Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving (a bit late)

So I had two days off over Thanksgiving and was lucky my parents made the long drive here to spend it with me. I fixed turkey with all the trimmings and it didn't taste to bad. The rest of the weekend I've been working the 6 pm to 4 am shift in the ER which isn't my favorite but my last shift is tonight. I feel a little anti social not seeing anybody during the day and working all night.

Yesterday I felt like I had a minor breakthrough with a couple of patients. One of the challenges of Pediatrics is dealing with parents who have not very sick children but come to you wanting you to fix every little thing they perceive is wrong with their children. I saw a couple of infants yesterday whose parents came in because their kids have "nasal congestion." Now who, during this time of the year doesn't have congestion??? There was a recent movement to pull all the infant cough and cold medicines off the shelves because of some bad side effects and lack of efficacy. So basically, we can offer absolutely nothing to the parents of those kids. The break through I had yesterday is I walked into the rooms knowing I couldn't give these parents a magic pill to make the kids feel better but instead had the time to just talk and mostly listen to them for awhile. I was thrilled when they actually left happy! I mean you learn that most of the time patients/parents just want you to listen to them but sometimes you feel like people won't be satisfied until you fix their problems. In this case I couldn't do that but all three of these parents seemed pretty satisfied with the time we spent together. Additionally I discovered more information about the patients' home in that the parents all smoke which is going to cause congestion in babies because of the irritation of the smoke. Hopefully I might have made some inroads into getting them to think more seriously about quitting if not for their own but for their kids' sake.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Weddings, Hit and Run and other news

Above you see a picture of me with a bunch of the residency girls at a fellow resident's wedding. That was the first of two weddings I've been to in the past few weeks. The second was for my former college roommate Beth and was just this past weekend. Have you noticed that my main social events seem to be weddings? I think I've been to five so far this year.

In other news, this weekend I had the unfortunate experience to be a victim of a hit and run car accident. Fortunately no one was hurt but it was a weird experience. I was driving along when the car in the lane to the left of me decided to merge but obviously didn't know I was there and ended up side-swiping my car. When that happened I started to pull over to the right but then noticed that they weren't pulling over, in fact, they were turning left off the road we were traveling on. So I sped up and got their license number. It ended up being just a scratch on the driver's side of my car but I have a feeling the small scratch will end up costing more than I expect. The police were able to figure out who owns the car that hit me so hopefully they have insurance and it will all get taken care of with a minimum of inconvenience.

Finally, my newest favorite song is Easy Silence by the Dixie Chics. It's not actually new but I just sort of discovered it recently. yep, i think the southern influence is taking effect as I'm generally not a fan of country music though have always liked some of the Dixie Chic's music. The song is sappy and romantic but also very pretty. Check it out if get a chance.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Back to Iowa

I just returned from a week off in Iowa with my parents. It was pretty low key. I'm on a Community month this month which is where we don't do a lot of clinical work but learn about a lot of resources around the community. I did some interesting things this month including learning a little about public policy and advocacy, public health, disaster preparedness plans etc. We also are required to do a couple of projects, one with one of the community organizations and one quality improvement project for the hospital/residency. Since the month is on the lighter side of things, I decided to take Step 3 of my USMLE exam. It was a two day test this time and I think after a fair amount of studying, that it went okay. Even though it's a multiple choice test, I won't know the results for a couple months. Since I spent the majority of the month studying for the test, I kind of put off my other projects until my vacation week. So even though it was 5 days off at home, I spent the majority of the day working on the projects. I did, however, spend the evenings with my parents and just kind of bumming around. We went and watched my highschool's volleyball team play (they won and they're ranked 3rd in the state) and in general did a lot of reading too. It was nice to get away!

