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the ack attack

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[27 Feb 2006|06:18pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

I have been trying to think of something to give up for Lent, but have been largely unsuccessful. I thought about giving up meat again (did that last year and once before that 5 years ago), but it requires a lot of extra work on my part to plan and research meals, time that is already in short supply. So rather than give up something, I came across the idea of DOING 40 things instead. So here is my list, organized by time period (so I can look at the daily list on a daily basis and see how I"m doing:

� Read short passage from faith-based text every night before bed
� Pray for those in RCIA
� Pray before bed every night
� Choose to turn off TV and do other things
� Choose not to gossip
� Let go of grudges against people
� Play piano (4x per week)
� Spend less time reading blogs
� Do not get more than two lectures behind in studying
� No complaining about my preceptor
� Keep with running schedule and run 3x/week after 10K (April 1st)
� Drink at least 1L water per day
� No more than 1 soda per day
� When hungry, don't immediately snack
� Two servings of fruits/veggies per day

Weekly (once per week)
� Pray for my patients weekly
� Pray the rosary once per week
� Focus on concentrating during mass more
� Do Sacred Space at least once per week
� Have family night without TV at least once per week
� Include at least one fish meal and one meatless meal per week
� Eat lunch out no more than 2x per week
� Fast food no more than once per week
� Ride bicycle at least once per week

Weekly (specific day)
� No meat on Fridays
� Take trash and recycling to curb

� Go to confession once before Easter
� Go to a Soup Supper/Stations of the Cross at Church
� Sign up to be a lector/Eucharistic minister at church
� No buying new clothes, makeup, etc.
� Have a meal with my grandparents
� Write a letter to someone thanking them
� Learn to bake a new kind of bread
� Donate blood
� Hike at Belle Isle
� Do something for my brother for his birthday
� Paint bathroom over spring break
� Plan and plant an herb garden
� Reupholster dining room chairs
� Play tennis with Patrick

I know I'll probably forget a thing or two here or there, but if I succeed even half the time, I think it'll be a big improvement. We'll see ....

(launch an ack attack)

[14 Feb 2006|04:50pm]
I haven't done a survey in so long! This one's from yerfxdog:

What iTunes says about your life:

Read more...Collapse )

(2 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[14 Feb 2006|04:28pm]
In class today, Ron and I were discussing the top 5 best words in medicine, but we only came up with four. My rankings are as follows:

4) phlebotomy (fli - BOT- uh - mee)
fli-'b�t-&-mE): the letting of blood for transfusion, apheresis, diagnostic testing, or experimental procedures

3) xerostomia (ZEER-oh-STOH-mee-ah) - abnormal dryness of the mouth due to insufficient secretions

2) borborygmi (bor - boh - RIG - mee) - the rumbling sound made the the movement of gas in the intestine

and the #1

1) tsutsugamushi (shu - shu - gah - MOO - shee) - an acute febrile bacterial disease that is caused by a rickettsial bacterium (Rickettsia tsutsugamushi) transmitted by mite larvae, resembles louse-borne typhus, and is widespread in ithe western Pacific area. Also known as scrub typhus.

You say tsutsugamushi a few times on a bad day, it gets infinitely better immediately. That's the power of medicine.

Definitions courtesy of the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary

(launch an ack attack)

I don't know if my brand of medicine makes me a 'scientist,' but.... [21 Jan 2006|09:10am]
"Among [a group of British 11-15 year olds] who said that they would not like to be scientists, reasons included: "Because you would constantly be depressed and tired and not have time for family," and "because they all wear big glasses and white coats and I am female."

Science 'not for normal people.'

Brighten up, kids! Really, it's fun to autoclave random things and see what happens! You can make incredibly nerdy jokes at restaurants and discuss autopsies and watch the waitstaff give you dirty looks! Forget about the big glasses - white coats have LOTS of pockets, and you can carry your chapstick and calculator with EASE!

(1 attack | launch an ack attack)

[15 Jan 2006|01:39pm]
Yesterday I spent the morning working at one of the free clinics in the area. Don't get me wrong, I love the academic/book-learnin part of med school too, but after almost two years of memorizing lists and working to understand physiological concepts, it is utterly refreshing to be able to apply my knowledge to real people.

