Friday, February 26, 2010

I like poems with made-up words...

The teacher claimed it was so plain,
I only had to use my brain.
She said the past of throw was threw,
The past of grow - of course- was grew,
So flew must be the past of fly,
And now, my boy, your turn to try.
But when I trew,
I had no clue,
If mow was mew
Like know and knew
(Or is it knowed
Like snow and snowed?)

The teacher frowned at me and said
The past of feed was - plainly - fed.
Fed up, I knew then what I ned:
I took a break, and out I snoke,
She shook and quook (or quaked? or quoke?)
With raging anger out she broke:
Your ignorance you want to hide?
Tell me the past form of collide!
But how on earth should I decide
If it's collid
(like hide and hid),
Or else - from all that I surmose,
The past of rise was simply rose,
And that of ride was surely rose,
So of collide must be collode?

Oh darn these English verbs, I thought
The whole thing absolutely stought!
Of English I have had enough,
These verbs of yours are far too tough.
Bolt upright in my chair I sat,
And said to her 'that's that' - I quat.

- Guy Deutscher

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brain freeze

Our little blog is getting neglected here lately.

I think the biggest reason is that I just can't seem to come up with very many coherent thoughts. Even though I'm off medicine, I'm now doing my last block of pediatrics. It's not nearly as intense as medicine, but still keeps me pretty busy. And throw in a call (last week) and my final moonlighting shift (last night) and I just haven't been able to think about much besides sleeping and trying to keep up with my regular responsibilities at home.

Here are some more random thoughts:

1. The pregnancy waddle? You just can't help it. I swear, I physically try to walk normally, but I just don't. Can't. Oh well.

2. Compression stockings are a blessing. Especially for those of us who are on our feet a lot.

3. A hot bath at the end of the day is sometimes just a glorious thing.

4. I found some fabric that I really like for my diaper bag, but only have a small fat quarter of it and can't figure out the designer. Any ideas for searching for a specific fabric when you don't know what it's called? My best idea is to go back to the store where I got it (located an hour away) and see if they still have it, but I can't do that until this weekend. And I'm getting impatient to get it made, since I know that it's much less likely to get done after the baby comes.

5. I did a little project this weekend, which involved dyeing some onesies and cloth diapers, with the hopes of then embellishing them some more. Yet another little project I'd like to get finished soon. But I'm fairly pleased with the outcome and will post photos as soon as I'm actually done.

6. I'm getting more nervous about the actual giving birth process. The normal contractions that I have are getting slightly more painful, and even though in my head I have this idea that I'd love to do it without an epidural, I'm not sure I'll be able to. I'm reading a book called The Birth Partner right now to help my prepare. Anyone have any other resources for natural childbirth? There really aren't any classes around here, so I can't really do that. How should I prepare myself?

7. Certain Russian figure skaters need to learn how to be more gracious in losing. That's all I'm saying.

I guess that is all my semi-coherent thoughts for the moment. Maybe a photo post later?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shower #1

First we ate.....

Then we were showered !

Our sweet church was just so generous - and check out that ever-enlargening belly!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Because I can't come up with an entire post....

1. I've had several moments of panic recently. I'm on pediatrics this month, which involves examining all the newborns. Several of the babies I've taken care of were actually due in March. March - you know - the same month I'm due. Yikes!

2. We've had two showers now. Our little nursery is slowly filling up with stuff. At the shower on Monday, my friend Amanda planned a craft time instead of a game. It was perfect. Everyone made our little some sort of felt food for our baby. And we got our car seat, which to me seems like one of the truly essential baby items. Now we can take our baby home from the hospital. So maybe we will be ready.....

3. Tonight is my last call until after the baby comes. Woohoo! I'm praying for a quiet night since call makes me grumpy. I'm dreading it, but am definitely looking forward to not have any calls for a while.

4. I was suddenly paranoid that maybe the baby was breech this week. The baby has been head down for a while, but I was feeling kicks in different places and so I was worried he or she had flipped around. At the end of clinic yesterday, I did one last ultrasound on myself - just to check the position of the baby's head. Yep. Head down. While down there looking, I could see our sweet little baby's lips and chin. So sweet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nursery update #2

The curtain is finished!! I also made a sweet little bunting out of the same fabrics to put on the wall over the changing table, but mom borrowed it to use as a decoration for another shower we're having in a few weeks, so no picture of that one yet.

