Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gosh I Missed You.

During this weekend between rotations, I'm taking the opportunity to visit some favorite college friends that I no longer get to see nearly often enough.

Yesterday I stopped to see my beautiful college suitemate Candida - she's a middle school teacher. Getting the young ones excited about science. I got to briefly see her teach and catch up a bit. I miss you!

Another couple hours in traffic brought me to Santa Barbara. I got to catch up with my friend Bri - she's 32 weeks pregnant and gorgeous. I forgot to snap a picture, but I'll be back up in a couple weeks for the baby shower.

The beach was enjoyed. Volleyball was played. 

I'm staying with college roomie Christina. Rocking the super-cute zinc lips - no sunburn up in here. I pulled a rookie sunscreen move though and somehow burnt a tiny part of the front of my shoulders. You would think at age 23 I could successfully cover all my skin with sunscreen. You'd be wrong. 

A late lunch of vegetable fajitas at Little Alex's. I didn't finish all the tortilla or beans and rice but I definitely vanished all those veggies.

Followed by iced coffee. With my name spelled "Cary." I don't think any barista has ever spelled it right.

And some downtown shopping. I found a professional-looking dress that feels like a sweatshirt. That's like preparing for my rotation on Monday right?

It's so nice to see so many people I love so much. Hope you're all having a great weekend. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Before and After

Before: I had a blog header shoddily designed in Paint.
After: I have set a really bland one until I have time to make a new one pay someone else to make me a decent-looking one.

Before: I didn't know what to do if I'm ever consulted about how to treat a chemical burn.
After: I've studied for my surgery test this morning, and I can tell you to wash it. Wash it well. Get the hose and irrigate that wound until you've used up all the water in southern California (or for 30 minutes). Then go to the ER.

Before: I had no idea how my sister Emma was doing in her first week of college.

After: I had an awesome skype convo with her and now I get to be jealous of her enormous dorm room and interesting classes.

Before: I had pretty serious roots growing out and general hair maintenance hot mess troubles.

Making my parents proud one crazy-eyed picture at a time.

After: Katie has restored me to presentable. All ready to start my new rotation on Monday (Pediatrics!) It's been over a year since I dyed my hair any color but dark red. I haven't decided if I like it better or not.

I felt soups awk (that's a Katie expression - for super awkward) standing on my front porch trying to take these pictures. Especially while trying to angle my face to minimize the break-out visibility.

Before anything else today I have to take that surgery test. After I'm going to Santa Barbara. Happy almost-weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIAW: Back to School

The strangeness of this week is that my time is suddenly my own again. Except for the OSCE (standardized clinical exam) I took yesterday, we've had lecture and study time. No hospital. No clinic. Like first and second year for the most part. It's nice to eat breakfast when it's light outside.

Breakfast: Yogurt bowl. Blueberries and peaches = summer.

However, even though we've only been rotating 10 weeks, this return to class makes me feel mentally really far away from the first two years - my ability to sit and listen for hours at a time has made an exponential decline.

I love the healthcare environment - seeing patients, learning that way. The classroom feels like the wrong place to be.

Especially for 6 hours! I guess there's just a lot to cover before we take the Surgery exam on Friday.

Lunch: Tofurky sandwich on Ezekiel bread. My go-to packed lunch returns for the hours of lecture today.

And if I survive all the lecture wide awake, a SIAWG (Smoothie in a Wine Glass) reward...

Snack: SIAWG

Dinner: Spaghetti marinara with white beans and broccoli. Leftovers from Monday.

Confession time: Not a single one of these pictures is new. Apparently WIAW today is also recycled picture/leftover day.

That's all. Time to take my lunchbox and go to school. I don't know why it feels so odd. I feel like I should track down my graphing calculator and my protractor. Maybe some tape for my glasses.

Do you switch easily into different routines? Do you have any advice about it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Goes from Average... Awesome.

Look what arrived in the mail today!

The Joy of Vegan Baking and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar

All right, who want some vegan dessert?

