Sunday, September 20, 2015

wow, been a while for sure...

was prompted to take a look at my blog after getting an email comment from solitary diner (hi!)...and wow...been a while!

since the last post i've gotten married, we've rescued a dog, interviewed for fellowship, had a lot of good wine...a lot of stuff!

i'm patiently waiting for match day.  though i have to say...match day this time around is very different feeling than the match for residency.  this time around it feels so much more calm.  worst case scenario?  i just go into private practice!  not so bad haha...though in the field i'm going into everyone says you get your top 1-3 choices.  we'll see.

so overall life is good.  being a chief is interesting.  i'm growing a lot as a surgeon and as a person.  there are a lot of surgeries that i feel totally comfortable doing, but then there are a lot of surgeries that i still feel that i need a ton more learning on.  good thing is i still have time left in chief year to learn.

i've also fallen in love with my cameron's textbook on my kindle.

alright, until next time!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

it's official...

i'm a third year surgical resident now!

and cue the extra responsibility, awkward "middle child" feelings, etc...

call last night was brutal.  lots of stupid crap coming through and then being immediately discharged.  (on a side note, it's hilarious what people do sometimes to get out of going to jail.)  then serious injuries...i hate having frank conversations with people but the job has to get done.  and i'm nice and respectful about it, but honestly, people, what do you expect with people who fall while on coumadin to prevent them from getting another huge blood clot but end up with massive head bleeds?  throw metastatic cancer on top of that, a few fractures, and sheesh, it makes me have a headache.

new interns start officially with clinic duties july 1.  i've met them all now, seem to be a decent bunch.  we'll see though...evil laughter...

still can't make all my attendings happy, but it's a learning process, right?

harvested a bunch of radishes and the tomatoes and cucumbers are growing.  peppers have blooms on them, and the basil and cilantro are trying hard to grow.  blueberry bushes have been planted, and the birds seem to be getting a lot of the berries.  fig trees doing well.  things are coming along with the landscaping.

having our annual big party soon.  super excited about that!

just thought i'd post.  i like to check in every now and then.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


hey ya'll, it's been a while.


ABSITE: omg, i did good enough this year to get off the "shit list" that my program keeps.  so that means either > 70% correct or > 30th percentile.  and i did BOTH.  wahoo!  i did better, i was hoping to do much better, but you know, i'll take what i can get.  i'm wondering if i'll be in the running for "most improved" come graduation dinner time...

HOUSE: we kind of sort of have the backyard garden mapped out.  H fortified the big planter so it will be ready for the herbs.  i started seeds for heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, bell peppers, cucumbers, cilantro, basil, and zinnias (for around the mailbox).  i have seeds for direct sowing of radishes, beets, green onion, and salad mix.  oh yeah, and marigolds and some assortment of wildflowers.  and giant sunflowers!  yes...if this residency thing doesn't work out i'll be a farmer.  also we finally finished the family room (paint and carpet) so we need to find furniture.  but then again it's fun to have friends over with little kiddos and roll around on the floor.  and today i attacked our laundry/downstairs bathroom and got rid of 80% of the wallpaper.  then that will get painted over and then at least it won't look so least until we have time to properly tear down ugly tile, re-sheet rock the walls, and redo the floor.

FUTURE LIFE DIRECTION: so as far as fellowships now i'm seriously considering critical care + trauma or acute care surgery.  so realistically speaking i shouldn't ever need a fellowship in acute care surgery (because what gen surgeon can't handle a general surgical emergency coming through the ED?) but in the time of "must have a fellowship to be competitive for good job", and because i don't want to live in podunk town middle of nowhere, i'm considering it.  plus CC is a boarded specialty which you would automatically be eligible for in an ACS fellowship.  earlier you know how i said "surg onc"?  well, i was told i'm too realistic for that.  and after seeing some disaster patients, i think that's a valid thought.  i'm realistic, i like train wrecks, and i like big surgeries.  then there's still plastics.  alas!

COOKING: so i'm still learning korean cooking, and i highly recommend maangchi's website!  she is the best teacher and i've learned a lot.  sadly, i didn't enjoy the sesame seed porridge, and today i burnt the hell out of my kimchi pancake, but everything else is good...haha!  and i still have enough kimchi to last until the apocalypse so i've been bringing it to the unit and it's been stinking up the place.

INTERNS: got the list of the newbies!  i can't wait to meet them all.  i'm going to get the phone numbers tomorrow (since i'm the unofficial welcome committee, solo member, of my program) and give them all a call.  4 categoricals...2 boys and 2 girls which mean now females will be exactly 1/3 of the total in my program!  yes!  taking over the world, slowly but surely.

