Interest Section: Summer 2021


Introduction to Interest Section

Author: Petra N. Davidson, R. EEG/EP T., CLTM

Greetings fellow travelers,

Hopefully by now, some of you have been able to travel outside of your homes. Due to the extended pandemic situation, we’ve been exploring local places that we had not been familiar with prior to the pandemic. We’ve been visiting more with neighbors, truly catching up on their families, their friends and their fur babies.

During the pandemic, our family had the pleasure of traveling to see my oldest in Hawaii. It was the single most beautiful place I have ever seen. While we may have not enjoyed all there is to see and do in Hawaii because of restrictions, it was the most amazing vacation.  The environment and the people are so laid back and relaxed. The feeling of aloha emanating from every living thing. Rustling palm leaves, chirping birds that took the crosswalk, elderly surfers donning wetsuits carrying longboards down to the beach at sunrise and the jolly, dark haired, smiling Hawaiian man passing out leis at the state park provided much needed respite and peace to our whole family.

It is my hope that you find the same joy I discovered by reading the stories from our Special Interest Section Leaders. They bring hope, optimism and experiences to take all of us out of our little offices and homes to the bigger, broader world. We welcome you to grab your favorite beverage, perhaps a chair in the sun and read up.  When you are done reading, submit your own stories to us via my email below or by writing Anna at . We’d love to hear from you!

As a side note, I thank you for taking the time to vote for your Board members.  From the bottom of my heart, I am so deeply honored that I was nominated to be the Secretary / Treasurer for our Society. Our slate of candidates was incredible, and to be chosen is an incredible honor. Thank you!

Department Managers

Author: Navita Kaushal, Ph.D., R. EEG T., R.NCS.T., CLTM

I never thought I would call it a vacation when I took a family trip to India on March 1st, 2020 to celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday. I have two younger brothers and one sister. My sister lives in Italy, one brother in the UK and the youngest one in India. The three of us visit our mother in India with or without our families whenever we can but are rarely able to overlap trips. It has been sixteen long years since the four of us were under one roof, meaning my mother hasn’t seen all four of her kids together in 16 years. And her 70th birthday was the perfect reason for us to be there with her.

The coronavirus was only beginning to dig its claws across the US, just a few scattered cases here and there, however, it was becoming more severe in the UK and Italy. My brother was the first one to board a flight from Heathrow. He called and asked, “I am boarding, what about you?” I laughed and said, “I will fly as long as ‘it’ is not declared a pandemic.” My sister had to go through rigorous checks at the Leonardo da Vinci airport in Rome to board the flight to India. My brother, my sister, her family and I landed in New Delhi India within 10 hours of each other.

The trip surpassed my expectations in both positive and negative ways. I found myself more at peace than I have been in years, an odd sensation given that I was surrounded by three younger siblings. It was almost other-worldly being with them again, a sense of nostalgia I never imagined and brewed within me. My mother was eager to baby us, feed us and buy us clothes; none of us contested the fanciful treatment.

 I was hesitant to get on my flight back home, in the moment at least, it was exactly the day after my flight home that restrictions had been placed on travel as a result of the new status of COVID being declared as an official pandemic. My brother and I were fortunate to get home safe, sound, and healthy. My sister, however, was not so lucky. For five months she was stuck in India, with both her husband and her son and spent her vacation in her husband’s sister’s house. But hey, the trip was about family anyway, right?

Neurodiagnostic Education

Author: Anna-Marie Beck, DBA, R. EEG T., FASET

The dictionary says that the word vacation refers to an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling, or the action of leaving something one previously occupied. I think it’s safe to say there are multiple ways to interpret these definitions of vacation. For my family and I, we traveled away from our home this summer. We loaded up the camper and headed out west. We went to southwest Oregon, the northern California coast (including the beautiful redwoods), then off to Yellowstone on our route back to Kansas! It was a wonderful vacation! We saw natural beauty all around us. We were even able to see the rare, yet powerful image of a teenager without cell service! While I jest, it was truly an amazing experience (the teenager part), we were able to experience true family time (if you remember your teenage years or have a teenager, you know this is a rarity).

The last year and a half have made me extremely grateful for my life and everyone around me. This summer trip has been a bucket list item for my husband and I, and we finally achieved it. I know that the world has changed a lot in the last 18+ months; however, the need to pause and take a vacation hasn’t. We all need those breaks, whether it be from work or home, taking time to spend away from home or an extended period of leisure is necessary for our individual mental health.

Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring (IONM)

Author: Josh Mergos, MS, CNIM

Return to in-person learning

A vast majority of the post-secondary world of academics has been functioning in an entirely virtual environment for the better part of 18 months.  While our field’s front-line healthcare workers have continued to provide neurodiagnostic and neuromonitoring services for necessary procedures, educators have quarantined and scrambled to face the challenges of remote teaching (and assessment – which is certainly the more challenging of the two).  We’ve learned a great deal and have embraced technologies we otherwise wouldn’t.  However, I think I speak for a majority of formal educators when I say that we are grateful to return to in-person instruction.

While I could go on and on about the beauty of in-class blue-book essay exams and carefully worded TRUE or FALSE questions, and their ability to provide the instructor with a high definition picture of what the student does and does not understand, this is not actually what I’m most looking forward to (though it’s a pretty close second).  It’s actually far more nuanced and multifaceted.

I deeply miss the feel of the room just prior to class – hearing students buzz about campus life, and my bewilderment that as I age each year, the students in my MVS 362 class stay the same age every year.  I can overhear their frustration with the reading and their colleagues’ excitement that they can explain it in a way that made sense to them.  There is a more natural opportunity to ask students about their week and other courses, or the questions that come up due to the convenience of a few extra minutes before or after class rather than an inefficient exchange of emails or one more office-hours Zoom meeting on a screen.

The open-discussion format that a majority of my lectures take on has been extremely difficult to implement in a virtual setting.  The ability to scan the room for confused faces and to go back to a point before moving on is priceless.  I miss the efficiency of making eye contact with somebody who has a question, quickly acknowledging this, and fielding a question or comment that ultimately clarifies something I stated either incorrectly or in an unclear manner.

And if there is one thing that sets apart IONM students on our campus, it is their comradery.  I am beyond excited for a cautious and safe return to normal.  To all of the educators in our field – be encouraged and have a great semester!

Ambulatory EEG

Author: Jennifer Carlile, R. EEG T., FASET

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we did not really go anywhere besides boating on Lake Erie. Every single time we go out on the water, it is a mini vacation to me. I leave all the stresses, worries, and the need to do’s on land and thoroughly enjoy Gods creation! The water is so therapeutic, watching the blue sky and the brilliant sun dance across the blue water it is just so relaxing. Every chance we get we are out on that beautiful lake and soak it all in…. big sigh!

In keeping with the topic plus our passion of Neurology – I would like to share a vacation story that happened to me while on a cruise to the eastern Caribbean. One of our first stops we had was in Nassau. As with many people, we were disembarking the ship and walking around one of the legendary straw markets. Stopping at each of the vendors looking at their designs and admiring their work.

There was an elderly couple from the ship, holding hands, walking around the straw market, looking so sweet, then instantly I saw something that just did not appear right. This little elderly lady stopped, was not moving even with the husband encouraging her to, she was as still as a statue. It seemed like a long time, but she instantly fell to the ground and started shaking. I ran over to her, positioned her on her side, laid my shoulder bag under her head while she continued to have a seizure. Her husband was so distraught, he was crying, saying I thought these were under control with her medications. I explained to him that there can be break thru seizures and maybe with all the excitement of being on the cruise this could be why it occurred. After a few minutes and lots of people standing around her, she came to and had no memory of what happened. One of the vendors got their stool for her and her husband to sit on until they got their bearings. Another person got them some water.

The couple did not want an ambulance called but wanted to go back to the ship and see the doctor on board. After some time, we escorted them back to the ship and had one of the ship workers contact the physician on board. After the doctor arrived, we gave him our account of what happened and then left to go about our day. The next day, we ran into this elderly couple on one of the decks. She told us how grateful she was that we helped her husband and of course her during her seizure the day before. She said she just recently started having seizures and did not think she would have one out and about because “usually they happen at home”. I explained to her my background in Neurodiagnostics and how they can happen anywhere and at any time. She said … “Oh, the nice ship doctor told me that too.” How much shall we bet her regular doctor back home told her the same thing, but she was most likely overwhelmed with her recent diagnosis that she didn’t pay attention to those details. I must compliment the wonderful people at the straw market, with all the negative news happening in this world, it is still so nice to experience compassion from people in other countries. The vendors at the straw market that day were so caring and clearly concerned about the elderly couple. Offering their chairs/stools to sit on and running to get them water… again, so heartwarming!

