What?  I can't believe it.  I'm already done with my two-week Coronary Care Unit rotation.  I actually ended up liking it way more than I expected to, and it made me wonder: if we had rotated through the different subspecialties in Internal Medicine during our third year, would I have ended up wanting to be an adult cardiologist instead of a pediatric cardiologist?  Because it turns out I don't just love the baby hearts, I love the adult hearts, too.

But that's neither here nor there.  What is here is the fact that not only did I finish my CCU rotation today, I also finished my last inpatient rotation until I start my intern year.  Am I excited for the freedom of shift work and regular office hours?  Yes.  Am I terrified that when I start my career as a physician next summer, I'll have completely forgotten how to take care of sick patients?  Um, yes again.

Ah well, we will cross that bridge when we cross that bridge.

Out of Context

"If she doesn't put out as much as we want her to, then we'll have to force her to put out.  Wow.  That sounded terrible."

Get your mind out of the gutter, you pervert.  We were talking about diuresis of a heart failure patient.  What did you think we were referring to??

See No Evil

I'm doing it.  I'm taking the plunge.  I'm going to be assessed for LASIK surgery!

LivingSocial offered a half-off deal on corrective vision surgery from LasikPro earlier in the year, but I was too chicken to actually go through with it.  Well, Coop has more guts than I do, because she has not only been to her appointment, but she is also a week out from her surgery!  She seems to be enjoying the results, so when LivingSocial decided to offer the deal again, I jumped at the opportunity.

I still have a million questions I want to ask, but now I'm at least one step closer to being able to see without glasses.  Simply amazing!

Music to My Ears

NBC's show The Sing-Off is back, and guess what?  I'm already re-addicted.

This time around, they're starting off with 16 groups, which means that we get over twice as many episodes as the first two seasons.  WHAT ELSE COULD GO RIGHT??

I just watched the season premiere online, and I know I should save my critiques until I've already seen all of the groups perform.  But there's one group that I can't find a single fault with, and that's Afro-Blue from Howard University.  The smoothness of their voices!  The jazziness of their harmonies!  The way every single hair on my body was raised by the last chord!

Sigh.  What I would give to have the talent to arrange music like this.  It's just... too... beautiful!


The Coronary Care Unit has been pretty slow during the day.  We only had one admission last week; the rest of the admissions all came in during night float.  And so, I decided to switch to the night team this week in hopes of seeing more of the action and being more involved in the decision making.

But, as it turns out, there's really not a lot going on tonight either, so now I'm in one of the call rooms in the basement of the hospital.  I'd never seen the UVA call rooms before, so I was surprised to see that they have a lounge and a gym down here.  So fancy!

I'm actually not all that tired, because I went to the lunch buffet at Royal Indian Restaurant with Sunny, Tri, and a bunch of his friends from residency.  It was delicious and fattening.  I ate too much.  Then, I came home and slept for five hours.  What the heck is wrong with me??

Guilt Trip

This second time around doing P90X, I promised myself not to take it so seriously.  I like working out regularly, but I don't want to beat myself up if I have to miss a workout or two.  After all, I am a medical student.  Sometimes, life gets busy, and I need to accept the fact that occasionally, I won't have time to exercise.

But no matter how many times I tell myself this, I still feel incredibly guilty when I miss a workout.  Especially this week, when I haven't exercised since Sunday.  Sure, maybe I've been working long hours in the Coronary Care Unit.  And sure, maybe I've had meetings, rehearsals, or Spanish class every single night of the week.  And sure, maybe I've overextended myself and occasionally feel like my life is spiraling out of control.  But isn't that what hypomania is all about?  Shouldn't I be able to fit everything I want to do into one 24-hour day!?  SHOULDN'T I????

Man, hypomania is the best of times.

