Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 2325: Reflecting on orientation

Aren't you all so lucky? Three posts in three days!

Anyhoo, orientation ended yesterday and, to be honest, good riddance. It was a bit tedious and from speaking with M4s, it is essentially useless on the wards (medical-speak for hospitals). Nevertheless, it was nice to see my classmates before we are all unleashed onto our respective rotations. We won't be seeing each other for a long time, unless we (aka I) make the active effort to see each other. I will. I want to have friends (again).

In spite of my ennui (thank you for providing me with a new SAT word to add to my vocabulary!), I have a few pearls to share from my time at orientation.
  1. I made the mistake of speaking up to inform a physician that my school does, in fact, have a student professionalism committee. He then asked me, in front of the entire auditorium, to tell us more about it. I don't mind speaking publicly, but I wasn't expecting it and I have a cold sore (thanks stress from Canada!) and I felt like everyone was staring at it when I was speaking (from my seat, not even from the front!). The physician thanked me and that was I thought. Dr. T came up to me after his presentation and introduced himself to me personally. He asked if I would speak with one of the deans (who deals primarily with the curriculum) about the student professionalism committee and, basically, talk until he talked back haha. Overall, I am happy with how everything went down (despite how many eyes got to pore over my god-awful cold sore) because meeting more up-and-ups is my best shot at getting into urology at this point.
  2. I was re-certified in CPR, which is great because I'm sure someone will actually expect me to know what I'm doing, haha.
  3. I got my pager! Hello junior medical student status in the hospital! Goodbye life!
Just for everyone's knowledge, so that you may text me any icky questions you may have, my first service is gynecology for the next three weeks. Then obstetrics where I get the joy of having surgical hours -- goodbye my precious sleep, how I will miss thee.

Can you believe it? In just two days, I will be in the hospital! Actually expected to know something and possibly take care of people! That's unnecessarily frightening!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 2324: Banff

This is essentially a continuation of my previous post.

After Disney World, I returned to Milwaukee on a Sunday, only to leave on Wednesday (at 5:20am) for Calgary, Alberta, Canada! If any of you followed the news in the past two weeks, you will know that Alberta had floods and there were states of emergencies called throughout the province. My family and I arrived safely in Calgary (and then drove to Banff National Park) on Wednesday June 19, only to have flooding begin that night. We were then stuck in Banff for the duration of our trip. This was our itinerary. See our new itinerary in red.
  • Wednesday: Arrive in Calgary. Drive to Banff. We successfully completed this.
  • Thursday: Explore Banff, head to Lake Louise. Stay in Lake Louise. We had already checked out of our hotel when we were told all the highways out of Banff were closed. So, like many other visitors, we scrambled to find a hotel to sleep that night. We found one, luckily. We explored Banff more thoroughly. It has a small, cute, shop-filled downtown that spans about six blocks. As you can imagine, my sister and I were done with downtown by that evening, haha.
  • Friday: Drive on to Jasper and explore the Ice Fields. Sleep in Jasper. Another day in Banff. Our hotel has a fitness center, complete with an indoor track, so, what else was I going to do? I ran 50 laps on that tiny little track, which amounted to 5km or 3.2ish miles. Not bad, since I hadn't run in at least a week. The sun came out at 5pm and you better believe the family and I booked it to Lake Louise. It was truly a sight to see. Apparently, when you actually have sun, it doesn't set until 9:45pm! Crazy!
  • Saturday: Explore whatever we wanted (Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff). Return to the Calgary area. We found out that a bus was leaving Banff for Calgary. It was taking the long route (aka the only highways that were open and available to us), making a normally 75-mile journey in to a 475-mile journey. It was a 10+ hour bus ride, but we made it to Calgary!
  • Sunday: Hang out in Calgary until our late-afternoon/evening flights to the states. Downtown Calgary was closed indefinitely due to flooding. A lot of the city and the surrounding cities/towns were closed due to flooding and/or states of emergencies. So, we ended up staying in our hotel until it was time to check-in. Then, we all parted rather abruptly since we were all on separate flights (in separate terminals).
All in all, it was great to see my sister and have some bonding time with her. As you can imagine, the trip was an adventure to say the least. If anything, it reminded my mother and I what a bearer of disaster I am. Don't believe me? 1994: earthquake in Northridge, CA. 1998: typhoon in Taiwan. 2003: blackout while visiting colleges in New York/the East Coast. 2013: flooding in Alberta. I am just missing a hurricane and tornado. Don't worry, I have a lot more life to live to get those babies on my list. (No tsunamis for me, thank you.)

Pictures below:

Our first day in Banff. Should have foreseen the impending doom.

Met this chum at a yummy Canadian restaurant called Earl's.

A Canadian sheriff informing us that all highways out of Banff are closed.

The view from our new/second hotel in Banff.

Blue skies! Honestly. I can't imagine how even more beautiful
Banff would have been if it had been sunny on our trip.

The Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise

Lake Louise

A black bear seen on our 10+ hour drive to Banff.

Followed by a family of mountain goats! So adorable!

The rain and flooding was so bad that mudslides, rockslides,
and rising rivers caused part of this bridge to collapse.

Can you see how high the water is?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 2323: I'm back!

Hello everyone!

Firstly, thank you all for being so patient, supportive and wonderful about this time away from the blog. I'm sure you were all itching for a post, and here it is. In all it's glory.

What I'm sure you are all wondering, if we haven't already spoken/texted/communicated, is that the exam was fine. It felt a lot like the question bank I had been doing, and in that regard, that was nice. There was familiarity. Otherwise, it sounds like whether you barely scrape by with a pass or get a rockstar-score, everyone feels like the exam was a complete sh!t-show, pardon my French. So. My exam score comes back in the next few weeks and I will let you know how it pans out for me. (Depending on the score I get, if it's competitive enough, I will still pursue urology. If it isn't very strong, I will enter family medicine and be 100% happy and confident in that decision.)

Anyway, enough snoozefest boards stuff. I am positive you are all bored out of your mind of my "I'm so stressed" "boo hoo Jess" blah blah blah. Me too.

Disney World was a ton of fun! Danny had come to the conclusion after Day 1 (of 4) that this was going to be a very different trip to Disney. Normally, he puts the pedal to the metal and wears himself out from a 12+ hour day, every day. With his parents getting older, and me having an "oh yeah sure, whatever you want" attitude, I think he realized that he wasn't going to hit everything he wanted and he was okay with that. We still had an awesome, fun, hot-and-humid time! Danny's parents were unbelievably generous on this trip. Not only did they pay for my flight and lodging, they paid for my food and even bought me some stuff (a rash guard and new swimsuit, both on sale!) just because they wanted to. I was incredibly humbled by their kindness.

Don't think I forgot how lame text blog posts are. Here are some pictorial manifestations of Disney!

I painted these Donald Duck nails the day of our flight.

The iconic Disney castle.

I painted these shirts for us!

I couldn't leave Danny's parents in the customized-shirts cold!

Our first Splash Mountain picture.

The rebel spy!

Our second Splash Mountain picture. The photo attendant
actually laughed when he saw it. Probably because my face of
sheer terror (all acted, by the way) was amusing as hell.