31 March 2008

Let Us Rejoice.

This weekend was quite a dramatic weekend for my family and friends. While a storm raged in Fayetteville and woke me up around 3 am, 200 miles away my brother woke up because he felt mucus in his throat. But it wasn't mucus...he was bleeding profusely. He promptly woke up our parents, and they all rushed to the hospital. Miraculously, the blood became thicker and darker and the bleeding stopped as they arrived at the hospital. This rather miraculous clot allowed time for the doctors to prep George for a safe surgery. Mom called me around 6 am to let me know George was going in to surgery at 7. I didn't realize how serious it was, and silently said a prayer for his safety. Mom called again while I was in the shower and Brooke answered and delivered the message to me. I believe she said something like, "Katie you should go call your mom back right now. They said they almost lost him." I grabbed a towel and ran to my phone soaking wet. That was the end of silent, sob free prayers. There were "complications" during the surgery. While they were intubating him, the clot apparently dislodged and the bleeding resumed. I can't imagine how terrifying it must have been for my parents as they waited for news. The doctors said it would only take 15 minutes to intubate him...10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes...30 minutes passed by before the nurse called and told them of the complications. I was terrified enough sitting in church. The surgery itself was rough as well. After they patched up one side of his throat and stopped the bleeding, other side of his throat started gushing. So the surgeon basically had to undo the incisions etc from the initial surgery and patch him up again. Again, I can't imagine what it must have been like in the waiting room for my family. The nurse came and told them there had been further complications during surgery. His vital signs were stable, but he had lost a lot of blood...they had blood on standby if he needed a transfusion. The doctor estimates he lost 2 units of blood...(1 unit = 450 milliliters). So he probably lost about a liter/ 2 pints of blood. The adult human is believed to have around 10 to 12 units. George is a young adult...two units seems like a lot. Maybe next time I see a blood drive I'll donate. I'm pretty much terrified of needles, but blood donors are really important. After that 9:20 call, I was pretty freaked out.
I cried until Chase picked us up. I cried all the way to church. I cried all the way through church. Brooke joined me in the crying about half way through. We cried as the pastor (guest pastor from Missouri) prayed for George after the service. While sobbing, I called and left a message on Myranda's phone. After the first message, I decided to leave another...I forgot to say he's stable and recovering on the first one. I'm sure that caused a moment of panic on her side. Inspirational Singers at the University of Arkansas prayed for him (Myranda is the chaplain). I called and told Megann. Chase called his church who prayed for George. I told Dr. Rosenkrans that I wasn't going to work on my thesis and make the Discovery deadline, so he prayed for George too. Brooke told one of her friends, who had her church start praying for him. My BSF discussion group was already praying for George this last week, and they'll be praying this week. All of my relatives were praying too. Aunt Pollie's church prayed for George. I would bet Waller's Chapel did too. The Strobels, Eiflings, Rhodes/Wrights, Murphys, Darrs, Hamlins, Hicks, Lochalas, Burks, Weeses, and many more families prayed for George. So I figure that's roughly 6 churches, a good portion of the general population of Arkansas, and a Missouri pastor who prayed for George. Mom and Dad I'm sure prayed unceasingly. So kiddo, if you read this you better be pretty darn sure of the power of prayer. You're a blessing to the world and we're all so glad you are here. God isn't finished with you and certainly has some amazing plan for your life.
I spent the first half of Sunday basically in tears calling my praying friends to pray for George. Since mom said I shouldn't drive home, I decided to enjoy life for the rest of the day. So Brooke, Chase, and I ate pizza and junk food and watched movies. Good stuff. Throughout the day, a particular verse kept ringing in my head:
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it
Psalm 118:24
So that is what I did. After all, focusing on what could have happened is no good. George is alive, and he is going to recover. What better thing could there possibly be in life? I know we haven't always gotten along, and I've kicked, slapped, bitten, punched, and tackled him at least once during our life, I will always love my brother. Since the first day I held him in my arms - funny looking red thing that he was on day 1 - I knew I would always have my brother. Someday I know I'll have to be without my parents and, if I am blessed to have a normal lifespan, many of my friends as well. But I never want to be without my brother. He's 3 years younger than me, so I expect him to outlive me. These past 4 years of college have really changed our relationship, in a good way. I've seen my brother grow not only physically taller, but also mature into a charming young adult (most of the time). From the distance of F-ville to the Rock, I can see how he's grown and how much he's changing. I'm so proud of him...my brother who perseveres in the face of multiple surgeries, who fixes car, who always catches the most fish, who buys the best, most thoughtful gifts, who has the best laugh and smile, who loves the Razorbacks, who is handsome and intelligent,who is going to grow to do wonderful exciting things. I pretty much think he's awesome. I love George. So I rejoice in the day the Lord has made, because I have a brother and that brother is George.

