Sunday, July 30, 2006

Saturday Stroll

Yesterday, I went out with the parents in search of a local hiking trail one of the nurses in the department had told me about. Ironically, it turned out to be the exact same place that Ru and I had stumbled upon a month before! However, this time we didn't lose the trail, and there was no torrential storm to send us scrambling back to the car. The hike ended at an old fire tower, which provided a better view of a chain of small lakes obscured by the dense pines. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced my USB camera cable, so I'll have to post the pictures later. After our hike, we stopped for homemade fudge and dinner at a restaurant I definitely can't afford.

I have decided that I like having houseguests. Yesterday morning started out with coffee and omlets made-to-order. I also discovered that in my absence, my mom had weeded the entire length of my flowerbed out front! Other than having to remember what it's like to wait for the bathroom in a one-bathroom house, it's been great having them around. Today they left for a few days to explore the area on their own while I work some overnight shifts. I am sure the house will seem quite empty when they leave next weekend.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Any minute now, the PU's (parental units) should be arriving. They stopped in the Midwest for family reunions on each side, and then have continued on driving this way. Things are a mess here. I still haven't unpacked and hung up my clothes or much of my office junk. Despite 18 years of cohabitation, I still would like the place to look nice. Oh well, I suppose there's no disguising my paper-stacking tendencies from them. I think they'll be staying for about a week while I continue to work. It should be fun, and hopefully will force me explore the surroundings a bit more.

In other news, the paycheck did make it into my bank account, and we've been assured that this one is only smaller because it doesn't represent a full pay period. Apparently, the hospital chairman has balanced the budget twice previously by extending the lag time on paying new employees. I can't wait to meet him in person.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Check$ and Balance$

I ju$t got off the phone with one of my fellow intern$. Tomorrow i$ $upposed to be our fir$t payday. After five week$ of work, and numerou$ charge$ on my credit card$, I am more than ready for it. He got hi$ check $tub early, but he $aid that it i$ over $200 le$$ than what we were expecting. I went to check my account, and wa$ $ad to $ee there were no depo$it$. Furthermore, I wa$ even more aggravated to $ee an email from payroll $tating that they needed my addre$$ and phone number. I gave them all that crap five week$ ago! I don't $ee why that $hould have any affect on my direct depo$it capability, but we'll $ee.

I know thi$ i$ all ju$t $mall detail$, but $ometime$ it'$ hard not to $weat the $mall $tuff.

I've heard pla$ma donation can be pretty lucrative.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

In Memorium

As I knew her, my grandmother was an independent woman, who worked well into her seventies. Widowed at an early age, she never remarried and was left to finish raising her children alone. She loved to travel, and was a very giving person. At her funeral, I was touched to see notes to her dead husband that were written just a few years ago, before the dementia set in. I always considered her to be an individual, but I guess that she considered herself still part of a pair.

I wrote this a few days ago, intending to add more, but have decided to just leave it as is.


February 25, 1960-

It was a cold day. The snow had stopped for a brief minute, and visibility was good. Walter got into his car and rubbed his gloved hands together as he waited for the engine to warm. He briefly pondered what Louise would make for dinner, and headed towards the fire station to meet up with guys for a quick beer on the way home. Working for Western Electric wasn’t the greatest, but it paid the bills. Although his daughter had recently married, he still had three boys at home to provide for.

The snow had started again. He had to concentrate to keep his eyes on the road, rather than being distracted by the swirling flakes tumbling across the windshield. Up ahead to his left, he saw the semi coming. Its headlights were on, and it seemed to be coming on fast. He recognized it as being one of his company’s trucks, and may have noticed the sound of a horn as it started to drift toward his right, crossing into his lane. He may have slammed his brakes, he may have swerved, but there was no avoiding the semi as it hit him head-on.


July 1, 2006-

She had been exhausted when she went to bed. Last week, or was it last month? Anyway, recently she had been to the hospital. Arlene was there, and a whole bunch of people that she didn’t know. They told her to rest and that there was something wrong with her heart, or was it her kidneys? It didn’t matter. She didn’t feel well, but she wasn’t going to tell them that as they would just take her away again. She just wanted to sleep. Why couldn’t they just leave her alone?

That night, Louise met Walter for dinner.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Home Delivery

Today my furniture finally got delivered, so I can now watch movies in comfort without having a sore spot on my hip from lying on the floor for two hours! I'm glad I went with the sofa and mismatched chair, as there is not enough room in my living room for the matching loveseat or armchair and ottoman.

When the cable guy came by last week, he asked me why I moved here. I told him it was for a job, and when I told him I was a new resident doctor at the hospital here, he looked around at my bare house and looked at me like I was a liar! He then said something about leaving the cables long on my television for when I got a "real tv" and maybe even an entertainment system. I really need to come up with a pseudo-career that won't lead to so much questioning or conversations about bowel habits!

