Thursday, December 24, 2009
And now a few thoughts on Santa:
It is a little different sitting on Santa's lap as an adult. I felt a little embarassed this time. I didn't cry like I probably did as a child though.
Here is my most vivid Santa memory:
My twin sister and I were sitting on Santa's lap. He started asking us if we had been good girls. We said yes. Here is the rest of the conversation:
Santa: "How come you haven't kept your room clean?"
(Mom in the background waving, "no, no, no"--we were pretty good at keeping our room clean at this point in time)
Us: "Umm, we thought we did."
Santa: "Well than how come you were fighting with your sister?"
(Mom again, but more waving, NO, NO, NO)
Us: "We were just pretending, we weren't really fighting."
We left pretty distraught that Santa thought we had been fighting each other. You have to understand that my twin sister and I NEVER fought. And I mean NEVER. This Santa had it all wrong. We knew his all knowing self must have seen the only thing we could think to call fighting, us sparring with pretend swords. We were devastated that he couldn't tell we were playing and not really fighting.
I think we still got some good presents even though Santa pegged us for a lot worse than we were!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I'm not sure quite when it happened. Sometime during college. Maybe it was when I let a friend wax them for me. I remember being unhappy although I'm not sure she was the one who rid them of their fabulousness or not.
In reminiscence of days long gone, I have been putting up with quite a bit of shag above my eyes to remedy what I feel is slightly thin and uneven brows. Conveniently, this has corresponded with my busy schedule which after a long day, I can rarely bring myself to endure the torture session of plucking I have to endure on an almost daily basis since the ripe old age of, like 8.
Anyway, I finally saved up enough stray follicles I felt this would be a good time to go in for an eye brow tune up, or the professional brow wax. I wanted a friend of mine who also happens to be a professional to do it but I just couldn't wait anymore. I didn't want horrible Christmas pictures, you know, to remember my unibrow for years to come.
It seems all women I know go in for regular waxing sessions and think this is the only way. The esthetician has asked me before, "How often do you have to come in?" I always think, "Are you kidding me?" If I paid every time I needed my eyebrows done I would be in the poor house. --At least I would have nice eyebrows?
Despite my highest hopes, almost every time I go to the "professional" who I assume is someone who goes to school all for the purpose of learning the wonders of perfect brow waxing, I come away mildly unhappy. Today I was displeased.
All my saving up...and without really asking, she assumed I wanted the "natural look" which to her must mean, "take out any of her feminine arch and give her a straight line (mind you, she took away the connector so it wasn't quite the Bert from Sesame Street, but pretty darn close). She assured me this would help me maintain it more "since I am so busy and don't have time to come in much." (Since I was planning on that anyway?)
So here they are in all of their Sesame Street glory! I thought about not putting up this horrid picture, but I thought it may make my point more, like those weight loss pictures where they wear a ratty T-shirt, stick out their gut, and don't wear any makeup. Now I just need a beautiful picture of Angelina Jolie's brows to show you what a huge mess she made of me. But I don't have any of those and I'm ready for bed.
(PS do I really have uneven, lazy eyes? hilarious..please tell me I just haven't sleptwhile on call.)
Anyway, if you are still with me, I even had to ask if she purposefully left some of my unibrow (you can still seem some remnants on my right eye) or if she was going to get rid of those.
Here is where I think I went wrong. I got home early from work today. Early means, before 5-ish, which didn't feel too early since I spent the night at the hospital twice already this week, slept about 12 hours in 3 days, and woke up at 5 am this morning to see patients. Anyway, I am turning this into a novel so back to the story.
My mistake: I called the salon by my house, "I know the weather is horrible and wondered if you had any cancellations for this evening." I was told to come right away. Ok. I had just crawled out of the shower and was in my warm sweats. I am not afraid to go out in public looking like a complete scrub so I got in my car and raced down there.
Once I arrived I felt I had made a mistake. I felt out of place in this pretty uppity salon. And as you all know, first impressions are the most important. Immediately, she pegged me as the all natural girl, who never does her eyebrows and never had any semblence of fabulousness to boot. And off she went.
I know I am being a bit of a drama queen (isn't that what blogs are for, though, really?) but I was so bothered. Bothered I paid money to someone who didn't care at all for what I wanted (to return to my beautiful, not too thin, nicely curved arches) and made assumptions about what kind of brow I should have based on my post-call, tired, sweat panted self. It will take months or even years of shaggy brows to get back where I was (I know, because I still can't get back there).
New Year's Resolution: arches here I come
Friday, December 18, 2009
....then we ended up calling the rapid response team who sent him to the ER for a racing heart rate.
Remember my last post? Maybe I look a lot better than I thought!
(HA HA HA HA!)
Monday, December 14, 2009
It took me years to try again because I was too worried about "doing it wrong." This was after I was trying to imitate a Japanese family who seemed to really have it.
As I have gotten older, I don't think much about this any more. But sometimes, I can't help but wonder, what do other people notice about me, or others in general. When I think of others I realize I probably don't notice much. For example, sometimes I read blogs where people say things like, "Here is a picture of us, it is HORRID, but you get the idea." Usually I wonder, "are they fishing for compliments or do they really think they look bad?"
