Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Quote of the day

This from a patient I saw tonight in the ER, after sizing me up and commenting that I must be a very young doctor, at which point I tried to encourage her that I did, in fact know (at least mostly) what I was doing:

"Well, I guess you'll do."

It's nice to have such an overwhelming endorsement.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Works for Me: A great gift idea

This may ruin a little surprise I have put in the mail to some people who read this blog, but I thought this was too good an idea not to share. Now if I'd been together enough before Christmas, I would have posted this then, but since I've been a little busy, I thought I'd go ahead and post now. So you can use this gift idea all year round.

I have always loved the look of nice, personalized stationery. I got some once as a gift before going to college, and it was great. Now if you've looked anywhere for cool stationery, you know that you could spend a FORTUNE on this stuff. And while I love giving cool gifts, I do not have fortunes to spend.

While looking for a good place to get some, I found Vistaprint. It's a great website you can use to order some great-looking stationery that is very reasonably priced. You can even get matching envelopes, address labels, stamps, business cards, sticky notes, notepads, and lots of other stuff. They also seem to have really good sales, and so after ordering initially, I went back a few days later and got something for myself. Because it was on sale. So I saved money, right?

They have some very cute designs. Like this one. Or this one. Or lots of other things. The matching address labels are also cute. They apparently do invitations and other business-related printing as well. This is not some sort of paid endorsement nor do I work for these people. And probably with some good design software you might be able to make something similar at home, but the paper these are printed on is nice, and the finished product looks really good and professional.

So for an easy, highly affordable but still cool gift, these work for me.

I heart ultrasound.

So today was a fun clinic day.

I got to see another of my OB patients for the first time. Even though I was a little crunched for time, I decided to pull out the ultrasound machine. Mom and I are looking at the baby, who is just sort of hanging out. Suddenly, though, the baby starts moving all around, kicking and waving his (or her) arms. Like they wanted to say, "Hi, Ma, I'm here and doing well."

Mom was so excited. Even though she's fairly young and not married, she is doing the brave and tough thing of keeping the baby. She was just so happy to see the baby, and to see him moving around so much was just a treat.

Visits like this are my favorite part of the day.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Speaking of good ideas

I mopped the car today.

Now I know what you're thinking. That's not a good idea Jeff, that's a great idea! And you're right!

It started because I needed to wash the car after the road trip through wintery weather mentioned below. But then I realized that we don't have one of those big car washing sponges. We just have the little teeny tiny itsy bitsy dish washing sponges, with which it would take four hours to wash the car. But then I realized that I could just use the mop. After all, our style of mop is basically just a big sponge on a stick. So I mopped the car.

At first I was hesitant. Would the neighbors laugh at me? But it turned out to be a great decision. Not only was the big sponge on a stick a stylish and haute couture way to wash the car, but it was immensely practical. Having the sponge on a stick made it easy to get those hard to reach places in the middle of the roof. And my hands stayed dry all the while, which was important since at 55 degrees it wasn't exactly "put on your bathing suit and play in the hose" type weather.

Sadly its dark now, and when I go pick up Aubrey it will be tough for her to appreciate our freshly mopped car.

Home Sweet Home

Hooray! We made it back to Greenwood yesterday. We had an excellent trip. What to say about it... let's see...

Distance: 2, 420 miles. Not bad. Just a trip around the block compared to the great road trip of -06.
Hours of NPR listened to: incalculable.
Winteriest Weather: Lawrence was cold and snowy. Iowa City was colder and snowier. Thursday morning was 64 degrees colder than it is in Greenwood right now.
Worst Big City to drive through: Atlanta, by far. Sure its nice to have 16 lanes to choose from, but when they're all full things get a little stressful. Runner-up in this category goes to Nashville for requiring a cartography degree in order to exit the city on the same interstate you entered on.
Best Wildlife: Iowa. We saw several bald eagles, tons of hawks, wild turkeys, and a bunny.
Cutest Niece: Ashlyn! We were very excited to finally meet our first niece!
Cutest Nephew: Hmm. This one's too close to call. Let's say that Jackson wins the "Cutest Nephew - Kansas Division" and Sam wins the "Cutest Nephew - Non-Kansas Division."
Games: We played quite a few. I got fairly well trounced throughout the trip, losing in Scrabble, two games of Settlers, and a down-to-the-wire game of HORSE on a toddler basketball hoop in Bro's basement. But I did find some redemption in beating cousin Kaelin in Guitar Hero on the final night of the trip.
Pictures: Yup. A memory card and a half of them. Highlights to follow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brrr....

So I know what I just said about enjoying the cold. And I do. But here in Iowa City, cold has a new meaning. This morning I let Lucy outside on a leash Andrew and Melanie have for their dog. I looked at the thermometer Melanie has by the door and thought, "Oh...9 degrees. That's not too bad - she was out yesterday in weather that cold." So I ignored her pitiful eyes and plaintive look to go upstairs and make sure I didn't need to help Melanie with Sam.

When I came back down, Lucy was STILL sitting right beside the front door, only now she was shivering and taking turns lifting her paws into the air like it was so cold she didn't want them to touch the snow.

