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17th December 2006

horse fringe

I trimmed my bangs this morning.

I just couldn’t stand the multiple layers in my eyes. But I did cut them longer than usual, so that I can grow them out this winter. Hopefully, it’ll be easier to pin them back now that they are one length, but oh, I’m not looking forward to this at all.

I just discovered that I’m on call tomorrow. So much for my plans to do my Christmas shopping. It’s never getting done.

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13th December 2006

Those bothersome tresses

I’m back in the NICU for the rest of the month (and the mean resident is off for the rest of the month, limiting all of my interactions with him to next to nothing) and wow, it feels good to be back home. Plus, I’m working again with my favoritest attending ever (Im much more saucy with him than I ever am with my other attendings. I’m afraid I make a bad example for the medical student!) and it’s such a joy working again, I almost don’t mind that I have to go to bed in thirty seconds to face another early and full day.

But enough with that work stuff, shall we? Jack’s becoming a very dull boy.

I’ve had a paid account for something like 3 years and I’ve never used any of the extra features (except the userpics, but with the limited amount of time, I find myself using only my default. Must change that.) So, let’s do that.

Back in October, when I went home, I went to a salon and had my hair done. First time ever. I’m the $12 hairbut kind of girl. Anyway, the stylist twitted me about my bangs, saying that it made me look like a teenager and that I needed something that more respected my age. He wanted me to grow them out, I begged him into a compromise where he cut more bangs and layered them. They were cute and short and different–for about three days, before my hair slide back into its typical flat look that it always has. *sigh* I sure wish my hair flowed and glimmered like my little userpic)

I haven’t cut my hair since, and my bangs are now hanging into my eyes. And I’m having a really hard time preventing myself from just grabbing the scissors and hacking them–or at least even them out again.

So far I’ve resisted….resisted long enough to find the time to sit down and make a poll and ask you, wise flist, about it.

I’d add pictures, but I’m still having difficulty hooking my camera up to my computer, so that will have to wait.

Here be poll

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10th December 2006


The day spent in Chicago with Chris was almost, almost enough to wipe away all of the taint from my evil resident and this horrible week.

I’m not quite ready for Monday, but at least I won’t be throwing things at my poor defenseless alarm clock.

Plus, I only have two days left with him, really only a day and a half, since he is on call tomorrow, and therefore will be leaving by noon on Tuesday. It’s survivable.

Thanks for all the well wishes and support. Don’t worry, I wasn’t too injured by my resident’s behavior–I’ve know that he was a jerk and more since the first time I worked with him in August (and the repeat verse is so much worse than the first). He’s a hypocrite and a very unpleasant person (except to patients.. he belittles me (it’s subtle, but it’s there) when we’re in the room together, but he’s as sweet as baklava to them, so now I have a couple of my patients asking me to leave during family conferences or doing procedures. Gee thanks). But this will be the last time I will ever have to interact with him for an extended period of time.

I think I rather like Chicago, tall buildings and all, and probably will now make time to go and visit on spare weekends.

This was the last time I’ll see Chris, or anybody from home, until at least May. So maybe I’m not as entirely happy as the mood there suggests.

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9th December 2006


iTunes now carries soundtracks from all of my favorite musicals. I think they’ve carried them for a while, but luckily I was ignorant to their presence.

Singin’ in The Rain. South Pacific. The King and I. Mary Poppins. The Sound of Music. My waller is not appreciative.

I’ve already given in to the lure of owning Finian’s Rainbow which was my favorite as a teenager; I had such a crush on Tommy Steele. That brogue. That twinkling smile. I know, I know Fred Astaire and Petula Clark’s accents were atrocious and Keenan Wynn’s makeup job as the white Senator turned black is laughable, but oh, it was magical. I’ve carried fantasies about being wooed under a devil moon since then.

We didn’t get cable at my home, because we lived too far out of town, so I watched mostly musicals and old Disney movies from the library growing up. When I was younger, my sisters and I would have contests and sing all of the musicals that we could remember. It made washing the dishes go by faster. I could probably sing you most of “Oklahoma!” from heart even now. There are very few of the “classic” musicals that I have not seen (I don’t think I’ve seen State Fair all the way through), and fewer that I hate. Gigi is probably top of that list. Old men singing about lusting after little girls is too much. As well as The Pajama Game (adore Doris Day. But, ugh that was a painful movie). And I’ve fallen asleep twice now rewatching Annie, because it’s so boring. Boring! The lure from childhood isn’t there anymore.

My favorite musical of all time is actually an operetta. Junior year of high school, I had stayed up to work on a paper, and a episode of “Live at Lincoln Center” was playing. They were putting on a performance of The Merry Widow. Within minutes I was hooked (the paper, if I remember right, did not get finished on time because of my latest obsession). I’ve watched it probably 50 times since then and still love it. I’ve seen it performed live, but it was a horrid disappointment. Apparently, the Lincoln Center performance was a new translation and interpretation; the version that I saw live was the San Francisco version and it lacked the humor and warmth and the threads of the Merry Widow Waltz throughout. I’ve never been able to track down a recording of it and I’ve worn holes in my old VCR copy. Such a shame.

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7th December 2006

Protected: a love letter (not)

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27th November 2006

small things

It’s so hard going to bed after a day off… Going to bed means the day has ended and tomorrow another day at work begins.

I’m worn out from work. I’ve been carrying 8-10 patients for a week now, discharging one, only to collect another 3…or a bouceback, a patient that I had only just discharged. The Q3 call (call every three nights) for 3 straight calls bled me dry and I’m only now recovering, only to face another call (my last!) on Wednesday. All things come to an end… Thursday will be the end of this rotation, just in time for me to move back to neurology with the three pagers and even more painful calls. (But on the plus side, another 2+ weeks in the NICU! yay!)

I tried to spend the day doing things around the house, namely scrapping paint off the wall again. It is excruciatingly slow, and I’m getting frustrated. I want to be done! I want my room to be pretty and painted brightly in one color that I picked out, not still finding deeper layers of paint below the salmon pink.

Plus, Chris is coming to visit in a week. One week from tomorrow. Guh. How could it have come up so quickly? He’s doing an interview tour, and I’ll only get to spend like twenty minutes with him, but it’s twenty minutes more than the usual. He’ll stay the night on Tuesday and hopefully find someway to entertain himself while I’m at work and then we’ll meet up before he takes off for the next destination. I’m hoping to get off early… I found out the exact days he was coming too late and I can’t get the day off. The plan is to then meet him in Chicago for the weekend…. I’ve avoided going to Chicago like the plague, but I don’t think I’m going to be successful this time. Anybody with any suggestions of what to do there?

In any case, I want things ready when he comes, show off my pretty house, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. *sigh*

Nonmedical update on the rest of my life upcoming, I promise.

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20th November 2006


I’m sleep deprived and about to become even more sleep deprived, as I head into another call night (and have to be at work at 6. Yes, that’s six and a half hours from now).

But the thought has crossed my mind the last several days…

I am honestly, truly, completely happy here. Still lonely at times, but I’m making friends and I (mostly) like my job. I’m settling, and it’s becoming home.

Maybe this will keep me going for the next 48 hours. πŸ™‚

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16th November 2006

But they do it in Gray’s Anatomy!

It’s probably wrong to be interested in my medical student.

The med student that I’m responsible for, look after, teach, who looks up at me with adoring eyes because I impart so much knowledge *snerk*.

Wrong. Very wrong.

That’s why I’m not.

Nope, not at all.

*goes back to daydreaming* In two weeks, I won’t be his intern… ooo, possibilities.

BTW, my presentation? That I’ve spent most of the week fretting/working on? Trashed. It somehow got corrupted this morning. Fabulous. So it’s going to be a long night. Bah.

