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Eat, Sleep, Run/Lift, Study, Repeat

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So long livejournal, sort of Jul. 16th, 2008 @ 06:17 pm
At this point livejournal is no longer meeting my needs as a blogging site. I am now on blogspot, at least for public posts. I have not entirely closed this blog. I will come back from time to time to make private posts that only people on my friends list can see so keep checking here periodically if you are friended to me.

New site here
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Random thoughts Jul. 7th, 2008 @ 10:50 pm
As I was running in Prospect Park I saw something fairly amusing. I saw a hipster on a bike and while he was riding he had his dog walking alongside him barely keeping up. I have seen plenty of lazy people in my lifetime, but never this. I was running alongside him at this point and my only words were "Try running, it may be better for your dog". He was not too amused.

Also kids are on statins. This is plain messed up.

Waste your time watching this



Radiology is fun. Yay!
Current Mood: pensivepensive

4th year Jul. 6th, 2008 @ 11:22 pm
I am amazed my 4th year of med school is starting. Actually, I had promised myself I would write less about these things. I do have a whole other life outside of the hospital after all. I will try and limit this to one paragraph.

I think if my current self had gone back in time and told my freshman self at the start of college I would be called doctor I would have stared back in fish-eyed disbelief. At that point I had no idea what I wanted out of life. It showed in every aspect of what I did too. I sleep-walked through school and my grades dipped. Luckily I found direction at just the right time, corrected my grades, righted my choice of friends and began the slow process of reinventing myself. This of course being one of many reinventions I have had.

Of course right now my current issues are just to study for the next part of my boards. To help insure this happening I have scheduled my first rotation as radiology. This translates loosely to a 4 week vacation. It has been a fairly good week so far as I have not seen the inside of the reading room yet or met my attending. Maybe this week I may have to come in. Alright I lied about only 1 paragraph.

My "break" has allowed me to put in some more miles in, break in those new running shoes. It has also allowed me to buy this espresso soda, figure out it mixes well with vodka. Mmmmm.



+ = awesome


I also can look forward to a summer of sun and a number of new records which are coming out. I will be able to rock out to new Slipknot, Opeth and finally plan a racing schedule. Once summer is over I know I will be in the trenches but I am enjoying my freedom now. I know I am speaking in riddles again. It is up to you my stalkers/readers to decipher the message.
Current Mood: pensivepensive

Cthulu vs the Slumlord yet again Jun. 26th, 2008 @ 08:21 pm
It has been a while since anything serious has come up which required me to call my landlord, who I affectionately refer to as The Slumlord. My fridge which is older than I am and leaks more fluids is dying. My first reaction was to panic since the last time I had to deal with The Slumlord was like pulling teeth. Actually, every time I have had to talk to him it usually involved him filibustering me to death. For example:

Me: I have had this leak in my bathroom ceiling for a while, it would be nice if you could fix it.

Slumlord: Leak? What's so bad about a leak? There are children starving in Africa and you're complaining about a leak. You know my mother once told me about these circus animals....

The first few times I got frustrated and hung up. He actually outpaced my endurance. The last time I learned how to circumvent him. It helps that I took him to court once and that he is afraid of the legal system. Luckily this time I did not have to threaten legal action. He was actually extremely helpful and cooperative. I am suspicious. He replaced my old fridge with a brand new one. I met the new super and he seems to be less drunk and smell better. He does speak much less English however. I guess this is a give and take. When the new super took my old fridge out I found dozens of dead roaches and egg casings in the space. It seems my roach eradication project worked. The pounds of boric acid powder I dumped behind there was effective. I never understood why the roaches in my kitchen just inexplicably stopped a month after I first put boric acid powder behind there. Now I understood the power of this effective tool. This did not stop me from squirting a liberal dollop of roach gel into the hole in the wall they crawled out of as well as around the space before the new fridge was put in.

My neighbors have told me horror stories about how he replaced broken, old appliances with secondhand ones which were even worse than the old broken ones. For once dealing with him has ended well.



Old and busted



The new h07n3$$

I also went to the mermaid parade in Coney Island. I thought since it was right near me it was worth a look. For the uninitiated -- those who have nothing to do with Brooklyn, this is a parade near the boardwalk in Coney Island where people dress in weird mermaid costumes. It generally draws a crowd.