Innovative Technologies & Practices

Author: Andrew Ehrenberg, BS, R. EEG T., CNIM, FASET

In the last few months, a few things have stuck in my mind. The first is the evidence supporting COVID and its neurological impacts.  The second is the area between bench research and clinical care, usually methodical and thorough. There is also the reality that sometimes, limited data and quick turn-around information requires research to be done in the moment, like with COVID. 

The normal process in research-to-care translation is stepwise, controlled bench research, where fundamental principles can be defined, and then clinical trials or studies evaluating the utility and impact, with all of it examined, peer reviewed, and verified through reproducibility.  This is then factored into clinical care, based on the results, which you often hear discussed as evidence-based medicine. Sometimes these are also longitudinal (where it is evaluated over the course of a period of time).  Overall, this can lead to additional time before it translates from research to clinical care.

However, there are times where the situation requires a different timeline.  One is a situation where the impact to care is so significant that clinical research is performed while at the same time it is incorporated into care decisions. An example would be high frequency oscillations (HFOs).  As it was found that non-inclusion of HFO-generating areas in a resection led to significant differences in seizure freedom, and studies would require many years of longitudinal evaluation.  However, what then, is done with patients in the now, when HFOs are observed?  An evaluation must occur where a clinical decision might be made that the evidence so far is supportive enough, that it needs to be used in the clinical decision making of a specific patient being treated now. 

COVID also presented a similar conundrum, though different in nuance. Normally, findings that might be significant are reported, and evaluated for wider spread presence. Peer review and strict studies are done, with careful weighing of results before applicability is determined. With COVID, however, there were rapid reports of possible neurological findings. I am specifically thinking of the findings of seizure occurrence, peripheral nervous system issues (e.g., Guillain-Barré Syndrome, GBS), and cerebral vascular reports. These quickly became widespread in the media, because it was a critical and quickly evolving situation with many unknowns.  

Even the initial meta studies (which look at the results from many smaller studies to form larger pools and findings) occurred very quickly (within a few months).  However, there is only so much evidence that can be collected that quickly, and many presumptions have to be made on the presence of COVID being a causative factor.  Over the course of time, some of these proved to hold true, however some were found later to not be correlated.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place where situations require rapid evaluation and reporting of suggestive data. That is simply reality, and COVID was a clear example of that. However, it is not a substitute for thorough and sequential/reproducible research.  The assumption that must be avoided is that the strength of a reported finding quickly done and with small data pools is of the same strength as wider and more detailed findings.  It is an instance where, like throughout neurophysiology, there is not a right or wrong answer.  It is essential, however, to have a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses and evaluate the data within that context.

Epilepsy Monitoring

Author: Magdalena Warzecha, BA, R. EEG/EP T., CLTM

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only our health and daily lives, but also our vacation and travel plans. As everyone else, my family and I did not have a chance to travel or go on vacation last year due to COVID-related restrictions, but we managed to drive to the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan’s upper peninsula and to visit our favorite places and beaches along Lake Michigan on weekends. Living in a busy, densely populated area, my family and I look forward to our summer Michigan getaways. Only a few hours away lies entirely different world: a slow-paced, green one, stress-free, with the sounds of waves and tastes of our favorite ice cream. According to psychologists, our brains benefit from being away from daily routines, even if it’s only for a few days. For my family, surrounding ourselves by nature through hiking, kayaking, swimming, and enjoying beautiful sunsets on the lake helps our bodies and minds to relax and restore energy.

This fall, my husband and I are planning a trip to Italy and to our native Poland – for first time as empty nesters. We realize all travel plans are still subject to ever-changing COVDI-19 travel restrictions and requirements (which are quite complicated when traveling internationally) but we are optimistic and excited. Learning about Italy’s regions, history, culture, and deciding what we want to see has already been fun and educational at the same time. Scientists agree that even planning a trip can have a fantastic effect on the body – it boosts happiness and feels rewarding. By experiencing different cultures, not only does travel reduce stress, but it also enriches us and expands the mind. Appreciating different ways of life in other countries makes us see different perspectives and realize how much we all have in common.

