And… Switch.

It is switch it up day again.

I still hate changeover days.  I don’t like the unknown of going to a new rotation.  I dislike finding new offices, sorting out times to go to new clinics and all that stuff.  The unknown kind of sucks.

I was really sad to leave Peds Onc.  Minus my episode of semi-depression after the first week and a half, it has been a fabulous rotation.  Kids and Oncology… Not much else more to love!  At least to me as an Oncology resident who not-so-secretly sometimes wonders if Peds is the place for her.

Seriously, it was a great rotation.  I learned how to do cool things like lumbar punctures (poking needles in spines… and administering chemo) and bone marrow biopsies.  And I don’t even like procedures, but those are similar to taking blood and I do get strange kicks out of taking blood.  I learned a ton about kids cancer and chemo drugs and such.  But the bigger piece is that I got to know some super awesome families and play with some fabulous kids.  I actually followed some kids almost weekly in clinic, and a few of them I followed from diagnosis as an inpatient.  In the world of a resident where you are forever darting in and out of services, that kind of consistency is pretty exciting.

Now, I am off to Family Medicine.

My Dad that I should get a by and not have to do it given the med school I went to.  Not so much.  But it is true, I have already done over 12 weeks of Family Med and another 4 of general community Internal Medicine (which in some contexts is still a lot of primary care).  That makes me feel prepared for the rotation, at least.

Family as a med student was one of my best and one of my more liked rotations, but part of that was the doc I worked with was a person I got along with famously.  It helps.

My orientation was good.  The clinic is nice.  I am fascinated by the electronic medical record.  It will be my first time using one in a non-hospital setting.  I am intrigued because I am very pro-EMR (seriously, I wrote a whole health systems paper on them during undergrad).

I start with my first patients tomorrow in clinic.  Whoo.  I find the hardest part is figuring out what people want and what things I need to review and what things I need supervision for.  It seems everyone is different, so it is always a process.

The thing I am most angsty about is that the service also covers their own obstetrics.  Although this isn’t the main thing I am supposed to be doing, I may have to go to a few deliveries (so not my thing), although I will be thrilled to do some prenatal visits (my favourite thing after seniors and babies).

Such is the adventure of new rotation.  You take the good with the bad and figure the rest out as it goes.

This is rotation number 12 of residency.  Our physics exam is at the end of the month, then we are done that for the “year.”  I will no longer be a PGY 1 in just two months (eep).  It is crazy how this stuff flies by.

Death of a Hairdryer

This week, I, in a 36 hour period killed two hairdryers.  TWO!  And I even lived to tell about it.

How, might you ask, did the hairdryer massacre of ’13 occur?

Well, I would love to tell you that something dramatic happened, like I used them to blow away featherweight zombie cats to protect my household.  But, that would be a lie.

I couldn’t resist… This cat kind of looks like Jeter who is terrified of the hairdryer (maybe with good reason). Image from

I could also tell you that I decided to test the whole scenario thing that comes on the warning label (who would actually try to dry one’s own hair while in a tub of water…. Isn’t that kind of counterproductive?).  I do love my efficiency, but that too would be a lie. 

As it turns out, I was just simply drying my hair.  Both times.  Like normal people.  Like I do every day.  Okay, confession, it probably works out more to like every other day if you factor in the days I just throw it up wet or days that I am a dirtbag (confession: those days increase in proportion to the hour I have to wake up to go to work).

Hairdryer number one kicked the bucket Saturday night.  I got home from the gym, we ate supper and I decided to shower before we went to visit the Child & D’s lovely Ellie and play catch the laser and ensure she was nourished (ps… wet pet food is disgusting).  After showering, I, like usual started to dry my hair.  I was still at the level of damp that would lead to insane frizziness and some weird wave action when there was a faint snap, the loud hairdryer noise faded to a quiet grumble and, well, smoke began to fill the bathroom.

First instinct: make sure my hair was not on fire… Check.

Image from

Second instinct:  turn on the fan in the bathroom and pray the smoke detector (right outside the bathroom door) does not start to shriek (because then I would subsequently begin to flap and shriek).

Third instinct:  Gee, maybe I should unplug the smoking object.

