Saturday, March 28, 2009

Crying It Out

I have come to the conclusion that Crying It Out is another name for sheer emotional torture. Our sweet little baby has been having a rough time sleeping lately. He went from a tiny newborn who wouldn't sleep because he needed to eat every two hours to a heavenly 3-4 month old who slept through the night, mostly. However, he has recently decided that the only place he wants to sleep is in his mommy's arms. I do what I used to do for him. I feed him, cuddle him, and rock him until he is blissfully in dreamland. He is happy, and I am happy to cuddle with my little sweetie. I take him to his bedroom, and as gently as humanly possible, I lay him down in his crib, which has become an action that screams "Unacceptable" to him. He immediately wakes up, kicking and happy, and ready to play. As he has already shown me he is ready for bed by falling asleep in my arms, I know it's time for bed. I kiss him goodnight, and leave cry...for 30 minutes (which is up from the five we started with). And then I die a little more inside, as it has been going on for several weeks.

We have decided that there is nothing more we can do for him. If I could make it better by going in to him, by giving him back his binkie, by cuddling him, by singing to him, by rocking him, I would. But nothing I do helps, so we feel like it's time that he learns how to comfort himself to sleep. It is the most horrible thing to hear him scream and I spend the designated time on edge, frustrated, and with the highest of blood pressure. We're doing something for him by not doing anything at all, and it's one of the hardest thing I've done. Meanwhile, none of us in our little family are getting much sleep, which also makes things difficult to cope with.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Incompetance- my own this time.

So it's been over a month since I last posted. Mainly that's because nothing of note has happened in the last month and I haven't really felt compelled to write. I did very well in GI which was surprising considering that I didn't think I had studied very hard. The skin, bone, and joint module (SBJ) has been underwhelming. It's a random hodgepodge of stuff, including geriatrics, and the material itself is not interesting. I have now ruled out oncology as well as dermatology as career options. Derm is ultra-competitive anyway, but I'm glad to know that I really have no desire to analyze skin lesions that all look the same. It seems that the derm faculty here recruits solely 28 year old tall thin women, since we have had 5/7 lectures from that kind of professor. Perhaps recruit is the wrong word. I think they all rush the derm department in the same way they rushed their sororities.

I have started studying for the boards, and it's not going very well. There's a lot of material that I have forgotten, or never really knew in teh first place. Biochem is the case in point. Looking at the Krebs cycle, it's as though I never knew it; likewise with the regulation of gluconeogenesis. This is particularly frustrating stuff to memorize because I know that it's just going to leave my brain again in two months anyway. I really don't enjoy cramming stuff that i'm going to forget anyway, because ultimately, I didn't really learn it, so what's the point? Well, right now, the point is that I need to do well on the boards before I can shuffle the urea cycle back to the dusty attic where I semi-remember metabolic pathways.

So I had my first patient enounter as a medical student in my capacity as a student, not a volunteer at the student clinic. I was paired with my classmate and assigned to get a history from an elderly nursing home resident. I sucked. It's pretty hard to take a history from someone whom you can't understand, and for whom life is as ok as it's going to get in a long term care facility. No chief complaint = hard to pursue line of questions. There was no logic, no flow, no sequence to my questions. My presenation of the patient to the attending also sucked. Since I've never really been taught how to verbally present a patient, this is to be expected. I also realized that I have forgotten what little I knew about physical exam. I realize that 20 minutes sessions with a standardized patient learning skills was really not enough. I would much preferred to have had a doctor there, with me and the standardized patient to show me how these things are done, rather than having a glorified layman actor teach me how to examine a patient. Where does my $44K go anyway?

Overall, it's been a pretty sucky 3 weeks in this unit so far. At least I have my back pain to keep me pre-occupied.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Seeing Double

I saw my double today. I know everyone is supposed to have one. The person who was made from the same mold as you. Well, this girl looked like me! She had the longish face, fair skin, reddish-blonde hair, glasses, pig tails, and the t-shirt. I sat in my car at the recycling center staring at her, trying to look like I wasn't staring at her, and probably succeeding in making her feel slightly uncomfortable. I wish I had had a camera with me so I could have snuck in a quick photo of her. I would have liked to compare profiles. I swear that her profile is the one I see when I look at pictures of myself. Weird.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Getting the Ball Rolling

I haven't posted for a while. It seems like whenever I post on the blog, I suddenly start seeing and thinking about tons of things to write about. But, when I don't post for a while, I lose the knack for writing, and I don't think that anything I think about is worth sharing. I do have several thoughts floating around in my head today, so let's just see what comes out, and we'll get the ball rolling on this blog thing again...

