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!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

First: Aw. Ya'll are sweet :) I am there for you also. In the words of Rihanna, You can stand under my umbrella. Ella. Ella.

Secondly, another awesome Parental Intervention into my Lovelife (or Lack Thereof) [PILLoLT]!

(Wait, first, let me just say that I've been watching the A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila marathon on MTV and HOLY SHIT. Actually, the show gets more substantial as the dumber contestants leave, and now with only the 2 left, more and more frequently the people on the show say things that make me think maybe they're not all complete idiots.)

But OK! PILLoLT!

My mother has gotten it into her head that I will be engaged by next November. I'm not sure how this deadline was set (November! Month of Romance!), or why 2008 shall be the year that Peg finds her Life Partner, or why my mom has reached desperation mode so prematurely but they are on the lookout. Single men: BEWARE. My mother will find you and force my biodata on you.

Anyway, the latest winner they scrounged up was a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, ("I do mostly tummy tucks") whose parents they apparently knew. I know... EW. BUT -- it had the potential of fulfilling my most recent intern fantasy of becoming a Lady Who Lunches and does absolutely no work. My other intern fantasy involves being able to stop time and take a nap. Seriously -- if I had one wish, it would be to stop time. Not so I could do anything spectacular. Just so I could nap. Another intern fantasy involves a big, fluffy bed that could magically be teleported anywhere. ANYWAY.

So IDMTT kept calling me, and I wasn't really feeling any "special connections" over the phone, but then IDMTT wanted to meet anyway. I was on onc at the time, so I had one day off a week, but IDMTT was READY FOR BUSINESS - he decided to fly in that very same weekend. I was a bit taken aback, but then I decided that if he was indeed my Life Partner than WE SHAN'T WASTE ANOTHER SECOND WITHOUT EACH OTHER. So I went in on Saturday to round, and his flight was supposed to get in at 3 pm. I came home around noon and promptly passed out watching TV on my couch. IDMTT called around 1 pm explaining that he missed his flight and now wouldn't be getting in until 8. He profusely apologized for "cutting short the amount of time we'd have together" but I was secretly thrilled to be able to extend my little nap.

Ya'll, I'm so tired but I'll have to continue this story later. All of a sudden I'm overcome with a wave of exhaustion but I don't want to renege on my words from yesterday so I'll post this incomplete story with the promise to finish story. You don't have to tell me I blow goats. I already know.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I should also talk about what has prompted this recent exuberant renewal of vows with my blog. Lately I have felt extremely burnt out and like I'm losing sight of a world beyond writing endless notes, answering an infinite amount of pages, trying to straddle the egos of all those superior to me (which, when you are an intern, is MOTHERFUCKING EVERYONE), and never, ever seeing the sun. This is probably just intern winter blues but I needed to find my emotional outlet again, and here it is! Also, most of my friends are interns too, and I'm sure they're tired of hearing me cry about how the nurses call me "Dr. Peg" so much that I think they're making fun of me because HELLO PEG WE ARE ALL TIRED AND CRANKY INTERNS TOO SO SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY. (YOU BIG PANSY.)

So I made a list of the things I do enjoy about residency:

1. I LOVE getting to go home and not having to study. Well, uh, I guess I should be "learning stuff," but I'm just thankful I don't have a shelf exam to go home and study for. Med students: I feel for ya.

2. I like the camaraderie. The residents here are all superclose and get along great. (We have to. We are together ALL THE DAMN TIME. Like being in prison!)

3. I actually enjoy the hospital at night. It's kind of scary because many of the usual back-ups aren't as immediately available but there's an intimacy between the entire hospital staff at night (like, "Hey, this really sucks ass. Let's be friends and suffer together.")

4. I am losing weight! Not eating and not sleeping: works like a charm.

Hey!! Yeah you!! Come back -- I'll try to be funnier!!!

OK! So I know it's been about, oh, FIVE YEARS since the last time I deigned to share my very important thoughts with the Internet, but I decided today that IT IS TIME TO GET MY SHIT TOGETHER. (I've actually been saying that since February of 2004, when I had to give myself daily pep talks/instill the fear of God into myself to study for the boards.) But really guys - NOW. IT IS TIME. FOR THE SHIT. TO COME TOGETHER.

So...residency! Heck yeah dude it's a BLAST! Well, it's mostly a blast. Ok, it can be a blast on occasion. What I mean is, there are occasional hilarious moments intermixed with moments of incredible stress and unbelievable amounts of adrenaline such that you can actually feel your stomach dropping out of your rectum. Exhilarating! Actually, it's not too bad. I'm surviving just fine. Not just surviving, NAY!! Succeeding, even! Well... probably just surviving.

Ok, so where to begin? There have been many, many legendary moments thus far in residency. I've twice been asked now where I "get my weave," I've had to explain the differences in poop-hole, pee-hole, and baby-hole to at least 5 different laboring patients, all 12 years of age (yep, had to draw pictures and everything. Changed their lives.), and, I enjoyed one too many libations one night, fell on the way home and gave myself a "high grade dorsal ligament sprain," and ended up in an aircast for 6 weeks (all through the duration of gyn onc. Fun!).

It actually wasn't toooootally unattractive though:


See? So fetching! In an attractive "neutral stone" shade. What could be sexier than a woman strutting about in that? NOTHING. My bootfoot and I even attended 2 weddings together!

Allow me to bring you up to speed on a few things
-- After long and painful discussion, my family and I decided to put Reflux to sleep. He had awful arthritis which was giving him painful constant kyphosis, and he also fell on his L shoulder and developed an abcess that just wouldn't heal. After a few nights of him not even being able to sleep because he was in so much pain, my mom and dad took him to the vet. I really wanted to see him before he went so I drove home on a Monday night just to see him. As my dad said, "He gave everything and asked for nothing." (He then proceeded to tell my mom, "I couldn't be more upset if one of my real kids died." Uh...thanks dad.) Rest in peace, my dear sweet little teddy bear-faced friend.


