November 7th, 2004

Sand and Shore

Quiet time...

If you have never flown out of or into Chicago O'Hare at night, O Best Beloved, I suggest you try it sometime. The view is positively breathtaking. Plane-to-horizon, just little perfect squares of lights, dotted like graphs, with the Loop and the Sears Tower a mountainous landscape rising out of it. It was amazing. The Russian gentleman who was my seatmate and I were transfixed.
We talked about smoking on planes, too, and the third in our row chimed in. They are old enough to remember when everyone smoked on airplanes. I can't even imagine it.
They put me in a smoking room because they were out of nonsmoking rooms. I have the windows wide open, as open as they go, and still the smell is making my head ache and my nose stuff up. "Check back tomorrow after 3" the desk clerk says. "I'll put a note on your account, maybe we'll have a nonsmoking room open." It might very well be worth it; this is painful.

I have in my backpack a notebook, pens, my binder of stuff, and a bunch of ideas for the website as well as making things overall more student-friendly for the STFM. Hopefully this sort of thing will be helpful and will give meaning to my presence in this group. I will also be moderating paper sessions and discussions during the Pre-doc conference in Albuquerque at the end of January. I volunteered for this.

I say that every trip I forget something important. This trip I forgot what time my Step 2 Clinical Skills exam was supposed to get out, and had to change my outbound flight the day before. This, O Best Beloved, is not a cheap happening. I came in around $200 more than my original flight plans, and I feel very badly about it, but the other option was to have a flight scheduled to leave at the exact time my exam was supposed to end.
As it turned out, it was a good thing I moved the flight, as I was randomly selected by my airline for a Security Check. They peeked through my bag, scanned me top to toe with a metal-detecting wand that alerted on such dangerous items as the little metal clips that are supposed to hold up my bra straps, and did an upper-body patdown. I took it in good humour; if such antics make the people feel safer, then such antics make the people feel safer. The screeners say that most people are terribly upset and don't take it well at all.

Arrived in Boston, safe and sound. Wireless internet in my hotel room was $10 for the week, so I had very little problem justifying it. I slept late - until nine o'clock - and then walked around the local area looking at all the shops that were closed. It is, after all, Sunday morning.
This is a lovely city, full of shops in townhouses stacked on top of each other without regard for what sort of businesses are juxtaposed. I particularly liked the Indian Restaurant/Hello Kitty Store/Beauty Salon combination. Some day, I will come back and sightsee.

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And now it is noon and time for lunch and a long board meeting and I still have not told you about my fantastic day on Thursday or my interview or why I am beginning to wonder if we will be trying to sell our house in a few months and move again.
I also am still at about 2,000 words for NaNo. We shall see. Perhaps I will give you more reading later.
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    relaxed relaxed
White Coat

A room with a moose...

...Six hours, three bottles of Perrier, a discussion about how it's no wonder Americans are fat when we get four servings of chicken heaped on our pasta, two Aleve and a full inch of three-ring binder later...

I'm on the 21st floor now, O Best Beloved, with a panoramic view of Boston spread out before me, including some sort of domed building that I don't think is the library I saw on my earlier walk. The front desk concierge helped me move my stuff. He commented on my mouse - the mouse that Dave-from-Kansas sent me so very long ago, that I have been sleeping with whenever I sleep alone since I was a junior in high school - and I laughed a bit.
This is a nice room. There are pillow rolls on the beds, and it doesn't stink of cigarette smoke. Plus, as mentioned before, the view is amazing. I'd link you a picture but I only have my camera phone.

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The preceding paragraphs do not adequately convey my ebullience. I'm not certain there is a way to adequately convey my ebullience. I love this profession, O Best Beloved, no matter how much I may complain or my feet hurt or I don't want to see another patient who needs better medications for her diabetes when if she would just eat right she wouldn't have diabetes. I love it. I love being able to talk with people, I love being able to make people feel better, I love being able to do the tests and procedures and looking down at my hands as I am operating a biopsy forceps that consists of a tiny pinchy bit on a foot-long handle and know that I am getting what needs to be gotten. I can get excited about clipping little diseased bits out of a woman's cervix and I can get excited about measuring parts of a growing baby. I can look at an ultrasound and see baby parts. I love it and it feels so very right for me to be doing these things.
And I love the idea that next year I'm not going to have to ask my patient to wait a moment before I do a vaginal exam so that I can get my preceptor. I love the fact that 90% of the time when I make a suggestion for a treatment plan my preceptors nod and agree, and the rest of the time there are very few changes being made. I love the steadily increasing autonomy and the confidence that being right is building in me, the belief that I can be a doctor and that I will be a doctor.
And I am scared absolutely spitless at the same time. And I think that's good. I think I should be scared because if I'm scared that means I know that I can make mistakes. And the best way not to make a mistake is to acknowledge that it happens, and act to prevent it.

I still have a long way to go.
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    exhausted exhausted