Friday, September 30, 2005

study break picture catch-up

Katie, a good friend of mine from college, sent her post (see below) in two parts. I'll finish editing the second part and get it up later this afternoon.

The "leave me a medical fact and maybe I'll send you some yarn" thing is still going on. Feel free to go back a post or two for the details; the winners will be picked after midnight tonight.

this is what one skien of Trekking XXL can knit up to be; three finished socks and a small bit leftover. I forgot how much knitting I can get done when I'm studying.

seeing as how two people have four feet, and three socks won't cut it as a wedding gift, I spent one study break yesterday at the yarn store picking up another ball. The blue ball is knit picks sock yarn, and it's for toes of one pair. (I thought it'd be kind to make them indentifiable somehow...)

yarn from the Common Ground Fair; this is Hope Spinnery yarn "ends." They're going to (someday) grow up to be a fair-isled hat.

speaking of the Common Ground Fair... This sign was posted wherever livestock was.

There were three rabbits that I'd have brought home for me if I were in a different school/work/living situation. Rabbit #1 here was cute as a button, and not afraid to show it.

Prospect #2 actually put her paws in the water dish to get a closer look at me, and topped the list of possibilities...

#3 had the "one ear up, one ear down" look perfected. I love that look. When I'm in a different spot in my life I'll have a rabbit or two (and a cat or two) and now I know that the fair is a reliable place to get the rabbit.

Scenes from the sheepdog ring; the dogs (out of the picture here) put the goats in the pen, and then put the ducks in the pen. The ducks had other plans though, and after they were "penned" slipped out through the fence. Hilarious doesn't even begin to describe it.

and so the dogs tried (again) to pen the ducks.

as a challenge they brought kids into the ring to see how well they could "herd" the animals. The dogs, er, did a bit better, but it was as much (or more?) fun to watch the kids try.

the prize winning, organically grown vegetables took my breath away. I've got a learn before I'll be able to enter any of my wares at this fair.

tomatoes I'd never heard of before looked like scientific specimens on their paper plates.

Zucchinis the length of my arm.

and more types of galic then I'd ever seen in one place before.

a hand knit branching out scarf made with handspun yarn won a blue ribbon!

my favorite sheep of the trip (I have many more sheep pictures but am running out of "studybreak" time)

time to head back to my daytime study spot. I'm coloring yarn this weekend and will be sure to capture the mistakes, er, products on "film."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

a guest blogger steps in....

note from Kristen: thank you for all of the "facts!" I've learned a few things and have had a good time reading everything. There's still time - leave me a fact and I might send you some yarn...

my pictures of rabbits and blue-ribbon hand knit scarves from the fair are in the works. Until they are posted, here's something from my friend Katie. I've done my best to influence her and though it's been a slow, but steady process, I think we're getting somewhere.(now that she's used numerous needle sizes my plan of converting her to all natural fibers can commence...) Enjoy!


Insert cleaver title hereby Katie,Guest blogger & Field Correspondent

For those of you waiting for a new knitting post from Kristen, I regret to inform that you are out of luck today. However, I am delighted to stand in her place while she studies for her boards. I do not have a blog of my own, and a while ago I promised a guest appearance...(since you all have seen the cow atop the computer in my lab (see Monday May 2 post) and the stash - o - yarn we picked up at the Periwinkle sheep (See August "what I did on vacation" post)) and the "How to become an "official knitter"(see August 28 post)."

My mom is a knitter and tried to teach me when I was eight, but I didn't have the patience for dropping and adding stitches and figuring out what was wrong and ripping out and the like. So I didn't get much past half of a yellow baby bonnet for a cousin, who must be 18 by now. I went home last Thanksgiving to my mother feverishly knitting up a storm in anticipation of the arrival of her first grandson, Mathias, my nephew.

