Monday, August 31, 2009

Crazy Mess

Tomorrow is the first day you can submit residency applications... and for competitive purposes it is kind of important that we get our application in. Unfortunately it is 10:00 p.m. and now I am beginning to question every word and phrase on his application. Gosh this is nervewracking! I am a giant ball of nerves... lets hope I can get some sleep tonight!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What I've Been Up To

It is hard to believe that we are already in the fourth (and final week) of sub-internship #1. Although it has been difficult it has already gone by pretty quickly. I think that part of that can be attributed to the fact that I have been keeping myself quite busy. I've been taking more time for work, and working out and have also been baking and doing a bit of organizing. These things seem to keep me busy every week night and surprisingly, I have been so busy that I've even been up past my usual bedtime most nights! Two weeks ago I made this delicious and healthy Zucchini Spice Cake but I must admit mine didn't look as pretty as Gina's!

And I think maybe I added too much vanilla because my frosting was a little runny.

Although it didn't look picture perfect I still think it was a DELICIOUS spice cake! Last week I made a nectarine and blueberry crisp. I will try and post the recipe in the future.

Some less fun things I've done are: killed a few bugs (gross I know!); taken out the trash; and I tried my hand at ironing (all ordinarily "husband jobs."). Although I am managing while Drew is gone he will definitely resume these duties upon his return. I am absolutely horrible at ironing. I often make more wrinkles than I iron out! Unfortunately, pant suits look funny without that pleat in the front, but for now I am just trying my best until my master iron-er returns! (Seriously, he unusually, fabulous at ironing!)

I still haven't mastered the whole sleeping alone thing though. I am still falling asleep on the couch and then moving to the bed when I wake up in the middle of the night. This is something I really need to get past. But it won't be tonight. Maybe next week?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 3, Days 18-21

Thursday night Drew was on call, and I am not sure how much sleep he got, but he did get off by 5:00 p.m on Friday.
Days 18-19 = 36 hours
With getting out early Friday and having Saturday off, Drew was able to go out with his sister and some friends Friday night. I think this was a well deserved break for him. Saturday he went running, and did some research for his presentation.
Day 20 = Off
Then today (Sunday) Drew returned to the hospital for a relatively light day. He started at 5:00 a.m. and was done by 3:30 p.m. This allowed him plenty of time to finish up the finishing touches on his presentation tomorrow.
Day 21 = 10.5 hours
Overall - a pretty light week!
Unfortunately I don't have much to report - other than that Drew said there was someone famous at the hospital this week. Drew didn't see the person but he saw the patient's name some where.
This upcoming week is Drew's final week at this hospital. Then it is on to rotation #2!
It is also hard to believe that August is coming to a close! September 1, marks the first day of submitting residency application!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Week 3, Days 15-17

Drew is officially half way through his third week. On Monday he got to go to clinic with the head of the neurosurgery department. This was the first time he got to spend an extensive period of time with the chair. Drew really likes him. He described him as hard on his residents but also their biggest advocate. There tends to be somewhat of a stereotype with neurosurgeons that they are odd, antisocial, arrogant and difficult to talk to, but the chair at this program is none of these things. He is both brilliant but down to earth and easy to talk to. Drew got along with him really well and learned a lot while working with him.
Drew was on call Monday night and got about an hour of sleep. On Tuesday he got to scrub in with the chair on a surgery with a patient that he had seen in clinic on Monday. Again I don't know what the surgery was, but it was supposedly a "really cool case" and Drew really enjoyed it. Drew was done on Tuesday by 7:00 p.m.. We tried to talk when he was done for the day but as soon as he got home he wanted to eat, and as soon as he ate, he wanted to head to bed.
Days 15-16 = 38 hours
Today (Wednesday) Drew was in clinic again. He was done by 7:00 p.m. again tonight but because he wasn't on call last night he had quite a bit more energy. We were actually able to talk for a little while and he seems to finally be really enjoying himself. He enjoyed it before, but was a little too disoriented to be excited about the surgeries he was seeing. We both think that his next two away rotations are going to be much easier because he won't have an adjustment period and will be able to jump right in tot he crazy hours! Its hard to believe he only has a week and a half left at this program!
Day 17 = 14 hours

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My weekend in Pictures

Saturday morning my Mom and I headed over to my Aunts house where I got to see my cousins and their two little cuties. (Here is Sophie).
And I got to meet baby Connor for the first time!
Then we picked Drew up from the train. And headed to my hometown favorite, "The Freeze" so that Drew could get a well deserved cotton candy blizzard
Drew and I then took a nap (he was on call the night before). And we headed out to a late dinner with my wonderful parents. I also figured out how to use the timer on my camera, which allowed for this picture to be taken....
On Sunday our friends (Elizabeth and the Craigens) came over. Here is a picture of my beautiful Goddaughter (just after she had fallen asleep in my arms!)

