Excuses, excuses…

Hello world,

It’s me, Trisha.  The one who used to blog here daily and then it slowed down to a few times a week.  And, it seems that I haven’t posted a thing in something like 3 months.  That is a long time for me.

Confession…  In the time I haven’t been blogging, I also haven’t been reading many blogs, at least not ones that I regularly follow.  Heck, I haven’t even read many books that weren’t intended to teach me things about cancer or radiation.

I’m still alive.  Promise.

Are you ready for the giant list of excuses?  I have them.  And I think they are relatively legitimate.  But really, I know *most* people aren’t looking for excuses.  It’s not like this is my job or main life commitment. 

That being said, I really like blogging.  And really missed it (I know, then why did I stop doing it for so long?).  I have ton of things I would like to write about. 

My main excuse is the fact that I am very pregnant.  As in the Creature could make an appearance any day now.  And in the past few months, much of my energy has been put into growing this little creature or figuring out how to make our home/life hospitable.

Next up, I’m a resident.  Yes, I know lots of people are.  But, the combination of pregnant and resident is a whole lot to deal with.  Especially when you have issues with being a chronic overachiever who bites off more than they can chew, doesn’t want to say no to anything and has to do well on every single rotation.

Lastly, I have a life with other commitments.  I like my family and my friends and my church.  They all require time from me. 

So, by the time I got split into those three things, making sure I was clean, fed and got some semblence of sleep, there was little time left for blogging.  Sure, I had time I could have used for blogging or fun reading, but mostly, I wasted it mindlessly staring at the TV or What To Expect forums (more on those some other time).

Excuses, excuses. 

In summary (as if this is some sort of essay or proposal), I wish I wrote more, but I didn’t.  Now, I am going to try again.  Let’s see how this goes…

 

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Reblog: “In Defense of Doctors”

I read this the other day on a friend’s Facebook page and I liked it enough to want to share it with other people.  Check it out, it is called “In Defense of Doctors” by The Murrays.

In a day and age where everyone has information at their fingertips, it seems that distrust of the medical system is everywhere.  I work and function in that system every day.  I also am a patient in that same system.  I have to trust it.  I can be well educated and informed, but I go in expecting my physician or nurse or other caregiver to know their stuff too.  These people go to school for years.  They sacrifice their lives.  They don’t want to do stuff to harm you.  I’m certain of it.

I have on more than one occasion come home and worried about a patient I left at work.  Or spent hours scouring the internet for the right answer.  That is what it means to be in a caring profession.

Please trust that we care.  And we have your best interest at heart.  We sacrificed a lot to get here.  It doesn’t stop with you.

How Did That Happen? New Series

Recently, my blog keeps getting visits via search engines to get to this post… “Things I Wish I Had Known Starting Residency.” It is exciting to see people landing here not reading about whether Grey’s Anatomy is a real portrayal of life on a General Surgery rotation (Spoiler alert… It is not.).

It makes me realize July is coming and soon enough I will be on-service learning what I actually want to do for the rest of my life (and done two years of residency).  MIND BLOWN!

I don’t claim to be a leading expert in things. Well, I am an expert in what I wish I had known and I am at least kind of aware of what happened to me (some days more than others), but it is tough to predict what others want to know. But, I am happy to help (or send people running).

It has motivated me to do a series, which is pretty exciting to me because I have never really been motivated to do anything beyond a post mentioning that I will continue to talk about the same subject another day or blog hops.

I call the series “How Did That Happen?”  Oh, and I am super proud of the graphic I created for it (I only wasted an hour figuring it out.)

stethoscopes1

The series in question is a sort of how-to guide/list for some common questions or issues that I or others have had about med school and residency and a mix between legitimate advice, the obvious and the sarcastic.

Obviously, they will have a certain angle about them. I mean, I can only write from my experience and the experience of some lovely friends from whom I mooch acquire knowledge. I am Canadian, so clearly that may influence some things. I am a girl and in the world of medicine, sometimes that still matters. Oh, and I am in Rad Onc (just one of the smallest programs ever).