I gave up on drying my hair (for the night).  Announced to Patrick that I blew up the hairdryer and we carried on with the day.  As it turns out, I had this one since I moved for med school, so I figured it was just a bit old and cranky.  Plus, I molt like a very hairy beast, so I just assumed years of hair built up in there until… POOF!  It kicked the bucket.  Kind of like atherosclerosis in coronary arteries, but with hair and engines.

I had a small travel hair dryer floating around.  So, I cracked it out Monday morning getting ready for work.

I started drying my hair as per the routine.  I was at the still too soggy to be socially acceptable phase when there was a snap.  And then the high setting ceased to function.  Turns out, it was still set with the little switch thing to European power.  Using it on high in North America may have played a role in its demise, although I cannot say for sure.  The low setting still worked, though… So at least I didn’t go all wet dog to work.

This time, I was a bit more upset.  Two hairdryers in 36 hours.  That has to be some sort of record.

Thus, finally on Tuesday night, I set out to buy a hairdryer for what turns out to be the first time in a very, very long time.  You would not believe the selection!  Okay, you probably would, but I couldn’t.  I stood and stared for a very long time.  I bought one in my price range (aka, cheap) with a removable “hair trap.”  I felt like this may potentially save me from more of the incidents, although I have to remember to empty said “hair trap.”

The model I selected is also apparently ceramic and has an ion setting.  Apparently, according to the box, these are good for my hair.  Something about effective heat and balance or nutrients.  I could not scientifically justify these features or why I need a switch for ions (I am pretty sure ions are everywhere… just saying).  I turned the switch on just in case it makes a difference, though.  I will take all the voodoo I can get on my head of hair.

I was too cheap to spring for the retractable cord, though.

Hopefully this one survives the wrath that is being my hairdryer.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge with the Daily Post is entitled “change.”

I have been through a ton of change over the last year or so.  At some points I felt like I was drowning in change.  I graduated from med school, we moved to a new city, we started new jobs, we left some old friends and made some new friends, we left an old  church and started going to a new church, etcetera.  So much change.

The photos I chose to portray are from my graduation last May.  It shows Patrick and I, some friends and family just after I officially became an MD, which was one of the biggest changes of the year, mainly because it led to all of the other change.

From Hearts To Holes

It is yet another new rotation time.

Ah, the life of an intern.

Variety is the spice of life.

Some days I could use a little less.

As I have mentioned (here and here and here, for instance), I dislike change.  Starting new rotations never fails to stress me out, at least a little.  New expectations, new preceptors, new nursing units.  All of it can lead to pretty significant change.

I have been told on countless times that I am very adaptable.

Adaptable, yes.  But, I am a sad chameleon, the change isn’t fun to me.  I quite like consistency.

Although, I must admit, I am excited to be going into a less busy rotation.  And learning is good.  I like learning.  And relevant learning.

Jumping around like this will make me a good doctor.

Today, I went from the world of Cardiology to the world of Gastroenterology.

Thankfully, this isn’t as epic as the change from Surgery to Peds Emerg or Peds Emerg to Cardiology.  At least the two fall under the same Royal College specialty.  Big win.

Image from

So, as goes with the start of a new rotation, I have reading to do.  More than I do after I am a week in and more comfortable with the subject matter.  Tonight’s mission… Learn about the management of decompensated liver failure.  This, after a month of managing decompensated heart failure.  It is a pleasant change, to be honest.

On a completely unrelated note… My husband forgot me at work today.  In his defense, I walk home most days, but opted not do compliments of some snow.  In my defense, we did discuss that he would pick me up on the way to work this morning.  I thought it was funny.  Possibly because I frolicked out into the snow to met the car only to realize that it was not our car and our car was nowhere to be seen.  Better me than our unborn children.

This is kind of what I looked like when I realized he wasn’t outside and that it was snowing and I didn’t wear boots. Image from

On a more related note, I listened to this song  while getting ready for work this morning.  Today marks my PGY-1 half done day. 


I don’t like change.

It isn’t that I dislike variety or trying new challenges.

I like those things if I can plan for them.

But sometimes you cant.

For instance, today a one hour teaching round was changed without notifying me (on my morning off) to a two hour session.  I was unimpressed.  Especially when it went 20 minutes over the 2 hours.

Time means a lot to me.  I function on a schedule.

I started pediatric emergency medicine last week.  And I love it.  I love kids in a one-on-one setting.  Emerg is a place where you can sometimes do a lot by doing very little and it is a pretty interesting and high yield place to learn.