This afternoon, I ran out to Lowe's to get an area rug and a few bags of dirt. The clematis (clemati?) finally got planted. Thanks for all of the plant recommendations. I think I'll be gradually filling in the flower bed with more dirt and adding more plants as I go.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


This morning as I was trying to head out the door, I couldn't find my keys. This is a pretty common occurrence for me, but after looking for several minutes, they didn't turn up. Finally, I found them still in the front door. So basically, last night I turned the security system on and went to bed with the keys right there in the door. Genius, pure genius. Maybe I should just get a dog.

When I finally got home today, there was a package on my doorstep from "The Phoenix". She sent me the new Live album and some sahuaro seeds, which made me just a little homesick.

The landscaping at my house is crappy. So, today after work, I went to a local nursery and picked out two different colors of clematis, as I thought it would look nice climbing along the rail next to my front door. When I went to plant it, I discovered that my trowel was hitting something very firm, so I pulled an old, rusty shovel out of the garage (another gift from the sellers). I hit concrete. Apparently the "flower bed" in the front yard is approximately 3 inches of dirt slapped on top of a big pile of pavement! I guess that explains the crappy landscaping. There is a small tree at one end of the flower bed, so maybe the concrete doesn't extend along the whole length of the house? If it does, I suppose my options are to either find plants that don't require much soil, or dig it all up and see what exactly I'm dealing with and build up the soil level before planting anything.

Anyone know of any hardy perennials (I'm too cheap to replace plants every year) that don't require much dirt?

After that, I went to a nearby fabric store, and picked out several patterns for curtains and blinds. They are going out of business, so everything's 80% off. Unfortunately, I didn't find any fabric that I liked.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Breaking and Entering

A woman's work is never done:

The morning was spent getting sweaty with some local firefighters (heh). This Saab, which looked surprisingly nice for its fate, was there for our demolishing pleasure. As an intern, smashing up cars is not one of my learning objectives this year, but the idea is that we should have some idea of what goes on at accident scenes. Having worked as an EMT, I saw plenty of this stuff, but I never got to actually wield the tools. It was fun, but hard work.

Also, because I am a goofball, I ended the morning with this:

Just for the record, not all of that on my shirt is sweat... some of it is the water that one of my fellow interns sloshed me down with. Turnout gear is HOT.

Later I went back out into the sun (Did I mention there was a heat advisory today?) and did yardwork. I'm getting better at mowing, but I still suck at using the trimmer.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More Moving Mishaps

I got cancelled off my shift last night as there were already 3 other interns on in the department. Today was conference day, so just a day of lectures. Here are a few more moving stories that I forgot to share with you before.

Now Ru is quite the adventurer, but as you can imagine, after being confined to the cab of a moving truck for multiple days, even she can succumb to the dreary nature of the road.

After at least six hours of driving, we stumbled into a Visitor Center at the Indiana state line. At that point, I believe she was still collecting post cards, so she chatted up the local volunteer while I used the um, facilities. I don’t really know what all went on in there, but when I walked out of the bathroom and gestured that we needed to get going, she said, “Thank you for telling me about your country.”

“Your country? You realize that Indiana is still part of the States, don’t you?” I cackled, and made some snarky comment about her teaching skills.

Poor Ru was trapped there blushing in front of some stranger, and said something about how she was really tired and said country when she had meant state, and whined that she was going to cover up her error by saying she was Canadian.

Great friend I am, huh?

The first night that I spent in my house, I almost set it on fire.

The sellers were required to leave the fixtures behind as part of the deal, and so I inherited the wall lamps in the master bedroom. I had gone out to Target for a few essentials and bought some cheap lampshades that attach right onto the light bulb. The sellers had obviously had a king-size bed as the lamps were so far apart that the open bedroom door would come in contact with one of them. I hadn’t noticed it, but the door had tilted the lampshade right up against the hot light bulb. Luckily, I was nearby when I started to smell the melting plastic and turned the lamp off before it actually caught fire.


This marks the end of quite possibly the most boring blog entry, ever.

Monday, July 10, 2006


The cable dude just left my house. I now have television, a phone, and cable internet! Regular updates to come very soon. The security system should go in some time this coming weekend.

Right now I'm kind of in the middle of a mess with night shifts every day this past weekend, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Class, Weekly Conference, and Advanced Trauma Life Support Class this week. Tomorrow I go to class from 8 am -2:30 pm, and follow that up with a shift from 4 pm-midnight.

The last patient I saw on Sunday morning was my first GSW (gun shot wound)! Well, I guess maybe it wasn't legitimate as it was a shot from a BB gun to the penis, but I'm still counting it. I kind of felt bad for the guy, as he came in at 6 am after being transferred from a rural hospital to get a consult with one of our urologists. It turned out to be a pretty minor flesh wound, but I got a laugh from my attending when I commented about it being "one shot in a million." Lesson learned: beers and BB guns don't mix.

I think I'm really going to like it here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Version 2.0

Sorry, I fled the coffee shop on Saturday after getting some bad news, so my post wasn't quite done. I have now added in the missing photos. I was having problems with my connection, so I wasn't even aware that my entry had posted.

