Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A little about the CPE

Where to start?
My group is small -- we have 5 students, on Supervisor in Training and one Supervisor. For those who don't know how CPE is run, we have lots of meetings -- a staff meeting for the Chaplaincy program, a Didactic meeting (teaching us something useful to know), a Verbatim meeting where two people present per week and the Interpersonal Relationship meeting where we talk together unstructured. Each meeting last 2 to 2 and a half hours. That's about 8 to 10 hours of meetings a week, depending. Then there is time spent on the floor -- I have the first floor, Teri. We also have some time for writing reflection papers and doing charting and paperwork.
My group is rather diverse. Two of us are from Children's and three are from St. Joe's across the street. It is very interesting to hear the ways our experiences are the same and different and to compare the differences in the hospital culture.
Children's is very nurturing -- but a death here is very intense. They don't occur that often, to be quite honest, but they pack a real punch.
OK short of time.
Best part this week?
I've made friends with Dr. Pucci from here.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


too much hospital food has given me a tummy ache.
I'm up and wandering around b/c of said tummy ache.

I'm bringing "groceries" to the hospital next week -- Healthy Choices and yogurt. It's GOT to be better than the hospital food.

Also, I'm going to tone the clothing down. Or rather brighten it up. I didn't realize how much black clothing I own. I already feel like the "Angel of Death" (thanks for the term RevAbi) -- the nurses on the units see me and say "who is it??" Well, there are days/nights when I'm just on a walk-about. Just because I'm there doesn't mean that someone is doing badly .... I think that all the black adds to that "undertaker" feeling.

So, I'm wearing Lime Green, Steel Blue and Peach next week. Not all together, though, that would be painful for the eyes.

I've started counting the days left -- is that a bad thing? (14 down with 3 overnights - exactly 40 with 7 overnighters left to go. 26.56% done.)

Now to finish preparing for the Communion service....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday Again

And I'm on-call.

I'm learning the routine. Like:
1) if you have a $5.00 voucher for dinner and you don't use it up -- buy some fruit or a pop-tart for later.
2) hospital cafeteria food = boring after a while.
3) the ice cream machine is good.
4) get your sheets/blankets/towels BEFORE nightfall and especially before 3:00 am. That is, if you WANT sheets/blankets/towels. Last week I ended up with two flat sheets and 6 washclothes.
5) change your shoes after 24 hours.
6) take care of your feet. Your feet are your friends.
7) pace yourself.
8) don't sweat the prayer service.
9) lonely kids like the company.
10) I'm no good at Battleship anymore.
11) sleep when it offers itself to you.

I'm going to finish preparing the prayer service.

Monday, June 19, 2006

As a Followup

to the fever from my MMR, I went to the Doctor today. I have a headache -- he sees me looking at him all squinty-eyed and says "have you ever had migraines before?" Well, duh! I thought I had left them behind. I haven't had any since I had kids (a little backwards I know...)

He asks, "Have you had any unusual amounts of stress recently?" I started to giggle.

"As compared to what? What's a usual amount of stress? Gee, does CPE count?"

Unusual amounts of stress, indeed.

note: OK, is it "a usual"? or "an usual"? Doesn't "an usual" sound a lot like the word unusual?

Friday, June 16, 2006


I'm home today, so I'm reading blogs. Or so I thought I would. Except that when I checked my bloglines (229 feeds) I realized that I haven't done it in about 3 and a half weeks. I have more than 7000 entries to read. Gah! Would it be a sin to just start all over (zero out the counters)? Y'all have to stop writing so much....

Point of Information

IF (as an adult) you have to get an MMR because you are working at a Children's Hospital or school or whatever, be aware that there might be serious side-effects. I got my MMR almost 2 weeks ago. I now have a fever of 102 and am stiff all over. I'm missing a day of CPE and resting. Thankfully, I don't have to go back until Monday. I hope this all clears up before then.

I am enjoying CPE enormously. DLK is a kind and gentle person and her butt-kicking is of the kind and gentle type. The work is wonderful. My group is wonderful. This hospital is wonderful. I'm going to miss it come August. It has been a very affirming experience.

RevGal Friday Five -- for the first time

In light of the last posting, I'm doing the Friday Five.

1. In what kind of environment do you sleep best? (e.g. amount of light and noise, temperature, number of pillows, breathe-right strip, sleeping in the buff, etc.) My own bed. Now. One extra-firm, extra loft pillow, clean sheets, one blanket, one pillow, dark, quiet, ceiling fan on, tee-shirt, cool.

2. How much sleep do you need to feel consistently well-rested? More than I'm getting now. About 8 to 9 hours.
How much can you get by on? I'm getting by on about 4 on the weeekdays and MUCH more on weekends.
What are the consequences when you don't get enough? Grumpy, headache.

3. Night owl or morning person? Night owl, most definitely.

4. Favorite cure for insomnia. In this order: midnight walk followed by a sit on the front porch, warm milk, hot bath while drinking lots of fluids, relaxation techniques, Ambien.

5. To snooze or not to snooze? Why or why not? Yes, power napping is FANTASTIC. Laying down for 10 to 20 minutes can help a lot. NEVER more than a half an hour because I just become grumpier.

The most important thing I've learned: dehydration can cause insominia. If you are having problems falling asleep, it might be a symptom of dehydration. Drink lots of water. Yes, you may have to get up and go to the bathroom, but that's better than having to stay up all night. Also, use the 30 minutes before going to bed to slow down -- I use prayer. Sit in a quiet, dark place (no TV) and use the time to pray and think about the good things that have happened during the day. DO NOT start worrying about tomorrow. There's time for that later. Just be grateful for the good stuff.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

End of Week Two

Learnings From CPE

I'm tired.
I'm real tired.

