Things that keep me up past my bedtime

In order of likelihood to do so…

  • My pager.
  • World Junior Hockey/Olympic Hockey
  • NHL playoffs when the Habs are playing.
  • Travel.
  • Visiting friends or family.
  • An exceedingly good book.
  • Homework.
  • Patrick.
  • Something highly intriguing on TV (including other “less important” hockey).
  • My mind on overdrive (especially dangerous when combined with pregnant uterus sitting on bladder).

My priorities are odd.  Its too bad we spent a week visiting friends and family that wrapped up with last night and tonight being hockey and tomorrow night being on call.  And usually sleep is so important to me (and my work is piling up).

Some someecards that describe this weird relationship the M household may or may not have with hockey.  Don’t judge us too much.

Whoo!  Go Canada!!

Playoffs versus Sleep

Few things can make me stay up past my bed time.

Let me list a few:

  1. Call.
  2. Caring for a very sick relative or friend.
  3. Seeing a very special relative or friend for the first time in a while.
  4. A playoff hockey game.

It is the playoffs.  And my team… The Montreal Canadiens are still in it.  As a result, every Montreal game means that it is hockey night in the M household (during the regular season, I generally only stay up for whole games on the weekends).  That means I have to stay up late every other night for the last almost week.  It also means that I eat more junk food (not good given I can’t run).

Image from the Montreal Gazette.

Yes, I have to.  It is not an option.

Tonight, we cleaned the house.  I did an assignment for my Molecular Genetics rotation and worked a wee bit on my manuscript (almost done the submission for research day).  We are now watching the hockey game and it is around that time I would normally be hitting the hay.

I’ll be sleepy in the morning (and I have to leave extra early because my half crutch/half walk thing I have going on means it takes me about triple the time to get to the bus stop).

And yet, I don’t want this to end.  I will deal with the sleep deprivation of a good long playoff run (I would like to thank residency for training me for this kind of thing).  Preferably Stanley Cup kind of long.

I am a hockey fan.  What can I say?


Licked ham and other realizations

The cat licked our ham today.

I turned my back for 5 seconds to grab some water to put at the bottom of the pan and he licked it.  And stared at me spitefully while doing it.

Confession… I put the ham in the oven… It is baking for the next few hours anyway, that should kill anything living on it, right?

Snowbanks make the stores look busier because they take up so many parking spots.

The only Saturdays I seem to have to get groceries (because I didn’t go another day that week) are always the tax free days when the stores are filled with crazies looking for a bargain.

The cat only plays with yarn when I try to knit with it.IMG_1091

The cat knocked my toothbrush into his litter box the other day.  He also knocked my hairbrush in.  Funny how one brush gets washed off and reused and the other warrants a special trip to the pharmacy on the way home from work.

Patrick when skiing today.  Well, I guess it turned out to be snowboarding.  Either way, I have had the house and car to myself all day.  I said I would use the time to work on my research.  So far that is about the only thing I haven’t done.

As pumped I am about Canada’s men’s hockey team being in the gold medal game (and going for the double-double, ha ha), I am crushed that the game fall on a Sunday morning.  I am having to deal with a strange pull to both watch the game and go to church.  Clearly, one needs to be rescheduled.

I finished this mug cozie the other day and am strangely proud of it.IMG_1106

Time goes slower when you are waiting for something to happen.  I swear it should be a law of physics, not just a perception.

My pager started making weird noises today in the car.  Turns out the battery is dying.  I nearly had a stroke because I thought somehow I was being paged despite being signed out.  Did I mention I hate that thing?

I forgot to pick up a smaller needle to give my Mother-in-law her second Twinrix shot tomorrow.  I guess she will continue to think I am a butcher.  Drug companies must get bargains on larger bore needles.  Because they, in my opinion, are just plain mean.

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I am going to present my research at a national conference later this Spring.  Conference and flights are booked.   I have yet to make the presentation or book my hotel.   Is it weird that my biggest concern at this point is what to wear?

Drinking water out of a cup with a straw feels more satisfying than just drinking from a  glass.

