Friday, December 26, 2008

sounds like...

I'm currently home in Texas for the holidays visiting my folks. It's been entertaining to say the least,mostly because of the funny slips of the tongue that are oh-so infamous in the Cummings clan.

For example, during Christmas Eve dinner at Macaroni Grill, we started talking about places we've always wanted to visit, and I mentioned how I want to go see the Northern Lights in Canada. I also let them know how I've been taking mini-trips during my rotations, and my Mom chimed in by saying "Well, on one of those trips, Jackie, you can go see the Areola."

A moment passed until the full weight of the comment sunk in at the table, and suddenly an explosion of laughter rang out from the two of us.

Me: "Mom, do you mean Aurora Borealis"

classic Mom.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ornaments and organized religion

I just came home from a night at the Goggleworks, a community arts center in Reading, where I was both academically and pseudo-ecumenically educated. I participated in a hot glass blowing workshop in which I created an ornament to give to my dad for Christmas. Each year he asks for the same thing, that being Peace, and since he knows there's a slim chance of fulfilling the request in its entirety, he asks that the monetary gift be handmade. Well a girl can only make so many scarfs/hats/cards before she runs out of good ideas. Thus, the class. Actually, I love that he asks for that because it gives me an excuse to do something new and fun and not feel a lick of guilt for not studying.

After the class I wandered over to the main building to see what new independent film they were showing, and as luck would have it, Bill Maher's new movie Religious was playing. Since the class ran a little late, I missed the first half hour of it, but the part that I did see was enough to realize that though there were a few quick witted comments and partial truths, Maher wasn't openly looking for alternatives to his view on religion, or lack thereof. He pushed his own agenda with sounds bites and montages from people of various faiths and his diatribe at the end felt completely disjointed and hoaxy. I usually don't love Fox news, but in this case this review of the movie nailed it on the head. My critique: go for a few laughs if you've got nothing else to do, but expect nothing more than to be mildly entertained, and if you're super religious, possibly offended.

Monday, December 01, 2008

guess who's coming to town

My preceptorships are tentatively assigned... and the winners are:

Feb-April: Family Practice at Central Utah Clinic, Provo, Ut

May-August: ED at Reading Hospital, Reading, PA

I'm coming back to Utah!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

nut, nut, who'se got the nut?

I've wrapped up the end of my time served in inpatient psychiatry at Olean, NY and if you've ever wondered where the mullet originated from, you needn't look further. Other firsts in this city include knick-knacks, psychotic patients, and my personal favorite, massive ceramic squirrels. Does anyone else see a correlation?

You may think I'm kidding about the squirrels, and I would've been right on that disbelieving boat with you. But, friends, I have been there. I have seen. I have had nightmares. And here is my proof (I named a few):

Disco Ball Ben: Small Town Bugsy:

Mr. Money Bags:
Incognito Irnia:

Possibly the most terrifying of all the squirrels, whom I call the Godfather:


Honolulu Hal:
Nurse Betsy:
Surgeon Sam:

And of course we can't forget Santa Squirrel:
and his back side:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

white girls can jazzercise

wait for the freeze frame... pure laughter

(thanks to Luke for finding this gem)

Monday, October 13, 2008

some interesting sites on my drive up to Olean

A crazy water fountain sputtering water onto the four lane highway. who puts a fountain next to a highway?

A house and lawn ENTIRELY decorated with massive inflatable Halloween ornaments (including a huge ghost castle, five pumpkins, a spider, and a ghost hanging from a tree)

a dolphin mailbox

three kids driving a seated lawn mower whose sum ages added up to 14

ZZ Top reincarnated

A classic car colored sea foam green with the occupants dressed like from The Sting