Rinse. Repeat.

Evening Prayer

I do my second all-night shift tonight. Since it's Wednesday, I get to also do evening prayer in the Chapel which is broadcast into all the rooms. (!)

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth tremble before him.
Psalm 96:9
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

O Gracious Light Phos hilaron
O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Luke 1:46-55
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Suffrages A
Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.

Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.

Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.

Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.

Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours.

O God our creator, you have blessed us and given us dominion over all the earth: Increase our reverence before the mystery of life; and give us new insight into your purposes, and new wisdom and determination in making provision for its future in accordance with your will.

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray you, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people;

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Two Things

An article here. An interview about Bunny John and Wes and Beth Quick and ME!

Second, as I was visiting around this week, I was so very diligent about washing my hands. I also use the squirty-stuff that you can find near the doors of the rooms. I had just squirted some of the foam into my hands and was rubbing it in as I entered a room. The kid and I chatted a while about the usual: Cartoon Network, Board Games (this time Hungry Hungry Hippos) and whatnot. I asked if he had seen the clowns today or if the Child Life person had come by with something entertaining -- his eyes lit up and he started talking about the visiting puppies. He loved the puppies. He knows we disinfect everything, so as we finished up talking about the puppies, he asked me a question that caught me by surprise -- he asked, "How do you sterilize puppies?"

My first response that I did not go with -- "With about $150 and a very sharp knife."

But I said, "Gee, I don't know!"

Then I started to think. How DO you disinfect puppies? Disinfecting wipes? Autoclave? I don't know!

Inquiring minds want to know.....

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Song that Always Make Me Cry

I was there to hear your borning cry,
I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child,
with a faith to suit you well;
In a blaze of light you wandered off
to find where demons dwell.

When you heard the wonder of the Word
I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living Lord,
to whom you now belong.
If you find someone to share your time
and you join your hearts as one,
I'll be there to make your verses rhyme
from dusk 'till rising sun.

In the middle ages of your life,
not too old, no longer young,
I'll be there to guide you through the night,
complete what I've begun.
When the evening gently closes in,
and you shut your weary eyes,
I'll be there as I have always been
with just one more surprise.

I was there to hear your borning cry,
I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold.

End of Week One

More stuff:
The hot-spots at the hospital are not easy to find.
The computers in the medical library are very slow.
I miss the internet.
Missing the internet might be good for me.
A 28 hour shift is a very long shift. Long. Very.
Sleeping on that sofa-thingy is difficult. Especially when I keep thinking I'm going to miss the beeper going off.
Ministry at the hospital is very immediate. And most of the time very rewarding.
I love hospital visits for this reason.
I LOVE the ice-cream machine and the Icee machine.
I love the Koi pond, the clowns, the therapy animals (esp the puppies and kittens) and the Child-Life people.

I'm finding that I miss the continued relationships with people. My supervisor explained that it's like floating around in a Movie Multiplex. You enter into the movie already in progress -- you stay for a few minutes, just long enough to get a grasp on the plot and to meet the main characters and then you float out to go watch a few minutes of another movie. I make a connection/relationship and I never find out the resolution. This is difficult.

I'm missing the blogosphere -- especially the handful of blogs I read every day. I miss rlp's chat room. I miss watching the news. Next time I over-night it, I've GOT to find the hot-spots.....

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

More Learnings from CPE Week One

9) my group is wonderful.
10) my supervisor is wonderful.
11) I need a better jacket with pockets.
12) Hospital food is not as bad as I remembered.
13) The staff at Scottish Rite is wonderful.
14) Some kids are scared of clowns.
15) Most all kids LOVE animals.
16) Happy Tails, the clowns and the Child Life people make a hospital stay for a kid almost tolerable.
17) I babble when I'm very tired.....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Learnings from CPE -- Week One

1) Atlanta traffic is horrible.
2) Scottish Rite is a 2 hour commute away because number one.
3) I can download sermons onto the iPod and play them on the road.
4) I like the routine of an eight hour day. I had forgotten that.
5) Orientation classes are ... orientation classes.
6) Visiting with kids and parents is a LOT more rewarding than orientation classes.
7) I look forward with holy fear and trembling my first 30 hour shift.
8) There's not much time for blogging....

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Morning Prayer

Rising in darkness,
let us all keep watching
let psalms provide our source of meditation
And sing with all our strength
hymns of adoration
to our Creator bring.

O LORD, you are my portion and my cup;
it is you who uphold my lot.
My boundaries enclose a pleasant land;
indeed, I have a goodly heritage.
I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
my heart teaches me, night after night.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.
My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices;
my body also shall rest in hope.

Dearest Lord, you are the source of every good gift. You created this world and called it good. God -- it is so easy for me to reflect on the things that are not good -- things that go wrong. It is easy for me to become frustrated and anxious. Lord, I give you my anxiety and ask that you ease my frustrations. Help me rest in my blessings and be at peace. Help me to be content with the pleasant land and the goodly heritage you have given me.

Lord, give me a heart for those who do without. Use me to your ends, God and help me to become a blessing for them. I pray for those who suffer illness, who cannot do for themselves. I pray for the parents of children who do not flourish. Comfort them. I pray for those whose employment is uncertain. Sustain them. I pray for those whose hearts have no ease. Soothe them with your presence. I pray for those who are homeless. Grant them the security they so desperately need. I pray for those who have lost loved ones in a storm's fury. Ease their pain and grant them peace.

God our Father, you see my children -- our children -- growing up in an unsteady and confusing world, full of things that can harm them yet tempt them. Show my children that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, show them the path that will preserve them. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation. Watch over my children as they are away from me today and bring them safely home, just as you will bring us all safely home to you. I pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.