Then Melanie came down and noticed that, in fact, it was NEGATIVE nine degrees. I quickly let my poor, freezing dog inside.

Apparently I need a lesson in thermometer reading.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Snow

I have ALWAYS loved the snow. Even still. When it snows my inner four year old comes out and I cannot help but stand outside and let the snowflakes fall on my hair. It snowed for 15 minutes in Greenwood this week. I have pictures to prove it. I was nearly giddy, standing on our back porch watching the snow collect on our grill.

But today, here in Kansas, I got to go running in the cold through snowy fields and streets. I loved it. Granted, it was a balmy 28, and I was wearing several layers of clothes to keep me warm. But I loved it. It makes me wish the weather got a little colder in Greenwood.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Road Trip

Being on a road trip always means lots of reading for me. I've finished 1.5 (the missing .5 of a book is one I accidentally left at the Brown's) and started a third. It also means seeing our family, staying with friends, and meeting our new niece.

Our dog got to see snow for the first time today. She seemed to enjoy it. Though possibly she was just so ecstatic to be walking around outside after our 17 or so hours in the car to get here that she didn't much care what was on the ground.

Possibly the best part about today was the fact that I didn't set foot inside a hospital or get anywhere near hospital cafeteria food.

I love vacation.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I need a break.

I'm ready for vacation. In addition to my sad Tuesday, yesterday I learned one of my clinic patients died.

A 16 day old infant.

Put to sleep on his stomach, on a couch cushion.

We ALWAYS stress with our new moms the importance of putting babies to sleep on a firm mattress, with no pillows, stuffed animals, and just ONE light blanket. But did I say it enough to her? Did I even ask if the baby had his own bed?

I cannot even imagine the pain and sadness this mom is going through.

Weeks like this are a good reminder that this world is a broken place, and make me long for heaven.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Things that confuse me.

1. Food that is labeled with a "sell by" date but has no "eat by" date, or even a "after having bought on time, don't let sit around for more than..." label. After all, isn't the important thing how long a food sits before you EAT it? Not how long it sits before you buy it? What if I find something in my fridge that has a "sell by" date of long ago. Maybe its just been in the fridge a long time, but assuming I bought it before the "sell by" date, is it therefore good for eternity?

2. People who use rhetorical questions as greetings even though in every other context ever, the question would not be rhetorical. Namely, people who say "How ya doing." as a greeting, and all that they really mean is "hello," they don't actually expect you to tell them how you are doing. Now, I know this is not really that new of a phenomenon, and you'd think I'd have figured out how to cope with it by now. But I haven't. I still get confused. What if it is a person I know, but they are walking past and show no signs of slowing down? I know them, so it would be natural for them to care about how I'm doing, but they look like they're going to cruise by without stopping to chat, so maybe its just a formality. I don't know. I hate these situations. I don't want to be this guy.

3. This one might be peculiar to the south, but a lot of people around here ask "where are you from" an awfully lot. It seems to be the standard question right after "what is your name?" when you meet somebody. Now again, this seems straightforward, but I never now if they are asking "where do you live?" which would be a logical question, I live in Greenwood. Or are they wanting to know where I am originally from? And I hate being asked where I am originally from. Do they want to know where I was born? What a strange thing to ask. I do have 30 years of life history that is slightly more relevant to who I am today than the location of my birth. I think this would be easier if I had spent a majority of my life in one place, but I haven't. I was born in Illinois, if you must know. But I have also spent large church of time in Missouri, Colorado, California(northern and southern), and South Carolina. So I never really feel like telling someone that I am from Illinois tells them anything about me. I think that in a small town in the south people just assume that everyone is from somewhere around here, and they want to know what township within 50 miles of Greenwood am I from.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chef Jeff

So my desire and enjoyment of cooking and baking comes and goes in spurts. I like it for a while, and then I get bored by it. But lately it came in a pretty big spurt, and I tried to take advantage of it.

This first one is the foccacia bread that I introduced a while back but had no picture of. (thanks to a Rampey team effort we are now back in the picture business) It was all warm and herby and filled full of yummy veggies.






















Then I was in the mood for something sweet, so I made this cinnamon raisin bread with glaze on top. I could've eaten the whole thing as soon as I took it out of the oven it was so good.

















Right before Christmas our pastor's wife gave us a loaf of homemade sourdough bread that she had made, and it was a revelation. So I decided that I needed to make some as well. And although the picture looks fairly plain, it is actually one of the harder breads to make. Not least because it requires about 72 hours of prep while the sourdough starter gets sour. I was trying to get a picture that captured the steam rising from the bread, but apparently steam has some magical qualities that prevent it from being captured on film. I did however capture Aubrey's arm in the background which I believe is spreading homemade jam (homemade by Aubrey, not me) on the inaugural piece of Tell Sourdough.






















I've got my next project in mind, I just have to figure out if the current spurt has enough left in it to pull it off.

Sad Day

Today I found out she had an abortion.

I would have taken that baby, if she would have let me.

I can't help but wonder what I could have done better, or said differently.

