Why does it feel like we’ve done so much, yet still accomplished nothing?
- Christmas tree up
- Gift shopping and wrapping
- Dinner with various friends
- Cards sent
- Cookie baking!
- Reorganize The Toddler’s room and toys
Still to Do:
- Christmas with local family
- Dinner with various friends
- Paint upstairs
- Day trip to local site?
Okay, not so much to still do, but the painting’s a big one, and one that really has to be done when The Husband’s around.
We’re already halfway through break! Yikes!
The MS1s transitioned to MS2As* finished a week ago and there was a flurry of “First year of med school done!” posts on Facebook.
First, 4 months <> 1 year. Second, you haven’t even taken anatomy yet!
*MS vs. M is to distinguish the new curriculum from the old.
Agecroft Hall, Belle Isle, Breaks, Camping, Carytown Watermelon Festival, Endocrinology, Epidemiology, Hemetology-Oncology, Hollywood Rapids, Hospitalists, James River, Library, M2, Maymont, Microbiology, Nephrology, Pediatric Oncology, Pediatric Specialties, Pediatrics, Playdates, Preceptorship, Pulmonology, Renal, Respiratory, Richmond Marathon, Richmond Parks, Shadowing, Shenandoah, Storytime, Virginia Aviation Museum, Winter Break
Apparently, I have an alliterative annual autumn abandonment of the blog. Not much of personal interest to report.
We (The Toddler and I) are trying to be good about getting out and enjoying Richmond. The past few months we’ve done the Watermelon Festival, Aviation Museum, an animal program at Maymont, Agecroft Hall, gone camping near Shenandoah, and cheered on runners at the marathon. We still do Storytime at the Library and have added weekly playdates with some friends we met there.
The Husband is chugging away and has continued his pattern of his favorite subject being whatever class just ended. So this year he has wanted to be, in order, an epidemiologist (Microbiology), a nephrologist (Renal), and an endocrinologist (Endocrinology, duh). We have yet to see if he wants to become a pulmonologist, since the Repiratory test isn’t until right before Winter Break. Surprisingly, the exception to the rule has been Hemetology/Oncology. He went in to Med School pretty convinced he wanted to do Pediatric Oncology, but didn’t find that unit all that interesting. He’s at a pediatrician’s office for preceptorship now and also finds that a bit boring. He thinks that’s because it’s all well-child visits though, so he’s planning on shadowing some pediatric hospitalists over break.
Alone, Anniversary, Attachment Parenting, Babysitting, BMF, Breaks, Budgeting, Coffee Shop, College, Confederacy, COT, Crunchy, Errands, Evangelicals, Exams, Facebook, Family, Fellow Med Students, Friends, Jesus, Library, Lonely, M1, M2, Me Time, Med School, MOPS, Museums, Natural Disasters, New Hampshire, Outsider Status, Parks, Real Estate, Richmond, Single Parenthood, Storytime, Summer, Tax Refund, Weather, Weekend
Yesterday marked one year in Richmond. I’ve liked it more than I thought I would. There’s a lot more stuff (parks, libraries, museums, funky shops, etc.) close by than there is in New Hampshire. We’ve met some nice people and reconnected with others from college.
Still, I miss things like snow and mountains and not-I-want-to-die-heat-and-humidity (doing better than last summer though). I miss our friends.
I still feel like a bit of an outsider. Mention on your Facebook that you think modern military bases shouldn’t be named after Confederate generals and you hear about it from a parent at the park. I don’t think I fit in with the other stay-at-home parents here. It seems there are two groups: the MOPS type (too Jesus-y*) and the organic, all-natural, attachment parenting type (too crunchy). Staying at home didn’t seem so political in New Hampshire. Maybe I just didn’t get out enough. I don’t know. I have found a BMF (Best Mom Friend, not to be confused with BAMF) who is neither so we go to the coffee shop together once a week after storytime at the library.
