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4th February 2009

and I don’t look good in leggings

I haven’t quite known exactly what my mood has been recently. Having all of the free time has not exactly been conducive to actual productivity. I’m so worn out and tired and somewhat depressed (despondent, I think would be more apt) that I haven’t done much for the past couple of days, but laundry and watching YouTube movies (Groundhog’s Day on Feb 2, course, North & South yesterday, and Jane Eyre today). I did get my antenna and digital converter set up, but that’s hardly an achievement as I have a Christmas tree still up and scattered stuff everywhere and dishes in the sink. I’m frustrated, a deep soul restlessness type of feeling, which is hard to define and harder to shake.

Chris got his fellowship position. The ending to his personal statement must have been better than I thought (or else they overlooked that due to the rest of his impressive resume, which, since I also helped him put together looks pretty good) and he’ll be going to Boston in June. For 2 years. I’ll be done with residency by the time he gets back. So much for having my friend nearby. I’m an emotional schizophrenic, wavering between ecstatic happiness (Boston! I’ve never been to Boston (in the fall)! Atul Gawade! We did it!) and moroseness. Usually the happiness wins out; tonight…

There is sunshine ahead. A weekend with Susan and her babe in two days (really just one long call day). A week of vacationΒ  to Utah and Arizone in a month (I’ll be looking for tickets tomorrow). Presents from India. Glorious rays of sunshine. I just need to shake of the chill and clinging fog.

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1st February 2009

perfect month

When I was a little girl, I was a weird little girl, who scoured calenders and discovered that the magical month of February, so abused and maligned for its cold, frigid days and single-awareness event, had the potential of being a perfect month, filling equally every spot in a 4 week calendar in a beautiful rectangle when the 1st fell on a Sunday. I remember using my computer and plotting out which years this would happen. It was a rather rare occurance, because leap year would happen and mess everything up (stupid leap year) and honestly, I thought I would never see it; I’d be old and withered like when Halley’s comet comes again.

February 1998 was a perfect month. I was 19. Feburary 2009 is a perfect month. I am (appropriately, some would say) 11 years older now. And I still get just a little bit of a thrill seeing the calendar on the side of my blog that is a perfect 7X4 rectangle. I am not determined to fill up every single one of those squares with a perfect link. πŸ™‚ I told you I was a weird child.

***

I’m on call today, which so far hasn’t been bad. I even managed to slip in a nap; since I didn’t get to bed last night until 1 am (serious grousing over the single LDS male population here), it was needed. I’m back at the private hospital this month. I had forgotten its many quirks and frustrations, such as the complete incompetence to deal with neurological problems (it’s a sad state of affairs when I come here and feel like an expert) and the complete unwilliness to do anything without a bloody consult. There’s one episode that I’m still fuming about because it’s utter mismanagement of this patient and I am powerless to do anything. I hear bad-mouthing of academic centers all of the times because part of the care is given by relatively inexperienced interns and residents. True, but we have supervision by attendings who keep up on the research and for whom money is not the driving force. I’d rather receive care, any day, at a academic center.

*deep breath*

On the happy side of things, I get out most days by 1-2 pm and I usually sleep on call. Yay! Oh, cold, deceiving sun, how I have missed you! I have so many goals to achieve this month. Finally getting time to explore my camera a bit. Taking down my Christmas tree. Going to the gym (really don’t like my gym. It makes it difficult to get inspired to go there). Watercolor painting some of my photos. Sew my regency era dress. Clean my kitchen. Do my taxes. Study for the neurology in-training exam (that probably ought to be the number one priority, but somehow it’s not). There’s no way everything getting done, but it is awfully nice to have the extra time that I can dream about filling.

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16th January 2009

what a week.

I am so glad it’s Friday. I’m on call tonight, which means that I can avoid the freezing cold weather for 30 hours. By the time I’m released, the weather forecasts that it’s going to be a balmy 20 degrees. I may not even need the extra layer of sweats over my pants tomorrow!

I overslept this morning, arrived to the hospital an hour late. I tend to be chronically on the “a little late” side, but it’s been a long time since I actually slept through my alarm clock and awoke in a panic. It didn’t help that it now takes an additional ten minutes in the morning to get ready with having to blow dry my hair and put on the three extra layers of clothing.