I came back a day early and was able to do some touch up work, spackling and painting, in my bathroom because of the removal of the old countertop and sink. I also went on a Haunted Hayride last night which was kind of fun! It was one of those outdoor fields with a corn maze, a couple of haunted houses and the hay ride. So, I didn't dress up for this Halloween (I'll be on call on the 31st) but did get to enjoy a little bit of the festivities. This coming month I'll be doing an ER month so that means shift work with some weird hours but at least I'm in my own bed everynight! Nothing else too much to report...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Saga of Big George

Kelly Bienhoff visited this past weekend. We were in my office/guest room and were folding up the bedding when we noticed Big George (a large, hairy spider) scuttling across the floor. We both shrieked and neither of us had any shoes immediately available. However, my TI 85 graphing calculator (a rather bulky, heavy calculator) was at hand so I threw it on Big George. Big George proceeded to push the calculator off himself and scurried under the couch. We folded up the rest of the bedding and then looked under the couch and poof, Big George had disappeared. It appeared he had some sort of magical powers. The rest of the weekend we pondered as to the whereabouts of Big George as he was nowhere to be seen. As Kelly packed her bags on Sunday she even wondered if it was possible that Big George had crawled in to her things and he may turn up in Kansas City! I thought it was very possible and proceeded to put him out of my mind ... until this morning. I walked out of my bathroom (in my bedroom) after showering this morning and noted some quick movement across the room along the baseboard. AHA! It was Big George, he had simply moved across the condo instead of flying to Kansas City. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for Big George, I did have a sandle at hand and proceeded with great vigor to dispatch Big George to his next life. (it took 3-4 very good thwaps). I then used about 6 kleenexes all wadded up to pick up Big George (so as not to actually feel the dead Big George inside them all) and sent to him a watery grave with a resounding flush. So ends the saga of Big George.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Home Improvement Continues

Post call and I arrived home to find the tilework done in my kitchen and both bathrooms. You're looking at the kitchen above. I LOVE the tile and am happy I decided to do the diagonal lines in the kitchen. The contractor I hired had laid all the tile which I'd seen and then finished up when I was working yesterday, so the grout color was a surprise. I picked out a color which I thought was more of a dark gray/brown and ended up getting the light gray which you see above. Too late to do anything about it now. I guess the good news that as it gets dirty, it will only get darker, right :) I also got a new vanity top and faucet for my bathroom which I think looks nice. The previous whas a tan linoleum top but it's now white marble and the faucet is brushed silver matching the rest of the fixtures in the bathroom.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Not too much going on with me but I thought it was high time for an update ....

First things first, I finally decided to sit down and make an actual budget. I've always prided myself on being responsible with my money but was especially motivated to recently either acquire some more or figure out a way not to spend so much when my college friend Karla sent out her save the date cards for her wedding in .... St. Lucia! Wouldn't that be a lovely place to spend a few days in March? I think so, too. This year I was excited because since I'm a 2nd year resident I am now qualified to do some moonlighting for extra cash. This was great until a couple of weeks ago, our program announced that our malpractice insurance does not cover us doing this anymore so there went that opportunity. Since I can't realistically pick up extra cash any other way, I decided I'd have to put some limitations on my spending and save some money that way. I'll let you know how it goes ...

Second, I have recently become addicted to Sweet Tea. Sweet tea is iced tea that is, surprise, sweet and seems to be something fairly popular in the southern half of the country since I don't recall running across it in Iowa at any point. Now I wouldn't consider Indianapolis in the "South" although it surprised me greatly to learn I'm closer to Kentucky than I am to Chicago. That being said, there is sweet tea around here and is one my favorite beverages of choice. There's a chain of restaurants/delis called McAllister's which makes particularly good sweet tea so if you ever see one, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Blissful Day Off

Due to the requirements in residency, it's mandatory that we have 4 days off a month. Normally we're able to work this out and get the four days to fall on weekends but this month because of the number of residents I was working with, I had to go in pretty much every weekend. Instead, I was forced to take a day off during the week and that was today. I saved it for the end of the month and it was wonderful. I didn't do anything exciting ... just worked out, got my oil changed, and watched a movie. But when you have so few days off, it makes you really, really appreciate it. I felt like I was on vacation today! So all you people out there who work 5 days a week and have the weekend off every weekend, enjoy it for me! Maybe someday, I'll get there again ....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Toilet debacle

