LMC Nurse Notes

LMC is hiring nurses with at least one year of experience in Med/Surg, Critical Care and Labor & Delivery to work night shifts with a $2,500 signing bonus. Learn more:

Katie Bedenbaugh, RN, OCN is a nurse for cancer patients at LMC. She has received the hospital’s Award of Excellence and LMC Gold for her great work. In this video, she talks about the experience of taking care of cancer patients and what she enjoys about being a nurse at LMC.

Brave (Little) Heart

By: Lara Winburn

My three year old started swimming lessons last week. Last summer, we did the age appropriate “mommy and me” lessons, and at the end she liked the water a little better and finished each class with a dum-dum lollipop, which she loved. This summer is a different type of lesson. There is a “coach.” He is not harsh,  but he is definitely firm and ready to make a swimmer out of this bathing beauty. They are not singing songs or blowing bubbles. They are learning to swim. As I handed over my sweet girl to the coach, her tears started and with one last cheer of “Listen to the coach and be a big girl,” I walked away with a lump in my throat to the designated parent area.

It started me thinking what brave little hearts we expect our kids to have. From the viewpoint of my daughter this is how the lesson went… This stranger is your “coach.” He will take you in a body of water, force you to hold your breath and put your head under the water and mommy will watch from afar. No dum-dum in sight. Brave little heart.

Babysitters are another example. A lovely young girl comes to the door, I give her some general directions about dinner and bedtime. Hand over a pair of pajamas, blow a kiss, and hit the door. Can you imagine if this same scenario applied to adults? “Hey, this lovely young girl is going to stay in your home with you, you do not know her, you may not leave and she is now in charge of your meal, bedtime and nightly activity. I will probably return while you are sleeping and you will see this same young girl in a month.” (A babysitter once a month …if I am lucky.) These precious children are really quite brave.

I often find myself running into a friend from work or the gym or some other place that my children do not frequent. Without a thought about whether they are feeling shy or having a bad day, I plunge right into demanding a greeting from my children, a high five, or some other adorable exchange. “This is mommy’s friend from work. Say hello, First soccer seasongive a high five, tell her how old you are….” Do you find yourself doing this too? Talk about forced socialization. What brave little souls.

Our first soccer season is also in the books. My little girl mostly sat on the sidelines watching and when asked if she wanted to play she would politely say “no thank you.” (And was probably give a forced high five.) I have mentioned before that I am not timid or shy and never have been. I have truly struggled with this baby that I know every inch of and how this behavior is so foreign to me. I wondered why she was not in the middle of the field. Not because I wanted her to be the star athlete (in truth, I do not know the first thing about soccer and was more the dance/cheer type growing up), but to me it seemed like the only way to enjoy the game was to jump right in. But you know what? Putting on those shin guards and sitting on the bench while a bunch of grown-ups cheered and the whistle blew was her idea of fun, and it was brave enough for me.

I don’t know about you, but I am not nearly that brave in my everyday life. Rarely will you find me trying new things, getting dunked in a pool, or entertaining strange house guests while my family is out on the town. These tiny treasures that moved in with me over the past 3 and half years constantly surprise and inspire me, and are teaching me a little something about having a brave little heart. (With an occasional dum-dum as a treat.)

It’s a Hard Knock Life…

By: Shannon Shull

Sun will come out tomorrow

I’ve discovered something major about life… we all have hardships. Everyone has a story.  A story they could share if they want, if they dare, that most likely someone, if not everyone, could relate to on some level.

It’s a hard-knock life.

I’ve been teaching my honors drama students about musicals. I’m a lover of musical theatre and it has been a real treat for me to get to this lesson with some of my special students…especially those who have an inherent appreciation for musical theatre and all its glorious wonder.  I love to see the zeal in their faces when they get so excited telling me about some of their favorite moments in the productions they love so much. Some of them get so excited they can’t help but sing the songs as they talk with me about them.

