Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I never though I would be happy about getting breast implants

...let me explain. 

Answer to first question no I have not upgraded, I am fine with the ones God gave me. 
Answer to the second question, they were donated. 

Amy Russell Lindsey, our volunteer coordinator told me that we had breast implants donated to the hospital---------------(pause)----------(silence continues)------(exclamation)---what the MESS... why, why would someone donate breast implants to a hospital in a post disaster situation. That was something I could not wrap my head around, that is until we realized that breast implants make a great gel pillow for our babies in the NICU.

Now I am proud to say we are happy about getting breast implants... well.. you know what I mean.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Lesson I Learned from Steve Job

Two weeks ago I thought about death; if I died what was my contribution, what issues have I not resolved, who do I need to forgive, who do I need to ask for forgiveness, have I told those that I love that I love them, am I living a life of impact or am I just living. Today I am still thinking about death… well…really I am thinking about life. Although Steve Jobs died yesterday his words, his impact continues.

Two weeks ago Karla Hernandez , Vanessa Castro, Sara Lary, Beth Kuntz and I were on our way to Cap-Haitian to hold medical clinics with Dr. Barbie. We left the hospital in Diquini Haiti at around 7:30am headed to the small airport for an 11:45am flight to Cap-Haitian. When we arrived at the airport the airline overbooked the flight and told us that we would leave on the 1:45pm flight.  After waiting for hours at the airport the ticketing agent came to me around 12pm to tell me that the plane leaving Cap-Haitian had some technical difficulties and they would not be able to fix it in time for our flight, they placed us on the 3:45 flight, this time giving us our boarding pass … so again waited. We started to joke that we should have taken the other airline Salsa Air instead of Tortuga air. Salsa air flight was on time, no delays and Tortuga air…well… let’s just say it was slow.

Around 2pm Vanessa asked if we could switch to Salsa air but we decided to wait to see what would happen with our flight. At 3:30 the sky became slightly overcast, Salsa air took off and finally we boarded the 20 passenger Tortuga air flight. The flight to Cap-Haitian usually last 15 min, but this flight took 1hour. Half way through the flight I saw the co-captain looked back to at the passengers; I smiled at him (and no I was not flirting), Heather turned to me to ask if I knew why we were circling the airport (the Citadel was in site), at the same time the co-pilot turned to look at the passengers again, it is at that time I began praying even more if possible, for wisdom for the pilot. 1hour after we took off we landed safely but not in Cap-Haitian as we planned but back in Port-au-Prince were we started. After applauding for the pilots and giving them our thanks they informed us that the weather was so bad that they could not land. The pilot circled several times but decided that he did not want to take the chance so he returned. At the same time he informed us that they have not heard from the Salsa air that took off ahead of us. 10 minutes after returning back to the terminal (amidst some angry protest from other passengers) we were informed that there were unconfirmed reports that the Salsa air flight went down. Our group thanked God that we were safe and prayed for the families of the passengers and crew of the Salsa air flight. Shaking we returned back to the hospital in Diquini and notified Barbie that we would not be going that day.

I prayed long and hard if we should try for the next day, and if God did not want us to go that one more thing would happen. The next day we prayed and left the hospital at 5:30 am to head to the Airport (Tortuga air made a special flight for us to Cap-Haitian). As soon as we got off the plane we were told that patients had been waiting since 5 am for clinic to start, so we ate then headed to clinic, we saw about 300 patients in two days.
Why am I writing this? It is not to boast about clinic, it is only to give you insight to what I have been thinking about for two weeks.  That day made me think a lot about death, today Steve Jobs made me think a lot about life, and how I am living it. Read this excerpt from his Stanford commencement speech, see for yourself what he has to say about life and death, but focus on life… I know I am…
Excerpts from Steve Jobs Stanford
"If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." ... I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "no" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important thing I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life, because almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctors' code for "prepare to die." It means to try and tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next ten years to tell them, in just a few months. It means to make sure that everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope, the doctor started crying, because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and, thankfully, I am fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept. No one wants to die, even people who want to go to Heaven don't want to die to get there, and yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it's quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Patients waiting