Hopefully Captain Morgan isn't busted for DWI on that Segway



Of course my week away from the hospital has featured: running, shopping, socializing and god help us, cleaning. The new pair of running shorts I got is extremely thin and light. It is like wearing nothing at all. Also I managed to throw out reams of old paper. This is what happens when my life gets that busy. I get no time to clean and take care of what most 9-5ers take for granted. My stab at being an extrovert has also gone well. I have already learned a lot about their mindset and how to be most appealing to that mindset. I also realize most people in 9-5 jobs really have no idea how it feels to work as hard as med students or doctors work. They also would not be able to function as introverts. My goal however is not to lash out at anyone, but it is to make people's days better any way I can. Next on tap for me is my radiology rotation and then showcasing rotations for the next few months. I am sure I will have war stories, maybe if I am in the right mood I will tell them.
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Air Conditioner

End of third year Jun. 18th, 2008 @ 08:40 am
Third year is finally at its end. I am now done with shelf exams for the remainder of my med school career. Now all that stands in my way is another part of boards and a stupid thing called getting a residency. Surgery rotation ended more painlessly than I thought it would. I think it had a lot to do with my team switching residents in the last 2 weeks of it. Unfortunately 1 of the 2 weeks of "vacation" before the start of 4th year is being taken up by an on-campus ER conference. This would not have been much of a break anyway since I have to start studying for that next part of boards, but at least I would have had more freedom to use my time the way I want to. The highlight of the conference thus far has been my dean living up to his namesake and being well... scandalous. There are some times I really think a movie or sitcom could be made of my school. Really I am not concentrating much on that so much as getting a new suit for interviews, thinking of new guitar accesories to buy and novel ways of partying. I know once the end of January comes I will be in coast mode anyway.

I have been doing an ongoing experiment. I have been learning to act the way the mindless extrovert masses do, beat them at their own game. I had always wondered what the other side was like. It has challenged many of my former assumptions and beliefs. It has also forced me to face my fears. These are all things ironically that I know many of the mindless extroverts I am interacting with will never do. The personal growth has been refreshing. I will not say too much more, but I will ask one question. What do these words mean to you? Open, qualify, disqualify, C phase, roll,close. It's on now.

Also to further my badass-ness (yes I am badass enough to make a new word) I re-taught myself flamenco guitar. Surprisingly I have wrung a lot of milage out of the Fender acoustic I have owned since I was 12. It is not the same hot-rod as the custom Ibanez I bought myself after second year was over, but there is something about thick guage copper wound strings I need to put a stranglehold on to sound out notes.
Maybe it is like that favorite pair of shoes, it has been broken in and comfortable.

I have re-learned riffs such as these:



I am thinking of getting this



Or maybe this



I am sorry I have been somewhat cryptic but I do not like to ruin surprises.
Current Mood: blankblank
Current Music: Giant Flapping head on stage
Other entries
» Weekend
This weekend was finally the first in 2 weeks that I had no weekend call. By Friday I was getting somewhat stir crazy. All that energy and nowhere to put it.

Friday started off like any typical Friday so far in surgery. Whiz through morning rounds somehow more efficiently than usual ( I think it is the new residents on my team). Trudge through m & m conference and then finally make it to the OR for a full day of surgery. The difference with that day was somehow the residents were scarcely to be found. This meant I got to be first assist on a number of surgeries. "Today you will learn to operate" were the exact words from my attending. Operate was what I did, I learned how to bovie and also incorporated a new wrinkle to what I usually did to tie down a drain. I also got to demonstrate my skills with mattress suturing.



So after the day mercifully ended at 5 instead of 7 like the last few Fridays, I made my way into the city. This was where I learned the fine art of peacocking. This is the art of wearing something ridiculous to get noticed. It was an excercise in how disinhibited I could be wearing a sequined cowboy hat. Of course the friend who was with me picked that one out for me to wear. I picked a tacky bright orange baseball hat with rhinestones on it for him. I decided my name was Pyuck Yu and I was from Hong Kong CT. The part about seeking attention definitely worked and it helped blow off a lot of the steam which had built up the past couple of weeks. Oh yeah and some absinthe somewhere along the line helped as well. Maybe depressed people should get that instead of prozac.



I am Phyuck Yu of Hong Kong Danger Duo. I come from Hong Kong Connecticut.



Myspace abs: check.
» A night in the life or how I survived the dreaded Saturday call
Normally Saturday call is the worst time to ever have 24 hour call. The reason simply being, it will ruin an entire weekend. It does not allow for any partying on Friday since there is the need to be somewhat rested on Saturday and Sunday is spent sleeping the misery off.