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15th November 2006

Protected: Christmas cards*

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14th November 2006

Shall we raise the stress to the cube?

I think this may be the most stressed out I’ve ever been.

Added 4 more patients to my clinic notes that I need to write up. That makes 11 from the last three weeks.

Two (hopefully three!) discharges tomorrow. Need to have all of the paperwork done early in the morning to scoot them out of here. And then dictated.

Still have at least 15 hospital discharge summaries to dictate.

Just discovered that I’m slated to give the noon lecture on Friday. Chief residents want the presentation by tomorrow. Tomorrow.

We’re on call for day time admissions again tomorrow–most likely will get three patients. And we’re on call on Friday (that time we can get six patients). I’m on call again on Saturday (5 pts). And next Tuesday (ditto). And next Friday (ditto). And the Tuesday after that (ditto).

Please tell me where I have the time to catch up!!

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13th November 2006

where can i get off

It’s always a delight to end one’s day at work at 9 pm (on a non call day), with just enough time to race home, eat something and post a little rant on the blog.

Knowning that you’ve got to be in bed by ten, so you can wake up and be at work by 5:30 to finish all of those patient progress notes that you never got to do today, because you were so busy writing orders and taking to social work about how one takes away power of attorney or discussing G-Tubes with GI or transferring very very sick patient from the ICU because there are people more ill than he, needing that bed…. only to have his oxygen saturation drop dangerously low and send me fleeing to his bedside, where we realized that even if he was suffering for what I thought he had (pulmonary embolism) I couldn’t check for it or even treat it. Just hoping that he makes it through the night.

Plus I have to see all of my patients, including the sick ones, have their notes written and have a plan before I go to clinic at 8. And discuss it with my other intern/medical student, so they can present it to the team. And then, I’ll spend the rest of the day completely lost on what exactly we decided to do, because I wasn’t there.

And did I mention that I behind on my dictations? Something like 15 dictations, since we’ve had such a patient turnover. And I’ve got 6 clinic patients notes to finish (plus the 3-4 that I’ll see tomorrow morning.) So there’s going to be a fair number more hours spent here.

Just in cause any of you were considering medicine…. don’t.

ETA: Special hugs to shirerain and bjorks_defender I know that it’s been very hard times for you and I haven’t been around or as supportive as I should have been. Know that you’re are in my thoughts and prayers and very close to my heart. {{{TIGHT EMBRACE}}}}

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7th November 2006

failing on my civic duty

I feel like a second class citizen today. For the first time since I turned 18, I didn’t vote.

I tried, oh how I did try. First it was getting an absentee ballot from Salt Lake… but I found out that I sent it to the wrong district’s office and it had to be forwarded on, so I didn’t end up getting the request made by the deadline of last Friday.

Then I found out that I could register to vote at the voting polls today. Yay! I busted my hiney to get everything in line, double checked on my patients, wrote all my orders… but we were admitting and my last admit took 3 hours to do…. then another half hour to finish things up… then another 20 minutes signing out to the on-call resident.

I was ten minutes late.

The joys of being in medicine.

I heard that other senior residents let their juniors leave for a short time so they could exercise their patriotic duty. Not mine, of course. Because that would mean he’d actually have to do some work and we couldn’t possibly have that.

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31st October 2006

The coat of many colors

Painting my house has turned into a bigger chore than I had initially anticipated. Natch.

Remember that I stated that I was painting my house because the walls in the office bedroom was peeling? Yeah, well, I’ve peeled away the big areas, sanded down the entire thing, washed the walls, started to tape it … and realized that more areas were peeling. Yep. The entire paint job has to go.

So I go and buy paint solvent (after spending numerous hours slowly scrapping away the paint) and spray it on. The reason the paint is peeling? Because there are at least five layers, five layers of paint underneath. The bottom layer, as far as I can tell is a salmon color. But it’s going to require lots and lots of paint solvent and very slow dissolving of all of the layers. Not to mention that it’s most likely lead based paint at the bottom, so I’m probably going to have all kinds of neurological deficits.

