Thursday, December 31, 2009


As is the way of things, time for a summary statement:

2009 was apparently a big year of change, if the internets tell the truth. It certainly was for me. It was the year I became a wife, a doctor, and a (cough) New Englander, in chronological order. In 2 months we had the most amazing wedding with so much love from friends and family, quickly drove back to Cleveland for graduation, flew to Milan, honeymooned in Tuscany where we practically drank the olive oil straight (and maybe some wine too), flew back to a Cleveland now empty of our med school compatriots, finished packing, and drove the Penske truck to Rhode Island with the help of my father-in-law. 2 weeks later, I was introducing myself as Dr. G, checking cervixes, cutting into abdomens, and trying to project confidence.

While here in Providence, I have changed. I'm learning to act fast and trust that I actually do know how to manage sick people. I've learned what it's like to bond with oncology patients over time, only to hear that she died over the weekend or two days after you discharged her to home hospice or on Christmas morning. I'm learning about marriage. About relying on your partner enough but not too much. About trying to feel like a human partner after working and worrying about your patients all day. And I've developed my relationship with my sister. We're both on the east coast now, within a short driving distance. More things are possible. Work has provided new friends, including Cat, my "Work Wife," my partner in foodie crime. We go to Boston for Ethiopian food, New Haven for restaurant week, and La Laiterie all too often for cheese. We discuss the changes that our jobs demand of us.

Transition: it's the part of labor where things truly get going, where the pain becomes truly intense. It looks awful, overwhelming, impossible. But it is necessary for birth.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Love my job

Monday, as I performed my first perineoplasty, I had this conversation with my attending:

Attending (A): I would go here...then here...Make it work!

Me (K): Um...The Tim Gunn method of surgery?

A: Hahaha! Yes! It's Project Runway: Vulva Edition! Less is more!

We both were quite amused with ourselves. (Also, I made it work and improved this patient's quality of life, which is the important - but less amusing - part.)

We're currently in the process of interviewing next year's group of interns. This is amazing. It is amazing because it means that I will not be an intern forever! Yay! Also, it is amazing because I get to talk about this program to people who really, really want to hear about it (or at least have to pretend as much). In the process of talking, I realize over and over again how great this place really is. Obviously, it's a great hospital with Ivy League affiliations and wonderful volume, but it's really so much more than that. It's a chosen community of people dedicated to providing top notch, comprehensive health care for women. It's people who are self-driven to great heights and who will support everyone else in reaching their own goals, in good times and bad.

At every applicant lunch we play a slideshow of us working and playing together. I get a little teary every time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I scraped real vanilla bean into warm cream and grated fresh nutmeg into pumpkin. In a few minutes I will have pumpkin creme brulee. I think this is a pretty good summary of how I feel about the holiday season.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mu receptors

This weekend, both B and I have BOTH days off. As my mother said, it is time to remember who we are married to.

Tonight involved orecchiette with butternut squash and zucchini, roasted brussel sprouts, and prosecco. And thank you notes. It is embarrassing how delinquent we are on these.

Also, Stanford beat USC. Our household rejoices (I don't really care)!

B said, "If religion is the opiate of the masses, yarn is the opiate of the Karen...says Stalin and I." He's not wrong. Me and my ArtYarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter are getting along just fine.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

1 more day

I am home. Home from the 27 hr call shift that ended a string of 13 days straight in the hospital. In that call, I learned:

That if you thought yesterday was bad, today will amaze you with just how much worse it can get.

That if you succumb to your onc intern breakdown (it's a rite of passage; I almost got through the rotation without it) and bawl like a hiccuping baby in the PACU office, the nurses will hug you and send you chocolate later.

That OB/GYN residents can actually run and facilitate a code...and get the patient back.

And now it is time for bed.

Tonight: pumpkin carving with my co-interns.
Tomorrow: mini-med school reunion in Boston.
It's all about looking forward..

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Curse my pale allergic self

At the hospital, we deal with smells. In OB/GYN, we deal with smells. It may reassure you to learn that most OB/GYNs truly do not mind most OB/GYN smells: amniotic fluid, placenta, an open abdomen, various vaginal misfortunes, bodily fluids of many identities, it's all good (although we do enjoy teaching hapless med students about the "whiff test"). In fact, when it comes to medical specialties, we OB/GYNs are pretty resistant to smells that other people gag at.

However, every once in a while, we can't handle it either. I won't go into the details, but there is one smell in particular (or rather a combination of smells) that is very present in one room on our service. In the hospital, when smells are bad, there is this peppermint air freshener that gets used to try to cover them up. It doesn't really work. It just adds peppermint to the combination of smells.

