Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Bucket List

Happy New Year! Many folks will be saying that the next few days. As the New Year tumbles in, we all start thinking about new beginnings and resolutions …which got me thinking about my bucket list.

The 2007 movie The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman (one of my favorite actors) and Jack Nicholson, did not disappoint viewers. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you probably know the basic premise: make a list of all the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket” and start checking those things off the list.

I made such a list many years ago. Then I lost track of it. I made another list three years ago with the goal of completing at least one aspiration each summer. Three years ago, I focused on starting a wine cellar. I have always enjoyed a good bottle of wine. It really is one of life’s truly simple pleasures. I did not want a pretentious cellar or even one with expensive wines I would never want to drink. I just wanted a place with good wine I could share with friends and family at any and every occasion. (That reminds me of another movie I want to mention—Bottle Shock. If you are a wine lover, this one is a must.) Creating the wine cellar led me to my first trip to Napa Valley, where I discovered some amazing vineyards and tasting rooms. I have some great friends in American Canyon and have been lucky enough to visit them several times during the past few years. And I am happy to report I was able to check the first item off my bucket list.

Me and my friends Sita and Michael at a vineyard in Napa Valley.

Last summer, I decided it was time for a Harley-Davidson, the classic American motorcycle. I had a motorcycle during college (Kawasaki 175) for getting around campus. I also used it at a church camp I worked at for seven summers. I have always kept my motorcycle license current, thinking maybe someday… Then a friend made this bucket list dream come true with a deal I couldn’t refuse…a 2001 honest to goodness, California Highway Patrol, Road King (minus the lights and sirens of course). Now I’m thinking I might need to add a ride through NAPA Valley onto my bucket list.

Me with my bike during Grill Day at GRMC with former board chair Pete Lahn, his HD Sportster, and board member Joanne Yuska.

Item number three on my bucket list was to learn to scuba dive. I have always loved snorkeling. Prepared with a PADI open water diver’s certification I was ready for my first dive trip. In 2009, I was fortunate to find a great deal in Cozumel at the Scuba Club Cozumel. It was of the most amazing adventures ever. As one of my fellow divers said, “It’s like you’re in the Discovery Channel.” It was fun meeting people with a common interest. You really get to know folks when you spend a few hours a day on a boat with them.

Photo of an Angelfish I took at about 40 feet deep while scuba diving.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twas the Eve of a Blizzard at Grinnell Regional Medical Center

Happy Holidays from Grinnell Regional Medical Center.

If you are unable to view the video above, please visit

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guest Column: Debates Worth Arguing

Guest Post by Gina Fuller, RTR, director of radiology

The recent controversy surrounding when to screen for breast cancer with mammography has caused quite a stir in the media. The facts prevail. Mammography has reduced the breast cancer death rate by 30 percent in the United States since 1990. That is hardly a small number! GRMC has many successful stories of patients who identified breast cancer at stage 0 or 1, before it was detectable by touch. Those people understand and truly appreciate why mammography is important.

When to have a mammogram and how frequent remains a personal choice that you decide with the advice of your primary care provider. It always has been. If you are concerned about your risks for breast cancer, please talk with your doctor and schedule a preventive mammogram. Don’t let statistics and recommendations make the decision for you. Follow your instincts and seek out care when you have questions or concerns.

The American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the radiologists at Iowa Radiology, who read our mammography exams, all agree that the benefits of mammography outweigh the risks of exposure to radiation or the anxiety of additional imaging. Experience has proven that.

Our new digital mammography unit offers the newest in mammography equipment and our radiologists offer the best in interpretation. We all must remember that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has only made a recommendation. This is not a rule! You are still in charge of your own health so please do so wisely! You have a powerful combination available to you at GRMC.

To schedule a mammogram, talk to your primary care provider for an order and then call GRMC's radiology department at 641-236-2355.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.