Friday, October 03, 2008

a good day

I delivered 3 babies on my birthday... couldn't ask for a better present. Not gonna lie, I teared up a little.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

growing pains

Today was the day I got my hands dirty during a natural delivery and delivered my first baby. As luck would have it, my first was with a baby who had Meconium stain and nuchal cord x 1. In other words, a very complicated delivery, so much so that the baby was in respiratory arrest and we had to start bagging him. NOT GOOD. The mom kept staring at me and the doctor asking why her baby wasn't crying. I literally wanted to vomit. Thank the lord that my preceptor (the doctor) is completely amazing and knows how to keep her cool in a very tense situation. She guided my hands to where they needed to go when I started to freeze up and helped me stay outwardly calm and collected when all I wanted to do was jump out of my skin. I felt so bad after the delivery thinking I had done something wrong (which I didn't).... she let me know that sometimes deliveries are just complicated, and it happened that my first case was that way. The baby is now fine, and mother is fine, and I'm fine. I guess this is what comes with growing up.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

judging a book by its cover

While walking through the halls of yet another hospital today (this time Kent General in Dover) I noticed a trend in medical marketing. Every place I've worked at so far displayed a sign with children dressed up as doctors/nurses reminding folks to wash hands or be quiet or whatever. Sure, at first glance you think everything's alright, perhaps even a little precious, but after so many exposures, you start to become concerned. Concerns like where the hell do these kids get off telling me what to do? They've got to be no older than 4, sans college degrees and permanent teeth. Unless you're Doogie Howser and can chew through steak, I'm not buyin, even if I know better.

In fact, I'm rebelling. My plan tomorrow... avoid soap like the plague while screaming Yankee Doodle Dandy. See that kids, look at what you made me do. you're bringing me down to your level.

side note: I was actually slapped in the face by a two year old girl who was the sister of an 8 month old baby I was treating. Apparently I was giving too much attention to her brother even though the staff took the time to blow up a disposable latex glove and fashion it to look like a chicken. So she climbed up on a step and took her glove and slapped me with it. I swear, I almost quit right there.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

something must be in the air

Today I didn't have to go to work so I started the day by sleeping in till ten, breakfast in bed, and a movie. Since I hadn't yet gotten out of bed at one o'clock I felt a bit like a bum, so I thought I'd have a mini workout. But I didn't want to completely give up my slothful ways, so I went without a bra.

Or pants.

So there I am doing sit-ups on my exercise ball in a very flimsy top and skivvies while listening to my usual exercise music when all of a sudden the song I Don't Feel Like Dancin' from the Scissor Sisters starts up. Now, if you've never heard the song, you might find it hard to understand how the tune posses people to stop their current activities and force them to start wilding dancing about the room. Friends, I was easy prey.

As I flail about, I glance out the window to find the gardner, THE GARDNER, standing outside with his weed whacker, John Deer hat and massive head phones staring straight at me. Yep, I just died a little. And I couldn't help think about Annalise's recent adventures in streaking.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How to Pick Berries of Blue:

Step 1. Find fun friend who enjoys thrusting head into bushes. Encourage such behavior.

Step 2. Fill fun bucket with berries found in bush.

Steps 3. 4. 5. & 6. Pick up berry found in bucket and in veeery slow motion place berry between gargantuan teeth.

Step 7. Make ridiculous face whilst chewing.

Thus completes lesson one of berry pickin' Enjoy!

Friday, August 08, 2008


I usually hate reality TV, but I absolutely LOVE this show... probably has something to do with the hosts and the genius use of sound effects. My favorite contestant: Margie Stubbs (around 3:48). I know I'm horrible, but I couldn't stop laughing

Friday, July 04, 2008

i'm still standing

surgical rotation has started and not gonna lie, it is rough. no so much sandpaper rough, more like tsunami kind of rough. i know this is a crap post, but really i'm just trying to keep my head above water.

better news: after getting off work this morning (I was on call last night which meant I was at work from 5:30 am yesterday to 8 am today) I drove to Boston and met up with a few friends to watch the Boston Pops/fireworks in action. I've been wanting to see this since I was a little girl and right now I don't care how much homework I have to do, I'm gonna have some fun tonight.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

muppet murder

Yesterday Aubrey and I drove to the outlet mall to look for a few birthday gifts for her boyfriend Kyle. Along the highway stood a billboard that displayed a massive head of Elmo perfectly perched to glare at those who passed by. I turned to her and said,

Me: You know, Elmo creeps me out a little.

Aubrey: Me too... I used to watch Sesame Street when he wasn't as popular. It was more Big Bird, and Oscar the Grouch, and Bert and Ernie when they still had Bert.

