Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday exhaustion

I kept thinking it was Wednesday all day today. I think I was just being hopeful that I could put up a Wordless Wednesday post today....

My dad had a cardiac stent put in today. For those of you who didn't go to medical school, basically they threaded a catheter up into one of the arteries in his heart, removed the clog of plaque there - so, basically, it's like breaking up a clog in your slow-draining sink with a pipe snake - and then placed a tiny little tube of metal mesh that looks like those Chinese handcuffs you used to play with as a kid, which is designed to help the artery stay open.

As dramatic as roto-rootering the arteries in one's heart sounds, it's actually one of those not-a-very-big-deal kinds of procedures.

Which is only true when it's not YOUR parent they're proceduring.

But he is, of course, fine. He's staying overnight in Hotel L (where I went to medical school; he's in good hands) but we'll spring him in the morning. And I suspect he'll be feeling better in the weeks that come; the very adorable doc who did the procedure remarked how big that vessel was, even though it's not usually a super-important vessel.

I do have to say one thing for the docs I met today; in NC? Our Cardiology fellows are generally assholes. In fact, remember Dr. Asshole from my days on the State Hospital Medical Unit? Now a Cards fellow at Baby Blue. The guys I met here today? Generally very nice. Now, admittedly, I was also a family member, not some terrified psych resident paging in the middle of the night because "the monitor says those PVCs were a run of NSVT!! Clearly the patient's about to die!! Eeeek!!!" Might make a difference. Or, you know, it could also be something about Hotel L.

Regardless, y'all, I'm pooped.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday wonderfulness

I had a lovely day today (mostly). Spent the morning with my HS friends, and their kids, including the lovely and adorable 2 week old new addition. Then, unfortunately, we went to my old roommate's grandfather's wake, which was an unfortunate circumstance, but it was great to see his family, and also his wife's family (with whom I grew up, actually). And then I had dinner with my friends from medical school, including my one friend's two small children, who were awesome. I just hope I can sleep tonight, what with this loud ticking of my biological clock after all that people-under-4 exposure....

But, alas, I need to get up early tomorrow, which means I need to get my ass to bed. So, to keep from making it a total misuse of blog space, I'll give you this, which is Caitlyn Crosby's song, Imperfect is the New Perfect, which I dug up for a FB post and, frankly, might be one of my favorite songs ever. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday night

Today was lovely here. Got up late, ate breakfast, napped, went to the gym, had dinner with Claud, traipsed around Target...can't complain. Sundays at home I usually try to go meet up with my old knitting group, but I think they were mostly out of town this weekend.

Also? It's cold out there.

I spent my time at the gym (going very slooooowly on the treadmill, yawn) watching CNN, which was of course talking about today's airplane incident, thinking about how much I don't want to fly back to NC. Apparently, someone also blew up a couple of people in Lebanon, which seems suspicious to me, given that this is the one-year anniversary of the Gaza assaults.

I don't understand war, y'all. Not for a moment. It's all just senseless to me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The morning after

First of all, watch this (for some reason, I can't seem to embed it, so you'll have to settle for a link).

It's a parody. We sang that one year (in four-part harmony, of course) in Madrigals. It still cracks me up.

Today was a very delightful day of doing pretty much nothing. My mom made bread, I ate some of it. We had a crackling, lovely fire. I read some Hawaiian ghost stories in a book I bought while we were there in October, that I finally cracked at the airport. All three of us did some napping. I did leave the house, once, when my mom and I went to Starbucks for breakfast.

Yesterday was....I dunno. Not what I remember holidays being when I was a kid. Which isn't new, really. Things haven't really been "right," I guess, since my yiayia (grandmother) died, but that was almost 20 years ago, now. There was a lot of contention in the family after that, for a while. Then my grandfather died, then my aunt's mom, then her dad. Now it's just us, my aunt and uncle, my cousins, and my aunt's sister, sitting around a table, making too much food for eight people and sniping at each other. It's a far cry from the jubilant, boisterous holidays of my kidhood, when D an I used to complain about sitting at the kiddie table, my grandmother made too much food for the 12 of us and whatever distantly-related (or not) koumbari happened to be joining us for the holiday, and we all clustered around the tables and argued loudly. Now it's like we're white people or something. But with more food.

My cousin brought his girlfriend to Thanksgiving. That was sort of monumental - none of the three of us cousins has ever brought anyone to a holiday dinner. Apparently she was lovely (I say "apparently" only because I was in NC). I was hoping she'd come for Christmas...I've suspected for a long while that they were involved but have never met her in person. Alas, though, she was off visiting her own family in a whole other state.

Lucky her.

I can't figure out why I'm so irked after this particular Christmas dinner. It's not like anything has really changed with our little family. My aunt makes me feel inadequate and worthless. My uncle doesn't say much. My one cousin is sullen, the other is beige and answers any direct questions in monosyllable responses. My aunt-in-law (my aunt's sister) is kind of funny but spends a lot of the time sniping with her sister. My mom gets anxious about the food. My dad tells stories. I? Wish I drank more.

So I don't know why it was so painful this time. Maybe I'm paying more attention to what I want it to be. Maybe I'm more sensitive to my own internal responses (damn my shrink and my progress in therapy)(no, not really). Maybe NC is really starting to feel more like home than home. Maybe I'm different with them than I am with other people.

I just wish I felt like my family liked me more (and by "family," here, I'm referring to my extended genetic family. My parents, and my non-genetic relations, seem to like me just fine. Weirdly). It's amazing to me how no matter how old I get, no matter what I manage to accomplish or that at which I manage to fail (because sometimes it seems like the accomplishments are more problematic), I never feel like I'm even close to good enough. And I can't ever seem to figure out what it is that would make me so.

I could keep whining, but I'm not sure it's useful to anyone outside my head.

It also finally caught up with me that I don't think I really have a whole lot planned for the week, unlike my typical whirlwind home visits. I think a lot of my non-core friends are out of town. So maybe I'll get to spend some actual quality time with some of the core group this time? That'd be cool.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Merry

Merry Christmas from Chicago, y'all.

(No, I stole this picture.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho ho ho

I'm in Chicago!!

Left my house at 4-freakin-am, with the anticipation that I'd have to sit in the terminal and wait a bunch of hours, but as it turns out my 6am flight left right on time. And despite losing my favorite necklace somewhere in the transition (I'm crushed. Seriously. I was wearing it precisely so I *wouldn't* lose it), the trip was largely uneventful.

Except....well, for this:

I was sitting behind them on the plane, too. They were very nice people, as one might imagine. And they pleasantly tolerated all the comments about, "Hey, is the sleigh in the shop?" I asked if there was an outbreak of Reindeer Flu.

But the best response to this, by far, was this, which my friend penned on my FB page:

Twas the night before Christmas and in RDU,
St. Nick waited patiently to check luggage through.
The desk agent saw him and shouted with glee
"I trust that you're Santa but I still need ID"
"And just in case the sign wasn't clear,
Your pets must be crated unless they're service reindeer"
The TSA agent took one look at his sack,
And said "sorry you'll have to leave some stuff back"
"The cookies are fine, but the milk's got to go,
You have way more than three ounces you know"
"We will happily let through Dasher and Dancer,
But this one's red nose has set off our sensors!"
Santa said "Rudolph's fine, see he's on my nice list!
I always background check for terrorists!"
So with out any milk and a reindeer detained,
Santa begrudgingly boarded the plane.
And he exclaimed as the Boeing took off and was gone,
"Next year I'm staying home and using Amazon!"

Merry Christmas, y'all. May it be a blessed and magical one.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Need a little Christmas...

I'm so ready for a vacation. In case you've missed that.

I'm a little bit packed.

I have way too much to do at work tomorrow.

My dog is snoring.

One of these things cracks me the hell up.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Aaaand now we're back to mind-numbing exhaustion

I...seriously. I can't even come up with something remotely coherant to say tonight. Except, that was one long-ass, totally exhausting day...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday stuff

Y'all, it's been a rough month.

