Monday, July 31, 2006

Yeah, so it's been a while

But I've been busy, damn it! First off to Dallas to see my brudder in law and my cutie-pie nephew, then back to the ID elective (which kicks ass - both in the learning department and in the holy crap I worked a lot of hours department) and then on to marathon pesto making and music-viewing.

Meanwhile, I finished residency. Yay! Now I just need to make sure my license comes through so I can start working...


Friday, July 21, 2006

The Woot has Arrived!

We just got our new Roomba Sage in the post today. Stupid FedEx delivered it to our neighbor across the drive in 302 Unit D, so I'm glad he likes us. Otherwise we'd be out a vaccuum cleaner.

I hafta tell ya, even sitting on its charging station, the Roomba is sexy. It looks like the future. Small, blinking, round and arthropod-like, it crouches in the corner near the continuously pouring cat bubbler*, just waiting to assault all the cat hair. Eagerly anticipating all the yummy crumbs on the floor. Fervently contemplating sucking up the crap tracked in from the garden. The FUTURE is in our living room.

Whodda thunk it?

(* Those of you who don't know what I mean by bubbler - find the nearest former or current Northeasterner and ask. They'll know.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

My new obsession

I love the woot.

Woot is a crazy website that offers one goodie per day. And sometimes the goodie is lame... but sometimes it's awesome. Like the other day, when I bought my Nascar crazy friend a race-band scanner. For, like, a crazy small amount of money. And then today I bought my hubbie and I a Roomba - 'cause we got mad scary cat hair problems and shit.

If you have a Mac, get the Woot Widget. Why? Endless amusement and occational excellent wedding gifts (see the Nascar goodness above.)

Happy shopping!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Meme from Hell

Actually from Karla. She's stolen so many I figured I could steal one from her. I'm so bad like that.

Drinks in my hell:
  • Coors. Bad beer sold by folks who have political views vastly different from mine. Vastly.
  • Dirty martinis. I can't stand that much briney olive-ness. Salt = good. Niçoise olives = good. Salt + olives + gin = yuck.
  • Red Bull. Even with vodka, that shit tastes bad.
  • Boston-style 'regulah' coffee. For those of you not from the Northeast, that means Dunkin Donuts coffee + a oil drum of cream + two metric tons of sugar. I'm amazed that the cup has any room for the coffee at all... I always sort of expected to see some sort of viscous sludge approximating the texture of concrete in the bottom of every cup. Don't get me wrong, Dunkie's coffee is good. Just with that much cream... shudder.
  • Diet caffeine free anything. Just drink water.

Food in my hell:
  • Hakarl - rotten shark. Bascially, the shark meat is poisonous in its raw state. BUT - as some classy Icelander figured out - if you take the poisonous shark, bury it in the sand for several months, let it go rancid and then serve it with really strong liquor... it's still horrible. But it isn't poisonous anymore! Joy!
  • Chipotle. It tries to kill me. No really, it does.
  • Pumpernickel bread. I don't know why, but I can't stand the stuff. Bleh.
  • McDonald's chicken nuggets. Why eat those pieces of crap when Wendy's has a much much better alternative. Why?!?
Occupations in my hell:
  • Working in fast food. Yay! Getting paid minimum wage, smelling like grease and serving poisonously fatty food to toxically fat people!
  • Nurse. I have all kinds of mad respect for nurses. But damn, I couldn't do that job. Poop from patients (both metaphorical and literal), crap from doctors and crap from administration. Joy!
  • Cabbie. I'd be petrified that one of my fares was gonna rob/assault me. Yikes.
  • Day laborer.
  • Cleaner of cat cages.
  • Telemarketer.

Music mix in my hell:
  • Anything by Mariah Carey. She just makes me wanna puke.
  • Musak.
  • Toby Keith.
  • Most pop music aimed at tweens.

President in my hell: Oh, wait, you mean this isn't hell?

Authors in my hell: Most authors of classic literature. Why? 'Cause I read trash. Well, medical literature and trash. But trash nonetheless.

