Friday, April 30, 2010

What I Learned on Ob/Gyn

I just finished my Ob/Gyn rotation, and I've learned a lot of things.

1. Ob/Gyn's may insult you, without you even know it.
True example:
Pregnant Patient:  One time, I got herpes from a toilet seat
Ob/Gyn: Have we talked yet about an IUD placement right after delivery?
Patient: I'm saying something really dumb
Ob/Gyn: You're so dumb that we would really like it if you didn't procreate again for at least 5 years.

2. If a dad tries to take a picture of the mom's lady parts while baby is being delivered- tell him that it's not allowed (even if it is).  All of his friends and family will thank you later; because no one wants to see that.
3. Epidurals make everyone happier.
4. Women without epidurals are NEVER interested in anything you have to say.
5. If a woman tells you that her last baby delivered quickly; you had better take her very seriously.
6. Never say "ewwwww",  "oops"  or "what's that?".  Never ever ever.
7. The 2nd floor nurses station is where they keep all the good food for patients; and they can be very easily distracted long enough to fill up my pockets.  YUM.

All that being said, Ob/Gyn was pretty fun.  Delivering babies is a rite of passage for medical students.  They can be slippery little buggers, and we all need to learn how to catch them.  And now I am done with Ob/Gyn, done with 3rd year of medical school, and done with med school exams!!


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Real Reason You Look At Blogs

When I look at someone else's blog- I have a 10 word attention span before I start scanning for pictures to look at.  I realized that sometimes I'm not good at posting pictures, even though I take a lot of pictures.  So I'm going start putting up random pictures more often.

These are some of your future surgeons.  But they probably won't be drinking beer when they operate on you.  Probably.

This is my "I"m trying REALLY hard, but I'm not getting any of the notes!!" face.  They say that surgeons who play lots of video games have better hand-eye coordination in the operating room.  I'm hoping they're lying.

This is the kitten that Danny LOVES; but the kitten doesn't reciporcate his feelings.  So Danny snook (sneaked?) up next to the kitten and made me take a picture really quick so that it looked like he liked Danny.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monday With Mom: Birthday!!

In honor of 25 years of Laura-ness, I found some classic pictures that chronicle her journey
First – Laura tames the beast. In addition to her experiences with the wild animals of Africa, as a young child she tamed a wild horse and exerted her dominance over the fish of the sea.

 Second Laura masters mobility. To address her need for speed, Laura learned to drive a motor cycle (check out the expression) and learned to snowboard (in most snowboarding pictures she is on her buttocks)

Third Laura learns that a big smile goes a long ways. Whether holding crayons in her nostrils or wearing the birthday girl propeller beanie, Laura knew that her big smile was a great asset.

Last but not least……Meet Queen Tut. Ready to conquer the world.
Happy 25th Birthday Laura!!!! You make my life rich!!!

Love, Mom

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One year ago... one year from now...

My nephew turned one year old today.  It got me thinking about my life one year ago...

When he was born, I was taking my Step 1 USMLE boards (translation: 8 hour national test at the end of 2nd year)- running out to check my cell phone during my breaks so that I could know how the labor was going.  I even had the administrative-assistant-lady on my side- she would let me know if my cell phone had rang or not when I came out for a break. I thought I knew everything there was to know at the end of that test.  I'd been studying for 4 weeks, and everything in medicine seemed to fit together in a neat, tidy package.  But I was terrified of doing a pelvic exam, or telling a patient about a cancer diagnosis.

But then I started third year- and I saw patients die who should've lived; and live who should've died. Medicine got very complicated.  It became more and more about luck than facts.  Whereas medicine had seemed very much like a science to me one year ago; I now know  much more about the art of medicine.  Just today, I was seeing a ovarian cancer patient and told her about her diagnosis for the first time.  The right words, surpisingly, came naturally to me.  You would have to ask her- but I think I did an awesome job.  That situation would've made me pee my pants a year ago.  The facts meant much less to her than the open discussion and emotional support.

