Friday, March 30, 2007

I lied.

Ok ya'll. I'm secretly thrilled that DQ asked me to his friend's wedding. Although, as he did unceremoniously point out after issuing the invite, "Well...uh, the wedding's in Chicago, and you're, like, already there." I harbor no delusions of DQ and I headed for a fairytale ending, but we occasionally have conversations like the following which make me wonder why WE CAN'T JUST GET OVER OUR DYSFUNCTIONAL SHIT AND WORK IT OUT because we both share the same extremely immature (and probably not-very-funny) sense of humor:

DQ: So did I tell you I've decided not to date anyone until I leave this city? I don't want to get attached to someone and complicate my plans after graduation.

R: Are you kidding? You won't graduate for another 3 years at LEAST.

DQ: I'm totally serious.

R: But won't you get lonely? What about when you just want to snuggle with someone?

DQ: Uh...I haven't figured that part out yet.

R: Continuing. I mean, sometimes it's just nice to have another warm body in bed with you.

DQ: Isn't that what hookers are for?

R: Ha!! Sounds like a great plan, especially if you're cool with catching a potpourri of STDs.

DQ: When will you be able to write prescriptions? You can just keep a steady stream of ceftriaxone and doxycycline coming my way. And penicillin for when I catch syphilis!

This was followed by a lively stretch of conversation about genital warts....and, in my nasty little world, any conversation with herpes is an A+ conversation!

DQ also sent me this picture of him getting dressed in his Halloween costume several months ago. I've tried my best not to violate anyone's privacy on this blog, but I really, really adore this picture, so I blocked out his face and put it up. Although, I think if he knew I'd posted it, he'd probably drive over here and kill me. Or at least give me a very stern talking-to.
I actually saw the final product and I'm still not sure what he was trying to dress up as. That's a lot of bubble wrap happening right there though.

(To be honest, I don't know if he knows about my blog. I honestly can't remember who I've told about it, but I do know that most of my friends DON'T read it, especially now that I've come back to Chicago. But, I tend to repeat my stories over and over again as it is, so I understand that. One of my friends pointed out that now that I was back, she had to stop reading it because she'd read a story one night and then the very next day she would have to hear about it again from me in person.)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

And oh yeah! The Drama Queen asked me to go with him to his friend's wedding in a couple of weeks. DQ and I are way more functional as friends than anything else but I am excited to see him again. Hopefully this time we won't end in a big epic disaster.
(First of all, NBC is currently airing a marathon of The Office. AWESOME.)

Yesterday I received a shit-ton of papers I had to fill out to obtain my medical licensure for the state of Missouri. It took 4 hours and I'm not even exaggerating. And it was all witnessed signatures and notarized and made all official. They won't just let ANY casual fuck prescribe narcotics, I guess. (WOO HOO! I get to prescribe narcotics! Kidding.) As with all major life changes, I did not handle this well. Immediately after sending off all the appropriate documents via Priority Mail I fell into a deep funk. Now that graduation is coming up and I'll be moving, and starting a job, and having an income, and basically becoming the little adult I pretend to be, I am having some major emotional upheaval. The same thing happened to me when I graduated from college and I would sit for hours in my room in the dark doing nothing. Just all part of my slow and quiet transition to maturity, people. My posts might grow a little sparse and weird; just thought I'd put that out there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

(From PostSecret.)

I saw this postcard on PostSecret on Sunday and I saved it to my computer while I thought about it for a few days. I didn't have any strong feelings about Victoria's Secret in general except I kind of appreciate the convenience of having a store full of underwear where you pretty much always know your size. The more I stared at this postcard though, the more the candy cane pink stripes made me feel a little nauseated.

