Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Wow, 10 weeks from this very moment I'll be sitting down at a computer getting ready for the big event. It seems like time is going extra fast this semester. We had an exam on Monday, so last weekend was totally devoted to that and since then I've not gotten much accomplished. But it's back to it today, for oh so many reasons. First of all, we have yet another exam on Monday. In fact, I worked it out that we have an exam every week until the end of February. Yikes. When we have 2 blocks at a time it seems we all end up playing catch up constantly just to stay on top of things. This block is just a worse version of that since we are all also studying for boards.

I want to add a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the Maiden Metallurgist on her wedding. If you don't already read her blog, or her husband's (!), Berg with Fries, you definitely should. I'm really happy for you Drea!

The bad news in the midst of all the good is that the optic neuritis came back. Everything was back to normal, but as of last Friday, it's back with a vengence. I can't see the color red from that eye and it hurts to move it. I just can hardly believe how often you really move your eyes. But, I will go see my neuro guy next week and if last time was any indication, it won't last forever. Until then, I will be listening to my friendly online pathologist, Goljan, to guide me through the boards.

Well, I better get to school. And by "get to school" I mean fire up the course cast and watch class from the comfort of my couch. The dogs are even bigger fans of this "class recording" system than I am. I promise to get some cute pictures of Mugs and Rock up later this week. Mugs really is at a great size. When J took him running last weekend he was stopped by all sorts of people and one lady in particular was very disappointed that he was going to get bigger than he is. I am too. He is the perfect dog size right now, no offense to the big guy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Record breaker

What an awesome day! It's 70 degrees, sunny, and still. It's probably the nicest day I could imagine in Colorado in January. I got up early, went to see Dr. B, my preceptor and got out of there pretty early since he had a slow morning. J and I got a gift card to Whole Foods for Christmas and there was still some money on it, so I headed over after preceptor and picked up some fun stuff for dinner. Once I realized how gorgeous it was outside I knew I had to bring the doggies for a long run. We pretty much got lost in the neighborhood across the street, but it was so nice to get out in the sun and forget all about studying for a while. I don't know why I'm acting like I have nothing to do, but even though I do have lots to do I can't pass up this kind of day in January, particularly when it's going to snow all weekend. Yes, I have an exam on Monday, but I feel like I've kept up with the material and even survived giving my first prostate exam. If that's possibly a reason to celebrate, I'll take it.

There is another plus side to getting all three of us out in the sun...I don't think the dogs are going to make a peep all afternoon. Awesome.

Another thing to celebrate - my mom and sister got plane tickets to come out after my trip to San Francisco in April! Hooray! It's the first time my sister has been out here since she's been 21. This is extra exciting because Colorado is the Napa valley of beer after all. And she's never even been able to partake of my favorite place - Coors lab! Super exciting. Just have to get through that itsy bitsy little test first. With motivation like this I can definitely do it!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History in the Making

Well, for all my good (?) intentions of keeping buried in books today and not watching the inauguration, there's no way I can let that happen. This is history. I can't actually be in Washington DC today, but I can watch it on television. I've watched every bit of the election season, and remember several points knowing that this was history that I would someday tell my kids about, and I suppose I shouldn't let the culmination of that go without me watching.

Besides, infectious disease is so ewie.

Monday, January 19, 2009

11 and change

So last week went entirely too quickly. It was a really busy week. Last Monday we had our 2nd year "retreat." It was held on campus, was mandatory, and probably could have been accomplished in 2 hours rather than 6. Once again they got us all nervous about 3rd year, all the forms that need signing the badging and blood work that needs doing. Vaccinations, etc. etc. All the while all any of us can think about is that teensy little exam that stands in the way of us actually becoming 3rd year students. The timing of the whole event seemed pretty bad and overall, all I got out of it was a sense of urgency and a pretty awesome brownie.

That aside, I did manage to get a little excited for third year. It will be so nice to learn by doing again. On the job training has always worked better for me than reading things ad nauseum. I really am looking forward to working with patients. That was the whole point of leaving the PhD program in the first place. I requested to take my OB/GYN clerkship first since that it what I am by far most familiar with, and yet don't really have a desire to go into. A good learning environment, I hope.

Speaking of gyn, last week was my group's turn to "learn" how to do pelvic and prostate exams. The sessions were really well run and I feel like I'm that much more prepared for 3rd year having that out of the way. It helped that I've done loads of pelvic exams already. But I never really understood what "turn your head and cough" meant until last Tuesday.

J has also been training for a marathon. I think this is making all 4 of us more active and that's a good thing. It would be an easy thing to forget about when all I can think about is study, study, study. Last week though, he was taking both dogs with him on a run and R mashed into his leg. His knee is really messed up. We tried to do 5 miles on Saturday but at the 4 mile mark, after he stopped to wait for me, his knee was so tight that we had to walk the rest of the way. I hope there's nothing any more wrong than a little inflammation that will clear on its own.

It's a long weekend for us as we get Martin Luther King Jr. day off. So instead of writing this from class today I am at home. I keep wavering between studying for class or studying for boards. There's these audio lectures that I listen to that would really be best done today since I have no distractions. I'll probably do a bit of both. We do have a micro exam next Monday after all.

Not that anyone is counting, but we only have 37 actual days of class left. Wow.

