Archive for the medicine Category

the whirlwind is over

Posted in medicine, random rants, tangential/circumferential on May 18, 2009 by whenispark

starting thursday, things have been complete and utter madness.  it commenced with going wedding dress shopping with rachel, which went well.  if not for her fiancee knowing about this site, i would consider posting photos.  i have no doubt she will look beautiful based on the preliminary search.  i rushed home to meet z where we did absolutely nothing (thankfully).

friday, i was up bright and early to go to my graduation rehearsal, and on to my “class day” which consists of the school giving us awards and money (yay!).  i won service to the class and college, which was an unbelieveable honor bestowed upon me by my classmates and some secret committee within the school.  i couldn’t believe i won one at all, let alone both.  z thinks this is ridiculous, but i remember last year han not winning it, so why shouldn’t i think ali or andy might win it.  anyhow, i couldn’t thank my class enough.  it was incredibly kind of them.  z and steve joined me at the function and it was a great time sitting at the table with erin and chad.   it was especially fun because z really likes them both so much (as do i, obviously).  we took pictures, hugged, blah blah, fun fun.  but the day did not end there… in painfully high heels i ran over to stan hywet and tadoro’s to look at the places with rach.  she ended up not choosing either one of those, but one she saw that evening for her wedding.  it will be just beautiful. 

we then went home, refreshed and headed back out to the school for a “commencement eve” dinner.  when i originally said i wouldn’t go to this dinner, it was before i knew that only a few students were invited.  i hadn’t realized i was invited for three reasons:  the student council and the two awards i won.

the dinner was mostly fun except when my parents starting arguing at the table only 5 feet from the professors and doctors and other administrative people who have watched me for four years.  sigh. it was nevertheless, an incredible dinner spent with my sister and dave, brother, aunt, grandma, parents and z. plus it was a free dinner.

the next day was graduation, with lots of people except me (and rachel) crying.  so here i am, an official md, which is just a little bit strange.  if someone gets sick suddenly out in the open, i can say, “i’m a doctor”, which did happen only 5 hours later to my friend sophie.  she didn’t have much idea of what she was doing, or as she put it “i asked him what questions i could remember from the mini mental status exam” and then she told him to go to er.  duh.  but still hilarious, and crazy that we can say that.

the graduation party was great to have all my family and friends around, and even better when we were all able to sing happy birthday to dave.  that cake was delicious, but prevented me from eating my delicious strawberry cake.  oh well. still cake.

otherwise, i have written all my thank yous, addressed the envelopes and stamped them.  tomorrow i will mail them, and only then will i deposit the gifts i was given.  i am a huge proponent of writing thank yous BEFORE you use a gift.  someday, when i manage to get married, i have promised myself ot do the same thing.  i don’t want them looming and i don’t want people to think i forgot.  and i dunno, i just think it seems tacky.  it doesn’t take that long to write a little card out thanking someone for sharing in your day.

and now for my very busy days painting, running, and reading, to which i must attend to now.

financial woes

Posted in medicine, random rants on May 12, 2009 by whenispark

what would life be like if your parents were doctors, and you didn’t have to pay for school up through graduate school? and what if you lived in a country where education was actually a priority? 

well, i can tell you, you wouldn’t be in debt with interest totaling almost a cool quarter million (this includes college).  you wouldn’t have standard government loans with interest rates of 6.8%. i find it fascinating that when i was an m1, the interest rate on my loans was 3.61%, and that is where they sit now, but after my m1 year, the rates sky-rocketted. 

it’s laughable to hear obama talk about having credit card companies lower their apr’s, but i don’t hear anything about the horrific rates our own government has.  it’s especially fascinating in a culture where people think it’s absurd that doctors make money.  well crap, at this rate, i will be lucky to ever be out of debt.  and even more fascinating when we are short on primary care doctors, and doctors period!  yet we have no incentive for students to go into medicine.  primary care docs have the lowest paycheck.

it’s amazing because i also was never the student taking out the full amount of loans.  i was always trying to find ways to cut corners and save money. oh well.  hopefully by the time i am out of residency, we won’t have a system of socialized medicine so i don’t get screwed twice. sigh. time to grow up, i guess.

the chain continues

Posted in medicine, the home life on April 21, 2009 by whenispark

z’s family –> me –> z hopefully he got it in time to be resolved for commencement ball.  poor guy.