My chapstick is peppermint. I realized this a few days ago when I put it on and had a strongly visceral response to the smell. It was time to get new chapstick.

My new chapstick is cherry. I wore it yesterday. It's tinted, and it made my lips a lovely shade of ping, and it did not make me want to vomit. Win! Today I put it on, and after an hour my lips started to tingle. Then they started to itch. Yup. Looks like I'm allergic to cherry chapstick. But I'm sure not going back to peppermint.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two more days

One of the best things about this program is that you can take vacation on one of your intern oncology blocks (we do two blocks). Intern onc is one of the least forgiving blocks. The hours are not actually as bad as on a couple of other rotations (OB days come to mind), but the work is painful. It's floor work: coming in an hour before the rest of the team to write the day's labs next to the patients' names on The List, writing for daily labs, repleting electrolytes, answering pages on all of the patients on the service, writing the daily progress notes even though someone else got to do the surgery, and being the brunt of everyone else's frustration whenever something is not perfect.

Luckily, the first time we do onc, we get a co-intern as a partner. The second time we're alone, but the first time we are not. My co-oncie is Cat, my Women and Infants BFF. It makes the day better. Less lonely. We can complain to each other when we feel put upon. We help each other out with the work load. And we talk about the patients.

The patients are the worst part. This is not post-partum floor work, where everyone is healthy and relatively young and really quite annoying at times because you get pages about the mundane ("I feel a little sore, you know, down there." Um, yes, you just pushed 8lbs of human out of you. What did you expect to feel?). On onc, the complaints are tragic, heartbreaking. On onc, half of your patients will be dead before you finish residency. This is where we learn about managing pain in the terminally ill, as the tumor presses on their spine or erodes the bone in their hip or compresses their bowel.

One of my patients is one of these patients. She has cancer, doesn't matter what kind, and she is not doing well. She knows it. Her husband knows it, and he is lost. And yet, she always wants to know how I'm doing, if I'm eating enough, if I'm sleeping. She offers me food from her tray. I refuse. I tell her I had pancakes for breakfast. She looks dubious. I ask her about her pain. She tries not to complain, but I end up increasing her dose every day. I don't know if we'll ever catch up to what she needs.

On Saturday, I go on vacation. Every day, driving home, some song on the radio makes me burst into tears. I live 1.8 miles from work. There aren't that many songs. On Saturday, I go on vacation.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I should be cleaning

Achey, tired, sore throat, and full of soup. Smack dab in the middle of two weeks of no days off. I should be cleaning in anticipation of Monday guests (Hi!), but instead I'm doing oh-so productive things like installing Google Chrome, trying to get my computer to access the hospitals records from home, and watching Project Runway. I took care of sick cancer patients today and also did dishes. That should totally be enough.

Also, Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk is truly amazing. I highly recommend it. B told me he was going to hide it from me when he bought it. Yeah, he's not a very good hider. To be fair, there are only so many places you can keep ice cream in the house...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stolen from another blog

I'm not so much short on time as I am short on inspiration. I'm doing a stint in the surgical intensive care unit...which is a vacation. I'm basically a glorified med student who can sign orders, so I diligently order daily labs and chest X-rays and do no actual doctoring whatsoever. It's amazingly dull, call! It's so worth it! I am so well rested and well fed! But bored out of my mind. And since Brandon is working the 2p-midnight (ahem...1am...2am...) shift, I don't get to actually see him with my free time. I've been watching a lot of Dexter. I have no inspiration or things of true interest to share, I will do a list of 5 good things that made me smile today, much like Jennie!

1. This description of OB/GYN residents (coming from a surgery resident): "You're like surgery residents with less sleep who bake cookies and do their hair." So. True.
2. One cat in my lap, one cat sleeping next to me. Soon they will trade places. It is their way.
3. I didn't have enough yarn for the trim or neck bands on one of the sweaters I'm trying to finish! You'd think I'd be sad because I ran out of yarn, but no, for this means I can go...BUY YARN. Justified.
4. The fact that one of the case presentations at surgery conference today was about this big old mass that they took out that turned out to be ovarian. Ovaries?! What are those doing in there? Man, I miss talking about ovaries (surgeons seem to prefer livers and intestines).
5. The left internal jugular central line I placed today with one stick. Yeah, you knew I had to be creepy at some point.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Words to survive by

This last week was hard. Things just weren't clicking like they had been before. I'm still doing the same things I have been, but something was just off... I felt like I kept screwing up. I was too independent or not independent enough or asking too many questions or not enough. Everyone has different expectations of you, and it's really hard to keep them straight. I feel pretty stupid and useless on a regular basis.

