One reason why I chose to go into general surgery is because my patients are asleep.  See, I really don’t like to inflict pain.  So I prefer that my patients are asleep while I do things to them.  This is in contrast to performing procedures in the ER or in the clinic, when the patients are awake.

It’s horrifying.

Anyways, we needed to change a line out of one of our patients today.  She had this big honkin’ huge-ass line in her internal jugular vein, and they don’t let you have those on the floor because if something bad happened, nobody would notice that Mr. or Mrs. So-and-so is in his or her room bleeding to death.  And after we got the new line in, I got to stitch it back in.  I’ll be straight- I didn’t do a great job.  I get all scaredy and timid when my patients are awake, because- see above.  I’m horrified.  Scared.

We took the drapes down, and our patient was crying.  In a way, I knew it wasn’t all because of the pain, because we were finished hurting her.  I could see on her face the frustration she felt about just… being in the hospital, after a huge operation, in pain and not wanting to ambulate when we were pushing her to get out of bed.  Sort of a hopelessness and a “poor me when is this going to end” sort of thing.  I’m not pretending I know how it feels to have a huge procedure in which all of your bowels are rearranged, but for some reason, I saw that feeling on her face when the drapes came down.  God, I hate it when my patients are conscious.

Anyways, I heard that later that day she was doing really well.  I hope she leaves here without having any complications.  Looked, I just jinxed it.  But every patient with a major operation on this service has had some sort of complication.  And we keep getting people coming back in with complications.  It’s depressing.  And since it’s a new service for me and we’re covering a bajillion attendings, I’ve been on edge all week trying to get off to a good start with everybody.

Like how I should be reading NCCN guidelines for melanoma right now.

Yep, right now.

Like now.  Yes. Yes.

A

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I am trying my bestest not to let this blog lapse into disrepair while I struggle to become a surgeon.  So far so good?  Unfortunately, most of what I have to talk about involves work, which is not fun at all for most people.  (Maybe for one.  You know who you are…)

So here’s something new!  Yesterday, Husband and I tried our hands (legs?) at road biking.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I start disliking doing new things- mostly out of fear: fear that I’ll hurt myself, and possibly worse, fear of embarrassing myself.  There’s something a little undignified but adventurous and carefree about trying new things, and as the “investments” that I’ve put in myself keep piling up, I’ve found myself shying away from indignity and staying the safe known route.

And so I’m getting old.

So Husband’s been on me to try some sort of biking since we’ve moved to Utah.  People here seem to have a “winter sport” as well as a “summer sport.”  I really only have a winter sport- downhill skiing and snowboarding.  So following a few weeks (at least) of cajoling and bargaining, Husband got me out in Park City to try out road biking.  Let me tell you, as I struggled to just get ON the bike, I kept thinking, “Oh God, what have I gotten myself into….?”

But biked we did!  And it was fun!  Road biking is SO much better than mountain biking. (Although some may argue with this, that is my final opinion on the matter.)  Hills are intimidating, but at least you don’t feel like you’re fighting gravity times two (or four, or ten) in order to get up a hill.  On a road bike, I think I could possibly even get to work!

So, that was my big adventure for the weekend.  Now I return to night float again at the Pediatric Hospital- and maybe this time I’ll get some learning in.

A

A real quickie because for once I actually have my computer out…

I got complimented on my knot-tying skills today.  And apologized to because I wasn’t allowed to do anything in the OR.

We (finally) got our professional wedding photos back!  I haven’t even finished going through them all.  That’s because there are like… 800+ of them and I’m trying to update my iPhone at the same time and browse and read Sabiston’s so I don’t look like a complete idiot during didactics tomorrow.  The med students know more than I do.  And that’s no lie.  When the pimping starts, I pray to God that the med students know the answer so the pimping doesn’t get to me.  So far… pretty good.

I counted. I’ve logged 40+ cases so far.  Not even a month in.  Thank you, Utah.

I am going to miss operating on skinny little people.  Everything is so much cuter.  Tiny gallbladders, tiny livers, teeny squiggly bowel…

I think tiny gallbladders are my favorite.  Followed by tiny liver edges.

And before I melt into delirium, I’m going to finish reading and go to bed.

G’nite!

A

Look!  I’m alive!

And thankfully, so far all my patients have stayed that way as well.