Again, I am not an expert. This is not life advice or medical advice. Really, it is a different approach to writing about some of the randomness of med school/resident life in list form and sometimes make it legitimately useful.

This is an experiment. So, once a week, you’ll find one, maybe two. Until I stop for one reason or another..

If there is something you want a how-to about from anything from how to be a good resident to how to not get gastro on your first call shift, let me know. Suggestions are welcome.

Feeling anti-writing (and proud of my cat grass)

This week (or two) has been an anti-writing week.

I just haven’t felt like writing.  Sometimes I have ideas, but I can’t bring myself (or find the time) to sit down and actually write.

I can’t say I’ve had a particularly bad week.  Or even a crazy busy week.

My days are full.  I am on Palliative Medicine, so I am in my happy place.  I’ve been keeping up with the gym and we spent the weekend at home visiting family.

All good things.  All tiring things.

My big physics exam is coming up.  I need to prep a manuscript for the university research day.  I need to prep a manuscript for publication.  I am presenting at a conference next week.

I guess things are kind of adding up.  And possibly, some of the feeling overwhelmed from that is keeping me from writing (or working on those things, for that matter).  Hopefully, it passes soon.  I kind of want my groove back.

On a brighter and unrelated note, the cat grass is growing… A lot.   And the cat doesn’t eat it.  He just sniffs it and bats it. Basically, we have a pot of freakishly tall lawn.  I think I might trade it in for coriander at some point soon…

 

On Blogging As A Resident

I can’t believe that it is the first Monday of the month again.  This last month feels like a blur and that is despite the fact that I have been on two of my least favourite rotations of residency (but not my least favourite because gen surg and cardiology will always be worse).

Regardless, it is Medical Monday and thus time for a link-up with other medically minded blogs.  Click the link-image thing below to see more.

Today is one of those days that I really don’t feel like blogging.

Everyone has days like that I am sure, but it made me think about what I think about being someone who blogs about all things life and medical.

First of all, time is an issue.  I mean, I work generally anywhere from 8-12 hours daily plus call.  Then, we are supposed to study and, you know, have a life and do research and such.  So, blogging is a scheduled in wind down activity for me most days… Usually I do it while watching TV with the husband (while he micromanages his basketball pool or catches up on the last 24 hours in sports).

Then there is the whole what to write about or not write about.  I very intentionally choose to not write about something immediately after it happens so I can think of ways to appropriately change details and keep things confidential and appropriate.  Some days I just want to write about situation X, but I know if I don’t process things properly, I could potentially say something I shouldn’t and so those posts get held on to until things are okay.

On the same coin, I don’t directly disclose my full name, nor our exact location (although I am sure some people have figured it out.. And no, that was not a challenge) or the names of our friends or family.  I do know that it is possible to figure out, so I avoid certain topics like very specific hospital politics etcetera.

I have been trying to keep a balance of being up front about things but keeping things at a place where I wouldn’t want to die (and wouldn’t get fired) if someone I knew from work or my family or wherever read this (and people I know do read this).

I have been trying to keep writing original things and thoughts and reflections, but also trying to build community (and having great fun) doing blog hops and list making and such.  I find it tough to balance those with my other writing.  Maybe because in a way formatted prompts are easier, but take time too.

That being said, there are things I would like to write about.   I feel like it took some time before I was comfortable addressing certain topics before, like faith or interviews or family stuff… I would like to be more transparent about some issues and struggles and the worry is that I might offend someone or surprise someone close to me or that it will shock someone or cause some sort of trouble I don’t want.  I guess that is life writing something on the internet.  Those are things I need to sort through.