Time to fold laundry… And then, maybe get some research work done… Maybe.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

This week’s photo challenge with the Daily Post is entitled “Layers.”

When I was in Ottawa on the CaRMS tour, I happened to be there on the weekend of the NHL All-Stars event.  Too bad I couldn’t actually go see the game.  I, however, partook in some of the free outdoor stuff by myself.

It was a snowy day and they had all kinds of ice sculptures, but the most interesting thing to me were the jerseys that were frozen as a layer in a block of ice.  Since they had been frozen, it was clear that there was a bit of a thaw and now snow, so that increased the layered effect.

IMG_0599 IMG_0600

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts 1

I am linking up with Christine from Bookishly Boisterous for today’s post. I found this meme over at Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student and thought it looked fun and right up my alley.  Basically, it is what it says, a series of thoughts both book related and not book related.

1.  I am currently studying for my LMCC part 2.  Bascially the practical half of my Canadian medical licensing exams that we can write after we finish a year of residency.  The exam is next weekend, so I need to start really focusing. Focusing seems to be a struggle.

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2.  I had my first exam nightmare for that licensing exam this past weekend.  I did not have a reflex hammer and couldn’t figure out how to cover up the embroidered school name on my labcoat (and for some reason tape and paper seemed to be impossibilities).  I got asked to do an exam involving reflexes and couldn’t do them (clearly) without the hammer.  I just kept asking the patient “how does that make you feel?”  I failed.

Image from

3.  While trying to study for my exam, I found this picture describing “a typical injection drug user’s arm.”  This is the only IV drug user who has “heroin forever,” a syringe” and “inject here” on their arm that I have seen.  Most people are a bit less conspicuous.  Just saying.

This is from "Clinical Examination: A systematic Guide to Physical Diagnosis 4th edition" edited by Talley and O'Connor (2001, MacLennan & Pety Pty Limited, Australia).

This is from “Clinical Examination: A systematic Guide to Physical Diagnosis 4th edition” edited by Talley and O’Connor (2001, MacLennan & Pety Pty Limited, Australia).

4.  I am finally reading Anna Karenina and am very excited about it.  The problem is that foolish school and work seem to be getting in the way of reading it.

5.  I wanted to join a hockey pool this year instead of just hovering around Patrick’s.  I missed the start of the season (thank you being busy with work) and then couldn’t start late because I couldn’t stand the thought of being a full week behind the other participants (it would mess up my overall stats, gosh).

6.  I carved my first pumpkin in many, many years this weekend as a part of a mini “competition” with our “niece” and “nephews.”  My partner was 6 year old GL.  She picked the pattern, a witch, because it was a girl. Of course, it was super complicated.  I had to use my mad knife skills while she drew “scary stuff” all over the rest of the pumpkin.  We are lucky we both still have all our appendages.  Patrick and C2 made a skull.  C1 and my Dad made the grim reaper, but accidently cut off his weapon.

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7.  I caught a cold this weekend.  Patrick had it first.  I blame him.  He blames me because I had a scratchy throat last week that went away, so clearly it all came from me.  It is a game of which came first, I suppose.

8.  Fall is my favourite season.  Our friend D likes to point out it is when everything is dying and exclaims things liked “DEATH!” when people talk about how lovely Fall is.  Strange boy.  I think it is lovely.

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8.  The Child got a job at Chapters.  I was so excited, you would think that I got a job.  I mean, she is working at a book store.  And there is a Starbucks in her place of employment.  That is so cool.  She is basically my new hero.

9.  My new guilty pleasure song is “Roar” by Katy Perry.  Don’t judge.  It just makes me feel good inside and it it is good to run to.

10.  I think I actually enjoy running now.  I miss it when I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like.  I also like it better now that I don’t “have” to do 5k every time, but can choose to do 20 minutes or so as a part of my usual work out.  I like that I like the gym more.  It is a good thing.

This is so true. Image from

Saturday Summary

Today has been a day of adventure.

I cleaned like a mad dog this morning.

We watched the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory and I could totally relate to Sheldon’s angst with being unable to complete something.  It pretty much was my life.

