07 December 2009


finding it incredibly sad that i have little time or energy to ever write anything profound on this blog while i'm collecting so many stories and experiences daily.

i'm at children's now for pediatric general surgery. i love children's... but it's still surgery. eagerly awaiting the end. in fact, i'm on call tonight. i've already been at the hospital for 18 hours... only about 12 more to go. hopefully some of those will involve a little sleep.

poke the body with a stick / roll it down

ignore the moaning / as it tumbles to the ground
be brave and save your day
these days are cold / numbers rule i've been told
the pattern is clear / better fit in the mold
be brave and save your day
to cough up sympathy isn't hard / but it costs
hold tight to your life savings / you have to do what you must
to save your day
so poke the body / roll it down
the grave looks cold / but we're still young
.jose gonzalez.

27 November 2009

still operating

and by that i mean that i'm still on surgery... but have since my last post completed both my 3 weeks in vascular surgery and my 2 weeks in transplant surgery. yipppeeeee! only 3 weeks to go - and they're at children's. :) i can make it. i know i will.

meanwhile, i'm trying to catch a few winks of sleep to recover. i feel like there are so many stories, funny and sad, that i want to tell. there are so many things i've been learning about myself that i need to write down in the midst of this craziness so that i'll remember when the storm calms. first: sleep.

05 November 2009


it’s the end of my second week on surgery, and i figured it was past due for an attempt at a post. i just sit here blankly staring at the computer screen, mind completely numb, attempting to put into words what life is like right now. here’s a try.

typical day on my current rotation in vascular surgery:

4:15/30am: walk into the hospital

4:30-6:00am: help make the day’s “List” of all the patients (vitals, labs, etc), do ICU notes, do inpatient notes. i think the sun comes up somewhere near the end of this painful stretch?

6-7:00am: round with my intern, 4th year resident, and fellow. we see our 20+ patients in less than 1 hour. (!) then i go back and help my intern change surgical dressings, take out drains, put in orders, etc.

7:00am-6/7:00pm: in the operating room helping operate. back to back operations because our service has 5 surgeons who operate in 3 different suites. (who said anything about meals or bathroom breaks? the tummy growling and the bursting bladder feeling subside after a few hours, trust me).

6/7:00pm: we round again on all our patients, this time with the whole team + the attending surgeon.

7:00pm-ish: finally get home, try to scarf down enough calories at dinner to make up for the rest of the day, pass out on the couch somehow get to our bed by 10pm so i can get up and do it again the next day.

…and, if i happen to be on trauma surgery call (like i was tuesday night and i will be tomorrow night), strike the “going home” part and insert “stay up all night long trying to keep people who got shot in the head from dying” until 4:30am when i head back up to the vascular floor to help my intern and round again.


welcome to my life for the next little while. fortunately (or unfortunately?), henry is taking 3 masters' classes this fall, so he is busy out of his mind too. his day starts a little after mine in the morning, but he works, then goes to class, then usually stays up working on homework until well after i pass out. you can imagine the wreck our apartment is right now.

for right now, life sucks. i work with interns and residents who hate their lives. i try not to think about the hours or let myself hate life. i'm trying to stay as positive as possible. it's all i can do. and - there's the one redeeming factor - you get to do SURGERY. operations are actually pretty neat, and it's amazingly cool to be elbow-to-elbow with surgeons, helping to fix (fill-in-the-blank) in a patient. the hours kill me, but at least i get to spend some of them doing something that helps someone. that's how i get through the day: reminding myself that these long hours are not futile for the patients we help.

20 October 2009

quick hits

-medicine is over! glad for a breather, sad it's over. i really enjoyed the medicine clerkship. it's my top contender for residency next to pediatrics.

-currently on "scholar's week" this week. i'm following a hem/onc (blood/cancer) doctor around. it's been ok so far. best thing about it: we meet at 9am. holycowthankyouJesus.

-henry took me to chattanooga, tn this past weekend for a quick getaway. we actually went up there around this time last year as well, and it was so much fun i got him to take me back. there are tons of neat things to do there. this time, we went to see ruby falls, rock city gardens, and the chattanooga market. we also found an amazing chinese buffet and a freaking huge mall. it was so nice to get out of town, if only 2 hours northward.

-got to have dinner with anjali, sarah, and chara last night, some of my classmates who are doing their 3rd year in tuscaloosa. what a treat. i miss them bunches.

-in love with the gorgeous fall weather we are getting here in birmingham. hoping it lasts longer than the usual 2 weeks. :-P

-got my surgery schedule a few days ago. ::has a cow:: so we have lectures scheduled for 6:30am. that's insanity. i'm going to have to start abusing caffeine or something. i will do 3 weeks of vascular surgery, take 3 nights of trauma surgery call, do 2 weeks of transplant surgery, then 3 weeks of general surgery at children's. i'm most excited about my time at children's - although i've been told by a classmate who just got off that rotation that you have to arrive at 4am. ::gulps:: holding my breath for this one, guys.

more later! smooch.

01 October 2009

welcome, autumn!

...and it's october! i usually start playing green day around this time of year, y'know, "wake me up when september ends." apparently september ended this year before i even had a chance to sing. bummer.

but what's not a bummer: the ridiculously beautiful weather. 70s during the day, 50s overnight. if i didn't have to be up so early to head to the hospital, i might even become a morning outdoor exerciser! (convenient to have an excuse, eh? :-P)

and speaking of the hospital - things are going well in doctor world. i still really enjoy medicine... i've noticed about myself that i really like the initial work-up of a patient. someone comes in with symptoms, and we try to put together to puzzle with all the clues. cooper green has been a bit of an adjustment as far as getting things done from a technical standpoint: labs, imaging, etc. i've morphed into a gopher for retrieving these things over the past week or so. it's not so bad. it's satisfying to be able to be helpful, for sure.

life is absolutely busy, but i am enjoying 3rd year immensely. during rounds this morning i had this moment of euphoria thinking about where i was and what i was doing. it seems so cheesy to relate, but i've wanted to be a doctor for most of my life -- and there i was, donning white coat, talking medicine with 4 doctors and another medical student, taking care of real patients. even with the immense frustration and exhaustion medical school creates almost daily, i feel blessed beyond belief to be in a place where my work brings me such moments of joy and humbling appreciation. yippee!

in other news, henry and i got to have dinner last night with some of our close friends from high school. it was such a breath of fresh air. although i am fairly introverted by nature, there's something both comforting and energizing about sharing an evening with close friends. wish we could do that more often.

