October 04

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Take A Walk

Warning: cheesy post coming up….

The older I get the faster time seems to go by. I can’t believe I’ve already been here for 3 months, it feels like I blinked and yet here we are the beginning of October. I still remember the anxiety I had over wrapping up one job, moving across the country, figuring out the logistics, and preparing to start a new ‘job’ but now those concerns are long gone and I wonder why I had them in the first place.

I’ve gotten in to a new routine and feel comfortable in my responsibilities here at PATH. One important part of my daily routine is my commute to work. Most days, I walk.  Aside from developing killer calf muscles, this time in the morning is some of my most inspired of the whole day. I genuinely think I can save the world during these walks.  I have these grand plans running through my head about how much I’m going to accomplish today, about how I will make a difference in the world, some new app or technology I want to invent, things I might blog about and oh that blog I started a month ago still isn’t done, and what kind of food truck will I sample for lunch today.

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This morning, I was thinking about how so far for the most part things are just working out exactly how it seems they were supposed to.  I didn’t know when I got my MPH a couple years ago that I would end up with this opportunity but it does feel like it happened for a reason.  I am reminded daily by a mural at PATH of one of the reasons I decided to get my MPH. The mural says, “We envision a world where innovation ensures that health is within reach for everyone”. Yeah. Seems completely logical, right? Most of us, we don’t think twice about where to go for healthcare needs and just know that we are entitled to be in good health.  But we know that’s not true for everyone.  Things worked out really well for my family in what could have been a tragic situation so I would only hope others would also get the healthcare they need and deserve.

Several years ago, My Mom out visiting with my brother and family in Oregon came down with a bad cold. We thought that’s all it was. As the days passed, her cold progressed in to something more serious. Eventually, she went to the ER and went downhill immediately and was admitted in to the ICU a few hours later. I got one of those calls that was basically, you all (my siblings and I) need to come out here and say goodbye, they don’t think she’s going to make it. I was so frazzled that my friend had to buy my plane ticket because I wasn’t even capable of doing that (thanks, Terri!). The plane ride from Boston to Portland was the longest of my life. When I arrived, things were grim. Over the next several days, they became even grimmer as her health declined and it was still unclear as to why. But then, literally in the nick of time, her team of Doctors figured out what was going on and saved her life. She had gotten a strep bacteria infection that turned in to full body sepsis.  As my Mother is amazing at all things, her healing and recovery were no exception and thanks to the plethora of health innovations in the U.S., now 11 years later she has only few lingering effects from that illness.

But, what if she was a Mother living in a developing country? She would not be here today. And no one should have to lose a Mother to something curable. Or a child. Not when there are ways to save them or prevent an illness in the first place. That’s how I connect what I’m doing at PATH to making a difference in the world.  The women and children in developing countries are far from where I sit in Seattle but what I’m doing may make a lasting impact on their lives.  I can’t stress enough how lucky I am for the PULSE experience, how lucky I am that my family can access lifesaving healthcare, and how lucky I am that I will contribute to getting an RSV vaccine to those in need.

Now as my day draws to a close, I realize I didn’t accomplish all those grand plans I had in the morning but it’s okay because it’s time for another walk.

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In other news, it’s still gorgeous here, the space needle still looks good at night, and I
think my photography skills are improving.

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Taking a walk with my daughter at Lime Kiln State Point Park in Friday Harbor, WA. Unfortunately, the only whales we saw were in a museum and made of cement.