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22nd November 2020

On Beings Friends

“A bosom friend–an intimate friend–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.” ~Anne of Green Gables

I know, I know, yet another banner proclaiming that “herein lie tantalizing secrets that you don’t know about.” I’ve been hesitant to “friend only” this journal, because I love wandering around the journals and reading about people’s interests and lives. It astonishes me how honest we can be in this forum – and with people that we have never met in real life. I love that, it’s probably why I am so addicted to lj.

However, I am also aware of how … perilous the internet can be; how that same honesty could have serious repercussions if I reveal too much about my personal life. And from the beginning, I’ve screened certain entries that I didn’t want the random stranger to see, or even the real life person who might take it in the wrong context. In the next (several weeks, probably), I’ll be going through and making more entries friends only.

So, please comment here, if we have shared interests and just tell me a little about yourself. I’m sure we are kindred spirits just waiting to discover each other!

posted in Uncategorized | 56 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

22nd April 2009

everyone’s your friend in new york city

I’m not doing the English dancing weekend after all. I piddled around, delayed sending in the registration, debated eternally where or not I should go until it was too late. It would have been easier if there was somebody that I was going with… or if the price had been half as much; then I’d have done it without a second thought. In the end, I decided that I could not splurge on it, and I’ll have to find another place to wear my pretty dress. I’m planning on going down to Illinois in May for a English dance so it will be displayed then.

So instead of men in cravats, I’m going to New York to visit Sam and baby Meghan. This is such a huge deal for me and evidence of how much I want to see that wild baby hair. I’m already trembling and have a pit of fear in my stomach. I don’t do tall buildings. That’s the understatement of the year. I become paralyzed under their shadow, frightened to near death that they are going to fall on me (yeah, September 11th was virtually my worst nightmare come to life). And that’s just the comparatively scrawny buildings in SLC. Needless to say, a visit to the Empire State Building/Chrysler Building/Times Square/Ground zero and even the Statue of Liberty are not on the list. Right now, I’m liking the idea of a boat tour of the city: a chance to see the important sights and bridges, but from a distance, where I can practice taking pictures of reflections in the Hudson River. I’m also looking forward to central park and seeing the skyline there.

And if all else fails, I’ll get myself a prescription for some propanolol and/or alprazolam and medicate my way through. The benefit of being a doctor.

So, question to my wise friends out there who have been to NYC: Which are the must see sights, mostly in Manhattan and that won’t frighten me to death? And from those who live there, any hidden nooks that shouldn’t be missed but are often overlooked by the tourists?

posted in All About Me, Friends, Social Life | 4 Comments

20th April 2009

dreaming through the noise

dreaming through the noise

I had this awesome dream last night where I was working for President Obama. I was supposed to deliver something for him, but got caught up in this conspiracy and we were talking over this telephone that had a garden hose as the cord as it was supposed to be safer than our cell phones. As we were talking, he suddenly realized that it had been wiretapped and I was in trouble, so he stole a car from the secret service to come pick me up. We then escaped with other members of the team, who included a few people from my residency, on a ferry from Milwaukee down to Chicago. It was a pretty fancy ferry with a big chandelier and a garden with a pool. Barack (as I called him) and I discussed security policies (aka, who was after me) and how I could stay safe. As is the case with most of my dreams, the rest is rather vague. I think he left to confront of the men who was chasing me, as he had also ended on the ferry, and I was sleuthing and flirting with the pool boy (alas, Dream!Barack was as married as in real life).

I woke up this more in a rather good mood. 😉

I wish it had lasted longer, that I could have pressed the snooze button just a few more times. Hard day. Fifteen patients that I had to see before noon. By far, the best part of the day involved taking a mid day break with one of my friends and getting hot chocolate and swooning over Franz Ferndinand, who is apparently coming to concert in a week. As a resident, there’s no such thing about having a lunch hour; if you manage to finish your work in time, you can look forward to a noon lecture. But today we played hooky, even though it put me behind and I was rushing to finishing seeing everybody.

And now off to bed again. I wonder who/what I’ll dream about tonight?

posted in Randomness | 1 Comment

15th April 2009

the slow path

(written this afternoon. The hospital’s firewall prevented me from posting)

I realized yesterday, as I was looking at my schedule for next year, that while I’ve been feeling like I’ve been doing residency forever, I still have 10 months of internal medicine left to go. 10 months. Since I’m doing a combined residency, I have 30 months of medicine and 30 months of neurology, compared to my colleagues who do 36 months of medicine or neurology. Not only am I missing out on six months of training, but as it is, I’ve still got a third of my training left. I’ve been comparing myself pretty harshly to my fellow residents, especially the medicine residents as they are graduating in 2 months and I certainly have not felt that I’m at that point and was quite discouraged. Yesterday, I was dispondant after getting lectured by one of my friends about a disease presentation that I didn’t know anything about, but he was rattling off all of the clinical symptoms and signs and I felt like an idiot. I feel a little better now, realizing that I still have time to learn it all.

