Friday, August 31, 2007

With friends like this

Tonight, at the grocery store, buying a study snack. I don't even remember what Graci and I were talking about...

I said, "I just told you that."
She said, "Yeah, uh...I don't really listen to you. Mostly, I just watch your mouth move."
(Me, standing in the cookie aisle, with a look of shock and horror, and Graci laughing.)
And then, in an attempt to somehow make that better, she said, "Well, you talk so much."

I told her she's lucky I'm sharing my cookies. Who the hell knows if she heard that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Buying books

My sister is having a girl--Logyn (like Logan) Jane. I'm starting to think about buying Logyn things, mostly books. I'm going to work on filling a small bookcase with everything from The Cat in the Hat to To Kill a Mockingbird, giving her books to grow into. you have any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quote of the last two days

We had 16 hours of lecture over the last two days for a 10 question quiz.
Do you know how painful 16 hours of surgery lecture is?
So painful.

Graci and I decided we had to drink after yesterday's round of torture.
And out of that, in all seriousness, came...

Alcohol makes me hot.
I think I might be Asian.

In fairness to Graci, though, they skipped the cultural competency lecture--not enough time after 90 minutes of Pancreas: Organ of Mystery and Intrigue (actual title).

Friday, August 24, 2007

One of many

I took back my maiden name, Crazy (the real name actually rhymes with it), this week. When I first filed for divorce, I thought about taking Terroni as my last name. It was my grandmother's maiden name. I was talking to my father and said, "You know, at this point, I haven't been a Crazy since I was a kid. When I think about taking the name back, I think about being a kid again." There are five of us. We grew up in a small town, and we all look alike. I have been on vacation states away and have been stopped on the street by someone asking, "Hey, are you a Crazy kid, because you look like one of em." Yeah, of many. My dad seemed to understand what I was feeling and encouraged me to do whatever I felt fit.

Things changed a bit for me this summer, though, when I stayed with my dad's sister. My aunt and uncle don't have kids of their own, and they inherited piles of dough from my uncle's dad. So, they plan to leave all of us Crazys a substantial amount of money when they die. This has always been a bit of an awkward subject as they mention it entirely too often. Not quite sure how to show it, they are just trying to remind us all that they love us.

This summer, my aunt and I were sitting in her living room watching TV one night. In the middle of a commercial, I said, "You know, I don't care about any of that money you want to leave me...I just want that picture" I was pointing to a painting of a bird hanging over her television.

"Really?" she said, a little surprised. "You know, I bought that painting as a gift for your grandpa, and it hung in my mom and dad's house until she died."

"I know. I remember. And it's all I want." We went on to talk about all of her favorite things from her mom and dad's house, the things she decided to take when my grandma died. She brought out my grandma's china and asked if I wanted that, too. I said I would be honored to have it. That evening with my aunt, the look on her face as she talked about paintings and dishes and memories, was the greatest of my entire summer.

As I walked away from the probate court this week, I looked down at my new old Crazy name. And, I thought about that painting. I have realized that this name is more than just the five Crazy kids. It is a rich history--thousands of tiny amazing moments and memories--a legacy of people who love each other. I'll never give it up again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My travels

" was your trip?" you ask. It was fabulous! (And thank you for asking.) I flew in to New York on Saturday morning and met a friend, a labor and delivery nurse I used to work with, and her daughter at the Marriott Marquis. I love that place--the only hotel I've ever stayed in with beds more comfortable than my own. We had a great view of Times Square from our room. ( pictures. The Ex has the digital camera. I get my revenge by refusing to return the digital camera battery charger I some how ended up with.) Plus, the Marriott accommodates pets, which is great since my friend travels with her French bulldog and her daughter with her chihuahua.

The chihuahua, by the way, is a little shit. We got back to our room after eating some lunch Saturday to find the maid standing outside the door. She said, "I'm not cleaning that room. The dog in there is barking and growling and I don't want to get bitten." The dog she was referring to weighs all of six pounds--less than some rodents. When we were out walking her, she (the dog, not the maid) attacked a Rottweiler. He looked down at her and cocked his head to one side as if to say, "Are you fucking kidding me?" See what I mean? She's a little shit.

But, I digress. I got there at about 9 on Saturday morning, and my friend and I headed to the box office at the Nederlander Theater. The point of this trip was to see RENT on Broadway. Two of the original cast members, Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, are back for six weeks. My friend and her daughter are RENTheads--they've now seen the show twenty times--and they were extremely excited to see these guys again. I had never seen RENT before and was equally jazzed. (I'm bringing back the word jazzed.)

