day 1

July 28, 2004

today was really the first day of actual work.  i hate starting new rotations, working in new places, and sometimes even meeting new people.  i like stability in my life.  unless, of course, i hate my working situation and the people i am working with (a good example: my surgery rotation at the VA).  the worst is being uprooted and forced to live somewhere else, by myself, in an unfamiliar house, and work in a totally new place, doing things I don’t know how to do very well.  this is how things are now, and my mood is appropriately sour.

i got to the specified peds practice this morning at about quarter to 8.  I had stopped at (ugh!) McDonald’s to get some coffee, because I was completely desperate, and didn’t take into the account how hard it is to drink from those nasty styrofoam mugs in the car.  every time i took a sip, i spilled some, no matter how hard i tried.  plus, it was dangerous, as i’m not a good driver at baseline, and i’m even worse in an unfamiliar area.  i ended up trying to down the coffee in the parking lot of the practice before i went inside, but wasn’t very successful, and had to go through 1/2 the day in a semi-stupor, tempered only by the fact that i was nervous as hell (new-place-new-people-new-expectations anxiety, as mentioned before).

a nurse let me in at around 8 and showed me around.  the place is quite nice for a rural health center.  it’s big – 4 doctors, plus a PA all have their own  hallways.  at around 8:10, the tallest man i have ever seen, the head of the whole joint, walked in.  he had to have been 6’8″, and he had long hair.  i am not the biggest fan of tall people, because they make me feel like a bug. 

we then filed into the nurse’s station area for morning prayer.  yes, that would be when we all hold hands and pray to god about various things.  some nurses put in “requests”, like “pray for my family” or “pray for there to be a drug rep to come and give us all lunch” (ok, not really).   needless to say, prayer isn’t really my thing, but i’m not one to make waves.  so i prayed.

the head doctor had me work with another doctor for the day.  that was fine.  the day went fast.  i really do like working with kids.  they make me smile, even with the funk i currently seem to be in now.  some of these kids had the worst teeth i have ever seen.  one kids front teeth were entirely rotted away.  there were little brown stumps left.  i asked his mother how his diet was, and she said, “well, he mostly likes sweet things.”  um, great.  the best moment was when, right before getting his genitals examined, an 8 year old warned us, “it’s small.”  i have no idea where he got that from.  it looked pretty normal to me.

kids these days are big!  at least, the kids here are.  i don’ t think i saw anyone whose weight wasn’t in the 75th percentile or above, and most of them had “at risk” BMIs.  one baby was 4 months old and twenty pounds.  i didn’t think he was very cute.  why do people think fat babies are cute?  the thing is, i’m so hypocritical, because i was a pretty fat baby.  according to my meticulously filled-out Baby Book (thanks, obsessive new parents) all my early measurements were like 90% for height AND weight!  which is kind of hilarious now, seeing as i am 5’1″ and a generally small-sized person.  anyway, i know my hearty size wasn’t due to the fact that my mom was feeding me 7 bottles of formula thickened with cereal like the 20 pounder.  i was sucking on the good old breast, so my great size must have been genetic.  plus i wasn’t as fat as that kid.  he was at 99%.

so, all in all, it was a decent day.  i went to a better gym after work, and i also bought a coffee maker (a cute little 4 cup one – i have always wanted one of those, impractical as they are).  i have a few pages of “genitourinary diseases” left to read in blueprints, but i can’t complain.  the only other significant thing that happened today was the fact that i had my blood pressure taken at the gym and it was 130/92.  130/92!?  what!?!? what is happening to me?  my blood pressure is rising even further as i think about what this is doing to my poor vasculature, and what might be causing me to have the high BP to begin with (fibromuscular dysplasia causing renal artery stenosis?  kidney failure?  cushing’s disease?  a pheochromocytoma?  AHHHH!).  of course, i probably just eat too much salt and drink too much coffee.  plus, i’m on the high strung side sometimes, but whatever.  i can’t really do much about that.  josh says to have it rechecked before freaking out.  he has a BP of 116/60.  that is so unfair.

also, i miss him.  i miss home.  i want to go home.  well, at the most, 15 work days left.  not that i’m counting.

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