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28th August 2006

these elusive posts

I haven’t posted much this last month, have I?

It’s been a hard month in ways that have been difficult to put down on paper (er, virtual paper). Work has been overwhelming, in many ways. New hospital, new system, new attendings, new colleagues, and new service, as I’ve been working as a neurology resident this month, rather than medicine. Calls have been hard. Every fourth night, up all night, getting paged on three different pagers all at the same time over and over and over. Having an extremely busy service, which means less time to study and learn, so that I felt even more stupid than usual. Being 2 years since my last neurology rotation, so even though once upon a time, I actually knew this stuff inside and out, it’s gone now.

My first call night, I seriously reconsidered my decision to do neurology and internal medicine. Hated neuro, loathed the call, but I survived it.

I’ve had that thought a half dozen times now, and it hasn’t necessarily been a light hearted “I wonder if” kinda of thought. It’s been the “I wonder if I go and talk to the director, I can get out of this” kind of thought. It’s probably due to exhaustion. But I’m facing a 5 year stent of exhaustion and if I can’t handle the first months…

I’ve persevered and have decided that I definitely need more exposure (and rotations with a different resident, because I think my senior resident tainted my perspective) before really making the decision. But it’s never a good thing to find yourself in the middle of a life crisis–in the middle of responsibilities with no place to run.

And I don’t mean to suggest that all is bad. Far from it, I’ve had some excellent days. I have great patients right now and I’ve discovered that I still love wokring in the ICU and the ICU especially seems like the perfect place to combine neuro and medicine in the ways that I want… It’s more the thought of surviving the neuro residency which is much more overwhelming than I thought it was going to be. I was on call last night… we admitted 4 patients, had 3 consults (other services wanting our opinion on their patients), saw another patient and transferred them to another service, and admitted another to the NICU (neuro ICU). On top of this, I was taking calls from patients of the neuro attendings (who don’t have a freaking answering service, so it’s the extremely ignorant interns like myself who are fending calls on very complex patients), and managing the 30 or so patients on the floor and ICU. I’m getting more used to it, and I had an excellent resident to work with, who really made my workload easier. But I still filled up 2 of the 3 pagers, one of them I had to clean off twice.

Next month will be better. I’ll be solely in the NICU (part of the problem with this month is that the first part of the month I spent in the ICU and the second part I’ve been on the general neuro team. And they both require some adjustment!), and I won’t be taking call. AND, I have most weekends off. AND I have a week of vacation (9 days straight). Maybe that’s why I keep thinking it’s September, because, I really, really, really want it to be.

On a completely different subject…

I’m really in the mood for a layout change to my LJ. After seeing juno_magic‘s incredible lovely layout, mine has looked blah and uninteresting. But I don’t have time to (re)learn the CSS code and play with it, or design the background (still wanting Anne, just don’t know which one. Collage of Anne and Diana? Pretty PEI pictures? Mushy Anne/Gilbert? Autumn themed to get me in the mood?), which leaves me in this state of perpetual longing and frustration that I can’t figure it out. *sigh* Maybe that will be one of my vacation goals.

My raspberry bush is getting a second batch of fruit! Yay! I had fresh raspberries every day for the month of July, I hope that this batch last as long. Have I mentioned that it was the raspberry bush that convinced me that this place was supposed to be mine? It is such a delight to go out and pick the berries and plop them in my mouth–and then smile condescending to the poor saps in the grocery store who are paying $4 a carton for not as good berries (of course, when you think of it, I paid a LOT more for the privilege of mine, but I think there are other perks with my purchase. 🙂 ) Next year, I’ll be planting strawberries, I do hope they do as well.

Anybody out there who has a webcam? And uses a PC? I’m trying to see if iChat will allow me to webcam with someone who isn’t using iChat, but still is on AIM. If you do and would be willing to experiment, let me know. Chris is talking about getting one and I gotta make sure that if he did, I could actually talk with him.

I’m needing a new computer. My dear Flower Power iMAc has been a faithful companion for five years now, but I’ve filled up just about all of the memory and she is starting to creak–I can’t burn CDs any more, except at a snail’s pace, web browsing is slow, etc. It’s also becoming an issue of incompatibility–the Internal Medicine dept. gave me a Pocket PC that is virtually useless, because I can’t get it to synch with my computer and unfortunately, the hospital is all PC based, and so I haven’t been able to access some programs that I had hoped to. I’ve been strongly tempted to get a MacBookPro, which would solve all of those issues with the duel boot capabilities, but it’s so expensive and I’d be saving my pennies for a long time before I could afford it. A little iBook I could get now and would for the most part do just great. Decisions, decisions.

And I think that’s the end of the update with my boring little life. Hope all is going well with you. I’ve missed my interactions with you, the little chats and mingling of our lives. You are all in my thoughts.


Online Friendship

The true friends who we meet online
are a very special kind
They pierce your shields and see within
the corners of your mind
They’re always there when you’re in need
with their power to discern
They feel your pain………..they offer hope
and genuine concern
We bare our souls, expose our hearts
and show our inner fears
and then before you know it
the keyboard’s stained with tears
And if we could see them through that screen
then no one could deny
that to be a TRUE online friend
they too must surely cry.

~Author Unknown~

(A wee bit sappy, but I had to share. And the sentiments apply to my RL friends, which I hope they know.)

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18th August 2006

breathe in the night, let it know just who you are

It’s kinda pathetic when the best music station on the radio is the local NPR station. They seem to be the only one who’s playing something besides hiphop or punk or bubblegum pop or worse, 80s music. I listen to NPR every morning on my way to work, so I discovered quite inadvertently that every night, they host “Cafe Tonight” where they feature local artists, plus a wide variety of alternative, acousitc bands. Just my type.

For example, tonight, through “Cafe Tonight”, I discovered that Carbon Leaf released a new album on Sept. 12th (yes, i squeed) and already I’m in love with it. Especially “Under the Wire.” Too bad it’s not on iTunes yet… I can’t decide whether I should wait to see if iTunes picks it up or just buy it on Amazon.

Carbon Leaf also played tonight in Chicago. I may have been tempted to tackle the big city had I known. Instead, I did have a good evening, hanging out with a couple of other interns. I’m trying to get a social life, so I’ll have something to talk about when I call people or update LJ. I guess talking about my patients gets a little wearisome after a while.

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13th August 2006


Today I went to Berlin, London, Norway, Denmark and Belgium! And I gained a new state, Michigan, for my visited state map, leaving only 19 to go! Wow! Very good work for a day off!

I have the whole weekend off, in fact, and was going to spend it camping… but I was post call yesterday, and came home to take a nap, and didn’t wake up until 11:30 at night, and then slept in again today. So I took off today, drove through northern Wisconsin and Michigan, but I couldn’t find a campground that was further than 10 feet from the highway, so ended up just driving back. Kind of disappointing, especially when I was so looking forward to being away from the city, where I’d have a chance to see the meteor shower. I stopped a couple of times on the way home but it was too cloudy/foggy to see anything. It was so nice to get away, to just drive and not think about anything. I had my first “made on a farm” Wisconsin cheese and saw the Packers stadium and had a picnic by a waterfall.

I understand now why they are called “golden weekends”, these precious, rare two-days-together-off. I’m already getting sad at the mere thought that i have to go back on Monday…

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