Friday, February 25, 2005

6. Epiphany of the Day

As I just quickly skimmed through my most recent blogs I had a somewhat disturbing epiphany - I'm like - an adult! Ugh, all that stuff I just wrote about - traveling to New York, dealing with patients, wondering what state I am about to move to, the fact that I am going to be a DOCTOR in 3 months. I mean, just walking down the street, getting my latte at my favorite coffee shop, talking to my sister on the phone, I am just ME, me looking out on the world. My world that really doesn't operate with a sense of how old I am, I just AM. But now, reading over these, it hits me how very adult all these happenings are. I'm not sure how I feel about all that...
I think tomorrow I am going to have to go make some prank calls, buy some ice cream, call my best friend and tell her about the cute guy I saw in the hall, take my shoes off and feel the grass get stuck between my toes (well, maybe not that part, I think it's going to be cold tomorrow and we all know how I feel about that), have my dad remind me that I shouldn't wear dark lipstick because guys will think I'm "loose" (that's about as close as my parents ever came to talking about the birds and the bees, well - that and the time I was 10 and my best friends, two identical twins I happened to look a lot like, and I asked my mom what it meant when people gave you the middle finger. Ha! that makes me laugh just thinking of her explanation, and her hand gestures, what a nut. Oh, and the books my dad tossed at us about 10 years after we already knew everything in them. It's called kids talk, not to mention the most uncomfortable class ever created - health class. This is random but there was some video we had to watch once and all I remember from it was some dude taking a shower and splashing the water on his face and then some voice warning that having your shower too hot can damage your eyesight - is that the weirdest thing you ever heard or what?!? I guess it made so little sense to me that it always bothered me - probably because I take such hot showers, thanks to my cold-naturedness and I always wondered if it would hurt my eyesight, but didn't care enough to just take warm showers, ANYWAYS, yeah, they never taught us that in medshool. MAN, can I ramble), and then - remember, I'm saying what I am going to do tomorrow, which now as I type is almost today - I'm going to write in my little pink diary with the tiny key and then lie there and dream about what I am going to be when I grow up - you know, after I become a plastic surgeon...

Me & Jeremy, hard at work on the stroke team... Posted by Hello

5. The Stroke Team

This is probably going to sound horrible and insensitive, but unfortunately, it's true - not because I have made it that way, but because it *is* that way: Taking care of a stroke patient is a little like taking care of an incubated alien egg. They are complete extra-terrestrials. They just lie there in their own little sphere of existence, imperviously. Even though you can touch (usually to inflict pain in an attempt to extract any sense of life from them - "I feel pain therefore I am") There is some imaginary bubble encasing them. Disconnection. Stale. Plastic. Artificial. Living death. Yuck.

Of course, some do go on to improve, to slowly crack the invisible shell encasing them and finally break out, back into the land of the living. But a fare share also - "expire." What a horrible term: expire. Who started using that?!? It's not a carton of milk - it's a HUMAN BEING!!! someone who used to be a kid, someone who once needed mom to help them stir the cookie dough when it got too thick, someone whose feelings were hurt when not enough people showed up at their birthday party when they turned 9, someone who remembers when they got the keys to their first car, someone who remembered the sound of their first born crying their first cry, someome who will remember what it felt like to have a tube shoved down their throat, needles stuck in their arms, people nagging them every 5 minutes "can you show me two fingers, Mr. Stewart, can you wiggle your toes?" The people who then proceeded to talk about them like they weren't even there, and ignored them when they started to choke on their own spit - when they wanted so hard to swallow, but couldn't because something in their brain had gone horribly wrong. They want so much for someone to remember what they once were, and what they know they still are somewhere deep inside, preferably someone with a white coat, or at least one of those ugly brightly colored scrubs with the rubber ducks. Heck even the dude shoving that thing beneath their back as they get ready to take the 124th x-ray they've had since they got to the hospital would be nice...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


