I want more.

I love art, and one of my very favorite mediums is music.

Of course I can’t carry a tune with a five gallon bucket, and I’ve always been too impatient to learn to play any musical instrument with any sort of skill. But I love searching for and finding, or just by chance hearing that Perfect Song that pumps me up, makes me laugh, soothes, or expresses exactly how I’m feeling at the perfect moment. (I was lucky enough to discover The Black Keys during Gyn Onc last year – Yes, yes I have been living under a giant media-deprived rock – irregardless, fairly certain that was the essential factor in surviving until the next rotation.)

My brother and I have developed a habit of exchanging mix CDs of these Perfect Songs we find since I started med school. We send them to each other as gifts for birthdays, Christmas, and at random intervals just because we’ve accumulated enough of them or one of us really needs a new infusion. I’m not exactly sure how he feels about them, but not being a big accumulator of ‘stuff” myself, they are some of the most useful, meaningful, very best, and really my favorite of gifts to receive. (I’ll never forget my study buddy’s horror second year when he introduced me to the Drive By Truckers with “Nine Bullets” and “Gravity’s Gone”. I was busy falling in love with a new band at the time, but it still managed to register. Hah.)

So, my contribution to the Intern Welcome Basket this year was a mix CD. Initially I asked for input from friends for songs for the Perfect OB/GYN mix CD, needless to say the majority of the suggestions were not fit for general public consumption, but did give me a good idea of what the general population thinks of our specialty (and let me just say: #1. Yikes!! and #2. Really guys???!!). Luckily I have headphones or the radio on most of the time when I’m on my way into or out of work so I heard a lot of those Perfect (and not necessarily X-rated) Songs over the course of intern year and I ended up compiling a list of songs I thought embodied the ups, downs, and in-betweens of OB/GYN intern year.

I made a bunch of copies for the interns and one for myself, and listened to it constantly until a couple of weeks ago when in a fit of 5 am, sleep deprived, pre-coffee frustration/irrationality I tried to fix my car’s CD player by cramming two CD’s in to try and make the mix play. (Yes, yes I realized then, and still do, what a terrible idea this was, and have to reassure that I am a much better MD than user/fixer of technological equipmentry. Much better. I swear.)

That being said, here’s the mix:

  1. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
  2. Portions For Foxes – Rilo Kiley
  3. Help I’m Alive – Metric
  4. Blackout – Breathe Carolina
  5. Land Down Under – Men At Work
  6. Let’s Talk About Sex – Salt-n-Pepa
  7. Push It – Salt-n-Pepa
  8. I Wanna Be Sedated – Ramones
  9. Over My Head – The Fray
  10. I Need A Dollar – Aloe Blacc
  11. Breathe – Anna Nalick
  12. Paradise – Coldplay
  13. Some Nights – Fun
  14. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
  15. Hold On – Alabama Shakes
  16. Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammer
  17. Do It Anyway – Ben Folds Five
  18. My Body – Young The Giant
  19. Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
  20. I Love It – Icona Pop

I haven’t heard any the of interns’ reactions to the CD, or if they even actually got their copy as I was in the middle of my South American Medical Mission Adventure when they were supposed to have received it, but I really miss being able to play that CD. There is a Perfect Song for everything I am needing or feeling on my way into or leaving work if I can’t find it on the radio.

I just finished my first rotation of second year on L&D and the song I most listened to on my way home, and most wanted to hear before I completely ruined my CD player was #18. The lyrics of the chorus played through my head most nights as I walked out and drove home after the ruination anyway, “My body tells me no oh, but I won’t quit, ’cause I want more….’Cause I want more!”

It was, hands-down, the best rotation of residency so far.

I was exhausted most days, after 12 to 15-ish hours of non-stop L&D action – high-risk, high-volume, 5000 deliveries per year, one resident on at any given time and responsible for pretty much everything action – and I loved every minute of it.

I think, I have found my calling, and I absolutely loathe leaving it, even for an out-patient “vacation” rotation (followed by another Gyn Onc rotation, the very contemplation of which makes me nauseated even though, rationally and logically, I know The Worst Rotation Ever was primarily due to the The Most Giant A-Hole Chief Ever, so I’m going to not think about it until approximately 5 seconds before it actually starts).

