Saturday, February 26, 2005


The Sleeping Giant....I could see this guy every morning when I woke up.

The only good thing about being homesick is having someone else that is also homesick around to reminisce about home. THANK GOD, Dr Ford is here! This morning we were horribly slow at work...recurring theme this week. So Dr. Ford (formerly Dr Hale while in Helena) and I were sitting on the counter in the work room and she leans over and says, "For my birthday my husband got me a six pack of Scapegoat Ale and I cried." I completely knew what she was talking about. I have a six pack (down to 3 I think) of Scapegoat in my fridge (great beer from Big Sky brewery in Missoula for those of you who don't know what it is). For the last month or so I have been what I initially pawned off as "Heather-sickness" (see previous Value of a Great Girlfriend). Anyway, I now have determined, I just flat out miss Helena. I miss going to the grocery store to pick up one thing and have it take me an hour because I run into people that I can chat with. I miss drives around town looking at all the cool old houses when I can't sleep or don't feel like doing much else. Would love to start my day with a drive-through at the Morning Light for a Mint Breve. I would love to meet Scott at the Brewhouse for a Beltian and a Vigilante (again...more Montana beer). Would love to stop at Pizza Hut on Euclid on my way home to grab cheesesticks knowing that Heather had the movie ready. I want to be able to answer the question, "Where are you from?" with the answer "here". Ugh....

Now, don't get me wrong. Things in Rochester are not bad. Other than a micromanaging doc in charge with short-man syndrome, I have it pretty good. I make good money, have a huge townhouse for reasonable rent, two cats that love me completely, a group of guy friends that would make any girl jealous (they are a super bunch of really fun guys), a fantastic boyfriend (who is gone on three trips in a row...picked him up last night and he flies out this morning, probably not helping with the homesickness), a great support staff at work and with the exception of the micromanaging short-man a job that I truly enjoy. Rochester itself doesn't have much more in terms of "nightlife" then Helena did and the shopping is definitely way better. I live an hour from the second largest shopping center in the world. Yada yada yada. So, most people would say, stop complaining! I know, I know.

But, what I wouldn't give to walk outside this morning, smile at The Giant and take in a nice deep breath of crisp mountain air. Nothing like it, anywhere else.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Book Tag

Okay, Scott...I'm bored and wasting time so I will humor you.

Book Game
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

"Additional scenarios are available to challenge experienced providers. These scenarios develop the learning objectives applicable to patients with ST-segment depresion or non-diagnostic ECG. They focus on treatment with conventional agents such as beta-adrenoreceptor blocking agents and new agents, including low molecular-weight heparatin (LMWH) and glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibitors. "

Thursday, February 24, 2005

People behind the scenes

So work this week has been anything but exciting. Monday started with a ton of clinic patients, only three cast rooms, and 8 cases on the OR schedule. By 3:30, 5 of those eight cases had been canceled and the week has gone similar since. Our ORs have been closed by 1-2 pm every day this week. So yesterday in an attempt to waste time I wandered out to the control desk to hand deliver the new chief resident's business cards. i talk to the women at the control desk every afternoon, multiple times a day. Anna, Julie, Judy, and Teresa...only one I have had a face for is teresa up until yesterday. I stood out at the desk and chatted with them for quite a while. So nice to put a face to the name. As I sauntered back to the cast room to find someone to see, they invited me back to chat again. Amazing how many people it takes to get my patients to and from me. What a fine group of ladies!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Tanning Etiquette

Okay...I know, tanning gives people skin cancer. But studies have also shown it to lift peoples moods, make them happier. I'm using to to either treat the winter blahs or help get rid of spring fever. either way, it is my 10-15 minutes every other or every third day to sort of vegg to the world around me in an atmosphere of white noise and warmth. Feels great, my base tan is coming along nicely, and i feel better. however, tonight, was NOT relaxing whatsoever. As my 12 minutes ticked away I was completely infuriated by the two teenage boys also tanning tonight.

When did teens get to be so openly disgusting and rude? They were waiting for their beds to become available while I went into my room. I locked the door, dumped my stuff in front of the door like I always do and attempted to settle into my bed comfortably. I couldn't. You see...they were making loud obnoxious noises as they attempted to communicate with each other. I say attempted because I couldn't understand anything they were saying. Then they go into their rooms. One proceeds to scream as he settles onto the hot bed. Yes, a girl. Annoying! Then about 2 minutes later his cell phone rings, loudly, and with some obnoxious diddy. So much for falling asleep.

