Sunday, December 25, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Wyatt sees thrilled, doesn't he?

I have a tale to tell you... a tale about my Christmas tree.  I REALLY wanted to get a real tree from a Christmas tree farm, cut down with my own two hands (and a saw, of course).  That planned flopped a couple times, and on the last day I was going to try to get there, I had a water pipe leak in the ceiling and instead of a Christmas tree, I got a plumber.  Wop wop. 

I didn't want a fake tree because we always had a real one at home, I love the way they smell, and I just wanted one.  But in the end, I decided I'd rather have a fake tree than no tree at all... so I broke down and bought one.  It didn't hurt that I waited long enough for them to be 50% off either...

Even though my tree is nothing special, I needed something to hang my ornaments on... because they ARE special.  Some people pick a theme for their tree, and totally change the look each year.  My tree's theme is "I've been getting ornaments every year since I was born and I want to show them off".  It's the theme I use every year.  I got a bunch of them from home this year (although not all, I'm sure), and added some simple blue and silver balls to fill it up.  Here are a few of my favorite ornaments...

Top Left: Starbucks.  Because I'm me.
Top Right: Kissy fish face ornament
Bottom Left: Engraved metal ornament... I have a bunch of them, that one is from 1988!
Bottom Right: First christmas ornament EVER!  Porceline shoes from my parents in 1985. 

And yes, I do plan on keeping my tree up for at least another two weeks.  Thanks for askng.

Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
The bad news:  I have to work on Christmas Day... and the day after Christmas... and the day before Christmas... and New Years.  That make it challenging (ie impossible) to make it home to PA for Christmas. 

The good news:  I got this stocking in a box of presents from my parents today...

Why, yes, that is a stocking made out of a paper bag with actual stitching filled with Christmas goodies.  Thank you for asking. 

At home, I have a hand-made cross stitched stocking that I've had since... forever.  Being as it's at home in PA and I am in IN, I couldn't hang it from my mantle.  So I got a cheapo sustitute.  And then I got this one.

The paper bag stocking is WAY better than my replacement.  A little taste of home (the peanut butter balls I got in the same box also taste a lot like home...) even though I can be there.

Thanks mom and dad!  For the stocking and other presents I haven't opened because it's not Christmas yet and that would be cheating!

Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
This morning, I spent a tremendous amount of time going through, cleaning out, and organizing files.  Lots and lots of files.  I hadn't put ANYTHING away since moving 6 months ago, and decided it was high time I find my desk under a small tropical forest's worth of paper.  Mission: accomplished.

In all the wading, I stumbled upon lots of old things I hadn't read in a long time.  Letter from friends, cards, old graded papers and tests.  Among those things, I also found my AMCAS application for med school.  I submitted that application on 8/5/2005, just after my 20th birthday and shortly before starting my junior year in college.  In the 6+ years since writing it, lots has changed.  And lots hasn't.  I was only halfway through college when I wrote this personal statement, thinking I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon, traveling the world, figuring out who I was.  I actually wrote it on a plane flying home from South Africa, using a little journal of handmade paper that only halfway opened, and a red pen.  I thought about writing a big analysis of how my life is now compared to what I expected of myself back then, but I decided it would be more fun to just throw it out there and let you all make your own judgements.  Enjoy...

(ps...  I didn't edit this at all, even though I wanted to change some grammar and wording.  That would have been cheating...)

In his book, "God Has a Dream", Bishop Desmond Tutu writes about a way of thinking known as Ubuntu theology.  He claims that all people are connected, that "I am because you are."  This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to the small country of Lesotho in southern Africa.  It was in Lesotho that the meaning of Tutu's theology challenged by dreams for my future.

During evening discussions, the students and I questioned one another in hopes of understanding our experiences.  I struggled with the injustices of the poverty I witnessed that threatened the lives of my new-found friends.  If Tutu is right, and "I am because you are", what is my role in changing the injustice facing humanity?  What can I be to help the "you"'s of the world in their individual struggles?