Anyway. I've been falling back on some mantras to get me through it (also on some chocolate).

There's are the classic intern mantra:
They can't stop the clock. ("They" can be attributed to anyone making your life unnecessarily difficult - attendings, patients, nurses, co-residents, whomever. Time will keep passing, no matter what.)

There's the residency mantra:
There's a reason it's a four year residency. (If we were supposed to know it all on Day 1, it wouldn't need to last as long.)

And there's the little mantra I picked up from (no joke) The Next Food Network Star:
I might fail, but I'm failing at the right thing. (There's nothing else I'd rather fail at.)

Anyone out there have any other suggestions?

Monday, August 3, 2009

This bodes poorly

Things I have eaten today (keeping in mind that I am on nights, and my "today" is from last night until now when I am about to go to sleep):

-bowl of cereal
-Diet Pepsi
-icelandic grapefruit yogurt
here's where it gets bad...
paper cupful of ice cream (it was Pablo's birthday...)
-Whole Foods frozen mac and cheese
-large coffee

Um....yeah. I had good intentions. But then the patients kept coming and I never got to the cafeteria and I was stuck with the ice cream and mac and cheese. This is kind of how things have been going lately. I eat a healthy breakfast (at about 5 pm) and then degenerate throughout the day (night) and by the time I get home I'm too tired for real food. Real food takes time. I have a couple of zucchini in the fridge that I'll eat tonight. But who's to say where I'll be at 4 am. Sigh...

I do have a bag of organic cheese puffs (ha!) that I could take in tonight...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

No time for prose

I'm making it. I'm actually done with my first rotation as of tomorrow at noon. Sadly, my second rotation starts tomorrow at 6 p.m.

As with anything, there's the good with the bad.

The bad:
-the hours: doing this in 14-27 hour shifts is not ideal. If I could do this in 12 hour shifts, my life would be good.
-being an intern: we are the bottom of the totem pole, which means we do the unpleasant stuff (post-partum rounds at 5am, "foreign body removal," responding to the call line).
-never being rested.
-never having enough time at home.

The good:
-the beauty of 4:45 am light, driving over the river with the skyline on one side and the bay on the other.
-the people who are in this with me.
-a husband who is really taking care of me.
-patients who remember me and ask for me by name.
-being there for the patients, in the good and bad moments.
-and, of course, guiding the slimy, squirmy new lives into the world.

The good really does win out in the end.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Starting to feel "real"

Remember in the Velveteen Rabbit? How you know when things become real because the get all beat up and whatnot? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what it's like when one becomes a "real" doctor.

It's been a hard 6 days (only 6? yikes...). But I'm starting to get it. A lot of the struggles are systems based: who to call for what, what I'm expected/allowed to do without an attending/who's nice/who isn't, etc.

Yesterday, a nurse paged me:

"Dr. G, I'm calling about Patient X. Dr. F came up earlier today to evaluate her bleeding. She gave Pitocin. But the patient is bleeding again. A lot. Gushing."

My stomach jumped to my throat. I pulled it together, asked about her vital signs, asked if she had an IV and what was running. And then I said I'd be right up.

When I walked into the room, the nurse gave me a run down of the patient's bleeding. She'd had a Cesarean section 11 hours earlier, and she'd been alternately trickling and gushing ever since. She was tired, pale, and still bleeding. I took a breath, and reached for a pair of gloves while asking for a fluid bolus and a stat CBC. I did an internal exam and found a few small clots, which I removed. Suddenly, I felt something shift inside me, and the "real doctor" in me came out. I turned to the nurse manager who had joined us, and asked for 2 mg of morphine, because I knew that whatever I was going to do next was going to be painful. Because the patient was "stable," I knew I could wait for pain relief. But I also asked for more meds, some of which I planned on inserting in the patient's rectum (yeah, no one likes that, but it works). Once the morphine was in, I did the most aggressive exam I've ever done, medicated the patient, inserted a speculum, and removed about 200 ml of clot from the uterus. Then I watched the cervix, saw that it truly wasn't bleeding, and felt the uterus contract into the firm ball that we love.

I'm still not sure how I knew what to do. It was almost an out of body experience. I kept communicating with the nurses and the patient, telling everyone what I was going to do and why. I know that I told the patient over and over again that we were going to take care of her, that she was going to be fine. I heard my voice, calm and steady, even though my thoughts were frantic: please stop bleeding pleasepleasepleaseplease. But she did. I did the right things, and she stopped bleeding. And she didn't even need a transfusion.

