Thursday, March 30, 2006

« You can’t rush a placenta »

Hello Beloved Readers,

Tabby here, coming at you after a 24hour call shift at the MoFo. What a great day and night! 24 hours of non-stop babies, uterus, and poonany can’t be anything but exciting. Here are some of the highlights:

First things first: I changed my bed sheets yesterday morning before leaving for the hospital. I had an inkling that I might be pretty tired when I got home this morning and that the ecstasy of ivory flannel-covered goose feathers would be a welcome treat.

I started the day by confirming my booking for the beach hut that I will be living in Mexico in a few short weeks. This vacation is long overdue and I can’t wait to go scuba diving, visit Mayan ruins and jungle, and generally vegetate with a few cerveza on the quiet beach. The last 2 nights of the vake will be spent at a yoga and wellness spa. Nothing bad could ever happen in a place like that right?

Because I was busy dinking around with my bed sheets and internet hotel bookings, I forgot about, and subsequently missed, ObsGyn rounds at the hospital. It’s not a big deal but unfortunately I missed out on a little cat fight that took place after rounds. Apparently, the tiff was centred around who would get to take possession of the breakfast leftovers. I have no idea who won, nor do I know who pays for the weekly breakfast offerings, or who is rightly entitled to the leftovers. What I do know is that there seems to be a weekly locking of horns between these two (potentially unstable) people, and I always hate to miss that sort of thing. Perhaps next week things will really come to a head with BLT sandwiches and whipped cream-laden strawberries being hurled around or smeared in people’s faces.

All four of us students currently doing our obstetrics and gynecology rotation were on site at the MoFo yesterday. This is a little unusual. It made for some good laughs, if not a slightly crowded house. At one point, two of us were turfed from the OR. The patient was bleeding a lot and tensions were understandably high. Anaesthetists are a high strung bunch (some more so than others), always freaking out about fluid management, blood pressure, and hemostasis. Two words: chill pill.

Anyway, at some point the doctor doing the surgery thought there were too many of us in the room. My colleague and I were (admittedly) dispensable, and we were told to get the hell out – please. It wasn’t personal, but my feelings were still hurt. I’m not even sure why. Perhaps my ego was still a little bruised from the arterial cord blood gas fiasco which had occurred a few hours previous. Also, I seem to have a mental block about the location of a woman’s urethra. I always want to shove the catheter into the clitoris. You’d think having made the same mistake twice and having my own female anatomy to study ad nauseum, I would figure these kinds of things out, but I am just so friggin’ perseverant sometimes.

Some people are completely bonkers, and childbirth really brings out individual personalities, and especially personality disorders, like nothing else. Yesterday, I met the poster girl for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Also, the doting husband of the century. At one point, I thought his wife might haul off and punch him in the face. She had told him about 200 times not to rub her leg.

In between deliveries, we shimmied downstairs to meet with a drug rep who was touting Chinese food. I was so hungry, and time was at such a premium, that I hoovered down a gigantic plate of food in like 10 seconds flat. I felt ill for some time afterwards and you’d think that would’ve taught me a lesson, but several hours later, after a crash C-section, I found myself in the recovery room, robotically aspirating about 86 jujubes. I promptly developed another belly ache. Dinner was at midnight.

Yesterday was a pretty great call shift because there was a lot of different stuff going on. There were about 110 (or maybe 6) deliveries and a couple of good emerg consults; one ending in a diagnostic laproscopy, which revealed, among other things, endometriosis, and Fitzhugh Curtis Syndrome (?), perihepatic adhesions as a consequence of remote PID. Definitely pretty cool, but admittedly I didn’t quite share Dr. P’s level of enthusiasm.

Our second run to the OR was a little painful for me, literally. We had a baby with a prolonged low heart rate that needed an emergency C-section. It was wild and everything was moving pretty fast. I haven’t been going to yoga, or working out much of late. Basically, I have no muscles. Also, I hadn’t had dinner yet, and my blood sugar was pretty low. I was at the front of the right hand side of the stretcher as we were racing our patient down the hall when I realized that we were veering somewhat to the right. I tried providing counter traction to set us straight, but to no avail. No one but me seemed to notice that my side of the stretcher was careening toward the wall. In between the stretcher and the wall was me, and the gap was closing fast. I tried in vein to get out of the way, but it was too late. Before I could do anything to save myself, I was jammed up against the wall and pulled under the wheel of the stretcher. I could do nothing but cry out as the stretcher ran over my left ankle. The pain was immediate and my rubber shoe had been badly stretched out of shape. But there was no time to deal with any of that. I continued to advance with a tingling, potentially broken, foot. My only hope was that if my leg was bleeding it would be contained in my shoe until after the baby was delivered.