Husbands in my hell:
  • Tom Cruise. Holy crap, he's a freak.
  • John Travolta. Same reason.
  • Woody Harrelson. Raw food? Plueez!
  • Anthony Bourdain. I love the man, he would be great to drink with, but I'm not sure that I would want him for a husband. Unless he took me with him around the world. That might work.
  • George W. Bush. I'd definitely get arrested for spousal abuse.
  • Bill O'Reilly.
Next door neighbors in my hell.
  • Tom Cruise.
  • George W. Bush.
  • Osama Bin Laden.
  • Barbara Streisand.
  • Jeffery Dahmer.
Only activities allowed in my hell:
  • Taking call in the PICU - with the ICU fellow out on transport and the attending sleeping upstairs.
  • Repeating my intern year... over and over.
  • Putting cell phone numbers into my cell phone. Yargh.
  • Cleaning the litter box.
  • Listening to my mother.
  • Listening to my step-mother in-law.
  • P-chem problem sets. Without MathCad.
  • Watching Unbreakable over and over.
And my own addition to the Hell List: Internet Security and Firewalls from Hell
  • Not being able to access my mindspring email.
  • Having the firewall prevent me from even seeing
  • Having five different passwords on four different renewal cycles.
  • Passwords that must have an exact number of characters.
  • Passwords that won't let me use special characters.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Rules for paging a doctor

Now, I like my job. I do. But sometimes I just gotta blow off a little steam. And since it's July and all of the new interns are hitting the floors, I thought I would publish a fun and interesting guide to the fine art of paging.

Once upon a time, pagers were more than just accessories to low-budget drug dealers. Pagers (and those oh-so-secure little chains back to the belt loop) adorned the waistband of many respectable professionals. MDs were one of the groups that I'm sure fell into the early adopter category when pagers came out. What better way to free the doc from having to pay attention to all those annoying overhead pages? Now we could focus exclusively on the phone conversation at hand and only listen for horid little chirps from the mysterious black box on our waists.

Now the evil cell phone has replaced the pager for everyday people, and the Blackberry takes pagers to the next level. But alas, doctors haven't kept with the program. Early fears of cellular interference with medical equipment kept cells out of the hospital... which is okay 'cause a lot of phones won't get reception in the bowels of the wards anyway. So we're still shackled to the pager.

The problem is those paging the doc on call still haven't freaking figured out the basics of proper paging. In order to solve this woefully neglected need, below you'll find some guidelines for the art of paging. As with my rules for baseball viewing (see October of 2005), the most important rule with be first, with less important rules following.

Without further ado...

Rules for paging of doctors, version 1.0

1) If you page me, stick the fuck around to answer the phone. Do not walk away. Do not start another conversation on another line. Do not leave the phone to go to the bathroom. If you do not answer, I won't call twice. You will have to page me again, and I will protest if you say, "But doctawife I paged twice and you never called me back!" Yeah, actually I did. Your ass just wasn't around to answer the phone and you might find my foot so far up said ass that you can taste the breakfast taco I spilled on my clog this morning. You have been warned.

2) Page me with a complete call back number. If you miss the first digit of the five number extension, I ain't calling back. My ass is rolling back over to sleep (if I'm in-house) or back to whatever I was doing before you paged.

3) Speak clearly. If you have an accent, use the simplest words you possibly can to get the message across. I'm not a racist, but at three a.m. I am a bitch. Unless you can make English words like 'shock' or 'sick' or 'hypotension' understood go back to the ESL classes, do not pass Go and do not collect $200 and do not come back to work until I can understand you. I may be getting paid to listen to you, but you're being paid enough to be comprehensible. Capiche?

4) If I don't answer after 5-10 minutes, page me again. I might not have gotten an understandable message the first time. Sometimes, even I understand that the system can break rule #2, not the person trying to reach me.

