Monday, July 30, 2007

Gentiles Eat Pork Chops.

Thankfully.

In honor of a visit from our good friend and missionary, Peter, coming to visit us in Greenwood, we planned a tasty dinner. (Incidentally, he does great work with college students in Mexico City, Mexico, and if you are interested in supporting a missionary, please visit his website.) It was so good, I thought I should share the recipes here. We had two sides: baked sweet potatoes (easy recipe- just place on baking sheet and bake at 375 or 400 until completely mushy), strawberry salad (a summer favorite), and our main course was grilled pork loin with peach barbecue sauce. Here are the recipes:

Strawberry Salad.
  • 1 bunch spinach, rinsed
  • 10 large strawberries, sliced
  • nuts (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, mix the spinach and strawberries and nuts (pecans or almonds are both good.)
  2. In a blender, place the sugar, salt, vinegar, and oil, and blend until smooth. Stir in the poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.
Grilled Pork Loin (The recipe calls for pork chops, but I used a pork loin and it worked out great.)

For spice rub:
3 tablespoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons ground paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar

4 rib or loin pork chops, about 1 1/2-inch thick (12 to 14 ounces each)

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled, sliced thin
3 peaches, pitted, cut into medium sized cubes
2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into medium sized cubes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make spice rub: Combine the ingredients for the spice rub in a small bowl and mix well. Rub the pork chops generously on both sides with the mixture and set aside while making the sauce.

Make the sauce: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 11 to 13 minutes. Add the peaches, ginger, and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, orange juice, sugar, allspice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced by about 1/2 and thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust for the seasoning, then transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth (be careful with hot liquids). Reserve 1/4 cup sauce for basting the chops, then pour the remaining sauce into a small serving bowl.

Put the chops on the grill over the coals and cook, turning once, until desired doneness; 8 to 10 minutes per side for medium. During the last 30 seconds of cooking on each side, baste the chops generously with the sauce. Check for doneness.

Serve the chops hot with extra barbecue sauce on the side.

This was seriously good. If you have any peaches this would be a good use.

Oh yeah...dessert was a peach blackberry cobbler.

This is another easy recipe that is my favorite for any flavor cobbler:
Melt 1 stick butter or margarine in 9X13 pan.
Fill with slightly sweetened fruit.
Mix together 1 c. self-rising flour, 1 c. sugar, and 1 c. milk.
Pour over fruit and butter in pan.

Cook at 375 for 45 minutes or so, or until golden brown on top. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

It doesn't get much better than that.

The best part about cooking good food is that now I have some very tasty leftovers Jeff can bring me while I'm on call. So no five-star restaurant tonight.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I eat out twice a week.

Ok, technically speaking I meet Aubrey at the hospital cafeteria two nights a week when she is on call. But since I have a mild case of hospital-phobia, I just pretend its not a hospital at all, and that I'm just meeting Aubrey at a restaurant for a dinner date. Of course, its a bit of an odd restaurant.

First of all, the dress code is really, really, really casual. I appreciate that Aubrey treats it like a true date and shows up wearing her white-coat attire. Other people show up for their reservations wearing scrubs all the time. Heck, you might as well wear a gown that's open in the back, you won't feel out of place.

The decor is nice, if a little eccentric. There are all these posters bragging about how great the doctors are. Frankly, if I owned a restaurant, and I served food such that I had to keep a staff of doctors on hand, I don't think I'd be bragging about it.

The staff is friendly. They don't have valet parking, but I do sometimes get a golf cart ride from my car to the front door, which is quite classy. But once inside they sometimes treat Aubrey like she works there or something. Occasionally Aubrey gets pulled away from our dinners to go help with something. I mean, Aubrey is an awfully good cook and all, but you'd think they could handle this restaurant without her help.

The food is good, overall I give the place Five Stars!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The long haul begins.

Tomorrow I start my first month of internal medicine wards. I'm starting to get a little nervous. The internal medicine service tends to be very busy, with complicated patients, and sleepless call nights. I'm excited about it, but know that it's going to be a tough few weeks. I'm actually going to have two months of medicine in a row now. Looking at the schedule, I realized that I'm going to work from Aug 2-Sept. 11, and have only 1 day off.

Yeah. That's 1 month and 9 days of working, (including weekends), with 1 single, solitary Wednesday off.

I guess I should do some laundry this weekend.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Free Music and a Fun Trip

I just found this link to get a free CD by a band called Monk and Neagle by linking back to here. Check it out. The songs I've heard on the CD so far are these really great acoustic songs, better than most everything I hear on Christian radio these days. I got an email saying my free CD is in the mail, so I'll have to let you know how I feel once I hear the whole thing.

