jcd1013: (SB - Fran)
Chocolate cupcakes with a Hershey's kiss in the middle AND a slice of a fresh, perfectly ripened strawberry on top makes the perfect breakfast. Yummmm.

I love the epilepsy service. We have 3 patients. I was here at 8:30 this morning. We were done with rounds by 9:30. I watched a wada procedure this morning, which was totally cool. It was as if I was watching somebody develop a stroke right in front of my eyes--and then to be able to conpletely reverse it in a matter of minutes. I'll be admitting a patient around 1, and then I'm done for the afternoon. Sweet.

I woke up to lightening and thunder this morning and torrential rain. Gotta love the Wisconsin summers. I hope that it clears enough tonight. I'm supposed to go play miniature golf and my skills are pitiful enough in dry weather--I can't imagine how my swing will be affected by slick grounds and rain streaming down my face.

Okay, I'm off to discharge one of my 3 patients. *sigh* I'm so overworked!

(I only posted 3 journal entries the entire month of May. That's shameful, folks. Hence the random, does-this-have-any-kind-of-point post here. :) )
jcd1013: ('puter - meh)
I'm starting to wonder if I'm clinically depressed. Funny, me as a doctor, not knowing whether I should diagnose myself.

I went to a dinner tonight for women in med school and sat on a panel, listening to the other residents give advice such as: "it's easy to exercise in residency, you just have to make it a priority," "dating and socializing in residency is essential, you just have to make it a priority," and "you can easily be married, have kids, spend quality time with family, you just have to make it a priority." I think I was the only one who was rolling eyes, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Then it was advice on interviewing and selecting programs. Most of the panel suggested that trying to interview for two different specialties was "not wise" and it made you appear indecisive. I chimed in about how I had applied for three different specialties (medicine, neurology and med/neuro) and how it didn't hurt me. Then there was the advice of what to ask the programs. One woman stated that she asked the residents if they were happy "and if there was a pause, she thought again about the program." At this point, another resident looked over at me and started snickering because I had been ranting about my awful day of painfully long rounding wards, my whole slew of whiny, crazy patients, the difficulties of being a scut intern again and how much I hated dictating, etc. etc. So I piped up again, and stated that all residents have bad days and if they state with a Pollyanna smile of how overjoyed they were, they were lying (okay, I didn't say it that strongly).

I'm having a rough time right now. I'm a little bit sleep deprived because I'm not sleeping well. I'm frustrated at work, because the majority of our patient lists have nothing wrong with them, besides what's going on in their heads and are thwarting my every effort to get them home or to rehab or to wherever. My attending collects patients, so we can dawdle at every bedside. I've been arguing blatantly with my attending so we can make some progress. We round FOREVER. I'm going to be with this same attending for the next 10 days (kill me, please). The ER staff is driving me nuts with their inability to perform even a simple neuro exam. I'm tired of admitting patients every single day. There has been some nice moments, like today when I spent over a half an hour, explaining a procedure to a patient and her husband, really getting the chance to explain the risks and benefits and answer all of their questions. I like that. I just wish that I could convince somebody to rediagnose her and figure out what's really going on, because I hate that I'm not doing anything to make her get better.

I'm lonely. I do have my friends from church, but I only get to see the once a week... if I'm lucky enough to make it to church. I haven't talked to my best friend from med school--the guy I saw every day for nearly two years, the guy I talked to every week for our last two years of med school and my intern year--for more than 10 minutes for 4 months. I haven't seen him in 4 months. I have no idea what's going on with him. And let's not even mention the last time I talked to Liz or Sam. The visit to see Susan and her beautiful family seems so long ago now. I think that this disconnect is what's bothering me the most; I need to pick up the phone and just call... but I haven't been able to. In this funk, all of my insecurities have been wrecking havoc to my brain.... they haven't call me, obviously, they don't care as much as you thought they did.

I was going to mope more, but I need sleep. The next post is going to be happy. I swear. Even if I have to go digging for pictures of baby polar bears again, it'll be happy.

I'm disabling comments. I don't want anybody to feel obliged to try to cheer me up; this is what they call catharsis. I think.
jcd1013: (XF - Scully whoa)
A few months ago, when Milwaukee weather had performed its usual trick of warming up to 35 degree thereby melting and then snowing 6-10 inches that evening, I came home from work and ... slid into my garage doorway, knocking off my side-view mirror (me and my garage do not get along very well, as the scrape along my front headlines will attest). *sigh*

Anyway, having learned from previous experience (*ahem*) that the mirror can be replaced by taking apart the car door, rather than going to an auto shop, I purchased the part and today, in a misguided effort to flirt (um, I don't seem to be learning from those past experiences), persuaded my friend to assist me in installing it. I went over to his apartment and we took apart the car door in his parking lot (where I discovered that it's a freaking small world after all). He had to pick up a friend, I got into my car, attempted to roll the window back up... and it wouldn't move more than halfway. I fussed with it a bit but couldn't figure out my screwdriver (it's one of those that ratchets around and switches directions and I couldn't figure it out how). By then my friend had long left, so I drove home, found other screwdriver and took apart my door, took off the mirror, found the problem and fixed it and then reassembled the door, after figuring out how the screwdriver works as well. Yay for me!

I had to get it fixed today because tomorrow, I'm driving down to Urbana Illinois to spend a couple of days with Susan and her family. I'm so excited! It's a long drive, however, and I'm already exhausted today from being post call and not getting a chance to nap (laundry and dishes and chatting on the phone), so I'm headed to bed soon. I live such an exciting life.