I finish my 12 and as I'm dressing hear their beds finish. The screamer opens his bed and exclaims "Oh, my tush". Again, not quietly and almost in a girly voice. As I wipe down my bed and get dressed to face the snowy onslaught outside, one of the two belches. Not a little belch...a rattle the doors belch. RUDE! Do they not realize they are A. In a public place, B. In the company of strangers (female strangers at that), and C. In an atmosphere that is respected by most as a QUIET environment. UGH!

Now I'm going to attempt a hot shower to wash off the burnt coconut smell and see if that relaxes me at all. What a sad state teens have come too! (Never mind the story of the two making out on the couch in front of the tanning rooms last week...couldn't have been older than 15!)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Holy Snowfall

Gotta love it! yesterday morning was sort of cloudy, mildly cold, but overall not too bad. We were suppose to head to St. Paul for a birthday party. Called a few friends to see if they were going and got reminded of a "supposed" winter storm advisory. Fell asleep briefly on my couch in front of my patio window yesterday and awoke to light, fluffy snow, barely enough to make the deck white. Went to dinner several hours more snow. Got out of dinner...light fluffy snow. Was super tired and in bed by 10 pm. up at 8:30 this morning and there are at least 6 inches of nasty, heavy, wet snow and it is still coming down. Ugh! So much for making it to church this morning. Plows haven't gotten through much yet and my car's belly is a bit low. Guess that leaves me stuck at home with my ACLS notes to cram my brain full of EKG strips that I will never use. Fun! But at least I have all the stupid testosterone filled MN men with their snowblowers to entertain me if I do venture out. Happy blowing!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Been awhile...

Not for that...get your minds out of the gutter. I was informed by a few of my faithful readers (I wouldn't know they were faithful...they never comment) that I haven't posted anything in awhile. I've been busy! I took this past weekend and seriously tackled my house. You would not believe the amount of laundry a single female who only wears scrubs at work can accumulate in one week, let alone the three since the last time I did laundry. I also rearranged my miniscule kitchen counter. I used to cook...A LOT! I love to cook. But since moving out to MN I rarely cook "real" meals. Anyway...when I moved in over a year ago I didn't really put things in a proper order in relation to what gets used most. So this weekend, everything came off the counter (plenty of surprises behind things), scrubbed the counters and put my kitchen into ergonomic order. I cooked a nice Stupid Cupid Day dinner on Monday night and it worked so much better. I vacuumed, I bleached floors. I was domestic! yippee...haven't done that in a while. Use to be pretty good at it. I realize more and more every day that the longer I work for the chaotic world of the orthopedic trauma service the less and less organized I get at home. So forgive me for not blogging in the last week or so. I'll try to come up with something inspiring soon.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Seriously, people! I moved to a winter wonderland on purpose. Believe it or not, I actually LIKE shoveling snow. I have to have seasons and my favorite two are fall and winter because they are cold! Now, in this particular winter wonderland people are obsessed with their snowblowers. I could use the analogy that the bigger the snowblower the more the man is trying to "make up" for. There HAS to be some truth to that.

First, I'm thankful I don't work for the orthopedic hand service. With every snow fall, fingers start coming off. What possesses a grown man to stick is ungloved hand into his still turned on plugged snowblower to get it to go again? THAT is just plain stupid. What I saw today was just plain sad.

The past week we had 50 degree weather. Yesterday morning we awoke to pouring rain and by kickoff had big fat wet flakes falling. They fell the whole came. Total snowfall was probably about 1-2 inches. I'm driving to the gym this evening after a day of cool temps but lots of sun, any road traveled heavily was well cleared off, same with heavily traveled sidewalks. I drive through a residential area and there is a not very fit man (picture LARGE man) taking care of the snow on his sidewalk. An inch of snow is easy shovel material...hell, you don't even have to lift the shovel, just push it. NOOOOOO...this guy had the "I-can-blow-through-5-feet-tall drifts-with-this-bad-boy" snowplow out. There is MAYBE an inch and a half of snow.