On rounds the other day we were actually just talking about this -- how the feminist movement is about choice, and that made it ok to be feminine and feminist. There's something so over-the-top about the Victoria's Secret empire though. Before their fashion shows the models (all 6'0" 107lbs of them) talk about how Victoria's Secret is empowering women by embracing women's sexuality, 2 things which sound pretty good to me but the truth is I think the premise of the VS kill is selling you an impossible dream, not empowerment. In the past few years the image of VS became wrapped up in their models -- supermodels who become spokeswomen for the line, known as the "Angels." Their faces are all over the catalogs and supersize staring down at from you from up on the walls of the stores, and especially their flagship store on Michigan Avenue, where lifesize mannequins of the current angels (Gisele, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio -- aren't they stunning?) dressed in teensy little underwear stand guard amidst the racks of bras. In the fitting rooms one entire wall is a mirror and contains a little screen constantly playing the VS fashion show from that year. It's a little unnerving to try on your plain ol' cotton underwear while Gisele stomps down a runway at you in a bra made of diamonds.
When VS became all about the Angels, they weren't selling an idea of feeling comfortable and sexy in your own skin (which is maybe what the store started out about). It was about being able to look like Gisele if you bought this $65 bra!

Also, I hate leaving the store and carrying those stupid bags. I appreciate the market value of having such an instantly recognizable bag but I feel like they're begging for attention (Look at me!!!! I wear Victoria's Secret underwear!!! I am SO SEXY!!!) and I HATE that. Maybe women feel sexy when they're sporting the bag (I personally feel utterly ridiculous and usually try to stuff the bag into something else) but I think it invites mockery: Shanmugam and I were walking down Michigan Ave the other day and we spotted an overweight woman toting an extra-large VS bag.

Shanmugam: Whispers to me. What could she possibly buy at Victoria's Secret?

R: Um...underwear?

S: Victoria's Secret makes underwear in plus-sizes?

R: Shanmugam, the average American woman is a size 12. If Victoria's Secret didn't make "plus-sizes" they'd go out of business in a hurry.

Is that what VS has done? Has the VS image become all about looking like a supermodel, and invites criticism of how sexy one actually is they shop there? Ew.

Monday, March 26, 2007

This Post is Dripping in Estrogen.

I have several weddings to attend in the coming months (SIX!!) so I've been doing a lot of shopping lately looking for dresses to wear. I found one beautiful dress from Ann Taylor, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE and must now display here: I haven't been to that many church weddings so I always sort of feel at a loss for determing what's appropriate and what isn't, but I think this dress really reconciles church appropriateness with my own taste.

Anyway, I decided I would have to buy at least one more dress, because I'm just not that responsible with my dry cleaning, so I walked over to Bennetton yesterday to poke around their dresses. I adore Benetton; I think the style of their clothes really meshes with my own personal style, but my problem with Benetton is that the clothes are made for WAIFISH EUROPEAN WOMEN WITH NOTHING IN THE CHESTAL/JUNKAL AREA.

I tried on a bunch of dresses, including a replica of the gorgeous green/white polka-dot halter that Julia Roberts wears in the horserace scene of Pretty Woman. It, of course, is a stunning dress, but Benetton is really in love with expandable keyhole necklines this season, with the end result being that I looked like some sort of high-end prostitute. I ended up buying this very elegant shimmery brown sheath dress with a gold scarf. The dress had a double V neckline, and let me tell you, the girls were popping out all over the front. I ended up buying it one size too big so there would be enough fabric for me to take it to my tailor to sew the anterior neckline up 1-2 inches, but now I'll have to have the waist and hips taken in as well.

That all seemed like quite a bit of work, so I went back on the Ann Taylor website and found this other strapless dress which I think I might just walk over and get today.

Having to spend an additional $50 on an already-pricey dress is very irritating to me, so I might just return that one.