22 September 2009

bad taste

in one room at cooper green hospital lies a patient with end-stage renal disease who undergoes dialysis. he is an illegal immigrant to the US, and in light of this fact, no outpatient dialysis centers will take him (because they will not be compensated for his care). he is a quiet, respectful man who speaks good english. without this dialysis 3x a week, toxins will build up in his blood and he will die.

in another room at cooper green hospital, shackled to a bed, lies a woman in her late 20s. a police officer sits in the room. she has a history of iv drug abuse. she developed endocarditis (an infection of a heart valve, a common complication of iv drug abuse) while in jail and was brought to us. this is not her first episode of endocarditis. she is generally respectful and well-mannered. she might receive surgery during this hospitalization to replace the recurrently infective valve, but the surgeons are requiring some type of word that she will quit iv drugs afterwards before they proceed.

although both of these patients are receiving the optimum medical care we can give, the attitude with which some of the doctors approach each of them is embarrassing.

although i have neither the energy nor knowledge to launch into a discussion on illegal immigrants, i know this: it is my duty as a doctor to care for my patients' health. where these patients come from is of no consequence to this duty. i sat in shock this morning as two interns discussed how we should just "put them on a bus back to mexico." if that's your personal philosophy - believe as you like - but leave it at the door when it's time to take care of people. i think what confused me the most was the treatment of the second patient i described. although she has an extensive history of things she could be judged for, no one seemed to judge her. i'm not asking people to judge her, by all means, but i am befuddled.

how is it that we socially condemn a man who has entered our country illegally, probably to get a job and earn money to send back to his family, yet we allow grace to a woman who has made recurrent decisions to use drugs, ending up in jail? is it that we're incredibly selfish, and this man's ingenuity threatens us? i don't know. maybe the fact that the woman is young and white factors in. i have no way of knowing. it just saddens me.

and that's how i feel now: sad. sad that the first patient i described will die somewhere in america, soon, with failed kidneys. sad that my second patient will have her heart valve replaced, subsequently relapse into iv drug use (mean number of relapses before getting clean: 7) and die from complications. and ultimately sad that somewhere along the way some of my colleagues think that they can judge who is worthy of their treatment... with no semblance of common sense being applied to that judgment.

i hope i never lose the sense of moral responsibility i have today. if you're a praying person, that's what you can pray for me through this long journey in becoming a doctor.

16 September 2009


so the end of this week marks the halfway point in my internal medicine clerkship... and time to switch to a new hospital. i'll be heading to cooper green on monday. i've really enjoyed my time at the VA - even more than i thought i would.

there's no way to encapsulate how much joy my patients have given me. in an attempt to try, here are a few memories i've collected:

after questioning my 'un-American' last name and launching into a discussion about where I'm from: "so you're from pennsylvania, then? you know those steelers beat my titans last weekend. damn steelers. hey! you see this thing on my finger?" my patient winks and points to his middle finger holding a pulse ox monitor... which he promptly lifts in the air.

78yo gentleman who always introduced himself as private so-and-so reporting for duty: "listen, doc, you've got to get me out of this hospital. i have this lady friend i like to see from time to time. she's probably as ugly as me, but i like her company all the same."

trying to perform a mini-mental status exam on a patient with altered mental status. didn't get very far, but did find out about his unconventional pet: "y'know, when i'm at home, i have this chicken. it's true. it sits outside my window and knows when i'm in bed and when i'm not. when i'm there, the chicken sings to me. i miss my chicken."


i get this weekend off since it's 'switch' weekend, so henry is taking me to atlanta! we got inexpensive tickets to the braves-PHILLIES game on saturday night. i'm so pumped to get to see my phillies play! we'll also be hanging out with our friend mario (who went to undergrad with Henry). definitely on the itinerary: dim sum. my mouth is already watering. it'll be a great change of pace, at least for the day, and i'll hopefully come back next week refreshed and ready for four more weeks of medicine.

i don't know that i'll ever catch up on all the sleep i've lost over the past weeks, but i'm sort of starting to understand that's part of the cost of having such a satisfying, challenging job. it will all be ok. i'm sure of it.

04 September 2009

call room proselysation

so i'm on call overnight at the VA tonight for medicine, and i just hopped in a call room to take a quick nap before getting back up at 5 to check on my patients (it's 3 now).

upon entering the call room, i was pleased to discover how much nicer it is than the ones in university. clean sheets on the beds, a computer built/manufactured sometime after 1998, and gigantic windows (which will be of no use to me from a waking standpoint because the sun won't be up yet) that remind me i still belong to the world beyond the hospital.

also -- there is a copy of harrison's principles of internal medicine on the nightstand/desk. if you haven't seen this book, i shall describe it for you: it's about 4 inches thick and chock full of blahblahblah about diagnoses. it's excellent, don't get me wrong, but it'd probably knock out an insomniac. (random tidbit: the "harrison" of harrison's is tinsley harrison of the one and only UAB. gotta represent.)

but so the presence of harrison's just cracks me up. it's so cute. it's like the internal medicine docs are the gideons of call room proselytizing. i suppose they think in the short nap i'm about to get i may wake up with a genius idea about a patient's diagnosis - and then, hey! harrison's is handy. could be. we'll see. i'll probably wake up to the sound of my pager and want to throw it across the room... maybe harrison's will follow suit. i'm sure a gideon bible or two has met this fate?

in any case, i'll be post-call tomorrow. a day of disorientation and stomach aches to look forward to. on call again monday on labor day. such is the life. < /end > playful cynic

02 September 2009

homemade sushi

this past weekend, henry and i decided to roll up some sushi. ! we had rice preparation instructions from henry's mom, and we've made sushi a few times before... but this time was very obviously our tastiest.

we sliced up cucumbers, carrots, and green onions. we scrambled an egg and sliced up nova salmon and crab meat. we also had a jar of tiny salted fish from taiwan that we added to our rolls. yum yum YUM YUM YUM. (we also sliced up a few Asian pears from henry's mom.) it was positively delightful. can't wait to make it again.

31 August 2009

our guest room

so a week or so ago when i was procrastinating studying for my neuro shelf exam, i came up with an entirely new layout for most of our apartment.


better yet, i went ahead and arranged it, too. henry just shakes his head and rolls his eyes, but ask him what he thinks of it now and he will genuinely tell you it's lovely. see? i'm a revolutionary. :-P

here are a few pictures of the new layout in our second bedroom. it's a guest room / sitting room / library now -- many thanks to my parents for lending us my old twin bed.