So, here's a word to the wise for everyone. If you're going to attempt to repair your own toilet, make sure it's not leaking and make sure the valve for shutting the water off doesn't break. Oh, and it doesn't hurt if you don't have carpet in your bathroom as well. So that's what happened this weekend. Water leaked everywhere and because some idiot (not me, it was there when I bought the place) thought it'd be a good idea to put carpet in the bathroom, the carpet wicked the water right through the wall and into my living room and hallway. Now the plumbing job only cost $50 to fix but all the equipment to dry out the wall costs significantly more. You can see above the way they had to drill into the drywall and place tubing to suck out all the water. Crazy. Well, you learn a little bit every day, right? They ripped out all the carpet in the bathroom so I'm going to be buying some ceramic tiles sometime soon and it should look a lot better after that.
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Shaking your booty vs. Drawing on a booty

So I'm on call as we speak with my friend Marcie and we're just admitting a girl with some butt abscesses (i.e. pockets of infection on her butt). She's actually doing pretty well, just needs some IV antibiotics and then will go home. However Marcie and I were just lamenting that fact that instead of going out dancing on a Saturday night and shaking our booties that instead we're stuck in the hospital and are having to draw on a girl's butt or booty (Mom, that means butt) to document the spread of the infection. Sigh ...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Busy weekends

Update on Harry Potter! I finished the book in about 13 hours and it was very good. I was very satisfied with it with a few exceptions. I won't give away any spoilers for those of you out there who are still reading it but you'll have to check back and see for yourself how many of my predictions were right. It's kind of sad now though that there will never be another Harry Potter book. It really is a unique phenomenon being able to read a series of books as its being written and be there for the last one.

This past week, the Indianapolis Tennis Championships have been going on which were formally known as the RCA Championships. (apparently RCA stopped giving enough money or something) It's one of those tennis championships that I used to watch on ESPN when I was in highschool. It's pretty cool to now actually be able to go and watch the professional players in person. The big names at the championship this year were James Blake and Andy Roddick, both of whom I saw play this week. Unfortuantely, they both lost in the semi finals. I wasn't able to get a great picture personally so just had to make due with this one from the internet :) The weather was beautiful during the week, pretty much perfect for playing tennis and then got a little hot on the weekend.

Today, I went for a 2.5 hour bike ride on this path that I hadn't ridden on before. It's a path that starts in the middle of the city and sort of goes south west all the way to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It's a really nice path, sort of less known than the most popular one in the city. It's gravel and runs along a canal the entire way and also provides a fair amount of shade. For several miles along the path, it's completely surrounded by trees and you can't even tell you're in the middle of the city which is really nice. At the Museum of Art, there's a beautiful garden so we stopped and wandered around there for awhile before coming back. I've been a little burned out on running since running the half marathon so it's fun to discover other ways to keep up my exercise.

Oh yeah, and I still have to work. I'm on to a new rotation, Cardiology, tomorrow so wish me luck.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Book 7

As many of you know I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and can't even begin to explain how excited I am that the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book comes out in 4 hours and 10 minutes ... of course I'm on call tonight and will not be able to get it until at least 9 am tomorrow (when Barnes and Noble re opens after the midnight opening). My best friend Eileen is also a huge fan and I think we're both hurrying to read it this weekend so we can discuss ASAP. I'm going to take a page out of her book and post some of my OWN predictions for the book on this blog while I'm eagerly awaiting the release (and for my call to be over).

1. Voldemort will die ... it says in book 5 that Voldemort thinks there is nothing worse than death and therefore that only seems to make sense.

2. Harry will live. I just cannnot, will not see him dying. I don't think J.K. Rowling will do that to this great character when there are better ways to end this series. (This is all despite the fact that she was reported to be sobbing when she wrote the end of the book. I think that's just being emotional at the series, not Harry being done for)

3. Dumbledore is dead. I do not think that in any way shape or form that Dumbledore is still alive but I don't think we've heard the last from him. In some way, he will be a part of this last book.

