Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ordering fake eyes

I'm studying for another test I have on Monday all about contact lenses and prosthetic eyes. Prosthetic eyes are actually really cool. One thing they have to consider when ordering a fake eye is his big to draw the pupil (the black part of your eye). A real pupil can change size a lot in different lighting and when you're talking or reading. The doctor will base the pupil size off of the good eye's pupil size in normal room illumination and in conversation so that the eyes will look normal when they're talking with someone. How cool is that?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vision therapy

I had my vision therapy test today. I had no idea before I started school that optometrists even offer vision therapy services. What is vision therapy, you may ask? It's to help you out when you have a hard time controlling your eyes. For instance, you can have a hard time turning your eyes in or crossing you eyes, which makes reading especially hard. Or you can have a hard time focusing your eyes. About 5% of the population has some form of visual dysfunction, but many people with binocular vision problems think their eyes are like everine elses, so they never think to get therapy.
The best part is that with the help of therapy about 85-90% of people have a lot of improvement. This is especially true with children. Sometimes children with reading problems actually don't have problems with reading; it's more with their eye movements and focusing abilities.

Anyway, so that's what my test was on this morning. Now I've got to go study for my test on children's vision screenings, which is tomorrow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

City planning

For many many years, I have loved the idea of planning out cities. When I was 11 or 12 I would spend hours in my room drawing maps of islands with different terrains and climates and label different cities and what their exports and imports would be. I know, I was super cool. This fascination has never really left me, and was further made evident by be checking out this book from the library last week:

It's a story of a fictional Roman city, starting at it's inception as a military outpost and ended, well, I'm not sure how it ends because I haven't finished it yet. But it is really cool. I love stuff like this. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tornado warnings

The tornado sirens went off this evening for the first time since we moved to Columbus. We had a tornado warning issued for about thirty minutes, so we got Olivia out of bed, Katie grabbed the flashlight, and we headed to the basement. It's kind of spooky to hear the wail of the tornado siren along with the pounding rain and wind. But Olivia fell asleep on the carpet in our basement, and Katie and I played a boggle-like game together, so it was actually a little bit cozy. And then after the storm passed we came upstairs and finished washing the dishes, as if nothing happened. Kind of weird how the storms here pass so quickly.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ender's Game

Katie and I watched Ender's Game with some friends at a REAL movie theater tonight. It was our first official date in many months, I think (if you don't count temple trips). I really wanted to like it, but I think that since I first read the book when I was 14, and have re-read it 3 or 4 times, I couldn't help but notice changes from the story. Granted, I think they did a very good job given the limited parameters of the movie format. I would have probably liked it more if I hadn't read the book, but then again maybe the movie wouldn't have made any sense. 

Friday, November 15, 2013


After watching West Wing this evening with Katie, I found that this exists:

And it looks like a pretty active site.

From the header:

Josh has fans. Not many of them from the looks of it, but what we lack in numbers, we more than make up for in fervor.

Rules: Don't post in the wrong place. Stay on topic, people. Don't use capital letters. I don't have time to tell you twice.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Extreme patients

Notice that I did not write "extreme patience." That is something I do not have. But I do have a lot of extreme and crazy patients at my clinic.
Today, for example, was wacko. They guy I saw was mentally handicapped and had severe behavioral problems. At the end of the exam, he didn't know that he had a $2 co-pay, and he FLIPPED OUT at the check-out counter. He refused to pay the $2 co-pay, and proceeded to make a huge scene by yelling, storming about, and stomping very fast down the hallway. It kind of reminded me of Olivia throwing a tantrum, except this guy was 6' 2" and weighed about 210 lbs.
It seems like any crazy patients that come to the school are always seen by me. And I'm not the only one who thinks so: everyone at the front desk and the Eyewear Gallery agrees that all the special situations seem to happen when I'm around. The main secretary at the Eyewear Gallery gave me a piece of gum as a reward for handling the situation nicely.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mission journal

Katie and I have been putting together David's Christmas package, and I thought I would write a quick letter to go along with the things we got him. I pulled out my mission journal for the first time since my mission to get some inspiration about mission related things. I'm not sure why I hadn't looked at it before. When I started reading the passages that I wrote over 8 years ago, I felt like I was immediately back on the streets of Switzerland. It was weird. I would take a break from reading and look around our living room and realize how nice my life is right now, then I would read some more about what my day to day life was like.

