Thursday, September 16, 2010


Minutes before boarding the plane in Texas, my name was announced over the overhead speakers. "That's strange", I thought. I made my way to the boarding gate and they smiled and asked to exchange my boarding pass for a new one - a first class ticket. What?!? I immediately thought of officer training and being warned to NEVER fly first class in uniform. It just looks bad to have military members acting pretentious on the government's dime. I politely refused and told them I was in uniform. They insisted and said it was perfectly okay, it was Sept. 11, and they thanked me for my service. In my head I thought, "What service?? I haven't done anything yet!" When they called us to board they asked that all military personnel board first. I boarded the plane with 5 other service members including a full bird colonel who gave me a surprised look when I stopped at my first class seat. After he walked to the back of the plane I suggested to the stewardess that maybe the colonel should have my seat. She told me to sit down and relax. "You were probably nicer at the gate than he was", she hypothesized. I felt ridiculously guilty when I stretched my legs out, reclined my seat and washed my face with a heated towel. I continued to feel guilty when I declined wine with my gourmet lunch and guiltier still when they brought out freshly baked cookies. It was the best flight I have had in my life. Maybe I earned it since I was away from my family for 28 days. However, all of my class mates are gone for the same amount of time and they have to pay for everything themselves. So really I didn't earn anything. Maybe someday when I'm deployed and away from my family I will think back to that flight and say - now I've earned it!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tropical Storm

"Tropical Storm Hermine gave a wet and windy punch to Texas today. Although the storm hammered Houston and San Antonio today, it's expected to weaken to a Tropical Depression overnight."

The storm was fairly intense. I was in the hospital all day long, but the wind and rain sounded crazy. When it was time to catch the shuttle home it picked us up 10 minutes late. A few sections of freeway were shut down because there was so much water on the road. By that time the rain had slowed to a drizzle. It was still suffocatingly hot and humid, but there were plenty of people in jackets and sweat shirts. Come on(!!) people of San Antonio - a few degrees drop in temperature with rain does not warrant the use of a sweat shirt. It was still ridiculously humid and warm. Hermine - do what you will with Texas for the next few days. Just let me go home in peace on Saturday!!!

Have a mentioned how much a love Pediatrics?!? I'm so excited to know what I want to do for the rest of my life; it's crazy how close I am to being an actual Doctor. This time next year I will have my very own patients and I will be responsible for their care. This week we had a 3 year old with Kawasaki disease. I was so excited because this is something that I swear pops up on every single pediatric test I have yet encountered. It can be fatal if misdiagnosed and even with treatment can have severe consequences. Only early recognition and early treatment has shown to reduce the long-term sequelae. So this little kiddo had the classic presentation: 5 days of fever, conjunctivits, big swollen and cracked lips, strawberry tounge, polymorophous rash on his trunk and extremities, edema of the extremities and lymphadenopathy. He looked miserable but was the sweetest little kid ever. 48 hours later with IVIG and high dose aspirin the kid looks so much better. I spent some time playing Toy Story dominoes with him this afternoon. His mom asked me to write my name on the white board because she wanted to remember "the good things that happened during this horrible experience. You are one of the good things". She just had a baby three weeks ago and her husband left for the weekend after she insisted she would be fine. I'm glad that I was able to help make her miserable week a little better. He had a cardiology consult because Kawasaki can mess up your heart vessels. He had only minor changes that should resolve but they will follow him closely.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Free things in SA

"Here's to the Heroes"
For my last Saturday in San Antonio, I decided to save the biggest "free thing to do" for last:
Sea World!!
As an active duty military member, I can get myself and three other guests into Sea World free once a year. Too bad I didn't have my family with me today. We would have all gotten in!

I saw a lot of animals, made myself sick on some roller coasters, and watched Shamu the Killer Whale show. It would have been so much more fun with my family - but I still had to go check it out. It was FREE!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Congratulations Leisy!! Leisy ran her second "official" half-marathon and scored a personal best! She also got a plaque for fisnishing in the top three of her age division. I'm amazed that she finds the time to put in so many miles to prepare for things like this and can still keep two crazy kids healthy and happy. I love Leisy!! I wish I could have seen her cross the finish line. Great job жена!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

30 hours later...

I am now working in the hospital on the Pediatric floor. We have been super busy and yesterday completely filled the unit. 16 beds were full and our two over flow beds were filled as well. The attending physician stayed way late to help discharge two patients to free up some beds. I was on call last night and helped fill those two vacancies. We were busy with a full unit and then got called to the ER around 1AM to see a patient. This little girl was swollen everywhere, had really bad edema and needed to be admitted. We often get tested about Minimal Change Disorder and I finally got to see it first hand! We had another girl roll in around 3AM and her admission consumed the rest of the morning!

I get on the shuttle at 5:30AM to make it to morning check out around 6AM
See patients and then have morning report at 7:30
Round on patients until lunch
In the afternoon we check up on patients (and I had an interview with one of the program directors)
Check out to the night shift at 5:00
I stayed on with the night shift - was kept busy all night.
Quick cat nap from 4:30 - 5:30 - had time to prepare for morning check out
Morning report at 7:30
Round on patients until lunch (luckily we ended a little early around 10:45)

I was then allowed to go home to sleep. I slept for 4 hours and forced myself to get up so I would still be tired to sleep tonight! Being on call is rough!

I got my Step 2 score back!!! It's the last graded exam of medical school!! I'm happy with my score and I'm done with tests for the rest of the year!!!!! WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!