Sunday, August 03, 2008

MY LIFE IS SO GLAMOROUS

Has anyone been watching this "Hopkins" miniseries on ABC? About the men and women that work at Hopkins? It's a 6-part documentary about the Johns Hopkins hospital and the nurses and doctors that work there. Watching the first episode, I was pretty impressed by the intense amount of drama all wrapped up in 42 minutes. Then again, if you could bundle up the most intense moments of a year in the shoes of any resident, it'd be pretty damn exciting.

It made me reflect back on my own intern year. I talked it over with a few other residents in surgical fields and we decided that while, yes, we all shared some intense moments, for the most part, if a camera crew followed us around at random over the course of a year, they would catch us doing a variety of quite un-glamorous things:

- "Discharge to SNF paperwork. Loads. And loads. Of paperwork."

- "Begging social work to help us find our patients a SNF."

- "You thought going into medicine was about helping people, but it's actually about writing notes. Thousands and thousands of notes."

- "Watch the intern as she spends hours on the phone making follow-up appointments!"

- "You listen very, very closely on rounds. Then you make about a million checkboxes in the margins of the sign-out based on even the most casual of comments made. Everyone then goes off the OR. You spend your day getting each and every single box on that list checked off by the time evening rounds happen, so help you God."

- "Even if your checkboxes list such tasks as, 'Find patient's roommate so she can get key to her apartment back so she can go home' and 'Patient needs semi-truck moved from where it is parked in the ED parking lot.'"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Clutching my pearls

I still haven't found a good way to minimize and store my portables on myself. I've passed the med student pitfall of stuffing my white coat with every pocket-sized textbook ever written and every stupid physical exam instrument, like the tuning fork (which I mistakenly called "vibrator" today to a fellow resident... as in, "Ha ha, remember when we used to carry vibrators in our pockets?"), but now I don't wear a white coat often enough to store my cell phone and PDA in their. I would do the usual technique of latching things on to the waistline of my scrub bottoms but then I have this pesky problem of my pants falling down. So lately I've taken to stuffing my phone and PDA into the boob pocket of my scrubs. The only problem is these things want to slide out of there all the time. And spilling the contents of your scrub pockets (PDA covered in sparkly stickers, pink cell phone, Fun Size Snickers) onto a patient as you're evaluating them doesn't do much to enhance their confidence in your medical skillz. I now have this graceful ritual of clutching my left boob anytime I lean over anyone in the slightest way. Attractive.

(This is also why I've stopped running places. I only have 2 hands and there are 3 pockets on my white coat for things to tumble out of. Also, you look pretty stupid running down the hallway with your arms straight at your sides with your hands clutching your pockets.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Today's kind of a slow day, so I've spent the day brushing up (Ha! Ha! Get it? PAP SMEARS. Uh...sorry. Just some nerdy gyn humor) on colposcopy. And let me tell you, there is no better birth control than seeing a confluently warty cervix basking in the sweet embrace of some HPV. Almost as effective as delivering the baby of an un-epidural-ized woman screaming, "HE'S TEARING OFF MY CLITORIS."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Moobs

Now that I'm no longer an intern, I thought it was time to come back to the important things in life. I now have time to devote to the essentials, like regular pedicures and my blog. That's right everyone...I'm a 2 now. A 2!! That means, when confronted with patient care issues such as, "Hey Peg, that senile patient ripped out her IV and is now hunched over her commode flinging feces at anyone who tries to walk in...can you help?" I can always offer such sage medical advise as, "I think the intern will be able to help you. Do you need her pager number?" HA HA HA. Just kidding. I love poop and I'll field any and all poop-related issues, but I am really loving not being the team bitch anymore.

In other news, now that my level of affection for my job has reached a point where I now have an acceptable level of hatred for my life, I can look into the future and see something other than residency. Namely, more bitch-assery in the form of a fellowship! YES. I find residency so irresistible that I wish to do EVEN MORE of it. I will be the KUNG FU MASTER of residency.

There is one new aspect of residency that I am so far less in love with. That is, clinic. The concept is great. We see patients like the little doctors we pretend to be and write prescriptions and do our own little exams and write our own little notes and feel kind of responsible for things. (I also received my very first business cards this year!! They say Square Peg, M.D.! So far I have given out 5. They were all to my mom.)

