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28th March 2009

-blows off dust-

Mom has a lists of blogs from family members that she follows on a regular basis. I don’t think she’s quite ready to tackle blogging herself (I can set you up if you are, Mom!) but she enjoys staying involved in the lives of family who live far away. Of course, that doesn’t work very well when the blogs don’t get updated. My sister updated her blog Feb 18 (even though she had plenty exciting news to tell), my cousins the early part of March, and me, well, I haven’t updated this since March 1. So much for my goals of writing about Tolkien.

Thanks to Mom’s persistent pestering, you now all get to hear about my very busy life.

The first part of March, I actually went on vacation. As a resident, I get 4 weeks of vacation a year (which I have to plan out a year in advance. I also have to plan out my 4-days-off-a-month 3 months in advance, which makes spontaneous outings nigh unto impossible) and I haven’t had any vacation since October. I was pretty ready for some time off, believe me.
cut to be nice to your bandwidth! Click to read and see more!

posted in All About Me, Family, Photography, Social Life, Those Rare Days Off | 3 Comments

9th February 2009

Mark it on the calendar

I’m no good at secrets. Keeping secrets, oh I’m good at that. There’s no HIPAA compliance issues with me. But my own secrets always seem to fall flat on execution.

The last time I went home (or was it the time before?), I tried to surprise people with my arrival. Liz, of course, had to be told that I was coming so she could pick me up, but then Laura found out so I didn’t get to see her shocked face when I showed up on her doorstep demanding a place to sleep, and since nobody else knew I was coming, everybody had made plans and I barely got to see anybody. Very disappointing. Not this time. I’m announcing it from rooftops.

I’m going to be in SLC on March 6 and flying to Phoenix on the 12th for a few days before I head back home again. And I want to see people and party as only we 30-year-olds-with-kids-and/or-careers can do. Monday afternoon/night looks like the best night for me. It’s the perfect idea for FHE anyway: to spend time with the Plethora family. Laura will have just given birth, so I can’t commandeer her home as usual. Anybody else want to host?

It is nice to have something to look forward to. I’m not looking forward to the $15 a leg checked luggage fee and I have to say, while the price of gasoline has gone down, the price for plane tickets certainly hasn’t.

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7th February 2009

Photographic evidence

Thousand words right here.

From Visit with Susan

I’ve taken over 210 pictures in the last day. Mostly of the baby, who moves very fast and doesn’t trust me (I rather startled her this morning when she walked into the bedroom and found me instead of her mother), so there are a lot of blurred, blank stares. I promise that she does smile very becomingly at her parents who dote on her. There should be no question in this child’s mind of how loved she is. I’m going to try to experiment with family photos (and maybe repeat “engagement photos” with Suz and I. It’s been 7 years now, we’re due for another set) tomorrow. I can’t wait!

The day’s events included waking up to a breakfast of crepes, playing with the baby, going to eat at a Thai restaurant, where the mild green curry was definitely not mild, visiting every single Asian market in the area (4) looking for masaman curry paste (every store had a different fish odor), napping, eating homemade vindaloo curry and chocolate chip cookies, and going to the model airplane show, where I got even more blurry pictures (see the above masterpiece). Maybe I’ve a future in abstract art? There is a surprising number of middle-aged men who are into model airplanes, I was hoping for a slightly younger crowd. Had fantasies of meeting eyes across the controls and I’d become a airplane junkie, traveling the model airplane circuit in support of my special someone (kidding, just kidding).

Now, Suz and I are sitting next to each other on the couch, each blogging about our day. 🙂 For my part, it’s been just about perfect. Even the weather warmed up into the high 50s (luckily, since I accidentally left my winter coat at home) and has been gorgeous. Can I stay here forever, please?

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19th January 2009

just a little homesick

Flaming Gorge

There are times when I get really, really homesick. Usually it’s when I’m tired of dealing with the layers of responsibility and the daily rush, rush, rush. Today is one of those. I’m getting claustrophobic again, when I get need to get out of the city and breath fresh air and not be around anybody for a few hours. Growing up in a town of 250 people was in many ways difficult, but I do miss the slower pace of life and the solitude.