Until I am happily running up and down your hallowed halls again L&D………..

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The Daily Something: Concentration.

I developed a habit over the course of intern year of randomly texting people lolcats in spare seconds of stress, during inordinately boring meetings or lectures, and/or frankly, whenever the mood strikes.

(I have no idea, it just makes me happee. And luckily I haven’t been permanently blocked from any major calling plans for harassment. Yet.)

I was searching for the perfect lolcat to represent the fickle moods and feedback style of a certain, well-known and well-intentioned, though highly labile staffer last night to send to a fellow resident I was sure could commiserate, (i.e. got my you-know-what-chewed with a full and rapt audience of ancillary staff, once again, for L&D circumstances I am as likely to be able to control and predict as well as the next jackpot Powerball digits, and felt compelled to cope with a little lolcat humor) and in the process found this guy:

 

concentrationcat

 

Thought #1: “Dang! Hope I don’t look that when I’m delivering somebody’s baby. How scary would it be to be all pushing your brains out and look up to see that?!?”

Thought #2: “Oh wait. I’m wearing a mask. Probably a good thing.”

Thought #3: “I think, I should probably go to bed now.”

Thought #4: However much I might be enjoying this 12-day stretch of L&D insanity/awesomeness, part of me hopes whoever thought up medical residencies and 12-day stretches is reading this post.

The Daily Something: Gratitude.

I’m currently experiencing a spontaneous burst of gratitude. Probably, mostly, some kind of fatigue-induced euphoric state, but nice nonetheless.

I got back from my South American Medical Mission Adventure on Monday night this week and started my first rotation (and a 12 day stretch of 12-ish hour days) of second year at 0630 Tuesday morning. So, I’m a whole five days in to second year, and I’m realizing that even though I have a long (LONG) ways to go, how far I’ve already come. I keep thinking back to last year on this same rotation, when I did it at the beginning of the year, and I can’t help but realize how much more I know and how much faster, efficient and proficient I’ve gotten in the relatively short interim. And I am grateful. I am grateful for some evidence (for my ever highly skeptical and self-criticizing self) of improvement. Everybody keeps telling me that it gets easier, I’m going to make it, yadda, yadda, yadda, but tonight, I think I might actually believe them for the first time. At least a little bit.

And I’m grateful for other things as well.

For the excellent training I received at my little rural medical school, that most have no idea exists and some would probably scoff at because they have no idea how much hands on, practical experience I got with no other med students, residents, or fellows to jump in and do all the things I got to do (i.e. approximately three times more OR time first-assisting in my 3rd year of med school than my intern year). Which probably made last year go approximately ten times easier for me than if I had trained elsewhere. There is definitely something to be said for little, rural, no-name medical schools Tyvm.

And for having been a nurse before going to medical school. Which also probably made last year go exponentially easier for me, and still thankfully lets me establish a usually hard-won (and deservingly so) rapport and easy friendships with all the floor nurses and some of the patients I spend most of my time with these days.

And lastly, in addition to all those nurse buddies, I am grateful for all the great attendings I’m lucky enough to work with. I chose to come to this residency in particular based on my interactions with the attendings I met during my interview, and their down-to-earth, very straightforward, yet friendly, approachable, and enthusiastic personalities despite all the accolades and appointments (which I invariably find out about after meeting them and hopefully not completely disgracing myself) at one of the best hospital systems in the world. I am grateful that my initial impressions and instincts didn’t fail me, and that at least 97% percent of the time I am working with the best teachers, and best people, I could possibly hope for.

Especially on this rotation. Which also may be (and is probably) at least partially at fault for inducing all the gratitude euphoria as well, because it’s L&D, my own personal, very favorite of work place happy places.

Once again I wish I could stay on this rotation for the rest of residency, of course, with a few more International Medical Mission Adventures thrown in as my other most favorite of work-place happy places, wherever they may take me. I will be posting soon about my latest, but until I get through the current stretch and get some sleep, here’s a little a picture preview of the latest to kick things off………

 

047

The Daily Something: Really?