The goal is to keep writing because I enjoy it.  And it makes me process and learn and grow  And I feel like it is an interesting medium to get through to people and share with people on a bunch of levels.  I get to share my faith.  I get to share my work.  I get to help people and I get help from people.  It is a two way street and that is part of what makes it so cool.

The competitive streak in me wonders if I write about the wrong things… If my stuff isn’t interesting enough.  If I don’t get enough views or that I don’t write well enough to “go viral” so to speak.   But really, that isn’t what it is all about.  And I would probably panic if something I wrote was that popular.  True story.

Really, I write for writing’s sake.  And for the communication aspect.  I want people to know that residents are people too, that medicine isn’t all bad, that marriage is good, Jesus is awesome and everyone needs to read and listen to music more.

So, on that note…

Are there things that people would want to read about as people who read my blog?  Is there something you want to hear me rant on or reflect on or share? 

Top Ten Bookish (and Blog-ish) Goals for 2014

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and the Bookish is my top ten bookish or blog related  (I like to say blog-ish) resolutions. 

I, in case you didn’t know, am super anti-resolution because I don’t see why one needs to make all kinds of lofty plans just because it is a new calendar year.  That being said, I also don’t see anything wrong with some reasonable goal setting.  I did it last year and it did lead to some productivity (an a lot of unmet goals).  So, I will set some new goals and draw comparisons to my old ones from 2013 as well.

  1. I have already set up my Goodreads ticker to try to read 67 books this year.  That was also my goal last year and I didn’t make it.  I got to 47.  Given how ridiculous surviving the later half of PGY1 was and all of the other things like research and having a life and such are, I feel like that was okay.  That also means I will try again this year.
  2. Last year, I set a goal to read 5 relevant journal articles from my specialty per month.  This one was an epic fail.  I have a new goal to just plain read 5 journal articles per month, including ones for whatever project or rotation I am working on.  Still learning, but more feasible.
  3. Read all of the books I have yet to read on my own shelves (and on the Child’s shelves).  Sounds simple.  I did a decent job of catching up on my TBR list last year, but it just gets longer and longer.
  4. Read some “useful” non-fiction.  Realistically, I read a ton of non-fiction… All of those medical textbooks for work.  But, I want to read some other stuff.  With our Christmas Chapter’s money, Patrick and I bought a couple Christian living/marriage books.  I feel like they are a good place to start.  But also things like biographies, information about non-medical (or medical) history, discoveries or events.  Even practical things would be nice.
  5. Regular Bible reading.  I said I wanted to do that last year and it was a big struggle.  It is important, so I want to keep working at it.
  6. Read a variety of genres.  This seems easy because I like a variety of genres, however it is easy to get in a rut.  And, I was pleasantly surprised last year by a few books that I wouldn’t have naturally chosen, like Ender’s Game, 11/22/63 and Anna and the French Kiss.  I know I can probably be surprised again.
  7. Use my Kindle.  Patrick got me a Kindle for my birthday and although I have mixed feelings about the concept of an e-reader, I quite like it.  The problem is that I still tend to be drawn to paper books and keep buying them.  The e-reader is so convenient, I really need to embrace it more.  Particularly when it comes to travel and such.
  8. Keep blogging.  I was posting daily but have slowed down on that partly because I felt like I didn’t have much to say, partly because I had less time and partly because of other priorities.  I still love blogging, but it is a challenge to do sometimes.  I want to keep it up, maybe not as regularly, but with some consistency.
  9. Be a social blogger.  I am not really a social anything.  I used to read and follow a ton of blogs, but have cut back because I haven’t had time to seek out new things or read that much online.  I’d like to get back to doin that a bit more.
  10. Writing of the non-blog-related kind is important too… Not that I am writing a novel or anything, but I do want to submit my current research for publication at some point in the next year and maybe a case report or something.  That all requires writing time too.

What are your blog and bookish related goals for the year?

On Two Years of Blog.

WordPress just informed me that today is my two year anniversary of starting my blog.

My second blogiversary, if you may.

