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19th December 2007

No cooking goddess here…

So the reason that there hasn’t been updates on the glorious Indian food was because it was a little bit of a bust. I realized that I didn’t have yogurt, ended up borrowing sour cream instead, and then discovered I was out of lemon juice as well. πŸ™ So no tikka masala. πŸ™ I was really disappointed as the recipe looks fantastically good.

I did try the recipe for Chicken Saag, and it was…disappointing. It was a lot better than my previous disaster with the laab (ugh, just the word brings back memories of the taste, yuck, yuck, yuck), as it was edible and not bad tasting; it just didn’t taste anything like the saag I’ve had in the past. I’ve just found another recipe that is a slightly different variation, so maybe I’ll try it again some time and provide the recipe them. I don’t suppose my family is going to be adventurous enough to try my attempts at making exotic take out. Yeah, I didn’t think so.

I’m packing up and getting ready to go home tomorrow. I am so excited for a vacation, to be free of work, of responsibility, of patient calls, of 30 hour work days for 15 days straight. It’s going to be lovely. I’ve taken it pretty easy these last few days, though, and that’s been nice. On Monday, I decided that sitting behind someone while they flipped through hundreds and hundreds of MRI images was not a productive way for me to learn as I was fighting sleep every day and it was BORING, so I took a reading day and reviewed neuroanatomy. Once upon a time, I was awesome with the anatomy, now, not so much. It was really great–I need more of those.

Yesterday, after getting home post call, I slept a bit and then went shopping. I have almost all of my Christmas shopping done. I did end up splurging slightly for myself, but hey, I figure I’ve got to play the role of boyfriend in my life sometimes.

Today was spent in a frantic frenzy as I woke up to do some packing before going to work and discovering that I had no idea where my iPod was. None. And the last clear recollection of using it was back at Thanksgiving. So I tore apart my house and car, went to work and tore apart the clinic, the resident room, the work room, asked all of the staff in the unit and on the neurology floors and nobody could recall seeing it in the last 2-3 weeks. Security didn’t have it. Etc. Etc. Etc. I was quite sick. So I came home early, pulled out my backpack to put in all of the work stuff I have to bring with me, and there it was in the front pocket. Much relief, as I was getting quite tired of my forgetful irresponsibility that has been the theme for the last 2 weeks.

And now it is time to mark a few other things off my “to do” list. Like do laundry and actually buy my bus ticket for tomorrow. You know, the little, not important things, that’s all.

I’M ON VACATION!!!

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18th December 2007

feels like college again

I used to do this at least every weekend, staying up 3 or 4 watching X-Files. Season 8 is on right now, the finale if I remember right. Still don’t like Monica Reyes, had forgotten about all of the “Christ child” metaphors that they piled on in this season (wow, did they over do it. There is such a thing as subtlety, Chris Carter). I’ve lost the desensization that I had once upon a time, as I’m on the couch freaking out even though I know everybody survives and it’s going to be okay. Big wimp, that’s me.

I should go to bed, try to catch a few hours of sleep, as the ER for the moment is quiet, I’m caught up on my notes and my patients are tucked in, without pain or complaint. But I’ll be done early in the morning and for a moment, I’m enjoying feeling young and carefree again.

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17th December 2007

countdown

Last neuro call for 3 months!!!

Vacation in 2 days!!!

I can do this!

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17th December 2007

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15th December 2007

ginamak be warned – I may steal your husband

Because if all of his recipes are this good, wow, I want him around.

My mouth watered last week over ginamak‘s description of the dinner that her husband made for her of a spinach/feta cheese omelet. She graciously provided the recipe, I finally gathered the ingredients and WOWZA. Talk about amazing.

Because I want to be as desired, I’m providing you all with the recipe (and my variations). Steal me away!

1 package frozen spinach
Sliced and diced fresh mushrooms (a handful per omelet)
1 cube of feta cheese
Eggs (3 per omelet)
Milk (1/4 cup or so per omelet)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
A dash of oregano
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Pinenuts (optional although so tasty, they shouldn’t be)

Cook the frozen spinach as to the package directions. While cooking, slice mushrooms and crumble feta cheese into large chunks. Once spinach is cooked, drain and squeeze well. Saute mushrooms for 1-2 minutes or until they start to soften and change color and then remove from pan.

