Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Archive for the ‘Life in General’ Category

Still running!

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It is an absolutely gorgeous day outside today! So even though I went to bed at 4am and was up at 7am (strong body clock?), I finally stopped being shy and went outside to run. Best decision ever!

I don’t need to lose weight, I shouldn’t lose weight, and I don’t want to either. I know how to maintain where I am (I gain weight if I eat a lot. So… I don’t eat a lot. Which is fairly simple for me because I hate hate hate the feeling of being overstuffed and I have strong satiety signals).

But there’s a term out there called “skinny fat” for people who are skinny, but so inactive that they still suffer from a lot of the health problems that you’d associate with those who are overweight. I’m not quite “skinny fat” because I’m not completely sedentary (I bike to school most days and I’m on my feet a lot in clinic and in the hospital), but I don’t do much activity that really gets my heart rate going.

I’m now done with week 2 of the Couch to 5K program, and I’m definitely a big fan. I still get some vasodilatory itching in my legs, but I’m hoping that will pass soon. Also, I love my running shoes. I wanted to buy Vibrams, but my toes wouldn’t cooperate, so I bought an alternative barefoot shoe model by Merrell. Yup, I’m wearing them without socks, though I’ve tried them with and it feels almost the same to me.

Another reason I’ve started running is because I’m going into Psychiatry (have I mentioned that I’ve made my decision and I’m going into Psychiatry?), and it’s said that one of the best things you can do for your mental health is to exercise. I better start practicing what I’m going to be preaching, right? I still have one more week of Outpatient clinic, so the real challenge is going to be if I can keep this up once I’m back on Inpatient medicine. The problem is that I love to run in the morning, because when I come home, all I want to do is stay home and decompress. But that requires being strict again about early bedtimes. Wish me luck!

Written by Aba

April 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Quick Meals Made Easy

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Friday was my fifth anniversary with my boyfriend. =D This meant that on Sunday I got surprised with this:

And that plus leftover frittata (which tastes great cold, so I don’t need to worry about a microwave) plus the fact that I weirdly don’t get hungry till I’ve been up for an hour or more, means that I pack this for breakfast to eat after I pre-round on my patients:

Written by Aba

March 26, 2012 at 6:32 am

Match Day!

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Another Match Day has come (good luck Class of 2012!), 364 days before mine (3/15/13, The Ides of March 2013)! Oh yes, I’m counting down. I resisted the urge and waited until it was a year away, and now I’m on the hunt for a good countdown app. Or maybe/also I’ll buy a nice calendar that I can cross the days off on.

I’ve always had a love of planning, and I spend a lot of time staring at and re-organizing my google calendar and adding in everything I know about so far (like my match day! And my graduation day!).

I’m not sure whether I’ll make it out to watch Match Day at my school this year, but I’m definitely excited to see the list!

Written by Aba

March 16, 2012 at 6:19 am

Spring!

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Spring just came out of nowhere! Or so it seems to me, since I spent two weeks on night shift and missing out on experiencing the gradual warming up of the weather. But I am so happy that it’s spring, and I’m very glad that I’m back on rotations (Internal Medicine) where I work during the day like most people, and I’m not working crazy hours either. I was on call today and it wasn’t quite dark yet on my walk home! And it was raining a bit, but it was warm enough that I didn’t really mind my lack of an umbrella.

I think  one of my classmates said it best today: “I didn’t realize I had Seasonal Affective Disorder until it got warmer and sunny and I found myself feeling so happy for no reason!”

Written by Aba

March 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Small Talk the Med Student Way

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I’m not very close to the grand majority of my classmates, but I know everyone by name (well, except for many of the MSTPs who have joined our class this year) and can comfortably talk to them all. Third year has made it even easier to chat, because at the very least there’s the “Hey! How’re you doing? What rotation are you on?” conversation to have.

I bumped into someone in the library last night. We haven’t ever really hung out and we haven’t had any rotations together, but there’s been one or two other times we’ve found ourselves in the same place and had a brief exchange. This time we commiserated over how strange and arbitrary the grading can seem third year, and she said “Can we bond over this?” I laughed and we hugged. It was cute and sweet and unexpected. =)

I’m really excited for our match day (March 2013! yes it’s already on my calendar), to see where and what we’re all going to build on our medical school foundations. There’ve been a few surprises already even with people I thought I knew well (though when I think back, I never did have a clear idea of what I thought that friend would go into) and a few “well, obviously that’s what they’re going into!” Myself? I’m still unsure. I haven’t outright hated anything, and there’s a lot I can see myself fairly satisfied with. I have a suspicion that I’m going to end up in Psychiatry, but I haven’t done Ob/Gyn yet (which is what I came into med school thinking about) and I haven’t even done Internal Medicine yet!

Written by Aba

January 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Saying No to Myself.

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For the most part, I’m a really mellow person. I’m also a big procrastinator, but I always make my deadlines; I just cut it very, very close. Obviously I’m not a complete good-for-nothing slacker, but I’m definitely not a member of the neurotic, Type A medical student club.

I’m not sure I’m entirely Type B though. When I get an idea in my head (“Oh hey! I should put up that last curtain!”) then I really, really just want to do it. Right now! This is how most of my random cooking or craft projects happen. I see a nifty recipe online and I must try it asap! So I do.