When I first thought about these questions, my nicely planned life was rapidly turned upside down.  I thought that in order to be the person Lesotho and its people inspired me to be, I would have to make some frightening, dramatic, and unknown shifts in my future plans.  The impact the people of Lesotho, their stories, and their reality had on me was unfathomable.  I participated in a worship service with over 300 people, momentarily oblivious to the fact that, statistically, over thirty percent of them were HIV positive, and most made less than $300 a year. 

Reflecting on these realities, I began to question my own path, my own future.  I could not continue to be ignorant or apathetic to the plights of those with whom I share this world.  I took on a hemisphere's responsibility in a single evening and did not know what to do or where to start.  My mind and heart wrestled with Tutu's, "I am because you are".  What if I am the "you are"?  Do my thoughts, decisions, and actions directly impact human reality?  Is the status of each orphaned child and homeless family in Lesotho a result of who I am?  The lives of real people across the world may rest on my incapable shoulders.  I struggled with how to handle that realization.

I could not at first see how my pursuit of a career in medicine fit into this quest for justice.  I didn't know how living out my dream of being a surgeon could balance the equation of the Ubuntu theology.  But as I began to explore the possible meanings of Tutu's words, I came to the realization that they are fighting words, a challenge calling every person to the responsible for the whole of humanity.  "I am because you are."  The wrongs of the world can only be changed by magnifying and utilizing the individual gifts of every person.  We, as members of a global community, are blessed with gifts as diverse as the people who possess them, ans as important as the power that provides them.  These gifts allow Ubuntu theology to work.  If I am who I was meant to be, you can be who you were meant to be.

In an ideal world, people would discover, understand, and utilize their gifts to the highest potential.  However, this world is far from ideal.  Some are not given the opportunity to be who they are meant to be.  The injustices and inequalities of life in Lesotho and many other countries across the globe stifle the unique potential of each human being.  Simply being born in a certain place robs them of a choice, traps them in the life of generations before them.  at the same time, equally gifted men and women take their opportunities and choices for granted, and sacrifice their gifts for prestige, status, and appearance.  In an ideal world, choice would be standard and injustice would be rare.

I was faced with the sobering reality that my choices, these decisions about my life, were my chance to change the world.  Ubuntu theology had led me, though on a disturbing and challenging path, directly back to that overturned life plan.  Because I am who I am, I have a choice.  And because I have a choice, I have a rare chance to embrace my gifts and make my life what if can be.  My gift, my passion, is medicine.

People have never been shy about telling me how they think I should life my life.  I have been told I should be a teacher, paramedic, researcher, even a minister.  While each of these vocations would utilize one of my abilities, they fail to capture all that I am and who I can be.  My personality requires interaction with other people; an exchange of ideas and feelings and skills and hope.  My mind craves constant challenge; technical and difficult, new and always changing.  I am a problem solver; social, scientific, and personal.  The only career, the only future, I can see for myself is medicine.  While I was in Lesotho, I had a spontaneous desire to stay and make things right.  However, sacrificing my passion and gifts for something more "helpful" or "righteous" might be as harmful as choosing to remain ignorant would have been.  Where exactly medicine will take me is as uncertain as the future of Lesotho.  But I do know that if "I am because you are", I am meant to be a physician.  I cannot choose to ignore that gift.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
I was out putting up lights this afternoon.  Last night I'd put a wreath up on the front door, but it was a little high and kind of hidden behind the screen part of the storm door.  I planned on trying to move it to the front of the house where I was putting lights... if my ladder was tall enough.

While I was putting up some lights, I got a good look at how the storm door was attached...  Apparently with lots of screws.  Huh.  Doesn't seem to hard to get rid of...

Lets revisit what my house looks like (in the spring...)

I've always wanted to paint the storm door because it stands out way more than a storm door should.  You can't even tell there's a door behind it!  So, when I saw how it was attached, I figured it couldn't be THAT hard to take down....

More than 20 screws later, after almost tearing the hinge off the door frame (whoops, forgot those screws), the door was down.  Apparently, the door and trim used to be painted brown.  I've got a little touching up to do.  But overall, I'm THRILLED with how much it opens up the front of the house.  It'll got back up in the spring (when I want to keep the front door open), but for now the front of my house is awkward-white free!

Check out the results...