I’m on neurology consults this month (I think I mentioned that) and it’s also been an opportunity for me to appreciate how much I have learned as well. I was on this same rotation two years ago as an intern and it was one of the hardest months of that year (the other 2 being the inpatient neurology wards). I didn’t know anything. I felt like I was struggling every day to ever come up with one idea of what exactly was causing the altered mental status/weakness/seizure/what have you, much less come up with a differential diagnosis or a diagnostic and treatment plan. Now, I at least know where to go and read about it, or know the common workup for common problems and can generate some reasonable ideas about where to go next. My attending actually commented on it. It was his last day, so he was giving me feedback, and he stated that he could see the growth and knowledge maturity. I feel more optimistic that by the time these next two years are over, there may be a middling fair neurologist in me. And that’s better than what I’ve been feeling in a long time.

On a related note, I’m still struggling on the decision for a career path after graduation. Unfortunately, the decision about fellowship needs to be made relatively soon, so that I can get research projects started to beef up my slim and rather non-impressive CV, as well as trying to go to conferences so I can start networking etc. I change my mind on an hourly basis. It’s a sad state of affairs. I’ve decided to give myself until June. Someday, I’ll do a big long post about the positives and negatives about the decision. Maybe it’ll help me think through things.

**
I am quite smitten with one of my attendings. I worked with him briefly last month and had butterflies during every patient presentation. Recently, I’ve gotten to interact with him more because our teams have been consulted on the same patients. When he greets me with a half smirk and razzes me about my treatment ideas, I get swoony. You think music is the language of love? For me, it’s vestibular neuritis due to colistimethate (don’t worry, I hadn’t even heard of the drug before, either!). I’m almost seeking out consults, just so I can have those few minutes of conversation.

I’ve missed having a work crush. It’s been a long time since CuteIntern disappeared into the dark coves of the hospital and I have not had a good flirtation since then. I think, however, that all of the period dramas that I’ve been watching these past weeks have affected my mind and I’m ready to see romance from every random corner. It’ll pass, I’m sure.

**
The hospital has a repeating playlist of songs that are piped over the hospital. It includes a piano version of the theme to Titantic and it plays Every. Single. Day. Usually around 10 or 11 in the morning. I went the entire day today without hearing it… until I returned a phone call just now and got placed on hold to that song. Grrr.

**
Vienna Teng is performing in Chicago this Friday and I’m so excited. She’ll never come to Milwaukee again; poor attendance for two concerts would convince anybody not to come again, but I’m grateful that I live so close to Chicago so I still can see her.

**
I realize that everybody has probably seen this video, but I couldn’t resist sharing. I love Britains Got Talent; it has a way of tugging at your heart strings. Paul Potts the first year, Andrew Johnston the second and then this year, Susan Boyle. Just lovely, I was seriously in tears.

posted in All About Me, Resident Life | 1 Comment

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

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

3rd February 2009

the gentleman of milton

To the people out there who knew of the existence of North & South and had not insisted on my watching it years and years ago: You are no longer my friends. To hold this from me! Hmph.

Now I’m conflicted. Darcy or Thornton?? I mean, I thought Colin Firth did an amazing job with the smoldering glances and tortured pining. Richard Armitage can give him a run for his money and then some.

Maybe you should decide: The mini-series (with french subtitles)! Only click if you have four hours to spend. You’ll never get away!

(runs off to slip in another viewing of the ending before bed)

***

As a complete aside, my most amusing story of the day: after I had gotten sign out that there were “no overnight events” with a particular patient, I discovered that the patient had had a minor procedure with some major complications, requiring emergent surgery and intubation where patient subsequently coded and required CPR to restore heart rates. He stabilized after that and as everything happened before 7 or so (I had left the hospital sick some hours before) I guess, technically, “no overnight events” was accurate. Boy, was it a shock, though!

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2nd February 2009

blech

This may have been one of the worst post-call days yet. I did get some periodic sleep (so it could have been so much more awful) and then woke up this morning sick. As in, I-think-I-got-food-poisoning-from-my-spinach-salad sick. I was sick enough that had it been any other day, I would have left and have one of the other residents cover, but as it was, we were already short a resident so that wasn’t an option. I finally managed to get away and I’ve spent the day sleeping and only now have been able to tolerate some sprite and bread. Good times.

