Thursday, September 28, 2006

As promised, some knitting progress. I think I put forth a strong effort in Sock Wars, but my complete lack of free time ruined me. I worked all weekend when other warriors were getting started. Big plans to spend Monday, my day off this week, knitting all afternoon. But before I even got the first few rounds done I was contacted by my assassin. My socks are on the way here and my time in this battle is nearing an end. Only the slowness of the USPS is keeping me alive. I still spent my day off working on my target's socks, as well as a few moments through the remainder of the week. Here's the progress I've made.

I really like this sock so far. Working with DK yarn makes for much quicker knitting, and the Rib of Doom pattern is great. I'm just hoping I've made enough of a start that my assassin can carry on in the war for a bit longer.

I've also been working on my scarf for the International Scarf Exchange. Not much progress on that front though. I've started a few times with different patterns, but I'm not liking anything. I bought two different yarns, a dark blue Malabrigo and a purple alpaca. I decided to go with the alpaca because my pal likes fluffy soft yarns, and while Malabrigo is certainly soft it isn't really fluffy. But I'm not liking how the alpaca is knitting up. My latest attempt is the Dewdrop Scarf. I've done three pattern repeats this morning, and I'm just not loving it. Perhaps the Malabrigo is the better yarn choice, but then what pattern. Ugh...must be more decisive. Any thoughts?

Maybe I'm being too hard on the alpaca and it isn't as horrid as I think it is. I could frog this and try the Men's Cashmere Scarf from LMKG since I love how that is coming along. Can't think about it anymore; time to go to work. Only two more ER shifts and I'm done!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

7 songs

Wow, I haven't posted in a long time. Sorry about that. I've been really busy with ER shifts and my parents coming up to visit. But I promise to post some knitting progress this week. In the meantime, a meme I've seen all over the medical blogs I read. And so I'll share "seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you'?re really enjoying now." I made this list from my iTunes play count; I didn't even realize some of the songs I'm obviously stuck on.

1. "Bad Day" Daniel Powter - A pretty obvious one right now. I often listen to it over and over on my drive home. I actually have a "Bad Day" playlist with all my favorite life sucks songs for when I want to stay in my bad mood. There's another playlist for when I want to cheer up.

2. "Hallelujah" Jeff Buckley - A great song that I first heard in Shrek. I've listened to all the different versions, but this is definitely my favorite.

3. "Mad World" Michael Andrews, from Donnie Darko - I love this song. The beat is great and it fits the movie ending perfectly. Perhaps "the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had" isn't the best lyric to listen to on a bad day, but for some reason this song actually improves my mood. Weird.

4. "Everything is Alright" Motion City Soundtrack - This is one of those dancing around my apartment songs. And when it comes on while I'm driving it's hard to contain the impulse. I end up kinda bouncing in my seat like a crazy person. I've actually had someone come up to me at work and say they saw me driving in and I was having way too much fun. It's a great way to start the day though.

5. "Let Go" Frou Frou - From the Garden State soundtrack, this is a cheer me up song. Love it and the rest of the soundtrack. Here's hoping for more Zach Braff compilations!

6. "Happy Song" Mojo Train - A peppy little cheer me up song. And anyone that uses "South Cacalacky" gets my vote.

7. "C'est la Fucking Vie" Ginny Clee - I heard this song on Cast On and fell in love with it. Definitely a song for the days I'm feeling down.

And now to tag seven people (though I'm not sure there are seven people who read my blog). Kaitie Tee, Beth, Gina, Theresa, Katie, Julie, and Rachel.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

"America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could." George W. Bush, September 11, 2001

"I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people." George W. Bush, September 20, 2001

Never forget

I adore scarf knitting. I know it's not the most sophisticated knitting, but I still love it. I read somewhere that scarves are the comfort food of knitting, and I agree. It's nice to not have to worry about shaping and fit. Just pick a yarn and go. So of course I signed up for the International Scarf Exchange. Now that I've been assigned my giftee, I have to get started. I know she likes blues and purples, and she likes fluffy soft yarns. So one day this week I get to stop by my LYS and pick some yarn. But what pattern to use? Matilda, Rib Scarf, and Trellis & Vine from MagKnits have potential. Wavy from Knitty looks like fun. And Clapotis sure is pretty. Decisions, decisions. Thoughts?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Thanks for all the supportive comments to my emotional breakdown. I'm feeling much better now; a weekend off will do that. And what better way to spend said weekend off than with a few of my favorite activities - shopping and baking. First came a stop at Target to buy the much longed for KitchenAid mixer. Then a trip to the Christmas Tree Shop (which surprisingly has nothing Christmas tree-like for sale) to buy a little butcher block to put the mixer on. Hey, it was on sale and I can seriously use the extra counter space and cabinet. Then back to my apartment to test my new toy by making a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Yum! Nothing better to cheer up a sad intern than chocolate and peanut butter!