The most interesting element, though, is the fact that they relate to the characters they see on screen. In some cases we all do. That’s why we’re so drawn to them.  I was never an orphan, but goodness did I ever relate to Annie. I felt her pain, I lived her story as I sang her songs in my back yard as a child. I still sing the songs from Annie to this day and feel such joy, love, fun and hope. The sun will come out tomorrow… seriously, it just doesn’t get much better than that. Most of you from my generation know the musical and know it well. The sun will come out tomorrow. Think about it. When you’re stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely, just stick out your chin and grin and say… oh…

You know what that song is saying, right? In a very nice, cheesy way, it’s saying, suck it up, stop feeling so sorry for yourself and take note of reality! The sun is going to come out tomorrow and if not tomorrow, it’s gonna come out eventually at some point. So suck it up, stand tall and brave another day cause ya got nothing to lose and everything to gain from having a good attitude about the day that you’re lucky enough to be blessed with, which is a tomorrow.

Yep, it’s a hard knock life. No ifs, ands or buts about that. Life can tend to kick one in the pants and kick you down so hard you wonder why you even try to get back up. Then you take a cheesy song, like “Tomorrow” from Annie, and you let it touch your heart, and you begin to realize why you get back up. It’s a hard knock life, but who says we have to let it keep us down?  YOU control your destiny. Therefore, if you decide to let this “hard knock life” control and consume you, guess what? It will. If you decide to conquer it, and you show life all that you have to offer and that you refuse to let it run you down, then you can declare that the sun will indeed come out tomorrow and you plan to take every advantage of that tomorrow and all its potential and glory.

So go ahead… I know you want to. Sing it… yes, sing the song. “The sun will come out, tomorrow! Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, they’ll be sun…” It can be a fabulous experience if you just let yourself enjoy it, dive right in and sing it at the top of your lungs! Be grateful that you get a tomorrow! I bet your bottom dollar they’ll be sun… hang on until tomorrow, come what may…I love ya, tomorrow, we’re only day away! 😉

I know it’s goofy… but I guarantee it’ll make your heart smile. Show this hard knock life what you’re really made of and don’t even dare let it get the best of you, cause hey, we know …I know… you know…the sun will come out tomorrow. 😉

LMC Nurse Notes

LMC is hiring nurses with at least one year of experience in Med/Surg, Critical Care and Labor & Delivery to work night shifts with a $2,500 signing bonus. Learn more:

Ciji Bell, RN, BSN, is a brand new nurse manager in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at LMC. After spending years working as a traveling nurse everywhere from Anchorage to San Jose, she’s glad to be back home in South Carolina. Ciji has been with us for just 6 months. We asked her, “What do you like best about working at LMC?” Her answer is in the photo below:

LMC Nurse Notes

I Survived, Part 2

By: Chaunte McClure

Hiding behind out masks

Even when we look our best, we can be experiencing some of the worst times of our lives. We smile like everything is going well, yet we have so much hiding behind our masks. Hurt, shame, disappointment, and heartaches are tucked behind our masks because we don’t want to reveal the pain. I’ve been there. I eventually became depressed and I didn’t want to carry the weight of all those negative emotions any longer. Last month, I gave you a peep into my story about depression and now that the I Survived Women’s Empowerment Conference is over, today I will tell you more.

I got to a very low point in my life and I decided that I was too tired to continue living. I was tired of the struggles, tired of being angry, tired of being sad, tired of the stress and tired of fighting. One Saturday I thought I really understood why people commit suicide. I started wondering how I could do it. How can I end my life?

Then I saw the faces of some of my family members – the people whom I would’ve hurt the most. I have no doubt that was God’s way of stopping me from making one of the worst decisions I could have ever made. It was after that moment that I finally asked God to help me. I had been so focused on all of the situations and life changes that eventually led to depression, that God really wasn’t my focus any longer. I was overwhelmed with emotions, but I asked God to help me through it. I was too broken to even try to help myself and I realized that my situation required God’s power.

