Medical Mondays: Making Lists

It is Medical Monday again.  If you are somehow medically affliliated, check out the button below for information on linking up or for some interesting reading.

I love lists.

I am sure you noticed if you are around here very often.  I am all about top ten lists and the like.  I am pretty sure I could make a top ten list of my favourite top ten lists.

But it isn’t just ranking my favourite things.

It is also my favourite organizational tool.

I have my to do list on the wall in the resident’s room. I update it weekly and check things off and such, much to the fascination to the other residents.


This is an over month old version of the list, but you get the picture.

I have our household chores list on the refrigerator. It even has magnets to check things

I am excited thinking about the address list I need to formulate in order to write and send our Christmas cards (on an aside, this is the first year I am properly sending out Christmas cards… It makes me feel very adult).

I was excited to find a Christmas card list. Okay, I probably won’t take it this far… Image from

I make pro-con lists.  I made one about dating Patrick, marrying Patrick, getting a cat, picking an apartment, picking a residency program.  Yes.  I am pretty much the real-life Rory Gilmore of pro-con lists.

In medicine, we use a lot of lists.  We memorize protocols for different procedures or issues or differentials.  Some people mneumonics.  I hate those things.  I can’t do it.  I need to understand the logic, the pattern.  And then I can hammer out the list.

Image from

I have a life list.

As in I, although it is not written down, have a basic outline for how I see things going.  A 5 and 10 year plan, if you may.

I know that these things aren’t set in stone.  I mean, I get that.  I also get that it is not always in my control.  But, I know we are here until 2017… Probably more like 2018.  I know when we want to have a baby… And another baby.  I know what fellowship I want to do and where I want to work.  Where Patrick could work.

It is all in there in my head.

I hate it when my lists don’t work out.  When a condition doesn’t fit the pattern I expect.  When life throws a curve ball.  When I am out of the cleaning supply I need to get the next thing on the cleaning plan done.  When the budget doesn’t work out.

I like plans.  I like lists.

Life and medicine throws curveballs.

I feel like medicine excels at the curveball.

Curveballs mess with my lists.  They add to them or change them in ways I can’t otherwise predict.

But, figuring out how to get around the curveball is pretty cool too.  And trusting that eventually, it will hit the ground or your glove and then you get to try to start over from a different point.

Then, I can make a new list.  Or at least try.

And have the satisfaction of checking things off or sorting things out in the end.

The big picture thing for me is that God plays a HUGE role in the whole list thing and rearranging thing.  The rearranging often comes with me not paying attention to Him to see that He is moving things in a different direction or wants me to move in a different direction.  He has a bigger plan.

God is the ultimate list maker.

Sometimes I just like my list.  It is easier to see and to process.  But, I keep telling myself His is better.  And often our lists are the same.  But sometimes, He is the one that throws a curveball.  And I trust that those work out for the best in His time.

Some big things have been checked off my list recently.  The LMCCII, a presentation, some scheduling issues, getting a new coffee table set (it is sad how essential this was starting to become).  All of these are notches in the belt, ticks on the list.  Evidence of progress, even if it seems like there are a ton of big things still to come.

Progress is progress.  And plans and patterns are helpful, but they aren’t perfect.  I just want them to be sometimes to make things easier.  I just need to trust that there is a better list maker at work here.

White Carpet

I didn’t post yesterday because I was in the midst of a post-exam/life got busy cleaning fit.

Such is the pattern of my life.

I maintain a clean house.  Then, things happen and I get less productive.  Then, I have an exam and I do even less.

Then, once it is over, I loose my mind at the mess that is my house (Patrick will tell me that it isn’t that bad… I don’t know what he can’t see).  I freak out for a bit and then I hammer out cleaning the whole thing.

That was my last night.

While cleaning I thought of a whole rant that I have been wanting to share.

I will refrain from sharing the whole thing or we will actually be here all night.

What fool invented white (off-white) carpet!?!?!?

Really, why carpet in the first place?  It feels a bit nicer/warmer, but really it is an added hassle.

But, white carpet is something that is just asking for trouble.

It doesn’t stay white.  It doesn’t even stay off-white the way I would like.

I know, you need to be careful around it.  Not eat over it or track your shoes in.

Clearly, you people do not have a husband or a cat or a life.

I have found keeping white carpet clean a near impossibility.  Maybe, if we lived in bubbles or had a carpet cleaner machine-thing we would be okay.  Or if we always wore socks and never spilled things and rarely had people visit.

Having a cat of an identical shade to the carpet, so that the giant tumbleweeds of cat hair that form just hours after vacuuming wouldn’t show up so nastily.  Also, said cat would need to keep all his food in his dish, all his litter in his box and not knock things over or throw up.

Not happening.

I do know of another way to keep white carpet clean… Not put it in every living space of the house minus the kitchen and bathroom!

