Wednesday, November 22, 2017


One evening last week I went to a community meeting about a building they want to put in the abandoned parking lot next to my house.  By right, they can build a 5 story edifice that will be ugly, have no retail, and will effectively block all post 4PM sun at the nearby pool.  The meeting was to see what kind of alternative plan they had come up with that would make the neighbors happy AND the pool members happy.  However, building something other than the heinous 5 story edifice would require a change in zoning.

A few things:

1) Some people had very strong feelings about not changing the zoning.  They wanted the 5 story edifice with no retail that would block the sun to the swim club and be an enormous structure right next to our houses.  Just noticed that none of these people were pool members, and also most didn't even live on our street!  Why they get just as much a say as we -- the people who will ACTUALLY be affected by this building -- is a mystery to me. 

2) A sun study had been conducted and drawings were made of the amount of shade that would be cast onto the pool at different times of the day.  Two people actually asked, but what about other times of the day like the morning?  Why didn't you show us the sun study from that time of day?  WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?  What if the sun path changes?  What about a natural disaster that could change all of this?  Guys: The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  If there's a natural disaster big enough to cause this not to happen anymore we will probably have bigger fish to fry than whether this building ends up being 8 stories or 5.

3) A lot of people seem opposed to any plan that would allow the developer to make money.  They will try to appeal to our sense of injustice by saying things like, "But you know he likes that plan because he will make more MONEY," with a giant sneer on the last word as if it's a bad thing.  Guys: they wouldn't be proposing this building at all if they thought it wouldn't make money.  It it the fact that they want to make money that's the problem, or that YOU are NOT making the money that's the problem?  Please be honest with yourselves on this. 

Anyway.  Since something is going to get built there anyway, I really want the building to be nice.  To have nice amenities so our neighborhood can attract nice people.  So the foot traffic increases on my street and there is less marijuana sellage, and fewer used condoms flying out of car windows on my street.  That is all. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Call wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.  The problem we always have on Ob is that at night there is only one resident, so if you're stuck in a c-section you can't do epidurals, and the patients just keep coming.  Then when you get out of the c-section you have to see everyone and prioritize before you can really start doing procedures.  As such, it is not uncommon to have delays in epidural administration, especially at night.  Take that for whatever it's worth.

But, the good new is I've gotten pretty zen about it.  I think it's because I feel more confident in my plans, and because the staff know me and trust my decision making more.  Also, holy cow have I improved over the past year.


Post call I took a 4 hour nap, and feel.... better though still pretty out of it.  I think I will walk the dog and hang out with Dyl briefly.  Maybe sit on the couch and stare at the tv.  Go to bed by 7:30.  Sounds like a plan?

Things I'm looking forward to:
1) figuring out what charitable donations were making this year
2) eating chili at my parents house
3) going skating on the day after thanksgiving
4) sleeping in my parents attic with Dyl

Monday, November 20, 2017

Restorative me time

I'm on call tonight, and because it wasn't busy I was allowed to go home after orientation.  So I walked home, ran, did a 15 min yoga session.  Now I'm eating lunch and am planning on a solid nap.

I know I should try to do work or something but I just don't freaking want to.  I'm going to be at the hospital until 830 tomorrow morning.  Isn't that enough?


Otoh this is the first real down time I've had in a while.  Perhaps I should try to enjoy it without the heaping dose of guilt piled on.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I have to be at work at 6:45 tomorrow morning.  Which.... is later than on most rotations, but still.  OMG the Sunday-night-itis!  It burns!

Today was a study in why Sundays suck.  So, on Friday I completed my passport renewal form online.  I asked my husband where my passport photos were since he took a bunch when I applied for fellowship last year.  Crickets.  On Friday night I asked him again and he said he'd find them in the morning.  On Saturday morning on the way to swimming, I asked him, "So, those passport photos?"  Naturally he had forgotten, which pissed me off.  He'd spent the morning lying around.  I told him not to worry about it, I would go to the CVS and get new ones done, but he said no.  In the afternoon the photos materialized, but my head took up too much space in the photo, so I asked if we had any others that didn't have this problem.  Crickets.

Anyway, today I had left "blank" which is to say, I had the following activities I wanted to get done:
- appointment in house at 8:30
- run/yoga
- walk dog
- complete state mandated computer training module on how not to ignite your patient when using alcohol based prep
- finish reading orientation packet for Ob
- do some anesthesia questions
- finish the passport application (dammit)
- plant my tulips
- Do an hour of work for research project
- etc.

