Friday, June 30, 2006

Squirrely Summer Afternoons

Currently there are no less than 6 black squirrels frolicking in my back yard. I was going to cut the grass, but it's pouring rain. Tomorrow I'm on call, so it will have to wait until Sunday. My poor neighbour is never going to sell her house! At least the squirrels seem completely joyous, jumping on each other’s tails and such.

As ridic as it sounds, I think I'm actually going to miss peds wards. It’s nice being a member of a team (a functional one). Also, the kids are so great, and the vibe of the place is good. Plus, I find it kind of interesting, and dare I say…stimulating.

Clerkship is becoming a bit of a chore though, and I can't wait to start travelling a bit and doing electives in my areas of interest.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cats less fortunate 3

This kitten is currently on the feline psych ward. It's a very sad story of parental abuse and neglect. I had no choice but to call the Kitten's Aid Society on this one. Why do cats have kittens if they have no intention of taking care of them?


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bear Turds

Things are going reasonably well. I climbed a mountain last weekend with a trio of fancy cats. Bear phobias aside, it was great fun. A recipe for a good night’s sleep in the woods is a two week primer of paediatric wards. I had no trouble getting to sleep, even as buster bear rummaged around our campsite, laughing as he tossed our bear cans into the water.

This is my last week of wards, and I have only one call shift left on Saturday. Y’know, I’ve learned (yet again) a lesson about jumping to conclusions. I’d been dreading this rotation, and experiencing serious anxiety and sleepless nights about it for months now. Well, it has actually been pretty fun. My team rocks. and the little muffins are just so adorable. I have one patient right now who is the absolute bee’s knees. He’s a 10 year old kid that I’d actually like to be friends with on the outside.

Also, today this baby I really like (not my patient) got discharged. I had gotten to know his mum somehow over the past few weeks, I think because of a call shift I worked one weekend. The babe was born at 35 weeks and is now 28 days old. He is so little and cute. I dropped by this morning to say goodbye and she asked me if I wanted a quick snuggle with the little guy. Honestly, my cast iron heart melted into a pool of love as I reached for the little gaffer. He was such a great little cuddler too. I died inside. I may have overstayed my welcome, but it was well worth it. Mum took some snap shots of me and the little one. It was definitely a highlight.

Not much to report on the personal front. I went to yoga last night, so that was a major accomplishment. Tonight I picked up groceries, another victory. Tomorrow I will take out some of my frustrations on the floor hockey court and make soup. As you’ve no doubt gleaned, I lead an extremely dynamic life. I may even splash out and make some banana bread in the next couple of days.

I’ve been reflecting quite a lot lately, but currently am too tired to articulate anything reasonable. I’ll just leave you with this: If you had to have a personality disorder, which would you pick? I think I would take narcissistic personality disorder because as long as things are going okay, you are the king of the world, with absolutely no insight into your silly, self-righteous behaviors. I've had the recent pleasure of getting to know one such character.

i hope all of my beloved friends are faring well.
affectionately yours,
tabby t

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dear Nevi-cat

As I was leaving your apartment tonight, I nearly ran over a prostitute turning tricks 10 feet from your doorstep. You might consider moving to a new neighbourhood, or at least making some dough by renting out a room.

Two other strange things happened today. First, as I was driving home from work, a guy watering his lawn turned and sprayed my truck full on for no reason. I had to use every bit of mental strength I had not to go totally postal on the guy. Then, later on, at a stop light, some lecherous old bastard pulled one of those licking your lips and mouthing something obscene tricks. Again, I nearly lost my shit.

Otherwise all is well….


Turns out....

I actually kind of like paediatrics. However, I am completely and utterly exhausted with two weeks left to go. I might fall over tomorrow night during my call shift. I have this weekend off and am going to the US to climb a mountain. I hope I don't fall asleep and take a header off a cliff.


ps - All of the kids i am looking after are french, from France. They are so smart and expressive. I really love European children. Maybe that is the kind i would like to have some day.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

quick bites

I go on the occasional date. They are almost never fun. My effort is always half-hearted. Tonight is no different. I did not even wash my hair. I wonder if I will ever meet anyone on whom to shine my special light again.....

Peds wards is not as bad as I thought it would be. I'm not saying I'm enjoying myself. My mantra all week has been "I can do anything for 3 weeks", and I've been chanting this out loud every day, in the hospital even. Nevertheless, it is not the pure hell I was anticipating. Tomorrow I will be on call, which apparently is quite shitty on the weekends. We'll see. Just two more weeks now.

Okay, off to the fringe, literally and figuratively.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Just Call Me Negative Ned

I haven’t written for several days because I wanted to try and avoid sounding like a depressed freak. I had hoped to post some lighthearted, joyous stories. As I am normally a fairly rapid cycler, I thought the pendulum would swing back to Pleasantville sometime over the course of the weekend. Well, it hasn’t. I still feel totally eviscerated.