27 August 2009

rockin' the VA

since last i posted, i took my shelf exam in neurology and have started my internal medicine clerkship.

whew! what a delightful relief. i love medicine.

i have been assigned to the VA (Veterans' Administration) Hospital for 4 weeks and Cooper Green (our county hospital for indigent care) for 4 weeks. this is good and bad. the VA is government run, so there are a lot of hoops to jump through. i had to be fingerprinted, get a new badge, get new computer codes, etc. on the flip side, the VA has all electronic medical records which is BEAUTIFUL. adios, illegible notes! computers are magnificent. Cooper Green, in stark contrast, does almost nothing on the computer. the staff and resources are limited there, which causes a lot of stress. even so, i'll have a lot more opportunity to help out and learn procedures there.

i'm currently at the VA with a team of two interns, a resident, an attending (nephrologist), and another medical student. it's been great. we've even had a few patients who we've had to go through a differential diagnosis "Dr. House" style.

best part of VA so far: yesterday afternoon i went to do an H&P (history and physical exam) on an older gentleman who came in with chest pain. he'd been there for most of the day already but hadn't been allowed to eat because of a probable test we would perform. he didn't end up getting the test yesterday, so a dinner tray was ordered... but it hadn't showed up yet. enter: sharon. it was probably dumb luck that i remembered there's a stash of graham crackers and peanut butter at the nurse's station. bingo! so i went and grabbed a handful and a big cup of ice water. i can't even explain to you the look on his face when i walked into his room with a handful of food. ecstatic. so delighted in fact, that he went on to tell me about his recent cocaine use that no one else could get him to fess up to. who says being a doctor is all about the books?

worst part of the VA so far: getting locked in a stairwell for 30 minutes this morning at 6am. ugh. all of the exterior doors at the VA are locked after/before hours, so i had to come in through the emergency room. i got really turned around and went up a different stairwell than normal, fully expecting to get to my floor and then just find my way around. no such luck. i got into the stairwell and the door locked behind me... every door on every floor was locked. even the emergency exit door on the ground floor was locked! i was fortunate to have my cell phone with me and the VA operator's number, otherwise i have no idea what i would have done. i tried to bang on doors, but no one was around at that hour. it was miserable. i just kept running up and down stairs hoping a door was really unlocked. then, after a security officer came and "rescued me", i had to explain to my interns why i was sweaty, frazzled, and had been missing for 30 minutes. ::facepalm::

19 August 2009


during rounds this morning, we saw one of our patients who is from very rural alabama. his language is barely intelligible - but according to his wife, this is normal. he's been very sick, but is getting a lot better the past few days.
my attending: "so, do you think he's recovering well, back to baseline?"
patient's wife: "yeah. he flipped all of y'all the bird when you walked out. that's normal for him."

12 August 2009

still a little bit of your song in my ear

between being at the hospital 30 hours overnight saturday into sunday, sleeping, then going back monday and being there 30 hours again (until noon tuesday), i'm weary. today wasn't too bad. i'm just weary. people die... and i don't know that i'll ever get used to it.

stones taught me to fly

love, it taught me to cry
so come on courage, teach me to be shy
'cause it's not hard to fall
and i don't want to lose
it's not hard to grow
when you know that you just don't know
.damien rice.

09 August 2009

well put.

no one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
.henry adams.

08 August 2009

on call

so i'm on call. i have been since 7am this morning. it's been a pretty good day - pretty constant flow of stuff to do and patients to see. i'm actually in the call room right now, about to hop in bed to catch a few Zzzs in case i have to get up in a few hours to see a patient emergently.

i really enjoy being on call. i don't love being away from home and henry, and it can be boring at times, but today i've had some excellent one-on-one teaching from my resident. i've seen patients by myself at the VA hospital and university emergency department. i've done neuro exams while the neuro resident is watching and ready to critique me (! anxiety provoking at first, getting much better at this). i've read CTs, MRIs and chest x-rays.

i think what struck me most today was the emotional rollercoaster i can be on if i let myself. when i first got here at 7, i saw one of my regular patients who is recovering from a stroke. he looked the best i'd ever seen him: when i walked into his room he declared "i want ice cream." i winked and grinned. "only if you cooperate with your physical therapy today!" shortly afterwards, i rounded with my attending physician and watched as all support was withdrawn from a young man who came in last night with a stroke that left him brain dead. although i never knew him, it was incredibly difficult to watch him be withdrawn from life support, struggle to breathe, and pass on.

in a matter of a few hours i went from practically giddy to relatively devastated. every new patient allows me to see life for what it is: unexpected joy and incomprehensible sorrow. i always knew i was supposed to be a doctor to take care of people; i never knew it would take care of me back. what a blessing it is to truly live and experience life, both at its best and its worst.

i went back later to see my ice cream-requesting patient and found him sleeping peacefully with three empty cups of ice cream on his bed tray. he heard me walk in and looked at me very seriously. "doctor? i have a question." i braced myself. "can you get me a popsicle? the ice cream was good, but i need a popsicle."

after all, we're only human
always fighting what we're feeling
hurt instead of healing
after all we're only human
is there any other reason
why we stay instead of leaving?
after all
.jon mclaughlin.

05 August 2009

hospital happy hour.

little known fact: the hospital keeps a stock of beer in the pharmacy.

it's bud lite.

and no, it's not for the pharmacists (although i'm sure they'd love to knock one back every once in a while with the amount of things we have them mix up for our patients). it's pretty commonly known that someone who abuses alcohol can have serious symptoms of physiological withdrawal if they stop abruptly. in the hospital, we try to manage these symptoms the best we can, but sometimes very sick patients cannot tolerate the sedatives we give in order to control the withdrawal symptoms. and in such a case, doctor's orders are to knock one back.

we've been taking care of a patient this week with that exact problem -- but he came into our care after having a stroke and is currently unable to swallow. have no fear! the pharmacy has something for that too: 98% ethanol by IV drip. if i'm not mistaken, that's 196 proof. holy crap. i never thought it would be my job as a physician to keep my patient in a drunken stupor... the hilarity found in such a serious job delights me daily. cheers!

04 August 2009

beginning of the rest of my life.

so i've been on neurology for a little over a week now. i'm working with the stroke team, then i will switch to general neurology next week. i had my first overnight call last thursday: 1 hour of sleep, 29 hours straight at the hospital. even though that sounds positively awful (which physiologically, it was), i am overjoyed to be in the hospital.

i have a million thoughts going through my head about my experiences, and i keep prodding myself to record them in my journal or this blog. between waking up at 5am, being at the hospital until 6pm, trying to catch up with henry over dinner, and possibly getting some studying in (we take the NBME shelf exams at the end of each rotation), it's been pretty hard to manage even 5 hours of sleep a night, let alone any internet mischief. but i will try.

confusion never stops
closing walls and ticking clocks
gonna come back and take you home
i could not stop that you now know
come out upon my seas
cursed missed opportunities
am i part of the cure?
or am i part of the disease?
you are, you are, you are
and nothing else compares.

