Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 in Review

I was reviewing some old blog posts tonight and found this one from the end of 2011 where I reviewed significant moments from that year and I realized that despite the fact that my posting this year was quite infrequent, there was a lot of 2013 that was important.

As the year draws to a close, I feel surprised by how quickly it passed and excited about what's to come.

So here it is:

10 Significant Moments and Trials of 2013
(In no particular order. Okay it's sort of chronologic.)

1. I started my year with holidays in Oregon, and had my first married Christmas. Okay technically the Christmas part was in 2012. I didn't make a list for 2012, so I've tacked it in on here. If you're a calendar crazy and that bothers you...well this might the wrong blog for you.

Baking with Emma

The family Christmas Tree

2. I finished up my interview travels for residency and got a chance to travel all over the country to see different programs.

The Charles in Boston. Miss you Tiffany!

The view from the workroom here in New Mexico over a year ago on my interview day. Weird that now I live here.

3. I graduated from medical school. After 4 long years (or 8 if you want to include college and be all dramatic) I earned my M.D. and it was a great day.

I REALLY miss my medical school friends, but we've all gone on to work on being great doctors in places all across the country, so I can't be anything but happy when I think about it.

4. I went to Las Vegas, Nevada (first time!). In this post I reviewed the fun, talked about Match Day and what was coming next.

5. I ran my fourth half-marathon. For some who race often, a particular half-marathon in the course of the year might not mean anything, but this particular one was a race through my local community, literally right past my apartment on all the same roads I trained on, and it was so much fun to see it that way. Also, my training was significantly less than previous races and it was sort of a mental triumph to be able to run. 

6. I moved to New Mexico. This is related of course to starting Residency, but it was a big life change on it's own. We left a lot of friends and familiarity to come here in June and we've been making it our home. Sometimes it feels like we've been here ages and sometimes I still feel like a foreigner.

7. In July, we adopted Luna. After arriving in Albuquerque, we agreed it was time for us to get a dog, and it may be the best decision we've ever made. We found her at the shelter here, and took a chance on her without any background, but she's been a wonderful part of our lives.

8. I started work as a Pediatric Resident. I wrote about what it's like to be an intern in this post. And I've also mentioned work in a few other posts. The bottom line is, it's a privilege to being doing what I always dreamed of, and it's also exhausting and unbelievably emotionally trying.

Woo scrubs. Also Luna is the same color as the floor.

9. I went home to the Northwest for vacation and had the most amazing time with friends. There's a beautiful video they made that makes me so friend-sick every time I watch it:

Time with Friends in Portland from Eric & Arisa Conwell on Vimeo.

Miss you all :(

10. I worked through Christmas for the first time. However, John's family and mine both came to visit earlier for holidays and this was really nice. Still, it was totally weird to be in the hospital just admitting kids, ordering meds, etc. while it felt like most of the world was gathered with family.

And that brings us to today!

The great thing about working Christmas though, is that I get a holiday vacation now - when I got done with work this morning at 7 AM, I started vacation until Friday. I'm sure it will fly by, but I'm so excited. Friends are coming for New Years and it feels like I've really earned the days off with this past week of night shifts.

When I review the year like this, it's hard for me to believe it's only been a year because so much has happened, but at the same time it still feels like it went fast.

I hope everyone's having a great weekend, and final few days of 2013.

As always, thanks for reading.

What are your most significant moments of the year?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Eve

How are we doing?

Since last post we've had quite the series of adventures.

John's family came for Thanksgiving:

Vegan thanksgiving plate: Stuffing, green beans, potatoes, cranberry sauce.

John was in charge of the Turkey and we have to say a huge thanks to his Mom because I certainly had no idea how to cook a Turkey.

Hi Kellie!

Out to dinner. Turns out the day after Thanksgiving is not a great time to go out - waits were absolutely crazy, but in the end the food was good and we all had a good time once the hangry went away.

After my in-laws visited for Thanksgiving, my parents came for a visit at the beginning of December. They made great friends with Luna and we had a few fun adventures. 

There was one ill-fated trip up to Sandia peak: it was far snowier and crazier up there than we anticipated and we had to just drive back down, still, a pretty drive.

It was snowy most of the time they were here. We took a trip up to Santa Fe, went shopping and went to the galleries, and also just had a few calm nights at home. 

It was so nice to have both families here this past month, but it is that much harder to go back to real life after they left.

The day after my parents went home, I switched from clinic back to regular inpatient wards. It's not so bad, but the hours are longer and that's always a tough switch.

I also got pretty sick with a cold that I'm sure I caught from a child coughing in my face. I didn't miss any work, mostly because if you can pull yourself together you kind of need to: otherwise someone else has to come in off elective or on their day off to cover for you, and I wasn't dying, just requiring some heavy medication.

I'm mostly better now - 2 weeks later - just sometimes I'm surprised how gross my cough sounds. 

I switched to nights as of yesterday, and I'm working all this week and off for New Year's starting Saturday morning when my shift ends at 6:30. 

So in honor of having to work Christmas nights, here's a picture of Luna in a reindeer costume:

And because my family are all home together right now while I'm busy far away being married and working and crazy pretend-adult things like that, here's a picture I found from last Christmas when we were in Oregon:

Miss you all!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve everyone, and whether you're stuck somewhere or home with family or friends I hope you're having a great season!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fall and Balloon Fiesta

...And Becky!

Oct 5-13 was the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta here in Albuquerque.

It's the biggest international balloon fiesta in the world.

And more importantly Becky came to visit me. I know it was ages ago but I'm writing it now. Oh well.

We found Derek!

The government shutdown meant no charge for parking when we went on our hike to the Sandia Moutains. Also no bathrooms.

