Friday, September 28, 2007

More Football Tips

1. I cannot stress this enough - The best place to stand when around football players is upwind. Seriously. Unless you can survive without breathing for long periods of time. Even before the game starts. Upwind always.

2. It is very difficult to run onto the field when you are holding a diet coke, have scissors in your belt loop, and two types of tape looped using plastic bags through another belt loop. Thankfully by the end of the game I seemed to have it down. Mildly.

3. I'm discovering that I should trust my own exam skills. I examined a kid tonight who got hit in the chest and then was coughing up some blood. I thought he had some decreased breath sounds on the right, maybe, but with all the other noise and the band playing, I just wasn't sure. We sent him to the ED and it turns out he did actually have a small amount of air and blood inside his chest. (A hemo/pneumothorax for those who want the technical term.) He is going to be fine, and this will just go away on its own. But it is nice to know that I wasn't making it up.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I recently discovered a new animal around here.

I caught him out in the trees around my parent's house. A very interesting species of blue owl.

Some might think he could be related to a penguin. But clearly, he is TOTALLY different. He is, after all, blue. And he has googly eyes. (A technical term, often used by ophthalmologists.)

But we caught him and decided that every boy needs an owl of their own. Especially this one.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Junior failed me this morning. It seems his age is starting to show. I was driving to work in him, having graciously told Jeff to take the Honda since he had to drive to Due West. (Yes, that is an actual town name. And no, I do not know what it is due west of.) I was in somewhat of a hurry, seeing as I was running a little late. (Big surprise, I know.) The car in front of me had to stop suddenly, and I slammed on my brakes, but I just couldn't stop in time. Junior and I went crash. (A very small crash.) And I say Junior failed me since I think we may have entered a small skid, or the brakes may have locked up. Junior, unlike some newer cars (i.e. the honda I regularly drive) does not have anti-lock brakes. In the milliseconds I had to try and get him stopped, I did not really think about this fact.

The funny thing is that the vehicle I hit was a state owned small bus. The driver who got out was this cute little older gentleman who was fine. I noticed his name tag said something about the "Committee on Aging." So apparently I hit the bus that transports the elderly. The old people bus.

It was empty at the time. Thankfully. When I realized what it was I suddenly had visions of many white heads with walkers and lecturing me about driving too fast, shaking their canes in my direction.

Junior sustained a small dent into his fender. The old people bus looked fine. I walked away with only some slightly shaky hands that made it hard for me to call Jeff to tell him what happened. During this phone call, made after I had started driving again, I suddenly wondered if it was really the best idea to do something that might distract me while driving.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Free Time

Most days during this rotation I don't have to go to work until 12:30. I almost don't know what to do with myself.


Saturday, September 22, 2007


A few things I've realized after my first football game as doctor.

1. I'm very bad at the musculoskeletal exam. But thankfully, I'm learning.

2. High School division 1A schools have pretty bad bands.

3. There are some songs (i.e anything by Rihanna, or this song, or especially this one - please check out this link) that should never be arranged for a marching band.

4. Standing on the sidelines during a football game is a smelly, smelly place to be.

5. Examining football players just coming off the field in their drenched-with-sweat jerseys is an even smellier affair.

6. Jeff's genius observation of the night, which was made after I was complaining that I felt like my pants were a little too tight (He wasn't talking about me.) - "There were a LOT of people bustin' out of a LOT of things."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Are you ready for some Football?

One of the biggest benefits of this Sports Medicine rotation is that I get to be a part of something very, very important here in South Carolina - High School Football.

I'm not sure most people who live outside the South really understand the phenomenon that is high school football. Small towns here live and die by how their football team performs. The games are not just attended by parents - usually the whole town comes out and the biggest news story on Saturday morning is how the team performed - no matter what else may have happened overnight. I have some fond memories of watching the D.W. Daniel Lions play when I was in high school, bundling up in a jacket and going to a "Fifth Quarter party" at our church after the game was over. There is something wonderful about the smell of fall in the air, sitting on hard concrete stands, listening to the fight song performed by the high school band, and watching young men pummel each other.

Tonight, I get to stand on the sidelines at the football of McCormick High School, and treat whatever injuries occur. You might see me trying to run out onto the field to attend to an injured athlete.

Hopefully I won't trip.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It kind of makes you doubt your abilities as a doctor when you open the paper and see the obituaries of TWO different patients that you admitted.

My very last act on my medicine rotation was to receive a phone call from a physician I consulted on one of my patients, telling me he couldn't see her because she had died.

Just hours before I had been talking to her, and although she was very sick, she actually started to look like she might get better. I was hopeful with her family, since clinically she looked so much better. But then she died. And I came home and went to sleep.

Thus is the life of an intern.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More cute Sam

He's especially cute when he eats.


I'm home from my last medicine call for a month. Yay!!

Here are some of my favorite presenting complaints that patients have had recently:

"I been vomicking."
"She looked delicant."
"I've been feeling woozy headed."
"I'm full of fluid."

This one is actually quite common:
"I done fell out." (translation: I fainted, I felt lightheaded, I fell down, I passed out, I had a seizure. It can mean MANY things. When we residents talk amongst ourselves, we actually abbreviate this one a "DFO.")

Here's a fairly common one from the nursing home:
"He's hallucinating. That's how we know he is sick."
"Unable to measure pulse ox." (??? as in the machine is not working? as in you didn't try?)

Or another I saw on an old hospital discharge:
"I drank and took some medicine, but they didn't gee-haw."