Department Managers

Author: Stephanie Jordan, R. EEG/EP T., CNIM, CLTM

Pandemic Vacation and Stress Management

Throughout the pandemic, our employer has been providing stress management support in the form of education, counseling, and virtual classes on mediation, yoga, and nutrition. One tool for relieving stress was to relive a past vacation in your mind. This could be done during a break in the day when you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, or it could be done in the evening if you find yourself too anxious to get to sleep.

The trip I love to retake occurred 10 years ago to Sienna, Italy with two very dear friends of mine who also happen to be EEG technologists. We stayed in the wine country just outside of Sienna at an old farmhouse that overlooked the valley. The property and building were old and charming in a serene natural setting. This was no four-star hotel but rather a glimpse into the past lives of Italian farmers. The olive trees were amazing and whispered their own stories. Walking through the property I was amazed to find a built-in pool in the ground. I could sit in the sun and listen to the birds sing and take in the beautiful scenery. As I re-tell this story to you, I can feel peace and calmness take root in my soul. Here are some pictures of our stay, enjoy!

Pediatrics & Neonatology

Author: Melanie Sewkarran, R. EEG T., CLTM

We’ve stayed pretty close to home this past year and a half, with one exception. I have an aunt and uncle that live “in the woods” (according to my kids) in Georgia. We were actually spending some time at their place in March of 2020 when the first COVID shutdowns began. We thought that it would be fitting to return this past spring since all of the adults were vaccinated and we don’t really go out while we’re there anyway. One of the reasons we love being there is we feel disconnected from the stressors of life and we get to relax in the company of loving family.

This year, that was more valuable than ever! The kids love exploring the woods, catching frogs, lizards, snails and other creatures, lingering quietly on the back porch to see if they can spot a deer or two, and kayaking in the lake. My husband and I love that my aunt and uncle shamelessly spoil us by feeding us, housing us and letting us relax. So while the road trip there and back can be long and confining, the peace, tranquility, nature, and family that we get to experience while we’re there makes it worth the effort!

Nerve Conduction Studies

Author: Jerry Morris, MS, R.NCS.T., CNCT, FASET

Hi, everyone – After a year plus of COVID, I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. It has been an interesting spring and early summer here at the Morris household. In late 2020, the under-piece of my patella on the knee I had replaced 3 years ago became unglued and began floating in the knee itself, causing a lot of pain and instability.  I put off surgery as long as I could, but in mid-February, my MD went in and secured the under-piece to the top of the patella itself. After a few weeks off and physical therapy, I returned to work, only to have the patella and its tendons rupture laterally and remain there.

During this time, I had asked to work part time but was turned down. Debby and I talked and prayed about it and  I decided to retire from my job at Willis Knighton after 26 years there and 17 at LSU medical center, mainly because the job there required me to do things physically that I felt I couldn’t do.  I left open the possibility of going somewhere else to finish my career. Emergency surgery had to be done immediately to relocate the patella and its tendons just after this happened. In the meantime another offer came in from LSU here in Shreveport for another position doing only EMG/NCV. Praise the Lord! I am now rehabbing and waiting for the position to go through the channels that it must go through here in Louisiana. I am keeping busy doing work for ASET, AANEM, AAET, and Cadwell and doing my teaching seminars. Debby also has me a HONEY-DO LIST every day. All you guys know what I’m talking about!! It has been great to stay at home after 40 + years of 8-5, some weekends and weekly call…. and Debby also really seems to enjoy her new househusband!

Last year before COVID hit, we had purchased tickets to go to Munich, Germany, to see our son and daughter-in-law who we hadn’t seen in 3 years. Then the pandemic hit and all travel abroad pretty much shut down. The airline (Delta) was good enough to refund our money for the trip. Since our vacation days were already scheduled at both our jobs, we decided we would find the state with the least COVID infection rate that we had never been to and go there for our vacation. Oregon came to the top of the list at that time. So, Debby and I flew out to Portland and began our tour of Oregon. We decided we would go counterclockwise around the state so we headed west out of Portland to the coast. We hit the coast at Cannon Beach, famous for its iconic rock formation. We then started south down the coast to Oswald West State Park near Manzanita.

We then proceeded along the coast to Tillamook, site of the famous cheese factory. From there we headed over to the 3 capes area, famous for its stunning views and lighthouse at Cape Meares, the westernmost area of the 3 capes.