This makes me wonder things like:
- Do people notice my bushy eyebrows that I am trying to grow out a bit and don't have adequate time (or probably patience) to pluck perfectly each day?--what about my patients who are probably staring into my eyes (at least the ones who are awake)?
- I feel like I look different from day to day. Some days are horrible and others pretty good. Do I look much different to others?
- Does make-up make that much of a difference?
- Do people notice I really am a scrub most days? (I do wear scrubs most days, granted)
- Am I skinny or fat? When I say fat, I mean, fatter than I like. I can't seem to decide and my Wii fit seems to tell me differently each time.
- Can people tell how bootylicious I am in my scrubs (ha ha, just kidding)
- Do people notice how devastatingly handsome my husband is and do I look out of place next to him? (Merry Christmas, Abe)
My guess is, no, people probably don't. Because honestly, I don't think I notice these things on YOU.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
As I have grown up I have noticed how much I still love to sew and my skills sometimes come in handy. Here are a few of the things I have made for those who are curious.
This is my most tragic project. It has been probably 6 years in the making. I am not a quilter and don't want to tie this. Anyone want to share their expertise? It is supposed to be a blue/green pattern but unfortunately the lime green looks yellow next to the blues. Oops.
A few things on my baby/household sewing wish list:
Next time I will post some pictures of things I have made for myself to wear.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
As for this month, I feel tired. I have survived 5 months of intern year. In a lot of ways it feels like "SURVIVED." I am excited for the idea of Christmas time. I am not excited for my still to come 9 days on-call this month (I definitely live on a how-many-days -left-of-call-this-month basis). I also have the joy of working on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, as well as almost every other day the week before Christmas. So much for the Holiday spirit. I have almost this whole week off call, so maybe I should open my presents now. If you have them feel free to send them on early. :)
With that said, I am looking forward maybe more so to the new year. I wonder what the year 2010 will bring. Here are a few of my hopes:
1) Successful match into Oral Surgery (and if not, at least a decision one way or the other will be good)
2) Abe will finish his PhD and return to the clinics to finish Med School
3) Complete intern year with flying colors!
4) New house (with storage?)
5) 2 weeks of vacation time (what should I do with it?)
I wish you the best of what the season can bring!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I still can't believe this happened! I can only imagine the fear and horror he and his family must have felt while he was trapped alive. They can't get him out and will seal off the cave which is just unimagineable to me.
Have you been to Nutty Putty? It is a very popular spot in Utah. I went with some friends during college and I guess it wasn't such a bad thing that I was too scared to crawl through the "birth canal."
It seems that stores do not value customer service any more. You can no longer get cash or even change from gift cards any more. So really, when you have $5 on a card left and don't want anything else in the store, you either buy more or GIVE them the card. Or it expires with all of your mom's money going to them for Christmas instead of you.
Places like Target will only let you return something like 2 items per year. And it has to be within a certain number of days of purchase. We received many wedding gifts from Target that we found did not work or we didn't need after all, but having received them at wedding showers months before we were married, were uneligible to return these unused or broken items. With this in mind, this is why we love Bed Bath and Beyond. They continually amaze us with their customer service. We have taken back items almost a year later, can receive cash back from all of our gift cards (which never expire), and they seem to really value keeping the customer first. So refreshing!
Last night we were perusing for some potential Christmas gifts. On a side note, we have been casually looking for bedding for 2 years. We happened to find one we both liked that was reduced from $150 to $89. Great! We also had a 20% off coupon so we thought that would make an even greater deal. Next, we found matching curtains on sale for only $10 per panel, so we bought four for our room. Cool. Abe had a $5 off coupon we thought he could use to buy these separately.
When we arrived to the register we remembered a $25 credit we had for referring our sister there for her bridal registry. We noticed, however, that it had expired in April. We asked if they would consider taking it even though it was expired and they gladly did. They also let us combine all of our coupons, evidently they let you use as many coupons as you have items (they dont' abide by the one per person per visit idea), at least at the one in Coralville, IA. So, we saved $30 plus 20% off the bedding.
So....the moral of the story: We got $220 worth of stuff for only $85.
Thank you BBandB!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
When I heard the person who took the shooter down was a woman I was very interested. I was impressed she would have the courage to stand up to him and risk her life to save those around her. I think we need strong women who are willing to stand up and protect our families and neighbors from the evils of the world. I hope she has a speedy and successful recovery.
I admire and respect the men and women who give their lives to protect our country. I love working at the VA hospital and hearing the stories and the incredible sacrifices of those who have done so much for us. Thank you and God bless! I am sorry such a tragic event has effected those who already put themselves willingly in harm's way for us.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
This year there were three women who interviewed. That was very different from last year when I was the only one. I met one girl who was very nice and fun. She talked about some negative messages she has received about choosing oral surgery, especially from dental school faculty. I was surprised but knew just how she felt as I faced many similar pressures when choosing to attend dental school. I wish her the best and would even love to see her at Iowa. Can you imagine them taking not just one girl, but 2 or 3?
