivation.)

My third thought (and first lucid thought): Maybe the person had a pacemaker to keep his/her heart going during life and it's still beeping.

After searching around for the lead wires in the root of the neck and assuring myself that they were, indeed, lead wires for a pacemaker and not the wires for a bomb, I realized that I had run out of time at that station.

Minus 2 points, but case closed!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Update

Just a few words to let you, our readers, know how we're doing and what we're up to...

Friday afternoon, I learned how to (correctly) use my stethoscope to listen to heart sounds, as well as how to distinguish AV valve murmurs from aortic valve murmurs. I was really excited about my newly-developed skill until I found out that on Wednesday I have to perform my skills on a standardized patient, at which time I will also have to find his femoral pulse. Ryan Mack had to do that on Friday, and in his words, "Well, it was a little awkward...reaching up the side of the dude's leg."

Saturday we woke up semi-late and spent the morning/early afternoon studying, cleaning house, and watching SEC football. (Can you guess who did what? Exactly - I cleaned and studied, while Lauren watched football.) That night, we had 5 friends over to watch the University of Texas DOMINATE Missouri and their spare, couldn't-make-it-as-a-backup-at-UT quarterback. By the way, did you know that Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley are roommates? I think the announcers have only said that 3,496 times the past 2 weeks. Anyway, we had fun with Ryan, Steven, Mary, Joe, and Blake. We are really enjoying making new friends (except Ryan - he's an old friend), and we really like them a lot, but they can't ever replace all of our old friends (so don't worry Jesse).

Sunday was church in the morning, studying and haircut in the afternoon (by the way, haircuts still make me look 12 years old), and then dinner. But it wasn't just any ordinary dinner. Lauren labored and labored in the kitchen to make us chicken-fried (venison) steak, green beans, corn on the cob, and cream gravy. You may all feel free to be jealous now. It was absolutely delicious. And yes Grandmother, I helped her clean up the kitchen - I know its messy to cook that stuff.

So that's the weekend update. We're doing good, but after Tuesday's anatomy test, Lauren will be much better.

We're really excited about ACU Homecoming this weekend. If you're gonna be there, let us know!

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck


Friday, October 17, 2008

Fish Follies

Yes, here comes another story about our fish...

The fish babies are all doing well (Shark, Turtle, and Jeffrey Jr.), which is amazing considering how inexperienced we are with these little guys. Also amazing considering that the only really fun thing to do with fish is feed them, and our species of fish are most commonly killed by overfeeding! They always act hungry, too. Little Oliver Twists, always begging: "Please, Sir, can I have some more?"

Tonight I decided to clean the tank with a little vacuum I got at the store. Jeffrey reluctantly agreed to be my assistant. We guessed it would take about 5 minutes...we guessed wrong.

About 35 minutes later, (after figuring out how to use the gravel vacuum, dumping lots of water all over our counter, breaking the filter, trying to fix the filter, and figuring out that the filter wasn't actually broken but just needed more water, and cleaning up the mess) the water was clean!

We put a little more water in the tank this time than we had the first time, which caused the filter to make a little current under the water. The fish babies love it! They have been swimming up to it and letting it roll them to the bottom for the last 2 hours. It's like their own little fish roller coaster. Cute....if you're into that sort of thing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's (Almost) the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I know that it's only October, but I couldn't keep myself from moving our little Christmas countdown to the top of our blog. Jeffrey and I both love Christmas, so we're excited that it is only 69 days away! To all of you out there who are grumbling because the stores have already begun to put out all their Christmas wares in an attempt to fish themselves out of the red in this depressing economic year, we do apologize. At least our early Christmas display does not have ulterior motives attached!

You may have noticed that there is another relatively new blog item to the right of this reading pane. The "Blogging Powers-that-be" decided that they would add a new gadget for bloggers to use called "Blog Followers." Using this tool, blog readers can "register" so that blog writers know who is reading their blog. (Sorry that I had to write the word "blog" about 50 times in those last few annoyed me, too.)

All that to say, if you read our blog, please sign up! It would be fun for us to know who keeps up with our little lives, and that way we can also specially tailor our writing to you. I think all you have to do to sign up is make a username (preferably your real name so we know who you are) and a password. It's easy, and it would make me go for it!