I know I've been less than awesome about posting useful or interesting things, but there's been so much more going on than I could even start to tell about. The big stuff? My dad's been sick. Someone else who's really important to me was just diagnosed with cancer (I'm not trying to be cryptic, I'm just not sure it's my story to tell, here), and that's been a tough thing for the whole family. And I went to the sports medicine guy on Friday, who stuck a needle into my knee and added even more fluid (with steroids in it), and then gave me a string of diagnoses about what's wrong (patellar subluxation. Plica syndrome. Gigantamous, multi-loculated, huge-ass Baker's cyst. Meniscal tear. Patellofemoral syndrome. Osteochondral damage. Effusion).

And then there's a large pile of little things. For whatever reason, Matt and I ended up being the designated people to fuss over Eva while she was having kind of a difficult end to her pregnancy (which, of course, ended happily). Little Amelie has joined us, albeit a bit early, which of course involves a little worrying on Thea Kate's part. Dude, there's been a lot of baby-ness going on lately, which is kind of making my ovaries anxious. Being on the eating disorders unit is actually kind of fun, but really, really triggering - in ways both positive and negative, often at the same time, which is in itself exhausting. There are a number of things going on with my friends right now that are weighing on me. I'm leaving to go home in three days (which, yay), but my house is a mess, I'm completely exhausted, and haven't even figured out how I'm getting to the airport, much less even really thought about the fact that I'm going to be, you know, home. For the holidays. Oh, right, and it's the holidays, which are difficult for a lot of people, one of whom is me, and a lot of whom are patients of mine who are suddenly in crisis. And on and on and on.

Whine, whine, whine.

So, given the chance to be social yesterday or be seclusive...well, I was kind of hoping the predicted snowpocalypse would give me an excuse to go with seclusive, but since it didn't, I chose not to make up another excuse and went out and made like a butterfly. As I said, I spent the first part of the day trying frantically to finish that blanket, but then I actually made it to the shower for the newest member of the Ming psychiatric dynasty. We had fun. It was more of a party with gifts than a shower, really (i.e, no stupid shower games). What was decidedly weird about it, though, was about an hour or two into it, talking to my recently-married (like, this past week. Well, sort of) friend, I realized that Matt and I were the only two single people there. But, you know, that's okay, and that's part of what I like about my friends here.

Later in the evening Edie had a Yule party. Which was cool, actually; I like her a lot, of course, but also just find her kind of fascinating. She's a practicing witch, and is one of those people who's just really open and tolerant, which of course, also brings with it a good deal of endearing quirkiness. Edie and Peng were sort of the only people I knew there for most of the time, which was kind of interesting, but Edie's friends are of course also a quirky bunch, so it was entertaining as well. And from there, Peng and I went on to Wayne's overgrown frat party (seriously. There was beer pong). We met back up with Matt...and, Wayne's random neighbor, who was very awkward, and walked into the party with us even though he wasn't actually invited. Fortunately, he also didn't stay long (Did I mention? Weird guy). Wayne has a kind of hilarious conglomerate of friends (I told you about the random Australians, right?), which was very entertaining. Mike and his girlfriend were there, too, as was Tony, and Wayne's brother, and one of the girls from work, though, so we at least knew some people. It was also apparent early on that Peng and I were partially there to protect Matt from the scary cool people, which is sort of amusing, considering the coolness quotient that is me and Peng....

So, you know, some good stuff this weekend. I also made it back to the gym today, finally, after like a month. Slowly, but, it's progress. And, well, on we go, with another week. We'll see what happens. At least it isn't dull around here...but damn, I'm tired...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

But, tomorrow, for real

I had these great plans for today about sitting down and writing a real blog post and saying something at least moderately interesting. But, instead, I spent the great majority of my day doing two things. One of them was this:

This directly plays into thing #2, which is the afternoon/evening that I spent party hopping. I started with my friend's baby shower, for which I was crocheting the above blanket. I finished it about 10 minutes before the shower was supposed to start (nothing like last minute!!). I'm pleased with the way the blanket turned out, though. Two of the squares were Tunisian crochet, which I just learned and liked a lot.

So after that, I had my friend's Solstice party, and then hopped over to yet another party, courtesy of my friend Wayne and his amazing proclivities to find random people and befriend them (there were random Australians).

And now, it's 1am, and I'm sleepy....

Friday, December 18, 2009

This kid is my new hero

(From Pundit Kitchen.)

Wow, did this week kick my ass.

Love Thursday, practicum

Sorry I never got a post up yesterday. There was just a whole lot...badness at work, family stuff, one of the skinny ladies fell and cracked her noggin...I didn't leave the office until almost 7 and I didn't get home until well after nine and then had to eat and finish (write) the H&P for the admission I did yesterday morning and the system kept booting me off.

But, also, I had someone very important to meet between leaving the office and leaving the hospital.

So, this is the latest addition to our department family. He arrived Wednesday, along with his little brother (they're one minute apart), who was unavailable for pictures but who is also doing just fine. Fell solidly in love with this little guy. Can't wait to meet his brother.

I also have a new niece to meet when I go home. And within our department, counting these two and the other baby who was born yesterday, we have 11 babies due in the next six months.

Just awesome. And totally adorable.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


It's my knee. Well, a small cross-section of the gigantic cyst in my knee (it continues for a lot of cuts; this is sort of the middle). Which apparently isn't the problem; apparently the pain is coming from the patella being out of place. But, this probably isn't helping.

Also? It's a pretty good metaphor for how my life is going right now....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I made a skinny girl cry today.

So I'm on the eating disorders unit now. I'm covering for Mike this week and Sparrow next week. And then I'm back for a full month in June. It's an interesting thing, to be up there. It's a whole different planet, really. With very underweight, constipated little Martians.

When I decided to go into psychiatry, I'd originally planned on being an eating disorders doc. I haven't abandoned the idea, but I think that it might be more in the context of trauma. Which is an interesting thing at the moment, because our inpatient unit is really a weight stabilization unit. Which means we tend to get the severe anorexics, who tend to be more on the OCD spectrum. What we tend not to get up there are the bulimics, who tend to be more normal weight, and also have a higher correlation with a history of trauma. They're generally more borderline-y, less inflexible, and I tend to understand them a bit better (duh). The anxious, perfectionistic, rigid anorexics make no sense to me. And because they make no sense, I have a harder time figuring out how to work with them in any sort of useful way. Because the program is so structured, too, I have a hard time figuring out exactly where the therapeutic part of my job is and where I fit into the picture.

The staff is pleasant. My attending is awesome. There's an NP on the service now, too, whom I've known for a while and like very much. I actually really like about half my patients, and the others are tolerable.

But we had this family meeting this morning. And for whatever reason, I identify with this girl. Yes, she can be a pain in the ass, but I really do think she's working hard. And I listened to her parents sit there and give her all sorts of mixed messages about what she's worth to them. She regressed a lot. It stressed me out.

But the crying and yelling and throwing of non-injurious items didn't actually bother me. I have a high tolerance for that stuff. She called one of the staff members a bitch. I laughed. The staff member got huffy and walked out. I was like, really? This isn't about you. She's just being a brat because she doesn't have the ability to say what she's actually trying to express. And if that's the worst thing I'd get called by a patient, cool. But no, she wanted a response, she wanted to push the staff member away, she accomplished what she was trying to do. So the staff member walks out, I kept talking about how we believe she can do this, we know it's hard to tolerate, etc. I made a couple of extra interpretations. By the time I walked out of the room, the patient was able to give me a little humor.

So, you see the difference, there? I tolerated the affective storm without reinforcing it, and we connected in some small way. The other technique? Puts up walls. I agree with the idea that you need to set limits about the way people treat you, but come on.

So I'm back up on the unit later, and the staff member comes to me and is just like, oh my God, that girl, blah blah blah. And I was like, oh, dude, she's terrified, etc, etc, but the staffer couldn't see past the obnoxiousness. The staffer was also incensed that the mother (of this adult woman) didn't say anything about the name calling. I couldn't control the eye roll on that one.

And then I made some comment about the eating disorder being a life-long illness, that you can be in recovery but you're never recovered. And the staffer starts arguing with me about that. And finally ends with, "well, it's controversial.", it isn't.