God said He would heal me, but it seemed like when I got two steps ahead, I would take one step back. I started getting frustrated, because I believed God would heal me, but I would occasionally have setbacks. I pressed forward and I anticipated the day when those symptoms would finally go away. I wanted to be healed right away, but it was a process and I believe God was teaching me patience and how to persevere through the process.

It was a long road to recovery, but I made it! I had to pray and I had to fight the negative thoughts that crept in mind because this was a spiritual battle and a mental battle, but with God’s help, I survived. You can too!

LMC Nurse Notes

Lisa Brown-Simpson, RNC, is certified in cardiac and vascular nursing. She’s been at Lexington Medical Center for 17 years. We asked her, “Why is it great to be a nurse at LMC?” Read her answer in the photo below:

LMC Nurse NotesLexington Medical Center is hiring nurses with at least one year of experience in Med/Surg, Critical Care and Labor & Delivery to work night shifts with a $2,500 signing bonus. Learn more at http://www.lexmed.com/careers/career-paths/nursing.

French Dip Sandwiches

By: Brady Evans

I was a pretty big tomboy when I was younger.  I so wanted to be a boy that I went to a birthday party at my neighbor’s house wearing only my older brother’s swim trunks.  I guess I wanted to be just like my big brother.  What little sister doesn’t?

Young Brady

I even regularly attended his boy scout meetings.  In retrospect, I feel badly for him. Perhaps my parents should have forced me to stay home instead of allowing me to tag along.

I remember being at our den mother’s house one day learning how to properly construct a fire.  She had us practice setting tiny teepee-like fires up in her fireplace.  Then we’d light a match and watch it burn.  I didn’t get to make a fire that day but I remember kneeling against the fireplace watching the older boys practice and being perfectly content.  Eventually most of the scouts went home but my brother and I stuck around for dinner with the den mother and her kids.

She served the most amazing french dip sandwiches.  I had never encountered such a meal before and I ate my weight of the stuff.  I remember the giant lazy susan she had in the middle of her oversized dining table.  Round and round it would go as I would load up on another serving of beef and bread.  I assume the message of how we enjoyed this meal was relayed to my mother.  Soon afterward my mother began making the french dip for our family and it was such a treat when I found out we were having it for dinner.  Carbs, meat, and greasy-in-most-delicious-way au jus.

French Dip Sandwiches

This recipe brings back all those memories.  It is absolutely delicious and a rare treat at our house.  I can eat it over and over again and not get sick of it (which happens when you’re cooking for two and chuck roasts come in 3+ pound packages).  My husband likes to put cheese on his sandwich but I prefer not to.  The choice is yours!

French Dip Sandwiches (barely adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride)


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup beef broth/stock
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ~3lb chuck roast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6-8 sandwich rolls, split
  • 6-8 slices of provolone or white American cheese


  1. Slice the onion into ~1/4-inch rounds. Keeping the rounds intact, place them in the bottom of the crockpot.
  2. Add beef broth, water, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic to the crockpot.
  3. Salt and pepper both sides of the roast and place on top of the onions.
  4. Cook on low 8 hours until beef is fall-apart tender.
  5. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and shred using two forks. Reserve au jus.
  6. Remove the onions from crockpot and add to shredded beef.
  7. Heat the broiler. Place the split sandwich rolls on a lined baking sheet and toast for 1 minute or just until the bread begins to brown.
  8. Pile the beef onto the bottom of the rolls and top with cheese.
  9. Return to the oven just until cheese is melted. Top with sandwich halves and serve with small bowls of au jus from the crockpot.

Finally Flourishing

By: Sherree Thompson 

Flourishing garden

The garden is finally coming alive! The Amish sweet peas are taking off, the tomatoes have a few blooms and my rosemary is bouncing back from being frozen. I really thought it was a goner. It was just a bundle of sad twigs poking out of the soil.


It’s amazing how rapidly everything grew. One day I was thinking about the irrigation system, and then I seriously needed that irrigation system in place, which it is still not. Yikes! I thought I would have time to erect the proper size support for the peas, but nope! They have clearly out grown their home. This is becoming a running story throughout my life. I think I have enough time, so I put things off. Then I’m scurrying around like a kid wrangling chickens and get all stressed out. Anyone else do that?