Me: What? They got rid of Bert?

Aubrey: Yeah, a few years ago. Since some people complained about the two living together. they thought it implied a gay relationship. you know how everything has to be p.c. these days...

Me: So they killed off a muppet?

After hearing the news, I felt sad for the loss of Bert. Out of all the characters, he's the only one I know that had my laugh and a shared fondness for paper clips. I wanted to do something to show my love for him and the thing I came up with was to say a few words.

Eulogy for Bert:

Bert, I loved everything about you from your boring persona to your unibrow. Your sense of fashion said it all. You reminded me of a guy I used to date, and I'll never forget that. The times I remember best were when you learned how to fish by yelling and when you chatted on a banana. Most of all, you helped me through the rough times of 2nd grade, teaching me that I am special just as I am.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

decreasing the surplus population one hypothetical patient at a time

I've been taking a Foundations of Clinical Medicine class for the past few weeks, and to understand my story I should give some background info. Each week of FCM is like a mini rotation in preparation for the ones that I'll have this next year. So the first week was Ob/Gyn week, the second Psych week, last week was Peds week, and this week is Medicine week. During each section I've been assigned a different patient with a correlating disease for that field of medicine. I should note that these are standardized patients, a.k.a. actors who play up an illness. You gotta love those safety nets.

So this week I've been working with nine of my classmates on a case of a 54 y/o female with a history of significant alcohol use and Hepatitis B. Colby (one of my teammates) and I performed a complete history and physical on her, and of course her chief complaint was "I just don't feel right" x 1 month. nice. That's like going into the auto shop and saying "Um, there's something wrong with my car. not sure just what, but I can sense it. can you fix that? by tomorrow? grrreat." We got little from talking with her, aside from the fact that the day before she drank "half a fifth" and that multiple times a week she drinks before noon. In fact, when Colby asked if she drank to pass out, her exact words were "Yeah, on Fridays... and Wednesdays" and I chimed in "And Saturdays?" Yup. And Tuesdays, and Thursdays... She's a pro.

Her physical exam revealed acute liver failure. she's got severe jaundice, ascites, caput medusa due to portal hypertension. In other words, her liver has completely crapped out. If ever you are in a poker game where you find yourself betting organs, don't go for the liver. it's important.

Today she's now showing extensive signs of hepatic encephalopathy, which means that toxins are backing up in her blood and going to her brain since the liver can't process them properly. and she has an increasing fever which is difficult to treat since a LOT of drugs are metabolized in the liver. NOT GOOD. this is like One Foot In The Grave sort of news.

update: she's alive! our group rocked the house at treating her, and she pulled through. i knew there had to be a happy ending... after all, it's make believe.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

Good ol' San Antonio

The PA national conference was this past weekend, and OMG I forgot how hot Texas is. Before my visit, I considered moving back (possibly Austin), and though I haven't thrown it completely out, I now am looking for a place that doesn't immediately melt my face when I step outside. Seriously, it was like walking through a Dali painting.

I went down with a few classmates and before we arrived I of course couldn't resist talking up Texas. Come on, It's Texas! With Big Tex at the state fair, big drinks of Diet Dr. Pepper, big people. So when we arrived, the manager at the front desk was very cordial and gave us a room with a "river view." Awesome, I thought since the last time I was there as a kid I remembered how cool I thought the river was. We get in the room and I walked over to the window and opened the drapes to find this ity bity trickle of water.

Julia sidles up beside me and says, "That's it?!?"

Me: "Yup."

Julia: "That a creek!"

Me: "Yup. Isn't it awesome..."

As luck would have it, Lark, an old roommate of mine who is originally from the east coast, moved to San Antonio awhile ago and we got together. It was good to see her and meet her very nice boyfriend and tour her new home (she has a home!!).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

W. and Arnold give There Will Be Blood a little facelift

best part- listen for the line "that's a weapon of mass destruction!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

medical rite of passage

I performed my first male and female reproductive exams this evening and before walking through those exam room doors I was sure this would be the most uncomfortable experience ever, but after finishing, it wasn't at all what imagined.