It’s been absolutely insane around here. On Tuesday, I received 4 different pages from my program director; I was post call and blissfully slept through them and didn’t get them until the next morning, where I found out that unless my clinic notes were completed ASAP, I was going to be put on suspension. I didn’t think I had that many open (I had had 31 last week, I worked on a bunch, was down to 27 and of those 10 of them I had finished and was just waiting for the attending to finish their part). But it was apparently too many and I was in trouble. So, I spent most of Wednesday night, any free time on Thursday and all morning getting all of the notes done and sent on to the attendings. They’re all done, but it was a massive devotion of time, and now I’m behind in discharge summaries and other stuff. It never ends.

Project number two on top of this was helping Chris out by massively editing/revising a personal statement. He found this absolutely amazing research fellowship to apply to, run by no other than Dr. Atul Gawande, my hero. It’s always a time-consuming project editing his papers. He tends to think and write in fragments, forgetting all of those lovely linking thoughts and words to keep everything running smoothly. I tend to be a much more verbous writer, which he doesn’t like, so edits often go back and forth several times before we’re satisfied. Unfortunately because we now are residents and have no free time, we didn’t have a lot of time to work on it. He sent it off yesterday and I still wasn’t entirely satisfied with the conclusion and felt that there were other areas that could have used polishing, but oh well. He’s promised me a great gift from India (he’s going in two weeks) as payment and if he gets it, I’m definitely using my vacation time to try to stalk meet Dr. Gawande.

Reason number three it’s been insane: I started my medicine clinics this week. It’s going to be a good change. I really like the attending that I’m working with; we’ve worked together on the wards last year and while he’s intense and sometimes difficult to read, he’s also a great teacher. He loves to do procedures and he believes in taking full ownership of the patients–no referrals out unless it’s absolutely important, which I love. He spent 15 years doing medicine in Nepal which probably explains some of his attitudes. Yesterday was a little bit frustrating; new department, new way of doing things, feeling a little bit like a medical student again, but I’m sure it’ll get better.

I’ve still got a lingering sore throat and my fellow has now developed a cold as well and I’m sure, infected me again. Sometimes I hate evidenced based medicine: I know very well that antibiotics are not going to help, but I’m just so tired of the dwindles.

I’m giving a talk in church on Sunday, on self-reliance. When he asked me, Bishop said that I was an “ideal” person to give it, that was before the above trouble, I guess. I’ve lived here two and half years and they finally managed to catch me with a Sunday that I was free and not post-call; actually I haven’t spoken in church since 2001, right after the terriorists attacks, eight years is a pretty good record! The VA blocks access to the LDS website, but I’ve managed to circumvent that; I just can’t print anything off which is great for the environment but not so good for my preparation. I’m more than a little nervous…

So to sum up: I’m hectically busy (I’ve just admitted another two patients so I have to rush away to finish their orders). Mom, I got your email, will look for the package, a few oranges sound nice but would probably freeze before I could eat them. Becks, here’s the update on my life. Barbara: I did get your Christmas card! Thanks! Still haven’t made it to the post office, but hopefully will next week, maybe a Christmas card for Easter. Ellie: I’m so glad you wrote! Please tell me more on how you’re doing. And to everybody else: hi! I’ll hopefully get to talk to you later.

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8th January 2009

Shhh

I figured out how to access LJ here at work! Yay!

Wow, has it been a busy two weeks. I’m back over at the VA on the cardiology service and there hasn’t been a quiet day yet. We’re just slammed with patients, the entire hospital is, really, all of these people who decided that they’d just stick it out for the holidays and now are coming in with raging pneumonias and cellulitis, and more pertinent for me with chest pain or florrid congestive heart failure. I admit virtually every day, on call (the 30 hour stretch) every 4th night and for the vast majority of the last two weeks, I’ve carried most of the team as well as most of the ICU patients because none of my patients could be discharged home and just kept adding up.. The call nights have been long so far. I’m not quite to the “neurology call night” busy level, which is the definition of a busy night.

