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24th October 2008

PSA: for the sake of your teeth

About ten years ago, I started using an electric toothbrush. I haven’t had a cavity since. This is my story (hehe).

I haven’t been to the dentist for the last 2 (if I’m really honest with myself, it’s probably closer to 3) years. Inability to predict my availability plus an overwhelming dread (I have sensitive gums; poking them makes them hurt more) contributed to my procrastination, but I knew that I could put it off for no longer. Good dental health contributes to overall good health, and I’d like to keep my teeth well into my 90s. I may lose my red hair by the time I turn 35 (*cries*), but I refuse to lose my teeth as well. So this morning, blessed by a day free, I visited the dentist.

I had hardened plaque along my lower gums and some inflammation of my gums, secondary to the tartar as well as the popcorn kernel that got stuck from 2 weeks back (happens every time. You would think that I would learn better). But no cavities and the majority of my teeth did not require extensive scraping and cleaning. YAY!

On my call days, I often have to go more than 30 hours without brushing my teeth–it ensures that my patients wake up when I lean over them to listen to their hearts (kidding)–because I’ve been rushing from one place to another and literally did not have a three minute break. Sad, but true. Thanks to my electric toothbrush, it hasn’t had any meaningful damage on my pearly whites.

There you go, my testimonial to the power of the electric toothbrush. Personally, I’m a Braun holder with Oral B brush user. I don’t like the heads that had the “gum massage”; they ripped apart my gums, but other than that, I’ve been satisfied.

BTW, I’m also a fan of the ultrasonic technique for cleaning teeth. So much better than the old method with a metal scraper than invariably slipped and made my gums bleed. Going to the dentist was almost pleasant today.

(The following advertisement was not endorsed by Braun, Oral B, or any other dentistry affiliate. Rather it is the opinion of a rather odd girl who’s enthused about her clean and shiny, cavity-free smile)

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17th October 2008

For mom

Who couldn’t be here this week: a taste of Milwaukee in the fall.

More pictures can be seen here

Have I mentioned recently how much I love this city? And having a camera again? And autumn? And time off work? Bliss, I tell you, life is bliss.

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7th October 2008

Don’t know if you read this, but…

Happy Birthday, Karin!

Hope your day was devoid of annoying customers and homework and instead filled with chocolate. 🙂

Love, your sis

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7th October 2008

sing while you work. Or procrastinate as the case may be.

(The song was a random iTunes choice. Apt as always).

The list of things I need to do before Thursday at 3:

1. Wash clothes. I think I have 3 more batches to go.
2. Sweep and mop bathroom
3. Dishes. Lots of dishes
4. Arrange and organize all of the papers that I dragged into the living room to organize and arrange, oh 4 days ago
5. Clean my office/den. I can see carpet now!
6. Change sheets.
7. Wash sheets.
8. Buy bed.
9. Sweep and mop kitchen.
10. Replace chair/table sliders
11. Grocery shop.
12. Clean out my fridge so that the pregnant can actually hang out in my kitchen.
13. Look up other activities for weekend.
14. More and more autopsies.

So why exactly am I wasting time writing it all down rather than doing it?

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6th October 2008


The only thing worse than getting a flu shot, where my poor deltoid muscle develops a knot for days afterwards, is getting the flu. And boy, have I had the flu. Never again.

Not to mention that if I didn’t get the shot, my compassion and my professionalism would have been called into question:

“Remember getting your flu vaccine is important not only for your personal and family’s health, as someone at high risk because of your occupation, but also is important to your patients because of the risk of transmission from you to them, and as a matter of professionalism and courtesy to your colleagues who would have to cover for you if you are out sick because of the flu.” ~ Program Director.

Will do, sir.

BTW, the flu vaccine is now recommended to everybody, especially those with live with elderly people, or those with kids. The deltoid tenderness really isn’t that bad, I’m just a wimp. Promise. 🙂

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5th October 2008


Once, I danced. Mondays and Wednesday mornings. Thursdays at the Naval Science building. Saturdays at the Murray Arts Center. Beginning ballroom. Latin. Swing. My favorite was the Tango, the sultry dance where the movements came from the hips, the directions from the heart. I never was very good, my moves were too clunky and I never had enough trust in my partners to ever let go of control completely, but during the tango, I could close my eyes and pretend, for just a few minutes that I was a sexy, graceful dancer in the smoky streets of Argentina.

Yesterday, listening to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra perform the Bandoneón Concerto, I felt transported back to those days. The hum of the bandoneon (a modified accordion) blended with the violin and cello and occasional oboe and infused in my veins. My heart beat the time.

