Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Finally an FO!

Neglected half-finished knitting projects fill my house. I will not name them as that would just be bad for the self-esteem. Instead, I will repeat my current mantra. "I am quite capable of finishing what I start." And to prove it, my father and brother are arriving today from California to assist in painting the outside of my house. How fun does that sound?! Scraping and painting in the sweltering heat of summer - I can hardly wait for the fun times to begin. The primary goal is to have everything completed in one week. There will be four of us doing most of the prep work, and we are hiring three other guys to help with the painting. And the house is small. We can do it! (Appreciate any helpful thoughts and prayers for the timely completion of this house painting endeavor that are sent my way.) I will photo document progress as it happens.

So, back to the FO that is the pair of socks called Breeze from the current edition of knitty.

Photo of finished pair:

Close-up of heel:

Pattern - Breeze, as mentioned above from current issue of knitty at www.knitty.com. Sorry, for some reason, I lost the link option on blogger. Maybe as a result of switching back and forth between Mac and PC? I will have to ask resident technology guru, Raul, to take on this case.
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock merino in Loden
Needles: Size 2 Addi Turbos
Modifications: None!

Overall, very comfortable. I am a huge fan of ankle socks, and they're such a quick knit (though you would not be able to tell by the speed at which I finished them.)

And long time no post because I have been on vacation! A lovely wedding, time with friends in SF and the most incredible yarn store in the world! Pictures to come!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mouse in my house. Oh my!

My father-in-law was here last weekend. He told us a story about how one morning, the dog and the cat had tag teamed to corner a small mouse in the house. It seemed that this story was intended to be endearing - how cute that the dog and the cat would cooperate, brought together by their mutual desire to stalk small rodents. Not so - this story meant that I had a mouse in my house, and the teller was unable to provide me with key information - where did the mouse go? is it still alive and in my house? Tonight, my questions were answered. Raul and I awoke from an afternoon nap to the sound of the dog attempting to squeeze himself in to the 3" wide space in between the bathroom vanity and the wall. He'd again cornered the mouse. After wondering what to do, I called the keeper of all answers, my grandparents, who suggested that we roust the mouse with a broom. I will spare you the details of what followed, but I will say that Raul is a prince. He handled the whole situation while I hid in the bedroom with my ears plugged.

Take home points: if you have sudden onset, substernal crushing chest pain or a focal neurologic deficit, I'm your woman. If you have a mouse in your house, call someone else. And Raul is a prince.

Monday, July 9, 2007

It's almost enough to make me put down my Freedom Fries

Raul's dad is visiting now. Yesterday, we were able to escape the heat for a few hours watching the new Michael Moore film, SiCKO. He addresses the shortcomings of the US health care system by interviewing various individuals that were denied appropriate medical care despite having health insurance. He also advocates for the implementation of universal health care by interviewing British, French and Canadian citizens that seemed quite content to pay nothing (at the time of service, they pay significant taxes to support such a system) for quality medical services. His film is interesting and inflammatory, as his films usually are. And unfortunately, his tales of injustice in the health care system are all too true and common. I have been in the clinical setting for a single year, and the things I have seen are shocking. We discharged an uninsured patient the other day with a $40,000 hospital bill. The staff and social workers at times have to spend hours on the phone with insurance companies to keep a patient in need of treatment for an additional day. He gave examples of people being denied MRI scans to diagnose brain tumors or being denied cancer chemotherapy because the insurance companies don't want to pay. It seems unconscionable. Insurance companies are making millions of dollars in profits by denying people medical care--millions of dollars that could be used to provide treatment and disease prevention for thousands of people. Equal access to medical care should be a human right. Hopefully, one day we will have universal health care coverage for everyone--maybe then it will be in the best interests of the insurance companies to provide preventative care (unlike now when they know that you'll probably switch insurance companies by the time you have a heart attack from your high blood pressure or need your foot amputated from your uncontrolled diabetes, so they have no incentive to prevent these things from happening because someone else will foot the bill). Granted universal health coverage is not cheap, and the cost of such a program may result in an increased tax burden for all citizens. However, we would happily pay half our income in taxes to support the existence of a system that provides health care to everyone. One day it will happen. Until this time - support your local free clinics and advocate for change.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Not much new

So, all continues to go well. The patients on the unit I am currently on continue to be interesting. I have seen several patients in acute alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal. That is an interesting and frightening situation.

I have been diligently working on that shawl, but as shawls go, the picture I could take now would look exactly like the picture I posted last week - only a tad longer. Here are some random photos that make me happy:

The cat.

A lily from our garden. The rest of the yard is a sad state of affairs, but this lily is nice.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sock Syndrome

So, earlier I complained of the Second Sock Syndrome - where after knitting the first sock of a pair, I lose the enthusiasm necessary to complete the second sock of the pair. So, I decided that I would knit Sock #1 of three different pairs - I just finished sock #1 of the third pair, and I am thoroughly sick of knitting socks. I suppose my plan backfired. Oh well - I am sure after a month or two of sock knitting abstinence, my love of the tiny needles and self-striping yarn will be renewed and I will at last be able to finish these three pairs.

Here is completed sock #1 of pair #3:

In the meantime, I am going to finish this:

It is the Storm Water Shawl knitted from Sea Silk yarn (pattern and yarn purchased at Little Knits.) I had started it last fall with the intent of wearing it during my wedding. But, well, with school and the whole wedding planning thing, I got a little busy, and it has yet to be finished. My little brother is getting married at the end of the month. I doubt that I will really need a shawl in California in July, but who cares - the yarn is super luscious and I need something to motivate me to finish this project.

HiK - No worries, your slippers are still in the works. I needed a small break from the felted clog pattern, but they are coming - I promise!

JPo - I am very excited to see progress on your sweater!

Amanda - I am not sure if where the dog is going to be at Thanksgiving. But if it works out that we can bring him with us, we definitely will. Have a wonderful wedding weekend!


All fourth year medical students are required to do a sub-internship - this is a four week rotation in either family medicine, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics or med-psych where you are treated like an intern. You have your own patients - the senior resident oversees your management of them, but you are responsible for the tasks associated with their daily management. You also keep the schedule of the residents, so you get one day off per week and maintain the same call schedule as the interns. On Monday, I started my sub-i in Med-Psych. This first week has been exhilarating and completely overwhelming, and I am having a great time. For the first time in my career as a med student, I am happy when I go home and happy to come in the next day. The patients on our floor are complicated and really very fascinating. The unit is a combined internal medicine and psychiatry floor, so you not only have all the complicated medical issues you would see on a general medicine floor, but the patients all have some sort of mental illness - so in addition to their abdominal pain, you'll also hear about the gorillas that come out of their bathroom at night or that they were running naked through the halls of the unit and required wrist restraints to keep them in bed. There is never a dull moment. And it has been wonderful to get to manage my own patients. The hours are long - I've been routinely working 12 hour days, but it is so rewarding. And the interns are not required to take overnight call on this floor, so no overnight call for me - bonus! I am really looking forward to residency.
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