Our dining room has carpet.  I spill things bringing stuff there.  I drop things in there.  It is just a bad idea.  The bedrooms and hall are one thing, but the dining room really baffles me

The living room is the worst room for me, though.  Even though it is a reasonable room theoretically to carpet, we (don’t judge) eat there a lot, we snack there.  We run in with our shoes to grab things and it is the room that is between both the kitchen and the living room or the door, so all kinds of stuff happens to trail in there.

Don’t get me wrong here people.  It isn’t like we are living in our own filth.  But, I am kind of anal retentive, so the spots from anything hitting the floor make me a little crazy.  And I live with a non-observant boy and a cat who is too curious for his own good.

I go through a bottle of carpet spot cleaner every couple months.

When we were in high school, we had a friend who had a white carpet basement and very particular parents.  They would let us all come over and hang out in her basement.  We would eat food and she would run around with the carpet cleaner stuff to get rid of any potential spots.

I feel like I am channeling that friend sometimes, although I try not to attack people mid drink when a drop falls from their glass.

I try.

My wide-reaching solution to all this would be to get rid of all carpet.  It just harbours allergens and mould anyway.

Jeter is trying to help me in this mission by repeatedly scratching at the same spot under our door to wake us up in the morning.  He hates the carpet too and is slowly trying to destroy it.  Obviously this is the only explaination.

I came to realize the other day when new neighbours moved in that not all apartments in our building have carpet.  Well, that is disappointing.  I wish we got one that had no carpet and new cupboards.  Clearly, other than having one of the bigger ones with a sweet deck, we got a bum deal.

I half want to volunteer to take the carpet out on their behalf.

But no.

Even having colored carpet would be a step up.

Hide the nastiness.  Then, you just get a gross surprise when you finally decide to tear the carpet up (like my parents who recently pulled up the carpet that covered the living room floor for the entire time they lived in the house and discovered all kinds of grossness).  Darker carpet doesn’t show stains as avidly.  Unfortunately, Jeter is a shade of grey that I suspect will show up on almost any carpet.

I know, it ruins the neutral flair of an apartment having colored carpet.

I say screw the neutrality.

I crawl around on the floor with a spray bottle and a damp cloth.  I sure as heck would deal with a change in color palatte.

At least we only have carpet until we move again.

Given our current pattern, we basically have another year or two left of carpet.  I am totally demanding less carpet in our next home.  Or getting shares in the sprayable carpet cleaning stuff.   I am that kind of needy.

Prolonged Week (the home call version of post call)

I was on call this weekend.

The hospital ate me.

Nothing serious, nothing that kept me up all night.  Saturday was reasonable.  A few outside calls, the usual rounding.  I got out for a walk, baked cookies and we watched the Habs win on TV between all of it.   But, a steady Sunday with all kinds of hiccups and issues that made me want to facepalm repeatedly (like losing a scheduled admission patient for 4 hours only to find out they weren’t able to come in until around 8pm… Please note… We are not a hotel!)

Luckily it was home call, so after working all week, then most of the  weekend, I got to get up and start another week again.

Oh, and my brother in law arrives  for a visit tomorrow.

Thank goodness I have an awesome husband who helps around the house.

And I wouldn’t trade my full weekend home call for in-house call for anything.

Too bad I can’t call in exhausted and in need of a good housekeeper.

I had such a good run of call.

It is either feast or famine.

On a semi-related note, today is Medical Monday.  To check out much more eloquently written (though possibly at times equally sleepy) posts from medically related folks, check out the link here.

Becoming Domesticated

I love being domestic in the stereotypical sense of the word.  I am still nesting… As in I am still trying to get settled in to our house just the way I like it.  I’m still not quite there yet.  We will get there at some point.  I only have time and funds to do that sort of stuff in increments (for instance, I have volunteered the Child to help me during my vacation in re-covering a bench in our apartment that has been cat-mangled).

I am not domestic in that I work so much and have priorities outside of the home such that I sometimes feel like I get behind on things.  Our bed is not always made, we are known to have dish mountains and sometimes I am known to really hunt for clean underwear in the mornings.  Thankfully, my husband is a superstar who isn’t afraid of the vacuum cleaner or the washing machine.

I saw a chore list posted on a friend’s Facebook wall that I acquired.  It has made its home with our postcard and magnet collection on our fridge (yes, some of my decorating tastes may be a bit juvenile by times, but it makes us happy).

The post-card/magnet stash (we had to get rid of some of the originals when we moved because there were too many... sad face).

The post-card/magnet stash (we had to get rid of some of the originals when we moved because there were too many… sad face).

The whole chore list thing re-motivated me.  That and that I hate having to power clean on one of my few rare Saturdays off.  So, having a list of things, some of which we do daily, some of which we procrastinate and then a division on non-daily stuff may help us get that stuff done more effectively.  Maybe.

The chore list... As stolen from a Google search on someone's Pinterest page (I still refuse to get Pinterest).

The chore list… As stolen from a Google search on someone’s Pinterest page (I still refuse to get Pinterest).

