Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in the Hospital

Spending Christmas in the hospital wasn't the plan. When I scheduled my surgery for December 22nd, it was just supposed to be an overnight hospital visit. Two nights tops. But that wasn't in the cards. I had such bad nausea and we needed to get that under control or it would have damaged (and hopefully hasn't happened already) my hiatal hernia repair. When it became evident that I wasn't going to make it home Christmas morning, Bill, Tom, Chris and Beverly came to visit me and brought all the gifts to open there. There were some nice surprises. My friend, Annette, gave me the floral arrangement on the day that I had surgery. Sherrill sent me a care package with lots of liquid foods and magazines to entertain me in my convalescence. The boys bought me a book on their trip to Powell's.

Luckily I had all my shopping done before I went into the hospital. I gave Bev her photo album for the year. Some clothing for the boys including Bill. I got Tom one of his winter needs for Air Force ROTC--a liner for his ABU jacket. I also got him a flash light and a portable vacuum to keep in his room at school. We discovered he needed a flashlight when he ended up without electricity for several hours at school a few months ago. And given the condition of his room when I moved him out last spring, he needed the little vacuum. Chris really wanted a hydration back pack for when he goes hiking with Bill.

Although I wish I could have been at home sooner, I am glad I am back home now to start getting better in a more quiet environment.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Early Christmas

Since I am having surgery tomorrow, Beverly and Chuck graciously made a prime rib dinner for me tonight so that I could have an early Christmas celebration. I won't be able to eat any solid food for a few weeks at least so it was wonderful that we could celebrate tonight for me. And great that Chuck was here so that we could celebrate as a slightly larger family unit.

Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas holiday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Enjoy the Season

Between a very busy and not as successful as I would like software go-live at work and all the parties that Bill and I have attended in the past couple of weeks, I haven't had any time to blog. So I will update you on what we have been up to lately. Unfortunately, I also didn't take any pictures the last few weeks so I had to make do with a couple from the internet to at least give you a taste of what we have been doing. We took part in several events that are yearly traditions for us, some that we changed up with a little bit of a twist, and some that were brand new to us this year. All in all, it has been a very enjoyable holiday season for us.

The 11th was a very busy day for us. We had the Army-Navy Football game party where we get together with the West Point and Naval Academy alumni to cheer on our teams. This year it was at the Big Al's bowling alley restaurant and bar in Beaverton so we had to travel a little ways to get to it instead of it being here in Vancouver as it has been the last several years. Unfortunately, Army lost again this year and it was one unfortunate play that made the difference. We hosted our friends Jeff and Julie Oerding as we usually do. It is always a good time despite the loss. After the football game, we rested a bit to get ready for the Columbia Aviation Association Christmas party down in Aurora. We spent most of the evening with Jeff and Julie there which was also fun.

Thomas got home on the 11th as well so we have been enjoying having him home. Tuesday night, he and I went to a wrestling match to watch the Mountain View Thunder take on the Camas Papermakers. It was a very close match but the Thunder ended up losing. It was nice to be able to go watch some wrestling. I miss it with Tom gone away to school.

Wednesday night, Bill and I went to see the Christmas Ships at the Inn at the Quay. This is the first year that we didn't go to see them at Bev Fogle's home. Now that she has retired, she isn't doing her Christmas Ship party anymore. But the Rotary Club had a party in one of the meeting rooms at the Quay with a view of the river. It was wonderful to have such a terrific view of them. Bev lives far enough away from the river that you can't really see them well without binoculars. At the Quay, they come very close to the hotel and you get a great view. I hope Bill and I go there again next year--and maybe I'll take pictures next time. We did make time to visit Bev for about an hour Friday night so that Bill could give her his usual Christmas gift of a bottle of Scotch that she loves so much.

This past Saturday was also a very busy day for us. Chuck, Bill's brother, arrived to spend a few days with Bill's mom and us. We went to an open house at Colonel Frederick's to welcome home his daughter Cindy who has been at Lion's World in Little Rock, Arkansas for the past six months learning how to work for the IRS as a blind person. It was very good to see her. She is very pleased to be done with school and we are so happy that she was able to obtain an assignment here at the Portland office. So we will be able to get together with her on a regular basis again. She and Bill were very good friends as teenagers at West Point and we have just recently renewed that friendship in the past few years after she moved here to Vancouver from Honduras.

Saturday evening, Bill and I went to the Big Horn Brass Christmas Show that the Vancouver Symphony sponsored at Union High School. We were a little surprised that it wasn't made up of the symphony's brass section--only three of its fifteen members belong to the Vancouver Symphony--but it was a lovely concert. Afterward, some friends and business associates invited us to their lovely home for an after concert party. There was a huge spread of food but too much for me to eat that late at night--we didn't get there until quarter to ten. They also had a quartet to sing Christmas carols in Victorian costume for us. I really regretted leaving my camera in the car for that picture opportunity. They were very good and looked so good in their costumes.

So Christmas is only a few days away now. We are actually going to do some of our celebrating early this year. I am having surgery in a couple of days and will be convalescing for Christmas. Part of my recovery is the inability to eat solid food for several weeks--just a liquid and soft food diet. So Bill's mom is graciously going to cook a roast beef dinner for me tomorrow night as my last meal for awhile so that I can celebrate by having a Christmas dinner before my surgery. And it also works out great that Chuck is here to celebrate with us too. Being a traditionalist, Bill will expect a Christmas dinner on Christmas Day as well but I feel blessed that they want me to have a Christmas dinner while I still can.

So hoping all of you are enjoying your Christmas season as much as we are. May you all be blessed this season.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Festival of Trees Gala

Bill and I attended the Festival of Tree gala and auction Saturday night. I got to wear a new dress for the first time so that was fun.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fifteen Years of Service to SWMC

Last night was the hospital awards banquet. Bill and I went to celebrate my fifteen years of service to Southwest Washington Medical Center. It is hard to believe that I have been working there that long. Before this job, I had never been anywhere longer than three years. I started out as the ENT Surgical Nurse Specialist and have transitioned over to doing more information technology work for perioperative services. I started out working in the old OR and now have an office in the new tower--at least for the time being.

The awards banquet was very nice. It was scaled back from previous years due to the economy but was better in my opinion. I never enjoyed the casino night activities that they have always had in the past anyway.

It was also a bit of a nostalgic evening. This was to be the last awards ceremony for Southwest Washington Medical Center. The hospital is in the process of merging with PeaceHealth. The process should become final at the end of the month. The hospital has been independent for quite a few years now since it broke away from the Sisters of Providence but with the way healthcare and the economy have been--it just isn't feasible to stay independent any longer.

I love the history of our beginnings with Mother Joseph starting the first hospital in 1857 in a small converted laundry building at Fort Vancouver. She went all over the Northwest begging for money for the hospital. PeaceHealth has pretty similar beginnings. The Sister of St. Joseph of Peace came to Fairhaven, Washington in 1890 and started St. Joseph's Hospital in Bellingham. Before becoming Southwest Washington Medical Center, our hospital was known as St. Joseph's. It would have been so fitting to be able to return to that name but because there is already a St. Joseph's Medical Center in the system, we will now be known as PeaceHealth Southwest.

I have loved working at Southwest Washington Medical Center these past fifteen years and hope that the transition will be a good one and that I will like working for PeaceHealth as well.