We found out on Friday that my Grandma Ester died after many years of struggling with chronic illnesses. She has been in and out of nursing homes and always seemed to be uncomfortable and tired, so in many ways this is a blessing. That doesn't make it any easier, but I guess will be a comfort in the long run. Unfortunately, Nick and I won't be able to make it home for services since we are both working and we're short because it is the holidays.
OK, so I took a break from studying and checked out the JibJab website to see how hard it would be to make my own little Christmas dance and before I knew it, I was laughing my head off. Check out the Thompson Family Christmas dance by clicking on the link below.
Back home from work on the last day of my elective. I chose to fly with our AirCare aeromedical team for my month, which has been great... when we get to fly. I have been plagued by bad weather and slow nights, which is LAME! I don't remember this many rainy days in Nov-Dec last year. We had almost 3 inches of rain in Winston Salem a few days ago, I mean seriously. At least I'm good friends with most of the nurses and paramedics that work up there and they said I can come back and fly whenever I want, which is great. Not that I'll have a ton of time, but maybe an evening here and there. It's nice to know the option is there.
I'll be back in the ED starting tomorrow, on the late float shift. I'm looking forward to being back there and seeing some critical patients before I'm in the Trauma ICU at the end of January. That is one of our more difficult months, very long hours and lots of really sick people, but also one of our better ones because we learn a ton. I feel a little rusty after a month of doing something very different, but it'll will come back quickly, it always does.
Not quite sure why I fell off the blog wagon, but I'm back. If anyone really cares, well that's another issue. After the wedding I think I was just so exhausted from all of the planning and organizing and deadlines that I just wanted to be free of it all and not feel obligated to do anything. Well, I've certainly gotten over that, and miss my connection with my online family. I also miss being able to go back and read through what my daily life was all about. As someone who has kept a journal pretty much her entire life, I've certainly felt an emptiness without some sort of record of my daily doings. So here's to a new year full of posts and fun.
In other news, we had our ED Residency Christmas Party on Friday night. I worked last year, so it was nice to be able to go this time. Nick was also off so we were able to go together. Here are just a few pics from our dinner at the Piedmont Club.
My grandmother Miriam died yesterday, and I am on my way home to NYC to help out with planning the services and say goodbye. As many of you know, she had lived independently until her early 90's and just recently started requiring our help to get on with her daily activities. She had several illnesses in the past 6 months, and never really got completely better. After another hospital stay about 3 weeks ago, we decided that hospice would be the best alternative for her, and that turned out to be a good thing. My dad was able to be with her yesterday when she passed, and said she seemed peaceful and asleep, as it should be. I was hoping she would be able to make it to the wedding, but I know she'll be there in spirit, watching over us, making her typical funny remarks.
After a marathon stretch of work, I finally have a couple of days off. Well... I do have conference tomorrow for 4 hours, but that isn't so bad. Being on the peds side this month has been good so far, but also hard. You see a lot of tragedy and also a lot of well children who's parents just don't know any better or any different, and bring them to the ED for sniffles and coughs. I do feel like my skills have improved, and definitely feel more comfortable taking care of critical children. One of the biggest challenges we have on Peds side is that we don't have a dedicated Attending physician from 2-10 am. Usually things slow down somewhat then, but you can also get pretty sick kiddos coming in, usually via EMS, and you usually have to get a handle on things for the first few minutes until the Attending from the adult side can come over and lay eyes on the kid. So I've certainly gotten better at managing status seizures, ingestions and traumas, things that always terrified me about kids before.
In other news, I have another Dylan update. He went back to UIHC for his third (and hopefully final) heart surgery, the Fontan. His post-op course has been anything but smooth, but that is just the way Dylan is, nothing is ever done the easy way. They are weaning him off the vent and taking out various tubes and lines, so hopefully he continues to get better quickly. Melissa and Jim got some new pictures taken of the boys before Dylan's surgery, and I can't believe how big he looks!
I realized that since I haven't been blogging, no one is up to date on how awesome and cute my niece is... so I will do my due diligence and fill you in.
A couple of more recent pictures. Again, maybe sit down before you go any further in case you get weak-kneed and pass out from her sheer cuteness.