Since this weekend was a delightful (second in a row) weekend off, I not only cleaned, but I have had a chance to get groceries and do some cooking (and see the movie Quartet).

Tonight, we are having French Onion soup from scratch!  IMG_0517

  • All you need are 5 onions thinly sliced, 6 cloves of garlic, ½ cup of butter, 2 tablespoons of flour and a box of Campbell’s beef broth.  Oh, and bread and cheese.
  • You toast the bread in the oven until it is hard.
  • Fry the onions and garlic with butter until golden (that will take about 30 or 40 minutes).  The mix in the box of broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 min.  Add the flour to thicken.
  • Drop in the bread chunks and cheese.

Om nom nom.

I sliced a chunk of my thumb off, but otherwise, it seems to have been a success.

I have also prepared a slow-cooker Cajun chicken recipe to cook while we are at work tomorrow (props to Patrick for volunteering to put the prepared meal in the cooker and turning it on at lunch so we don’t burn the house down (something about being out of the house more than 6-8h that can be problematic).  I didn’t quite have the right ingredients, but some spice variations (to the milder end) shouldn’t be a bad thing in this house.

Supper just waiting to be slow-cooked tomorrow.

Supper just waiting to be slow-cooked tomorrow.

All of this food prep means lots of deliciousness at work lunches this week (woot woot).

On a domestication note, my desk space at work is relatively homey complete with drawings from my “niece” and “nephews” and festive stationary paraphernalia. IMG_0505

On a childish (and head decorating instead of home decorating) note… Look at the fabulous headphones I purchased (for the same price as plain ones) after I finally broke the cord on my last set last week.

I like owls... And orange.  What else can I say?

I like owls… And orange. What else can I say?

To a happy work week (preferably full of food and clean houses)!

Squeaky clean

Image via

One of my favorite things to do after an exam or time of busyness is to clean the house.  I mean, really clean the house.  Wash the floors, the counters, and the little crannies in the bathroom that are quite disturbing when you really think about it…. All of that good stuff.

Usually, after one of those times, the house really needs it too.  Patrick is a superstar husband and is good at keeping up with the laundry and dishes, but he is self-proclaimed to be a bit lacking in detail… He doesn’t notice the dirt in the corners like I do.  So, when exams are done or when I have a chunk of time off, I tear around like a mad woman with my music turned up loud and give a good clean.  Even if Patrick doesn’t think the house needs it.

I find the whole thing satisfying (especially since today it is nice enough to open the windows and really air the place out).  I just love knowing that I really made the place cleaner.  This time it is turning into a several day episode, as I decided that I need to sort through my old notes and my closet and such (time to purge of the notes I will no longer need, given I am done with this part of my training and also get rid of whatever I can to minimize the junk we move).   I considered hammering through and doing it all today, but it is too nice out to waste the whole day cleaning, even if it is satisfying.

In church this Sunday, we talked about a different type of spring-cleaning.  The type of cleaning we need to do with our lives.  Basically it was a discussion of some of Paul’s letters to the church.  That people were doing some things very right and other things quite wrong.  He corrected where needed and gave credit where credit was due.  From the outside, to most people, things may have looked okay, but maybe some other aspects needed work, some just under the surface.

It is not how long you’ve known, it only matters how much you’ve grown.  –Pastor John

When it comes to spiritual maturity, some people just say, well, I have been in the church this long and therefore I am mature.  But really, you need to grow and change.  I question if one can ever really be fully spiritually mature… Because that would be Jesus.

So, we need to try to grow.  Much like my cleaning, it does not happen if you just sit back and watch the dishes accumulate (trust me, this week, I tried that).  You do need to put some effort forward.  We have the Holy Spirit to guide us and to shape us, but really, we have to make an effort too.  Otherwise the change is not permanent or apparent or even existent.

The pastor showed us this great video and I have put it in.  It is about 10 minutes long, but well worth the watching.  It had me thinking.

So, really are we willing to clean things up?  Do we actually see ourselves as God’s handiwork?  That we were made on purpose?  And that we don’t always reflect that, but we actually can?

Personally, I don’t know if I can answer yes to all of these.  Sure, I am God’s handiwork.  And I do believe we were made intentionally.  Each and every one.  But, it takes a lot of work to clean up those nooks and crannies in my life that are messy.  In fact, sometimes, I am not even sure if I know where they all are.  I am sure there is a heap hidden away somewhere that I haven’t even picked up on.  Honestly, I wonder if I have the time or energy to do it.  But, that is the cool part.  That I’m not alone in sorting this stuff out.  Much like Patrick helping me with the house work, God helps with refining us.  And He is much more into details.  But, it isn’t easy and it can be painful (kind of like cleaning).  The thing is, the finished product could surprise you.  I am sure it will be satisfying.  Even more so than my clean apartment.

So, to start, we need to recognize that we aren’t perfect.  But, we can be made perfect.  We are God’s handiwork and He wants to make it the way He intended.  Pick a place in your life you feel can use some cleaning and name, then go on from there with God’s help to clean it up.