Sunday, December 30, 2007


Wow! It has been awhile. Being the lucky student I am, we get 3 weeks off for the holidays. Oh how I will miss this once I become a resident.

Seeing as this is my only time to travel, I visited my college town for a few days. It was great to be back, walking down the hallway of the science buildings. When I got to the floor where I did research, I looked at the large posters of the project I was working on. I was working on the makings of a bio-sensor which could be used against the chemical warfare that had picked up when I was in college. Looking at all the organic chemistry and equations, I felt a rush of gratitude: I am out of that hell. Medicine may not be as hard core as biochemistry in terms of "science" but dealing with people instead of pipettes makes me really happy.

Of course having a break gives me time to reflect on the past year and think of where I am to go next. We're starting to plan our fourth year and although I am nervous about committing to one type of medicine, it is also really exciting. In terms of abroad programs I'm looking to go back to Ecuador and finally visit Ireland. Get the passport out!!!

I'm off to NYC for New Years. My favorite thing is watching that ball drop so where else could I get a better view??

Be safe and Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

my final day

For my final day on OB, I decided to visit my favorite patient. I met her my first week on OB--originally from Peru, she married a Boston man 5 years ago, decided it was time for kids, and signed up for in vitro fertilization (IVF) after she attempted to get pregnant. She is carrying triplets and because of her "incompetent cervix" she is stuck in the hospital until she delivers by c-section. The plan was to cut her at week 30, but now she's there and doing so well, the docs are pushing it back to week 35. She is excited that she is doing so well, but sad that she will remain in the hospital through the holidays and into next year. (understandably!)

Her story for this week, though, sounds like it came straight out of a movie. Apparently a 60-something year old woman walked up to the nurses station, stated they were there to speak with the pregnant lady with triplets and they pointed her directly to my patients room, no questions asked. This woman walked in and told my patient how she had triplets too, showed her pictures of five year old kids, which supposedly looked like they came right out of a catalog, and said she was there to offer my patient help once she had her kids. She gave my patient her contact info and said she must call her once she delivers. Luckily my patient started to catch on and began questioning her about who her doc was, who her in vitro doc was, etc. Somehow the lady could not remember the names of either one, but dodged the questions. Instead she tried to scare my patient into needing her help and then left when she wasn't getting anywhere. Subsequently, my patient's laptop was stolen the next day. (which is probably unrelated)

Now my patient is having nightmares of someone coming into her room, in the dark, cutting her open and stealing her babies. I thought I was stressed!

I gave her my contact info today. She said she would call me when she delivers. I hope she does. I would love to visit with her again. She's made quite an impression on me--OB moms are of a special breed of patients. Most of them like going to the doc and are happy while there. Even through all of this mess, my patient said to me "You just have to think positively. I still have the babies and thats what counts."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas is early again

The other day we had a lesbian couple come into the hospital for pregnancy issues. The pregnant woman had a history of seizures which apparently get worse when she is pregnant. We admitted her for observation and to get on top of her anti-sz medications. We also did a fetal lung test to see how mature her baby's lungs are (she was at 36 weeks + 4 days). While talking to her and her wife, she confessed that she had absolutely no idea how she got pregnant. She is 100% faithful to her wife and hasn't slept with a man in years (incidentally she already had 5 previous children). She insisted that it was an immaculate conception. I informed the hospital priest, but apparently he was busy explaining to a patient on the ICU ward that they weren't jesus even though they had "come back from death" after being defibrillated.

PS the fetal lung studies came back immature, meaning if she delivered her baby, he would have died--not maybe, but definitely. The couple tried to convince an OB doc to deliver her anyway, saying her seizures would not get better until the baby is out. My resident explained that no doc in the nation would deliver this baby (very dramatic--it could have been in a telenovela), but they were still persistent. We later found out that her seizures were "pseudo-seizures" or psychological seizures, not resulting from abnormal firings in the brain. I am guessing god would not be happy about her killing Jesus #2....

Friday, December 7, 2007

comfortably confused

I know there has been a real lack in my blogging lately. What can I say? I am not sure if its been the change of weather, my current living situation, or just finally being exhausted, but things have been "down" for me.

When I start thinking deep about my life--or rather what I should do with my life---it can also be a real downer. A never-ending theme in my blogs is that I went into medicine knowing exactly what I was going to do---Emergency Pediatrics---and ever since starting 3rd year, my life or the idea of what my life will entail, has been thrown upside down.

So was no surprise to me that psych and neuro were not my favorite. I am good at talking and listening to people, but dealing with schizophrenics and bipolar people is not something I would sign up for on a daily basis.

I ended up really liking the OR. I was ok with waking up early and going to work. I didn't mind scrubbing in the last case added on the end of the day. Doing peds surgery was awesome--kids heal so quickly and feel so much better after their operation. Trauma was exciting---its a time in a person's life where they really need help and where you can actually make a difference. In general surgery, people had a problem and you fixed it. Done and done. But a part of me is terrified of surgery. It is something I am interested in, but scared shitless of that responsibility. And even though the residency is the same in years as Peds ER, it seems so much worse.

And now to add another. OB. I thoroughly enjoyed delivering babies. I started OB not excited, sorta disgusted, and not happy. Last night was my last night on call and I almost cried when I realized I may never deliver another kiddo (my exhaustion can play with my moods....). The residents I worked with really cared about their patients. They were excited about delivering babies, doing surgeries, etc. It was a great environment to be in. Can I cut out half the population by only working with women and stop dealing with kids? I dont know.

I dont know. I think I realized last night that it is possible I will be one of those people who loves everything they do, so maybe none of this will really matter. I am confused. And while some days I am comfortable with it, others I have a steady rise in panic where my stomach ends up in my chest. I feel this way until I remember to breathe and try to enjoy the fact that the world is still new and open to me and I can pick anywhere to go.