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I made fudge.  Said fudge boiled over in the microwave creating a giant sticky fudgey mess.  The fudge bowl then soldified onto our countertop.  While retrieving the beaters to mix up my fudge that was not coating half of my kitchen, I somehow knocked my rice cooker out of the cupboard leading to the lid shattering all over the place.

The fudge turned out.

We do have to buy a new rice cooker.

I made guacamole and impaled myself with a fork.  Try to figure out how that happened… I can’t.

We went on a field trip for coffee and went to a pub for supper.  We found a used bookstore dangerously close to our apartment and I finally bought Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I would have considered the trip a success solely on the fact I didn’t destroy anything else en route.

We hosted resident fun night of awesomeness, which included games and much food.  My evening highlight was playing Quelf, although I am sure the same can’t be said for everyone.  Patrick, however, was pleased to finally win his first game of Apples To Apples.

To top things off, the Habs won their last game of the season against the Leafs.

Oh, and I found this fabulous series of YouTube videos of people from a nursing home dancing to various pop songs. I want to be that awesome when I get old.



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Random Bits

Some random bits of my week without any rhyme or reason (no apologies for disjointedness)…

Hockey is back.  And I believe it now that I see it.  I am not one of those fans who was so ticked off I refuse to watch.  I really did miss it when it was gone.   Last night, I watched the first period of the Habs game in broken-up slow motion thanks to poor streaming from a sketchy website.  I thought now that we have cable and a nice TV things would be better this year… The problem is we still don’t have every game televised.  And we can’t afford the NHL channels.  The Habs won, though.  Very good news to wake up to in the morning.

I am on Hepatology right now.  It is a learning curve.  My attending is awesome and loves to grill with questions.  I see it as a personal challenge; even though this is the most stunned I have felt since starting Cardiology last month.  Livers are interesting, I must say.  It has been slow clinically, but I have been making up for that with all sorts of required reading assignments.  I am such a geek.

Yesterday, I decided to fix our vacuum cleaner.  If you don’t know, I am the handy one in the family.  I just have some mad scientist in me.  Also, I am terrified of the vacuum cleaner.  So is the cat.  But, Patrick has been noting for the past number of weeks that the actual vacuum has no suck, even though the hose still works, despite him emptying the bin.  Turns out the rubber belt thingie (technical term) is broken. I disassembled the whole thing to figure that out.  He was going to go buy the part today and tomorrow I will put it all back together again (hopefully).  The poor cat nearly had a stroke with the vacuum being out long enough for me to mangle it.

Patrick gave me a cold.  Who says I work in a germy place?  I am pretty sure  kids are sicker than most of my liver patients, at least from an airborne contagious perspective.

On a related note, my tonsils hate me.  They are huge and whenever I get sick they get huger (not a word, but fitting in this case).  Swallowing is a challenge.  I really should consider getting them resected.  But, they will only do that multiple documented episodes of tonsillitis in a year.  And I will only get them documented if my own documentation counts.    I don’t think it does.  So, like my wisdom teeth, I will procrastinate until I develop a real problem.

Secondary to the whole tonsil issue… Soup and tea are wonderful inventions.

I finally finished reading The Circle by Ted Dekker last night.  It took me over a month.  It was awesome.  I recommend it.  I am also excited to start reading a book that fits in my purse and doesn’t weigh more than some of my textbooks again.

Sometimes, when I am on call and have down time, I start to read my fun book and then I get angry inside when someone pages and “rudely” interrupts my fun reading.  I do not quite have the same reaction if I am studying.

I met a random lady on the hospital shuttle.  She told me her entire life story and all about books she has written and how she decided to go back to university after retiring to get her B.A. and how she intends to travel across Canada after she graduates, just because.  She didn’t tell me her name.  She looked to be at least in her mid 60s.  Good for her.

I have a single white hair in my bangs.  I keep trying to pull it out even though some people say you shouldn’t do that.  I can’t seem to get to it because whenever I notice it, I am in a rush to do something else.

We have friends from the Rock visiting this weekend.  And friends from home moving to town.  Yay.

What randomness is occurring during your week?