This annoyed me more than anything up to this point. She says later, "I just think people need to have some hope. By this time, the unit nurse and my friend John had joined the conversation, and were both like, nah, we see people up here over and over. We've seen people relapse after 20 years. Which, I have, too. You can be in recovery, you can be really strong in recovery, but you can't ever take it for granted. Because the moment you aren't looking? It will kick your ass, just because it can.

Seriously, lady. Why are you working with this population if you have no desire to figure out what's really going on, here?


Fortunately, John rescued me and made me leave the unit and then bought me a cup of coffee. I'm not sure he consciously recognized the intervention, but let me tell ya, it was so exactly what needed to happen right then.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Much better

Today has been not nearly as crappy as yesterday.

I started out the morning....well, first of all, I started the morning without a headache, so that was a win. And then today was the Housestaff Council (like Student Council, but for residents) had our annual holiday charity Brunch with Santa. We collected donations for Ronald McDonald House, SECU house (like RMH, but for families of adult patients), Toys for Tots, and the NC Food Bank. It was a RAVING success. Over 250 people. Over $800 raised. Over 350 toys and over 350 food items collected. Hard working community and resident volunteers. And the restaurant we had it at this year was just awesome. We got the whole place to ourselves, which was fantastic. The atmosphere was wonderful and festive, there was a great turnout from the Psych department, there were many of my friends' children playing and being adorable. I got great pictures. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning.

Plus, there were Marines. In uniform. Wh0 - sadly - were probably way too young for me, but were still scenic. (Okay, mostly it's the uniform.)

I went home after that and played on the computer and snuggled with my dog and knit a little, and then I got great news - I'm an aunt again!!! My wonderful friend Bianca from back home, after two days of being a super duper trooper in labor, had a little girl today. She's a wee bit early, but then, I was born at 35 weeks, too. Welcome, little one!! Cannot wait to meet her.

And, of course, take lots and lots of pictures. Natch.

So then I got this Facebook message from my friend Syd, who noticed I had just posted, and was like, can you babysit? And since my dinner plans tonight had turned into coffee plans tomorrow, I was like, yeah, sure. Her usual babysitter flaked at the last minute, and she'd called a bunch of people, and then saw I was on, so, here I am.

Her son is...I'm going to say two. Could he be three? Yeah, he might, but I still think two. And he's completely adorable. We played Thomas the Tank Engine and read a bedtime story called Dog (he was having trouble picking a story. So I saw this one and suggested that the dog - this HILARIOUS big lab they have, whom I also find completely adorable - wanted to hear that one. So we did). And then, he was not crazy about the idea of going to sleep, and was clearly tired, but a little upset that his mom and dad weren't here (not that he'd admit that, it was very cute), so we snuggled in the rocking chair for a while until he was mostly asleep. He was out in like five minutes, of course. I kept going an extra five for good measure.

It was just the sweetest thing. He had that great little boy smell, like shampoo and Dreft and, I don't know, snips and snails and puppy dog tails or something. And was all warm and cuddly, and I was sitting there thinking, wow. I can't believe she's actually going to pay me for this, too.

So now I'm hanging out by the baby monitor, on their computer (which is so much cooler than mine), thinking about how very much this makes my uterus ache. Five years ago? I was kind of thinking I might not ever want kids. Like, I could be the cool aunt. These days? I'm thinking more about how my eggs are getting old. Tick, tick, tick.

Okay, the ticking is still fairly faint. And, honestly, I do NOT want to do that alone. So a husband would be the first order of business. No, wait - boyfriend comes before husband, right? It's been a while (never) since I've had a functional relationship...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Massive Dumbassery

I? Am the worst friend. Ever.

Well, okay, maybe not ever. But I lost some big points tonight.

Mike's dad passed this weekend, and Cleo, Sparrow, and one of our other coworkers drove down to GA for the funeral. And since I can't seem to get off the gero unit for more than a week anyway, I covered the Gero/ECT service today and tomorrow for Cleo. I'm covering the eating disorders unit next week for Mike, and then the following week (well, three days) for Sparrow. I don't mind the bouncing around, and I'm happy to help.

But it turned out to be this weird combination of a very strange day and a very slow day, for a bunch of reasons. So, okay, Mikaela wanders in to my office at the end of the day, and was like, can you leave a few minutes early? Want to grab coffee before my 5:30 appointment? I said, sure. Took my laptop so I could work at the Starbucks for a little while before I took care of something I had to do before I went back home. But then I get this call, and I've been really distractable all day anyway, and then I tried to get some work done and the software wouldn't cooperate, and I got all sorts of frustrated, and then I called back...and then I got upset...and so then I went home.

And I ate dinner, and snuggled my dog, and read Facebook, and continued to be upset, and then I get this text from Sparrow saying, hey, how's little Maxine?

And now I kind of hate myself.

Because you know that thing I was supposed to do after Starbucks? I was supposed to go let Maxinie out. Because her mom was two states away supporting a good friend of ours in a time of need. And then when I called and was like, oh my God, I totally flaked, I'll get back in the car right now and drive all the way back there and let her out, Sparrow was like, no way. If she poops on the floor, she poops on the floor, so be it. You leave your house, I'll smack you.

I suck.

And Maxine is getting one big ass Jumbone for Christmas....

Maybe tomorrow will be better. I'm about to write off this whole damn week.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Dudes. I'm in a funk.

I'm not sure what it is. And I'm not even sure I really noticed until this evening, when Mikaela looked at me and was like, "what's wrong?"

Who knows, really. It might be hormones, frankly. It might be the lack of sunlight. It might be a number of other variables. But whatever it is, it's funky. I kind of noticed yesterday that I was sort of flat. Today I noticed I was a little more irritable than usual. I snapped at Ruthie a couple of times today.

There's a lot going on. And, simultaneously, not really that much.

I'm just going to chalk it up to an extended case of the Mondays....

Monday, December 07, 2009

Silence, part two (take two)

So, here's the thing.

There's this "silent protest" going on at work., I'm not entirely sure what we're supposed to be protesting. The idea, I guess, is that there are things about our residency that aren't perfect. And if we continue to recruit people to the program, then nothing will ever get fixed. So, instead, a couple of my cohorts are promoting that we should abstain from all contact with the prospectives that are filing through in small, black-suited droves three times a week.

I......I can't even enumerate all the things wrong with this plan.

Let's start with, they're tweaking things at our program all the time. Two, our program? Pretty much rocks. We work hard, harder than most psych programs, but we get solid training as a result. They listen to us, they support us, we work with good people and we get a very broad range of experiences. Three, if none of us were to do recruiting, then we would end up with poor quality residents in the next class. 3.5, if you don't like the kind of people in the residency, you're shooting yourself in the foot by not having a say in who comes in next year. Four, this leaves a significant burden on those of us who now have to pick up the slack from those who aren't participating. Which means, for example, I'm interviewing every week and attending between two and four recruitment events per week. Five, the people who are "protesting?" Are the ones who don't want to get involved to effect change, and in fact are resisting the proposed changes the hardest. Six? Don't think the administration isn't well aware of who's in the pit up to their elbows and who is standing on the sidelines whining.

To name a few.

But beyond that, the principle of this whole thing irritates me. I mean...the thing about a silent protest is, no one can hear you. And don't misunderstand - I'm all for civil disobedience. This country wouldn't be where it is right now if it weren't for a tired black woman on a bus. But to do nothing and expect that to cause things to change? Um, go back to elementary physics, my friends, and talk to a man named Newton....

I'm the first one to point out that you cannot apply logic to an irrational situation, which this clearly is, but come on, people!!! There is absolutely no logic in this!

And, we do this. We, as humans, we want people to "just know." We don't want to have to tell our husband what we want for Christmas; instead, we buy into this notion that if we were important enough to him, he would know us well enough to get the perfect gift. But here's the kicker - no matter how important someone is to you, no matter how well you know them, you still can't induce telepathy. And let me tell ya...the sooner we let go of this notion, the better.