(show here in a made-with-love-from-Nana sweater and blanket set)

And there it was that I caught the bug. I borrowed some needles and bought some yarn and went to work. I think I knit 3 scarves (novelty yarn, size 13 needles), and then I started a "blanket" for Ty in December (knitting ( I know, I went ghetto with cheap Simply Soft yarn from a *mart store...forgive me!) a bunch of green and blue sampler squares and putting together, but I graduated to a size 8 needle!). It was progress. It was ambitious. I got about four squares done and put it happened, and I did not pick it up again until August.

There I was, headed to Albany to spend a week with my dear Kristen. I knew I should bring my knitting in hopes that Kristen's passion for the knit might rub off. But I had no idea about the yarn store trips we'd make...suddenly I fell to the mercy of the fun scarf yarns. The yarn started speaking to me. Visions of Christmas presents danced in my head. Kristen was of no help to keep me away, but I will admit that she didn't pressure the purchases, they just came to me of my own will. Suddenly I wanted knit. And knit I did. I bought a few more sizes of needles, and learned the drop-stitch from my mom to make more lacey scarves and patterns (see middle bluish/purple and red scarves below). And bear with me, I'm working on the blocking bit...

(an ensemble of scarves for Christmas)

Then I ventured for the size 35 needles with the blue yarn - those are fun! (and I really like how they look at the end.)

the blue scarf, made with (gasp) size 35 needles. (ignore the half dressed man in the background...) To be continued....?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Just the facts, people, I'll trade them for yarn.

Thank you for the good thoughts, virtual brownies and cheering on; the funk has almost passed and now I’m close to being back in the swing of things. I’m still not happy about my current situation but tomorrow morning when my classmates are all up and out of here by 6:30am I will simply remember that studying all day and night can start at 9am, and the happiness will commence.

This arrived today - do you know what it is?

I call it "Influence du Claudia."

I’ve done what many have suggested and planned ahead for some study “breaks.” I had such a good time at Julia’s dye day this summer that I thought I’d give dying things (sans koolaide) another go. The problem? The knitpicks yarn that I ordered last week still isn’t here (whereas the prochem dyes I ordered the day before last just arrived). Time for me to scope out the local thrift shops and see if I can find an old (but still working) crockpot, and then I need to have someone “borrow” a few exam gloves for me. I think this will be an excellent weekend “midstudytime” break. (I’m still not exactly sure how this all works, but there was a sheet of directions included in the box of dyes and in the end it’s all about the process, not so much the end product. (because as we all know that can be overdyed again if needed.))

Contests are big in the knitting blog world. I’ve been known to come out of lurkdom to leave a guess, an estimate, a name or a phrase. As I read through my review books I’ve come to realize that they are simply lots of facts, all smooshed together in highlightable bold print bound in book form. I can only read one book for so long before it all starts to look the same, then I have to pick up another book for a few hours. Reading facts is interesting, but it’d be much more fun if I were reading them from people I “know.”

So here’s the deal. I went through my stash and came up with a few different yarns. If you leave me a factual medical comment then I’ll put your name into a drawing for the yarn. The fact can be anything related to medicine – it can be a definition of a medical term, a statistic or behavioral health piece, symptoms of a disease, how a prescription drug works or any other bit of information regarding biochemistry, physiology, etc. I ask that they please be from reputable sources and warn you that if it doesn’t make sense to you it will probably make sense to me. Did someone in your family come down with something last year? Do your kids take a medicine that you don’t fully understand? Now is the time to read up on it, and let me know what you find out.

The “prizes” (truthfully I think I’m the one who wins in this) are: two skeins of Noro Keyuron, a skein of cascade 220 quatro and two skeins of sock yarn. Three names will be picked sometime on Saturday, and winners will be announced in the “happiness is” post on Sunday. There’s no deadline for leaving a fact, but I’ll only consider names left before Friday a midnight, EST. Leave as many facts as you like, but for simplicity each person gets one entry. (I know that comments are tricky with blogger – if it gives you the option to put an email address or blog link please do that! I’ve had trouble trying to return comments with dead links!)

