Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flooding Update II

This picture was taken by Adam's sister, Abby. The teal and white building is
where equipment is usually stored, it was cleaned out before the flood waters
encroached on this area.

In June I talked about being waterlogged, and gave you a flooding update a few weeks later. I intended to post another flooding update back in late June, but as I sat down to write this post at that time it was just too depressing to put into words. We were not fortunate enough to escape the fury of the Mighty Mo and the river won the battle with the levee. The ground we farm in Missouri, a total of 480 acres, was submerged by the flood waters around June 28th.

As of today, the waters have receded some, but not enough to warrant a clean up effort. The Corps of Engineers is predicting it will be the end of October before the flood waters have completely receded. It is unlikely the ground will have dried out enough to be worked this fall to prepare for the spring crop.

We are not the only ones with acres under water and crops left unharvested. The flooding took its toll all along the Missouri River. On labor day weekend I drove up to North Dakota to attend a friend's wedding and the flooding along the Missouri River was still prominent throughout the entire route. I-29 was closed in two places, Rockport Missouri, and north of Omaha. The flooding in Missouri and Nebraska was devastating. Fields looked like lakes, huge sand bags lined both sides of the highway, and when I was in North Dakota the highway was being raised to prevent future flooding of the road.

Farming is a gamble every year as Adam explained in Goin' Gamblin'. There is always the threat of Mother Nature taking her toll on the crops we put in the ground each spring. In this case we were not lucky enough to be spared from this natural disaster. However, we do count our blessings because we were fortunate enough to still have a crop on the Kansas side, and a home to live in. Many farmers along the Missouri River will be sitting idle this fall due to a majority of their ground being underwater, and many families are still displaced because their homes are still underwater. Our hearts go out to the farmers, their families, and those who have lost their homes.

Even though Mother Nature has thrown this huge curve ball at our family and other Midwest farmers, one thing is certain: we will persevere. This is what a farmer does best. They look at a bad situation and say, "Well, there is always next year." They don't quit, or give up just because things get tough. There is always the hope that next year will be better. Then as we reach a time in the future when times are tough I can see Adam and I looking back on this summer and saying, "This will be a cakewalk compared to the summer of 2011."

The dirt road Adam and his dad travel down to get to their
fields in Missouri.

One of our corn fields.

One of the soybean fields submerged by the flood waters.

The flood waters at Atchison. The water has almost reached
the bottom of the railroad bridge.

Riverfront Park was completely submerged.

The flood waters on the Missouri side.

An elevated view of the river.

The Missouri River at Atchison on June 30th.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back to School

My books for this semester.

I know I have failed miserably at keeping my promise of not letting a month go by between posts. I am amazed at how ridiculously busy Adam and I have been this summer! I am hopeful that things will settle into a routine now that school has started back and I will be able to at least get a few posts written each month.

Pharmacy school started back on August 22nd, and I had my first test this past Monday in Pharmacology. My classmates and I will have a test every week for the next 7 weeks. Eeek! Keep us in your thoughts as we power through these next two months of exams!

The classes I am taking this semester will put everything I have learned up to this point and apply it to the profession of pharmacy. My classmates and I have finally reached the point where the information we are learning becomes essential for when we are out in practice. No more memorizing complicated chemical structures and 20-step biochemical pathways! Hallelujah!
Now it is on to applying all the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and medicinal chemistry to a certain subject such as advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology.

I am taking 17.5 hours this semester and I will list and provide the course description for each class in case you are interested in learning about the classes a pharmacist has to take.

Advanced Pathophysiology
Advanced Pathophysiology is the study of the alterations of the normal physiological functioning in cellular, tissue, organ, and organ systems. These alterations form the basis for understanding a variety of pathophysiological conditions and the manifestations and impact of abnormal physiological functioning on patients across the life span. Advanced pathophysiology deals with both generalized disease processes and major organ system dysfunction. Students will have the opportunity to identify clinical signs and symptoms for various disease states, associate those symptoms with pathophysiological changes and discuss potential pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment options.

Health Economics in Medicine
This course introduces major economic dimensions on the health care system. The course covers concepts necessary to understand provider behavior and health care market structure. Basic concepts of health insurance, managed care techniques, pharmacoepidemicological methods are covered in this course. This course prepares students to utilize pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research techniques to improve overall value of patient care.

Islam and Modern Practice of Medicine and Pharmacy
An elective course that addresses the significant contribution of Muslim physicians and scientists to the modern practice of medical sciences and the impact of the Islamic culture on issues related to health care.

The study of the pharmacology of medicinals with emphasis on basic principles, the autonomic nervous system and drugs affecting the cardiovascular (heart) and renal (kidney) systems.

Professional Skills Development IV: Professional and Patient Communication
The goal of Pharmacy 7325 is to develop verbal and written professional communication skills. Pharmacy 7325 lays the groundwork for skills students will use later in the curriculum and when they enter practice. Students will learn business, technical and patient-oriented writing skills and how to design and deliver a formal presentation. The class is a mix of didactic instruction and individual and small group activities.

Professional Skills Development V: Pharmacy Preparations and Practice
The professional skills V course provides instruction and practice in professional skills of pharmacy including basic non-sterile extemporaneous compounding, basic aseptic technique for sterile compounding of parenteral admixtures, dispensing of prescriptions, and patient counseling for selective over-the-counter and prescription products and devices. Students will utilizing pharmaceutical calculations in the preparation and dispensing of the formulations.

Did anyone get a headache as they read through that? I know I did! It can be overwhelming at times, but I try to take each day as it comes and do what I can to get by. This semester has already proven to be busier than previous ones. Keeping up with the material is essential and procrastination is something that can potentially ruin your chances of obtaining a decent grade in the course. I have been attempting to go over lectures each day in order to prevent cramming the few days before an exam. We will see how it pays off in the next few weeks.

Thanks for sticking with us during this busy summer! I will do my best to get Adam to write something soon. Harvest has begun at Navinskey Farms and hopefully he can tell you all about it in a blog post. I'm off to study health economics and pathophysiology. Wish me luck!

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