No one can read your mind, so you have to tell people what's in it.

The thing that is really pissing me off, here, is the reluctance of those complaining to do anything active to fix the problem. And I get it, I do. It's easy to whine, to be unhappy, but it's scary to try the unknown, even if it might be better. But it's irritating as shit to the people around you, especially when they're trying to help and you just keep pushing back.

Here's the thing, folks - there's a lot of truth to the adage about how if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem. And in refusing to become part of the solution, in my humble little opinion, you forfeit your right to whine about what's not working. You can either complain, or do nothing, but you can't do both.

So I'm irritated about this situation, obviously. But I've decided that being pissed off about it is also not part of the solution. I'm not entirely sure what *is,* yet, but I'm working on it.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

...nope, not lost on me.

So I sat down to write tonight's episode of This Boring Blog and discovered that yesterday's post....wasn't there.


Where is it?

Beats the heck out of me. It says it's published. But somehow, most of it is missing, and what isn't missing is certainly not posted. So...?

Meh. It's already 10pm here. I guess you'll have to endure the agony of wondering what was included in my diatribe about nothing ever changing if you don't make any noise about it.

(PS, did everyone figure out how to read Friday's post? Highlight the text. It's not that exciting, though. I had really wanted to write Saturday's diatribe in Friday night's post - in just that format - but I was too tired...opportunity lost, I suppose.)

(And as an interesting piece of trivia, I learned that little bloggy trick from like one of the three episodes of CSI: Miami I've seen in my whole life. Good times.)

The weekend, on the whole, has been really productive. I got some knitting done. I got some cleaning done. I got some errands done. I taught myself Tunisian Crochet.

I went to the recruitment dinner tonight, which was....fine. One candidate that kind of annoyed me, one that was sort of eh, one that I really disliked, and then this guy from my med school. Him? I loved. Partly because he brought his wife along, and her I totally adored. Plus, it was nice to talk about the old place. Which...apparently...has changed quite a bit. Several of my best mentors are gone. The surgery program is descending into chaos (and it was pretty awful when I was there). They continue to have one of the weakest psych programs in the country (that's not new. I applied out of courtesy when I was on the trial; I then declined the interview). Gyn seems to have gotten a lot better (which makes me kind of sad that I didn't stay there five years ago. Although, I cannot complain about where this path has led me). We had a nice chat. Made me a little homesick.

I also put my Christmas tree up today for the first time in probably six years (and had to buy new lights, because, surprisingly enough, all of those were dead). It looks sort of pathetic (it's seen better days, and I don't have a whole lot of ornaments on it, etc), but it's mine. And my holiday spirit is definitely picking up. After a trip to Michael's this morning, I made a wreath for the front door, too. And I had a ton of stuff to take to work, so I stopped by on my way to the dinner (Wayne was very confused when he came out of his office and I was standing in mine). And while I was there, I put the office decorations up (heads up, Peng). The three stockings from last year are now on the wall, the tree is up (I bought a tiny fake tree this year, instead of a tiny real tree like I got last year which turned out to be dead and they're probably still finding nettles in our old office). And I made a wreath for the Pink Office, too. Which...I initially had decided it was too tacky even for us. I toned it down a little, and now I think it's just tacky enough.

I'm back on consults this week. Ruthie's back from vacation. My clinic schedule is full-to-bursting, but at least there are five of us on Consults, plus two rockstar med students. We'll see how it goes (but, I could still use just a little more weekend....).

Friday, December 04, 2009


Kudos to those who figured out how to read this!! Nice work.

Yep, I clearly have more to say about this.

It'll be the target, er, subject of tomorrow's blog post.

I really do have a point.

Well, as much as I ever do...


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Blah blah blah

Today turned into a really long day. One of my coworkers is having some pretty rotten family stuff going on, so we all have sort of scrambled to take on what of his we each could. Which translated only into a couple of things for me, but one of them was going to the pre-interview dinner tonight. Which turned out to be quite lovely, actually. I met one candidate in particular with whom I definitely vibed well. She's also a knitter, and we spent a good deal of time swapping stories about leaving jobs we couldn't tolerate. It was very nice. They were fun. We laughed a lot.

But it also, as I said, extended my day by about three hours. And I'm on walk-ins again tomorrow, so I need to go to bed. But here are five random things, just to make your stopping by worthwhile. Ready? Go:

1. Apparently, high heels began as a men's fashion, related to their shoes not falling out of the stirrups when they rode. I learned this at dinner tonight. I find it hilarious, because I can't imagine most of my male cohorts doing well at all in heels (cowboy boots notwithstanding).

2. I spent a while in L&D with Eva yesterday watching her babies on the monitor (she's fine, just a little puffy). I really miss obstetrics.

3. I had a patient today who claimed to have had "just one glass" of wine yesterday, who turned out to have a BAL of 0.45 (remember, legally intoxicated is 0.08). When sober, I reminded the patient that that blood alcohol would kill me. And I'm thinkin' that was a very big glass.

4. I had another patient, a cute little old lady who's been hearing this buzzing noise, which presented like an auditory hallucination (which it may well be). And I'm asking her about it, and she's like, nope, I never hear it outside the apartment, but it's almost constant there. And I was like, has anyone else listened for it? And her boyfriend says, "NO. I'VE NEVER HEARD IT." And I giggled a little bit - inwardly, of course - and thought, turn your hearing aids up, grampa.

5. I really like this picture, which I stole off of Twitter. I was listed as, "Not a hot dog, but a warm dog."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

One day closer to Friday

I'm so freakin' tired...

The consult service, at least, had a reasonable day. I'm sure we'll get slammed tomorrow. I spent a lot of time fighting with a particular medicine service about why high sodium, dehydration, and a white count could still be making my patient delirious, even though she'd already had, uh, maybe you should give her some fluids. Even if it means tying her down a little. I mean, soft restraints, not ideal, but dying? Less ideal. Seriously, people, why am I doing your job for you? Remember, I'm "just" a psychiatrist.

In better news, my dad is home from the hospital. Which is making *me* very anxious, because this afternoon they were like, "we need to do surgery!!" and then like an minute later were all, "Never mind. We're discharging you. Go see your real doctor." I'd been trying really hard not to "interfere" to that point (SO difficult...I know enough to get freaked out by everything). But at that point I was like, "GO CALL YOUR CARDIOLOGIST. RIGHT. NOW." Which he did. And said Cardiologist - whom I learned Cardiology from - was okay with them discharging my dad. Him I trust. So, okay.

Still. Bleh.

One nice thing, though, about all of this - when I heard the whole surgery thing, I went and told the people I needed to tell that I might have to bolt in a hurry. Everyone was like, no problem. Do what you need to do. We'll get it taken care of. Don't even worry about it. I also brought up with most of them that I might need to have my knee scoped in the near future, and got the same response.

Back at the Emerald Palace, I neglected my abscessed tooth for about six weeks. By the time I actually went to a dentist, he was like, "Oh, holy crap!", started me on a course of antibiotics before he'd even really look at it, and sent me to an endodontist for the root canal because it was too complicated for him. I think I went to the dentist post-call, but when I tried to take an afternoon off (on Anesthesia, who, of course, were like, yeah, get out of here, hope they give you the good drugs) to have my root canal done? I was "abusing the system."

So much better here. I really like the people I work with, and it's nice to know they've got my back. And not because they're sticking a knife in it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sometimes, it helps to remember....

Today, on the whole, was not a bad day. First day on the consult service. It was decent, if anxious. Gonna be an anxious week, I think.

But I slept so poorly last night. Not super sure why. Which is why I'm going to be a little early tonight...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday, in bullet points

* Went to work this morning. Not horrible. Finished up at Starbucks around 11:30.

* Came home. Ate lunch. Tried to nap. Didn't so much work. See above, re:Starbucks.

* My dad's in the hospital. Probably pneumonia, unless it isn't. Either way, he's feeling pretty good. Stress echo tomorrow. And probably an upcoming post about why you shouldn't sit around for a few hours waiting for chest pain to get better (Yeah, Dad, that one was aimed at you).

