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.


Anonymous Sharon said...

Kristen, I'm envious that you got to participate in a birth. I've been on the in labor side of it three times and they were the most awesome times of my life. I would love to share someone's experience as a coach or friend or whatever. Maybe someday my daughter might invite me to be present. In my next reincarnation I plan to be an OB.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Laurie said...

Leave most of the stitches. It IS a handknit. I'm getting over the perfection thing in the should too.

Babies are great, and being there is such a high. New life is amazing. But people will appreciate you and you will have as big an impact as a medical person if you are there for them at the end of life. OB was my first love, but I made a conscious choice to not be up every call night of my life, and have those callnights be extremely often. It works fine in your thirties, and then it gets OLD and DIFFICULT.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Micky said...

It's good that you are liking it more. And that you still have knitting time.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Bridget said...

Sounds like you are having some great experiences.

I have a whole skein of Rue (maybe more) left over from the sweater I just finished. If you want it, let me know and I can send it to you.

8:18 AM  
Blogger J. said...

wow what a week. I don't think I have said THANK YOU directly to you even though I have been meaning to for the great treats you sent me. I remember that sweater, tell me what color you need again and I can have a look for it up here.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Thanks for your blog; I've been reading it for quite a while now, and always enjoy hearing about your experiences. Also, I think I may live near you, so I like imagining that I know places you're talking about. Maybe we'll run into each other at Rhinebeck (though I guess we wouldn't know it if we did!).

But please, I must leave one admonition: the mom delivered the placenta, you assisted her. I hope you don't mind me pointing it out...

9:32 PM  

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