5) If you page me, and I answer, then say I will be by to see the patient, don't page me 10 minutes later with the same question. I assure you, the answer hasn't changed unless the patient has changed. If the patient hasn't changed, then paging me just delays my arrival at the bedside. And that's counterproductive, ain't it?

6) Repeatedly paging an person who never ever answers probably means that the person isn't available to get pages. Try someone else or a supervisor. Example - increasingly ill patient worries nurse. Nurse pages resident. Resident went home post-call five hours ago and turned pager off (which is perfectly appropriate, by the way.) Nurse continues to page resident for three freaking hours with no response (duh) but nurse never tries to page any other doctor. Patient codes (ie gets really really really sick and tries to die - not good). Lesson - if paging a doc every 10 minutes isn't getting a response try someone else! 'Cause if the doc should be answering his pager and isn't the idiot deserves to be in trouble. If the page operator/nurse/clerk who made the call schedule has the doc's number wrong then at least someone will know what's going on. And usually that someone at least has some kinda clue who to call or what to do while waiting for the right person.

7) On a similar note, be nice... until it's time to not be nice. Non-urgent stuff shouldn't ever be flung at me at three am after paging me five million times for other equally non-urgent shit. But if someone is really Sick, feel free to kamikaze page me to your heart's content. Simple, really.

So there you go. Follow these seven rules and everyone's life will be better. Disobey them at your own risk.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Domestic productivity

Yes, I can occationally be bothered to do things around the house. This weekend we gardened - a lot. There is a little segment of land between our townhouse, the one across from us and the nightclub behind us that has been sad sad sad for many moons. We were seriously sick of looking at its weed infested yuckness. 'Cause Texas weeds are ugly.

Where I grew up, the weeds were pretty - ya know, dandelions and such. Here they are these horrible clingy vine like things. Horrible! And such a pain to dig out of the ground.

So anyway, the condo association has been bitching and moaning about this ugly parcel of land since we bought here. But nothing has happened. So we just dug the damn stuff up and planted vinca. Vinca is supposed to be an annual plant, but here in Tejas (where winter never happens) it has become a best bloomer. I swear, those vinca grow like rabbits procreate! Lovely, huge, and low-maintenance. Awesome.

And I got to mulch today. Mulching reminds me of all the good things about my childhood - my dad, romping around the yard, getting dirty. I love the smell of the stuff. Apparently everyone else thinks mulch smells like poo, but I think it smells like love.

I had a good day, playing in the dirt. I hope your Sunday was just as cool.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Okay, Karlababble's commenters rock!

And yes, I'm aware that my posts are using too many exclamation points recently. Sorry! (heh.)

But you must go to Karlababble, and you must read the comments. You must do this NOW or I will fry your brain with evil pediatric mind-rays! Mind-rays, I tell you!

Yes I can!

Yes I can read 300+ pages of Texas Medical Jurisprudence in three days! Yes I can pass the exam at 7:30am on Saturday. Whee! Even tho I've been out of college since 1999 I can sill cram! Go me!

And let me tell ya, Texas medical law is seriously fucked up. Not like that is much of a suprise to anyone who knows anything about Texas, but still. I guess I had had some sort of delusional state going on and hadn't realized how institutionalized our state of fuckitude actually had become.

(And yes, I know in the preceding paragraph I violated a whole bevy of grammatical rules, but I just can't bring myself to care.)

On another note, my grandma-in-law isn't as sick as we had feared. She still has lung cancer... and it's already metastisized, but we had originally thought that she was in intensive care and really really Sick. (The medical-slang use of the word Sick, not the I-have-a-cold use of the word sick.) Her cancer isn't the worst kinda malignancy, but since it has already metastized her prognosis is way worse than it would have been. Basically, she can do radiation and chemo but the chances of long term cure ain't hot. So she's still sick, but she's not gonna die right now, which is what we originally thought.

It's good and bad news at the same time. Good news, 'cause she still feels fine and eats and laughs and all that. Bad news 'cause the bad times will come.

Unless she gets hit by a bus coming home from her dream vacation. Which maybe wouldn't be a bad thing, ya know?