Exams that go well...
4 year old birthday parties....
Macaroni and cheese....
That color that white wine turns in the dusky sun in the fall....
Puppies that are afraid of the shower and hair dryer....
Running into a random acquaintance from high school 9 years and 1,000 miles away....
Running into old friends again....
Meeting new people and watching people come together to change their lives....
All the things you can learn about yourself from your patients....
Monday, September 29, 2008
Posted by L.G. at 8:01 PM
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Well, I'm in a big rush to get to studying today, but I had to stop in and write about my awesome day in the OR. Today has been a really good day.
It started out well, oddly enough, thanks to psych. Weird, I know. While I have no interest in psychiatry, outside of a purely intellectual desire to learn about psychotic disorders, I find it really interesting to hear from my facilitator and his stories about actually being in psychiatric practice. I also find the questions he asks the patients very insightful and they always get to the root of the problem before any of us students know there's a problem to begin with. Today was no exception. We interviewed a schizophrenic patient and it was a pretty interesting experience.
Then I hauled my cookies over to the hospital where my preceptor practices for the tubal ligation he asked me in on. He met me there and showed me to the changing room where I got in some scrubs, then we were off to the OR. Some of you might remember the last time I went into the OR with him; you know, the time when the scrub tech didn't let me touch any intruments whatsoever because I left my ring on under my gloves (my wedding ring, not the engagement band). Well, this experience was just as great as that one was bad. After Dr. B made the incision, I was able to "poke the hole" in the abdominal wall to get to the guts. Then he let me work the camera (one of the tools in a laparoscopy) for the whole procedure. After he was done clamping the tubes, he let me work both tools, the camera and the blunt probe, to look around INSIDE THE ABDOMEN! I feel like such a rock star. He was just like, "so, why don't you go find me an ovary..." and handed over the tools. It was like playing a video game, and I have to say, I loved it. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm really able to let the whole surgery thing go so easily. We'll see.
Anyway, it was a really cool day. The evening will undoubtedly not be as cool, I have a lot of studying to catch up on. Yesterday when I got home I was feeling very unmotivated and altogether blah, so I watched some tv, went for a seven mile run, and watched some more... Not really productive, but I felt better after it was all said and done. Now I have to make up for it a bit.
The rest of the week is mostly going to be a blur. A friend of mine is getting married on Saturday, so tomorrow I'm going out to dinner for her bachelorette party. I can't go out with them all since I really do need to do at least quasi-well on the exam on Monday. Then Friday, J and I are going downtown to Oktoberfest (yes, in September) and Saturday is my friend's wedding. Which reminds me, at some point I have to go get her a gift...
Posted by L.G. at 2:56 PM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
So here's the little guy, the first pix are from probably a month ago, the later ones are up through last Friday. He's gotten so much bigger, and from the looks of those paws, we're in for another bigger than usual dog.
His little paws looked like they had a french manicure when we first got him. The vet even called him a "little girly boy" and thought I had painted them...Those who know me will think that's funny...
He's been going running with Rocky, J and I lately and he's starting to really keep up...obviously in better shape than I am from the looks of this...
The two boys are starting to get along a lot better than they used to, so that's a bonus..
And three days before the big surgery...
I've also been on a cooking kick these days. On Saturday night I decided J and I needed some romance, so I made a 5 course dinner for us. It turned out to only be 4 since we were way too stuffed to eat the last course, so we had that on Sunday night.
The first course was an ensalada caprese with a little plate of some cheese. I'm a sucker for the "try a new cheese for under $3" bin at Whole Foods.
For our second course I made a butternut squash soup from a squash I picked up at the farmer's market in the morning, but I didn't take any pictures. Our third course was homemade raviolis. I used wanton wrappers and made a filling from mozzarrella, crimini mushrooms, and leeks from the farmer's market. We had a mushroom sage alfredo sauce over them. A bit on the rich side for me, as evidenced by the two day stomach ache that followed...
We made it through a crab cake with home made poblano pepper sauce, but after that we were sleepy and full. It took us more than 2 hours to get through all that food, but it was delicious. The next day I made some lamb chops with garlic rosemary potatoes and greens.
Overall we ate pretty well this weekend. Now it's me desperately trying to get back on the horse and keep up with the running regime. Oh yeah, and studying like a maniac. That too...
Posted by L.G. at 12:39 PM
I have got to stop reading blogs in class! After stumbling across some seriously funny ones while browsing, I almost lost my cool and giggled out loud. Seeing as this lecture is neither funny nor entertaining, that would have been unfortunate.