I'm so sad for her, for what I fear may lie ahead, for her other child, who will never know that brother or sister, and also very, very sad for that little life I saw inside her, gone now.

Some days this medicine thing is not fun.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

ER fun

One fun thing about ER is that I get to do a lot of procedures. Yesterday, during my 12-hour shift, I got to insert a central line (think BIG, huge IV) into this guy's femoral vein.

Fun, huh?

Then, I also got to do another LP, this time on an adult, and not only did I get plenty of fluid back, I also got what we refer to as a "champagne tap," so called because your technique was so good that you didn't have ANY red cells in the sample. Also so called because whoever you do it with (and I'm NOT talking about the patient) is actually supposed to buy you a bottle of champagne.

I haven't gotten the champagne yet, but my upper level did say he owed me one...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

ER

I now understand a little better why it takes SOOO long to see someone when you go to the ER. I promise, it's not usually the doctor's fault. It just take FOREVER for any labs or xrays to get done or be read. I promise we're not sitting playing on the internet (except for maybe right now, since I'm waiting for a bunch of results to come back) or trying to be slow.

But especially when it gets busy, results just come back VERY, very slowly. And so we can't know what to do, until we get all the information. Sadly.

Of course, it also seems that half of what gets ordered is probably overkill anyway...but I guess that's another post.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cafeteria food

I wish someone would inform our cafeteria workers that maraschino cherries do not count as actual fruit to be put on a fruit bar, mixed in with the other fruit. If you talk to my friend Kristin, they do not even count as actual, edible food.

So keep the fake cherries away from the cafeteria.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Yay for off-service months!

Today I started my month of ER. What this meant today is that I slept late, cleaned house, and then got to spend time with my too-cute and HUGE nephew! He's gotten so big since we saw him in September. He basically babbled the entire time he was here, grinned at everyone he saw, and also showed off his walking skills. (Or should I say skillz?) I only took one photo since I forgot to take my camera to lunch. But as soon as I pointed the camera at him and called his name, he broke out in the biggest grin I've ever seen. Such a ham.

What it means tomorrow is that I will work a 12-hour shift in the ER, then come home and crash, since I need to basically work 6 of them in a row so we can leave on vacation, which will include visits to Kansas where Jackson and Ashlyn (and Dave and Hannah) live, and then on to Iowa where Sam and Melanie and Andrew live.

It's going to be a great month.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"Winter."

It's now what I call "winter" here in SC. This morning, at 5:20am, as in before the sun rose, I was running, and got TOO hot in my long-sleeved t-shirt. I actually had to stop and take it off. (Don't worry- I did have another sleeveless shirt on underneath. So the deer I saw this morning did not get any kind of show.)

I'm not exactly complaining, but still.....where did winter go?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Coming down a peg.....

I had a surprising realization while cleaning our bathroom yesterday. (Seriously.)

During the time we lived in Charleston, each time I cleaned our bathroom (probably not as often as I should have) I silently grumbled at Jeff for how messy our sink got. I, after all, ALWAYS tried to wash the sink out after brushing my teeth. I was NOT the messy one.

Now we each have our own sink in the bathroom. And I have to admit....mine is hands-down the messier one. Not his. And the mirror by his sink?

Relatively free of water splotches. Unlike mine.

That passage about the speck and the plank should probably be rewritten for me to say I should get the multitudes of frothy stain out of my own sink before I worry about the occasional splotches in someone else's.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Back to Normal.

We finally got down our Christmas tree today. Which is kind of sad, but at the same time I'm definitely ready to have our living room back from the larger-than-life tree that's been overshadowing everything for the last few weeks.

Now all that's left is a HUGE pile of needles. And dog hair.

Since I haven't swept in several weeks. I guess it's about time.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Still learning.

Lessons from the new year:

1. Being sick in the call room is an exceedingly unpleasant experience. Hopefully one I will never experience again.

2. Needle stick injuries are sort of scary.

3. Having #2 happen a few hours prior to #1 can make you a little paranoid. (Everything is fine, though.)

And in light of Jeff's post yesterday, I'm understanding why biking is NOT a winter sport. Going 15-20/mph while completely exposed to the elements makes for a rather cold work out. Though I was kept fairly warm by a cool new biking shirt given to me by Jeff's parents. Plus a fleece vest. Plus another jacket. And gloves. And a headband for my ears.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Brrr.

Its a bitterly cold winter day here in Greenwood. The temperature might not even get above 45! Ok, that might not sound too bitter, but weather.com says that our wind chill is currently 16 degrees. Brrrr. I'm procrastinating on Lucy's morning walk because 16 sounds cold. I was planning to take a slightly more "woe is me" tone in this post, but we have several midwestern readers. And if we learned one thing last winter, its that Midwesterners become strangely calloused towards our South Carolina weather related hardships during the winter months. I don't know why, must be something in the water out there.

Aubrey is post call today, so she will likely take a long nap this afternoon. I will stay inside, drink a warm beverage, read my Christmas books, and think about my sermon that I'm preaching this Sunday. Should be a good day.