The good news is that I have painted my kitchen. And it’s pretty. Pictures will be forth coming when I get everything put back together again. And I think I’ve made new friends with this project, so there is always a bright side.

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30th October 2006

why, yes, I am being particularly loquacious tonight

Chris and I play word games all of the time, an old habit fostered in the early days of our friendship. Sometimes, it’s a matter of dropping impressive words into conversation (I think we probably annoy those around us because we’re constantly interrupting to state “oh, good word!” to the one that succeeds). Other times, we play passing synonyms back and forth (sometimes with the same letter to make it even more difficult!) until one (usually it is he) is declared the winner.

Because of this, I’ve rediscovered my dictionary and thesaurus. Probably something that I should have done a long time ago (would have helped my pronunciation of all of those latin medical words, as I was never hooked on phonics. I can spell, but I can’t speak), but better late than never. It’s not that I have a poor vocabulary (despite how I sound here in LJ), but in the moment, the specific words rarely come to me and I end u saying things like “it’s lots of fun” and sounding like I’m ten. So I’m striving to improve that, by integrating the new vocabulary as I learn it (another lesson I should have learned from grade school!) And I’m always on the hunt for good words to speckle conversations.

Tonight’s word came from reading a patient’s medical record, where in the general physical portion, the doc described the patient as “loquacious.” He was obviously an attending–the medical resident on call possesses few brain cells more than required to just write “alert, oriented and in good health”–finding that just perfect adjective to describe how the patient is interacting with you requires high brain function only obtained with a well rested mind.

Nonetheless, I’ve filed the word away, awaiting with baited breath to drop it in conversation with Chris. Because this will impress his socks off. πŸ™‚

**yes, I am posting at 4 in the morning, because my dear resident and attending allowed me to go home four hours early. Sweet! And now it is to bed. I have my house to tackle tomorrow (er… today)

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25th October 2006

all the colors of the sky

I think it’s going to snow. It certainly is cold enough.

Of course, I could be wrong. I thought the same thing, looking out the window near the ICU, only, it was over a 100 degrees and August outside. The air conditioner, which works too well on some hallways, confused me. The people around me must have thought I was insane as I burst out laughing at my mistake.

Things are pretty good around here. I have to leave for a shift in the ER in a couple of hours, and I’m off to take a nap, but I thought I’d say hi, since you know it’s been a while.

I spent the day looking at paint swatches and I think I have finally, finally decided how I’m going to paint my house. I’ve hemmed and hawed about it, because the paint job from the last owners hasn’t been too awful… except that the paint is peeling off in my office (top coat is a creamy off white, underneath is “apple blossom green” and quite overwhelming) and staring at the patches has motivated me.

(For help in picturing what it all looks like, the pics to my house are still up at http://jcd1013.lotrinklings.net/house/house.html)

Details for those curious

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18th October 2006

mostly dead, still slightly alive

I am never declaring a patient dead again. He/she can just be in the state of not-dead but not-living, forever.

From my attending: “This could get ugly so do not discuss anything further with [spouse] until we review the chart and talk to risk managament and medical examiner.”

Great. All from putting my little signature by the cause of death. Ain’t medicine grand.

They sure didn’t teach me any of this in med school.

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7th October 2006

Protected: the old jealous feeling

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30th September 2006


I’ve got that bleak, almost sick feeling to my stomach tonight. Guilt. About everything that I should have done with the accident yesterday and didn’t. Worry that it’s going to mess everything up with my insurance. Even though there’s nothing that I can do about it now, it still is making me ill.

Add to the fact that Chris now tells me that he’ll be gone 3-4 days of the week that I’m going home. He forgot when I was coming, even though I’ve told him every time I’ve talked to him the last month. Lonely. And Liz will be gone for a few days as well. I wonder why I’m even bothering going. I’ve been looking forward to this, forever, finally being home and with the people that I’ve missed and it’s not going to be anything.