The problem is the clinic rooms are teensy. They're about the size of 2 bathrooms put together. I think it'd be ok, except for the fact that WE ARE GYNECOLOGISTS. When we see a patient, we have to get all up into her mix. It involves stirrups. And speculums. And not one but TWO trash cans. One for real trash and one for metal things that need to be sterilized. As luck would have it, the trash cans for metals is ALWAYS in some really awkward position in the room, like behind the head of the bed. And these rooms are so tiny that once you've positioned yourself in a rolly stool between some stirrups there's no room to roll yourself away from the perineum and towards a trash can. There's hardly any room to walk there, because then you run into the trash can for actual trash. So you pull out the speculum and then you end up doing this awkward sideways shuffle around the stirrups, the counter, and the trash can. And usually, that speculum is dripping with juices. Sometimes foul-smelling, purulent, scary fluid. Let's just say that often in clinic, my primary goal for the day is to avoid getting syphilis dripped on me. It's happened before.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Because this is way more fun than writing about 1st trimester aneuploidy screening

Sooooooo as part of my preparation to start writing, I decided it was time to hang some things up on my wall. Not that having my apartment look like a very untidy cluttered prison was unappealing or anything. NOOOO. Usually hanging my pictures and various knick knacks is something I do with a fit of whirling dervish energy in the first 3 days of moving into a new place so I never have to think about it again but the walls in this apartment building are apparently made of plaster or some shit so you actually have to hire one of the maintenance workers to come on his own time and drill holes in the wall for you. In the first month of living here I decided that was highway robbery and set about forcing my own nails into the walls with my tried-and-true methods of big heeled boots I haven't worn since 2002 and some elbow grease. 11 bent-up nails and only 2 hanged items later, I decided maybe there was a point in having a professional come do it. So today I finally got around to calling them, and decided that in order to shave some time off their little visit ($65 an hour!! To drill holes! In my plaster walls!) I would walk around making Xs and sticking mini post-its where I wanted everything.

And THEN I spent some time catching up on some of my favorite blogs, including Doctor Squared, where I got the idea for this little game:

The rules:

1. Put your iTunes/music player of shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.

3. You must write down that song name, no matter what.


IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
"UMBRELLA" Rihanna feat. Jay-Z

"You can stand under my umbrella. Ella. Ella. Ey. Ey. Ey."


WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
"SCAR TISSUE" Red Hot Chili Peppers

I AM SO DAMAGED.


WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
"PASS THE DUTCHIE" Musical Youth

Heh.

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
"SUDDENLY I SEE" KT Tunstall

What a bad-ass song. I'm usually not this clever or bright, or quick to recognize destructive men in my life. (HELLO DQ!)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
"STUNTIN' LIKE MY DADDY" Birdman and Lil' Wayne

I literally laughed out loud when this popped up.

Veerom on a yamaha chromed out 11 hundred
Wut im doin, gettin money, wut we doin, gettin money
Wut they doin, hatin on me, but they neva cross
Cash money still the company, and bitch im the boss
And I be stuntin like my daddy, stuntin like my daddy
Stuntin like my daddy, I be stuntin like my daddy
Im the, young stunna, stuntin like my daddy
Stuntin like my daddy, I be stuntin like my daddy

You guys just aren't STREET like me.

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
"WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE" Cary Pierce

Oh come ON I'm not THAT forlorn.

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
"SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW" Keane

That's actually sweet. "So if you have a minute why don't we GOOOOO? Talk about it somewhere only WEEEKNBBOOW!!

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
"WE BE BURNIN'" Sean Paul

My parents don't smoke pot.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
"STARRY EYED SURPRISE" Paul Oakenfold

OMG wasn't I just talking about how bars suck as meeting places for Future Mates?

WHAT IS 2 + 2?
"Throw Some Ds" Rich Boy feat. Polow Da Don

No. Just...no.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
"MARCH OF THE WITCH HUNTERS" Wicked Soundtrack

HA! Sometimes. (Just kidding! I love all of you!!)

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
"BETTE DAVIS EYES" Kim Carnes

I currently have no crush. WRONG AGAIN iPOD. YOU'RE SO STUPID.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
"ONE SHORT DAY" Wicked Soundtrack

What a fun one!

One short day
In the Emerald City
One short day
Full of so much to do
Ev'ry way
That you look in the city
There's something exquisite
You'll want to visit
Before the day's through

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
"SWEETEST THING" U2

I want to grow up and be someone's sweetest thing? eww.

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PE
"OUTTA CONTROL" MobRSON YOU LIKE?b Deep and 50 Cent

Again, no one on the horizon here, but this guy sounds pretty cool. PRESENT YOURSELF TO ME O MYSTERIOUS LIFE PARTNER.