Hockey Night

There may be no NHL hockey and that continues to make me uber sad, but last night, Patrick and I had a glimmer of hockey night in Canada again when we had the fortune to head out to a local QMJHL game last night.

The first level of awesomeness was that it was live hockey.

That was followed by the fact that we were getting out like a “normal” couple.

The best part was that the local team from our home town was playing the team that calls the rink down the road from our apartment home.  And we opted to cheer for our home-home team, despite thus being against the 8000ish other who were rooting for the local-home team.

Hello out there, we're on the air its hockey night tonight.

Hello out there, we’re on the air its hockey night tonight.

If that wasn’t enough of an adventure, our home-home team won (and against big odds, given the local team is the best in the league this year)IMG_0472

In other coolness, it was the teddy bear toss for Ronald McDonald house.  Nothing better than projectile bears for a good time.

There were a lot of projectile bears.

There were a lot of projectile bears.

A police van picked up the bears from the ice.  A big momentum killer, great for our team.  The bears didn't all fit in the van.  Great for the kids.

A police van picked up the bears from the ice. A big momentum killer, great for our team. The bears didn’t all fit in the van. Great for the kids.

It was wonderful being normal people.  And being able to cheer (okay, I don’t really cheer ever, so it was more clapping with the occasional high five and woot) for our home-home team.  Plus, it was actual hockey!

A great spot to a much needed weekend off.

Canadian like Robin

Robin being truly Canadian in her Vancouver jersey. Not my team… But my kind of way to spend a night.
Image from Wikia.

Patrick and I were watching How I Met Your Mother last night and laughing a bit at the portrayal of Robin as the token Canadian in the group.  Apparently, for the first season, she was just super vague and it wasn’t until season two they decided to make her “Canadian.”  The actress apparently said that there was some concern that people may find the over dramatization of Canada and Canadians offensive, but really… It is just funny.

I only started watching The show last year, so I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.  So, I am watching it now.  From the start.  After a year and a half, I am on season three, episode 9 (in case you really wanted to know).  The Child lent me the DVD for the season, so things are a bit more efficient now, as opposed to me trying to find a stream online.

Prior to my watching it, I though it was just another stupid sitcom (and I am sure some people still think it is), but I love the friendships and such on it.  In fact, I didn’t know anything about the show except that Robin was Canadian.  I learned this at an international summer school.

People would ask where I was from.  It wasn’t like I could say my city, or my province.  Nobody would know where it was.  So, I just said “Canada.”  Then, someone would say, “What city?”  I would tell them.  They would ask if it was near Toronto or Montreal.  I would say not really.  They would ask what city is nearby and I would eventually end up saying I grew up about 12 hours from Montreal.

After an awkward pause when people made the epiphany that Canada is indeed large and Toronto is not the center of the universe (well, it kind of is, but not in the literal sense), they would exclaim that they know Canada from How I Met Your Mother (the show is very popular globally, apparently).  They would ask if I know Robin.  I did not.

People would tell me all about how I am just like her.  Aside from my love of hockey and my occasional (or at least what I think is occasional) use of the word “eh”, I don’t see it.  But, they saw the stereotypes all over the place.  They way I spoke, how I was so polite, that I liked obscure music (my music is also obscure to some of my Canadian friends too).  Someone asked if I liked guns.  I don’t,  in fact, I don’t know many Canadians who do.  But, the fact that I did at one point in my life learn to shoot, continues to place me in the Robin-like stereotype.   At least everyone seemed to think that I was the cute little Canadian…. Just like Robin.

It was hilarious how much this show has shaped the international perspective of Canadians.  At least the perspective of medical students from the 20 countries represented.   Though, many still, despite the show, asked about our snowfall, igloos and transportation (just to clarify, in case anyone is unsure, we get snow in the winter, we don’t generally live in igloos and we do indeed have cars).

Even if the show does exaggerate and can be ill informed of Canadian ways by times, I do admit.  They have something right.  Like the love of hockey at the Canada bar and our different holiday scheduling.