I finished another month of rotations this morning. It was a busy call, we capped (admitted the maximum # of patients) by 4:30 yesterday, so the rest of the day was spent tucking everybody in and checking on my interns. I got to "talk" to the Pleth during our monthly book club meeting, which was lovely. And then I got sleep. I like sleep.

Overall, it was good month. I learned to trust my instincts and training. I learned how to be a "hands off" resident, which after my month in February where I fretted over my interns all of the time was something that I needed to perfect. I gave a kickbutt presentation on examining comatose patients and didn't even let the fact that my pictures didn't load stop me (I just pointed at the blue screen and said "here you would have seen a picture of me and my giraffe friend, Daisy. We were so close, that here in this next picture, you would have seen me make out with Daisy", etc. I amuse myself). I had fun complaining about our lack of responsibility (which was frustrating at the same time as being enjoyable) with the other residents, who are some of my favoritest people ever. I liked my interns and medical students and more importantly, I liked working with them because they were competent and diligent and made my life easier. I enjoy every afternoon that I had off, basking in the sun (and snow) and catching up on some little things that I needed to do (haven't gotten to the taxes yet. Must do taxes on Monday!!).

I'm always a little sad at the end of a month, even during the hardest and most exhausting, because I hate leaving the people behind. And it is harder when I'm changing from the internal medicine department to neurology as I am this month... not just because I'll be going from being the senior and being semi-in-charge to the "junior" resident (intern-in-everything-but-name) and taking orders and writing daily notes and long H&Ps and all of the scut work, but also because neurology is ten times harder than medicine and I've gotten used to sleeping on call, having only one pager that I have to answer, etc. *sigh* It'll be a long 3-6 months, but it'll be good for me. I hope.

my day

Mar. 25th, 2008 11:00 pm
jcd1013: (Default)
Oh how I love thee, Tuesday morning clinics.

I had five patients on my schedule this morning. My first patient was one who I haven't seen in over a year and a half, but patient had been calling my nurse on a daily basis for the past 3 months, so I was very aware how needy this particular patient is. I prevailed and managed to get through most of the list of complaints and exam in 25 minutes. I stepped outside to staff him with my program director, who after hearing patient's name, told me to find someone else to staff, because patient was complicated and needy. Fine. Waited 15 minutes for another doctor, finally staffed and we went back into patient's room again, where he briefly examined the patient and I wote out new prescriptions and instructions on how to take the medication so patient won't come in again saying "I thought I was supposed to take it this way" (at least 10 minutes of the discussion had been focused on that).

Visit started: 8:40 (medical assistant took ten minutes to get meds into computer, which were still wrong).
Visit ended: 9:55
Visit scheduled to end: 9:00

Second patient (scheduled for 9:00) was placed in room, a new patient to the clinic. Patient spoke thickly accented English and I have to ask questions several times to get answers to what I asked. At 10:30, I noticed that my 10:00 patient had arrived and at 10:32, my 11:00 was there as well. (My 10:30 patient, thankfully, never showed up as I have no idea why I'm seeing this patient in the first place). Patient moved very slowly and most movements were limited by pain, so examining him took a long time as well. Because I hate feeling like I'm just the scribe for the attending, I took a few minutes to counsel patient on what I thought was going on and the lifestyle modifications that were necessary to prevent further problems, before heading out to find the attending. I briefly outlined the case in 5 minutes, we discussed other treatment options, and went back into the room where my attending confirmed the complaints and the physical exam and once again, counseled patient on lifestyle modifications and what was the cause for symptoms. We decided to make some changes to patient's medications and I'm left to do the counseling, the instructing, the reinstructing, the refocusing away from the litany of other concerns that have now cropped up.

Visit started 10:00
Visit ended 11:35

In the meantime, my 10:00 patient (who arrived late) was seen by another resident, so I was only a half hour late. I walked out of the room to find my 11:00 patient AWOL and my program director telling me that he'll be sitting in "like a bump on a log" for my next clinic day, so he can figure out why I'm so slow.

That's right boys and girls, I'm now in remedial clinic and being observed like a fourth year medical student.

I've got only 8 more months of this. Eight more and then I'll be off to medicine clinic where it's even more patients in a shorter amount of time (but only 1 attending to deal with and I think it'll make a big difference).

To top it off, I just read this story and now I'm so disturbed and squicked out that, ugh, I'm having bad nightmares tonight.

Argh. I've got a presentation that I'm supposed to give on Thursday, which I haven't done much more work on than just opening up PowerPoint and picking the background (blue, always blue with white letters. Easiest to read). So I should be doing that.

There are other things that potentially could be brewing that are freaking me out and I know that, as usual, I'm overreacting, so we're going to hold on discussing them until things settle one way or another.

We're supposed to get more snow on Thursday. They say that we're about 12 inches from the record set something in the 1800s, so I'm all go for it. It might as well be for some good.

And this ends the random news for the day.
jcd1013: (Med - amelia bodelia)
So, I was right on my call night predictions. I've had such good call nights so far that I knew I was due for a doozy (I swear, I never used to be superstitious before!). We had 3 ICU admissions, my senior medical student's patient almost coded on her and was transferred to the unit, where I once again was reminded how much I dislike this hospital and their "whatever strikes their fancy" way of managing patients. We attempted to get a consult to prevent this patient from actually dying on us... when my student is explaining what happened to this particular consultant, his response: "I don't believe you" over and over again. !!!!! She told me of this particular conversation after she hung up with him or I seriously would have had some words with him. My med student is awesome. As a med student, I so would have had my senior call, but she pluckily does so without a complaint. Luckily this patient didn't die and when the consultant finally dragged his lazy butt to the hospital the next morning, he agreed that the patient was sick and needed urgent intervention. Ya think? Stories like this, has, unfortunately, been a frequent occurrence. *sigh* Patient, by the way, is doing well.