One last thing: You might want to look in our little "Powerful Words" box sometime soon. I pasted a beautiful poem by Neruda there, but Jeffrey will probably replace it soon. Last time I put a quote over there (from my favorite movie, Moulin Rouge) Jeffrey replaced it the next day with a quote from the TV series "Friday Night Lights" because he said that my quote was too girly. And here I was thinking I was doing him a favor by not choosing a pink background for our blog...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fishy Update...

Hello all-

I just got home from school/working out and read my wife's previous post. Since she is still in lab, I wanted to take this opportunity to let all you anxious readers know that all 3 fish - Jeffrey Jr., Shark, and Turtle - are still alive and well.

They are playing around and swimming with each other and nipping at each others' tails...basically, they're acting like a bunch of Gamma Sigs (just kidding - that was for Mason, Heath, Ryan, Clark, Blake, Hutton, et al).

More to come later. Now it's time for a shower and some homework.

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck


Something smells fishy...

Jeffrey finally gave in a let me get a pet...three in fact. We got three fish! We named them Nemo, Gubs, and Jeffrey Jr.

12 hours later, Nemo died.

In fact, we basically saw Nemo die. It was terrible. He kept swimming to the surface and then floating down to the bottom without moving a fin so he would land on his side or his back. Very upsetting to a tender heart like me. Jeffrey (being the good husband that he is) "fished" Nemo out of the tank and put him in a baggie. We couldn't give him a proper burial/flushing because PetSmart would give us a new Nemo if we brought back the dead one with the receipt within 14 days of buying him. (Creepy store policy, right?)

Luckily we still had Gubs and Jeffrey Jr.

24 hours later, Gubs died.

Yet another fish in the fridge.

Lo and behold, my husband's namesake lives on to this day, and we used the refund from the late Nemo and the late Gubs to buy two new fish that are the same species as Jeffrey Jr., because we are better at keeping that species alive, apparently. The new fish are named Shark and Turtle. All three appear to have healthy appetites and are swimming actively--at least they were when we left the apartment this morning!

I will try to post some pictures of our new little babies soon, because I know that Danny Neal cares a lot about stuff like that...

As for more important things, my brilliant hubby just text messaged me that he made a 94 on his last gross anatomy test! For those of you who don't know, getting an A on a test like that in medical school is like getting a 120 on a test in regular school--it just doesn't happen all the time! I have a gross test coming up on Tuesday...hope that smartness is contagious.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Breast in Show

True story:

This morning I had a test in one of my classes, so I dressed up a little for the occasion. (I have this weird ritual of either dressing up on test days or dressing in camouflage so as to "go into battle with the test." What can I say? It works for me.)

Anyway, I wore these cute jeans that my mom bought for me last time she visited us (thanks, Mom!), a sweet little tank top, and some faux pearls that Mom got me, too. (Side note: I'm starting to think that I would have to go around naked if my mother didn't clothe me so nicely!)

I took my test and went to turn it in to my teacher who was seated at the front of the room. As I handed him my answer sheet and test copy, he looked straight at my chest and asked, "Wow...are those real?"

My immediate thought was, "Why is this teacher asking me if my breasts are real? I'm outraged! That is so sexual harassment-ish of him." Then I realized--he was asking about my pearls (which was important, because the answer would have been different if he were asking about the boobies)...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Is it a phone? A code? A sign? No, its....grandpa

I have never seen anything like this.

Lauren and I are sitting in the Saturday evening service at church. We have just finished the worship time, and the song leader asks everyone to be seated.

We greet those around us and take our seats to participate in communion. We have the prayer for the bread and juice, and then pass the plates for the weekly tithe. We then proceed to take out our Bible and prepare our hearts and minds for the message.

Then...without warning...we heard it.

This faint, sharp, clear, "click-click-click."

What was it, you ask? Well, we didn't know either. Was it someone's phone on a weird vibrate mode? No... Was it God messaging his Word to us via Morse Code? No... Was it the anxious, "are-we-done-yet" foot-tapping of the teenage boy behind us? No...

After a minute or two of guessing, we identified the source of the noise. An elderly man in the front in front of us was...


First of all, the sermon hadn't even started yet - he couldn't have been bored already. And since when did clipping your nails become an appropriate public - or for that matter, church- activity? And why was no one else noticing this?!