Literally, just had the WORST day of residency so far. Even worse than that first Hellacious call shift on L&D nine months ago (that I will never, ever forget, that still inspires a healthy bout of nausea every time I think about it, which should give you some idea of how bad today was).

And, at the end of the day, after 15 hours of pure terror, humiliation, helplessness, and several bouts of bathroom crying, I saw they emailed me my annual contract renewal to be signed today.

Really?

It took me the last two hours just to talk myself into go back to work tomorrow, I hope they don’t expect that thing to be returned any time soon.

The Daily Something: Nope.

So, I was really hoping that the in-patient Gyn Onc rotation would be one of those things that I build up in my mind to be so horrendous, that then turns out to be not so bad.

Nope.

A few things come to mind:

#1 – Why in the name of all things rational, would a person keep doing a job where they work so hard, for such long hours, for not great pay, where they are mostly treated like crap?

#2 – I never want to be the a-hole who treats my co-residents, med students, nurses, or anyone else I work with (including patients) like crap. Including dumping work on them, not helping them when I can, humiliating them in front of others, or just plain being mean to them. Especially if they are really, obviously trying. Even when I am completely overwhelmed myself.

#3 – I hope I make it to be the person who gets to be the nice, non-a-hole Chief that people like to work with, and that if I do I am so good that I never get completely overwhelmed no matter what is thrown at me (literally and/or figuratively) ever again.

#4 – Gyn Onc is rapidly ruling itself right out as sub-specialty choice, on a very short list of sub-specialty choices. 😦

#5 – For the millionth time, I am ridiculously grateful for my classmates, who are the best classmates I could have ever hoped to have in a million years, who make me feel like I’m not alone in thinking these things, and just plain not alone.

#6 – And I am grateful for these shoes:

AwesomeSuperPinkPowerShoes

AwesomeSuperPinkPowerShoes

Which I splurged on just for this rotation (in my defense, I had coveted them months ago and was pretty much obligated to buy them when I found them miraculously on clearance and in my size). Because they are super comfortable, they make me feel a little more awesome and little less awful, and remind me that I am human being who dares/loves to spice up a straight month of boring, drone OR scrubs with the craziest, brightest shoes I can possibly find, every time I look at them as I am sprinting around the hospital.

Take that Rotation From Hell.

Take that.

The Daily Something: Thursday Thug Life.

Sometimes I hear a song and it’s so good, everything else stops while I listen, and I think, Where has this band been all my life??? And then I remember where I’ve been for most of my life, namely buried in the cultural deprivation tank that is deep, rural Middle America. Mostly sans the Intranet.

Looking on the bright side, which helps me feel (slightly) less lame, now that I’ve escaped to a place so ridiculously, comparatively rich in cultural, ethnic, and artistic diversity, I get to make up for all the lost time and be pretty consistently amazed with all the enthusiasm of a severely underprivileged person flipping a light switch, or eating fast food for the first time.

Today it was this song, thanks to awesome local college radio station #4. (That’s right, four local college radio stations. They play it all – Indie, Alt, Rock, Rap, Reggae, Retro, Soul, etc. Versus the four radio stations total where I came from. That all play Country, often the same song at the same time, more often than you would think is possible. Not that I have anything against Country, being a huge fan of Lucinda, Loretta, Patsy, Cross Canadian, Hank (specifically I & III), George (specifically Jones and old-school Strait), Merle, Willy, the Truckers, etc. Not they ever they played them.)

Anyway, the song. (And, Yes, I listened to the lyrics. Hayseed that I am, I like it. I like it a lot.)

The Daily Something: I Give Up.

A) Feeling rather foolish about the 5 – 10 minutes I spent (wasted) sorting through bargain cat toys at Wal-Mart last weekend, trying to find one Herself might actually deign to play with.

B) Absurdly glad that in the end, I did not end up shelling out the (whopping) 97 cents for the pink, fuzzy mouse.

Because,

C) This thing has been rocking her world for the last 3 days since I missed when chucking it in the garbage……..

MissKitty