Whip eggs and milk together until slightly froathy, then fold in spinach and mushrooms. Add garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pour on half of hot skillet, cook for a minute, then rotate pan so egg mixture drains to other side. Cook until bubbly. Work spatula around cooked omelet and flip. Crumble cheese on egg and fold in half. Allow to finish cooking and serve, sprinkled with pinenuts. Keep napkin close by for drool.

****
In other cooking news (what have I become? A domestic goddess? A food blog???) I have finally tracked down all of the ingredients to make Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Saab and the leftover spinach is perfect for that. So tomorrow, it’s Indian day. YUM YUM YUM.

(Don’t worry, I’ll be providing recipes.)

ETA: Should I be ambition enough to try naan? Never have done bread before…

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10th December 2007

bored, bored, bored

It’s nice to know some things never change.

I started a new rotation today (*sniff, sniff* Bye, bye NICU). Neuroradiology, or the reading of CT scan and MRI scans of the brain and spine. I slept in until 7:30 this morning, arrived at 8:30 this morning, an hour and a half later than what I’ve been used to, and was still a half hour early. And I was fighting falling asleep all morning and all afternoon. Just like old times. You put me in a darkened room, and it’s like a Pavlov dog experiment; I instantly want to sleep, no matter how much sleep I’ve had the night before. Exacerbate that by the fact that I’m not doing ANYTHING except looking over the shoulders of the radiologists as they look at every image and it’s pretty tortuous. I mean, I realize that space is limited, but this would be such a better experience if they’d at least allow me to look over the scans beforehand and point out whatever abnormalities I’ve noticed. Since I overread (look over every scan without relying on what the radiologist says is wrong) every single scan that I get on my patients, I’m not completely clueless. I may not know exactly where the cingulate gyrus or the corona radialis are, but I’m getting there. This is just painful.

I’m almost looking forward to clinic tomorrow (almost, people, the world hasn’t completely ended), just so I can get some action. I had been rather upset that because of the call schedule (only 2 more calls! Whee!) and when I start vacation, I’m only there for about 6 days, but man, that’s not such a bad thing anymore.

I’ve been distracting myself with lists of things I need to buy. Today it was groceries (I apparently didn’t have vanilla. How did I not have vanilla?). Tomorrow, it’ll be Christmas presents. So family members, if you rather not have something inspired by MRIs, you’d better speak now (although, fam, I SO WANT THIS).

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9th December 2007

Food! Glorious food!

And on the seventh day, Julia maketh french toast for dinner. With eggs and evaporated milk and pumpkin spice and fluffy white bread. And lo, it was good. And her mouth did agree. Insomuch as she maketh more french toast, this time with raspberry jam. And it was very very good.

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8th December 2007

Proud mama…

Introducing my new baby,

Came into the world at 39 pounds and after a few hiccuping cries, roared to life and is already spurting snow like it was creamed peas.

Mama’s very happy.

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5th December 2007

Top Ten Reasons I love being Mormon

So Mitt Romney, Presidential candidate extraordinare, is giving a speech tomorrow to address his Mormon faith. Which is all good and everything, except it’s going to be so serious and “all about family” and how “we’re just like everybody else”. And I gotta say, being Mormon has some quirks and perks that are just unbeatable.

10. Funeral potatoes and frog-eyed salad. At every wedding, funeral, relief society function. They make the world awesome. *ignores the other staple of lime jello with carrots*

9. Single wards. Been part of them for 10 years now. They’re like bars for hookups, only without the gross drunken come-ons, and you don’t have to do the “left hand search.”

8. Mo Tab (aka Mormon Tabernacle Choir). People flock to see them like they’re a rock band.

7. Sen. Harry Reid. The Senate Majority Leader is a democratic Mormon. How awesome is that! I wish he was running for president, then I might actually have somebody to vote for.

6. Napoleon Dynamite. Except for Borat, there ain’t a more (annoyingly) quotable movie around. Gosh!

5. Garments. Not only do I never have to worry about the butt wedgies anymore, I’ve got an extra layer of clothing to keep me warm in the frigid Midwestern winters.

4. Ken Jennings. Yes, it was annoying that he won over and over again. But you know that in your heart of hearts, you were cheering him on. Now he keeps a blog and he’s seriously nerdy and funny. And smart. Does your religion have Ken Jennings? I didn’t think so.

3. Mormon movies. No, not the recent travesties such as The Singles Ward and sequels/prequels. We’re talking the 70s and 80s Church approved videos. Especially worth checking out are the annual classics, Nora’s Christmas Gift and Mr. Kroeger’s Christmas (Jimmy Stewart’s last performance, I’ll have you know). Also highly recommended: Pioneers in Petticoats, a good moralistic commentary on immodesty that will warm your feministic-hardened heart. Lastly, I defy you to find better entertainment than Johnny Lingo and his eight cow wife.