Worse, I’ve still been sick. Had a sore throat every day for over a week. Make that two weeks. This morning, I woke up without a sore throat and was so excited… only to have it return this afternoon. If it’s still here by the time I go home tomorrow, I’ll have one of my coworkers write me a prescription. Nice knowing those in power. πŸ™‚

My fellow just left for the evening. As he was walking out the door, he spouted off last minute reminders of tests that needed to be ordered or checked up on and then, he bolted back to ask me if I was “single, married, children?” Bizarre.

I have the whole weekend off. It’s going to be bliss.

I never made it to the post office to get stamps and mail off Christmas cards. Would you all still want them now? Every year, I swear I’m going to get them off and every year, I forget that I work beyond the hours that the post office is open. *sigh*

I know that there have been several emails, voicemails, telegraphs that I have missed and am behind in responding to and for that I beg your forgiveness and patience. I’m also behind on 8 discharge summaries, 2 dictations, 6 evaluations (from October) and 31 one clinic charts. I’m failing everybody right now and just trying to stay above water.

Anyway, I’m off to order dinner (frozen custard, snickers flavored. And something else), but just wanted to check in and let every one I’m alive. πŸ™‚

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21st December 2008

*sob*

Winter and I are not friends this year. Not only did I spend hours on Friday shoveling my car out and snowblowing my paths, it then snows another five inches and has blown for the past 24 hours to the point I can’t see any of the sidewalks anymore. I have to be up at 6 tomorrow to give myself time to shovel again before work.

Susan posted about the ball and all of the fun that she had on her blog. Isn’t she beautiful? I’m still very wistful at the lost opportunity.

My weekend wasn’t that bad. Erica came over yesterday, we did some last minute shopping at Target, got some yummy noodles and then sat down to watch the 5 hour version of Pride and Prejudice (swoon). I wrote out some of my Christmas cards (they’ll probably be mailed on Tuesday, so won’t be arriving until after Christmas) and then tried to piece together the pattern I had bought for the dress. Since it was a last minute decision, I had bought the pattern online as an instant downloaded pdf, which I then printed out to tape together. It was a nightmare getting everything straight and aligned and in the end, not only did I discover that the last row had gotten off alignment, I had only printed off the pattern for skirt– I still had the entire bodice pattern to tape together. At this point, we finished the movie and ran to Walmart to buy the commercialized version. Much easier to deal with.

I’ve since washed the fabric and poured over the instructions. Tomorrow (after work) I hope to start on the bodice toile: cut out the pieces for the bodice lining and fit it to the right size. It’s going to be hard doing it without an assistant to pin but I haven’t found anybody here who had a mother who insisted that they learn to sew as I had (I appreciate it, Mom).

I’m glad that I switched patterns, by the way. The original pattern sized up by 2 sizes from what I normally wear; it was quite distressing. The new pattern is more accurate.

I’ve been really getting into sewing and quilting blogs recently. Two of my favorites are actually surgeons: Suture for a Living and The Stitching Surgeon. Both of theirs tend to showcase their creations rather than providing tips or patterns, but it certainly has hit that little creative bug that has been dormant since high school.

And now I’m off to bed. 6 is going to be coming very very early.

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16th December 2008

Oh, I love a ball!

I’m in such a tizzy. If you’ll remember, in my last entry, I mentioned that I am going to a Christmas ball. With English country dancing like this:

I’ve been very excited since I heard about the possiblity of a ball, but I had mostly reined it in. Until Susan posted on her blog about how excited she was and how she was thinking about trying to shop for a new dress for the occasion, which of course set me off looking for regency gown patterns all afternoon while I waited for ABGs and EKGs for my sort-of-sick-but-not-really patient. And I found a darling pattern that doesn’t seem like too much trouble if we keep things simple. Short sleeves. No overdress or stays or chemise this time.

Susan’s going to try to recruit some of her friends to help her out down there. If they can, then hopefully she’ll work on her dress this week. I’ll buy material tomorrow for mine, cut it out here and we’ll sew it when I arrive on Friday/Saturday (I’m unfortunately on call Thursday night, so won’t be able to work on it. Unless I drag along my sewing machine, which will just taunt the powers that be to send me every crashing patient in the state. No thanks). We’ve had to sacrifice the opera to make it work, but if I have a ball gown to make up for it? Totally worth it.