I know it's kinda dark... tis the season.  I should have turned the porch light on!  When it warms up later this week, I'll putt out some sandpaper and paint and touch up the places that are brown now... it'll be good as new :)
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I was cleaning up the memory card in my phone this weekend and came across some (okay, a lot) of random pictures of Wyatt.  What can I say, he does things worth taking pictures of.  Here are a smattering of them, captions included.
Wyatt thinks he's the king of the world...

Just chillin... half sitting in a pot.  Weirdo.

Don't worry mom, I'll do your homework!

Haha, he got a bath, and hated me for it.

Reading directions on how to install new pedals on my bike.

Seriously, he's a learner.

Protective of the toys...

Orange fuzzy blanket naptime.

If he lived in the wild, he'd get eaten.

Cat + caffeine = this.

This is why I don't waste money on toys anymore...

 I'm trying to sleep!  Get that camera out of my face!

New favorite blanket.
Crazy animal.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Great Article

I don't have much to add...

Read away.

How Doctors Die, by Ken Murry
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sorry I didn't write anything about vacation after the first day.  There was much pie eating and shopping and no time for computers.  I thought I'd pop in with a little house updating since I haven't done that in a long time.  Here are some shots of how my dining room has changed over the last 5 months...

This is what it looked like on move-in day.  Very yellow.

I painted three walls chocolate brown with the front wall a light grey/beige color (that runs into the living room also).  The big picture window in the front lets in enough natural light that it doesn't make the room to dark or feel small.  After painting, the dining room became a great staging area for many many tools... and it looked like this.

That's a lot of stuff.  The plan is to put up some shelves, pictures, frames, etc to break up the dark chocolate.  I also want to add some color but not sure what or how yet.  I did template out and put up some floating white shelves.  Very precise measuring going on here...

Take notice of the wonky lopsided light fixture seen above.  That was one of the things I really wanted my dad to help me replace while he was here.  I thought about refinishing it, but just couldn't get it to hang right and get the shades to sit level.  So I ditched that idea in exchange for a nifty modern drum light. 

Ooooo.  So this is what I have now, after putting up the shelves and adding a bit of different decor to the table...

Things I still want to do include:
Add a runner to the table
Paint the table a chairs an antiqued white
Add more things to the wall
Get a hutch/buffet/small server sort of thing
Maybe add a rug...

It still looks kind of naked, but it's getting there!

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Yesterday started off with a trip to Lowes.  I imagine a lot of the coming days will start with a trip to Lowes...  Anyway, after getting a couple small projects done, we headed towards the Notre Dame stadium with plans to find some tickets to the game vs. Boston College.  We were kind of anticipating a blowout by ND, but it's still fun to go!

We walked up to some shoppes south of campus, and while my dad was in the bookstore, I scouted out the scalpers.  They were buying tickets from people who had extras for like $5, and then trying to sell them for face value (at least $80)...  Not happening. 

Instead we walked through the tailgates, and there was a kid selling extra tickets their family wasn't going to use.  So we got the pair for less 50% of face value.  Yay us.

And then we went to the stadium, got some food, and found our seats.  I got a hamburger with mashed potatoes on it.  It's called a Legends burger, and it was practically invented for me.

The game was much closer than expected.  And there were a couple surprises.  At some point, Jon Bon Jovi came out and was "directing the band" in the stands.  I don't think there was much directing happening, but he was definitely there!

At halftime, the band did normally does a halftime show, but this week they decided it would be cooler to make up a whole new show to songs made famous by Chicago... and they thought it would also be cool to have Chicago there to sing along...

Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (side note: what movie do you think of??)

25 or 6 to 4 (the formation is starting to change to its hard to read)

I think that's pretty clear...
 I think the most impressive part was that the band learned a whole new show just for this day. 

And then, during the second half, my dad bought me $5 hot chocolate.  He must love me, because that's a lot for hot chocolate... but it was cold and I didn't bring gloves.  It made me warm.

Day 1 of vacation ended with us walking home, meeting up with someone he knows from work at Corby's (a bar) for a bit, then getting pizza at 11 at night.

Day 1: Success.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Today is the last day of OB.  Tomorrow is the first day of vacation.  10 glorious days of vacaton.  I'm excited. 