Here is the timeline of my day.

8:00 -- morning rounds. The team I am on call with is far more effecient than my usual time so we finish in an hour which allows me to do...

9:00 -- scut. Unfortunately the same ass-hat FMG intern managed to catch sight of me this time. This will be a long 24 hours. I am run to various parts of the hospital do blood draws and drop papers in boxes. I went into badass mode when I did those blood draws. My new policy is if I cannot find an obvious looking vein, I stick their radial artery. According to the ass-hat FMG intern "Joo aren' suppos' to doo dat". As far as I am concerned if he asked me I will do it and since I am doing his work he shouldn't complain about the job I do. I also will stick foot and leg veins if the patient is too contracted to get at his wrists for a radial artery stick. Ie. other blood draws I did that day.



File photo of the ass-hat intern

2:00 -- mercifully doing scut ends for a while and my chief resident bought us all pizza. My blood sugar goes back up to higher than my IQ of 10 and I am fueled for the next few hours.

3:00 -- get yelled at by SICU patient's family for being a med student. Ignore SICU patient's family screaming over me to discuss the prognosis of that patient's "roomate" with their family.

4:00 -- consults in the ER. Now the flood of consults comes in. The first was an old man with a huge indirect inguinal hernia. He had evidence of obstruction because of his profuse vomiting as well as obvious bowel sounds from his scrotum. It reduced but I was able to put 4 of my little fingers into his inguinal canal. Once he stands back up the hernia sack will fall right back down. There were also 2 pediatric cases.

One was an intussuseption. This is when there are some enlarged intestinal lymph nodes or lymphoid patches which cause a lead point for a segment of bowel to fold into itself like an accordion. This can cause strangulation and infection if not treated. Also there was an appendicitis.

7:00 -- Circus ensues to get both kids to the OR.

11:00 -- Circus finally over and now the first case goes to the OR. The pediatric surgeon was actually extremely nasty and ignored me through both cases.

1:00 am -- finally can run to the 24 hour diner next door and get something to eat for a late late dinner. I discover that Vitamin Water energy drinks are quite effective in restoring some semblance of consciousness after being nearly 20 hours on my feet.

2:00 am -- It appears as though everything is quiet so I go to the call room to go to sleep which leads to...

2:30 am -- scut. "Joo hab to do da EKG" *shake shake* *jab jab* *kick* I wake up and find the ass-hat intern telling me I have to take an EKG on a patient. I ask him why and he just repeats the same sentance. I go back to the floor and ask the nurses to take an EKG on the patient. They tell me he was harassing them to do it earlier and they would take care of it. Some family member of the patient was camped out in the hall and told me he would get me fired. I just cut him off midsentance in his rant and walked off.

3:00 am -- I return to the call room and go back to...

3:30 am -- *jab* *poke* "Get that light out of my face you ass-hat". "Dijoo doo da EKG?" "Yes they took care of it, now leave me alone you ass-hat. I want to get some rest". He gave me a goggle eyed stare. I glared right back at him and I won the staring contest. Finally blessed sleep.

8:00 am -- Sneak out the door and jump on the D train back home.
» A Drunker-ass Super
To all my readers, I am terribly sorry for being boring and not my usual manic self. Maybe this post will make up for it. I had left off by saying the Drunk-ass Super was on his way out one way or the other. This means only one thing: an American Idol style casting call for the next Drunk-ass Super. The contestants will be rated on a number of different traits: body odor, uselessness, number of own teeth and overall state of intoxication. So let's meet our contestants.



Hello good peoples of USA. My name Uri. I having daughter who large enough to pull plow and son who sell own plasma. Please giving me job in Brooklyn, America. I not passing out on job like last super. I pass out before you even call.

Body Odor: 8/10
Uselessness: could mess up a cup of coffee
Number of own teeth: 10
Intoxication: Makes Beer Keg (everyone remembers him) look sober



*Blarf* I *hic* Ivan *berrrrk*. I sell wife for awesome car. Sometimes world go black and waking up in car. Wanting to be drunk in more *hic* civivilized part of world where I no need to sell son as prostitute. *thud*

Body Odor: 7/10
Uselessness: would not trust to guard a dung heap
Number of own teeth: 5
Intoxication: Boris Yeltsin



<Muttering in Russian>

You need to speak English, we don't understand you.