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14th December 2008

Reason for the season

I’m spending Christmas here in Milwaukee this year. I’ve got Christmas day off, but have to work Christmas Eve and am on call the next day, so travel was out of the question and having family come out here is ridiculous. So I’m having my own celebrations. This weekend, I’m driving down to Illinois to see Susan and her family; Suz and I are not only going to see the Metropolitan Opera, we’re going to a English Country Christmas Ball, where we’re going to learn how to dance like a Jane Austen character. Susan states that there were a few cute, single gentleman at the previous dance, so I am very eagerly awaiting the festivities. *SQUEE* So much fun. I may have to break out the satin gloves.

On Christmas, another friend, who is also geographically family-less, is planning to come over for a mini Christmas celebration with present opening and a yummy breakfast. I haven’t decided what yet, but pumpkin pie is somehow going to be involved. The afternoon will either be spent at one of the nursing homes with people who haven’t family (I see so many of them in the hospital; they break my heart) or serving somewhere; I feel somewhat anxious in the need to be there for someone who is also lonely this Christmas. There is so much need in the world but I’m trying to do the pitifully little that I can. I’m listening to the Christmas devotional and have been so touched by Pres. Monson’s talk:

The message from Jesus has been the same. As we follow in His steps today, as we emulate his example, we will have opportunities to bless the lives of others. Jesus invites us to give of ourselves. “Behold the Lord requireth the heart and an open mind.” Our opportunities are indeed limitless, but they are perishable. There are hearts to gladden, there are kind words to say, there are gifts to be given, there are deeds to be done, there are souls to be saved. Is there someone for whom you should provide service this Christmas? Is there one who awaits your visit? … During this season, hearts that are confined reach out and long for a Christmas visit…

There is yet time this year to extend a helping hand, a loving heart, and a willing spirit. In other words, to follow the example set by our Savior and to serve as he would have us serve.

I think the anticipation of the coming weeks is going to be my saving grace. I’m beyond burnt out. I worked 11 hours today; I went to work early so that I could get done in time for church, because it was the Christmas program and ending up not leaving until after five p.m. I feel like I’m living the subtitle of Doctor Strangelove: “How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.” Hysteria is shortly to follow, I’m certain.

My holiday cards have been delayed until later this week, so if you’d like to get on the bandwagon, there’s still time. Email me with your address. πŸ™‚

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13th December 2008

holiday cheer

I took over 150 pictures of the ward Christmas part tonight. Probably 120 of them are crap, but it was fun playing around with the flash and ISO and driving other people nuts. I just love it so much.

It’s raining right now. Earlier today, I had to wear an extra sweater because it was so cold. Supposedly it’s suppose to get warm up to 50 tomorrow and then down below freezing the next day. Makw up your mind, Wisconsin weather!

I have to be to work at 6ish tomorrow morning so I can be done and be to church on time as it’s the Christmas program. My microwave heat bag has just finished getting warm and I’m ready for bed. πŸ™‚ I do love these cozy winter nights.

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10th December 2008

exhausted

I’m so tired, physically, emotionally, that as soon as I finish typing this, I’m going to bed.

I’m hoping that the extra sleep will make tomorrow go by a little easier. I got extremely emotional about a patient and the unreasonable stubbornness and stupid surgical pride of his attending today and just about lost it. I’m just frustrated because the family members have expressed their wishes and the patient’s wishes, but because the attending differs, well, then. The attending’s ego will be bruised for a days, but it’s the family who will have to live with the consequences and it infuriates me.

I’m not sure if critical care is for me. And for entirely different reasons than when I first started this month.

***

My christmas cards are going out this weekend, so if you want one, send me your address at jcd1013@gmail.com or reply to this post.

***

Also, I think I left my half-eaten burrito on the back of my car. Poor little burrito…

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7th December 2008

O tannebaum!

I bought a Christmas tree!! It’s fake and cheap and sparse on the full, fluffy branches, but hey, Charlie Brown loved his little tree and I’m rather fond of mine. I gave in to my inner desires and bought all purple and silver ornaments. With the ornaments up, it doesn’t look too bare. My friend Erika came over tonight; we assembled the tree and arranged ornaments and topped the evening off with hot apple cider.

