Sunday, April 23, 2017

Starting March: Orthopedics and Scared Witless

February has whooshed by so quickly, and with it, my month of OMT and Family medicine, as well as boards. February was enjoyable, painful, and hard all at the same time. We found out at the end of January that our residency program was not going to be accepting new residents for next year, and all the sudden my cozy plans of meeting and marrying the NASA scientist, settling in and buying a condo at the end of the year, and flying home to see Grandmother in July went out the window. My future was all the sudden much more uncertain than I had expected it to be. After the tumultuous year of auditions, applications, and interviews, I was thrilled in March 2016 when I matched into a 4 year residency program. I thought I was set for the next 4 years. No more applications or interviews. No more uncertainty of where I was going or where I belonged. I had my residents and advisors and program directors. What was happening to my life?

All of this occurred just a few weeks before my boards. The end of January and the beginning of February became a chaotic and stressful time, trying to ignore the fact that I might not have a residency or future anymore, imagining myself in an empty clinic with no residents or attendings, and yet trying to study and focus on boards at the same time. It was scary, stressful, and saddening. I didn't know from day to day where I was going, what I was doing, or who I was anymore. I was expecting to become one of a new type of physician, and instead found myself one of the last of the breed. I was expecting to be settled, and instead found my foundation to be threatened.

It is now a new month, and I am on Orthopedics. I have a plan going forward, something that will take a bit of work but might just allow me to secure a future. I am scared witless that I will fail, but I am determined to have some success, determined to find myself some kind of future. I am fortunate that I have the backing of my program and GME, but all the work will have to come from me. More on this in later posts.

In knitting news, I have a couple of finished objects. I had quite a bit of scrap yarn let from a few pairs of socks I made at the end of the year, and I combined them to create these fusion socks.

In addition, I finally finished my TGV-Europe Shawl! I started this last summer, casting on the plane from New York to London. I knit on the project while riding the TGV from Paris to Barcelona in May 2016, and had planned to cast off on the way home. I initially had intended this to be a one-skein project, as the designer intended, and I used a gorgeous skein of red yarn from Stash in Corvallis, Hazel Knits fingering. However, in London, my mom and I had gone to a LYS and bought gorgeous 50g skein of creamy merino and a soft skein of midnight blue light fingering yarn that coordinated with my red shawl perfectly, and I decided that I would add both skeins to the project and make a red-white-and-blue shawl that would show both my love for the US and the wonderful time we had in Europe by incorporating the UK yarns.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

November: ICU Month and Felfs

November is more than half over, and yet I move as if in a dream. Between the election, the arrival of cold weather, and the long, hard, crazy hours in the ICU, it seems as if a century has passed and yet at the same time flew by in a blur and a blink.

ICU month. How to describe the craziness and yet long monotonous days in the windowless little room where I type my notes? Fear, elation, and sleep deprivation.This month has been filled with long days and nights, learning about the most critical patients and worrying about tenths of decimals that show whether a patient has heart failure, kidney failure, or a heart attack. Patients come and go: some get better, some get worse and are transferred to tertiary facilities, and some end their lives in front of our eyes.

I've learned this month to keep walking, keep monitoring, keep talking to the nurses to make sure everything is going as I ordered. I've learned to run at the first sound trouble and to gird my loins at the sound of the overhead speaker. I've learned to think fast and act confident, to speak to patients in a caring and firm manner, and that the nicest patient have breaking points and the crankiest patients have their soft spots. It's been a contentious and challenging month, and it is with great relief and a little bit of sadness that I move on to the next month: OB.

Knitting
I've done some knitting despite everything, as the fall weather and gorgeous browns, yellows, reds, and orange leaves outside my window enticed me to wrap myself in the season's best hues. I've purchased yarn for mittens and hats, and am waiting for the right time to cast one. In addition, I was in need of some supportive knitting company one day, dropped by the yarn store, and happened upon a felf making class. What are felfs? Little clever slippers designed by Cat Bordi, taught  in simple steps by the ever-clever Bonnie of the Artful Yarn. They are addicting indeed. I've finished one, and am in the process of making another. I suspect I might even make some for ornaments as well. I'd never felted before, and this was another new process for me. It was so much fun to step outside my comfort zone and learn something new, and refreshing to be amongst knitters again, in a light and laughter-filled room with windows that looked out to tree-lined streets, away from the dark, dim hospital hallways full of death and suffering. I haven't quite finished the slippers, but Bonnie's instructions make the assembly process seem like it *shouldn't* be too much trouble. We'll see!

Hope you all are well,
~Z