22 July 2009

sunflowers are my favorite.

what was waiting for me when i got home today:

and how they look now:

henry's the sweetest. :)

21 July 2009


so one of my hobbies i've spent more time on over the past few weeks is cooking. it definitely has something to do with watching too much food network. it is also probably related to me and henry's attempts at saving money.

here's my latest creation: pico de gallo. i left out the jalapenos, but served it with shredded pepper jack cheese on chicken tacos, so it still had a great kick. oh man, just looking at this picture i can smell the cilantro. also good with $2 santitas chips from the western across the street. nomnomnom.

20 July 2009

'we are all on drugs.' -weezer

i've been feeling incredibly energetic recently. i have no doubt that this has all to do with my recently stopping migraine prophylaxis medication. luckily, i have had few migraines this summer and have come off the twice daily regime with my "if i get one" medicine on standby. i can't explain the difference this makes other than to say: i played tennis for an hour and a half with my dad and henry two nights ago, and today i was able to jog 2 miles without tiring too badly. i haven't done either of these activities since before i started the migraine prophylaxis a year and a half ago.

i've been grappling with this whole situation - especially in light of the fact that i'm about to hit the clinic and start prescribing this sort of stuff to people. it's troubling. the migraine prophylaxis that i took wasn't 100%, but it did decrease frequency -- and trust me, decreasing the frequency of migraines is worth millions to those who get them. even so, on this medicine in those migraine-free intervals, i was too exhausted to work out. it's a give-and-take, i guess. prescriptions seem magical to people ("just take this pill, and you'll be better!"), but they don't come without side effects. antibiotics, some of our most "magical" of drugs, can cause GI upset, oral contraceptives to be dysfunctional, and bacteria to become resistant (among other things).

don't get me wrong: drugs rock! they are just entirely more complicated than we all realize. i'm glad (being on this side of it) that i've had some personal experience, and i hope that this will make me a better doctor. maybe i'll be a little less quick to pull out the prescription pad? here's hoping!

17 July 2009

food of the gods

one of the best things we discovered in NYC:

pinkberry. i am fairly certain this is the best frozen yogurt EVER. thanks to henry's cousin wendy for introducing us.

14 July 2009

caught in a fob mob

in NYC. loving it. it'd be a little hard to get used to all these groups of tourists (i suppose this includes me this week) running around the streets all the time if you lived here, but man, it would be worth it.

my feet are throbbing, and i'm a bit more sunburned than i expected, but my first tastes of the city have been delightful. had delicious, fresh pizza last night at a hole in the wall italian place and explored rockefeller center and 5th ave. went ALL over the place today, include up and down the east and hudson rivers. had an awesome dinner at fusia, before meeting up with some of henry's friends from college for dessert at kyotofu -- both places come highly recommended after eating there.

looking forward to a few more days of city life!

06 July 2009

all at once.

a realization about myself this weekend: it's not 'unlovable' people that i have a hard time loving, it's people who act like they are worth more than those 'unlovables' that i have an incredibly hard time loving.

every christian church reminds you through message, song, etc: Jesus was born, died, and rose on the 3rd day. and He did. but in between there - for so much more time than any of those three bookends in His life - Jesus lived. and what did he do? it's probably pretty important for us to look at this when we claim to 'follow Christ' and 'live like Christ.' it's so convenient that we focus so entirely on the things that He did for us that we could never emulate.

i guarantee you Jesus didn't pick out which people were 'safe' to hang out with. he didn't come to tell us which sins were 'less bad' than others. he definitely didn't give us a license to judge our neighbors and treat them according to our judgment of them. i'm pretty sure Jesus came to love everyone and show us how to do this. why do so many Christians agree that this means shielding our children from the world and their neighbors? from keeping 'a meth head' far away from us? why do so many Christians agree that the 'high moral ground' we ascribe to not only sets us apart - but sets us above? it doesn't. as we've found out so many times from leaders, pastors, marriages - we are all filthy sinners at the end of the day. how dare we pretend we're better even in small ways? it's not until we figure this out that we can really, truly love.

i pose these questions because they are important. thinking for ourselves is important. actually following Jesus' example is important. how does this get so lost so often?

and when the darkness comes, i lie awake
playing lost and found
and all at once, i break my silence
all at once, there's no more hiding
and all he wants is to show us how he feels
.pete yorn.

24 June 2009

oh yeah, you'll find you're strong enough.

a few things i'm feeling thankful for today:

air conditioning and ceiling fans. it was only a few years ago that i was living in chicago in a building with no a/c on the hottest summer on record there in awhile. misery.

great friends. ben and amanda have made the last few weeks delightful. i'm going to miss them dreadfully when they move, but getting to spend time with them is something i'm immensely grateful for. as are the wineries of the world: just put two empty bottles in our recycling bin on the back porch. :)

local farmers. henry and i went down to pepper place last weekend armed with a $20 bill, and we promptly spent it all. we came home with two baskets of blackberries, peaches, zucchini, green beans, green onions, and a box of granola. we've eaten everything but 2 of the peaches and the zucchini (it's on the menu for tonight) -- and we're sold. we'll be back for sure.

discoveries. i've been cleaning out some things in our study, and today i randomly found an old pete yorn cd that i was actually looking to buy. he opened for coldplay on their viva la vida tour this summer, and it reminded me how much i liked his old stuff. and now i get to rediscover him without spending a dime.

henry. always. it's funny how many of his habits i've picked up since we've been married -- and, surprisingly, how thankful i am for that. although we've had lots of bills, car stuff, etc. to deal with recently, henry has approached it all patiently and with the expertise of a seasoned pro. i can only hope i pick up more from him.

family. this weekend, we're going to visit my sister and brother-in-law in louisville, ky. today is their 3rd anniversary! my younger sister is coming too, and it should be a good time all around. henry and i keep dreaming about being able to live closer to our siblings... we're excited that this weekend will be another taste of that.

22 June 2009

falling off the wagon

as i previously mentioned, i have a problem. guess what? i fell off the wagon.

i rearranged our entire bedroom. we ended up having to replace our ceiling fan last week because it broke, so even that's new. it's really cozy... i really like the bench at the foot of the bed.

until next time...