There's a group called META whose members specialize in teaching medical students how to do a proper exam by being the patient. Though that sounds liked it'd be so awkward to have the guy that I'm examining directing me what to do, it was probably the best feedback I've ever gotten. and since I was in the room with three other fantastic students, the set up was just what I needed to keep the nerves at bay.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

heavy metal with a different kind of hook

Yeah, I just caught myself crocheting to Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven. that's a new one.

Monday, May 05, 2008


My friend Aubrey just finished her dissertation in anthropology and it's official, she's now Doctor Baadsgaard. How cool to be completely done with school. While she's wrapping up a few things she's been staying at my place for the past week. So I've been spending most of my days with her either exercising, shopping, exercising, chatting, exercising, or eating (yeah, she's a HUGE gym buff). Needless to say, she's a tough cookie packed in 100 lbs of muscle and bone. She's helping me to be equally as tough, and to start things off she's given me the nickname of "Jack The Smack." no joke. With that, I think I can quit school and try out for a spot on WWF.

On Saturday, we went to get groceries at Trader Joe's and the check-out guy had a name tag with "X-Box" on it. She questions him if that's his real name. He responds with a story of how he and his brother in college stayed up for countless hours playing Halo 2, thus the birth of the nickname. I mention my new one, and I think to get the full picture we need some quotes.

Me, joking with X-Box: Yeah, she gave me the nickname Jack the Smack.

X-Box completely stops scanning the groceries and stares at me like I just erased his high scores. He then turns his shock to tiny Aubrey and I can see him debating in his head whether to call protective services on me or just give her the keys to his getaway car out back.

Me, with a terrified look: Wait! I don't hit people! She gave me that name to toughen me up... If you knew me, you'd know big of a pansy I am... (as I trail off)... really, uh, pansy's my middle name....

Finally, after multiple confirmations from Aubrey that indeed I am a chicken, he starts to warm up to me again. But that look he gave was priceless.

Friday, May 02, 2008

free at last, free at last!

I've officially finished my didactic year of PA school with flying colors! YAY!! I'm done... with the first year, that is. But I think that's not too shabby. Now I get to relax for two weeks, and that includes a book list as long as my foot, a house to clean, a cute shoulder bag to make (I'd like to thank etsy for the inspiration), a little pampering, and lots and lots of naps. like the one i'm gonna take right. now.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

a bit about me

I'm not sure where to start this since this is something I usually don't talk about much, but here goes. Today I got the results of another thyroid test and it's good news. I'm normal!

I'm sure most of you don't know that a few years back I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism caused by a toxic multinodular goiter. All that means is that a few lumps in my neck decided to go rogue and released more hormone than normal. The first time I noticed something was wrong was early into my college career, but I simply brushed it aside blaming my changes on the stress of school. I'm a pretty stubborn girl, so I ignored the signs and symptoms for a very, very long time until my levels were six times higher than the amount they should be. So I had dealt with hot flashes, the hand tremors, the overwhelming anxiety, the utter exhaustion, the increase in appetite and weight changes for over a year before my mom finally made me go to the doctor. By this time the heart palpitations were starting to kick in and I'd had enough of feeling so awkward in social situations that I finally went. Fun fact: for such a small organ, the thyroid affects the majority of cells in the body. A few tests later showed the nodules, and that's when I went through a simple treatment where they ablated my thyroid. It wasn't a demanding treatment at all... I just had to swallow a blue pill and stay away from people for a few days while the radioactive iodine flushed through my system. FYI: Your pee does NOT glow in the dark if you've been exposed to radiation. I checked. Well, the treatment of what I had causes the exact opposite problem, hypothyroidism, but it is easily managed with hormone replacement meds. That was the summer of 2006.

My story brings me to a month ago. I started to notice the same change that by now I am very familiar with. I noticed the anxiety return, the tremors come back, the tiredness sink in, the blunted thought process, and the most embarrassing bright red splotchy rash run across my chest, neck, and face. Basically not myself. So I stopped taking the meds, made the appointment with the doc and as I said earlier the results came back normal. AND it looks like my thyroid function is working well enough on its own that I don't have to take anything for it!