In other news, my favorite husband and I just got back from a little surprise weekend getaway to Atlanta. Jeff planned the whole thing and I had NO idea where we were going or what we'd do. Not surprisingly, he did an excellent job: We saw a show at the Fox Theater (Dream Girls), we stayed at a nice hotel (it had a pool on the ROOF), and did some excellent shopping (Ikea). We also hit up the zoo and farmer's markets, and he humored me on the way back by stopping at a bookstore so I could get the new Harry Potter book. (I loved it.) I came back feeling refreshed and ready to start my internal medicine rotation.

And in still more news, the patient I wrote about last week who nearly died during her c-section went home over the weekend, apparently fully recovered. Praise God, the great physician.

I think my white coat (with its requisite 10 lbs of papers, stethoscope, PDA, and pens) is making my neck sore. Seriously. I might take a break from it tomorrow.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tidbits from call

1. When you've been up all night and have to see a patient at 5 am, eating a warm s'mores pop tart gives you the early-morning boost you need.

2. If a 6-year-old girl can fight off 4 nurses who are holding her down to get a lumbar puncture, she probably doesn't need it in the first place.

3. Similarly, it is futile to reason with said 6-year-old when you are holding a needle.

4. If you have to be up all night, you may as well be up delivering a baby.

5. Call room pillows just don't cut it.

6. The post-call pancakes with peanut butter and sugar-free syrup can make a post-call morning a much brighter place.

7. There is no need to bother with taking a nap on the couch when you get home. Head straight for your comfy bed and wonderfully lush pillows.

8. Having clean teeth can go a long way towards making you feel less disgusting, even though you haven't slept or showered in 24 hours.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Way I See It. By: Lucy

Hello, my name is Lucy, I'm the new dog around here. I feel bad that I haven't introduced myself sooner, but Mom and Dad don't let me have much computer time. But now mom is "post-call" so she's snoozing the afternoon away (a favorite activity of mine, too! Like Mama, like dog), and Dad, he's looking for work again (as if entertaining me was not a full time job already). So I finally got the computer to myself for a bit.

Besides, I'm just now figuring out what this "blog" is all about. For the longest time I thought they were saying "dog." Which would make sense, they were always talking about getting comments on the dog, naturally, people are always commenting on me. And talking about updating the dog, which was worrisome at first, until I learned it usually meant I was getting a bath, or getting brushed, or getting "updated" in some other way. It's true too, I'm like a new dog after a bath.

Anyway, I just wanted to show you a bit of the house from my perspective. Here's the backyard:























For some reason my dad still thinks I prefer taking my dinner on the back deck, instead of under the kitchen table like normal people.

Here's the garage:






















Thanks to some administrative oversight, my bed is still placed in the garage. I'm hoping to have this error corrected soon.

And here's a picture of me exploring my big spacious fenced-in backyard:


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Code Blue

Whenever anyone in the hospital quits breathing or their heart stops beating, a "Code Blue" gets called. For us residents, it basically just means that wherever we are, we immediately run to the room number that gets paged overhead and sent to our beepers. In medical school I occasionally was expected to respond to these, but by the time I got there there were always at least 5 residents, an attending, and 12 nurses in the room. So my skills were never really needed. Here at our hospital, though, we are the only residents, and we are often needed to help during these times. Usually codes happen on the floors with the sickest patients, like where the medicine patients are, or in the intensive care units.

Today, though, I got called to a Code on Labor and Delivery. This almost never happens. As soon as I heard the call overhead, I starting running. And running is not the easiest thing when you are an intern, since your pockets are full of notes, stethoscope, papers, and other useful equipment. By the time I got there, my heart was racing. You just don't expect things to go wrong when someone is having a baby. But today, during a routine C-section, right after the baby came out, a lady (not one of our patients) just stopped breathing and then her heart stopped beating normally and began to quiver.

The anesthesiologist was administering medicines to help her heart beat normally, and I actually had to take a turn performing chest compressions. Her face was ashy, her eyes staring blankly at the ceiling. As I was pushing on her chest, I noticed her nicely-manicured fingernails, and the makeup she probably applied carefully this morning, excited about welcoming this new person into their family. During this resuscitation, her belly was still open, and her uterus was actually sticking out. (Sorry for all you with a queasy stomach.) The OB doctor had to stop doing her c-section in order to resuscitate her. After a few minutes, I really started to worry that she wasn't going to make it. But after a few shocks to her heart, we finally got a pulse again. I stayed to help monitor her as they started various medicines to keep her heart beating normally and her pressure up.

