Nov 30, 2009

Nerdy hooray

After a long hiatus of becoming utterly and inexplicably incapable of blood draws/IVs, I nailed two in a row. Solid hits. No hunting, dithering around in the skin, or trying to pawn off the job on nurses because I got cold feet from a string of misses. Just blammo-in and blammo-in.

I also managed to be scrubbed into a surgery for 3 hours without touching my face, knocking something over, contaminating someone else, or sawing off my finger with the Bovie. It was a good day.

Nov 28, 2009

So... wow...

OB-Gyn has been a killer, and NYC is a killer but in a good way (mostly). So much to talk about, so little time; so much procrastination, and hey, I'm on call for somewhere between 14 and 24 hours tomorrow, so that'll be a breeze. On the plus side, I've had a three day glorious vacation, helped by getting to go home early on Wednesday, so kind of a three and a half day vacation.

To briefly summarize what's been happening, to expand upon later when you guys finally descend on me for being a poor blogger-updater:

Started OB/Gyn residency:
-Wow, there's a LOT more hours than in IM. Holy hell. And they expect you to do stuff, possibly because the nurses there let you do stuff rather than snarling at you.
-Helped catch a baby. Whoa. It's like Alien, only everyone's really happy about it... and it seems more painful. But it's actually cool, and cooler than I thought.
-Scrubbed in on two c-sections. Got to do stuff like cut sutures and retract, which for now, is freaking awesome. I've heard that by midway through the surgery rotation, it is much less awesome, hence the term "Retractor Bitch". Saw some others.
-On vaginal childbirth vs c-section, I have to grudgingly admit that thus far, the 'natural' way seems to produce more kids that are pink and screaming, which is ideal. C-section, on the other hand, has the bonus of not being a vaginal birth.
-24 hour call is way better when you have things to do. I hit the wall around 4 am, got license to "go sleep" (yeah right), and ended up moonwalking around the halls near the library and giggling because I felt so fried.
-Somehow I wound up with quite a bit of time off call and now heading into three weeks of call every three days or so, which is so going to suck... Goodbye, friends and family.

Had my whole "birthday/Roman festival" thing, which pretty much consisted of a 50 hour binge. Wow. I blame this on spending the first 8 hours of my birthday on call and then crashing and waking up at 4 PM.
-Lorrie came for 8 days; woot! Discovered I can't actually navigate NYC particularly well when I'm completely exhausted. Walked around Union Square twice before finding the same chocolate shop I've walked by seventeen thousand times.
-Grace came out from NJ to join me on my birthday night starter at McSorley's, the oldest continually operated bar in NYC. We ran into two guys that helped us navigate the only food item there: crackers, Irish cheddar, horseradish, and onions. Clearly this was make out night for no one. There are also only two kinds of beer at McSorley's; light and dark. They serve them two at a time and they're insanely cheap. Matt and Chelsea were leading the expedition through the underbelly of the East Village.
-Follow the nuns. We had some sisters not only bless McSorley's, but wind up getting into Burp Castle to bless the place as well. They had a jet black nun van. It was like Batman if Batman were a group of nuns.
-Pomme Frites. They are delicious... And they soak up McSorley's beer, crackers, horseradish, onions, and cheese.
-"Cheap Shots". A place recommended us by our partners in crime at McSorley's. They have this thing where if it's your birthday, all your drinks are free the entire night. They also have this thing called a "Mystery Beer" on tap, which is a dollar. The latter makes you regret ever bitching about Bud Light. The former makes you wish you'd never been born.
-Crif Dogs: Have you ever been eating a hot dog and thought "This would be way more awesome if it were wrapped in bacon and then had eggs and cheese wrapped around it?" No? Well, go to Crif Dogs anyway.
-Karaoke. The only karaoke bar I've been to was in Grenada and no one was really doing it; it was just sadly playing the words to "La Bamba" on the screen while we ate rice and beans. So we found one, and heard Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" about seventy gajillion times. Which still beat listening to anything by Oasis.
-Pool hall until last call shut us down as I was actually about to win a game of pool. To people who know me, this happens about as often as a full solar eclipse, so I was greatly disappointed when everyone got thrown out.
-We ended up following a random guy to the upper east side (via taxi, GRRR) on the promise of a place with a pool hall that was open late. Lies!
-Due to this long jaunt to a burb that is over an hour away from my neck of the woods, this landed us at Grand Central Station around 6:30 or 7 in the morning. Since Lorrie hadn't seen many of the joys of midtown, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to show her around.
-This started as just a tour of the upper hall of Grand Central, since it's all famous and such. Then the outside of Grand Central because it looks cool. Then Radio City Music Hall, then Rockefeller Center to see if the skating rink had been laid down yet (yes).
-Rockefeller had three camels being led around it. At 8 in the morning. With nothing to indicate that this was for tourists or anything else to explain why three big ass old school camels were wandering around. Lorrie finally ventured the question to the dead eyed handlers. To which they replied "For the Christmas show".
-I'm a secular type. It actually took me around 12 hours to make the connection between "Christmas show" and "nativity scene", so until the dawning of that, I had just pictured Santa Claus and the Rockettes jamming away with random camels roaming around the set. Then I felt stupid.
-St. Patrick's cathedral. Love it. It can compete with the European ones. There are also only a few feelings of "shame" that rival "touring a church in the morning when you've pulled an all nighter."
-MTV studios... I haven't seen MTV since Kennedy was on it. The annoying VJ, not the president or senator. Long story short, MTV studios are in Times Square, thus, like most of Times Square, they are not "all that".
-Broadway. Phantom of the Opera marquee and a greatly needed trip back down to the subway station to crash at 10 am.