At least I have been scoping out the bugs that have arrived. There have been some interesting little critters, not friendly either. I have already seen a leaf-footed bug that really liked my tomatoes last year. The only real way to get rid of that pain was to pick each one off and squish it. This totally grosses me out. Bug squishing is not my cup of tea. So when I saw the giant pest, my heart sank.  I found White Flies on my Basil and some other aphid type thing on the peas.

Bugs in the garden

My heart dropped when I realized that the corn and zucchini just won’t make it. I have a feeling my soil conditions are not where it needs to be for everything to flourish. I should have listened to the hubs when he told me to send a sample to the Clemson Extension for analysis. Ah, but that would be too easy. I mean, how will I actually learn my lesson if I follow instructions? Can you hear my sarcasm?

Tales From Texas, Part 4

By: Elizabeth Webber Akre

TexasClick here to read part 1 of Elizabeth’s “Tales from Texas” series.
Click here to read part 2 of Elizabeth’s “Tales from Texas” series. 
Click here to read part 3 of Elizabeth’s “Tales from Texas” series. 

My culinary journey into Texas ends with the “Texas BBQ” that my sister ordered from T-Bone Tom’s, who enjoyed some Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fame. Of course, here in the glorious South, BBQ means pork, mustard sauce, white bread, coleslaw, hash and rice, and maybe some cracklin’s on the side.  Well, in the great Texas, it’s a whole different ballgame.  They are all about the beef.  Well, hello?  They are Texas, where pretty much all the beef comes from, right?

So the package of a typical Texas BBQ is smoked brisket and sauce, smoked sausage, potato salad, coleslaw, pintos, bread (untoasted Texas toast), pickles and onions on the side. While we don’t typically cook brisket in the South and call it barbeque, I’m a big brisket fan.  I love corned beef so much I check the prices on it every time I’m in the grocery store.  I love meats that “string” when they are cooked.  I was really looking forward to this food.  My brother-in-law picked it up and I helped set it all up on the table for my sweet niece’s 3-year-old birthday party. I’m not sure how many of the other pre-schoolers got their fill of Texas BBQ, but the rest of us were in good shape.

The brisket was simply fantastic: smoked, that nice dark “bark” on the outside and perfectly cooked.  The sauce was a red sauce, of course, because the rest of the world hasn’t discovered the magical versatility of mustard like we have! I’m sure the smoked sausage was great, but being a less-than-enthusiastic sausage eater, I didn’t try it myself. The potato salad was a pretty typical old-school style, as was the coleslaw, but the pinto beans were awesome.  I guess you’d say they were pretty much the “charros” that you find so often in this part of the country. While all the grown-ups polished off most of the barbeque, the toddlers turned their attention to my niece’s very elaborate fondant-covered dragon cake.  Fine, kids.  Eat your cake.  We’ll handle this brisket!

My first trip to Texas was really great.  I was able to spend great quality time with (most of) my family (my husband couldn’t get away and come with us 😦 ).  Taking my child to NASA was an awesome experience and I know she learned so much. Frankly, so did I.  Visiting the Kemah Boardwalk was fantastic.  Vivver wanted to ride the Boardwalk Bullet roller coaster.  She was tall enough to ride, so off we went.  It is a major league coaster and when it was all over, she was in tears.  But, by the end of our day there, she bolstered herself up and wanted to do it again.  She did fine and confessed to me later that it was her mantra “I’m ok, I’m ok, I’m ok” that got her through it and actually allowed her to enjoy the crazy thrill. 🙂

ElizabethElizabeth writes “Gastronomy (by a Wanna-be Chef)”. Follow the page on Facebook. All the cool kids do.

The Fit Bucket List

By: Lydia Scott

1 year weightloss progress

May 22 marked one full year since my lifestyle reboot that we chatted about in my previous blog post. In the last year, I’ve dropped my second 70 lbs. and am now on my way to losing the third and final 70 lbs. I have been cleared of all cardiac issues by my cardiologist; and have conquered a plethora of physical accomplishments I truly thought I’d never be able to do.

