24 February 2009

A day away

I spent yesterday enjoying some fresh snow, riding down the mountain at ridiculous speeds and working my body to a state of exhaustion. Today, I have the sore muscles to remember it by. Sadly, yesterday was the first day I have been snowboarding all winter and reminds me that I need to make the time to do winter activities so I don't start hating all six months of it.

And now, my heroic secret identity is ready for action....

22 February 2009

Follow up

Some folks have asked about the post earlier this week (or the related facebook update) and I'm sorry, but I don't want to get into the details of the incident in question. There are just times when something happens in your life that makes you take a hard look at yourself and question what you see. What type of person do I want to be? How should I be treating people? How would I prefer to be perceived?

I have never been one of those "sweet" girls. You know, the ones with a nice bit of encouragement or support for everyone, wants to be everyone's friend. I work to take care of my friends and people I care about. When you are my patient, I consider you an important responsibility and I will bust my ass for you. When you are a student or new employee riding with me, I pride myself on giving you everything I can to help you succeed. If you are preventing me from accomplishing these things, I will do whatever I can think of to get you out of my way - even when it isn't very nice.

I don't actively want to hurt people's feelings, but I do have a unique sense of humor which sometimes finds the one thing you wish nobody would notice. I don't enjoy having to rely on people who have proven themselves to be incompetent or plain stupid and I don't always have the patience to coddle their feelings. But the recent incident reminds me that I have to avoid slipping into a "scorched earth" policy with these folks as well.

I am feeling a bit better overall, which helps me find a little more patience, and I've been lucky enough to have a couple new employees who were good at their jobs this week, which helps me find a little more joy in my days. So, thanks for the concern.

18 February 2009

Today's insight

I am a raving bitch. Irrational and angry. Working on it.

*and I don't mean raving in an "oh, isn't that cute, she's all worked up about something." I mean spouting off in a "holy crap, back slowly away from the crazy person and call the dudes with the straight jackets." Seriously.

16 February 2009


Funny how syncope for myself just gets me irritated, but my dog being in pain worries me enough to keep me up at night. Watson came home from his walk last night and wouldn't come up the stairs. I went over to see where he was and he had stopped in the middle of the flight of stairs and refused to come up or go down. K carried him up the stairs as I'm giving him the third degree, "What did you do to the dog?" "Why won't he come up the stairs?" "Did he hurt himself?" and probably at least half a dozen others in the time it took him to walk up five stairs cradling my aging baby.

As a good EMT, I immediately assessed the patient. He wasn't bearing full weight on his right rear foot. He cried in pain when I touched his right hip. When laying down, I could take his leg through a full range of motion without apparent distress, but he still cried when I touched his hip. I strongly considered checking the internet to see whether I could give him any over the counter medication for pain, but ultimately decided to have him sleep the night and see how he felt in the morning.

This morning, he was not improved. When he got up to eat, he cried when putting weight on his leg. When he went outside, he walked tenderly, using his right leg as little as he could. I walked around the house with him so he could get downstairs without using the stairs and he curled up next to my chair, not even willing to go the extra 2 feet to lay on his pillow. I was worried he might have a soft tissue injury from a dislocation that he had been able to get back in place, or some loose ligaments in his joint that was allowing his hip to slip out of joint in some fashion. We had a vet appointment at noon.

Some of the early questioning by the tech involved ticks and I never really made the connection until the vet said she felt comfortable that this wasn't Lyme disease. Watson was very patient and easy-going during the exam, definitely reacting with pain when she got to his right hip and enjoying the gentle massage on the rest of his legs. After the exam, she decided it seemed like a soft tissue injury, possibly a bruise. Watson is crazy at times and will run around the corner from the yard onto the porch and lose his footing in the snow/ice, so this is entirely possible. He's now on a course of anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, with no walks, no outdoors (except leashed bathroom trips) and no stairs for 10 days. My hope is that this will be enough healing time for him because after this it is sedation, x-rays and the options get less pleasant.

