Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EM rotations and Interview season begins! Dun Dun Dun!

4th year is flying by already. Nick is already 2 weeks into his second Emergency Medicine Rotation- which also just so happens to be his "away" rotation. We're very fortunate that "away" for us, simply means an hour commute, not a different state, however, it's still much different than the 5 minute drive he's used to!

Neither rotation has disappointed. I've said it before, and so I'll simply say it again, he loves the Emergency Room. Sure, there are moments of frustration where patients present to the ER unnecessarily for things they really should be going to their primary care doctor or urgent care center, BUT there are also TONS of exciting and real trauma situations that Nick loves. Thankfully, the latter makes up for the frustration of the first. He's done sutures, lumbar punctures, seen countless gun shots, done chest compressions that helped saved lives and unfortunately done them to no avail where the patient passed, he's placed orders, completed all sorts of patient exams, and really just been able to feel less like a student and more like a doctor.

He is currently rotating at Genesys Hospital which is near Flint, so as part of his rotation he had to do one ride-along with EMS. This meant he got to ride along with someone who was a cop and EMS for the night. Basically, Nick thought it was awesome. He texted me halfway through the night that he wasn't in an ambulance but was in a cop car and felt like Castle. If you've seen the show, you can pretty well picture EXACTLY what Nick was like.  At one point they went to a breaking and entering situation. Nick was told if the guy ran he could either stay in the car, or run after him with the cop. I think that's pretty much every little boy's dream... and it doesn't change when they grow up. In the couple of minutes he was waiting to see if the guy ran he came up with lots of plans for his "chase" and how he was going to take this guy down. Unfortunately, the guy hid in the shower and did not run and so we'll never know how those plans would have played out...

In other BIG news... Residency applications are all submitted!! WOO HOO! That process was nuts. With so many students flooding the system to apply at the same time, the system straight up crashed. You'd think they'd be prepared, but apparently they were not. It took a full 24 hours for them to get it back up and running so that the majority of students could actually apply. It wasn't stressful at all...

Interview season is already off to a crazy start. Nick has already hit his quota of interviews for his backup and is making progress on the EM front despite a delay in his application while he completed his rotation in September. We were a bit nervous that the delay would really put him behind, but so far, so good!  Fingers crossed he gets a few more of those, but all in all, the madness that is accepting/declining, traveling, and interview madness is in full swing in our house. It's a chaos that I couldn't be more thankful for :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Emergency Med/ Residency Apps

3rd year of medical school is officially in the books! In some ways that doesn't seem possible and in others... it seems like we've been on this medical school journey forever. And now (drum roll please) only ONE more year to go! And really it isn't even a full year as match day is in March (7 months), rotations end in April (8 months) and graduation is in June (10 months)... all HUGE milestones that end within the next year :) Woo hoo!

The moment Nick has been waiting for for the past 3 years has finally come as he is officially BACK IN THE E.D to kick off 4th year with his Emergency Medicine Rotation. At St. John's EM is not a core rotation, so students do not do it during 3rd year so to say this guy has been getting super antsy waiting and waiting and waiting would be an understatement.

He's just about to complete his first week and I'm happy to report it has not disappointed him one bit. He has enjoyed many of his rotations, and really, just likes Medicine in general. However, this guy L-O-V-E-S being in the E.D. Loves it. He's excited to go in, clicks well with the attendings and residents, loves the pace and variety, and quite honestly just feels very at home down there. So needless to say, it's no shocker that this former Emergency Room tech and President of Emergency Medicine club in Grenada is officially hoping to Match into an EM residency program. Fingers crossed. He's already done his own consults, done suturing on his own, become a go-to for quickly needed IVs and needle sticks, and established great rapport with the staff in the E.D. Can't say this doctor-in-training doesn't dive right on in ;)

Speaking of Matching.... applications are sent out in ONE WEEK. What?! How did that come up so fast?! SO much work goes into these darn applications. You have research TONS of programs. You have to research TONS of secondary programs that you want to apply to as your backups. You have to write personal statements. You have to wait on final CK scores to be submitted. You have to attempt to control what you can in terms of deadlines and learn to accept the missed deadlines that were- unfortunately- not within your control. You have to fill out endless paperwork. You have to PAY a lot of money. And then, you sit and wait and pray interviews come your way. Why is everything about medical school SO stressful?! Sheesh.

I will say though.... and this is a wifey brag moment.... but, it's so cool to see all his accomplishments listed out. I kinda forget sometimes ALL the things this kid has done to get us to where we are on the journey. He has hospital experience and letters of recommendation from his years of working prior to medical school. He has research experience AND 2 publications to his name with hopefully 1 more to come prior to/during interview season.  He got honors during basic sciences. He has honors in his rotations through 3rd year and several letters of recommendations from great sources at St. John's. He's been in many leadership positions within the hospital and medical school setting. Has done vast volunteer work. Was inducted into the Gold Humanism Society. Has memberships to a couple different medical organizations. Rocked his Step 1, Rocked his CS, and feels great about his CK. And I'm probably leaving stuff out. Really, he's done A LOT.