And later, in my inbox, I found an email from the nurse manager to me, my chief, and my program director, telling us that I was very impressive, both "professional and patient centered in a somewhat hectic situation." And I felt like a real doctor.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dear Pharmacist

Despite the fact that I do not feel like a real doctor yet, my DEA number is real. It is not a "pseudo-DEA number" just because I'm an intern. My patient would really appreciate it if you didn't give her such a hard time about her pain meds. It is not her fault that she is indigent and sees an intern for care. She's still a person.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Worst first day of school ever

I've been busy. For a while, I was busy doing this.

Then there was the graduating and the Italy (and the wine and the olive oil and the pasta) and the moving to Providence.

Now I am "orienting" to my new job/role/identity/life. I am practicing saying, "Hi, I'm Dr. G," with a straight face.

Thank goodness I kept my maiden name for the doctor world. One of my co-interns didn't, and she commented that when she introduces herself as "Dr. B" she has no idea who that woman is. At least the "G" bit is familiar to me.

The people here are amazing. I'm so happy with my co-interns and senior residents. Everyone seems really, truly happy here, despite the hours and the stress. I start on Wednesday. Wednesday at 4:30 am. Yeah, I'm not so excited about the hours. But it's pretty great. On Sunday, I shadowed for about 9 hours and delivered a baby for the first time since last September. I like babies.

Today someone asked if they could put a patient on my schedule for staple removal. My schedule? Oh, my clinic schedule. MY CLINIC. I have patients that are going to be mine (they don't know it yet, but they will be). Only easy patients right now (i.e. staple removal...something I've been doing for a couple of years now), but they will be my patients. And I will be their doctor.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hijacked by life

Back! Not sure for how long!

Turns out when I said this blog would be wedding-y, I meant that wedding stuff would take over my life, thus leaving no energy for blogging. But, now that the wedding is 3 (3!!!) days away, I want to throw something out into the ether again.

Tamara tagged me, oh, a month ago in the take-a-picture-of-yourself-right-now-no-fixing-yourself-up blogging thing. Here I am. I had been experimenting with eye makeup, so if you look closely, you can see that one eye has a base of stila Oasis, while the other just has pink with no brown. Yes. You are excited. Also, I wear that blue shirt a lot lately, apparently.

Oh, and speaking of wedding: garter! No, I'm not throwing it, because that is, achem, not my style. No one needs to see my underthings in public. But...there are cute knitting patterns for garters, and I wanted to work with Cascade Fixation, so I did it. Knitty's pattern, ribbon I had laying around.
Also, on Monday I went to my mom's knitting group, where Annie Modesitt told me I would be a beautiful bride and advised starting the drinking early. Ha!

And...yes. People start arriving today. Things are mostly under control. There are still a number of projects (card box, centerpieces, jewelry for the moms), but it'll happen. And tonight we are going here for dinner. Win!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This blog might be obnoxiously wedding-y for a while. You can't say I didn't warn you.

We got our pictures from the engagement shot we did in mid-March Minneapolis. It was the first warm(-ish) day, so I braved the short sleeved dress. There was still snow on the ground, but, eh, I'm a Minnesotan. I can handle it. I really like our photographer. She's unpretentious and willing to do some creative, offbeat shots.

Today I finished drafting our menu cards, programs, and out of town guest brochures. They still need a few details that we haven't decided yet (i.e. song choices), but once we have that, I can print and cut and assemble! And getting those done will make me feel good for some reason. I like having tangible finished objects.

Also! I'm making jewelry for my bridesmaids, which is an awesome way to get tangible finished objects. Jewelry making is faster than stole knitting. By a long shot. I have 4/5 necklaces done and 0/5 pairs of earrings done. It takes me about 3.5 hours to do a necklace, because they're wire work and double stranded. Earrings will go much faster, so I'm definitely going to finish in time. I'll post pictures once I have a complete set.

Basically, things are coming along well, with one exception. I. Hate. The. Seating. Chart. We have enough people from very different groups that we really do need to have a seating chart. I just wish there was a magical computer program to do it for me. There are a lot of natural groups of 6 and 7 and 9. Our tables seat 8. Yeah. And there are 5 teenagers, who all want to sit together (I made the mistake of asking 2 of them yesterday). But which 3 adults get stuck sitting at the teenager table? I mean, 3/5 are pretty with-it, interesting 16 year olds, but still (the other 2 are 13...I'm not implying that they are not with-it or interesting). Grrrr....