4. Snape is good. Throughout the whole series, Dumbledore has always insisted that he trusts Snape and I trust Dumbledore. 'Nuff said. (yes, Snape actually killed Dumbledore (see prediction #3 but I believe it was all part of a greater plan)

5. R.A.B. is Sirius's presumed dead brother who is not actually dead and will play a role in this book.

6. A Weasley is done for ... there are just too many of those red-headed do gooders running around and really they are a pretty easy target being so involved in the Order of the Phoenix etc. I sincerely hope Harry and Ginny end up together forever but given her daring personality and spunk, she's going to be in the middle of things in this book and just may get caught in the crossfire. Otherwise, I'm afraid any of them could get it but I guarantee it won't be Percy. (That would just be too satisfying)

Alright, that's it! We'll see in 48 hours if I'm right!

Friday, July 13, 2007


My friend Jen and I were requested to take over posts as Social chairs for the residency this year. Maybe it's because we're both a tad social :) It's a position that basically means coordinating extracurricular social events for everybody in the residency. We have a fair sum of money with which we can buy tickets to things and generally fund anything that seems like it might be fun and well, social. It's also a fun way to explore stuff to do in Indianapolis. I know it doesn't sound like the most exciting and glamorous city in the world (other than if you're a football fan) but it turns out there are some enjoyable things if you know where to look. We're doing about two events a month, one paid for by the program, one not. This month we sponsored tickets to something called Symphony on the Prairie which is where the Indianapolis Symphony plays concerts weekly in an outdoor amphitheater. Everyone breaks out picnic baskets, bottles of wine and camping chairs and has an enjoyable evening outside. (I always wondered when people used those fancy fabric lined picnic baskets that you see at department stores). So anyway, last week the symphony played a tribute to John Williams so it was great to hear the movie themes from Star Wars, Jaws, Harry Potter among others. Tonight I just got back from the Indianapolis Museum of Art which hosts movies outside on its terrace once a week. A group of us watched E.T. the Extraterrestrial which I don't think I've seen since I was 5. It's a lot less scary now ... Incidentally, John Williams also wrote the score to that! All in all, a pretty nice evening.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Hmmmm. I can't even comment on this in an appropriate manner so I'll just let you guys think what you will ...

So this state park is in Northern Kentucky very near Cincinnati which we saw on our way back from Hilton Head. It was a long drive with a lot of traffic jams but we made it back to Indy late last night. The trip was great. We rented a condo which was very affordable and about two blocks from the beach. There was also a pool right outside our balcony so most of our days went like this: Wake up when we feel like it, go to the pool, eat lunch, head to the beach. Our evenings were split between eating out or making something in our kitchen at the condo. we went out dancing one night, sat at a Tiki bar on the beach another night as well as staying in and playing games making our own frozen drinks. It was VERY hot. (perfect for sitting at the beach) I couldn't help but compare this to the last beach vacation I took (which was to Cancun) last year. The sand wasn't quite as white and the ocean wasn't quite as green, however there was a wonderful breeze coming off the ocean which made sitting on the beach very comfortable. The water was also very clean, not a lot of algae or debris in it. Every day the tide came in a distance of probably about 50 yards throughout the afternoon so we always ended up pulling our towels back. The tide packed the sand down pretty firmly which made the beach great for biking on but sometimes not so comfortable to lay on. I spent most of my time in the ocean but if I ever go back, would definitley invest in a plastic beach chair and an umbrella which would make it pretty much perfect. Some of my friends rented bikes one day and I rode one a little bit. There are a lot of trails around the island which are really nice.

Having never been to that part of the country before, I was amazed how lush and green everything is. Even in the populated and landscaped areas there are trees and undergrowth everywhere. Looking at the dense plant life reminded me what it must have been like when settlers first arrived to that area of the country and how overgrown it must have been. It's kind of like loooking back in time if you ignore all those shops and stores.