18 June 2009

past, present, future

although i've been a bit dramatic about my poor cabrio (i was more attached than i realized), i was able to bring some closure to its untimely death when we went to see it on friday before they took it to the junkyard. i yanked off the VW symbols from the front and back of the car -- and they are now hanging on my wall as a bit of a memorial. it was a great car and i'll miss it, but i think i am able to move on now.

and -- i really like my new car. we picked it up on monday, and i've begun getting used to it. it's not my old car - but it really is a lot nicer in many ways. it has 4 doors and a hatchback, so it's a lot more functional. there's even an auxillary input so i can plug in my ipod. hot. i really feel so lucky to have been able to find an awesome replacement car so quickly and for such a reasonable price. here's to years of fun in the new car!

so it's already june 18. time has flown the last few weeks! i don't mind being so far along in my "scholarly activity" block -- as i'm sure others doing theirs can attest to -- but i do still actually have to DO IT. i'm currently frequenting lister hill library, desperately channeling my stats knowledge from undergrad in order to run some analyses and make sense of them. henry and i will be gone from july 9-16, so i really have only the next three weeks to finish the project! i'm actually ECSTATIC about this... but also needing to, as i've said, DO IT.

then, on the delightful day of july 27, i start my neurology clerkship to be quickly proceeded by internal medicine and surgery. i know that sometime over the next few months when i'm about to drift off to sleep in the call room bunkbed and am abruptly woken up to do some menial task, i will probably look back to this time of research and curse myself for not basking in its glory. but nevermind that. i'm readyreadyready to take care of patients. i'm ready to do what i went to med school to do. let me do it already! :) ...ok i'll finish this project first, dangit.

14 June 2009

new car to love.

we pick it up tomorrow. :) it's a 2006 scion xA.

12 June 2009


the car is totalled. it's gone. i wish i could have driven it one more time.

it seems so silly, i guess, to be so upset over a car. i wish i could explain how much was wrapped up in that car.

from the moment i started college-searching, my dad told me that he would buy me a car if i got a full ride. so i did. to samford. and i knew exactly what car i wanted: a volkswagen cabrio to ride around in with the wind in my hair.

the day my dad and i picked up the car from the owners was only a week after i had major knee surgery. i was all bandaged up, but i remember smiling so big my face hurt by the time we got home. i was so proud of that car - you would have thought i built the thing myself by hand.

i took my little sister to school in that car the last few weeks of my senior year in high school. henry and i started dating shortly after i got that car. i went off the samford in the fall in that car. it's a very distinctive car - it's bright red. everyone at samford knew it was me when i drove by. in fact, as irony would have it, our insurance agent is the father of two little boys who i babysat for beginning around that time - and they adored my car. their dad hasn't had the heart to tell them about it yet.

the car went to memphis with grace and lauren in tow, and to auburn to visit high school friends on late night trips, and to the beach with dear sweet hilary. its been to atlanta for shows, many times to jackson, tn to visit my older sister when she was in college, and many times to nashville to visit my younger sister. it took my mom and i on a very long journey to and from new orleans, and it took me by myself to visit louisville, ky and beth and drew. if i had a nickel for every trip it made down lakeshore, down university, into the med school parking lot...

here's wishing it could make just one more. it's really really hard for me, right now, to think about it in a junkyard. i have a shoebox full of the things i took out of it: bumper stickers, an air freshener, papers with directions on them... all meaningless, but so full of meaning. i feel so melodramatic, but i can't help it. it's been a pretty consistent and faithful pal through these formative years, and it will be missed dearly.

as if by fortune, coldplay's "fix you" came on toinght while i lay there unable to sleep. i'll be fine - i can be fixed - but i have definitely lost something i can't replace.

08 June 2009

bad day.

henry said it for me. there have been more than a few tears shed by me today. this was my first car - my gift from my parents for getting a full ride to undergrad - and it's been my pride and joy for 7 years. only time will tell its fate.

05 June 2009


i have a confession. an admission, really. many of you know this already, but you may not have known the extent. i have a problem. hi, my name is sharon. "hi, sharon!" and i am ADDICTED to rearranging furniture.

it got really bad in college... especially when i had a big test coming up. productive procrastination i liked to call it - but my roommates just found it disorienting. i'd rearrange our common room. i'd rearrange the room i shared with my roommate. ...and now i'm married with an apartment full of furniture. and an enabling husband.

when we moved into this new place, i convinced myself there was only one way to arrange the furniture. i really had myself convinced... for about a week. since, i've rearranged our bedroom, sitting room, study, and dining room. i even switched physical places of the dining room and sitting room. i've replaced a shelf in the kitchen, rearranged which chairs are in which rooms, and completely changed the orientation of bookshelves in the study. you'd think i had a big test coming up... but i already took the biggest one of my life a few weeks ago! is this compensation? you be the judge.

some evidence:
the dining room is now situated near the front door. we bought a little bench (on the far right) for putting on / taking off shoes.

where the dining room was located before is now a cozy sitting room, complete with books... and cats. i also moved the comfy recliner my parents handed-down to us from the study out in the living room (where henry's sitting on the far right). we really like the extra seating it gives in the living room.

yup, i even rearranged everything in our bedroom. it gets really bright with all the windows, so i had the idea to hang the curtains we bought for the sliding glass doors at our old place... they look extra long and (according to henry) kind of posh.

that's it for now... until i fall off the wagon again.

03 June 2009

cheap cuts

a few months ago, henry had this idea to start a blog where we kept track of all the money we save on things. we are both coupon clippers and bargain shoppers... and we get really excited when we save money (i'm talking REALLY excited). although such a blog does not exist, i shall take a moment to document the savings of the tsay family with regard to haircuts.

picture this: you are a man. you like to keep your hair pretty short. your hair grows approximately 17.4 inches a month (ok, that might be a little exaggeration). so what do you do? well, if you are mr. henry tsay, you probably hit up your local headstart once a month, dropping $15 plus a tip. but alas! you have another option. enter your wife with a $15 hair buzzer from walmart. SHIZAM! your monthly haircut has paid for itself in one month. although it was good my first try didn't occur before some type of family portraits, i've gotten better. i even got mother-in-law approval last week. that's kind of a big deal.

so far, tsay family haircut monthly budget: $0.

although i wish the hair buzzer tactic would work on my flowing locks, face it ladies, we need a professional. or do we? i recently discovered the (incredible) value of hitting up a local cosmetology school for a haircut. although these students are not yet "professionals," they work harder than anyone i've ever had cut my hair. they know the techniques, and they are trying to do their best both for you and their instructors. although the entire experience is not one of a high-class salon, the results are perfectly acceptable - and oh so great for the budget. the damage? $7 for a shampoo and cut. i don't get my hair colored, but they will do it for around $30. STEALS! all steals.

so, total tsay family monthly haircut budget: $7 every other month or so. BAM.