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
"EVERLONG" Foo Fighters

"If everything could ever feel this real FOREVERRRRR. If anything could ever be this good AAAAGAIN." Uh.... maybe.

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
"AAJA NACH LE" Bally Sagoo

Yep, probably will, especially if the DJ at my reception is that Indian kid everyone else uses.

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
"SUNSHOWERS" M.I.A.

I hope not.

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
"AMBER" 311

Huh?

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
"GLAMOROUS" Fergie

Ain't no secret, baby.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
"WALKING ON SUNSHINE." Katrina and the Waves

YES. Totally :)

WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?
"STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN" Led Zeppelin

Euuuighhh..but I already CAME UP with a title that was more appropriate.

I was on 24 hour call overnight on Saturday and thus donned my usual ensemble of scrubs, sneaks, fleece sweatshirt, and the only part of my outfit where I get to have some fun, my socks. I own over 50 pairs of socks (less laundry!) and most are in some fashion of the pink argyle variety of Target. After years of experimenting with the different scrub sizes I've finally settled on medium mens scrub pants and medium ladies scrub tops. I find that this combo usually allows the greatest length of scrub legs with a manageable amount of crotch fabric. Unfortunately, there's still a huge variety in the length of scrub bottoms, such that the pair I was wearing on Saturday was a little shorter than usual. Also, it's the middle of winter, and I'm single and live alone, and thus, it's been approximately 6 years since I've shaved my legs and I'm growing a veritable forest down there, which I'd successfully managed to ignore until Saturday night when I sat down and crossed my legs, exposing a good 4 inches of freely flowing leg hair. I have got to shave my legs, like, HELLO I AM SUPPOSED TO BE ENGAGED IN 11 MONTHS NO TIME FOR AMATEUR NIGHT.

(I'm camped out at the computer "working" on a presentation I'm supposed to give on Thursday. I've almost started! And hence the rapidfire posting.)
At this program, like in most surgical subspecialties, we get 4 days off at either Christmas or New Years. This is a pretty sweet deal, and I don't even mind taking call on the night before my 4 days begins. I had YOOGE plans to spend my 4 days in my sweatpants falling asleep in front of the TV at the big comfy couch at my parents' house but then they abandoned me and decided to go back to the motherland for the holidays.

In any case, Jagdish, in his own residency program in Texas, is coming to visit for Christmas. This means I will have to put all my bras away from their carefully laid out positions on top of the dresser and possibly vacuum and have all the drains snaked. I never notice all the janky things I put up with until I have others come up and visit me and then I'm like...Oh...so it's NOT normal to be standing ankle deep in soapy water after a shower? Also, I'll have to doubly restock the fridge because I anticipate Jagdish is going to spend the bulk of his time eating my food and in an unwashed state on my comfy couch.

Dancing through LIIIIIIIIIFE

Now that I'm on outpatient ultrasound (snorebore) I have my evenings pretty free because I don't have to wake up at asscrack o'clock every morning! There IS a sun! And it shines! And there are other people in the city besides half-dead residents trudging to the hospital at 4:30 in the morning! Hello!!

Last week I got the chance to see Wicked again here in St. Louis, which was just super fun. Before the show R and I went out to eat a little Italian restaurant by the Fox, where we had cocktails at the bar before dinner. While we were drinking at the bar, the bartender brought us a 3rd round and said it was compliments of "that guy down the bar." R, who is married, was like, "Oh, that was nice of him!" And that was all we mentioned of it. It left me wondering what exactly the etiquette is of the "I'm a strange man buying you alcohol at the bar" maneuver. Strange man in said case happened to be about 48 years old with a goatee and a sparkly diamond in one ear so I wasn't too interested in following up on my drink, but I wondered if maybe we were supposed to wave to him, or walk over and say thank you, or what. I generally think that the bar is the worst place to find your life partner, because without the friendly warming tincture of EtOH and soft glow of the bar, the daylight can be harsh.

Also, I've never spent money on extraneous souvenirs at a show before, but I love this show so much that I coughed up the THIRTY NINE dollars that this t-shirt reading "defying gravity" cost (I'm still reeling):


And R bought this one:

Which I also adored but somehow I don't think I can quite pull off wearing a bright pink shirt that says "Popular" on it. At least not in public anyway. And then I had to talk her out of buying a snow globe.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I have no linear train of thought here but wanted to make sure I documented the following thoughts somewhere because they are priceless:

1. Seasonal affect disorder? Who, me? No, because RSVPing for a party and then boycotting it because the host writes back asking "Thanks, Peg. Will it be you + 1 or just you?" IS TOTALLY REASONABLE GODDAMMIT. (In my defense, that "JUST YOU" was completely fucking accusatorial and I refuse to justify it with a response because it made me feel like a loser for like an entire 48 hours.)