It's a fairly common phrase in medicine: "The patient didn't read the textbook." Meaning, of course, that real-life presentations of disease are rarely exactly by the book; just because Robbins (the pathology Bible) says that hypercalcemic folks will have stones, bones, groans, and moans** doesn't mean that your patient will experience all that (or that you'll remember to ask).

However, my three patients yesterday all seemed to have reviewed the text before coming into the clinic. My first lady was a classic presentation of ischemic heart pain or angina pectoris - meaning her heart probably wasn't getting as much blood flow as it wanted. She had the symptom - pressure in the middle of her chest - without signs of a heart attack (radiating pain, sweating, nausea). It didn't hurt that she was a nurse in her home country, so she knew all the questions I was going to ask before they came out of my mouth. We sent her for some heart studies to be sure, and sent her on her way.

The second and third cases weren't as clear-cut, but for different reasons. The second case was a very quiet woman who had lost her husband to kidney cancer a month ago. The cancer wasn't discovered until very late in its course, and by that point it had spread throughout his body. She flew to Peru to return his ashes to their home country, and in the Miami airport during her return, she noticed painful urination. Ordinarily, most women would recognize this as a urinary tract infection and score some antibiotics from their doctor, but this woman was scared to death. These were the exact same symptoms that her husband developed just before he was diagnosed with cancer, so she put off coming to the doctor for weeks. We couldn't do anything for him when we found his cancer, so she figured we couldn't do anything for her, and she decided she'd rather just wait it out. Finally she came in, expecting to get a diagnosis of cancer herself. Despite the fact that by this point her infection had progressed to include her kidneys, she was still relieved to hear that it was just an infection, and we were happy to be able to give her some good news and a definitive treatment.

My last patient was a little more frustrating. He had just had some blood work done, and he was right in the gray area for being diagnosed with impaired glucose tolerance, which is just one step down from diabetes. He had been experiencing burning pain in his feet and legs for a year, and no one had been able to help him. We decided that he had some peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) from his blood sugar being too high (despite the fact that it wasn't incredibly high), so we treated his borderline diabetes. It may or may not do a whole lot for his pain, but the clinics don't have a whole lot of pain drugs to be giving out on a chronic basis. I did get the chance to sit and talk with him for quite a while about changing his diet to help out his blood sugar and his cholesterol. He was a recent emigrant from Guatemala, living on his own, and eating McDonalds like a born and bred American. We talked about some practical ways to eat more veggies, and he promised to try. That's about all I can ask for.

**Too much calcium in the blood often causes kidney stones, breakdown of the bones (fracture, osteoporosis, etc.), psychologic groans (depression, psychosis, etc.), and digestive system moans (constipation, nausea, vomiting)

(5 attacks | launch an ack attack)

I suppose you could equate this to a holiday letter [30 Dec 2005|09:42am]
Dear LiveJournal,

I have been very remiss in my updates in the latter half of this year, but I will make a lame attempt to remedy all that by posting about what I have been doing.

As I posted a while back, I took on the 50 book challenge, running roughly from Aug. 15, 2005 until that date next year. I am laughably behind. Since I last posted about it at the end of October, I've only read 5 more books. I calculate that I am 37.8% through my allotted time, and with only 24% of my books read (that's 12 books), I may be in trouble.

What I have read recently has been pretty good:Collapse )

We also celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple, and did so by staying put in Richmond in our very own house. We have to travel to Houston in January for a wedding, so we decided not to fly twice in just a few weeks and have our own Christmas. Since we were out of town last year for the holidays, this was our first year to get a tree and decorate the house, make our own Christmas cookies, etc. Token pictures here:Collapse )

I actually have two weeks off from school, and I have been keeping busy. Not only with reading too-long books, but making a kick-butt spaghetti and meatball recipe (not my own - here at Bon Appetit. We also painted two more rooms in the house - we did a light shade of taupe in the office, and gave new life to the electronic dartboard that Pat received as a gift from a former girlfriend. Pat, bless his heart, tore down the awful wallpaper that has been haunting the upstairs bathroom and we used the extra paint we had leftover from our master bedroom to paint it a matching shade of Williamsburg blue. So that leaves only one more bathroom to paint, and we will have color on every wall in this house (sans hallways).

