3 days!?

July 3, 2010

what is this 3-day weekend you speak of??
let me tell you, this was not a frequent occurrence during residency (or med school, for that matter). a job where i actually get holidays OFF with the rest of the world (unless i’m on call that week, of course)?

well, happy independence day to you, too! i think i’m going to like this new lifestyle.

no, in all seriousness, i am so glad i have the next 3 days to tie up loose ends, work on my magic binder, get working on some projects (including my HLS talk!), and generally get rested and ready for what i am sure will be an exciting (but hectic) month. while i am expected to use some of my weekend ‘off’ time to do reading, work on research-related things, craft presentations and the like, it is still 1000 time better (to me) than having to go into work or (horrors) spend 30 hours in a row doing in-house call.

the mystery beads
i knew i had too many medically-savvy readers for my picture quiz to be much of a challenge!

but for anyone still curious, this little tool is an orchidometer, otherwise known as a set of prader beads. you use them to determine the size of your patient’s testicles (which is often quite important in pediatric endocrinology!) by matching them up to the corresponding bead.

YES, i have chosen a weird career. and YES, i’m fine with that! does your job have any odd or unusual tools that go with it? share in the comments!

restaurant review: an old standby
last night josh and i hit an long-time favorite: elmo’s diner. we used to frequent the durham location on a near-weekly basis; now we don’t live quite as close, so we go much less often and typically to the carrboro spot (there are only those two). i even have a neon-green elmo’s T-shirt! so this isn’t so much as a ‘review’ but just a chance to share one of my favorite meals at one of our favorite casual spots.

as you can see, going to elmo’s is a great cost-effective choice. this is good for us, since we really spent it up last month in st. maarten (not to mention the latest orla aquisitions . . .).

we ate outside, and at 7:30 pm the sun was still shining bright on their cute hand-written specials sign.

we also spotted these bags of water dangling from the ropes that held up the outdoor canopy rope. apparently, they are to repel insects? not sure if they worked, but i did emerge bite free (miraculous, since i am usually a mosquito magnet).

exhibit A: the slightly crazed look of a brand new fellow in need of a little ethanol therapy:

exhibit B: delicious glass of juicy red blend. ahhhh.

now, here’s a disclaimer: i have been to this place about a million times, but i only know what a few items on the menu taste like. that is because when it comes to elmo’s, i suffer from serious food-rut-itis. i crave my favorites (farmer’s omelet if it’s brunch, spinach salad with chicken + pita triangles if it’s dinner) — and i cannot say no to these primal urges.

so here it is:

the wonderful spinach salad of my dreams, topped with tomatoes, mushrooms, a hard-boiled egg, grilled chicken (i’m afraid to ask whether this is free-range/organic or not . . .), pecans, and a honey-mustard vinaigrette. oh, and a drizzle of ketchup! this very important flavor component is added just before eating by moi.

plus, the all-important side of pita. it’s a little bit salty, toasted, and brushed with butter (or oil?). i heart it! josh always takes some, too.

so that is how i do elmo’s. if you’re ever in the durham or carrboro areas, i highly recommend trying this place for a casual lunch or dinner or delicious post-long-run breakfast.



workout: 0.5 mi warm up run; then lower body weights (i did a somewhat abbreviated version as i knew i only had an hour to fit in both strength + a run pre-work!). finished with 3.5 miles of intervals (8:57/mi for 5 minutes, 8:00/mi for 3 minutes, then recovery jog, all x 3). how i LOVE not having to get to work until 8am so that i can work out beforehand!

HP update: keeping work and play separate has been no problem so far, since i’ve really had to dive in and am learning so much at once at work. however, this will be much more of a challenge over the weekend. my goal is to set aside blocks of time for productive work so that i can also have time to relax . . . i’ll report back on how i do!


  • Reply Allie (Live Laugh Eat) July 3, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I must admit when I saw the beads in your last post, at first glance I thought it was a necklace that you got…perhaps at Anthro 🙂 Clearly, I am not on my way to med school.

  • Reply Chelsea July 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I always thought it was funny that people would say college/grad students, "Wait until you get in the real world, and then you'll know what busy is like." I'm sure it's different with kids, but I know I have way more designated free time with a "real job" than I did as a student.

    Hopefully you only have to use those beads on little kids. I think if I were a 12-year-old boy, I'd be scarred for life, haha.

  • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    allie: HA!!!

    chelsea: actually, i do have to use them on plenty of 12 year old boys. but they usually kind of know what they're in for if they're being seen for delayed puberty/growth issues . . .

  • Reply Susan July 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I think you look great in ethanol therapy! 🙂 That being said, we've had wayyyy too many people admitting for detox/liver failure lately, so moderation is best…but you know that.

    We had plenty of odd tools in nursing! I have yet to encounter anything like testicle beads, but I do strike fear in my patients when I walk in with catheters and such. Some people get nervous when I'm flushing their IV with saline. Oh dear.

  • Reply Anonymous July 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    happy 4th! you of all the people i know deserve the long weekend 🙂

    and that might just be the coolest tool everrrrrrr hahah!

    also: assuming that i get an interview at duke: can we go to elmos?! looks awesome!

  • Reply Anonymous July 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Yay for the long weekend! I was on call on Canada day and its even worse as a med student – no pay or time and a half! I do have the weekend off to live it up though 😉 Thanks for the email about the agenda – I am going to have to hunt out a few specialty stationery shops around here to see if they have it this weekend, which excites me!

  • Reply Bridgette July 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Tim still talks about the shrimp and grits from Elmo's. Glad your lifestyle has improved! Enjoy it!

  • Reply BroccoliHut July 4, 2010 at 2:16 am

    I am the exact same way when it comes to Elmo's! I pretty much always order either the veggie chili or their fantastic hummus. Their pita bread is ah-may-zing.

  • Reply rebecca July 5, 2010 at 4:25 am

    sister lurking in here… perhaps you are in denial but we asked @ elmo's a while back… the chicken is not free-range… but i'd make an exception for that salad…..

  • Reply MaryAnn March 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I realize that this post was over 6 months ago, but I just now read it on a link-back on your post today. And I thought I had an odd tool from work worthy of a mention 🙂 I am an occupational therapist on a rehab unit of a hospital, and just last week I made a labia spreader for a patient who is learning to self-cath after a spinal cord injury.

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