Unfortunately, I’m still at a point in life where I have exams every 4-12 weeks, and sometimes those exams are only three days away. In which case, as much as I really, really want to put up that last curtain, I’ve learned to say to myself “No, that curtain can wait till after my Shelf exam.” And for the most part, I don’t dwell on it and I can get back to studying.

(But it would only take like, a half hour! Argh.)

Written by Aba

January 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Changing things up

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I wake up early. As a kid at sleepovers, I’d wake up before my host and spend the first hour or two of the morning raiding their bookshelf.

I’m not sure if it’s just that I need less sleep than other people or if I’m naturally a morning person, but ever since college at least, I’ve found it too easy to stay up late doing nothing in particular. There’s a strange allure to being awake at odd hours of the night, engrossed in chatting with someone or in reading various somethings. But one year, after spending two months in Ghana for the summer, then immediately returning to college without changing my sleep schedule, I found that waking up early in the morning, at 3am or 4am, brought that same magical focus but with better energy.

I tend to be late, or barely on time, if I try to wake up with just a half hour or so at home before I need to leave. I wake up, notice all the things I meant to do the night before, and being awake and alert, I start tackling them. And then oh no! I realize I was supposed to leave five minutes ago. So I’m finally giving in to the fact that I am incredibly unproductive at the end of my work days, but very productive in the morning, and I’m going to try to adjust my schedule so that I wake up at least two hours before I need to be at the hospital. This might even give me enough time to get hungry and eat breakfast before I head out!

There is a decent chance that I’ll give up on this, but I think it’s worth a shot. Wish me luck!

Written by Aba

January 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm

2012!

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Happy New Year!

I partied in the New Year with my family  at our annual big NYE party. There was good food, an open bar, and, of course, lots of dancing. And my boyfriend (who’s eight hours behind me right now) did a rather admirable job of calling me right as we’d finished our countdown, which was really sweet and made me happy even though I could barely hear him over the crowd. =)

I leave Ghana tonight, and I’m really going to miss my family and the weather and the food and the lack of responsibilities, but I admit I miss my apartment. I’m very much a homebody and I really enjoy being in a space I’ve nested and settled into thoroughly.

Getting ready for the party! (this pic is blurrier than I thought)

Ready! Added a lacy bandeau =)

Party over! Time to sleep!

One of my old favorite authors is Neil Gaiman, and sometimes he puts together a nice little New Year’s wish. You can click here to read the entire post, which I very much think is worth reading, but here’s what he wrote for 2012:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

I hope not to make mistakes of the sort that might harm a patient, but it really is so important to act. To do. To try. Making decisions instead of ending up somewhere by default because you’re paralyzed by indecision (or at least embrace the default option! Make it yours!). I’ve gotten more okay with saying “I don’t know,” when asked questions in the hospital, which I think is important. But I need to be more comfortable with trying to answer, because yeah, there are times when I do and I’m wrong and I feel like an idiot, but there’s also so many times I don’t say anything and not only was I right, but what I wanted to say turned out to be an answer the Attending was going to be impressed by. I may not be a walking encyclopedia of medical knowledge like a few of my classmates, but I have learned a lot, and I need to trust my fund of knowledge more.

Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope that however 2012 turns out for you, it’s at the very least a year you can look back on and be grateful you lived it.

Written by Aba

January 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

Reverb 11, Day 28 – Freedom & Forgiveness

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Forgiveness – What one thing do you need to forgive yourself for this year?

and

Thought: What new thought, idea or action have you taken this year that gave you a true sense of freedom?

I had trouble thinking of new and interesting responses to both these prompts. For forgiveness, it would be, as usual, not studying even just a little bit harder. Even though time and time again I’ve heard that setting aside just one hour every day to read something medicine related is one of the best things I can do to be the best doctor I can be, I still struggle with it.

As for freedom, well, the major things were getting my driver’s license and a car, and moving into an apartment without a roommate, both of which I’ve already talked a lot about.

Freedom is a wonderful thing, but it’s a transition state.  It’s not an end goal; it’s simply the beginning. Having a car means I get to go places on my own, whenever I have the time, and living by myself means I feel more comfortable, more free, to be exactly who I want to be and live how I want to live when I’m at home. Freedom is being free to do. Freedom is potential, which is wasted without action. When opportunity knocks, you don’t rest in peace knowing that the chance came and went. You open the door. What good is freedom if you don’t make any choices or do anything with it? I decided to go to medical school, which has meant that I’ve not done so many other things in all these years. I will need to pick a field for Residency, which means I will not have specialized in other fields, and I will be in one place for Residency, which means I won’t have lived in so many different places.

And that’s okay. That’s good. That’s what freedom is really about, in my opinion.

Written by Aba

December 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Reverb 11, Day 25 – No prompt used

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Ok, I’m kind of cheating here and not actually using any of the prompts because I didn’t like them. It was talking about a Memorable Gift vs talking about who I love and why (which I think I’ve already done quite a few times already). But I’ve decided that my main goal with this Reverb thing is just to get me posting and renewing my own interest in blogging, so I consider posting today at all meets my goals.

So anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve all found or will find soon some time to rest and/or be merry for at least a few hours. I know many of you are working for at least part of the holiday season, and I’m well aware that it won’t be long till I will be too.

I leave you with photos of my niece proving just how difficult it can be to take a picture of a two year old:

   

(Extravagant background of presents is actually various gift hampers full of food items from businesses which always end up being donated).

Written by Aba

December 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm

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