Sorry to bore you with all the mundane details of my life, but I did have a point to this post: SMALL-CHESTED WOMEN HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN. If I hear another average-sized women bemoan her lack of chest, I might hit her. You are so lucky! You can wear anything without looking like an effin' hooker! When the girls are big, even the most innocent t-shirt can advertise your bra size. We can't try on 70% of blouses and tops because WE LOOK LIKE PROSTITUTES IN THEM. I have to buy all my button-down shirts one size too big and they get all balloon-y around my waist! The reason why I think the extreme of largeness is more of a pain in the ass than the extreme of smallness is because bra technology is pretty advanced these days. Even the most flat-chested girl can put on a bra and become a knockout. You can add on up to 2 cup sizes just by putting on a bra! But can you TAKE AWAY a bra size? Is it possible to wear a v-neck top without putting the girls on display if they're large? NO. IT IS NOT. (Minimizing bras are a cruel myth.) So stop your bitching already.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Yesterday, Jeannie, Maria and I walked down to the Art Institute of Chicago for the Cezanne to Picasso exhibition. I really, really liked it. The collection was from a famed French art dealer named Ambrose Vollard, a "patron of the avant-garde" and he had works of art of Cezanne and Picasso, of course, as well as Matisse, Gauguin, and Degas. I'm happy to say that I can add one more famous painting I've seen in person to my (rather sparse) list, The Old Guitarist by Picasso. I love art and my biggest college regret is that I never took an Art Appreciation class. I am a firm believer that there is no one way to appreciate a work of art but I do wish I had some basis on which to assess its artistic merit. Especially around Maria, who has some training as an artist, I feel extremely dimwitted and just slow. I think I focus too much on the subject of the painting; I always wonder what they are looking at, or where are they going, or why did the artist choose to give them such shifty eyes, rather than wonder about the art itself; like how can Cezanne paint the eyes with a few quick brush strokes and they can still convey such strong emotion.

After that Jeannie and I saw The Namesake. This movie just opened in Chicago this weekend, and I was very surprised and happy to walk into the theater for the afternoon matinee and see that it was PACKED, and not just with other Indian-Americans. I hated the book with a passion but heard such good things about the movie that I was curious to see how Mira Nair would adapt it. I thought it was MUCH better done than the book. If it's any indication to how moving the film was, when I left the theater, I had 2 immediate urges: 1) To call my parents and tell them how much I loved them and 2) To go find a bathroom and fix my makeup from where it ran all over my face.

I had issues with the book in its portrayal of the immigrant experience. Many of the scenes in the book are from the perspective of Gogol (Kal Penn's character) and so in the book, for instance, in the scene where he stops by with his white girlfriend for a quick visit before joining her parents on the coast for vacation, Gogol's parents become sort of caricatures of super-traditional, unsophisticated, country-mouse Indians. While reading the book I cringed at the description of how Ashima put on a fancy sari and cooked for 2 days straight in preparation for the little visit. It just made her seem...desperate. Whereas the film did a much better job of making us comfortable with Ashima and Ashoke's perspective; the first 35 minutes of the film is entirely devoted to their lives, in India and when they move to the US and start to build their little family. I just felt the characters were much better fleshed out, especially Ashima.

Anyway, that's all! I also just spent an hour talking about the movie with a friend on the phone, so I'm a little emotionally burnt out now .

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Planet Earth

A hundred years ago, there were one and a half billion people on Earth. Now, over six billion crowd our fragile planet. But even so, there are still places barely touched by humanity. This series will take you to the last wildernesses and show you the planet and its wildlife as you have never seen them before.
Let's all geek out for a second -- tomorrow night Planet Earth starts on the Discovery Channel!!

You MUST see the preview if you haven't. I'm a huge sucker for nature shows but even the preview is dazzling. Apparently 4 years were spent filming "from pole to pole" for this BBC documentary. It explores 10 different natural ecosystems including Mountains, Fresh Water, Caves, Deserts, Ice Worlds, Great Plains, Jungles, Shallow Seas, Seasonal Forests, and Ocean Deep. I'm really excited about Ocean Deep and Caves in particular. Being from a Great Plains (the North American prairie), I'll probably skip that one but HOW COOL DOES CAVES LOOK:

This is from the recently discovered Lechugilla Cave in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. It's 120 miles long (GOOD GOD) and has really ornate interesting stalagmites and stalactites from where sulphuric acid carves gypsum crystal formations.

I thought this picture was a close-up until I spotted the man standing right underneath it. This is the Chandelier Ballroom.

There's also a huge lake down there which one of the scientists went scuba-diving in it and found an air-filled room and 200 feet of submerged passage before finding an end.

So anyway, stuff like this is super-exciting to me, and I think I have a decent sense of adventure, but I read about the scientist going on a lone scuba-dive just to s ee what was at the bottom of the lake and I assumed he was on crack. I'd be way too afraid of running into some as-yet-undiscovered subterranean eyeless giant salamander or something. Clearly I've watched Lord of the Rings way too often.