Now you're probably thinking, Jackie, that's great! And I couldn't agree with you more. I've never been happier to be wrong. So it looks like there can't be bad news then? And it's true, there can't be much of something bad if the results are so good. The thing that's bothering me is that I'm realizing that the struggles with school, the struggles with church, the struggles with myself, they are all taking a noticeable toll.

So to try and alleviate some of that, I've been getting my house in order, so to speak. I've been trying to take more care of my physical self (and I have some amazing friends here that are helping me stick to that). After a long drought, I now go to church and I'm working on things that I know I need to (a whole other story). And I'm trying to not let the small things get me down so much. Now, this is a new thing for me, being so honest and open and now feeling slightly vulnerable, but I felt like I needed to have sharing time. Not sure why just yet, but hopefully you get something from this.

side note: this week I completed the most dreaded oral exams, where I sat down with one of the faculty members and was grilled for an hour about stuff I've been learning the past year. For one of my diseases I had to explain in detail hypothyroidism. At the end of it I just wanted to yell out, NAILED IT, SUCKA! Apparently, that's frowned down upon, so I settled with a hand shake and a grin.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

a look says it all

I was scrolling through pictures I've taken since last May, and I happened to stumble across these gems. I'm thinking I took these during one of my super late night study sessions as a stunt to finagle sympathy from the parents. My plan was to send them the first picture with a ransom note reading "Send $1,000,000,000,000 and a box of Girl Scout Cookies or else her face stays this way."

Since I already had the camera out I thought it a perfectly good waste not to take more.... which led me to this.

I like to believe that one day, when all my little grand kids tenderly gather around, I can show them these and lovingly tell them that Crazy runs in their genes, and they've got deal with it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

cherry blossoms

Let me introduce you to my friend Shelly.

A few weeks back this dear friend of mine from college and I took some time away from our busy schedules and met up in DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival. We spent hours enjoying the perfect weather and perfect timing because ALL of the trees were in bloom. She served her mission in Japan, which made it all the more interesting to stroll along the Tidal Basin while listening to her stories of the times she's celebrated spring with beautiful blossoms thousands of miles away. It was even better to meet Charlie, her baby boy, and get to know Dave, her husband, a bit better. I don't know if you've had the same experience, but when I've had friends that have been pregnant, delivered, and raised babies during which I've known they were expecting but I haven't seen them during any of that time, it somewhat surprises me when I see them for the first time. I think, Here's my friend! Looking just the same as I remember. Who's this tiny person standing next to her?

Photo time:

What's that in the sky? A bird? A plane?

This was something important that I have completely forgotten.
The profound crevices and healed wounds in the bark of the aged trees emphasized the delicate birth of the fresh flora (yeah, one Humanities minor later, I've perfected writing a load of crap).

Hello Myer's Family!

I love this picture of the fellas. Stellar admiration of the flowers Dave. Charlie has a tendency to scowl at anything from grass blades to moving objects, and here's an example of that.

It was so good to see her and her family... a respite that I very much needed.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

a note on momma's hair

While talking with my dad tonight, he told me of an actual conversation that occurred over the weekend. Apparently him and my mom were working in the yard on Saturday and since it was a windy day my mom's hair whipped to and fro (so punny!) to form something like this:
Well, our neighbor strolled by and paused for a chat. As the conversation lulled, he must of said the first thing that came to his mind, which was:

Neighbor, turning to my mother: "I really like your hair. It's, uh, fluffy."

Now I don't know if this guy was having a bit of fun with my mom, or if he seriously fancied it. Either way, my mom took it as a compliment and all of us had a good laugh.

for fun, here's the first pic that pops up if you google fluffy:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

baby genius pa

In our E Med class today we talked about Ob/Gyn emergencies, and I have never been more entertained, not so much because of the subject (kinda gross), but because of this amazing lecturer. Example: when she was explaining that in practice we have to do a pregnancy test on EVERY menstruating woman that walks trough the door, she follows with "I’ve seen more virgin births than any wise men." so, so funny.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

the Lord DOES answer sporadic prayers

The Deseret Morning News published an article today explaining the church's new "Slow-Track" program. Finally, something in the church that I excel at.