It was a wonderful weekend filled with just a few of my favorite people!

Life is good!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Week 2, Days 9-13

The rest of week two is all lumped together because I really didn't hear much about Drew's week until Saturday.
Tuesday began at the usual time (a little before 5:00 a.m.) but after rounds, rather than watching surgery all day, he decided to go to clinic. In clinic he saw patients who were either scheduled for upcoming surgery or were recovery from a recent surgery. Then Tuesday night Drew was on call. Wednesday when he was post call, they decided to start a surgery late in the day and it didn't go as smoothly and quickly as planned so he was there until 9:30 p.m. By the time Drew got home he was ravaging and got off the phone with me so he could eat. After he finished eating he called me to tell me he was exhausted and asked if I would mind if he went to sleep. This explains why we haven't had much time to talk.
Days 9 -10 = 40.5 hours

Thursday was a refreshingly short day. He started at the usual time, just before 5:00 a.m. and was done by 6:30 p.m. Drew was quite excited to be done early but spent most of the evening studying and researching a presentation topic before heading to bed. Before the end of this rotation he will have to make a presentation to the residents and attendings, and I believe it will factor into his overall evaluation.
Day 11 = 13.5 hours

Friday Drew started at the usual time and was on call that night. There was a fourth year medical student who goes to the school there and was volunteering for the night (often times if you want to match at your home program you will volunteer on nights and weekends to help make sure you match there). The residents said that Drew could go home if he wanted to because they had the other student's help, but he opted not to, and stayed. I guess they had a really interesting case that night. A patient came in that had fallen down the stairs. He had some sub-cranial bleeding (don't quote me on this I am repeating it from memory). He was responsive/alert when he arrived at the hospital but the scan showed bleeding in his brain. While he was there he became non-responsive and they had to rush him to the operating room. Saturday Drew was post call and done by 11:30 a.m.
Days 12-13 = 30.5

So while Drew and I did not have plans to see each other until the end of this first away rotation (I wanted him to sleep and study during his time off) we did see each other this weekend. I have missed him like crazy and really have not had much time to talk with him. The majority of our communication is via text message and includes encouraging words alongs with "miss you's" and "love you's". So when the opportunity arose we decided to meet up for the weekend. As soon as we picked him up from the train I started asking him tons of questions. Here are a few things that I learned . . .
Things are not the most organized (but not necessarily disorganized) in the sense that there isn't anywhere that Drew is really supposed to be. His first two weeks were cranial focused and his last two weeks will be spine focused. But this focus more pertains to what patients he will see on rounds in the morning, it doesn't really have anything to do with what surgeries he sees everyday. Also he has the option of watching surgeries or going to clinic. They don't assign him to one or the other, he can just pick. I think this is somewhat of an adjustment for Drew because he doesn't really know where he should be and is just trying his best to help out as much as possible without getting in the way. Unlike in medical school where they told him what he could do, here he is trying to anticipate what he should do, and is constantly asking what he can do to help.
He has seen quite a lot of surgeries as the hospital he is at has an extremely high volume of patients. A few of the surgeries he has seen are: tumors (both benign and malignant), aneurysms, cranial bleeding, spinal fusions and scoliosis. (I'm sure he has seen others as well, but that is all I can remember. )
The first week was quite an adjustment for Drew in that he experienced extreme exhaustion and hunger, but he seems to have turned the corner this week. He says that he is still extremely tired when his alarm goes off every morning at a little after three (and at times has wanted to throw/destroy his alarm) but by the time he is on his way to the hospital he is already thinking about what he will get to do/see that day, and how he can improve. He is kept so busy during the day he doesn't seem to have time to feel or think about being tired. To me, the thought of functioning on this schedule seems insane, but he seems to think that all of the residents are extremely well adjusted to the schedule and says that they rarely appear tired. I imagine that must be the case, as many residents in all specialties manage to function in high pressure situations on little sleep for several years during residency - I suppose your body has no choice but to adjust.
As for me I feel much better after having seen Drew, and now knowing that he is doing well, I'm hoping that being apart will only get easier from here on out. I'll post more about this weekend later this week!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Funny Stuff

I wish I would have found this website earlier, there is some pretty funny medical school merchandise. My favorite is the: pitty me, my husband is in medical school - if we were a little earlier on in the journey I think I would buy the coffee mug. It put a smile on my face this morning!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Week 2 - Day 8

