Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What Awaits Ahead

"The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine."  -James Jeans

If you know me, you know that I have but few absolute truths.  One is that there is a supreme being that loves us all.  Another is that I know that life extends beyond the grave, and that the relationships that we have in this life will most certainly continue.

What I'm learning of late is that "the eternity of our souls has everything to do with our being here to learn lessons, the lessons involved nothing more complex than loving ourselves, which is far more difficult than I've realized before."  That comes to you from a reputable neurosurgeon that had a near death experience.

He indicates that the primary life lesson is love.  And faith.  "We are supposed to have faith in that eternity of souls, in that afterlife realm, in that heaven, in that dwelling place of the divine and not know it as clearly as the moon rising the sky every night.  That’s for a reason.  This is soul school."  I know that last line may sound a bit cheesy, but he says it with such authenticity that I have no doubts as to his motive.

It's Truth, folks.  With a capital "T"
For my future reference and research: 
Brene Brown The power of Vulnerability

Bioethics of Death

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm grateful for:
a.  fantastic conversation with April and Charity tonight.  VT at it's finest
b.  lunch with the drug rep Aaron, learned about sub q ICDS
c.  Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Exercise: Strength and Stretch class AND stairs

Monday, January 20, 2014


I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.  - Audrey Hepburn 

I'm grateful for:
a.  the glorious sun coming out today
b.  getting the house entirely cleaned up on my day off
c.  spending the evening with such splendid company, and learning a thing or two about cars and people for that matter.  Loved it :)

Exercise: walk along the canyon today

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I'm grateful for:
a. Holiday tomorrow!!
b. Delivering the goodies to my VT gals
c. free cardiology lectures online

Exercise: walk to the various homes


I'm grateful for:
a.  filling a bit of the faith canteen
b.  finishing up a few credits of CME
c.  changing my own headlight on my car

Exercise: I'm starting to love stairs

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dream a Little Dream of Me...

Tonight was the first night in, I don't know how long, that I stayed up watching a TV series.  It's been years folks.  But, there was just something that hit close to home that captured my attention.  Emily Owens, MD.  My sister told me about it a few months back, mentioning in passing that she basically found a show based on my life.  It's kind of hilarious, and slightly embarrassing to admit, but she nailed it on the head.  Me.  In a nut shell.  Simply replace the sweaty pits for super bright blushing, and you've got me.

I'm grateful for:
a.  having a minute to watch a TV show, actually a good 10 episodes in one night!
b. munching on a delicious bowl of Lucky Charms at like 2
c.  having Monday off to get caught up on charts!

Workout: stairs, stairs, and more stairs.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Long Week

I'm grateful for:
a. being snuggled up in my bed while typing this
b. learning how to communicate with my colleagues with respect and professionalism.  There's a gal at work whom I am starting to see is the epitome of a "mean girl," saying things that are borderline bullying.  Rather than reacting to her behavior, I stop a moment and think and then respond in a healthy and productive way.  That's the only way for a positive change
c. I flew to Blanding today for outreach clinic, and I met this wonderful woman Etta, who was the director of the small hospital/clinic there.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

and a One and a... One

That's right, I missed my workout yesterday, which means I start over at one. Oh, how I love you, my dearest one.

Grateful for:
a. new beginnings ;)
b. A good chat with Dr. A today.  For the past few months I haven't really known how I'm doing since I haven't gotten much feedback, and I wondered if they were pleased with my work thus far.  So today I asked.  Glad I did, good feedback :)
c. My Mom texting this evening

Exercise: Strength and stretch class

Monday, January 13, 2014


“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” ― Robert Frost

I'm grateful for:
a.  Dr. A being able to talk to a new patient in his native tongue (Arabic).  A huge dose of what that man needed was reassurance and support, and there's something to be said about finding someone with a deep understanding of your struggles.  Dr. A gave that to him today.
b.  the knowledge I have of an afterlife.  We had a patient come in today, the last one of the day, with whom we had the end of life discussion.  Usually I've had these conversations with the son or daughter of an aged and demented parent, but today we had a discussion with a completely coherent gal.  End stage kidney disease, previously had a pacemaker placed for slow heart beats, and that's why she was seeing us.  A life filled with trouble and long battle with mental health issues.   And now she opted not to do anything for her kidneys, but rather she is choosing to, as they say, go gentle into that dark night.  When will that be? Who knows.  Can you imagine living the rest of your days with the knowledge that any day could be the last?  Perhaps it's liberating in a way.
c.  my neighbor bringing up the trash cans

Exercise: miss!  Too late staying up Sunday and the Monday morning routine suffers.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


So today I realized that I've been here in Utah for about 4 months now.  Well, that went fast.

Moving here, I didn't think it would be a trial of my faith.  But if I'm honest, it has.  Notably.  There are few things in this life that I know; one thing I know for sure is that I'm supposed to be here.  What I'm having a difficult time understanding is why.  Cursed why.

