Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just a Thursday.

5:25 The alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

5:34 The alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

5:43 The alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

5:52 The alarm goes off. I hit snooze, but my eyes are open. I can't will myself to get out of bed.

6:01 The alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

6:03 I get out of bed. Grumble, grumble. Stumble to the front room...pull a Zevex bag out of the box, stumble to kitchen. Mix KayTar's cornstarch and water for her feed, add a Pediasure. Stagger upstairs, hang on IV pole, attach to pump, plug her in and hit run.

6:11 Make coffee. Coffee! Turn on flat iron. Fix big cup of coffee with sugar and light vanilla soy milk. Grab iPad, start Pandora. Check email, send email to Govt professor to see if the exam is today. I was out on Thursday and there was no class on Tuesday. Straighten hair. Do make-up.

6:42 Hear KayTar's pump beep, "Joshie, she is beeping. Time to wake up. Her clothes are on the doorknob." Get dressed. Sign BubTar's homework and reading folder. Prep KayTar's lunch feed and pack it in her feeding backpack. Tell KayTar to put on her socks and shoes. Tell BubTar to put on his shoes and belt. Wait for someone to be ready for hair-do time.

6:57 Tell KayTar to get her socks and shoes on again. Tell BubTar to put his other shoe on. Come on guys...we're running behind! Tell Josh to pack KayTar and extra sausage patty, because she hasn't had anything leftover for snack this week...nothing she would eat, that is.

7:03 KayTar is ready for her ponytail. BubTar is ready for his mega-wave. Put on my shoes.

7:12 I prep my backpack, iPad, phone, keys, notebooks. Grab a pack of Emerald S'mores Blend nuts and a pack of grapes from the fridge. Make another cup of coffee to go. give KayTar her Advair and chamber, "I-I can do it, Mama!" Put stuff in the car, go back inside to remind Josh to put KayTar in her before they leave. Add an extra booster seat in the car, one of KayTar's classmates is coming over after school.

7:25 On the road. The radio was disappointing this morning, lots of talk and commercials, not enough of my favorite songs.

8:05 Park the car. Walk to school. Go to bathroom. Go to class, read in the hall while I wait for our chronically late professor.

8:37 Enter class, ask the SI if I was given the wrong worksheet on Tuesday...the answer is yes. I did the wrong homework, because the professor handed me the wrong thing. Joy. Hear the professor say we have a quiz. Freak out. I didn't study! She said it was on Tuesday! "Whoops, I misspoke." she says. She always mixes up Tues and Thurs. I haven't even practiced the material on account of getting the WRONG worksheet! I give it my best effort, but I KNOW I failed. I put a note on it, "I thought the quiz was Tuesday and was given the wrong worksheet on Tuesday." I'm embarrassed to turn the thing in. When she collects homework, I show her the sheet she gave me, "Oops. I guess that is why you had a hard time." She says I can turn the correct sheet in on Tuesday...but that won't fix that quiz grade. Blurg! I text Josh about the quiz. I need him to feel sorry for me. I take notes, eat my nuts and grapes. Make a note that we have another quiz on Tuesday.

10:21 Class is out. I go to the lounge to start writing this, while listening to punk rock. I'm mega-frustrated about that quiz. Still waiting to hear from my Govt professor about the exam. I need to know soon, so I can study...or not. Check my email, check in on a message board I frequent.

11:07 Head to the cafeteria to grab lunch...2 soft tacos.

11:11 Head to library lab to study for test even though I don't know if we have one.

11:26 Finish reviewing slides. Rush to class...find out there is no exam. Professor is late...again. Take note on the iPad for the first time...I'm usually a hand-writer. Quiz at the end of class, I do fine on account of that last minute exam cramming. Guess it worked out.

12:40 Class over. Go to bathroom. What is the deal with women peeing on seats?! Sit and use a seat cover unless you are a which case, please use the OTHER restroom. Surf the Internet for a few minutes before Storytelling.

1:00 Storytelling. I'm terrified of this class never know when you'll have to get up in front of the class. It is like psychological warfare. Today was rough...we had 15 minutes to make up our own bedtime story, using one of two given endings. Then we had to tell it out loud to the class. I'm not good on the spot! We didn't feel like we had a complete story by the end of time, but our group was selected to go first, what luck, and we got good comments. The rest of class wasn't so bad, because I knew he worst was over.

2:10 Class over, go to bathroom (seriously, stop peeing on seats!), walk to garage, drive to the kids' school. The radio apologizes to me for its poor morning performance. Offspring, Weezer, Everclear, No Doubt, Green Day, and some other good ones.

2:58 Pull into the car line. Update this. Read a couple of pages of Every Patient Tells a Story.