That is probably enough cluttering-up of your friends pages for one days, so I'll stop there - Happy Holidays and New Year!

(2 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[13 Nov 2005|10:26am]
8K results In Living Color!Collapse )

I know that this is a ridiculously slow pace to run an 8K or for most people to run a marathon, but that was not the point. The point was to get my butt out and run enough so that I could comfortably run 5 miles, and in cold weather (my asthma trigger), no less. Patrick could have run it much faster, but he ran with me for moral support. I ran 11 minute miles, which was my goal, so I'm happy. Pat enjoyed himself so much that he's planning on doing a half marathon in the spring and the Richmond marathon next year. I'm shooting for a 10K in April with mildly improved times. I like to set attainable goals, what can I say? =)

(3 attacks | launch an ack attack)

Who needs suffrage? [08 Nov 2005|01:57pm]
Today Chickfila, bless their hearts, is giving out free chicken sandwiches to anyone who has an "I Voted" sticker. In front of me in line was a 40-ish woman who hadn't heard the news, and was (understandably) disappointed that she was missing out on a free sandwich. But then she said, "Oh well. You know, Shirley, I don't vote. I've never registered, and never voted in my life." Her friend kind of giggled and said "Oh Diane. That's so bad!" That's bad enough - but she responded by saying, "Well, it doesn't matter anyway. My husband votes, and I'd just vote how he votes anyway."

I was hard pressed not to smack her. The guy behind me in line was cracking up, presumably at my eyes bugging out of my head. First of all, it's not like it's DIFFICULT to register to vote. You have to check a box at the DMV to actually NOT be registered; so if you drive, you should be registered. Secondly, I must have missed the marriage class that dictated that wives must be of the same political mind as their husbands. My bad.

Oh, and I guess we should be celebrating - because if voting is so entirely unimportant, it seems like we can tell all those troops working to establish democracy that their job isn't necessary. People want to establish democracy and give everyone in other countries the right to self-govern? Why bother - when those who have the right won't even exercise it. I wish I could vote twice - once for me, and once for your dumb ass.

(3 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[06 Nov 2005|10:49am]
Good week - Halloween was busy in our neighborhood as usual. We went through several bags of candy (even only giving out one piece per kid), and we had to turn off the porch light just after 7:00. Back in my day, when the porch light was off, you didn't even approach the house. Universal sign of either "We're out of candy" or "We're not into this whole free candy to strange children thing." But we had kids ringing the bell all night long - we had some 16 year olds come by around 9:30. More than a couple of kids pulled the "Can I have one for me and one for my sick sister?" bit, which I think is older than time itself.

Renal test was this past Wednesday, and it went actually better than I thought it would. I thought I was somewhat underprepared, but I should have listened to the course director - she said she was going to focus on big-picture topics that all physicians should know about the kidneys, and she delivered. A bunch of us went out for lunch afterwards in downtown Richmond at a new Mexican place, Cha Cha's Cantina. I think the general consensus was that it was okay to good, but I didn't like it too much. I like my Mexican in extra large portions, exploding with flavor, and dirt cheap, and this place failed to deliver the magic triad. Although they did have fresh corn chips (some of them were still hot and pliable from the oil) and really good fresh salsa.

Patrick is a big fan of pressed Cuban sandwiches, and I am a big fan of eating most things, so Thursday I decided we would have Cuban night. Put some Buena Vista Social Club on the stereo and made pressed sandwiches and mojitos. I bought plantains with very lofty goals of frying them, but I didn't realize how ridiculously underripe they were, so they're waiting in the fruit bowl for a second attempt.

It's University of Richmond's homecoming this weekend, so I got to see lots of old friends from out of town (and some from in town too). Shina and I had lunch at Cafe Gutenberg on Saturday, and cruised around the Brunswick Stew Festival at the farmers' market. They had some very tempting produce, but I haven't figured out my meal plan for next week yet, so I had to pass.

Am I the only one who's noticed that every other sentence in my blog is about food? I know I'm not the only one who thinks that's a good thing. =)

(8 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[31 Oct 2005|09:48pm]
It's been almost two months since I last updated, and I only have a good excuse for 10 of those absentee days.