Medical school is both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I don’t get breaks until The Husband gets breaks, so I feel like a single parent at times. Weekends are not guaranteed. Often Saturdays become another weekday in terms of schedule. The Husband leaves for the library or school that morning (usually an hour or two later than real weekdays) and then I see him again around dinnertime. Sundays can be the same, although not as often. He’s pretty burned out by then.
Most of our friends are fellow med students, so potential babysitters are busy at the same time I’d want them the most. Not many errands get done the week before a test. This summer–well, the two weeks after COT and before classes–I worked hard to get a little “me” time in. I hope it can continue a little bit into the school year now that we have a year’s perspective on scheduling demands, but we’ll see.
The New Hampshire house is back on the market. I don’t have faith it will sell, so it will probably be rented out again. I hope people like moving in October. No? Bummer.
Our savings account is about the same as last year, so that’s good. We did have a big tax refund thanks(?) to a drastically reduced salary for the second half of the 2012, but we also had a tree hit the house, so I’m not sure where exactly that puts us in terms of successful budgeting.
In the past year, The Baby has become The Toddler. He has gradually dropped from two long naps a day to one not-so-long nap (hence the reduced frequency of blog posts). He’s very mellow and easy-going, but fiercely independent. He’s not into talking very much and would rather observe people and situations than participate. So, pretty much the same personality as last year, except for the independence. It’s hard to know if it was always there but we couldn’t tell because he wasn’t as mobile. His interests include tractors, planes, trucks, and cars. This has manifested into very distinct preferences for which shirts he wears. If he can see into the drawer, he wants the clothing with the motor vehicle on it.
The Husband has been back at school for 2.5 weeks and has had his first test already, so we’re 26% done!
*And seems to prey on vulnerabilities to covertly evangelize. Not cool, MOPS!
Anatomy, Books, Breaks, Commissary, FCM, Fellow Med Students, Fort Lee, Friends, Fun, Grocery Shopping, Groupon, Gym, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Military, military discount, New Hampshire, Preceptorship, Restaurant, Sick, Weather
New semester, new adventures!
The Husband re-started classes on Wednesday, and since there were only 3 days of class to fall behind on, and despite our slow-to-return health, we went out this weekend.
Friday night we went with friends to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens to see the Gardenfest of Lights. Military Discount FTW! The Toddler enjoyed running around and staring at the Christmas lights and model trains. We also unexpectedly ran into a college acquaintance of mine who also has a toddler, so we’re going to try to meet up sometime for a playdate/catching up session.
Saturday morning was our long-awaited trip to Fort Lee for the Commissary. As we drove in we passed some very nice officer housing, a golf course, fitness trail, track and nicely manicured lawns. Allegedly the Air Force stations are nicer than Army ones, so I think we’ll be pretty happy staying on base.
The verdict on the Commissary is that it’s great for dog food and cleaning supplies, good for meat and frozen items, and about even for produce and dairy, with variation within the categories. Kielbasa and ground turkey were really cheap, chicken breasts were about the same as the local stores. Yogurt was half-price. If you already shop mostly generics though, it won’t save much money. Everything there was name brand. There was a great selection of produce, international, and luxury* items, so I’ll definitely be heading there again to stock up for parties.
I’m glad we went, but I’ll stick with the local stores for most of my grocery shopping. I’ll probably go once a month or so to stock up on meat and dog food.
As we left, we saw a platoon? (troop? brigade? About 30) of army privates sweeping the parking lot.
Finally, on Sunday we met a larger group of friends at Alamo BBQ. There was a Groupon, so we decided to check it out. It was pretty good and we’ll probably go back, so Groupon accomplished? We were a little taken aback that it wasn’t really a restaurant so much as a food stand, but there was a tent and it was gorgeous out according to the people from Canada, Seattle, and New Hampshire. To the Southern Californian, not so much. He ended up borrowing my jacket. We talked about books we read over break (Abraham Verghese seemed a popular choice), about the upcoming preceptorships (15 miles away is apparently considered “close” to school) and how we all (me included!) were glad Gross Anatomy was over.
That evening I met up with my gym buddy for the first time since early December. Today my pecs are sore!
* Fancy cheeses, salmon, etc.
