Saturday, May 26, 2007

My Very Own Jordana Paige!

So, this local yarn store was having a sale. I stopped by to pick up some yarn for a gift for a friend, and while there, Raul pointed out that the long coveted Jordana Paige knitting bags were on sale, too. So, as I mentioned in a previous post, we are on a total student budget, but really, these are Jordana Paige bags I'm talking about - on sale! Raul convinced me that I needed one, and we decided to forgo our weekly dinner date out, so I could get the bag. Have I mentioned that he's a keeper?

Here are gratuitous photos of my new bag:

View of bag interior - check out all the cool pockets and clippy things and a little zippered notions bag (what are notions? small knitting tools like stitch markers, tapestry needles, small scissors and such):

View of bag exterior:

Me with bag:

Happy Memorial Day weekend! And happy Mule Days to the family in Bishop - did any of you brave the parade? Unlike the majority of our fellow Americans, we're not driving to any destination this weekend. I have to go into the hospital for rounds Sunday morning, but I have Saturday and Monday off. I am currently doing a rotation in Neurology, and I am on the stroke team. Prior to this experience, I really did not have an adequate appreciation of how sudden and devastating strokes can be. It is also equally amazing how quickly some patients improve. Just over the course of this week, I have seen a couple people make miraculous recoveries - a patient may be unresponsive on admission, but a few days later, the swelling in their brain has had time to resolve and suddenly they are alert and talking. It is really quite inspiring.

Happy Birthday Big Dave

49 years ago today, my dad was born. What a milestone - happy birthday Dad! Being the knitting savant that I am (what I am really saying is that I am quite poor), I am knitting his gift. And given my schedule, I am, of course, not finished with it yet. Let me tell you, the size of his feet rival the number of his years. Here is a photo of his birthday present (these clogs are a favorite pattern o' mine, as you can probably tell):

Aerial view with women's size 11 (big feet run in the family, okay) Dansko clog for scale:

Side view, again with Dansko for scale:

I always think this pattern is hilarious. You knit up these giant clown-shoe-sized slippers then you throw them in the washer, and after a couple of hot water wash cycles, presto! You have a pair of super cute slipper clogs! You totally have to wear these slippers, Dad - I even knitted them in Angel colors for you. Although, I hadn't anticipated that they would require so much yarn, so slipper number #2 might have a slightly different color scheme. Uncle Rob is going to be so jealous of your super cool clogs. Don't worry though - I won't start knitting speedos anytime soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Baby Uggs

I made these for a classmate (my cellmate on the recently concluded Oto rotation, actually) who is due in 4 weeks.

Profile view:

Super up-close profile view (Greta's paws in the background for scale):

Full frontal:


Pattern: Suede booties by Candi Jensen
Yarn: Soles and body of booties were done in Berroco Suede (in chocolate brown and tan colors) and fleece trim in Berroco Plush.
Needles - size 4 for the soles, size 5 for the body and trim.

These booties were a fun knit. The pattern is easy to follow, and I was able to knit up both in a total of about 5 hours. Super fast.

I finished Oto on Friday, and all in all, it was not that bad. The residents were nice, and they taught me how to do a thorough head and neck exam. I also learned the importance of providing your patients with adequate pain relief when you're manipulating a head/neck wound - the head and neck are heavily vascularized and innervated, and it seems that any repair of anything on the head/neck can be exquisitely painful. I saw several patients writhe in pain while they were being treated - it seems unnecessary to make someone endure something so painful when narcotics and other very good analgesics are available.

On a lighter note, I have a free weekend! I have some plants outside ready to go in the ground and a truckbed full of mulch. I see some gardening in my future.

Happy weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2007


Updated photos of Glee. I am undecided as to whether to make the medium or large. This version (lifted from a blog that I lurk on occasion) was a medium and it turned out a little small. I took mine off the needles today and put it on scrap yarn to try it on and evaluate the fit, and I still have no idea. I guess I will compare the size to another raglan style shirt I have. I'll let you know.

Glee from the front:

Glee from the side:

Glee from the back:

Let me tell you, figuring out how to work the self-timer button on the camera was my big accomplishment for the day. Raul normally helps me out with all things relating to technology, but alas, he is still in Council Bluffs, IA finishing up his Family Med rotation. I also managed to master the crop photo feature, thus saving you from viewing my post-call visage. For those of you unawares of the horrors of call - I was in the hospital from 8am Sunday to 12pm today. It was a good time, for sure. I actually got 6 or so hours of sleep which is a good amount for a call night. We were busy during the day, though.