Anyway, my friend and I walked to the box office to get tickets for Saturday night's show. She has the most incredible luck when it comes to getting good seats. She never buys them ahead of time, and she always sits in the first six rows. We arrived at the box office at about 9:40 and they opened at 10:00. There were a couple people behind us in line also looking for seats for that night's show. When we got to the window, the ticket man said, "What do you need?"

She said, "Your three best seats for tonight."

He said, "Well, tonight's show is sold out."

She calmly said, "Please look again."

He raised his eyebrows as he said, "Oh, uh, wait a looks like we just got a phone cancellation. I've got three in the sixth row, center."

She said, "I'll take 'em."

He said, "Wow, ma'am, it's your lucky night."

And it was--the show was amazing.

We spent Saturday afternoon walking around Greenwich village, shopping a bit. I'm more of a walker than a shopper, but I love that part of the city. It was a perfect way to spend the day. I flew back on Sunday morning, totally exhausted from my fabulous weekend.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I slept in!
Until 10!

And woke up with a terribly sore throat. It hurts to swallow. I've done about 842 throat cultures on "it hurts to swallow" patients in the ER this week and they've all come back negative for strep. So, I'm not worried...just sore. Damn viruses.

I'm headed out to find some Chloraseptic--you know, that red magic stuff in the spray bottle that numbs that back of sore throats. Normally, I would just drink tea and write a whiny blog, but I am traveling tomorrow. I'm headed to New York, meeting a few friends to eat, drink, see a show, and be merry. The pants I want to wear tomorrow night don't quite fit (and don't have belt-loops). So, I plan to numb the back of my throat and feed my face in hopes that I can bulk up my middle a bit. If only I could get the swelling from my lymph nodes to move to my stomach.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm not dead

I am working four different shifts in the ER, often in the same week. As a result, my sleeping, eating, living schedule is all out of whack. I've wanted to blog several times in the last few weeks only to fall asleep before I even get started.

I shared my blog with a friend, though, so now I'm getting little gentle reminders that it's been a few days since I last wrote. Said friend, a fellow student, is sleeping as I write this. She came over for lunch and is now trying to catch a few zzzzz before she has to go back to the hospital for the night. Apparently, I'm not the only one whose schedule is a little out of whack. I was sitting in the living room (because you can't find a proper loungeroom outside of Australia) getting ready to study, when she yelled from my bedroom, "Are you gonna blog today? Because your people probably think you're dead." (My regular readers affectionately referred to as my people.)

So, even though I've got nothing exciting to share...oh, except maybe the story about the guy who ran himself over with his SUV. He ran himself over with his SUV, was admitted, treated, and sent home with a few broken ribs. He then came back to the ER last night covered in a rash. The attending explained that rashes of unknown origin--idiopathic urticaria, as they're called--are usually the result of stress. He gave him the name of a guy who writes books on meditation. He said, "You need to take 50 mg of Benadryl every six hours, relax, and realize that there is order in the universe." Order in the universe--to a guy who just last week hit himself with a car. Yeah.

But I digress. The point is...I'm not dead, and I'm here blogging today. Before I go, I should probably give my sleeping friend a blog name. She collects bugs in her spare time, kills them in her freezer, identifies them to family, and then pins them to a board. The result is an amazing and beautiful display of her mad entomology skills. Therefore, it seems only appropriate that she should be named Gracilliariidae after the family of leaf-blotch miner moths found in North Dakota. Since it took me 84 attempts to get that spelled correctly, we will just call her Graci for short. Graci gives great hugs and makes me laugh...lots. A shoulder to rest my head on, and a friend to bring out my snorting giggle--she truly lightens my load. Despite the bug holocaust happening in her freezer, Graci is a beautiful soul.

Finally, my people, although I haven't been commenting on all of your blogs as much as I'd like, I have been reading. You have all been a great reprieve from the rest of my hectic life. Thank you, friends.

I'm off now to study...

Friday, August 10, 2007

The way I really felt about it

I worked 9 am to 9 pm in the ER the other day, and the day went pretty fast. Until about 7:30 pm. I got a whole two and a half hours of sleep the night before, and the last ninety minutes of this shift felt like ninety years--the way it can when you spot the light at the end of the tunnel and can't wait to get there. I ended the night with a handful of patients, one of them a 19 year old girl. She was in the ER because she hadn't been able to keep any food down in days. She had a lot of other health problems and had met her share of medical students. Like most patients who spend a lot of time in the hospital, she had learned that the medical students generally know less than she does about how it all works. So, she didn't have very high expectations once she spotted my short white coat.

