Friday, August 30, 2013

From Inside the Walls

It is 2.5 hours to the end of my shift. The respiratory kid we just got from the floor is comfy and the kid who jumped out a window is looking surprisingly good, so I'm keeping an eye out for the dictation I did a few hours ago - hoping it'll come in before I go home and sleep. If it doesn't I can edit from home when it pops up. The problem is that the day team may want the story earlier and may then listen to my dictation instead of waiting to read it. 

"the patient. Um. Physical exam. Um. Bleeding. Um. Oh wait. Go back. What comes next? Labs? I dont even know what we're doing for this kid. *long pause* oxygen."

Suffice it to say it's an embarrassing proposition having my colleagues listen to me stumble over the words of the medical history.

So here's some work sharing for you all:

The workroom. That tiny couch I love so much is there in the back. We don't really hang out here most of the time always, depending on our work. Sometimes it's much more efficient to sit out on the unit.

The coffee maker. Lifesaver.

The breakfast I'm looking forward to. Cereal with peach and strawberries.

The view of the medical campus as I walked home yesterday. My senior was really nice and sent me home an hour early so I made the journey before the sun came up. I thought I would get to see a little more of John but really it meant that I passed out early on the couch and woke up to him taking a picture of me.

And here's me right before I came to work tonight. Luna of course wanted to come over and not be left out. Sweet scrubs right? I did find one of the machines that lets you pick different top and bottom sizes so they fit me slightly better now. I know that pictures kind of distant, you can thank our weird propped up bedroom mirror for that. I'm not complaining though cause it really takes off the pounds.

Almost there, happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Home at Sunrise

The sun had just finished rising when I was walking home this morning.

I put on some music and walked home quick so I could see John for my 20-30 mins for the day. It was pretty out and still cool.

I was totally starving and grabbed a big bowl of cereal with peaches and strawberries and then I was completely passed out by 7:30 AM. I did a better job of day sleeping today and even though Luna did her best to wake me up, I managed to sleep until 2. 

I think maybe that's enough sleep since I was able to nap overnight in the workroom for a couple hours. 
If you're thinking, "Are those really big books or is that a really tiny couch?" The answer is it's a tiny couch. There's a call room with a bed but there's more than one of us residents on so one of us gets the couch in the workroom.

I'm an average height girl, so I can perfectly bend my knees over the armrest and it's a reasonably comfortable sleep for about 2 hours. Longer than that though and it's not really worth it. So if you add it all up, that's like 8 hours of sleep. A little broken up, but still I feel pretty okay.

Before going in tonight I had a big Asian salad with edamame, cabbage, lettuce, carrot, cucumber, cilantro.

Eating overnight is a whole other post. I never really know if I'm hungry or what but it's a good idea to have a meal at like 4 before I go because sometimes the work starts right away and we don't really have everything tucked in to eat dinner for a few hours.

Time to go put on some scrubs and get some coffee. Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Night Life

I'm awake right now but I wish I were not.

I'm on nights in the Peds Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and that means I'm in that rough transition between being awake all night and trying to get used to being asleep during the day. I'll be on nights all week so hopefully by the end of it I'll be more used to it and able to get more sleep during the day, but I just woke up from a nap of only 3 hours and I feel like that's the best I can do. As you can see, it's not exactly dark in my room, despite these "light blocking" curtains.

I was up most of the night working. It wasn't too busy and our only admit came in early so lots of the time was spent just checking on things and trying to learn, and I got to nap from about 2:30 to 4:30 AM.

But since I'm awake, I've been totally productive.

First thing I went over to the DMV (for the second time in 2 days). Yesterday was a bit of a run-around but first I went to the wrong place, then I needed an appointment when I ended up in the right place, then I needed an emissions test. What's the DMV without some failure right? But this morning it was totally easy. I not only registered my car in New Mexico, but I finally changed the name on the title of my car so it's my married name. I have yet to put the license plate on the car though. Baby steps.

Woo New Mexico!!

I made soup in the slow cooker - plenty to feed husband and take for dinner for a couple nights to the hospital. This is a recipe from my Vegan Slow Cooker book, it's White Bean Sweet Potato. I haven't tried it yet so I'll let you know how it is.

I've also kept things organized in the fridge because I'm only seeing John for a few minutes in the morning between when I get home around 7 AM and when he goes to work at about 7:30. He doesn't get home in the evening until after I'm gone.

It's not that he isn't totally capable of taking care of himself, but he would eat just cereal for days if that were the easiest, so I've made lots of things that are easy for us both to heat and eat. Right now we have 2 soups, enchiladas, and rice/veggie bowls with peanut lime sauce.

Before I fell asleep and after the DMV I went on a run with Luna. She kept me going when I wanted to quit and walk so 5k later I was surprised that I made it. As I mentioned before, exercise has really fallen to a low priority in the past few months. I followed it up with the best strawberry smoothie. Luna's happy that I'm home even if I do sleep through part of the day.

And in boring news, I did a couple loads of laundry, since I'm getting my productivity on.

So now it's about an hour until I go back in to work and it seems like it came up really fast. But I'm going to start my evening with coffee and I'll see you on the other side.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 26, 2013

What It's Like to Be an Intern

I'm an Intern M.D. You could say I'm a doctor and it's technically true, but, like, barely.

I can only speak for myself, but the adjustment has been interesting. Here are some things that are true for me about being an intern:

1. When my alarm goes off in the morning, or evening, depending on my shift, I pretty much bury my head and think, "What if I just don't go?" And then I get up and go to work because I'm a frickin' responsible doctor now. Or because I sleepwalk. I'm not really sure.