Thank you merciful, heavenly Father.

Let us all rejoice.


21 March 2008

Tonsils and Lovin' Doggies

I'm am very thankful to say George has no more tonsils and is on his way to recovery. As far as tonsils go, George won the prize according to the surgeon. "He had the biggest tonsils I've seen in many, many years." Poor baby...er...younger brother! Hopefully that will be the last surgery. The next couple of days will be filled with jello, pudding, donuts, and other relatively soft food. I'm very, very thankful the surgery part is finished and George is going to be well in a relatively short time ^_^

While I was in the waiting room I read some more of For the Love of A Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend by Patricia McConnell. It's definitely a worthwhile read for any dog lover.

I believe dogs experience emotion. Yes, our furry companions feel an assortment of emotions, although they lack words to express them. Dogs express their emotions quite differently than humans. A dog shows no deceit, no trickery, no secrets - but wears his emotions openly. Take a good look at the picture below. Not all dogs enjoy a good snuggle, but Luigi gains evident enjoyment from a good hug. Notice how the corner of his mouth curves upward in a gentle smile, his eyes are closed and relaxed. Yup...this is a happy, comfortable dog if I do say so myself. Patricia McConnell's book explains this so well and gives signals to look for, basically a lesson in how to speak Dog. ... Not everyone is meant to have a dog. If you are too busy to take your dogs on walks or even to pet your dog once per day... why don't you just get a lawn ornament that doesn't feel sadness, pain, frustration, or loneliness? A lawn ornament would be a much better fit for your lifestyle. You see, one reason dogs are expressive...one reason they display emotions through visual cues and facial expressions is because dogs are pack animals. Being able to understand how other animals in the pack are feeling is critical for the survival and peace of the pack. Therefore, you better be ready to provide companionship and a "pack" to your dog if you decide to get one. It's very cruel to neglect a dog and deprive him of attention. For heaven's sake...one 10 minute walk would be a great start. I also believe in most cases, dogs should go in the house. That's right, your smelly, just at the neighbor's dog's poop, rolled in the dead squirrel, butt licking dog should go in the house. If you go in the house, that means the pack in is in the house and that's where the dog should be! If you aren't ready for muddy pawprints in the kitchen, you're probably not ready for a dog. It's too easy to neglect and forget about a dog left outside. Dogs are NOT lawn ornaments. They require a daily dose of TLC in addition to exercise, water, and food. Dogs are blessing. If you choose to have one remember that God loves the little animals too. When you place a living creature in your care, you become responsible for it. Its welfare (not necessarily rights...but I'll save that for another rant) should be kept in mind. Responsibility not negligence, compassion not cruelly. Owning a dog a privilege not your right.

A semi related rant...

With everything I just wrote, I believe in euthanasia of suffering animals, but never for humans. When God created mankind, he gave mankind dominion over all animals. He and Adam walked through the garden naming every animal. I imagine being a caretaker of the Garden of Eden or naming every animal were no small tasks. Surely, Adam developed a sense of respect and awe for God's critters. What God has created...man should not torture and neglect, but treat with compassion. Therefore when our beloved, four legged friend life draws close to the end and suffers, I believe it is morally acceptable to humanely euthanize a suffering animal. However, dominion of animals does not warrant unnecessary violence to animals or cruel deaths. It is a matter responsibility. If I'm blessed enough to be allowed to become a veterinarian, I will take my Veterinarian's Oath very seriously indeed. Notice that God did not give man dominion over themselves...God Himself is the caretaker of man. Ultimately, our lives are completely in His hands. We should trust Him completely in the matters of human life and deathorigin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial" alt="Posted by Picasa" src. He will determine the appropriate time for a human to come to His judgement seat. So while God placed man as the caretaker of animal, God Himself is the caretaker of man.

End Rant.