* I did something else this afternoon. I so no longer remember what the hell it was.

* Went to State Hospital with Maggie. Hung out with Peng and Matt, who were both moonlighting there today. Peng and one of the interns were hitting golf balls on the side lawn when I pulled up. Matt and I had a nice chat. Maggie was REALLYEXCITED about pretty much everything and ate more than a few acorns.

* Had a pre-interview gathering tonight with Sparrow, Rene, and Julius. Also five candidates. Several dog people. Much showing of phone pictures of various pups. Good time. Too much food = good leftovers. Four words: Guinness Stout Chocolate Cake.

* Talked to Sparrow for a little while afterwards. Miss seeing her as much as I perpetually seem to think I used to, even if I think that was really only in like the one month we were neighbors.

* Talked to my mom. Also my dad. Status quo.

* Damn, I'm tired...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Technical Difficulties

We're having some inconsistent connection nonsense over here tonight. So I'll just give you this fun story (if I can): I flopped on my bed tonight to read my email, etc, and Maggie jumps up on the bed with me. She snuggles up for a while, and then gets up and starts rearranging the blankets, like she does when she hides stuff. I wondered what it was she was trying to bury...and then I realized...I think she was trying to bury me. I cracked up. A lot. Which interfered with the burying....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday!! Oh, wait...

Today has been weird. It's Friday, but, I'm still going to work tomorrow. And it feels like Sunday. So, in the spirit of disconnectedness, we'll commence with Friday Fragments...
I was done with rounds and notes by NINE AM today. It effing ROCKED. It's been a light load over the holiday. But I'm quite certain the rest of the weekend will suck. We'll be out of beds by the morning.
I was reading everyone's Facebook updates this morning before I went to work, and read the details of my crazy friends who had been shopping all night or were sitting for hours out in the cold, and I thought, hmm. I wonder how many suicidal Black Friday shoppers we'll get today...
I took the opportunity of the early dismissal to finally get my knee checked out. Damn thing started hurting last Tuesday (so, like, ten days ago), and for the LIFE of me I cannot figure out what the hell I did to it. I was sick Monday, and the next morning I woke up and my knee was all swollen. So, fine, I finally went to the Family Medicine urgent care clinic today. And I have a very distinct clicking in my left knee that says I presumptively have a torn meniscus. I kind of already knew that. Which is part of why I put off going to the doctor. But, she said it'll probably heal itself. So motrin, no gym, watchful waiting for two weeks. If it still hurts, then we'll let the orthopods get involved.
Read this. I stumbled upon it today. I'd love to hear more of her story. Except, I think it might make me want to vomit.
I got home around noon after work/doc/Walgreens, and my dog wasn't home. I thought that was a little weird. But then I noticed her leash was gone, and I figured that she probably didn't take herself for a walk. Sure enough, the dog walker returned her about ten minutes later.
Immediately prior to that, I got pulled over by the local constabulary. Who was like, your plate is expired, ma'am. I said, no, see, they transferred my plates. But then they sent me this other plate in the mail, which, I don't quite get...and then I handed him the license plate. He didn't quite know what to do with that. He didn't write me up. It's a long story that probably has something to do with someone at the dealership checking the wrong box when I bought Joe, but I'll try to get it straightened out next week. Sigh.
From the Ralphie May comedy special I'm watching right now: "But in Hollywood, they won't call her white trash. They call her bipolar."
I'm hoping to find my Christmas decorations tomorrow. We'll see how that turns out.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


It's Thanksgiving.

AND it's Thursday. (I know, I know, Thanksgiving always is.)

So in the spirit of both, here are ten things I'm very grateful for.

1. The amazing and awesome people in my life. Some are near, some are close only in spirit but I really do count a lot of very, very wonderful people among my friends and family.

2. Although I've spent holidays with Maggie before and find that to be generally fine, I'm incredibly grateful for the good company I had tonight. Eva and her family welcomed me into their home today, along with Sparrow, Bernie, and Liam (who were also orphans today). We had a wonderful time. And look, there were favors:

Cute, huh?

3. As annoying as working the holiday weekend may be, I'm glad I got this one, because I'm going to be able to go home for both Christmas and New Year's, I think.

4. White chocolate peppermint mochas, and the best friend who introduced me to them.

5. The amazingness and wonder of children. I'm really looking forward to seeing my assorted nieces and nephews in a month.

6. Being a third year resident. Because you know I never thought I'd make it to second year.

7. Warm sun. Brisk fall days and rustling leaves. Softly falling snow. The smell of spring.

8. That there are things in the south that bloom this time of year. It's very cool.

9. The world's most adorable, most wonderful, smartest, cutest dog.

10. This crazy, messed-up, hilarious, dysfunctional, totally amazing life that I lead.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Good night out

Peng and Chef fed us well tonight. It was sort of an impulsive thing - Chef had pork belly and needed people to help eat it. Cleo, Mike, and Matt rose to the challenge. I came along and ate salad (really freaking good salad). And butternut squash. And - wait for it - brussel sprouts.

It was a long ass, exhausting day. So the evening of good company, good food, and good wine was a welcome nightcap.

I really like my friends. I know that's kind of an obvious statement, but it often strikes me...I have good people around me (literally and in spirit). And that's pretty awesome.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More good advice

Get comfy. Put your feet up. Snuggle in under a light blanket.

Then? Read this.

I love this little article so much.

I absolutely think this is the way our society should work. Or maybe I'm really a displaced European. But I think I would do much better day to day (and maybe, someday, I will) with a diurnal sleep cycle. Or at least a little nap in the afternoon.

Then again, maybe it's my totally exhausting 70 hour a week job and a culture of residency that doesn't value sleep much at all (although, I concede, my program is better than most).

So, given that? I'm going to go knit a little longer...and then I'm going to bed early...

(Thanks, robin, for sharing.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Doggone funny

So, today, I spent the day knitting (I have one blanket done, and the other halfway done, that need to be done Thursday) and fussing and frittering. I got an oil change. I got some groceries. I rearranged the furniture in my room and putzed around in there for a while. While I was doing this, I found a Jumbone, still wrapped and waiting for puppy love. So I offered it to Mags, and she giddily grabbed it and ran downstairs with it. Happy dog.

Fine, okay, so I finished the square I was knitting, and we went out for a walk. We come back in, I give her the obligatory treat, I wander off into the kitchen to reheat some leftovers and load the dishwasher. And after a while I peek in on my doggie, and she's passed out in the middle of the living room floor. But behind her, I see something...peculiar.

It's a very dirty Jumbone.

Now, this makes no sense to me. Because, I know she didn't bring anything in from outside. We no longer have a dog door. How in the world could it have gotten so much dirt on it? I started to worry that the "dirt" was actually ants or something equally icky. So I walk over, and look at it, and I think to myself, hmm, that looks kind of like....potting soil. What in the world...

And then it hits me.

So I walk back into the dining room, where the plants I just brought in from outside are lined up by the window.

Maggie had buried her Jumbone in the potted lemon tree.

I laughed really, really hard.

And then I rinsed it off and gave it back to her. She immediately took it back to her crate and started gnawing on it. She wasn't about to make that mistake again...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good advice.

Be nice to those around you.

Because one day, you might not be the big dog anymore, you might just be the old dog.

Friday, November 20, 2009


(Apparently that means "tired" in Southern)

I'm so freakin' tired. It's been a long effing day, and I can't even thing straight enough to come up with something clever to say.

(Except I do find it notable that I originally wrote that as "strait". As in, jacket....clearly a sign that I need one...)

So, here's something to amuse you, care of Barb. A little gross, kind of juvenile, and really, really freakin' funny.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Long ass week

So, I sit down at my computer tonight to write something bloggy, and I find yesterday's post...still waiting....hadn't published. Guess it decided not to. Bleh.

So, there it is.

Meanwhile, read this story.

This case has been in my periphery for a while, although I didn't know it. I'm glad they found her and the families involved can have closure. And I hope her husband gets a really big, really sadistic cellmate.

And did you hear Oprah's retiring her talk show in 2011? That might actually be a sign of the apocalypse. Maybe we should be worried about 2012....