2. When I walk into a patient room and say, "I'm Dr. C___ , nice to meet you," I get about a 30% return of some variation on "Girl you too young to be a doctor." But everybody suspends their disbelief and tells me about their children's diarrhea anyway.

3. This is accurate:

4. My whole year's salary is a very small percentage of my debt. I don't like to think about it.

5. Now that I've graduated people ask me medical questions to which I mostly don't know the answers. Mostly pretty normal things. Sometimes I find out things I don't want to know. I chose to treat children for a reason. #veryfewhemorrhoids

6. Patients are cute. Parents are mostly crazy. One girl got a rash every time she ate eggs. I asked if Mom stopped giving her eggs. 
"Oh no, she loves them."
Well, if she loves them.

8. Those more senior than me are also kind of crazy, in a good way. Here's some recent important advice I received: "This is a small town. Be careful how drunk you get in public."

9. I used to exercise. Now I run from room to room and pretend moving a stethoscope around is calisthenics. One time I picked up a pen. It was a lot like a squat with a weighted row right?

10. I also used to sleep. Now I slip into full coma the second I lie down. Note to husband: carry me out if the house catches fire.

11. There's all kinds of crazy breaking out happening on my face, and I'm not alone - some of my co-interns are also erupting. Nothing like acne to make you trust your doctor.

12. Scrubs are proportioned by crazy triangle people. The top is too big, the legs are too short and I manage to look drowned and dumpy at the same time.

13. There is an expectation (and realistically, a requirement if I want to pass Boards) that I be studying and reading in my time outside work but I just want to be straight with you, the end of the day looks a lot like this:
Is it the dream? Of course. This was actually a hard post to write because really, the work/life balance is a huge challenge but ultimately I'm loving my life.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend Biking and the Elevation

Today I went on the longest bike ride of my life.

At least I'm pretty sure. I've never been a distance biker, just a commuter and then there were all those bike rides with my family as a kid.

Anyway, today John and I went out for a ride and came back 22 miles later! I know cyclist people out there might not think anything of it, but I'm proud, and I'm on a fairly heavy hybrid bike, not a zippy road one, so it's safe to say my legs are going to be exhausted tomorrow. Of course I love Nora (yes, the bike has a name). Remember when I first brought her home with my tax refund? 

Hard to believe it was over 2 years ago. I don't think I have those jeans anymore.

So here's the loop we did: 

We headed through Downtown, up the Bosque trail next to the Rio Grande, over on Paseo del Norte and then back down the Diversion Channel - which was flowing well because it was raining on the east side of town, but not so much on us. 

The box beneath the map has the elevation info. Sometimes I forget, but as you can see we're at almost a mile of elevation here in Albuquerque. As exercise has sort of fallen off in the past couple months I can't say I've noticed a difference. I blame all my difficulties on being woefully out of shape.

The day was full up with other activities too. 

We started with a brunch with the Chiefs in my program which was really fun, then went to a new church. The message was on Esther and I really liked it. We had Chipotle leftovers for lunch:

If you slice a burrito in half, it makes a perfect 2 meals. And yes this is like the 3rd time I've used this same picture on the blog. Not sorry.

Then the bike ride was in the afternoon. Afterward we found a dog that had run away and returned him to his happy family. Shortly after that kids came to the door asking for donations for some weird program that seems to be in every neighborhood we live in. 

Sometimes I wonder, if I put a sign that says "We are hundreds of thousands of $ in debt" on the door, will people stop knocking and giving us a hard time about not donating to their bizarre programs? Probably not.

We had potato and corn soup from the slow cooker for dinner (I didn't take a picture, but it was very, well beige anyway, not exactly appetizing in appearance.) Tasted great though.

This week I'm on nights in the Intensive Care Unit starting tomorrow, which means 5:30 PM to 6:30 AM, and I have to try to sleep during the day. I'm up typing even though John's already asleep in an attempt to shift my clock a little, but I think it's just going to be rough. 

Also I'm going to try to register my car tomorrow so wish me luck as I have to brave the DMV. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013


This past week I've been on vacation. Although I've only been a Resident for 2 months, I was pretty ready for a break and it was an amazing week. We went to Oregon and Washington for a reunion with friends and got to see my family as well. Unfortunately taking a break this early means I have no other breaks until New Year's. Still, worth it.

A huge thanks to all my friends and family for making my break so great.

Oregon is my homeland and while I'm getting used to my new life in the New Mexican landscape, coming home to so much beauty and friends and family makes it really hard to come back. 

We hiked in the Columbia Gorge, went swimming in waterfalls, went to Downtown Portland, over to Seaside, and spent a lot of time being together and enjoying our time. 

We went blackberry picking and made some homemade pie.

Lunchtime at the Brewery in Seaside.

Lackamas Lake

I jumped in and it was pretty icy.

Line around the corner for ice cream.

John made this photoset about a Pop Tart ice cream sandwich that they tried. Is this something people like?

The perfect overcast Oregon Coast.

Miss you all so much!

Now I'm back in Albuquerque. John and I have really been trying to enjoy the weekend and while we've been getting ready for the week, we're also trying to pretend it's still vacation. Yesterday we went to this used bookstore in Downtown. There were books everywhere. It was awesome.

Work starts again tomorrow and on Tuesday I transition from clinic to the pediatric intensive care unit. 

For the moment though, my dog Luna is sitting here with me, John is still asleep and I have one last vacation day ahead of me.

Photo Credits in this post: Eric & Arisa Conwell, John