July 1 was the official start day of new interns almost everywhere across the country. Do yourself a favor and stay out of teaching hospitals for the time being... and certainly don't schedule any elective procedures this month.

Saturday was among one of the worst days that I can recall ever having. We had two hours of lecture that morning, so my plans were to post a quick update and then go home for a 3-4 hour nap before starting my shift at 10 pm.

The computer was not cooperating. I remember that the World Cup was on in the background, and England was playing Portugal. My cell phone rang and I answered it. My mom said to hang on a minute for my father. This never happens, as it is usually my father who passes the phone off.

My father made an attempt at teasing me about my new title. It wasn't funny, and he sounded tired. He then said he had some bad news for me, and told me that my grandmother had died that morning. I felt the blood drain from my face with his words, and it seemed like everyone in the coffee shop was staring at me. I told him I'd call him right back as I couldn't hear him very well.

Once home, I called my parents and found out when the services would be. I paged my chief resident, and waited 30 minutes. I paged her again and waited another 15 minutes. Finally, I called her cell phone and left a message saying that I needed to talk to her, my voice cracking.

I tried to sleep, but couldn't. I tried to gather my things for my shift and spent over 2 hours tearing the house apart looking for the stupid voice pager/phone thing they gave me at orientation. It became clear that my chief resident was not going to return my call, so I got ready for work and drove in.

At the hospital, I learned my chief resident wasn't carrying either her pager or cell phone. Before I could say anything to her, a four-month old infant arrived in cardiac arrest. There were too many people in the trauma room. As interns on our first day, we were barked at to stay behind the red-tape line, and traded off doing chest compressions. Forty minutes later, the baby had a heart rate and had survived long enough to be transferred to the pediatric ICU.

I saw 3 patients that night: breastmilk production most likely due to a new antipsychotic medication, acute abdomen (ruled out appendicitis, most likely is an ovarian cyst), and x-rayed a three year-old for a suspected foreign body aspiration (negative also).

My chief resident had gone home as my shift was starting, so when she came back in the morning, we talked about my scheduling needs. From the resident breakroom, I booked a last-minute flight to Chicago. I went home and slept for about 3 hours and met up with a couple of the other new interns in my program for dinner.

Monday morning, I went to my scheduled workshop, and then caught my flight out that afternoon. I slept a little on the plane, but it was 2 am before I met up with my family and got checked into our hotel rooms.

Tuesday was spent at the funeral home. Visitation hours were all afternoon and evening. Afterwards, about a dozen of us hung out at the hotel bar, swapping stories, and avoiding the subject of the day.

The funeral was on Wednesday. My older brother and I were pallbearers, along with 6 other grandchildren that were in attendance. My younger brother is still in Kenya, and was devastated to hear about our grandmother.

I guess I am still processing the whole thing. Other than one breakdown on Saturday after I got off the phone with my parents, I haven't cried. I think I have just been too tired. My grandmother was exactly 91 and 6 months old when she died. In many ways, we lost her a couple of years ago as the dementia had continued to progress.

She had a heart attack and went into kidney failure about 10 days prior to her death. At the time of her hospitalization, I was only a few hours away. My parents did not tell me about it until after I arrived here. I know that guilt and anger are a normal part of the grief process, but I can't help but be upset. She would not have recognized me had I stopped in to see her a few weeks ago as she hadn't for some time, but I would have liked to see her while she was still alive.

I suppose I'll write more about her later, but right now I have boxes to unpack, reading to make up, dinner at my program director's house tonight, and more reading for tomorrow.

I am way behind on my blog reading, but I suppose it will be procrastinating to look forward to in the future. My appointment for my phone/tv/internet install is on July 10, and it can't come soon enough!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Meet Troy

I have a couple of new personal trainers. I thought it was kind of kinky to incorporate oil and gasoline into my workout sessions, but whatever.

Meet Troy and his whackjob friend:

I did about an hour of cardio with those guys, and have decided that from now on, I'm only going to workout with Troy in the morning/evening.

Darryl #1 showed up before I was quite done with the trimmer, and wanted to use my one and only extension cord to move the oscillating fan up into the attic where he was going to be working. I would have thought that electricians would consider extension cords vital pieces of equipment, but I guess not.

The installation of the second fan in my bedroom went better, mainly because Daryl #2 stuck around throughout the job. They had to pull up floorboards in the attic to access the electrical box, and since it is old wood up there, there was some splintering. Yesterday I replaced one of the boards with some cheap plywood. There was another, longer board that came out in almost one piece. I hadn't noticed it until after my plywood run to the hardware store, but I guess I'll have to use the hand saw I saw hanging in my basement to clean it up, and trim down some remaining scraps to fill in the space.

The floor wasn't that nice up there to begin with, but it was pretty level, so if I want to convert it all into an office, I might have to pull up the plywood and replace it at a later time. Gosh, I'm turning into a handy girl!