Thursday, August 27, 2009

More of the same

Today I am back on-call. It has been 2 weeks since my last day on. Weird. It has been wonderful to have some extra time. Abe and I even went camping this last weekend for a night in Geode State Park and then to the Nauvoo temple the next day. I do feel like I don't quite remember what to do tonight.

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

Sorry Facebook...

Thursday night I was on call. I made a fascicious statement on facebook about being on-call and available to stitch up faces if necessary. I shouldn't have been so flippant with the facebook gods...

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


A few nights ago one of my colleagues, another first year resident, was on-call. He received a call from a nervous ER doc who told him about a 2 year old with a tongue laceration that "looked like nothing I've ever seen before, and I've seen a lot of these. It looks almost like shredded meat."

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

Booty Calls

Yesterday Abe had a missed call from my mom. We wondered if everything was okay since she called him and not me, but evidently her purse just wanted to dial and give him a little extra loving with a friendly missed call.

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

A little wisdom

This week I started my official schedule. MY schedule. It has been so nice to know what is coming in, where I am supposed to be, and to be able to stay busy during the day. I bounce around from half-day to half-day at the hospital, the VA, and the college of dentistry so it is always new.

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

Why do I never blog anymore?

I survived my first month of internship!

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


Photo: A/P

Besides the many things that bother me about this whole incident, does it bother anyone else that the message our president is sending to kids (and America) is that beer can solve your problems, even big problems like racism?
Somehow I don't think a couple of imported ales are going to make things much better between these two.