You get the idea.  My husband was going to take Dyl to watch a play at her school at 1:30 or so, leaving me time to myself to decompress/exercise/walk the do/read in preparation for my much dreaded return to the OR tomorrow.  And actually, things went reasonably well until I asked for help with the photos again.  I honestly don't know if he just hoped the problem would go away because he kept wandering away, and then my daughter would come in and ask repeatedly if she could watch TV (no) and I kept having to call him back to fetch her, to bring a ruler, to find better photos.  I offered again to go to the CVS (no!).  Finally we concluded I had no photos without my glasses where my head didn't take up the whole 2", and we needed to take another set.  So we did that.  At some point Dyl had wandered upstairs and put herself to bed for a nap, bless her.  At least one person in the family is capable of acting like an adult.

We were done with the photo shoot at 1:50 or so, and had decided to throw in the towel for the play because we were going to be late, and we didn't even know what campus it was going to be on. (My husband's plan had been "go early and figure it out.")  Just then Dyl wanders downstairs asking to go to the play.  She was very proud of herself for waking up on time to go, and burst into tears when I told her it was too late.  My husband was still in the process of cropping the pictures, and wanted to go to the CVS to print them, and was doing his thing where he curses at the computer and throws things out of frustration, so I whisked Dylan into the car and just fucking took her to the goddamn play myself.

Except the road that we usually take to get to her school was closed for some reason, so we had to go around.  And then we discovered it was at the other campus, so we got back in the car and drove to the other campus.  I had no idea what building it was in, so eventually some person appeared who I could ask, and we rolled in during intermission.

Did I enjoy myself?  Hmmm... let me answer this as diplomatically as I can.  Let's just say I love seeing my daughter happy, and happy she was.  She was dancing to the music, and appeared to enjoy herself greatly.  She saw some of her friends, and the headmistress of the lower school said, "Hi Dylan, did you enjoy the play?" Which.... the only reason the headmistress of *my* school ever would have know who I was would have been because I'd been sent there for being bad.  She had ice cream and then we got out of there and drove home.

Where the passport photos were ready and waiting for me.

Is there something wrong with me that I just can't make myself be happy right now?  I didn't get to exercise, relax, read, or... do anything fun that I had wanted to.  I don't want to go to work tomorrow.  I am pissed that my husband basically fucked up my Sunday because he wanted to lie around yesterday morning when he told me he'd get the photos ready.  I am pissed that he's going to do this again, and there is literally nothing I can do about it.  Y'all talk about orchestrating these carefully crafted schedules for all the members of your family, but that only works if the other responsible adult in the family ACTUALLY FOLLOWS THEM.  Ugh.  I am just really annoyed that this is my life. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

iPhone post

just got back from anniversary dinner at bibou.  Was really good!  Had great conversations with the husband who had to run out right before to get the wine sine he'd only gotten red and I thought white might be better with the food (it was).
Ran into a bunch of people I know while out and about today.  Felt like part of the in crowd.
Ran 1.5 miles and did 30 min of yoga which made my back, which was feeling tight, feel so much better.
Finished watching stranger things season 2.  Highly recommend.
One more day of research month then I start ob.  Ho hum.  At least I have a good team.
Can't wait til I'm finally done with training.
Dyl asked me permission to start sucking her thumb again at night, and I said yes.  I swear to god the bedtime drama has decreased by 50%.  #selfsoothing. Maybe she just wasn't ready to quit before? I feel bad that she was in retrospect struggling with it so much.  Poor pickle!  She's doing great otherwise.  We've been reading more at bedtime because the duration of the nightly tantrum has diminished so much.

Anyway, off to bed for me now!

Friday, November 17, 2017

I've been reading more of the Cathy DeAngelis book -- the one about the first woman editor in chief of JAMA (and a former vice dean of the Med School at Johns Hopkins, and a variety of other important things).  Some things have struck me about her life.

1) She is good at flipping negative experiences to positive.  For instance, when she thought she wanted to be a missionary nun-nurse, and the nun she interviewed shat all over her, she says she would never have become a physician had that not happened to her.  Granted it's easier to do 60 years in retrospect, but still.

2) She has many, many close relationships with people she works with.  That sort of thing.... I wonder if it still exists in medicine?