Various family members are coming to my house over the next couple days.  And I plan on putting them all to work.  Don't worry, they kind of volunteered.  Knd of...

You see, they have skillz.  Skillz far beyond mine.  My dad has building skillz and wiring skillz and plumbing skillz.  My mom has decorating skillz and ironing skillz, and being creative skillz.  And I happen to have lots of thing on my to do list that I am not equiped to do.  I sent my dad a list of LOTS of possible projects so he could bring proper tools. 

I have big plans.

Be on the lookout for pictures of cool stuff.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Have I mentioned before I have a jacket problem?  I think I have... but it never hurts to repeat important things.

I have a jacket problem. 

As in, I have too many of them, but just can't stop.  Seriously, I am one person, and my coat closet it totally crammed.  But they are all so important.  And none is more important than my Mountain Hardwear Monkey Woman Jacket...

Okay, fine.  I have two.  You didn't have to be so mean about it.

Let me explain.  I have had my eye on this jacket since I worked at EMS.  It was love at first wear.  But, being that I am relatively cheap (ie, like to get things at a bargain), and it retails for $150, I didn't own one.  I only oogled.  That is, until one fateful day in Portland, OR.  I was on a bit of a Columbia outlet store shopping spree, when I came across this particular jacket on sale for 50% off!  Woo!  But I was Christmas shopping for OTHER people, not me.  So I was going to let it pass on by.  Until I saw a sign indicating that it was marked down even more, to a mere $40.  I'm only human, people.  And that deal is beyond my ability to pass up.  So I snagged it (only it was blue, not purple like the one above), and promptly wore it around Portland, and on the airplane home (and I may or may not have let my apartment temp run a little cool so I had an excuse to wear it while sitting on the couch......).

The other day, while on a bit of a TJ Maxx shopping spree (I don't do that as often as it sounds), I found the purple version you see above, stuffed between some other inferior jackets and hiding from the masses, waiting for me.  And, of course, it was at a great TJ Maxx price.  What's a girl to do??

Yes, I already said I have a problem.

Anyway, I am not opposed to owning two of these jackets because, quite simply, they are wonderful, and double the wonderful never hurt anyone...

Why, you may ask, is the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Woman jacket so great?  Well, first of all, the product description on MH's website says it's constructed of Monkey Phur.  How can it not be great?  Aside from that, I love this jacket because it's incredibly soft and warm while being light weight and nifty looking.  The fleece tapers at the cuff so the Monkey Phur doesn't get all up in whatever you're doing with your hands.  It has a convenient zip breast pocket (always a plus in my mind... the best place to put a few dollars and some chap stick while frolicking in any winter wonderland), a feminine cut, and did I mention it's warm?  The fleece also holds up extremely well to abuse without pulling out or pilling. 

It's like getting a giant warm hug from an extremely friendly brightly colored polar bear.

The downside to this jacket, like most fleece jackets, is that it doesn't do so hot in the wind protection department.  It'll keep you warm if it's cold and breezy, but if you're in blustery conditions, you're better off to throw a shell on top to keep all the toasty inside. 

I definitely would recommend this jacket to anyone looking for a cozy addition to their winter outerwear collection.  And don't fret, gentlemen.  The version for guys is called the Monkey Man.  It's still made of Phur though...

Adventure on,
Friday, November 11, 2011
Some may find the hype surrounding today's date, 11/11/11, a bit ridiculous. It's just one day, right? Wrooooooooooong! For one little soul, 11/11/11 will forever be an awesome day. Because it's the day she was born. Yes, lots of babies were born today...

But how many were born at 11:11 on 11/11/11??????? Not many. Maybe none.

But we did it. We delivered a little Chica at 11:11, no embellishment involved.

And it was awesome.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Disclaimer:  This post will contain language routinely used in OB world.  If you are unfamiliar with or offended by the proper terms for female child-birthing parts, this post might not be for you, and you should stop reading.

It was a dark and (not so) stormy night.  I, having delivered all the babies on the board, was sleeping soundly in my call room.  Then, my pager went off.  In my hazy just awoken from a (not so) deep sleep, I looked at the number and thought, "huh, that's not the triage number...".  So I called it back and heard, "Dr. Sears, you're needed in birthing suite 2".  Birthing suite 2?  There's no one in birthing suite 2....