Spiff has just finished Spring Break, and he found himself doing quite a bit of service this week. He has unselfishly given up some of his precious free time working a the HRC and serving people in our ward. I am grateful to be married to the type of man who will do this. He is a good example to me. I love serving my friends, and I try to do what I can to help them when they need it. I like to think that they can ask me for help, or accept it if I offer. I, on the other hand, have a hard time serving people I don't know or love. I find myself avoiding opportunities to serve, or begrudgingly serving only because I have been asked, all the time thinking of how I am barely being able to hold myself and my own life together, much less help others with theirs. I pray for help to be more Christlike, and I know that this is one of my biggest challenges, and I am grateful that Spiff is my willing example.

On a lighter note, I am quitting the scrapbooking business. That is kind of a misleading statement, since I have never really been in the scrapbooking business to begin with. I was introduced to this past-time in college by several fanatic friends who were amazingly good at it and created beautiful memories. I decided to jump on the bandwagon and invest in supplies, and I tried several times to creatively display my memories. However, I found that I am not good at it. Not only that, I don't really enjoy it. While I admire my friends' beautiful books, I found that I couldn't organize the pictures, paper and journaling into something artistically beautiful enough to be satisfying to me. So I resorted to plain photo albums, and then most recently to the digital iphoto version of the photo album. So, yesterday, I made a big decision and decided to get out. I am purging myself of all of my scrapbooking supplies! I went through all of my crafty things and pulled out the stickers, cutters, templates, cropping tools, and 12x12 papers, put them in a box, and am getting ready to ship them to a friend who's mother is just getting into scrapbooking. I don't know why, but making this decision makes me feel slightly more confident in myself. I bought into it, tried it, disliked it, and instead of feeling guilty about it, I'm quitting it. Go me! On to some new, creative hobby! Any suggestions?

I have many other floating thoughts, but this post is getting long. I should break it up, lest my readers get bored. I think it has done the trick for me, though. I'm already thinking of more things to post. So, stay tuned for more exciting thoughts and stories from yours truly. Wahoo!

Monday, March 09, 2009

My, How He Grows!

I took Gunner to the doctor today for his four-month appointment. He did amazingly well, and he didn't even cry very much when they gave him his shots. I gave him some Tylenol before we left the house, and I think it helped a lot. So, thank you to all of my friends who gave me that great advice.

I'm happy to report that he is a super healthy and happy baby!
His new stats at 4 1/2 months:
16 lbs. 15 oz. (70th percentile)
26 inches long (60th percentile)
34 cm head circumference

To see his previous stats, look here.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Would you like a cookie?

Spiff told me tonight that I "offer ambiguous cookies". And it's true. I apparently don't know how to properly offer cookies to my guests, and it makes for awkward moments.

Spiff was over at my house one night, just after we met and started dating (five years ago!). I opened up a bag of some yummy raspberry-filled butter cookies I bought at the World Market. I offered him the opened bag while we were chatting, thinking he would take a cookie or two, and we could share the yumminess together. He thought I was offering him the entire bag, and being surprised by this, he awkwardly packed them up and took them home with him.

Just this afternoon, I was making a batch of cookies to take to some friends, and the home teacher came over while they were baking. It was a small batch (only 24 cookies), and I needed enough to take to our friends. However, I thought it might be rude not to offer freshly baked cookies to our guests, with the smell of deliciousness in the air. So, I put a few on a small, glass plate and offered them to the two guys. The first home teacher took a cookie. The second one took the plate and put it on his lap. I didn't get to offer Spiff a cookie. When the visit was over, the guy with the cookies asked for a paper plate so he could take them home. I retrieved the plate from him and divvied the cookies up into separate plastic bags before giving them back to the home teachers to take home.

I was so struck by the awkwardness of this situation that I can't stop thinking about it. I didn't think I was offering "take homes" tonight. It's fine that they had cookies, and I had plenty left over to take to our friends, but I'm baffled. Was I really that ambiguous? Is offering a plate of cookies, on a glass plate, to a group of people in a room, really that ambiguous?

What is the proper way to offer cookies to guests?
What would you have done?

Friday, March 06, 2009


My two weeks of part-time work are over. The kids performed at their festival today, and five out of seven of them are going to the state festival in May. It was a successful day, and the weather was beautiful, which made the festival more pleasant because the billions of high school kids could go outside, spread out, and practice their various instruments all over the campus.

The baby never did take to the bottle before the event today. So, Spiff and Gunner came to the festival with me. The boys hung out and waited for me, and I hung out with them in between students. One of the judges was way behind schedule, so we ended up coming home an hour later than we planned. But, the baby did amazingly well through this whole ordeal, and Spiff was fantastic to take the afternoon off to oblige me. Thanks, Spiff!