About 18 people interviewed for 3 spots. (Last year there were only 2.) My interviews were very different from last year. The interviewers seemed a little puzzled about what to ask me since they "already know" me. Some asked more than others, which was actually a bonus since I was able to offer up information about me they don't know about from working every day. Overall, I think things went well. While I have received multiple messages about how "every day is an interview" in a way that makes me really feel on my toes, a few of the interviewers really stressed this was an advantage and one that the other applicants will just have to be phenomenal to be worth the risk taking over me. I think this is true. What an advantage to have someone who is already trained! Starting on day one of residency, I will be ready to take call by myself, be able to pick up more difficult cases, and be a whiz with the computer system. On top of that, I know what I am getting into and have a low chance of dropping out. Hopefully they will see the sense in this. I was thanked for my hardwork (so nice to hear) and told I was a very competitive applicant (and was last year as well, I guess).
It is a relief to be over. I am glad that it went well and have hope for the future. And, I have the rest of the weekend off! (Thank goodness, I can only imagine the drunken parties tonight for Halloween and the Hawkeyes 9-0 victory!)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
gunshot wound to the face
multiple mandible fractures (I lost count!)
car crash with 6 kids, 3 consulted with us
cute 2 y.o. who split her tongue (think forked tongue) on the playground
woman with a large facial swelling, from subcutaneous emphysema (air under her skin), a complication (VERY RARE) from her root canal performed by one of my classmates (welcome to the real world, huh!?). I was always warned about this in dental school but it was interesting to see in real life
patient with big swelling who refused to be treated because he doesn't like needles (scary)
I am loving that I get to take call from home this week, unlike last. I feel like I am sleeping on a pile of feathers or something after a week of midface.
Boring, eh? I dont mean for myself! But to others. I have nothing else to talk about except work right now.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
A Day in the Life on Midface Trauma Call:
Background: "midface" is when all facial trauma (minus noses or just mandibles) comes to you. This gets split between oral surgery and ears, nose, throat. When we are on "midface" we are required to live at the hospital. Other weeks, we get to take call from home.
7:45 am: change into scrubs. "I hope I get a nap in soon. I am tired."
8:00 am: rounds. Check on patients currently in-house (staying in the hospital). Gather information on their care for the day.
8:45 am: Emergency room. Mandible (lower jaw) fracture. Evaluate patient and get ready for surgery. Assaulted after returning home from bars 3 am.
9:45 am: Emergency room. Mandible fracture #2. Evaluate patient and add on to surgery schedule. Assaulted at/after(?) bars 1 am. Place orders (instructions for nurses, medications, etc) for both patients and prepare thorough history for surgery, prepare for admission to hospital. This takes some time...
11:00 am: Rush to catch up to chief (resident in charge) in OR. "Time for a cookie? Oh, lunch on-call money hasn't started yet. Better get going, anyway. Bathroom? Time to get my goggles in the resident room? No, better get there."
11:15 place orders for surgery, assist in surgery. 11:45 "Ouch, headache! It is very hot in here. I hope I don't pass out again." Continue to receive pages throughout surgery. EEK.
1:00 "Dr.'s, your next surgery is ready. You can go straight from here to the next one." ...no ibuprofen for my splitting headache, still no cookie.
1:15-5:00 surgery on jaw fracture #2.
5:30: Catch up on missed pages while in the OR.
6:00: evaluated patient in ER for being pushed down stairs during fight.
6:30 Wait in line at lame-o off hours cafeteria. Grab fries and soup. Eat fast, just in case. Finally some down time.
7:30: Round on patients for the night.
7:45: Free time. Yay! Try to sleep. Room is way too hot! Headache is horrible (where is an open pharmacy?), bed is like a board. Finally get ibuprofen at pharmacy and try to sleep. TRY being key.
3:00am: BEEP, BEEP, BEEEEEEP! "Pager. Ugh. Try to sound awake on the phone." Emergency room (one of Abe's doctor friends) calling about facial laceration with arterial bleeding they cannot stop. Can you come quick? "Uh oh! What am I going to do?" Page chief to come in ASAP.
3:05 am: scalp bleeding, put pressure on for 2 minutes, it stops. "Wahoo, I am awesome!--whatever. Oops, wish I wouldn't have told chief to come in." Page him again. He calls and says sorry for missing page. I am glad this time. Embarrassing to have him come in for THAT. By the way, patient was very rude, esp with me saving his life from bleeding to death and all. Kid got bit by sign in the head while "not drinking."
3:15am: While in the ER, another laceration. "He wants plastics closure with NO SCARS." ..."Great, do I tell him I have done this maybe 2 other times?" Struggled with very small laceration for too long, maybe an hour! Deep stitches and glue. Hope it works! While suturing, ER again, "Consult for 3 more patients."
4:00am: 6 kids in car accident on way home from haunted house. I get consulted on three of them. 1 has 2 big lacerations on forehead, one girl as jaw fracture with tongue laceration and loose teeth, 1 intubated and in intensive care for facial crunch.
6:00am: sewing up forehead lacs.
7:30: Finish one laceration (lac) and have to pre-round (check on patients before the boss comes).
8:00 "No longer on call"
8:00 re-round on all patients. Finally make it to intensive care to evaluated the facial crunch from earlier.
10:00: work on discharging two patients. Run to grab donut and chocolate milk (no time and few options in cafeteria closing for morning)
11:00: Finish suturing other forehead lac. (other resident does farcial crunch lac, thank you!) Chief does most of it, thankfully. It would have taken me much longer.
11:45 Time for 7 notes...Lots of paperwork
1:00: Home. Yawn!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Essentially, it is a somewhat formal event with dinner and dancing to celebrate the graduating class of the University of Iowa's College of Dentistry. This is us back in March 2009.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
We found these girls on a bar crawl. We thought it was hilarious that their shirts said "Erin" when we felt like it was my day.
We had sushi and a hot pot dinner downtown.
Mr. and Dr. Sheffield (I always wanted that combination in titles...didn't think it would ever really happen, though!). Don't worry, it is soon to be Dr. and Dr. Dr. Sheffield :) Confusing? Can you tell who is who?
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I don't know why I thought this was so hilarious! I am not a dog trainer so maybe I don't know for sure, but I was surprised this woman seemed to believe the dog could understand and would change its behavior after her heart to heart.
Besides, I thought German was the language dogs really understand.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
For example, the Wii Fit, has asked Abe, "How is Erin looking? It has been awhile since I have seen her?" Then he gets to choose between options like, "looking a little heavy, the same, smaller, etc." Okay, a little nosy, don't you think, computer?
So, I was anxiously awaiting a similar question when Abe had not played the game for 45 days. Surely, it will ask me now and I can say how fat his favorite Abe is getting (yeah right). But no, I missed probably 2 days and it says to him, "Erin has not been exercising lately." What!
Abe says that it just likes him because it is his Wii. It is my game though. I was so annoyed with the apparent favoritism and lack of loyalty, I couldn't bear to take a turn that night.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
What have I been doing the past few weeks?
I have jumped into more tooth extractions and biopsies. So far in August I have "pulled" 132 teeth and surgically removed (such as an impacted wisdom tooth) 43 teeth.
My shifts at the college have been packing in the wisdom teeth surgeries which are much more advanced than I have experienced before. However, with the beginner cases they have given me I feel I am learning a lot and starting to gain some experience. I felt a little strange when I had students come in to watch me during an extaction of a difficult third molar yesterday. I guess they couldn't see regardless, but I feel like I don't have much to teach them yet! I have a long way to go.
I had my first paresthesia (lasting numbness) case on a girl's tongue. I was worried about another patient and ironically this completely different one I didn't expect popped up on me. I think she will get better but I am surprised that happened to her. I don't remember anything unusual about her case....that is why we do consent forms.
We booked our flights to Hawaii for vacation in October! I will definitely appreciate this vacation more than most.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I ended up in the ER from about 12:30 am-5:00 am, sewing up the face of a man who fell off his bike into a patch of gravel. He broke his nose, lacerated his upper lip, and completely split his lower lip in two. The inside of his mouth was like hamburger meat with gravel mixed in. Poor guy. For being my first facial laceration (we call them lacs), I got quite a bit of practice!
It will be interesting to see what his scars look like next week.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The resident proceded to the ER where he did his exam. The child had hit her chin on a teeter-totter. When he looked in her mouth, sure enough, she recoiled every time he tried to get close to the mass of meaty, shredded tissue.
Not sure quite how to proceed, especially since the child had recently eaten and couldn't be sedated, he called in the chief resident. When he arrived, he also examined the child. To the mother's dismay (she almost fainted), a chunk of the tissue came out. "I'm sorry, but unfortunately this wont be able to be reattached," he said. As he investigated further, another piece came out. He gave it a little sniff and said, "It smells like beef jerky." He grabbed the tissue and it came out in a big piece...of, you guessed it, beef jerky!
The child had eaten the jerky 5-6 hours before and had parked it there by her tongue. She just happened to hit her chin on the see-saw, and got past at least 2-3 other docs before it was figured out. Hilarious!
Should have listened more closely to the ER doc I guess when she said, "it looks like shredded meat."
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Abe gets these kind of calls all the time. His name is usually the first in the contact list (unless you are part of the Sheffield family, where you have Aaron, Abby, Abe, and Anna all there to be at the top of the list). Anyway, we were joking about all of the "butt calls" the Sheffield kids get. Then, his dad said, "I prefer to call them Booty Calls."
We all laughed. We thought he was being funny until we realized he had no idea what the common definition of a "booty call" was.
I guess if my mom has to be giving my husband a booty call, I am glad that this was the kind!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Another big landmark for me: I took out my first impacted wisdom tooth! Yay. One of the upper level residents showed me how to do one side and then watched and prompted me to do the other side. It was great to have that input and to feel a little more confident since I know I did it right, at least that time. So yay for me!
I have been taking out teeth for 2 years and this was the first chance I have been allowed to take out a wisdom tooth that was impacted (stuck down below the bone). We have a medical resident with us who just graduated medical school. He will be with us for a month. He told me he plans to get pretty good at taking out wisdom teeth by the end of the month. I had to laugh at his enthusiasm. We'll see if he changes his tune after he takes out his first tooth. I wonder if he doesn't realize that as dental interns, we are actually ready and able to practice--unlike medical interns who have done very few procedures. I am sure he knows a ton more than I do about health concerns, hospital procedures, etc. I am glad that there are we can teach each other.
Monday, August 3, 2009
What have I been doing this month?
I took another head and neck anatomy class with cadavers and all, 8 weeks worth packed into 2 weeks. Also, other head and neck lectures for one month.
Did my first incision and drainage for an infection that was blowing up a girl's face. Not a lot of pus, unfortunately. I will have many more chances, I am sure!
Pulling teeth again (about 25 so far).
Signed students off for extractions in the undergrad clinic. I feel very powerful!
I have seen 2 surgeries where they cut along the scalp, pulled the face down, and plated the broken bones. Cool. Seen some other mandible fractures, too.
Met a lot of drunk, busted up people in the ER.
Spent 6 nights in the hospital.
Gained some confidence. My beeper no longer gives me a heart attack!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
So, what have I been up to this week? It seems like a total blur.
I didn't have class after 5:00pm like the weeks before so it has been nice to have an extra few hours in the evenings. What do I do with the extra few hours you ask? All of this precious free time? ...sleep and study.
Tonight I am on call for the third time this week. So far it has been an extremely quiet week without much of anything! Everyone keeps saying what a strange summer it has been. A few hypotheses about the lack of trauma: 1-cold weather (yes, I have been wearing a jacket quite frequently--in JULY--in IOWA!). 2-ecomomy (less people can afford to get drunk = 90% less facial fractures).
Abe has been gone ALL WEEK doing RAGBRAI, an annual bike ride across the state of Iowa from the Missouri to the Mississippi. I hoped to have our house all cleaned up while he was gone (maybe show myself he was the messy one, not me) but remember what I said before about free time? Yeah. The house is almost identical to when he left. Last night I went to meet him an hour away to camp overnight with him. It was really fun to use our new tent and to see him again, even though I had to leave at 6:15 am to make it in for work. Normally I would have thought it not worth the drive to have to leave so early but I realized it was like sleeping in, actually.
Emotionally: I have been a bit lonely. I have also had ups and downs with feeling like an idiot and feeling ok. There is so much to know but hopefully I am learning little by little.
Another week behind me.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Sure enough, karma or irony or something came to haunt me the very next morning.
I was at a Saturday morning oral pathology/surgery conference. One of the professors introduced me to another woman by saying, "Erin, have you met ____? Two expectant mothers, how wonderful!"
I said, "Uh, excuse me, me? Do you think/did you hear I'm pregnant? I didn't know that myself!"
I really don't know where that came from. I am preferring to think that someone told him mistakenly or he misunderstood or something.
I have always had a poochy tummy, but I hope it isn't THAT poochy!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Have you seen these before? Essentially, you choose a bag, the straps, and magnetic shells that go over the outside of the bag and you are set. I love this idea because I hate the idea of dumping your contents from one purse to another every time you change your outfit or your shoes! I always forget something important and I don't always have a bag for each outfit.
This makes it so easy! The bag is cute enough on its own or I can add the cream or orange shells my mom gave me to the outside and go! I am excited to add to my collection.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Arrive about 6:30 am for morning rounds. As a team, we check on the patients we have who are staying at the hospital. The on-call resident details how they did during the night, including any changes or problems. The chief residents then "pimps" the first (and sometimes second years) on medical trivia. So far... I realize I don't know much--or really, anything. My co-residents seem to have more a handle on what to know. I am starting to put the pieces together, but usually not in time to answer my questions correctly. Bummer.
8:00 am-5:00 pm Otolaryngology Basic Science Course. Right now we spend all day in lectures and then in the gross anatomy lab doing dissections. If we get done early (we always do), we return to the clinic to help out or try to learn the new and very confusing computer system.
5:00-8:00 pm (3 times per week) we meet for a history and physical exam class taught by the internal medicine chiefs. Being a dentist in a hospital is a bit intimidating. They are trying to get us caught up on basical medical knowledge and skills we need to navigate through our patient care.
If I am lucky, I get to go home at this point. I then have some major studying to do for the basic science course (test on Friday--we have been informed that the OS residents always do the best on the test. I feel pressure to do well since I am still trying to prove myself, but also have so little time!) as well as hundreds of pages of readings for the H&P class, not to mention trying to study random subjects to prepare for rounds. This has been the hard part to get done.
If I am not-so-lucky, I am on call from 8am-8am. I was on call last Friday night and slept less than 45 minutes (with interruption). Monday night I was also on-call. While I did not get any calls, I was up until past 1:30 am in a surgery (don't worry, no fainting spells this time). The surgery was very cool, a guy who smashed his face. I wont gross you out with the gory details, but he now has 115 screws in his face and who knows how many plates! Wow! I was back on my feet at 5:30 am to get ready for rounds.
Since we are dentists, we are not under the medical association's accreditation. This means that while most residents are required to go home after a 30 hour shift and can log no more than 80 hours per week, we are not subject to such rules.
So...I spent about 38 hours in the hospital on Monday and Tuesday and will log a grand total of about 93 hours this week. Everyday is like an interview for me if I decide to reapply to the residency, so I hope I can keep it up. I am doing surprisingly well physically/emotionally/mentally considering how tired and busy I am and trying not to feel discouraged about how little I know. I am excited to start seeing patients next month and really start learning.
Phew! Only 355 days to go.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Yesterday the chief residents asked us to stay around and watch how things roll along in the clinic to try to catch on with paperwork and hospital procedures. I volunteered to assist in the OR on a trauma case. Unfortunately, despite my best intentions, I passed out. in the OR. during surgery. on the floor. ugh.
I don't know if you have ever passed out before but here is what it was like for me.
