Monday, April 24, 2006

A view from behind the scenes: Now! In! Quiz-play-along-at-home! Format!

Before the quiz starts (get out your pencil and paper – there are no bubble grid sheets for this one) I want to bring this site to your attention. Watch the first 45 seconds – it’s well worth it.

Welcome back! Now then, time for a multiple choice quiz……. No cheating and looking at the answers first.

What did this med student do when she got the tuition statement for her 4th year of medical school?

A. Celebrate being over $200,000 in debt by buying a new car!
B. Go on a sock yarn buying binge because, when put in perspective, it seemed liked such a small price to pay?
C. Take stock in the frozen dinners and canned soups that will be getting her through the next several months?

a: 3 pts for knowing that my white SnAAB has needed more work then should be humanly possible in the three years I’ve owned it, and it is time for something a bit more reliable. (It should be mine by the end of the week….)
b. 2 pts for knowing my weakness in times of stress. (no picture because it didn’t come out. Close your eyes and imagine a counter of sock yarn…..)
c: 1 pt for the one thing I haven’t done yet. It’s a surprise when I get home at night, and sometimes I toss a coin to decide if I should peek in the freezer or the cupboard. Tomato soup or frozen fish sticks?
d: 4 pts for those of you who said that being $200,000 in debt is just craziness and I should run away to teach yoga in the woods now.

That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now that you’ve gotten the hang of it the rest of these should be easy..

Which of these books is NOT like the others?

A. Rudolph’s Pediatrics, because it’s hardcover.
B. The knitting book, because it’s the only one not for board review.
C. The surgery review book, because it’s smaller then the others.

a: 2 pts for amazing texture observation.
b: 1 pt because in reality, all of these can be studied
c: 3 pts because you are aware of size. I bet you swatch.
d: 4 pts for wondering what I’ll knit while I study this time around.

What was the final outcome of this sweater?

A. You still have that? Really? I thought it was carried away by the knitting gnomes…
B: it’s finished! Now show us a picture!
C: It’s been ripped into a pile of perfectly wound balls of cotton fleece.

a: 2 pts for a very realistic answer. (you weren’t the people that remembered I drove a troublesome sNaab, were you….)
b: 1 pt for thinking I’m that good. I’m honored, but the truth is that my knitting has been reduced to socks these days.
c: 3 pts for knowing that as much as I love the colors and idea of a striped raglan sweater, every time I wore it I’d think about the wings under my arms. I should have known this would happen because every time I’d pull it out to work on it I’d shake my head and convince myself that I needed more opinions and then put it back in the bag and leave it for the knitting gnomes to fix. They never showed up…. This sweater will be re-knit with a proper sized raglan.
d: 4 pts for screeching “What about Rogue?!?!” (see above – socks, socks and more socks.)

What happened to the green yarn that was wound around the house in previous post?
A. I wound back into a ball and then she ignored it.B. She carried it through several rooms again and can still be seen stalking it.
C. She and I have both ignored it, waiting for the knitting gnomes to come untangle it.

a. 1 pt for thinking I had time to untangle it. (wouldn’t you want to see if it grew?
b. 2 pts for the truth. It was left because she kept it going and I kept laughing.
c. 3 pts for believing in knitting gnomes.
d. 4 pts for those who thought I’d taunt her with another ball of yarn so the design could be two-toned.

Which of the following has actually happened on this pediatric rotation?
A. A four year old girl stopped what she was saying to count the red splotches on my face.
B. A 2 ½ year old who didn’t want to get her ears checked looked at me and said “All Done!!!!” and reached over to her coat and pulled her mom towards the door when we started to get our ear-checkers out.
C. My lightening quick reflexes kicked in and prevented me from being peed on.

a. 2 pts for suggesting yet another product/method/goop that I can try to lessen the breakouts on my face. (zero points for reminding me that I should be getting 8 hours of sleep at night, exercising, washing my face 3-4 times a day and stop eating chocolate and frozen fish sticks)
b. 3 pts for laughing at the cuteness of 2 ½ year old logic.
c. 1 pt for something that has happened to most everyone who has changed a diaper.
d. 4 pts for saying “where is the ‘all of the above’ option?”

What is the best part of cat-sitting in the house?
a. the antics of the cat – green yarn. Need I say more?
b. not being directly involved in the awful student housing politics for the past two months.
c. sharing a bed with the cat.

a. 1 pt for reading yesterday’s post and enjoying the art that she displayed for me.
b. 2 pts for guessing things are still AWFUL with that situation.
c. 3 pts for figuring I wake up next to this every morning.

d. 4 pts for those who exclaimed “wait, what about view over the beautiful lake AND the 9 person hot-tub?”

(the view from my current front door....)

I hope this has given you some insight into what life has been like. I’ve figuratively thrown everything for next year up into the air and am now waiting for things to fall down into place. It’s craziness. And I’m tired enough to finally be laughing at it.

(That must mean that it’s time to go sit in the hot-tub…………...)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

while the mice are away, the cat will play....

I took off and headed to Grafton to see the Yarn Harlot on Friday night. Being that it was a late night spent with knitterly friends and the trip home was a bit of a long one, I stayed Friday night and headed back Saturday afternoon.