26 May 2009

stinky poopybrains

so we have a problem at the tsay house. our dearest darlingest 6-month-old kitten, fuzz, has decided her new favorite sleeping spot is next to the litter box. that's right, literally leaning up against it. fuzz gets covered in the pieces of litter tracked out by both cats when sleeping there. and the worst part: she walks around stinking. she's been a bit of a stinker since we brought her home, but this is litter-stink.

we've resorted to giving her 'baths' almost daily. we have 'waterless shampoo' and 'pet wipes'... but as soon as we get her clean, back she goes to her stinky sleep spot. hopefully it's a phase? meanwhile, our angsty 1-year-old cat millie wanders around the house meowing. we can't figure why: either fuzz really really smells even to her... or millie just needs a boyfriend.

in other news... :-P

20 May 2009

condoms and hope

i've never experienced a teenage boy so disappointed on account of me before today.

as i do on wednesdays as of late, i was teaching twelve 15-16 year old boys at a Birmingham juvenile detention center how to properly put a condom on an incredibly realistic looking fake penis. although somewhat humiliating, i go through the steps with incredible detail. "what do i do first?" i prod. "ms. sharon - tear it open with ya teeth!" ... i dodge a number of overly enthusiastic suggestions before i continue with the correct process. "that's right, push it to the side, tear it carefully, now pull it out." i've somehow managed not to turn 15 shades of red by now. we move on. eventually, every boy has to come to the front and demonstrate his ability to properly place a condom on the model.

after his turn, one of the boys was grinning at me. "you gonna give me your number, right?" i just stared at him. i'm his teacher. is he really trying this? he continued, "you're the kinda girl i ask santa claus for." i wanted to laugh. hysterically. i bit my lip to keep from howling.

and then he saw it. his face dropped as he eyed my left hand. he didn't acknowledge my wedding ring, but some gears must have finally started turning in his head because his next inquiry had an entirely different tone: "how OLD are you, anyways?" he embarassingly turned around and returned to his seat to the laughter of his peers.

i won't say that i felt bad, because i didn't. even so, it made me think. these boys have had difficult childhoods, no parental supervision or interest, and the opportunity to get into all sorts of trouble. on their own accord, they have done some terrible, terrible things to be where they are. some have killed siblings, raped friends, sold drugs... at such a young age. despite all that, here is this boy who is acting apart from his circumstances - in fact, ignoring his circumstances (he's in jail, he can't make phone calls, i'm the teacher) - to get what he wants. it won't always work - case in point. but ignoring your circumstances to achieve a goal is something so hard to teach someone. it's a tool for success. it's something these boys need to do when they are released back in their communities, back into their circumstances... it gave me hope. it really does sound dumb, but it gave me hope for them.

and - here's hoping this boy doesn't just use this denial of circumstances to pick up girls. but if he does... at least he now knows how to use a condom properly. :)

18 May 2009

post in pictures

henry took me to the beach this weekend for my birthday! it was beeeeeeautiful.

i snapped a picture right as a wave attacked him. nice.

we were lazy all weekend. it was awesome.

millie and fuzz are getting to be best pals.

i can't get over how cute they are together.

07 May 2009

cubicles and 'work'

i find it completely befuddling (is that a word?) how little work people do.

i started my research project this past monday, and i am stationed in a cubicle in an office building affiliated with children's hospital. the doctor with whom i work has her office there, so it makes good sense.

prior to working there, i understood 'in theory' the annoyance of a cubicle: no door, everyone can hear each others' phone conversations, less privacy, the wafting of smells... but i assumed these annoyances were minimal because everyone would be WORKING. little did i know that people don't work. ever. ok, that's unfair. they maybe work 10 minutes each hour. but that means that the other 50 minutes my ears are filled with stories of their children, somebody's new outfit, techniques for getting gum out of carpet, discussion of where to go for lunch, trading of beauty secrets, and bitching about the doctors they report to (oh, oops! the gal -me!- in the next cube is a med student. oh well, she can't hear us, right?).

although i know it's not their intention (they do seem like nice enough people) to completely discourage me about the 'American work ethic' (of which i hear so much on the news), they have done so with such fervor that it's hard to ignore. thank you, office employees, for confirming that the characters on the television program 'the office' do more work than office employees in the real world. cheers!

04 May 2009


coldplay will be giving away a live cd, LeftRightLeftRightLeft on may 15th, my glorious day of birth. they are one of my favorite bands, and i was already tickled pink to be seeing them live in concert in birmingham on may 18th... and now, a new FREE cd on my birthday? this is the cherry on top. yippee!

29 April 2009


first news of the day: i received my step 1 score. ::gasp:: and... i passed, i passed, i passed! and i did much more than that. i kicked its @$$. this gives me an endless number of opportunities for residencies -- i'll be much more competitive than i ever dreamed. i'm still a little shocked. what a blessing. !

also, i am the proud new owner of a PAGER. that's right, one of those really annoying archaic devices that beep-beep-beeps and makes you look important. hopefully i won't get paged too much. they handed them out at 8am this morning at 3rd year orientation, and they regretted it shortly thereafter. really, whose idea was it to give 180 medical students pagers they don't know how to use and then give presentations for the following 8 hours? hilarity ensued: it was a chorus of beeps all day. awesome.

in other news, in case this whole doctor thing doesn't work out (which it will, or else henry and i will be tens of thousands of dollars in debt (!) eek!), i am proud to say i could probably run a pretty successful amazon store. i have listed about 16ish books in the past two weeks, and all but 2 have now sold. and i'm not talking selling books for $10... we're talking $40 and $50 a book. some serious cash. economy schemonomy. students still need books! eat that, wall street.

another recent development: i'm beginning my 3rd year 'scholarly activity' which consists of 12 weeks of research. my project will be with the department of adolescent medicine at children's hospital working on a project i've designed to complement some research that has already been done in the area of STD/HIV prevention. i'm pretty pumped about it - whenever i figure out what the heck i'm doing. :-P i have a cubicle, a badge, a computer with statistics software (i <3 SPSS, thanks SU psych profs), and a smile... hopefully that will all add up to a relaxed and productive few weeks before i start my neurology clerkship in july.

with this extra time in the evenings (research is an 8-5, baby!), i will be honing my wii skills (my birthday gift from henry) and catching up on movies (y'know, from the past 2 yrs...). henry and i just subscribed to netflix, so i'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of slumdog millionare, first up in our queue. yippee! movies! and time to watch them! i'll probably be doing other things too, but i'm pretty excited about these two.