HEALTH: so i am training to do the swimming in a triathlon relay, and then the local YWCA is sponsoring a sprint triathlon in a few months, so i am going to see if i can run a 5k then i'll do that one too!

hope this does y'all good for a bit...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

post absite

so now that the horrible test is done...will have to wait a few weeks to get the results.  theoretically, ha, i was better prepared and all that fun stuff, but that test is still freaking hard!  ugh.  i hope i did better because i'll be the laughingstock of my class again.  ok, not that harsh but whatever.  at least i'm done with all the steps so they can't get TOO mad at me...

about to go to the farm store to look for clover seeds.  actually, H just wants to hang out there.  haha.  then it's the grocery store to get a few things so i can make KIMCHI!!!  times TWO DIFFERENT WAYS.  OMG.  we went to the closest h-mart yesterday and i got some crazy napa and some baby radishes.  i am super stoked.  super bowl?  what's that!  today is KIMCHI MAKING DAY!!!  and H will be making red beans and rice to pay homage to NOLA.  le sigh.  i miss the south.

tomorrow i start my ambulatory block.  which essentially means show up at the outpatient place and just do whatever i feel like doing.  wahoo!  then another block of trauma.  i will also be working on a research paper and doing a lot of house painting as well.  and resting.  i sure do need it.  and kimchi eating.  hee hee!

ok, i'm being called away.  seeya!

Friday, January 11, 2013


just playing with the ol' blog template.  figured it was time to do some updates.  let me know if it's horrible to read.

also, ABSITE.  jan 26.  that is all.  gotta do better this year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

it's cold outside

i'm currently on my 2 week "vacation" known as anesthesia...very minimal requirements.  five intubations.  i've done 4.  i think i'll make the mark...

last night on call i got really nauseated/sick/wanting to pass chief made me go to bed "just for an hour" after force feeding me juice and crackers, that was around 11pm and i woke up at 5am.  no pages!  no traumas!  but i still felt like crap and came home and slept for 3 more hours.  now i've been coffee'd and will be heading out shortly to rummage up some food.  and finish presents buying.  there's been some bugs going through my resident group and i think i had a touch of it last night.  probably was just hypoglycemic/GI distress/dehydrated, but it was funny how my chief was like ANY FOCAL TENDERNESS?  YOU THINK YOU HAVE AN APPY?  I CAN OPERATE ON YOU.  (fwiw, i would have let him and the attending on call operate on me, so it's fine.  i have my standards.)  and no, not pregnant.  (why is that ALWAYS the first thing people ask a female surgery resident who is ill?  alas.)  currently with a bit of a headache but at least i feel like i don't have to blow chunks from both ends anymore.

i'll be working over christmas, should be fun.  still debating going home for new year's, but with a 16 hour drive it's a little daunting.  plus there's absite and i've been cramming/studying for that too.  we'll see.

i enjoyed my trauma rotation.  i wish we operated more, but i enjoy the "thinking" on the critical care side of things.  also i've gotten pretty awesome at putting in chest tubes on AWAKE people.  wahoo!  also also i can do central lines by myself (before i would do it totally alone with an upper level lurking somewhere "just in case", but now i can just do them totally alone).

in house news we got a new chair for the living room.  the other room that we painted, well, the closet is only partially finished and we need to pick out carpet.  H has been making incredible headway on updating the electric outlets and killing evil vines in the backyard.  i have been...well...not doing much.  alas.

so just to throw it out there, these are the specialties i'm considering in no particular order: trauma/cc, plastics, vascular, and MIS.  i just wanted to document it somewhere to see how it changes as the years go on.  and yes, i'm very much aware at how NOT ALIKE they are all to each other.  i guess i'm complicated.

alright, i'm going to attempt to do normal people things now.  just have to finish up my christmas care package to my family at home, tomorrow i'll ship it out.  and eat lunch.  hope all y'all out in internet world are doing great.  happy holidays.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

step 3? check!

i got my score report back this week.  PASS for step 3!  so excited!

so i felt that i should have passed, but i know i didn't study for it like i wanted, but whatever.  i took the test, left feeling really crummy.  alas.  but i got my score report back and i had a respectable score!  so pumped!  a nice confidence boost going into my ABSITE studies...i know i need it.  glad those things are done with.  granted, i still have those yearly ABSITEs and boards and whatever, but at least i'm done with the steps.

i was on vacation this last week, and i wish i had a few more days.  it felt so nice to get house work done.  we painted a room, ripped out old carpet, updated kitchen cabinet pulls, swapped out washers, put in an updated kitchen room light...those were the main things.  still tons of work to do, but man it felt good to get some stuff done.  the house is really coming along.

tomorrow i start my trauma rotation.  blah!  so now i need to brush up on all the patients.  thank goodness for electronic medical records!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


so i took step 3 two weeks ago.  people say it takes a while to get your scores back.  i'm so nervous...i feel like i should have passed, but never say never, right?  at least work has been so busy that i haven't had too much time to sit around and be anxious for it.  also, got ABSITE coming up in january anyway, so i've been picking up the study pace.  got to be better than last year, that's for sure...