I might be biased, but I'm so impressed by him time and time again and hope the programs he's applying to are able to leave the bias against FMGs behind and give credit where credit is due. Apply for residency is SO SCARY. Eeek.

Friday, August 8, 2014

3 things:

1- Nick is done with 3rd year and just has to knock step 2 on Tuesday to really be officially done with all 3rd year responsibilities. FOUR.DAYS. I'm obviously excited and proud of him, but also excited to have my hubs and baby daddy back. Single mommyhood is tough! And our house needs a good, solid, cleaning.

2- People didn't warn me enough about how absolutely horrible huge boobs are. I have fairly big ones normally, but this breastfeeding size increase is absurd. I swear they weigh 10lbs-- each. And you look like a hooker no matter how hard you try and cover up. And working out is painful. I know, the world's tiniest violin is playing for me right now. But for real. Bigger is not always better.

3- Smoking should be illegal. Or all smokers should be forced to smoke only inside their own smoke filled, cancerous house... with windows closed. Keep that crap to yourselves.

Was there a point to this post? Not really. But my baby is actually taking a nap longer than 20 minutes so really I just don't know what to do with this "free time" for the first time in 4 months. Maybe I'll get off my rear and start that house cleaning I mentioned...

Happy Friday :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Long winded baby post :)

I save most of my baby talk for Emerson's online baby book (that I am obsessed with and so excited to print after she turns 1... but no need for that to get here too quickly... she's growing too fast already) but I have to rave out my beautiful little girl a bit.

First off, I just have to say, she is THE best! All moms say this right?! She really is such a sweet, silly, and happy baby (I know I'm biased.) It blows my mind that Emi is already 3 1/2 months old. Where in the world has time gone?! But, it's weird because time seems to have sped up to triple speed, yet at the same time, it's really, really hard for me to remember life before her. What did I do all day long?! What did I do before the constant feedings, bouncing, playing, diaper changes, baths, and clothes changes? What did I do before I knew I could love a little person SO much?! She seriously adds so much to our family that we realize we really were incomplete before her. I will always cherish our 2 years of "couple time" in Grenada- of just being the 2 of us... but I wouldn't trade having this little human in our lives for a single second.

She sleeps like a champ. Pretty much always has. That's not to say she started out sleeping through the night (she did not.) BUT she's gradually slept for longer periods of time and compared to what I expected and what I know others have experienced... I'm one of the lucky ones. Napping just started to become somewhat a part of our lives.. but if being a bad napper means being a great sleeper at night... I'll take it.

She's the most alert baby in the whole world. As I said, she JUST started taking naps last week. I'm not even joking. She loves to play and be a part of the action. And surprisingly doesn't get too grumpy for having such little day time sleep. However, she's realized she gets less frustrated if she allows herself a few cat naps and full nap during the day... hurray!

She's so smart and such a sponge. I love, love, love watching her learn new things every single day. Things didn't work out with my job- they screwed me over pretty good, but ah, everything happens for a reason and I am cherishing every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. It's such a blessing.. whether I'll be one for the long term is still to be determined, but for now, I'm soaking it all up. So far she gives the biggest smiles all day long, is a champ at tummy time, grabs anything and everything, talks non-stop, rolls over, stands with help, and as of today- GIGGLES!

I take her everywhere. She's one of the most social babies in the world. She's been out and about with me since she was 2 weeks old and she loves it and is a huge trooper. Everywhere we go she brings so much joy and I'm just so proud to be her mom.

Parenting is not a breeze. It's 24/7 and some days, babies can be relentless. But I honestly have loved almost every minute of it. Every new phase is fun, and I do think I'll love it when she's a little more independent and doing things around the house is a little less of a struggle, however I will miss SO much from these newborn days. I love all the snuggles. I love that she needs me so MUCH. I love her little (loud) cry. I love her smile when she just wakes up- even when it's 3am (it's a little less cute several days in a row, I admit.) She just makes it all so fun, that even the not fun stuff, isn't really so bad. And maybe part of it is that I wanted her soooo bad. I waited years and years and years to have her, that it helps sugarcoat the tiredness and soundproof my ears when she's screaming for what appears to be no reason for a couple hours at a time and gives me patience when she's nursing for over an hour each time and feeding every 45 minutes....

And speaking of breastfeeding.. 

Nursing started out disastrous. And I mean that in every single sense of the word. And I'm not being dramatic or exaggerating. Breastfeeding was easily the hardest hurdle I've ever had to overcome in my entire life. I wasn't producing enough right away. Emi is a "snacker" who would just stay on there ALL day if given the chance- but doesn't necessarily always fill up.  I felt horrible about supplementing. I tried every remedy under the sun. I cried. I constantly questioned myself. I blamed myself. I chaffed, bled, and was in pain 24 hours a day for 2 months. I came to peace with supplementing and developed a schedule for nursing and bottles that worked wonderfully for a couple of weeks and then my baby BOYCOTTED bottles (I kid you not, would starve rather than drink from a bottle- even expressed milk.) I bled, cracked, cried, and BEGGED her to take a bottle some more. And then, s-l-o-w-l-y my supply went up, Emi became a little nicer to my boobs, and at 3.5 months she takes only 1-2 bottles max a day (only 1 of which is usually a formula bottle and that's in the morning JUST so that I can pump once a day to have a little supply.) SO we made it.