Man, I am very hot. Wow, sweating like a pig hot. Hot, hot, hot. Wow, that is a mandible. It is really broken. Phew, it is hot. I should probably sit down. Uh-oh, my headlamp is plugged in and I am in between a bunch of cords (that are keeping the patient ALIVE)--I don't think I can get out. Uh, nurse, nurse, look my way (should I speak up?). Whoah, seeing spots. Better speak up:
"Um, I need to be unplugged, I'm not feeling well."
Sleep....very very dark, heavy, dreaming sleep. I think I was dreaming about SCUBA diving or something. Very restful at home in bed for hours and hours sleep.
(Slowly I open my eyes) Who is that, she is wearing green and a funny hat. I'm not at home? Oh no! I didn't! Really, Erin, really! Great. I must have passed out. Really? It seems like ages ago I was standing there assisting. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Way to make a good first impression, Erin! Oxygen, is that really necessary? Yes a wheelchair would be great. No I'm not pregnant, at least I really don't think so!
They wheeled me upstairs where I showered and changed and sheepishly went back to the clinic, hoping no one would ask why I was back so early. Don't worry, they did. Embarassing! But funny.
Luckily, I guess the huge anesthesiology resident who happened to be on our surgery caught me before I hit my head. Luckily #2, he was able to lift me completely over all of the cords and lay me safely on the floor. Luckily #3, I did not fall on the sterile field or bump the surgery. Luckily #4, people acted like it wasn't a big deal. Luckily #5, hospitals have new clean pairs of scrubs everywhere and showers.
I hope things don't continue in this fashion!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
* Our computer died. This means no easy access. It will be hard to cough up the dough for a new one but it is so hard to go without! I may have to wait for my first real paycheck before this is fixed.
* We were on vacation! We spent a glorious week in the Bay Islands (in the Caribbean) SCUBA diving with my family. NO internet access or phone.
* I have started my orientation for work. This includes hours of multiple computer trainings (I have to use 3 different computer health record systems this year!), compliance trainings, a physical exam, white coat fittings, and even 6:30 am rounding sessions and homework. So far it has been okay...I am still nervous about getting used to things. I HATE the first 2 weeks of a new job!
* It has been SO hot. Who feels like doing anything when it is a heat warning and an index of 108.
I have been assured I will be working up to and probably well over my allotted 80 hour work week starting very soon. We'll see how much blog time I have then!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
On Sunday night my sister asked if I knew anyone named "Rosa." Said "Rosa" kept texting her while sis waited for her connection in the Chicago airport. The only clue to "Rosa's" identity was an Iowa number and that they had "met" at my wedding. Two years ago? Strange.
Finally, I checked the phone number of the new text buddy which turned out to be Abe's grandmother's cell. Fishy! Grandma doesn't hardly make calls on her phone--texting would be a large stretch, especially under the psuedoym, "Rosa."
Anyway, to get to the bottom of this, Abe texted Rosa.
Abe: "How's it going? Is this still Jane?"
Rosa: "Sorry, this used to be my grandma's phone."
Rosa: "What I meant to say was, yes this is still me."
That was a pretty hilarious way for Rosa to clue us in to her identity. After some more detective work, Rosa's phone was found in Abe's little sister's drawer. Also, Rosa acting under a new name, sent some other messages, for example to Abe's brother asking where "Jamal from NY" was.
The only mystery now is, how did Rosa get my sister's number?
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
So, I am back at the school trying to print off a form (our computer hasn't been working) so I can pay WREB another $30 money order for my scores. (Why is this not included in my original fee, by the way? Isn't that part of taking a test--getting a score?)
Trouble is, a girl is printing off what seems like hundreds of pages of notes on the very slow printer. I have about five 15-25 page jobs ahead of me. All for my one page. So I can pay for WREB to get me my scores. So I can get my license late and possibly delay my internship. Beautiful.
I have to be to the bank for my cashier's check before 5:00. Come on girl! I don't think I'm going to make it and I'm not sure I have access to another printer.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
So, I did it!
It feels so good to have things checked off my list and done! And, I even received enough points to get an "A."
It is so strange to think this part of my life has come to an end!
Friday, May 22, 2009
The award was The International Congress of Oral Implantologists/Sullivan Schein Predoctoral Student Achievement Award. I was given some cash as well as a free implant CE course, all for my excellent achievements in my sophomore implant course and my skills during my implant clinical experiences and screenings.
I still don't really understand why they chose me. Did I even do well in that class my second year? I guess I must have done better than I thought!
Moral of the story: if you need a dental implant, I guess I am the one you want to come see. Ha HA HA!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
However, last night after a long and tiring day I was unable to sleep due to the conversation our neighbors upstairs were having. Not only was it loud in decibels, it was loud in offensiveness. I was able to hear every word of their conversation. I have at times wondered what guys talk about in the presence of only guys, but I was wishing in this instance that I was not privy. Basically, it consisted of one guy giving another a pep talk on girls, what kind of guys they like (big, confident, being in dental school is a big plus), and what sex acts he would allow a girl to perform on himself according to how hot her body was.
This is where I drew the line. I marched upstairs, pajamas and all and knocked. No answer...they quieted down. I was a little relieved for the lack of confrontation but I still had a few things on my chest.