Winter Break is over. Long weekend in 2.5 weeks!
Air Force, Antibiotics, Breaks, Car Troubles, Christmas, Complaining, Ear Infection, Family, Febrile Hallucinations, Fever, Food, Friends, military discount, New Jersey Turnpike, Road Trip, Sick, Sinus Infection
Don’t read this post if you don’t like medical discussions. Heck, if you don’t like medical discussions, why are you reading this blog to begin with?
This Christmas was topped only by Christmas 1996 when my grandmother died and I missed the wake because I was vomiting (7 times!) instead.
Two-and-a-half weeks ago, we had our annual Thanksgiving gathering of some college friends. The original Thanksgiving weekend date was postponed due to illness of our friends’ daughter. This time, she was “mostly over” a cold, so we thought it was no big deal. Major mistake apparently. The Toddler almost immediately stole her sippy cup and drank from it.
Tuesday, The Toddler came down with the sniffles. Wednesday, The Husband was also sniffling. It was enough that we cancelled an end-of-the-semester potluck at our house. Thursday, The Toddler was worse and woke up with an amazing amount of gunk in his eyes–enough that it was tough for him to open them. So The Husband brought him to the pediatrician and The Toddler was prescribed a course of antibiotics (he had a double ear infection in addition to the eye gunk).
I got sick on Friday. Sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, sneezing, all the good stuff. Saturday I got an ear infection. I didn’t even know adults got ear infections! Sunday morning we cancelled going to a friend’s toddler’s birthday party. Sunday afternoon I threw up. Sunday night, The Husband threw up. Monday (Christmas Eve) morning, The Father-In-Law prescribed us both antibiotics just in case, so we wouldn’t have to find an open pharmacy on Christmas Day or on the road. Yes, we were still planning on traveling up to New England! It’s good to have a physician in the family.
Christmas Day we drove to Northern Virginia to say hello to The Parents and The Grandparents and to rest a while before continuing to stay with my uncle in New York for the night. We were there for about 5 minutes before The Father-In-Law said we weren’t to leave before he wrote us a prescription for codeine. It’s good to have a physician in the family.
We were feeling much better with the codeine and we were sure we were on the mend, since we felt better than the day before and it had already been a week. Colds only last a week, right?
So we loaded into the car and headed north with a bag full of ham sandwiches that The Husband’s grandmother made us take because everyone else refused to take home leftovers.
We made good time through Delaware and headed onto the New Jersey Turnpike around 9 p.m., where we promptly heard a thunk and then the thwap thwap of a flat tire. We called my uncle to say we wouldn’t make it that night, since we only had a donut. The Husband attempted to remove the tire, but was unsuccessful. We called AAA, and not only would they help change the tire, they said, they could actually repair/replace it that night. Wonderful! We called my uncle to say we would make it after all. AAA arrived and he couldn’t remove the tire either. According to him, it was the first time in 6 years on the job he couldn’t get a tire off. He called the tow truck. We called my uncle again to say we weren’t coming again.
So after about 1.5 hours on the side of the Jersey Turnpike, the tow truck arrived and he drove us to a motel, since by that time the shop was closed. The motel was empty except for us, and we got the military discount which felt a bit like cheating since the only thing we’ve done regarding the military so far is the swearing in and the IDs and the collecting money. Nothing actually hard yet.
The Husband started his antibiotics that night on the advice of his dad since he had been out in the cold and dirt. I decided to hold off since I was still convinced it was still just a cold. This is probably why I’m not the one that’s going to med school.
That night I had these extremely vivid hallucinations of my sister-in-law as a fairy surrounded by light and wind, book pages made of sugar in wine glasses surrounded by laughing aunts, and colorful parrots with feathers made of paper. I wondered why The Father-In-Law said it was okay to drive on the codeine. Turns out I had a fever and that was why I was hallucinating. I also had major sinus pain and eye gunk in the morning so I also started the antibiotics. We ate the ham sandwiches for breakfast. They were dry and cold by that point, but they were delicious.