So I crawled out of bed, wiped the goop out of my eyes, and wandered over to BS2.  The nurse said that lady had come in saying she woke up and felt "something between her legs".  I lifted the sheets with plans to check her cervix, and was greeted with this:

(You thought I was going to show you a cervix, didn't you?)
I was greeted with a teeny little premature newborn foot.  Only it wasn't in someones hand, and seen above.  It was sticking out of the momma's vagina. 

For those of you not familiar with the normal delivery process of a baby, let me explain what usually happens.  First the head comes out.  Then the body.  Then the feet.

The feet are not supposed to come out first.

Needless to say, I felt a little outside my pay grade.  So I called for backup, in the form of a scalpel wielding obstetrician.  We whisked her to the back for a c-section of not only the little girl who tried to kick her way out of the uterus, but also her twin sister, who was pretty much sitting on top of her to put a little weight behind the kicks. 

Momma and both babies are doing fine.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Ahhh, falling back.  The one night of the year where you can snag an extra hour sleep or stay up an extra hour late knowing that after 1:59am, the clocks will magically forget to go to 2:00am, and instead flip back an hour to 1:00.  Splendid, that is, unless you happen to be on nights.

Which I am.

Which means that instead of getting an extra hour of sleep, I get an extra hour of work!  Yessssss!  But not only do I get to work an extra hour, I get to do it without our electronic medical record.  You heard me right.  We are falling back in time AND technology.  Yeah, yeah, I know that doctors used to practice medicine with paper, signed orders in blood, and walked to the hospital in snow uphill both ways.  But since those days, all the records have been put onto the computer.  So while we can write orders and document without the EMR, we can't look up old records.  Which is a problem.

AND the fetal monitoring will have to be done with paper.  If something goofy happens on the strip and no one is in the room to watch it, it won't get noticed until someone looks back through the strip.

I'm thinking that if we tell every woman that her labor will be an extra hour longer because of the time change, she'll come back in the morning..........
Friday, November 4, 2011
I have a theory... about shoes.  Specifically sneakers (or tennis shoes, running shoes, athletic shoes, whatever it is you want to call them).  My theory goes a little like this:

When I look at my shoes (while I wear them), I only see the toe.  And the laces. 

Therefore, the toe should be interesting.  And worth looking at.

It's a pretty simple theory.  And I keep this in mind when I go shoe shopping.  Sure, a shoe may look snazzy and fun from the size, but it the toe is white and boring, the snazzy side does me no good.  The other day I was out shopping for some new shoes to wear with scrubs.  The ones I have now are a retired pair of running shoes, and they stink.  And after this OB rotation (where they may or may not have gotten doused with various substances in one or more delivery), they will the throw away before leaving the hospital. 

I was looking for something very specific: an inexpensive running shoe (I've found they're the most comfortable for me to wear all day) that was a bright and fun color, with an interesting toe.  If I'm wearing them with scrubs, that means almost certainly on call.  And what better to make call more fun that to wear ridiculously bright shoes? 

So this is what I came home with:

They are super fun to look at.  And comfy. 

And definitely follow the toe rule.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
99% of what happens on the Child Birth Unit (CBU) is happy and exciting.  Sometimes where are bumps along the way, but generally babies are born healthy and families are happy.  But 99% still leaves room for tragedy, and those stick with you.

While medicine continues to improve, and we are able to do increasingly more remarkable things, there are still limits on who we can save.  Never was that more evident than today.  I wasn't directly involved with this case, but not much happens on the CBU that everyone doesn't hear about. 

There are a woman who came in overnight (before my shift) who was 21 weeks pregnant and started having contractions.  This is not completely unheard of, and there are a few common things that can cause preterm contractions that are generally pretty easy to deal with (infection being the most common).  This woman was treated with fluids and terbutaline, but her contractions persisted.  Ultrasound revealed a grossly normal baby without obvious deformities.  Lab tests did not show any source of infection that could be treated.  As her contractions continued, her cervix started to dilate.  After much debate, she was started on Magnesium as a last ditch effort to stop her contractions.  It failed.  Preterm labor in itself is not uncommon, but she was only 21 weeks pregnant.  The general limit of viability for a fetus is 24 weeks.  Sometimes they will resuscitate babies born at 23 weeks. 