Also unfortunate...I don't know how to put my phone on silent. So, I put in on vibrate. Vibrate is no more silent than my ring. In fact, I woul say that I hear my phone on vibrate much more often than I hear my phone when it's ringing. So, when my preceptor called to tell me that tomorrow I'd be scrubbing in on a tubal ligation instead of measuring bellies for the afternoon, the class was treated to a nice long hum of the obvious vibratory ring. Then another when the voice mail was received. Nice.
The surgery tomorrow should be really interesting. I'm looking forward to it. Plus it starts an hour earlier than I usually get to preceptor which means I don't have to kill an hour lurking around campus while Dr. B is out to lunch. Very cool. Oh yeah, and did I mention that wearing scrubs is infinitely more comfortable than dressing up for class only to spend the afternoon uncomfortable while Dr. B is wearing his comfy scrubs? Double bonus. More on that tomorrow.
In other news, my little Mugsy lost his manhood, or doghood, or whatever, yesterday. I have to say he's recovering quick. J is sure it would be a much more traumatic operation in a human, and so am I. In any case, I know that I am pitifully overdue for pictures of the little guy, so I'll do my best to make it a study break plan for today. The board review has begun and so I am trying to fit in a lot more stuff into the same 24 hour day. It definitely cuts down on the blog time.
Well, here's hoping I get a little more posting done than I have been. Three more weeks (well, 2.5) and a new block will begin. Somehow it always makes me feel like I'll have more time, but that really never happens. Oh well, there's always something to look forward to....17 days to Beer Fest!
Posted by L.G. at 9:16 AM
Monday, September 15, 2008
I hate guilt. I think it is the most useless of human emotions. At least anxiety has some sort of evolutionary purpose in that it prepares people for the worst. But guilt, on the other hand, is like the "too little too late" stepchild of anxiety. And unfortunately, while I sit here on the couch, completely without agenda, I can't help but feel a little guilty. I totally blew off the two hours of lecture we had after our exam and I am having a terrible time doing anything now that I'm here. But, I just don't want to do anything. I've always thought of test days as rest days. Once the exam is over, I feel like all the work that went into the exam should be acknowledged by taking a mental health day.
Intellectually, it makes perfect sense that a person has to rest after a load of work. It prevents burnout, lets your mind get back to baseline and ready to start again. Like I said, intellectually and logically, it's a sound theaory. But guilt isn't based on logic, and the brain does have this whole irrational system of emotion called the limbic system. Well, look at that, neuroanatomy. Looks like I'm off the hook afterall!
Posted by L.G. at 10:34 AM
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Well, I've had it. I don't think I've ever quite spent this much time studying for an exam since anatomy. Let's just say yesterday at 10 I was still leafing through stuff (that's pm) and it was the weekend! I guess that should make me feel better about calling it quits to get a decent night's sleep. It sort of does, but I will only really feel better about it if the exam goes well in the morning. All I know is my head is tired from reading and my back is tired from sitting (I may detect some pressure sores growing on my darierre...) and I think anything else I look at at this point is not going to stick. The dogs are finally tired and not trying to eat each other, bonus. So I think it might be time for some tv in bed. J is off at his hockey game, so the house is quiet. It's time to relax.
Afterall, tomorrow it all starts again. T minus 26 days to Beer Fest....
Posted by L.G. at 8:18 PM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Well it's been a helluva week so far. I've been kicking like a duck staying above water. We have an exam on Monday over just about every neuropathology known to man and I feel swamped (obviously not swamped enough to stay off of blogger...). This has been a week I've been dreading since school began. Why? Because it was my turn to face the music and interview my very own crazy person.
We are all split into psychiatry groups of about 8 people with two facilitators. The super fun part is interviewing a real, live psych patient that answered an ad in the paper in front of the whole lot of them. All this with no real training in how to interview psych patients, just information on whatever disease they are supposed to be suffering from. I chose the chronic pain interview because I felt that there was at least a likely somatic (bodily) diagnosis that I could interview them about when I started to get squeamish about all those suicidality questions. Boy was I wrong.
Don't get me wrong, I feel grateful that this person was able to share their time with me and I really did learn something about interviewing psych patients, but not from the experience of actually interviewing. I spent about a half an hour talking with this person, who was obviously here to lecture us about pain treatment, and how their pain was misdiagnosed for too long in a clinical situation. Mostly they talked about the actual feeling of pain and the procedures they were undergoing to correct said pain. I managed to direct some of the interview to psychiatric issues, although it was tough to get a word in edgewise, and it proved to be enough to give our facilitators all the information they needed to launch a frontal attack on the psychiatric front. When it was opened up to group questions, they came fast and furious, asking about everything from depression to self-mutilation to suicide, and getting answers none of us expected. I'm sure the 20+ years of practice they each have led them to know what to ask, but I was pretty impressed. While all of us spent our time trying to get to the root of their physical diagnoses, the mental picture was as clear to them and it was unclear to us. It gave me a whole new appreciation for two things: 1)their obvious ability to read between the lines, and 2)my own (apparent) sanity. They were mad as a hatter...yikes.