Sometime in early October, I made a nice little slice into my hand with a bread knife. Unhappily, I neglected to take gory pictures, but I did manage to score 7 sutures. The cut itself wasn't too painful, but man, I forgot how much Lidocaine hurts. I was slicing up some ciabatta and managed to sever the webbing between my left thumb and forefinger. It made for some awkward bandaging, but 'tis all better now. I had a little bit of a contracture afterward for a few days, so I was worried that I wouldn't get my full finger span back for piano-ing, but it's almost back to 100%.

50 book challenge is .... going. I calculated that I should be done with 10 books at this point, but I'm only halfway through #8. I figure that I'll do some good catching up over Thanksgiving and Christmas, when I have nothing to study. I just finished Ender's Game, The Virgin Suicides and two of Ruth Reichl's autobiographies. All good, although I read the second half ot The Virgin Suicides mostly so I could count it as one down. That's a little sad, I guess.

I don't think I mentioned this before, but I've been training for an 8K here in Richmond, and it's fast approaching - Nov. 12th. This is a big deal for me, because running 8K ( = 5 miles) isn't very far for the average in shape person, but it's a lot for someone who abhors running with all her being. I had to take two weeks off from running due to the cut on my hand (I tried running once - just once - while the stitches were still in, and the throbbing after just one mile was enough to convince me that this was a very bad idea. But this past weekend I did my first full-length practice run, and it went very well. I run very slowly compared to the rest of human kind (I'm averaging about 11, 11.5 minutes a mile), but I'M DOING IT, DAMMIT. I have to listen to Science Friday podcasts the whole time just to make me forget how much I hate running. I should probably not ever mention this to patients, huh?

Speaking of medicine. Hold on, when am I ever not speaking of medicine? We finished our endocrine course (gland of the body, for those of you not biologically inclined), and I actually enjoyed myself quite a bit. Scored myself my best test grade yet in med school, and felt like I really understood the subject matter. I will keep this in mind for the future. We're almost done with renal (kidneys) now, and I like it too, but not as much.

Somewhere in mid October, Pat and I hosted our first big party as woman and husband: Oktoberfest2005! I had fun cooking, and I think more than a few people had fun eating and drinking.

311's "Hive" just came on my iPod party shuffle (directly after Alison Krauss), and I realized that it's been 10 years since the blue album came out. Yet I still know every word, and I still think "I'm all up in your mix like f***ing Betty Crocker" is one of my favorite lyrics of all time.

I have been reading everyone's LJs, and I keep intending to comment, but then I feel bad since I haven't updated in so long. So now I give myself permission to comment once again. Beware. Oh, and Happy Halloween!

(1 attack | launch an ack attack)

[08 Sep 2005|04:58pm]
I decided I'm going to keep track of all the books I read for a year, for purposes of interest and also to see if I can meet the 50 book challenge (read 50 books in one year). I forgot to set an exact start date, so I'm calling it mid-August.

So far, I've chalked up Circle of Friends (Maeve Binchy) and Postmortem (Patricia Cornwell). Currently in my bookbag is The Wonder Spot (Melissa Bank). I absolutely loved her first book, A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, out maybe 3/4 years ago. This one still holds promise, but doesn't live up so far. On the docket are: Cien Anos de Soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude in Spanish), as well as a couple of randoms I picked up on the new fiction shelf. I've started and quit a few non-fictions lately; for some reason they haven't grabbed me of late. I also quit reading Patricia Cornwell's newest one (Trace), and A Year in the Merde, by Stephen Clarke. Normally I enjoy travel/living abroad books, but this one seemed to just be a collection of all the others. That said, if anyone reading this hasn't read Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks, GO READ IT.

A little more than halfway through microbiology at this point; I'm a little torn, because I am interested in infectious diseases as a potential career (among many others), but I also am looking forward to starting Endocrine in a few weeks, because it seems to be more patient/case based, and less about DNA replication strategies of viruses. This segment of micro in particular (misc. leftover bacteriology and virology) has been heavy on the molecular bio, and while I can appreciate the significance of viral recombination, I'm not quite sure why I have to understand every nuance of the mechanism. Such is being taught by PhDs, I suppose.