Nothing before 23 weeks is considered viable.

She was in rip roaring labor, and there was nothing to do to stop it.  She was delivering her baby, which was still alive, and they had to tell her that there was absolutely nothing anyone could do to save it.  The NICU doctors came to talk to her and reiterate that they could not offer her anything.  The OB docs talked to her and told her they'd done everything they could to stop it, but her body was going to have this baby.

She asked why, if her baby was perfectly healthy (from what we could tell), and was going to be born alive, we couldn't help it. 

She asked why we couldn't keep it in for just 2 more weeks until it was viable.

She asked what was causing her preterm labor.

She asked why no one was helping her.

She held her baby after it was born, as it was dying, and just asked "why?"

And there's only one answer, although not a good or satisfying one...

Because there are limits.

Monday, October 31, 2011
I love running in the cold... definitely more than running in the heat and almost more than running in cool weather.  There are many reasons I love running in the cold.  I like being warm when it's 20 degrees all around me.  I like that I can wear a hat, meaning I can wear headphones and listen to music.  I like wearing sweatshirts.  I like getting in the shower being freezing cold and warming up. 

This morning I was off (so I was not at work by the time it got light out, which I usually am), so I headed out for a run about 10am.  It was raining and about 39 degrees.  Just how I like it.  I came back and snapped a picture, looking a little like a soggy Nike advertisement that hadn't slept in 48 hours...
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Friday's keep happening... about every 7 days.

And every other Friday (that's every 14 days for those of you keeping track), I find that someone has put money into my checking account.

And no one expects me to pay this money back.

I get to keep it.

And spend it on things like a mortgage, Halloween candy, boots, and ... loans.

Let's ignore that last one...  I plan on ignoring it for at least a year.

Tomorrow, I bet someone puts more money into my checking account...

And I'll be pleasantly surprised... again.

I could get used to this.
Friday, October 21, 2011
I'm ending this medicine block on call, standing by while one of my patients slowly dies.

She's 95, a DNR, and this is what she wanted: an unexciting death.

But still, I wish there was a way to make it easier for her family to watch... she's comfortable, they agree that this is what she wanted...  but it's not easy to stand vigil when you know the outcome and are just waiting for it to happen.

The end of a block is less exciting when it coincides with end of a life.

Ironically, tomorrow is the start of a new rotation, and the start of some new lives as I head into the world of OB.

Talk about the circle of life...
Thursday, October 20, 2011
After four months (and 4 days) of living in my house, I FINALLY have a room I can show you that's (almost) done.

It figures it's the guest room... the room that gets less regular use than any other.  Oh well, at least I'm making progress somewhere! 

When I last left off, I'd painted the room a nice neutral tan color, and put linens on the bed.  And by bed, I mean air mattress...
Since then, I've done a few things.  
     1)  Put a real mattress in the room.  On a frame.  Talk about an upgrade...
     2)  Moved the bed from the short wall to the tall wall.
     3)  Moved the dresser to the corner
     4)  Added a couple new lamps
     5)  Put some floating shelves up with my black cat collection.
     6)  Put a stool, vase, and rug in the corner... because it was really empty...
     7)  Bought new guest towels and such, and put them in a little chest, because it's cute...
     8)  Hung curtains, which I tried to hem, but left too long.  Whoops.

I still have a few things to do to finish it up...
     1)  Put a picture in the picture frame that doesn't still have the price tag on it...
     2)  Re-hem the curtains (ahem, mom...), or I could just wash them and see how much they shrink.
     3)  Put some sort of nightstand on the other side of the bed.
     4)  Take down the boring light fixture and put up ceiling fan (from my bedroom) (ahem, dad)
     5)  Hang something above the bed/on the short wall... it's a little empty over there.
     6)  Figure out how to get the screw out of one particular switch plate, which I accidentally broke in the paint prep process, and now can't put a new cover on... (ahem, dad, again).
     7)  Sweep.