Crazyness.

When I started this thing it was more of a social experiment and a bucket list check off thing for me.  Then, a way of keeping in touch.  Now, it is all of those things, plus a way to get to know some super awesome people… And de-stress/procrastinate.

And my, how life has changed in those two years.  

No, I am not going to look back or make a list of things that happened.

I think I did that last year.  

I am busy, content, and all around kind of where I hoped I would be at this point with a few bumps in the road.  That is what really matters.

And all I will write about tonight.

I am happy, but wiped out from a weekend that was jam packed with visits from L&C, a uro-oncology conference, a work Christmas party, church and Catching Fire with the Child and her husband.  I need to catch up on work, sleep and time alone with the husband.  

Some thanks

Some gratitude…

Thanks to the friend of the patient I saw today who bumped into me at the cafeteria and told me that I am nice and make a good doctor.  It had been an emotionally draining day, but nothing like what you are probably experiencing.  You don’t know how much of a difference it made to me to hear that.  

Thanks to the cat who usually bites and paws at Patrick in the middle of the night instead of me.

Thanks to my parents who are letting us make use of one of their collection of white Christmas trees.  I like that they are weird.  Plus, they are all I have ever really known.

Thanks to the nice person who chased me down the hall last week when I dropped my hospital ID.

Thanks to my husband  who finally dropped of the maintenance request form for the drawer that Jeter broke almost a year ago.

Thanks to the staff doctor who came in to help me when the work was piling up on call without asking and without piling on the guilt.  I got out earlier than I would have, I had way more teaching than I usually get and it saved a lot of phone calls.  

Thanks to Cineplex for buying out Empire Theatres and introducing us to the awesomeness that are Cineplex points and  our first free movie after only going to one before that.

Thanks to the people who read this blog even though sometimes I must seem absolutely boring or bizarre.

Thanks to one of my favourite coffee shops starting a buy 9 drinks get one free card.  

Anyone you want to say thanks to recently?

Searching for something?

So, I took the plunge a few months ago and made my blog searchable.  For those of you who are paranoid users of the internet, you will understand how much angst this induced.

I mean, what if someone figures out who this strange person is?  Agh!  Frightening stuff.

So anyway, I have been deriving some amusement from some of the search terms that people have put in that have delivered unsuspecting folks to my blog.  I have also seen numerous other blogs do a feature post about the ridiculous and/or interesting search terms people use.  I decided that I might as well jump on the bandwagon and do the same.

The most popular terms are the obvious… trishadm.wordpress.com, trishadm, at least we made it this far wordpress, etcetera.  Good job remembering something about my blog to find me.  That means you may actually want to read something on here or mock it with more of your friends.  Either way, it makes me feel good inside (I can’t hear you mocking).

A few others of the very popular items were:

“Misheard music lyrics.”  I am glad I am not the only one who has this struggle and a strange fascination with them.

“The Fault In Our Stars Movie.”  I am excited for it too!  And much less nervous about it potentially being butchered once I saw on the Vlog Brothers channel that John Green is hanging out a lot on the set.  If anyone can stop a movie from sucking, it has to be the author of the book, n’est pas?

“Cyst under armpit” (and other permutations of the same concept).  Yum.  Someone has something nasty happening.  As much as my writing about armpit cysts is entertaining to some, I would suggest seeing a real doctor.

“Best beach reads ever.”  I am glad that you need to look into this.  Please read at the beach and stop making out.  We will all be smarter people if you do this.  Even better, try swimming too.  I hear that is what beaches are for (I mean, that and reading).

“Is surgery like Grey’s Anatomy.”  No.

“I hate (insert medical specialty here).”  We all hate some aspect of medicine.  Okay, not all of us.  Some people like everything.  I don’t.  Just suck it up and get through it.

Some of the strangest/funniest ones (at least to me):

“Cat house with air conditioning.”  My cat’s house is an air conditioner box.  Clearly some people have high expectations and a lot of money to spend on their feline friends.