(Not my picture. Stolen from here which has some absolutely lovely pictures of Utah. This is not five miles from where I grew up.)

***

My talk went well, by the way. I didn’t get nearly enough time to prepare and had my usual pages of random quotes that I shuffled around (I’ve gotten quite good at reading out of the corner of my eye since I started teaching Sunday school), but I did have a good opening, I made people laugh and I didn’t lose my place too many times. I even used last week’s horribleness as a object lesson as how one ought not to be the foolish virgin. Hopefully the next time I speak in church (which I doubt, now that I’m back on the radar, will be another 7 years), I’ll remember this lesson.

And I’m done with all of my clinic notes. This week will still be busy as I have to finish the discharge summaries that I neglected last week, but it should definitely be better. I’m on call tomorrow; guess that probably means I should be getting to bed, eh?

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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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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. 🙂

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12th December 2008

thousand words

From flowers

To my anonymous friend, a thousand thanks! The box labeled the bouquet as “Winter Cheer” and it certainly did that. I don’t think this smile has left my face all evening. What a wonderful surprise! I think I was even more touched to realize that the gift was because somebody had read my entry from a couple of weeks ago and decided to help make a wish come true. You all are amazing and I am so grateful to have such loving, wonderful people in my life.

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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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8th December 2008

elephants in the room

From white elephant FHE

I love white elephant gift parties. I gave away a stuffed whale and got this loot instead. The sword came in handy when Jared stole the Bop! magazine from me. It had pictures of Hanson in it! *pout*

Imagine my delight when I discovered that not only did I get a sword, but a DVD of Bonanza and postcards of painted cow statues! Wow!

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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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2nd December 2008

100 Things

Felt like wasting time. I have to go to bed now, because I’m on call yet again tomorrow, and am still feeling sleep deprived and we’re rounding early. (As an aside, it is supposed to snow all day tomorrow, meaning I have to dig myself out again post-call before I can sleep. And more head traumas as people slide on slick roads which translates to more 4 am consults from neurosurgery when they decide that they don’t want to operate after all with means less sleep. Am somewhat bitter at Mother Nature who is not doing a great job of nurturing right now.)

1. Started your own blog (I have several right now. Most are just mirrors of my original livejournal, but I do have my own that will be revealed officially to the public as soon as WP 2.7 is released and working properly).
2. Slept under the stars (Several times)
3. Played in a band (I jammed with my 8th grade guitar class but I don’t think we ever made a band)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
Read more

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1st December 2008

death warmed over

I think I hate post-calls days more after each one. Busy day yesterday, I finished with all of my work around midnight and then had to wait to talk to a family about next plans of action and didn’t actually get to bed until around 2. I had a couple hours of fragmented sleep, but then was awoken at 4 for a consult and that was it: just enough to trigger a migraine, making me sick the remainder of the morning. I actually was so sick and so tired I went downstairs and slept in the call room for an hour before slogging home. There, thankfully, wasn’t much snow but it was enough that the snow plow has blocked me from entering my garage and the wind has picked up creating large snow drifts. So I’m parked out front and I’m going to bed. I’ll deal with the snow later.

BTW, I think all attendings should be flogged if they engage in petty pimping sessions when you’re post call. Exactly what is my tired, overworked brain supposed to be learning in that situation??

Goodnight all.

ETA: Some people write “drunk entries”, I write “post-call” entries. I think the misspellings are the same in both. Oi. 🙂

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27th November 2008

Thanksgiving

I went to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. When I called her yesterday to confirm, she mentioned that there was not going to be any pumpkin pie served. No pie! I almost took back my RSVP. Luckily, another friend invited me over this morning for pumpkin custard (aka pie without the crust) with lots of whipped topping and things are okay with the world again.