What utter chaos.
So this is it. We just put the names of these programs, these cities all across America in an order, and just pray that we get one of our top choices. So many things bumbling about in my brain. Way too many factors - how do I weigh them?!? Last night I went to dinner w/ Zsi to figure it out - Chuy's of course - I bet if she had never progressed to solid food she would still be eating the same identical jar of baby food to this day, day after day, month after month, decade after decade... I am equally sure that when I'm ninety I will be still be sitting across the table from Zsila at some Chuy's in the sky, staring at those crazy Mexican fish on the ceiling as I wait for her to pop her teeth back in her mouth so we can start eating the same mexicob salad we have every time we go there. You see - it really doesn't matter what you order there - it all has the same, bland homogeneous texture, color, and "flavor." But - I do like their tortillas. Anyways, back to the match - so I finally, after having about 10 rank lists (the problem, I realized, is not so much that I can't figure out which one I like the most as it is figuring out which one I hate the least) came up with a definitive list. I also had to have a conference call with the fam, Amanda played secretary, mom attempted the role of secretary but got fired after 30 seconds and 'manda resumed her post, - I gave her an E for effort as Dad proceeded to spout out words of wisdom, and Dustin just made wise cracks in the background (thanks dust,'preciate it). My first choice is plastics in Richmond, Virginia. Even last year for some crazy reason my heart was in Richmond, at MCV. No real reason, I don't know why I chose there - let's hope it's fate...
Now if I opened my envelope on match day and it said Richmond, I CANNOT tell you how thankful I will be. Wow, that will be a - w - e, s - o - m - e, sing it with me now!
I was just staring at that list. I talked to one of my friends who is a plastics fellow tonight. He said he thinks he was clinically depressed during his general surgery years. That was before the 80 hour work week (not that programs actually follow that law, but at least it's not as horrible as it used to be). He said he just lived in fear, they could just be having a bad day, or maybe their cat died or something and they could fire you, or at least threaten to fire you for no good reason. He said he remembers spending countless nights at the bar, just talking to the bartender, and thinking how all of his other 20 - something friends were living life, and he was a slave at the hospital. And those wonderful people who say doctor's make too much money - those people have approximately two and a half brain cells. All this to say that I'm glad I talked to him because I think it helped tip me towards what I wanted to do anyways - rank the programs in order of where I think I'll be happiest (even as I right this I feel a twinge of guilt, am I sadistic or what?) instead of where I might have a *possiblity* of having better chances at reaching my ultimate career goals (ranking places w/ plastics fellowships regardless of whether I would hate my life there or not...) I have faith that God will work it all out in the end, he is in total control, not me anyways. I just need to chill.
It will be fine. I'm actually getting a little excited about where I am going to be. I do need to work on my attitude though - about starting my intern year - it is positively terrifying. One day at a time.
Alright, well it is 10:30pm guess I should go find that case I need to look over for neuro tomorrow - ugh, 4-5 more days (I hope I don't have to work Sunday too, I mean it is the day before the test - we'll see).
Nighty night!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Me, Katherine, and Sharon enjoying: Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005.

A little background on Central Park:

"Vince Davenport: Chief Engineer and Director of Construction
Jonita Davenport: Project Director.
One hundred fifty-one years ago the City of New York purchased a large piece of land and asked the two landscape architects, Mr. Calvert Vaux and Mr. Fredrick Law Olmstead to design a public park.
The park is entirely man-made, all the trees had to be planted, soil was brought, there was only swamps and the rocks which had been pushed in by glaciers billions of years ago.
Mr. Vaux and Mr. Olmstead surrounded the park with a stone wall, leaving entrances to the park at each interruption in the wall, where a walkway starts, those entrances are called Gates. (Even though the original gates designed for those entrances were never made...)
After Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, announced, on January 22, 2003, that a 43-page contract had been signed permitting New York artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to realize their temporary work of art: The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005, the fabrication of all the materials was started. The installation, at the site in Central Park, was completed with the blooming of the 7,503 fabric panels on February 12, 2005.
The 7,503 gates, 16 feet (4,87 meters) tall vary in width from 5 feet 6 inches to 18 feet (1,68 to 5,48 meters) according to the 25 different widths of walkways, on 23 miles (37 kilometers) of walkways in Central Park."
 Posted by Hello