I've gotten a fair amount of bad news in the past couple of days. And did I mention, Monday I was sick with this URI thing. Tuesday, my left knee gets all swollen and sore. I don't think the two are related, but I'm really annoyed by both. I don't actually remember doing anything to said knee...'s something a little happier...

Also happy? Tomorrow's Friday!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday, Tuesday...

One day closer to Friday.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling a little better.

And, I need to go to bed.

So, here's a fun link, courtesy of robin...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blehhhh, Monday.

Today, itself, wasn't too bad. However...I woke up at 3am, and was a little stuffier than usual. Went back to sleep a half hour later or so, woke up again when my alarm went off, started sneezing. And on the way to work, I couldn't stop sneezing. And by mid-morning, started to feel pretty darn crappy, had a little fever, etc. I got summarily dismissed from afternoon clinic, so I came home and slept after lecture. Had a milkshake for dinner. Missed Peng's housewarming party (I owe you a Riesling, hon). And am now going back to bed. I'm still holding on to the delusion that it's just a big allergy attack, but...

I did find this, though, that I think kind of sums things up:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday night

I'm up way too late on a school night again.

I had SUCH a productive day today (finally!). Mags and I got up this morning, bummed around for a bit, and then I went to Starbucks and spent more time on paperwork. Which I finished. Seriously!! I'm totally caught up!! You know, until tomorrow, when I get behind on my notes again... Anyway. Then I made it back to the gym for the first time in almost 2 weeks. I picked up some lunch, came home, and then....wait for it...I cleaned. No, like, I unpacked and stuff! You know, it's only been six months since I moved back here. And this morning, if you'd come to my house, I would've made you stand on the step, unless you already knew me well enough that you were at this point required to love me. Now? The first floor still isn't awesome, but it's clean enough that I'd let you in my house. I'd even invite you to sit down.

Crazy, I tell you, crazy.

This evening we had a dinner for the prospectives who are interviewing tomorrow (it's recruiting season again...). It was at a pretty nice place down the way from the hospital. We had six prospectives, two spouses, and four of us. It was a pretty good time actually. And I have leftovers easily for two days. I had a really interesting time talking to one of the gals and her husband, who's a high school teacher and had some great stories to tell about his students (his wife was like, "When I was on the Adolescent unit, we discovered that we do the same job"). Plus there was chocolate. And then I went to Whole Paycheck and picked up a couple of things I needed and spent the whole time being "that person" on the phone with Veronica, who has nearly convinced me that I need to write a book called Queen Nut in the Nuthouse. Don't steal that, it's mine.

Anyhow, y'all, it's been a good day. And now I'm hoping for a good night. Because I have an early patient tomorrow, and then? It's gonna be a long week....the only night this week I expect to be home at any reasonable hour is Friday. Oy...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday amusement

So, you know how, when you go to Google, and you start typing in whatever it is you're searching for, Google tries to be all helpful and suggest things you might be looking for.

Sometimes, it goes very, very wrong. Sometimes? It just gets weird. But often, it's pretty darn funny.

I stumbled across this site today, possibly as a link from FailBlog, but I can't really remember. It was some moment of time-wasting in between writing clinic notes at Starbucks. Read. Laugh. Enjoy. And then, go to Google and try it for yourself. And if you're feeling really adventurous? Find out why exactly it is that you can't own a Canadian. And let me know.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fr d ay fra ent s

Because I wasn't fragmented enough by the end of the week....
Apparently there's a nationwide shortage of propofol. The company is blaming a manufacturing error, but personally? I had no idea Michael Jackson's habit was that bad...
The end result of the above is that this morning in the ECT suite we had to use sevoflurane, an inhaled anesthetic. I...I can't stand that stuff. I've had it a couple of times when I was under the knife, and I had a hell of a time coming out of it, I was nauseated; it's good stuff for most people, but I'm just not a big fan. And I remember when I was in GYN, when we'd have a long day of cases, I'd occasionally be quite woozy and wacky from inhaling that stuff all day. So when I smelled that this morning, I was not super pleased to be standing at the head of the bed.

One of my inpatients, however, came back up to the floor after his morning ECT treatment all like, "wow, they used this different anesthesia today, and man, that stuff was great! I feel so much better!!" I relayed this to the team downstairs between cases, and they all cracked up. Apparently he was one of the few people that had a pretty profound activation reaction to the anesthetic, and got rather giggly and was flirting with the nurses.
My dog is sleeping with her back feet up by her head. She is the cutest thing ever.
Here's a funny story I'm stealing from my cousin Danielle - her daughter, who's 2, came up and told her that the dog had nipped her. Danielle asked, why did he do that? Her too-smart-for-her-own-good kid says, "Because I pissed him off."
I'm watching this week's SVU while I write this. All the major players are bickering at each other. That kind of makes me queasy, like watching your friends' parents fight.
I do appreciate that Alex Cabot is back - again - though. And when the hell did Dickie Stabler grow up and get adorable?
So things get a little loose in the psychiatry department on Friday afternoons. This evening, Eva comes into my office and convinces me and Betty to accompany her down the ER for a brief little thing she had to do down there. So we're on our way down, and we were contemplating what you would call a group of psychiatrists? A herd? A gaggle? Eva says, nah, I'm pretty sure it would be a murder, like crows. A murder of psychiatrists. I said, you think we're really a murder? Or just, like, a homicidal ideation? So we start giggling about this. And relate the story to Sparrow, who looks at us, deadpan, shakes her head and says, "Word salad." Which lead to a lot of cackling (shrink humor. Not to mention that at this point, Eva, Betty, Peng and I were sitting in an office that belonged to none of us) and Betty howling, "We're a homicidal word ideation salad!" I, of course, couldn't leave that alone, and finally caught enough breath to yelp, "We're a homicidal salad!!!"

Heh. And our patients think we're sane....

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Once upon a time, in my first year of medical school, two of my friends and I decided to go to South Carolina for spring break. It was February in Chicago, which equals cold, grey, and dismal. We were grumpy, we were tired, we were all contemplating making excuses to not go and to hole up in our respective houses for the week. But, we piled into my Jeep, and we headed for sunnier, beachier pastures.

And something really, really interesting happened.

Within two days of being there, I was feeling SO MUCH BETTER. I kind of overshot "better" a little, actually. I was up, and going, and focused. We stayed up late and I was still up way before my friends. I was sleeping like three hours a night and was just fine. Yeah, I was hypomanic. Which was mild, and productive, and actually kind of delightful. And started to wear off after a couple of days.

I don't know if what I "have" is technically Seasonal Affective Disorder. I tend to think of it more as light responsiveness. But the point is, I do way better with sunshine, less well with lack of sunshine (this is one of the many reasons I'm not a radiologist...). I've always sort of know that about myself, I often underrepresent it in the day to day.

But this morning...I woke up at three. I was up for a half hour or so. I went back to sleep. I woke up at ten to 5. None of this is all too unusual for my insomniac self, frankly. But then my alarm went off at 5:10. And after three whacks at the snooze bar...I was like...why is it so damn hard for me to get out of bed? Why has it been so hard since I got back from Hawaii? I wasn't even jet-lagged. I mean,

So I rolled over and started Googling dawn simulators.

We had a lecture last week (on a grey, rainy day) about Seasonal Affective Disorder. And our attending spent a while extolling the virtue of light boxes and dawn simulators (Sparrow says to me today, what, can't you just open your blinds in the morning? Brat). And so I did a little research this morning...I did a little research later this evening...and one of the options I found on Amazon was this:

This gives a whole new meaning to "light on your feet."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Crisis averted.

Thanks, robin, for alerting me to the fact that I did, in fact link to the "latest episode" widget, which ::shudder:: made it appear that I might have been related to Rachel Ray. So try this link're looking for Sebastian Maniscalco, which, again, is around minute 32...

Monday, November 09, 2009


Ohhhh, what a day. I came home and have spent the last three hours doing notes. I never quite woke up today (sooooo tired....). And so, I'll address the questions of the last few posts...