From there, we proceeded inland a bit before joining the coast again near Pacific City. We ended a long day of flying and driving in Depoe Bay, tired and amazed at scenery we had never seen before.  The next day would be our longest traveling day, so we got up early and headed out. One of our goals on the trip was to visit all the lighthouses on the coast. As we headed south, we visited Otter Crest scenic area, the Devil’s Punchbowl area, Seal Rock, and the Yachats area. The beaches there were more rugged and lava-like than the ones we saw further north. We stopped at several lighthouses along the way, the Heceta Head lighthouse being the most impressive due to its location, upkeep, and overall condition. We continued on our way stopping in little out of the way places for great seafood for lunch and dinner. We made it all the way to Port Orford late that evening, going through Florence with its sand dunes and Coos Bay, a beautiful little town. Our hotel in Port Orford had a great view of the bay so we decided to stay 3 nights there and make excursions north and south.

From there, we proceeded inland a bit before joining the coast again near Pacific City. We ended a long day of flying and driving in Depoe Bay, tired and amazed at scenery we had never seen before.  The next day would be our longest traveling day, so we got up early and headed out. One of our goals on the trip was to visit all the lighthouses on the coast. As we headed south, we visited Otter Crest scenic area, the Devil’s Punchbowl area, Seal Rock, and the Yachats area. The beaches there were more rugged and lava-like than the ones we saw further north. We stopped at several lighthouses along the way, the Heceta Head lighthouse being the most impressive due to its location, upkeep, and overall condition. We continued on our way stopping in little out of the way places for great seafood for lunch and dinner. We made it all the way to Port Orford late that evening, going through Florence with its sand dunes and Coos Bay, a beautiful little town. Our hotel in Port Orford had a great view of the bay so we decided to stay 3 nights there and make excursions north and south.

The next day we backtracked to Coos Bay. We stopped at Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint near Bandon and eventually made our way up to Sunset Bay State Park and Cape Arago lighthouse, admiring the scenery all along the way.

We ate lunch in Coos Bay and toured around the dock and bay area, returning to Port Orford that evening. The next day we headed south to the California state line, passing Gold Beach on way. We had a picnic at the beach in Brookings, watching crabbers do their thing. We then spent the rest of the day hiking and exploring in the Samuel Boardman Scenic corridor… What a fabulous day! We got back to Port Orford, tired but overwhelmed with the beauty we had seen.

The next day we would traverse the state from west to east, getting from the coolness of the coastal area, through the mountains of southern Oregon and to our ultimate destination at Crater Lake. Along the way we hiked up to waterfalls at Idelyld Park and marveled at the increasing temperature as we headed east. We spent the night near Crater Lake and got up the next morning early so we could spend the whole day there.

What a majestic place!! Crater Lake has a road that runs around the rim of the crater, with pullouts and trails to hike off that road. Drive for a while, see something interesting, stop and walk for a while. They even have a hike from the rim to the actual shore where you can get on a boat tour and tour the lake itself. However due to COVID restrictions, the boat tour was cancelled. You could still hike down to the boat dock, though. We weighed our options and decided to do multiple shorter hikes, rather than one time-consuming one. As we drove toward the eastern side of the lake, we saw a road for the Pinnacles trail. We found the trail and soon we were looking at these grey volcanic pumice spires on the edge of the mountainside near a green forested area. These spires were amazing.

They seemed to be so out of place in the surrounding landscape. We so enjoyed this hike. We then returned to the main road stopping at the village along the way, shopping and getting some lunch while were there. Then we continued in finish our drive around Crater Lake. At the end of the drive we wanted to get some photos above the lake so we stopped at the Watchman trail that took us up to 8012 feet to the Watchman Overlook. What a view!!!! That’s Wizard Island in the middle, the destination of the boat tour when it is available. The pictures really don’t do justice to the beauty of the lake. We stayed on top for a while and then came down and headed to Union Creek, town and beautiful stream, to spend the night.

The next day we headed up to Bend. The climate now was hotter as we headed north. We made some side excursions to Mckenzie Bridge and Sisters before going to dinner in Bend.  I ate the best pizza I‘ve ever had a quaint little restaurant there in Bend. We got up the next day and headed north. The climate was desert-like with few trees and little greenery. What a contrast… Coastal landscapes, the Cascade mountains and now desert conditions. We spent most of the morning driving until we reached the Mt. Hood area. There, the landscape changed back to forests and mountains. We stopped at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood for lunch. See the snow… in August!  We then realized there were people skiing on the upper part of the mountain you see here. And there were mountain bikers going back to the base of the mountain from the lodge, and from what people were telling us, skiing the upper part of Mt. Hood was much easier than biking down the lower part. After a few delusional moments where I thought I would try one or the other, Debby’s common sense prevailed!! THANKFULLY, or I might not be writing this now. We wound up touring around the lodge before heading to Parkdale to spend a couple of nights.