Then, when my help was no longer needed, (not that it was REALLY needed earlier), I left. And in the strange way of resident doctors, I went and ate breakfast. It was just back to my normal day. I don't think I'm ever going to be used to the fact that my normal work day can involve performing CPR, and that I have to go and eat my oatmeal while someone's life precariously teeters on the edge.

She had a beautiful, perfect baby boy who is doing great. Last I heard, she is still intubated, in the intensive care unit, as the doctors try to piece together what happened. She seems to be holding her own and breathing well, although we won't know how her brain survived the time without oxygen for a few more days.

So if you think of it, please pray for this woman and her family -- that she will recover fully, that the doctors treating her will figure out what happened so they know what to do, and that her husband will know God's perfect peace. And you can always pray for this resident doctor, that I would have the knowledge I need, and that I would be able to show God's love to all my patients, even when they are not aware of my presence.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Three Years and counting...

July 17, 2004
"There's always a beautiful view...Next to you...."

I love you. Thanks for giving me such a great three years.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Why I love Family Medicine....

Although there are many, many reasons I chose to go into the field of family medicine, (a field many look down upon), one was recently illustrated at work.

My first day of clinic was Wednesday. As time goes on, I'll gradually accumulate my own patients who will come to see ME as their primary doctor. Since we just started, I have basically no patients, so the people I see in clinic are walk-ins, or people who need to be seen but their resident doctors had other responsibilities or were out of town.

Except one.

My very first patient who is assigned to me as her primary doctor happens to be a baby that I delivered. This tiny little precious girl whom I brought into this world (with help from her mother, I suppose) is now MY patient. I'll get to take care of her as long as I'm a resident. I'll watch as she learns to sit, and talk, and laugh, and eat, and run. If her mom gets pregnant again, I may be able to care for her, and then usher this little girl's sibling into this world, and care for that baby, too.

Being a family doctor is great.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

26,000 BTU's at my fingertips.

















Thanks to a little house warming gift from Mom and Dad Tell, Aubrey and I recently became the proud new owners of a Weber Spirit E-210 Grilling Machine! Under the hood this baby packs over 26,000 British Thermal Units of cooking might, spread evenly over 500+ square inches of a luxurious cooking domain. The lifeblood of the Grilling Machine is its Liquid Propane, which begins it life in a white cannister thoughtfully suspended by a spring loaded mechanism which is constantly weighing the cannister to give automatic readouts on how full your cannister is. From there, the blood (propane) travels through various valve mechanisms into two seperate burners, where it is transformed into heat which will then flow past five "Flavorizer Bars" and magically transform raw meat into delicious food fit for a king.

And yes, I will admit that I stood back for a few moments after assembling my grilling machine, just to admire it. To see how good looking it is. How suprisingly humble it is, and how gentle, considering it is basically a blow torch mounted under a thermometer. But therein lies the joy of shopping for a grill. Grills are pretty simple machines at heart. But walk into any hardware store and head to the grill department, and you will realize that they are marketed directly to men having mid-life crises, who would rather be shopping for a sports car, but had an easier time convincing the wife of the need for a new grill.

The most popular and well advertised grills at Lowe's contain roughly a half-acre of grilling space, and produce enough firepower to launch a missile. Some grills are equipped with electric lights that come on automatically when the lid is opened, so you can launch your grill in the dark. And there is the ubiquitous "side burner," for people who want, not only to grill, but to saute simultaneously. Every grill also comes with a stat sheet, which ranks the grill according to its "burger capacity." Many large grills feature a 28 burger capacity. Just like if you buy a sports car, you become irresistable to beautiful ladies, so if you buy a new grill, suddenly you have 27 friends who like to come eat hamburgers at your house.

Not that I managed to stay completely above the marketing fray. I mean, I do look pretty good next to my Weber Spirit E-210 with 26,000 BTU's and over 500 square inches of grilling freedom. Anyone want to come over for burgers?


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bleach pens work for me

I've decided that whoever made the decision for doctors to wear white coats had never been inside a hospital. Or, at least, was one of those people who breezed through life never spilling anything on themselves. I am NOT one of those people. I've already mentioned the dangers of working in a hospital, especially when you are delivering babies, but ANYTHING you get on your white coat shows up. When I got to work yesterday, I noticed that I somehow had gotten a mysterious, unidentifiable orange substance on the INSIDE(!) back of my coat. My coat stayed in my car all night, and I didn't notice it the day before, so it seems to me that some evil stain fairy had entered my car during the night to play a trick on me. Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised since only half an hour later I mananged to spill soy milk up my coat sleeve. Don't ask.