Thankfully, the caesarean went well. Baby was unbelievably brazen and took a giant crap on Dr. P’s hand, even after he had just rescued him from the worst possible living conditions – a shit laden uterus, with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, twice! Some people have no respect.

We had a couple of women last night who went with natural childbirth. 'Tough bitches' is all I can say on that front. One woman actually apologized for crying out, citing low pain tolerance as one of her shortcomings. I could not but set her straight on the fact that she seriously had it going on. She barely flinched even as her 9 pound baby was being sucked out of her vagina by a giant purple-handled vacuum. The tearing of her perineum had caused me to cry out in distress, and this woman was as cool as a cucumber.

I recognize the utility of the vacuum, but I must admit it freaks me out.

This morning after 4 hours of sleep, we delivered a couple more babes before calling it a day. Feeling like a million bucks, I took myself out to Stoneface for breakfast. Nothing less than eggs benedict after a night like that. My disgustingly smelly, and now stretched rubber shoes were then set to soak in Javex (they wreak). This afternoon I got my haircut and my hairdresser told me the wildest story about how he got shot in the neck when he was 23 (26years ago). Miraculously, he survived. He even got me to palpate the bullet, which remains lodged in his neck to this day. I was in awe of this wonderful man. It took him three times longer than normal to cut my hair, and it is quite a bit shorter than usual, but worth it in exchange for his GSW to the neck story.

So, now I will retire to my premeditated bedding arrangement. It’s been a slice and I have to say that this current rotation is giving me reason for pause. There is something to be said for rising with ease every morning and looking forward to the day’s work. Will keep you all posted on any life changing epiphanies.

All my love,

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cats Less Fortunate 3…

This cat just couldn’t take it anymore. Sadly, he recently found himself in the path of an oncoming car. The papers said it was an accident, but those of us who loved him know better.

Another preventable tragedy! If only we had some kind of screening tool for flagging felines who might be in danger…MSIGECATS perhaps….


Dear bbctchrM.D.,

What is the pleural of cervix? Is it cervi? As in, some cervi are grotty-looking?


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sliding Doors - Toronto Style

I popped over to the T-dot this weekend to help my friend, and future sister in law, find a wedding dress. A mutual friend of ours from Edmonton was in town and so the three of us hit the streets together. We had wild success with dress shopping on Saturday morning and then enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the Danforth. The grilled calamari was delicious and the company was fabulous too.

Our subway ride back downtown however, was the source of some calamity….

Beginning uneventfully, our trip necessitated a line change at St. George’s station. We three disembarked and headed for the stairs, simultaneously realizing that the train we wanted was just about to leave the station. As we charged forward, the bell rang to signal imminent door closure. Probably we were about three feet from the doors.

What happened next was an interesting glimpse into our respective personality types. As the bell was ringing, we all paused momentarily (for about a milisecond), individually assessing the situation. I weighed the options, and decided we could make it. There was no turning back. I gathered momentum and charged toward the closing doors, prying them open for my friends as I passed through.

In this split second, I vaguely heard a wary voice cry out “don’t do it.” But it was too late. I had done it and had cleared the threshold, turning and expecting to see my girlfriends on board. Instead, the site I took in was the horrifying reality of my friends on the other side of the door. They had erred on the side of caution. I had taken the bull by the horns. I pressed my sad face up against the filthy glass as my buds became a blur on the platform and wondered...was this the price of my ambition?

There is a sequel to this story but I am too tired to relay it right now.

affectionately yours,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Chateau Neuf du Pape S.V.P.

Last night at Bridgehead I met the most beautiful Tom Cat I have ever seen. Not surprisingly, I did not shy away from the opportunity to sit beside him, and after making contact with his unbelievably sweet blue eyes a few times, I was overjoyed when he began to speak to me... Oh my God, he had a French accent, from France. I melted into the upholstery, thought maybe I was peeing in my pants, and then finally got it together.

We had a chat. Amazingly, he was born in the small town in France that my mom is from. I spent last summer there, so we had a lot to talk about - starting with cheese and bread, then onto pastry, wine, and tielle (a local squid pie delicacy - so delicious). He is a cyclist.