I wrote a note instead which basically said something like this:
While it is true many girls like big and confident guys, they also like those who are courteous to their neighbors and do not talk too loudly after 11 pm, particularly about how to lure girls into _______ (little sibling eyes do not need to see).
I can't remember the rest, but I wanted to let them know that not only were they loud, but I knew exactly what they were saying.
I also was disgusted to think of how many girls are so free to give themselves away for nothing, that this guy would "let" a girl do something to him even though her body was hot because he saw her running but not THAT hot. That without any kind of regard for who she was as a person he would submit to said act since she was kind of hot. Yuck.
Anyway, I am happy to report I received a very apologetic note on our door for waking us up and because it "also occurs to us that we have made jokes in poor taste recently. Ethically, it would probably benefit us and the community if we raised our moral standards. I personally will make an effort to do so and will encourage my roommate to follow a similar path."
Thank you neighbors for not being defensive and mad and for being apologetic and willing to change. I hope we do not disturb you, either.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Currently, she pays $96 per month. Her insurance plan covers $1500 of work, and 80% of prosthodontic procedures (things like dentures, crowns, bridges). This is a very good plan, one of the best we see at the school. However, at $96 per month, she is paying $1152 per year for a $1500 plan she unfortunately will not max out. She is losing her insurance because of retirement. I am assuming she has carried this plan for the bulk of her career but had a 15 year absence from the dentist due to a dental phobia.
My point? Dental insurance isn't insurance at least in the way medical insurance is insurance. Going without medical insurance could be catastrophic. Having dental insurance can be very helpful. However, many of my patients, friends, and even family members have used lack of insurance as an excuse for not seeking regular preventive care or even receiving ideal care. If you can't afford insurance, paying for an annual exam and cleaning (and maybe small filling or two) will probably be cheaper than the premium on an insurance plan. This is assuming you do not have huge dental problems.
Dental insurance is a great thing, but shouldn't be used as a crutch for not seeking appropriate care. For my patient and others like her, she can continue her dental care by paying herself the $96 per month and putting it towards her dental treatment. It may not be all available to her right away, but with some planning and perhaps a payment plan, she may actually save herself some money.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The first few years were rigorous academically. We had something like 140 quizzes and tests our first year alone. Third year was stressful in trying to incorporate all of my learning into patient care. Applying knowledge and facing new procedures almost every day with a pit in your stomach, pretending to be confident when your patient wasn't quite sure about you.
However, I think senior year was the hardest. It has been very different. Very little class time, only about 4 or 5 tests the whole year. Things that made it hard where mostly jumping through the hoops toward graduation. Things like managing your patient schedule to meet your requirements on time and finding patients for boards. This was my most stressful year of dental school by far, but most of it had very little to do with school.
When I left for my rotations, I had an interview with my instructor who told me I was passing with a "C" and should be very proud of myself. I was below our group average on points and wasn't doing very well on my daily evaluations. I felt far from proud--I felt very discouraged.
My rotations forced me to be independent, to make decisions, and to trust my judgement as well as improve my speed. Now, I am on my way to a "A" in daily procedure points and continue to receive multiple compliments from instructors, including things like, "You should work on my teeth" and "Perfect work, right from the text book," and "You are getting better and better every day." I am so grateful all of my hard work seems to be paying off. I want to be a great dentist not only for myself, but for my patients. And after 4 years of school at one of the most rigorous and excellent dental programs in the country, I am beginning to feel ready. I am so grateful that I have had the many opportunities that have been given me.
Let's see what I can learn in the last 8 days!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The problem is, when I get bored, one of the first things I do is check the news on a variety of network pages. This "up-to-date" info at the click of my finger (usually multiple times a day) makes for very boring news.
Very rarely do I see headlines that are like, "Now that's news!" Instead, it is a bunch of gobbley-gook about American Idol blog updates and updates on Brooke Hogan. Whoot.
The best moment I had with online news was with Obama's VP pick. I was on CNN.com rather late and saw a banner up top announcing Biden was the selected candidate. However, Obama had promised his special grass root campaigners that they would be the first to know the next morning. Oops! Within just a few minutes, the banner was gone. I couldn't help but wonder, "Would they have respected McCain that much to pull their big headline so he could save face with voters?" Somehow, I doubt it. I don't know much about journalism but the movies I have seen make it look like everyone wants the scoop. At least I had it!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Until the last few days. Suddenly, I have had failing appointments or cancelling at the last minute and a lack of patients again. So...
I have been sitting here bored at my computer for it seems like days with only a small procedure here and there. We are not allowed to go home early. I have no lab work to do. No homework to do. Not enough blogs to read. So, I either need some more procedures to do or you better get writing!
11 clinic days left!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I think I must have dentistry on the mind. I thought this song was talking about "Novacaine" for the longest time. Something like, "I want some Novacaine, I want some novacaine" during the chorus. I think it says something like, "You must not know about me," instead. At least it sounds like that through the dental school radio they have playing in the hallways and patient lobbies (I admit it doesn't sound so much like it on here.) I must have thought the "to the left to the left" 's were coming from my instructors.
I thought it had something to do with the numbing effects of love and breaking up. What a clever song! Haha.
Monday, May 4, 2009
After we finish our graduation requirements, the ritual at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry is that you get to ring "the cowbell" to let everyone know who else will be called "Dr." when the year is over.