New rotation tomorrow. ER. Haven’t exactly decided if I’m looking forward to it or not. Lots of days off. 8 hour shift work, both are pluses. But it’ll be busy and stressful. And right now, I’m just not wanting that.

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30th September 2006

crash into you

My day started off with a bang… literally.

I made the awful mistake of stopping for an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens going…. and the car behind me ploughed into me.

Don’t worry, I’m fine (although a little stiff and achy in the neck and shoulders) and my car is mostly as well. The lady who hit me was pissed that I stopped (horrors! how dare I obey the law!). I in turn was pretty upset with her as well, as I ended up spending my morning trying to track down police stations (I was in a different city than I thought. Don’t ask. It’s confusing), and then the afternoon calling my insurance. Not a pleasant start. I’m just so excited about the increased insurance premiums! And spending all of my free time getting estimates and filing traffic accidents.

Suffice it to say, it was a learning experience.

The rest of the day was pretty good. Well, seeing as three patients died (mostly expected, and it’s a good thing in all cases, to help the families say goodbye), probably good wouldn’t be the word you’d use to describe it, but I had a good time. It was my last day, though, the end of my ICU rotations, at least for a while and it was hard to say goodbye. My attending, the one I’ve worked the most with, and who I really admire for, told me I did an excellent job, and when I suggested that I was interested in doing ICU as a career, he did not heavily hint that I should pursue other ambitions. πŸ™‚

Now I think I’m going to take some ibuprofen, heat up my nice lavendar and flax heating bag and get some sleep.

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20th September 2006

loverly life

I think only doing one post a month like my last would be a good idea. That was hard work! But I am trying to get more into the creative writing again, and one of the books that I was reading suggested making your journal entries into stories. And I’m always amazed at the bloggers who manage to do just that (check out Barbados Butterfly, a surgical registrar from Australia as she tells the story of her early days in the residency. I wish I could write like that.)

My vacation has been wonderful so far. Alas, I am already halfway through my 9 days off, and I hate seeing the moments of time creep away. My best friend, Susan and her husband came and visited me over the weekend and we had so much fun. I showed off my little city, which they liked far more than Chicago (score for me!), and promised to come back and visit soon. We visited a bakery, which promised an elaborate tour and consisted of standing outside of a window, while a woman described what went on inside. It lasted 5 minutes. We also visited the Jelly Belly factory, which turned out to not so much be a factory, but a warehouse. The tour consisted of riding a train around the perimeter of the warehouse and watching a video. Even the promised giant jelly belly beans and the animated dancing jelly belly were less than advertised, and by that point, I was willing to accept mediocrity. But I did walk out with pounds of Jelly Flops, which made it all worth it.

It was wonderful being around Susan again. Since she moved to Illinois, our visits have been much more infrequent, and I have feared that the distance and time would have weakened our friendship (I keep meaning to do a longer post about me and my history to illuminate some of the reasons for my insecurities. Maybe that will become my next journal entry essay), but that hasn’t been the case. We manage to pick up right where we left off. We’ve both changed in the years–I’ve known her for nine years now, but we’re still as close. And it’s taken a few years, but her husband and I are pretty good friends now, too. πŸ™‚

I’ve missed her a lot today.

Today, I just lounged. I need to do laundry and dishes now and actually pack. Bah.

Tomorrow, I’m headed to Pennsylvania for the wedding of another best friend, Sam. I actually get to play bridesmaid–all of my other friends have married sans bridesmaids. *pout* I’m so excited. (The dress, btw, came back from the tailor. While it still isn’t perfect, it at least fits (mostly). Now to get the shawl to behave!) Quite a few of my wonderful friends will be there, Brooke, Liz, Laura, and it promises to be just like old times, before the boyfriends and husbands and children. I can’t wait!

And Monday, bright and early, I’ll return to work. I’m excited to be back to the NICU for one last week, but I can’t say that I’ve missed it at all this week. Maybe if the vacation had been longer…

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