Monday, April 30, 2012

Happiness Is...

An outstanding sunset on a quiet beach.

A flatmate who can easily be persuaded to throw down the study books and head to said beach. 

The ability to land a one-armed cartwheel despite my advancing age.

The postman arriving this morning with my handbag and all its precious (to me!) contents, including cash, electronics, documents, cards, etc.
The last few days, a little better than the preceding weeks, to be sure.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Turning Tide, Perhaps?

The great thing about mothers is that they will receive multiple tearful phone calls with patience and sympathy. They'll put money in your account when your handbag disappears, and they'll tell you when they fear your blog is becoming a downer.

Well, downer no more, I say!

Yes, I have been feeling like a bit of a teenager lately.  Finding myself with nostalgic music cranked on my headphones, staring at the ceiling wondering what is this all about, anyway??

But finals are approaching, leaving no time for an existential crisis or complete mental breakdown. So I've been going to clinic, and attempting to memorize the steps for treating hypertension or the different types of oral contraceptive pills. I train, I cook, I (once again) do laundry, I work at replacing all the things lost in the great purse debacle of 2012, and I watch Parks and Recreation reruns. I take it one day at a time.

And then a little stroke of luck appears.

I called the airport lost and found today and they said they had my handbag with all the contents inside it!

Yes, despite having all of my contact information they didn't try to reach me. But lo, when I called again this morning they were all nonchalant with their oh sure it's here we'll send it to you in the post.

So we'll see if the post pulls through. Fingers crossed.

Thanks so much to allof you who commented and wrote. To Liz who offered up her husband's Shoppers Drug Mart to replace the make-up and Justin for offering to send me some Japanese pens. Y'all are too sweet. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

One of the docs at the clinic told me today that I am due for a stroke of luck now, maybe this is just the beginning?



P.S I get to keep my new itouch, right?? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Sadly Argos doesn't take returns on electronics! See, every cloud does have a silver ilining.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Then that happened.

I started writing this upbeat little post about my trip to London this weekend.

Then I lost my purse in the Stanstead airport on my way home.

Contents included:
-wallet (Canadian drivers license, visa, bank card, immigration card, rent money, school ID card)
-book (which I was enjoying immensely and had to order off Amazon)
-ipod (gift from AMG circa 2006)
-pens (you know, the really nice ones I order from Japan!!)
-ipod shuffle + ear buds
-car keys / house keys
-makeup (!!!!)
-birth certificate
-social insurance card
-the purse which was my birthday present to self last year (I never find purses that I both like and can afford)
-the actual wallet (which was a beautiful souvenir of a girlie weekend in Vermont)

On paper it is all easily replaceable, but when you live in one country and bank / drive / file taxes in another things get a little complicated. Also, losing a few hundred euro is never pleasant, on top of not being able to afford to replace the things that were lost.

I didn't have a meltdown (does that mean I am becoming more zen or that I am dead inside??) April, you have been a shit month. I am expecting things to look up soon (yes I am looking at you, May). Oh wait, finals and moving again are in May. OK, fair enough. June then. JUNE!! WORK WITH ME!

Now I am waiting for my housemate to get off work so he can rescue me (yes, my car is here but my keys, ticket, and method of car park payment are not).

The funny thing is, despite all the headaches that the lost cards are going to cause, the thing I am most annoyed by right now is that I cannot read my book!!! It's so good!!! It's not on kindle!!!!*

I hope whomever it was that decided to lift my purse from the security line is an avid reader who likes money and MAC makeup. You're welcome.

*I have already re-ordered the book on Amazon but had to get it used and it's going to take 10-14 days! [shakes fist at sky]

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!
-Rudyard Kipling
OK so Absentbabinski and I were sorting out the universe the other day and I mentioned that this is one of my favorite poems and that I want to memorize it.  I first heard it as a very messed up 15 year old in my English 10 class. I love how over the years it has come to mean different things to me as I grow and face different triumphs and disasters.

It is a good guide for someone working in health care, I think. I've already had many experiences with having to keep my head in the emergency department when all about me people were losing theirs. That is something I've been constantly trying to improve since my first months as a very nervous and inexperienced nurse. In fact, that exact line has sung through my head more than once as I felt my adrenaline coursing at work.
But now, when I think about starting medical school, it feels a little like I heaped all my winnings and lost...and here I am building this part of my life from the beginning. And yes, I probably muse too much on the things I gave up and not enough on all the gifts I've received as a result of this privilege. Though I can say that these past couple weeks it has not felt much like a privilege. 

But as I re-read this poem last night I thought about the lines,
If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
and I felt a little panicky. My dreams have been my master ever since the day I walked into my first organic chemistry class 5 years ago when I started this crazy journey towards medical school. It is drilled into us that we should sacrifice everything for our dreams, reach for the stars, push to the finish...but Mr. Kipling has a different take on the matter. My dreams had to be my master to get here and my current relationship fading has largely been because of the strain placed on it by medical school and the uncertainties of post-graduate training. So maybe it is maladaptive, selfish, even weak to turn everything out at the demands of a single goal. 
I don't know. It's been a really hard month. I am going though a major upheaval and naturally I am thinking about all the choices that have led me here and questioning some decisions that have caused me so much heartache.  

Right now I am just clinging to the Will that says..."Hold on!" 
Yours in constant rumination, 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Getting on Their Level

Today we were in ortho clinic and Dr. Boots was consulting a middle aged man with chronic shoulder pain.

We took his history (frequent disclocations and subluxations, as well as limited range of motion) and then asked him what he did for a living. He was a computer guy, an I.T manager.

Doc Boots explained the problem with his rotator cuff muscles, his glenoid labrum, what surgery he might need, risks, etc. The patient looked slightly overwhelmed and confused. Boots paused...

What I am trying to say is...your shoulder is running Windows 97 my friend. It needs a serious overhaul. 

The patient informed us he was an 'apple man' to which Boots replied, exactly.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

911 Call of the Night

We got the call from the ambulance, just before 2 am informing us that they were bringing in a man who'd called 911 for scabies.

Yes, that was his chief complaint. Which may win the "are you kidding me that you called an ambulance for that?" award.

The two night nurses debated on who would be the one to put the scabies cream on his back. The matter was settled by the ER doc putting a paper clip in one hand and letting the more senior RN choose which hand. She chose poorly.

We all itched and scratched for the rest of the night. cost taxpayers approximately $1000. Upside...the guy had a place to sleep and a change of clothing in the morning.

*Shudder* Image from here.