It also gave me a chance to play around a bit with my camera. Still learning (Erika performed in her church today and I brought my camera and took fuzzy photo after fuzzy photo. It was only afterward that I discovered that the lens was in manual focus mode), but I’m so overwhelmingly in love with the pictures that I’m getting already.

From Christmas

(Click for the other pictures of my tree)

Rounding at seven tomorrow morning, which means I have to have my patients seen by then. So I guess it’s goodnight!

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6th December 2008

clueless socialite

After moping today for being left out of activities and gatherings, I realized this evening that not only had I forgotten about the formal masquerade ball tonight (some of my friends were really excited about it; I’ve already attempted to get all of the guys involved to dance before and was much more realistic), I completely and totally spaced my friend’s Christmas party on Tuesday. I did nothing that night, just went to bed early. I feel absolutely horrible.

I did get to see a few hours of sun this afternoon, finishing work a couple hours earlier (it’s hard not to get cranky when you woke up at 6 with the thought of getting done early and your fellow announces at noon as you’re putting the finishing touches on the sign out sheet that your patient needs a central line (he didn’t) and he expected you to do it) and took the opportunity to play around with my camera a little bit. The problem with getting a new camera in December is that there isn’t a lot of varied scenery to shoot. Snow. And more snow. I still haven’t done much more beyond the automatic settings, but that will come. Some pictures will be forth coming. πŸ™‚

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29th November 2008

christmas greed

It’s probably a sad reflection on my priorities when I tell you that the only Christmas shopping that I’ve done has been for me.

But that’s only because I’ve been saving up to buy this for months now, and researched every price available and when I saw the bargain price, I couldn’t resist.

Yes, I bought my camera.

Isn’t it pretty? I found it at a reputable dealer online for over $250 dollars off the suggested retail price with the two lens that I wanted. I haven’t found a better price in the months that I have been saving my pennies. I’m still sort of hyperventilating from the purchase; even though it was a steal, I never make frivolous purchases, but I know once my hands are on it, that will pass. I can’t wait to try it out!

(Psst, for those who might be interested, I bought mine at Adorama. They have other kits there of the Nikon cameras that are a steal as well.)

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28th November 2008

Protected: Christmas cards

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28th November 2008

Gray Friday

*grumble grumble*

My chief resident sent out the holiday schedule earlier this week, so we would know who was covering each service and could plan our time better. I noticed that I wasn’t listed to work at all until Sunday, which I knew wasn’t right. We have 4 days off a month, and my four days are later. Because I know from personal experience how overwhelming the neuro ICU can be on the weekend (splitting 12-16 patients between 2 people is hard enough; when they’re sick enough to be in the NICU, it can take you a half hour to just gather information on each one, much less actually see them) and since that’s the service that I now belong to, I decided to do the morally right thing. Instead of sleeping in and going out to shop* for Christmas presents and a Christmas tree, I went to work. We were promised that even though it wasn’t an official holiday per the hospital, the neurology department was still treating it as such and therefore only needed to be there until approximately 12-1pm. Half days are so deliciously refreshing (sun! air! couch!) that they almost feel like a full day off.

I was done with everything by 1:30. I had admitted a new patient, talked the plan over with the fellow, written orders, confirmed results from the consult services, rechecked labs, finished notes and updated the signout sheet. And my fellow wouldn’t let me go. First, it was making sure the radiology would do the study we needed. Then it was signing out to the resident who was on call that day. Then it was waiting for the fellow who was going to start on the service starting that day; he was supposed to show up at 3, he didn’t arrive until almost 4. Then it was the back and forth decision of whether or not to place a central line in our new patient (patient left for the above study, removing that decision). Finally, both of the fellows left, leaving me to go around and write all of the orders that they had decided were suddenly needed.

I finished at 5:30 pm. Happy holiday to me.

(Did anybody understand the above paragraphs? I swear I really wasn’t trying to be cryptic.)

This is an important month for me. I love neuro critical care. I love the complexities of patients broken down into easily managed systems. I like the procedures (even though it’s been over a year since I did a central line or an art line. At one time I liked them). I like that it’s evidenced based. I just don’t know if I like it enough to do another 2 years of fellowship. More years of training, with long hours and which would require starting to do research now so I have a resume that looks impressive. And I don’t like research. All for a career that will always be demanding and time-consuming and I don’t know if I have the physical or emotional endurance for a lifetime of being an intensivist. I’ve been trying to make up my mind about this for months, mulling over both sides and never quite getting to a decision that felt right. So I’ve given myself this month to figure it out.

