Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It is day four of sub -25 degrees. You might think that I am harping on this weather thing a bit too much, but then you aren't here. It was -30C with a windchill of -41C when I left the house this morning. So, if you haven't been in this kind of weather before; this is what happens when it is -30.

The furnace runs all night even though you turned down the thermostat to save fuel and you are sleeping under three comforters to keep your feet warm which are so heavy that you can barely turn over.
There is nothing for breakfast because you haven't been to the grocery store even though it is only 5 blocks away because your car is buried under a foot and a half of snow and needs to be plugged in but walking that far with groceries means the fruit and vegetables and milk will freeze.
You shower in the hottest water you can stand because you don't know when you will be that warm again and dress in three layers with the extra fuzzy socks even though it feels stiff when you sit down (and feel grateful that you don't have to see patients today because then you would have to try to hide long johns under dress pants).
There is no point in making coffee because, even in a thermal travel mug, the coffee will be cold by the time the train comes.
The trains are late because people don't want to drive on the icy roads or their cars won't start and some of the doors won't open because they are frozen shut so everyone in the overly-crowded car has to file out of the end doors.
The busses are late and the shelters are full so you are standing in the wind pacing back and forth so your feet won't freeze which they do anyway despite the winter boots.
The snot freezes your nose to your scarf and your eyes are streaming with frozen tears and your rings feel tight on your hand and you feel horrible for the teenage girl who doesn't have a toque and is turning from red to blue.
The battery on your iPod dies in 20 minutes and you watch dies and your cell phone makes a funny noise when you dial and you realize that maybe you should have left your laptop at home today.
You get to school in double the time it normally takes and half the group isn't there and everything starts late but you still have the same amount of material to cover.
It is dark when you go home where you fight through the same crowds and you see the lock is broken and won't open and you go to the mediocre restaurant nearby for dinner and their furnace is broken so you eat your mediocre dinner in your coat.
You are exhausted and you still haven't done any studying today.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I have bad circulation. As much as I would like to think that I am a tough Canadian that can brave the cold, if I am outside for more than a few minutes my fingers go from burning to numb.

Maybe I should fill in some details for those lucky enough not to be living in a deep freeze (actually my deep freeze sits in our badly insulated back room so it is probably warmer in my deep freeze). CBC is reporting a temp of minus twenty one with a windchill of minus thirty. That is celsius if anyone is reading from the States, not that it matters when it gets this cold. Usually when it is cold you can count on it changing before you get cabin fever but they keep pushing any sort of reasonable temperture to the end of the five day forecast.

The good news is that now I don't have anything else to do but study.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My non-medical friends have now decided that I am definately weird. I spent 4 hours shadowing at an urgent care facility downtown; not a place any of them would chose to spend a Saturday afternoon. It was the best time. I have so much fun. And great motivation to get back to the books and fill in some of those knowledge gaps. It was not really busy, being a weekend and fairly early in the day, but the range of cases and patients was still amazing. It also helped that the doctor I was shadowing was awesome! Definately what I want to be when (if) I grow up. He is a family doctor that has done quite a bit of emergency and is now moving to doing exclusively urgent care. I am trying not to jump too quickly to a decision. I still have lots of time to decide a specialty and there is still lots of things I haven't learned or seen. However, based on my short experience yesterday I would sign up to do that everyday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I think I might be over volunteering myself. I am double booked at 8 in the morning. Perhaps this is not that early for clerks or residents or surgeons, but for someone who is still recovering from a grad student's schedule having anything more strenuous than sleeping on the bus or drinking coffee is pretty jarring at 8am. Committing myself for meetings this early must be a clear sign that I should restraining my right arm, the one that seems to keep popping up everytime someone asks for help with this project or attendance at that event.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It is Monday morning after a long weekend. I dragged myself out of bed, across the snow to the train, and actually made it to school in good time for my first class. But, having shown up (half the battle I am told), I couldn't actually stomach sitting in lecture. So I grabbed a coffee and vowed to go through the lecture notes on my own. Instead I am blogging.

My husband registered his illustration business name this weekend. It is Expeditus Illustrating. Expeditus, by my husband's telling, is the patron saint of procrastination. Moreover there was probably never a real Expeditus, but rather the remains of a nameless saint that were marked for quick delivery. I am not sure what he is trying to say having a fake procrastinator as the name of his business but it is still an impressive sounding name.

I have 8 hours of lecture today. The first 2 hours have been designated for occupational safety and how it relates to MSK health. I spent the last three days with family, friends and heaps of food, so part of my justification for skipping class is that it would be more useful for me to review the anatomy that I was suppose to have learned last week. My older brother was married on Sunday so there were people in town and all those little errands to run that go along with large family events. As much as I resolve to get work done my will power is no match for a dinner or coffee or drink out with pretty much anyone. As a result I managed to get almost nothing done in a full three days. I have the next hour to make up for it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Two AV guys and blank blue screens. Never a good sign at the beginning of lecture.

We reached our last full day of dermatology lectures today. After working through most of the rashes and blisters it was scarring and burns. These were our first lectures given by plastic surgeons rather than dermatologists. We don't get many lectures from surgeons, which is a shame because they tend to have the best photos. Which brings me back to my fascination with gory pictures. I know it sounds insensitive but the grosser pictures definitely keep my attention. Perhaps I should take up some extreme sport to get my kicks instead.

The most extreme sport I am presently doing is curling. I know most people think of curling as more of a senior's past time than an extreme sport but those people have not seen me on a pebbled sheet of ice. With my level of grace and balance stepping on to frozen water with teflon shoes is definitely enough to get the heart pumping. One of the best things my parents ever did for me was judo lessons. In judo they spend a long time teaching you how to fall without hurting yourself. It is probably the only reason I have, as yet, not received any sort of traumatic brain injury.