Now it’s back to the books.(my next study break will be to share pictures from the weekend; no promises on what that’ll appear.) Happy fact-finding!

regia sock yarn, cascade 220 quatro and noro

(another picture, the colors are mostly true. It's hard to see but the sock yarn has blue, grey, black and white "specks.")

Sunday, September 25, 2005

happiness is...

- holding a newborn baby wrapped in a warm blanket
- sharing a bed with some cats
- a new Grey's Anatomy (I am single, looking for a George of my own)
- time spent at the fair
- yarn that I can't seem to stop buying

knitting: I'm still on sock 2 of 4, and hope to have two finished pairs by the end of this week. Then the stripey cardigan is up, and another cardigan with a pattern yet to be determined is up. (oh, and Christmas knitting, but that won't be discussed for fear that others will pick up on what they might see. Mom, this means you.)

it's been an interesting week. This was my last week on the medicine service and it went out with a bang. Thursday night I was on call and a quarter to midnight there was an emergency c-section that involved all hands on deck and my job as the med student was to watch, and hold everyone's pagers, answering them as needed.

Earlier that evening (when things were much calmer) I'd been up on the labor and delivery floor to check in on someone. While I was there a nurse brought a little one out to the nurses station so his mom could grab a nap. They saw me oogling and then suggested that it'd help them if I held him for a bit. All I had to do was glance at the senior resident and hear "go for it" before I scooped him up and settled in for a few minutes. There's nothing like a newborn baby, less then a day old. Nothing like how they mold into you, and squint when the lights are too bright and wimper a bit when the printer nearby comes on. I limited myself to a mere 10 minutes because otherwise I could have sat there all night. I hope that my obstetrics rotation will be set up here because I'd love a chance to spend a few more nights with the little ones.

One of the patients I took care of over a long period of time was a hospice patient. I enjoyed working with her, but my experience has left me pondering where the line between living and dying is. There is truth that they can be the same thing and it's not a static, but instead a fluid line. We are all going to die, and if we have any choice in the matter, what is important? Special treatment isn't that special when a person is dying, and I know I did things that may seem "out of the ordinary" because I wanted to make the patients day a little bit better. It's what I would want, and this experience will stay with me for a long time. I am no longer on the service, and probably will not hear what happens next with her. It will/might be worse not knowing then it would be hearing that she died peacefully.

I write here because it helps me remember what projects I was working on when and the little ins and outs of what could become a blurred memory of my medical education. I do my best to keep it positive, and the "happiness is" posts are my reflections on what I am grateful for.

But right now I feel like I'm spinning my wheels, and am cranky and am digging my heels into my current situation. My schedule was rearranged because I need to retake the boards in three weeks and so my blocks of rotations have been rearranged so I can study my tail off.

I haven't offically gotten all of my books out yet, but I can tell right now that I was happier in the hospital. The idea of spending all day/night with study guides and sample tests for the next two weeks is enough for me to consider crumpling into a ball of tears. It's as much midset as it is attitude and I need to make a change if the next half a month is going to be doable.

that, however, is easier said then done. My mind is racing and I'm easily distracted. This is going to be an exercise in how I can overcome myself. I don't have a choice about the time - these two weeks are all I get, and I'm going to need to work fast. I'm worried about what will happen if I don't get thorugh this time, but I'm not dwelling on it. I'm not competitive and choose to walk away from situations that leave me feeling like I have to "beat" something, even if it's just myself. Tomorrow is day 1, and I have a plan for what I'll cover and somehow this will work out the way I see it in my head. Really.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

here you go Sandy....

yesterday it was overcast...

today it was sunny.....

tonight it was beautiful.

My schedule is different this week and instead of being on call on Wednesday, I'm on call tomorrow, Thursday night. It means that my week (and rotation!) is over Friday at noon, and I'll start my weekend with an afternoon nap. Now I'm busy finishing up some of the paperwork I have to hand in and then it's off to bed for one last good night's sleep. I'm working on the second sock (of 4) and am fairly certain I won't get both sets done till next week. (that'll give me plenty of time to write a sappy poem comparing marriage of two people to a pair of socks....)