I'm grateful for:
a.  the strength that an individual can show during a time of great adversity (I was listening to a podcast of a couple that survived a plane crash that left considerable physical damage to their bodies.  This news is old news, I've seen it before, as I'm sure you have.  But for some reason, today it struck a cord.)
b.  the honesty and authenticity that they share in overcoming that struggle
c.  the option to choose to be "better or bitter"

Exercise: A walk 


I'm so grateful for:
a.  going to bed the same time as my 90 y/o neighbor
b.  My friend, Dulce, helping me connect with an incredible group of girls for future races
c.  Learning to smile through the pain :)

I didn't train for this race, and so by the fourth hour I was definitely feeling it.  I could have stopped a few times... I even started to make plans to finish at 12:00, and then look at the clock to see 12:08, and think, okay 12:15 then, and then look again and see it was 12:23, yet again thinking, okay 1230 then is it.  15 minutes before 1 pm cut off (the end time of the race), I thought, "This is the last lap.  You've done enough.  And you can beat the swarm of people ending at one, and you need to stretch anyway" but my friend Dulce and her friend Sherrie can up and started to walk with me.  One lap around, chatting away with those girls.  I looked at the clock and realized I had just a few minutes to go till one; instead of quitting, I chose to go that one more lap to finish it properly.  I know it seems like something so small.  And it was, really.  But I've realized... It's not about the lap.

Exercise: a few laps shy of a Half Marathon for a Revolutionary Run

Friday, January 10, 2014


1.  I'm grateful for:
a.  Men that know how to man up
b.  my co-workers.  I work with a bunch of ridiculously hilarious guys that make the time pass so fast.  I've direly needed to fill that hole that was made by moving away from Fort Hood.  Don't get me wrong, I love my girl friends, but there is something to be said about having a guy friend in your life that, for me at least, makes it feel like home.  I guess that's what comes with having only brothers growing up
c.  singing in the shower at zero dark thirty

Exercise: it's paying off.  I was stuck at a plateau for a minute there, but now were back on track.  You and I both know I'm not one of those crazy people, but I kind of see what they mean when they say "the good kind of pain."

Thursday, January 09, 2014


I'm grateful for:
a.  My social spirit and confident ability to put myself out there.    Tonight for the first stretch and strength class at the U, you could hear crickets as soon as you walked in the door. Even the teacher was very timid and kind of anxious. And so I thought I'd help her out by easing the tension with a comment or smile
b. The Jillian Michaels dvds that I've been doing up to that point.  She had us hold planks for an eternity and a day, and because of my training,  was able to outlast all but one in the class. Even the strong muscle guy bowed out before me.   Muahahaha!
C.  The Lord's ability to humble.  So i just listed two things that are borderline bragging, and so now I wait for the "opportunity for growth" from the big guy...

Exercise: stretch and strength class

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.

Audrey Hepburn 

I'm grateful for:
a. being on top of visiting teaching.  And having a different perspective for that matter.  I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I once looked at it as a bit of a chore, and now... that's changed entirely.
b. Registering for my first race of the season, which will be this Saturday.  Run/walk/crawl for 5 hours straight around the Olympic Oval.  Wish me luck!
c.  Being a source of information for my friends.  I used to be nervous thinking I'd guide them wrong, but after a few years of practice, I feel my education can be of benefit to the folks I love most.

Exercise: running and stairs

Tuesday, January 07, 2014


I'm grateful for:
a.  My dearest Somie!  We spent the entire evening chatting away like the olden days.  I absolutely adore this girl.  Exhibit A

b.  So at dinner she told me about this guy who is one of her nursing students, and let's just take a minute to turn to the play by play...

Somer: "Where do you work?"
Brian: "I'm on the PICC team at the U"
Somer: "Oh, my friend Jackie is a PA up there with the cardiac guys"
Brian: "She hasn't been there very long, right?"
Somer: "Yeah, like 2 months"
Brian: "She's like young?"
Somer: "Yeah"
Brian: "Tall?"
Somer: "Yep."
Brian: "Pretty blonde, right?"
Somer: "Right!"

Seriously, best story ever.  I may be blushing a bit

c.  Getting caught up on my paperwork and phone messages.  woo hoo!

Exercise:  10 min Jillian Michael's Core Training

Monday, January 06, 2014


“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West

I'm grateful for:
a.  Dr. A having his sister come visit him.  I could tell it really made him happy :)
b.  Bustin' a move in the kitchen to this gem :)
c.  Figuring out why it sounded like a patient was in normal sinus rhythm on physical exam though her underlying rhythm from her pacemaker detection showed she was completely in atrial fibrillation.  Answer: She was being 100% paced in the ventricle!  And I got it right!  woot woot!