Plans for the rest of the evening include listening to the thunderstorm, matching a movie, and knitting. I love golden weekends!

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's official

I hate being an intern. I just had the crappiest day ever. The fact that this crap day comes after working for 2.5 weeks without a day off is just a bonus. A little gift from whatever mean-spirited deity is in charge of residents' lives. So I had my month in the clinic which was going well. Some of my patients are total train wrecks with a dozen problems to sort through, but they are really nice. Then towards the end of the month I got to start to taking telephone call. This is the worst part of primary care...trying to diagnose people over the phone.

"Hi, my baby has a fever. Can you call in an antibiotic?"

"Yeah, I've been having back pain for 4 months." Why the hell is this person calling me at midnight for this? "Can you call in some Percocet?" Hell no, I'm not calling in Percocet. "You have to because I've been buying it on the street and I'm hooked. If you don't give me some I'll kill myself."

"My knee hurts." Dear God, it's 2 am. She can't be serious. "It's been hurting for like 20 minutes." ugh...she is serious. Must get out of bed. "I took some Advil 10 minutes ago and it still hurts." No shit, lady. Now go to bed and stop calling me.

I think you can tell that I started to hate my pager and the people at the other end of the phone. So that ended and now I'm working nights in the Pediatric ER. This hasn't been so horrible until tonight. The worst night of my life so far. The night when I decided that this whole doctor thing might have been a horrible mistake. The night when I could do nothing right. Seriously, nothing. The night when every level of the medical hierarchy yelled at me.

So the evening begins with a 16 year old with blood clots in her legs. They were found 2 weeks ago when she was admitted for swelling and pain in her legs. During her work-up they found a genetic predisposition to forming blood clots. Some digging into her family history revealed that her mother and uncle both died from PEs (pulmonary emboli-blood clots that break off and travel to the lungs). So she was sent home on blood thinners. She came in with shortness of breath and chest pain, classic PE symptoms. CT scan of her chest shows a PE. So I call her hematologist, who says this girl needs an IVC filter (a filter in the vein that brings blood from the legs back the heart) to prevent more PEs. She won't admit the girl and tells me to call surgery. So I call surgery...they won't admit her either. Get pediatrics to admit her, they say. So I call pediatrics. This girls needs more blood thinners and the nurses on the floor won't take her. So I call the PICU. They say the floor nurses should handle her. Somewhere in all this "not it" this poor girl got completely lost. I finally got the PICU to admit her and the surgeons to come see her, but it was a battle.

Then a 10 year old with abdominal pain comes in. We're worried it could be an appendicitis, so I call surgery. I ask the secretary to page the surgery resident for me, but she pages the attending. The attending calls me back and proceeds to yell at me for calling him. When I get the resident to come down, she decides to admit the patient. She writes orders for morphine for pain control and leaves. Then the nurse comes asks for orders for pains meds. When I tell her that the surgeons ordered it already she yells at me for not writing more. I still don't understand this one...there are orders for morphine so give it. Apparently she just wanted it in my handwriting, not sure why.

Next up is a 17 year old who is 2 months pregnant. She's bleeding. I page Ob and they don't call me back. I do an exam, order labs, and get an ultrasound. Page Ob again but they don't call me back. Get results back and the girl has had a miscarriage. Page Ob again and-surprise, surprise-they don't call me back. So now I get to tell her that she's had a miscarriage and then can't answer any of her questions because I know next to nothing about Ob.

To finish my evening, I pick up my last chart at 1am. It's a 2 year old with fever and ear pain. Wonderful. I go in and of course mom doesn't speak English. So my 4 words of Spanish and some pantomime are the way to take this history. Now it's time to look in the kid's ears. They are full of impacted ear wax (some free advice: Q-tips are the devil) so I get the fun job of cleaning them out. So I have Mom hold her son while I jab a long plastic stick with a loop at the end into his ear. He wriggles free, kicks me in the stomach, and jerks his head. In the process I scrape his ear canal with the plastic torture device and he starts to bleed. It's amazing how much an ear canal will bleed. Mom then proceeds to yell at me, in Spanish, while I back away to avoid further kicks from her darling little boy.

There were a lot more patients in my evening, and the others were good encounters. But the bad ones always take over. The good news is that I didn't cry in the ED. I made it all the way to my car before I fell apart and then cried the whole 20 miles home. This is one of those time when I kick myself for choosing to spend the hardest year of the life 1000 miles from home. I know I'm a grown-up now, but I still want my Mom after days like this.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My Secret Pal Rocks!

Got my last package from my secret pal, Rachel, yesterday and it is awesome. A skein of gorgeous sock yarn from Black Bunny Fibers. It's oh so soft and the colorway if beautiful.

The pattern for Rusted Root and red Cotton Fleece to make it. Love this sweater!

And stationary and a pen in my favorite color combo.

Thanks, Rachel! You've been a wonderful pal. I love everything and am looking forward to getting to work with my new yarn.