I'm on deck to dogsit this weekend, and have a standing order for taking care of another families cats. The ones I've been staying with this week are wonderful, gentle animals, and the house on the lake (as seen in the above pictures) has been a great place to reground myself. Even though I love what I'm doing, I have felt as though I'm coming unglued this past week - the combination of long days with little sleep and having to constantly be on my toes with a little pms thrown in is leaving me feeling worn out. I'm not as emotionally experienced as some of the docs I'm working with and it has been hard to "leave" the patients at the hospital. The time with cats and dogs is a nice distraction and keeps things in perspective.

these cats know me well and know when to give me "the ear."

the blob in the top left hand corner? that's my striped cardigan sweater. The tangle in the middle? that's a project for this weekend. The small, darkish green ball of yarn in the middle-ish? that's the elusive "Rue" color. (I've acquired another skein of each of the other colors and will start on the sleeves as soon as the tangle is resolved.) M, the white cat, is this houses quality control.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

happiness is....

- cat sitting for felines who know my patterns
- homemade apple pie baked with apples that taste like autumn
- my parents 28th year anniversary
- the beautiful back-tack package that I keep forgetting to mention
- a crazy upcoming week with an afternoon off for appointments, one for group building exercises and a post-call afternoon off.

(disclaimer: this is a jumble of randomness thrown together for my own sake of being able to keep track of things. I think I’ve lost a lot of readers because my medical education missives are sprinkled with some knitting progress instead of being the other way around. I’m sure this won’t last forever, but for now it’s one way for me to keep track of how the next year or so pass by.)

The sock I posted a picture of earlier is almost done - the only thing left to do is finish off the toe. I don’t mind sewing them up with the Kitchener stitch but it means I need to find my chibi and a good light to work with, and I’m not sure that’s going to happen tonight. I had planned on making 4 socks (or two pair) as a wedding gift. The couple that I’m cat sitting for will return later this week and I’m not sure I’ll have all four done by the time they return home. (it won’t stop me from knitting every moment I can this week though!)

I have dreams of starting a cable sweater with some of the cascade 220 from my stash but looking at cable designs has me a bit overwhelmed. I love the idea of a cable border on the bottom edge of a cardigan (much like some of the new sweater designs – one of them in the latest knitty) and may just start knitting that to keep myself busy. I’m not one to follow a pattern and I like making it up as I go – I don’t think I have anything to lose so long as I don’t cut anything!

I’ve only participated in two “swaps” and each time I’ve been royally spoiled. The first go round with SPiv and I had a wonderful pal who really figured out what I liked and knew how to surprise me. Her packages were always a bright moment in the long weeks and I was glad to figure out who she was so that I could follow along with her blog. The next swap I took part in was Back-Tack - a swap for a notions holder that was made from fabric another person picked out. (sounds confusing but it actually was fun to see how it worked out…) The pal I had was patient and checked in from time to time to let me know that the package was on its way. (towards the end of the swap I was traveling and my mail was held, and then forwarded because I moved and overall it got very confusing.) I’m pleased to say that my back-tack package did arrive in one beautiful piece and through a simple twist of irony my pal was the same person that had spoiled me in SPiv! Thank you (a very belated thank you) to Scarf’o’matic!

Rhinebeck: jury’s out on if I’ll make it there or not. In theory it’d be a welcome break from studying, a nice “end of craziness” get-away, but the truth is that I’m not sure when I’d get there, where I’d stay and if the price of gas will fit my pseudo-student budget. I’m not sure when I’ll know for sure, and chances are good that at the last minute I’ll throw a few things in the car and hit the road; but for now I just don’t know. Add to my decision making the notion that the Yarn Harlot will be back at Willows Bookstore the Tuesday after that weekend and my mind-making-up is even more confused. It’s a shorter drive, but I’d have to wiggle out late afternoon clinic hours (which shouldn’t be a problem). I can’t even see to the end of this next week but I’m trying to keep upcoming yarn/fiber goings-on on the middle burner!

