01:46:00 to freedom

July 31, 2004

it took 1 hour and 46 minutes to make it back home. not bad, considering it was rush hour. i’m so happy to be back, it’s ridiculous. i’m glowing happy. i guess if anything, this lumberton experience is making me appreciate my regular life in durham.

the pediatric highlight of the day was the fact that i palpated my first giant spleen! really, i’ve felt big spleens before, but only on physical diagnosis rounds or after a resident has told me to go into someone’s room and check out Ms. X’s bulging spleen. this spleen was my very own; no one knew it was big until i discovered it.

this spleen belonged to cute 3 year old lumbee boy, who had been vomiting and had a fever as high as 103 (down to 100 toda on motrin). his throat didn’t look too horrible, but he had nice cervical lymphadenopathy. i’m thinking he has mono. the monospot test was negative, but i would think that this early it probably would be. his lymphocyte count wasn’t elevated, though, so maybe it’s something else. apparently rocky mountain spotted fever can blow up the spleen, but he was spot-free. i think that at duke he might have been started on empiric doxy anyway, but my doctor was not a fan of that idea. she is not really a fan of duke in general, i don’t think.

she went to tell another doctor about this kid and when he asked how enlarged it was, she says, “the medical student found it,” meaning, “obviously, it wasn’t subtle!” i laughed, and so did she and the other doctor, but i thought that was kind of mean.

well, whatever. at least i won’t be living out the prime of my life in lumberton.

the morning went quickly, but the afternoon d r a g g e d, because i really wanted to go home! i managed to drive home without event. i have fallen into a new habit of listening to books on tape during long drives because it really does seem to make the time go faster. i’m 4/5 through a book called the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime, which is about a boy with asperger’s syndrome. the way his mind works is fascinating to me.

some ways in which i am like the character in the book with asperger’s syndrome

1. i like to make lists

2. i don’t really like change all that much

3. i like to know what time it is and have control of my time

some ways in which i am absolutely not like the character in the book with asperger’s syndrome

1. they notice everything in a given scene, and i tend to notice almost nothing

2. i don’t have an inability to understand other’s emotions; in fact, i am probably hypersensitive in some ways

3. my social skills are much, much better than his are

once i got home, after happily reuniting with josh (it had been 4 whole days, and it was really hard. am i pathetic?), we went out to eat at verde. verde is quasi-tapas and sort of trendy. we sat outside and drank wine. josh decided that my college friends would like that place, and this got me all excited for them to come.

me: so it sounds like you’re looking forward to everyone coming! aren’t you just so excited to have a house bursting with estrogen?

josh: yeah, i am!

me: really?

josh: no.

actually, he is looking forward to it, but he likes to jokingly make fun of the fact that he will be outnumbered 6:1. when we all go out together, he’s going to look like a pimp.


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