Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pros and Cons of Flooding

  • One of my lecturer's basement flooded= 2 extra hours of sleep
  • Arc jokes
  • I live on College Hill Mountain, so my place is flood-free
  • Danny's work is flooded, so I actually got to see him for a few hours today
  • Rhode Island's finally on the national news; also it's finally looking a little like an Island
  • I saw a mom name her newborn baby Rain.  Cute.
  • There are a  few inches of water on all the roads by the hospital- which sneakily hides all the 12 inch deep potholes over there.  My poor car is not happy about those
  • Danny's work is flooded.  I'm not sure what 5 inches of water does to a warehouse full of batteries, but I've got a few diet-coke-and-laptop incident under my belt to tell me that it's probably not good
  • There's some poor kid out there named Rain because of a natural disaster. Sad.
  • I-95 is flooded and closed- which means my primary route to the nearest Chipotle is closed.
  • The hospital basement flooded, which is where all the cables for the elevators run, which meant I had to take the stairs up and down all of last night.  My poor gluteus maximus.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What Vampires Feel Like

I'm up all night, and sleep all day, I haven't seen the light of day,
I've changed scrubs twice because they are stained with blood (and
amniotic fluid).

-from the labor and delivery floor on night float

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little Victories

I'm toying with ideas for my personal statement for my surgery residency application; and I wanted to bounce this idea off my faithful readers.  Below is a rough draft of my introduction paragraph, and then it would be followed by a few examples of my 'little victories' (although I haven't picked which ones).  Read the intro, and leave us an example of your own 'little victories'!! It's fun to think back on the little victories that we are so proud of, but that anyone else would think is silly!

Throughout my academic career, my performance has been weighed and measured by exams and evaluations. While I’ve always been pleased with how others score me; at the end of the day, these aren’t the successes that I am most proud of. Reflecting on how I would measure my own worth, I find myself recalling silly, small accomplishments throughout my life in which I take great delight and pride. These little victories may seem odd- but I believe they offer the truest insight into my character, the depth of my passions and range of my natural inclinations.

Some of my favorite 'little victories' that still bring a smile to my face:
  • Holding it together when I got malaria in Kenya; including carrying my own 50 lbs backpack to the hospital with me! (sorry mom and dad- I know that my-daughter-had-malaria stories alway make you  cringe!)
  • Learning how to install a car radio in high school
  • Setting any running goal, no matter how small, and then crushing it! (My proudest moment in the last 3 months was my first 3 miles under 30 minutes; which is what I consider my 'easy run' now- but at the time it was a BIG hurdle!)
  • Playing and singing an original song that I wrote at an open mic night
  • Amputating a patient's toe all by myself
Leave a 'little victory' of your own!  And if you need some inspiration, listen to Matt Nathanson's "Little Victories" aka my favorite song ever.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


So I started Ob/Gyn rotation this week. This is my "Clinic Week", so I'm working at an outpatient office seeing regular gyn and pregnancy visits.  I've perfected my pap smear, so now I'm working on adding style points (like maybe a spin on the end?).    But all of my pregnancy visits have been CRAZY!  Remember how Michael Scott always pulled a gun during his improv skits on The Office because "pulling a gun is always the most exciting thing that can happen!" ?  Well, I think that pregnancy is always the most dramatic thing that can happen in someone's life.  The drama can be due to figuring out who the father is, how he's involved, and who's fault it was that the contraception failed, or the drama can be due to how long they'd been trying,  how terrified they are of another miscarriage, and how freaked out they are by even touching their belly during the exam.  Opening the door to the room of a pregnant woman is a little like opening a door on a gameshow- you have no clue what's waiting for you.

My worst pregnant patient stories from this week?  Probably the one who already had multiple kids taken out of her custody and was having another baby for the purpose of proving that she "deserved the other ones back." Or maybe the one who couldn't afford an abortion, so she overdosed on heroine instead (which I've heard is cheap?)  to try to cause an abortion herself (bad idea).    But the best appointments? Definintely the moms who tear up when I show them their baby on ultrasound.  PRICELESS!

Next week is "Night Float" aka Vampire Week- which means I'm on the labor and delivery floor from 6pm-5am. Believe or not, I'm sort of excited for it.   After that I've got 2 weeks of gyn surgery (finally I'll be back in the OR for the first time since July!), and then 2 weeks of OB labor and delievery during the day shift.  It'll be a very dramatic 6 weeks!