(sleep hiatus)

To the famous Beergarden in Queens, for my *official* birthday celebration. I spent the first 45 minutes of it with a big Czech pint of beer in front of me going flat while I drank ginger ale. Heh. It's a Bohemian place, so they have Czech beer and Czech food, which is fantastic, so we got to all have Prague flashbacks. It was also raining and hellishly cold so we spent the vast portion of the evening inside, but lots of friends, all lined up at the table old school, drinking pitchers of Staropramen and eating dumplings. Hooray! Then the weather finally relented enough to go to the outside Beergarden and resume festivities, albeit tucked into a blanket.

I figured that would be the end of things, because... come on... but then got invited to Dumbo (home of that scene of the Brooklyn bridge that is in EVERY movie about NYC) at 11 am the next morning (or the same morning, since it was 2 AM) to eat Grimaldi's pizza in the park, followed by Jacques Torres hot chocolate, so I had to hit that up, because...

That Sunday night, I think I crashed at about 7 PM. Wow.

What else? Hmm... I saw part of Wolfmother but had to bail about halfway through the set because they came on late, I had to work the next day, and I am that much of a dork. There's only so much tired a girl can take.

I saw the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, after making an extremely half-assed last minute decision to go, since I'd planned on avoiding it. This embarrasses me, but it was actually really cool, and I don't regret going at all. Plus now I can avoid Times Square on New Year's with a clear conscience since I've done two definitive NYC holiday things, and that's enough. I would add the tree lighting at Rockefeller, but I'm on call. :(

After the parade, booked it to NJ to spend Thanksgiving dinner with Ashley, who cooked a massive feast for us, and I got some dog therapy, since my dog died a few months ago and sometimes you just need to flop some ears around and go "WHO'S A GOOD BOY". Then she actually *drove* me back to Brooklyn from NJ. Dang, hostess with the mostest there.

Yesterday I vegetated and studied, which was inexcusable for more than a day, so today I went to the Met after discovering that the 20 bucks to get in is "suggested". I got awesomely excited over mummies, because apparently, I'm 5 years old. But... mummies are cool.

Nov 15, 2009

Nov 3, 2009


Though hopefully enough progress to net me a decent grade on my Internal Medicine oral exam tomorrow.

IM is strange in that I'm learning medicine without really feeling like I'm learning medicine, and then the knowledge manifests itself in strange ways. It's also giving me odd moments of confidence when I get lists of lab values on UWorld before smacking me down by the fact that I'm still getting the wrong answers, just in a more efficient way. So far my most reliable sources of "WRONG" relate to picking antibiotics (there's a frigging billion of them!) and prioritizing diagnostic studies (Ohhhhh, abdominal CT before cholelithocystopancreatoduodenogenography, sucker! Your 'Gold Standard' is not welcome here!)."

I'll explain...

A great deal of time on pathology, pathophys, and USMLE questions was spent on getting a list of lab values, looking up the list of lab values (which are generally provided), figuring out which ones are buggy, separating those out, THEN coming up with a list of differential diagnoses for buggy lab values, THEN coming up with a definitive treatment or test. This understandably takes a lot of time.

Now, due to just random patient follow up in IM, when I see charts of lab values, I'm like "blah blah chloride giant who cares blah blah, hoo-damn that's some high calcium!!"

I'm also learning which abnormal lab values are associated with which chronic conditions and which abnormalities are not *that* abnormal, thus no longer look like such an idiot quite as often when I'm presenting to an attending with "OMG THE PLATELETS ARE 125K!!! GET THE CODE TEAM READY!!"

Which, I suppose, is the point.