3:34 Get home. Unload kids and backpacks. Sweep up the bedding the guinea pig kicked out of the cage. Set up KayTar's feed. Make coffee. Pass out snacks. Eat a cupcake. Remind BubTar to do his homework. Watch KayTar and her friend play Just Dance Kids. Check the mail. Return Josh's call. Play some Wii with KayTar's friend when she gets tired and opts to lay on the sofa.

4:40 Josh gets home.

4:47 KayTar's friend leaves. She goes to lay down in my bed. Josh starts dinner while we watch 30 Rock in Netflix. Once KayTar is done resting, she and BubTar play together happily.

6:00 It becomes clear Josh's new dinner won't be ready for a long while, so we do quick meals for the kids. Microwave bacon for KayTar (let's face it, that is all she was going to eat anyway) and burgers for BubTar. I sign conduct folders and report cards. 100s and straight As all around. The report comments are pretty telling about their respective interests and personalities..."BubTar did a great job on his science fair project - gold medal! Congratulations on your award and for making the All A Honor Roll this nine weeks!" and "KayTar is always keeping me on my toes with the things she reads and says. She is making friends and even dabbles in romance. She is a terrific kid and I have enjoyed watching her grow." They both have the most AR points in their classes. BubTar is reading at 5-6 level for the most part, and KayTar is reading at a 3-4 mostly...but both read things higher and lower if it strikes their fancy. After paperwork, I clean the tub for KayTar.

6:35 Bathtime for KayTar! I find a small "present" in her undies. Not surprising...that is why we've started putting liners in her undies. We won't go back to pull-ups, but washing a billion dirty undies was too much. We have an interesting talk about how the kids at school are curious about her we decide we'll do a show and tell about it at the beginning of the year next year. Dry off, pajamas, braid hair. Fix her feed w/Miralax.

7:00 Read and feed time for KayTar. Send BubTar up for his shower. I eat some veggies for dinner...snap peas, roasted potatoes. Josh is working on a paper that is due tonight. Dinner is done, it is yummy! Pork loin, stuffed with cream cheese, jalapenos, and cilantro...wrapped in bacon. I'm not a big meat eater, but even I had some. Josh is very proud of his masterpiece, I take a photo and tag him in it on Facebook.

7:30 Bedtime for KayTar. Teeth brushing and Advair. BubTar and I play Super Mario 3 for a half hour.

8:00 Reading time for BubTar. I get to looking through old photos after he is in bed, but I keep finding cute ones and showing them to Josh while he is supposed to be I abandon that and cozy up with my iPad in bed for a few minutes to update this again. Then hop in the shower.

9:00 Lay out the kid's clothes. Watch Grey's Anatomy...the musical. It is weird.

10:17 Upload this post, add a few pictures, post it...and go to bed. I'll probably fall asleep listening to the sounds of Josh watching Breaking Bad tonight. [Edited to add: Nope, I did not fall asleep during Breaking Bad. I tossed and turned until sometime after 1am. Blurg.]

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I miss Spring Break already.

Wow, I haven't posted in a week! It was a whopper of a week, too. I suspect we were being punished for actually relaxing over break.

Monday wasn't too bad. I spent most of the day doing PreCal homework and trying to track down a new graphing calculator because my screen was crapping out and I needed it by my Thursday exam. Luckily, I found one on EBay for a decent price being sold by someone in our metro area who agreed to meet me in person, rather than shipping it. Yay! That night was scouts for the family and hospital shift for me, as usual.

Tuesday was a full school day for me and the evening was spent on PreCal homework. I think there was an emergent load of laundry done, too.

There was an increase in stress load on Wednesday, as my PreCal exam was steadily approaching and I hadn't really had enough time to study for it. I had been doing my online homework, but that doesn't really help me study, because the online format is so freaking frustrating. I work book problems to study, so I can actually learn something from it. I studied a little in the morning, then took KayTar to the ophthalmologist. Her left eye is getting worse, but he said it isn't enough to change her prescription...he said we'll do it next time. She sure missed a lot of letters, though! After I took her back to school, I went back to studying. Then about an hour later, it was pick up time, so it was back to the kids' school. We got home, started homework, had snacks/tube feeds and it was time to go to the district science fair for BubTar. He was one of the last to be interviewed, so I was there until about 6:15, then came home to wait for KayTar who had gone home with my mom during the fair. The boys went out to dinner and brought me back takeout. Once the kid's were in bed, I went back to studying...I was up until 12:45 working PreCal problems and listening to 90s punk rock. After I finished, I rewarded myself with an episode of Top Chef, so I didn't get to sleep until 1:30ish.