I Yevgeny. Watching porn and drinking vodka. No working. Actually I studied mechanical engineering at the University of Kiev and I am a respected member of my field. I am helping design struts for a new launch pad that will revolutionize Russia's space program. Wow I totally fooled you. I guess alcohol really does make me sound more intelligent. I would be the best, most useless, most drunk super on earth. So please please please hire me. I will work for only gruel. *Blarf* *thud*

Body Odor: Thermonuclear
Uselessness: So lazy he needs someone to spoon feed him
Number of own teeth: 4
Intoxication: His breath could run a car

Well I guess everyone needed a moment of levity. It will be grinding out some more scut tomorrow for me. I really do wonder if the replacement super will be better. The last one couldn't get any worse.
» Post call yet again
I seem to post now after I finish call. I am somewhat annoyed that I was on call the day before Memorial Day. I had wanted to spend a day at the beach. I did get somewhat lucky in that the night did quiet down at about 1 in the morning. After that I was able to grab some much needed rest. The night itself was fairly dull. There were a number of ER consults and one emergency apendectomy. I have realized call nights are kind of like a sleepover party without the 12 year old gossip or trading baseball cards.

Onto more important issues now. I have downloaded or otherwise acquired a few new records. Here are some reviews

In Flames: A sense of Purpose: This is a return to form for them after the last 2 they released were mediocre. The premier Swedish death metal band's newest album is the resurgence they needed after their hit Reroute to Remain. The guitar riffs are both bone shattering, fast and extremely classical. The vocals range from extremely fragile to a dry bark. There is also just the right amount of electronics thrown into the mix to make it more interesting. It is interesting sounding enough that even non-metalheads should like it.

Portishead: Third: This is singlehandedly the best comeback record anyone has ever released. Portishead's newest is the first in over 10 years and they still sound relevant. In spite of their absense it is as though they were never gone. The vocals are still haunting and fragile. The harsh electronics clash with the soft jazz guitar and this is what gave them so much charm. It is amazing how little some things change.

I find it amazing that third year managed to fly by like this. In about 3 weeks I will be in my last year of med school. My blog will also be almost 5 years old. I am sure once surgery and the next part of my boards is done I will have more interesting things to write about, like some the decadent partying I managed to do this year. Also the Drunk-ass Super is in the hospital for something related to alcohol. Should he make it out he will be fired. His replacement will no doubt be more drunk and more useless. That is all.
» Post call
So the last few weeks has left me fairly busy. I have adapted to my new surroundings on general surgery. For example after my first night on call I realized giving the intern my pager number was a bad idea. My first night on call featured my pager going off every 15 minutes for extranious blood draws and dressing changes at 3am. So the next 2 calls I have been on I make sure the intern has no idea I am in the building until it is 5 in the morning and it is too late to be scutted. It has infuriated the last 2 interns to no end. I win.

As for more interesting goings on while on call I can share this story. It was about 11 and things were starting to wind down. There were no more consults to be seen in the ER and I was going to get ready to go to sleep. Then suddenly a flurry of action erupted. Someone was brought into the ER with a severe peritonsilar abscess (abscess on the tonsils). CT showed that it extended from the top of his face into his chest. This meant a job for ENT surgery. The ER became a circus shortly after the patient arived. He was being extremely uncooperative in spite of his rapidly closing airway and lessening ability to even open his mouth. When he did open his mouth it smelled like a Turkish prison. No doubt bacteria had been at work decomposing his tonsils and leaving their smelly waste products behind.

After arguing for nearly 2 hours in Russian, he finally consented to surgery. This was where the fun started. Since his airway was rapidly closing and oral access was unfeasable intubating him had to be done through a bronchoscope through the nose. The plan was once he was intubated and his airway secured to put him under general anesthesia to cut a tracheostomy. After that the team would drain the abscess.

The first incision into the neck released a juicy squirt of pinkish pus. My only comment was how this patient was juicy like what it says on the butt of the sweatsuits I see the Russian girls in my area wearing. As an aside, for 95% of the wearers of those sweatpants the label is entirely unjustified. As for our patient, the team spent 4 hours draining pus from his head and neck. It was exhausting and I was covered in pus afterward. Needless to say that by the time it was over I had a 45 minute cat-nap and morning rounds started.

I know I had a lot to say but I also never know when the next time will come around to write. I do have more stories to tell and even some pictures to post once I get around to it.
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