- Residency has made me realize that I am both much smarter and much dumber than I previously thought. I know. It's like a Zen thing.

- I am still single. My boot is shocked too.

Ok! So that's it for now! I promise to be a little more consistent, and to call when I actually say I will, and etc. It's nice to be back!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Despite the fact that I myself have worn scrubs day in and day out basically since I started residency, I still notice other people's clothes. There are certain accessories that make or break people's outfits at the hospital. On women, it's shoes. On men, it's ties. Seriously, a stupid tie can take a nicely dressed man from zero to idiot in 3 seconds flat.

A really attractive male medical student just rotated through our service, and EVERYONE noticed him. When he finally came through ob while I was on I finally had a chance to meet this guy who had all the residents talking. (Yes, yes, we value people's MINDS, we do not objectify people, blah blah professionalism-cakes.) Unfortunately, I couldn't take him seriously after seeing his tie:


The answer is: NO. A Mickey Mouse tie is NEVER appropriate.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I think it's funny that anytime I ask a medical student a question they assume I'm pimping them, when, in fact, I'm asking them because I myself don't have a damn clue.

Case in point: today was my first day of my Labor & Delivery rotation. I haven't done obstetrics since I was a third year medical student, which was three years ago. Today I was all like, "Uh...the baby comes out of the where now?"

I went to do a History and Physical on a patient about to be induced for labor, and I asked about bleeding, gushes of fluid, contractions, fetal movement, and then I ran out of questions. The patient and I stared at each other for a while until I turned to the medical student, "Uh...James, what else do we want to ask the patient?" And he was all, "Well, we must ask about right upper quadrant pain, visual changes, BLAH BLAH pre-eclampsia-cakes." Whilst I nodded my head sagely at all the Socratic teaching I was bestowing upon my pupil. Then I left the room and quickly made a note to ask all patients about pre-e symptoms during their H&P.

First days of rotations, especially as an intern, are just painful. You don't know where anything is, you don't know the nurses, you don't know how any of the paperwork is done, and you basically just get in the way and hinder actual work getting done. Also, I have a hard time getting used to the fact that I'm the one people are calling for when they say RESIDENT TO ROOM 65 STAT. So I'll run to room 65 and when I get there I wonder what exactly I'm supposed to do.

Also, when they say RESIDENT FOR DELIVERY they are also referring to me apparently, so I run into the room as the nurses are preparing the light, pushing the sterile table to the field and breaking the bed. The attending was already there getting gowned and gloved and she told me to go ahead and put on some booties, a surgical bouffant, a mask and goggles before getting gowned and gloved. Everyone was too busy running around in preparation for the baby about to fall out of the mom's vagina so I couldn't ask anyone where exactly all those things were kept, so I randomly started opening cabinets and drawers looking for the protective gear. I stuck a cap on my head and found the booties and had jammed my leg into one of them, and was hopping around trying to get my other leg into one when the baby delivered. Seriously, I felt like the world's biggest idiot. I bet the attending is still laughing at me.

In other news, I got to deliver babies! I like the adrenaline on labor and delivery and I like my teammates so I don't mind the long hours. Anyway, I'm on overnight call tomorrow night. I'm not sure how this is going to pan out. I'm tired after 3 hours on L&D.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hi everybody! Sorry about the delay here!! I'm still getting accustomed to, uh, having a steady job and whatnot, thus explaining the tumbleweed around these parts.

Next week I switch over to obstetrics which should be fun (Yay!! Babies!!) but also terrifying (OMIGODBABIES). So far work has been exactly my speed but I have a feeling I'm about to be bowled over. I have resolved to make a more concerted effort at posting, though. You're welcome.

So, hmm, yes, hot-button medical issues and social commentary. But first: embarassing stories about my lovelife!

I had vacation 2 weeks ago, and it was all very nice, all laundry-home-sleeping 14 hours a day-watching TV-couch-pajamas-not-showering and then during the latter half of the week I went to California to see VCAE. I was pretty nervous about the trip, given the disasters that have recently comprised my lovelife, but I'm happy to report that it was officially: not terrible! There was wine-tasting, and hiking, and double dates with his friends, then with my friends, and shopping (where OMIGOD he bought things on my recommendation) and most of all, Planet Earth on DVD and quality time on the couch, which cemented the bond of nerdliness we share.

Thus leading up to the embarassing story: on Saturday after having dinner out with some of my friends we returned to his apartment to get ready to go out that night. I was flipping through a magazine on the couch and he was in the kitchen doing the dishes when I realized my right eye felt a little itchy. I kept scratching it then finally asked him if my eye looked okay because it felt a little weird.

VCAE walked over and his face was completely expressionless. "Uh...it's ..just a little bit swollen."

"Swollen? Wait, let me go look at it in the bathroom mirror."

"Hold on, hold on. I think you need to sit for a minute. It's really not that bad, but it might be a little...surprising. Seriously, sit down. I'll bring you a compact so you can look at it."

VCAE brings over one of my compacts and gingerly hands it over. My right eyelid is swollen to the size of a golf ball and occluding 80% of my right eye. Yes, I'm sure it was all very sexy.

"OMIGOD. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!?!"

"It's ok, you're ok. I really think it'll be ok."

"ITISNOTOKIAMQUASIMODO."

This very lovely story ends with VCAE making me hold an ice pack to my eye for an hour and a half while he called his dad, an ER attending, who diagnosed me with "bug bite" and told me to use Benadryl when I was ready to go to bed. It was really a fun way for me to meet his dad.

The swelling returned to normal overnight but the sweetest part of the story was when he confessed that he cleaned his apartment from floor to ceiling in preparation for my arrival and felt so terrible when I got bitten by something there that he put bug spray on all the plants on his patio to make sure no bugs could find their way into his apartment to attack me again.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Oh. There you are.

Hello everybody! Sorry about the, uh, total lack of communication on my part here. I can't even claim that residency has sucked away all my free time..I mean, it's sucked away the vast majority of my free time, but I've just been a smidge lazy lately on my down time.

