Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ground Hog Day

Abe's birthday is in two days. I feel a little intimidated this year. He does so many wonderful things to support me everyday. Frankly, I don't feel like I have the time to be as kind to him as he is to me.

For example, here are some things Abe does on a typical day. He wakes up with me (no matter the time), drives me to work, makes my lunch and often prepares a breakfast, often drives me home, makes dinner, does laundry and dishes, etc. I help out too but man, he is hard to keep up with. Not to mention doing nice things like making me treats to celebrate my match for work or even just to be nice.

And, as you should know, he is a great cook, esp baker! Tonight I am baking a cake for him for his birthday since I will be on-call at the hospital tomorrow. If it were my big day, he would have some elaborate cake planned out and it would probably be done chilling in the fridge by now. I was just praying I had the things I needed since I do not shop on Sundays and can't tomorrow. I felt so amatuer, as well, baking. I guess I am out of practice. I never have to bake any more because he makes more than enough for the two of us.

Happy Birthday Abraham!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Surgical Makeovers


Heidi got me thinking about plastic surgery. I was so intrigued and shocked that someone only 23 years old, who is normally developed without any kind of health issues, genetic syndromes, traumatic injuries or burns, not to mention someone who was already attractive, would have 10 plastic surgeries at one time. Wow! What a huge risk.  I think I would have been afraid to do that kind of full body make-over, like my nose would fall off or something.  Not to mention people can die on the table (think of Kanye’s mom and that brazillian model a few months ago) while in the search of a more perfect bod.

She has taken a lot of criticism, much of what was along the lines of, “She was already pretty. Why did she have to be more pretty?” This made me feel a little guilty about feeling bad about some of my flaws. It also made me grateful that I understand that who I am on the inside is more important than superficial characteristics.

But it did get me wondering…would you ever go under the knife? I have been wondering this myself. There isn’t a whole lot I dislike about myself enough to endure the risks of surgery. But say, it was completely free and available to you. Would you do it? What would you do?

Part of me thinks, “Sure, why not improve upon yourself, and if it is free?” However, I have a few misgivings.

  1. One, would I be able to tell my daughters how important a person is on the inside knowing I had fake boobs, for example? Would it be different for something smaller and less noticeable?
  2. What if something bad happened? Maybe you ended up with Tara Reid boobs or a double butt—or worse, you didn’t wake up. Would that be God punishing me for not being grateful for what I had? Could I rationalize my desire for a wrinkle free face if I left a family motherless and wifeless?
  3. Is it vain when you are already attractive to want just a little bit more?
  4. Is it okay when you are older to not really change, but maintain?

I think this is a fascinating topic. Maybe it is because I am in a surgical field. I completely believe in reconstructive surgery or surgery that can improve the quality of someone’s life, esp in instances of growth issues or malformation, etc. My biggest question is, when is enough enough?  Is Heidi’s life really any better with her DDD cup, a thinner nose, and sewed back ears?

So back to my question, would you ever do it (esp if it were free)?

-- I’m not sure.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What is an Oral Surgeon?

picture courtesy of

I find that many of my friends, perhaps family, and definitely colleagues (both dental and medical) are unsure of what Oral Surgeons do. Now that I am officially on my way to joining the field, I thought I would answer a few of your questions.

Oral Surgeons, or Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMS), are dental specialists. They possess either a DDS or DMD degree and complete either a 4 or 6 year hospital based surgical residency after dental school. Six year programs also give their residents an MD degree. OMS can perform the same procedures regardless of which kind of program they complete. Residency includes extensive training in medicine, general surgery, anesthesia, etc, in addition to oral surgery training. Many surgeons pursue further training by completing fellowships in areas such as cancer treatment, plastic surgery (including whole body), or reconstruction.

Many of you may have visited an oral surgeon as a teenager for the removal of your impacted wisdom teeth or for extractions in relation to orthodontic treatment (I know I did both). They also perform other surgeries of the teeth and jaw including uncovering impacted teeth so the orthodontist can bring them down into the bite, removing teeth and preparing jaws for dentures, the placement of dental implants, and biopsies of suspicious lesions of the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. They are also the primary provider for patients with dangerous tooth related infections.