Really, this man could have benefited from the quick 5 minute push the shovel workout, hell, his heart rate probably would have topped 100 just getting the shovel out. Sad! People, shoveling isn't that hard and that big boy snowplower with it's diesel tank really isn't necessary for an inch of snow when the sun is shining!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The value of a great girlfriend

Heather and I at Alive at 5 this past August I admit. I'm sort of homesick, but it is different. I don't miss Montana really. I do but that isn't what is at the heart of this entry. I miss my best friend. I'm Heather-sick (I now you are reading this and if you don't want to get all embarrassed and cry...stop reading now). So since moving to Rochester I have made great friends. Only hitch is they are 90% MALE. Now...I also know my guy friends read this so if you don't want to hear that you can't satisfy all my friendship needs, you too should stop reading.

I work in Orthopedic Trauma. Out of 50 orthopedic residents, only 5 are female. Now, of that 50, only 8 total are on OTS at a time. The odds of having a woman on that rotation is slim to none. I had one female last quarter and two this quarter. But, for the most part, I have hung out with "the boys" of OTS for 14 months. They are them, I am one of the guys. Dr. Cummings (a carroll grad) was the first to make that blatantly clear when he would not so subtly pass gas in front of me. Like I said...gotta love them.

Now, outside of work, I have hooked up with a group that plays ultimate frisbee, volleyball and a few other sports together. Again, amazing guys. They are much more "polite" than the ortho docs but nonetheless, I'm a guy in sheep's clothing to them. I'm just "one of the guys" who happens to know a lot about girls. I love you all, but you aren't Heather. Heather is my best friend in the entire world. We met each other on a cold late night on 1st new in Guad Hall after neither one of us had had the best of first semesters at at Carroll (school was great, roommate kept STRANGE hours), she at Western and very homesick. She moved in right before I flew back from Christmas vacation, December of 96. We took one look at each other and burst into tears as I gushed to my mom on the phone "mom...she likes cows". The rest is history but has led to a relationship that I can't replace (even with the couple of girl friends I have made in ladies are great too, but again, not Heather).

For the last two weeks I have been Heather-sick. It started when the boyfriend was in Vegas and I realized how much I missed him come Friday night and called heather. She answered the phone and we both broke into tears. 5 minutes later she has successfully distracted me and we talked and laughed for nearly two hours before calling it a night. Whenever either of us gets into a funk, the other knows about it before the first phone call or email is sent. I need a long weekend wrapped up in a fleece blanket in the recliner with her doing the same on the couch comparing men, bitching about men, watching silly girl movies that none of our guy friends (including our boyfriend's) will watch with us...all over a family size order of really greasy cheese sticks from Pizza Hut.

Miles and miles separate us, we can read each other like a book, talk nearly every day via email or phone but for some gosh darn reason I miss that girl and miss her something fierce. i only hope that each of you have a friend in your life like Heather. Heather...I miss ya, girl! i'm listening to the carroll game and I know you are there, so cheer loud for me!

Arrogant TIT

First, I must apologize for not getting to my own blog let alone reading anyone else's this week. The weekend started well and went downhill in a handbasket come Tuesday morning all because of the afore mentioned arrogant TIT. I must first explain TIT, for those of you unfamiliar with my saga at work. It involves one micromanaging physician who is shorter in height than I who is currently "temporary" managing the trauma service. To say the least, it has not been a smooth transition under his tutelage. He will remained unnamed but his first initial is Dr. T. Now, not many aspire to be like Dr. T but there are those few that will go to great lengths to kiss his ass. I would NOT be one of those. But I work with some of them, mostly residents.

So Tuesday clinic starts with a kink in the schedule before the first patient is even roomed. My OTS 3 Chief Resident has scheduled two surgical cases on a day that is to be dedicated to his outpatient clinic and cast room. Now, OTS Chief 3 is a brilliant doctor, he is from Columbia, he is near completing his 5 year ortho residency and has been accepted to a prestigious traveling hip fellowship next year. All these things are impressive BUT...and I mean a big BUT...he literally oozes arrogance. That is one personality characteristic that I can't stand. In addition to his arrogance, he likes to impress those above him. The current person at the top of his of "people to impress" is Dr. T. He so much wishes to impress Dr. T that he has assumed certain characteristics of Dr. T...including strutting down the hall with his chin in the air and his hands clasped behind his back gazing downward at all of us mere colleagues. Thus...he is a TIT, aka T in Training.