CENTRAL PARK: Can I please just say that I *love* New York. It is an amazing place. No place else has such energy, such diversity, such loneliness, such love, such magic, or such life! What an awesome place. Posted by Hello

3. My Feb. trip to New York

I left Thursday afternoon - and was VERY thankful to be missing days on neuro, and especially to be missing days on stroke - it's awful! I got to Laguardia, took a cab to Katherine's place (58 E 1st street - right off first avenue and next to this funny little bar called the Elephant or something). I didn't get in 'till almost 8. She and Sharon had made Spaghetti and I scarffed that down. It was weird getting out of the cab and walking up to the door that leads to her apt. I feel like I had *just* left there ( I was there the beginning of Dec. for my two gen. surg. interviews). Someone was coming out so I didn't have to have her bug me in. I walked down the little dirty tile hallway to the even littler elevator on the left, got in, and went to the fifth floor. Her apt. is 5B and sits at a 45 degree angle to the adjoining apartment. It was nice to be back. A smile had crept up and was permanently stuck on my face. New York just makes me happy - and I was excited about seeing kat again. I sat on the couch and caught up with Sharon (Katherine's roommate) for a while. We didn't stay up too late. They had to go to work and I had to be at the hospital early. I woke up early the next morning, walked out the door, to the left, across the street, and caught the M15 to 14 street. I walked to Cabrini (between 2nd and 3rd on 19th) and took the elevator to 12

Me & Katherine, in her apt. in New York, being ridiculous :) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

New York Hospital

View out of the hospital I would be working in if I did my residency in New York, near Gramercy Park area. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

2. People are ranking

I just went to the Plastics website and this was posted yesterday, they didn't say what program they were from.

Just a note to the applicants. I'm a PGY-2 and our program made our rank list today. We were all very impressed at the caliber of our interviewees this year and struggled for about two hours to put people in order. Good luck to all of you. Just remember to rank programs in the order that you want them -- gaming the system doesn't help. And enjoy the rest of medschool. A few notes for next year's class . . . We always lean towards the known commodity when other factors are similar. (wonderful, wonder if that's how it is at the places I interviewd too) Do at least one visiting elective at a program where you think you would like to match. How do you know this before you've been there? Ask your advisor and the residents at your program about where you should look. They'll usually steer you in a pretty good direction. Again, good luck to this year's applicants. I remember the stress from two years ago . . . it was not pretty. Keep your heads up, have fun while you can, and we'll see some of you on Match Day.

Then they also said

We had our last interview last Friday. We have a meeting with all residents and faculty and make a preliminary list. The chairman and PD then go and edit it a bit. From what I saw last year, it didn't change much, since we got our #1 and #2 candidates from the prelim list. It's always good to let a chair/PD know that you want to be in their program. I'm not sure when lists are due, but time is running out.

We'll see, 5 weeks 'till match day. I sent another email to the PD of OK, and VA knows how I feel. I just love waiting!

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Today Jeremy introduced me, excuse me, "wonderful" (per Jeremy) introduced me to the world of the Blog. Strange how med-school acts as a screen, separating you from the rest of the world. Not so much like prison, because we have actually chosen to be here. It is so busy cramming us full of the information it requires us to know that a lot of what is out in the world ceases to be naturallly aquired by our brains. It's full! I need more RAM. Or maybe I just need more time, probably both...
I'm on my Neuro rotation, it's Friday. Save writing one SOAP note on a TIA patient this AM and attending grand rounds, I have been essentially worthless. They are finally "releasing" us to go home. Luckily I wormed my way out of having to come in this weekend (yes!) and next weekend I'll be in New York. Well, the shuttle from my apt. (excuse me, "garden home") should be here soon. It only comes once an hour, but is a lot better than driving and parking to ride the train or paying $10 to park. I wonder what I'll do tonight? I'm just glad I get to sleep in tomorrow! Alright, I'll play with this later.