As soon as we saw him, Lauren leaned over to me and said, "Blog it."

So I did.

Not only did we leave church with a great "God lesson" from the preacher, but we also left with a valuable life-lesson:

If you choose to clip your nails away from home
Instead of listening to the word of God
Some attentive 22-year-olds may catch you-
And record your heinous act on their blog!

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck.

--Jeffrey D. Edwards

Friday, October 3, 2008

Capone Would Be Proud

Organized crime has always played a significant role in shaping the economic, political, and social landscape of this nation. There have been numerous films dedicated to the mafia and to gangsters - The Godfather, Gangs of the New York, American Gangster, Scarface, etc. We have all been exposed to these "underground" crime syndicates many times in our lives. But this past week I thought of something that had never been brought to my attention before: when these gangsters and criminals (inevitably) get injured, someone has to take care of them. Why did I think of this, you ask?

Well, on Wednesday the senior detective for the San Antonio Police Department who is in charge of gang activity came to our school and gave our MSI class (MSI = first-year med students) a lecture on gangs and organized crime in the greater San Antonio area. It was during this lecture that we found out this little detail: when these gangsters get hurt, they are brought to the teaching hospital where the medical school sends its third-year students to complete their rotations, meaning that in two short years I will be treating these gang and mafia members.

We also found out these interesting tidbits of information:

1.) There are over 1200 gangs in the San Antonio area, 950 of which are active
2.) There are only 2 gangs active in NW San Antonio (where we live), while most gangs are active in the SE and SW parts of town
3.) San Antonio is the headquarters for the Mexican Mafia
4.) Recently, a 15-year-old was busted for having in his possession 1 pound of marijuana, 5 handguns, 1 sawed-off shotgun, 2 other automatic weapons, and over 10 illegal street knives
5.) In the 1990s, a 10-year-old was apprehended for stealing (with help from his friends) over 25 new cars from a car dealership. He was working for a gang.
6.) The leader of the Mexican Mafia, who is on the 23-hour isolation block in a prison in Colorado, still controls the workings of the mafia in Texas. How?!?!?!
7.) The "Wildcat" hand-sign that ACU students use is technically a gang sign for a gang that stretches from coast to coast here in the U.S.

All that to say this: I get to treat their injuries in two years! But, the detective said we have nothing to fear, because since we are the ones who heal them and save their lives, they actually like medical professionals. I guess I just have to be careful to not show my ACU pride when treating one of them...

So if you are reading this, you might consider saying a little extra prayer for us tonight, since we are basically living in Gangster's Paradise (great song, BTW). Just kidding...we have not seen any crime since we moved here, and we actually live on the nice side of town. But you better believe I'm not going to the south side of town anytime soon....River Walk or not, I'm staying on this side of town!

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck

--Jeffrey D. Edwards

P.S. I have a test at 1:00 pm today, and instead of studying, I am writing this and reading ESPN. Hope I do good...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Warning: The following information does not have anything to do with anything--I just think it's funny. Hope it makes you chuckle.

So there's this family named the Duggar Family. They are famous because they have 17 children (all conceived by the parents, no adoptees, no twins/triplets). S-E-V-E-N-T-E-E-N children! (Oh yeah, and they all have names that start with a "J".)

The Today Show invited the entire family to come to New York on Mother's Day to be interviewed and gawked at by all the slack-jawed viewers like me. At the end of the interview, the Duggar parents announced that they had a surprise for their children and for the viewers...they are expecting another baby!

Well, of course they are! I mean, isn't that the most un-surprising surprise ever? It's like they said, "Hey kids, today is Wednesday. And I've got a surprise...tomorrow's Thursday!" I mean, the woman has been preggers for almost 152 months of her life. It would have made my day if all seventeen of their kids had responded in unison, "Duh."

Instead, all the kids acted excited, even though you know that inside at LEAST one of them was thinking, "Mom and Dad have GOT to stop having sex." One of them had to be thinking that--the odds are in my favor!

Signs that you have too many children:
1. Your last name is Duggar.
2. You wanted to name all of them after Bible characters, but you have used all the normal ones (Rebekah, Noah, Sarah) and you and your husband are now trying to choose between Methuselah and Mephibosheth.
3. You go into labor as often as your husband goes to work.