Thursday morning was the PreCal exam. It was fine, but not a 110 like last time. There was one problem I missed completely, it was a calculator problem and I was absent the day we learned how to do it. The rest went fairly well, I think. We were only allowed to use a scientific calculator on over half the test and I'm not used to that one, so I hope I didn't make any entry errors that will affect my answers. We'll see. After that, I started studying for my Storytelling exam (which was later that afternoon and I hadn't had time to look at yet) and skipped Govt so I could finish studying and start working on my slides for the first half of my semester long project in Cancer Bio. It worked out perfectly and I had exactly enough time to do both and get to my exam on time. It was easy, but wouldn't have been if I didn't review the material. That evening, we had science fair awards. BubTar got a gold medal! Everyone medaled, but silvers were for participation, gold was the next tier, and then a handful of kids got trophies. This was BubTar's first year participating, so now we have a better idea of how it all works. We went by DQ for post-fair treats.

Friday, I had Cancer Bio. I got my midterm was an A! I'm especially proud of this one, because on the first day of class the teacher said, "If you haven't taken Genetics and Biochem, you should think about dropping this class." and I haven't had either and I'm doing well. I also finished my exam first, which I was nervous about, but when the professor gave me my test back, she said, "I'm so impressed! You finished in 45 minutes and made an A! That is the best use of time I've ever seen." Then she said, "Weren't you the one who emailed me earlier in the semester because your daughter had pneumonia?" I nodded, and she said, "You are doing all of this with kids? I'm even more impressed by how you are balancing everything!" It was very encouraging! I took time off from studying the night before the exam to go to the rodeo with the family, and I'm glad I was still able to do well on it, especially well enough to get such compliments from my professor! After class was out, I went to the pediatrician's office and spent the rest of the day shadowing. I listened to sinus arrhythmia and visualized an infected ear...and saw many cute kiddos. I know I see more interesting cases in the hospital, but I really enjoy the primary clinic more. We spend more time with the patients and I like being able to follow the same kids...I've already seen a handful of patients on more than one occasion. I can see myself being happy in the environment for a long time. I picked up Subway on the way home, spent the evening cuddling with KayTar and watching BubTar play video games, helping Josh with his homework, and watching Law and Order UK in bed. It was lovely.

Saturday, the boys went out of town and KayTar and I had a girls day. We saw Gnomeo and Juliet at the "fancy" theater, went to the big bookstore, and had ice cream at Ben and Jerry's. I brought KayTar's feeding backpack into the theater and the ticket taker asked to search it, to make sure there was no video equipment in it for bootlegging, ha! I said, "Sure, it is just my daughter's feeding bag." as I was unzipping it and he got ALL flustered and apologetic. It is no big deal to us, but I guess it is odd and personal to some people. Last night, we went out to eat with my best friend/sister-in-law and she came over to hang out after and we watched Grey's Anatomy reruns...from back when it didn't suck so much. It was a nice relaxing evening.

I neglected to even post pictures lately, so here are a handful of my favorites from the past few weeks... 

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

In Photos: Chess

  This next one is my favorite!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Day In The Life: Pediatric GI Service Edition

On Monday night, during my volunteer shift, I ran into KayTar's GI doctor. She greeted me and struck up a conversation about volunteering/school/so forth. I'm still not entirely convinced that she didn't have me confused with someone else, as we only see her 1-2 times a year. Regardless of whether she actually recognized me or not, I half-jokingly asked her how I could get on shadowing her and she said "What are you doing this week? I'm not on service again until this summer." She gave me her email address, so after making sure I had a sitter, we set it up for Friday!

I arrived at the hospital at 6:45 and spent about 30 minutes trying to get in touch with the fellow to find out where to meet the team, so I finally just email the attending again to find out where to go. After that, it was smooth sailing. I had a very interesting day! I pre-rounded on a couple of new admits with the fellow, then went to grand rounds with the interns. The speaker was KayTar's ex-neurologist and while I didn't care for him in that capacity, he was pretty entertaining! The subject was orthostatic intolerance (Can You Withstand Standing.). There was food and coffee. :) After grand rounds, we started morning rounds. I saw a lot of new-to-me cases:

-A few short-gut kids
-Rhett syndrome
-intestinal lymphangiectasis
-Langerhans cell histiocytosis
-newly diagnosed CF in a preschooler
-ulcerative colitis
-Megacystis-microcolon-intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome

It was a lot more variety than I expected to see on GI service, honestly. A couple of hours into rounds, the OR called to say they were ready for one of our patients to be scoped, so I had to go change into scrubs and head to the OR. GI procedures are non-sterile, so I didn't have to scrub or anything...just don scrubs and a hat. I got to handle the endoscope and fidget with the controls before the procedure. The interns were the ones who asked if we could play with it, so I guess it was new to them, too. They seemed pretty excited about it. I got to watch the procedure up close and the attending explained what we were looking at while the fellow did the actual scoping/biopsying. It was cool, even though the GI tract was completely normal as far as we could tell. After that, we went back rounding, it kind of took forever! We didn't finish "morning" rounds until after 4pm. Around 2:30, the fellow and I split off and he sent me for lunch. I appreciated it and ate as quickly as I could and met up with him again...I don't think I even missed a patient! Shortly after, we were pulled into a family conference with a translator for the CF kiddo, that was interesting! It was a complex situation and I hope it all works out in the end. Not everyone is equipped to deal with chronic medical conditions.

They let me go around 4:30 or so, I could have stayed longer...but they said it was fine for me to go and I got the feeling they wanted to move a bit quicker for the rest of the afternoon and I didn't want to interfere. I had a wonderful day, it was very interesting and the fellow said I had seen more than most med students get to! I'd love to do it again sometime. I still prefer the primary pediatrics clinic, though. I love the patient contact and there wasn't much of that in the least on this service. We spent a lot of time charting...I don't know if that is typical or has more to do with the new EMR system...but for every 2 minutes spent in a patient room, there was probably 10 minutes spent in the hall making notes. I like the pace in the primary clinic better, even though I know the charting still has to get done sometime! I'm glad I got the opportunity to see so many new things and get a glimpse into how things run at the hospital. It was nice being on the OTHER side of those early morning rounds for a change!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

PSA: Colored Bubbles

They are fun...

And cool to look at...

But the blowback...

Will make your child look like she was involved in a homicide...

Or like he recently attacked a green-blooded alien...

So use at your own risk...or at the very least, use when you have time to bathe your kids and do laundry immediately after!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I just wrote a post and BlogPress ate it. Drat! It was an actual post, with words and meaning and everything! That is hard to come by these days and I don't know if I have it in me to write it twice. I have a feeling this will be shorter and less impressive, don't hold it against me. ;)

KayTar has been sickish this week, no fever, but she has cough, congestion, and she puked this morning. You know, the usual. So although it is Spring Break, we've been homebound. We don't like to share our germs or overtax KayTar's system when it is already on the decline, so we've taken it easy thus far. We've made due with a couple of visits to the RedBox and lots of sidewalk chalk and board game action. Today, the kids wanted to go out, so I tried my best to think of a workable solution. Before KayTar got sick, I had lots of imaginary plans for the week...the park, the zoo, having friends over...but none of that was appropriate anymore. The park is physically taxing. The zoo involves a lot of walking, and even in the stroller it is too much for KayTar when she is sick, and we don't want to invite friends over to infect them. Things like play places, hands-on museums, and anything where children are encouraged to touch things on a regular basis are on the NEVER list. We just can't do it...she always gets sick and more than few hospitalizations have followed a visit to these places.

KayTar wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese, which is on our Rare-If-Ever list. She usually gets sick after, but we risk it once or twice a year when we can afford a mild illness. There is roughly a vat of Germ-X involved and then we hope for the best. However, she isn't firing on all cylinders right now and we know that a visit would knock her out and we'd be kicking ourselves for a week. She just wanted it so bad. Really, really, really bad! It is usually easy to change her mind about these things, but not today. I hate telling her no in situations like these, even when it is for her own good. I waffled. I called Josh for his opinion, which was identical to mine. I polled Facebook. In the end, we decided to negotiate...we offered several of her favorite restaurants plus a trip to the bookstore. Nope. Different restaurants and a movie of her choice. Nope. Finally, we found a winner. Restaurant of her voice, plus a trip to the toy store! Bribery at it's finest! She chose Wendy's (Oooh, fancy!) and a beach-themed Playmobil. Later, my mom came to pick her up and take her to get a manicure with her cousin. A pretty good day, even if it wasn't what she really wanted.

Our life with KayTar seems pretty normal most days, but when we can't go to a normal kid place like Chuck E. Cheese because it would be genuinely bad for her, I remember things aren't totally normal. BubTar could go anywhere and do anything kid-appropriate at just about anytime he wants to...but it isn't that way with KayTar, so he's affected, too. She is really compliant with her limitations most of the time, as is BubTar (even that time she had an episode on his birthday and we had to abandon our plans altogether) so we hardly notice them...but on days when she really wants something she can't have, I hate having to be the one to shut it down. I guess it is worth it in the long run, though, if the payoff is having a healthy kiddo.

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Monday, March 14, 2011