Merry Christmas!

Published on Thursday, December 24, 2009 in , , , ,

I thought I'd repost our Christmas Letter here for posterity.

Another wild and crazy year for this branch of the Drnec family: Tumultuous, fortuitous, studious, industrious, and at times frivolous and capricious!

A couple additions enhanced our clan this year, of the small and furry kind. “Congratulations! It’s…a puppy!” Actually, it’s 3 puppies. Last Christmas, we fell in love with Granny’s puppy, Maggie, a Christmas present from Uncle Billy. U. Billy had just adopted Buddy a few weeks prior. We added Wolfgang (Wolfie), The First, to our family in January, a 9 week old German Shepherd. In April, we added Winifred (Winnie) to the family to give Wolfie I a playmate. They were the best of friends, and great companions to us, until Wolfie tragically and unexpectedly died in late July due to an undiagnosed heart defect. We were heartbroken, but adopted Wolfie 2.0 (two-dot-oh) in November to give Winnie her playmate back. Though Winnie, Buddy and Maggie are all confirmed healthy via echocardiogram, Wolfie 2.0 was also found to have a heart defect. Fortunately, it was caught this time, and it’s fixable, and he will have surgery on January 6th, and should live a normal healthy life. We couldn’t be happier, because we couldn’t imagine life without our furry friends (Beeble, the 20 lb. Maine Coone cat, would tend to disagree).

Sheila completed her 2nd year of medical school in May, much to the joy of her husband, who had forgotten what Sheila looked like. However, the first half of summer was reserved for studying for the first Medical Board exam, which Sheila took in July. She passed, much to the joy of Sheila, who was stressed to the max. We took a vacation for a couple weeks (see below), and then Sheila started her rotations. For those who don’t know, the 3rd and 4th years of school consist of a series of 1 month long required and elective rotations in various hospital and clinics. Sheila is based in Des Moines (while other students move to other locations for the year), but has to travel to other locations as there aren’t enough spots for all the students here. So far Sheila has completed ER, internal medicine, surgery, Ob/Gyn, and family practice, and is headed to Nepal for an international rotation right after Christmas. While this time has been hard with the travel to other cities, and us having to be separated, 3rd year is far better than the first two. Sheila is enjoying practicing real medicine (she delivered 11 babies herself in San Antonio, under supervision, of course), and Drink is enjoying seeing her more.

Drink spent much of the year hating his job and trying to fill his spare time with other activities. He was active in SOS (the support organization for medical student spouses), becoming secretary and redesigning their website, and participating in several of the sub groups like the book, tennis, and men’s club. He was officially accepted to University of Iowa’s MBA program and continued pursuing his degree at the local branch in Des Moines in the evenings. Much to the surprise of everyone, his new hobby this year was home brewing after getting a starter kit from Sheila for his birthday. He’s a little disappointed his nickname “Drink” is no longer ironic, but that doesn’t last long past the 2nd tasting of his weekend’s efforts. In October, Drink landed a new job at GeoLearning as a software developer for their Learning Management software (they help many companies deliver online training to their employees). He’s much happier!

This year we traveled to Nepal for a well-deserved vacation after completing half of Medical school. This was both a vacation and a business trip in that we scoped out where Sheila will be living and working for her January rotation. It was really an amazing trip, as we visited many of the same places Sheila had seen when she lived there in 2000/2001, including the site of her motorcycle accident, and some new places. We did a 4 day trek in the Himalayas on the Annapurna trail, we visited the holiest Hindu temple in Nepal, Pashupatinath, we rode elephants in the Chitwan jungle and visited the birthplace of the Lord Buddha. We planned an Everest mountain flight too, but got rained out. We spent a lot of time with our Nepali family, Parvati and Swamijee. They treated us as if we were their own children, and we are forever grateful for their hospitality! We hope they can visit us in the U.S. soon.

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season! We’re trying to keep warm here in the Midwest, and not get buried in the snow – at least the dogs love it! We know we’ve been out of touch with many friends and family over the past 2 years, and we look forward to post medical school when we can reconnect with everyone.

You can see pictures of our puppies and the Nepal trip online at http://picasaweb.google.com/michaeldrnec, and keep up to date with our life at our websitehttp://www.michaeldrnec.com.

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