Disclaimer- Of course, I change everything about any patient who I write about on here; I just try to keep the gist of the ridculousness.  I would never disclose anything that could in anyway identify any patient that I see in any capacity, or would violate their confidentiality.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday With Mom: The Things They Carried

My teenage sons were given a reading assignment to read the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. It is the story of soldiers in Vietnam. I haven’t read the book but the title is thought provoking. I am in the midst of combining the “stuff” in the Greenville house with the “stuff” in the Owasso house. This is an exercise that is fairly common in the Grimmer household. We have moved 12 times. Each time, we go through the “stuff” and decide what items will make the cut and be the tangible reminders each chapter of our story. The “stuff” has no monetary value but a poo-load of sentimental value. Here are the five things that are making the cut (including a bonus treasure from 1998).

FDN magnet– I “borrowed” this magnet from the side of a FDN service vehicle when FDN became NuVox. I was walking out on my last day of work and couldn’t resist grabbing it off the side of the truck.

Target man- Amy and I decide to shoot the “man” as a team building event (hence our journey into becoming redneck women who could protect themselves).

Yellow spudger– my first and only telecom tool.

Plus a small box of miscellaneous – golf balls, markers and score cards (reminders of all the fun and memories on golf courses in Florida, South Carolina and Alabama), bear bell from my boss (so he could easily find me) and a smattering of other small treasures (including the corks from some very special bottles of wine)

Take a break and revisit the things you carry. It is good for the soul to stroll down memory lane. Enjoy!!!

And the bonus (a newly found old treasure that will be kept forever)…… while searching through the “stuff”, I found a newspaper clipping of Laura’s first surgery. She was unable to save the patient. :-)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Swear This Isn't Photoshop-ed!

This is from Uganda in 2005, when Robin (2nd from the left) and I (I don't need to tell you where I am...)  tried our hands at playing drums with these guys.  Robin reminded me the other day how much she loved this picture, and when I went back to look at it again- I couldn't resist sharing it.  Don't I look photoshop-ed?!

Friday, March 12, 2010

To Do List

I thought I'd offer my readers a unique glimpse into my exciting life by sharing my current to do list, at least as it appears on my Palm Pilot.  These are in order of how long the item has been on my to do list (longest at the top).

  • Set up a meeting with chief of surgery-  on the to do list for about a month, mostly because the chief of surgery is an uber-famous, hot shot, awesome surgeon who intimidates me.  So I've put off my meeting with him to discuss my surgical career path as long as possible, to avoid the worst case scenario in my mind of literally being laughed out of his office.  I'm totally neurotic- he's a very nice man, I'm just crazy.
  • Get a new driver's license- on the list for a few weeks.  My Florida (that's right, FLORIDA) driver's license expires on my 25th birthday, so I've got to get a Rhode Island one before then.  I love that Florida license, because it represents the randomess of how many places I've lived.  Just when you think you know me- "Ok, so you live in Rhode Island, went to college in Chicago, but your parents live in Oklahoma and you went to high school in Kansas, but you sometimes spend the holidays in South Carolina...  ok, I think I've got it-"  then I can BLOW YOUR MIND by letting you catch a glimpse of my FLORIDA driver's license. When my last license expired, back in 2005, my parents were briefly living in Florida, so that's where I got it renewed.  I will be sad to see my FL driver's license go, but I feel like Rhode Island might be equally random in the grand scheme of things.
  • Fill out health insurance forms-  In addition to losing my favorite driver's license, I get kicked off the parent's health insurance on my 25th birthday also (so far, it's not looking like a great birthday).  Buying my own insurance makes me feel too grown up, thus I will procrastinate it a little longer.  And don't even get me started on how my sister had a baby when she was 25; or how my mom already had two babies when she was 25.  I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.
  • Get new glasses- Through some great fluke in the healthcare universe, I happen to have AWESOME vision insurance until April 1.  I've got my perscription for new glasses, and my insurance will cover most of the cost, it's just a matter of picking them out.  I'm thinking I want a pair with lots of bling, diamond rims, and maybe a gold-plated nose piece. Other suggestions?
  • Finish financial aid packet- I equate financial aid to a ride at an amusement park that makes you puke.  You're lured into filling out all this paperwork with promises of scholarships and financial assistance, then you're spun around a million times until you can't tell your interest rate from your telephone number, but you're gonna end up just feel nauseous at how much you have to borrow.  Luckily, this is the last year EVER that I have to borrow money.  That's right.  Next year, at the age of 26, will be the first time that I will hold a full time paying job. I will officially stop being a financial drain on society. You're welcome.
  • Buy power steering fluid- My wheels squeek every time I turn the steering wheel.  The noise definitely turns some heads when I'm rollin' down the street- but I just pretend that everyone is checking out my sweet ride. Cars from 1998 are so hot right now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Best Moment Ever

I spent this morning with a pediatrician who attends births when there might be complications- that way we can quickly take care of the baby if the baby needs anything.  Best moment of my pediatric rotation, possibly of all of medical school, happened this morning in one of those births.  It was a birth where the parents had chosen not to know the sex of the baby.  We held up the baby for the mom and dad to see for the first time, and the dad cried- "It's a boy!" and then started crying tears of joy.  He just couldn't control himself, and kept apologizing for crying and blubbering; but he was so geniuly happy that he was lighting up the whole room.  It was one of the sweetest, most genuine emotional displays I have ever seen.

