Monday, August 28, 2006

In Which I Discuss My New Room Partner

Last week Shanmugam (my younger brother) moved in. Yep. I live with a boy. The only saving grace is that we each have our own bathrooms.

But seriously, it's great. And he's vegetarian so that makes it easy to sin less. He's not bad about cleaning up after himself and helping out with the cooking, etc. However, he is VERY protective of his things, bordering on obsessive and retarded. He has a big oversized beer stein he got when he studied abroad in Prague last year (he's very proud of it -- it has his effin' NAME engraved on it...when he first moved in he was missing a box of possessions -- he was like, college diploma, whatever...WHERE IS THE OVERSIZED CZECHOSLOVAKIAN BEER STEIN WITH MY NAME ON IT.) and it's apparently not dishwasher safe. Unfortch he drinks from it all the time (like every day) and then lets it sit on the side of the sink, so I'll just stick it in the dishwasher, which I've done about 3 times now, and he sort of got upset and yelled at me today about it...which, he has warned me not to machine-wash the czechoslovakian beer stein about 20 million times but I always forget. So now we have a deal where he'll either wash it immediately upon use or hide it under the sink if it's dirty so he can lovingly handwash it to his heart's desire himself.

Also, hilariously, last night, he was getting all irritated because we have a lot of channels but no TV guide and so we spend much of our TV watching time just flipping around all 100 channels so he got a pen and pad of paper and went through and wrote down every channel number and then what network it was. He then typed it all up on a spreadsheet, shrunk it down, and taped it to the remote control. Hee! This is my family's idea of productivity.

Also, I'm filling out my residency application but for some reason the system is not recognizing my AAMC ID #. Maybe...I'm not really enrolled here? And big shout out to Grace who stayed up with me last night until EFFIN' THREE AM helping me edit my personal statement. If it sucks it's her fault.

And...today I started my ICU rotation. The first 2 weeks are the lecture portion...so after an hour and a half long orientation, I got to go back home and crawl back into bed. Yep, I've got my pajamas on and everything. HA! Take that! I don't know who I'm yelling at.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Happy Sunday everyone! I celebrated my recent liberation from gyn onc by sleeping 13 hours straight last night...y'know how people say you can't catch up on sleep on the weekends? I don't buy it. They're the same people who say you should eat breakfast every morning...I haven't eaten breakfast since my mom stopped making it for me when I was in the 6th grade, and I think I'm actually better off for it -- I've found that on the rare occasion when I do eat breakfast, my metabolism kicks into overdrive and I'm STARVING for lunch by around 10-11. This is a problem because you don't always have time to eat lunch. I would much rather just starve all day until 4-5 pm without being reminded of how hungry I am than have a breakfast bar and then suffer for 6 hours. So what am I saying? I'd rather have my body go into starvation mode then wake up 2 minutes earlier to have breakfast? ABSOLUTELY.

In other news, I'm working on my residency application right now. This entails a "Personal Statement." I HATE those things. HATE. It's all I'm so wonderful I'm so great I am the hardest working most dedicated medical student you will ever find and I have the most pristine ideals and we all know it's crap yet we all have to write it anyway. I feel like such a phony.

I start my ICU rotation tomorrow, then I have 3 months off! I have to take the Boards, go to Iowa to work on a talk for the end of October (ANXIETY) and then hopefully go on some interviews. If I get some. [Please interview me! I am so fun and nice! I will be your unconditional bitch!] Which...I'm not really concerned about matching per se, it's just WHERE I match...I want to be at a really good university program in a fun city, where I can do some research, and where I get along with all the other residents, and where I don't necessarily have to drive to work, and where they respect the 80-hour work week, and the faculty are nice, and maybe if it's close to home. Like, THAT'S ALL. Watch me say all that then end up in the Caribbean or somewhere.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hey ya'll! Only three more mornings of waking up at 4am on this rotation! And I got my letter! (YAYYYYYY!!!!)

And now for another episode of

Stupid Things I Did Today:

1. I overslept to 5:20. I was so tired that I accidentally set my alarm clock for 4 PM. Brilliant.

But AHA! My brilliant time-saving morning routine consists of me having picked out my clothes the night before and then just donning them in the morning. It sounds stupid but seriously...when you're up at pre-asscrack of dawn EVERY EXTRA SECOND of sleep is worth it. So today was clinic day (hence not changing into scrubs right after AM rounds -- hey, you know how on Grey's Anatomy the scrubs look like they're made out of that stretchy comfortable material, and the girls look all curve-ly and pretty in them? Real scrubs? Made out of non-stretchy cotton with too much bunchy fabric around the crotch. And the M-sized legs are too short. I can't cross my legs when I sit otherwise there's a good unprofessional 7 inches of ankle showing.) and also day of asking Dr. Tiny Dancer for my letter. So I decided that I should take some effort to be presentable today; I straightened my hair last night and picked out a pretty filmy black skirt and sleeveless turtleneck top to wear.

THEN when I woke up over an hour late (I think I woke up because the sun was coming up -- it's like my body was exposed to sunlight and went into shock crisis) I had clothes to immediately change into, before running to the hospital (where I had just enough time to run around and get my notes done. I brushed my teeth and washed my face in the locker room 5 seconds before rounds) all in a panic.