I guess I've had a relatively stress-free planning process thus far. Now is the time to kick it into high gear. Or some other vaguely sports related metaphor.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One month

In one month, B and I are getting married. It actually feels real now. Tomorrow I go pick up my wedding band after getting it resized, and then, really, we have everything we need: each other, rings, license. We just have to get the officiant and ourselves to Minnesota, and we're good! Yeah, there's a lot of other stuff that "has" to get done, but if it didn't, we would still be married at the end of the day. And that's what matters. This is my mantra to keep myself sane.

Unfortunately, we also have to use this time to find a place to live in Providence. We've decided that life is too chaotic to buy right now. If we could invest more time in house hunting, it would probably be worth it. Since we only have a few days to actually look at places, we'd rather risk ending up in a lame apartment for one year than buying an undesirable condo.

Wanna see some wedding stuff? Sure, you do. Look! Flowers! We're DIYing because our date is, you know, the day before Mother's Day. It's better than February 13, but not by much. We're ordering through 2g Roses and Blooms By the Bunch, and we're saving a ton of money. These are our mock-ups, although the bouquet is kind of thrown together using waaay fewer stems than we will ultimately use. I ordered blue hydrangeas, white ranunculus, white and yellow roses, white stephanotis, blue and yellow irises, and white orchids. I think it will be really pretty. I mean, they're flowers: how ugly can they really be?
While we're talking about weddings, we might as well talk about...babies! My friend Jon and his wife Jamie are few days ago, but she likes to bake them long, apparently. Baby is still firmly in utero, but I have a sweater for her when she comes out. It's Helena from Knitty in KnitPicks Swish. I really enjoyed working with this yarn. It's cheap, it's merino, it's superwash: what more can you want?

In other knitting...Mirabella (ravelry link) from Interweave made from Nashua Handknits. I'm turning it into a 3/4 sleeve pullover and maybe raising the neck, but the shaping and detail is from the pattern. Yeah, it's heavily modded. That's how I roll lately.

And this is my semi-secret project. So, just a picture for now. Also, I love Malabrigo laceweight.

Monday, March 23, 2009

PSA While sending out our invitations, we apparently grabbed a few RSVP envelopes from the un-stamped, un-self-addressed pile. Based on the SASEs leftover after mailing all the invitations out, I'm guessing there are about 9 people out there who got one of these non-SASE RSVPs (how's that for use of acronyms?) and I just wanted to say we're sorry. I've figured out who 3 of you are, but the other 6 haven't revealed themselves yet. Sorry! We swear we didn't mean to be cheap!

(And for those of you who are not close friends and family and find this post totally useless, return later for more interesting content.)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Starting in June, Brandon and I will be employees of Brown. (Sorry for the low quality crest's what I could find quickly.) Specifically, I will be an OB/GYN resident physician at Brown Women & Infants Hospital, and he will be an Emergency Medicine resident physician at Rhode Island Hospital (right next door to each other). Suddenly, it's real. This is our future. We've started looking at housing options, and we might actually look into buying a condo. Providence is a lot more affordable than some of the other cities we were looking at, and there is that $8,000 tax credit thing this year. Then again, we might shun responsibility and keep throwing our money away on rent. We'll see. One thing is for sure: we're gonna eat a lot of shellfish next year. Oh, yeah.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

No excuses

I'm a bad blogger. And this time, I have no excuses. Honestly, I'm not doing anything outside of wedding planning and counting down the next 11 hours and 20 minutes. What's that? Oh, yeah, Match Day is tomorrow. That brilliant concept created to make medical students across the country blow their aneurysms. But, seriously, at noon EST on March 19, we all tear open envelopes that contain the name of the residency program we will be attending for the next 3-7 years (4 for OB/GYN). Yeah. No pressure.

I've been drinking wine and knitting lace. That's called coping, people.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Firsts and lasts

Yesterday was kind of a big day for me, the beginning of a string of big days in the upcoming months.

It was my last day seeing patients as a medical student. Although I still have a reading elective left (Legal Issues in Reproductive Health - whoo!), I'm DONE with my clinicals. Done. Next time I care for a patient, I will be able to sign that order for Tylenol! Oh, the power... Seriously, though, I'm excited (and not just because of the obscene amount of sleeping in I have planned).