Chris ended up not coming into town, because he wouldn't be able to see me. Yay! Now, I'm trying to figure out when our schedule actually match up, which is of course impossible. His free weekend don't line up with mine. I do have a few actual weekends off coming up in April, May and June, so hopefully, we'll figure out something. I haven't had more than a 5 minute conversation with him in months, so I don't know what we'd talk about for an entire weekend now anyway (I kid).

I slept about 4 hours or so on call and then went and taught Sunday School. Now that was an experience! I was slurring and mispronouncing all kinds of words and I think I repeated myself a couple of times. Luckily, I had had enough time to go home and shower and actually dress up for church so I didn't look as exhausted as I felt. I came home and crashed by 6 and didn't wake up until almost 8 this morning. And I still feel tired. It's rather amazing how my body gets "unused" to being on call and up all night when I go a few weeks without doing so. Going back to the horrors of neuro call in April is not going to be fun.

In other news, the hospital that I work for has established a new policy that all clinic notes have to be done with a month or they start docking from paychecks. Now, for residents this doesn't matter because 1), they hardly pay us anything because they bill it as 40 hours a week rather than than 80 that we really work and 2) it's not a real paycheck, it's a stipend as if I was doing a summer internship selling alarm systems.

But it does matter for the attendings, so all of a sudden, they've been down our backs on getting the clinic notes completed. Which is all fine and dandy, except because of the way that the clinic schedules are set up, there is no time to get the notes done and as I mentioned, I already work 80 hours a week (well except this month. I think I'm closer to forty hours, which is insane when you think about it. On my slow month, I'm working as much as the average American and I feel bored. THIS IS HOW THEY HAVE BRAINWASHED ME. Anyway, continuing...) and I get testy about devoting more time to paperwork. Since I am on a cozy rotation this month, I figured I'd better get them done so I can get some peace. I completed 13 already today and have another 9 to go. Yay progress! Of course I have 5 patients that I'm to see tomorrow morning, so I'll be promptly behind again, but let me bask in my accomplishment for a minute here.

No repeat episodes with possessed, crazed doorbells to report, thank goodness. I'm finally sleeping with the lights off again...


Mar. 15th, 2008 09:37 am
jcd1013: (XF - panic face)
You wanna hear about my awful day?

I awoke this morning at 1 am, to the sound of my doorbell ringing. Confused, I grabbed at my phone, my alarm clock, and my pager, trying to get the sound to stop, before I realized that it was coming from my front door AND it was 1 in the morning. I stumbled around, got dressed, turned on all of the lights in my house, grabbed my cell phone (and dialed 911, with my finger on the button to press send) and opened the door.

No one was there. The street was absolutely deserted and quiet.

Of course, I was freaked out. I stood in my kitchen, breathing hard, heart pounding, trying to get myself to calm down. I was almost convinced that I had imagined it (except that I don't hear my doorbell ring all that often and it's a pretty annoying sound). I turned off the kitchen light, moved to turn off the lights in the living room, and it happened again, with me standing right next to the front door.

I'm surprised I didn't scream.

This time however, it rang continuously as if someone had their finger against the bell. I cautiously crept up to my front window, parted the curtain a fraction.... and no one was there again. My doorbell apparently decided to malfunction.

I stripped the batteries, but of course, I was way too agitated and nervous to sleep, but I managed to convince myself to go back to bed. I "slept" with the lights on in the rest of the house and even this morning getting ready for work, I was spooked, scaring myself with the shadows and reflections. I know most of it is silly paranoia--my house is old enough that everything creaks when you walk, so it's not like someone could sneak up on me and my neighborhood is generally safe, but then again, I do live in the city with the fastest growing crime problem in the nation.

Then Chris called at 6 this morning to tell me that he was coming to "Milwacky" today to see the Body World exhibit. Of course, I'm on call. I was so frustrated (and sleep deprived) that I almost started crying in petulance. Because this is probably the easiest rotation I've had yet, with afternoons and weekends off except when I'm on call; I'm almost going mad in boredom. This sucks. He says that he'll try to come by the hospital and say hi, but that likely won't happen, because knowing my luck, I'll get hit with a code and ICU admissions and not be able to break away.

I'm really tired right now. I wonder why. Maybe there's a chance I'll get a nap today.
jcd1013: (Default)
I had my friend Erika over for dinner and to watch "Bride and Prejudice" (which was her first Bollywood experience) as she's had some rough times recently and I've been so bad at socializing for the last few months. I made my world famous grilled salmon with northern african marinade (yes, yes, I'll post the recipe later) and, because I have been craving it so much, frog-eyed salad. It was yummy. Unfortunately, it made enough to feed a parlor of funeral guests, and I have so much left over, I don't know how I'm going to get through it. Plus, she brought a mint chocolate cake herself (I was very, very good and only had a sliver), so that also needs to leave my house immediately. There is a guy at work that I've been attempting to flirt with. Maybe some home cooking will do the trick....

Speaking of flirting, CuteIntern paged me today, a "call me when you get the chance" type of page. Of course, I called him back immediately, heart pounding. Could it be....

"Hey, kiddo, what's up?" he greeted me, "I've got one of your patients here in the E.R."

