Great News!!!

Woo-hoo!  I passed my written boards!  This is such awesome news.  I thought I had passed my boards but I’ve been surprised by exam results in the past so I was relieved when I clicked open the email this morning!

My Dad pointed out that I’ve done a lot this year and when I think about it, it’s true!  In 2013, I’ve gotten engaged, married, graduated from residency, moved to Japan, started as a staff physician and passed my written boards.  Also, I’ve gone on tons of awesome vacations.  I definitely have a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving (and every day)!

I can’t wait for SMS to be here!  Then my happiness will be complete!

Non sequiter!

Ok, so I realized that the last post seemed to be a little bit of a non sequester. Aka, where the hell is she? Well, I’m in Houston spending 3 months at MD Anderson in order to get more experience in Head and Neck oncologic surgery. It’s a little rough- I really miss Mechen and kind of wish I didn’t have to be here BUT I have to be here and it’s a great opportunity. I’m at one of the best cancer centers in the world an
d that is really an amazing experience to have. Already, the cases and even the clinic patients have been really interesting and instructive. Not to objectify people’s experience of having cancer but I feel that there is a lot to learn even from the unfortunate circumstances and, in addition, I know enough at this point to contribute intelligently to the treatment team even if I am also learning at the same time.

Houston is pretty nice. I’ve been taking yoga at Yoga Ananda, a Baptiste-inspired Vinyasa flow yoga studio. I really like it and I plan to continue both here in Houston and in San Diego. I have finally settled into a good workout routine and I’m working out 3-4 times a week. I’d like to keep up my running fitness, even if it’s not quite as intense as Barry’s. In addition, I’ve lost a little bit of weight which is great but also shows that diet is definitely the most important factor in weight management. I really hope to lost some more weight but in a healthy, controlled way and definitely not in a “ooops, not enough calories, watch me pass out in the OR.” Not that I’ve ever done that on purpose, but I can definitely pass out in the OR like a champ.

I’ve also bought a DaHon fold-up bike. I love it! Mine is actually navy blue but the back rack and the portability is perfect. I’ll get to bring it home and I think it’s really going to be a nice addition to my bike mini-collection. It’ll be great at my next duty station (wherever that might be) but it is crazy how certain next steps in my life are starting to become more clear and real as residency is starting to wind down.

Ok, off to study some head and neck cancer! I’m trying to be good so that I can have a great weekend when Mechen comes to visit! Hooray!

I’m an intern again…

Fortunately not, but oh my word, Friday night call was horrific. I was getting paged every 20-30 minutes regarding “order clarifications,” which finally stopped at 11:30 p.m. And I would have slept until 4:30 except for the post-operative hematoma that presented at midnight. Fuck. So, I was up until 5 in the OR and ICU. And although I slept on a stretcher for an two hours before rounds, I was so wasted that morning. I looked like crap and not that I really care how I look at work (within reason- I do want to have a professional appearance), I really looked like a train hit me. I slept and finally felt a little better. I went to Target followed by an amazing yoga session. Then I crashed around 9 last night.

One thing I did learn yesterday is that I really like yoga. I definitely plan on keeping up my running routine, but I felt so serene after yesterday’s session. Yoga is definitely the exercise that I routinely forget that I like. I usually think I’m too type A and that I’ll be too bored. But I have definitely noticed that I’ve become increasingly less flexible and I would like to restore that aspect of fitness. I think it’s especially important if I want to continue running as I get older. So, even though I don’t have the most spiritually-minded approach to yoga, it’s something I plan on continuing. Especially in San Diego- there are yoga studios everywhere.

All’s quiet…

It looks like my pager has learned to behave! This weekend, so far, has not been too bad which is great. Even if it exploded….now (*furtive look towards my pager*) it could still be no more than a rating of “terrible” since I’ve gotten through two nights, albeit one completely asinine page last night about something that 1. I wasn’t even in charge of and 2. could have COMPLETELY waited until the morning.