My Favorite Things

Aortic regurg and defibrillation
Costochondritis and stent implantation
Rheumatic valves subject to narrowing
These are a few of my favorite things

Great transpositions and atrial rupture
Deep vein thrombosis and defective structure
Echos used for ultrasound imaging
These are a few of my favorite things

Pericarditis and primary tumors
Cor pulmonale and harsh, blowing murmurs
I-C-Ds placed for external pacing
These are a few of my favorite things

When the heart stops
When the valve clings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my cardiac things
And then I don't feel so bad

Down to Earth

After the past two Tuesdays, I've begun to think that we were unbeatable at Tuesday night trivias.  May our experience tonight at Wild Wing Cafe remind me to never take our hard-earned wins for granted again.  After several rounds of occasionally grueling but more often inane questioning and a winning dance-off by yours truly, we only managed to take home second place.

And now, I'm truly torn.  On one hand, I love the idea of going back to win the top prize like SpongeBob loves jellyfishing.  On the other hand, Cville Drink Specials hit the nail on the head when they described it as "trivia that makes you want to poke your eyeballs out."  So which will win: my naturally competitive nature or my desire to preserve the sense of sight?

Sigh, I just don't know.

Not Titan's Week

First, we find out last night that he has fleas.

Then, I do my usual after-work routine and take Titan and Bam Bam to the South Lawn to play.  There's another guy there with his dog, who asks me if my dogs are friendly, and I reassure him that they are.  The three of them sniff each other's butts, and then all of a sudden this new dog attacks Titan out of the blue.  I was busy picking up Titan's poop so I had to run across the Lawn to get to him.  Meanwhile, the man has picked his dog up to to try to get him off of Titan, but he's biting Titan by the skin of his neck and won't let go.  I get to them and we're finally able to pull the dog off of Titan, whose forehead is bleeding.

I ask the owner what happened, and he says, "I don't know, I think my dog just got spooked," and while I tend to Titan's wounds, he runs to his car with his dog and drives off.

I don't think Titan needs stitches, but even after half an hour, his forehead hasn't entirely stopped bleeding.  I'm really mad that I didn't get the dog owner's information and that he left without making sure that my dog was okay or even apologizing to me.  I hope I run into him on the Lawn again this week so I can teach him a lesson on pet owner courtesy.

Long Time No Flea

This is terrible.  I just discovered that Titan has fleas!  I have no idea how long he's had them because he hasn't been scratching himself or acting out of the ordinary in any way.  Is this what I get for buying Frontline at a discounted price from an online pet pharmacy instead of buying the guaranteed authentic product from my veterinarian!?  WOE IS ME!

If anyone reading this has had the unfortunate experience of ridding his or her dog of fleas, please tell me what worked for you and what didn't!!

In Da Club

Every day is an adventure.

Yesterday, the adventure began when Lee, Richie, Bishop, and I set out to use my voucher for $10 at Downtown Hotdog Company, only to discover the windows covered and a "For Lease" sign in the doorway.  Having already set our minds to eating hot dogs, we decided to go to the first place that came to mind: Sam's Club.  I haven't eaten their food in years, but it's as cheap and delicious as I remembered: I got two slices of pizza, a Polish hot dog, and a large soda for only $4.12.  Lee also created a stop-motion video of me devouring the hot dog, which I turned into a gif file for your entertainment.

After our feast, we went across the street to Walmart to buy birthday presents for Chrissy and Heidi.  The most amazing item we found was this t-shirt, which we thought would be perfect for Chrissy.  I hope she likes it as much as we thought she would!

All in all, a very unexpected but successful journey.  Mr. Sam Walton, thanks for the lulz.

Me Llamo Sam

Dude.  Or should I say, Amigo.  I just had my first online tutoring experience with Vivi from Celas Maya Online, and it was intense but totally awesome.  It's depressing how much Spanish I've forgotten since high school, and it's intimidating talking to a native speaker.  But goshdarnit, I'm gonna learn this language so that by the time I make it to Guatemala I can speak in more than just the present tense.  Because, you know, things happen in the past and the future as well, even if I can no longer recall how to conjugate to express those kinds of ideas.