But hooray! At least I was clothed! And I hadn't done anything embarassing, like put my white coat on without a top underneath, or wearing mismatched shoes. (Let's not go into details but IT HAS HAPPENED.) OR HAD I? We were halfway through rounds (A good TWO SOLID HOURS after I got there) when I realized that my pretty filmy black skirt? With 2 layers of transparent mesh and a third crucial layer of solid black nylon? Had somehow gotten all tangled up in my underwear such that the crucial solid layer was completely tucked into my underwear, while nothing stood between me and the world except 2 layers of see-through mesh. Yeah! Flashing the patients your goodies! Score! When I finally received the skirt crisis alert we were actually standing in a patient's room so I snuck behind some M3s and tried to untuck skirt while simultaneously trying to hold skirt down. And the whole time prior? When I was happily walking around, thinking all the stares were because of how FLY I looked, were actually because I looked like an idiot.

2. I was examining a patient in clinic when I noticed this mobile pulsating mass in her abdomen. I was concerned (like OMG her ovarian cancer has RECURRED in the form of a HUMONGOUS PULSATING PERITONEAL TUMOR stuck to her abdominal wall) so I presented this finding to the attending who mashed around for 2 seconds before determining that my "2cm x 3cm firm, mobile non-tender pulsating mass in right upper quadrant" was her abdominal aorta. Brilliant.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm working my ass off on this rotation, and I think it's paying off. I love onco and it is rewarding. The OR cases are tough and people are really sick, but the patients are so awesome and great to work with. I also adore my team, which probably plays a huge part in my level of happiness right now.

Also -- I've really made a connection with one of my attendings! I think I will ask Dr. Tiny Dancer to write me a recommendation letter. He let me do my half of a hysterectomy (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and then congratulated me on my surgical skillz. So everything is hunky dory...except for the fact that I'm not sure if he knows how to say my name. Like, he obviously KNOWS it, being that it's embroidered on my coat and on my ID badge etc, but the pronunciation of it changes. Daily. Which is weird because when I worked with him as an M3, and even in the first 2 weeks of the rotation, he was saying my name correctly. I'm not sure what changed that, but it's a little funny when even the patients can say my name right but the attending can't. I really love Dr. TD and I'm not sure how to deal with this. Like, it'd be one thing if he had NEVER gotten it right, but it's extra-awkward because he went from being spot-on to just being totally, totally, horribly, awfully butchering my name in a new and different way every time. It's OK! I am still lovin' it!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ya'll, I'm alive. Barely. Working 16-17 hours days on my subI is getting a little played out. (Only 1 and a half more weeks!!) There was a v. brilliant moment today though. I was interviewing an elderly women pre-operatively, and things got interesting when I was taking the sexual history:

R: And are you currently sexually active?

Bad-Ass Elder Woman (BAEW): Honey I haven't had relations since my husband died 5 years ago.

R: Oh, I'm sorry. Please note, I was sorry about her HUSBAND, and not necessarily her lack of gettin' some. Though I empathize with that as well.

BAEW: Honey, me too. Things were so different in my day. Everyone was monogamous their whole life. I look at the girls today...

R: Braces herself for some kind of haterade re: women's sexual liberation.

BAEW: And man! You girls have it MADE.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I'm currently on my Gynecology Oncology rotation which is a surgical service. Which = shit ton of work. I accidentally "slept in" today (I woke up at FIVE AM instead of 4. Isn't it pathetic that it's actually possible to oversleep to 5 am?) and didn't get to work until 5:30 instead of 4:45. Yesterday I was in the OR all day so the night before I stayed up really late (all the way til ELEVEN THIRTY -- my life is so wild) reviewing the anatomy of the operation and the disease process of whatever cancer we were removing. Then I was standing around in the OR all day and I didn't get pimped at all. [Not that I'm complaining. I don't mind answering questions when I've actually read up on some stuff but in general I feel like the less I open my mouth the less I look like an idiot.]

We had one emergency surgery right after rounds, then we went right into our next case, an oncology case. I was so exhausted and thirsty by the time I got out of that SEVEN HOUR exploratory laparotomy that I INHALED a whole Nalgene bottle of water. The only bad part of finishing that case was knowing that we had another ex lap scheduled for that afternoon. The last thing anyone wanted to do was start another onco case at 4 pm that would inevitably drag on to at least 9 or 10 pm so I almost cried tears of happiness when, right before we were taking her back to the OR, her regular doctor paged us that she failed her stress test and therefore wasn't clear for surgery. Somehow rounds still ended up taking 3 hours and I didn't get home until 8. [One of these days! I will get out in under 14 hours.]

So...today there are no surgeries and no chemo clinic because they're interviewing fellows for next year! (Woo hoo!) And...ya'll, it's like a very sweet, sweet gift from God. I finally checked my email and bought stamps. I went to the med student office to change my schedule. I might go home and pick up that package I haven't gotten yet because I'm never in my apartment building when the mail room is open.

Cancer is not all that funny, but I did have one really funny story to share...there is a particular surgeon here who is kind of a beast. Screams at the residents ["WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! YOU CALL THAT SURGERY? YOU'RE A DOCTOR...CUT THE DAMN THING!!! CUT IT!!! QUIT FUCKING AROUND!!] during surgery (can't wait til it's my turn!), pimps mercilessly, etc. Most surgeons listen to music in the OR (I love it when they hook their iPods up to the stereos...some people's tastes in music are really great!) and this guy prefers classic rock. Yesterday on 97.9 The Drive it was Three-4-Thursday so they play 3 songs in a row by the same artist. They played Bennie and the Jets, Rocket Man, and Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me and right when that last one started playing Dr. Beast was all DAMMIT! WHY DIDN'T THEY PLAY TINY DANCER?? ASSHOLES!