It was pretty cold.

It was Fall up there and really pretty.

The above photo credits all go to Becky - thanks!

I only had Friday off and had to work the weekend, so I participated in the opening balloon launch vicariously through John and Becky. Unfortunately I don't have those pictures.

The rest of the weekend was great too even though I was working, I got done pretty early and we had plenty of time for Albuquerque adventures. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Guess Who's Almost Here?

Las Vegas, Match Weekend, March 2013

Look who's coming to see me! All the way from California. It's the Hot Air Balloon Festival starting this weekend and Becky's coming to visit.

I'm so excited.

Also it's work Day #9 in a row, and I finally get a day off tomorrow. I have to work the weekend, but at least I get Friday with my friend. I've definitely worked longer stretches, but I'm really ready for the break.

And...I still haven't written the post about the gym. Sometime soonish.

See you soon Becky!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy October!

Every month on the first of the month I think, "Oh I should write a post, start the month off right."

So, Happy October!

I'm so excited it's Fall, it's my birthday month, the holidays aren't that far away and that is all great.

This isn't a real post technically.

Just a "Hi, happy October!" post.

And here's a picture of me at the gym this morning - teaser for my post about my current fitness quasi-plans/goals and how I recently joined a gym for which I actually pay for the first time in my life.

Talk to you soon, stay warm.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekend Work


An alternative title for this post: I got peed on twice today.

Both of the babies we circumcised today peed on me. It's like they knew.

This weekend is one of those residency ones where you just work both days of the weekend and you get the blessing of a weekday off instead and you take it and enjoy your business hours and don't complain about not having part of your weekend off because this is life and it's beautiful the work that I get to do.

I'm in a sentimental mood.

Maybe it's because it's super late at night - I'm not sure why I'm not asleep. I didn't have any caffeine today so I can't explain it but I tried to sleep and I couldn't. I don't like to stay in bed when John's sleeping and I'm not because I worry that my awake-ness disturbs his rest so I tend to get up and read or get sucked into a YouTube hole for 3 hours at a time or whatever until I'm tired.

This evening I rewatched this from about 4 years ago. It's a documentary about students at my medical school from when I was a first year. I'm not really in it but lots of my friends are and I felt like it was a good reminder of how hard I've worked to get here. It made me more thankful.

I highly recommend it for pre-med students - it's not too long and an honest look at what it's like.

Anyway, because I'm working this weekend, I got Friday off this week and I wanted to share how I spent a regular day off:

1. I ate breakfast. Okay. Not new.

2. I stood in line at the Apple store on release day. I know, like a crazy. I shattered the screen on my 4S with one too many clumsy flights through the air and it really stopped working a couple days ago, so it was perfect timing.

The fingerprint scanner works just like it's supposed to and I love it. I think the new operating system is gorgeous, but all you have to do is upgrade your current iphone for that.

3. After a fair amount of shopping around and price comparison, I joined a gym. A separate post on that coming up.

4. I took our fur child to the dog park. Albuquerque has a fair number of these that are fenced so Luna can be off leash, get some exercise and hang out with some other dogs.

5. I did some studying. I just want to say that not because it's interesting but because I don't want anyone to think I'm having too much fun in residency. 

6. I figured out who to give some of my loan paperwork to. This may seem like a silly task, but it was stressing me out and with as much debt as I have, really anything to do with my loans freaks me out. 

7. I watched Maid in Manhattan. J-Lo at her most mushy-romantical. Exactly as I remembered it.

And today I went back to work in the Newborn Nursery. Healthy babies make me happy and I feel like it's work I can love. PICU was getting kind of dark there and I think I was really ready for this switch. After our last couple deaths I just wasn't feeling excited about work, so it's been really affirming to go to a different service this week and be reminded that PICU isn't everyone's life's work but I do still like this whole medicine thing.

P.S. It's FALL! I'm so excited.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Work Life

Since last post I've made it through the transition back to days and made it another 10 days in the PICU. I only have one week left before it's off to the healthy babies in the Newborn Nursery - a population of significantly less sick patients. I'm not really in a rush to switch, as I feel like I've just now gotten a better grasp on the flow of the PICU but that's the way it always is. We switch every month, often with a week of nights somewhere in there, so it feels like constant transition. It really used to stress me out when I first started doing clinical rotations, and I still get a little nervous about starting something I've never done before, but I think we get used to being in flux.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to figure out my life outside of work. Some days it feels like I have too much time and not enough planned and other days I can barely get everything done.

This is my list of things I would do in an ideal day with plenty of time (besides work, as that is a given):

1. Exercise
Neon Run Shoes

2. Spend time with John
Oregon Coast August

3. Spend time with other friends
Miss you!

4. Study
Oh wait, study medicine. I should have specified.

5. Cook dinner/eat
A recent meal from recipes in Appetite for Reduction: Blackened tofu, butternut squash coconut rice, lemon green beans

6. Go out to a community event or volunteer or some outside-of-work commitment
Isotopes game here in Albuquerque

7. Walk Luna
Looking pretty scruffy on the day we brought her home.

The problem is, while some of these can be combined, it's really hard to fit them all in every day. At least, I haven't been able to with the natural flow of time. I think it would take a lot more advance planning. I think I didn't notice it so much in the months before residency because I had plenty of time off to do other activities so days when I worked all day there wasn't any pressure to fit in lots of other things. Now though, it's really work - I get 1 day off per week and that's not enough time to feel like I have a life outside work if I never do anything but stay home on weekdays.

So this is my challenge right now, to figure out how to fit everything I want into my life.

I guess maybe that's everyone's challenge. How do YOU do it?