So...where were we? Ah yes! I had moved to STL for residency, my computer croaked, and I was in the midst of a minor myocardial infarction myself. An incredible person saved my computer for $80, and I lost all my iTunes but that was a totally acceptable alternative to losing EVERYTHING, because then someone might have had to die.

I started residency, and am currently on benign surgery. I get in around 5:30 and usually leave around 6:30. It's really not bad right now, with the exception of weekend call which I basically have every weekend this block - either 24 hours on Saturday or Friday night/Sunday day. Currently, though, I'm on vacation. Yes. That's correct. I worked for 3 weeks and then I was awarded one of the precious THREE vacation weeks I get all year. It's ok though, to be honest I could use a breather right now, and I'm happy that it's warm enough that I can actually do enjoyable things with my time off...like visit a certain very charming aerospace engineer (VCAE) I met at a wedding a few weeks ago. (Ok...if you really want all the painful details I met him when I interviewed at a program in California back in November, and we just happened to see each other again at this wedding.)

I like surgery. I like this rotation. I get to operate all day and then just come home. Our patients are rarely seriously ill and have few post-operative complications. The only bad part about being the benign intern is that we have to do circumcisions. Which I hate hate HATE doing. I'm not passing opinion on the circs themselves, but I think it's dumb that ob/gyns got stuck doing them. We practice medicine and operate on the reproductive tracts of adult women. How the hell did I get stuck slicing the foreskin of newborn baby boy penii?

First, I have to go consent the mother. I always take great pains to explain that this is an ELECTIVE procedure, meaning NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY, and we are only doing it ELECTIVELY. I also explain the usual risks of infection, bleeding, blah blah complication-cakes, but the most important risk is the risk that what looks like a good circumcision to me may not look like a good circumcision to them. Though, for most of the circs I've done, I think we can all agree that I haven't produced some good-looking penii. NOTE: This is a cosmetic issue only. I know what I'm doing enough to take the foreskin off in a clean and safe manner with no harm to the head of the penis. These babies will urinate and have babies of their own in the future, but they won't have the most attractive penis in the world. Sometimes I'm just a little uneven in the actual amount of foreskin I remove from the front and back. There's a lot of that stuff to go around, and it's awfully wrinkly and bunchy.

The best part about consenting patients (or in this case their moms) is that occasionally one will say no and just flat-out refuse the procedure. In this case, where it's an elective procedure that I hate doing, I am completely okay with this. In fact, I've considered carrying around the actual restraint gear we STRAP the baby to.
I think being strapped down is the most upsetting part for the babies.

As far as actual procedural devices, I'm a Gomco girl myself.


It takes a little longer and requires some more coordination than the Mogen, but I like that the little bell protectively sits over the head of the penis, thus ensuring that no goofage and injury to the penis head will occur. I offered to bring both devices to VCAE and give him a demonstration but he politely demurred.

Monday, June 11, 2007

You can't seen this right now, but I'm curled up in the fetal position and sucking my thumb. Residency started today, benignly enough, with orientation, but it was the devastating and horribly shitty disaster at home that sort of left me all traumatized: I went home to discover that one of the discs sent to me by my new employer meant to train me in the new electronic medical record corrupted my hard drive and caused a permanent, fatal error in my computer. Painful as it is losing your computer, all your research, photos, files, etc, it gets even worse: I was supposed to finish an ACLS training course I had installed on my computer over the course of tonight and tomorrow night. I took the disc to my friend's lab thinking maybe I could just reinstall it and do all my work over again in time for the skills portion on Wednesday. Of course, turns out you can only install the disc on one machine, so it wouldn't let me reinstall the disc on this other computer. After bursting into tears AGAIN, I decided things weren't that bad. If I can get another copy of the disc tomorrow I'll just work on it all night and finish the training on Wednesday. And the fact that my apartment is a fucking disaster right now (boxes, clothes, and shit everywhere because my dresser, bookshelves, and couch aren't here yet) doesn't exactly help. I am just a total stress ball right now. And yeah, not having a computer kind of really sucks ass.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm at home in Centralia for a few days while I try to get my apartment in St. Louis all set up, and last night Reflux slept in my bed with me. Until I woke up in the middle of the night to the sweet sensation of Reflux urinating all over me and my mattress. It was as awesome as it sounds.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I always bemoan my lack of Art Appreciation and how I like to look at art (Pretty! Look at the pretty things!) but I don't really understand it, and I never pretend to get it. I accompanied a close friend of mine to the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of our recent Farewell Tour of Chicago. The museum has been hosting a Rudolph Stingel exhibit, and we started by walking through his earlier pieces and ending with his latest pieces. I won't even try to describe the pieces because they're all futuristic and obtuse and I've probably just missed the whole point and will sound like the world's biggest moron, but there was a huge room with totally empty white walls and a big orange carpet on the ground. My friend asked me what I thought of it.

R: Squinting around and looking for the art piece in question. Uh..think of what? I think they took this one down.

L: Beatifically. Nope, this is it! What do you think?

R: The ugly-ass dayglo carpet is what I'm supposed to be looking at?

L: Isn't it incredible how the carpet can make the entire room glow? Do you see any emotion here?

R: Um...danger? Actually I think the artist is hiding in a room somewhere watching this all on camera and peeing his pants laughing at us.

L: When I look into this room I see every human emotion mirrored in here. (I believe everything she says, too. This girl knows art.)

R: Oh...say, whenever you feel lonely, have you ever looked up at the stars and thought about how maybe there was some other lonely or sad person looking up and seeing the exact same thing? It's so comforting. Maybe you could take home a little piece of this carpet and you'll find some comfort in it too when you're down.

L: That's really beautiful, R. I'm so glad I got to experience this with you.

R: Smugly, for I AM A GENIUS. No problem.

Currently: Packing. It is so fun! I *heart* this so much! I am so much looking forward to moving by myself to a crime-infested city where I know like 2 people, will spend 90% of my waking hours at the hospital, and still make so little money that I can legally claim financial hardship! OMIGOD I SHOULD HAVE GONE TO BUSINESS SCHOOL.