It was my first day getting cavities filled. I have grown up thinking I have perfect teeth. This is what the dentist tells me every time I visit them. I apparently had teeth that make dentists hyperventilate. Last cleaning (4 weeks ago) was no different. My X-rays were perfect. They couldn't see anything that looked bad. And then they got out this little light defraction/laser/ray gun device and held it to each tooth. In the end, they decided all of my sealants had to come off, and maybe there was a little bit of decay hiding under one of them. Ha. Or, as it turns out, I have five cavities that my friend Student Dentist Mark found for me yesterday. I went from no cavities to five. But, I am good with pain, and the cavities were shallow, so I avoided novacaine. I may have made some unhappy noises in the process, but I was not really feeling the whole slurred speech, drooling on myself thing. Anyway. My teeth are fixed now, but I'm still kind of pouty about the whole experience. I liked having perfect teeth.

It was also my first day realizing I really like violent movies. Not all violent movies, but I really enjoy a particular type of violence. We saw Watchmen last night. It was...okay. Really good at times, reeeallly slow at others. And I realize that the point of Doc Manhattan is that he's detached from humanity to some extent, but I spent a lot of the movie wanting to slap him across his serene face. I do love the whole Ozymandias, King of kings concept, so that worked for me. What really worked for me though, was the bloodshed. There's some pretty graphic, stomach turning stuff...and I liked it. Then, looking back, I realized that I also really liked the violence in Kill Bill and Eastern Promises. It's this specific kind of basic, almost arty, realistic violence that maybe appeals to the trauma surgeon in me? I'm not sure. Also, as a sidenote, there's a reasonably extensive sex scene in the movie that a couple of people walked out on. I'm sorry, you're fine with that extreme level of violence, but some consensual, adult sex is too much for you? That's messed up.

Also, two days ago was my first time wielding an embossing gun. Awesome! I'll try to get some pictures of my work when the light is better. (Also, for those of you wondering, the embossing was on invitation related paper goods, and the invitations are rapidly making it towards their goal of being mailed.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Oh, hi

Right. Blog.

So, part of my absence is not my fault. The stuff I really want to talk about is residency and my rank list and things that I really could not talk about until everyone's rank lists were in (2/25/09). That's not to say I couldn't have been blathering about other things to fill the time. Right.

Somehow, Brandon and I managed to figure out our program ranks in a way that has left us both pretty pleased. We find out where we match on March 19 (18 days! count 'em down!), and we're trying to focus on other things until then. But we're already kinda planning a little bit of a life in our #1 city. Not that we're getting our hopes up. Really.

It took me a while to come to peace with our decisions. The program we're ranking #1 is, um, posh. Really posh. So posh that it makes me maybe a little uncomfortable. There's a tiny bit of me that feels like a sell-out. But. It is remarkable training, and residency is something you only get to do once. And there's an attending I'm working with right now who trained at this hospital (different field), who is, well, quite posh. Fabulous outfits, perfect makeup, pointy shoes. But she also runs the clinic at the women's homeless shelter downtown and the HIV outreach programs. She is someone who trained posh, works in a posh institution, and is using that power (and money) to do a lot of good. She's got it both ways. Seeing that last week helped me feel more comfortable with my decision.

On a totally unrelated note (ahem), I went to Chicago two weeks ago with a two women from my knitting group. We had a ridiculous amount of fun. I may have spent an obscene amount on yarn, buttons, and paper goods. Traveling with fellow knitters is risky. It's been a while since I've gone on a trip with just women. We had so much fun we decided to try to do another trip, this time at a state park, to continue the excellent female bonding. I'm voting for Hocking Hills, the state park of my childhood (they have a zip line now...oooo....).

And, in an effort to keep with the pictures: knitting!

Here's that beret, now on my head instead of on the coffee table. I still feel kind of silly wearing a beret, but I like it.
New FO! Delicato mitts from KnitSpot, knit on US1s with Knit Picks Gloss. I lost one of my Hurry Up Spring mitts, needed new mitts, knit these, and then found the mitt I'd lost. Right now, I love these best.
And this is a silly little box. It's just a bunch of odds and ends knit together and felted. It's one of those Felted Boxes from Mason-Dixon. Since it's a bunch of different yarns, it didn't exactly felt perfectly, but it holds things. Things like my keys and hospital ID. Functional.
I'm almost done with the sleeves on Brandon's cardigan. And then blocking and sewing and the collar and the zipper. And then you know I'll make him model for you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So ready...