So the TIT begins Tuesday clinic by informing myself, the nurses and the desk that he wants his patients in a room even if their x-rays aren't done yet because he as two operations to perform. That rubs all of us wrong right off the back. There is a system, it isn't a great system but it works when used appropriately. We say fine, we will room your patients without x-rays in an attempt to get him through his patient list faster. Then as he sees every patient he continually asks, where are their x-rays, come on people, get their x-rays. Doctor...May I remind you that you asked for them to be roomed even when their x-rays weren't ready?

So in his impatient idleness Dr TIT decides to look up his cast room patients. He finds on the list that should have gone to staff at her last cast room appointment. Again, there is a system but it has glitches. He starts ranting at me and I quietly ask, who say the patient. He raves "you did". I again ask, are you sure? He looks...the reason I ask again is because I saw the date on the note. I was on I-90 between mom and dad's and Rochester on the date that patient was seen. Does he apologize for assuming the error was mine? Nope. We go on our grumpy way through clinic. The last patient is scheduled for 11 am.

At 10:15 Dr TIT says, so and so is a no-show, I'm going to do my cases. I said, he isn't a no show until it has been an hour past his scheduled appointment time but Dr TIT says, he didn't show for his x-rays (which were scheduled for 10). I said, fine and he leaves. WELLLLLLLL...low and behold at 11:50 Mr. So and So shows up for his appointment. He is NOT a no show because as the system dictates, a patient is not canceled unless he or she shows up greater than one hour later than their appointment. This is where the date went sharply downhill and led to me being so angry I had tears welling in my eyes.

I page Dr TIT to let him know our last patient is in clinic and that his x-rays are on the way. I have not gone in to see this patient yet but I have seen him at all his past appointments (that is why I was hired so that patients that are left over at quarter change at least have one person in the clinic that has seen them before). Dr TIT throws a fit (hehehehe...aren't I cute) He his raising his voice on the phone to tell me to reschedule the patient for another day. I say no....the patient isn't late enough to be rescheduled. I also point out that the patient is a nursing home patient (because of his injury, not because of his age) and that he has been using transport services to get to his appointments. Now, I haven't seen the patient yet but the entire time I had been caring for him he was as a nursing home and receiving physical therapy and not able to drive. I tell Dr TIT he needs to be seen. He grumbles "fine!"...YOU see him and call me when his x-rays are there.

That is what I do. I go in and start talking with and subsequently examining the patient. Good news, his therapy progressed since his last visit and he was able to be discharged to his home. No longer in a nursing home but lives 4 hours away. Great! I do my exam and as I walk out the door, I am greeted by Dr. TIT who sees the patient as the door closes behind me. He proceeds to start yelling at me in the middle of the hallway as I attempt to make my way to the work room. Understand there are at least 3 nurses and 2 or 3 clinical assistants in the hall. He is yelling at me because the patient doesn't appear to be in a nursing home. I quietly tell him the patient has been discharged since the last clinic note. He continues his tirade..."Do you WANT me to go in there and ask him how he got here?". No Doctor, I reply. Then...then...the arrogant TIT as the gull to flat out call me a liar! THAT went over like a lead brick. He starts going on about how one can't "assume" things in medicine and that I lied to him to get him to come see the patient yada yada yada. Since he won't let me get a word in edge wise I simply walk to the desk to check on the x-rays. My desk staff looks at me and I'm on the verge of tears. When I get angry, that happens (I hate that trait of mine)!

Sooooo, I stand there stewing and Dr TIT eventually wanders to the desk to demand the x-rays. I say they aren't here and then ask if he would like to hear what my exam showed or not. And I said it just like that...without giving him a chance to answer I rattle off that the patient has blah blah blah shoulder ROM, with grossly decreased rotator cuff strength. He just nods and turns around with his hands clasped behind my back. I want to SCREEEEEAAAMMM!!! Shit head!

So, long story short, he called me a liar, the patient was seen because I insisted on it, he was released to advance his therapy and Dr TIT went to do his scheduled OR cases while his senior resident and I see his cast rooms. F&#$-er!!!

Now this quarter I only have 3 more clinic days with this doc (I survived yesterday in clinic with him by smothering him with smiles and kindness) but after a six week break the TIT comes back for an entire 3 month quarter. Please pray I don't rip him a new one