My overall schedule is about to take a turn – this is the last week of my the first of two 6 week stints on the Internal Medicine service and next week begins a two week “break” so that I can spend many more hours each day studying for my boards. The week that includes Oct 11th and 12th is the week of the boards and Rhinebeck is the weekend after. (congrats if you’ve made it this far – at this point I’ve confused myself.)

What I learned this week:

I saw two drug overdoses this week and yet I still don’t feel as though I know how to address an overdose situation. Drugs, both Rx and illicit are tricky; some of it legal in most situations, most of it therapeutic in some situations and all of it deadly in the wrong situation.

It is possible to birth a baby vaginally and not tear. I’m still not sure *exactly* how it happens, but I know that it’s possible. (my goal is to have it figured out by the time I’m ready for kids… that delivery was a wonderful learning experience.)

A good black pen is hard to find, easy to misplace and impossible to keep track of during an emergency. Retractable is better then not, and a cap or other “clip” is essential for hanging off of nametags and just inside the edge of my pocket. I bought several of them today and am accepting guesses for when the last one will disappear into the abyss of the clinic never to be seen again…

(my wonderings about the language of medicine is a work in progress now; depending on how this week goes it might be up by the weekend….)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I suppose I have a harder time finishing things then I intially thought. The pink/purple socks were "done" in early August, the blue/purple socks were "finished" the day after I posted the "neverending" sock pictures and now I'm 3/4 of the way done with the first Trekking XXL sock. (The Trekking sock is 1 of 4; at some point I'll explain why.) Maybe later tonight I'll feel inspired and kitchner my heart out.

Right now I'm "post-call" which means I got three hours of sleep last night (it was more like a mid-early-morning nap) and I'm off to try and sleep for another few hours. I have to run to the yarn store and see if the other yarn I'm waiting for has arrived and then it's off to the bank (during business hours - imagine!) to take care of a few things. I'm glad tomorrow is Friday.

(I have a post on medical terms and how different it is to be on "this" side of the patient file forming in my head. Maria left an intersting comment about my word choice in the last post and I'm going to try and expound on it and hopefully clear up (or cause?) some confusion. Words and what they mean are important to me - they always have been - but now my understanding of what phrases mean is being challenged, and it's an interesting process for me to try and be objective about.) (another post on why I used precious minutes in the call room to check in on knitting blogs instead of sleeping last night may also show up. It's hard for me to fathom how much I miss reading about what is going on in the virtual world of knitters...)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

happiness is....

- a beautiful weekend with lots of sun and cool nights perfect for sleeping
- bargin yarn from my favorite yarn store
- having the student's house to myself this weekend
- tomato sandwiches with homegrown tomatoes
- a zebra "Noah's Ark" animal in the package of red rose tea I opened tonight
- witnessing my first delivery of a baby

It was a good, very busy, week. The number of patients has doubled, which makes for busy days with lots of teaching moments; I'm still not following patients of my own, but I'm getting there. I caught a few interesting things last week and earned points with people; I still feel insecure with what I know and what I still have to learn but I have figured out that my attention to detail is a good thing. Each night I have a long list of things to look up and review and though it's "studying" it certainly doesn't feel like it!

I am in a very unique situation because I'm back in my hometown. I know the doctors I am working with not only as doctors but also as members of the community. I'm comfortable with the area, the hospital, the volunteers who know me from a long time ago and so on, and it means that my outgoing-ness has increased to a level previously unseen by my classmates. We're all working with a great family practice residency program that I will apply to in another year or so; this year is going to give me a true picture of what it'd be like to stay here for another three years. I've alluded to how lucky I am financially before, but part of the strings attatched to my med school funding are that I'll stay in this state for at least part of my training and practice. Staying within this residency program will make it feel less like an obligation.