Overall, it was great to get away and very hard to come back. I didn't end up having to work today, fortunately but will be back in the swing of things starting tomorrow. I do, however, feel pretty refreshed and energized today which is I guess the whole point of going on vacation, right?
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Friday, June 29, 2007

Hilton Head Island

Hello from Hilton Head. This week has been great, very relaxing. I and 4 other friends from residency drove down here and are staying in a condo. We've been splitting our days between the pool at the condo and the beach two blocks away. We've also done a little shopping and seeing the area. It's a very nice, laid back area. It's full of tourists but that doesn't bother me. I had wanted to post a picture with this but it wasn't uploading for some reason so you'll just have to wait for those. We'll drive a 12 hour trip back tomorrow but fortunately its through some beautiful areas in the country in North Carolina and Tennessee. On Sunday I'll start my second year of residency but now in a "supervisory" role. It's a little scary with having more clinical responsibility but nice because not nearly as much paper or "scut" work as we call it. I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Luke and Amanda's Wedding

Finally, getting a chance to post some more! I've been winding down my last month as an intern (my last call was last night!) and am getting ready to go on a fun vacation to Hilton Head South Carolina. Anyways, at the end of May, I went to my friends, Luke and Amanda's wedding in Rolling Meadows, Illinois (suburb of chicago). I know the two of them from medical school was really excited to see them as well as some of my friends from around the country. I hadn't seen Becky (on the right) since we both left Iowa City a year ago! She moved to Maine. The wedding was beautiful, the reception was a blast but probably the best thing for the wedding couple itself had been the events of the weeks before. They unfortunately did not end up getting residency positions in the same part of the country so were facing three years of long distance marriage which I can't even comprehend! But, due to some very lucky events, they found out just days before the wedding that they would actually be doing residency in the same town. They were ecstatic and I was ecstatic for them. You could tell they were both glowing on the day of the wedding.
The next day I was also able to spontaneously get together with one of my roommates from college, Beth Szafranski! It worked out perfectly because I was able to go out to lunch with her and her fiance Chris. It's so funny, I hadn't seen her in over a year, but as always, whenever we get together it's just like we see each other everyday. All in all, a great weekend. Stay tuned for more, soon!
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Monday, June 11, 2007


Well, I'm back on a ward month and switched some calls around so I feel like i've hardly been home or had time to sit in front of a computer! Whew, it's exhausting at times. I still havn't uploaded any of my recent pictures but will hopefully get to it soon. I'm thinking this coming weekend since I actually have it off.

On to other stuff ... this will probably make sense to my more medical friends but I'm on a month right now where we take care of developmentally disabled kids. Many of you know my interest in Genetics and Genetic syndromes, so you can imagine how crazy it was when earlier this week, I actually was taking care of (all in one day, no less) patients with Cri du Chat, Prader-Willi and Lesch-Nyhan!! For my non medical readers, these are all rarer syndromes that you merely read about in med school and I saw them all in one day! I thought that was pretty cool. Yes, I'm a dork.

For those who don't know, Lesch-Nyhan disease is a really fascinating disorder where there is a build up of a certain chemical (uric acid) because your the body lacks the enzyme to prevent it's precursers. What's so fascinating about it is that children with this disease exhibit self-mutilating behaviors where they bite off their lips and fingers so much so that they often have to be restrained or have their teeth removed. It's horrifying but at the same time fascinating because it is this direct interface between a chemical imbalance and a behavior unlike almost any other disease. I'm glad I've had the experience to take care of a patient with it because it's something I know I'll never forget.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I just returned from a fun-packed trip which I will fill you all in shortly. I'm going to wait and try to get some pictures up to go with my stories. But I wanted to give you a complete explanation of the book part of my blog. As you all know, I LOVE to read and try to do so daily. The types of books I like are fiction, generally historical fiction but will read almost any kind of fiction. So under the Recent Books, you will see the 3 most recent books I've read and added to the blog. If you click on the book cover, it will take you to a generic link which will give you some reviews and links to amazon and the like. If you click on the part that says my library it will take you to all the books I've read and listed. On that part of the site, I've given each book a star ranking based on five stars so then you'll know how much I liked the books. Hope you readers out there find it useful!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

By Popular Demand

Apparently my blog is so successful that now I'm getting requests from my myriad of fans (actually, my mom) to make a post so here I go ....