No seriously - you can't leave me alone with all this sugar.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It Was a Weird Monday

It started with a run and a yogurt bowl. I can't remember the last time I had something other than oatmeal, but I don't know why - this is awesome.
However, the morning did not continue with a trip in to the hospital or clinic. In fact, I didn't go anywhere today but the grocery store. It's end-of-rotation test preparation time. 

I had a raw snack. I really liked that this bar wasn't skimpy on the nuts. And the cardamom was an interesting twist. 

For lunch, despite being home, I kept my study flow going and went for a new-to-me freezer meal: Morningstar Sweet and Sour Chik'n. The sweet and sour was super-strong and sweet, but I liked this dish. It could handle some extra veggies, if my veggie drawers hadn't been completely bare at the time. 

For dinner I spent like an hour feeling ambivalent about everything. I finally settled on whole wheat thin spaghetti with steamed broccoli, tomato sauce and white beans with nutritional yeast. It all came together in about 10 minutes - and so good. 3 more servings to spare. 

And for dessert I might blend up a little smoothie.

Tomorrow is the OSCE - when we see standardized patients, get videotaped and graded for the interaction, our assessment, information-gathering, physical exam and treatment plan. 

I get really nervous, but it'll be done at 11 am tomorrow. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Zpizza: The Vegan and the Omnivore

It's not quite Beauty and the Beast - seriously, Boyfriend's way too good-looking for that - but you could qualify us for Beauty and the Beast-eater I suppose.

John eats very healthfully, and he's a champion of trying new and slightly questionable vegan dishes and products. A couple months ago I offered him some mashed potatoes and didn't tell him they were half mashed cauliflower. Sneaky vegetable-pushing girlfriend. Understandably, sometimes he just wants some predictable meat.

Enter Zpizza - which I have written about before, but had terrible pictures, so that warrants an update. The Berkeley Vegan is a pizza with Daiya cheese (I ask them to go light on it - I actually don't like Daiya much), burger crumbles, veggies and a nice crisp crust. Boyfriend and I get a large - half BBQ chicken, half vegan. We always get raised eyebrows with this order. 2 slices are about perfect for me, so I end up taking home another meal's worth.

So for all those times you want everyone to be happy (and don't have the energy to trick anyone into vegetables) I really like Zpizza.

Have you ever tricked someone into eating something good for them? Or something bad for them - actually those are even better stories. 

Native Foods Review: Tempeh Bacon Cheeseburger

For me, going to Native Foods (large all-vegan restaurant) causes a startling phenomenon: I actually look at the meatier selections on the menu. Usually burgers, breads, sandwiches, meaty pastas all get glossed over as I scan for safe things to eat. Here, I can eat everything. It's hard to get used to.

My first Native Foods review I got the Gyro bowl - awesome.

But I ventured out this time and went for the meatiest, cheesiest thing on the menu - something I absolutely can't get anywhere else: The Tempeh Bacon Cheeseburger.

Left - onion, tomato, carrot, greens. Right - Pickle chips, tempeh bacon, vegan cheddar, seitan slices


And Boyfriend being willing to bring me here and eat something he can share with me is also great - he went for the Twister Wrap. I thought mine was better, but sometimes that's pretty dependent on my mood. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Breakfast Date: Carolyn's Cafe

When Boyfriend visits he often brings his own cereal. He's a bit of a cereal fiend. If we go out near a grocery store he'll buy some regular milk; otherwise he's willing to use my soymilk.

Unfortunately when he arrived to visit on Thursday night I was completely out of milk, and by this morning, we hadn't yet purchased any. Problem? No. Actually I love going on breakfast dates with him, they've just become much more infrequent since I became a vegan. Pancakes, waffles, french toast, omelettes, all things of standard out-to-eat breakfast past. 

However, turns out most places make great oatmeal with water, and breakfast dates are on the upswing again.

So this morning brought us to an out-of-the-way Redlands breakfast place: Carolyn's Cafe

It was cheery, great service. I loved the quilts on the walls. Very cozy diner feel - I'm not really that much of a fan of quilts as decor in my personal style, but here it fit. 