Also currently: Wallowing in self-pity. What, was it obvious? I know, it is so attractive! There are certain events in one's life that can make all other facets of life seem dismal and depressing. For me, that event is packing. And maybe dieting.

No need to worry, I'm not rethinking my career choice, I am just mentally steeling down for residency to suck ass. Liz and I decided we're just going to expect the worst: all work all the time, with no time for fun or friends. That way, when something fun does happen, it'll be like a bonus! All part of the business, friends.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A few weeks ago a close friend and I went on a kick-ass road trip through alot of them big square states out west. I lost my digital camera in a big messy party after the match, so I borrowed my younger brother's. When I brought it back and returned it to him, we discovered that somehow over the course of the trip I had broken it. (Seriously. Do yourself a favor and never lend me anything.)

I finally took it to the camera shop today and they told me it would cost $175 to repair it. I asked if there was anything I could do to try and fix it myself and the very helpful guy behind the counter said since I'd probably just want to buy myself a newer more sleeker one anyway at this point, it wouldn't hurt to get my fingernails in there and see if I could dislodge some sand or knock some dust of whatever wasn't working.

That sounded like the dumbest idea I'd ever heard in my whole entire life, so I brought it home and let Shanmugam do it, right after I'd told him that I'd buy him a nice new one once I got my first paycheck. Seeing as how I'd have to buy myself one too. Maybe I could get a bulk discount or something.

But voila! He "fixed" it! And thus I was able to retrieve all the inspiring photos from my road trip. You're welcome.


I cannot even express the anxiety this picture represents for me. I was up all night right before we left trying to finish my thesis, and I still had to make my revisions on the road.
Some dude got arrested when we stopped for gas. That was indeed inspirational.
We spent one night at Luxor in Las Vegas, and there was tons of construction happening in the hotel and we got all turned around trying to find our room, and we stumbled upon this little flock of Christmas trees, all wrapped up and waiting for December.

After Las Vegas we drove through Nevada and a little triangle of Arizona before arriving at Zion National Park in Utah. It was absolutely breathtaking. I would totally go back there for a camping trip.

I took about a zillion pictures here because I was so impressed with the canyon, but looking back now the pictures do it absolutely no justice.
Neither of us were dressed or equipped for some nature-ing but we decided to see if we could cross this river anyway.



I spotted a trail of rocks all the way across and thought with some careful maneuvering I might be able to make it across in one piece. This photo was taken roughly 4 seconds before I fell in the river.
Here my pants are totally soaked, and my feet are all swollen and puffy from being immersed in ice-cold water.
Uh... thanks for the warning.

We climbed up this rock formation, and it was totally awesome. This little waterfall comes over the top when there's a ton of rainfall, but in the meantime the slow constant trickle of water over the ages had carved out this huge recess in the stone. It was incredible.


Later we went out to eat at this very cute restaurant near the canyon. I had some authetic Utah-ian beer.


This amused me to no end. I'm sure my friend wanted to kill me when I tried to video myself drinking the beer.
Shanmugam ran into my room to excitedly announce that the camera worked, and I didn't believe it for a second. He took this picture of me as I was forming my mouth around the word "Idiot."

And, some pics from graduation...
This is right after the champagne toast with the Dean. My parents refused to let me take the stupid gown off despite the fact that I was overheating under there. And LOOK WHAT THAT STUPID HAT DID TO MY CAREFULLY COIFFED HAIR. Stupid hat.


See? So pretty from the back! The hood looks oddly like an orifice though.

At some point during my own graduation party (which I was too drunk to fully participate in), I wandered out of my room where I was sequestered with my friends for some pictures with the fam. My mother must have shunted me right back into my room right after this though, because I barely even remember being out there. My family is big.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Welcome aboard, BEEYOTCH.

Today I had to send my final medical school transcript and fax a copy of my diploma to the hospital where I'll be doing my residency. I went to the Registrar where the option of either faxing or mailing the transcript was on the little request form. After ascertaining that an official transcript could indeed be faxed, I opted to do that instead, seeing as how it would save time and whatnot. Then I called Grace as I was leaving school to see if she was in her lab and wanted to take a little break to sit out in the sun. As I was waiting for her to come downstairs I received a phone call from the secretary of the entire residency program (SOERP) at my new hospital:

R: Hello?

SOERP: Hi doll. This is SOERP. I just wanted to let you know that we got both your faxes today.

R: Oh, ok, great! Is everything all squared away?

SOERP: Actually you were supposed to mail the transcript in. You faxed it.

R: Oh whoops, my mistake! I'll run in right now and make sure that hard copy gets to you.

SOERP: Oh no, I already called and took care of it.

R: Oh, ok, well thanks so much, and sorry again about the mix-up!

SOERP: So did you actually get the email I sent you last week SPECIFICALLY and EXPLICITLY saying you had to MAIL THE TRANSCRIPT IN? Did you bother to read it?

R: Speechless.

SOERP: I just wanted to let you know that you need to pay better attention to instructions especially WHEN YOU COME DOWN TO OUR HOSPITAL where HUMAN LIVES ARE AT STAKE. (That last part? About the human lives? At stake? Transcribed here VERBATIM.)

R: Wow. I'm...uh, well, sorry, like I said. Again.

SOERP: Thanks doll. Click.

Well, hopefully the fax of my transcript didn't harm anyone. Also, Shanmugam helpfully pointed out that was just a sweet sampling of the loving and nurturing milk and honey I'm surely in for at my residency program. Yowza. (Also, I went back and looked at the instructions. They simply say, "Send the final transcript to BLAH BLAH," an address which includes a fax number.)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It's Over!!

So graduation is over! It was really anti-climactic.

(Hi, this is Liz. Peg is on the phone, so I would like to take this opportunity to say YEAH BUDDY, WE ARE DOCTORS! And Peg is super-buena.)