Our strongest emotions tend to be kept to ourselves, whether its passion, anger, or sadness.  The stronger an emotion is, I think the more likely we are to try to keep it to ourselves lest we look vulnerable.  But this dad showed more emotion to us, a room full of strangers, than I've shown anyone. Ever.  His reaction was so geniune, unbridled and unconcerned with 'what others might think';  it was both refreshing and inspiring.  Also, I loved it because I'm rarely around truly happy people.  It's just the nature of being in a hopsital or doctor's office- people aren't happy when they are sick and scared. 

Quite frankly, he made my day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Nephew Equation

There's gotta be some mathematical formula which dictates how often you should visit your nieces/nephews based on (1) how far away you live from them (2) their age and (3) the amount of disposable income/time you have available to visit them.  Whatever the equation is- I definitly hit the point last weekend where I HAD to see my nephew.  He's 10 months old, it's an 8 hour drive, and I have no free money or time... but still the Nephew Equation made it clear that I had to see that kid.

SO WORTH IT!!!  HE IS SOOOOOO CUTE!!!  Unfortunatly, my digital camera battery was dead, so I couldn't take any pictures of him.  So I will proceed to paint you a mental picture to help you understand how cute he is- imagine the cutest 10 month old in the world, now add a cute bunny to your mental picture, now add some really cute kittens, and then multiply all that cuteness times a million.  That's about how cute his left toe is.  If you don't believe me- looks at my sister's blog.  CUTE.

Anyway, on my 16+ hours of driving to DC and back last weekend, I traveled through a lot of states, and I paid a lot of tolls.  I've come up with some suggestions for what those states should do with my tolls-

Maryland, I paid you $7 each way.  Please use that money to offer a driving class to all of your residents entitled "Left Lane=Fast, Right Lane= Slow".    They all seem to have gotten confused on this point, driving 55mph in the left lane, and they could all use a refresher course.

Delaware, I paid you $5 each way- but I was only in your state for 5 minutes.  Please use my money to buy some land from surrounding states and make yourself larger.  This is coming from someone who lives in Rhode Island-  your state is embarrissingly small.   Alternatively, you could use my money to pave your roads in gold.  Gold-paved roads would acutally be worth paying $1/minute to drive on.  Your current roads were definitly not worth $1/minute.

New Jersey, I paid you $9 each way.  And you deserved it!! Three lanes highways, 80+mph the whole way!  New Jersey turnpike, I love you.  Please use my money to buy yourself an ice cream cone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Flashback: Funny Pictures From When I Had Time To Travel

As I flip through my photos from my travels- I realize that I have fondness for taking pictures of things that I find unique/funny/odd.  Here are a few of my favorites.  I also noticed, as I went through those pictures, that there are A LOT of photos from traveling where I look RIDICULOUS; so here are a few of those too.  Traveling (backpacking, particularly) does not make me photogenic.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Flashback: DC for No Reason

Because medical school isn't too exciting, I'm going to start have some "Flashback" posts, where I re-live a more exciting time in my life.

It's 2006, I'm a student at IIT, and a proud member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.  I'm sitting at my desk, probably not studying, when I heard a familiar "ding!" which alerts me to a time-limited fare sale on Southwest airlines.  Curious, I open the Southwest website and I see the best airfare of all time: $25 from Chicago to Washington DC.  I glance at the small print, and realize that the fare is only good for the next 45 minutes!  I can't pass up this deal!  But I don't want to go to DC alone!!  What's a girl to do?!

I spent the next 45 minutes running around my sorority house like a crazed woman, pitching the idea  to anyone who would listen of a flying to DC on Saturday morning and back on Saturday night for $50 roundtrip and spending a day at the Smithsonian.  I got 3 friends to commit, and a few weeks later we were off for one of the silliest trips I've ever taken.

We had to wake up at like 4am to catch our flight, but we made it to DC by about 8am.  So with the help of a lot of coffee, we started our siteseeing.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day, and we walked non-stop for about 12 hours, seeing all the museums and momuments.  And my wonderful cousin, Sarah, came to see us downtown, too! We caught our flight home about 9pm, and I was cuddled up in bed by midnight.  Pretty cool to have woken up and gone to sleep in my own bed; but spent the day in DC.

My prior life was so much fun :-)