Thursday, September 27, 2007

She's skipping Grey's Anatomy tonight

Right now, as I type this, Graci is assisting an Ob/Gyn in the c-section delivery of twins. We bitch and moan about much studying and little sleep. But, occasionally, we get to pull living human beings out of people. Two at a time.

All I'm saying is...there are worse jobs.

Update: Phone report from Graci...It was sweeeet (and kind of juicy)!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

There's a reason we don't hang out

Amber - Oh T, your hair is so cute! It looks like it takes a really long time to do. I know you don't spend much time on your looks, though, so it must be real easy.

Terroni - Amber, do me a favor--next time, stop after 'cute'.

What's that you say?

My neck feels a little better--less shooting pain, more rotating my head as it should.

In other news, pediatric psychiatry is going okay. Right now, I'm a little confused. English is not the first language of any of the residents or fellows. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that they like to talk Arabic. So, sometimes I'm confused because I don't know much psychiatry; and sometimes I'm confused because I don't know much Arabic.

I did have a lovely chat with a patient this afternoon, though. It's amazing how much people will tell you when you just let them talk.
Best part? She spoke English the entire time. I can do English.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A pain in the neck

Last night found me drinking white wine, listening to music, and laughing with a friend. I didn't want that weekend to end. My body, apparently, felt much the same. I had orientation to the psychiatry rotation today, and the longer I sat, the less I could move my neck. I'm not sure what the hell I did to it. By the time the day ended, I had shooting pains and had to turn my entire body to see anything that wasn't directly in front of me. A little nap, a hot shower, some ice, some Advil, some stretching, and now a heating pad (I'm trying it all)...and I'm feeling a little better.

door bell rings

And, Graci just showed up with medicine in the form of Icy Hot and Oreos! Damn, she's going to be a good doctor. I'm off to self-medicate...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Come on sucker, lick my battery

The Humans Are Dead, but at least there's no more unethical treatment of elephants. Plus, who doesn't love a good binary solo? Seriously...I challenge you to find someone.

What's next

A few have asked, "So...what's next?" Psychiatry is next. It is known for being easy, mostly because there is no weekend rounding and no call. They call it Psychation.

I'm a bit nervous about it, though, because I hate what I've seen of psychiatric medicine. I was in the psych ICU last week for a surgery consult. It was sort of dark, nothing on the walls, beds bolted to the middle of the floor. I led support groups in a women's prison last summer, and I would rather spend the night there than I would sleep in this psych ward.

When I was an aide in college, I used to occasionally have to work in that hospital's psych unit, and it was much the same. One night, I was a sitter for a young woman who made a half-hearted attempt at suicide. I was assigned to sit in her room and make sure she didn't try to hurt herself until a bed in the secured psych unit became available. When that bed did open up and I walked her to her new room, she looked at me in terror and said, "You can't leave me in here." The rest of the unit was full of men--crazy men--who wasted no time coming to check her out. It was a nightmare. Co-ed psych units--who the fuck thought that was a good idea?

So, inpatient psych scares the shit out of me because I can't help but think, What are we doing to these people?

I will be in a child and adolescent unit for three weeks and then at a separate psych hospital for three weeks. I'm going to try to keep an open mind and hope that the environment is a bit more therapeutic than what I've seen so far. I saw a few patients with a psych resident in the ER last month, and I really liked him. He had some great tips for how to best get a history from the mentally ill. He also reassured me that he, too, is uneasy about some of what passes for psychiatric medicine around here. I hope to meet many more like him.

On the bright side...I should have more time to blog.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Brain mush

Surgery is over! We took a huge, hard exam today to cap off this three month rotation. I originally planned to come home to clean and write, but my brain is mush. Also, for the first time since before I started this blog, Ex has reared his ugly head. This morning, he called a friend of mine. He hasn't done that--made contact with anyone like that--since last summer. No real harm done. He just said a bunch of extremely creepy shit. But, it's been on my mind. I'm watching my back again and feeling, in a very small way, like my life is not entirely my own.

I'm going to go take care of that feeling with ice cream sandwiches and a bit of beer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A scrumptious crumpet--a scrumpet

My resident today... "I hate the British. They're so uppity with their tea and scrumpets. I mean, what the hell is a scrumpet?"

Good question.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rock me on the water

I saw him for the first time when I was 12. He was sitting at the piano on one of those "unplugged" acoustic music shows on cable. He sang, Oh people look around you. The signs are everywhere... and that was it. I told my mom, "I want him to rock me on the water." She laughed. The other girls my age were in love with Boyz II Men. I was in love with Jackson Browne.

I was babysitting one night, and, after I got the kids to bed, I started rummaging through their parents' albums. They came home to find me lying on the couch, drinking tea and listening to his self-titled 1972 album. They said something about me being the oldest 12 year old they'd ever met.

Tonight, this old 12 year old is drinking coffee and studying with The Pretender.

I'm gonna find myself a girl who can show me what laughter means. And we'll fill in the missing colors in each other's paint-by-number dreams.

Ahh...and she's still in love with him.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Thinking about love

Not wishing, or waiting, or searching for it. Just thinking about it. Because I have this friend who's never quite found it--at least not in a healthy, life-affirming way--and she swears that it doesn't really exist.