Ok, I'm back. So yeah...graduation. It was at Navy Pier, which was super-swanky and whatnot, despite the fact that the pier is about 8 miles long and I, in typical fashion, was running embarassingly late, so I had to speed walk all the way down in my heels with my graduation gown flapping all over the place. People kept asking me if I was emotional, which I definitely WAS NOT - I have no romantic nostalgia about medical school, much of which is just hazing. Afterwards there was a reception with an open bar, and my biggest challenge there was hiding my TOTAL INTOXICATION from my parents. They were actually really cool and left early so I could "spend time with my friends." Thusly, I ended up recouping roughly half of my tuition in Jack and Ginger.

My mom especially was just hyper-excited about the whole event. She and my dad arrived really late on Thursday night and then insisted that Liz and I decorate the apartment for my graduation party last night. There's really no way to say no to my mom, so we ended up spending 2 hours taping mini paper graduation hats to the ceiling. Last night after the ceremony we ended up catering dinner from an Indian restaurant and having a bunch of people over to the apartment. My girlfriends and I all sequestered ourselves in my bedroom, where I proceeded to drink a water bottle of vodka. Yep, I went from "lady who lunches" to "lady who loses her lunch." It was hugely immature but as I see it, that was probably the last time ever I can get away with acting like a 17-year old. Y'know, "professionalism" and whatnot.

I wasn't emotional at all (in fact I usually hate all this forced celebration) but this afternoon I went to another classmate's graduation reception/birthday party for his 3-year old niece, and many of my close friends and classmates were there, several of whom I also went to college with and have known for years. We were being incredibly silly and were getting more excited about the party favors than the toddlers were. In my goody bag I received a hand puppet, a gold crown, and a princess party hat, all of which I immediately donned. My friends were all acting similarly goofy, and I couldn't tell if my friend's family was getting a kick out of us or just wondering who the hell thought it fit to confer MDs on us. I was looking around then as we were all taking pictures of ourselves resplendent in our party gear and I got really sad thinking that the era of my life when it was ok to be young and stupid was ending. Also, there will never be a time when we'll all be together and carefree like this again. Ok, I was getting super-sappy and that was my cue to switch to water and possibly take a long walk, which I did. But..yay! Life is good. I am happy.

Yours,
Square Peg, MD

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Be the doctor your mother always wanted you to marry.

Countdown to graduation: 48 hours!!

Ya'll, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

I'm about to get sappy here for a sec: I wanted to be a doctor for so long that now that it's about to happen I can't even believe it's real. It's been a long(ish) road, but it's been paved with the best friends a girl could ever hope to have, along with some hilarious (and heartbreaking) moments I'll remember forever. Finally, my "knowledge" will be backed by an MD!

Hopefully it doesn't suck.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Two of my girlfriends and I are taking a little vacation to Puerto Rico shortly after graduation and we're getting back to the States roughly 30 hours before my residency starts, so I guess I'm cutting it pretty close. Right now I'm online trying to figure out exactly how I want to plan our time out there, and I think we're going to Vieques, a tiny little island off the coast of PR, for a few days. I was trying to book a hotel there, when I saw this package:

Procreation Vacation
couple_75x75 Let the undiscovered island paradise of Vieques Island be the scenary for a romantic getaway designed exclusively to promote fertility.

Our Procreation Vacation package includes luxury suite accommodations as well as:
• Unlimited glasses of sea moss elixir for the future dad. Made from a marine plant mixed with evaporated milk, sugar and spices and sea moss has long been the Caribbean’s aphrodisiac!
• Unlimited bowls of pumpkin soup for the would-be Mom. De rigueur among island women for conceiving, pumpkins are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, which promote fertility, successful pregnancies and lactation.
• One 50-minute couples massage with aromatherapy, an aid in regulating women’s fertility cycles, and reflexology, known for boosting virility.
• One in-suite dinner for two.
• One romantic dinner for two at resort fine dining restaurant.

I...just...wow. Planning a vacation around your infertility seems like a huge recipe for disaster, in my opinion. Infertility, though not a medical emergency, is almost worst because it's a problem that can strain a relationship and lead to insecurity. Darling, I'm afraid your sperm are sluggish. Or perhaps it is my retroverted uterus that is impeding the preggers! Let's celebrate! And can you imagine calling the hotel and asking for the "PROCREATION VACATION package?" I love that their selling points are unlimited sea moss elixir and unlimited pumpkin soup. Those both sound like severe punishment to me.

One more. I swear. Then I'm over it.

HOHOPIS. Oh yeah. This rant's not over yet.

MESSAGE FOR ALL MEN: If you don't plan on calling a woman again, DO NOT. TELL HER. YOU WILL. See, I know you THINK you're being all non-confrontational while quietly backing out with your hands outstretched in the surrender position if you reconcile the move by tossing out an, "I'll call you!" but really? It creates ALL KINDS OF CRAZY PISSED-OFFEDNESS, AKIN TO WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE RIGHT NOW. AND IN MY BRAIN.

Moreover, it's patronizing. And motherfucking rude. If a woman really is psycho, do you REALLY think that planting that stalk of hope is a good thing? I would SO MUCH prefer a man to be like, "It was great meeting you. I had fun" AND JUST FUCKING STOP RIGHT THERE. Don't offer me the concilation prize. Asshole.

I thought about it a little today and I decided that what HOHOPIS did was inexcusably rude. As part of my new kick to not kiss men's asses to protect their fragile egos, I felt an overwhelming urge to send him a text telling him exactly what I thought of him, and his PORSCHE, and his STUPID FANCY SOULLESS JOB, and his OVERPRICED PLACE IN SOHO, and how he was probably using them to hide his total LACK OF PERSONALITY and SOCIAL GRACE (not to mention game), but I was a good little monkey and resisted the urge. Plus, I deleted his number right out of my phone yesterday, because I am prone to sending incredibly damaging text messages when I lose my temper.

This all lead to a fun conversation I had with Shanmugam:

R: THAT ASSHOLE I WISH TO SEND HIM MEAN TEXTS ATTACKING HIS PERSONAL HYGIENE HABITS AND WHATNOT.