I returned to the house I'm cat-sitting at to find a bit of a fiber-y surprise....

it starts at the sock (bottom of the page) - see also scraps of paper that she will "hunt"

through a one room into another....

around another corner (in another room)

around yet ANOTHER corner (delicately around the ceramic piece)

back into the kitchen

crossing back over where she had already been (and around the island)

through the chairs AND the stool

around the laundry basket to the mud room.

but the action wasn't over....

the ball (green hand-dyed worsted wt yarn leftover from a sock) is now officially hers.

as she heads off to the next adventure....

As I type this she is sitting on my lap/chest and purring as though she is very proud of herself. I think she missed me.

(yet another soul overwelmed by the power of wool....)

There has been knitting, and buying and more knitting. Will update with more pictures soon.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

not so much about knitting (essentially rambling about random things - the focus will return to knitting soon. Really.)

on the needles: my sockapaloooza socks are going strong and now that I've got the pattern worked out they're going quickly. This is being written in transition (I'm not at the student housing house or the house I'm cat-sitting at) and my camera is packed up, but I hope to have pictures of a finished sock (and progress on the second one!) later this week.

peds: is a completely different medical world from psychiatry. I've seen many, many children, many, many parents, and need to put my rambling notes about this rotation into a form that will make sense. I'm still paranoid that I'm going to wake up with strep throat, an earache or some strange skin rash but so far, so good. (knock on wood) I wash my hands 15-20 times a day, and use more alcohol based hand sanitizer then I'd like. (it may say it's "moisturizing," but I'd beg to differ...) I love the "little littles" (my term for infants-3 year olds) but have had some good experiences with kids of every age.

There has been a lot going on "behind the scenes" of my life this year; in January I had a medical scare that resulted in several appointments with medical specialists, tests and lots of time knitting in doctor's waiting rooms. I'm okay - and will be okay, but the reality of how how awful the car accident I was in a few years ago is no longer avoidable. Things changed after I walked away from my beloved car - I can't explain it in a way that I expect to make sense, so instead I'll simply say that my life is different now. And the medical things I have going on are helping me keep things in perspective.

the best to way to describe it now? I feel as though my life is an airplane experiencing extreme amounts of turbulence. The captain (whoever that is, most days it isn't me) has turned on the "fasten seatbelts" sign and there's no telling when it will be safe enough to unbuckle and head to the bathroom. The weather looked like it'd make for an easy ride, but in the middle of the trip things got bumpy. I'm ready to be safe on the ground again, but landing the plane now won't get me any closer to my destination. This year has been just as hard as the past two, but for very different reasons.

This year I am expected to think like a doctor - and most of the time that means thinking like the doctor I am working with. Each doctor has their own style of doing things - interviewing patients, talking with families, charting and looking things up can all be done a variety of ways, and who I am working with shapes my answers; I have to learn to anticipate what they will ask of me and then figure out what that doctor would do or say. What they would do or say is often the "right" answer, and if I suggest something else then I often have to endure listening to a long explanation as to why what I said isn't right and how they would do something else, yadda yadda. It can be exhausting.

I learn best when I have time to observe how to do something or see an example of what is expected of me - which isn't how many of my classmates approach new situations. When I "hang back" and take in what is going on around me I'm often perceived as being hesitant, unknowing and not confident. This can frustrate some of the doctors who expect me to jump in with both feet - but with time I am (most of the time) able to show them that I do know what I am doing by going above and beyond what they expect of me. Try as I may, I just can't be "type A" enough to please those who expect it, and when pimp'd I simply find myself unable to think, let alone able to answer the questions they are asking of me. This has made for quite a long year, and I am tired. We don't have a spring break, and aside from the occasional "Federal holiday" we're in the hospitals and clinics five (or more) days a week for a year. (two weeks of "winter break" went by all too fast.)

At one point last week the idea of "taking some time off" was floated, and my reaction was to say no. One of my goals for my medical education has always been to be done in four years. I've watched as some of my classmates took time off for various things - to have a baby, to spend time with family who needed them, to repeat classes - and each time I consider myself lucky to be where I am. That being said, the notion of taking time off has come up a few times since then, and I might need to think about what my life would look like if I did. I still don't want to - and I'm fairly adamant that I want to graduate on June 2, 2007, but I'm hearing the idea from more then one person, and each time someone mentions it I realize I should think about it.

I've been trying to get my fourth year rotations to line up, and all that has come out of it is frustration. My initial hope to get to the West coast had to be abandoned once I realized my car just can't get there from here. I'm also not sure I'd be happy roaming around the country for 10 months on my own. I am happy to be left to my own devices, but being that far away from my friends and family (in essentially new/unknown situations that change each four weeks) sounded overwhelming when I really thought about it. (I also didn't have a whole lot of luck trying to set up rotations out there and I don't have the energy it takes to stay on top of forms/emails/applications and fees/etc to get things to line up with my schedule and requirements.)

Of course, now I'm not having a whole lot of luck with forms/emails/applications and such for trying to get rotations set up here in the northeast, so I've backed off a bit. I told someone this week that trying to find small "community" type hospitals willing to take on fourth year medical students and medical doctors who are good people (believe it or not, they don't have signs on their heads that read "good doctor") is difficult. If I'm going to do my fourth year all at once (the plan at this point in time) then I hope to enjoy it. Which means trying to get things to line up with good people. And housing. (another hurdle...another reason to not think about it for another few days.)

Tired. Heavens I'm tired. (is that a sign that I'm getting strep throat?)