“Doing internal medicine if you hate sick people.”  Generally not recommended.  Internal medicine is chock full of sick people.  In my opinion, that is part of what makes it awesome.  In fact, one may want to reconsider the whole medicine thing if they are not a fan of the sick person.

“Should residency scare me from medicine?”  Yes.

“Zombie nurse in scrubs.”  Well, that scares me a little.

“Shortness of breath,dizzy, sees stars figuratively, what signs are these.”  You, my friend need to see a real doctor or stop with the hypochondriasis.  Either way, not good.

“Trisha cyber gold digger.”  Gosh, they have figured me out.  That is clearly why I have spent a bagillion dollars in schooling and have yet to make a profit blogging.

“When a man goes out and cum bak late around 4am without any xplanation nd without the wife questioning him,wat does that mean.”  I am not sure what it means, but I do know you need to learn how to spell and possibly should look into marriage counseling.

“A fact of oncologist hating and disliking their jobs.”  I sure hope that isn’t a fact or I have a long 30+ years ahead of me.

“Is “crack it out” a saying?” Well, I use it as a saying.  Not sure that helps you much.

“Murder with exacto knife and travel around the country china.”  What?

“free video naked people at lunch”.  Ummm… I am not that kind of site.  But, if you want to see naked people at lunch, I recommend going to the gym.  I have seen my fair share of naked people there and I am not a fan.

“Easy Button bachelorette party.”  That is a hilarious gift idea.  I wish I had thought of that.  I gave an easy button to Patrick before we started dating.  Now, in retrospect, I find this concerning, not an adorable inside joke.  Oh internet, you ruined my innocence.

Top Ten Books I Read Before I Was a Blogger

I have been blogging for about a year and a half now.  Although I am not at all a dedicated blogger about any one topic, my blogging shenanigans have caused me to read some books that I otherwise would not have.  Nonetheless, I have still read more books before I started blogging than after.

That brings me to today’s Top Ten Tuesday list from the fine folks at the Broke and Bookish, the top ten books I read before I was a blogger.  I am pretty sure several of these are in my top ten even if I included my time blogging, although I have gained a number more books in my time blogging.

  1. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery.  I have read this book a number of times in both English and French and I still love it every time.  I want to go back and re-read the whole series again, though.
  2. The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I wasn’t sure whether or not to include this because I read it before I started blogging, but then re-read the series this summer.  It would have fallen on my list either way, so I included it.
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I still can’t get over how clever this book was.  The movie wasn’t bad either.
  4. Marley and Me by John Grogan.  I got the book after watching the movie and I was so glad that I did.  It is hilarious one minute and had me crying the next.  It also makes me want a dog.
  5. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.  I read this book over a summer (while teaching band camp) after my high school did the musical when I was in the 11th grade.  It was such a good read.  I now have it on my phone to read again, but I struggle with the whole reading on a phone thing.
  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.  I remember reading this on one of our many flights home.  I loved how the book was written and really got the kid… Except his hatred for orange… I didn’t get that.
  7. The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer.  I struggle to explain this. I mock the books, but they were the sort that really suck you in and make you want to keep reading.  I confess, I enjoyed them, even though I wouldn’t do it again.
  8. Wicked by Gregory Maguire.  I want to re-read this one too and then go on to the rest of the series.  I read this during med school interviews after being obsessed with the musical soundtrack for years.
  9. Life of Pi by Yann Martel.  I first read this in late high school (I think) and it was fantastic even then.  I love the combination of adventure and animal facts and spiritual discussion.
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I first read this in 10th grade English and I am still to this day so glad I did.

Many of the books I enjoyed then I still enjoy now (because it hasn’t been that long).  I do notice that I am more open to trying some genres or picking up certain books based on reviews or lists I have read.

What are some of your favourite books from before you blogged?  Have your tastes in books changed?