Archive for January, 2009

in between cases

Posted in medicine on January 14, 2009 by whenispark

i didn’t end up updating last night, but yesterday went something like this…

after waking up at about 330-ish it was off from pburgh to ytown to see some patients and scrub into a cabg.  the case was quick and i did little because it is, afterall, heart surgery.  my primary job was retraction, but the cool part is of what?  the heart, duh.  there is something mind-blowing after the surgery and seeing the patient and thinking, i held you heart in my hand.  i touched your beating heart and aorta.  craziness.  i didn’t get to help with closing the skin, like normal, because we were in a rush to go to the next hospital for the next case.  it was still great to watch the attending to it though because it looked just beautiful, and sometimes you can learn a lot of technique just by watching.  certainly it’s best learned by doing, but it’s worth watching to pick up the little things.

the afternoon case was the evar (endovascular aortic repair), which went smoothly and quickly.  i helped close one side, which was no big deal, but it was nice to do because i realized my subcuticular stitch is getting back to where it used to be.  this is great because i only have a limited time to regain some of my surgical skills, minimal as they were before.

the afternoon was the clinic, which is no big deal, and i was out early thank goodness, because i needed a nap!  i was so tired, i left the key in the deadbolt of my friend’s apartment.  thankfully her neighbors are great and knocked on the door until i woke up.  i was embarassed, but extremely greatful.  i would feel terrible if ejax’s stuff was stolen.

anyway, i better get going to the next case for today, which i will for real, this time, write about later…unless i miss it because i have sat here too long.


day 3 and 4

Posted in medicine on January 13, 2009 by whenispark

these two days weren’t really that long because i had other obligations, especially on wednesday.   wednesday morning we did some really easy cases in the morning like an av fistula for diabetics which is the surgery du jour, followed by a super easy pelvic dissection at the other hospital.  and by pelvic dissection i mean we pretty much did a femoral lymphadenectomy.  nothing exciting.  when we were done, dr. s sent me off to the med school to take care of the school stuff i had to do, which consisted of a panel and a student council meeting.

the panels my school puts together are often times a waste, and now being part of one, i feel like i perpetuated my school’s love of wasting student time.  i kept my answers as brief as possible, swore one time (i said ass), and i made fun of our “doctoring” curriculum all in one, and all on streaming video.  yes!  it went something like this:

“how did you decide to apply to academic vs community hospital?”

“well, let’s see, i started by writing a reflective essay…”

i pretty proud of that because it was instantaneous.  nothing like wit.

blah, anyway, then there was the council meeting, which was okay and everything, but sometimes i worry about handing over the reins.  part of that, or really much of that, has to do with my control issues.  i like to think sometimes that the world around me would come crashing down if i wasn’t doing something to prevent that.  i do need to relax a bit and relinquish that control.

day 3 ended with my enjoying some delicious old wedgewood pizza – the best!

day 4, thursday, was a bizarre day consisting of me amputating two legs… not on the same person.  it seems so strange to even have done that, but i think it would have been weirder if i had had the time to actually look at the removed appendage.  unfortunately (or fortunately), i had to keep helping with the surgery.  i did get to use the super awesome muscle and vessel stapler, which saves so much time apparently, both in that case and it prevents the surgery from having to be redone.  and i don’t mean the limb grows back, i mean going in a fixing where it was already cut off.


well, those are some brief synopses of last week.  friday i wasn’t around because of interviews.  i will update on interviews and then about today’s happenings later, but due to my sleep deprived state, i must go for nap time!


Posted in medicine, Uncategorized on January 13, 2009 by whenispark

i will be trying to write daily during this month since it’s bound to produce some rather interesting stories.  if i am not wirting every day, i will hopefully be making up for it on those days i do write… this all of course excludes weekends.

day 2 was pretty awesome.  it consisted of going to one of the local community hospitals where there are no residents.  this was particularly exciting because i actually was doing a lot in the case.   we had a carotid endarterectomy after some other at forum where the resident did most the work, but let me close.

then it was off to clinic where i didn’t do anything because he sees all of ten patients – score…

of note, it’s pretty awesome when an attending gives a ride over in their nice car and you’re the cool medical student who spills tea all over it, especially right after calling some other girl a “ditz”.  what great timing on my part.

the holidays are at an end…

Posted in medicine on January 6, 2009 by whenispark

i do apologize faithful readers (also known as rachie, maybe dave sometimes, and the random web page clicker person), but the holidays are indeed no time to blog.  at least not when my main purpose of this blog is to talk about my experiences throughout medicine, because i don’t do anything medical during that time.

however, starting yesterday (hardly), i began my jaunt on cardiothoracic surgery, henceforth deemed cts.  it was a rough start, but not because of any issues of adjustment. no, no, my friends, it was because i had the beautiful gift of the bubonic plaque compliments of z.  after one week of him pummeling my immune system, all that was left was the occasional t-cell and neutrophil dragging their metaphorical butt across the floor.  thus, the kindly virus quickly had gone to work and i woke up saturday morning with a lovely sore throat, stuffy and runny nose, headache, fatigue and malaise.  no fun.  well, on monday, i was not much better off.  in fact worse off because i was no longer enjoying the luxury of sleeping until noon but still enjoying the “luxury” of waking up every 15 minutes nauseated, tossing and turning in bed.  thus, monday was torture.  i could barely hold my upper body up during our first case of a carotid endarterectomy (  ❤ true love), and i became so violently ill i had to sit on a stool until the wave of nausea passed.  the worst part was is it happened again when it was time for me to sew the neck closed.  this would all be bareable, but both events coincided with the best parts of the surgeries!  1. when you scrape the plaque from inside the artery 2. when i finally get to do something!

anyhow, my presence was so pathetic i was sent from the operating room for some much needed r and r.  so there you have it… a pitiful day 1.