[insert witty joke here that I'm too tired to write because my brain hurts from trying to think in Spanish]

What a Fool I Was

Remember how excited I was to get a free meal at Chick-fil-A a while back?  Well evidently I wasn't excited enough, because I forgot to actually redeem it.  A bunch of us went hiking the morning of the deal and I didn't even think to grab my free Spicy Chicken Biscuit before we hit the road.  Sigh, kitteh has regretz.

On the bright side, my voucher for a free dinner at Outback Steakhous arrived in the mail today to alleviate my depressed mood.  The card doesn't expire until October 27, giving me over a month to forget about it and never use it.  EXCEPT I WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN.  So if you received a voucher as well (or even if you didn't but still want to eat at Outback at some point in the next month), then let me know and we can go grab some nomz together.

Veni, Respondi, Vici

I Came, I Answered, I Conquered.

Having won trivia night at McGrady's Irish Pub last Tuesday, we decided to move on to a new venue this week and tried out Fellini's #9.  And boy am I glad we did: we won tonight as well!

This was probably the best team effort we've ever put forth.  Everybody contributed to the win, which was as much due to trivia knowledge as it was due to strategy on betting points.  I'm very proud to have been a member of Hungry, Hungry Woldecim.  You guys make me feel warm and fuzzy inside!  Or wait, is that the beer I drank?

The MVP was, of course, this startling beast that Paul drew.  He claims that it's a centaur, but it looks more like a monster that's half man, half horse, half cow, and half Whoopi Goldberg.

Welp, we've come in first place at McGrady's and Fellini's, so all that's left is for us to win at Wild Wing Cafe (Tuesdays), Rapture (Thursdays), and Baja Bean Co (Saturdays).  Can we do it before we graduate?  Yes, we can.

I'll Make a Man Out of You

For as long as I've had him, Titan has peed like a girl.  He has never raised a leg to pee like other male dogs.  He has always squatted down low on his two back legs.  Concerned about my dog's refusal to conform to the usual gender stereotypes, I searched all over the interwebz to determine the diagnosis and the treatment.  Evidently this behavior is common amongst male dogs that were neutered too early, preventing them from doing typical male dog things like marking their territory, fighting for dominance, and, yes, raising one leg to pee.  Oh, and there is no cure.

But today, a breakthrough!  When I let Titan out in the yard this morning to "get busy" (the command I use to make him pee), he walked over to the bushes, hiked his right leg as high as he could, and peed like all the other male dogs!  I was so proud of him.  My three-year old son, peeing like a real man-dog!

Of course, my celebration was cut short this afternoon when I came home from work, let Titan out into the yard, and watched as he resumed his squatting stance to pee.  It's okay, Titan.  I will always love you for who you are, not how you pee.

Late Night Escapades

The Madison House Alumni Council Weekend took place over the past few days, bringing many UVA alumni back to grounds.  Two of them, Garrett and Allie, happen to also be two of my best friends.  It was great catching up with them and reliving some of our greatest college memories.  Indeed, some things never change: Garrett and I grabbed late night Gus burgers at the White Spot on Friday night, and Allie and I chowed down on some Christian's Pizza slices on Saturday night.

But, there are some things that do change.  I had an experience at The Virginian last night that I won't soon forget.  Allie, Garrett, Brian, and I strolled into the restaurant and grabbed a seat at one of the booths after saying hi to some people that we knew.  Everything was pretty calm and normal until midnight, when the bartender jumped on the bar and made everyone be quiet.  First, he made all of us sing Happy Birthday to the other bartender.  Then, he made us observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the events of 9/11.  Then, he made us all sing along to God Bless the USA while it played over the restaurant speakers.

This in itself already makes for an exciting ten minutes since we arrived, but before I even had a chance to really get into the next song (Wagon Wheel, the obvious follow-up), a fight erupted around me.  Beers were poured on and drinks were flung at each other, and I quickly became collateral damage.  It all caught me by surprise: one second, I was singing about how I pick the banjo now, and the next second, I was covered in some vodka drink from head to toe.  And that's when I decided it was time for us to leave The Virginian.

