Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Moving through rough waters

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Fear has two meanings: forget everything and run or face everything and rise. The choice is yours. Zig Ziglar

That was then, that was that, that is gone

In January I was notified that my career as a librarian in service to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) was ending by April 30th. My year-to-year librarian contract was not being renewed, and the work I was doing would be a professional staff (not librarian) position for the last year of the five year contract.

I couldn’t choose so I did both meanings of FEAR at once: I put this all behind me every time I ran while training for a local 15K race in order to have a decent finish time (11:20 min. avg per mile) I could then use to start somewhere other than the back of the Disneyland Half Marathon. Yes, I am the same person who said “I can’t pull off running even at a very slow pace” 2 years ago. A lot can happen when you win a Fitbit in a bar. I also relied very heavily on my faith, family, and trusted friends & colleagues. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to keep moving forward. Remember this if you are facing similar challenges; the wisdom of a trusted network is there to help in ways you can’t even fathom compared to struggling alone.

I had never been more scared about my career in my life. The situation meant my librarian employment was ending 2 months before the effective date of promotion to Associate Librarian with continuing status effective July 1st if my application (documentation still undergoing review) ends up being successful. At that time I had no idea if I would be called to interview for a librarian position on campus I’d applied for back in December (I was), if I would have competition for it (I did), let alone if I would be the successful candidate (I was) or have that position or some other campus librarian employment work out before my time ran out (3 paychecks left).

I wish my former NN/LM colleagues well. You all have interesting times ahead and I look forward to hearing how you make the most of every opportunity the future holds.

Listen! This is now, this is here, this is me

On March 16th I began a new chapter of my career as a health sciences curriculum design librarian. It is very much in line with my “It’s hard to articulate what you see that doesn’t yet exist” from last April about the integration of instructional design, information science, and the effective use of learning technologies, and an affirmation of an even earlier career vision I wrote down in 2012 of “Distance Education Teacher: Concepts of Place and Space?”

I am extremely excited about the duties I now have in working as the point person in the library on the School of Medicine’s curriculum renewal and development, which includes a focus on active and blended learning using the Canvas learning management system as well as the OpalQM curriculum management system. My previous regional medical library work with NN/LM has prepared me well for working with our regional medical education format (WWAMI). I’m also excited about serving as a liaison librarian since I’ve not been able to do so before, and once again I have an amazing team of colleagues to work with who are already helping me to learn the ropes even though I’ve been around the library almost 7 years. Last week was somewhat surreal at times to suddenly shift from sorta to actually understanding what liaison work involves!

I am also still in graduate school, as there was a curriculum revision that happened there last fall where they thought I could easily handle taking both beginning and advanced instructional design courses at once. I’m very thankful I told the advisory team no both for my sanity and because their Moodle server died during winter break and I’m currently designing schoolwork in cloud-based Canvas, being able to learn the similarities and differences between this platform and UW’s hosted version. This also means things are busy (family is doing well, including the 7th grader starting up track season the same week I started the new job) and not going according to my plans, but with less than 2 months until (I hope!) graduation it helps to know it won’t be this crazy forever. I’m looking forward to sharing what I’m up to more often here again!

Catch where the headers are from? 

In Remembrance Year 7 – Know the Signs

Monday, November 24th, 2014


Dorothy Irene
4/26/24 – 11/24/98

(yours truly in the 1970s culturally inappropriate Indian attire, with a wink and a smile to David Hale)

Heart Attack Signs for Women

This is my yearly post to increase awareness of the signs of a heart attack which is still the #1 killer for women. It’s not merely #1, it leaves deaths from all cancers combined for women in the dust (infographic excerpt source)

Although much progress has been made since I was making funeral arrangements for instead of getting ready to celebrate with my grandma  before Thanksgiving 16 years ago (the original post and story) I know more can be done.

Please make sure your family and friends know these important signs of a heart attack. Never disregard them as indigestion, the flu, or make a doctor appointment for later in the day when it’s more convenient for everyone else. It was too late for my Grandma (who I later learned did all three while she was in the early stages of a heart attack) by the time she saw her doctor – she died within hours despite every effort made to save her after being rushed to the emergency room. (Source of signs from Go Red for Women)

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait longer than five minutes before calling 9-1-1 for help. Also know what your heart attack risk factors are such as high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and high blood pressure in addition to family history of heart disease.