But don't ask me how an antibiotic works.  One year ago, I could've explained the mechanism of every single one- now I'm just happy if I remember that it's antibiotic. But I can tell you everything you'd ever want to know about the patient who I saw who had a bad reaction to it. 

And one year from now?  I'll have a two year old nephew, I'll know where I'm heading for residency, and I'll probably be getting ready to move to a new city, and I'll be within a month of having an MD behind my name.  I'll probably feel just as incompetent and unprepared to be fully responsible for patients as I do know- but at least I'll have an extra year of experiences under my belt.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My First Black Eye: The Answer

So on Friday afternoon, I went out for a run in my neighborhood.  About one mile into it, as I'm running by a tennis court, I spy a green ball flying at my head!  My cat-like relfexes kick into high gear, and I just barely dodge the speeding projectile.  Whew!  No black eye there!!! 

A few minutes later, I see a sign for the Providence Roller Derby- but then I remember that my bedtime is 8:30pm, so there's no way I could go to an event that started at the God-awful hour of 9pm.  No black eye there, either!!

I keep going, daydreaming about how fun the Roller Derby would've been, and a tree branch suddenly falls out of nowhere.  As it's headed toward my face, I perform a leaping double handspring and gracefully glide out of its path.  No black eye for me!

As I'm nearing my house, a Black Eyed Peas song came on my iPod.  As I'm rocking out, I contemplate whether a black eye would make me fit in better with the Black Eyed Peas.  I decide that my lack of dancing/vocal talent would probably still be evident, so I don't bother with self-inflicting that badge of honor.

Finally, I'm about one block from my house, enjoying the sunny weath- SMACK!  All the sudden I am on my face.  Suddenly 3 or 4 people appear out of nowhere, and all ask "Are you ok?!", but what they really meant was "Did you really just do that?  Did I really just see you completely face-plant on the perfectly flat sidewalk?  O man... I've got tell my buddy at work about that... that was HILARIOUS!!"

As with most injuries of this type, my pride was hurt significantly more than my face.  I wiped the gravel off my hands, hopped up, and jogged home, trying to look like cool.  As I turned into my driveway, I noticed something dark covering half of my left eye.  I reached up to wipe it away, and find a big clot of blood that has been accumlating over my eyelid.  Over the next 2 days, the cut has gotten smaller, but the black eye has gotten much worse.

Here's what I learned for this experience:
  • Sometimes running slow is good.  The fact that I was trotting along at 10 min/mile means that there wasn't too much momentum to transfer to my eye when it hit the ground.
  • Having a black eye intimidates people.  Two days after the 'incident', I ran a 5K race.  I think the competition all knew to leave me alone, since I looked so mean.  That's probably why I got 3rd place in my age group- all the other <30 year olds were too afraid of what I'd do to them if they tried to pass me.
  • It's fun to make up stories about how you got a black eye.  I like rotating between a bar fight, saving a baby from a burning building and 'if I told you, I'd have to kill you

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My First Black Eye

I got my first black eye this weekend.  The picture is a re-enactment; Danny didn't really give me the black eye.  The real story is even better- but I'm going to make you guess which story it is:

1)  I caught a tennis ball in my face

2) I tripped while running and caught some sidewalk in the face

3)  I've auditioned for the Black Eye Peas, and thought that a real black eye would add some credibility

4) I was selected as an audience participant at the Providence Roller Derby

5) I ran into a tree branch while running

Leave me a comment with your guess; and I'll let you know who won.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Handsome Doctor

Though this comic wasn't drawn by me, I think it's about me (just replace 'handsome' with 'gorgeous').

Monday, April 12, 2010

Boring Operating Room= Creative Laura

I've been on a few hysterectomy surgeries that take FOREVER.  A hysterectomy should take like 1.5 hour.  But I seem to pick all the cases that take 4+ hours, and when those cases get complicated, the med student gets kicked to the foot of the table pretty quickly.

