Saturday, June 27, 2009

Welcome to internship

I started internship with one of the most demanding and scary rotations of the year. I get there at 5pm Monday thru Thursday and have 6 people hand me lists of patients that will be my responsibility for the next 14 hours (24 on Sunday starting at 7am). I carry 6 pagers that go off relentlessly all night with people looking to me for answers. And whenever there is a neurosurgery, plastics or urology consult in the emergency department I am in charge of the initial history and physical. I pretty much spend the night terrified. One day last week I went 24 hours without eating because I was too busy/exhausted. This week I have taken care of, among others, a murderer, a baby with an unexplained head bleed, a couple who rolled their car on vacation, a lady with a softball sized brain tumor, more people with appendicitis than I care to count and a man with the worst aortic dissection I've ever seen. But the beauty of this rotation is that when I leave on Friday morning at 7am I don't have to be back until Sunday morning at 7am. Days off rock!

My residency class is simply amazing. We are going to be a pretty close group. There is rarely a day when just one of us has the day off, so I was able to find a hiking buddy for today. My classmate Kirsten and I went up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a couple hours.

Other awesome things about Denver:

-My bike commute is great. It's mostly on a bike path that runs under the city. Looks like this:

Except when it rains. Because then the whole path turns into a whitewater rapid. I need to get a kayak for those days...

- I have family here. My brother Carey came up last weekend and installed a doggie door for us (our house kind of resembles a dog kennel). Then he had me over for a wonderful dinner. Bonus!

- Roger is coming next weekend! Going to Red Rocks for a concert and then I'm trying to decide between hiking and whitewater rafting for next Saturday. Can't wait! Just have to survive 80 hours of work in the next 5 days and then I'm good to go!

(*training is going to be a bit low this month, but there will be good months, I'm sure!)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Life as I know it is about to end

I made it to Denver this week. My roommates are amazing as are all the people in my residency program. Just the most laid back, helpful, and fun group of people I could imagine, especially considering how high achieving everyone is. The dogs are getting along well. We have 3 bedrooms, 3 girls and 3 dogs. It's not as hectic as it sounds. Especially since we'll barely see each other this year...

I got my schedule for the month.

I am terrified

On Tuesday night I start a month that will probably be the hardest month of my residency. They changed the way they run the surgery department here because of a hopeless string of work hour violations. I will be the very first night float intern at Denver Health. As far as I can figure, this will be my schedule:

Sunday: 7am to 7am (24 hour shift)
Monday: 5pm-7am (14)
Tuesday: 5pm-7am (14)
Wednesday: 5pm-71m (14)
Thursday: 5pm-7am (14)

This follows the work hour rules to the letter. 80 hours per week with 10 hours between shifts and at least 24 hours off. I'll be carrying 7 pagers and taking care of over a hundred surgical patients and doing all the consults for plastics, neurosurgery and urology.

I am going to learn so much. As terrified as I am, I came to Denver because this is what I wanted. I came to this program because they train phenomenal Emergency Physicians. And it is in large part due to the rigorous training. The Chief resident gave us a talk yesterday. He told us to never lose sight of one thing: "We are lucky to be doing this." So that will be my new motto. As hard as my life will be this year, as little as I will be able to do the things in my life that I have grown to love, I am truly fortunate to be here and to be getting this kind of training and to learn to take excellent care of patients.

And yes, I'm terrified.

But when the going gets tough I have my two loyal companions:

My Maddie and my Trek. My running buddy and my riding steed. The Trek is already set up on the trainer. I do have to get Maddie back into the running routine. She kind of looks like a potato with legs again. But with the small amount of time I'll have to myself we'll spend some quality time and both stay in shape :-)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What TIME is it???

I am in a jet-lagged stupor at the moment! Vacation was absolutely fantastic. 9 days of complete and total relaxation. This is the first time I have taken 2 weeks off training in the last 4 years and I was totally ok with it! It helps that the heat index was over 100 degrees by 9am every morning. We did a ton of scuba diving and snorkeling but joked that neither of us got our heart rates above 100 for the whole vacation. That is, except the 10 minutes I spent in their smoking hot sauna where my heart rate was probably 150 just laying there. Not sure why you even need a sauna at the equator...

Lessons learned in the Maldives:

- SPF 30 is not sufficient at the equator
- Bumps and rashes are common occurrences on tropical islands. I am on high alert for the onslaught of cyclical fevers though....
- No matter what anyone tells you, scuba diving at night is SCAAAAARY! Especially wreck dives!
- Corona's ad campaign is brilliant!
- Mystery vacations are the best! Being an obsessive compulsive planner it was absolutely liberating to get on a plane with no idea of the destination.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. More later once the brain starts to function again. The time difference was 10 hours!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Short greeting from the Maldives!

Recovering from the Triple T is best achieved by a surprise vacation to a tropical island and doing the following

- scuba diving with sharks, eagle rays, sea turtles, maurey eels (sp?) and millions of fish
- dinners on the beach
- afternoon coronas on a hammock
- kayaking around a tiny island
- hand line fishing
- lots of sleep
- massages and pedicures

The above also constitute a great way to relax before intern year!

Pics later! It's beautiful here!!