It wasn't easy and I wanted to give up every single day. I now have no regrets about supplementing, and I HATE the slogan "breast is best." Feeding your baby is what is most important, and there is no need for any additional guilt to be placed on a mom who chooses not to/or can't breastfeed for whatever reason. Support and encouragement go much farther and I could not have survived without that from SO many different people. To anyone having difficulty, first of all- I truly feel for you and if breastfeeding means a lot to you, I would encourage you to not give up, but at the same time, I also encourage you to find peace with formula if necessary . It is not the devil. It feeds your child. And you're a great mom even if your child doesn't feed directly from your boob. Okay rant over. ha.

 It's been the most amazing 15 weeks. I can't say I do things the "correct" way all the time. I let my baby sleep with me in the mornings, she watches Baby Einstein on occasion, she continues to consume formula, I'll probably feed her rice cereal "too young," and I cause Doctor Daddy to shake his medical filled head at me and list off what research studies and guidelines say... but I think even he would agree, that sometimes it's okay to not do things by the book. And that our daughter is not only thriving but one of the happiest babies on the planet. So I must be doing at least a couple things right and together we are raising a beautiful, baby girl ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This just in...

Psych has not grown on Nick. Not one bit.

And yes, I think my sarcasm and grammar policing definitely helped to boost his mood.

Supporting my Doc-In-Training, one sarcastic comment at a time ;)

A week and half until this rotation is over. Praise the Lord!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Psych/ Step 2 CK rant

Ya know in my last post where I said Nick had always said he'd never want to do OB or Psych? Well, while OB may have been interesting and enjoyable and impressed him... Psych is NOT having that same effect. He hates it. He doesn't necessarily mind working with the patients, but he doesn't have the temperament or interest to do it long term. He finds it mostly to be busy work and doesn't feel respected as a member of the medical team.

Since he wants to specialize in EM- the experience is definitely a useful one and I think he's definitely picked up a few new skills (however, he's spent a lot of his time with the Social Worker and not with the Attending or Resident, so really, I could have taught him how to do a Bio-psycho-social interview... but I digress).

Only 2 weeks left and then he's got a break (ish- still has to study for Step 2 CK) before 4th year rotations begin in September.

Speaking of Step 2 CK... lets just say SGU has put Nick and students in his same term between a rock and a hard place. True to form with the lack of informing students accurately- Nick signed up to write his CK on Aug 12 a couple of months ago. He decided to do it in mid-August due to having his Psych rotation all the way up until Aug 1st.. thinking he could get a couple weeks to JUST study for CK which would be helpful. However, he got an email 3 weeks ago saying he needed to take his exam BEFORE July 28th if he wanted his scores back in time to send out Residency applications on September 15. He's gone back and forth stressing over whether to bump up his test drastically with little notice and have the score back to submit "on time" or take it when he had planned, probably get a better score, but get his "completed" application in late. Really there is no easy decision and pros and cons for both.

After meeting with the Residency director at St. John's he has decided to take it as planned and hope that have a delay in his applications being complete doesn't screw him over for interviews. I'm confident he will do well, but it's so disappointing to see my hubs, and other students, who work their butts off and excel but then don't have the University put them in a position to thrive. US students who are in Nick's year finish their rotations in late June/early July in order to have time to prepare and still get their scores back in time... so it's unfortunate SGU students are given the same courtesy and opportunity.

Just another hurdle for foreign grads to overcome right? At least 3 years into medical school, we're pretty used to it by now.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Nick is currently wrapping up his OB/GYN rotation. Prior to rotations, he always said, "I can't say 100% that I wont change my mind to wanting to do another specialty other than EM but I know for sure I wont want to do OB or Psych." Well, as for OB- no he does not want to specialize in it, but he has enjoyed it WAY more than he ever thought he would.

He's even delivered babies! Lots and lots and lots of babies! He assisted with births of twins, c-sections, and done some suturing as well, but most exciting had to be when he had the opportunity to deliver his first baby all on his own! Being the wonderful wife that I am, my first question was "did you drop it?!" You'll all be happy to know that he did not.

The resident that he has been working with is very pro students which of course makes everything more fun because the students actually get to participate in things. This week he is off to GYN however, which he may not find as exciting... but rumor has it, there are a lot of procedures, so maybe that too will be a pleasant surprise!

Although Dr. Leonowicz, Obstetrician, is not in our future- he is pushing to deliver our next child. So there's that. Just maybe, I will let him... maybe.

He's off to ace another shelf and another rotation is in the books! Only 1 rotation left in 3rd year and then we're officially in our LAST year of medical school... which really... isn't even a full year! Hurray!