Bigger bonus…. Shift work.

At least that is what I thought.

I love shift work because it means guaranteed 8 hour days.  Although the rest of the world may think this is standard, I have adjusted to a go into wor at 6:30 and hope for the best sort of routine.  Plus, every four days or so, I just hole up in the hospital for over 24 hours.  8 hour days gives a freedom I haven’t had in ages.  Especially with a known, defined schedule for a whole four weeks!

My only issue with this new schedule is that it means shifting my sleep pattern.  Working a few days, then an evening and then a night is a bit hard on my brain.  Not only my scheduling brain (who is in love with the pattern), but moreso my migraine brain.

I got a blazing migraine this morning. My first in a while.  A sign that my medication and self-care has been working effectively.  But nonetheless, when a migraine strikes at 10 and you work at 3, life is not smiling.  At least it wasn’t at work.

It went away quickly with some sumitriptan and a nap.

It made me remember that as much as my body isn’t built for sleeping in, it isn’t built for all of the schedule changes that come with shift work.

But the hours are so good!

I have had time to meet up with friends.  We have people visiting for the weekend.  I actually finish reading I am assigned ahead of time.  Big win.

I was told in one of my first evaluations for the rotation that I am adaptable.  I figure out and blend with my surroundings.  I learn how to work in a new place quickly.

If only my head did that well with the shift changes.

Like call, it will likely get better.

But again, I think I can deal with the odd migraine and enjoy the time I have to do things like life.  It is kind of nice.

Plus I love the kids… Until they all get me sick… I am sure that is coming soon.

New Years… Up too late and making irrational life changes

I am not an especially festive person, though the number of posts I wrote about Christmas may make one think otherwise.  Celebrating the New Year is no real exception to this.  Why have an epic party to celebrate a date in which our calendar changes.  It is just a date that was picked by someone based on the moons or something ridiculous like that.  Definitely a festivity as silly and cheesy as Valentine’s Day.  Plus, you are forced to stay up way past your bedtime and make noise at midnight.  Then there is the kissing at midnight… ugh.

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.  ~Bill Vaughan

The start of the New Year is the prototypical “I am going to change myself” time of year.  Everyone seems to be coming up with something new to do or try.  There are a billion ads on TV about weight loss and exercise programs.  I am going to have to crowd my way into the gym when I choose to show up because the population increased by over 50% with people who will disappear again by mid-February.

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.  ~Author Unknown

Its not that I am against self-improvement.  And one of the best ways is to have a determined date of change.  And accountability.  New Years resolutions give you that.  But why do them if they won’t stick.  And why January 1?  I much prefer random days like… December 13, for instance.  Or perhaps June 11, my Birthday.  Nonetheless all of this resolution talk gets me thinking.  Today, the message in church was about changes in the new year (well, sort of).   The pastor spoke on three main themes for the new year being store up, stir up and step up.

  1. Store up:  Jesus was an efficient guy.  He didn’t waste things.  See John 6:12.  There are things that have happened to us in the last year that we can value and look back on as learning point
  2. Stir up: Refer to Timothy 1:6.  Paul was giving Timothy a pep talk.  We have a purpose in our life.  We need to remind ourselves of that purpose.  Don’t get too comfortable.
  3. Step up: Be ready for action.  We have to be willing to act on things and not just what we do in public, but also in private.  We need to act on what is important and maintain focus.

These are lovely baselines for life changes.  Think about how the changes are honoring to God, not just yourself.

I am not setting any resolutions… I am anti-resolution.  Well, sort of.  But, over the course of this year I have a few plans.  One is to get tighter with God.  To really know Him, not only through reading my Bible more (this past year I finally read the thing concurrently and entirely, pretty exciting), but through prayer and quality time.  Another is to better serve others in my work by learning more and doing more.  Growing in my career.  Growing in my relationships.  All that stereotypical stuff.  But for real.  In other stereotypical things… I have some structured goals that I want achieve, but they aren’t exactly new.  I, of course want to be healthier and go to the gym more often than not (goal… twice per week minimum), maybe read more fun books (one per month minimum), try to write regularly (once per week).  I guess I know I can’t do all of those things.  At least not without God first and without serving others by an extent of the other things.  Basically I just want to grow and what comes of it will come hopefully, but not always meeting my little goals along the way.

Down with resolutions… Despite having made some… Sort of.