Thursday, April 30, 2015

Internal Medicine 1, OMM socks, and Residency stuff

March and April have gone by in a blur of conferences, night shift calls, OMM treatments, and Internal Medicine woes. Fortunately for my knitting, all of this meant lots of travel time, stress, and anxiety, which lead to some of my best knitting. I'll talk first about the med school stuff, and then about the knitting.

In March, I attended my first Convocation, the annual convention for OMM physicians and students. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and learned so much. I was also happy to see some of my friends from other schools, and got to catch up on their lives, as well as meet up with some of my friends from first and second year of medical school, as we have not seen each other in months. In addition, I TA'd 6 OMM classes, and found myself lacking in the ability to communicate effectively. I also experienced my first bout of cynicism. I am usually such a positive person, that it was strange to think that I didn't want to believe in the best in people all of the time. However, I felt like I didn't quite try as hard as I could have in teaching some of the students, as they probably would not want to actually do this in the future. However, I quickly corrected my thinking. Who knows who will end up doing OMM in the future? Just because the students don't know it very well or like it well right now does not mean that in one or two years, they might not have a change of heart, and the more confident they are in their skills now, the more likely they will want to do OMM on their patients in the future. 

It was with great trepidation and sadness that I finished my OMM clerkship, as I knew that I would not have as easy or happy of a time in April, during my first Internal Medicine inpatient clerkship. I was right. Internal Medicine has been the most challenge clerkship I've had as of yet. Everyday, I felt like I was drowning, or treading in deep water with the fear that if I were to stop for one moment, I would drowned. I didn't know what to do when I went in, and even now, I feel like I don't know what I am doing. I HAVE, however, gotten better at doing History and Physical exams, as well as developing my skills of differential diagnoses, assessments, and have some idea of plans of action, though I still need to work on that. I wish we had classes on how much fluids to give and when, and what to do for patients at what time. I suppose that is what I am here to learn. I have learned so much about thinking on my feet, and asking patients questions to develop my differential diagnoses. I am so grateful to the interns and residents who were patient with me and helped me to learn. I do wish that I was able to do more, but at the same time, I was so tired and grumpy and unhappy all the time that I know I don't want to be there for residency. They had such a negative attitude towards OMM. In addition, I felt like I was on display and being tested all of the time, on topics I had no idea about. I know that with time, and lots of studying, I will know all of the answers, but I just hate feeling stupid and ignorant all of the time. 

<Knitting stuff starts here!> In terms of knitting, I knit quite a lot during the last two months. In March, I decided to make a hat to coordinate with my Balsam Hollow shawl, out of the Leading Men Fiber Arts Anne with an E colorway yarn, from the little skein in the big wool kit, as I had half a skein left. I had purchased two Alana Dakos books on Amazon, Coastal Knits and Botanical Knits 1, and I ended up making the Rustling Leaves Beret. However, I ran out of yarn with only a little to go, and ended up having to supplement with Elle Rae yarn.

Next, I wanted to make something for my mom to wear when she went to China, so I dug out some yarn that I had wanted to use for a long time, Prism Yarn Merino Mia in the Orchard colorway, and I made Kristen Belleheumer's Palindrome scarf.
I also wanted to make a hat for my grandmother, who is still in China, so I made a second Rustling Leaves Beret, this time in Knitcircus's Acrobat yarn, in the Root Bear colorway. 
In the second week of March, I attended Convocation, and I decided that I wanted Convo Socks. There were a LOT of lectures going on, and I wanted to attend them and stay awake. Therefore, I started some socks, just plain vanilla socks that would not take too much attention but would be occupying enough that I would not fall asleep. They are in the Neeley's Knits Sock yarn in the Jack color way. 

I cast on the socks during my first day of Convo, and I finished the socks yesterday, at the last OMM Children's Clinic with Dr. Galin that we will ever have. It was very appropriate that these were my first OMM socks.

Next, I started my Grapes and Wine Shawl. I started the shawl with handspun from my knit-night friend Keena, who sells her handspun as Happy Handspun on Etsy. She had brought some of her handspun to share/sell months ago, and I finally got to cast it on. I used the pattern Brandywine from Romi Hill, and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn with 5 rows to go, so I ended up using some of my very first handspun. It was actually very nice, as I wasn't sure what I was going to use my handspun for, and this was perfect.
Finally, I also finished a headband. This was a really quick knit, as my friend Carmen from med school wanted a headband/earwarmer for her audition rotations in Michigan. She's never lived outside of California and Nevada, and needed something for the winter. I cast on one day at the hospital when we had a lot of downtime, and finished binding off this morning. 
Despite the title, I think I'm going to sign off now as this is a much longer post than I was expecting. I've had a great time these last two months, despite all the anxiety (more on that in the next post.) I've expanded my knitting repertoire, and learn many new medical skills. 
Love and hugs,