*sigh* I think that "kiddo" just killed any lingering wisp of hope for romance between he and I.

travel bug

Mar. 9th, 2008 10:24 pm
jcd1013: (BTVS - private joke)
Chris called me last night on his way back from Guatemala. I had no idea that he was down there; I though that he was slaving away and too busy to talk, like I was. Words do not exist to express my jealousy. It was really awesome to hear him talk about the places that I had been. He stayed in Antigua, climbed the volcano ( which was erupting!), visited Lake Atílan and went to the markets (where he had a much more enjoyable time than I did, because he's used to the in-your-face bartering-and-begging system than I was).

It was, btw, 4 years exactly when I was Guatemala myself, struggling to learn Spanish, enjoying the 70 degree weather heat, hiking the ruins of Tikal, riding a donkey in the mountains near Antigua, wandering through the cathedrals during Lent and seeing the processionals. I dug up and posted a few of my Guatemala pictures here. Unfortunately, I have lost a bunch of the emails that I had written at the time to document my travels and didn't realize it until now. I had written them on my old school account and I thought I had forwarded most of the messages to my other accounts, but apparently not (and that account is now way beyond defunct). I'm hoping (*hint, hint*) that my family decided to be sentimental and preserved some of those emails, but as we communicated mostly by instant messenger that trip, I'm not sure that they exist any more. I know I emailed Chris on a regular basis, but for the last 2 weeks of my trip, he was in British Columbia and didn't write me. And his school email account is gone now too...

This was the only place that I had been that Chris hadn't, so once again, I've fallen way behind in the world travels race. Drat.


In other news of my life, (aka work), the new hospital has certainly proven to be interesting. It 's a private hospital a couple of miles down the road for me, and I feel like I've entered a different world, because things are so different from the academic world that I came from. Here, decisions are made purely by the whim of the attending physician (which never seems to be the same person for more than 2 days in a row) and trying to get the attendings to practice evidence based medicine, well, it's a battle that I don't think I'm going to conquer in the 4 weeks that I'm here. For example, yesterday the admitting physician seemed to have this bias against giving IV fluids. Our team admitted 6 patients over the age of 80 and ALL of them were dehydrated and showing signs of going into renal failure, but I had to fight with this particular attending to give them any fluids at all. I also had to fight for 2 patients coming in with fevers and elevated white counts to get the appropriate antibiotics--I've discovered a little bit of a stubborn streak that I never knew that I possessed.

The positive side of this has been that I finally can see that I have learned something in residency; that I am comfortable in making independent decisions. There's still a ton that I need to learn - it's not like I feel any where comfortable enough to go out on my own yet, and I'm more than grateful that I'll have another 3 years of training before I get to that point, but I have developed the critical skills in that I can look at a patient, their labs and their x-rays and determine if I need to give them fluids. Or (roughly) which antibiotics I need to start them on and so forth. There are certainly areas where I need more guidance and direction, but I don't think that the philosophy here at this hospital (where the interns meet with the attending and he tells them the plan and they scribe it down) is the best way to learn that.

But I certainly am enjoying finishing work and leaving the hospital by 1 or 2 pm on my non-call days. Friends, did you know that there is such thing as a round yellow ball that sits in the sky and gives light and warmth to the world??? Who knew??


Feb. 27th, 2008 11:50 pm
jcd1013: (LOTR - Hands of a Healer)
You know you have really really good friends when they call you up to say that they want to see you on your day off...and they are coming over with cleaning supplies and expect to be put to work.

My kitchen, bathroom and living room looks fabulous. Still have laundry to do, but will have fresh scrubs to wear tomorrow.


So glad that this month is over. It has been difficult and frustrating in many ways that I could have never predicted. I liked my interns individually but we never became a team, and I really struggled with how to improve things. I was in change of 15-20 patients every day, we rarely seemed to make any progress in discharges, and I think I set the record for the number of patients transferred to the unit (12). I was rarely done and home before 7 pm...when my interns usually left by 5, I was still there making sure everything had gotten done.

Tomorrow will be met with a new set of challenges: new interns and students, new hopsital, new system, new rules, (and I get to start by being on call! Yay!) but I'm glad to get a fresh start on things. Plus, all of the other residents keep teasing me with promises of work days ending by 3 pm, and that sounds unbelievably alluring.

Night all.
jcd1013: (FNL - comfort)
I spent my day off today sleeping in and lounging around the house. I only left to get pancakes, because after this past week, I deserved pancakes. I transferred yet another patient to the ICU (who by the time I finally managed to talk to the fellow (who has to see and agree to admit patients before they get transferred), didn't look quite near to death as he did mere minutes before, so the fellow thought I was quite off my rocker. Especially since I had a tearful breakdown in the middle of the hallway, because I couldn't find anybody to help me out. I've never ever done that before at work, and I'm still horrified by my behavior.). My team was on "daytime admissions" so we were admitting patients who I had to see and discuss with my interns, while this other patient was slowly funneling down the tube. I was at the hospital until 10:30 last night running around seeing everyone.

It had, as forecasted, dropped 12 inches of snow (luckily, not 18: I don't know what I would have done), and I managed to drive home, only to get stuck in middle of the very much not plowed side street that I live on. I trudged back to my house, got out my shovel, and tried to dig myself out with no luck. Finally, somebody with a truck (I LOVE TRUCKS), came back and pushed me out to where I could slide my car in front of my car. Of course, I get out today to get my pancakes to realize that the plows had finally come through and had plowed me in again, so I was stuck again and had to be pushed out again. Argh. Getting tired of this snow thing. If I have time before heading to work, I'll try to take pictures.