That's about it!  Definitely making lots of progress, and I've pretty much stalled until the parental reinforcements show up with their respective life skills and share them with me...

So come visit! 

Peace out,
Monday, October 17, 2011
Yes, I really took this picture...

I found it entertaining because 1) I've definitely almost dropped my phone/pager in the toilet, and 2) For this sign to exist, someone definitely already did dropped their phone or pager in the toilet.  These holsters are all over the place in staff bathrooms, but this is the only one with a nice label. 

And, yes, I took this picture also...

When you've got two pagers, a house phone, and a cell phone, something doesn't fit in the holster.  My cell phone had to take it's chance in my pocket.  I'm secretly hoping it falls in so I can get a new one...

No dice today... maybe next time. 
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Let me tell you something about feet.  (And you should listen to me, since I'm a doctor and all...)  They love them a good sock.  And boy do I have a good sock for you.

And by a good sock, I mean the best sock ever.  Unless, of course, you live in a place where you have to wear boots all the time, like Antarctica, or a swamp.  These are short socks for short shoes.  But as far as short socks for short shoes go, these are DEFINITELY the best.

I present to you, the Smartwool PhD Running Micro.
I'll give you the breakdown (since it's got such a long name for a sock)...

Note:  I just thought about turning the name into an acronym, but it became SPRM, which I decided was not a good name for a sock.

Smartwool:  The brand of the sock, and/or a special material specifically for making socks that comes from very intelligent sheep.

PhD:  Ummmmm, maybe they're really intelligent sheep?  Or really intelligent sock makers?

Running:  Great for running... or cycling, hiking, general wearing during the day if you have long enough pants to hide them with your dress shoes, skipping, walking, or snowshoeing.  But that's definitely too long for the name of a sock.

Micro:  This is the best part.  The are nice and short.  But have a little lip on the back so they don't fall off your heel and into your shoe (seriously, how annoying is that!?). 

The Smartwool people have really outdone themselves on this sock.  The snuggle your foot perfectly.  The tops are breathable and thin so as not to take up too much room in the shoe.  The heel and toes have a smidge extra squish to make the repetitive pounding less fatiguing and more comfy.  They have a little extra support across the arch, keeping the squishy areas and the thin areas in place.  The lip on the back keeps the sock up, and prevents blisters on your Achilles better than a box of mole skin ever could. 

They hold their shape, take FOREVER to wear out, are resilient, and come in many a fun color. 

Seriously, if you're the outdoorsy type, exercising type, or just want a good sock, pick a pair of these up.  They are a bit pricey ($10-14 a pair), but honestly totally worth it.  They'll make your feet so happy.

And who doesn't love happy feet.

Disclaimer:  Smartwool did not pay me to write this review.  Nor do they know that I wrote it.  Nor would they care, if they did know.  They're too busy tending to the sheep to read blogs. 
I like to be organized... in certain areas of my life.  I like things to have a place.  And, in my opinion, the place for emails is NOT stacked up and lost in an overflowing inbox.  The place for emails is in a folder, or in the trash bin.  I love, love, LOVE when my inbox is cleaned out and everything fits into one screen.  See below.

Don't make fun. 

Now, this doesn't mean that I delete emails.  In fact, I'm an email hoarder.  Once I've read and dealt with a message, I put it in a folder.. or a subfolder.. or a subsubfolder.  But they're out of the inbox, and that's all that matters.

Every once in a while, when open my inbox and get a little panic attack, I have to clean it up.  Which I did this morning.  Resulting in the picture you see above.

And then I'm very very happy.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
You can do it in a

 White Frigidaire Refrigerator

or a...

 gibson refridge

or a...

Whirlpool Estate Silver Stainless Steel color Fridge Refridgerator

or a...

Ge Frigerator

or a...

Kenmore Fridge

or a...


Ohhh, craigslist, you never fail to entertain me.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Well, today was a very productive day off.  It started by productively sleeping in.  Really, that's important.  Promise.

After a delicious breakfast of leftover... breakfast (for dinner), I made some phone calls and arranged to drop of my cabinet doors to get powder coated.  Yes, it's true, I've bitten the bullet and given up on DIYing this project solo.  It has FAR more to do with motivating myself to do the prep work than the actual painting.  The professionals have blasters and dippers and negative pressure booths and all sorts of stuff I dont have.  So I finally gave in and took the doors in to get done.  Woot. 