At this point I'm four weeks into my internal medicine rotation and have another two weeks to go; I intially thought I'd hate being in the hospital but now I'm finding that it's not so bad. (my intial thoughts were along the lines of people in hospitals are sick, hospitals smell and the like.) There is always something for me to do and there is a lot to see and learn from. The hospital is on the small side, but it works out fine for me because I'm working directly with attendings (doctors who are done with all of their training and are established in their field) and the cardiologists and pulmonologists I've worked with love to teach. It is wonderful to be in a place that, for the most part, loves having students around.

This past Wednesday was my night on call, and I think I got all of two hours of sleep! Because I've expressed interest in seeing some obstetrics they woke me up at 2am to check in on a mom in labor. The resident and I spent most of the morning following her and seeing how she progressed; she had a long, long pushing phase of labor but just before I left at noon a baby was born! They let me deliver the placenta and the whole experience left me feeling high on life. (though as soon as the adrenaline left my system I crashed like someone who'd been up for 36 hours with a two hour nap should crash). As much as I like being on call (it's neat to see the change in the emergency department after the sun goes down) it's hard to keep up the next day. (it should be noted that as someone on the IM service I shouldn't have been up on OB - but the family practice residents let me stay because it's where I wanted to be. I can't wait for my ob rotation....)

As for knitting, the never-ending sock is finished! I'm fairly pleased with it (I'm still not sure I like the contrasting heel and toe color) but I have yarn leftover! It turns out one skein of LL's Shepard Sport yarn (200 yards) = two socks with contrasting heel/toes and yarn leftover. I'm not sure I could have gotten two complete socks out of one skein, but it'd be worth a try to see how far I can get. (or I could do just contrasting toes - that is probably a better idea.)

I ran by the local yarn store to see if the yarn for my striped cardigan was in (remember the cotton fleece sweater? yah, neither did I). The green color "rue" is still back-ordered but my fingers are crossed it'll be in later this week. Looking at the body of the sweater again had me shaking my head - the tension is all over the place and I'm going to need to work a few of the stitches in from the wrong side. It most certainly looks handmade and I can't decide if it bothers me. I think I'm going to plow ahead and see what it looks like after a bath and some blocking - then I can decided if it's worth spending the time to even out the stitches. It's easy for me to tell it was knit in class! (truth be told I'd love to have it finished by the time I (potentially) head to Rhinebeck.)

this week is going to be a busy one, but I've got my new sock to work on, and with any luck I'll have a pair by the end of next weekend. My schedule is filling up with dog and catsitting for three different families and I look forward to sleeping with a cat nearby.

What I Learned This Week:

my handwriting gets worse as a night on call progresses.

no matter how much grey hair I have (and at 25 1/2 I have many, many strands of it) patients will still refer to me as the Doogie Howser doctor and many will ask how old I am. I will gain some respect if I tell them I grew up in the area and was born in this hopsital, but that's not a given.

2 patients with the same diagnosis will probably react to it very differently.

I witnessed a few different views of death and how it can be prepared for; I'm not at a point where I can put into words what I felt, but it's something I've been keeping in the back of my mind. The contrast between seeing end of life care and a newborn baby is striking.

The hospital cafeteria closes as 6:30pm SHARP.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

and, finally, the sock on the right (Trekking XXL) was what I did last night while watching the finale of Six Feet Under. The sock on the left is the neverending sock that I hope gets finished this weekend. That's the heel I turned without directions and it's a bit too small but it fits well enough that I'm not ripping back to fix it. (long hard days in the hospital have put "fun" knitting in perspective - my mistakes are simply design elements.)

Dog and cat-sitting has its benefits; behold the beauty that is their CSA (community sponsored agriculture) pick-up. Colored carrots, colored beets, rattlesnake beans, tomatoes and fresh picked basil...I didn't eat it all but I did enjoy bits here and there!

J, the older dog. He'd really like me to open that container and give him another piece of chicken.

