:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

donderdag 22 april 2010

I've only got 39 workdays left, and I'm starting to think about how sad it's going to be when someone else is working with 'my' doctor and 'my' patients instead of me. That's not to say that I love every single minute of my job, but Dr. H and I have been together for so long that we've got a rhythm going; we can anticipate each other on the umpteen million tiny details that tend to rear their ugly heads throughout a day, and as such, our little corner of the office tends to operate at a relatively low stress level compared to many of the others. I know, without asking, that when a patient shows up half an hour late, I can tell the front desk that he'll see them anyway; he knows that I check each patient's immunization records ahead of time and type what they're missing under Patient Notes, so that we can double-check each other. I know that if a toddler shows up with unexplained fever, that I should go ahead and stick a urine bag on him/her; that if a kid is freaking out about a strep test, he'd rather assess the situation himself rather than have me force the issue; that he strongly prefers to defer the Menactra vaccine until high school; he knows that I take very detailed histories, that I usually draw up my vaccines before he orders them, and that if he's doing a physical on a school-age child, that when he opens the door, there will be a generic health form in the slot for him to sign. I know that if a child is completely freaked out about their shots when they arrive, that I can autonomously discuss the vaccines with the parent, order them in the computer, and administer them, all before he even enters the room. And, perhaps most importantly, he knows that I care about our patients (and parents) as people, just as much as he does. Again, I don't love every single one of them, but in some strange way, they're 'mine' nonetheless. It makes me a little sad to think of someone else swabbing "Joy"'s golf ball-sized tonsils or giving "Peter" his two-year vaccines or testing the eyes of our multiple sets of identical twin girls, just as it's hard to contemplate no longer discussing books with "Nora"'s mom or swapping football jibes with "Alan"'s family. I'm glad to be moving on (and up) in my chosen field, and I wouldn't change a thing, but at the same time it's going to be hard to let go of all these relationships I've built over the past nearly-three years. *sigh*

Other stuff:

- Liz got the job!!!! She'll start in early July (we think).

- She also defended her thesis on Wednesday night, and did a fantastic job. The paper itself is almost entirely complete, just a little bit of work on the conclusion still to go. So all that's left for her now is graduation (5/15).

- Oh, and her birthday, which is 5/4. I finally got her present in my hot little hands yesterday, and it is perfect. She doesn't know what it is yet, and I've promised her (and myself) that this time I am NOT going to spill the beans early! Her only clues have been the following: (1) it's something she's wanted for a long time but has never written down on any kind of wish list, (2) it's something I've been planning to get her as a combination birthday/graduation gift for a long time, but initially didn't think I was going to be able to swing due to the cost -- but then I found it on craigslist/half.com/eBay for very cheap, (3) it will help fill up 'all the extra time' she's going to have on her hands (LOL) now that all she'll have to worry about is a job, rather than school, and (4) it's related to something she's already good at, and will foster her ability to learn more and/or get better at this particular skill if she so chooses.

- I got my technology package info from Duke, and the laptop is exactly what I thought it would be: the stupid Dell Latitude E6400. The reviews call it "fast, but lots of bugs, and pretty heavy." I was holding out hope for a netbook option, since Dell has so many cool ones, but no such luck. Wish they'd just let me use my Mac. *grumble*

- The Tar Heel Ten Miler was FANTASTIC, and I think it's going to become my new Gate River Run (i.e. the race I do every spring). The course was beautiful (right down Franklin St., through the UNC campus, through some of the historical districts with gorgeous homes, etc.) and the weather was perfect. I was halfway done and felt like I'd only been running for ten minutes. And the stadium finish was awesome, too; you do a sort of 'victory lap' around the stadium, they announce your name, and then you cross the line. The post-finish was a little disorganized, but they'll do better next year. Anyway, I loved, loved, loved it and definitely plan to make it a 'regular'.

- I've done all the scholarships I can possibly do -- my last four searches have turned up nothing new -- so now it's just a matter of waiting for the results of the ones I sent out. No news yet.

- I got Duke's immunization requirements late last week, so I got my HepB and varicella titers drawn at work on Wednesday, and got my Menactra vaccine too. One of the many perks of working in the medical field!

- Earlier this week, I tried to be in a Duke clinical study (using healthy volunteers who have never had a migraine to test a drug for migraine headaches), but got turned away for being 'too healthy'. :) Apparently 90% of the population has a small amount of tricuspid regurgitation, or TR (meaning a small amount of blood 'backflows' from one particular valve in your heart rather than getting pushed through in the right direction), and that's what they were going to use as a marker for their study. I, on the other hand, don't have any TR at all, so I can't participate. (As the echocardiogram techs put it: "It's good for you, it's just bad for our study!") Amusingly, one of the techs also asked, "Are you pretty athletic? Like, do you run, or do sports...?" When I answered in the affirmative, she replied, "Yeah, we can usually tell -- because your lungs are so big that we're having a hard time getting a good view of your heart!" :) I also have a very low resting heart rate -- between 50 and 60 for most of the time I was on the table, but dropping to 47-48 during the portions of the test where I had to hold my breath, roll to the side, etc. So I don't get the $1400 I'd have gotten if I'd been eligible, but I do get the knowledge that my heart is in tip-top shape... and I think I'd probably rather have that knowledge over the financial reward, anyway. :)

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