Christmas Letter 2010

Published on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 in

Well we’ve had quite a year again! We started off with our poor Wonky Wolfie getting surgery on his heart. As you may remember, our puppy Wolfie 1.0 died of a faulty heart (aortic valvular stenosis) in late July, 2009. We were devastated naturally, but always wanted two shepherds, so we got Wolfie 2.0 in October. Imagine our surprise when Wolfie 2.0 also had a heart defect (patent ductus arteriosis)! However, we discovered this one early enough, and had it repaired. The surgery was a complete success, and we have one very happy and active puppy now! We also had his wonky ear fixed a little, although it’s still wonky (and adorable). Winnie and Wolfie occupy much of our free time, and are our pride and joy. They get along very well with our cats, Beeble and Trillian. Winnie will RUN from the room when Beeble makes any sudden movements towards her, which is hilarious given she’s an 80 lb dog. Michael also thinks it’s hilarious that he gets exactly 3 inches of bed space when everyone is allowed up.

Sheila spent the whole year in Medical School rotations. For those who don’t know, med school consists of 2 years classroom study, and 2 years rotating in clinics, hospitals, ER’s, etc. Sheila completed a number of required and elective rotations all over the globe. She started the year in Nepal for an elective foreign medical rotation, performing exams and surgery alongside Nepali medical students in Kathmandu. Along the way she had family medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, gynecologic oncology, psychiatry, and a few more. Besides Nepal, she was in San Antonio, St. Louis, Phoenix, Des Moines, and a couple small towns in Iowa. She completed her 3rd year of school with a few exams, and took her 2nd set of boards which has a computer based question portion and a Physical Exam. For the PE, she traveled to Philadelphia, as all D.O. students do, to perform mock physical exams on live actors who pretend to have certain symptoms. She passed her computer based boards, but we’ve yet to hear back on the PE. More importantly though, Sheila has chosen a specialty: Ob/Gyn! This was a tough choice as she likes both the duties of the surgeon and the family practice physician. Ob/Gyn is a good meld of these disciplines because you get the one on one patient time, you follow patients for a long time, but you also get to perform interesting surgeries. Sheila is considering a fellowship later in gynecologic oncology. With her specialty chosen, she has completed her applications for residency and has been invited for interviews. Once interviews are complete in January, we will submit our desired locations for residency, and will await the “match” in February and March. Then we’ll know where we’ll live for the next 4 years!

Michael has been loving the new job he started last November. He’s been doing software development at Geolearning, the top Learning Management Software (LMS) company in the world (they won that award the last 6 years). They write software for the web, and are about to release mobile versions of their software for iPhone, Android, Palm, and Blackberry, which he hopes to work on soon. Outside of work, he became president of SOS club this year, which is Significant Others Support, the organization for spouses of medical students at DMU. This club advertises and recruits new members each fall from the incoming student class, and helps the spouses and Sig-O’s find other people with similar interests. We get together for fun outings, or to volunteer to help the community, or just to share what we’ve learned about the med school experience! We also have sub clubs for common interests, like Men’s club. He runs that club, which mostly consists of drinking beer and playing poker! Speaking of which, Michael also continued his home brewing hobby this year. He brewed about 10 types of beer this year, from a Bavarian Hefeweizen to a Scottish Wee Heavy. In order to counteract the additional caloric intake this hobby demands, Michael decided to take up running. His goal for now is to run a few 5k’s next year; this year he ran the Living History Farms outdoor 10k race in November, 2010. At a blistering 20 degrees Fahrenheit that day, 8000 runners ran through woods, rivers, and mud for 7 miles to raise money for this historical site in Des Moines, and just to generally act like fools.

That’s it for now! Merry Christmas to all our friends and family! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and great and exciting New Year!

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