Not too much to report for this Monday. Drew started before 5:00 a.m. and was done early and out of the hospital by 6:30... most surgeries were cancelled for internal reasons so it was mostly a quiet day.
Day 8 = 13.5 hours

As for me I am trying to keep busy and stay distracted. So far, so good. I am going to make a list of "goals" or things I want to accomplish before he comes home. Nothing major just odds and ends that I should be able to do with a little more time on my hands. For example I am trying to work out at least 3-4 times a week (instead of 2-3), and I want to clean out the pantry and so on.
Tonight I tried ironing. Its something that Drew normally does, but now that he is gone I suppose I need to learn. After all, my pleated dress pants just don't look right without the pleat down the front of the legs. My clothes do not look as good as when Drew irons them, but lets hope they look better than if I had not ironed them at all.
This weekend was a little lonely but I did have a few visitors to distract me. My friends (the Keiblers) were on their way down to St. Louis (I noticed Abbie's facebook status) and turns out that I texted them just in time for them to stop for a little potty break, and feeding break Campbell. (Who I haven't since for five months when she was just a month old!). Then on Saturday night I babysat Kaiden so his Mommy and Daddy could celebrate their anniversary (if you recall his Daddy has been serving in Afghanistan, and just got home). Then tomorrow Celia (dear friend from law school) and Joe are stopping by tomorrow night on their way down to Lake of the Ozarks. Thank goodness for good friends and family - I'll be counting on them to keep me busy for the next three months! Week 1 down, less than 11 weeks to go!

Days 4-6

Days four through six (Thursday-Saturday) are lumped together because they pretty much were one long endless day for Drew. He went in a little before 5 a.m. and although he was not on call Thursday night there was a really neat surgery, so he decided to stay. By the time he got out of surgery it was nearly 11:00 p.m. At that point he left the hospital briefly to run out and purchase some deodorant and a toothbrush. He decided it was easier just to spend the night rather than travel back home since he had to be back in a few hours anyways. Then Friday was another busy call night in which he only got about 2 hours of sleep. Saturday he was post call, and finally left around 12:30 p.m. when he told the Resident he was pretty much at the end of his rope. Hopefully they won't look down on him for that but he had been there since Thursday morning, and was exhausted and hungry. He hadn't eaten in nearly 24 hours and had only gotten about 7 hours of sleep the past two nights combined (neither of which I imagine are out of the ordinary for a surgical resident - they just learn to adjust and handle it after a while).
For those of you who don't know my husband he is kind of a neat/clean freak. And I'm not complaining because I would rather him be obsessively clean than, dirty! Anyways in the three days that he was in the hospital (and we couldn't really communicate), all I could think about was how he was probably going crazy wearing the same clothes for three days straight. Drew is the kinda guy who would shower several times a day if he could, and will never wear a shirt more than once even if he only had it on for 5 minutes. Although it means a lot of laundry for me, I guess its good for patients... I mean who wants a dirty doctor? Anyways, somehow he managed to survive but once he got off on Saturday he made sure to let me know that he needed to get off the phone so that he could promptly shower and eat! I finally heard from him around 7:30 p.m. when he woke up from his "nap."
He was fortunate to have all of Sunday off so that he could rest, study and refresh for week number two. He is planning on bringing more snacks and powerbars this week so that he can eat whenever he has a free minute. I'm hoping he is feeling a little bit more comfortable and adjusted to the hours and schedule, now that he has survived his first week.
Days 4, 5, and 6 = 55.5 hours*
*There is no limit of maximum hours per week for students because they are learning, not working, and they are there of their own free will.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 2 and 3