Sigh.  Charlottesville, you know I love you more than Thomas Jefferson loves noblesse oblige, but maybe it is finally time for me to move on.


Tour de Nomz

The 2011-2012 medical school interview season has begun, and today Sunny and I led our first admissions tour.  We had a group of six female applicants (no guys!) who were very nice and easy to engage in conversation, which is a good thing.  The highlight of giving (and receiving) these tours is a free buffet lunch at the Garden Room, a faculty dining hall.  They serve delicious food, and today's lunch menu included butternut squash ravioli in pesto sauce and shrimp and potato bisque soup.

We forced the interviewees stay for dessert (okay, it wasn't too hard to convince them), but as a result we didn't leave the Garden Room until about 15 minutes after we were supposed to.  Because we didn't want them to be late for their interviews, we gave them the world's fastest tour of the hospital and medical school.  Both Sunny and I were breaking a sweat from sprinting down the hallways with the applicants in tow like a pair of rabid ducks and their ducklings.  Can ducks even get rabies?  I don't know.  Whatever, it was worth it for the chocolate mousse.

Lessons learned for my admissions tour next week with Randy:
1. Order the desserts early so that it we don't have to wait for them to arrive at the end of the meal.
2. Don't wait for the hospital elevators between the hours of noon and 1pm.  They will never come.
3. Just because you ate 80,000 calories at lunch does not mean you should try to exercise especially hard that evening.  You will only end up throwing up in your mouth at the end of the workout.

How Thougtful

Christin just e-mailed me this picture that she had taken at the MoMA Architecture & Design Museum:

As many of you may remember, my sandwich was stolen from the resident workroom a few months ago.  This seems to be the perfect way to prevent that from ever happening again!  Man, I wish I had been clever enough to think of this first.

Shower Me with Praise!, cont'd

Ask and ye shall receive.  That's right: my friends and I just won McGrady's Trivia Night.  Sure, we had a rocky start with only three out of ten points on the first round.  Sure, we got a boost from the scavenger hunt bonus.  Sure, we only won by one point at the end.  But none of that matters, because WE ARE THE WINNARRRS!



Shower Me with Praise!

I just received my first invitation to interview for residency!  THIS IS THE GREATEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE!  Well, at least it will be, until Match Day on March 16, 2012, when I find out where I'll be spending the next three years of my life as a newly minted doctor.




The only thing productive I can say that I did today was work out.  Seriously, I have no idea where the rest of the hours in my day went.  At least it was a good workout: I've had trouble lifting my arms all night.

This ended up being more of an obstacle than I had initially anticipated, because immediately after working out, I went to the local Goodwill with Paul.  We're both pretty big fans of novelty tees, and the goal was to find some new ones off of the $3.50 rack.  My shoulders were so tired that I had a hard time sifting through the t-shirts hung on the wall, but I still managed to come home with two new ones.  Mine are both so weird that I can't even describe them using words, so I'll just have to post a picture of them at some point after I've worn them.

Okay, so working out wasn't the ONLY productive thing I did today.  I also started arranging the second half of a Lady Gaga medley for the Arrhythmics (Cecilia is arranging the first half).  I resisted letting the group do Lady Gaga for a long time because I'm not really a fan, and I don't know her songs very well.  Tonight, while I was forcing myself to listen to several a cappella renditions of her songs for inspiration, I came across this one by Stanford Mixed Company that absolutely blew me away:

Sure, it's super edited, but wow.  Just wow.

In Search of Lulz

This is shaping up to be the most fruitful Labor Day weekend of my life.

Earlier this evening, Lee, Nosheen, Paul and I drove up to Lexington to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes at Hull's Drive-In.  The movie ended up being way better than I had expected, and by the end of it, I'm pretty sure I sympathized more with the apes than I did with the humans.  I dunno, maybe I should have been a veterinarian instead of a doctor.

As good of a time as we had watching the movie, the most memorable events occurred during the road trip there and back.