Obviously I must be the luckiest person on the planet to get stuck with that interview. I think I'll probably go buy a lottery ticket just in case.
Oh well, it is fall, the weather is perfect for running with the big guy (and tiny little runs with the little guy, if only I had a video camera...) who is too hairy to really enjoy running in the summer, and...wait for it.....we're going to the Great American Beer Festival!!!!
I know what a lot of you are thinking, LG...you've been to the Beer fest before, what's so big about this deal? Well, for starters, it just happens to fall on the day of my neuro final. Awesome. It's on the beginning of that one special weekend that only comes about every ten weeks or so...the weekend when there is nothing to study, even if you want to (well, this isn't entirely true, refer to the post about the big bad boards...but there will be no studying that weekend, for the record). For school and many other reasons, I didn't think I'd be able to go to the beer fest this year, but fortune smiled. That lottery ticket is looking better all the time! Best part is, lots of great friends are going with me. Sure makes the rest of neuro look a lot more doable...even with the crazies.
**Disclaimer: according to our psych professors, there is such a thing as a crazy patient, I'm not just being a crass jerk; at least not too much so.
Posted by L.G. at 6:52 PM
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Well, since I haven't exactly been a blogging machine lately, I felt the need to change it up around here. I think I'm a fan of the change.
It really feels like fall is officially here. The weather is distinctly brisk and the farmers markets are full of great stuff! Fall is my very favorite time of year, partly because I've always gotten a jolt out of starting a new school year, and partly because I just love everything about it. But the fact that it's fall is definitely distracting when it comes to school work. All I want to do is get out of the house, try new fall-y recipes, curl up with a good book at night. Alas, this kind of apathy can't go on unchecked. This is a big year for me, and the big bad boards are going to be in my lap before I know it. I feel utterly unprepared. In fact, I don't even know how to prepare. It's just a big ominous black cloud in the distance. I can't see through it (I don't even know a thing about what to expect 3rd year, but can't seem to care because it's past B-day) and I don't know what it holds. There is such a mosterous pile of information I need to weed through that I don't know where to start. Not to mention, I want to keep up with course work so I'm not doing double duty in the weeks before the actual exam. No reason to completely need to learn the neuro/endocrine/micro sections on my own because I spent the fall studying pharm.
I know from experience that panicking is not a good strategy for me. I can't let myself think about the entire big picture or panic sets in and I am like a deer in headlights. I try to do everything and then suddenly can do nothing.
Oh well, blogging about it at length isn't going to help the situation either. And the exam is still 7 months away. My plan is to actually start, schedule in hand, in October. By then I will know more about how to study for the exam and what kind of schedule is reasonable. Until then, J and I are planning the vacation we will take after the boards. I think it should help with the motivation issue. I have several little nuggets of motivation scattered throughout the year, so that should help me focus. Should....
Posted by L.G. at 8:23 AM
Monday, September 1, 2008
Well, in keeping with the positive theme I've been going for, today is a truly great day. If the spirit of Labor Day is eschewing work and making with the leisure time, today lived up to that spirit and then some. As I sit here, I am drinking a lovely shiraz, eating my favorite mediterranean foods, and watching the ANTHONY BOURDAIN MARATHON!!!!! That's right I said marathon. My favorite travel show hero has been quietly recording on my DVR all day, and at the moment, I am with him in Hawaii. Not a bad place to be.
The whole day has been this kind of bliss. We started out with the all-time best breakfast there is: egg in a hole. It's pretty much what it sounds like, toast which is fried in butter with a hole in the middle filled with a hard fried egg. While we digested our food we filled the time watching I Heart Huckabees, which I have to say, is pretty hilarious. After that I went for a run in what I thought would be a nice early fall morning. It pretty much felt like July on the surface of the sun, but it was good to get some activity anyway.
My great friend from med school, also an LG, came over for some drinks and to see the house in the early afternoon (hey, it's 5:00 somewhere). It was great to hang out with her and catch up while having some fun drinks and good snacks. After a little while, J's mom, whose birthday is today, and dad swung by and picked us up to go to a local Asian market. We went to the most authentic Chinese restaurant I've ever been to, and it was tasty. If one can have good seafood in Denver, it was in my dish. We also checked out a couple of Asian supermarkets, which were really awesome. We picked up some baked goods and some lychees and headed home.
Once we got home we watched one of my all time favorite movies, Strictly Ballroom, with J's parents and had some espresso martinis. And that about brings us to my current state of aforementioned bliss.
All of this occurring knowing that I have class at 8 am tomorrow morning. I must be chilling out in my old age.
Posted by L.G. at 7:40 PM