S: I would suggest that you NOT do that. No matter what you say, you're going to look like a big psycho.

R: Brooding.

S: Besides, I've definitely sent that ill-advised text before. And next thing you know, they actually did like you. But now they don't anymore. Because you're psycho.

Heh. I'll try to get the details on the gem of a story THAT is sure to be at another time.

Countdown to graduation: THREE DAYS!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Square Goes Celibate

Lately I've been so hugely disappointed with my lovelife (and lack thereof) that I think I'm swearing off dating. I'm so tired of it. It's been such an enormous waste of time, money, and dressy pants and each successive loser just reminds me of how much I love my sweatpants, my television, and my apartment. I honestly can't even remember the last time I met a guy I thought displayed some actual, solid, life-partner material, and I hate all this frustration and negativity that lately has gone hand-in-hand with meeting the opposite sex.

Worst of all, it's starting to make me doubt myself, like maybe I'm just a huge freak who can't get along with a man and am not worthy of being in a relationship -- I started to have those feelings today and it was just so overwhelmingly, breathlessly saddening that I immediately went shopping and charged yet another dress that I can't afford. (CLOTHES DO NOT EQUAL LOVE, SHUT UP, I KNOW, I'm MOPING over here.)

At the mall I stopped and sat down at a table for some people-watching. As I sipped my Cherry Coke and watched all the fucking happy couples walking around hand-in-hand, I realized: Oh my God. I am starting to become pathologic. This bitterness and self-pity is NOT a good look for me, and I'm certainly not funny enough to carry it off.

That's when I decided this isn't worth my time anymore. I have more important things to worry about than a sequence of stupid and pointless dates. Like my career! If I could add up all the time I've frittered away obsessing about guys and preparing for dates, I could have probably uncovered the rest of the human genome or figured out the healthcare crisis in this country. Why am I wasting my life worrying about some guy who may or may not come round, and likely won't understand how to chew with his mouth closed or be polite company, and make lame jokes and dress like an idiot, and just generally suck and be late even when he does get here?

ENOUGH I say! From now on, no more guys. No more dates. No more laughing at guys' dumb-ass jokes to be polite. No more going to shitty restaurants because some asshole wants a Portuguese lobster. No more 'dumbing down' all the nerdy stuff I like to talk about because it isn't feminine. No more downplaying the things I'm proud of because I don't want some piece of shit guy who can't stand being around a woman who might be smarter than him to feel insecure. NO MORE! As of today, I'm done. I'm not perfect, but I'm comfortable with who I am and I don't need someone to kiss my ass to feel good about myself, so I'm done doing it for others. Men are allowed to be lifelong bachelors. In fact, it's rakish and makes them seem youthful and devil-may-care. Let's do that for ladies, too.

Wow. I'm sitting taller even as I type this.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

He HOHOPISsed me off.

In a spontaneous decision last week, HOHOPIS decided to fly in to Chicago early Saturday (yesterday) to meet me. I was at Liz's graduation in Iowa on Friday, so I deprived myself of alcohol that night so I could wake up super-early on Saturday to come back to Chicago. (Probably for the best, because I ran into CNG. And we all know what happens when the two of us are drunk at the same time. Also, I made deliberate effort to stay away from DQ, who still hasn't spoken to me since the wedding.)

He was staying at a very nice hotel a block away from me, so I put on my dressy pants, extra-specially did my hair and make-up, and walked over to his hotel to meet him for lunch. (He was dressed like a dork. Cargo pants went out in 1998, honey. I'm being bitchy, but he has it coming.) We went to the Signature Room for lunch. I, being a huge dork, really like dorkiness in people, so that doesn't bother me, but as soon as we had ordered he was all restless and moving around, and finally said, "Let's take a walk around the restaurant and check out the view." Which was kind of cool and spontaneous, but he kept bombarding me with questions like "Where does the Chicago river end?" "What is the square mileage of the Gold Coast?" "What year was your school built?" which got tiresome after awhile, like, DUDE, I DON'T KNOW, let's chill out and get to know each other. (He was kind of spastic. And YES I know if I pick guys apart over every little thing I will be single forever, however I refuse to date assholes. Anymore.)

Then we ordered lunch and he had THE WORST table manners I have ever seen in another human being. I'm sure I'm no Miss Manners but HOHOPIS: It's called a motherfucking NAPKIN. USE IT.

There were some nice moments though: I was playing with his Blackberry and stumbled upon a series of lists he had made which he let me read through. I liked his list of quotes. There was a cute series of recipes in there. I also found a list of gifts, one of which was BH Gold. He told me that was "Black Hills Gold" and then he winked at me and said I might be getting some of that. I thought that was sort of strange but I just want to point this out -- all of these comment sort of led me to believe he had some interest in me, or liked me at least a little.

Afterwards we took a stroll down Mag Mile and ended up at the Shedd. That was actually really fun, he and I are both really immature so we were perfect ADHD companions for each other, but I was sort of embarassed at this huge tank right in the front lobby where HOHOPIS kept banging on the glass to get the attention of this big stingray that was stuck to it. Finally I grabbed his hand and asked him to stop because he was going to get us both in trouble. (I KNOW. When you have to ask your date - a grown-ass 31-year old man - to behave himself you know it's headed down a road to nowhere good.)

After that we wandered back to my apartment where he proceeded to go SNOOPING AROUND MY APARTMENT before I even had time to take my shoes off and set my bag down. Who goes into a stranger's home and starts poking around without their permission? The first thing he did was go into Shanmugam's room and exclaim about what a giant disaster it was. I sort of laughed along but on the inside I was kind of pissed. He's my younger brother, I can make fun of his dung beetle ways all I want to but I get defensive when others enter my world and criticize people I care about. Also, the dung beetle just had a stressful neuroscience exam on Friday, so give him a break.

