Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Achilles is Actually My Heel

I have problems with my feet.

If you are a long-time reader you may recall "Uncle Fester" from my Himalayan trip training days...or my Summer of Cellulitis last year thanks to a hike in the eastern Reeks..Well it appears that the hills of Ireland have once again bitten me (okay, it was actually my new fell running shoes...)

Ahh, nice views, nice spot for lunch...say, I love my new shoes!

La la la ridge running so fun, these shoes are so great! Mud claw's forevveeerrrrrrrr!!!

I may vomit if I have to put a shoe on ever again. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Consultant Crushes and Medical Miracles

I'm not going to get too sentimental about all this. Just hear me out.

There are a lot of things we get wrong in medicine, a lot of things we can't treat, cure, or figure out. But today in clinic I had the opportunity to meet some children who are living (playing, giggling, bright eyed, rose-cheeked) proof that modern medicine can be amazing. Similar sort of feeling to a day I blogged about 2 years ago.

I met a child who had a catastrophic birth with many complications, but because of the swift and expert interventions provided (including total body cooling) has managed to develop with no deficits in any area (physically or cognitively). Today she is an adorable, intelligent, able bodied little bean who seriously rocks pink UGG boots.

Another child who was born with a fatal cardiac anomaly, had surgical treatment, and also is now a happy-go-lucky perfectly healthy little man. I couldn't help but send mental props to the cardiac surgeons like Lillehei* who trialed, and failed, and failed, and developed and perfected surgeries like the repair of Tetralogy of Fallot or the Norwood procedures. If those men hadn't risked their careers and their emotional fortitude 50 years ago, today these children would have died at birth or after short and difficult lives.

My awestruck gaze was only sharpened by the fact that I was working with a seriously butt-kicking-ridiculously-intelligent-biochemistry-genetics-pediatric-metabolic-disorder-expert-ball-of-awesomeness consultant who loves to teach! I hoped some of her brain power might waft over in my direction if I sat close enough to her in clinic (without being too creepy and really invading her personal space).

And so, I return to my reading and eventually the newest episode of "New Girl".  Oh and yes, I am working like mad on my CaRMS application and my new research project. I have a whole post on recent CaRMS trauma in the works...but for now...I'll just say that today was a good day. A perfectly timed reminder of why I am putting myself through all of this.

*Read "Walk on Water" by Ruhlman and "King of Hearts" by Cooley if you really want to know what I am talking about. Both fascinating and unreal stories of larger than life pediatric cardiac surgeons.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hark! A Child Cries in the Distance!

I love going into the maternity hospital for work.

Ireland was apparently the first country in the world to have one. Every day I have to dodge new dads in the parking lot trying to juggle car seats and flowers, handbags, suitcases, and "IT'S A BOY!!" helium balloons. Women (mostly waddle) around in various brightly colored bathrobes, either trying to break up the boredom of being admitted, or in the hopes of getting things going in the labor department. Giant bellies, little bumps, nervous nulltips, exasperated over-termers populate the antenatal clinics. It's quite the humming baby factory.

On the labor ward every couple of hours a new admission would walk casually up to the desk with a mix of fear, sometimes excitement, expressions of pain, or lines of fatigue on her face. While being checked in some would have to pause and lean heavily on the nursing station if a contraction took over. Others went shooting by in a wheelchair pushed by an admissions midwife, hair blowing back behind them with the "don't push yet!!!" instruction barked by a senior midwife...a few minutes later we'd hear some hollering followed by the gusty cry of a new arrival to the planet. I could just smile to myself because at that moment only infinite possibilities exist for that baby.

Of course, of course we've seen sad outcomes, unexpected premature deliveries, undiagnosed syndromes and malformations. But even those, which weigh heavily on the staff, give me inspiration from the grace and strength exhibited by the families of those babies.

What a place! What a privilege.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hello, World

No, I haven't drowned in a giant puddle of amniotic fluid.

I am loving life here in OB/GYN but just absolutely wrecked and savaged by work right now. Did nights through the weekend so am currently on my 10th day in a row at the hospital, am working on a Grand Rounds presentation for Friday, applying to CaRMS, writing up assignments...oh and I started collecting data for a new study yesterday.

I have a mouth full of canker sores and an ever-expanding derrière due to stress and lack of exercise.

But I'm good. I'm gooooooood.

Stories to come. Once the dust (er....fluids?) have settled.

In the meantime: birthing babies = awesome.