13 February 2009

February blues

For some reason, February and I do not get along. I would like to think it is the cold or the dark, but December and January are darker and usually colder. I just find it very hard to deal with every day annoyances during this month, motivation is at a nadir, and pretty much I just don't wanna anything. This month was not improved by a visit to the PCP which reinforced the need to "lose weight" because the "trend" on her graph of my weight has been upwards the last three visits in a row, despite being an actual change of less than 5 lbs, and where she suggested cutting out all sweets and doing a better job of eating small meals throughout the day to manage my blood sugar. Nor by the cardiologist who assured me I was fine, 3 syncopal episodes in a year is nothing to worry about because there are people with "15 in a couple months" and I just have to cut way back on caffeine and drink lots more water.

(Side note: He actually suggested I drink 15 OUNCES of water when I have to get up in the middle of the night to do an ambulance call. I usually drink about 15 oz all day. If I implemented this suggestion literally, all I would do is pee at patient's houses. I'm not sure he was impressed when I laughed at his suggestion, said "Are you serious?" and laughed some more when he assured me he was serious.)

So, I get to hear how I suck at life at a point when I don't feel up to anything. For the record, all the medical suggestions are reasonable ones, just not ones I can handle very well right now.

10 February 2009

Tiles are done!!

K still has to finish caulk and the spout, but at least the grout is done.

04 February 2009

Yearly poke and prod

(No, I'm not talking about "relations" with K, smart ass...)

For someone who wants to be a physician, I find it odd at times how much I dislike going for a yearly physical. I love my PCP. I hate having a breast exam and pap smear. But, I do take advantage of some slightly less scheduled time with her to bring up issues I want addressed.

I had seen her following an ED trip for a syncopal episode at work in the past year and after some blood work and whatnot, it was more or less dismissed. No big deal to me, I wasn't sure what happened but didn't really think it was terribly important medically. Yes, it had happened before but not recently enough to make me concerned about a trend. No, I wasn't satisfied with a "vasovagal stress reaction" explanation, but how do you explain that working an ambulance call for an assault patient isn't really that stressful?

In the time since that episode, I've had two others. One was a full-on, pass out, hit my head on the countertop and the floor, unconscious period. The other was a "jeez, I don't feel too good", everyone in the room staring at me commenting how horrible I look, feeling like if I stood up I would immediately pass out, lay down on the couch, have some OJ and start to feel better after 15 minutes or so episode. Not enough to drive me to the doc for an evaluation of just this issue, but enough for me to bring it up at physical time (especially since the last one was only a few weeks ago).

So, I have a referral to cardiology next week. Possibly a tilt test coming, definitely another EKG. Probably no real answer to the issue. Send syncopal wishes my way next week so maybe they can figure it out...

02 February 2009

Slow progress

I haven't updated about the tub/tile situation because it is not finished. I worked on the tile through 20 lbs of mortar yesterday and I'm still not done. There is ONE tile which touches the ceiling now, but I have a bit more work on the walls before I can move to the ceiling and get done. I've had a couple of requests for pictures, but I'd like to wait until the grout is in and you can see the finished result.

School interview last week was the weirdest one yet, I don't even know whether I did well or not. The first guy had a more argumentative style, asking questions and then pushing you on the answers. Somehow we ended up talking about the health care system as a whole, who makes decisions on which treatments are used and available, and how to fix the current system. At one point, he looks at me and just says, "So what is the answer?" I tried to be as polite as I could but my response was "If I had the answer, I wouldn't be applying to be a physician, I'd be running for office and just fix the problem." I did take some time to elaborate on needing more information and feeling like too many people think they can see the answers from outside the system and end up recommending completely impractical things. Later, he told me that the concerns I had about health care were more appropriately fixed by economists and lawyers and maybe I should look into those options. What!?!?

Second guy behaved as though he had already decided, asking lots of questions about my re-application, the timing on when I took and re-took the MCAT, why I haven't been accepted yet and why I still applied the third year. Not angry questioning, just a lot of details. Then he moved on to how K and I are going to manage his job in south-east NH with my schooling in central-west NH and the 1 1/2 drive in between. Sounding very much like he intended to let me in, but I'm not sure that was the case.

School states there is a minimum of 6 weeks until they will decide anything and probably not even then. I have 53 days and counting until I need to give the DO program the next $1500. I need to file my taxes, my FAFSA and additional financial aid paperwork at all the schools in the next week. Busy, busy, busy.