Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wow, almost a month since I last posted. Sometimes I just don't know where the time goes. Thanks to everyone for your comments to my last post. I really appreciate your kind thoughts. Things have improved over the past month. Hanging out on the Pediatric Ward taking care of RSV and gastroenteritis. Getting a few diseases myself - kids are walking piles of germs - but getting through it ok.

Been getting some knitting done, but nothing substantial and worth posting. Working on some socks and scarves. And teaching a friend to knit (how crazy! me teaching someone to knit when I'm a newbie myself!) which has been fun. She's making a baby blanket and we had a fun trip to Webs to buy yarn. When we walked in and I got that crazed look in my eye she couldn't help but laugh. "Maybe this was a bad idea. Kinda like taking a crack addict to her favorite corner." I didn't realize I was that bad. But then I but then I bought 4 skeins of Lorna's Laces, so maybe I do have a problem.

So no FOs to post, but thanks to Gina I do have something to post. My list of UFOs I plan to finish this year.
1. The two pairs of socks that stalled after sock #1 was knit.
2. My mom's lace scarf (so she can get it next Christmas)
3. My dad's socks (ditto on the Christmas thing)
4. Charlotte's Web (This may not happen, have to be realistic. This project and I do not get along.)

And the nonknitting things that I need to finish...
1. Assembling the elliptical trainer that I bought (totally not my fault as the instructions are really complicated)
2. Unpacking the 7 boxes of books that are stacked in my room
3. Organizing the piles of journal articles that are scattered all over my apartment
4. Finishing the half read books that I've gotten a little bored with and set aside
5. Listening to the dozens of podcasts that are taking up space on my iPod

Check out Gina's blog and send her your UFO list to be entered in her contest. And check out Christine's blog for her Podcastiversary contest. Leave her a comment to be entered, post about socks and get entered some more. So now for my thoughts on socks...

I love knitting socks. They are so much fun and people think you're a super knitter when they see you working on them. The variety is never ending - all the different yarns, different stitch patterns, toe-up or top-down, DPNs or circs. So many options! I haven't tried circs yet because I love the DPNs, but someday. Current favorite yarn is Lorna's Laces. I've bought a good supply of it but just started my first pair with it. I love it! The colors are great and it's so soft and squishy. Loving the way it knits up. Hopefully I have some good progress to share soon. My thoughts on Socks that Rock will come along soon since I joined the club. So that's what I love about socks, what do I hate? Joining the first round - I have serious problems and get all twisted frequently requiring a do-over. And ladders... boy do I hate the ladders. For some reason they always show up in the foot but not the leg. What's up with that?! Any suggestions for making these things easier?

OK, enough rambling and contest entering. Enter for yourself and maybe win a prize!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Non-Knitting Post...

So go ahead and skip right over it. I just need an outlet right now.

I lost a patient today. It isn't the first patient who has died since I started my internship, and it certainly isn't the first since I started med school, but it's hit me the hardest. L was born at 24 weeks and weighed less than 700 grams. It was my first week of residency and I was learning my way around the NICU and the hospital. He was right at the cusp age wise when it's really up to parents whether or not to revive a neonate. His parents are young, unmarried, and fairly uneducated. The neonatologist on call spent a lot of time before the delivery trying to explain the possible outcomes for their child so they could make an informed decision. They decided to do everything available to rescucitate L. During my month in the NICU we fought to keep L hydrated. Being so small and with skin so thin, he lost a lot of water to the air. He was constantly losing weight. He was on a ventilator, under lights because of jaundice, getting IV nutrition because he was too young to eat. He had to go to Boston for heart surgery, but came back to us within a few days. By the end of the month L was off the ventilator and finally gaining weight. His parents were there every day to spend time with him, but never seemed to really understand what we were doing. After I left the NICU I would pass them in the halls and they would tell me how L was doing. I would talk with the residents who had taken over his care and hear about the progress he was making. We started calling him our "star baby" because he never caused any trouble. He was growing like he should, weaning off oxygen, increasing his feeds. Mom and dad started asking about when he would be ready to go home and were shopping for a car seat. By late December L didn't need to be in the NICU anymore. He was transferred to a rehab facility where he continued getting IV nutrition until he could take maximum feeds. In a little more than a week things turned around. He wasn't tolerating feeds and had bloody stools. His blood pressure was low. He was sent back to the hospital and admitted to the PICU. The doctors on call suspected infection and started him on antibiotics. His blood pressure and heart rate kept falling even with medicines to keep them up. After 24 hours of fighting to keep him alive, his parents agreed to stop aggressive treatment. He died in his mom's arms. Tonight, a prayer for baby L and his parents.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007

Hope everyone had more fun for New Year's Eve than I did. I was on call... again. What a night. Things were pretty calm in the afternoon and then blew up just after midnight. Apparently too much alcohol and crack causes chest pain; shocking, I know. But it was my last night in the CCU for at least a year, so that's good news. The rotation itself was good; I learned a ton and it will definitely help out when I go back to the general Medicine wards. Feeling comfortable handling chest pain and reading EKGs will be nice. But the hours are long and the call is crazy. Definitely time for a change. So it's off to the Pediatric wards where I'll get to take care of asthma and diarrhea... yay! I'm preparing to get sick; always do when I switch to Pedi.

To ring in the new year, the obligatory resolutions. I never keep them, but I like to try. Perhaps by writing them down I'll be more committed.

1. Get off my lazy butt and exercise. Must lose weight. Since there's no way I will go to a gym, I saved up and bought an elliptical. Now I just have to assemble the thing and use it. Will exercise at least three times a week. You are all my witnesses; I will hold myself to this.

2. Spend 10-15 minutes a day reading something medical. I few pages of Nelson's, an article in NEJM. Something so I stop feeling so completely incompetent.

3. Keep my apartment from resembling a disaster area. I don't know how I manage to make such a mess when I'm at work 80 hours a week and sleeping much of the rest of the time, but I do. Will not throw clothes on the floor, will not let dirty dishes take over the kitchen, will not let multiple cartons of milk get old and scary in the fridge.

4. Make time for myself to do the things that I like but don't do enough. Go out to dinner/movies/drinks with friends, read novels, knit. All the things I did so much of before the hospital took over my life. Not making time for the fun stuff makes the crappy schedule so much worse. I'm getting pretty bitter and cynical, and I don't like it. Gotta recharge.

There they are. Not a long list, but a substantial one. We'll see how I do.