2. President Gordon B. Hinckley. For being 96 years old, he is amazingly spry and witty. I’m such a fangirl ( did I tell you about the time I got to shake his hand?) and I wanna be old like him.

1. The horns really come in handy. As do the multiple wives.

***

I’m really get tried of shoveling snow post call. I’m already done with winter.

My annual review went well. Only one mention about my conference attendance, which I did get to defend myself about. Overall, they’re not threatening to kick me out of the program. But I gotta finish my license application or I’m going to be in serious trouble.

Call was so busy for the first part of the night. We went from 1 patient yesterday morning to 7 this morning. But I got to do two subclavian central lines last night, which was the first time I’ve done a subclavian. I find them much more terrifying than internal jugular lines because there’s lungs and a big fat artery that I risk hitting. No complications this time.

And now to bed.

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4th December 2007

be careful

Seriously, Julia, next time you bemoan having only 1 patient, recall the afternoon of December 4th when you admitted 3 patients to the ICU within a half hour. Remember me, Future Julia.

Another long call night awaits…

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3rd December 2007

lazy days

I woke up late for this morning. I was so exhausted after my shoveling efforts that when I finally went to bed (Erika invited me over for dinner and to decorate her Christmas tree. We watched Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 version of course) and ate really really good food. Worth being extra tired), I slept through both of my alarm clocks and woke up at 7:30. I should have been to work at 7. Big, big oops. I threw clothes on and threw myself out the door. WIth teeth unbrushed and hair that had not been washed for two days (remember, I was post call yesterday). Ugh. I managed to snag one of the cheap disposable toothbrushes provided for the patients (I don’t know why more of our patients don’t leave AMA after we give them those toothbrushes! My gums hurt so badly!) so I didn’t overwhelm those in close vicinity. But I still felt gross.

Luckily, we had 1 patient that we had admitted overnight, and didn’t round until after 9. After I discharged home that one guy, I slipped away and took a shower in the residents’ call rooms, and felt so much better. But seriously, having time to take a shower on an ICU rotation?!? Something is extremely wrong with that scenario! I got all but 1 of my 15 dictations done, though, so that’s also good. I have my semiannual review tomorrow with my program directors, so at least I’ve minimized the chastisement on that. We’ll see about the clinic notes and lecture attendance!

Of course, I’m on call again tomorrow. Of the 11 Tuesdays since I got on the neuro rotations in October, I’ve been on call for 8 of them. Never mind that there are at least 6 other juniors taking call each month. Don’t know whether I should bring this up at my interview tomorrow, as it is ultimately the chief resident’s responsibility to make the schedule, but this is definitely a good portion of why I’ve been less than happy on neuro.

On the bright side, I have the next 6 weekends off! That’s something to look forward to!

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3rd December 2007

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2nd December 2007

ouchie

Shoveling snow is bad enough. But shoveling snow post-call after it snowed, then rained this morning, then froze this afternoon was torture. Now my hip and shoulder are killing me.

Anybody wanna play Santa Claus and provide me a snow blower?

I’m doing a week in the NICU (neuro ICU) with my favorite attending. Yay! But we have no patients. None. There is one patient in the ICU. One, and it’s a not even a real patient, just a consult from the neurosurgery service. *sigh* While I do enjoy a lighter service and more free time (guess I’d better catch up on all of my dictations, eh?), I rather not have those times be on rotations that I really enjoy and where I really need to hone my skills. If I do decide that critical care medicine is what I want to do, which more and more seems likely, then I’d like to be competent enough at lines that I can do them without assistance. And I’d really really really like to be able to do an intubation or two. And a Swan Ganz.