It was certainly a different Thanksgiving this year. I hadn’t met my friend’s parents at all and the little I knew, I wasn’t sure if I’d get along with them (particularly her father). Which, thankfully, wasn’t the case. They were very warm and friendly and engaging and even my friend, who is usually very quiet even when it’s just the two of us was much more open and talkative. I ate too much of course, but I think I managed to keep it at 2000 calories, rather than the usual 4000 calories that we Americans reportedly consume on this day of feasting.

There are so many things for which I am thankful. I try to be grateful and thankful on a regular basis, but in the spirit of recording it for remembrance, here’s the short list:

  1. Family. I am so thankful for my supportive, loving family who have been there even in the long distances. I have the greatest parents in the world, who take the time to drive out every year so that we can fix all of the little things around my house that I can’t always get to. I have sisters who are so much fun to talk to; even though we are drastically different in temperament and personalities, we have always gotten along well. I have grandparents who I love to spend time with and I don’t see them nearly often enough.
  2. Friends. I don’t think there enough words in the English vocabulary (or the Eskimo either) to express my eternal gratitude for the friendships that I have made through the years. They mean everything to me.
  3. Safety. My heart is with those in Mumbai and their families. It is a scary world that we live in, but I am so thankful that I have been cocooned somewhat away from it.
  4. My house. I love love love my house and its little nooks and raspberry bushes and many, many leaves. I love that it keeps me warm, that I have a comfortable bed to sleep in and a fabulous couch to sit on.
  5. My computer. Not only is it gorgeous, but it keeps me connected with the world around me.
  6. My faith. My membership in the LDS church has been one of the most sustaining influences in my life. I appreciate the daily comfort from the belief that there is a loving, understanding Heavenly Father who wants what’s best for me. I appreciate the bonds of fellowship that are formed in the church, for the guidance of my leaders, and for my relationship with my Savior.
  7. My job. As much as I grip about it, I am grateful for the continual learning and the challenges that being a resident provides, that it stretches my mind on a daily basis. I am thankful for my patients who allow me to be a part of their lives. I am grateful for the nurses with whom I have collegial relationships of respect. I am especially thankful for Maryann, my nurse who answers all of the calls from my clinic patients (as well as the rest of the residents in my program). She is a saint (and yes, I tell her this often).
  8. My health. So far, i’ve managed to go 2.6 years without surgery. I’ve had some close calls (I have a feeling that I’m going to have to have both wrists worked on), but I’m grateful that I’ve been able to complete so much of residency without too much interference. I’m not thankful for the weight gain that has accompanied the lack of surgery, but there’s hope for changes in that department as well.
  9. Prepositions. Don’t know how I would have constructed the above list without them.

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26th November 2008

let me sing the praises

I love YouTube. Love it. How did the world survive without it? Thanks to YT, I can waste my days watching music videos of coordinated treadmills, watch clips of the Beaker performing Ode to Joy or singing Carmen, learn about cardiac arrthymias by watching a mad german doctor dance them out, or revive my infatuation with Everwood (there’s really a lack of clips even on YT, but good news: there’s a rumor of release of more DVDs next year!).

But the best part is finding all of the old movies that I loved as a kid online. Some of them: bad. The Boy Who Could Fly? Wow, sorry mom for the hours that you had to endure of that movie. (Although it made me realize how clueless of a kid I was. Never even knew that there was a scene of *horrors* underaged drinking.) Some of them: awesome. Toby Tyler (which has since been sadly taken down) and A Little Princess are still fabulous.

Tonight, I’m settling down to watch The One and Only Genuine, Original Family Band. I don’t know when the last time it was that I saw it, but I have had some of the songs in my head during the election season (It’s time for a man! And he is the man for the time!). And I just found The Witching of Ben Wagner there as well! I can’t wait.

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23rd November 2008

Recipe for happiness

  1. Take the visit of one’s closest friends and their adorable daughter.
  2. Add good food: broccoli cheese soup. ham. mashed potatoes. pumpkin pie (never cake when you can have pie).
  3. Mix liberally with laughter over shared memories or antics of daughter.
  4. Serve with the exquiste tragic romance of Madama Butterfly
  5. Top with late nights catching up.
  6. Enjoy.
From 30th Birthday

Perfection.