3) She got to where she was in part by acting and working like a man.  But she was also very outspoken, and a little bit weird in a charming kind of way.  I wonder if that was tolerated because she wasn't working with a large group of women?  She was very good at getting people to do things for her, and bent over backwards to make sure people saw her as a serious doctor, not just as some fluffy pediatrician.

4) She never had a family of her own which probably facilitated 2&3.  Not knocking it, but it's a little sad because it is obvious that she did want her own kids, she just started trying too late (and IVF wasn't really as much a thing back in the early 80s).

5) Damn medicine was flexible back in the day.  A few phone calls could get you into a fellowship or masters program, and a hastily thrown together proposal and a chat over lunch (that she prepared) could get her a large grant.  Now there's so much red tape and so, so many rules you really can't do anything quickly.  You need an advanced degree just to understand how the grant system works, for goodness sake.

6) She was incredibly flexible about moving.  Always.  Until she was in her 40s, she never lived any one place for more than a few years.

7) She was very careful about her relationships with her male colleagues/superiors.  Never went to drinks with them.  Never played tennis with them.  Deliberately avoided these sorts of mentorship opportunities because she didn't want to be accused of having affairs with them.  Talked about how if you're a woman you have to do your networking in public or group settings so that people don't get the wrong idea.

8) I think the biggest take away from the book so far has been the extent to which she trusted her instincts and went after what she knew was right without doing so exclusively for self promotion purposes.  She had great instincts and could really make things happen. Even so, there were plenty of times she discovered she was getting paid less than her less qualified male colleagues, which depresses the shit out of me.

I dunno.  The biggest takeaway I think is that you have to do things your own way.  Today trainees seem to want a blueprint for "success" but... to do what she did there just isn't one.  You have to be in the right time and place to do what she did, and also get very lucky.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

On wasting time

I'm trying to write a manuscript right now, a process that is fraught with bursts of productivity followed by whatever the opposite of that is.  So, yesterday after accomplishing most of the things I wanted to on my list of supplemental analyses I wanted to do, I decided to forge my way into the hospital in order to complete my reimbursement forms so that I could get $1000 back to cover expenses on a conference I just went to.

All told, once you included the time spent to print out my receipts, make photocopies, fill out the extremely detailed forms, and then print out some other stuff (to make sure I had, you know, actually registered for the conference and not just stayed at the Sheraton in Boston for five nights just for fun), not to mention the walk to and from the hospital and the 30 minute conversation I had with a co-resident once I got there, it took me THREE FUCKING HOURS just to complete this paperwork.  Now granted, that comes out to approximately $333 per hour, which is pretty good money.  But still.

OMG painful.

Similar experience with the vet this morning (blood draw and BP check for Miss Boo to evaluate her renal function).  However I was able to teleconference into the lecture this morning from my house over breakfast and do anesthesia questions in the waiting room, so I guess I've managed to get stuff done already today in spite of everything.

As a side note -- I teleconferenced in!  It was awesome!  The funny part was when I started getting frantic texts from some of my friends telling me that video from my house was live streaming into the auditorium where everyone was sitting.  Thankfully I was wearing clothes, and thinking hard over the past 10 minutes I concluded that no swear words had been uttered so, phew! Bullet dodged!  And now whomever saw me on screen can vouch for the fact that I did in fact teleconference in.  Win.


What's with crazy people and their animals?  I've known forever that you can spot a new dog owner by the young couples walking together who want your dog to come say hi to their dog (they eventually learn, but not before judging everyone who says no to them over the first few months of ownership), but at the vet some people are just stupid.  Today some lady sat her cat carrier down literally four feet away from Miss Boo with a (wisely) terrified kitty inside.  Then she proceeded to take her cat out of the carrier.  My dog was.... very interested in the cat.  So I asked her not to do that.

Her: Oh you don't have to worry, she won't run away!
Me: That's not what I'm worried about (as my dog is leaning against her leash, hard, at the cat)
Her: Oh my cat is very sweet.
Me: I'm sure she's lovely, but I don't want to be responsible for her demise when my dog eats her.  You know, there's a cat-only section of the waiting room....

I might as well have told her to go to the back of the bus from the look she gave me, but oh well.  As I was bitching to my dad about this while my dog was having her blood drawn, he told me at his vet some lady took her guinea pig out to run around on the floor, and had a similar reaction when asked to put it away after a German Shepard waiting in the waiting room attempted to hunt it.


Ok for real now, I'm going to work on my manuscript.  Lol.  Wish me luck.