Carol, I TOTALLY read the comments. And love them all. A lot. More comments, people!!

And, of course I learn things from you.

Robin, no, my cousin is not Rachel Ray. Thank God, because I can't stand that cutsey little twit. (I'm sure she's a lovely person, but she annoys the crap out of me!)

DJ - that's 'cause my dog *is* awesome!

Allison - to the extreme. I rock a mike like a vandal. Light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle.

And here's a bonus, small piece of wisdom. Paulo Coelho, on Twitter tonight, said this: "you can only recognize true love if you don't trade freedom for safety."

I? Love that. A lot. I'm still not entirely sure I get it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Well, we haven't had a good Friday Fragments post in a while...and yes, I know it's Sunday...but nonetheless....
I am now completely caught up on my discharge summaries. Which is helpful, because I was about to get suspended for delinquency. Which...I have to say...I think is completely ridiculous. I take good care of patients. And they're going to suspend me for paperwork. I mean really though....
I still have two weeks' worth of clinic notes to do, however. All that damn patient care gets in the way, you know?
Maggie and I went to the Cook Out for dinner tonight. I live right behind it and every now and then the smell gets the best of me and I cave. That's some good stuff, man. What was even funnier was that I put Maggie in the back seat of the car instead of in the way back, which is her spot. Because it was easier, and we were literally going like two blocks. I had to pick her up and put her in the back seat (she jumps readily into the cargo area), and she refused to walk up into the front seat to get out. Wouldn't budge, just kept standing there in the back seat looking at me through the window with this pleading, "don't leave me here!!!" kind of stare. One foot in front of the other, pup...
There's a show coming up on National Geographic Channel called Search for the Amazon Headshrinkers. It claims to be about a tribe in the Amazon jungles who still practice the shrinking of their enemies' heads. I think, though, that if you based it purely on the title, this search could end in my office.
I FINALLY unpacked the new vacuum cleaner I bought like two months ago to replace the one that died about then. I vacuumed up a whole new dog today. Not to mention about a jillion little dead bug carcases. I even pulled out the little tools and did the stairs. Meanwhile, my floors may be cleaner, but my allergies are through the roof...
This was on my radio this morning. I cracked up.

(And ps, what horrible videography we had back then...)

Such a throwback. I love my satellite radio.
I'm so completely appalled at what happened at Ft. Hood. And have so much to say about it. I'm hoping to finish that post later this week.
I'm the ECT resident this month, right? So two weeks ago, I get really lost wandering around the second floor. They do ECT in the main OR procedure room, which is at the back of the PACU. Which I finally found, and had a panic attack walking through post-op. Which is when I realized I hadn't been back in an OR since the Emerald Palace.
I got over it.

It turns out I really like doing ECT.
Look! Here's a picture of my cute dog....

Yeah, it's time for bed........

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Oh yeah....

So, once upon a time, this was an anonymous blog. The first post or two I ever wrote, way, way, way long ago, were very frank accounts of what I was thinking. I didn't especially feel the need to censor myself, since I was quite sure no one I knew would be wandering by, and if they did, by chance, they wouldn't actually know it was me. That's why my handle is dk, and not just outright Kate.

When I was getting ready to leave for NC, my friends convinced me that I needed a public blog, so they could follow my adventures (and mundanity) when I was so far away. I could easily have just started a different blog, but there was something about the one I already had to which I felt attached. And to be honest, I'm a really well defended person (note the difference from "defensive"), so even in anonymity, that kind of extreme openness was really difficult. Plus, that was a point in my life when my defenses needed to be particularly strong and well-structured, so it wasn't the time to push that. Thus, I deleted my initial efforts, and started again. In retrospect, it was a reenactment of my real world - I was starting over, trying to be open about things I didn't need to be ashamed of, to be accepting of myself. Less about what others wanted me to be. More about what I think, feel, and know, but in that truth, of course, still guarded - particularly acutely - still measured, but more authentic than the previous few years of my life had been.

As the years have passed, I have a more regular readership; more of my family, more of my co-workers (hopefully none of my patients), more people I really do know, either through actual real life or from the blogosphere. This makes me sanction myself differently, I think, but regardless, I don't mind; it's something I find strangely reassuring about my relationship with the people who are real and important in my life. Yes, it means my thoughts are more filtered - i.e., I don't talk much about the dysfunction of my various families, I lose the ability to complain about my coworkers, and I sometimes have to think pretty hard about what I want people to know who can look me in the face the next morning and have an opinion on it.

It's funny how, despite the exhibitionist, narcissistic, self-important nature inherent in blog writing, so much of what I do here is centered around other people, even before I type a single character. And I'm cool with that. I always have been a fan of irony.

But every now and then, I have these moments where I remember that, in fact, this is my blog. It's a window into who I am, regardless of how tightly I pull the curtains from time to time. I have no particular reason to be ashamed of who I am, or why I am this. And I forget, sometimes, that this is an acceptable forum for being who I am.

Curious, though, that this is the incident which led me to this musing.

I had barely a confrontation this morning with someone I considered a friend. Not necessarily a "good" friend, but someone to whom I felt connected in a couple of different ways. Someone I know to be resistant, but, being who I am, I tend to tolerate resistance fairly well, and to be frank, thought there was progress. And after a little too much ambiguity for a little too long, I finally took the "What exactly is going on, here?" road (in much more subtle language). And...I can't say that didn't work out, because I'm always a fan of knowing over not knowing. And I think drawing a boundary in this case was actually an important communication in itself. But the answer was sort of painful, for a variety of reasons for which this particular friend is and is not responsible.

I responded, on the surface, reasonably, I think. Internally? I felt for a moment like my little boat had been capsized.

Not that this friend has all that much power, but the issues activated were much greater. So I did my best to let those pass, tried not to fight them, to figure out what was at the real heart of the situation.

I gave up on what I'd been doing (because, well, distracted...), and I picked Mags up and we went over to State Hospital. Which may seem like a weird place to walk your dog and think, but trust me, that's just the place. The grounds are beautiful, there's a lot of open space to run (if you're Maggie) and a lot of trees and sunshine and scenery (if you're me). The place has a mojo, you know? Lots of stories of hauntings abound, but whatever, the place has a very old energy. So we went, and we walked a little. Maggie played with some other dogs, I played with some other owners, and both Mags and I made new friends. It was a great choice.

And what I came to, eventually, was that under the anger and defensiveness and fear of what had been stirred, was mostly disappointment. At that, mostly in my friend's lack of insight. There was some sadness and a little bit of sorrow about the things here that I can't fix (because that's what I do, I fix things). And ultimately - really, the part that was and still is painful several hours later - a good deal of recognition of the things I can fix; that is to say, the things that are mine. Unfortunately, none of those will particularly help this individual situation, but they will help my own journey.

Here's another thing I notice: when people are coming from a defensive place, they tend to say the exact opposite of what they really mean. Not always knowingly, and in fact, they probably consciously hold that what they really feel in that moment is what they're saying. But in the light of authenticity, this is rarely what they actually feel.

Today? That I know this, and my friend seems not to, makes me really, really sad.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009

All in the family.

Click here.

Drag the little thing on the bottom to the 32 minute mark (right after the 4th commercial break).

Watch. Laugh. Enjoy.

So this guy is my cousins' cousin. By marriage. Which, by the rules of Greek (and Italian, and particularly combined Greek-Italian) families? Makes him ours.

I like to think he got his funny genes from me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Dudes. It was a crazy long day. Full of crazy people. And crazy shit. And my own craziness.


And this is kind of how I feel.

(I stole that from my Weekly Coyote email courtesy of The Daily Coyote. I have multiple pictures of Ms. Mags making that face, but this one is her long-lost cousin Charlie. I opened my email tonight, looked at this and was like, oh, exactly....)

Monday, November 02, 2009

How is it Monday again?

Seriously. And what a Monday it was.

People are so irritating. I spent a while in Mikaela's office today ranting about this. Particularly about how freaking annoying I find men who can't quite get the idea that sometimes, other people know better than they do, or see things differently than they do, or whatever, and just because that person's a woman doesn't mean you're any less awesome and manly and virile.