I asked him if he was interested in having dinner, and he said, sure, did I mind if some of his friends from business school join us? I was a little taken aback, but I said okay as long as my friends can come too. So we made plans to reconvene at Vermilion at 8. I would seriously rather stay home alone on a Saturday night to eat Subway and watch TV with my farty little dog than eat at Vermilion because it's kind of pretentious, mediocre, and overpriced, but whatever, he was the guest and got to choose the restaurant. So the crowd ended up being HOHOPIS and one of his friends, and me and three of my friends. HOHOPIS and I ended up sitting far apart from each other, and HE TOTALLY IGNORED ME. This was actually fine with me; I thought he was getting to know my friends and I thought that was rather friendly on his part, until I got the unsettling but distinct impression that he was definitely hitting on one of my friends.

We left the restaurant and went to a lounge where some people he knew were having a party, and there it was definitely clear that he was more interested in engaging with others than he was with me. We went to another less crowded and slightly more intimate late-night club after that where I thought HOHOPIS would have a chance to bring it back and make good with me, which he definitely did not do. I had the impression that he was more content to sit in a corner by himself than talk to me. I was sort of pissed off - like, dude, you can't drag me out to hang with your friends then totally ignore me. I really wanted to leave but I wasn't really sure what to do. It was all just so awkward. We finally did leave, and in the cab we were just chatting about random things, and finally I decided to just put my cards on the table:

R: So do you want to stop by for a drink before you head back to your hotel? No, I wasn't planning on showing him the business but I thought I'd cover my bases in case he was too shy to make a move.

HOHOPIS: Nope I'm heading back.

R: Ooookay.

Cab pulls to a stop outside his hotel.

HOHOPIS: Leans in to kiss R's cheek then hops out.

Ok, so that all was weird, but I can get past a lot of weirdness by chalking it up to social awkwardness. But get this: early on our lunch date on Saturday I asked HOHOPIS what time his flight on Sunday was because I might be able to drive him to the airport, and he said it was at 3pm. Nonetheless, at 9:30am on Sunday I received a text from HOHOPIS: Hey I don't know if you're up yet but I just wanted to let you know I'm on my way to the airport right now. My flight is at 11 am. I had a good time and will call you later....

I had no idea what to make of this but I sent back a chirpy little text wishing him a safe flight and hoping he had a great time in my city. He immediately wrote back saying Thank you. I had a great time.

I was thinking about it later and I couldn't understand what had happened. Could he have possibly been so repulsed by me that he CHANGED HIS FLIGHT because he didn't even want to be in the same city as me? What I really love is how I wasn't even worth the time it takes TO MAKE UP A POLITE EXCUSE as to why he felt the need to retreat so suddenly. Laura, who set me up with him, said that maybe he was confused about what time his flight actually was and felt dumb. Then she profusely apologized for setting me up with a freakish weirdo who was a bad dresser to boot. Yeah. She better be sorry. I was mostly just confused about the whole thing. Furthermore, a bad dresser who can't eat in public and solves equations for fun shouldn't be doing the rejecting, know what I'm saying? Oh yeah. I went there. The inner bitch is out.

I think the chances of him calling are zero to none, and I'm not that sad because I don't have anything invested in this guy, but I'm disappointed because it strengthens my conviction that I will be performing IVF on myself in 6 years. Maria summed it up best: "It's a letdown for all of us. We just want to see each other happy so it sucks when something with so much promise doesn't work out."

Other comments:

Jeannie: "You're disappointed?! I saw him picking his ear during dinner. YOU DON'T WANT THAT."

Liz: "Wait a minute - forget about everything else for a second: he doesn't DRINK? Well that's just not going to work."

Shanmugam: "He sounds like an idiot."

Personally, I think it's part of his ADHD. He probably came here and was dazzled by our friendly, clean, beautiful city (MUCH more desirable than NYC, in my opinion) and I was all shiny and new for the first few hours and then he probably just lost interest. I am confused to as why someone would travel all this way unless they were really invested in a positive outcome but ... eh, whatever.

As much as I'm ready to put being single behind me, I must say, it was rather nice to put on my sweatpants, smoke some cigarettes, order my choice of Thai food, and watch Charm School last night without worrying about impressing some dude.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pillow Angel

This morning I had to go take BLS for healthcare providers, in preparation for the ACLS training I need when I start training. I've taken BLS so many times I could probably teach the course, but I can never remember how to perform CPR on infants. (I just don't care. Ok, I'm just kidding, I'm sure as an obstetrician that might be important, I need to pay attention, I should take my job more seriously, BLAH DE BLAH.) The only thing I do remember is that you try to wake the baby up not by shaking said baby by the shoulders but by clapping in baby's face and screaming, "BABY, BABY, ARE YOU OKAY?" It sounds dumb but it's hilarious when you have to practice the entire sequence and the first part is running up to the little plastic baby mannequin, clapping in its face then asking it if it's okay.

***

I was reading on CNN yesterday that a state investigation into the treatment administered to the Pillow Angel found that the operations were illegal. We talked about this case in an ethics session we had on rehab medicine, so I had kind of been following it to see what happened.

In a nutshell, a girl was born with severe cognitive handicaps. Her disability was such that she would never talk or walk and was 100% dependent on her parents for all of her care. Though her body continued to grow and develop, her cognitive level remained infantile. Her parents approached her doctors and asked them if they could stop her growth. She received high doses of estrogen so her period of growth was shortened and terminated, and her breast buds and uterus were surgically removed. Her ovaries remained in place so her body could continue to produce sexual hormones. Now, Ashley is less than 5' tall and has never undergone puberty in the sense that she will never menstruate or develop breasts.

This was an extremely tough case and I have no idea how I would have voted if I sat on the ethics committee that had to decide this one. Many disabled rights and women's groups have decried the treatment as paternalistic but the truth is, for someone so cognitively impaired, does it matter how tall she is? Menstruation is traumatic even for cognitively sound girls, how would someone with such limited capacity for understanding what was happening to her body cope with monthly bleeding, which she wouldn't even be able to take care of herself? Ashley's parents were immediately called out for being selfish and asking for this procedure out of convenience (the smaller child would be easier to care for) but I can't help but think that the benefits of the treatment outweighted the disadvantages. Her small size ensured she would never become a burden to care for, thus minimizing any resentment or lack of personal connection her caretakers might develop.