Today I finished my last requirement, my molar root canal (with a little help from my instructor who finished it for me since we were running out of time today--thank you!). Yay! Once I get the paperwork done, it will be my turn!
I've definately had a fever this year (senioritis) and the only prescription is a little more cowbell!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I really enjoyed the lecture which focused on World War I and the effects it had on plastic surgery and the beauty market. Essentially, plastic surgery was legitimized by a plastic surgeon who was trying to help soldiers left mutilated by the war look normal enough to rejoing society after losing parts of their faces such as eyes, noses, jaws, etc. Makeup also was introduced to American women after a Jewish woman named Helen Rubenstein fled Europe and worked to change make-up into a non-morally suspect enterprise. I guess up until this time, women who wore make-up were considered quite trashy. Women were also trying to look more like the male heros of the war by cutting their hair, binding their bosoms, or even receiving breast reductions.
A historian sitting next to us informed us that women in the US shave their legs because around this time Gilette/Schick had their hands on the male market and decided to encourage women to shave their legs to improve profits. Women of war torn Europe could not afford to do this and to this day, do not shave their legs to the extent we in America do.
I thought this was all very interesting. It made me think how fickle we are, that we judge so harshly on things that are so easily changed such as the trend for no makeup and makeup or small breasts verses large breasts (by marketing, not science or legitimacy).
I find I am one who regrets the pressures put on women for beauty. I found it ironic that the very daily practices I feel I must to for an almost moral reason of self pride (makeup, deodorant, shaving) were uncommon or even shunned until money changed that all. In a way I wish we didn't place that emphasis on status quo looks and the need to wear makeup. I know many would argue the opposite, however, that makeup has given them a great opportunity to improve themselves. I guess for me I sometimes dislike the almost guilt I feel when I choose not to buy into the marketing each day. I hate feeling "ugly" or like a "scrub" because I chose not to wear make-up to work when practically every male does the exact thing each day and look just fine.
A lot has changed in 100 years.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
But, I guess that is a good thing. Since I tend to write about the incredibly horrible things that happen in my life (I think I'm a bit of a drama queen), I think that means things are going pretty well (minus the minor credit card fraud and associated phone calls I have been receiving). I am well on my way to passing Family Dentistry (our one class this year) and am about the breach the "C" range. This is the biggest hurdle up the grade ladder. Once I get past here I can advance pretty quickly through the grades by a mere couple hundred points instead of 3800 for a "D" or the 4250 for a "C-". Right now I am on track for an "A-" if I continue to work hard and have good luck with my patients. I am hoping that I can take a big jump in my class rank if I do well since everyone either is doing general dentistry and doesn't care about grades, or already matched into a specialty and really don't care.
My biggest hurdle toward graduation--getting my molar root canal patient to come back! She is my last requirement and wont make an appointment. I may have to find another.
So, my life is pretty boring. But I prefer it to the excitement of boards, the stress of worrying about graduation, or the craziness of just being way busy.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
However, I somehow missed my last months payment. I am not one to skip out on bills and I really think I remember scheduling this payment online! I remember it was a few days before and I thought, "Oh, good thing I payed this. I almost missed it." I guess that is the problem with online bill pay. I have no evidence. I guess I really should print out the confirmation.
I also got a phone call from someone asking me to make a payment over the phone since I missed this last payment. I couldn't understand her very well but felt uncomfortable with the idea of giving away financial info over the phone to someone who called me so made the payment once I got home and could call in myself. The whole situation puts a knot in my stomach for some reason. Just seems fishy.
And I really really think I made my payment already...
Thursday, April 16, 2009
He called me back 2 more times. My call log said:
missed call 4: 40
missed call 4:43
What nerve! Either that, of he really had a legitimate reason and couldn't talk clearly enough for me to understand. Has anyone had such pesky marketing schemes? And how did he know my name? I looked up the number on google and evidently I am not the only one to receive sketchy calls from this guy. Weird!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
With all of the fun of Easter Activities, I often find I forget what Easter is really about. This morning I found this video that really touched me and made me extremely grateful for Easter. Please take a few minutes to celebrate the real meaning of this important day for mankind by watching as well.
I know that our Savior lives! I hope I can live like him more each day.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I am torn thinking about the day it arrives. Logically, I am in the top half of my class and should have done just fine. But also, the test isn't very logical! I am crossing my fingers and praying (can God--or rather will He--change scores after the fact to magically create a pass while my letter is in the mail?) and hoping I wont have to retake the test.
The consequences of failing are so grim I can't imagine not passing. But I also can!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Please be careful and kind to bikers. I know it can be frustrating to get "stuck" behind a slowly moving biker, but it can be frightening to be intimidated by an impatient driver! It may slow you down a bit while you try to pass, but in reality, bikers are helping the community both by reducing traffic, pollution, wear and tear on the road, and hopefully in reducing healthcare costs through prevention. I am sad to hear how many threats and honks I get as a biker as well as having experienced being "hit" by a car mirror while hugging the shoulder.
If for nothing but your own safety, please watch sidewalks and bicycle paths carefully as you pull out into moving traffic or out of your drive way. While you may be watching the road for fast cars or the sidewalks for slow pedestrians, take an extra second to watch for quickly moving bike traffic on the side of the road or crossing into the road from a bike path.