Here she is sitting in the cool purple Bumbo chair that Aunt Cari and Uncle Nick got her. If you haven't seen these and are even contemplating having kids, or know some one that is, you need to check them out at Bumbo.com. But please don't be alarmed by the pictures. For some strange reason, all of the kid's heads are either squished in or all round... I think someone had issues with picture resizing. That said, the chair is awesome, and can help your kiddo sit up without your assistance once they can hold up their head. Pretty cool for freeing up your hands while your peanut still feels like they are part of the action. You can sit them up on your desk while you're on the computer or on the counter while you cook... the possibilities are endless. (OK, you think for all that free press, maybe they'd send me one?)
Anyway, just in case you want to see Kassi in action being a big girl, Jenny posted an adorable video on YouTube. You can check it out below.
Well that sounds completely stupid but I can't think of a good reason that I stopped blogging, except for the fact my life is pretty mundane despite being so ridiculously busy. Lets see... a few tidbits to get everyone caught up on what's been going on over the last 2 months.
January was back in the ED, and actually turned out to be a pretty good month. I took care of some pretty sick patients and got back in to the swing of things. After that, I started on the trauma service. This is known as a very busy month for us, which was only compounded by the fact that our team was short 2 people (out of 4). As a result, I was responsible for covering all of the floor and step-down patients, all of the trauma codes that come in to the ED and the Trauma ICU at night. The last part is usually the role of the second year ED resident and pretty much requires one dedicated person. But we only have 10 residents and considering that there are 12 months in the year, 2 months have no ED 2 coverage. That was a little bit of trial by fire, or by terror, or both. The nurses up there are awesome, and it was a great month for procedures and managing ventilators and drips, as well as learning the right way to do a trauma patient assessment in the ED, etc. But after working more than 90 hours a weeks for 3 weeks straight, I'd had enough.
The first week of the month I actually had vacation, so it was nice to get a little break. I got a bunch of wedding stuff done, and actually traveled to Iowa for a Bridal Shower that Nick's mom and her sisters threw for me. It was a great time and really nice seeing everyone, although I can't say I miss the cold at all. The temp was -14 when I left, and that was without the wind chill!!! A couple of pics are below.
I'm answering one of the quiz questions that Nick and his mom came up with, one of those "how well do you know the person you're marrying quizzes..." I actually think I did pretty well, and we certainly got some good laughs out of it all.
Beth and I just being silly before everyone arrived. It was so kind of her to go out of her way to plan such a special day for me. It was such a treat.
Here I'm opening the gift from Nick's Aunt Judy (she is there on the left with the blond hair), just so you can see the bride-to-be in action... (OK, that was incredibly dorky, but just a little funny, maybe?)
Spelling with Flickr... if you guys haven't seen this, you have to check it out.
You can basically spell anything you want, and the site finds photos of those letter and arranges it all. You can even click through to see a bunch of different options. Goofy stuff to occupy my precious little free time. So... let's see... where did I last leave you???
Well, I'm done with the CCU (thankfully), I'm not sure I could have handled the tedium much longer. Back in the ED and totally terrified all over again after being gone for 3 months. It is so nice to see a bunch of familiar faces, and everyone seemed excited to see me. It was great to catch up and meet some of the new nurses that were hired recently. All in all, my first 2 shifts were decent. I felt slow and disorganized, but it got a little better with time. Hopefully things will continue to come back to me over the next few shifts.
In other news, Nick has finished his crazy month on inpatient internal medicine, only to start a seemingly equally crazy month in the Medical ICU. I think he's got a pretty good team and it's a relatively short month, so hopefully it will go quickly. I'm trying to study for our yearly "in-service" exam, which is the last week of February. It's supposed to be pretty hard, and I would hate to be the person with the lowest score. Nick and I figured we should probably take our Step 3 licensing exam around the same time, since we're studying anyway. Once we get that finished, we can apply for our individual medical licenses. Right now we are working under a license through our residencies, but with our own, we can moonlight outside of the hospital. That presents a great opportunity to make a little extra money and get some good experience too.