The only saving grace in this, is that yesterday morning as I was fractically trying to snowblow before heading off to work so that I'd only have 8 inches to plow through, is that my neighbor offered to do my place. So I at least came home to mostly cleared sidewalks. I'll have to see what I can offer in terms of homemade goodies to entice him to do it again. :)

They're going through with the plow again right now, hopefully it'll be more driveable in the morning.
jcd1013: (Med - Medical tools)
Since I started as the senior resident on the wards (ie inpatient medicine) team a week ago, I've:

- done 2 lumbar punctures (spinal taps - one of them was on a guy who had a seizure as I was inserting the needle. I did manage to get it, but it was no champagne tap)
- supervised 1 paracentesis (abdominal fluid tap)
- Managed 2 encephalopathic (confused and almost coma-like states) patients who became so because my interns continued home medications that the patients really weren't on (and should have been on in this hospitalization because of their various illnesses affecting how their bodies metabolize drugs) which I didn't catch until after we had problems waking the patients up (both are living, one has completely recovered, the other is slowly, slowly, slowly waking up). I've agonized for hours over their cases.
- Attempted to work up a patient with the strangest brain lesions I've ever seen on MRI, and finally, finally managed to get neurosurgery to get a biopsy, only to have the radiologist call me and state that they thought all of the lesions were "congenital" and didn't need the biopsy after all. Um, too late, bozo, you could have informed me of your "expert" opinion two weeks ago. Grrr.
- transferred five patients to the ICU, because they all seem to crump the moment I lay eyes on them. (Two of these, I transferred this afternoon. Yeah, there went my plans to leave early as I am very very very close to violating work hour restrictions)
- I'm too tired to remember the rest. All I know is that I'm usually not leaving until after 6 at night even when we're not admitting patients.

Did I mention that I'm responsible for a team of 18 patients? And that we'll be admitting 6 more tomorrow?

To add to it all, my attending is very disappointed in my intern's performance and it's becoming my responsibility to take her aside. I'm not good at these things, especially when I don't think she's quite as behind as my attending does, but I really don't seem to have any other choice. I'm also having problems with my other intern, as he doesn't listen to me, barely updates me in what's going on in his patients and to top it off is very serious and stuffy and I just don't get along with stuffy. It's stressing me out, I'm having problems sleeping (I end up dreaming about all of the tasks and problems that are going on)

I had started an entry last Tuesday when I was post-call but satisfied at the smooth transition into being a senior resident. Life was good (even though I was exhausted and irritated at having to admit all of the roll-over patients). I had great interns (including one with the most bewitching eyes and sardonic smile) and a great attending and I was so overjoyed at being back in the medicine department and NOT having to write daily progress notes (the bane of my existence). It was lovely. Even though it freaked me out every day of how much responsibility I have and how much I still have to learn to really effectively direct my interns and students in the care of their patients, I could see how much I've learned in this past year (I can be taught!). And my patients, even though they were rocks and refusing to leave the hospital, didn't sap me of my compassion either. It's all changed this week. I'm exhausted and weary and I'm tired of feeling the weight of responsibility and (my) ignorance.

In other news, I'm slowly making my way through Season 3 of LOST. I think DVDs are definitely the way to watch this show, the instantaneous answers providing the forest big picture so everything makes sense. Still love Charlie. FInally starting to feel the Sawyer/Kate love. Can't figure out Locke's motivation. Didn't even recognize Boone (Boone! I miss you!).

I didn't vote today. That's because Wisconsin's primary is in two weeks and since I always register as an independent, I will actually get to vote in a primary for the first time because it's open here. Yay! I could even waste my vote and select between the candidates for the green party if I so chose. So what if everything's going to be decided by then, I'll still have my say!

It's supposed to snow 12-18 inches in the next 15 hours or so. It's going to be great fun sliding to work, I'm going to have to wake up early to snowblow just so I won't be completely snowed in. The best part is that it's been warmish the last 2 days, up to the mid thirties and melted all of the snow, which has now frozen on my sidewalks. If I manage not to kill myself by falling in front of my snowblower tomorrow AND make it to work on time, it will be a miracle.

And on that note, to bed I go.

so happy

Jan. 22nd, 2008 09:07 am
jcd1013: (Dr Who - Favorite hug)
I love living viacriously through my friends joy. Congrats, [livejournal.com profile] valderie! I'm giddy with you!

I had a fabulous weekend. Even being on call on Saturday/Sunday. I admitted NO patients all day and all night, until 6:30 in the morning, so I got sleep. Plus I had excellent Indian food (yep, my chicken tikka masala was drastically different. Will have to continue with the experimenting) and hung out with CuteIntern and his team most of the evening. That's the way that call night should go, but these are so very, very rare.

Yesterday, I hung out with some visiting friends. Michelle was a 4th year med student here last year and has been back in Utah doing her residency. We, along with my friend Sarah and her friends from out of town, went to the public museum and saw the Body Worlds exhibit, which was unbelievably fascinating. I highly recommend that if it comes to your fair city that you go and see it. It's not at all grotesque for those of you who are squimish and it's a beautiful look into the human body and the association between life and death. Man, have I forgotten my anatomy though!

We then went to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, which was excellent and then browsed around the mall. I did find a very cute skirt which I had to add to my ward.

It snowed here, around 6-7 inches yesterday and last night. I don't know how I managed without a snowblower before. I awoke early this morning, went out and cleared my driveway and all of my sidewalks in 30 minutes. Sweet. It'd taken me 2 hours if I had had to shovel the entire thing.