Under 55 and think heart attacks aren’t possible for you? Think again. It is taking medical research a while but they are learning more about why heart attacks in women under 55 are often deadlier than they are for those who are older – possibly due to being linked to blood clots instead of plaque buildup in arteries (source)

In younger women, instead of chest pains, the symptoms of heart attack may include more generalized pain in different parts of the body, including the jaw, neck, shoulder, back and even stomach. Recognizing that younger women may be less likely to present with the typical chest pains of a heart attack could help more of these patients to get the treatment they need in a more timely manner

Thank you for taking the time to read this and spread the word this Thanksgiving!

Friday Foolery #121: Baby Got Back (Bacon)

Friday, October 18th, 2013

I Like Pork Butts and I Cannot Lie

Thank you, Bill the Butcher, for making me so thankful I took a different way home yesterday.

In other bacony news – Less Kids, More Choline!


Future of Health Librarianship: New #medlibs Participation Record

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

I’m thrilled to announce we’ve set a new participation record during the #medlibs chat on the Future of Health Librarianship for May 30th – 33 particpants cranking out 369 tweets in 75 minutes according to the analytics. Be sure to check out the great conversation in the transcript, and thanks Dean Giustini for diving in as a first time host for the firehose!

How do topics for #medlibs chats happen? If no one signs up to lead them, they’re automatically open mic. Look what happened Wednesday night though –

tweet conversation

Please sign up with your ideas on the form below the #medlibs calendar – the floor is wide open this summer. I am here to help with any and everything you’ll need to set up and have a successful hosting experience with support during most chats, but I am in way over my head both with work and life this summer (just in case you haven’t noticed the blog crickets around here) and can’t do all the #medlibs work myself – let’s keep our great group leadership dynamic going strong!


MLA Runs, Walks, Whatever4Boston

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

I’ve completed Day 16 of 26 for my pledge to walk daily in support of the Boston Marathon victims using the Charity Miles app on my phone.

For the next two weeks, Lifeway is not only sponsoring regular Charity Miles donations to the charities we choose to walk, run & bike for they are also paying an additional 25 cents per mile to The One Fund as part of #BostonStrong10K.

During MLA there are a group of runners organized by Bart Ragon & Montie’ Dobbins at MLA Runs4Boston and I piped up and asked if speedwalkers would be welcome because I just can’t pull off running even at a really slow pace.

If you’re like me and want to be with other walkers, come join in! The times the group will leave from the front doors of the Sheraton are

Fri        6:30pm
Sat        6:00am (this will kill me but I’m going to drag my jetlagged Seattle self out the door and DO IT)
Sun       3:30pm
Mon      2:00pm
Tues     4:00pm

If all of us with smartphones used Charity Miles, think of the additional impact we’ll have raising money for The One Fund for free. I’ll have Charity Miles running even when I’m just strolling along seeing the sights of Boston too – every step counts!

MLA 2013: Best PR Evah. The End.

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Let’s just say I know for a fact that being Local Assistance Committee (LAC) Co-Chair is hard work, especially in the last few weeks ramping up to the meeting coming to town. It is so exciting, to be certain, but you want to make sure everything goes well for people to have a great time while they’re hanging out at your place.

Now, level that up that intensity by… oh, let’s say a thousand for a dangerous situation happening in the neighborhood 2 weeks before MLA.


Moved to tears by Sarah McCord, MLA 2013 LAC Co-Chair for Boston at about 1:37 in

WHDH-TV 7News Boston

This is what Watertown is, and what Boston is. There’s always more helpers than haters. I love this city, I love this town, and this is what it is. This is why no one can break our spirit.

So glad you’re safe and sleeping well tonight, Coug.

MLA 2013: No Fear

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Hole in one golf shot

It’s a beautiful Spring Break vacation week for our family. Yesterday we played miniature golf and haven’t laughed so hard chasing each other around with bumper cars for a long time, completely unaware of what was happening in Boston.

The Medical Library Association (MLA) sent a message out in less than 24 hours that needs to be heard by everyone about our upcoming meeting in Boston, and keep an eye on the official meeting blog for updates.

Update on One Health

We want to let MLA members and other colleagues from around the world who will be participating in the “One Health: Information in an Interdependent World” meeting in Boston that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy and their families and friends. We also express our support and concern for our members, colleagues, and others who live and work in the area and thank those who have communicated with us.