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19th November 2008

Surreal

Even weirder than having a girl you barely know ask you for your phone number for her brother?

Having said brother ask you out over his sister’s Facebook.

Apparently, I now have a date for Friday afternoon/evening. I’ll be post call (but it’ll be one of those blissful done-around-7-am calls so I should at least be coherent and not smelly), and Suz and her family are arriving afterward for the weekend. I guess we’ll have something to talk about.

So what would you pick as the perfect first date movie: Batman or Wall-E (which I just saw for the first time last week)?

(And yes, I see the irony in this occuring right after my “woe is me! I’m never going to find anyone” post. Shuddup :P)

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17th November 2008

a few of my favorite things

I’m exhausted. I crawled home in bumper-to-bumper traffic amidst what weather.comm called a “flurry” and I called a blizzard (shortlived, true, but pretty intense driving for a while). I’ve already napped on my couch here these last couple of hours; I think I’m making it a early night. Hopefully it doesn’t snow too much tonight, I really don’t want to start shoveling already.

In exchange for a real post, I’m sharing my favorite doctor blog link:

http://www.freshmd.com

I discovered her blog a few months ago and just love it. She’s a family medicine doctor in a small town in western British Columbia, taking care of an immigrant population (mostly the Karen from Cambodia) and has beautiful posts on the doctor-patient relationship. She also takes the most amazing pictures of her family and the area that they live in, which I find so relaxing that I have to remind myself that, no, I can’t pick up my bags and go move there, because I haven’t been invited. And who would have thought that it would have been a physician blog that got me lusting over making a quilt like this cathedral quilt?

Her blog may be part of the reason that I’m reconsidering my desire to do critical care, because I’m not sure that the hustle-bustle is what I really want. The idea of finding a smaller community with a smaller hospital that I can work in is becoming more appealing.

Hope you enjoy!

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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. 😀

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6th October 2008

Owie

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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9th September 2008

46 hours

I’m surprised that I haven’t gotten emails/calls/signal fires asking if I was alive, since I’ve been absent.

Never fear, I’m alive and kicking. I think if I were to die, the medicine department would not stand for it, and would be administering pressors and bagging me in the grave.

I just calculated that I’ve worked 46 of the last 62 hours and that might be an underestimate. I’m tired. I’ve had three patients who when I admitted then a week or so ago, were sick but got turned around with the right antibiotics and fluids and TLC, take a turn for the worse in the last 48 hours. One has already passed away; another is likely to go tonight, the other is holding on by his cranky teeth. The hard thing about taking care of cute but sick 80 year olds (as three fourths of my service is) is that they have a tendency to take a turn for the worse very quickly, as at 80+, they don’t have much reserve left.

We admitted more patient today. I was in clinic all morning, only three patients and I still went over time and had to rush back to the hospital so I could figure out what happened to all of my patients and was confronted by catastrophe after catastrophe. I endured the chastisement of the pulmonary critical care fellow for not getting her involved in the sick patients sooner. I had to urgently call surgery on another patient for them to tell me that it wasn’t urgent after all. Two hours spent updating family members. Another 10 minutes talking about treatment options for cancer with another patient. And so forth. I didn’t even see the patients that we admitted until almost 8 this night, luckily they aren’t too terribly sick, just needing some monitoring tonight.

I’m supposed to have the sister missionaries over for dinner tomorrow night. Luckily they called and reminded me or I would have completely stood them up. I should get done earlier tomorrow, barring any more ICU transfers. Good thing too, because I have no energy tonight for washing dishes and straightening up my living room.

And now that I’ve chugged down my evening meal of cereal, I’m off to bed. To start things all over again tomorrow…

Also, my iPod completely died yesterday morning. Or rather, it started making horrible grunting noises and now displays a sad iPod icon before dying again, which from the website sounds like the sign of ultimate demise. My computer won’t recognize it, I can’t reset it. Call nights are going to be really, really, really long without some tunes.

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    • the common denominator November 3, 2021
      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 […]