Friday, December 28, 2007

A Weary Traveler

I recently got back from a whirlwind trip to the East Coast for Christmas. I waited too long to book my flight and ended up getting one way tickets with lots of layovers to make it cheaper. So in just a few days due to layovers and cities I flew into/out of, I visited the cities of Houston, DC, Richmond, Raleigh/Durham, Atlanta, and Las Vegas before getting back to LA. I realized on the day I got back that I had spent 16 hours traveling, but it wasn't all bad--I did get to play the slots once in the Vegas airport--definitely a new experience for me, too bad I lost a $1. Despite the many hours traveling, it was definitely worth seeing people I hadn't seen in a year! I love living in LA but there is definitely something great about being in the city that I grew up in.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It was a Beautiful Thing

While the ending of CPE was pretty bittersweet for me, there is something to be said for being done with an incredibly exhausting and intense 3 month internship--and that means some celebrating. I've celebrated with both my CPE chaplains and friends outside of CPE. In this post I'll post only pictures from my CPE people in this post and then use another post to show my other celebrations. We had our offical CPE graduation ceremony on Thursday. It was an intimate and meaningful ceremony with my fellow chaplains, supervisors, a few hospital administrators, and our close friends and family. To steal a frequent said quote of my supervisor--CPE was "a beautiful thing." There was much growth, tears, joys, and prayer poured into the last 3 experience I'll never forget! Here's a picture of my group including my supervisor Cheri sitting "around the table" during our celebration lunch after graduation. This is the table in which all of the hard conversations, conflict, sharing, and breakthroughs happened during our group time. The table was definitely sacred space!

My friends Christina and Sarah came to graduation to support me.

This is Cheri--my fabulous supervisor and I. She shared an amazingly calming presence in the midst of all the chaos.

Although with Cheri the chaplain interns were fortunate to have several other staff chaplains to lead and assist us. The staff chaplain I worked with most was Deacon Mike. He is an ordained deacon in the Catholic church. He and I would do visits together sometimes and it was so neat to minister to a patient with both of our perspectives together. He also helped me remember and relearn some of my Spanish, I now have a great cheat sheet of the common Catholic prayers in Spanish to pray with someone.

I formed a different relationship with each of my group members, but I grew particularly close to the two women in the group. Darenda and I often shared meals together. Here we are for one final meal at the Huntington Gardens. Darenda is now back in Austin where she lives with her family. Carol finished up her fourth unit of CPE and was a welcomed and needed voice of experience in our group. She also grew to be a fun friend to have. On Thanksgiving she invited me to join her family for a fabulous meal. Here's Carol and I having a celebratory sushi lunch on our last day of CPE.

Finally, here's a picture of our 3 male chaplains...Magdy, Bruce, and Darren. They are each so, so different--but so much fun in their own ways. There were definitely lots of many laughs and shared memories in these three months--and I am thankful for getting to know each of these people. It was a beautiful thing!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Today I saw my last patient at the hospital. We still have 3 days left at the hospital--all wrap up stuff and goodbyes, but no more patient visits. For my last day of patient care, it was quite an eventful one! I had never responded to a "Code Blue" before (an announcement over the hospital speaker saying that a patient is in cardiac arrest and the code team needs to respond) but I had to respond to not one, but two today. Thankfully both patients ended up okay. Even with all the trauma of the day... I was very sad to say goodbye to my last patient. I tell my unit staffs goodbye on Thursday and that will be even harder as I've grown attached to some of the staff and loved being a part of a team so big. All that to say is that I am so grateful for this opportunity that I've had at Methodist but it's sad to end.