Two things stood out to me while reading my journal:

  1. How depressing my life should have been, if an outsider was observing my day-to-day actions
  2. How upbeat I was when recounting these events in my personal journal
Sure, I had some days where I wrote about how depressed I was and stuff, but most days were things like "Today was awesome! We did street contacting for about 3 hours then knocked on people's doors for the rest of the evening, and we found two people who said that we might be able to come back sometime!" And this was in February, where the sun set at 4:30 PM and we had to be out until 9:00 PM. 

Anyway, I am very grateful for my nice, easy life now. And I am also grateful that I could experience a mission so that I cold learn the value of hard work and how to turn to the Lord for motivation and comfort. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Katie and I have been busy making a dollhouse for Olivia for Christmas. It's super sweet, and I think Olivia is going to love it. Katie bought the basic shell of the dollhouse at Goodwill for like $4, and we've been upgrading it since then. I got some simple LED lights that have a switch by the door so that the home can be lit up on all three levels. Here's a picture of the house with the light's on:
It's kind of a terrible picture, but just imagine it being super charming, because that's what it looks like.
We also bought some wood scraps from Home Depot and have been making furniture, such as two twin beds, a queen sized bed, a kitchen table, and a fridge. Katie also found some sweet doll house furniture at the thrift store the other day, so that got us some arm chairs, a few vanities, and coffee table, and some other cool stuff.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A terrible joke

A few months ago I woke up in the middle of the night because I thought of a really good joke. I quickly wrote it down then fell back asleep. In the morning I read what I wrote, and it's pretty terrible. I thought I'd share it with you all because, well, I can't think of anything else to write about right now, and you already know what a terrible person I am. So here it goes:

What do you call a kid with a speech impediment who loves to draw?


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sometimes I feel like a horrible person

Like today, for instance. We had Stake Conference, which was great. It was held at the Stake center, but was web-casted to the other buildings in the stake. I think someone forgot to check the microphones for the choir. One of the microphones was right next to a sweet brother, who, bless his soul, couldn't carry a tune if his life depended on it. He was kind of drowning out everyone else in the choir. And the worst part is that I couldn't stop laughing, no matter how hard I tried. I was plugging my nose and biting my tongue so hard that I had faint hint of blood in my mouth. I finally resorted to covering my entire face while leaning over so that perhaps people would think I was crying instead of laughing, though I doubt I was fooling anybody. Whenever I would get myself under control, I would hear his warbling voice and start the vicious cycle over again. Even now I can't even stop myself from laughing from thinking about it.

Fake MRI

This is a picture of a fake MRI machine. The story behind it is that some researchers studying autism were having a hard time getting imaging of austistic kids, so they hired some people to recreate a life-sized model for the kids to get used to before they have to do the real thing. I think it's a very creative, thoughtful, and sweet thing to do.  I read about it here:

Friday, November 8, 2013


I have been pretty good about exercising lately, and I feel pretty good about it. I've been riding our exercise bike every night this week, and my bum hurts. It hurts pretty bad. Hopefully I get bums of steel pretty soon.

Also tonight Katie and I played "Upwords" on the couch. I will there were more board games that can be played on the couch. I've done lots of searches in the past to look for games that can fall in this category, and it seems like only Battleship and Yamslam work. Anyone else have any ideas about what kind of board games can be played easily on the couch?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Productive evening

Sometimes my evenings feel awesome, and it's usually because I have tons of energy after exercising. Here is a rundown of how productive I have been:

  • Rode the exercise bike for 30 minutes,
  • while lifting weights.
  • Started a load of laundry,
  • folded that load of laundry,
  • and folded the load of clean laundry from a week ago that hadn't been folded yet.
  • Took a shower.
  • Washed dishes from dinner.
  • Swept the floor.
  • Paid bills online.
  • And wrote on my blog.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Explaining c-sections

Olivia asked us this evening how Felix will get out of Mommy's tummy. We explained that most children come out a special, different way, but Felix will need help from the doctor to get out. This piqued her 4-year-old curiosity and naturally wanted to know more. I can't really remember the whole conversation, but here are the highlights:

  • The doctor uses a sharp knife to cut her tummy. Olivia asked if she will cut it in half or in quarters, and we said just just one cut.
  • This cut wont hurt Mommy because she will get special medicine. 
  • The doctor will take baby Felix out of Mommy's tummy, then she will sew her back up using a needle and thread. This also wont hurt Mommy.
Once we explained the stitches, she started laughing and said, "That's really silly!" And when you think about it, it does seem a little silly.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Duette lenses

One thing I love about being an optometry student is that I can try out a bunch of different contact lenses for free. I guess their reasoning is that I'll have first hand experience to know what to recommend to patients. Today I got a free pair of Duette lenses, which are pretty neat. They are a hard contact lens in the middle with a soft contact lens "skirt" around it so you get the benefit of the crisp vision that corrects astigmatism with the hard lens and the comfort of the soft lens skirt. They also last 6 months long per pair, so I just got 6 month's worth of lenses for free. Sweet! I think I like them. They definitely feel different from soft lenses, but it's not bad. The thing is I don't have astigmatism, so my vision is the same whether I wear these or not, but I'm not complaining.