ANYWAY! This morning, I learned that my smoke detectors do indeed work. Although both had a green light on, I was suspicious b/c I really thought I had smoked the place out on various occasions with kitchen endeavors. Never fear! This morning, I really hit the threshold thanks to some mysterious debris on the floor of my oven.

I have been listening to Spanish on tapes on the way to work. I’m using the Pimsleur level 1, which is alright. It’s really weird because the first three lessons are how to communicate that I don’t speak Spanish. That seems like a very defeatist attitude on the Pimsleur side of things. How about teaching me Spanish so I don’t need to know how to say that (ok, ok, I realize this sentence has some inherent contradictions).

I’m also trying to cook up a storm of healthy eats for this week. I think I eat less when Mechen’s around because all of a sudden, 3 lbs just fell off me. I also think that this is the breakthrough of a plateau but either way, I’ll take it! I’m starting to get within sight of my goal which is great since the big wedding/Iceland/Denmark trip is coming up. I’m usually a size 8 but over the years, I’ve had fits of wild optimism (and occasional weight lows) and bought really cute clothes in size 6. So, I’ve got a great, barely worn wardrobe, I just need to fit into it. And I say this not because I’m vain (although I am), but also because most of these clothes are “Fall-ish” and I refuse to wear corduroys that are too tight. Can you say sausage casings? This is also why I refuse to wear corduroy skinny jeans. There are women who can (I hate you- kidding!) but they are the ones with beautiful long gazelle legs rather than my very strong, very muscular former gymnast-like quads.

This post was brought to you by random stream of consciousness and parenthetical phrases.

What your doctor is thinking…

One of the funniest things about medicine is the dark humour and inner monologues that can occur within a doctor’s head. Ok, maybe that’s too generalized to let me personalize- I definitely have had moments where there are two conversations, the one I’m having and the one I wish I was having. Fortunately, I have friends and colleagues that do this too which results in some hilarious conversations usually along the lines of-

Me: So I told her, “Blaugh de blah”
Doctor friend: [gaspy laugh]: You did NOT!
Me: Of course not, I told her “Bleeky boo” but I wanted to tell her “blaugh de blah.”

I think part of the problem for me is that I was raised in a family that valued a little flexibility with recounting events in order to never get in the way of a good story. Of course, I clarify to make sure everything is ultimately accurate but the initial shock value in really telling someone what you were really thinking can be oh-so-satisfying to the story-teller. Ok, ok…me.

Yesterday, I had a really weird experience of telling a patient she had to go home. As in, “You are and will go home.” I’ve never had to be that direct with someone before but I’ve also never dealt with someone who was trying to (really, really obviously) game the system. Granted, she initially did require inpatient care but when she improved and was ready for discharge, a plethora of symptoms came up that she stated she would not leave until they were “worked up.” Which to her, meant very expensive, needless radiology imaging. So, instead (and more appropriately), I had internal medicine examine her and then discharged her when all was verified to be well.

This weekend was definitely my comeuppance for my “Tra-la-la, I’m such a white cloud attitude!” After 4 spookily quiet weekends, my pager exploded this weekend. Whah. It is funny though because when I said how much call sucked in front of one of my attendings I thought to myself, “Tierney! You should be telling him that you think the only bad thing about having call two weekends a month is that you miss the good cases from the other two weekends.” Then I thought, “Bullshit, call DOES suck. That’s why they make residents take it. And there’s hardly ever any good cases, only painful consults.”

But, to not be too woe-is-me, I did have a break Saturday morning and part of Sunday morning. And I didn’t get paged between 2-6 each night so I guess that was nice (no, it sucked! It was only 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep! <–future Mom me is looking at that sentence and laughing).

What did I do with that time? I read Bossypants by Tina Fey which was pretty good and I went to brunch with my friends at Starlite which was also good although I made a poor menu choice. What about “eggless frittata made with veggies and smooth garbanzo flour” sounds bad? How about that it’s borderline tasteless? Oh well, at least I was healthy!