(3 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[30 Aug 2005|12:36pm]
Microbiology test is owned and done, and I skipped out of my last two classes today. I refused to think about any more school topics today -


I discovered that when I agreed to download the latest version of ITunes (I've been hitting that "Download Later" button for a couple of months now), I can download and listen to a bunch of free podcasts. Now I have grown to love NPR, but I rarely get to listen to it. Our main stereo has decided not to pick up FM radio anymore, so I usually only listen to my music, and am limited to a few minutes of NPR talk radio on my way to school in the morning. I just discovered a podcast called "Science Friday," which is spectacular so far.

This episode (this cast? What do you call these things?) is about the reintroduction of leeches into some medicinal therapies - namely, microsurgery and osteoarthritis. I'm fascinated for a couple of reasons - one, because I did a bunch of research in undergrad into what is now PC-ly known as "Complementary and Alternative Medicine." There is a lot of bodunkey out there, but I think several of the so-called 'alternative' therapies are ones based in good science - science that we just don't understand yet (acupuncture being high on my list). The second reason is that they're postulating that much of the leeches' effect is due to their production of natural morphine compounds, and dude on the radio has been going into all kinds of detail about the beta endorphin and the met-enkephalin and HOLY CRAP I know what exactly what he's talking about. It's nerdy moments like this that make my day.

Yesterday I had my first experience at my new preceptor, which is a Department of Health clinic in a not-so-great neighborhood. I was placed there because I speak Spanish, and their clientele is about 50% non-English speaking (although yesterday it was more like 75%). I have no special affinity for peds (sorry mikejj) - not because I don't like children. As I suspect happens for many people who opt out of pediatrics, it's not the kids that are the hassle - it's the parents. Yesterday, it was all moms. Some of them were great, some of them were ridiculously over-anxious about nothing at all, and some of them seemed to think it was no big deal that their 5 year old kid can't sleep in his own bed and won't eat anything remotely healthy (Mom says, "He likes tortillas, french fries, and coke. He won't eat fruits or veggies.")

This afternoon I am going to bake bread (herb and garlic baguettes), clean up the ungodly fright that is our house, and maybe look over some of today's micro material. Riiiight.

(launch an ack attack)

[26 Aug 2005|05:36pm]
I just (accidentally) viewed a trailer for March of the Penguins. I've heard good things, and I think I'm going to try to work a viewing of this movie into my schedule in the next few weeks. I will watch pretty much anything that includes a large speaking role for Morgan Freeman, because I could listen to that man talk all day long.

There seems to be this epidemic sweeping through our Microbiology class of people telling each other that they heard our upcoming test (Monday) is 'the hardest test in med school' and that over half of last year's class failed it. Several items: one, I find the 'hardest test ever' claim hard to believe. It is a lot of information, but little of it is conceptually difficult. Plus, from the practice questions I've looked at, it seems that a lot of it is associative. Aminoglycoside = nephro- and oto-toxicity. Check.

Secondly, last year's class is different from this year's class. We attend class at a MUCH higher rate - I've heard that they were lucky to get 25% of the class in attendance last year, and we routinely are at around 75% or greater. That makes a big difference. Plus, we're different people.

But most importantly, what does telling people that really accomplish? It doesn't make the person saying it OR the person hearing it feel any better. Few people are really going to significantly amp up their studies based on a crappy scare tactic like that. It seems that most of the people passing that fake statistic along are just trying to make themselves feel better. </rant>

Back to the study of the plague ...

(launch an ack attack)

[24 Aug 2005|04:32pm]
Amid microbiology mayhem today, I described myself as a "photochick-fil-aophile."

(2 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[20 Aug 2005|09:54am]
I realize that those of you who are not scientifically-inclined may not appreciate this, but I need to get it off my chest:

A note to med school professors - please, please, please. No more lectures on the topics of G proteins, membrane transport, or RT-PCR. You made us take all those bio classes in college, and you made us learn it for the MCATs. Then we went over it like a million times during the first few weeks of school. I get it - diffusion is really not that difficult a topic, so PLEASE stop talking about it.

(1 attack | launch an ack attack)

[11 Aug 2005|11:23am]
I promised an update this weekend, and solidly failed to deliver. But lately I have been at a total loss as to what to write. During the day when I'm out and about, I repeatedly have thoughts that I file away as "perhaps interesting enough for LiveJournal" but I seldom actually follow though with their posting.

