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…


My new favourite vaccine mock PSA

Anyone who has followed this blog has had to put up with my intermittent vaccine rants.

Here we go again.

Jimmy Kimmel had a little rant on his show this week about vaccines complete with “real doctors” saying why vaccines are important.  I don’t often like Jimmy Kimmel’s humour.  He is sometimes a bit too much for me.  But, this was perfection.


Check it out.  Show your friends.

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!!

“Holiday” Monday

After a lovely weekend at home, I have a lieu day for working the Thanksgiving holiday last week.  That means long weekend for me!

As a result, I am now making turkey soup from scratch, am catching up on laundry and binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.  I feel very domestic.

I have shared my angst about still watching Grey’s before and it still hasn’t left me.

I cringe at all of the changes, especially the last few seasons.  I hate the drama.  I hate that everyone and yet nobody dies all at the same time.  And yet, I watched it since the first season and I am sticking it out.

As a result, I am curled up on the couch and kind of look like this…

Image from gifsoup.com.

Happy Monday.

Happy Birthday Patrick

Patrick turned the big 3-0 yesterday.

He is almost fully grown, as his uncle would say.

We celebrated with a steak dinner, Chapters date and then started on his birthday gift from me (the first 4 seasons of Boy Meets World).

His parents and sister showed up on his real birthday and we got to go out to eat again and celebrate with them.  Oh, and we went out for free for Patrick birthday lunch too (it doesn’t count in the budget as eating out three times if one meal is free and two were free for Patrick thanks to Pizza Delight and my parents, right?).

I must admit, I like his birthday because it is pretty fun for me too (not just for the food).  Plus, I got to have a just plain normal people(ish) weekend this weekend without doing something work related more often than not and that was nice.

My Top Ten Favourite TV Shows

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday with the Broke and the Bookish is a top ten list of nonbookish entertainment… Like movies or TV shows. I am going to focus on TV shows.

  1. New Girl. I quite like Zoey Deschanel. I like quirky hipster geek stuff, probably because that is what I kind of identify with. The show cracks me up because it is so ridiculous and yet so possible.
  2. Gilmore Girls. I started watching this show because my Dad was watching it. True story. My Dad. Because Rory reminded him of me and that was funny. Eventually, I grew to like it. I love the banter and the pop culture/literature references.
  3. Everwood.  Most people don’t know this show, but it is a pretty unrealistic show about a neurosurgeon turned family doctor who moves his family to a small town after his wife died. I loved the show when it was originally on and Patrick just got me all 4 seasons for my birthday last month.
  4. The Big Bang Theory. I love the geekdom that is portrayed on this show. Maybe because I exist in a world working closely with physicists and maybe because I love weird bands of nerdy misfits. Even more than that, I love Sheldon Cooper.
  5. Grey’s Anatomy. I mock this show all the time. I get angry at the TV, annoyed with the drama and I keep watching. I watched it from the pilot and at this point, I am just way too emotionally involved to stop watching.
  6. Modern Family. I like that this kind of reminds me of sitcoms from childhood, but with a few twists.
  7. Community. I am so excited to hear that they are going to do a 6th season on some internet based TV site. I went to a community college and I truly believe that some ridiculous stuff happens there. I know the show is over the top, but it is a brand of over the top I can deal with.
  8. The Cosby Show. This is a show that whenever it appears on re-runs, I will always want to watch it.
  9. Full House. Again a show that I will always watch in re-runs. I grew up on that stuff!
  10. Derek.  I love old people in both books and TV. This is a fantastic comedy about life in a nursing home with some bizarre characters. It is British and the seasons are short and apparently stopping after 2 seasons (sad face) but I quite liked it.

What are some of your favourite TV shows?

Top Ten Books If You Like X Movie or TV Show

Greetings from one of the four airports I will visit today.  I am en route to a conference (and getting delays and rescheduled up the whazoo), so the lovely Patrick has done this week’s Top Ten Tuesday to go with the Broke and Bookish’s theme “Top Ten Books If You Like X.”

1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown if you liked the TV show Smallville. Its set on Mars and Darrow may not be Clark Kent but he is super-human. He also struggles with pretending to be someone he’s not while keeping his real identity a secret. There is even a Lex Luthor- like character but I won’t spoil it for you!

2. The Guinea Pig Diaries by AJ Jacobs if you like the TV show Mythbusters. Jacobs basically makes himself a guinea pig in experiments such as outsourcing his entire life to India.

3. 11/22/63 by Stephen King if you like the TV show Continuum or anything involving Time Travel! The novel/show both have a unique take on time travel and the consequences of it.

4. Treasure of Khan by Clive Cussler if you like the TV show NCIS: LA. This book (by one of my favorite authors) is just one of many in a series of books revolving around Dirk Pitt, and sidekick Al Giordino’s adventures solving mysteries/crimes at sea. Not unlike G and Sam.

5. Dust by Joan Frances Turner if you like the movie Warm Bodies. Yes I know Warm bodies is also a novel but stay with me. Dust also makes you look at zombies as more humanistic with emotions, memories and dancing.

6. Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley. if you liked the new movie Noah. Confession: I haven’t watched Noah but have heard the director took some liberties with the biblical story much like Findley. If you are okay or even like that sort of thing, this novel is for you. Warning the book has some seriously disturbing parts.

7. The Art of Racing in the Rain (Audio Book) by Garth Stein if you like the book/movie Marley & Me. Both focus on the special bond between a man and his dog. We listened it to it and I think that only made it better. Make sure you have the tissues handy for either of them though!

8. The Passage by Justin Cronin if you like the TV show Being Human (BBC or American version). The novel has good and bad supernatural creatures including to vampires but the real type not Twilight-version. Cronin takes you on an incredible journey to say the least!

9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller if you like the TV show Mash. I recently read this classic and the way it found humor in war times reminded me of Mash. Interesting random fact, Heller coined the expression Catch-22!

10. I didn’t ask to be born (But I’m glad I was) by Bill Cosby if you like TV show The Cosby Show. I know it may be cheating because they both involve Cosby. But trust me he’s just as funny in book form!


11. Allegiant by Veronica Roth if you like How I met your Mother (particularly the series finale ending). That’s all I’ll say but many of you will know what I mean)

Last Call… Neuro (not EtOH) Edition

Tonight is my last night of Neurology call.

I am a happy girl.

I am going to be a sleepy girl.

I was already in to admit a stroke.  I know I have a direct admission coming at some point later tonight.  And odds are something else will go down in the next 10 hours.

Exciting parts of tonight were plentiful thus far, though.

I correctly identified a giant brainstem stroke based on exam findings and confirmed it with finding the lesion on the MRI.

Not all strokes are obvious like this. Image from neurology.org.

In correctly identifying the giant brainstem stroke, I managed to actually elicit a few findings on neurologic exam I don’t often get to see like  clonus, unilateral hyperreflexia (complete with 4+reflexes) and an up going babinski reflex (translation: signs of upper motor neuron lesions aka something higher level than peripheral nerves).

Image from meded.ucsd.edu.

Patrick kept supper for me in the microwave.  I got to garnish it with the deliciousness that is Siracha sauce that has become my favourite grocery purchase this week.

*Kind of Spoiler Alert*: Sheldon and Amy on The Big Bang Theory tonight.  So awkward (to the point that they make me feel better about my own level of awkward).  So cute (in a way that I don’t find nauseating).

This was not the episode I am talking about, but I do love these dance moves. Image from fanpop.com.

As much as it sucks that I know I am guaranteed to have to go back in sometime in the next couple hours, I also know that this call is much better than in-house call.  Also, I will likely be in hospital doing this next admission that I will get to be post-call tomorrow and possibly get paid for a full night of work.    The issue is that I will probably also be too sleepy to enjoy most of the day because of my post-call-ish-ness.  I can always hope otherwise, though.  I am getting better at being post-call.  If there is such a thing.

I feel like I could do better than this… Some days. Image from doccartoon.blogspot.com.

Plus, I am looking forward to tomorrow night when I finally get to redeem my Christmas present from Patrick by going to a dinner theatre that is a parody called “The Big Twang Theory.”

Good things.  Good things.

I will need this reminder a bit later tonight when I am sleepier and crankier.

ID compared to House, MD

It is Medical Monday, yet again.  Actually, I feel like it has been a long time since the last Medical Monday.  Either way, it is time to hook up with some other medical related blogs for some medical and Monday-ish goodness.

As some of you who read this blog regularly know, I am currently on an Infectious Diseases rotation and I have likened it a bit to the TV show House, MD.

I have been giving it some thought (and noticing the continued strange popularity of my post General Surgery Is NOT Grey’s Anatomy) and decided that it is time I both prove and dispel some more TV related medical show perceptions, this time referring to House, MD.

First of all, why House?

For starters, it is one of the other medical shows I watch(ed).  Also, when I think of real medical specialties that are kind of like “diagnostician” I think Internal Medicine and, more specifically, ID or Rheumatology because they get to see some of the weird and wonderful.  And I am sure in some big places, someone really is a diagnostician specializing in the really complex cases.  That being said, it isn’t a residency or a common position.  At least, I don’t know any, so this is my reasonable facsimile.

The similarities:

  • There really is a gaggle of people who deal with the complicated cases.
  • People do sit in a group and bounce ideas off of one another complete with internet and journal searches and a white board, or more commonly, a sheet of paper.

    Image from teichdoesmedicine.blogspot.com.

  • Someone who is generally much smarter than everyone else does lead the pack (and sometimes bosses people around).
  • Often times, much of the staff are not fans of the person in charge of the hospital.
  • Patients do lie.  For reals.

    Okay, not everybody. Image from Iamilliontrees.net.

  • The days can be crazy long and chaotic, but also interspersed with mind numbing waiting and boredom (or time for other antics).
  • When you just think you have someone or something figured out, there is a twist (sometimes).

    Image from eatliver.com.

  • Sarcoidosis, lupus and obscure infections are often somewhere on the differential.