I think I'm mostly done with the nursery sewing for now. I'd still like to make a diaper bag, but am still formulating what I want to do for that. Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More snow!

Since the snow was even prettier on Saturday morning, I thought I'd add a few more photos I took. Here is what I woke up to:

We enjoyed a beautiful, snow-filled walk after breakfast.

The snow was deep enough to cover my feet!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Snow brings out my inner 8 year old. After waking up from my post call nap, I couldn't wait to go out walking in the snow. I know my brother and sister in law in Iowa will laugh at the pitiful amount that is making me happy, but it is just so exciting to finally be getting some actual accumulated precipitation. At least for 1 night.


Sometimes, I think the hardest people to have sympathy for are people who seem to be hurting themselves.

Last night, for instance, we admitted a 15 year old boy who had gotten several different kinds of pills and taken them together, just for fun. Unfortunately for him, these were several kinds of sedating medicines, and so his mom brought him in because he was stumbling around and acting funny. She seems reasonable, and is at the end her rope with him. She has tried to get him into some sort of treatment facility for his drug use, but everywhere has a waiting list.

All I could think this morning was that he needed a big spanking. When we talked to him about his life, I don't think anything he told us was the truth. He's several grades behind in school, but that's not his fault. He also only used these pills yesterday because he was trying to save money. (It doesn't make sense to me, either.) I seriously just wanted to shake him to get him to understand that he was ruining his life and if he didn't change things, he was going to end up in prison. Or dead. But all part of me wanted to do was just go ahead and discharge him home, where he would be out of my way.

But then he started to talk about this dad - how he hadn't had any contact with him in several months, how he hadn't seen him in probably a year. This same dad who I knew had also spend some time in prison for drug use. Who lived only an hour away. Then, suddenly, I could see the sad child who was searching for love and fulfillment - in all the wrong places. It broke my heart. I felt rightfully chastised for being so annoyed earlier. Sometimes as a doctor it's easy to get hardened to things and to people - especially on a long call night (Just 1 more left before the baby comes!!) or when when I'm tired for any other reason (like being 34 weeks pregnant). But I hope and pray that God can keep giving me glimpses of why I do this, and how especially those patients who are most difficult - they are often the ones who are most hurting and are most in need of him.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ah the irony.

Just yesterday during lunch, I was talking with one of my attendings and mentioning how I had never called in sick during residency. Never.

I spoke too soon.

I started feeling a little bad the night before last, but by yesterday afternoon I was feeling terrible - crampy stomach pains, tiredness, nausea. I knew there was some sort of GI bug that was slowly making its way through the residents, but was hoping it would skip me. I actually got one of the other residents to see me because I wanted to make sure everything was ok with the baby. (It was.) I came right home, crashed on the couch, and tried to sip on some gatorade.

Growing up, my mom always said I was her best puker because I always managed to make it to the toilet. Sadly, last night the nausea was bareable until suddenly it wasn't. I told Jeff I needed the bucket, and promptly tossed my cookies all over the floor. Poor guy - just before I threw up, our dog actually threw up and he had just finished cleaning up the dog puke when he had to come down and clean up mine.

Thankfully, there was no more throwing up after that, and waking up this morning I actually was a little hungry. After taking a morning nap, I'm feeling almost back to my normal self and even called to see if they needed me back at work. They told me not to worry about it, which was really nice.

Now I can just try to rest up before being on call tomorrow.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Nursery update #1

I was off this weekend, giving me a little more time to do some more nursery sewing.

Mom and Dad picked up our nursery furniture and brought it down on Saturday, so now our nursery is starting to look like an actual nursery.

There is still lots to be done and sewn, but it's nice to be finished with the crib stuff.

Friday, February 05, 2010


Apparently, people don't like to come to the hospital in bad weather.

Saturday, I was on call for 24 hours, and we only did three admissions. (!!) Considering our average daily admissions are around 10 or 11 (and recently it's been more like 13 or 14), this was awesome. At least for this 33weeks-pregnant lady. There was an "ice storm", consisting mostly of rain that froze on the trees, but I guess that was enough to keep people away. You'd think that the weather shouldn't matter, that sick people come when they are sick. It seems, though, that sometimes people come to the ER because they have nothing better to do, and if you look hard enough you might be able to find something wrong with them that warrants admission. I'm not sure.

Today, was another gray, dreary day. It stayed in the low 40s all day and just drizzled and rained all day. I was on again today for day call, and we only got 1 admission. I think all my other day calls this month we've had at least 3 or 4. It was great. I got to look for more nursery inspiration, help a friend order some fabric, and even take a nap. And I got home before 6pm. Nice.

So my new motto is "Let it snow, rain, hail, or sleet."At least when it means that the hospital stays quiet.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


There are certain words you don't want to hear your doctor use when talking about you as a patient. "Interesting" is one of those words.

If I'm ever in the hospital, I want whatever is wrong with me to be called "routine" or "boring," and I want the intern taking care of me to think, "Ms. Tell in room 323 is just another (insert boring disease here) and to be able to say what the plan of care is without even thinking about it.

This morning, all the residents on our team trekked down to the lab to look at the "interesting" spinal fluid of a patient we are taking care of. (You definitely don't ever want anything interesting enough to warrant a trip to the lab.) He has a rare type of meningitis that only AIDS patients get. Even the lab technicians and the infectious disease specialist commented on how "impressive" his slide was. That's another word you don't want to hear.

The third word that is best to avoid?
My reaction, on seeing this "interesting" and "impressive" slide:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

And here I thought I was just getting old!

The last several years I've noticed a certain trend. I'd started driving with the radio turned off. I liked driving in silence. I was a little bit worried about this.

You see, all during my San Diego, and St. Louis days I was an avid radio listener. All sorts of things would I listen to on the radio. Top forty stations, hard rock stations, lots of alternative "90's" rock stations, and occasionally, (but rarely) country. I even went through an NPR phase. I used to listen to talk of the nation with Juan Williams on my way to the gym after lunch. It made me feel smart and well informed.

But sometime after moving to Charleston things changed. I no longer desired the audial companionship of Juan or any of my musician friends. I longed to contemplate the sounds of silence.

I figured this just meant that I was getting old. I was no longer the free spirited youth rebelling against the man through my participation in rock music. I was becoming contemplative, mellow, refined, mature even.

Thank goodness that phase is over. Aubrey got me an XM satellite radio for Christmas and I am back to my music loving ways. I now look forward to getting in the car and cranking up some tunes again. I realized that I haven't gotten old, there were just no good radio stations here in SC. Silence was simply the better option when pitted against the annoying dj's, constant commercials, and recycled tunes being spun on what I have come to call "terrestrial" radio. XM has reliberated me to enjoy music again. Get this, I even like the Christian station on the XM! This is saying something, because I always thought Christian stations were the lostest of the lost causes. The dj's are hopelessly sentimental, the music dull, and they play clips of four year olds singing Christmas carols. But the XM station has proven that there is still good Christian music being produced.

And here I thought I was just getting old!

Monday, February 01, 2010

When my spanish fails me.

I speak Spanish just about every day. Thankfully, I studied spanish for 3 years of high school and four years in college, and spent several summers in South America, so I'm very comfortable speaking Spanish and rarely have to use the interpreter.

I've never felt so completely incompetent as I did on Saturday.

A patient came in with contractions and bleeding at 24 weeks. Once we figured out she was really in labor, I tried to explain that at this age there was a good chance the baby would not live and that if the baby did live, there might be lots of serious health problems. I quickly realized that I have a limited vocabulary when it comes to trying to talk about resuscitation efforts in spanish. Then I had to deliver this 24 week baby, who was breech. It was a traumatic, awful delivery and we had a tough time getting the baby out. Because of the trauma from the delivery, we knew the baby was not going to make it. After the delivery, I had to tell this mama that her baby was not going to live.

While we went and worked on paperwork, her husband arrived. Then I went back in the room to talk to him. Trying to explain to him what happened was difficult, but then again, when is it every easy to say things like "I'm sorry your baby is dead. We don't know why this happened. It was nothing you did wrong, but sometimes this just happens." And I've never had to explain making funeral or burial arrangements in spanish - I couldn't even remember the word for funeral, or explain that they needed to find a funeral home to take care of the body. And all I could think was that I didn't want to be there, and didn't want to have to be the one doing this. They deserved someone better than me, who could walk them through this process. Looking back, although I might have been less overwhelmed, doing it all in English would not have been much better.

Of course, seeing those tiny, perfectly formed hands and feet, all I could think about was my baby and how afraid I still am some days that something is going to go wrong.

Some days my job is just tough.

If you don't mind, I'm trying to nap.