To wrap things up… A Canadian music group singing a very Canadian hockey song.  I used to sing this all the time at band camp (yes, I went to band camp… True story).

Fun waiting for a call

Day 2/3 on call.  How exciting.

After rounding this morning, I am free to hang out and wait for a call.  The beauty of home call is that I get to do it from the comfort of wherever I want within 15 minutes of the hospital.

Now, I am not at a loss for things to do… We have cable, so I watched the movie My Girl and am hanging out on the couch with Patrick.  Not bad.

It got me thinking of ways we have kept ourselves entertained on call over the past two years.

  1. I was on call… I didn’t need entertaining.  I was working.  I like real people.  In fact, I almost didn’t have time to eat!
  2. Eating.  Because you just never know when you will get to eat again.  And everything looks delicious at 2 in the morning.
  3. Napping.  Not on purpose, but full on narcoleptic episode in First Aid for Medicine.
  4. Ordering large volumes of take out from your favorite Indian restaurant…  Wait, that is food again… Whoops…
  5. Super bowl party.  In a patient lounge in the hospital.  With a few of the patients.
  6. Food scavenger hunt through hospital.  You can make amazing ice cream sandwiches with those little ice cream cups and arrowroot cookies.
  7. Hospital based work-out… Running the stairs.
  8. Field trip to the gym (on home call).  All fun and games until your pager falls off and explodes into 6 pieces (see this post) whilst on the elliptical.
  9. Board games!!!
  10. Reviewing ACLS protocols… When you get an answer wrong, someone would press the “test” button on the code pager… Negative reinforcement at its finest.
  11. Knitting.
  12. Baking.  This is less complicated on home call… But can be rendered problematic when you actually get a call.  In hospital, it presents an additional challenge.  Though, once we baked cookies in the hostel lounge.  And ate all of them… In one night.
  13. Hang out with the hospital mice.
  14. People watch in the cafeteria.
  15. While on home call, trying to do all of your errands (grocery shopping, bills, cleaning) before getting paged.  This gets especially challenging when the pager goes off when you are in the middle of something.
  16. Sundae Sunday at the children’s hospital.  Best. Idea. Ever.
  17. Wii tournament… At the children’s hospital.
  18. Caroling at the hospital (thank you medical school choir).
  19. Studying for exams… Well, having a USMLE world quiz race.  Best time and score wins.
  20. Practicing casting on each other… Then getting paged.  While you have a cast on your arm.
  21. Delivering fake babies from a fake pelvis.
  22. Trying to make embroidering patterns with sutures in a pillow case.
  23. Crossword puzzles.  Group effort.
  24. Hockey night in the hospital or the M household (depending on the brand of call).
  25. Listening to music.  And playing guess the next lyric or guess the singer or guess the song.

So, as you can see, there are many things to do on call… Most of which involve food.  When there isn’t real work to do.

Slow calls are both a curse and a blessing.  They are great because you aren’t “real” working, but you are constantly on edge waiting for a call and sometimes, especially in hospital, even with the awesome aforementioned things, it gets ridiculously dull.  Plus, when you get called you are so lazy from sitting and waiting that you are bitter that you have to do something.  At least that is what happens to me sometimes.

Sometimes in life we sit and wait for something.  We may do other things to distract ourselves and hope the inevitable doesn’t happen.  The other things may be fun or productive, but in the end, there is something else we are waiting for, something else that will happen, something else that technically takes priority.

Right now, waiting for Match Day, I am distracting myself with all of the things that I do while on call, plus the call itself.  Match Day will come no matter what.  And it takes some sort of priority over these other things.

In life, we have a greater purpose.  Sometimes, we waste time doing other things when perhaps we should be doing something else, or when we get the call to do something else.  Like a pager, we shouldn’t ignore those calls.  Maybe it is to do something “crazy” like work overseas or maybe it is a simple as bringing cookies to a neighbor or calling a friend.  God may be paging you (sort of), but the thing is, you need to answer.  Distractions are fun, but we need to have priorities.  We need to do the work we are put here to do.

For now, I will hang out in the living room and listen to music whilst reading the greatness that is The Hunger Games and wait for a call.