*Actually, after the news of the worker getting trampled to death at the Wal-Mart in Long Island, I’ve decided to continue my tradition of avoiding shopping on Black Friday, permanently. Because, that’s insane.

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15th November 2008

weekend fun

I just got home. I left my house at 10:30 this morning and just got home. Most of the time was spent chatting with my girl friends, eating yummy noodles and sampling chocolates. Just the way a Saturday should be spent.

Now that’s how a weekend should be. πŸ™‚

I did almost contemplate going Christmas shopping today, to beat the rush, but since everything is going to have to be shipped this year any how, I wisely talked myself out that. I am thinking seriously about a Christmas tree, though, and can’t decide whether real or fake is the way to go. I love the smell of real ones, but I don’t have a stand, or a tree apron and I’m not sure that I’m the most reliable one in terms of watering the poor thing. I had a fake tree for a couple of years in SLC and enjoyed it, but left it behind when I moved.

I also really want holly around my house. I’ve never been able to find “boughs of holly” before but figured that it was because Utah was much too desert like to support its growth. Sadly, I’ve been unable to locate any here either.

And I think I just beat my midnight bell toll. This post won’t be turning into a pumpkin after all!

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14th November 2008

Happyness, the pursuit of

I am in a really happy mood right now.

All of the patients for clinic this afternoon showed up early and since I was gone to the neurology business meeting for lunch, by the time I came back they had all been seen (or not shown up) and my attending basically waved me away. A whole afternoon off. I love this rotation!

I finally got the bookcase and water bottles out of my car. Yeah for better gas mileage! Tomorrow I’m vacuuming the entire thing out and washing the windshield. Baby’s gonna sparkle.

I got more leaves swept (gutters are still full).

Chris just called, he’s got the weekend off and I’m going to Madison on Sunday to see him! I need to find someone to teach my sunday school class (anybody itching to discuss the law of chastity to a bunch of single adults? Yeah, didn’t think so), but that should be the only glitch. I haven’t seen him for more than a few, brief hours in months, so I’m really excited about the prospect of an entire day. I’ll get to see his new apartment, eat some kind of exotic food and just catch up.

I am relishing the thought of sleeping in tomorrow.

I had pumpkin frozen custard last night, which was phenomenal. THis really is the best time of year, ever.

In just a week, Susan and her family are coming for a weekend visit. Suz and I are going to the opera! And then we’re having an early Thanksgiving/birthday celebration with lots of mashed potations and pumpkin pie.

I’m doing great with my NaBloPoMo goals, haven’t missed a day yet. How are you guys; I hope I’m not boring you all too much! (I have noticed that as my posting has increased, the blogging of many of my friends has decreased… Hmm. A scientific correlation, perhaps?). NaNoWriMo has, as expected, fallen drastically short of the mark, but I’ve really come a long way in brainstorming ideas and plots and characters so it might be something that I can continue to pursue.

And to top it all off, there’s this:


I love Doctor Who and can’t wait for Christmas. πŸ˜€

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14th September 2008

i love weekends

I have had a fabulous weekend. It’s been so refreshing and relaxing that it almost feels like I had the entire weekend off, instead of just Saturday.

Friday, I came home post call and packed for the “girls only” camping trip. It was one of my friend’s 30th birthday, so to celebrate, we decided to go camping. Yay! I’ve been wanting to go camping all summer long but have been thwarted over and over again by forgetting tents, threatening rain and long work hours. The weather didn’t look promising, but I was naive enough to believe the forecast of “20% chance” of rain. It started raining before we were even on our way. There went those plans. Instead, we went to my friend’s mother’s house, and sat under her car port, grilling our tin-foil dinners (seriously, tin foil asparagus is the most incredible food ever), and basking in the glow of the fire pit (I’m more determined than ever to get one). Afterwards, we all came back to my house and had a sleep over; my upstairs room almost looks like an oversized tent and everybody fit perfectly. We stayed up late talking (well, they did. I crashed early. 2 hours of sleep in 40 hours does not a coherent Julia make) and in the morning consumed pancakes (cooking tip: the addition of vanilla, cinnamon and cardamon makes a fantastic pancake). I haven’t had so much fun in a really long time.

