Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Creation and Destruction

This is Black Pearl. We got him when we got my first kitten (Tigger). I contend I was maybe 8 years old? Not sure. Jenny was not supposed to get a kitten, but the friend of the family who was bringing me my kitty tucked this little black kitten in as well. When Jenny saw him, her eyes lit up and Mom didn't have the heart to take him away from her. And so both brothers joined our family.

We already had a middle aged lady cat (Slim) who my parents got shortly before I was born. I'm not sure why my parents thought that they should get a kitten and a baby at the same time, but I'm gonna blame Mom's hormonal status. (Feel free to deny it in the comments, Mom!) Anyway, Slim was not amused by these two new additions and proceeded to beat the heck out of them whenever they tried to play with her. They thought this was mostly fun. After a while, she learned to tolerate them and use them for their body heat.

Slim passed when I was 16 and off visiting colleges. She had been slowly succumbing to renal failure for years. Tigger passed very suddenly when I was in college. At the time, I didn't really know what happened, but now I wonder if he had pneumonia and a thoracentesis resulting in pneumothorax. So Pearl became last cat standing. He and Judit (the dog) developed a lovely camaraderie, especially when they were both playing in the yard.

I took these pictures last June, when I was at my parents' house for my sister's graduation. At this point, he was old (16? 17?), but reasonably happy and healthy. Over the past 6 months or so, he has not been so happy or healthy. I'll spare you the details, but things were not working like they should have been. And yesterday, he passed.

It isn't tragedy, but it is very, very sad. He had a good life with lots of laps and treats and pets. And now he is with the rest of his kitty family. I've been giving my kitties here in Cleveland extra pats and forgiving their presents that they leave us in hairball season.

And here's my Eunny Jang Deep V Argyle Vest. It's my offering of creation to give this some sense of balance. I love Knit Picks Merino Style. Cheap and slow to pill. I look coy in the picture because there is wind in my face and, well, because I'm kind of coy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Silence is golden...or at least an attempt at honors

Today my very nice gyn resident asked (in response to OHSU being on my list of possible places for residency) if I knew that "OHSU is the only program that requires abortion; that's why I didn't apply."

I said, "Mmmm," and pretended my mouth was full (we were eating lunch between OR cases).

I did not say, "No, it's not. There are a lot of other OB/GYN programs that require abortion training. In fact, to be accredited, a program must offer training."

I did not say, "Yes! I did know! In fact, two weekends ago I met the guy who made it a requirement. He was giving a talk at the Medical Students For Choice conference I attended."

I just said, "Mmmm," which was probably the right call. I'm not proud of keeping silent, exactly, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't a conversation that was going to do anyone any good. I'll have to have that conversation later, on the interview trail, with other people. I'm probably doing an away elective in Family Planning at Pitt, and that is kind of a dead giveaway to where I stand on choice.

Anyway, besides the awkward politics that is ingrained in the field, I am loving my OB/GYN AI (Acting Internship). Since I did my rotation at Metro, the local community hospital, I'm doing my AI at the Cleveland Clinic. I wanted to see what the fancy, academic, semi-private life was like before I chose a residency. I have done a ton! Thursday on labor and delivery call, I first-assisted a Cesarean (I cut and sewed muscle, fascia, uterus, skin), I did a vacuum delivery (with much supervision), and assisted a very complicated third repeat Cesarean (lots of scar tissue). Today I got to take a skin incision down to peritoneum for an abdominal hysterectomy. Since they (attendings and residents) know that this is actually what I'm going to do, they're letting me do more and teaching me more advanced technique. And for an AI, the schedule isn't bad. Sure, it's surgical, but this week I'm out at a private hospital where our service is tiny, so rounding doesn't take long. Tomorrow, our first case starts at 9 a.m., so I'll probably hit the hospital around 7:45. Not bad at all. Yes, last week I was getting in at 5:45 and sometimes staying late, but it's all relative.

Also, I heart the Clinic. Big heart. It makes me a bad person (they are evil! they only love money!) but I cannot help myself. It's all shiny and fancy and clean. The food at main campus is amazing (Mexican, Au Bon Pain, Subway, Starbucks....it is a veritable airport food court), and the food at the private suburban hospital is free for medical students. Free! The main campus is a huge conglomerate of buildings connected by skyways, which feels like home to me. Also, the scrubs at the private hospital are teal, people. Is there any color in the world that complements my coloring better? I think not. These are scrubs I am not planning on returning to the laundry.

Anyway, I am rather busy since I'm trying to do this AI thing to the best of my ability, but I am overwhelmingly happy. Much happier than I was on neuro or psych or radiology, even though I was working about 60% of the hours I am now. That says something.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gyn on the brain

Right now I'm working on the last of my four powerpoint presentations for radiology. It's on Mullerian anomalies (when the uterus and cervix and vagina don't form normally...you're all excited to hear more, I can tell), so I've been playing with a lot of gynecology texts. If you're me, this inevitably leads to reading about other gyn things, like use of the Maylard incision or the exact steps used to do a laparoscopic total hysterectomy. So, I've been reading a lot of gyn. But now I'm actually trying to finish this presentation so I can watch last night's Beauty & the Geek before bed. (Who will Tara pick? No, no, don't tell me.)

I just tried to write the sentence, "History of infertility, recurrent abortion, dysmenorrhea, or amenorrhea can be suggestive."

Instead, I wrote, "Hystery of infertility...etc." And it took me a moment to figure out what looked wrong about that.

And I'm almost embarrassed enough by how geeky this post is to not post it. Not quite.