Like what? Like:

  • Not have to physically pull myself up the steps and then stop to rub my aching, burning knees.
  • Get on and off a gym-quality elliptical all by myself.
  • Use every single one of the programs on that there gym-elliptical. Yes…the programs. Those crazy ones that make you cuss while swearing you hate the darn thing! I’ve conquered every one of them. This is a HUGE deal for me personally.
  • Do real squats, without falling on my butt and without crippling my almost-cartilage-free knees!
  • Dead lift. *giggle*
  • Become the person who shows other people how to work out. Yeah…me. And no one has broken anything yet!
  • Work all day, come home and cook dinner, then go out to the garden, then work out, and not be a zombie afterwards!
  • Tie my shoes without having to stop to pant in the middle of the tying process.
  • Change out the 40 lb. water bottle at work, by myself, and also without dying or crying.
  • Unload bags of dirt from my car, by myself, as my sweet and proud husband steps to the side because I definitely did not push him aside while I proclaim “No, I can do it!” Definitely not…
  • Double-check the kitty litter I just picked up to make sure it is, indeed, the 20 lb. container, because it felt way too light to be the 20 lb. container. I’ve also done this with carry-out pizza from Schiano’s, because I swore the pizza used to be heavier and maybe they didn’t put the right one in the box. They did get it right. Every time.
  • Get on the floor, and not be panicked trying to figure out how I’ll get back up.
  • Actually do yard work for more than 30 minutes at a time.
  • Agree to go to Crossfit with my friend Leah, although it has been temporarily postponed due to reasons beyond our control. (Let’s just say one of us was injured saving a clowder of orphaned kittens from a herd of stampeding elephants. Yeah. That was it.) But still…I AGREED TO GO TO CROSSFIT. While sober.

I’m 42 years old. I am at my lowest weight since the age of 20.5 years old. I’m eyeing my size 14 white 8th grade graduation dress that is hanging in my closet with full intention of being able to button it in the next couple of months. Granted, I am definitely not going to be caught dead wearing it in public. I mean, it’s a 12 year old girl’s graduation dress from 1985! Um, yeah…not the fashion statement I wanna make. But I will probably take a picture of me wearing it. Get your blackmail files ready.

Riverbanks Zoo Zip Line from The State

So, that’s where I am right now. Where do I plan to be in the near future? What are the next fit bucket list goals?

  • Horseback riding. Technically, I could do it now, but I want to wait until I get to 200 lbs. It’s just nicer for everyone.
  • Zip lining. But it can’t be over crazy wide open, high spaces. ‘Cause I would totally freak out for reasons that have nothing to do with my weight! I’ll take a low zip line through some woods.
  • Hiking in the mountains. Not rock-climbing super hero kind of hiking, but just the general “hike through the woods and not pass out” kind. I need plantar fasciitis-friendly boots. Have any suggestions?
  • Tubing down the river. Just waiting to buy a swimsuit that fits!
  • Actually doing Crossfit, successfully. At least once, LOL!
  • Being able to get onto the floor and back up again without having to get on my knees.
  • Being able to plank. I’m close, but not quite there yet. Well, unless you put a big, squishy pillow under my belly. Then, I can totally plank like a superstar! For hours, even! Ha!
  • _______________________________________________________________

You see the last one is a blank space. Why? Because I’m sure you guys out there in Every Woman land have some awesome ideas for challenging activities that this so-far-lifetime-member of the physically unfit club has no clue even exist. Toss me your best ideas! But, ummmm…can we try not to go too high in the air, dangling over open expanses while I imagine the horrible plummet to the ground which is sure to be at least 50 kajillion miles below?

Not that I’m afraid of wide open spaces above the ground or anything. Nope. Not at all. Not. At. All.

By the way, I keep track of all my activity and food and stuff on www.myfitnesspal.com, so if you want to join the journey and the fun, look me up at “Ldscott716.” We can do this together!!