Mark Stoller and his wife, Andra, moved to Falcon with their family in 2007. Both are U.S. Air Force veterans and enjoy life with their daughters, extended family and adopted rescue dogs in Latigo. Mark is fortunate to have his wife and daughters as his muse for topics, people to meet and places to investigate.
Just rambling on
By Mark Stoller
Happy November, my friends!
I recently activated a countdown timer for my graduation in May. Just under 200 days until I receive my diploma in respiratory care. Meanwhile, clinical rotations continue at hospital intensive care units in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Cañon City.
Recently, I experienced both ends of the will-to-live spectrum.
For one patient, the spouse made the decision to have a tracheostomy performed as a life-saving measure — even though they knew the other spouse would never have agreed. When the incapacitated spouse did regain consciousness, they threw a spectacular fit after realizing they were breathing through a tracheal tube.
On the other hand, we had a patient who has end-stage COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). They regularly call 911 and specifically request to be intubated and taken to the hospital.
One patient was ready to be let go but the spouse couldn’t do it and the other patient requested life-saving measures because they weren’t yet ready to leave this life.
I have the privilege of experiencing all forms and aspects of humanity and unfortunate death in these rotations. That said, while exhausted at the end of each shift, I celebrate being alive and able to live the life I have chosen. I also call my daughters who live away from home and tell them I love them after these kinds of experiences.
With life, we have family and with family we have heritage. I wrote about my celebration of German heritage tattoo last month with great artwork from Fallen Heroes Tattoo. My next heritage project will take place over this upcoming Thanksgiving break.
I plan to interview my parents and parents-in-law to gather recipes, pictures of family traditional food, and the stories of how our extended families have celebrated Christmas over the decades. Through Walgreens photo center, I can create a book with pages detailing our Christmas traditions. With the personal accounts, I can add in the photos and recipes on subsequent pages. This will make a great recognition of what we do now and eventually become a pass down for my girls as well.
Speaking of recipes, Ava is in an apartment this year on her college campus. Most of you know she fills in for me occasionally to write this column. She’s in the next adult stage of figuring out how best to grocery shop and cook for herself.
Ava has found out quickly how time, money and motivation play in to being fed with a specific quantity and quality of ingredients. I have been spending some time with my new fount of knowledge, Pinterest, to find quick and easy meals for her to prepare. The verdict is still out for my success.
Ava did find a pretty cool service called InstaCart. It’s like GrubHub, rather it is for groceries. She shops her local grocery store online, pays for her items, and someone delivers it to her door. It saves her from lugging grocery bags home via public transportation.
I hope this finds you well. November is the month to be thankful. I encourage you to really focus on your family and take notice of all the blessings you have in your life. Escape the news cycles with a good movie, game night or listen to some early Christmas music while you plan your gift lists.
We’re looking forward to Christmas. Did you set up a separate Christmas savings program during the year so that money is readily available to spend on gifts?
I wish you luck in your Black Friday/Cyber Monday gift hunting, gathering and purchasing exploits!