Today, I drove my friend to our bishop’s house for conference. He lamented that medical school had drained him from being an interesting person, that once he could socialize, converse on a variety of topics, entertain those around him, and now, he was an introvert, a shell of his former self. It’s true, I sympathized, running through the conversations that I had had with the various other medical students and residents that day. “Hi, how are you, what rotation are you on? Who are you working with? Getting any sleep? Had the day off today?” We ran through the conversations like robots, only venturing out on occasions to talk about something else. We had become absorbed into the culture of medicine that we have lost our personalities. I’ve managed to retain a little of my previous life, a play, a concert, a party here and there and thought until last night that I hadn’t done so poorly.

But, once, I danced.

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4th October 2008

Capital T that rhymes with P

Dear Boy,

It’s a super good thing that you are moving in a month, because you are trouble. Those laughing brown eyes and dimples are doing me in. Not to mention the fact that you sat next to me and laughed with me though all the performances, catching my eye, leaning over so I could hear you over the performers.

“What was your favorite part of the night?”

“You.” Heart stops. “Running up to the stage dancing.” *wink, broad smile* Heart sorta starts again.

Gah. Don’t. Need. This. You’re too good looking and have never paid any attention to me before two months ago and I know with certainty I am so not your type.

Probably didn’t help that Friend, who I adore but is somewhat crass and loud, leaned over to me and said (in tones I’m certain you didn’t even have to strain to hear) “How old is that hottie next to you?” If you could hear a blush, I’m sure that it would have drowned out a freight train.

Flirting with you was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. Promise me we’ll do it again on Sunday.


The other surreal experience tonight? Having one girl coming up to me, “do you know my brother Mike? He’s a nerd, well, I mean, he’s into computer I guess, I don’t really know. Anyway, he just wants to hang out. So can I give him your phone number?”

Me, staring at her: “Do you even know my phone number?”

“Your friend Sarah gave it to me.”

Sarah waves. “I thought you should have a good time.”

So apparently, Mike, whom I’ve never met before, is going to be giving me a call next week.

Next year, I’m taking to the stage. I think a little interpretive dance may be in order.

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3rd October 2008

Protected: after school special: now showing at the morgue

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2nd October 2008

damn yankees

You know what, there is bias in the media, an unfair slant. And it’s making me mad.

With one more loss to the Phillies, CC Sabathia and the Milwaukee Brewers will have all winter to rest.

First it was the coverage of the Mets and how the Mets “helped Brewers earn 1st playoff since 1982”. Um, no. The Brewers won without the Mets help, thank you very much. I don’t recall the Mets players throwing any pitches or hitting a ball in the name of the Brewers. And if the Mets had won, there would have been a playoff game. Then, you could argue that a Mets loss would have “helped the Brewers”.

And I seem to recall Ryan Baun’s grand slam 2 nights before, and nary a mention of it on the Yahoo Sports page.

And now this. Seriously, people, we’ve still got the fat lady and a game to go in home territory. The Brewers are notorious for the last minute saves. So don’t be writing them off yet, yanks, they may surprise you yet.

*wanders off grumbling*

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1st October 2008

teeth and brains

I made an appointment back in August to get my teeth cleaned tomorrow. This was the earliest date they had available. Neuropath is an easy rotation, was my thoughts. And if anything happens, my good buddy Prem will cover for me.

Alas for my poor-not-be-professionally-cleaned-and-detarred-for-two-years teeth, while neuropathology is an extremely easy rotation (I was done by noon today), Thursday’s is the busy day, with going to the VA in the morning and then to the medical examiner’s office in the afternoon and Prem, my back up plan, is not doing neuropath with me this month so he can’t back me up either. I will probably be done by 3, but not in time for my 2:15 appointment.

*sigh* My poor teeth. At this rate, they’re going to be rotted off by the time I can see a dentist.

In good news, I’m spending the month cutting up brains. Wow, have I forgotten a ton of anatomy. I’m going to have to study quite a bit. I rather enjoyed it; it reminded me of when I loved neurology so much that I would spend hours studying the material, drawing out the tracts and nuclei That seems like such a long time ago now. Brain tissue or at least fixed in formalin brain tissue, has a texture that is quite similar to mushrooms. The pathology resident and I were joking about how we felt we were in a cooking class.

Now, excuse me. I’m off to sleep so I can wake up in the morning and not embarrass myself by misidentifying the subthalamic nucleus 5 different times. Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it… yet.

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