K, the younger (and more difficult to photograph) dog. He seemed pretty happy with his piece of rawhide and overall was a little bit easier to please.

The turkeys I was/am afraid of. They look small in this picture but they're actually two feet tall. They're also always very hungry, and not afraid to march right up to me and peck. I worried about what might happen if one of them got out of the pen but was able to kick them back in so I didn't have to worry about it.

the egg laying hens. They were much mellower then the turkeys.

the eggs of the day.

the cat that I was warned "doesn't like people."

I know you've seen it before, but here's another shot of the wonderful "Dye Day" at Julia (Moth Heaven)'s. My yarn is third from the right and the roving is either first on the left or somewhere in the middle (I can't tell...)

the second sock enjoys being out in the world with other knitters and spinners.

the woodchuck on a mission. S/he ran across my parent's backyard with mouthfuls of leaves all morning. It was amusing and difficult to get a good picture of.

my dye day yarn and roving; I used the colors that were "leftover" and had a lot of fun combining and swirling and dumping. The roving has spots that look almost black and the red is a color I hope I can recreate someday. The yarn has shades of purples and deep reds with an occasional splash of acid green. I'm not sure what it'll be but I want to start knitting with it just to see how it knits up. The wooden needles were an attempt at a "do it yourself" project. It was 10x cheaper to make the US10.5 needles then it was to buy them!

a grasshopper that hung out with me while I took pictures of the yarn and roving. Seemed only fair to get a picture of him as well.

everyone else puts roving in the why can't I? I have no idea what sort of flowery bush this is, but it's doing very well behind the student house.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

the same old sock… (and what I learned this week…)

Buying new sock yarn proved to be a great motivator for getting the second sock done, but I can’t seem to find time to just sit and knit! I have another sock all ready go, but I am trying to finish one thing before I start another. If I don’t stick with the one object at a time policy I will be presenting balls of yarn to people at Christmas time.

At this past Tuesday’s lunch meeting I turned the second sock’s heel without any directions (I’m not sure where they are right now…) and I’m pleased with how it turned out. Tuesday is the only day that we med students (from the same med school) see each other with any regularity, and I know that I look forward to hearing what other people are up to. This week we had an informal meeting followed by a great interactive lecture, and some said they were glad to see that I was still knitting. Our routines have been turned upside down and my internal clock is still getting used to being on call and the long days that seem to last forever – but - my knitting has remained constant and it’s been a nice handhold to have. A few of my classmates have said that they are glad to see that I’m still knitting because it’s how they saw me during our first two years together. We’re all continuing to change and learn as we figure out what life in the clinics and hospitals is like and I think we’re all going to leave this year as not only more educated students, but also as “kids” who have “grown up” a bit. I hope I can keep knitting through the process.

what I learned this week:

second sock syndrome (SSS) is not a bill-able health condition because there isn’t a billing code for it. (I know that it exists and is a treatable condition – trust me!) Even though I’m just a student I’ve already become well versed in how the terminology can shape a hospital stay and how using another term can justify how sick people are to an insurance company.

always be nice to the nurses, even if you aren’t sure you like them very much. They are the people who know what is going on with a patient hour to hour and they hold the power to make your life easy or very, very difficult.

a 36 hour “day” is long. If at hour 30 people ask me if I want a cup of coffee, I should always say yes.
even though I am not watching the news and don’t have time to catch up with the internet, the residents and doctors I am working with are aware of what is going on in the world. The conversations about how to help out with the destruction of Katrina could be heard all over the place this week. I do not have enough training to head south, but there will be a group headed down to help out. I am not sure if we will be welcoming any new residents to the practice, but I think someone is looking into it. I can’t imagine being in one program and then having to leave to finish my training somewhere else, and before now it wouldn’t have even occurred to me that it was a possibility. The Etherknitter has been watching the same sorts of conversations and planning take place – people in medicine watch out for each other.

(I am doing my best to keep up with commenters and emails, but it's slow going. I am sorry!)