I've decided to make the most of my time at the end of the table.  So instead of focusing on how I can't see anything, how everyone is ignoring me, and how I'm paying $150/day for medical school and this is how I'm being treated-  I've started using that time as my 'creative time'.    My favorite past time is making limericks about the surgery that I'm watching (or more accurately, the surgery that I'm watching everyone else watch).   It's a silly pastime, but it works well to keep my brain just busy enough that I don't fall asleep.

Here's my favorite limerick:

The only place we've all resided,
(while grateful for all you've provided)
What you do to us,
O dear uterus,
Is tortous payback, I've decided.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mom and McDreamy

A while ago, I hypothesized that Danny's job as an 'electrical engineer' was really code for 'international spy'- based on an incident where he went to work on a regular Wednesday and was urgently put on a flight to Mexico with zero notice.

I'm beginning to wonder if my mom's job as an 'accountant' is secret code for 'superstar'.  You pretty much have to be a superstar to get to hang out in Patrick Dempsey's racing pit stop while he races around the track.

Friday, April 9, 2010

$2.5 Million Video Game

I spent this morning playing on a DaVinci surgery robot.  It was the coolest thing I've ever done in my life. I am in love with robotic surgery.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Everybody Loves A Snuggie

For Christmas, the whole Grimmer family got Snuggies from Santa Claus.  My pink snuggie lives on the couch in my living room and almost everyone who sees it makes fun of it.  BUT!  I've caught a surprising number of my friends wearing it over the past 3 months.  I'm going to pretend that they wear it because its so stylish- and not because we keep our heat at 62 degrees.  Here's the hard evidence that my friends love the snuggie!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Running With Camera

My Nikon was looking a little fat, so I took it on a run yesterday.  Running with a camera definitely slows down my pace, but if it gets me to run after standing for 8 hours in the OR- then I'm game.  Spring in New England is BEAUTIFUL!!!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Gallon of Milk + Trunk of Car + One Month Later

About a month ago, Danny and I went grocery shopping together.  We dropped his half of the groceries off at his house, and then went to my house to drop off mine.  As we were putting mine away, we pondered, "Didn't we buy a gallon of milk for each house?  Where is the second gallon of milk?" 

We moved on with life, but every few days for the next week or so, one of us would mention, "We never found that gallon of milk, did we?".  And then we sort of forgot about it all together.

Until today.

As I'm taking my roommate Ala to the airport, I pop my trunk to put her suitcase in- lo and behold, the elusive second gallon of milk is in my trunk.  It's been there for a month.

Ala almost puked.  I couldn't stop laughing. While hilarious, this story is also pretty embarrasing for a number of reasons:
  1. How easily I gave up on searching for a gallon of milk. It was a GALLON OF MILK, for crying out loud- not the kind of thing that you want spilling/rotting in your trunk for a month. 
  2. How infrequently I buy groceries; the fact that I hadn't opened my trunk in a month, means that I haven't bought more than energy bars and diet coke for a month.
  3. How paranoid medical school has made me about touching dirty things- I had a box of gloves sitting in my car just for an occasion such as this.
Luckily it didn't spill much in the trunk.  Hopefully I've learned my lesson- any purchased gallon of milk needs to be accounted for.

Danny's Office; I Mean Swimming Pool

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Life: Redefined

Whenever life gets crazy busy, I switch into 'super-woman mode'.   Everything is re-defined into a sleeker, quicker, easier version of what it normally is.  Here are a few examples:

 That is my 'closet'- it's a bag of clean scrubs that I keep in my car.  

Over here, we have 'groceries'- basically just yogurt for breakfasts and energy bars. Yummy!

This is what I call 'laundry'- it's the magical machine that takes my dirty scrubs and gives me clean ones.  They really need to invent one of these for my running clothes, and for my professional clothes.

Lastly, and I apologize for not having a picture for this, is 'dressing up'.  One night I was feeling special, and I actually wore my hair  down,  put on earrings, and put in contact lenses (still wore scrubs though).  I looked stunning.  Comparatively.

When life calms down (like maybe this summer, after residency, when I retire) and I'll go back to wearing real clothes and eating real food.  But until then, super-woman mode is in full swing.