After they all left, I decided to take advantage of my one day off and went over to Home Depot to research more about garage doors. The contractor was busy with another customer, and I got impatient waiting, so just as I was about to decide to leave and just order the darn thing online, one of the other sales associates stopped me. He listened to my rambling complaints of what was wrong with my door and felt that the door and opener were not the problem, that likely I needed some lubrication and new wheels as they get worn out.

I attempted to install the wheels yesterday and I think I’ve figured out the whole problem. It’s doesn’t even seem to be worn out wheels. The tracks were entirely caked in about 6 layers of grease and grim and the bottom part has rusted and the wheels were in a similar state (I don’t think those wheels have made actually contact with the tract in years, hence, there is barely a sign of wear on them, once you remove some of the grime).

I spent all day yesterday getting as much off as I could with a combination of paper towels, knife, fingernails (they could angle the best. I chopped them all off afterwards), and finally, dish soap (didn’t work so well). There’s still at least one multiple layers, but it’s already running just a little bit smoother. I just need to find a really good grease solvent to cut through the rest of it (any ideas???), and then lub it up good with some WD-40, and I think I’m set! YAY! You have no idea how much of a relief this is, this possibility that I might not have to replace my garage door. Of course, I still might have to actually replace the tracks if the rust at the bottom is worse than my original glance-over, but my bishop’s wife has recommended an independent contractor who is reasonable, so I might be able to get that done for a quarter of what I originally predicted. SWEET.

Afterwards, I cleaned up and went over to my neurology program director’s home for dinner which was nice. Everybody brought their kids, there was more food than imaginable (we have a rather large mix of vegetarians, meat consumers, Muslims observing Ramadan, etc). And then after that, I went to my friend Laura’s birthday party. She decided that she wanted to do a sing-a-long party, so we all got together and sang “The Music Man.” Yep, you read that right. We are such nerds. I haven’t seen it since high school at least; I remember most of the lyrics.

This morning, I rounded on all of our patients. We’ve cut the number patients down a lot, which made for easy rounds so I actually was able to make it to church for the first time in three weeks. And then I came home, ready to make potato soup for our on-call pot luck tomorrow, but I’m missing several ingredients, so instead I’m heading to the grocery store bright and early, chopping the vegetables and bringing it all to work so that it can cook in the crockpot all afternoon. Yummy.

And, I’ve figured out most of the problems with my from-scratch blog. It should be up and running in a couple more days. I’m so excited for its unveiling.

This week will be busy. I’m on call tomorrow and Friday. Saturday, I’ve invited my entire church over for a party. *boggles* Not sure exactly what possessed me to agree to host a party when I’m post call and sleep-deprived but there it is. It’s going to be fun, with a firepit in the backyard with camping chairs around and white Christmas lights on the fence, music in the front room, games and instruments downstairs, more games upstairs and tons of food. Luckily, I have the day off on Thursday to clean and all of my friends are coming over Friday when I’m at work to set up, so I don’t have to do that; hopefully, all I’ll have to do on Saturday is nap, take a shower and put on clean clothes and greet the guests.

Okay, I’m off to bed. Gotta get those veggies in the morning. πŸ™‚

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15th November 2006

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28th November 2005

Interview fun continued or The Reason for Discontention

This day hasn’t been the most pleasant, I must say.

I’m interviewing the New York this coming week. In fact, for the past few weeks, I’ve had three interviews scheduled on Friday. One in Buffalo for a Med/Neuro position–but I wasn’t sure how much I liked their program, one in Rochester in Medicine in hopes to convince them to create a combination program just for me (I am so optimistic). And the last, for Medicine in Stony Brook, NY. I also have an interview schedule in Neuro on Monday in Stony Brook (from now on, SB)–they have a combination program, and they are the ones who are the cause of all of my problems. A couple of weeks ago, I scheduled the SB medicine interview, and then called the neuro program to confirm with them that I was scheduled. The program coordinator seemed surprised when I told her that I had scheduled the medicine interview–because she had apparently arranged for me to meet with the medicine people on Monday. Perfect!