MLA is in contact with the meeting hotels who have reported that they are open and are providing help as needed. The John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center is also open. We anticipate no changes with regard to the “One Health” meeting, other than increased security. Members and staff are looking forward to welcoming attendees to the meeting next month and supporting the city of Boston during this difficult time. We will continue to update members and attendees as needed. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.

Yesterday, instead of sitting and watching the news on repeat, I headed out the door for a walk. I made a commitment to walk for 26 days in honor of the Boston Marathon victims for Charity Miles supporting Achilles International. That will include those long Seattle to Boston travel days and each day of the meeting.  If you’re out walking, running or cycling during our time in Boston and have a smartphone I encourage you to consider doing the same – think of the positive impact this could have not only for your health, but if hundreds of us did as One Voice of support for injured athletes.

Global Health + Netflix vs. ICD-10 + Turtles

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

“For our own sanity, we needed to create a new way to look at this stuff,” said Peter Speyer.


These are two different stories, but since both crossed my path yesterday my brain merged them together and I had to share.

Peter Speyer, of course, was referring to the impressive array of global health visualization tools the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has developed and launched. My colleague Mahria wrote over in the work blog with some tips on a few of them to check out, and I love the twist covered over on Humanosphere about how the Netflix algorithm was tapped regarding death modeling. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s probably not what you think. What I do wonder is where Humanosphere was originally going with this article and title when the URL includes ‘or-how-netflix-and-burger’ Tell us more about the burgers, there’s no trace of them in the article now…

In other news, over on PBS Newshour there is a great story about ICD-1o coding, which I didn’t think could be full of fun and excitement until they lured me in with turtle injury codes. I also believe it is possible to incur Y93D1 & Y92253 simultaneously,  but you know what is going to be a real problem for the library and information field in the future?

Differentiating between work-related and non-work related knitting injuries at conferences.


No, really, I’m not making this up per the ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Codes. These work/non-work classifications also apply to running, jogging, walking, skating, golf, bowling, biking, football and a plethora of other sports – but not Y93.18 (Surfing, windsurfing and boogie boarding.)

I have confidence my colleagues will find a way to make it Y83.18×2.

Sabbatical, also known as Surrender

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

American to Moon: We surrender
America to Moon: We Surrender on Flickr by

I’ll be honest: January sucked. My husband and I were in accidents involving both our cars within 60 hours, neither of us injured and neither our fault, but the number of phone calls with their insurance companies and our insurance company (who was rather confused when we called in the new claim so soon) and time spent in auto shops to fix everything was epic. The day after all vehicles were repaired and the voice mails referencing claim numbers ceased, our son was home sick from school for three days then UberSnot made the rounds through the rest of the house.

So now it’s February… and our family received truly life-changing news over the weekend. Not a c-bomb or health diagnosis, and not anything negative for that matter, but it requires even more phone calls with bonus emails, appointments and a decision to be made by next month. Oh, and as much research as I can cram in each night when things settle down.

Combining that with the job that pays me for a living and every institutional, state, regional and national professional board, liaison, committee member and various iterations of how I am one of the Responsible People Doing Things all planning events and needing things from me between now and March, something had to give and this blog is it for now. I have been feeling  guilty that I haven’t been writing more but you know what? I’m barely making it through the days with my sanity intact as it is, so enough of that. When I gave a dear colleague a brief overview of the events going on next month, I received a reply of ALSO YOUR MARCH SOUNDS HELLISH. It is. I’ve always been a fan of quality over quantity, but since I have neither for the foreseeable future I’ll be back when I have a decent amount of brainpower to spare.

Joining the cult following and kicking childhood cancer

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The past few days my Presbyterian self has been surprised by my answers to questions at a website inspired by the traditional ten days of reflection that occur between the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Go ahead and give it a try. In the hectic pace of helping others, we can easily lose sight of where we are going with our own lives. Your answers can be as short or as long as you want them to be, and locked away until this time next year when 10Q will email them to you and you can see how things have (or haven’t) changed.

I can’t think of any other place where the second question on a frequently asked questions page about an organization is Are you a cult? and I love their honesty for it.

While you’re at it during this National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, consider sipping some Callie’s Coffee that supports the Ben Towne Foundation until a cure is found. I’ve been a satisfied club member since July to help move our BUNN at work!