Thursday, June 23, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Inside of St. Peter's in Rome (Gregg took this on his business trip)
This has been a busy week, and it's not over yet!
On Monday, Paul Dudley (of Paul Dudley Photography) & I went to Seattle Children's Hospital, and had the privilege and pleasure of interviewing two of Katie's doctors and her physical therapist on video. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this process, once I got over being nervous. It was probably the best day of "work" I've ever had in my life.
I had asked for 5 minutes from each of them, and led with the question: What did you learn from taking care of Katie that you would like to teach to students?

After thinking it over, I wondered if that might be a bit too general, so I invited them to look at about 5 more questions, and choose any or all of them. They embraced the group of questions, and between the three of them, they talked for an hour - an hour of gems of wisdom, experience, compassion, insight and caring. I was inspired and grateful to be part of it. And I deeply enjoyed being in the interviewer's chair, rather than being the speaker - I think I felt like Oprah for an hour, and it felt good!
I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that being able to listen in depth to the surgeon who worked for 16 of the 18 hours of Katie's surgery, saved her life, and dealt with each of us with care and compassion, was an experience beyond what I could have hoped for. I will always respect and love that man for what he did for Katie, and for us. He gave us several months of additional time with our precious girl, and he gave her a chance to live without that tumor. He is a light in the world, as is Dr. B & Linda A., who also gave us fabulous words to share with students.

Tuesday brought another trip to the city, just for fun, with my mom and lunch with Laura. Wednesday was laundry, massage therapy, exercise, Costco, and a pub date with my husband. We still haven't been inside of the new Trader Joe's, but that is on my list!
Today, I cooked a pork roast in the crockpot, and had Laura over for brunch (she made delicious nut & chocolate chip pancakes with fruit sauce for us). Laura needs her own cooking show; she is making up all kinds of awesome gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar treats! We made a lightning-fast visit to Poulsbo, to run errands at Grounds for Change and Liberty Bay Books. Then Gregg's parents joined us for dinner. What a fun day!
Tomorrow, I will be catching up on Guild business, more laundry, errands, exercise and hosting my parents for dinner.
Saturday is Camp Goodtimes set-up, and moving my in-laws into their new home (assisted living).
Now, it's time for bed. I hope to be able to check in with all of you soon, but it's a very busy time here. Please know that I am thinking of all of my blog peeps and wishing you well, even if I'm not visiting at the moment!


Mary Potts said...

Karen, your life is overflowing with so many good things - good food, good friends, exercise, massage... well, laundry isn't so much fun :)
I'm so happy for you!

And, knowing how much Erin's beloved Dr "Nach" meant to me and so many others (per my blog entry), I can imagine how you felt as you interviewed Katie's doctors. They are true angels on this earth - brilliant, compassionate, dedicated. Thank God for them.
Hugs to you.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so glad that you are loving all the good work you are accomplishing!!!!!!! Good for you Karen.

I want a Trader Joes so badly....I am green with envy. I hope your work slows down soon so you can do some shopping.


Elizabeth said...

It's always good to get an update on your busy and fulfilling life, Karen! I'm always amazed by your generosity in every bit of it, too -- all the people you interact with are so blessed to know you --

karen gerstenberger said...

Elizabeth, that's so kind of you. I wish you have been the fly on the wall in the makes me think of all your advocacy work. I think you would love this hospital...xoxoxo
Thank you, Suz & Mary for the kind words! xoxoxo

Kay said...

I'm sure your interview is going to be amazing. I remember going after we lost Bub and just having a sit down chat with 2 of his doctors. They were so kind and it was a nice bit of closure for me. They didn't have to do that and I'm sure it's hard for them to do that sort of thing. Just like you, my heart swells at the thought of them. : )

You HAVE been busy, girl. Wow. But it's good to keep busy and have exciting things on the horizon. Those pancakes sound dee-lish.

margi said...

Hello Karen-
Thought of you today- I went to, and one of the lead stories was that of Katie's nurse, Kimberly Hiatt. The story showed her picture- what a tragedy. I remember when you posted after her death.

deb colarossi said...

your life is just so full...
you are so radiant. your spirit touches lives . I truly believe that.
I can't even imagine the ripples you send out...

karen gerstenberger said...

Margi, thank you for the pointer; I read the article. It is good that the story is being aired in full, but so, so sad for all involved. You probably know that I LOVE Seattle Children's Hospital and support them in various ways. This is a tragic story all around - loss everywhere. Kim was a gifted caregiver and I will never forget the comfort she brought to our family. I am so sorry for her death and her family's sorrow, as well as the Zautner family's loss and sorrow.