Friday, June 27, 2008

Aaaaaand we're done!

With this year, that is. Perhaps most importantly, we (we're employing the collective "we" here) are DONE with our medicine rotation. We weren't entirely sure we'd make it emotionally, physically, and cognitively intact. It was touch and go for a while there. So, sorry for the lack of posts...and this is just gonna be a brief one to let you know I'm alive. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! And J&E, have an excellent birthday! :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Ode to Inpatient Medicine

This morning, I decided to channel my energy away from thoughts of strangling my attending (or at least re-doing her hair) and into more creative places. Hence, a poem for you:

O inpatient medicine, please listen to me
I can't take too much more of ACS and PE
Of blows to my ego, of sickness, of death
Of five-to-five admits, and of course M.Ed.'s

O inpatient medicine, send me a sign
You take over my life, and up all my free time
I used to have friends, and hobbies, and fun
Now my guitar gathers dust, and I can't hold my wine

O inpatient medicine, what can I do?
Your lights are fluorescent, your halls smell like poo
I'm ensnared by your monster, caught in its grasp
It will haunt me forever, till I'm old and sick too

O inpatient medicine, do you see those blue skies?
While I'm locked in this labyrinth, a part of me dies
I'm dreaming of summer, of drinks with umbrellas
But you're immune to my pain, and deaf to my cries

O inpatient medicine, I'm doing my best
Help me through these last days, through third year's last tests
Give me strength to come in, and motivation to learn
And - oh, fuck it, I've got just two weeks left

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Picture time

Some pictures from when I was home over Memorial Day weekend, cause this blog needs some color:

Happy Saturday!!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic day. If you're even up.'s 8am. I've been at the hospital for almost an hour. I'm just thankful there are no windows anywhere around this fluorescent labyrinth so I can't see the blazing beauty of the sunlight dancing off the lake. I'd like to say I'm saving lives, but in reality I'm nursing a giant coffee, reading the nytimes online, and half-heartedly looking for my senior resident. Occasionally I'm working on a discharge summary for my patient who was admitted a whopping 6 days ago, and I'm utterly unable to remember what he presented with when he came in or what his problems were before yesterday. I could go get his chart, but that would require more energy than I can muster at this particular moment. Anyway, I hope you all have a v. good day! Go to the beach. Or sit inside in the air conditioning, if that's more your style. To friends whose emails/calls I've been ignoring: it's not you, it's inpatient medicine. I'll resurface soon. I really do love and miss you all. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


A quick google search turned up that pica stands for: 1. The Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, 2. the Podiatry Insurance Company of America, and 3. the Printing Industry of the Carolinas. However, the Pica that I am endlessly fascinated with is the "persistent eating of nonnutritive substances." According to emedicine, people with pica eat substances, "including, but not limited to, clay, dirt, sand, stones, pebbles, hair, feces, lead, laundry starch, vinyl gloves, plastic, pencil erasers, ice, fingernails, paper, paint chips, coal, chalk, wood, plaster, light bulbs, needles, string, cigarette butts, wire, and burnt matches." Um, ew. Though pica has always held a morbid fascination for me, this post is inspired by a patient today (not mine, hipaa) who was found by the nurse eating baby powder, and subsequently found to have an earring in her colon on xray. And I had a patient a couple weeks ago who admitted to eating cigarette butts (seriously), but flat out denied eating coins (her exact words: "I save money! I don't eat it!"), though clearly there was a quarter in her cecum on xray. Crazy. Factoids about pica: eating ice chips can be a sign of iron deficiency; and eating clay or dirt is acceptable and a learned behavior in some cultures. Not helping Worcester's infant mortality problem: pregnant Ghanaian women eat clay (though I've heard that this problem gets more press than it's really worth in terms of actual harm to infants). Anyhoo, I got off track. Pica is weirdly cool. Except for the people that eat, you know, razorblades and whatnot.