Better yet, all of my clinic patients canceled today. Love the snow! Life is pretty wonderful, folks.
jcd1013: (Voyager - Shut Up)
Multiple choice question for you.

Select the most correct answer:

The reason that Julia is not switching her call night from Saturday to Sunday night, thereby allowing co-resident to be on call on Saturday instead of Sunday so he can watch the Packers game), is:

A: She wants to watch the Packers game herself! Go Green Bay!
B: She wants to church on Sunday, post-call and exhausted, but still able to spiritually recharge herself.
C: She has Monday off of work already, and being on call means that she'd be sleeping through her day of vacation.
D: She's just a mean grouch who never does anything nice for anyone.
E: CuteIntern happens to be on call on Saturday as well, and she can't resist the chance to flirt and look ridiculous.

Ahem. Never let it be denied that I am anything but shallow.

I finished with work a little early today and celebrated by chopping my hair. I hadn't cut my hair at all since August. August. So it was looking nappy. It's now too short (just below my chin) and my "hairstylist" must have spent a total of 15 minutes cutting it so it's slightly chunky, but at least my still-growing-them-out-a-year-later bags got blended in and even though it's not perfect, I look ever so better than I did an hour ago. We'll see how it looks once it loses the "new hair" look.

I need to go to the gym. But I have a headache and I'm beyond exhausted (not exactly sure why) and I'm covering the cardiology service for 4 days while my friend Prem goes on "vacation" to Tucson, Arizona (he says it's for a meeting. Whatever. I don't believe him). We're rounding with the attending at 7:30. In the morning. Meaning that I need to be there by at least 6:30 so I can have some idea about what's wrong with my new patients. So I think I might go to bed. Like right now.

Oh, I did finally make Chicken TIkka Masala last night. Which was really good and yummy, only it tasted nothing like the restaurant dish. I'll be sharing the recipe in the next couple of days, but as I did a google search on a better, more authentic recipe, I discovered taht it really isn't authentic Indian in the first place! It was apparently invented in the 1970s by some Indian restaurant owners in Scotland who had all of these British customers complaining because their Tandoori chicken didn't have any gravy on it. Who knew?

Night all!


Jan. 7th, 2008 11:04 pm
jcd1013: (Default)
Yes, yes, I realize that it's been 3 weeks since I posted. The rumors about my death were sadly true and this is just a puppet Julia posting to get sympathy and cookies. And lots and lots of attention. :) Did it work?

I have tons to write about, for posterity's sake, about my fabulous vacation. Two weeks was almost enough to make me feel human and carefree and young again, and therefore was too short. I managed to see most of my family and friends (missed the medical school gang, though. *pout*) and spend as much time with my grandparents as possible, because I realized that they are getting older and I'm really far away. All in all, it was a really busy 14 days, and even with the constant hammering on the new roof and the just above freezing weather in Phoenix, well worth the time away from the cold of the Midwest.

However, a picture is worth a thousand words (although I'm not so great at taking pictures of people. Scenery that stays still, yes, people, no, so I'll let these go for 500), so in leiu of words, may I present:


(I just realized that I didn't get pictures of my sister Laura or my new brother in law. Whoops. Sorry, Lars.)
jcd1013: (Passport)
So the reason that there hasn't been updates on the glorious Indian food was because it was a little bit of a bust. I realized that I didn't have yogurt, ended up borrowing sour cream instead, and then discovered I was out of lemon juice as well. :( So no tikka masala. :( I was really disappointed as the recipe looks fantastically good.

I did try the recipe for Chicken Saag, and it was...disappointing. It was a lot better than my previous disaster with the laab (ugh, just the word brings back memories of the taste, yuck, yuck, yuck), as it was edible and not bad tasting; it just didn't taste anything like the saag I've had in the past. I've just found another recipe that is a slightly different variation, so maybe I'll try it again some time and provide the recipe them. I don't suppose my family is going to be adventurous enough to try my attempts at making exotic take out. Yeah, I didn't think so.

I'm packing up and getting ready to go home tomorrow. I am so excited for a vacation, to be free of work, of responsibility, of patient calls, of 30 hour work days for 15 days straight. It's going to be lovely. I've taken it pretty easy these last few days, though, and that's been nice. On Monday, I decided that sitting behind someone while they flipped through hundreds and hundreds of MRI images was not a productive way for me to learn as I was fighting sleep every day and it was BORING, so I took a reading day and reviewed neuroanatomy. Once upon a time, I was awesome with the anatomy, now, not so much. It was really great--I need more of those.

Yesterday, after getting home post call, I slept a bit and then went shopping. I have almost all of my Christmas shopping done. I did end up splurging slightly for myself, but hey, I figure I've got to play the role of boyfriend in my life sometimes.

Today was spent in a frantic frenzy as I woke up to do some packing before going to work and discovering that I had no idea where my iPod was. None. And the last clear recollection of using it was back at Thanksgiving. So I tore apart my house and car, went to work and tore apart the clinic, the resident room, the work room, asked all of the staff in the unit and on the neurology floors and nobody could recall seeing it in the last 2-3 weeks. Security didn't have it. Etc. Etc. Etc. I was quite sick. So I came home early, pulled out my backpack to put in all of the work stuff I have to bring with me, and there it was in the front pocket. Much relief, as I was getting quite tired of my forgetful irresponsibility that has been the theme for the last 2 weeks.

And now it is time to mark a few other things off my "to do" list. Like do laundry and actually buy my bus ticket for tomorrow. You know, the little, not important things, that's all.

jcd1013: ('puter - meh)
It's nice to know some things never change.