Since I was already at work, there was nothing I could do about it, but I felt bad since I would be seeing patients with a stained coat. Then, in walks one of our great clinic nurses, Toby. She tells me she has a Clorox bleach pen, and would I like for her to try and get the stain out? While I'm seeing a clinic patient, she uses her magic pen, and when I come out the stain is GONE!! Totally gone. No longer do I have to be ashamed by wearing a stained coat. It came out so well that I decided I could even wear it again today. The next time I manage to get out to a grocery store, I'm buying a few of those pens, to use at both home and work.

Clorox Bleach pens: chosen by doctors (at least this one!).

Check out other good tips here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Residency

I'm discovering that yes, indeed, residency is lots of work. I was on call on Friday and Sunday this week, meaning that I was in the hospital from Friday morning until mid-morning Saturday, then I got to come back before 6 am on Sunday and stay until 1:30pm on Monday. Hopefully you can understand why I didn't get much posting done. Sadly, this is one of the easiest rotations, so I know it will only be worse next month when I'm on internal medicine wards. But I did realize some important things this weekend:

1. Circumcisions are almost idiot-proof to perform. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this seeing as they have been performed for thousands of years, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and fun they are to do. (Obviously I'm in the right profession.) I think the biggest reason they are so easy to do is because we use an instrument called a Mogan clamp, which really makes it almost impossible to screw up. If for some reason you'd like to do these at your house, you can apparently find these on Ebay.

2. Being on call makes you feel like a zombie who is drugged. At least that's what I feel like. I'm holding out hope that maybe after few months of doing it, my body will adjust. Somehow I doubt it.

3. I love newborn babies. This weekend I got to examine tons of little ones fresh out of the oven. It was awesome.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The longest five minutes of your life.....

come when the nurses page you telling you your patient is pushing, and you enter the room and realize that "pushing" this time really means "the whole freakin' baby is coming out," and you just talked to your attending who is all the way across the street, your upper level resident was on call last night and left for the day already, and you realize that you are COMPLETELY alone, but hey - you've done ONE whole delivery by yourself, and watched maybe 10, so you should be ok, right? You take a deep breath, gown up for the delivery, and try to remember to act calm as you prepare to catch the baby, while inside you are screaming, "WHERE IS THE DOCTOR??!!?" and perhaps "I NEED MY MOMMY!" before you remember that now YOU are the doctor and your mom is not close enough to help. The seconds space out even more as you realize the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck, and you can't slip it over the chin. Thankfully, the wonderful nurses are right there telling you to clamp and cut the cord, which you didn't realize was even allowed. You manage to do it (but only after dropping the clamp into the bucket which is positioned to catch all the fluid) and FINALLY the baby slides out.

And in case you didn't know that time could nearly come to a standstill, then come the few seconds in between delivery, while you are suctioning out the baby's mouth and nose, and that gasp of breath and wonderful, loud cry. THAT feels like an eternity, especially when you are holding a somewhat floppy baby and you have NO idea what to do if he doesn't start crying soon. (Perhaps you have a little idea, but the adrenaline racing through your system takes away most coherent thought, and the only thing going through your head is "help.... breathe..... aaahhhh!!!... breathe.)

The sigh of relief after he starts to scream feels WONDERFUL and you realize you are shaking and sweating and that you can finally breathe. Then all that's left is to try and slow down your racing heart. THAT will take a while.

If you are anything like me, anyway.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Fourth

Here it is.... in pictures.The two love birds on one tube.

mirror + camera + straw hat = fun

my handsome man...

relaxing
My nearly sister-in-law

Monday, July 02, 2007

Day 1 lessons

I've learned a few valuable things here on my first day.

1. When delivering a baby, WEAR A MASK, or at least goggles. Trust me. You are in DIRECT firing line for LOTS of fluids. So be prepared.

2. Try and have your husband come and visit you on call and give you a backrub. Or at least bring you delicious fish tacos with peach mango salsa from home. They will make your first call night loads better.

3. Babies are quite slippery when they come out. It's considered poor form to drop them. (Thankfully I didn't learn this one the hard way.)

It's been quite fun so far, though, with two deliveries under my belt. No real calls yet, so I've just been trying to read and remember all the things I forgot during my fourth year about obstetrics. And enjoy the nice LCD flat screen TV in the call room.