Saturday, February 28, 2009 only a day away...

The big day is here!!

My brothers are in town, my sister-in-law is in town. My parents come in tonight. My sister and her husband can't come, but they are doing their part as well: visit her blog here to find out how you can win awesome scrapbooking supplies while raising money for the Clinic!

Caitlin is going to be singing. Check out her video here. She is awesome! The song in the video shows her playful side. She is also a very socially conscious singer, whose music really touches your heart. I'll be linking a video of the Clinic done to one of her songs after the event. Stay tuned.

Jesse Spencer from House, MD is going to be playing the violin with her; James Denton from Desperate Housewives is going to be playing guitar. And Jeremiah James is going to be chiming in on bass. It's going to be a rockin' night!

Our co-hosts, Alison Haislip and Kevin Pereira from G4 TV's Attack of the Show have got a great evening planned.

We've got all the auction items accounted for. We've got all the decorations ready. We've got our outfits picked out and waiting. This is going to be a great event!

I hope to update after the event, so be sure to check back in a day or so to find out how it went! Thanks to everyone for their support - financial, emotional, and otherwise!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So, the timing is pretty poor, but I've come down with some illness. In my best estimation, I'd say either bronchitis or pneumonia. I hesitate with a simple bronchitis because I have such a productive cough. I even coughed up a mucus plus last night. It was nasty.

Fortunately, I started antibiotics today, and I'm hoping to be in top shape on Sunday. Again, luckily for me, I'm on a lighter rotation, and my attending was fine with me taking a day off. I can remember the last day I took off. It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, 2005. I had to get someone to cover my clinic because I had a temperature to 102.

I don't like calling in sick. Don't get me wrong, I often fantasize about staying home from work, watching television all day, or going to the beach. However, I feel a strong commitment to my patients that I be there for them. And, I do love my job (most days!), so it's not torture going in. Today, however, I felt I'd just spread my germs around, and we don't need any transplant patients coming down with whatever nastiness I have.

So, I'm taking it easy today. I should have a light day tomorrow and Friday. The Brothers come in tomorrow, so that's exciting. I hope I don't get any of them sick!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One Week Away

So, the charity is just one week away!

March 1.

Wow. Most of the family is coming, so that's awesome. My sister is home with the kiddies, but the rest of the fam is coming out.

We're benefitting a clinic on Skid Row that has just started diagnosing and testing people for HIV. It's an expensive endeavor, but it's a needed one given the high risk nature of the patients there.

Check out the website for more information:

Friday, February 13, 2009


A few weeks ago, I was in clinic and I met a man with AIDS. This is not unusual, since a meet a lot of people in clinic with AIDS.

The difference was this man was dying. Right before my eyes.

He was in his mid-30s, very pleasant, very grounded. He had been through a lot in his life. He was diagnosed several years earlier, and he had actually started treatment. Then, as he explained to me, he got very angry. "Angry at God," were his words. He stopped seeing his doctors. He stopped taking his medications. He just stopped trying to live. He went back to using drugs. He was transiently homeless.

Then, about a year ago, something inside him woke up. I'm not sure what, and he wasn't really able to explain it all that well. He worked through his anger, and he was ready to really live.

He was admitted to one of our hospitals with pancreatitis and fulmanent liver failure. Our best guess is that it was an extremely rare reaction to one of his HIV medications. He nearly died. For the doctors out there: his Ranson score was through the roof.

He made it through and was discharge, but when I saw him in clinic he was pale and wasted. He started crying as he told me about what he'd been through in his life. He had a glimmer of life in his crystal blue eyes, but it was faint. He had a firm resolve to make it through, but his physical body seemed to say otherwise.

I admitted him for anemia and failure to thrive, a diagnosis usually given to neonates. His housing situation was still tenuous, and he really needed close to 24-hour nursing care. He was barely strong enough to get to the bathroom, let alone stand in a shower and wash. However, with no income and no insurance, finding a place to accept him was going to be a nightmare for the social worker.

The hardest thing was the complete faith he put in us to make him well. His chances of survival are so small. If he does make it, it's purely because of his will to live and his faith in God. Medicine can only do so much for him now. The best thing was the sense of peace he had about his situation. The paradox of his physical condition and his spiritual one still strike me now, all these weeks later.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


So, I ran the Surf City Half-Marathon in Manhattan Beach on February 1. It was quite an experience! I finished in just under 2 hours, and I ran about a 9 minute mile, which is better than I anticipated.

It was quite fun running with all those people around you.

I don't think I'll ever have the desire to run a full marathon, but a 10k or even another half would be fun. For now, though, I'll stick to a few miles around my house for fun. :) I need a break!