Speaking of weirdo animals, I can't wait for Ocean Deep because I'm fascinated by all those cool deep sea creatures.

Like the vampire squid, which likes to live in the dark and freezing cold ocean depths. It has crazy eyes and its own light-producing apparati, much like this creature, which we may remember from that gem of a movie, Finding Nemo:

Like, what if you ran into THAT in your unexplored underground lake?

Also, read about how the anglerfish mates (Oh how I love you, Wikipedia. You endlessly find ways to distract me for hours straight daily.):

Anglerfish have a unique mating method. Since individuals are rare and encounters doubly so, finding a mate is a problem, especially at a time when both individuals are ready to spawn. When scientists first started capturing ceratioid anglerfish, they noticed that all of the specimens were females. These individuals were a few inches in size and almost all of them had what appeared to be parasites attached to them. It turned out that these "parasites" were the remains of male ceratioids.

When a male of one of these species hatches, it equipped with extremely well developed olfactory organs that detect scents in the water. They have no digestive system, and thus are unable to feed independently. They must find a female anglerfish, and quickly, or else they will die. The sensitive olfactory organs help him to detect the pheromones that signal the proximity of a female anglerfish. When he finds a female, he bites into her flank, and releases an enzyme which digests the skin of his mouth and her body, fusing the pair down to the blood vessel level. The male then atrophies into nothing more than a pair of gonads that release sperm in response to hormones in the female's bloodstream indicating egg release. This is an extreme example of sexual dimorphism. However, it ensures that when the female is ready to spawn, she has a mate immediately available.

Friday, March 23, 2007

And oh yeah, I just took Step 2 Clinical Skills on Tuesday. I walked out of there a little frustrated because...well, I'm actually not allowed to talk about it. I will say though, that, if you ever have to take an 8-hour exam, you'd do better to start it, oh, maybe BEFORE EFFING 3 IN THE AFTERNOON and then you don't leave the testing center til 11pm and you're stuck taking the fucking blue line home in the middle of the night and then they decide to arrest someone on the train a few cars down from you and you sit at the Belmont step with all the doors open for about 20 fucking years wondering what the hell is going on and why a normally 45 minute el ride is now taking about 2 and a half hours and your feet get very cold.

Anywho, the very first thing they tell you right before you start the "patient encounters" is that if you EVER share any information about the test you'll be barred from taking any tests administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners for life. Which, y'know, might get in the way of trying to become fully licensed in the practice of medicine and whatnot. What's funny is, I don't remember seeing that 2 weeks ago when I took the written part of the exam, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge but that's probably because my main objective when I sat down at the computer to take THAT test (yet another 8 hour nugget of fun!) my main objective was to exit the situation as quickly as possible so I probably clicked right past that disclaimer.

What's funny is that in college right before I was initiated into my sorority I received a similar warning: something about how if you "ever violate the secrecy of the rites of initiation into the sisterhood may your tongue wither and fall out, may your eyes shrivel and sink back into their sockets, and may your fingers recede back into your hands!!" Or some such happenings; with the main gist become a leper. I didn't violate that oath, and I won't violate this one. I will, however, say that CS sucks big hairy sweaty goat balls.


On my very first day of medical school, we were introduced to "the Deans." There is a Dean for EVERYTHING here. Multiculturalism, professionalism, student affairs, academic research, you name it. One of the Deans scared the hell out of me. His speech was, "Congratulations. You are in medical school now. You are privileged enough to enter the grandest profession BLAH BLAH BLAH." It was a lovely speech, and seemed like harmless cheering up of the incoming students, when at the end he said, "Oh by the way. Don't expect to make it to your kid brother's 16th birthday. And get used to it. When you're a doctor you'll miss your own kid's birthday." I was not having it. I vowed then and there I would never put work above the people I loved, and I made it a point to try and be around for my family member's birthdays as much as possible. Turns out, in my family, nobody really celebrates birthdays, because, as my dad says, "YOU'RE JUST ONE YEAR CLOSER TO THE AGE YOU DIE." Happy Birthday! (And what an insightful look into my father's psyche!) So that didn't really matter much. But, there are some things I am actually pretty depressed to have to give up. Ok, these all might seem dumb, but keep in mind, I am FEMALE, and these things are kind of important to me.