Morning rounds (where they see all the patients with the chief resident) begin at 5:45 a.m. Prior to rounds all of the other residents and medical students have to do their own "rounding" to see the patients so that when they go on rounds they can give the chief resident a quick update on the patient's status. At this first program Drew has about 9 patients. This is significantly more than he is used to having with his medical school (3 or 4). More patients also means that he has to start earlier in order to see all of his patients before rounds at 5:45. I'm not sure what time this means he has to get up, but he tried to get to the hospital by 4:30 a.m. so that he'd have at least an hour to go see all nine of his patients. (I think) during rounds each resident/student presents his patients (their updates, status, etc.) to the chief resident. Drew said that the hospital's format for presenting their cases is different than he is used to and therefore he needs to work on it.
After morning rounds on Tuesday, Drew got to watch (but didn't get to scrub in on because there wasn't enough room) a "very cool surgery." I didn't get any more information than that because our phone calls are extremely brief and I am lucky I even got that much detail out of him. All I know is that the surgery lasted - eight hours. Yes, eight hours. It must have been a very complex surgery, but I seriously cannot imagine standing still, not eating, not drinking, and not going to the bathroom for eight hours!
Surprisingly enough Drew said that the residents and attendings don't ask him very many questions. We were both expecting that he would get quizzed a lot, but so far, not so much. I don't know much more about Tuesday and Wednesday (day 2 and 3) other than the fact that he was on call for Tuesday night. He said he got about 2 and a half hours of sleep. He was done on Wednesday at about 7:00 p.m. and was home and in bed by a little after 8 p.m.
When I asked him about the food, he said that he hadn't even eaten food from the cafeteria yet. The only thing he bought was a water. He has been too busy to eat much. I guess it is good I sent him with all those snacks, because he should be able to fit them in his pockets and eat them when he has a free minute. I'm glad to hear that he is keeping busy, because a very important part of sub-Internships is making sure that he can keep up with the pace. If he is lazy, sits or simply doesn't keep up with the residents it isn't looked upon very well.
So far, so good. It's only a few days in, but he seems to be enjoying himself.
Day 2 and 3 = 38.5 hours

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Away rotation #1, Day 1

Drew's first day of his first away rotation started off well. He got to the hospital at 7:00 for his 7:30 a.m. orientation. He got his ID badge and met with the chief resident and did some other orientation-like things.* There is one other student doing the away rotation with him and so far they seem to get along - Drew said he was a pretty quiet guy.
Sometime in the afternoon he got to go into the O.R. to watch a surgery. He left his white coat outside the operating room in the surgical area. When he got out of surgery he looked in his wallet (which he had left in his white coat) to find that all his cash and his subway/el card were gone! When he got done for the day (around 7:00 p.m.) he called to tell me about the "theft." He was upset and kept apologizing - although I was really ticked off, it wasn't at him.
My first thought was that a patient stole from him but he explained that where he left his white coat was supposed to be a "safe" area because it was a surgical hallway - the only patients in that area are unconscious or strapped to a gurney. Which means that (I can only assume) another student/resident/nurse stole from him! How awful is that?! At least they left his credit cards (although I keep checking online to make sure there are no charges). I guess the theif needed the money more than we did, and I do believe that what goes around, comes around. And I keep reminding myself - its only money.
With Drew's el card gone he then had to decide between taking a cab back to his sister apartment or buying a new el card. (So much for all that money I tried to save by sending him with snacks... I guess it went toward buying a second montly el pass). After purchasing his new pass Drew got home only to find that his key didn't work! He waited outside for an hour until his sister got home. Although he didn't really complain (other than to say he was ticked off about the theft) I know he had a rough first day... the good news is that he did seem to enjoy the hospital and the program.
Day 1 = 11.5 hour day
*Please note that I only get a few minutes to talk to if and when he calls so my summaries will tend to have some gaps.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Away Rotation #1

Drew left on Sunday for his first away rotation (which started Monday).
(Drew boarding the train)
With the expectation of having high expenses for residency applications (fees, plane tickets, gas, hotel rooms, etc.) we are trying to save money wherever we can. For Drew's first two away rotations he is able to stay with his sister - this is obviously saving us quite a bit of money. I spoke with another MS4 wife whose husband just finished up an away rotation at this program to try and get an idea about this first rotation. She said that her hubby pretty much was at the hospital all the time and therefore ate three meals there most days. Being the penny pincher that I am I thought it would be a good idea to send Drew with a whole bunch of easy meals and pre-packaged snacks. We purchased canned ravioli, mac n cheese, and individually wrapped snacks like power bars, cracker, chips, pop tarts and breakfast bars. Although I am sure he will still eat at the hospital a lot I hope he won't have to use the vending machines and can minimize his meals at the hospital - but who knows I might be being totally unrealistic.
Tomorrow I'll update on how on how Day 1 went...

Last Hoo-rah!

Last Wednesday Drew and I went to the Cardinals game with two of our good medical school friends Andrea and Ryan.
It was our last end of summer "event" due to the fact that Drew will be gone the months of August, September and October for away-rotations. It was a great night and a great last summer outing together!

I'm not looking forward to fall or winter weather, but the summer just won't be the same without Drew!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Step II - Clinical Knowledge

done! Drew took it last Wednesday (so as long as God-willing, he passed) he is officially done with all big medical school exams. (He might have a few for his clerkships this year but nothing major). We went out that night to celebrate the big milestone. Overall Drew said he felt like he did the best he could have. He felt more confident in his answers than he did on Step I, but based on the reasoning the questions still could have gone another way. So we'll just have to wait and see - it should be about four weeks before we get the results.