Rochester wrote me and told me that they couldn’t do a combination program. Fine. I canceled the interviews with both Neuro (I was supposed to be there today) and Medicine there, did a little more research on the Buffalo program, decided that it wouldn’t hurt if I interviewed there, confirmed my interview, and bought tickets Saturday night. (Follow the story so far?)

Today, of course, I get an email from the Neuro person at Stony Brook saying that I needed to interview with the Medicine program separately after all. And of course, the medicine department no longer has ANY available dates to interview. And my tickets are nonrefundable/nontransferable. Lovely.

I hate it when things just fall apart. HATE IT.

It’s put me in a mild despondent mood today, where I’ve had little motivation for anything.

There. There’s my gripe for today. I’m done now.

I’m getting ready to teach first years the physical exam. We had a review today and someof it has definitely become routine–but there’s parts to the physical exam that I haven’t done in ages and still find difficult. The thyroid exam. Percussing the lungs, etc. You start to rely on lab values and chest xrays, it’s sad. Hopefully, I won’t look like too much of an idiot. I remember being a first year and absolutely in awe of how much the fourth years knew… Perspective.

I’ve been locating my Christmas music collection–I removed it from my computer because I had sooo much. It’s making me teary–there is some gorgeous music out there that never fails to make me emotional. I get very irritated listening to Christmas music on the radio–mostly because it’s that pop crap or worse, oversentimental (does The Christmas Shoes play on your radio stations? If not, you’re lucky! There’s not another song on the planet that can get me out of the Christmas mood faster), but there’s so much that’s good. Expect a Christmas music sharing post from me in the future!

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25th December 2003

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas every one!

I’ve had a pretty good Christmas so far. Came home with my sisters (there are 3 of us). Since we graduated and moved out, Christmas has become more and more lax. We haven’t had a Christmas tree in three years. And while I still get presents from my parents, they haven’t been wrapped in years. This year, the sole decoration was a needlepointed pillow of a snow scene that my mom picked up at Walmart. Yeah. I think my parents are waiting for grandkids to get excited about the holidays again–they’ve got a wait yet, I think.

My sister gave me the Evanesence CD (finally), so I wonder what I’m listening to now?? πŸ™‚ A lot of their songs start sounding the same, but wow, their lyrics are amazing. And I still get emotional listening to “My Immortal.” At least now, I don’t have to flip through radio stations in the hopes of catching it–I was getting really tired of all the cheesy Christmas songs. The worst of the all: “The Christmas Shoes.” Maybe it only plays here in Utah (if so, count your lucky stars), but I’ve never heard such a sacchrine, “manipulate your heart-strings” song. I told my sister that and made her change the station driving home, and now, I’ve been labeled Scrooge. It’s a badge I’ll proudly wear if it means that I never have to hear that song again.

Passed all of my classes, don’t know how. Sometimes I swear, I’m receiving the grades for the guy ahead of me in the alphabet. We start again on the 5th, not as much time off as I want, but I’ll have more off in March. When I get back, I’ll find out my rotation schedule for next year. Chris (my study partner and best friend) spent two days figuring out how the lottery system works and how to get the schedule that we want. I front-heavied everything, putting my hardest rotations, like surgery and ob-gyn at the front of the year, and then psych and peds later. I don’t know if that was wise, but I freak myself out just thinking about how hard next year is going to be, so I thought that maybe making it hard at the beginning, when I’m more motivated and they’ll be more lenant if you don’t know as much. I’m going to be such a little ignoramious… Only seven months more….

I’m heading to Arizona for the rest of Christmas break. Visiting family, spend a little time in the sun. It should be fun. I’m bringing along my writing notebook and hopefully, I’ll have a chapter to post on Like Never Before when I get back. I’ve got a whole collection of drabbles that I’ll be adding soon for GG, I’m excited. I did them around themes this time, and I’m experimenting with writing humorous ones–probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

It’s nice having absolutely nothing to do, and getting to do what I want… I wish it could be Christmas all the time.

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      When I was cleaning up the cross-post yesterday, because the wordpress plug-in I use always leaves all of these spaces between each paragraph, I accidentally clicked on one of the tag links on the side bar. Liz. My old college friend and roommate. Two posts down, I noticed that I had said something about how […]