I hate that politicking nonsense. Go stroke your own ego. I have patients to take care of.

Get a therapist. Hell, get a hooker. Whatever works. I don't care, just get out of my way.

But in better news, I got some quality girl time with my aunt tonight since my uncle was out of town. We ate breakfast pizza for dinner (crescent roll crust, with scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, etc on top, made like a pizza) and looked at pictures online of Saturday's soiree and it was very very nice.

Meanwhile...I'm going to bed...maybe when I wake up, people will stop being stupid.

(It could happen. Don't crush my delusions. It's just mean.)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Falling back

It's November!!

Today was one of those weekend days when I need another weekend. Coverage today was fine; there were some glitches, but, it wasn't super horrible. I still haven't finished my ECT consult notes, but, I'll get them in the morning. Because right now? Bed. I got four hours of sleep last night, even with the time change.

Tony and Cleo's was a heck of a good time last night, though. It was the usual crew - Sparrow (who is in yesterday's posted picture, twirling with a sparkler, with a sloooow shutter speed) was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz; completely adorable. Rene was a very tall and kickass She-Ra. Tony was a cop, Cleo wore a jingly elf costume. Faye was Lady Gaga. Ruthie wore her Naughty Nurse costume we actually bought for her last year (I forget why she didn't come...). Eva was a pregnant nun (she's very gravid at the moment), and her husband was a vicar. May and her boyfriend came as Bugs Bunny (her costume was awe-some) and Elmer Fudd. Veronica was Ugly Betty. We had a pair of bees (Fritz and his wife. She had a real costume, Fritz had face paint and a shirt that said, "Bee"), an awesome 80s hair band rocker, a belly dancer. Wayne's brother and friend came as Bernie Madoff and the Sham-Wow guy, respectively. I? Went as Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, passion, and opportunist costumes (I repurposed my bridesmaid's dress from Peng's wedding). But I do think the best costume of the evening was Scott, who came as a remarkably accurate Sigmund Freud.

Seriously. Nothing in the world more fun than a room full of drunken psychiatrists.

There were lots of fun pictures, including a bunch of sparkler-related hilarity. There was good food, good conversation, and good people. You can't ask for much more in an evening.

But it was a late evening. And of course today I got up at 5 and went in to work. I left there around 10 and went to Starbucks and wrote notes until 2, because they're painting and sanding in our clinic, which does not mix well with my allergic, asthmatic self. And then I went to Whole Paycheck and was on my way home to do laundry and consult notes and Peng called, so I stopped by their new house (AMAZING!!!!) and saw pictures from their honeymoon, and my "I'll stay for a half hour" turned into me staying for three hours. But, again - good company, good people. What can you do?

Saturday, October 31, 2009


It's Halloween.

Er, well, it was.

I stayed out way too late on a school night.

Cleo and Tony had their annual Halloween party tonight. It was a hell of a good time.

But, I'm on weekend coverage, and I have to be there wicked early tomorrow. So, until then, here's one of the cooler pictures we took tonight...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Never a dull day...

So, this morning, I'm in the resident workroom, and Scott (who's night float this week) points out this chief complaint of a patient in the ER that neither of us can quite decipher. It says, "AMS: MSC OD." Okay...altered mental status. An overdose on something. We throw out a couple of guesses, and we finally give in and look at the chart. The triage note reads something like this:

"19 year old female found by EMS on [major street near the hospital]. Initially reported to be unconscious, but was alert by the time EMS arrived. Patient was found outside Marble Slab Creamery. She states that she works there, and broke in to the store around 2am. Patient was found covered in chocolate ice cream..." Later in the notes, it says, "in ER, patient noted to have chocolate all over face and bilateral hands."

I love my job.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This makes me want to vomit....

Read this. freakin' GOD....

Sometimes? The cruelty of people completely astounds me.

Fortunately, though, the kindness of people frequently does, as well. It's a shame that it rarely makes the news.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I should be writing notes. And yet I'm not. Because I'm tired. I went to the off-site clinic this afternoon, saw a nice patient, and left afterwards at like 4:30. So I went to the Starbucks for a while and finished my inpatient notes, but there weren't any seats inside so I was sitting at a table outside and it was a wee bit chilly. So then I got back in the car...and then drove home...and ate some dinner...and read some Facebook...and now I want to go to bed, even though it's only 7:30...

So, I'm posting this. It was a warning sign by the beach in Maui, and it cracked me up...

Remember, folks, the beach is a dangerous place. Apparently, if you swim there...

1. You might not be able to walk on water and could fall down the stairs.

2. You might not be able to swim upside down.

3. You might break into synchronized swim routines.

4. You might get eaten by a Giant Sea Claw.

5. You might spontaneously levitate. (Seriously, I have no clue what this is trying to depict.)

6. You might get eaten by giant sperm.

7. You might not be able to surf without a board.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Some things never change...

Yeah, so, I was planning on being in bed an hour ago... For some reason, I had no problem going to bed at a reasonable time when I was on vacation, and woke up bright and early. And yet, coming home...

My 7am cancelled tomorrow. I was going to get up and go to the gym like a good girl, but, we'll see when I wake up...

I have a lot of things I want to change over the next few months. One of these is, I really want to work harder on my yoga practice. Which means I have to actually start doing yoga more than just sporadically. Plus, I have like a million other things I want to do. Which means I have to extend my day to at least 26 hours...maybe 30...

One thing I am doing - for the next two weeks, I'm going gluten-free. It's something I've been thinking about for years. Look, I clearly have a dietary intolerance to something, which is probably actually an allergy (rather than a strict intolerance, like lactose intolerance; there's no immune response, just a failure to break down lactose. Which, still is hell for uncomfortable), given how I can't quite get my asthma or my allergies under control. It's an experiment; we'll see how it goes.

Okay, okay, I'm going to bed...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Aaaand, we're back...

I'm home!

I'm still a little sad not to be in Hawaii anymore (and a little jealous of my parents, who are there until Monday), but I'm quite glad to be back, flopped on my own bed, watching the shows that have accumulated on my DVR in my absence. With my dog, whom I missed so (she was SO EXCITED that I was home. But apparently her means of showing me she missed me was to pee on the floor of my bedroom. Ah well....).

On the whole, my trip back was pretty uneventful. Maui to Honolulu...a three hour layover in Honolulu (I went to Starbucks)...then to LA, where I had about enough time to pee and then board the flight to Chicago. I slept pretty restlessly on the red eye - I felt kind of bad for my seatmate, as much as I was tossing and turning, but she didn't seem to mind. I actually did manage to get a little bit of sleep, though. I had another three hour layover in Chicago, but I have to say, O'Hare is a much more interesting airport than Honolulu (although....I went to Starbucks again). And finally I made it back to NC, where Sparrow graciously scooped me up at the airport. We had lunch and visited a while (between her travel and my travel I haven't seen her in over 3 weeks), then I came home and hung out with my dog (SOEXCITED). We watched House, and Bones, and CSI, and SVU, and Dollhouse, which had accumulated on the DVR, until I finally gave in to the nap that overtook me around 5 or so. Then we went out and got some dinner (I was a little worried the car wouldn't be too thrilled about moving after sitting in my spot for two weeks, but it started right up). And now a little more TV, and my plan is to go back to sleep around 11... Generally, the trip back was good, I suppose. It was freakin' long, but I got some knitting done, I finished the book I'd been reading (Hawaiian ghost stories) and started and finished a new one by an author I'd not read before, but plan to read more of (Paulo Coelho; weirdly, I randomly found him in the Mythology and Supernatural section of the Borders, although I see nothing particularly mythologic or supernatural about the story I read...). I wasn't feeling so hot for most of the trip, but I did okay. And my suitcase even made all the connections and got back to NC with me! I was really convinced that I wouldn't be seeing that thing for a couple more days. And, because I left it with the curbside porter in Maui, they apparently didn't weigh it and thus didn't charge me more for it (I'm pretty sure it was over 50 lbs). So, on the whole? A win.

And, time for bed....