I started a new rotation today (*sniff, sniff* Bye, bye NICU). Neuroradiology, or the reading of CT scan and MRI scans of the brain and spine. I slept in until 7:30 this morning, arrived at 8:30 this morning, an hour and a half later than what I've been used to, and was still a half hour early. And I was fighting falling asleep all morning and all afternoon. Just like old times. You put me in a darkened room, and it's like a Pavlov dog experiment; I instantly want to sleep, no matter how much sleep I've had the night before. Exacerbate that by the fact that I'm not doing ANYTHING except looking over the shoulders of the radiologists as they look at every image and it's pretty tortuous. I mean, I realize that space is limited, but this would be such a better experience if they'd at least allow me to look over the scans beforehand and point out whatever abnormalities I've noticed. Since I overread (look over every scan without relying on what the radiologist says is wrong) every single scan that I get on my patients, I'm not completely clueless. I may not know exactly where the cingulate gyrus or the corona radialis are, but I'm getting there. This is just painful.

I'm almost looking forward to clinic tomorrow (almost, people, the world hasn't completely ended), just so I can get some action. I had been rather upset that because of the call schedule (only 2 more calls! Whee!) and when I start vacation, I'm only there for about 6 days, but man, that's not such a bad thing anymore.

I've been distracting myself with lists of things I need to buy. Today it was groceries (I apparently didn't have vanilla. How did I not have vanilla?). Tomorrow, it'll be Christmas presents. So family members, if you rather not have something inspired by MRIs, you'd better speak now (although, fam, I SO WANT THIS).


Dec. 2nd, 2007 06:51 pm
jcd1013: (Voyager - Tom Paris)
Shoveling snow is bad enough. But shoveling snow post-call after it snowed, then rained this morning, then froze this afternoon was torture. Now my hip and shoulder are killing me.

Anybody wanna play Santa Claus and provide me a snow blower?

I'm doing a week in the NICU (neuro ICU) with my favorite attending. Yay! But we have no patients. None. There is one patient in the ICU. One, and it's a not even a real patient, just a consult from the neurosurgery service. *sigh* While I do enjoy a lighter service and more free time (guess I'd better catch up on all of my dictations, eh?), I rather not have those times be on rotations that I really enjoy and where I really need to hone my skills. If I do decide that critical care medicine is what I want to do, which more and more seems likely, then I'd like to be competent enough at lines that I can do them without assistance. And I'd really really really like to be able to do an intubation or two. And a Swan Ganz.


Nov. 8th, 2007 11:02 pm
jcd1013: (M*A*S*H - party)
Life has been super busy and super boring. I think it's all because super cute intern has moved on to greener pastures and I'm mourning. :( While it may not have been true love, it was definitely TrueLust and made the entire month survivable and entertaining. The intern who replaced him is a girl and therefore not interesting.

CuteIntern's facebook profile reads this: "Custom has made dancing sometimes necessary for a young man; therefore mind it while you learn it, that you may learn to do it well, and not be ridiculous, though in a ridiculous act." Soulmates. Srsly. (Or not).

In more news, I have not talked to DateBoy since said date. I'm thinking about calling DateBoy and inviting him to my house for Thanksgiving dinner, which may be the most forward thing I've ever done. Or not, because I keep changing my mind.

I've put on weight this month because of all of the stress. And the easily available candy at the nurses station. I haven't worked out in a month. So much for the plan to be down ten pounds for Christmas, so I could finally, finally have a vacation without my mother mentioning how unhealthy I look.

I've had some very difficult patients that I've had to deal with that have sucked compassion out of me. I've realized that I hate treating migraines. But to make up for it, I've had 3 of the loveliest patients, including two who have made a romantic out of me again, because they (and their spouses) have proved that true love really exists.

My next day off is Thanksgiving, which happens to be my birthday. I haven't had a day off since the 28th of last month. I get four days off in a row to make up for it. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to come back.

I've been on call every Tuesday except one since the last week in September. Tuesday is clinic day, which means I have to see all of my patients before 8. Since I really shouldn't be in before 7 (therefore, having enough time to go to noon conference the next day and not break the ACGME 30 hour rules), it makes the morning incredibly hectic. What makes them even more fun: all of those Tuesdays, except for one, my team has been post call. So I have to hurry through clinic (where I always get behind), race through lunch, so that I can go upstairs and admit the 3 ER patients, learn about the NICU transfers, follow up on the stuff that the other intern wasn't able to complete, write my own patient notes that I didn't get to do in the morning, discharge the half dozen patients of the intern's (because my patients are all rocks which I collect) and then start getting pages every 30 seconds on 3 different pagers. Yeah, I loathe Tuesdays. Only a year left of clinic!

The best part: I'm still on call every Tuesday until the middle of December. And every weekend except Thanksgiving.

I'm still trying to remember why I loved neurology. I think I need to see David Renner when I go home so that I can be reminded. It's probably pathetic that when prospective interns come and interview here, I end up gushing about Utah more than the program here.

Susan and Bobby and Allison are coming for Thanksgiving. I'll be cooking something delicious, I hope. Should I ask DateBoy or is that really weird? I think I need more furniture if I do.

I spent the evening reading old Gilmore Girls fanfiction. Mostly general stuff, featuring townies, and it made me realize once again what a brilliant, wonderful show it once was.