Another interesting phrase I heard from a son describing his dad, and an apparent ability he had:
"He has saved lots of lives. He can blow the thrush out of babies."
(I assume this means that women would bring this man their children to blow on them? or in their mouths? if they had thrush. Just the thought of that one sounds pretty gross to me. And I definitely don't think the kind of thrush babies usually get has killed anyone.)

We'll see if I hear anything this interesting when I'm on Sports Medicine.....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Samuel loves the Lake.

Sorry this is sideways. I don't really know how to fix it.

But it's stinkin' cute.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Less than 1 hour until my day long vacation.

Then just 1 call day until my weekend off.

Then just 1 more call day until I get to start Sports medicine!!

(Can you tell I'm ready for this month to be over?)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lucy at the lake.

Taking picnics to the local state parks and lakes around here has become one of Aubrey and I's favorite day off activities. Saturday we packed up a picnic (actually the nice lady at Subway packed it for us) and we headed down to Baker Creek State Park on Lake Strom Thurmond.

After eating dinner, and some relaxing reading, we cooled off with a dip in the lake. Any time we go swimming, Lucy is torn between her desire to be as close to us as possible, and the fact that this means she has to swim. She's a pretty good swimmer, but doesn't seem to particularly love it yet. So after we coaxed her in, she headed straight for the raft.

There was a little black girl watching from the shore who was very interested in Lucy's every move. The following video snippet includes some of her southern-accented-color-commentary.

After I put Lucy back in the water, she swam straight for Aubrey on the shore...

We think Lucy is becoming slightly more used to swimming. She doesn't require quite as much coaxing to get her in the water as she used to.

Here's a few more cute pictures of Lucy on the boat from last week.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I've always had this little problem.

I like to succeed. I want to do well at the things I do. In school, this was fairly easy for me to do. I am a fast reader and good at taking tests. Those things combined to make me a pretty good student. I like doing my best and pushing myself to succeed. (This is the non-problem.) But deep down, part of me reveled my ability to do well - idolized the gifts God has given me. I secretly rejoiced in knowing that I did better than other people. (This is where it starts to be a problem.) Part of my identity as a person (unfortunately) comes from the fact that I have always been somewhere near the top of my class.

As a resident, I still want to do well and be the best. But obviously, I'm a young doctor. And we tend to make mistakes. Mostly it's just little things, learning how to manage patients, how to be organized and present information to our attendings well. But I was reminded today that I am still young and do need to work on a few things. And I did not like it one bit. I find my attitude to be stubborn as I mentally make excuses and my heart stiff as I feel personally attacked by these very appropriate reminders of how I can be a better doctor. A better servant of the Lord.

I realize that deep down, I still foolishly cling to this mute idol of success. I still am trying to trust in the gifts I've been given, and not in the giver.

I am a daughter of the King, loved and redeemed from the blackest pit of my own pride and wickedness by the ruler of the universe, who has chosen to soften my stony heart and cleanse the filth that is inside me and make me righteous. That is where my sole identity should be.

I praise him that he continues to work his grace deep into those stony crevices, and pray that he would continue to shed his light into the darknesses inside me, soothing this sad little heart with the healing balm that flows only from his cross.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

High Fiber Cereal: Works for Me

These days, I'm eating a lot of meals at the hospital. Instead of relying on the hospital to provide a healthy breakfast (they only healthy things they provide are cottage cheese and fruit), I usually end up bringing something. Jeff and I have always been big fans of cereal. Normally, I'm not AT ALL picky about the brands, and love finding store brands of the cereals I like. In trying to eat healthier, though, there are two cereals that I love, and I have yet to find a generic version:

Fiber One and AllBran Bran buds.

I find myself rotating between these two cereals to bring in to work. They are extremely high in fiber, which besides helping to keep you...ah....regular, they also are lower in calories and stick with you longer than almost all other cereals. During these long days where I'm often running around to Code Blues, delivering babies, and seeing patients in clinic, having a breakfast that lasts until lunch is very important. Usually I eat them with frozen blueberries or other fruit from the hospital in yogurt. (They are also great with soy milk, but as I've said before, the hospital doesn't seem to provide that, either.) They are more expensive than other cereals, but I think they are worth the price.

For other tips, go here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tired... how I feel well into my long haul. I'm wearily counting down the days until my free weekend. Just a few more to go. I still love what I'm doing, but I think I'd even grow tired of eating chocolate if I did it for this many days in a row.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Nephew update:

It has been entirely too long since we've added some photos of our nephews. So here some are:

It's hard to believe how big (and how exceedingly cute) they are BOTH getting.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


So everyone can understand why I avoid wearing my white coat a few days a week due to neck pain, here is the current contents of my pockets:

2 pens
1 bottle of hemoccult developer (Let's just say as an intern, I get to do a LOT of rectal exams)
25 hemoccult cards (See above.)
1 ipod nano (I heart podcasts.)
1 name badge
cell phone
car keys
keys to the call room
palm pilot (an intern's best friend)
small serving of cheese (prepackaged, of course, not just floating freely)
an apple (to eat with the cheese)
vanilla coke zero (I don't normally carry around that much food, but I was just doing an admission in the ER and thought I might need some caloric/caffeinic reinforcements if it was going to be a while, but since I left the ER I had to put the food in my pockets to transport it back upstairs.)

Plus I was carrying my stethoscope (which occasionally is in my pocket but obviously I didn't need ANYTHING else in those pockets) and my trusty clipboard where I keep all my patient notes. My Pager is attached to my pants.

Oh yeah...AND a water.

Intern or pack mule?
You decide.