Right now, I’m in the pediatric surgery resident workroom taking night float call.  Starting on pediatric surgery is probably the best thing that could have happened to me.  Of course, it helps that my mentor is hellbent on teaching me (so far, he is the only surgeon who asks me to dictate our cases, which is a great way to remember exactly how to do an operation- and forces you to remain concentrated on every detail during the case) and that everybody here at Pediatric Hospital is super nice.

Operating on children is pretty great too.  They’re easy to move from the gurney to the operating tables, they (usually) have very little fat, and their tissues are great.  Of course, when I have extra time on rounds, I also get to exclaim over how cute all the babies are.  Yes, they are cute; no, I don’t want one… right now. (Name that TV show)

However, despite all of the operating that I’ve been able to do, I think the best part about starting internship is that now I  know that I made the right choice when I chose this specialty.  Lame and cheesy, I know, but I was definitely scared at the end of 4th year that I had made the wrong decision.  In the words of GOB, “I have made a huge mistake.”

At the same time, I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified, had such low self-esteem (transiently- once in a while I feel semi-competent at my job), or felt so plain out dumb.  All were expected, I suppose!  Now let’s see how I feel in a few more months.

A

The first week we were in our new place, I spent a good two solid days in the kitchen.  One whole day lining all of the damn cabinets, another day emptying our boxes into said cabinets, followed by cooking meals for the two of us in our marginally un-chaos-ified kitchen.

I sat down on the couch with Husband at the end of those two days, and stared out of the window while we ate dinner.  The couch had been sitting for a week exactly where the movers had left it as we slowly removed boxes from around it. Fortunately, they had left the couch in the middle of the living room facing the window instead of the wall.

“This is so stereotypical,” I complained.  “I’ve spent two whole days in the kitchen.  What a blow to the modern woman.”

“What?!  I’ve spent two whole days putting in sinks, drilling holes into the walls to build our closet, putting up curtain rods, putting in new bathroom fixtures- HOW STEREOTYPICAL!”

Yeah, I most definitely prefer my own gender role to his.  I’m real happy I married a man who knows how to do things around the house– and I’m sure he’s happy he married a woman who knows how to cook.  Screw the modern woman.  We’re happy in here.

A

At our new condo complex, our door opens up onto a common hallway.  We began running into new neighbors immediately, as people began hearing the whole ruckus associated with moving in the hallway.  (That and moving inherently involves entering and exiting your unit constantly, increasing the probability that you’ll run into somebody else sooner or later.)

I grew up never really knowing who my neighbors were.  In our “old house”- what we now call the house that my sister and I grew up in, our neighbors for a while were two senior women living alone and an older couple across the street.  When I was in high school, a family moved across the street whose son also attended my private high school.  We stomped in different crowds however, he the popular jockish crowd and I the Asian and nerdy crowd, and I never really got to know him well.  They didn’t even realize that we had moved until the moving van for the family moving in arrived.

Then in college, I got to know my neighbors my freshman year, as all freshmen do, but afterwards, had my own group of friends and rarely bothered to associate with the people who lived near me.  In medical school, I lived in apartments, but never met any of the people who lived next to me.  Once I borrowed an egg (well, more like took) from my neighbor across the hall, but that was the one and only time I ever interacted with him.

So, it’s super weird for me, moving to a new place and all of a sudden knowing who my neighbors are.  Is this normal for most people?  Across the hall is a 2nd year anesthesia resident named T, down a ways is a family with 20 month old twins, on our left is a family with a 2 year old, and on the right is an older lady who can get particular about people following the rules.  One of our neighbors helped us move a desk in from the car, and we had movie night tonight next door.

The two of the families that we joined for movie night- we’re pretty sure they’re LDS.  In Utah, nobody says “Mormon.”  Maybe the term is passe.  Or really, I think that LDS just has fewer bad connotations for somebody unfamiliar with the term.  They’re super nice and normal and all- great people, really, but I sort of wish we had neighbors with whom we could break open a bottle of wine or a 6-pack of beer and swear around and not be afraid of offending.  Somebody with no kids might be nice too.  Maybe we just haven’t met them yet.

On a completely different note, apparently all these thunderstorms are weird for Salt Lake City.  And tonight, toward the end of Anger Management, it started hailing like nobody’s business.  I felt a little bit better that I wasn’t the only one surprised and ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the weather.

A

In elementary school, when we learned about how light and sound travel at different speeds, the example of lightning followed by thunder always was brought up.  You could count after the lightning: “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand”- and whatever number you were on when you heard the thunder, that’s how many miles away you were from that lightning strike.