And I will not be that person. I will not deny the existence of the amazingly beautiful just because it isn't happening to me.

And because it brings me great peace to recognize it, to appreciate it, to honor it...even if from afar. It feels, to me, like I am enjoying living art.

Reading Maria, We should all be so lucky to be 88 and still have someone want to pinch our asses...
Listening to Ben, and Patti.
Smiling as my dad tells my mom, You know I would marry you all over again, and I'm not even sure why...and then they laugh and kiss.

I do not believe in the fairy tale I thought I was walking into when I strolled down that petal-strewn aisle. But, I do believe in love. And I love that I am surrounded by it...amazingly beautiful, living art.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I'm divorced! Let me say that again just because it sounds so damn good...I'm divorced!

It only took an hour. There was a moment there...they asked Ex if he agreed that this marriage was irreparable and he hesitated. Longest 2.5 seconds of my life. He finally said, "Uh, yeah."

Yeah is right.

I did get a small cramp in my facial muscles from trying not to grin like an idiot. I should go back to work, but I've been excused for the day and I'm going to take it. I have a ton of studying to do. I'm also looking at my apartment in the light of day for the first time in about two weeks, and it looks a little scary. So...I'm off to hit the books and the bleach. Graci worked all night, but we're going to celebrate a little later. She's resting up so she can buy me a drink.

This weekend, I have some thank you notes to write. This divorce is a victory I share with all the people who have loved me through it. That includes many of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Really I do

I want to blog. Really I do. But, I am so fucking tired. Sick and tired of this rotation. I have an oral exam on Friday that I'm sort of very worried about. So, in every spare moment I feel like I should be studying for that. But, in every spare moment all I really want to do is sleep.

And tomorrow? Well, tomorrow I'm back in court all day for Divorce...take 962. Or does it just feel like that?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The TV redeems itself for women everywhere

I'm watching the women's finals of the US Open.
I almost threw my TV over the balcony when I caught a glimpse of Miss Teen USA last week.
These strong, sweaty women with more mad skill than makeup make me glad I kept the damn thing.

There's a guy in the front row wearing a suit, though.
On a Saturday night.
At a sporting event.

Buy a fucking t-shirt, dude.




Someone said, "Maybe you should see a doctor."
I said, "I hate doctors."

Friday, September 7, 2007


So...I haven't been writing much because I've been in the OR. I'm now two weeks into my general surgery month. I am studying for an oral exam--fifty minutes of grilling on any of the 140 cases I've seen so far--and a written test. I'm also reading each night for the next day's surgeries, so that when they hold up some bodily structure and say, "What is this and what does it do?" I can be more specific than, "Uh...nerve?"

So...I haven't been writing much because I've been very tired. And surgery? Well, my job in the OR has mostly consisted of running the camera for laproscopic procedures. I have the eye-hand coordination of Helen Keller, so I'm a real natural. But, as long as I remember that down is up and left is right, it all goes okay. At one point today, the surgeon said, "Clean off the end of that camera--just stroke it on the liver." I can say I stroked it on the liver.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


In my last post, I said that other than church, my weekend was, and I quote--uneventful. That got me into a bit of trouble. While Graci is apparently too good a friend to listen to a word I say, she is still reading my blog. She read that and said, "Uneventful? What do you mean uneventful?"

Graci and I didn't know each other as kids, but, as it turns out, we grew up ten minutes apart from each other. Last weekend, we both had a few days off and decided that we would satisfy some nagging parents by carpooling home. On Sunday evening, I met her fam. They have a lovely home on ten acres and were gracious enough to have a little bonfire (complete with s'mores!).

As we were sitting around the fire, Graci's mom said, "It's awfully bright out here. The moon must be out."

Her dad said, "Naw, that's just the light from the city."

Her mom disagreed. And then, so as to prove her point, she stood up and started looking for the moon. "It's got to be around here somewhere," she said, as though she was searching for her keys. It was hysterical.

I will now think of her every time I run across a large planetary object.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The family that prays together

I went home to see the family this weekend. My dad was preaching in church (as opposed to the preaching he does at home, which is mainly a 20 minute diatribe about the importance of unplugging the iron after each use). He hasn't preached in church in several years. All the pastors and several of the more verbose elders were out of town, so the Internal Revenue Service Officer/part-time volunteer church co-treasurer was up to bat. Imagine the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development becoming President after the 12 guys in front of him get shot--it was kind of like that. Anyway, my dad did a fabulous job. He is a great public speaker--charming, funny, loosely follows an outline.

My brother, son of a preacher man, did not do so well. He was asked to serve communion (again, because everyone else was either out of town or had been shot). We are now calling it The Last Supper for a reason--he screwed it up so badly all future remembrances have been canceled. At some point, he was holding eight plates and stacking those he couldn't carry in the pews. No one in the last four rows got the Welch's Grape blood of Christ--it just never quite made it back there. It wasn't really all his fault. The other server guys kept throwing plates in his general direction. He's almost seven feet tall, though. So, standing there with bread plates stacked up both arms like a waiter, he looked like the Jolly Green Giant of communion debacles.

And the rest of the weekend...well, it was sort of uneventful compared to church.