Out with the Old, In with the New [Year]

I know, I know…..I’ve been a horrible blogger the last few months. Things have been so busy and blogging has been the last thing on my mind. I am living back home now (yeah!!) and spend my free time crafting and hanging out with J. The holidays added to the craziness, but now it’s a new year and it’s time to start fresh. No promises on how frequently I’ll post, but I do promise I’ll give it a valiant effort.

So what have I been up to? Here are just a few things:

School
I didn’t mention much about my first few rotations, so I’ll add a little about them here. First, I did a research elective in quality improvement and obesity research at the local Family Medicine residency clinic. It was a lot of fun and we made some great progress. We were awarded a grant to expand the project throughout this year, which was very exciting! My 2nd rotation took me to Milwaukee to practice psychiatry. It was a pretty fun rotation and I enjoyed the content, but it isn’t the specialty for me. My 3rd rotation brought my back to Madison where I did neurology. I loved neurology, especially the 2 weeks of inpatient stroke service I did. Neurologists always ask, “where is the lesion?” I love puzzles, which is what that felt like. Not, what caused this or what is the diagnosis, but where is the lesion – find that you then you can figure out the rest. Despite my interest, my exam was far from stellar (thank goodness for clinical grades). It is still on my possible specialty lists, but just not #1 now.

From the end of Sept through the rest of 3rd year, my rotations are a 40 min drive or less from our home (pending snow….). This has been such a blessing! My first rotation back home was OB/GYN. Going into the rotation I didn’t think it would be for me, but after a few weeks it really started to feel like a good fit. I loved the variety – surgical cases at 7 or 7:30 am, patients from 9/10 – 5, deliveries throughout the day, and a few 24-hour call shifts a month. I loved that the patients were a nice mix of young and healthy women for primary care, mothers-to-be, and older women with GYN concerns. OB/GYN seems like the perfect mix of primary care, specialty care, and procedures (in office, surgical, and deliveries). It would be a perfect fit for my nutrition background and would still allow me to practice preventive medicine. Newer studies are showing that the prime time to make a difference in childhood obesity prevention is with mothers looking to lose baby weight right after birth. They are the most motivated and they make the majority of food decisions in the household. If you can help them lose weight healthfully, they are more likely to continue those habits with their family into the future. They surgeries are great because they have a focused area of anatomy and rarely last more then 90 minutes. Many are minimally invasive and your patients go home the same day. Generally, women are very grateful for what you do as an OB/GYN – you bring their beautiful new baby into the world, catch and stop their cervical dysplasia before it becomes cancer, help them when things go south “down there” after 3 deliveries, and so much more. It seems like it would be a very rewarding field. So what’s the catch, right? The hours. My rotation site had amazing hours – four 10 hour days a week and only three 24-hour call shifts a month. I don’t think this is common in most practices. When I read about the specialty, most OB residents are described as crabby and miserable because of the hours. I am going to need to think long and hard about my ability to wake up at any hour to deliver a baby, or about my ability to stay awake for a 36+ hours straight on call nights.

After OB/GYN I had pediatrics. Not my cup of tea. I loved the kids, but the work itself just wasn’t for me. I won’t bore you with the details, but this has put a kink in my plans. I originally thought I’d be a family practice doctor. Well they see a lot of kids and if I don’t like peds, it probably isn’t going to work out well. Another downfall is that FM doesn’t do OB/GYN anymore. In theory and training they can, but in reality they don’t (at least not in WI). That being said,  my next rotation (which starts next Monday) is in Family Medicine and I am going to approach it with an open mind. After FM I have internal medicine and Surgery. And then 3rd year is done! It is crazy how fast the time is flying by. I need to pick my specialty in the next few months, so there will be more to come 🙂

House Projects
Finally, the house projects have settled. Last year we remodeled the entire kitchen (pictures here) and I had a number of building and decorating projects. We also had new flooring installed. At this point, all that is left is to sand and paint one last pocket door that has been out of sight and out of mind. We would like to remodel the basement to add to the resale value, but are torn about whether it is worth the cost. It is up in the air for now.

Life
We recently took a trip to Washington DC, which was a ton of fun. We had never been there before, but were pleasantly surprised with how clean the city was and how easy it was to get around. We went right after Christmas and were a little worried about the weather but it turned out great. On our anniversary we had a balmy 55 degrees and sunny day. Two days later in WI the high was -2. Ick.

Crafting
I have been spending way too much time on pinterest. Everyone got some type of crafted gift from me this year. There was jewelry, canned watermelon syrup, knit wool hats, sewn fabric flower barrettes, knit infinity scarves, decorated burlap wreaths, and a knit santa hat for Bailey. I posted a few pictures here if you’d like to take a look. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a picture of each item before I gifted it, so I will need to take some of them in their new homes and update later.

Pets
Bailey continues to age but is generally doing well. Her vision is quite bad and she gets confused sometimes (which usually results in hours of licking a pillow for no reason). She is still a happy dog and the vet said she sounds great, so she will have a number of good years left. Bandit is back to his mischievous self. He loved the Christmas tree (as always). I got one of his favorite toys out of storage and he has been going crazy with it. Here’s a video of him playing fetch (yes fetch, like a dog). If you like that, here’s a video from last year of him doing flips with his fish toy (similar to the toy he fetches) and here’s a video of him flipping onto my computer chair.

All in all, 2013 was a great year. We ate great, local food from our CSA and grass-fed cow. We finally figured out how to deal with the distance and then were able to live together again. We were productive (if you know me, that this is really probably what I wanted to put first b/c I’m kind of obsessed with productivity). I am looking forward to all of the good times to come in 2014 and hope my blogging itch continues so I can share them here as well.

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