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21st August 2011



1. I am exhausted and have a headache. I haven’t been sleeping well recently. I was on night float last week and did a really good job of switching my schedule to sleep during the day and be awake at night. I’m naturally more of a night-owl anyhow so that wasn’t difficult, but the converting back has been dreadful. Add in the stress of looming boards (Aug 24th, as in 2.5 days from now) and the house situation, yeah, insomnia and I are becoming good friends. It’s 19:30 now and I think I’m going to try to go to bed by 20:00.

2. I have 228 unread messages on my email. For those who understand the signficance: I miss you! [info]bjorks_defender has been making me feel all nostalgic and remembering LJ from 5-6 years ago and how much time I spent on here and how few are still around. I’m so glad that I’ve reconnected with [info]shirerain again and I’m going to try really, really hard to start writing here more often.

3. Did I mention that my test is on Wednesday? I’ve done pretty well studying over the last couple of months, getting in an hour or two after work. Haven’t been so good this week. Mostly because I’m emotionally and physically drained. I’ve been studying for the last year for this thing. I will never be able to differentiate between all of the different pulmonary fibrosis/interstitial pneumonias. I will probably miss most of the cardiology EKG questions because I will overlook a U wave or not see that the QRS is widened. I will probably give a patient methotrexate for the autoimmune disease and the answer will be to give the azathioprine. I will completely overlook that the kidney patient has Fabry’s disease or some form of renal acidosis (Type II or IV) and will diagnose them with Wegener’s or something like that.

In short, there is still a lot that I don’t know, it’s overwhelming. I have oncology and hematology left to review and then it will be trying to memorize a few tables and going over questions so that hopefully something will stick. The passing rate is about 85-90%, so I’m trying not to get too worked up, but there is still that possibility…

4. Adjustment to SF has been hard. My roommate and I get along pretty well and she moves in a couple of days, but because of work and board studying, I haven’t been able to see the city at all. I’m lonely, I miss my friends and my very comfortable lift back in Milwaukee so much. So much. I’m making “acquaintances” but things are different. Residency almost came with ready made friends – since we spent pretty much every waking (and sleeping) moment with each other, it didn’t take long before they were your best friends. Here, there’s a smaller number of fellows – there’s only 4 neuro critical care fellows total, and 2 are the year ahead of me and I’ve never even met them – and we’re all on different schedules and at different hospitals. I’m slowly getting to know a few people, but not enough to have somebody to go to the movies with or out to dinner or just wander the city. And I miss that.

I’ve also become somewhat agoraphobic and/or social phobic over the last several months. I’ve talked myself out of taking the bus to the movies or to the grocery store. I’m not sure why, the few times I’ve been out I’ve been safe, but I’m just so completely out of my element that I just cling to what is familiar. I felt the same when I was in the Netherlands and in Ireland that last day and I was all by myself: both times I could barely get myself to leave the room and see the city. In the Netherlands, I met sombody and we ended up spending the rest of the day with each other and it was fantastic. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t think I could do one of the “backpack trips across Europe” by myself – I need to have somebody else with me to share the experience. I’m trying to do better.

5. I made brown rice, black beans and corn for dinner tonight with a balsamic vinaigrette over it. It was not my best experimentation. It really needed cilantro and I didn’t have cilantro. The balsamic vinegar with raisins and mandarin oranges, chopped almonds and pecans topping that I made last week was incredible, however.

6. I go on “vacation” in 3.5 days, after I finish my test. So excited. I’m flying home to Utah, going see friends and family for a few days, go through all of my stuff that is being stored at my parent’s house and then driving back. It’ll be nice to spend almost a week in the same place. Then I work for a couple of days and that weekend, I fly to Phoenix to see my nephews. Who are adorable and are just waiting for their Auntie Julia to spoil them.

7. As of tomorrow morning, my house will be coming off the market and I am so sad about it. One viewing. I thought for sure somebody would fall in love with my house because it is perfect, but it didn’t happen (I thought for sure that someone would fall in love with me and that also hasn’t happened, so I probably should have had lower expectations). I’ve learned from this experience. One is that when I try to sell it again, I’m getting a different agent. I liked her – she’s the one who helped me buy the house in the first place, but she usually deals with more expensive homes and I don’t think really devoted her attention to my home. The pictures that were initially taken were awful (my roof looked like it had holes in it. The rooms looked dark and scary). And she never had an open house and it felt like I was doing all of the work trying to come up with creative ways to get it out there. So next time: new realtor with new perspectives.

I haven’t been able to talk to a rental manager (see #3 above – that’s sort of been my life), which of course is freaking me out, because I really have to get this house rented in the next month (preferably by September 1st). Thanks again for all of the advice and links, it’s given me a lot to think about!

And now it’s 8 and I still have dishes to do and bed is sounding like a really good idea.


This entry was posted on Sunday, August 21st, 2011 at 10:04 pm and is filed under Adventures in Home Ownership, All About Me. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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