Oral surgeons are also qualified to perform orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery. There are many patients who despite orthodontic treatment cannot achieve an acceptable bite due to skeletal discrepancies in growth (for example, their lower jaw grows more than their upper jaw, giving them an underbite). These not only aid in the ability to chew but can have a dramatic cosmetic change. Check out this website for a few dramatic before and after pics.

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Some OMS perform head and neck cancer surgeries. Others repair cleft lips and palates in young children. Plastic surgery of the head and neck (botox, anyone?), repair of facial trauma, treatment of TMJ disorders, treatment of craniofacial disorders, etc are all within the scope of practice.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons can do much more than just wisdom teeth!

Monday, January 25, 2010


This morning at about 7:45 am I learned that I will be one of the world's future oral surgeons!

I matched at the University of Iowa for Oral Surgery!

That means 4 more years!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Match Day!

January 25 is a big day! It is Match Day for Oral Surgery programs across the nation. This means I will discover on Monday whether I will be a Dentist


…or an Oral Surgeon


I guess either way, I will be a dentist. But I will learn if I will spend the next four years in residency or if I will be pounding the pavement looking for jobs to join the workforce as a general dentist.

A few other decisions that ride on the results of Match Day:

1- How long we will be in Iowa City. If I match, it will be at least 4+ years (likely more like 6-8) ; if not it may be only 1-2

2- If we will consider purchasing a house in the Iowa City area

3- If Abe will pursue residency here in Iowa City or if we will move elsewhere when he finishes school

Either way, I am confident the results will lead us to some great opportunities!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


There are a few fashion items I have been contemplating giving a try. In fact, have even purchased these to try.



I never thought I would ever do leggings again. I am not a super fan of them under a lot of things (not quite sure about shorts and a lot of dresses below the knee), and even less of a fan NOT under things,  but I am starting to warm up to the idea. I purchased a dark chocolate brown to wear under a sweater dress I have. Not sure if I will wear it with boots (will it look like a pirate combo?), ugg-like boots, or flats. I think I may also need a big chunky belt. I always feel silly doing the belt over the shirt thing but it seems to be a popular way to wear a long shirt or chunky sweater.


Going blonde…actually, I have thought about this on multiple occasions but am still thinking. RED LIPS. I have always found red lips slightly scary, at least for me. I have NEVER tried red lipstick before. I had a sudden urge at Christmas time. Maybe it was the red poinsettias or the dreariness of winter. Still not sure I pull it off (do I look like a clown?) but it is fun to try. I even did red nails which I have not done since I was in kindergarten.

leather legs

(sorry about the blurry pic)

Perhaps the most shocking, as if leggings weren’t enough, I bought some faux leather leggings. I am actually kind of excited about them but I laugh because I was making fun of them last year. Oops.  I’m just not quite sure what to wear them with. It has to be something great or I will look like an idiot instead of a fashion forward woman. I am trying to find a cool flowy tunic or sweater similar to above or a good rocker-like shirt/jacket combo.

What do you think of my new ventures in fashion? I would be interested to hear how you rock these styles or if you HATE them.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Abe and I have had a completely bare room for over two years. Before Christmas we found a great deal on some bedding and curtains. We finally got the curtains up and the bedding on our bed. What a big difference. These pictures really don’t do it justice (and please don’t mind some of my clutter) but I wish I had before and after pics to give a better idea of what an improvement.

 DSCN5881 DSCN5895


We were also given a new ceiling fan for Christmas. It is great because not only is it a fan and obviously a light, but is a heater as well. It has really made a big difference on our very cold nights.  And, it just happened to match all of our furniture perfectly.


This is me feeling warm and cozy. It feels like my own little warm, comfy cave. It definitely beats sleeping at the hospital.

Friday, January 15, 2010


A few months back a friend asked if I would participate in a triathlon with her. She had just completed a marathon, I had just completed months of long hospital nights and longer months of minimal exercise. It was a crazy idea but I said I would think about it.

