Pediatric Orthopedics

Summer, 1975-Junior in College of Nursing

After much debate with my parents, I decided to go to summer school so I could graduate in March rather than June. The job market is rather tight right now for new graduates, so I’m hoping there will be more openings available if I graduate ahead of my classmates.

I only took 13 hours of classes this summer (two 4 hour nursing courses, and 5 hours of American history), but it was totally exhausting, because I had to study so much for my two nursing classes in orthopedics and pediatrics. When I felt like I was at the breaking point, I met with my Pastor and he wisely counseled me to stop teaching two Bible Clubs so I could concentrate on my studies. He said I would have plenty of time to serve the Lord after I graduated. But if I didn’t graduate, it would be a poor testimony to my parents (who were not yet Christians) and others.

My clinical site was at the Children’s Hospital on the neurology/orthopedic unit which was interesting. Since I’m now in my junior year of nursing, we were assigned more acute patients compared to last year in the nursing home. Half the summer I cared for children with neurological problems such as brain tumors and seizure disorders (epilepsy). It saddened me to care for the children with brain tumors who did not have much longer to live.

Chuck HATED Being in Traction!

Chuck HATED Being in Traction!

Most of the orthopedic patients were 8-12 years old and in traction for the summer. Chuck had a bicycle accident and was totally frustrated about being imprisoned in bed. I brought in his lunch tray and set it up on his over bed table. As I turned to leave the room, he picked up his entire tray and flung it to the floor while he screamed, “I HATE THIS PLACE!!!” He was in a room with three other boys, so the other boys started crying because they were so startled and frightened by his actions. I pressed the call light and said I needed his nurse and my instructor immediately! I definitely felt like I was in over my head and was at a loss of words as to how to calm the boys. The experienced staff members rushed in and took command of the situation. His nurse gave Chuck a sedative and a pain pill while the housekeeper cleaned up the mess on the floor. I exited the room and reviewed what had happened with my instructor in the conference room.

I was so thankful when this difficult summer ended!

Reflection – 2014

As I reread my journal which recorded how much I struggled through that summer, I began to learn the important lesson that it is never God’s will for us to be serving Him so much that we don’t have time to sit at His feet in worship first. If there is not first true effectual worship there will be no effectual service. So often I see a need and automatically think it is God’s will for me to fulfill it. But perhaps it is God’s will that it not be done or that someone else does it.

I reread about the two sisters, Martha and Mary, in Luke 10: 38-42. Martha gladly welcomed the Lord Jesus Christ into her home, but was overly occupied and too busy and distracted with much serving. She became upset when her sister Mary also sat at Jesus’ feet and listened eagerly to His words. When Martha asked the Lord to rebuke her sister Mary, He gently rebuked Martha instead.

“Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

May the Lord help us all to sit quietly at His feet while we let Him speak to our heart through His precious word and renew and strengthen us for the day that is ahead of us. I will close with the words from the first verse of my favorite hymn. Whenever I sing this prayer to the Lord, it helps me focus my heart on Him once again.

“Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting” by Jean S. Pigott.

Jesus, I am resting, resting in the joy of what Thou art;

I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart,

Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, And Thy beauty fills my soul;

For, by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.


Christ is Risen!

Easter, April 20, 2014

Dear Readers,

I hope you have a blessed Easter worshiping our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ! This week, I will share the precious simple good news from the Bible and a few photos from my journey to Israel in 2013. It was truly the trip of a lifetime! If you ever have an opportunity to visit Israel, by all means go! (I felt safer there than anywhere else I have visited in the world.)

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After that, He was seen of above 500 brethren at once. ” I Corinthians 15:3-6

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.” John 20:31

Six day old donkey with shepherd.

Six day old donkey with shepherd.

Cross of Jesus

Replica of the Cross where Jesus died for our sins.

An empty tomb of a wealthy family from the time of Christ

An empty tomb of a wealthy family from the time of Christ

Jerusalem Skyline

Jerusalem Skyline

Anatomy Class

Spring Quarter – 1975, College Sophomore School of Nursing

I entered the large lecture hall and sat down with several hundred classmates for the first anatomy class of spring quarter. This class was rumored to be the most difficult of all in the nursing program which many students flunked. Dr. O stepped behind the podium. He was a small stout dark-haired man who looked very serious in his white lab coat.

“Welcome to anatomy class. The following are the rules if you want to pass this class. You must memorize two hours daily to keep up. If you get behind in memorizing, you will not be able to pass the tests. I suggest you find a study partner and go to the cadaver lab daily to quiz each other on the body parts I go over in lecture. Not many schools have the privilege of using a human cadaver lab in the school of nursing. These people have donated their body to science in order to teach health care professionals. These human bodies must always be treated with the utmost respect. If anyone is ever found desecrating these cadavers, the student will immediately be expelled from the University permanently. After one year, the body is cremated and the remains are returned to the family.

He then proceeded to show color slides on the large screen and begin his two-hour lecture of the human anatomy. When the lecture ended, we went to the cadaver lab a block away and met our teaching assistant (TA) for our small group of ten people. I gazed around the large gray gloomy room which had a distinct almost overwhelming odor of formaldehyde. There were about 20 gray steel boxes on legs that were the same size as coffins. We gathered around one steel box, and our TA lifted the lid. Inside was a human body floating in formaldehyde with the skin removed so we could see the muscles and tendons. There were colored straight pins marking the various body parts which the TA proceeded to review with us which were explained in the lecture.

Anatomy Class

Anatomy Class

After our lecture on the lung, our TA showed us the inside of a lung of a person who never smoked. The tissue was tan and had tiny little air sacs (alveoli). Then he showed us the inside of the lungs of a smoker. I was shocked to see the lining was totally black with several one inch balls of tar which looked just like road asphalt. All the tiny sacs had disappeared. I am so thankful I never started smoking!

I had to work so hard at Anatomy class in addition to Introduction to Landscaping (3 hours), violin lessons (1 hour), Nursing Theory (5 hours), and the Older Adult (3 hours). My Christian roommate had to take this quarter off for health reasons, so I was randomly assigned another roommate, Lisa. It was rather stressful living with her since she¬† played rock music on her huge stereo, talked on the phone for hours, and came in from partying at 2 or 3 a.m. Consequently, I didn’t spend much time in our room. When my friends walked in, they laughed because she had a black¬† bed spread and huge black tapestry hanging over her bed. I had a white chenille bed spread and my Dispensational chart of “God’s Plan Through the Ages” hanging over my bed! The contrast was striking between light and darkness. I tried to share the gospel with her, but she wasn’t interested and flunked out of college at the end of the quarter.

When I opened my grades from Spring Quarter, I was thrilled to see I received a B in Anatomy!

Thank You, dear Lord, for Your grace and strength this quarter.

Reflection – 2014

I remember when I first started nursing school, I naively thought I would understand everything about our marvelous human bodies when I graduated! Nearly 40 years later, I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface in understanding. Truly, only our wonderful Creator could have made us in His image.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him;male and female created He them.” Genesis 1:27

“I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139: 14