19 March 2008

Family Adventures

This layout is for my brother of whom I am so proud! He's going to go on to do awesome things! I'm so honored to have him as my brother. He should keep a blog of all of his adventures! <3
(Layout credits: CT appreciation kit, Tara Dunstan frame, my doodles)

Wood duck

Barred Owl

Red Headed Woodpecker
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13 March 2008

Credits on DST. Here's more of the family photos Gradpa Burt took of us on the beach.
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Sun Beams and Thunderstorms

I'm sitting in the student union now drinking a cup of cappuccino and working up the energy to begin work on my thesis, but I really don't feel like it. I wish Brooke or Chase would come join me ^_^ I went to BSF yesterday after missing last week because of the now and the week before because I was going crazy. It was much needed, and I feel refocused and centered. I can be such a selfish creature during test weeks. If I could just think about God 24/7 I'd be so much happier. Apathy has permeated this entire semester, but I'm going to turn that around. I don't feel very Katie-ish. Isn't it strange that when you focus on God you know yourself better. Or at least that's how I feel. I don't feel like myself when I'm not square with God. Anyway, I have about 3 weeks worth of BSF lessons to do now! I started with the earliest notes. Since discussion group won't cover them, I'll just have to talk now. A couple of statements stood out to me in particular.
You sin against God when you refuse to tell your fellow Christian what has offended or wounded you, and you sin against that person.
I'm certainly guilty of that! Life would be so much easier if we could respectfully and gently tell others when they do something to upset us instead of letting anger and negativity fester inside...or gossiping about it to others. I know relationships in the past have suffered because I lacked the courage to voice my feelings until they exploded. :( I'm sorry if I've done this to you...

When the Cross means nothing to you because you are blind and indifferent to your inner and outer sins against God, other people's offenses against you seem great.
With great ease, I can forget what it means to be forgiven and redeemed. When this happens, minor annoyances seem like personal affronts, and my feelings get hurt over such silly matters. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Well, those are my thoughts.

In other news, I think I'm finished with the lab work on my thesis! I caught myself messing up while setting up my sequencing reaction... I had to repeat about six samples, and I and ran out of DNA. Hopefully the sequencing will still work ^_^ I really don't feel like doing another PCR! Now I just have to write my lit review...yeesh.

In other news, I brought my grade up in Cell Bio. I still didn't quite make an A, but a B is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. I don't need that class for vet school or for graduation... that must mean I'm simply a glutton for punishment. Speaking of vet school the final tally is in!

CSU- rejected
KSU - Alternate list
Mizzou - Accepted + contract
MSU - withdrew my application
LSU - Accepted + contract
OSU - alternate list

So 2/6. Lol I'm just so relieved I made it in at all! How funny is it that the 2 schools I was accepted also offered me contracts, but no other schools even accepted me! Lol, I'm actually relieved I didn't get accepted to many...it makes my path pretty clear. I loved Missouri and I can't wait to go there. After my interview, it rose to my top choice...and I guess they liked me too! I've mailed in my acceptance form and prepayment, and I'm not anxiously awaiting confirmation they received it. I'm so excited to be accepted there! I really felt like it was a good "fit" for me. I suppose it's where I'm meant to be. God made my path clear.

In other news, I've felt inexplicably anxious the last 2 days. So many changes are approaching. I'll be moving farther away than I've ever been from my family and friends. I was happy to leave NLR for Fayetteville and make new friends...a fresh start. But I'm not really ready this time. My baby brother will be heading up to Fayetteville. I'm so proud of him and almost jealous he'll be here without me. I've made so many wonderful friends here...and most of them will be here next year. I don't want a roommate next year and I'm nervous about that too. I think I'm ready to live by myself. I've never had the opportunity to arrange my house just the way I want it and I'll be glad for the chance. My kitchen is going to be Florida themed...green and turquoise dishes, blue casserole dishes, decorative fish wall hangings... I've also ordered an 8x10 of the family photo on the beach as well as smaller prints of the pic of George and me and another of mom and dad. Maybe I'l finsh the painting of mom and George on the beach over the summer too! As for my sitting area...i don't know what I'm going to do with it. My bead room will stay red and white... and my bathroom will maintain its girly pinks and purples.

Well studying is unavoidable now...no more stalling! End of book... Peace and love to all! <3