To honor my final overnight shift of medical school last week, some Cleveland citizens tried to steal my car. At 4:30 am I walked out to the parking lot, only to find a shattered window and busted up steering wheel column (i.e. lacking in ignition capacity). Two police reports and a tow truck later, it's still hanging out at the body shop waiting for one final part. Awesome. Also, the criminals left a pack of gum in the car when they fled. Yeah, I'm not chewing it. To say I am done with Cleveland is putting it lightly. I want to live and work without being worried about my safety or the safety of my belongings (i.e. my car...I don't require an environment where I can leave my wallet lying around without risk). I realize that that is a privilege many (most) don't have. But. I want it.

I started a rotation at the ritzy, private, academic hospital we rotate at on Monday. Man, it is nice. After working in the ED at the county hospital, the contrast is significant. At county, patients can't afford their medications, you have to get alcohol wipes out of the Pyxis (locked, tracked vending machine type things for meds and supplies) because the hospital is so in the red, and, clearly, security is not ideal. Honestly, whenever I left at night, I considered calling for a police escort. I probably should have. At fancy-pants hospital, classical music is piped through the hallways, there is a yoga class on the observatory floor of the new building, and I have lunch at Au Bon Pain. Oh, yeah, and the patients are all clean and can afford their meds (but that doesn't necessarily mean they take them). Is my work perhaps more meaningful at county? Sure. Absolutely. That doesn't mean that when I end up with a few perks I don't enjoy them. Sometimes it's nice to focus on the medicine and the science instead of the social issues. Ideally, there would be a balance, but that's hard to get in one hospital.

Also, oh, yeah...getting married in Less Than Three Months. We picked out wedding bands last weekend. We thought we ordered invitations, but it turns out that their online ordering system is a big mess and let us type in more words than they can print for the text. But now we're way into the words we came up with. So we need an invitation that can handle our verbosity. Uncheck.

Monday, February 2, 2009


This conversation just happened.

Me: Ooo...Eunny Jang is on Facebook. I totally want to friend her.

Brandon: (amused chuckle)

Me: Wait, does that laugh mean you know who Eunny Jang is?

Him: Um, yeah. (facial expression that looks surprised I would think he could possibly not know who she is)

Apparently my obsession runneth over.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter wonderland?

Apparently, it was time to snow. And snow it did. About a foot and a half. It took me an hour to drive 2 miles to my dental appointment yesterday. And then, when I drove home, I got stuck trying to turn around in a neighbor's driveway. Brilliant.
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After an hour of shoveling my car out, a man drove by and asked if I wanted him to snow blow my driveway for $40. Okay, yeah, $40 is a lot. honestly would have taken maybe 6 hours to shovel my driveway, and the thought of that made me want to cry. So I paid the man. And it was sooooo worth it. Also, when he gave me his card, it became very clear that he was newly unemployed. So I felt good about it.

Here's Brandon taking a sledge hammer to the layer of ice under the snow post-snow blowing. See the area to the right? It's a ditch. It's FULL of snow. A lot of snow.

Also, knitting! The Tangled Yoke is on hold while I wait for a US 0 circular to arrive from KnitPicks. In the meantime, I made Pecan Pie from Knitty.

The little teal bit at the bottom edge is a hem I knit out of Malabrigo so that I have soft yarn against my skin instead of Noro or whatever that gray yarn is (I don't remember - bought it freshman year of college). Also, on Ravelry, the edge looked like it curled a lot, and I didn't like that. I still have to sew in the ends and block it something fierce. But I like it! It's my first adventure in Noro and my first beret/tam.

Also, don't ask me how much ricotta I've eaten in the past few's too embarrassing. I blame Costco.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


In less than four months, I will be a doctor. Sure, people call me "Doctor" already (usually followed by, "You gotta help me...the pain" since I'm in the ED), but it isn't true. Soon, it will be. That's....weird.

There are things that I do now, kind of without thinking about it, that I would never have dreamed of doing four years ago. Things that even one year ago, my hands would have been shaking as I reached to do them. In one ED shift, I performed a pelvic exam on a woman who was in a lot of pain, did rectals on multiple constipated infants (sorry, babies!), helped splint a guy's broken hand (after he punched it through a window - brilliant), and threw all my strength into chest compressions on a man who I watched die moments later. When the old, substance-dependent guys thought that telling me I was pretty would help them get more pain meds, I was more firm, more confident with them than I used to be. I wasn't scared.

