Sunday, November 27, 2011

Merry Merry

I’ve a confession. I’m not ready for Christmas yet. I feel pretty Grinch-y. I saw the garlands and lights going up the day after Halloween and I just wasn’t feeling it. I have been a bit irritated, actually. I haven’t finished raking my leaves yet. It rained yesterday. I saw a tree with beautiful golden lights on top of its beautiful golden leaves (which was actually quite striking but a strange site). I like Christmas but there’s something about dragging it out for 3 months (November, December, January) which at least this year I’m finding a little irritating. I know writing this is risking becoming  a social pariah –people are very protective of their Christmas spirit, but I wanted to let you know, I’m trying.
Remember the phrase, fake it until you make it? Well I’m trying my best. It has helped. Maybe the cooler weather will make it feel more like time. And I do have to say using our fireplace for the first winter has made a difference.
As has been tradition (at least for the past 3-4 years), Abe and I went with his family to the local tree farm to find a tree. There are many beautiful, tall ones but there is something about the cheap cast-off ones that seem to draw me to them. We got this beauty for $5 and I think I like it more than the $55 alternatives.
It’s a little short and squatty (Abe jokes it is an equalateral triangle), and is about as tall as I am, but I like it. And I think we may just make it, that little tree and I (out of faking it, I mean).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

Image Detail

Everyone said second year was the worst. If you can make it through that, you are on the home stretch. I heard groans and whines about General Surgery. Four long months. It lurked ahead like a long dark shadow, not really being able to make out what made it so scary but I knew it wasn't to be reckoned with.

And now, I'm into November. Which means that my four months are behind me. And honestly, I didn't mind it. But my first day back after a day of tooth extractions (dentoalveolar surgery, we call it), I looked and and had this amazing thought, "Wow, that morning went by so quickly. And it has been such a nice day!" Nice because I didn't have to do any rectal exams; I didn't have to feel for hernias; I didn't have to check for pulses on the gangrenous feet of peripheral vascular disease patients; I didn't have to try to fudge my way through explaining disease process or surgery I knew nothing about to a patient and their family; I didn't have to learn that one of my patients has died; and mostly, I didn't have to feel like a COMPLETE idiot for at least most of the day.

It is so nice to be back. Seeing those familiar white objects in the mouth and feeling perfectly capable to describe them, diagnose them (and remove them!). Using my hands to help heal patients from pain and future problems. And finally, knowing what is going on more. I'll take the blood spatter on my face and glasses (yes, I shower at night), the ER calls in the middle of the night to be cussed out by drunken patients, and the bad breath (which surprisingly isn't usually a big issue)...if that means I never have to do a rectal exam again.

**PS I actually don't like the comic above except to say the following, we get comments all the time about patients who heard of someone or experienced extractions in this way, the "knee or foot on the chest" scenario. I have discussed this with our staff and none of us have ever seen this happen in real life. I wonder where this idea comes from? If it ever happens, it must not be from Oral Surgeons! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


After my first year of dental school I decided to go to Thailand to become a SCUBA instructor. I had previously finished my Dive Master course in Honduras a year or so before and had felt bad I never was able to meet instructor. I haven’t been diving (or traveling for so long). I was looking through some old pictures…

My first morning in Bankok from my hotel. Wondering a bit what I am doing in Thailand all by myself…


In Phuket at my Dive School with a local baby. I thought she was so adorable. I wasn’t trying too hard to be adorable myself this trip…not in Bankok’s heat and humidity.

cute Thai baby

Phuket night life. Notice I didn’t have many clothes with me.



Teaching my “students” for the exam. The pink frog lady is my examiner.


My classmates after we passed the course! I was the only American. Luckily I wasn’t the only one who spoke English.


Finally some real diving after weeks of pool diving!


Beautiful Thailand…




And beautiful Thailand underwater…






Can you see him? I tried to get a better pic but he swam way too fast for me to catch up




Lots of “Nemos”—clownfish. They are actually kind of aggressive for such little guys and hard to get a good picture





Scary combo, lionfish with poisonous barbs and urchins! Yikes.


I miss diving! Anyone want to get certified?