On the other hand, it's a slippery slope. How impaired is too impaired to get to hang on to your reproductive organs? Sterilization of a minor sounds, well, terrible.

The real question is about Ashley's quality of life. Will she be happier remaining childlike forever? There's no way of knowing, but I don't think it's inappropriate that her parents and medical team made an informed decision for her wellbeing.
After spending a few hours at the library again today writing up my research from last year, I hopped over to Macy's for their One Day Sale, and let me just say that days like today are how I will justify buying this with my very first paycheck. (My preciousssss. *Drool* And yeah, I know it's the most excessive ridiculous bag ever, and I'll spend the rest of the month proudly stroking my bag whilst subsiding on canned corn bought in bulk at Costco and the free coffee supplied by my apartment building.)

I picked up this Michael Kors dress for LESS THAN $20! Those who know me know that I often shell out for something I know I will NEVER wear, because I CANNOT RESIST A BARGAIN especially on the pretty, pretty clothes. I blame my genes. (I'm looking in your direction, MOM.) The dress is very pretty, very flowy and A-line, and I scored the last in my size so I was SUPER-psyched, though I was highly suspicious and pawed and sniffed all over it to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with it. I can't think of any event swanky/trashy enough to warrant me trotting the girls out on display as this dress seems wont to do, so it will hang in my closet forever, gently swathed in plastic, except when I occasionally don it to feel a bit more glamorous as I sit on the couch with a bowl of potato chips to watch my stories. (Yes. I do this.)
Also, is it just me or does that model's body language indicate that she is either extremely pissed off or just really needs to...unclench. Something. Either way, she is doing the dress no justice. She's standing such that the A-line skirt unattractively resembles gaucho pants. WHICH I WOULD NEVER WEAR. My ass looks big enough without the assistance of gaucho pants, thanks. It's so fun to say, though. GOW-CHO PANTS. Hee.


I also scored this fun red sweater (also by Michael Kors) for about $9, which was approximately 90% off the retail price. There was also another MK sweater, red and white striped with jewelled buttons which was less than $9.

Sorry to bore ya'll, but discount shopping is like, my number one favorite activity in the whole world. All of the savings released a GIGANTIC rush of endorphins and I've been walking on air all day long. (Yes, yes, you needn't lecture me, I understand that CLOTHES DO NOT EQUAL LOVE, just let me bask in my endorphins, mkay?)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Last night I watched Game 2 of the Bulls-Pistons series with my brother and his friends. I think his friends were really confused as to what I was doing there and why I was asking all kinds of dumb questions, so I had to explain that St. Louis is a HUGE sports city (moreso than even Chicago, in my opinion, because there are fewer other things to do) and I'm trying to "learn sports" before I move down there.

There was a time when I was addicted to basketball but that was in high school, and then I ignored it for about 8 years, and now I'm back. As one of the guys said, "It's incredible. You have this amazingly detailed knowledge of the game circa 1998, and then there's just this huge gap in your knowledge. It's like you have amnesia."

I was asking all kinds of questions and Shanmugam, who was intently concentrating on the game got all irritated because I was "ruining the experience" and told me to just go to ESPN and read a bunch of the basketball articles.

R: But isn't it more fun to just talk things through? I will remember it better.

S: NO THIS IS NOT FUN NOT FUN AT ALL.

And thus, I was prompted to use this old Amazon gift certificate I had to purchase the entire sports for dummies series.

HOHOPIS Update: I know this is getting obnoxious, but I was endlessly charmed by a text he sent me yesterday: "For an ice cream cone: What is the capital of North Dakota? No cheating." I thought about it and sent back the opinion that it was either Bismarck or Pierre, I could never keep those 2 straight, and I knew a great place on Michigan Avenue where he could make good on that offer. Text flirting! I love it.

Monday, May 07, 2007

So I dragged myself and my computer to the library to work some thangs, and right after I had neatly arranged my Starbucks coffee, laptop, colored pens, stack of research articles, clipboard and cell phone, I received a phone call from another incoming intern to my program in St. Louis. I was curious and asked the innocent little first year medical student in the corral next to me to watch my things while I strolled outside for what I thought would be a short conversation.

When I returned ONE HOUR later, he shot me a really nasty look, packed up his stuff and left. I felt hugely guilty about making some guy I don't know sit there and watch my computer when he clearly planned to leave the library some time ago, but I am also very surprised by how sweet he was to actually stay there until I returned. I would have just left. Not out of spite, but probably because I would have forgotten that I was supposed to be watching something. Responsibility!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Nursing a Hangover

Welcome back! To me! Much Advil, a 6 hour nap, and lots of sweatpants and couchtime later, I'm feeling almost normal!

Pictures! Eyes have been blacked out in a lame attempt to protect everyone's identity.


The evening started out innocently enough: all of us went to a bead shop and made necklaces for ourselves! It was actually quite fun and I was superexcited about my necklace and wished to put it on immediately.


And then -- oh my goodness.


And, we made Dr. Engaged wear a white tank top and collect guys' phone numbers. She ended up with 20 - nice job!


HOHOPIS Update: When we spoke today he said he was coming out to Chicago in a few weeks! I was filling Shanmugam in on the plans and he just said this seems like a terrible idea. I kind of also think we are headed for a place that is not good, but I'm not really sure if there's an alternative more graceful or subtle way to go about this. What am I going to do with him all weekend? Also, I feel like I might be a little low-rent for this guy. I've thought all along that we live in 2 totally different worlds, and today when he was telling me about his Porsche (!!!) and how he's saving for a boat I didn't really have much to contribute to the conversation. So I said something about how he might look cool in his Porsche but does it have butt-warmers like my Honda? At least I can make him laugh. Maybe he'll like having a long-distance clown.