To make up for the TMI of this post, some YouTube videos that friends have posted that have caused much amusement in my convalescence.

The Weepies – Can’t Go Back Now. The Weepies+puppets=awesomeness

German fashion show. My friend Brooke linked this on her blog, wishing that she understood German. I’m not sure that I do–the images are searing enough!

And now, I’m going back to bed.

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

1st January 2009

This was not how I intended to ring in the new year.

33 hours. I was at work for 33 hours straight. I worked 33 hours straight without sleeping and somehow made it home and did not kill myself or others. And then when I tried to sleep this afternoon, my pager kept going off.

I still have 8 daily progress notes to write and 2 procedure notes before I really fall asleep tonight, but it’s not going to happen. I don’t know what the consequences are if I don’t get them done, but seriously, I had 10 patients that I saw this morning and a to-do list of at least 60 items before I could leave and I wasn’t going to stay for another hour to finish the notes, and I’m still to exhausted to do them now.

I performed a subclavian (missed it and the fellow had to get it. I was doing so good!) and an art line on one sickish patient, sipped a cup of black current juice with the nurses (who I don’t really know so it was awkward), admitted a couple more, got called urgently to evaluate another patient who wasn’t quite as sick as promised (thank goodness) and then 2 minutes later got called to admit another patient to the ICU. I then spent something like 2 hours trying to get ahold of the fellow so we could discuss a plan on how I was to take care of this patient. Good times.

**

I’m still sick myself, with an enlarged tonsil and earache on the right side. Pain control is working (I drool otherwise) and I’m afebrile, so I know it’s just this nasty cold, but I keep freaking myself out thinking that it’s an abcsess and OMG! what if it needs to be drained! There are reasons that I make a very poor physician to myself.

**

In better news, one of my best friends rang in her new year by giving birth. Meghan Anne joined the world sometime this evening and by picture, she’s just absolutely gorgeous. We’ve been awaiting her arrival forever. 🙂

**

I hope you all had an awesome New Years and more importantly, I hope you all have a wonderful year. 2009 is going to be a good year. We have a perfect month after all to look forward to. 🙂

And now, I have bed to look forward to. Ah, sleep, how I love thee!!

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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.

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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.

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

11th December 2008

time machine

One of the pharmacists that works in our unit is leaving and her going away party was tonight. I was having a hard time motivating myself to go: too cold outside, it’s been a long week and going to bed early again sounded like a fantastic idea. Plus, Milwaukee being light-years behind the rest of the civilized world has yet to enact a smoking pan in restaurants and pubs (Madison has a smoking ban. You would think that it’d be pretty easy to make it state wide) and I don’t inhaling cigarette fumes, nor do I enjoy smelling like an ashtray afterward. But friendship and the promise of Swing Dancing Thursday Nights lured me out of my cocoon.

There was no dancing. Instead, there was another private party that another hospital was throwing, who took over the stage and closed the kitchen so I couldn’t eat the potato skins I was so looking forward to, and worse, started singing karoke. The women were wearing either skimpy clothing that I froze just thinking about or these bright jewel-colored dresses that came to the knees and were belted above the waist. Straight out of the 80s. I think Claire Huxtable wore an identical dress in several different episodes of the Cosby show. If these are coming back in style, I don’t want to know.

And now I’m really sleepy. Luckily, my attending doesn’t want to round until 9:30, so I’m sleeping in. It almost makes up for the 7 o’clock rounding earlier this week.

Night all.

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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. 🙂

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4th December 2008

engage with grace

Being a resident and supervising interns is hard work. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with such a clingy intern before. Intern paged me every 15-20 minutes until around 1 in the morning and it was all that I could do not to get snippy on the phone. Because if I had done that, and something serious were to happen to one of her patients, then she would have hesitated calling me. It’s a difficult balance between too much autonomy and too much supervision. She was completely resistant to my efforts to give her more autonomy (and talking with my friend who is her resident every day, it wasn’t just last night), but it’s something that I need to work on.

I’m tired and have to be up early tomorrow. My snowblower is missing a bolt and the little spout that directs the snow now flops and I end upblow the same bit of snow over and over again. We’re interviewing candidates for next year and we take them out to dinner so I didn’t get a chance to go by home depot before so I’ll have to go bright and early so I can come back and clear the sidewalk before I go to work. Ugh.