We spent the rest of the day touring lavender farms, wineries, and seeing the Columbia River gorge at Hood River and Cascade locks. We crossed the gorge at Hood River and ventured into Washington state at White Salmon. Kite boarders and windsurfers were all out in the gorge, looking like a bunch of butterflies on the water. The next day we took a trip to Lost Lake near the foot of Mt Hood.

I missed a step on one of the trails and fell into a ravine. Debby was ahead of me on the trail and I yelled for her to come help. As she did I almost pulled her into the ravine with me. Fortunately she stepped on solid ground and didn’t fall. I crawled out and we spent some time picking stickers and what-not out of my arms and legs. Glad it wasn’t on the coast…. The results would have been much worse. We headed back to Portland the next day. What an adventure… If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend Oregon. The people were kind, the food was tremendous, and the price was reasonable. We will go back there again!

Thanks for reading my travelogue. Please stay safe. I hope to see many of you in San Diego.

Clinical EEG

Author: Vicki Sexton, BS, R. EEG/EP T., R.NCS.T., CNCT, CLTM, FASET

During the recent train wreck of a year, I had to cancel numerous trips. That, in itself, was traumatizing to say the least. I canceled four voyages that year.

My first trip in April was supposed to be with my husband, but he was unable to make it due to scheduling issues at his workplace. In the end, I decided to not waste the ticket and took my best friend to Ft. Lauderdale for a week. To say it was a very relaxing vacation would be an understatement! There was no husband, kids, or dog to take care of, definitely a week of me-time!

My second trip was with my daughter to scout colleges. I went to, wait for it… SAVANNAH, GEORGIA!! We had 4 beautiful days of mother-daughter time. That was a great bonding experience.

My third trip, another college scouting expedition, was in Sarasota, Florida. Since my husband could finally get away, we decided to make it a family vacation. And so, with my daughter, son, and husband, we had a great family week and stayed on the beach in Siesta Keys. It’s considered one of the best beaches in America. While we were there, we were able to visit my husband’s uncle and his family that lived in the area. The pandemic definitely taught me to enjoy family time when you can.

Finally, the last trip will be in San Diego, California, for the ASET annual conference.  I am so excited to see everyone. It’s a great time to learn and see all of my friends across this country.  I can’t wait!

Neurodiagnostic Education

Author: Dr. Mark Ryland, Au.D., R. EP T., R.NCS.T., CNCT, RPSGT

In early April 2021, my wife and I received our second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and we immediately made plans to drive to Tallahassee Florida to visit our daughter, son-in-law, and grands who we had not seen for 18 months (other than on Zoom calls & Facetime). Part of our cargo was a box of dowel rods and wood glue to repair the numerous wooden toys (WWII aircraft, trains, and constriction equipment) I have built for Lena & Talia over the years. Together, Lena (the oldest) and I repaired the damage of “hard-play” for about 5 toys. To say that it was joyous would be an understatement, and that was just one of many memorable experiences we had. We witnessed Lena learn to ride her bicycle without her training wheels, Talia was running around like a crazy girl and yapping her brains out. The last time we were with them, Talia was just crawling and babbling.

We also crossed-off a bucket list item; swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, as we took a day trip to St. Georges Island, on the Gulf side of Florida. It was wonderful (see silly selfies)!

It was two weeks of bliss that involved lots of yard work, lots of laughs, lots of hugs, lots of bedtime story reading, numerous episodes of Paw Patrol (Sky rocks!!), numerous episodes of Dino Train, and just a few cold adult beverages shared with my son-in-law, B.J. (primarily local micro-brewery IPA’s!!).

As I reflect back on the long haul we all went through last year, I still consider myself blessed. I kept my job, kept my medical benefits, remained healthy, and didn’t go hungry. Sadly, so many of our fellow citizens did not, and many are still suffering. I really tried not to complain because quite frankly, I have no right to.

I hope everyone is doing well, staying healthy, and able to see loved ones they missed. Unfortunately, I will not be attending ASET this year, but very much look forward to seeing everyone next year.

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