I hate to waste these next two days slaving over books since it's such a historic time, and it makes me feel inspired. But, I guess that's what the DVR will have to be for. Of course, with all the stuff I want to record and save for after boards, I will be taking a year off instead of starting 3rd year, just to catch up on my shows! Happy Martin Luther King Jr day and Inauguration Day all!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


That's how many weeks are left to boards. Yesterday we had our first afternoon review, where our favorite faculty comes to give us review lectures on their respective areas of expertise. To some of us it was scary and made them nervous, but to me, it helped me get into the mood to study. I think that Friday evenings after these reviews will be my time to relax and hang out with J and the dogs. The rest of the week will be busy as will the weekends, but Fridays, they will be for getting ready for the next round.

Other than studying, not a whole lot is new. The eyes are the same, and thankfully I am lucky because everyone has been very helpful in allowing me to continue on with studying while I can't see or drive. They are recording our lectures in class now so I am able to watch class from home within 10 minutes of lecture being over. That is a huge deal for me and it's been very helpful to feel like I'm missing nothing at all, but also not bothering people to drive me around. I hope this goes away soon so things can go back to being completely normal for me (and everyone else) again.

The dogs will certainly be happy when I feel comfortable running again. Mugs has a serious case of cabin fever!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Looking forward

So, after a whole day of this type of studying I feel a little exhausted and a lot like I need some motivation. This'll work.

And we're off

So, it begins. What begins you might ask? The last semester of real classroom med school. And the biggest study semester of my life. I've spent the last half hour determining my study schedule for the next two weeks. I hate to go much farther out than that because I want to be able to be fluid and change it. But I wanted to apologize in advance for anything I might miss. There may be events that I would normally be at and enjoy myself at, but this semester things are going to be different. This eye situation isn't helping. It takes me much longer to get through things that are heavy on the sight as they fatigue my eyes a lot. I need to take a lot of breaks. Luckily I still have some lectures to listen to so that is helpful. It's gonna take a lot of discipline, and I'm sorry if it takes (even) longer to get back to you when you call, but know I'm thinking of everyone when I've got my nose stuck in a book. It'll be done before I know it.

It's not to say I don't hope to keep up with the blog, but you know, I wouldn't expect a post a day or anything like that.

One day at a time...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008, etc. etc.

So, not that it's the worst year I can recollect, but I'm glad that 2008 is over. Let's review. Some things made me sad. My grandpa died. My sight took it's own private vacation from whence it has yet to return. I had a personal disappointment last spring that was more difficult to recover from than I cared to admit. I didn't go on any vacations.

But a lot of things made me happy. I started blogging, and hence have wasted countless, ridiculous but completely fun hours writing and reading other people's musings. I finished my first year of med school. I TAed in the anatomy lab. I got an offer to write a texbook chapter. I reconnected with some old friends and made some new ones. I got to see my friend through a pregnancy and even got to meet her lovely daughter! I finally figured out how to make decent meatballs. We got the Mugs, though at first, standing outside in my jammies at two in the morning while he peed made me wonder for a while if that was truly a good thing. I've decided it is. So much more happened this year that has decidedly made me smile. Overall, I can't complain too much.

2009 is off to a good start. Since it started, I've planned a vacation, visited the breweries in Fort Collins, and met up with a friend from high school I haven't seen for 9 years. It has been pretty cool. The trip up to Fort Collins was my Christmas present from J. A bunch of us drove up there together and started out with lunch at Panino's. It's a tiny little family joint that is right across a parking lot from my old office at CSU. I love thir food, it's great. Then we headed over to New Belgium. Here I met up with a friend from high school. Crazy to see her since it's been so long. It was nice to catch up and hear what other people from our class are up to. Not to mention, I'm a huge New Belgium beer fan so that was great too. After New Belgium we headed over to Odell. Odell is much smaller, but I think I might like it even better than New Belgium. After Odell we made our last stop at the Fort Collins brewery where they actually had a beer they called the Baconator. Yes, it tasted like liquid bacon. Disconcerting and disgusting. Blech. After we left the Fort behind we came back down to A-town and had a couple of friends over. We all fell asleep watching a movie. We must be getting older because a few years ago we wouldn't have been asleep until the wee hours of the morning.

I am so excited about the vacation we're taking. I needed something to look forward to after boards. I've always been one to bribe myself into doing what I need to get done. I have about 13 and a half weeks to boards (yikes!) and I need to be on top of it. We talked and talked about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. But after spending one afternoon last week looking at photos from our last trip to San Francisco, there was only one place I wanted to go. I adore San Francisco. If I could pick up and move to anywhere in the country, and be miraculously able to afford it, it would be San Francisco. I love the chill in the air all the time that makes it feel like fall constantly. I love looking at the ocean and the bay. I love that you can walk two blocks and be in a completely different feeling neighborhood, complete with its own weather. I love sour dough bread, I love clam chowder, I love wine. I love wine. I love wine. I love the hills, I love how green it always is, I love palm trees. I love wine. I love wine country. If I could do any thing in the world it would be to make wine. Unfortunately, that's not really in the cards, so I have to settle for visiting. But I will register religiously for the HGTV dream house in Sonoma. Don't I wish. But it should serve to motivate me for the big exam and get me rested for 3rd year. I can hardly wait.