In the meantime, I’m sharing this:

Since I’m in the critical care unit, I see many patients who are coming in with devastating injuries. These families, already dealing with the tragedy and pain of an injured loved one, are now having to make difficult medical decisions and so often, they are making these decisions without knowing what the wishes of their loved one are. Those with the most peace have had the discussion, they are comfortable in knowing that they are doing what their loved one who do if they could speak.

Engage with grace is a website that is trying to help with this problem. Here’s some of the statistics they provided:

  • 73% of Americans would prefer to die at home1, but anywhere between 20-50% of Americans die in hospital settings.2
  • More than 80% of Californians say their loved ones know exactly or have a good idea of what their wishes would be if they were in a persistent coma, but only 50% say they’ve talked to them about their preferences.3
  • Eight out of ten people say it is very or somewhat important to write down EOL wishes, but only 36% actually have written instructions.4

After my first months on the NICU, I completed the paperwork for a durable power of attorney (which actually needs to be redone, since I didn’t have it witnessed properly) and sat down with my parents to have the talk about my wishes. My friends who are also residents have said that they have “the talk” every couple of years, so that wishes are understood.

I encourage everybody, regardless of age, regardless of health to have a conversation with the person that you would want to make your medical decisions if you couldn’t.

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28th November 2008

Protected: Christmas cards

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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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25th November 2008

I went over to a friend’s house tonight to have some hot cocoa and catch up. She’s a medical student, which I know exactly how overwhelming and consuming and exaperating that can be. Talking to her reminding me of all of the drama that med school can entail (I’m so glad I’ve left that behind!!) She’s been in much the situation that I was in those many years ago with Chris and Candice, only she’s in Candice’s position and another mutual friend is right where I was 5 years ago–stuck in the middle and not sure how to get out. Their friendship has been strained to say the least and it’s been bothering me. I do really regret how things turned out between Candice and I, this failed friendship. Years have gone by, she has barely acknowledged my existence since that day (although, she’s friends with Chris on Facebook and contacts him occasionally there. Kinda burns me up a little. He’s the one who broke your heart, honey!) and my experience in med school was radically changed after that. Her friends were no longer my friends, I was excluded from a lot of activities and Chris became the inseparable chum.

In any case, I kinda made it my mission to intervene here because I could see the direction it was going. Don’t know if I did any good (I felt a little like a matchmaker); we’ll see. I’m not sure if an intervention would have helped our friendship then either–I did try on multiple occasions to reach out and explain and was met with deaf ears.

Med school: junior high all over again.

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24th November 2008

Catching the bouquet

Some friends of mine got married a month or so ago. Lindsay (the bride) is a romantic and planned the wedding to have a Jane Austen theme. All of the guests were seated at places named after Jane Austen locations: Bath, Mansfield Park, Lyme (which was actually where we were seated), Northanger Abbey, and of course, Pemberley, the table where the bridal party sat. There were horse-drawn carriage rides and silhouette portraits and of course, dancing (although not English line dancing to my disappointment). The gentlemen from my church in attendance were, as I should have expected, dolts and lacking any sort of a romantic sentiment:

Me, teasingly: How long do you presume to reside in Lyme, Mr. B? Are you here for the season? Will I have the opportunity to make the acquaintance of your sisters?

Mr B: What are you talking about, woman? I can’t understand anything you’re saying.

Excited about the prospect of dancing and a formal wedding reception, I had dressed up for the evening, wearing my bridesmaid’s dress from Sam’s wedding with the long flowing skirt that I love so much. Lindsay and Tracy (the groom) were good on their word, there was dancing. Live, big band dancing playing Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong. And I couldn’t get anyone to dance with me. I finally did manage to drag out every one of the boys from my church out there to the dance floor, away from the food where they lingered and insisted that they escort me off the floor (I’ll save my appalled rant on the lack of common decency and manners later) and had a fabulous time anyway. I caught the bouquet, did I mention that? The pictures make it look like I had staked out the front row position, when in reality, I had just come in from the side. The bride threw the bouquet over the chandelier where it hit the ceiling, bounced off another girl’s chest and landed in my arms.

I thought I had recognized the photographer as the guy who had done the pictures for Liz’s wedding. What do you know, he was a friend of the bride’s sister. I started whistling “It’s a small world” and my friend Sarah remarked that she recognized the guy who followed him around with the flash as the photographer for her friend’s wedding once upon a time.

In any case, the wedding photos were posted online today. There weren’t any pictures of me dancing and I don’t like the pictures of me catching the bouquet (I look manic), but there is a sweet one of the groom and me.

Click for pictures

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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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    • 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 […]