This morning, after an anxious and fitful 5 hours of sleep, I wanted to die when my alarm went off. The thought of starting pediatric wards was totally overwhelming. After a full day of orientation, it still is. I suppose I can take some solace in the fact that several colleagues expressed similar feelings. But the fact is, strength in numbers can only carry one so far.

I’ll spare you the details, but basically I’ve been wandering around in a funny fog for the past week. I feel like I’m in a movie. Tonight, for example, I had to drive out to Orleans to get an MRI. I sustained a hand injury at hockey several weeks ago, and the orthopedic surgeon thinks I may have done a real number on it. Perfect.

Just driving into Orleans is enough to make anyone feel shitty, but as I shuffled up to the door of the clinic, nestled in a dark strip mall, I felt especially rotten. I had gotten lost and was a little late. Worse, my car was operating on fumes. I proceeded to have bizzarro interactions with a woman waiting for her MRI. She essentially told me the story of her life. If I weren’t so turned in on myself these days, I might’ve given a shit, but fact is, I didn’t really want to hear about her GD rheumatoid arthritis tonight. I feigned interest.

The MRI experience sucked. The guy had serendipitously tuned me into CBC Radio One, where Michael Enright (not my favourite guy) was interviewing a super fascinating woman about human behaviour and personality disorders. I was loving it, but he set the volume just a titch lower than what my ears could accommodate as the machine shook and moaned for 25 minutes. It was something like how I would imagine Chinese water torture would feel. I strained in vein to hear and clung to my panic button for dear life as I tried to lay as still as possible for fear or exploding if I moved an inch. My guts were absolutely rumbling by the end, and for a brief moment I thought I might lose control and shit my pants in the MRI machine. I wonder how that image would show up.

As I was leaving, the woman who walked me out said “good night, and be careful out there.” She said it like she knew something I didn’t, and I wondered how bad the gang scene had become on the mean streets of Orleans. Eerily, she was right. I was in for a shake up. I have a knack for taking wrong turns and getting totally disoriented. Tonight was no different and it probably took me twice as long as it should have to get home. My blood pressure was peaking as I "navigated" in circles through lifeless subdivisions.

Why can’t I just have a normal life? I could be done a phD by now, in bioethics, or something equally stimulating. I would still feel smart, have the respect of my colleagues, and probably my research would've been funded. Instead. I start a new job every couple of weeks. Last week I was a general surgeon, a few weeks before that, a urologist. Before that, an ob/gyn. Today, and for the next three weeks, I am a pediatrician. Then I will do a brief stint as a neonatologist. Is it any wonder that eating and anxiety disorders run rampant among medical students? I feel like I am on the verge of a panic attack these days with no control over anything. I used to be cool as a cucumber, but now I feel like a different kind of vegetable.

Hopefully, by the next time I write, I will have rejoined the realm of the emotionally stable. Probably not though, since I am on call tomorrow night. At the very least, I will be able to share some self-deprecating, but humourous tales of humiliation and inadequacy for your reading pleasure. I guess this blog is a better coping mechanism than obsessive repetitive counting exercises, or pulling my hair out in clumps.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Cry of the Emotionally Destitute!

It's a sad day when your cerebral cortex first lets you down. Apathy and blunted affect are some early symptoms. You deal though, call on the brainstem to help out, try your best to make things work. But when you go into the bathroom to pluck some eyebrows (and ward off hirsutism), and you see that one pupil has blown, you know it’s just a matter of hours before your ventricles lose sight of the midline and you become a herniated, fixed, dilated, stupidhead.

At least I have Perrier. Thank God for Perrier. I love you Perrier.

Tabby Stupidhead

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

So Proud of You!!!!

Could not be more proud of you BF!!!

love T

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Right-Sided Diverticulitis My Eye!

I forgot to tell you all something very exciting. The woman from last Saturday night, the one with the “supposed right-sided diverticulitis”, well guess what? Turns out I was right after all. She had a small bowel obstruction secondary to adhesions formed after her appendectomy. I was there on Wednesday night when we opened her up and snipped off the offending piece of scar tissue that had been causing her so much grief. I wanted to do the MC Hammer dance in the hallway when my preceptor told me what the CT scan had found.

During that same surgery, my preceptor, not happy with what, or how I was retracting, pulled his usual, smack the retractors impatiently with the scissors trick. He caught me in a moment of weakness, and having experienced this unpleasant behaviour one too many times, I responded by barking "Okay Okay Okay" three times impetuously in his direction. Immediately afterward I felt shame and doubt. Luckily, he thought it was hilarious. I heard him chortling into his mask.

I've come to like and respect the man. Despite his inappropriate commentary and androgen-heavy behaviour, I think he is an intellinent, hard working, and kind soul. I reserve the right to change my mind after my evaluation this week.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

question for BBCTCHR

or anyone else with the requisite knowledge....

why bother doing colposcopy on someone who has squamous cell or adenocarcinoma diagnosed from a pap? why wouldn't you skip straight to a biopsy?

thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom,