Archive for August, 2008

and all is right in the world

Posted in butterflies, medicine, tangential/circumferential on August 19, 2008 by whenispark

michael phelps tore up the olympics, dede continues to eat trash, and i am going to pittsburgh for a month, starting this monday.

not only that, but something earth shattering has happened.  drum roll please:

i have honored a shelf.  my last and least favorite one.  this is awesome on two levels: 1. i honored a shelf 2. it shows continued improvement throughout the school year and not that i burned out and stopped trying.  i never stopped trying despite how disappointed i was every time.

so yea..going to pittsburgh.  there are no words to describe my joy in finding out upmc would be having me come for an elective.  not only will i be going to a mecca of an academic institution, but i am going to have the month of my life hanging out with bri and kyle.  we all already have so many plans.  it’s incredible.  and i’m not going to lie, it will be fun to see the pburgh boy out there.  my male counterpart.


not even a real state

Posted in random rants on August 19, 2008 by whenispark

that’s right, i said it.  it’s not.  they don’t even have trees there.  and don’t tell me they do, because they don’t.  those “trees” are fake.  imported.  and don’t bother trying to take pictures of it, because i will know they are either fake trees or that the picture is from another state.

rachie is moving to oklahoma city.  barf.

so, you’re married, right?

Posted in medicine on August 19, 2008 by whenispark

this past monday, i had the pleasure of interviewing eight, count ’em, eight fake patients.  while most of them went relatively well, a few stand out in my mind as being the exact opposite.  here are a few of my favorites:

the firefighter:

i walk into the room and ask the patient what brings him in. “i’m having horrible thoughts”.  i ask him what kind of horrible thoughts.  and he says, “well, you see, i’m a firefighter.  and recently i was fighting a fire with my brother, when he fell off the ladder above me.  i tried to keep him from falling, but i wasn’t strong enough and he fell and died.  then it was even worse because i had to identify his remains.”

clearly this is someone with post traumatic stress disorder, but no matter who you are, there is no way to be prepared for that.  i felt like i was hit by a bus.  i didn’t know what to say because i couldn’t even fathom that, and i definitely was not expecting that to be his complaint when i walked into the room.  after the interview, the patient and physician (who was watching me from behind a one way mirror) rate me on my performance.  ha, the patient didn’t think i was very empathetic, at least in the beginning, but the physician thought i did awesome.  then they ask how i felt about it, and i definitely articulated my aforementioned thought of feeling like i was hit by said bus.

the abdominal pain:

woman comes in with abdominal pain – after a history and physical, it seems pretty obvious it’s either appendidicits, pid, or a ruptured ectopic pregnancy (with the latter being the most feasible).  each of those is pretty much an emergency and don’t really allow one to fart around asking stupid irrelevant questions like, what is your parent’s health like?  the physician comes in and basically critiques me because i didn’t ask her if she was married or if she was trying to get pregnant.  hey guess what buddy, both those questions are irrelevant, and more importantly, asking if a woman is married when she could potentially be pregnant is just a bit insulting.  these days you don’t need to be married to be prego.  well, you didn’t before either, but you get the idea.


blah.  i hate these fake patients sometimes because it is soooo impractical.  that kind of stuff is not what happens on the floors.

my running curse

Posted in tangential/circumferential on August 15, 2008 by whenispark

when it comes to running, i am officially cursed. 

i started running to help my sister get in shape.  i doubt anything else could have motivated to do something so tortuous.  we started out obscenely slow, half running/half walking 2 miles every other day.  by the beginning of june, i had struck out on my own and was running 3-3.6 (damn straight 0.6 and not 0.5 – i work for my 1/10th of a mile) every other day as a means of stress relief for boards.  i was addicted.  i never expected to love it so much, but you begin to realize there is a runner’s high.

by around mid-july, i self-diagnosed myself with a stress fracture, and given that i have worked in a pediatric sports medicine clinic for 3 years now, i feel pretty comfortable making these types of diagnoses.  the only remedy is rest, and as one might expect, i fell off the running wagon (that doesn’t make any sense).  before i managed the stress fracture, i was running 3.6 or 5 miles depending on my mood, and my 3.6 miles would take about 38 minutes.

fast forward to this summer… i was determined to start back up again, and the glorious thing about running is that once you have acquired the ability to run, it’s much easier to resume it regardless of the hiatus.  i started back in may, and to precent the repeat stress fracture, i bought a pair of running shoes made for my feet.  not literally made for my feet, but i apparently pronate (that explains the 5th metatarsal stress fracture i had last summer!), and these shoes apparently fix that.  well after running in these shoes for 3 months, i am without a stress fracture, but a new joy has come into my life… one i haven’t known since my hey-day in high school basketball:  shin splints.  i even know the day.  it was last friday, and i know this because i remember thinking, my calves hurt.  this of course comes at a time when i’m running 4.1 miles consistently, and on that same friday, i set my new personal record of running 4.1 miles in 36:02 minutes, which means ~8:41 per mile.  I was so proud and still am because i have smoked my times from a year ago.

well, despite the shin splints, i have persisted in my running (against my own better judgement), but i spend more time stretching my calves and icing them when i remember.  i would normally be up to 6 miles this week, but i have decided to keep it at 4.1 for now to allow them to [hopefully] resolve without needing to rest.  i need the stress relief right now from boards.


Posted in medicine, random rants, the home life on August 15, 2008 by whenispark

i have not washed my hair in two days, which can only mean one thing… i have officially immersed myself in studying for my step 2 of boards.  my immediate family would probably remember this time well last summer when i did something similar for step 1.  my entire life was a routine until i took that test.  fortunately, step 2 is a little more laid back, but it still means i am dedicating long hours to studying.  i sit at my desk for hours upon hours with the occasional break intermixed.  i do practice question after practice question until i am so antsy to get away from my computer that i start getting 40%’s on my quizzes.  that’s my heralding sign that it’s time to stop.

unlike step 1, a time when my only thought was to study, step 2 is overshadowed by every aspect of fourth year:  fourth year electives, residency programs, letters of recommendation, oh my.  there are still a million things i need to do while studying for this exam.  then in my personal life, which isn’t filled so much with personal things, i still have obligations… my e-check status is particular is looming over my head.  sigh.  all i want to do is a study and get this done with.

ink on the ear

Posted in tangential/circumferential on August 14, 2008 by whenispark

i shouldn’t even admit this.

i basically had a zit on my earlobe.  i don’t know how i managed it, but i did.  i say had, because i have demolished it.  and boy was i a champion.  about a half hour after i went to town on it, i looked in the mirror… hm,  i thought to myself… it looks like i managed to get ink on my ear.  except it’s not ink.  i pressed on my earlobe so hard, i managed to bruise it.  and it’s awesome because it’s totally in the shape of my fingers pinching my ear, with the back looking particularly impressive… i might have to take a picture of it.  if it turns out well, expect a post with just that.


Posted in tangential/circumferential on August 14, 2008 by whenispark

you know what i’m excited about?  this bigfoot discovery.  it helps that i only bought a fake bigfoot memoir book about a week ago and have been enjoying it’s nonsense since then.  not only have i been enjoying it, but i have been spreading it’s happiness to all my friends, who then notified me of this major bigfoot news.

tomorrow is the big day for the unveiling.  what would be great is if it’s true – not because it would justify every redneck east of the applachians (sp?), but because i sooo want to go to the bigfoot convention in pa in september… and you know that would just turn that place into a riot.  (noteworthy is that i want to go to the convention for the entertainment…not the belief of bigfoot).  but who knows now, he could be real. HA.