Real Talk About Being a Doctor

Having utterly abandoned this blog for quite some time (10 months), I’m pretty certain I can post without anyone actually reading.

So, no recipe today, just soul baring.

Since starting this medical journey, I’ve had a lot of curiosity expressed by acquaintances about what it’s like to be a doctor. Generally it’s of the “eeeww, how can you deal with blood, I hate blood” variety. Continue reading Real Talk About Being a Doctor

Patacones

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to attend an EM-related conference in DC recently. The conference itself was very interesting, but lengthy, and it was difficult getting in sightseeing! I know, the struggle is real.

However, on the last day I did play hooky, and made it to the National Gallery. Naturally, being a creature of culture and refinement, I love museums, love expanding my understanding of color, contrast, composition, and the mirror it holds up to human nature.

I also love art for the crazy therein:

saint with eyes
Continue reading Patacones

Coconut Fish Curry

Patients, I love them, but they can drive me crazy some times. It’s okay, it’s my job to deal with it, and I’m sure I’m not always easy, but I’d like to take a minute to share a couple of pet peeves/misunderstandings. Try to avoid them, and you’ll make your doctor ever so much happier.

1. Please don’t talk when my stethoscope is on your chest. This isn’t some paternalistic, old-school medicine tradition that’s disenfranchising patients – it’s simple courtesy. A stethoscope is an amplifier, which is what allows me to hear your heart sounds. However, when you talk, that gets amplified too, and, not only can I not hear your heart, it also feels like you’re screaming in my ear. Not fun.

Continue reading Coconut Fish Curry

Ranger Bars

I’m sitting here with my right lower face totally numb, courtesy of an inferior alveolar nerve block performed for pre-crown placement tooth smoothing. It’s exciting – this tooth has been busted for three years but I finally finagled the time and money to get it fixed! However, it feels very weird. I’ve done these before, but never had one done to me, and, let me tell you, it works. I keep drooling.
Continue reading Ranger Bars

Artichoke Dip

Today we released our fish into the pond out back! The saga of how two people with zero interest in personal fish ownership ended up saddled with three very large goldfish is long, but a short and highly depressing recap goes thusly: Foolish landlord stocked shallow back pond with 12 tiny goldfish. Some survived and got larger. Winter came. Pond froze. One goldfish survived by being insulated by the dead bodies of its fish friends.
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Artichoke Dip

Trash Cat

I know I’ve previously called our cat the saber-toothed tiger, but his new most-used names are hobo cat and trash cat. Why? Well, here’s a list of the things he’s stolen off the counter in the last month:

  1. Plum cake (didn’t love it, but kept at it)
  2. Leftover takeout Chinese
  3. Butter
  4. Milk
  5. Dog food
  6. Crusted scrambled eggs left in the pan after dinner
  7. Ramen
  8. Miso salmon (this one was kind of a gimmie)
  9. Toast
  10. Corn tortilla
  11. Cheddar
  12. Plain yogurt
  13. Doritos

The list is by no means representative of everything he’s tried to eat or at least swipe his litterbox paws through. In retrospect parts of this list may also reflect poorly on us for having these things around, but in our defense there were a lot of salads and sauteed vegetables that occurred in that time period too, in which he showed no interest. He is on a restricted diet, but as you can see, he’s not wasting away.

Dignity, 0. Cat, 1. And now, a video of said consumption for your viewing pleasure. I’d like to lie and say the house isn’t usually this much of a mess, but it really is about 50% of the time, so no dice.

20160331_235301000_iOS

How weird life can be

Hi all! Long hiatus, mostly due to work, although given how limited my readership is I doubt anyone was waiting with bated breath. Nonetheless, I’m currently on PICU, which means a month of home call, i.e. can’t travel more than a few miles away from my house, can’t drink booze, can’t really start any project that cannot be dropped within 15 minutes, so basically, an excellent time to mess around on the internet and little else. Or clean the house, but let’s not get all crazy. More recipes will likely follow, but for now, a glimpse into the unique world of medicine.

Sometimes you get so used to the weird, given your life, that it doesn’t even register. Other times you talk to friends and family outside the field and then what you’re doing just seems bizarre, even if what you’re doing is simply billing/computer training.

amputation
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How weird life can be

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

And man, it’s some heavy stuff. Sorry for the melodrama, folks.

This kind of hits home right now. I had a patient this week whom we had to work until family came to terms with the situation. I don’t fault them – this came out of nowhere, but the time I spent essentially torturing someone who had no chance of meaningful recovery was rough. Please y’all, educate yourself about what CPR really means and what the outcomes are, let your loved ones know what you want, and make a living will.

Chilaquiles

Folks, ummm, it’s been nuts in the ED. Nuts.

One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-001

As a bit of background, our ED is exceptionally well-ordered. We have a great director and are generously staffed with plenty of ancillary staff. Us residents do a few rotations at the other, traditionally lower-income ED in town (in truth, the town is painfully poor and both EDs have an unusually high number of uninsured patients, but our hospital provides more specialist services and is thus better funded), and the difference is night and day. Expected wait times at our ED, previous to this surge, were about 30 minutes, and as someone who has worked in more than a handful of hospitals at this time, that is miraculous.

Recently though, for unknown reasons, whoa! Everyone needs and wants care. It must be a statewide thing, because transfers have doubled. Those of you who have worked in food services doubtless know the term, “in the weeds,” and that is where we are consistently at. When I come on shift, we have 20-40 patients in the waiting room, which we patiently clear, but more keep coming. It feels like this when I walk through the waiting room:

The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC - DSC_9915crgn_R_Ph Gene Page
Continue reading Chilaquiles

Food, Medicine, and Miscellany