Sunday, July 23, 2006

happiness is....

- 45 weeks
- being thisclose to the end of my third year of school
- a break in the heat
- finding time to knit, every now and then

This is my last week of family practice, and the last official week of my third year of med school. (Some people at this point in the year are considered fourth years due to different core rotation schedules) I have truely enjoyed this rotation and will be sad to see it end, but I am ready for my fourth year to start. (the sooner it starts, the sooner it ends....)

I have been lucky in that I've been in 1-2 hospital systems this year, and even though I've moved all over the place, I now know my way around, know the electronic medical record system, am comfortable with the attending physicians (both in family practice and various specialties) and residents (and nurses and janitors, etc) and that aspect is going to be hard to leave. Starting in August I'll be a different place every four weeks - places I choose (based on housing availabilty, what I want to do and where I want to travel to) but I forsee it having a very different feel overall.

I've started to think about where I want to apply for residency, and the spot I'm in now is (still) my number one choice. I have many thoughts on this that may trickle out over the next few days (or weeks) and am curious what your thoughts are on returning to the area where you grew up (assuming you left, at some point) vs. starting "over" or "fresh" somewhere new.

There has been knitting, and at some point I'll share pictures. This week brought some bizzare weather that included hail, high (and hard) winds (that knocked out power to both the hospital and clinic I'm working at, as well to all of the houses I currently have keys for) and soaking rains that started when the sky literally opened up. I used the dark powerless nights to work on my "easy" knitting projects and haven't had a chance to pick up my lace work. Everything from the current move/reorganization should be packed/repacked within the next few days - I'm looking forward to having time to knit again.

at some point tonight I realized that I could put my hand on no less than 20 darning needles, but couldn't (for the life of me) find my socks-in-progress. I can't wait to live in one place for more than a year....

(to those who left comments re: the yarn below - please email me at medstudentwhoknits removeAT yahoo RemoveDotRemoveCom. Between the power going out and the dial up connection I'm using, searching for ways to get in touch with you is easier said than done! I will have pictures and details on the yarn if you are still interested)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

happiness is.....

- 46 weeks
- the cat, even though he has decided that this awful heat and humidity is my problem and must be fixed now thankyouverymuch
- getting the first round of virtual paperwork done for my residency applications
- iced coffee with a hint of milk and dash of sugar
- real brewed iced tea with fresh lemon

Summer has arrived here in the Northeast - and I hate to say that I won't be sorry when it's gone. I like the sun and am glad that I can wear sandals again, but the damp and sticky air is draining all motivation for me to be packing and moving things. Right now my car is half full with boxes that need to be gone through and repacked, and a whole 'nother load (or two, or three) are waiting in various places for their turn to be dumped out onto the floor and resorted. (how, exactly, did it come to this? where did all of this stuff come from? I've obviously been through it all before (at some point during one of the six moves in the past three years) but I still question why I held onto certain things. On the upside I did find my Ann Bud's Handy Guide book (missing since last summer) and a few cds that I thought were long gone.)

(I would feel differently about the heat if I were by a lake and had nothing better to do than read books, knit and sip iced tea, taking a break to jump into the water every now and then...)

I am unsure what to do with all of my yarn...I'm torn between putting all but a few projects into storage OR selling what I no longer love here. Generally I still like what I have, but the Rowan Big Wool in berry red will probably never be knit into a flattering sweater, and the Debbie Bliss Cotton/Wool never seems to beat out my wools for time on the needles. After hearing (and experiencing) horror stories about Bartlett yarn guages it was put at the bottom of the bin and won't become a Rogue afterall. I also have some random sock yarns that seemed like great ideas at the time (enough for two socks - not my favorite collection of one'skeins) and some cottons for kids projects that have yet to happen. I've toyed with the idea of boxing it all up and sending it to Camp Sunshine (they are always looking for knitting supplies) but I'm not 100% sold on that either. (It might be selfish but I don't want to put a sweaters worth of yarn into the mail to Camp Sunshine without knowing what it will become...yes, beginners should learn with the best, but it just feels funny...)

If you are interested in any of the above let me know (medstudentwhoknits at removethis yahoo ) and I can send you pictures (though it might take a day or two to get the camera/laptop/internet thing figured out; I am now writing this from the cathouse computer with dial-up). I don't have any prices set or ideas of what to "charge" but I will say that I'm not out to make a huge profit, just to find good homes for yarn.

(and cover shipping, as a student's budget doesn't allow for such things, especially after today's $995 charge for one of my board exams. Before I can graduate I must pass the "PE" (or physical exam) skills part of the boards - essentially a 7 hour test with actor patients in a simulated clinic so I can prove that I can talk to patients and make good clincial decisions in the time allotted. In order to take it I have to trek to the one testing center in the US and I put off scheduling it because I didn't want to have it sitting on my credit card, but the NBOME keeps sending me emails that make it sound like I won't! get! a! spot! and! it! could! affect! my! graduation! so I went ahead and registered. November 2nd I'll be in Philly from 2-9:30pm. Anyone wanna do lunch? or visit yarn stores?)

The paperwork aspect of my residency applications got pushed aside once I started "moving" things and today I sat down to work on it. I'm not sure how knitting and spinning will work it's way into my personal statement, but I'm sure it will. The whole process of "The Match" is an essay in itself but I find comfort in knowing those that have gone before me (Theresa, EtherKnitter, The Knitting Doctor and everyone else that I've forgotten (it's the heat, really)) lived through the process.

