Jun 22, 2010

Luggage gone again...

Hmmm... brief synopsis that will be elaborated on later because my days up until yesterday were spent studying for Step 2 CS, flying to Houston to take my CS, and then hanging with family in Houston, and since then I've been alternately trying to figure out how to get my luggage back and how to get my insurance to give me a new phone since mine's broken. Which makes getting luggage back more fun...

So... CS: stressful, but not as stressful as I was expecting considering forced human interaction with people who are judging me is where I excel least (hello pathology!). Can't detail too much on the exam because they threaten us with death or something equally bad like not being allowed to take CK or something. Wait...

Also, practicing for CS is not only a good idea, but fun. I got to treat my boyfriend for 'lady bits problems' and discovered a crashing deficit in my bedside manner when I was practicing on my friend... you see, the chief complaint that was yelled to me (our version of the doorway information) was "fatigue". I open my door and there is my friend sitting there with my silk robe on backwards and her eye blacked out with makeup. After my first staccato burst of laughter, I extend my hand and find both of her arms similarly darkened.

So my response to the investigation of domestic violence is to laugh uncontrollably for 15 minutes while attempting to conduct an interview and being completely unable to look at the patient's face. FAIL.

Seeing family: Awesome! My little cousins are people now. They're also more polite than I am and address me by name and title, whereas I usually get people's attention by either saying "Hey!" or more frequently, by wandering obliviously down the street attached to my ipod until someone who wants my attention has to physically grab me.

The littlest one also wants to be a doctor because she wants to give shots, and asked if I brought any. Which is absolutely not weird. The older one shares my Wii addiction and my unnatural love of the show Avatar: the Last Airbender. I'll add in that my love of True Blood fills out my diet with enough mindless sex and violence that it justifies my addition to a Nick toons show, thus I maintain my legal status as a grown-up. My big cousins plied me with wine and explained the whole oil crisis since as a proper medical student, I have absolutely no idea what's going on in the outside world at any time and my grasp of the BP situation involved a vague depression and pictures of dead pelicans.

In other news, hi guys!

My aunt and uncle took me to a little place called Spring which I liked and reminded me of Woodstock, if someone turned the thermostat up 20 degrees. I also ate BBQ with gusto since it tends to be of not fantastic quality and prohibitively expensive in NYC. I also got to make multiple car trips to the store which is a convenience I had not realized how badly I missed until I was tucked safely and comfortably in the backseat of an air conditioned ride rather than rammed up against a hobo and a busker with my food for the next week determined by how much upper body stength I have (spoiler: none).

I shopped before I left and I shopped while I was in Texas. This is relevant because it allows me to say that pretty much *everything* lost in my carry-on luggage was brand spanking new. And I very rarely shop for clothes, so it was a particularly harsh blow.

I've had luggage lost so many times that by the time I flew to NYC for my current stay, my luggage was labeled all over with Sharpie marker with my contact information, had ribbons tied on the handles, and was wrapped in fluorescent duct tape. I'm not making that up. Since flying now carries the added fun of a 25 dollar fee and I'm tired of losing my shit, I put everything in carry on. Including my stethoscope, white coat, PD kit, and all that fun stuff (that I needed today!). So imagine my surprise when as I went through the gate to my flight, my carry on (fortunately not my purse) as well as most other people's was marked "Valet" and stuck in the side of the plane. Since I never planned on letting that bag leave my sight, it wasn't well labeled.

So naturally, as soon as I got to Dallas, someone grabbed my bag instead of his and apparently disappeared off the face of the planet, leaving his bag with me, which I promptly turned over to lost luggage in Dallas because I'm a moron unfamiliar with the art of blackmail. Best part is... since it was never formally 'checked', I can't actually prove I ever had it. So I may be out the possibly ~800 dollars worth of stuff in that bag that was of a cost and emotional value which they recommend you don't check... *which is why I didn't*.

I put all of that aside to go out to watch True Blood at a bar with my friends last night, cause you know, you gotta prioritize, at which point my phone went from "almost dead" to "dead". So I end up having to call others so they can call my voicemail to listen to my messages to determine whether my bag's been found.


But whatever. I started pediatric heme/onc today and it's pretty cool, features an insanely nice nurse, plus nothing minimizes an extraordinarily aggravating couple of days like seeing 6 year old cancer patients. It's hard to even stay really pissed off. "I'm having the worst day with my luggage and my phone and I had to circle LGA for an hour and..." "My hair fell out but they gave me this great wig. Can I watch Ratatouille during my chemo sessions?" "Uhhh.. have a cookie." "I can't; I'm NPO."

Oh, in that direction, while practicing for the CS, the First Aid gives you these often off-the-wall 'patient questions' that are designed to throw you off guard to determine your response to being put on the spot. They range from "am I going to die?" to "What does 'ultrasound' mean"? They dispense with the normal answers of "No" and "it's a test" in favor of a paragraph of feel-good that I found rather silly.

Until today. Had a "Will I be able to make the trip" question that sounded like it was lifted directly out of the pages of the First Aid, and then not one but two "Why does she keep complaining of being cold and shivering when her temperature is so high?" that wasn't in First Aid, but should have been. Hopefully the practice paid off for something, because I felt like I could give pretty good answers and empathized well. And even for real empathy. Also, heme/onc moms seem to be a relatively forgiving lot and are used to medical students asking them a crap-ton of questions they've answered seventeen billion times, so it worked.

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