There is not much to catch up on in my day-to-day. We've moved on from the intro pharmacology course to intro to pathology. As I told Patrick and my mother yesterday, I have never been so absolutely sure that I didn't want to go into a medical specialty in my life. I absolutely hate the majority of my time in the pathology lab. I enjoy the theory of it - the biological reasoning of why things go wrong. But I appear to have zero talent for distinguishing these changes in microscope or organ samples. This may not be comforting with regards to my grade in path, but it sure is nice to rule out at least one specialty for my future career. One down, something like 40 more to go. That's not true - I know I could never do surgery because my attention span is way too short.

I have felt very not-myself in the past few days. I'd hesitate to say that it's caused by this complete apathy for what I'm currently studying (thank goodness path is only a week long), although I'm sure it isn't helping. I think it's just one of those funks that I get in, and that I'll get right back out of. But I feel bad for those that have to be around me right now - which is why I've been isolating myself in the computer lab rather than be social. It's been brought to my attention that some people's moods are actually improved by social interaction. Such is not the case for yours truly; if I am in a mood and have to actually interact with people, I tend to piss all of us off.

(4 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[05 Aug 2005|10:43am]
I know I haven't updated in a while, and I will this weekend. But for now:

Gratuitous pictures of SashaCollapse ), since she turned two years old this week.

(3 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[18 Jul 2005|12:37pm]
I am such a library whore. I hold library cards to four different local library systems, and that doesn't include the two university library systems I have access to. I'm not even loyal to one branch within each system - I go wherever my book is. Today, I drove out to the complete opposite side of town to a library that had both Harry Potter #5 and the new one. Then I stopped by two different branches of library system number 2 to get The Hours and a nonfiction collection of short stories about life in the South.

Pat and I have spent the last week redoing one of our random bedrooms into our music room. I've played piano for lots and lots of years, and Pat has played both guitar and clarinet at points in his life. His mother suggested using album covers on the wall, and the idea for the music room was born.

The walls got a coat of bright red paint ("Victorian Red"), and the trim is now a beige/champagne kind of color. I reupholstered my piano bench and desk chair and used the fabric remannts to make some pillows for the futon. We painted my desk and chair dark brown and did some picture frames, shelves, and the doorknobs to match.

Some pictures behind the cutCollapse )

I barely used a quarter of the tan paint that I bought (originally I was going to also do the ceiling), so I think I may use the rest on the walls of the computer room, but we'll see. Right now, it's time for Harry.

(2 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[13 Jul 2005|08:56am]
Unfortunately, this entry begins with "I was watching Regis and Kelly the other day...."

Dear Suzanne Somers,

I was watching Regis and Kelly the other day, and apparently you have your own one-woman Broadway show, The Blonde in the Thunderbird. You did a little musical number for Regis, and wow. Wow.

Lady, you might be able to sell gazillions of over-priced 'Somersize' food products and jewelry on QVC, but a vocalist that does not make you. In fact, I checked IMDB and it appears that your notable acting credits prior to this are limited to a slew of made-for-TV movies (several of which have suspiciously Lifetime-y titles), Three's Company, that bit in American Graffiti, and, of course, Carol on Step by Step. I don't know if it's even fair to say that a TGIF show is a 'notable acting credit.' You sure have a lot of energy, maybe from mastering your thighs all these years, but even your boundless charisma could not make that song you performed palatable. Yowsas.

A week and a half until I have to go back to 'school,' which I have taken to calling 'work,' because I've found if you use the phrase 'back-to-school' and happen to look like you're twelve, nobody at Kroger will sell you alcohol, regardless of how many IDs you show them.

(5 attacks | launch an ack attack)

[09 Jul 2005|06:20pm]
We're baaaaaack!

Okay, we've been back for a week and a half, but I took a little break from LJ (for the most part).

The wedding was absolutely wonderful. It was everything we each wanted, and there were virtually no bumps the day of.

Before I forget: pictures from the wedding are here , and pictures from the honeymoon are here .

More on the wedding is behind the cut...Collapse )

Whew. There's no way I can really describe in a blog how much my wedding day meant to me, or how wonderful I felt, or how happy I was. But it did mean the world, and I did feel wonderful and happy all day long, and I"m not really sorry that it's over, because now I get to be married to Patrick, which is exactly what I wanted.

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