2. My dad isn't much of a phone talker but there are certain instances where social niceties call for your phone presence, such as, oh, WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER CALLS TO WISH YOU HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

S: Happy birthday dad!

D: Uh-huh. Remember, this is the guy who thinks it's stupid to celebrate birthdays because "you're just one year closer to YOUR DEATH." Uplifting, no? So what did you do at work today?

S: Well I got to scan a baby with anencephaly which was kinda neat--

D: Interrupting. Ok whatever. Talk to your mom now.

Really. I'm not joking. The really funny thing is, when my dad asks a question that requires some long rambly answer I know it's because he's watching TV or at the computer and the "Ok whatever" comes out when he thinks he's listened long enough. Parenting! (Happy birthday Daddy!)

3. Shanmugam is considering pursuing a career in Urology. Except he doesn't know if he "can look at penis and balls all day long. But if I could, it'd be great."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Where did we leave off? Ah yes, I was passed out on my couch while IMDTT journeyed across the country just to see me. My leading thought was that one (or more likely both) of us were headed for a world of serious disappointment, but what the hey.

My parents called around 5 pm as I was trying to muster up the energy to get off the couch and into the shower and trying to decide how raunchy my hair smelled and whether or not I could put off shampooing for another day. My mom, as you might imagine, was SUPER-EXCITED about another opportunity to prostitute me out some more.

M: So....what are you doing?

S: Too embarassed to admit that I've just proudly assembled a bag of Sun Chips, a bag of Dove miniatures, a jar of trail mix and a can of Cherry Coke all strategically within arms reach so as to minimize any effort. I'm studying!

M: Where is IDMTT? Is he there with you?

S: Oh...no. He missed his flight and won't get here until 8.

M: Oh... Quietly confers with someone else, apparently my dad.

Now my dad gets on the phone.

D: Hello, Peg?

S: Yep, still here.

D: Ok, because we are in the parking lot of the hotel IMDTT was supposed to be staying at, because we wanted to see you together.

S: Too stunned to speak.

M: Why didn't you tell us he wasn't coming until later?

S: Because I didn't realize you would be STALKING ME.

D: Uh, so we're kind of tired of sitting in the car. Can we come over for a while?

15 minutes later, my parents are hanging out in my family room while I groom myself for my big meeting with IMDTT.

M: I think you need more lipstick.

P: I'm already wearing lip gloss.

D: Do what your mom says.

Then, I prepare to leave my apartment. Please note, at this time in my life I was still wearing the boot.

M: Why don't you wear a shoe that will match your boot? What did you do to your ankle in the first place? WHY ARE YOU SO CLUMSY AND AWKWARD AND WHY CAN YOU NOT JUST WEAR THE LIPSTICK LIKE I TELL YOU TO WE WILL BE STUCK WITH YOU FOREVER AND YOU WILL NEVER MARRY.

P: You guys need to go home. Jesus crazy.

D: We're leaving. But...uh, first we were hoping you'd be ok with us FOLLOWING YOU THE AIRPORT AND SEEING IMDTT GET IN YOUR CAR. Because we want to see him.

P: You guys already know him! YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN HIM.

D: So is it ok then?

P: Sometimes the path of least resistance is easiest. Also, one day I will probably torment my own children in a similar fashion. FINE.

D: Ok, but if you see us, you don't know us. And we don't know you.

P: That sounds GREAT. Let's start RIGHT NOW. Also, when did my parents get all ninja?

That pretty much sums up the interesting part of it. I could go on for hours about IMDTT's atrocious ensemble (a two-toned blue/purple monstrosity with hot pink flowers embroidered on it strategically unbuttoned to the xiphoid to display both a thick gold chain and the love rug - this outfit screamed I MEAN SEXY BUSINESS) but I'm trying to cut down on the smack talk. Needless to say, such an auspicious start to our night of passion was pretty much a good indicator of what the rest of the night would be like. We ate at a restaurant and then I dropped him off at his hotel. And then we never spoke to each other again. (Also, in my new move away from smack talk I will refrain from mentioning how he went on and on at dinner about his ex-fiance, a manic depressive psycho who lived at home with her parents and had to be fed Xanax. Hello, desperation!)