His story was interesting. So was his face. His name, Pierre. We talked comfortably for a while, and then he mentioned that his partner would be coming to Bridgehead to meet up with him. No worries. I wasn't surprised to hear that such a hot stud was involved with someone, but as we continued talking, it occured to me that this unbelievably gorgeous beauty was quite possibly gay.

In fact, he was. And when his partner arrived I almost lost my shit. He was easily as attractive as Pierre. They were both unbelievably stylish, friendly, and super cool. A single tabby like myself might be tempted to say that the world is a cruel cruel place. In this instance, my only sorrow comes from the very real possibilty that neither of these genetic miracles will ever procreate.

I was tempted to direct them both to the nearest sperm donor clinic. STAT!


Monday, March 13, 2006

Raisin Toast

I’ve been eating a lot of raisin toast lately for breakfast. It’s kind of weird, but I tend to enjoy certain foods in fits and spurts and raisin toast seems to be the flavour of the month. The funny thing is that my roommate has also caught the raisin toast virus and we’ve been going through it like gangrene on a diabetic toe. Sunmaid makes the best – it’s the cinnamon swirl!

I went on a bit of a road trip this past weekend, both literally and figuratively. My good friend Lindsey was getting married in the town where I did my undergraduate degree. It was the first time I had been back in over five years and I think it was high time for a visit.

Though happy for an excuse to go back, I greeted this trip with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Kind of in the way that the best movies make the worst sequel’s, I am a firm believer in living in the moment, and not trying to recreate it ad nauseum when it’s over – instead always moving forward. I was thrilled to be attending an old friend’s wedding, all the while cognisant of the fact that I might have to face a couple of daemons while I was at it. Also, I was bloated and concerned that my dress would not fit.

Phewf, the dress did fit, but I wasn’t wrong about the emotional part. The weekend was a bit of a roller coaster from start to finish. I drove by about 40 of the ghetto houses I had lived in over the years and flashed back to many of the memories and friendships that were formed in them. It was both a very carefree time in my life, and one when I did a considerable amount of growing up. I haven’t been in such a safe space since.

I also was able to visit with several friends that I hadn’t seen in years and see how their lives had evolved. They are all married, own homes, and are either pregnant or new parents. It was great fun to see my old friends and drinking buddies all grown up, but it also drove home the reality of the choices I’ve made in the past 5 years.

Here is the part where I could begin to bitch and moan and feel sorry for myself, but you know what? that is not the feeling that I came away with. Actually, I surprised the dickens out of myself. Oh sure, every one of those visits left me with a lump in my throat, and I was on the verge of tears on more than one occasion, but driving home on Sunday I was struck by several revolutionary clichés almost at once:

1. we’ve all made choices and they’ve all come with a side dish of rewards and sacrifices,
2. none of us will ever know what was behind door number 2,
3. happiness is not a passive circumstance, it is an active choice
4. doing your best and givin’ er’ is likely always your best strategy in any situation.

I think the timing of this wedding was a blessing in disguise. I am now at peace. Me and my four remaining ovum have never been more committed to finishing medical school passionately and letting the rest of the chips fall where they may. It’s probably the best I’ve felt about this in years.

Also, today I made some great strides in feeling cervi and performing paps. I am happy as two babies will be arriving in the next couple of hours, into my waiting hands.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Oxford Comma

Hello Friends,

Subsequent to a heated debate that took place a few days ago, I present to you, without further ado..... the Oxford Comma. Please read about this, become enlightened, and use it appropriately for the rest of your life.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ode to the Anticholinergic Toxidrome

"The bowel and bladder lose their tone, but the heart beats on..." Isn't that the truth?

I could cry when I come across something this profound. Either cry, or take another handful of tricylic anti-depressants.

Am I blind as bat? red as a beet? mad as a hatter? hot as a hottie? No friends, I am as dry as a bone!

Please treat me with supportive care. Consider a touch of bicarb. Perhaps a taste of physostigimine salicylate if things really get out of hand...


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This is a website I didn't find on my own....

Dear Friends,

A dear friend of mine shepparded me toward this site. I like the premise very much. Perhaps you will too... thanks Lease.



Does misery really love company? Hard to say. Is the grass always greener? Not necessarily. In contemporary society, isn't invention more often the mother of necessity? Finally, is tomorrow really always fresh with no mistakes in it..yet? Only if you are Anne of Green Frickin' Gables!