Monday, March 24, 2008

the hair cut

Due to the melting of my brain, I've reverted to using excerpts from emails I've written to friends. This beauty comes from part of an email I wrote to Kristi explaining my spring break:

So this past week was way more busy than I expected, but it was all so much fun. It started last Friday when Mandy and I went to get hair cuts at a place called Bubbles. That morning I thought I woke up late for my e med test (my clock said 8:13 and they stop handing out the tests at 8:15). So I got dressed and ran to the school, swung open the door to the exam room to find it completely empty. I had a moment of panic thinking that everyone finished the test in the 8 minutes it took me to get over there, but when I looked at the clock it said 7:21 am. I realized I must of hit the hour button on my clock to set it ahead. By the way, I had fallen asleep with my my hair braided into tiny braids (the night before I was trying anything to help me keep awake while studying) so when I was running to the test I was frantically trying to unweave the dread locks. imagine this white girl tearing out her hair in the city of minorities. My doorman, paper man, and security guard at the school all had a good laugh. To top it off, when I unraveled the last braid, my hair was the size of Bon Jovi's hairdo circa 1987. So I end up going to my hair appointment sporting a muppet on my head. good times. She ended up cutting like 4 inches off (it had gotten sooooo long, down to the small of my back), and it is so much more manageable and still long.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

news news news

So today our class celebrated receiving our official assignments for clinical rotations. I didn't realize how big of a deal it was until our director broke out the champagne to ring it in. Personally, I think they just needed an excuse to 1) polish off the left overs from St. Patty's, 2) nurse the hangovers and 3) throw back one before noon. I love it here.

And now, for my official rotations. Drum roll please... And the winners are:

Surgery in New Britain, CT
Peds in Waterbury, CT
Ob/Gyn in Dover, DE
Psych in Olean, NY
ER in Reading, PA
Internal Med in Hershey, PA

Though I'll be living out of suitcases till February 2009, I'm beyond excited to try out these new places to see if I might potentially want to settle down here.

I also found out today that our school is going to be one of the forty eight to compete at the National Academy of Physician Assistants Student Challenge Bowl! And I'm on the team! What's the Challenge Bowl, you ask? No, it's not a jousting tournament with your local crapper. It's a competition against 47 other PA programs, with three people on a team and the winner gets fame, fortune, and... well, pretty much nothing. Which I think is something to drink over, so raise your glasses. Here's to not getting knocked out in the first round!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

cry for help

So I've volunteered to cook Easter dinner for about a dozen friends and I've decided to have roasted chicken and honey baked ham (to appease those that must have pork on Christ's day... yeah, he was a Jew). I've got two good recipes for the meat, but I have virtually no recipes for good sides. So here's a plea to all you dear friends for your stellar recipes for veggies/potatoes/anything else that you'd think would be good with los main courses.

Second: my friends Mandy and Soren are getting married and since they plan on having some sort of DJ at their wedding, they are asking for music suggestions. Got any?

I recognize two favors in one post is a tall order, but I know you have mad skills. many thanks.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

loved it

Just came home from a concert with Sons of William as the opening for Griffin House. I HIGHLY recommend both... picture Tom Petty meets Travis.

(Thanks to Heather and Andrew for the introduction)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

this stuff actually happens

Last night while heading to dinner I watched a car pull away from a gas pump with the hose still attached! And it started to drive off with the handle jetting out from the side and the hose flopping around before finally noticing and pulling over. Jen and I were surprised to see that gas didn't spray everywhere, and even more so that the attendant lazily strolled to the car as if nothing happened... must happen a lot.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Four more days till spring break! Granted I have two exams (BIPC and E Med) till then, but at this point I really don't care... the only reason I'm still going is because of Jen and Luke's encouragement. I don't think I've been more ready for a break, or sleep for that matter. I haven't even started my clinical year yet, but I've been averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night. And I can't totally blame it on school. Last week was the first week out of my entire semester that I haven't traveled. And though I love to visit new places, and I see it as only living here once, I was glad to stay in. In fact, I think that for the break Jen, Marcie and I will postpone the cruise and instead have a mini spa day with mani-pedis and massages. And perhaps a day trip to NY or DC. Oh, and have I told you I'm in a Spades Tournament? It's gonna be awesome.