Coffee for both of us. John got the coffee cake, which came with glowing Yelp reviews, and a side of potatoes. The coffee cake was certainly decadent - swimming in butter. I didn't try it but John liked it pretty well.

For me, oatmeal with brown sugar which came in a combo with fruit and coffee for $6. Yes please. I took out all the strawberries and sliced them into the oatmeal with my spoon. 

I would definitely come back here. 

And finally, guess what I got recently with an extensive stash of old Borders gift cards? (They're going out of business - gotta use them now!)

I hope you're familiar with Sarah's blog - and this book is just more of the awesomeness. She's also from my hometown in Oregon. 

In an extension of my love for Veganomicon, Latin flavors from one of the co-authors. 

And knowing very little about raw food, I picked a user-friendly book I could learn from. 

So much cooking in my happy future.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tachy Med Student: Gems from Surgery Attendings

Want more medicine? If you're one of my medically-interested readers, or just want to read more about life in medical school, I'm pleased to share that my medical school has just started a student blog. I'm a contributor - you'll find me under Kari. Some posts I may duplicate here, but you can get some other perspectives and hear from my colleagues and classmates in other years as well. 

Check it out at:


And now for some fun. Today was my final day on surgery (except tests). It snuck up on me a bit actually, but here we are.

It's hard to go through a rotation with little idea how I'm actually doing, but my evaluation was very positive, all summed up I actually had a great time, and so I leave you with a few highlights from my time on surgery:

Gems from the Surgery Attendings

From the young female surgeon working outrageous hours:
"Yes, please give me more Saturday morning clinic. Take advantage of me now while I'm husbandless and childless because pretty soon I'll be popping out kids with all kinds of abnormalities and spending all my time dropping them off at the short bus."

While I was suturing incorrectly in the operating room, in conjunction with getting smacked on the hand with the irrigator bulb:
"Stop that! When you see me, I see you. When you don't see me, I still see you. Remember that."

From the attending I spend most of my time with, after working a case with a different student:
"Oh hello. You know J? She was with me during this case. It was nice to have a student get some answers right for a change." 

Just the first of many questions in a very long case:
"You're in the desert, you've crashed your car, you've broken all your extremities, no one is coming to help. Would you rather have a complete or partial transection of your common femoral artery?"
I got distracted from the teaching point here, thinking, "Jiminy Christmas. Was it necessary to break all my limbs?"

From a surgeon who loves his job - at least the operating part:
"GAWD I hate clinic. God save all the internal medicine and primary care docs. I hope nothing bad ever happens to a single one of them."

From an attending after I successfully did something rather simple. Apply mild sarcasm:
"I'm so proud. Tears are welling in my eyes."

After completing my end-of-rotation evaluation:
"Be sure you stop by and leave a copy of the evaluation with the secretary. We like to be able to look back in case we see you in the news for malpractice." 
*Gulp* Does that happen often?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tachy Med Student: Pimped Past Midnight

Have I talked about pimping yet?

Not the velvet purple-suited cane-wielding kind. 

I feel like I have mentioned it, but just in case, a little term definition:

Pimping: noun. The act of questioning your medical students and residents in order to make them sweat, cry, and cause all their sphincters to synchronously clamp down. If we can break through the nerves, we almost always learn something.

Getting pimped: Being the medical student forced to learn. And sweat. 

Last night was my last call on surgery. It was also the busiest. Things were actually pretty calm in terms of new patients, but I scrubbed in on a case that went from 10:00 pm - 3:00 am. In total, I slept from 4 - 5 am. 

That one hour though? It was awesome. 

Then I had patients to see before going to the operating room and getting pimped until I left around 1 pm. 28 hours total. 

It was actually a very positive experience. The surgeons I scrubbed with in the middle of the night weren't people I had worked with before and they discussed areas I hadn't reviewed in a while, so I did feel like I learned quite a bit. 

I found my eyes literally closed while holding the retractor in surgery this morning though. If I could sleep standing up without falling into the sterile field I guarantee I would have.

Another definition - Post-call: The situation of having been on pager all night and therefore having a plausible excuse for looking like a hot mess. 