Wednesday morning, the 26th, the car was ready. One tire had been slashed by some metal and had to be replaced and the tire behind it had been punctured and was slowly going flat also, but could be patched. So, even if we had gotten the original tire off, we would have only made it a little bit further until we were stymied again.
We left the motel around 10 and still had hopes of making it to my parents’ house in Connecticut around 2.
This post is getting very, very long and it’s getting late, so I’ll say to be continued tomorrow…
While looking at a video of testing newborns’ hip flexibility:
Friend: She doesn’t look too happy.
The Husband: She? How can you tell?
Friend: [blank stare]
The Husband: I just thought that was a weird-looking penis.
I was about to write a post about how The Husband’s brain has checked out and he’s given up all critical-thinking and decision-making skills since Winter Break started, but apparently the brain left even before the test.
Hello. I’m The Husband. I’m 1/8 (or so) of a medical doctor. I’m also a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
It’s been roughly 18 weeks or so since I posted anything here, so here are some updated musings about this adventure.
I’ve completed four courses gross anatomy, biochemistry, population medicine, and genetics. Next up, histology, embryology, and physiology!
I’ve learned how to take a medical history and do blood pressure. In theory, I know how to do a knee exam, shoulder exam, breast exam, chest and abdominal exam. I say “in theory” because I’ve only practiced those once, on a standardized patient.
I’ve learned how to screen for alcoholism and counsel a patient to quit smoking.
I’ve been alone in a laboratory with 38 dead bodies.
I’ve sawed through a skull and cut open a rectum. I’ve cleaned out feces that’s been inside a cadaver for months. Note: The smell does not improve with age, and rectum dissection day was EASILY the worst day of medical school.
I’ve felt like a genius and a moron. (I think The Kate is going to post about why I felt like a moron.) [ETA 12/12: Story here. ~Kate]
I’ve held what used to be someone’s heart in my hands.
I’ve seen the blackness that covers lungs after a lifetime of smoking.
I’ve participated in cancer surgery and removed moles from a patient’s back.
I’ve visited a man whose been in the hospital for over 8 months, waiting for a heart transplant. Despite his predicament, he was in pretty good spirits, surprisingly.
I’ve given injections of saline to oranges. Despite my best efforts, the orange didn’t make it.
I’ve been told by multiple doctors that if I had any brains, I’d have gone into dentistry.
I’ve learned the difference between empathy and sympathy.
I’ve met plenty of people I would never want as my doctor.
I’ve got a touch of medical student syndrome (where when you become exposed to new diseases, you think you have them). My finger started hurting, so I diagnosed it with some sort of median nerve issue. Nope, it was just tendonitis caused by the anatomy dissection. That’s why you don’t want an M1 to do diagnoses.
Next semester, we actually work with patients. My preceptorship is at http://www.crossoverministry.org/. Should be interesting.
Before I started medical school, I heard that the other students studied 9 or more hours a day. I thought, I wouldn’t have to do that since I’m so much smarter than they are.
God, I was an idiot.
Medical school is like a cave of studying. The sheer volume of material that we get hit with is whelming. I feel like I go into my cave, then emerge hours late to see my wife and son for a bit. Then, I re-enter the cave.
In moments here and there, I’ve missed some of our friends from NH. To any of them who are reading this, we’ll be up around Christmastime. Give us a shout if you want to get together. (Brad & Jenny, Steve and Karen, Bob and Lauren, Mike and Val, Justin, Deb and Will, Diane & Dave, Evan and Carolyn (BTW, congrats to you two!)).
Exercise has pretty much gone out the window, though I manage to get a run in here and there. I’m on a three week break (THANK GOD), so I hope to get that party going again. I’m going hiking on Tuesday, so I’m excited about that.
Yesterday was our last anatomy exam before the break. I suppose I should be jubilant, but mostly, I’m just tired. Sometimes, I stop and wonder a) how I ended up here and b) why they let me in.
I had a good job that paid well and had every other Friday off, and I left it, moved my entire family, joined the military, and started med school.
I haven’t regretted it for a second.