i'm on call tomorrow, second year in a row for halloween call.  boo!  and then i am on call again friday and then i'm OFF FOR A WHOLE WEEK.  oh yes.  i was supposed to NOT be on call friday, but then people quit programs and then the rest of the class has to pick up the slack.  (that's a long story, but unfortunately not mine to tell.)  it is what it is.  i don't mind call, i just don't like last minute changes when it comes to call i suppose.  at least my last call wasn't so bad...i got about 3 hours of sleep so i was downright HYPER when i got home yesterday!  i folded a ton of clothes and finally put things into my dresser cabinets.  (oh yeah, and we moved into this house in june!)

trauma starts in 1.5 weeks.  all my calls next block are trauma/icu calls.  i've only done 2 of them so far, and things have been ok.  you essentially just stay awake all night hyperventilating that nothing bad happens, vs. ED consult call, where you just sit around and wait for people to come in.  and when the weather is crappy outside, not too many people come in!

alright, i'm going to read about the pancreas and whipples...WAHOO.  seriously.  things are going well overall, just sleep deprived, but what else is new for surgery residents?

OH, and i made a kick ass turnip soup the other day.  take THAT!

Friday, September 07, 2012

chest tubes!

i remember as a med student wanting so badly to be the one to put in the chest tube, and now i can freaking drop them in easily.  well, at least on sedated patients!  on ventilators!  hahaha...well i did do one on an awake patient which didn't turn out too well, but i blame that partly on him and on myself.  but last night i did a chest tube on a sedated vented patient and it just went in like butter.  get the post procedure chest xray, and BAM!  beautiful tube!  no more pneumothorax!  and the tube just gently curves up just so nicely and then when the trauma attending says "nice tube" it's hard to not feel a little happy on the inside.  i finally got it in my head how "hard" i have to push to poke into the chest cavity with the kelly.  you got to be just aggressive enough, but not too aggressive at the same time.  so now i just got to do some on awake patients...

i got both my fem sticks last night...i was pretty stoked about that too.  it's the best feeling...palpate the femoral...go a little medial (but for me, i've learned that i tend to want to go too medial so stay a little more lateral than i think, and go at a steeper angle than i want)...put the needle in (big stick!)...hit the vein...aspirate and BAM!  dark blood!  yell out LAB!!!  they grab the tube from you and it's like YES i didn't screw it up that time!

this morning i presented at M&M (morbidity and mortality) conference.  my first presentation as a 2nd year. i think it went decently, i handled the questions pretty well.  granted, it could have been better, but 1) my case was kind of blah and 2) post call!  but i got the basic messages across and held my attending's point of view up.  all i can ask for.

then after i left for the morning my 3rd year friend (who was also on call) and i got some post call drinks and chatted about things like normal people do.  hahaha, i guess if normal people went out at 10:15 AM, but i guess we're really not that normal anyway.  we did some fun girl talk, some good pep talk, some shop talk (i.e. OMG THAT SPLEEN, etc), then got into some very intellectually stimulating conversation about how we like to tie knots depending on the suture or what we're trying to tie, etc.  surgeon nerd girls.  i love it.

so now i'm post bowel movement, post shower, and now lying in bed about to blissfully pass out.  you know you're a resident when all you want is enough time to properly go to the bathroom, a nice shower, and NO PAGERS!!!  and i have tomorrow off!!!  SO EXCITED!!!

so all i gotta say is 2nd year is nice so far.  and my tomatoes that i grew FROM SEED have finally started to ripen and they taste damn good.  and to all my blogger peeps, my perpetual apologies for my infrequent posting.  i should blog more...i love my field...everyone should do surgery!

and with that i'm going to peace out and sleep.  have a great day.

Thursday, August 02, 2012


so i'm trying out reading textbooks on the kindle.  my program gives a nice sized educational allowance, so i thought i'd start trying to kindle read in addition to regular books.  my program gets books online too, but i hate reading stuff on the computer after a while.  my eyeballs hurt.  plus when going on trips the standard books are freaking heavy!

today i practiced tying 6-0 i understand why my attending said to practice tying knots with your eyes closed!  you can't feel the suture!  i also want to buy a large needle driver so i can practice my palming.  have i mentioned that i like vascular?  (probably not, since i hardly ever update anymore!)

H and i have joined a CSA and omg i love getting the weekly veggie boxes!  today we are going to grill chicken, eggplant, squash, and i'm going to roast some purple potatoes.  yums!

so yes, life is going well.  i'm trying to read a hell of a lot more...trying to be a lot better on the ABSITE this next go around and be the badass resident i know i can!