I had a nice weekend in St. Louis seeing the Bienhoffs and celebrating Kelly's graduation. She's done really well and should be very proud of herself. Graduation was nice and then we had an afternoon of playing bocce ball which was a fun and unique thing to do too.

I just joined a tennis league and tonight was my first match. It's crazy to think that it's actually been 10 years since I last played any tennis competitively. Unfortunately, my debut back into tennis was not as successful as my previous tennis career (i lost). It brought back all the memories of psyching myself out, getting tentative or making just stupid shots. But the good part of all that is it takes my mind off work (which can be tough to get off the mind sometimes) and makes me eager to get back out there and improve. I felt pretty bad losing the first match I played with this new team but the rest of our team lost their matches too so it was just a good opponent. Anyways, I'll be missing the next couple weeks of matches because of vacation and work but will hopefully get back out there in June.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Laundry night

So one of the reasons I started this blog was to keep people up on my life. Unfortunately my life isn't always so exciting so I'm posting tonight between the 4 loads of laundy I absolutely had to do tonight :)

This month I'm working at an urgent visit center which is great because I don't take any call and sleep in my own bed every night! It can get a little monotonous at times but I'll take it for the nice break for the schedule. Also, I get a week of vacation at the end of this month which will be great. I'll be going to Luke & Amanda's wedding (friends from med school) in Chicago and then venturing to Disney World with Eileen and her family. It'll be really nice to spend a few days with her! Also, I'm looking forward to going to St. Louis for the weekend for Kelly B's graduation. I'll give you a full update after all these fun events!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Mini Marathon

For some crazy reason, I decided to sign up for the Indy One America Mini Marathon which is a half marathon (13.1 miles). My training schedule started out great in January but then I got a little off track in February and March. Oh well, I decided to run it anyways and the big day was yesterday. Luckily I had some friends who to run it with which was a big help to keep motivated (that and the other 29,000! people who completed it). The picture shows my friends Ruth, Christy and Ruth's daughter Mary. Ruth's husband was watching at about mile 5.5 and he and Mary very nicely brought us some much needed Advil (see Mary's right hand) at that point. My main goal was to complete the half marathon which I did and would estimate I ended up walking about 15 minutes of it. I feel great that it's done but am now walking around like an old woman! Some of the highlights in the Marathon was part of the course included the Indianapolis Speedway, which I've never been to before, the cups of beer they passed out at mile 10.5 (delicious but I have to say I felt a little nauseated afterwards) and the fact that the weather was pretty much perfect!
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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Here's the upclose view of the blossoms on the trunk.
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So right outside my place, there's this tree which this spring I was very surprised to see produced these really pretty pink blossoms, not just on the branches but on the trunk, too. Anybody know what kind of tree this is? I've never seen anything like this but thought it was kind of cool. The weather was beautiful today and I can never resist getting outside when it's like this This kind of weather makes me feel like I'm living in Hawaii instead of Indiana!
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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The First Post

Well, this is my first real foray into the blog .... I've realized that I really enjoy reading and seeing what my friends are up to and I feel a lot more connected to people that are far away just by doing that. But, I realized it's probably a one way feeling because I rarely have the time to update those same friends! So hopefully someone will enjoy checking this occasionally (at least I'm sure my parents will :) ) and I'll do my best to put posts up with some frequency. Also, I'll try to put up some pictures of the latest happenings in my life and am going to attach a link to library type website where people can check what books I've read recently and see my ratings. Hope you enjoy!