Post-call I had a couple of appointments - including my first one the gynecologist. She was great, but it's the gynecologist you know?

What a couple days. 

But to wind down?

Friends + Bachelor Pad. 

Don't judge. I'm post-call.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Day I Ate Out 3 Times

...and also saw 5+ wedding venues.

I'm visiting John in Irvine this weekend and we've been trying our best to find a place to get married. I've lost count of the venues we've seen, but I know there were at least 5 yesterday. Of course, all the venue hunting requires some fuel.

I like visiting Irvine because it's so close to the coast and there's a lot to do out here, but there is an unfortunate drawback to John's apartment. He lives with roommates who are perfectly nice, but through some inexplicable force of chaos, somehow they leave his kitchen a constant, sticky, mess. John's one of the cleanest men I've ever met and any space he's in charge of is going to look awesome, so I know it's frustrating for him too.

It's literally not safe to walk barefoot through it. I don't even want to think about cooking. We'll sometimes prepare breakfast (with dishes he keeps safe in his cupboard, separate from everything else) but we pretty much eat out when I'm here.

So that brings us to yesterday. It can be a challenge to eat out vegan, but I would say we made some good discoveries:

Breakfast: Oatmeal at Sidestreet Cafe in Costa Mesa. It's a casual atmosphere, lots of signage on the walls and different types of people. The three women next to us were chatting away about one night stands like an episode of Sex and the City. Apparently her best intimate experiences were not with either of her long-term relationships. I'm not sure that's something I wanted to hear, at least before coffee. Service was good even though it was really busy, and I really appreciated that my coffee mug was very attentively refilled. The oatmeal is made with water (vegan-safe) and comes with banana, brown sugar, raisins and milk (though I told them I didn't need the milk). I ordered a side of berries instead of toast. And coffee. Always coffee.

French toast for John.

Post-Breakfast our venue hunting led us on a tour of California beach cities. We drove through Long Beach Port, and a ways up the coast, stopping a couple places until we met up with some college friends for lunch.

The port. 

I love bridges. Not as much as John though. Every time we see a good one he makes sure I take a proper look.

Redondo Beach Historic Library

Long Beach Museum of Art

Wayfarer's Chapel (Beautiful, but won't work for us. Too small/not a reception site as well.)

Lunch: Eduardo's Border Grill. Grilled vegetable salad. I wasn't so sure about the ingredients in the dressing so I kept it on the side and just used salsa. 

It was great to catch up with some friends, and post-lunch we went to see a few more sites.

Did we find our wedding venue? Hard to say at this point. 

This house has a tennis court - on a cliff. What?

Somehow on the way back we ended up on a driving tour of LA's tourist spots. Sunset, Rodeo Dr. etc. When we got passed by a red Ferrari, I wasn't fazed, but I did wish I had at least washed my car. 

Dinner: Somehow with the amount of traffic we hit, it was past 8 pm before we made it somewhere for dinner. We ended up at Diamond Jamboree, which was craaazy crowded and contains almost entirely Asian restaurants, all of which had lines out the door. We picked Tokyo Table, a Japanese restaurant with a substantial sushi menu, but also many other options. The waitress was pretty knowledgeable about what could be made vegan. 

Genmai tea, edamame to start, and stir-fried udon noodles with homemade tofu in the vegetarian ginger sauce with extra vegetables. Beef yakisoba for John. We both saved half of these enormous plates for later. 

The homemade tofu was amazing. We agreed it was the best tofu we'd ever tasted. 

This table was so cool. We got to sit next to each other instead of across even though it was just a little booth.

I'm happy with the food we found, but it was honestly a relief to just make some breakfast on our own this morning. Especially given my dietary preferences, eating out at every meal starts to feel like too much.

And now we're trying to get some studying in at a Starbucks. I have my surgery exams starting in just a week, and I certainly have lots to learn. It's a little overwhelming, but I'd best go study something today.

Have a southern California wedding venue suggestion for me? I'd love your input. 

How do you feel about eating every meal out?