On the drive to Lexington, Lee made us stop at LEE HI Travel Plaza, a famous truck stop, so that he could play the coin-pushing arcade game.  Needless to say, he wasted two good dollars worth of quarters.

Das Racist's song Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell kept coming up on Paul's iPod during our drive.  On our way back, Lee said that he knew of one in Charlottesville, which none of the rest of us initially believed.  Paul wanted him to put his money where his mouth was, so they decided to bet on it.  If Paul was correct, then Lee would have to give him his cat Taiga.  If Lee was correct, then Paul would have to buy each of us a taco.  And guess what?  There is a combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell near the I-64 exit for the 5th Street.  Thanks for the nomz, Paul!

Ah, I really don't want this weekend to end.  Oh wait, it doesn't have to: I don't have to start my maternal-fetal medicine rotation until Tuesday!  It was the best of times; it was the best of times.


I attended my first UVA football game as a high school freshman, working one of the concession stands with Stevie and Turner to raise money for the Governor's School Foundation.  Since then, I have never had to pay for a home game.  You can imagine how sad I was when I realized that yesterday's game against William & Mary marked the beginning of the end of an era.  This is, in fact, my last season of free UVA football games.

In order to commemorate our last opening game, we tried to get a random girl on the Hill to take a picture of all of us.  Evidently we asked the worst photographer ever, because she completely cut me out of the picture.  To make up for this, Nosheen offered to take a picture of just me.  What better opportunity than this to debut my first SOON photo?

What you can't see in this picture is that I'm wearing the proper shirt-and-tie football game attire.  Make fun of me all you want, Randy, but I would rather be ridiculed than to abandon tradition.  Sea of Orange/Orange Crush/Orange Bieber Fever, you mean nothing to me!

Getting Our Money's Worth

Since Sunny and I bought full-price tickets to Busch Gardens Williamsburg the last time we visited, we had to take advantage of their offer to return anytime during the remainder of the season for free.  We brought Lee along with us and spent a good six hours hitting up all of our favorite rides, including the ones we missed last time, like Apollo's Chariot and Mach Tower.

The Mach Tower was cool because unlike the Drop Zone at Kings Dominion, it spins on the way up so you get a nice view of different sides of the park.  On the other hand, it only drops you 246ft instead of 305ft, so I guess you can't have it all.

We forewent our usual eateries and decided to grab a "snack" at the smokehouse in France instead.  ZOMG, the Sampler contained so much meat!  And potatoes!  And bread!   Luckily we got a healthy serving of veggies with... one giant pickle.

The park closed at 7pm, which meant we had to make the half-hour trek and tram ride to Lee's car.  We tried parking in the closer lot when we arrived, but the traffic director sent us to the farther lot on our way in.  Dissatisfied with our assignment, we actually turned around, drove back to the entrance, and then drove up to the intersection again, hoping for a different result.  Instead, we got a wag of the finger from the traffic director, who promptly sent us right back to the distant parking lot.

By the time we got on the road, we were starving, so we made a necessary pit stop in Richmond for dinner at Pho So 1 Vietnamese Restaurant.  Somehow we managed to each put down a half gallon of soup with our meal.  The bowls themselves were the size of my entire abdomen, and it's kind of disgusting to think that we distended our stomachs with so much food.  I'm sorry, did I say disgusting?  What I meant was incredibly awesome.

Out of My Hands

Yes!  I did it!  I just submitted my ERAS application for residency programs.  I can't believe this is actually happening, or that I threw down a combined $560 registering for the Electronic Residency Application Service and the National Residency Matching Program.  Good thing I'm already hopelessly in debt.  What's another few hundred dollars?

I'll be honest: I'm a little bit nervous, because this is the first time I've ever applied to anything where my scores are below the average of the applicant pool.  I guess that's why I ended up spending so much money applying to so many programs (35 to be exact).  But all of the faculty members I spoke to recommended that instead of cutting programs off of my list, I should let them cut me.  Pros: increased odds.  Cons: decreased morale.

Welp, from now on, it's out of my hands.  Time to sit back and pray for interview offers.  Wish me luck!