    Or is it? Image from http://www.quickmeme.com.

  • You do have to work in places you don’t always like to or want to in order to keep the hospital running and such.

The differences:

  • Patients do tell the truth.
  • One does not generally have a team of fellows who were staff in every other area of the hospital.  Those people often just stick to their own jobs.
  • You can’t just go around running your own lab tests, diagnostic scans and procedures all willy nilly.  There are people specially trained to do all of those things better than the doctors on the show.
  • You would lose your job for screwing around with a clinical trial, stealing drugs, blatantly endangering patients, etcetera.
  • A good start to making a correct diagnosis is a good history and physicial.  They tend to skip that step.
  • A next important step to a correct diagnosis is doing the correct diagnostic test.  Most of the scans they do aren’t appropriate and then the images are not actually of the scan they claimed to order.  In fact, they often put the patient in the incorrect machine.
  • You can’t order everything STAT.  That would make “STAT” routine.
  • There are more staff in the hospital than the “Diagnostician” and a lone oncologist who happens to treat EVERYONE (including children) with cancer.

    I do quite like their bromance, though. Image from tinyobsessions.wordpress.com.

  • As a consultant, you consult, not make all the decisions.
  • People don’t code that often.  At least they don’t code that often and survive.
  • Patients die.
  • Sometimes you just don’t figure out the answer and the person either dies or gets better and you don’t know why.  That isn’t a failure.  Just life.
  • Breaking into someone’s home, car, workplace and so forth is a felony, not medicine.
  • It takes much more time to figure out complicated and novel cases.
  • You can’t just throw drugs at people (or take them away) and expect them to get better.
  • If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck, not a zebra.  House almost always gets the zebra.
  • Sometimes, it really is lupus or sarcoidosis.

    Image from housemdconfessions.tumblr.com.

  • Nobody would let you practice medicine on that many drugs.  No matter how good you are.
  • You can’t just go taking over in the OR, bursting into the OR or really, doing anything in the OR if you are not currently practicing as a surgeon.

    No. Just, no. Image from housemd-guide.com.

  • There is a financial and ethical limit to how much you can and should do.
  • Doctors aren’t immune to whatever the guy in the bed has.

Just like from TV… Getting an exam score, finally!

Finally, after almost two months of waiting, I got the email I had been waiting for…

I passed the LMCC2!!

I am a happy girl.

It was actually TV sitcom-esque how it went down.

We were out for “Christmas Dinner” with the Child and her husband and we decided that since it was minus 20 out, we needed ice cream for dessert (a decision any reasonable adult would make).  So, we drove across a parking lot to the local Dairy Queen because it was seriously that cold out.

In fact, it was so cold, the Child and her husband were locked out of their car because it was frozen shut.  So, he had to scurry in through the trunk while we all laughed hysterically.

But, back to my story.  We ordered and I sat down to save us a table and decided to check my email because I hadn’t done that in a few hours (oh, the annoyance of modern technology).

There it was…. An email from the medical council of Canada telling me I had a message in my inbox.

Sidebar- why do they do that!?!?  I can’t understand why the MCC people feel compelled to correspond with me in email to tell me I have a message on their own special message server.  Why can’t they just send a proper email?

Okay, end rant.

I follow the link to the website where I need to log in to get my message, which given the time of year, is likely my exam results.

It is hard to say because the email is, as I said above, useless.

The log in page.

I can’t remember my username and ID.


This is a sitcom moment.  Seriously, it was a plot line on How I Met Your Mother when Marshall can’t get in to check his bar results.  See below when he remembers the password… Finally (I am not responsible for the tacky banner across the screen on this video… Visual stuff is not key here).

They recently (by recently, I mean over the summer) changed the website format and such.  And where this isn’t exactly a site that I frequent minus exam registration, I can’t remember what they wanted me to use as a username or my password.

I tried a few permutations.  Nothing.

Then the Child pointed out that I could get locked out of my account if I mess around with it too much.  And then, I might not be able to get back in for who knows how long.

This happened to me when I was trying to get my entry pass.  I know it can happen.

So, I had to stop.

And choke down what should have been a delicious blizzard.

And drive home.

Thankfully, I have the username and password set up to automatically enter on my laptop (this is why I don’t know it, obviously).

Then, I read the message that the email told me I had.

It tells me the results are under the exams section of my account.

So, I go there and finally track it down.

Why can’t they just say pass the first time?

So cruel, so cruel.

I gave Jeter a high-five because Patrick was in the bathroom  and we danced around a bit.  Then and only then did I get to celebrate with my husband and call my parents to tell them the good news.

And so, I am done with medical council exams.  And thank goodness because they are crummy.

It feels kind of weird that I was that excited about passing an exam.  Especially one that you are supposed to pass if you are a Canadian medical grad, in theory.  But still, I know of far too many people who didn’t pass to feel complacent.  And Patrick would point out that I just roll that way… I always think it wasn’t great and I still tend to do well (he calls it experience, I call it blind faith).

Last really freaking huge exam until the Royal college in 3+ years.  Yay.