We laughed and joked a bit as I took her history and did a quick physical, though. She seemed to appreciate all the little things--the things I was taught to do by the nurses I worked with in college. When I got done feeling the pulses in her feet, I wrapped them in the blanket and gave her toes a little squeeze. She looked at me with such gratitude in her eyes. Like most people who are sick, she just wanted me to look past her parts and her pathology and see her. And, that look on her face reminded me that as much as I am interested in the biology of her parts and in her pathology, I went into medicine for the chance to see her.

I checked on her several more times between 7:30 and 9, updating her and her mom on her lab results and reassuring her that this looked like it was just a nasty flu bug that knocked her on her butt. At 9 pm, as I got ready to leave, I gave report to the next medical student on duty. I told him, "She's dehydrated. Make sure the attending stays on top of her nausea. She's going to need more Zofran than what we've given her." With that, I retrieved my backpack, and, as I walked past her room, I gave her foot one last squeeze.

Her mom said, "Uh, T, we hate to keep you, but she was wondering if (insert unnamed problem here) could be causing these symptoms. She didn't want to say anything because she was embarrassed, but she said that maybe we could tell you."

"And I'm glad you did," I said. "Yeah, that could be making you sick. I'll find a more private room and we'll check it out." Checking it out meant doing a pelvic exam. No one is supposed to be excited about staying late to do a pelvic exam. Excited may not really be the word I'd use to describe how I felt about it either. But, to connect with someone, to earn her trust, to be the person she lets take care of her...I would stay late for that any night.

After the exam, she and I had a little chat about what it means to take care of yourself in a relationship. She got my little "You have to use a condom. Every time. And you can't have sex with anyone who isn't great to you" talk. I gave her foot a little squeeze, and I headed home. I should say, I floated home. I floated partly because I was too tired to feel my feet touching the ground, and partly because I was in peaceful bliss--remembering why I chose this long, sleepless career path.

Remembering it's all worth it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Happy Birthday...

to you!

How many spanks, Dive?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Such perfect sentiment

Lots of music with my studying tonight.

If I Should Fall Behind

I'll wait for you
And should I fall behind

Wait for me be someone worth waiting for, and to have another.

I would never gawk
At the grace of your hands
As they push your point across
Or kiss your neck mid-conversation
I would never be so obvious

No, but my heart might

~ Wendy Bucklew

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Hating the ER

A person comes in with a set of symptoms on Wednesday. I present the patient to the attending physician. I'm told to order these tests, prescribe these meds. A person comes in with the same symptoms on Thursday. I present the patient to a different attending physician. He asks what I want to do next. I say, "Order these tests, prescribe these meds."

He says, "Why the hell would you do that? Does that make any sense to you?"

I want to say, "None of this makes any fucking sense to me. It would make sense to me if the group of physicians working in this ER got together and decided how the hell they were going to treat these patients. Perhaps, they could even peruse some research. It would be almost like they were practicing evidence-based medicine, rather than just pulling treatment plans out of their asses."

But, instead, I say, "I'm sorry sir. How would you like me to treat this patient?"

The ER doesn't have a staff bathroom. When I asked about it, I was told they use the bathroom back by the gynecology patient rooms. I'm not using that bathroom. When someone asked me why I would bother to walk all the way out of the ER to pee, I picked up a stack of culture results. I said, "See this? This is a pile of paperwork from the lab detailing exactly what the patients who use that bathroom have growing in their crotches. The lab knows this because I just spent the last three hours doing pelvic exams on these women so I could send them a bevy of malodorous samples. Having visited those crotches and having read these results, I will not be using the same bathroom they do. I realize that we all share the same public bathrooms elsewhere. I realize that the people who use the staff bathroom may be growing all the same funk. I don't care. I'm not peeing in there. Not tonight."

Oh, and last night, Capt. Kidney Stone threw up. On my arm. The flowers are for the young man from environmental services who cleaned it all off the floor and walls.

I hope he's the kind of guy who appreciates getting flowers from a lady.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Did you know that Murphy Brown is on Nick@Nite at 5 am?
I always wondered what happened to that show.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A rash

3am in the ER~

"What brings you in this morning?"

"I have a rash."

"Okay, can you show me where?"

"It's everywhere," she says, pointing to her arms and legs.
I'm looking. I'm not seeing it.

"Okay, well I'm having a hard time seeing a rash here."

"Well you can't see it! It's under the skin."

"Oh. If you can't see it, how did you know it was there?"

"I woke up with this...feeling."

"What does it feel like?"

"A rash."

Eighty-five questions later and I still had nothing. I found the psych resident, handed him the chart, and said, "I've got a patient for you. She's got a rash...on the inside. Good luck."

The next four patients I saw had different complaints--chest pain, nausea, ear ache, hit on the head with a box. And all four of them just happened to have rashes. By 4am, the woman complaining of a rash was the only patient in the ER without a visible skin disorder.