It's kind of funny - several of the surgical rotations have suture clinics for the students where you have the opportunity to practice your stitch technique on a pig's foot (previously removed from the pig, of course.) Not to toot my own horn, but I was feeling pretty good about doing a little simple interrupted and a little vertical mattress on the aforementioned pig's foot. I guess I had never really planned on putting those stitches into a living human, but that's what I did last night. A patient was involved in a bike vs. car, and he had some pretty gnarly facial lacerations. No brain injuries fortunately, but he did have a few broken bones. Here at the hosptial, if you have a serious facial lac, you call ENT (otolaryngology) to repair it. So, I found myself cleaning out and helping repair some serious facial lacs. The ENT resident said my stitch technique was pretty good (qualified, of course, with the "for a third year medical student.") Good thing for all those pigs feet. Only one more week left on Oto - I'm done on Friday. Hallelujah.

Happy Monday!

NB - It was my little b's 24th birthday yesterday. Happy birthday Ryan. It's funny how fast time goes. Seems like just yesterday, we were in the backyard playing tetherball. Sorry about never letting you win. Love you!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Trach butter

So, today I started a new rotation - Otolaryngology (also known as ears, nose and throat.) It's a two week rotation, and I'm back at the VA. Good old VA. And I am off to a great start. This afternoon in clinic, I had a patient that had a tracheotomy several years ago, and he'd come into today for a follow up visit. He was having some pain around his trach site and for the past week or so had some increased cough and secretions from the trach. I learned that you should never stand in front of someone with a tracheotomy while they're coughing - pieces of phlegm can fly projectile style out of the trach site propelled by the force of a cough. That's what happened to my clinic patient and it landed right on my pants. Sweet. All you can do is grab a Kleenex, wipe it off and tell your patient not to worry about the phlegm he just spit on you. My senior resident informed me that such secretions are called trach butter.

And now, I have to rant. In med school, you have no control over your time. You are constantly being told the when and where of all the minutes of your days, and you never get to go home until your senior resident tells you it's time to leave. It gets really frustrating - especially when your residents have no qualms about wasting your time. Like today - we had clinic in the afternoon. The other med student on the rotation and I saw patients and wrote the residents' notes, and we finished clinic early. I was told that I could leave after we went and saw the two patients on our service in the ICU. My resident then proceeded to spend the next 2 hours working on old notes, checking her email and on the phone making plans to watch The Bachelor later. Finally, we went down to see the two patients, and they really were not doing so well. One patient's neck was disintegrating. The poor guy was in really bad shape. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but a disintegrating neck is never a good sign.

My apologies for the cranky post. Oto blows. Too many ears, noses and throats. I have to go make my lunch for tomorrow and then go to bed - I get to see one of the two ICU patients and have a daily progress note written on him by 6:20am. Good times.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

It smells like updog in here

So, a friend's 4 year old daughter told me this joke -
Maria: It smells like updog in here.
Shannon: What's updog?
Maria: Not much, what's up with you?

It smells like updog in my house. I had forgotten that dogs totally smell. Flynn's a good boy too and doesn't generally roll in dirty or smelly stuff, but he still smells. And sheds like crazy - the couches are covered in short little black hairs. He's been confined to the living room and Greta's had roam of the rest of the house. And it probably didn't help that this is what we did for the latter part of last week:

I had to study - too busy to vacuum all the black hair off the couch or to wash the dog or to pick up the thousand pieces of cat food that were scattered all over the basement stairs when Greta knocked over her food dish running away from the dog. Enter wonderful husband to the rescue. Raul is doing a rotation in Council Bluffs, IA right now in Family Medicine, and he was able to come home for the weekend last Thursday night because his preceptor had to travel to Vegas to give a lecture for a pharm company. So, Thursday night, he helped me study for my test the next am. On Friday, I took my exam (hard!) and then at Raul's suggestion, I went and got a pedicure with a friend. While I was out, he totally cleaned and vacuumed the house. He's a keeper.

In knitting news, Glee is near the point where the sleeves separate and I start knitting the body. I've been dying to knit socks lately, for some reason. I'm going to start a pair tonight. Pictures to come!
PS - Grandmas are the best. Recent contributions to the yarn stash from the grandmas.
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