Friday, July 20, 2007

Life now

The summer is beginning to wind down. There is only three more weeks of CPE. It feels like it went by so fast. I've really loved being in the hospital setting, even though I was really uncomfortable when I started applying for programs. But, over the last 7 weeks, I've grown accustomed to working here and I've loved the three units I work on. There are always new challenges and new patients. Mostly, I've enjoyed the time on the inpatient psych unit when I get a chance to be up there. I have the opportunity to lead the Faith and Life group session this afternoon with the patients. I have such a strong interest in mental health and believe the chaplains can make a real difference for the patients. I could easily see myself working as a chaplain in a mental health hospital at some point in my career. Of course, that would mean more school, which is not in my immediate plans. So, we'll let that sit on the back burner for a while and see what happens.

I am looking forward to heading back to Atlanta for a week or so in late August. Of course, that means ordination exams (polity & worship and sacraments) and that is never fun. It's been hard to study this summer with all of the CPE stuff, but I think I'll be ok. Then, it's off to Maryland to begin the new adventure in pastoral ministry. Hopefully, this summer will help me with visitations in the hospitals there.

I just feel so different now. I've changed quite a bit this summer. I really like this Erin- I knew I could always be like this - rational, logical, calm, less emotional. I was thinking the other day in the care that I finally feel like I am 26 years old and an adult. It's a good thing.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Summer Update

It's been a long time since I've updated this thing! So much has happened over this summer. I moved from Atlanta to Dayton, OH for two & half months to work at Kettering Medical Center as a chaplain intern. I have really enjoyed my time here and I love the people I work with! They are really amazing- the staff chaplains are so supportive and loving, and I couldn't ask for a better group of fellow interns. I feel very blessed to be a part of the chaplaincy team at KMC. There are 36 hour days at times, lots of emotions, class work (after all it is CPE), and the ever present fear of the beepers going off in the middle of the night. But with all that said, I really have enjoyed my summer so far. We are in week 6 of 10. It's exhausting, but worthwhile.

One major thing happened to me this summer- I had gallbladder problems. About four weeks ago, I had some pain in my right side. I was sitting in a class session and I just really didn't feel great. I didn't think much about it at the time, but I was on-call that night. I made it until about 6:30pm and it was too much. Luckily, there was a staff chaplain still in the office. She took one look at me and knew something was wrong. We talked for a few minutes and I cried. She told me that I was no state of mind to be on-call that night, took the beepers, and said to go with her to see her husband (who is a doctor in this hospital). So, I went with her and he thought I needed to go to the ER to get looked at. I did and it was a VERY long night in the ER (from about 7pm until 4:30am). After running some tests, they confirmed that it was indeed my gallbladder. I saw a surgeon a few days later who wanted to try some pain meds to get the inflamation down. Well, that lasted about two days and I ended up back in the ER at 9am, after having so much pain while sitting in a morning report meeting. Again, a very long day in the ER. Saw the surgeon the next day who told me it is time to get the thing out of me. He scheduled me for surgery on Tuesday (July3). So, last Tuesday, I had gallbladder surgery. All of the chaplains were so supportive and came to visit with me before the surgery (many also came to see me in the ER those two times). They were amazing. The surgery went very well and I am recovering. I came back to work this week on Monday and learning how to pace myself. The whole experience has helped me to be a better chaplain for my patients. Thanks be to God for that!

I also visited Laurel, MD two weekends ago (pre-surgery), where I will be serving as a pastoral intern beginning in late August. I love the church. The pastor is amazing and I am going to learn so much from her. My apartment is great- there is a fireplace in the living room, a cathedral ceiling, big bathroom. The best part is- it is all furnished and fully stocked. There is very little that I need to bring with me from Atlanta. It is all paid for- the apt, utilities, plus cable and high speed internet. Amazing. Simply amazing. I am really looking forward to moving down there next month and really learning what it is like to be a pastor, without the pressure of school.

That's what is new in my world. Busy, busy. I miss all of my friends in Atlanta and looking forward to seeing them before the big move! I'll try and update this more often, especially from Maryland!