I also think it's pretty cool to know so much about eyes, because I can answer a lot of people's questions about eyes. I had my first physical today since probably my mission, and the doctor who gave me the exam asked me a bunch of questions about her eyes, like if it's OK for her to wear to left-eye contact lenses since she ran out of right-eye contact lenses (the answer: probably not, in case you're wondering). 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Comfy couch

We drove down to IKEA a week or so ago and got a new couch! I am in love. I love that there is a hide a bed thing that pulls out and that its SO EASY to pull out. I love that we can all sit in it together and lay back without kicking each other. 

It's the baste.

We're breaking it in now so that guests can sleep on it without it killing backs. The couch isn't a soft as the one at the store, but I think that's because there aren't hundreds of people trying it out everyday.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fiver and Hazel

I finished reading "Watership Down" a few months ago, and I highly recommend it. I thought it would be fun to tell Olivia stories about the main characters from the book (rabbits named Fiver and Hazel), to introduce her to the characters so that when she reads the book someday, she would already have some vague memory of them. I tried to incorporate their personalities in the stories too. Here are some stories I've made up including these characters:

  • Fiver and Hazel reach a river and need to cross it, and Fiver had the idea to build motorcycles. They go the library and check out a book on "How to build motorcycles" and Hazel builds the motorcycles for them. Then they do "popawheelies" over the river.

  • Fiver's mommy tells them to gather berries, so they go to the forest to get them. Fiver notices that the red berries are good, but the black berries will make you sick. Fiver tells Hazel not to eat the black ones, but he doesn't listen and eats a black one and gets really sick. Fiver runs home to get his mommy, and she gives him some medicine and gets better. (Olivia got really scared in this one, and requested a happier story after I told it.)

  • They eat blue carrots and turn blue. The only way to turn normal is to climb to the top of a high mountain and do back-flips all the way down. 

  • They go to the beach and build a massive city in the sand and live there for a few days, each bunny taking turns playing different roles, like police officer, teacher, grocer, and bus driver.

The funny thing is that Olivia has requested a "Fiver and Hazel" every single night since I first started telling them back in the beginning of September. And she knows whenever I try to repeat a story.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I'm studying tonight, so you get palindromes

I've got a midterm on Monday in my Clinical Medicine course, and I don't like studying on Sunday, so I'm trying to study everything tonight. But I'll still probably have to wake up early on Monday.

Anyway, I thought I would tell you some palindromes I made up. After reading "Poisonwood Bible," I've always tried to pay attention to palindromes. Let me tell you, they are hard to make up. I'm always impressed when I hear someone say one. So here's what I've got:

Doing Dishes
Pots... pans. I snap, stop.

Petting zoo rule #1
Step on no pets

Yeah, that's about it. Do you know any others?

Friday, November 1, 2013

I won candy

Today was my first day of Friday afternoon clinic. I had heard Fridays are pretty rough because its always super busy. My theory is everyone wants to take off work Friday afternoon to get their eyes checked so their weekend starts early.

Anyway, when my second patient arrived I looked at his medical record and wondering why he was even here. His eyes were perfect. He needed no glasses. No eye problems. No health risks. 

I mentioned this to my new attending, and she said, "If you can finish the entire exam in less than 60 minutes, I'll bring candy for you and every else."

Nothing motivates me more than a challenge involving candy. A typical exam that we give at the college takes 90 minutes. They've been pushing us to get faster since day one. We originally had 4 hours for the exam. Then two hours. Now 90 minutes. When were practicing in the real world, we'll have anywhere from 30 minutes to 10 minutes for each exam. 

How fast did I go? 50 minutes. Bam! New record! My attending was impressed. And I'm getting candy next week.

Oh, and the reason he came in for the exam in the first place: he wanted some stylish glasses frames, and wanted to see of any prescription was needed. He needed a little bit, not much. He was pretty happy.