“embarassing” or “learning my lesson”

Posted in medicine, the home life on April 20, 2009 by whenispark

just over 1 week ago, i was exposed to it. ‘it’ you ask? it’s a disease that i have been taught since i was a young elementary school girl to cringe upon seeing it. the dreaded “pink eye” or in medical terms, conjunctivitis. the saturday prior to easter, i spent with z’s family, and on saturday evening, i glance over at the commotion surrounding his grandmother, when i realize immediately what the problem is.  it only takes a single glance, because when you are trained to look at someone’seyes, it is inevitably the first thing you see. 

and there she was, itching her eyes, goop collecting at it’s sides.  the family is ‘aww’-ing and sympathesizing with her pain.  they had all been through it one week prior, and the young children of the family had passed it to them one week prior to that. 

she left that night, and the following day at church and at the home of his aunt, i could hardly help but cringe or watch with my jaw dropped as she touched her eye and touched a child or my arm, and went on her way.  the whole day i washed my hands ad nauseum.  i could barely bear it.   i could only reminisceon how all i would need to do is walk past someone with it as a child to contract it.  just like some people get ear infections as a child, i get eye infections.  except mine haven’t stopped once i grew out of childhood.  with my transition, one thing has remained steady – my susceptibility to eye infections – hordelums, conjunctivitis, etc. 

the following monday, i thought i had made it.  i woke up with a sore throat, but otherwise, my whites of my eyes remained just that.  as the week progressed, my sore throat evolved into congestion, but still i was happy – it wasn’t pink eye!

on friday, i drove out to z, and we shared a very relaxing eveningout at a park having a picnic.  we returned rested, and went to bed.  at 4 in the morning, i woke up with so much congestion and my throat hurtingso much, that z insisted on taking care of me.  and as i trudged to bed, he exclaims, “your eye is so red!”  and my heart drops.  i lay in bed knowing i’m going to wake up with it.  and i did.  it progressively worsened as saturday went on, and my right eye quickly joined the left, succumbing to all that is pink and goopy.  the right eye pooped out so poorly it was even kind enough to also get a lid infection causing me to look like not only a stoner, but a stoned quasimodo.  this peaked on sunday, and somewhat this morning, but i am on the mend.  my eyes are still red, and there is some swelling, but i’m hoping for a decently quick recovery.

i do hope i didn’t pass it on to z, but as he has started this week with a similar set of symptoms that i started with, i don’t know his chances of escaping.  so in all my squeamish-ness and disgust with the lack of sanitation on his grandmother’s part, i have been paid in full with my judgement.  

and as i sit here writing this, i simply thank my lucky stars that the cops came 2 months ago to arrest people at my house for drugs, and not today, because i look like a perpetual stoner.

it’s done!

Posted in butterflies, medicine on March 19, 2009 by whenispark

well!  sigh – it is all done. 

my speech went well, even though i almost cried. 

my name was called by the most unlikely of characters – someone who has been an entertaining arch nemesis for 4 years now (he liked me and i turned him down for his friend – unknowingly!).  the crowd through up an excited cheer, and i walked up to the stage.  opened my envelope, hoping i wouldn’t give myself my usual papercut.  and of course, you can never open that paper fast enough, AND since you don’t know where the name of the hospital will be on the paper – you frantically search for your hospital’s name. 

but there it was…my number 1.  i am so happy and so excited!

less than 24 hours

Posted in butterflies, medicine on March 18, 2009 by whenispark

as the big day approaches, i feel violently nauseated. tomorrow at noon, match day across the nation commences. tomorrow at 1130, my school will begin it’s ceremony, which will entail some words from the dean and president of the school. then i will have the joy of speaking to the class, providing the toast. i suppose it’s good practice for rachel’s wedding. then it’s time. but you don’t know when it’s your turn. all of our names are on envelopes in a bingo type spinner. the first person is called… they walk up, open their envelope – they have 2 seconds to read it to themselves, compose themselves regardless of their emotions on what it says on that piece of paper, and then read it out loud to hundreds of people.  that little piece of paper – it holds each of our futures.

then they pick the next person’s name.  and so it goes for about two hours, with more and more tension with each passing minute that your name isn’t called.  as you hear people in your specialty of choice get their first choice or last, you become progressively more nervous – what if i get my last choice. 

i don’t know how i will ever sleep tonight.  i just keep telling myself to trust in god – i know he will send me where best i belong, but i pray that it is where i would love to be.  that we both see it as the place for me to go.

i don’t believe their are accidents in live – and as i look back i see each event connecting to the next and how important each preceding event was to what is happening right now.

wish me luck.

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.