25 April 2009

birthday and ball

first of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HENRY! today's the big 2-4. he's such an old man. i cooked dinner for him two nights ago, and i even broke down and bought an ice cream (frozen yogurt) cake from TCBY. :)

last night was the med school 'Aesculpean Ball' (aka med school prom). it was actually pretty fun this year because they decided to have casino games with all the proceeds going to the free access clinic we help staff downtown. before the ball began, we had a few friends over for dinner (with takeout from surin). it was a fun night!

22 April 2009

our new place!

i am eating my chocolate easter bunny... almost two weeks later. YUM. deeeeee-licious.

also, the apartment is really coming together! here are a few pictures on which to feast your eyes. (still to come: pictures of the dining room, bathroom and front living room)

here's our bedroom.

the second bedroom / study.

the living room and screen porch.

(view from the dining room / front living room)

a few views of the kitchen

20 April 2009

beautiful new apartment in the clouds

i recently posted that it is a new chapter for me: and indeed it is! henry and i moved into a new apartment on friday, and i am loving it.

the move was a pretty smooth one - we hired movers! what a blessing. unfortunately, henry caught a stomach bug last week, so he spent a lot of time before moving day and this past weekend out of commission. :( this left me as the primary packer / unpacker extraordinaire. although i would have loved henry's help, it was such a joy to be able to take care of things for him. i have found this to be one of the great mysteries of marriage: tasks that i would normally find inane or tedious, if being done for henry, are much less so. i hope this is something that does not fade in our marriage.

although i have not formally commented on step 1, i will say simply that i am incredibly grateful to be on the other side of it. the test was grueling. i felt well-prepared by the oodles of questions i'd done, and i hope that this reflects in my score... but i'm not holding my breath. a passing score is good enough for me!

so i have off this week and part of next - what a beautiful thing! although much of this time will be spent cleaning the old apartment and organizing the new apartment, the smaller-than-usual weight on my shoulders is dizzying. it's my plan to savor every delicious moment of freedom, regardless of what i'm doing.

pictures of the new apartment to come!

10 April 2009

new chapter.


...and still alive!

::mel gibson style:: FREEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOM!

05 April 2009

exhaustion sets in.

usmle step 1 countdown- 5 days. i cannot wait. don't get me wrong, i'm scared senseless of the exam, but i am so ready to have it all behind me.

this season in my life has been wrought with frustration, sleepless nights, stomach aches, social isolation, poor nutrition, excessive caffeine, and general anxiety and worry. my brain is full. i'm exhausted from exhaustion. my bladder is permanently shaking from the amount of mountain dew i've consumed. my eyes are practically crossed. my phone is turned off. i can count on one hand the number of days i have had interaction with human beings other than henry in the past 4 weeks.

there have absolutely been moments of epiphany and understanding - but sprinkled amongst hours of confusion and frustration. i'm ready to rejoin society. anyone wanna buy me a drink friday night? :)

31 March 2009


so i've been trying to avoid blogging, facebook, and all the other time-sucking, in-other-people's-business fun on the interwebz. HOWEVER, i just had a major breakthrough that demands a post.

jaw-dropping newsflash: biochemistry is beginning to make some semblance of sense to me.

it's a miracle i can only ascribe to divine intervention (on behalf of
Lange Biochemistry & Genetics flashcards for USMLE). all i needed was 'the big picture.' i have 12,842,723 biochemistry resources from a million different classes, but not one of them describes what the heck i'm learning. now i have it. from flashcards. it's liberating.

...except that it's 11 days from step 1. ::panic attack::

23 March 2009

if you need me in the next 15 months...

here's where to find me!

04/10/2009 - 336 questions of hell. USMLE step 1.

04/29/2009 - 07/24/2009 RESEARCH

07/27/2009 - 08/23/2009 NEUROLOGY CLERKSHIP
08/24/2009 - 10/18/2009 MEDICINE CLERKSHIP
10/19/2009 - 10/23/2009 scholars week (1 week special topic course)
10/26/2009 - 12/20/2009 SURGERY CLERKSHIP
12/21/2009 - 01/03/2010 2 weeks off for the holidays
01/04/2010 - 02/28/2010 PEDIATRICS CLERKSHIP
04/26/2010 - 04/30/2010 scholars week (1 week special topic course)
05/03/2010 - 05/30/2010 ANESTHESIOLOGY SELECTIVE
05/31/2010 - 06/27/2010 EMERGENCY MEDICINE SELECTIVE
06/28/2010 - 07/25/2010 PSYCHIATRY CLERKSHIP
07/26/2010 - 08/22/2010 FAMILY MEDICINE CLERKSHIP

yippee for finally having a third year schedule! i'm so excited about rotations. so so so excited. ask me again how i feel about rotations during my surgery clerkship... i'm not so much the morning person i'm going to have to become. and yes, that schedule includes saturdays and sundays. it's called a pager. i'm going to have to learn to use it. YIKES!

18 March 2009

23 days until THE SMACKDOWN.

the question is: who is going to be smacked down, me or step 1? i'm seriously hoping the latter.

it is for this reason that i shall disappear into the land of ridiculous amounts of information for the next 3.5 weeks. i'll let you know how it goes. smooch!

14 March 2009


and a happy pi day to all! sandwiched right between friday the 13th and the Ides this year. terrific. hope yours was a nerdy as mine.

13 March 2009

rainy friday time machine

i just had an orange fanta. it tasted like childhood. mmmmm.

12 March 2009

life shall resume as normal. worry, take a hike!

the following is a back and forth of emails between me and my doctor about my abdominal MRI of my pancreas today (which i don't recommend - it's not very fun.)

from me, 10:15am
Hey Dr. S,
Hope you're having a great week! Just wanted to let you know that I had my abdominal MRI this morning without any trouble. If you hear the results, could you let me know in brief by email? That would help reduce my anxiety about what it might be (especially if it's nothing!)
Thanks for all your help, as always,

from my doctor, 3:30pm
Relax- it literally was nothing. There were no lesions seen on the pancreas. The read on the CT scan was probably either artifact (if you moved slightly) or an overcall by the radiologist. The MRI was totally normal.