Then I grabbed some lunch and went to Home Depot to get more mulch, because I ran out this weekend.  Unfortunately, they were OUT of the mulch I'd used, so I had to pick something that looked similar.  Apparently they don't restock mulch in the fall... because most people don't mulch in the fall... slackers.

I also picked up a mum, some heavy duty trash bags, and rubber gloves (because I may or may not have melted holes through my old ones with paint stripper/thinner...).  Because I can't make it out of a home improvement store with only the things on my list.  Oh, I also got some screws to remount the cabinet doors when the time comes (you know, because I didn't think it'd be cool to put the ones with 7 layers of paint back up).  Shockingly, the screws aren't a particularly standard size, so they only had 24 of the 130 I'll need...

I got home and finished mulching, sweeping, bagging yard trash, and generally fallifying my yard.  Check out Mr. Mumpkin.  Isn't he festive??

I went for a little stroll because it was BEAUTIFUL out, organized my house, took a shower (because the mulch bags were nasty, meaning I was covered in mulch nastiness...), did some dishes, went for a run, ate some more breakfast for dinner... for dinner, and now I've settled in to watch football and/or The Sing Off (I'm just so unpredictable). 

I love days off.

Happy Monday!


PS.  I like to point out words that spell check thinks are wrong.  Mumpkin and fallifying are apparently not official parts of the English language.  Obviously Webster didn't live in a place with seasons.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
One of our responsibilities while on call is to do death pronouncements for people who die in the hospital.  These are generally people who were DNR, frequently in palliative or hospice care.  We get called with a couple hours after they die and have to go and confirm it, and declare a time of death. 

It's always a little disconcerting, walking towards the room of someone you only know as dead.  Rarely have we ever met these people before.  I don't know how they died or how long they'd been sick.  I don't know their family, what the patient will look like, or who they left behind.  I know nothing, yet my job is to go and say yes, your family member really is gone forever.  When I step back and think about it, it's a strange job.

But generally that's not what I'm thinking about when I'm pronouncing someone.  I'm thinking about the admissions I have waiting for me, or the labs I have to follow up on, or the RAT call I just finished.  It's another task to check of my long list of things to get done in a 12 hour period. 

It only takes a few minutes... check for breathing, check for heart sounds, feel for a pulse, check their pupils, see if they respond to voice or pain, write a note, declare a time of death. 

Usually I see the chaplain in passing, and they fill me in on some of the details: what happened, how the family is doing, whether or not this was expected. 

And then I leave, on to the next task, one pronouncement down, more things to do.

Just another day for me, and a day the family will always remember...
Sunday, October 2, 2011
I tend to be easily entertained.  That's why this series of "Things That Make Me Happy" posts exists.  And nothing is more entertaining or exciting to me than seeing a palindrome on the odometer in my car.

I'll wait for you to stop laughing... at me.

I'm not sure when my love of odometric palindromes started (yes, I know odometric isn't a word, but I like the way it sounds), but it's been a good 60,000 miles I'd say. 

I wait patiently for the odometer to tick through mile after mile until it gets to a palindrome, and then I take a picture.  And then I send that picture to Betsy.  And I get a message back that says "PALINDROME!!!", because she finds them as entertaining as I do.

It's good to have friends who appreciate your quirks.

The problem is, when you have over 150,000 miles on your car, palindromes start to become few and far between...

Take this, for example.  I have to wait until 156651 for the next palindrome.  And heaven forbid I look away and miss it.  Which happens more often than not.  Distressing. 

Betsy doesn't have to wait as long right now because her car is newer... and it has decimal places!


Don't judge me. 

About Me

I am a Family Medicine intern at a community hospital in Indiana, navigating the new world of being a physician. I am privileged to work in a field I love, where every day is a new and unpredictable challenge.
I am not only a doctor, but also a cyclist, runner, DIYer in the making, lover of the outdoors, traveler, and human.
Human, MD is a glimpse into the world of a young doctor who is just trying to stay true to herself through the grueling whirlwind of residency.


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