So it dawned on me that I have less than two months before I have my white coat ceremony and I start my clinical year. That's right, I'm a stone's throw away from performing a SOAP note on anything that walks in the door (SOAP= Subjective (taking a history), Objective (performing a physical), Assessment (making a differential diagnosis), and Plan (treatment plan)). If we're completely honest, that scares the hell out of me.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Disney World

Kristina: So what are you doing for your spring break?

me: I'm going to the place where dreams come true.

Kristina: Iowa?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

you may be crazy

This semester I've been taking a class called Biopsychosocial Issues in Patient Care (BIPC) a.k.a. let's see how far you're off your rocker. Notice I didn't say "if" but "how far" because it's a stone cold fact that everyone's a little lunatic. It's just some people don't mind showing it. in the middle of the street. naked.

The DSM-IV, otherwise known as the holy bible of psychology, lists criteria for all the diagnosable disorders out there. To help you embrace your inner nut, here's a few points to ponder on the way to the grocery/book/gun store.

Are you prone to persistently bear grudges?

Do you choose solitary activities?

Are you impulsive or fail to plan ahead?

Are you suggestible (aka easily influenced by others or circumstances)?

Are you envious of others or believe that others are envious of you?

Are you concerned with being criticized or rejected in social situations?

Do you passively resist fulfilling routine social and occupational tasks?

Does your self-concept center around beliefs of inadequacy, worthlessness, and low self-esteem?

Are you preoccupied with details, rules, lists etc...

I should note that all of the questions come from one section, the personality disorders section (I haven't even mentioned mood disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, somatoform and pain disorders, dissociative disorders, sleep disorders, learning disorders, attention-deficit disorders, sex disorders, tic disorders, adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders etc... plus all the disorders that don't have the word "disorder" in the title).

So I'm sitting in class as they go through the list of all these and I'm thinking to my self, yep, have that, and that too, and that. By the time class is done I'm debating whether to check myself into some sort of facility.

I've come to the conclusion that, yes, sometimes you'll answer yes to these questions. Honestly, I hope you do. I feel it makes you far more relate-able than those who've never been through things like loss, embarrassment, pain, desire (god forbid!), envy, true moments of happiness... I'm not trying to sum up life in four lines, just letting you know what's been on my mind.

ps: If you like to suffer through a barrage of questioning along these lines simply click the title of this post. Warning: there's a disorder for that too.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

baby, it's cold outside

weekend trip: Niagara Falls
accomplices: Kristina, Angie, and Dhardielle
hours in car: 17
movies watched: 3
frost nipped fingers: 5
getting out of the country: priceless

Horseshoe Falls is better seen on the Canadian side. As a girl, I went with my mother during the summer time and we rode on a boat that took us to the outer rim of these falls. It was surprising to see that same water covered in ice.

Horseshoe Falls. Taking this shot got my heart beating a bit faster. Though there was this huge gate with stone preventing anyone from falling in, if you slightly leaned over the ledge you were mere feet away from the rushing water. It was entertaining watching the chunks of ice plunge over the edge.

The mist rising from Horseshoe falls landed on the nearby trees and froze on only one side of the bark.

Hiya Angie! You can see that most of the river has frozen over

This is the base of the American Falls. It was amazing to see this massive amount of water dump over the ledge and disappear under the top ice. I particularly loved the icicles... reminded me of stalactites.

Thus concludes el tripo de Niagara. side note: This is the last time I travel North for the winter. what was I thinking...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

say hello to my little friend

Soren, Mandy, Stanley and I drove up to Punxsutawney for Groundhog's Day and received in person the bad news of winter's unwelcome stay for another six weeks. We were one of the few that walked up to Gobbler's knob and arrived just minutes before the prediction was read (we chose not to stay the night in the cold). most entertaining moment: As soon as Phil saw his shadow an enormous "BOOOOOOOO!" erupted from the crowd, and then in one mass movement, the crowd bolted for the shuttle buses.

After being rejected by the relentless mob, Phil huffed off to his cage to drown his sorrows in Jack Dandelions.
One of Phil's handlers snuck up behind us and joined in our photo. I turned around to find him waving away and Phil balled up in his cage.

hat time:
and from the back:

and finally...
This is the hat that I crocheted to keep my tiny head warm.