1) Attractive footwear. I love shoes so, so much. Shopping for shoes might be my #1 all-time favorite activity. I own over 50 pairs of shoes and love them all dearly. Once I started wards though, my days of wearing attractive footwear were over. I tried for the first week of keeping the dream alive and wearing my pointy-toed stilettos each day but it just didn't work. When your day starts at 5:30 am and doesn't end until 7 pm and you're on your feet for 80% of that time, it's just impossible. My feet would cry when I took my shoes off at night. Nice shoes are of the utmost importance to me, but I realized that no human being can be on her feet that long without them getting a little swollen (YES. Even at the age of 24.) no matter how supportive your stockings are, and it is not worth the pain. I'm all about the ballet flats now, but it's just not the same as having a sassy little heel. I like to wear my pant legs really long, and they sort of drag all over the floor. [Of the HOSPITAL. Where there is DISEASE and INFECTION and BLOOD and PUS. It's so gross.] Also, I realized right away, when I wear heels, I just way too tall for the hospital. What I mean by that is, I'm 5'9" barefoot. When I put on heels, even plain old 2" kitten heels, I tower at 5'11". Bending over patient's beds all day to talk to them and examine them KILLED my back when I was wearing heel. Something about your center of balance is all off when you're sporting the heels when your spine is in flexion and it puts too much strain on your paraspinous muscles.

Also, ladies in medical school (or think they want to attend medical school), you understand that you may NEVER wear open-toed shoes in any location where healthcare is provided in any form, right? It sounds dumb, but to realize that you can never wear anything but full coverage on your feet at the hospital (where you spend 80% of your waking time) was a little sad.

2. Fingernails. Once you enter medicine, your nails have to be clipped supershort at all times. To do otherwise would be really inconsiderate of your patients and unprofessional. Also, you can't wear anything but the most nude or neutral nail polish. I love me some black-red nail polish but I've had to throw out all my bottles of nail polish because they just got old and gunky from neglect.

3. Cute flippy hair styles. I just got a haircut and am now rocking some bangs and some shaggy layers, which I LOVE LOVE LOVE! I did this purposefully a few months before starting residency though, so that it would have time to grow out to a more "professional and practical" length before I hit the wards again. I love this hair but if it's always in my face or can't be pulled back into a fast ponytail with a rubberband it's too impractical for a surgical subspecialty. Plus you run the risk of some old dinosaur attending telling you you look "too damn hippy to be a doctor."

And of course, other sacrifices include, erm, free time, relationships with people not in medicine because we've become boring, consumed by our careers, and run out of things to talk about, quality time with family/friends, and being able to legally claim financial hardship on your taxes as a resident! So fun. Eiighhh..I'm obsessing about residency, can ya'll tell? Rather than obsess about OH GOD I AM IN CHARGE OF PEOPLE'S LIVES AND IT IS NOT FUNNY THIS TIME I am lamenting the fact that I can't do my nails, have bangs, and wear high-heels to work. Is this normal? There is definitely something wrong with me. I am displaying some sort of psychiatric defense mechanism to the anxiety I'm having about starting residency, but I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT THE NAME OF IT IS. Omigod I can't believe they're going to graduate me.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm currently on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation rotation. (My LAST ROTATION as a medical student! Good bye, short whitie!!! I am ready for a newer, more cute and flattering white coat. After all, it will be the most expensive accessory I own. And, not to be totally shallow, but there was definitely one program at which I interviewed for residency which I nixed based on the poor quality of their white coats. Like COME ON, I have worked FOUR YEARS to be a doctor, I am NOT wearing some stupid white coat that makes my ass look big. And...we're back.) I'm on the stroke service, which means we head the interdisciplinary teams that work to rehabilitate our stroke patients.