Exercise: Jillian Michael's 30 day shred

Sunday, January 05, 2014


It's not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. -Anonymous

I'm grateful for:
a.  Watching the movie UP with Tristan, my 2 y/o nephew.  Watching the montage of Ellie and Carl with him resting on my chest and peering up smiling at me now and again... it choked me up a bit.
b.  You know how you on occasion have those moments of doubt in yourself.  Doubt in your skill set, doubt in what the future holds, doubt in your direction of life.  Well, I had one of those today.  And in those moments of doubt, a trusted friend helped me see the value that dwells within.  How grateful I am for those who lift you up, especially in those vulnerable times.
c.  Nap time :)

Exercise: Thought I'd try something less intense on Sundays, so I gave Jillian Michael's Yoga a go.  I forgot how much I love yoga!

Random Act of Kindness: Greg and Lisa needed a sitter last minute for last night, so I helped out.  How I love them dearly.  I think they are a big reason why I felt prompted to moved here.  There is something to be said about feeling like you have the love of your family so close to you.

Saturday, January 04, 2014


You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. -Wayne Gretzky

What a wonderful day!  How I love this life :)  Today Lisa taught me to cross country ski in none other than Liberty Park in downtown SLC.  It was just too funny, for I always thought one could only go skiing in the mountains; I never considered the park next door.  This, I can tell, has opened a world of "urban recreation."  I'm already looking at the forecast and the hills behind my house.  Bonus, you can rent skis at REI for like $12.   The snow is calling, my friend ;)

I'm grateful for:
a.  The cashier, Gary, at the gas station that gave me 2 bucks in quarters to fill up my tires.  Totally sweet :)
b.  Brian, the awesome technician at Sam's Club Tire that discovered why the two tires were flat (cursed nails!), patched them up, and didn't even charge me!  How cool is that!
c.  Last, but certainly not least, Lisa Smith, my ski instructor and dear friend that took the entire morning to teach me the basics of skiing, and had the patience of a saint when I slowly dragged myself from falling.  She is such a great gal.  Seriously solid people that live out here.

Exercise: Cross country skiing for a few hours, and Jillian Michael's DVD (I promised a dear friend I'd do it for 30 days straight with her)

Friday, January 03, 2014


I'm grateful for:
a.Dr. H taking the time to explain PVCs to me this evening
b.  laying in front of the fire cozied up to a book
c.  getting out of bed to do my gratitudes

3.  Exercise: JM Last Chance WOrkout DVD

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Imma Need You to Commit Miss Jackie

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. -Jim Ryan

So it's the New Year and I've already started it off on the left foot, which is... GREAT, because the right foot is sure to follow.  It's all about perspective, my friend.  

Let's talk goals:
  • 2 big races this year, LOTOJA or equivilant, & I'm thinking of finally tackling a marathon 
  • 31 lbs gone by summer.  Non-negotiable.
  • Clean up the diet.  Replace fruits for the crap sugars.  No candy from the candy dish at work for 1 month... that's right, I'm talking to you, little Miss 5 Fingers Discount Queen  
  • Find ways to serve the community at large
  • These gals at church need some encouragement; be that encouragement, Miss Jackie.  You've got that calling now, fulfill it to the fullest.  Appreciate the sacrament more fully, prepare for it.  Find a way to connect to Him more deeply.
  • Get to know the various religious organizations of SLC; learn of their culture and appreciate their insight
  • I was gonna say "Create and live by a budget," but really, I know how to save.  Like, really really well.  What I don't do is spend on the joys of life.  So this year I'm budgeting one day a month specifically for Jackie.  It shall hence forth be known as "Zen and the Art of Jackie Maintenance" (ZAJM for short).  Haircut, massage, mani/pedi, sure.  Hike, bike, dance... even better. Learn to rock climb in Utah, surf on the beaches of Cali, or kayak in Alaska, heck yeah! Confession: I may have just Googled How to Pamper Yourself to get ideas.  Suggestions?
  • Replenish Savings, fully contribute to Retirement Accounts
  • Read "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David Burns.  So many therapists that I worked with suggested that as the #1 read for our patients.  I feel mildly like a hypocrite that I've recommended it to many o' patient without reading it in its entirety.  That's gonna change.
  • By the end of the year, fully implement the 5 points of Positive Psychology in your little life (Each day: 3 points of gratitude, journal 1 positive experience within 24 hrs of it happening, exercise daily, meditate, and random act of kindness)
  • On more days of the week than not, study from the best books
  • You're paying for a JAAPA subscription, why don't you take advantage of the CME credits (for free, mind you!)
  • Start looking into what needs to be done to retake the boards... it's coming up sooner than you think

On that note we're working on completing two of the FiVE:
 I'm grateful for:
1. Lisa's sense of humor.  That girl is hilarious :)
2.  Kristi's undeniable determination.  She's keeping at her goals, which motivates me to keep to mine
3.  Great conversations with dear friends.  One of my dearest friends and I talked last night for like 2 hours, felt like minutes and millennia all rolled into one.  He said it best, "As cliche as this is Jackie, this just flowed"

Exercise: JM Biggest Loser DVD before work this AM.  Bonus, no candy from the candy dish!  Woot!