... PHEW. i am ecstatic! if nothing else has been gained from these two weeks of worrywart's hell, it's a greater appreciation for the health i take for granted everyday. it's sad that it has to take such an experience for me to be reflective, but i am grateful for it and will move on in a different spirit.

love to all for thoughts and prayers. xoxoxo

06 March 2009

worry is worse with evidence.

health is fleeting. i have had more reflections about health, life, and death over the past few weeks than i have had in awhile.

i've had abdominal pain and nausea for a few weeks now. i'm not pregnant, i've never had abdominal problems before, and i have no idea what's caused it. i finally went to the doctor last friday who sent me to the ER with suspected early appendicitis. they took 4 vials of blood, started an iv, and did a CT scan. they couldn't find any specific cause for my pain. fortunately, after a much more acute bout of digestive trouble this past weekend, i began feeling a lot better.

unfortunately (or fortunately), the CT scan revealed a 12mm lesion on my pancreas. i will be having an MRI this week to help determine what this is. although in all likelihood it is something benign, the possibility of cancer lingers. "what if...?" my brain begins. sigh. medical school knowledge makes reasoning away worst-case-scenario difficult... especially when i've learned and memorized all the facts forwards and backwards.

sigh. sigh. sigh. i'll get through this, one way or the other.

and i'm gonna be alright, i'm gonna be alright
with you by my side
and i said i'm gonna be alright, i'm gonna be alright
with you through this fight
through it all

.mat kearney.

23 February 2009

PSA and day in atlanta

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: i take my USMLE step 1 exam in precisely 46 days. i have worked meticulously to come up with some sort of study schedule... we have an "integration" class for the next 3 weeks that should hopefully force me into a study pattern. anyways, the announcement part is this: i will probably be pretty aloof. i might try to maintain a presence in cyberspace, but my days and nights will be devoted to slaving over the books. it'll be worth it. :)

so in real human life -- this past weekend ended up being so much fun! henry took me to atlanta on saturday. we didn't leave super early in the morning, but we still had a full day:

1. ate dim sum for lunch on buford hwy. if i can ever figure out the name of the place, i will highly recommend it to you. it's ridiculous.

2. saw the king tut exhibit. one of my childhood obsessions was ancient egypt. this was a collection of artifacts recovered from tombs of different kings, including tut. i guarantee you that on more than a few occasions, i leaned over to henry and said "...this one time in elementary school, i did a project on egyptian ______" (blank can be filled with: gods & goddesses, how pyramids are built, stratification of society, role of cats in society, and cleopatra... among others. yes, i was obsessed).

3. shopped ikea. i admit, the first time i visited ikea a few years ago, i pretty much had a panic attack. it's a ridiculous store. even so, i have learned to appreciate it -- and to always go in with a specific list of what we're looking for. we did, and we came home with two new chairs for our desk in our study. woot!

4. saw the
bodies exhibition. it's incredible. i saw this a few years ago when i was living in chicago, and it blew me away. it was henry's first time to see it... and it was an entirely different experience for me after having studied it all in med school. really glad we went.

5. ate dinner at a little pub that made me nostalgic for england. it's true. i get misty every once in a while thinking about life the way it was living in london. it truly felt like home. i hope i'm fortunate enough to get to live there again someday.

i learned lots of random little tidbits on the trip, too, like: GPS can screw up in the middle of the city with lots of tall buildings blocking the satellite signals. also, i have no desire to ever live in atlanta. also, although i already knew this, henry is my best friend and the best partner i could ever have in life. we've taken a few car trips like this recently and have been amazed at how quickly they go by as we're chattering about every detail of life. also, although i already knew this too, i adore coldplay.

19 February 2009

pet peeve #324.7: obvious research disguised as important

don't you love those research studies that, upon publication, have everyone saying "duh" and wondering what the research funding could have been spent on? prime example:

CNN.com: Men see bikini-clad women as objects, psychologists say

...and this just in! the sky is blue.

as a psych major in college, i totally support psychological research. but Princeton -- really? can we please study something that might actually help us learn something useful? i especially like the researchers potential next step:

"Another avenue to explore would be showing images of men's wives and girlfriends in bikinis, Raison said. He predicts the objectifying effect would not happen in this context."

oh good. i hope your prediction is right, or you will spend a whole lot of unsuspecting IV-leaguers' tuition money providing wives and girlfriends with more fodder to attack their husbands and boyfriends. and if you are correct, then what? you can conclude males can overcome objectification of women, but only *their* women? wow, the irony might just make my head explode.

...back to studying repro for my LAST FINAL OF 2ND YEAR TOMORROW! yippee.

16 February 2009

about half a teaspoon, actually.

because i have little social judgment and thought you would want to know the useless things i'm learning in medical school:

comparison of ejaculate volume by species
ram: 1mL
human: 2-3mL
bull: 4mL

dog: 9mL
stallion: 70mL
boar: (as the lecturer put it) a messy 250mL

do you think this has to do with the accuracy of the aim? just a random, inappropriate-for-the-general-public-who-are-not-being-inundated-with-ridiculous-amounts-of-reproductive-information question. feel free to answer... or not.

10 February 2009

ends, beginnings, and the moon

10 days and counting until i finish my second year medical school classes. !!!

(insert Natalie-Portman-SNL-digital-short-style WHAAAAT?!)

after, i will spend two months studying for my 1st US Medical Licensing Exam (Step 1). it's on april 10. AUGH! i really feel like med school is flying by. it didn't last year... it dragged mercilessly through neuroscience this past fall... but as soon as we hit hematology/oncology in november, it's FLOWN. not complaining. :)

i also completed my last OSCE (objective standardized clinical exam - they video us doing history and physicals on fake patients for a grade) last night, which marks the end of my clinical class as well!

in other news, henry and i have found a place to move! we are filling out the application and crossing our fingers. we'll be moving mid-april (after my exam). the top three things i really like about this apartment:
1. closer to both Henry's work and UAB (and going home will be in the opposite direction of rush-hour traffic, HALLELUJAH!)
2. literally $250 cheaper than what we pay now
3. decked out with stainless kitchen appliances, ceiling light fixtures, huge closets, and wood floors.
it's a steal. i can't wait to move. our current apartment is livable, but the combination of price, location, and amenities at the new place is thrilling. plus, i am ridiculously addicted to arranging and rearranging furniture, so this will be the ultimate high for me. (HA!)

in completely random useless news, i discovered the other day that you can buy property on the moon. it's ridiculous. there's this whole section about "is it real?" and they explain how an international treaty was signed that said no country can claim land on the moon, but the treaty did not say anything about individual people. so apparently -- wham-bam -- that makes it valid. give us $30 plz thx bye. ::facepalm::