I fully expect to be terrified on my first day of internship. They say you should walk in on your first day ready to do a Cesarean section start to finish. Right now, I think I could. I've first assisted - found the fascial planes with my fingers, reached into the uterus and found a small head. But I don't know. I think I'm ready to be a doctor. I know that, with time, I'm going to be a great doctor. But right now, it's kind of scary.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Frozen inertia

Um...I'm done? Brandon is still on the east coast, and he had one more to go, so I'm not quite to the celebrating part yet. But I think it feels good. Now, it's time to do what I do best: go crazy neurotic with the organization of data and opinions of each program. Because it is time to rank (aka judge). Somewhere, they are all ranking (judging) me, but I get to rank them as well. Ahhh....

If only there weren't dishes to do and ER lecture to go to tomorrow morning...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back to reality?

Apparently, I only have one interview left. And it's here in Cleveland. Yeah, that means I'm done traveling. Done. The suitcase goes back into storage!

However, it also means I have to start doing that whole working-in-the-hospital thing starting tomorrow. I'll be on Emergency Medicine for the next four weeks. I picked the hardest hospital to do that rotation at, mostly because I want to have an appreciation for what B will be going through next year. Yeah, they're limited to 60 hours per week (we're 80), but the random shifts seem draining. We'll see.

Also surprising: we're getting married in less than four months. What? When did that happen? Apparently, I need to start figuring some of those details out, at least if I want people to, you know, be invited or eat cake. Whatever.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Take that, flight industry

As of today, I am officially done with flying for interviews.

I still have three more, but two are in Cleveland and one is driving distance. Score.

Of course, I couldn't have the last flight be uneventful. So, I booked a flight that would be canceled upon my arrival to the airport. And then, US Airways booked me on a (better! direct!) Continental flight...that left in 30 minutes. I jogged down to the Continental ticket stand, got my boarding pass, jogged back to security (rolling suitcase and giant interview "purse" in tow, still in my suit and heels), and proceeded to learn that I got to have extra security since I had technically just bought my ticket. And then, the TSA guy thought that flirting with me would make the situation better ("Why the extra security? Apparently Continental thinks you're special...but I think you're beautiful." Wink). He was wrong. He also kept insisting that my Tangled Yoke was crocheting. I may have overly firmly explained the one hook vs. two needles issue. I kind of took all of my interview season/flight frustration and focused it on him as those minutes ticked by. Luckily, Rochester's airport is pretty tiny, so I was able to run to my gate and make my flight. And be home by 4:00pm!

Ooo! Two big wedding things have been figured out! We now have an officiant and a honeymoon! Both are awesome. I'm giving our officiant a chance to tell people before I announce it publicly, and, apparently you're supposed to keep your honeymoon secret? So, I guess I'm not telling you. At least here. If I actually know you and you want to know, I'll tell you. Because I'm bad at secrets. And I've already told a lot of people. I'm too excited. Here's a hint. Can you guess (and no fair telling if you you know)?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolution of sorts

So, I have this camera. And I use it to take pictures. And then those pictures sit on the camera for months on end and never make it to the blog. Oops. So, I've decided that my resolution this year is to work on actually making the transition from camera to blog.

Like so.

Here is the seasonal knitting. I finished the Anemoi mittens in Midway airport (you know...thus running out of knitting for that trip). They aren't blocked in this shot, and they probably never will be. Because I am always wearing them. The corrugated rib on the wrists is really too tight, but I can squeeze them on. And I love the colors.
Here is an FO from about a year ago, the After-Dark Robe. It was too tight in the shoulders for me, so I never wore it. Handknits are meant to be worn, so I gave it to my 17 year old cousin this Chrismas (also earrings and an iTunes gift card). She's adorable in it.
I didn't knit this one, Jenny did. Mom knit Dad a color work pirate hat, so Jenny knit him this matching scarf. He's the most stylish computer guy ever.
Fastest sweater ever! I heart US 13s! Except, I really don't. They hurt my hands. My friend Laura had this yarn made for me in Montreal. You pick these individual plies to put together to make one multi-color yarn. She knows my colors. This is the only pattern that was close to guage with this yarn, so Cherie Amour it is. It's wearable, but it's not my all time favorite fit. I feel like it flattens the chest and widens the waist. But the color is good.
And, lastly, Brandon's neck warmer. He picked out the yarn himself, Plymouth Alpaca...mmmmm... The pattern was made up as I knit.
That's all for now. I've still got at least two FOs that need photographing, three that need felting or buttons or something, and one project on the needles. Not too bad.

The year can only get better say that was my worst New Year's celebration, ever, would be accurate. No real worries. I still have Brandon and kitties and knitting and family. But I am kind of sick of being told that other people are allowed to treat me a certain way because I am more accomplished and that I should just be the bigger person. It would be nice if everyone was supposed to be respectful of everyone else. Maybe that's my New Year's wish.