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1st December 2007

Protected: not fair

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12th November 2007

flirt flirt flirt

Highlights of my weekend:

  • Getting lost in a town of about 2000 people. Three times. (Even funnier is the fact that I got lost in the same town two months ago when I went to the medicine retreat).
  • Arriving (finally) at the cabin, and realizing that David (aka DateBoy) was there who I hadn’t seen/talked to since the date. He jumped up to talk to me very shortly afterwards. Very cute. I think there were some pretty intense eye connections during the weekend. *squashes optimism*
  • Jared (in the middle of a conversation with two other people): “You look really cute today. That outfit, your hair, the glasses… yeah.”
    Me (staring and blushing, because yes, this is the same Jared: Um, thanks *am lame*

  • The first five minutes of Transformers. Which as a movie, is almost as lame as me. πŸ™‚ *pounds down optimism*
  • Aaron has the prettiest teeth.
  • Tramping out into the woods to star gaze with Tracy and Jonathan.
  • Pajamas and gossip while lying in sleeping bags. Haven’t done that since girls camp.
  • Early morning walk, kicking the leaves and enjoying the sunshine as it filtered through the trees. It may have only been 100 yards from the freeway, surrounded by summer homes, but at least I could pretend that I was in “nature.”
  • The best breakfast I’ve ever had. The eggs! *mouth waters*
  • A rambling but short walk in the woods with David who referred to our date a total of three different times. Because of that, I asked him over for Thanksgiving dinner, which may or may not happen. *stomps on optimism*
  • Giggling, laughing bonding with some of the most wonderful people around. I love my ward!

(For a glimpse of the weekend, see here. There may or may not be photographic evidence of my date.)

****
The other highlights of my weekend included being on call. With a migraine so severe that I almost started vomiting during a physical exam. Luckily, I managed to get some tylenol, ibuprofen and aleve AND take a short nap at 9 pm (until one of the patients decided to develop a heart attack and demand my attention). The night was busier and I only got another hour of sleep, but at least I wasn’t overwhelmed. It was manageable. I like manageable.

Oh, and I bought new curtains for my living room, a dark red that is thin enough to allow the summer light through, but thick enough for privacy. Once the room gets painted on Saturday, I think it’s going to be gorgeous. I’m so excited.

And I got new pants. That too is very exciting.

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8th November 2007

seriously

Life has been super busy and super boring. I think it’s all because super cute intern has moved on to greener pastures and I’m mourning. πŸ™ While it may not have been true love, it was definitely TrueLust and made the entire month survivable and entertaining. The intern who replaced him is a girl and therefore not interesting.

CuteIntern’s facebook profile reads this: “Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act.” Soulmates. Srsly. (Or not).

In more news, I have not talked to DateBoy since said date. I’m thinking about calling DateBoy and inviting him to my house for Thanksgiving dinner, which may be the most forward thing I’ve ever done. Or not, because I keep changing my mind.

I’ve put on weight this month because of all of the stress. And the easily available candy at the nurses station. I haven’t worked out in a month. So much for the plan to be down ten pounds for Christmas, so I could finally, finally have a vacation without my mother mentioning how unhealthy I look.

I’ve had some very difficult patients that I’ve had to deal with that have sucked compassion out of me. I’ve realized that I hate treating migraines. But to make up for it, I’ve had 3 of the loveliest patients, including two who have made a romantic out of me again, because they (and their spouses) have proved that true love really exists.

My next day off is Thanksgiving, which happens to be my birthday. I haven’t had a day off since the 28th of last month. I get four days off in a row to make up for it. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to come back.

I’ve been on call every Tuesday except one since the last week in September. Tuesday is clinic day, which means I have to see all of my patients before 8. Since I really shouldn’t be in before 7 (therefore, having enough time to go to noon conference the next day and not break the ACGME 30 hour rules), it makes the morning incredibly hectic. What makes them even more fun: all of those Tuesdays, except for one, my team has been post call. So I have to hurry through clinic (where I always get behind), race through lunch, so that I can go upstairs and admit the 3 ER patients, learn about the NICU transfers, follow up on the stuff that the other intern wasn’t able to complete, write my own patient notes that I didn’t get to do in the morning, discharge the half dozen patients of the intern’s (because my patients are all rocks which I collect) and then start getting pages every 30 seconds on 3 different pagers. Yeah, I loathe Tuesdays. Only a year left of clinic!

The best part: I’m still on call every Tuesday until the middle of December. And every weekend except Thanksgiving.

I’m still trying to remember why I loved neurology. I think I need to see David Renner when I go home so that I can be reminded. It’s probably pathetic that when prospective interns come and interview here, I end up gushing about Utah more than the program here.

Susan and Bobby and Allison are coming for Thanksgiving. I’ll be cooking something delicious, I hope. Should I ask DateBoy or is that really weird? I think I need more furniture if I do.

I spent the evening reading old Gilmore Girls fanfiction. Mostly general stuff, featuring townies, and it made me realize once again what a brilliant, wonderful show it once was.

