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5th November 2014

polishing the old times

I had lunch with Chris yesterday. I think I mentioned in my sum-up post from January that he had gotten into the surgical critical care fellowship here. We don’t work together at all, although both of our ICUs are right next to each other due to ongoing hospital construction, so there is some hall passing on occasion. I was kinda looking forward to bossing him around. 😉

Things have changed in the 12 years since we’ve became friends. He got married (an event that still hurts to think about how much I was excluded). He has a 1 year old son. We went from seeing each other every single day for nearly 3 years to barely talking on the phone once a year (part of that was definitely me avoiding and licking wounds). So I was understandably nervous about having him in the same state again. Overall, it’s been nice.  I’ve been over to their house for dinner a couple of times and had lunch with Gretchen and Oliver once (a very brief meeting in the cafeteria, mostly spent in preventing a runaway). Chris and I meet for lunch a couple times a month, depending on our schedules. And there’s no denying that I have missed my friend. There are very few people who just understand me and unexpected hallway hugs after a tough family conference are just soul-saving and precious.

Anyway, he is currently interviewing for attending positions across the country. He interviewed at Utah and the interviews went well and they seemed to like each other. He’s got a potential interview here at OHSU. Both would really be a great start to his career with support for research.

His wife wants him to go back to Wisconsin and take a private practice job.

I wanted to laugh at him. Because I could have told him that he was going to get into this 5 years ago when they were in the middle of dating. She was saying then that she loved the idea of raising her family in Wisconsin, because that’s where her folks and her sisters lived, and that she was trying to convince him to not pursue public health because she didn’t want to raise her kids in a foreign country. She went to Boston because it was a short term gig. She came out here because it was only a year. He didn’t ask me then; I didn’t offer because  I like Gretchen quite a lot; she’s a heck of a lot more patient about some of his personality ticks than I am.

His marriage. He gets to have this fight. They’ll figure it out. I didn’t offer any advice, just listened. I don’t know what our friendship is going to look like in the future, but I’m glad for these few moments to connect again.

posted in All About Me, Chris | 0 Comments

12th May 2009

what a different some post-production editing can do

I went to see Chris this weekend. He moves in just a little over a month. I have so little time off between now and then, that I’m not sure if I will get to see him before he leaves. So I’ve been grabbing whatever chances I have, even if its just a short Sunday afternoon visit. We had lunch with his surgery colleagues, watched a movie (Kramer vs Kramer, which I had never seen. I think the movie’s overall story means less now than it did 25 years ago), looked at pictures from their trip to India, went for a walk, ate decent Mexican food, and just had a quiet visit. My favorite visits with my friends are exactly like this, being immersed in the mundane, everyday moments. Gretchen asked questions about life in medical school, and once I stopped teasing Chris about his “player” reputation, I struggled to answer them. The junior high-like sagas seem so surreal and so long ago, that it’s difficult to find the right words to convey why those events meant so much, changed so much. Without the fallout from Candice, without the literal shunning from that group so that Chris was the only one who talked to me for months, we wouldn’t have been as good of friends and in all likelihood, he’d be decorating my Facebook friend hall of fame, and not much else. Strange how little, stupid things like that can alter an entire life…

Anyway, I attempted to take pictures of Chris and Gretchen, capture them in tender moments. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be advertising my services any time soon as a professional photographer, as I completely forgot until after I had shot 5-6 pictures that I had adjusted the shutter speed to take pictures in the bright spring sunshine, which didn’t translate very well to florescent lighting. All of the pictures were crap. With the magic tools of photoshop, I did manage to salvage this:

and turn it into this:

Still grainy, but so much improved, I’m rather impressed with myself. 🙂 The others are completely worthless though.

A few other (entirely unedited) pictures from this weekend can be found here.

And now that my headache has finally dissipated, I am returning to bed. I do love the (very, very rare) rotations where coming in just before nine is perfectly reasonable.

posted in Chris, Friends, Photography, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 0 Comments

8th April 2009

budding neurologist

Today, I woke up and thought to myself that for the first time in almost three years, I like neurology again. I’ve taken care of some really interesting patients with diverse diseases; I’ve come up with diagnostics and differentials that my attending agreed with; and I had a chance to read so I was starting to feel like I understood the difference between polyradiculopathy and polyradiculoneuropathy (don’t ask). It didn’t hurt that we had maybe 1 consult a day, so I could really sit and think about my patients care.

Of course, right after I thought that, my pager went off nonstop all morning with new consults and complicated questions (as well as stupid questions), making me feel like a freshly chopped chicken and the love faded. It’s still there, dimly trying to stay alive. Who knows, if I manage to survive tomorrow and clinic, it might take up permanent lodging; that would be nice.

Other thing going on in my life:

  • I have just about caught up with all of the little requirements that residency piles on me. I completed the last of my dictations (it was nine months old, but, as I discovered when I dictated it, I had never even taken care of the patient and it really wasn’t my responsibility. So I suppose that evens out). I finished all of my evaluations. I’ve stayed caught up on my clinic notes (that will probably change tomorrow). So I’ve finally been able to concentrate on something else: my house. It’s been a disaster since January when I got sick for a month and was working close to the 80 hours/week limit. But this week, I went through all of the papers that I’ve collected and recycled three entire boxes of junk mail and have collected another 3 boxes of patient information that I need to bring back to the hospital for shredding. No wonder I felt like I was drowning. I’m focusing on the progress and ignoring for now the pile of dishes, the laundry that needs to be washed and all of the sweeping. All in due time.
  • My beloved mommy finished my Regency dress this weekend and mailed it on Monday. I hope to get it tomorrow. There will be pictures. 🙂
  • I had a fabulous weekend, visiting Chris and his friends. We went to the symphony (incredible pianist!) and out to eat and then made crepes the next morning as we watched Sicko. Three years ago, as a fresh idealistic medical student, the documentary might have inflamed me to action. Now, after experiencing the multiple complexities of the medical system, I am become more cynical about the likelihood of success with medical reform. Doesn’t mean that I don’t support efforts to do so, but I see much more of the pros and cons of all of the proposals. Surprisingly, Chris was as conservative about the movie’s premises as I; residency has changed him as well.
  • In any case, there is some pictorial documentation of the weekend at my Picasa site. It already hurts thinking how much I’m going to miss this.
  • I’m getting an elliptical machine and a bench press from my friend who is also moving away (*sniff*). I’m so excited to have my own little gym. Now, the bitter cold of Milwaukee won’t be an excuse to keep me from exercising AND I won’t have to endure endless ball games. As soon as my house is in order (I’m hoping this weekend) I’ll get to retrieve it.
  • It’s actually been really hard recently, thinking about all of the friends that are leaving this year. My medicine resident buddies are graduating and going on to fellowships and careers, leaving me behind for another two years.
  • I am trying to get the courage to buy tickets to visit Sam and her little one in New York over Memorial weekend. In New York. I start hyperventilating at the thought (serious phobia issues here!) but I think my love for baby Meghan’s poofy hair might win out over my fears. I may not see anything more than central park and in the inside of her apartment, and I may just be one quivering jellyfish the entire trip, but it’d be worth it. Right?

And that’s all folks. Tune in next time for another addition of Glimpses of Julia’s Oh So Boring Life.

posted in All About Me, Chris, Friends, Healthy Living, Resident Life, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 1 Comment

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