(I could have a multilevel countdown going - one for November 2nd PE boards, One for Feb 12th (Match Day for the oste0pathz (spelling such that I don't get googled for it) and then the ongoing countdown for graduation (46 weeks - did I say that already?). I need to take the other part of step II (computer multiple choice testing ... I'll try to hide my excitement) but that means registering for it (another $495 - yay for credit cards!) and then finding the time to study for it.)

They say fourth year is the best year - so far, it's just been the most expensive.

My spinning was getting more even and I was having a good time playing around with raw wool, but then my Robin's driveband broke. It was due to be replaced (secondary to being stretched out) but I think the trip to this house in a hot car finally did it in. I've emailed to see about getting a new one and will send the broken one off to it's new home. (the snakepit home for broken drivebands...)

I have been knitting and working on several projects, but they are surprises and not things to be posted about yet. (I could use that as an excuse for no pictures...say, let me do that. There aren't any pictures because it would spoil the surprises...)

Needless to say I am looking forward to the last two weeks of my third year (the last two weeks of my family practice rotation) and will be glad when things are packed and organized.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

when all else fails....

(post pictures of the cat (that I am borrowing). I am in a strange position of not having wireless internet in the same place as my laptop, and most of what I own is in some sort of box, bin or bag at this point in time. The white car was officially donated to the Kidney Foundation today, and so everything that was in that car is now in my blue car; it might take all weekend to figure out which end is up. 'til then, enjoy the cat.)

this cat....


always good for....

a laugh.

He is a king among kings, and demanding enough to keep me on my toes and in line. I love taking care of him.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

happiness is.....

46 weeks, 3 days.

Each time I try and summarize all that has been going on I find myself at a loss of where to start, and what to say and how to say it and the like, so instead I'll simply say this: There has been a lot going on.

(there was a wedding of a good friend that took place a few minutes from Webs - guess who left the reception for a quick yarn fix? There was a great weekend spent with fiber friends who shared their wool knowledge, fashion sense and couch so I could enjoy as much time as possible with them before hitting the road and I have been spinning or knitting every chance I get, yet feel like I'm getting nowhere on everything...strange that.)

I am in the process of yarn relocation and needle acquisition, or, as some might say, moving. My time in the student house has come to an end (yay!) and tomorrow night starts a three week cat/house sitting gig that will take me to the end of my time here. Right now my car is packed with things that need to be gone through, sorted and repacked and I foresee finding all of the sock needles that have mysteriously disappeared over the past 10 months. I haven't figured out which yarn will trek around the northeast with me, but I can say with certainty that there will be a fair amount of sock yarn along for the ride.

My surgery rotation ended, and I started my 6 week family practice rotation.

I. love. family. medicine.

It could be that I'm seeing patients on my own, and making recommendations and writing notes and following up on labs that I "ordered." It could be that I am not spending my days in the operating rooms. It might be that I am working with some phenomenal attending physicians who like to teach and truly love what they are doing. Or it could be some strange combination of all those things - whatever it is, I am enjoying it.

Today I saw two toddlers, an elderly woman and a middle aged male, all from various backgrounds and with different problems. Each day is full of surprises (some better than others). I like talking with patients and love having the time to sit and talk with them about what is going on in their lives, what they have done and what they wish to do; how they see their health and what stands in the way of them feeling better. The presenting problem is only half the story, and fishing out the other concerns is important to me. (doing it in an noninvasive way is even more important to me.) I know that the hour long appointments will not last forever, and so I fully intend to make the most of my time before I'm reduced to 15 minute with patients.

In the words of KT Turnstall: "Suddenly I see...This is what I wanna be...Suddenly I see...Why the hell it means so much to me..."

Other things have finally calmed down too; to make a very long story very short, I had a medical thing come up. In January I had an abnormal MRI that led to visits with several specialists and more questions than answers. Over the past several months I've spent a long time in waiting rooms on the other side of the medical fence while the list of things that could be going on was reduced to just one thing as items were crossed off. Everything is okay, and now I have some answers that can help me figure out where to go from here. It means that I won't need to take time off, don't need to change very much and can now figure out what comes next.

I finally feel like I'm no longer holding my breath and it's a good feeling. My friends and family and others have all individually commented that I look like I'm "back" again and I have to agree; it's nice to be in my own groove again.

This could be the calm before the next storm (residency applications, pages and pages and pages of things that need to be filled out and figured out, moving around every four weeks for the entirety of my fourth year and figuring out my tangled finances and loans) but it also could be that the worst has passed...

(pictures at some point this weekend, once everything is in the same place and speaking the same language. I never understood the posts I read that said things like "my camera isn't connecting to my computer." This must be some sort of cosmic payback for rolling my eyes and wondering how it was possible for such a thing to happen.)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

My Amazing Lace Poem

(I have been working on the Lorna's Laces pie wedge shawl; pictures to follow once my camera and computer decide to start speaking again...)

while others are done with their lace
we seem to be avoiding the race
I've got excuses upthe'wazoo
but with rotations and papers due,
we just can't keep up with the pace.

It all started with you in a hank
as yarn that didn't break the bank*
no matter what you say
I couldn't knit with you that way
now you're a ball that led me to drank.
(*thanks ebay...)

a pattern was the next hurdle to jump
I'm a beginner hoping to tri-umph
the label said "free"
and then said "easy!"
it had me before I was stumped.

finding time is always an issue
and you're not as portable as my tissues
there are always patients to see
and places to be
I didn't know how much I'd miss you.

the summer wedding that was my deadline,
when I'd see friends I hadn't seen in some time,
was a beautiful event
without you present
but that means I could drink the red wine.

I can't make finishing promises to keep
and honestly if it's between you and sleep
I'll take the nap
otherwise I'll screw up your [stitch] wraps,
but will say lace has been a fun knitting leap.