I’m going to the opera next week with two of my girlfriends, Kristen and Erika. The Merry Widow. I was very excited when I first heard about it, because from the radio ads, it sounded like it was the translation that I fell in love with in high school. Alas, my sleuthing has proven that it is not so (although I think it’ll be better than the San Francisco version), but I’m still ecstatic about it. I’m dressing up. I can’t wait.

I’m also having a painting party involving my living room next week as well right before the opera. Need to clean the place before before then, I think. And I need to buy paint. And moth balls.

I’m totally addicted to this blog and have wasted away more of my evening reading her archives and laughing so hard I almost started vomiting.

I’m going to be 29 in 2 weeks. And I think that’s enough to stop any more random musings.

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7th November 2007

too personal

I’m so sorry. I forgot.

You were such an enigma of symptoms that I got caught up in working you up, and then when it took me so long to get all of the different consult teams involved, it almost became a comedy of errors when I came to see you in the morning. “Sorry, Radiology thinks we need to get this one test, Surgeon X thinks that it’s too small to biopsy, Team Y doesn’t think it’s anything serious.” I was so excited when I got the right people to see you, the right consult, the right tests. Things came together. I got the tissue and sent it off to pathology and was excited when finally, after weeks of uncertainty, I had the diagnosis.

Melanoma. Finally, I could call in that last consult to hematology/oncology and start you on the right treatments. Until I realized. Metastatic melanoma. Stage IV. There were no treatments that could cure you. You, young and healthy, you are going to die and I can’t do anything to change that.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell you that you are going to die. I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell you that there isn’t a cure. I know that I failed you as your doctor by being less than honest, by leaving that task to the cancer doctors. I couldn’t do it, because I had already sat in the team room and cried and there was no way that I could maintain composure if I had been the one to say the words. I’m sorry, because suddenly this was personal and all I can think of is the two little kids you’ll leave behind and the fact that with your limited days, you had to spend too many of them in the hospital, waiting for us to do the detective work and I had been so flippant and rushed in my morning assessment that I forgot that we are human and frail. Maybe that’s the hardest part of all.

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30th October 2007

i’m nice when i have sleep

Dear Program Director:

Please accept my apologies. Had not realized that page was sent to all of us loser residents and was not meant to be a chastisement, rather a reminder that 6 months to complete a note might be a little lengthy. I concur and will do better. Feel properly remorsed for little tantrum yesterday. No hard feelings.

XOXO,
Your Resident

On call today and for the first time in the entire month, the service is quiet. The NICU patients are stable (sick but stable, that’s a first), I’ve discharged all but one of my patients, I am only a few dictations behind, I managed to see almost all of my clinic patients (and if I had had someone to staff with on time, I could have seen them all) and I haven’t had an acute stroke (yet). Rather amazing that. It’s incredible what a better day today is compared to yesterda,y just because I could finally get some of my work done. And because work has now blocked Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Facebook, I’m almost bored. But LJ still works (ha!) so that’s something. So I’m perusing my friendslist and looking at the newish Doctor Who promos, and I’ve forgotten how much I love wasting time.

Tonight looks like a night where I might be able to get a few hour of sleep. I love those call nights and I think, after the last few calls I’ve had, I deserve it.

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29th October 2007

Protected: open letter

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25th October 2007

just gotta

Gotta love the 13 hour days. When we don’t round until almost 6 pm, and I’m still so far behind that I’m just finishing the admission note for the 8 o’clock (am) stroke. When Cointern takes the day off. And senior resident is post call. And there are four strokes within a hour of each other, with just me to see them.

Things did get better, two of the neurology residents stepped in and admitted two of the patients (*loves*) and I did manage to see all of my patients by the time we rounded, so I guess I should be proud of that *snort*. But I never got lunch (and I only had orange juice and Saltine crackers for breakfast) and I missed the “interview” dinner where we take out the potential residents…free food, love it. That’s probably a good thing, because I am so tired and so frustrated and so ready to be done that I might have painted an overly negative view of the program and then nobody would want to come here which would create more work for me.

And now I’m scrounging up a frozen dinner and climbing into bed, because if I don’t get more sleep tonight, I will start crying tomorrow.

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      It’s Day 6 since I was diagnosed/day 7 and a half since I first started getting the first hint of symptoms. I am feeling better, so much better. I started feeling dramatically better on Thursday, after I took the 3rd dose of Paxlovid. Fevers stopped, congestion improved. The sore throat has completely gone this morning […]