Unfortunately, growing up in California, I never got to use this trick very often.  We saw lightning maybe once every three to four years, sometimes even less frequently.

I’m sitting in bed again, and this time the mattress is off the floor inside a cheap-o IKEA frame.  It’s been a week since we’ve left San Diego.  Right now, it’s pouring rain and there’s lightning and thunder outside.  When I started this post, I only got to “one one-thou–” before I heard the thunder.

Man, this place is a little different.

A

Right now, Husband and I are sitting in bed, which right now is a mattress on the floor.  We have no headboard, so our pillows are propped up against the wall and both of us are quite uncomfortably slumped in bed with our laptops on our laps.  Power cords are going off to either side and we are surrounded by boxes.  Ah, moving.

This has been a period of rapid home improvement as well- we’ve taken so many trips to Home Depot it’s ridiculous. And then, we took a monster trip to Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday because there was a registry completion event and we were able to get everything 20% off!  Score!  We’ve been (or maybe I should say, Husband has been) replacing sinks, replacing towel racks and toilet paper holders… and plans are to also replace light fixtures, curtain rods, and curtains.  Tomorrow we’re going to paint the closet (in which Husband has already ripped out the old shelf and closet rod) and then install a new closet unit.  And I spent all of today unpacking our kitchen.  It’s sort of ridiculous in there.  I think I’m going to need another cabinet solely for my baking stuff.  Yeah.  It’s bad, man.  And to place at least some blame on Husband, there is an awful lot of drinking paraphernalia.  There are at least 4 sake sets, a whole load of shot glasses, and then some martini glasses, old-fashioneds… but then to be fair, my baking stuff takes up a lot more space.

Anyways, so I waver between being excited for our new projects, but at the same time I feel like we’re spending all this money for purely aesthetic purposes and I just feel like such a wasteful consumer.  At least we both know that we’ll be here to enjoy our home for six years. (Or not home, and in the hospital.)

Okay, quick post over!

A

Right now, I’m updating from Cedar City, Utah.  Yesterday, Lee and I (well, we paid the movers to) emptied his condo of all of our boxes and his (our?) furniture.  We steam cleaned the carpet and then left the place completely empty.  We did a walk through last night and it was so strange to see this place where I had lived- and where Lee had lived for even longer- completely emptied out.  Moving is always a bittersweet thing.

We spent last night on our friend’s futon because the carpets were still wet from the steam cleaning in Lee’s place. All of our things were somewhere inbetween San Diego, Los Angeles, and here.  We spent all day driving today, leaving San Diego, where it was overcast from the June gloom, through the Mojave, where I stumbled out of the car to refill the tank to be greeted by an oppressive wall of California desert heat.  We passed into Nevada, where I was very very tempted to stop at the border outlets, then the Virgin River pass where we passed through the corner of Arizona.

We ascended into Utah, elevation 3000, then elevation 5000.  My gas light went on as we pulled into Cedar City and when I stumbled out of the 4Runner again, it was balmy- the border between warm and cool when you’re comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans but aren’t quite sure if you should be feeling warm.

Utah. Hello, new home.

A

I would just like to announce that I gave Husband’s computer a virus today.

So, as a fair warning to all internet users, please refrain from doing the following:

  1. Browsing the internet unprotected.  It’s just as dumb as having unprotected sex- great while it’s in the moment but in a few minutes, you realize that it was a bad, bad idea.
  2. Attempt to stream the original 2001 Korean version of My Sassy Girl from the internet.  It’s not worth the $5 and 10 minutes you are saving by not going to Blockbuster.  Instead, it will cost you 2 hours of your husband’s time while he tries to fix the computer, a great deal of embarrassment, and your husband swearing that he never wants to watch the original My Sassy Girl with you.  Plus, in my case, it will cost me a new computer because getting a virus is great justification to perform a complete reformat, sell the old computer, and buy a new one.

However, as of now, Husband has successfully fixed the computer, has not actually done the complete reformat, and has not actually bought a new computer yet (although I saw him looking!)… but the old computer is already on craigslist awaiting a new owner to call.

Anyways, moral of the story: please browse the internet using updated protection and refrain from questionable browsing behaviors.  You know, like trying to watch the 2001 version of My Sassy Girl.  Sad.

A

Currently

located in:
Salt Lake City, Utah

reading:
Score curriculum. Woohoo!

planning to cook:
In order to survive.

thinking about riding:
Once the Bird opens.

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