So months later, I have made a new goal to "get healthy" in the next 100 days. What better way than by training for a mini triathlon: 600m swim, 15 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. Right now it sounds very tempting. And the cost (about $65) is hefty enough I may actually try to exercise to "get my money's worth."

However, I feel crazy. Here is why:
1- I am no runner. I have never been but at least during my days of sports I could run miles without much trouble. Today I have trouble running MILE.
2-I am no swimmer. I have never been. In fact, I failed swimming lessons. In 9th grade. From a teacher probably younger than me. Is this a problem?
3-I am a biker, or at least I try to be. I have not been on my bike in months. My bum callous is gone. Sigh.
4- I have to do all of these things on the same day. In a row.
5- My partner is addicted to exercise (hello she just ran a marathon, something I could never do). I am addicted to sleeping in my bed post-call
6- Remember #2. Eek!

Scary. Should I really go for it? I totally feel this is out of my realm of possibilities but then again, maybe a challenge is just what I need.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This is what it looks like walking to work at 5 am…

DSCN5629 DSCN5630

…in the Iowa winter in subzero temperatures.  It has been very cold, with temperatures hovering consistently at 10 or more below.  But today it felt like this:


Almost warm enough to go surfing! Funny how anything over 30 degrees feels warm after that. It makes me hopeful for spring. I also find I am getting more used to the Iowa cold. I don’t complain nearly as much as I used to!

There are a few things I have found myself very grateful for lately:

1- a warm house, coat, and any temperatures above zero degrees

2- time, any time of my own

3- a husband who helps me keep me warm and looking forward to free time


I hope you are enjoying warm times as well!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are you like George on Seinfeld? or more like me (and probably Jerry)

I wanted to make sure you all heard the breaking news:

According to researchers, double dipping chips allows bacteria to get in your dip.

I knew it! I am so glad these researchers spent their money so wisely to prove to all I am not a germ-a-phobe without good reason. Like they said, "If you wouldn't kiss someone, you shouldn't double dip with them."

In all seriousness, did any one not have this figured out already?

Anyway, I read this in the newspaper as well as saw it on the news. I wish I knew where the link was. Here is a related one that talks about just how much bacteria from each dip (100+) and also debunks the 5-second rule
Also, has anyone ever felt like a complete jerk for being the one who opposes such practices of germ transfer? I am opposed to double dipping, sharing utensils, cups, etc. However, people often act offended if I do not want to eat off the floor, share their food, etc. It seems to me that it is worse manners to force your germs on others than to politely decline to share. After dental school and learning about the thousands and thousands and thousands of germs in your mouth (over 900 different kinds), --not to mention the oral hygiene of many others, it makes me even less inclined to want partake.
Am I the only one?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thoughts on church

I wore tights to church today. I don't think I've worn tights for years but when it s -8 degrees out, it seemed like a necessity. I forgot how uncomfortable they are. The worst was that they kept falling down. Despite the incognito tugging and pulling I did, they were down to my knees by the end. Fun times.

We went to church with Abe's family since his brothers are in town and one leaves tomorrow. We went to the gospel essentials class with his mom. In the class was a man who looked quite familiar. When he said his name was Major, I had no problem remembering where I knew him from. He was the anesthesia resident who saved me when I passed out in the OR (if I were cool like Abby I would link you back to the post but you'll have to search for yourself, probably in July if you want a recap). He caught me and made sure I didnt' hit my head. Thank you. I would never forget a name like that but hoped that he would never remember me. So much for that! Abe told his mom who promptly thanked him for saving me. He didn't recognize me and said, "Oh! That was you! How are you doing now?" I assured him I was quite well thanks to him. I was hoping he would never remember who that was. So much for anonymity!

And for my last thought from church. This makes me laugh every time I think of it: Our congregation has a special support group for women who struggle with infertility. It is a great resource that I am sure helps a lot of people. However, one week when a woman was describing how wonderful and helpful the group was and offered an invitation for any who would like to join, it seemed a little ironic. She was nine months pregnant. My sister who was visiting was quite shocked. I continue to think it hilarious.

Do you have any funny church moments?