I'm going to the opera next week with two of my girlfriends, Kristen and Erika. The Merry Widow. I was very excited when I first heard about it, because from the radio ads, it sounded like it was the translation that I fell in love with in high school. Alas, my sleuthing has proven that it is not so (although I think it'll be better than the San Francisco version), but I'm still ecstatic about it. I'm dressing up. I can't wait.

I'm also having a painting party involving my living room next week as well right before the opera. Need to clean the place before before then, I think. And I need to buy paint. And moth balls.

I'm totally addicted to this blog and have wasted away more of my evening reading her archives and laughing so hard I almost started vomiting.

I'm going to be 29 in 2 weeks. And I think that's enough to stop any more random musings.


Oct. 21st, 2007 07:22 pm
jcd1013: (C&H - never enough time)
So I just got asked out on a double date. For this Wednesday, when I'll be post-call, smelly, and sleepy. I think it's going to be a winner!

The best part: it's with the one guy in this town that Chris knew from college and he loathed him. I haven't found him to be so bad yet, but I don't know him super well. But still, what are the chances?

I went to a neurology conference this weekend. Can't remember what one of the talks was about (probably because I dozed through a good portion. Right in front of the neurology chair, not the best idea I've ever had), but the rest were good - pertinent and somewhat helpful (although, right now, I'm just feeling so overwhelmed with neuro in general, that I think the only thing that would help me feel better is a remedial course). And of course, I sold a little more of my soul to the drug companies and got free textbooks and pens and little airline pillows, so it was profitable. All of the residents and their spouses and the few kids got together for dinner, which was so much fun and probably the best part of the evening. The residents are really what keep me from deciding to quit neurology, because for the most part, they're fantastic people and I just love being with them.

And I think that's all that's going on in my life. You probably don't want to hear about me walking into church today, finding out that there was no Sunday School teacher and winging it (and "The Gathering of Israel" is not an easy topic to wing) or the constant struggle with the thistles in my raspberry bushes (I am going to conquer!). Life in general is a heck of a lot better than it was two weeks ago--a good portion of the improvement came after the louse of an attending left the service and I worked with a very friendly and efficient (which is a trait worth gold) attending who by the end of the week was offering me dating advice in the middle of rounds. Between her and one of the patients, I'm pretty sure I had bright cheeks for many mornings. But, oh, I love laughing and teasing so much better than scowls and tears.
jcd1013: (Everwood - Perfect day)
I decided to make a list. I don't know why.

- Crush news (which right now, is ever so much more interesting than patients and their neuroanatomy): He has a freckle on his right ear lobe, and a faint, thin scar down his right middle finger. His hair curls across his forehead (it's such a good thing that these many many years have trained restraint!) and he's had his beard for as long as he's been a resident here (as evidenced by his name badge) which manages to hide a very small dimple and I can't find adjectives to describe his blue eyes. And he has really bad breath post call. Oh, and he owes me big time for doing his discharge summary for him. Am I wonderful or what?

- I had a wonderful weekend. Saturday night, when I woke up from the post call coma, I went to the symphony with one of the neurosurgery residents. Mahler. My dad used to love Mahler, but until Sat. night, I never understood why. I'm now addicted. Absolutely lovely.

- Sunday I went to watch conference at my bishop's house, which is always a spiritually uplifting time. Pres. Hinckley is still looking amazing for his 95+ years. One of the guys there hugged me and reminded me that it was exactly one year since we had met. I had forgotten. I thought that was sweet.

- It was the first day off that Chris and I have had off together in 2 months, so I drove up to Madison and spent the afternoon and evening with him, fixing his bike, eating Vietnamese food, and digging through all of his music collection. I came home with 300+ new songs and all of his pictures from Ireland and Scotland. Scotland was incredibly gorgeous from his pics... I guess I'd better add that back to the list of Must-Go places.

- Chris broke up with his girlfriend. And didn't tell me until I pressed. Okay, I think I overlooked a big dropped hint earlier in the evening, when we were putting together pictures for a framed collage, but still. *sigh* Anyway, we had a great talk sitting on a park bench overlooking the lake. I told him about the many dating woes of the past two months. He thinks I'm missing clues (I think that no reciprocation and avoidance of conversation afterwards speaks volumes). He's thinking about taking up Match.com dating, which I can't wait to see how that goes. :)

- I'm still really bad at music guessing games. Apparently I need to listen to more Phish and Eagle Eyed Cherry(ies?).

-He beat me on the word games as well. The Word of the Day emails are not helping.

-I'm not on call again until Saturday. !!!

-The Seeker has gotten terrible reviews and didn't do so well at the box office. Maybe that will stop any sequels.

-Still can't figure out exactly what you do on Facebook, but at least it lacks the ads and spam of Myspace. Am trying to collect friends like mad over there. Perhaps I will make a trophy wall with all of my friends. I guess I need to add more photos, or so a little bird told me.

-I'm reading New Moon right now, as I finished Twilight a few weeks ago on call (man, I miss the ICU call). Liked Twilight, although spent a majority of the book irritated at the heroine and her love interest. I'm really looking forward to reading this, after mulling over [livejournal.com profile] valancy_s's recent posts about why we go for vampires.

-Congrats to Michelle and Kelly! Maybe, hopefully, I'll be able to see this little one before he/she's 40 (are you going home for Christmas?)

-I love Matchbox Twenty. This new album is just gorgeous as always.

- You all are watching Friday Night Lights, right? You'd better be. Best show on TV right now. I'm watching it online, so what's your excuse?

-Clinic tomorrow. Only 3 patients. Maybe I'll actually finish on time (and possibly get my notes done, that would be amazing).
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