Rehab medicine isn't for me, but I actually think it's a pretty cool and rewarding specialty, which is totally unexpected. All through my internal medicine subI I bitched endlessly about how we saved people's lives even when those lives could no longer possibly be worth living, but I see that Rehab medicine is where people regain their quality of life. We had a very interesting ethics session on the first day of Rehab medicine where we each discussed what had to be taken away fron us in order to make our own lives no longer worth living. The top things on my list were not being able to enjoy the company of my friends and family and not having the independence to make choices for myself and do what I wanted. Therein lay the entire point of Rehab medicine: after people have suffered seemingly insurmountable trauma for whatever reason, they become rehabilitated to get their autonomy back. Many people of course won't be able to walk, or speak, or move one side of their body, or even control their bladder again, but the point of rehab medicine is to teach them a new way to live a full and independent life despite their disability. It's pretty cool. As my attending says, "We don't save lives; we save lifestyles." And honestly, one is just as important as the other.

Also, I've been incredibly inspired by how much these rehab docs are advocates for the disabled. It's refreshing to see doctors not only care about their patients, but about the system that makes it ridiculously difficult for their patients to lead autonomous lives. For instance, we had a lecture of "prejudicial politics," where we discussed why state's won't cover home health care but will cover nursing home stays, despite the fact that having an aide come to a patient's home for a few hours a day to help them with bathing, cleaning and cooking is cheaper than parking that patient in a nursing home and letting them rot. It's just always the way it's been done.

There have been some really hilarious moments on PM&R though. These are patients with brain injury, and...sometimes the cortex that's responsible for appropriate behavior and inhibition of inappropriate behavior gets knocked out. And that's why when I went to go examine a patient today I discovered him proudly offering me his own poop in his hand. (At least he didn't throw it at me.)

Also, some patients get confused in the middle of the night and try to climb out of bed, which is dangerous when patients aren't yet stable enough to stand or walk, so instead of getting restraints, which are dehumanizing and uncomfortable, they get these special beds which is like a zipped up canvas net in the manner of a huge tent around the bed. Patient's families don't like it because it kind of seems as though we're keeping their beloved sweet old grandpa in a gorilla cage, but patient's love it because their limbs are free and not restrained but they're still kept safe. Anywho, my patient found a way to escape his open-air restraint (he squeezed himself out under the mattress) and he was later discovered naked trying to use the bathroom in a female patient's bedroom. Rehab medicine!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Square Peg Does the Lou

Hey ya'll, just wanted to let you know that I matched at my first choice, in St. Louis!! I am super-excited to move to the city known as the "Paris of the Midwest," ( me, anyway, as of 2 days ago. Let's spread it around!) and part of my St. Louis assimilation program is to "learn sports," so I've been watching ESPN with Shanmugam for 30 minutes nightly.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Studying for Boards: Part WOO HOO!

I am SO GLAD that test is over. It's just a long day.

Monday, March 05, 2007

I'm a total stress-eater, so this past Saturday night, when faced with the prospect of spending an evening in an electrolyte disorders chapter-induced coma, I stopped at the grocery store for some munchies on my way home from the library. (My life is so sad right now.)

Let me pause here a moment to point out that this ALWAYS happens to me. Anytime I get dolled up to go out I never run into ANYONE. But... 1am on a weeknight, me in my sweatpants and sweatshirts with the drool marks from where I fell asleep on it, glasses, and humongous stress-induced nodular acne on my forehead (This thing was huge. I'm not kidding. It changed my profile.) going from the laundry room up to my apartment with a Rubbermaid basket overflowing with my underwear...oh yeah. I will ALWAYS run into that hot plastic surgery resident. It's like, Newton's 4th law.

Anyway, there I was at Treasure Island in the Playboy Building, picking out my essentials for the evening, namely Midol, Double Stuf Oreos, and Acne Eliminating Spot Gel when OF COURSE I ran into this guy from school who I had unfortunately gotten extremely intoxicated around and rather ungracefully hooked up with 2nd year at a posttest party. Not one of the highlights of my medical career thus far, and certainly not who I wanted to run into at the grocery store. To be honest, I'd be happy never seeing this guy at all, after he told people that I "threw" myself at him and furthermore that I threw up on his shoe. Which, by the way, CANNOT be true, because, granted, my memory of the event is pretty hazy, but I definitely remember throwing up on my friend's foot in the cab on the way home. So there. Asshole. (By the way, she was cool with the vomiting and we're still friends. Sometimes friendship means never having to say you're sorry. I did say I was sorry though, like a million times, after I crawled out of my deep dark hole of embarassment and shame. And hungover-ness.)

What was my point? I forgot. Now, pictures!

As I'm wrapping up the Step 2 studying I'm reaching this very familiar point where I'm so saturated with information that I just want to get this stupid test done with before knowledge starts to fall out of my head. Also, you've been looking at everything so much that EVERYTHING around you starts to remind you of medicine, and it's incredibly annoying to people around you but extremely fun to you.

For instance, while I was savoring another Diet Coke (sweet, sweet nectar of the gods), I happened to catch this warning on the can't really read it, because my camera sucks. (Or, more likely, it is I that sucks at using said camera.) But it's a warning that this product contains "phenylketones." !!! I know what that is and why that might be important!! Turns out if you have some rare disease called phenylketonuria you're supposed to limit phenylalanine intake because you can't break them down and they're all toxic to your brain and cause bad things like mental retardation. Yes!

Also, I wanted to show off my work space. I had envisioned creating one master sheet of vital but concise tidbits of information that I could review the night before my exam before retiring for a night of a restful 8 hours of slumber . I ended up with a cheat sheet that was OVER NINETY PAGES long, which I'll probably never look at, except to panickedly tear through at 4 am the night before my exam . Please note the aforementioned Oreos nestled amongst my cheatsheets.

Ok, back to leukemia!

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I'm at the library continuing my serious antisocial Boards studying, when I recognized the sensation of something eating my liver. I have something to say.

I started this blog when I moved out to Iowa for a year to do research as a way to keep in touch with my friends in medical school. I'm surprised and happy that random strangers like to check in, but really I mostly write for myself. (Now that I'm back I'm not even sure if my friends read me anymore.) I kept a journal all through grade school, junior high, and most of high school, and now that I'm doing it again I'm remembering how much fun it is to journal the stupid things that happen during the day, because, somehow.... taking note of the little things in life is what makes life worth living. And for me, writing it down is how I make those things real. And sometimes they're funny. (Actually, they're probably mostly lame, but in my extremely immature brain they're funny. Like the calci-BONE-nin thing? I was chortling to myself for HOURS after that. People at Starbucks probably thought I was a big ol' cup of crazy.)

Also, there's some stuff I'm obnoxiously opinionated about, and sometimes I talk about those things, mostly just to get it out of my system so I don't bore the people around me, and I really like it when people stop by and leave their comments about those things too. I just wanted to say -- I am reading those comments and I do appreciate it and much as I would like to have a nice open discussion about the state of birthing today, 1) I refuse to engage in a medical discussion without all participants (myself included) having done some degree of literature review. I won't claim anything unless it's evidence-based (WOW. I guess I did learn something in med school.) and I don't really have the time to do that right now so I'll just keep my mouth shut, but more importantly 2) That's not really what this blog is about. There are few places on the Internet where birthing politics are discussed ad nauseum and this is so not one of them.

So yeah, I'm just studying testicular cancers tonight ( favorite!). I wish I could just take this thing tomorrow and get it over with. I feel like I'm pregnant -- I just want to deliver this thing and be over and done with it already! (Such a lovely prenatal sentiment, I know.)

Saturday, March 03, 2007


At the library studying today I ran into Shanmugam studying with one of his friends so I sat with them for some last minute endocrinology review. As I was looking over some bony disorders I had a question.

R: Hey, do you guys remember how calcitonin works?

Shanumam and friend: Simultaneously. CALCIBONIN.

R: What?

S: Keeps calcium in the bone.

R: Oh... ha ha, calci-BONE-in, I get it!

S: If they could teach all of medicine like that, I would never forget anything.

S's friend: Yeah, you'll remember anything once you've boned it.
I'm taking Step 2 on Thursday so I've been doing serious antisocial study the past few days... wish me luck! My experience with Board Medical Exams is limited to the shelf exams we took after each rotation 3rd year and Step 1, otherwise known as That One Time I Seriously Considered Suicide, but I know that anything other than my Step 1 experience, which involved me wanting to hurl myself out of the window of my 16th floor Prometric testing center during the entire 9 hour affair has to be an improvement. And that all turned out fine, so I'll probably be ok. I do however need to learn some medicine, and stuff, for this test. See you all Thursday!