Sunday, May 27, 2012

Two-car family

Proud to announce that we are now a 2-car family!

Yes, that is a big car. No, that was not the intention. Though now we can give rides to church to all of the members in our neighborhood with no problem. (Maybe it was Burke's secret intention...)

We have been sharing a car for our whole marriage, which has certainly been problematic plenty of times. But with Burke working at home since we've moved here, we've been able to make due. However, now that I am working full-time, varying hours, commuting to a different city every month, it's becoming (and will become) even more difficult. For example, Burke, who is the YM president, almost missed the youth activity on Thursday because I was stuck in traffic on the other side of the bridge-tunnel. We've been car shopping for several months, and yesterday, since we both happened to be off work, we went to check out this Explorer and decided to go for it. Burke is excited to have a car that he feels like he fits in. I am not super excited and I'm nervous about having such a big car... I hate driving big cars and especially putting gas into them, but hopefully we still won't be needing to drive it very much. We got a good deal and are hoping it will do the job for the next while!

Burke said he'll drive it for now, and when we have kids I can drive it. I just had to remind him that by the time we could have enough kids to need a car like that, that explorer probably won't even be running!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

GIM Weeks 1 and 2

Alrighty! I am already halfway through with my first rotation! And today marks 355 days until graduation. But who's counting? I can definitely tell that this year is going to be one of the fastest of my life so far.

My first rotation is general internal medicine. It's outpatient, so I work in a primary care office. It's a little disappointing that I'm not in the hospital for internal med, and this rotation is probably going to be very similar to my family medicine rotation, but that's ok. At least I have a cushy schedule! I'm an 8-5er, with only half-days on Fridays. I work with a nurse practitioner 3 days a week and a doctor twice a week. They are both very different so it's good to learn from them both. It's been a bit of a challenge adapting the things I learned about history taking and physical exam to real patients who come to see this doctor all the time and have chronic problems instead of acute issues.

Most of what I have to look up/study these days is pharmacology. What I generally remember from pharmacology is drug classes, but suddenly I have to know specific drugs (trade names and generics) and their specific dosages, side effects, interactions, etc. I have met some patients with very interesting diseases. Chronic diseases are the norm. By the time I'm done I should be a pro at blood pressure drugs. I've seen a lot of people in chronic pain, and learned quickly how to recognize patients who are drug-seeking and need to be sent to pain management. I'm realizing how frustrated I feel with many of these processes that we really just don't have a lot of options for. My preceptor has taught me that most of medicine is not about "cures," and I think that's a little bit of a depressing fact. I do feel overwhelmed looking at a patient's medication list that is 10+ drugs long, or trying to sort out a 81-year-old's medication history when they're not really with it enough to tell you what's going on.

But it's rewarding too. I do love connecting with a patient. It's a really neat feeling, and it really helps them to make changes or to do the things that are hard for them in order to take care of themselves. And helping a patient to help themselves is the best thing ever.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Music in my life

On May 9th Burke and I celebrated 3 lovely years of marriage! Ok, well, "celebrating" is maybe a stretch. But Burke made a special breakfast, I made a special dessert, and we made a special dinner together. We tried to watch a movie, but I kept falling asleep so we only watched it for an hour. Romantic, huh? It was day 3 of my first rotation, and a long day of work for Burke too, so that just doesn't leave a lot of energy for much celebrating. (I guess that's what our Outer Banks trip was for).

Anyway, the highlight for me was Burke's gift to me.

I was so touched I cried. Music is really important to both Burke and I. Without having a piano in our home I know I have slowly been losing my talent. We both want to have a nice, real piano someday, but that is probably a very long way off. Ever since we first got married Burke has wanted to get us a piano, and he said he didn't want to put it off any more. He didn't spend a whole lot of money on it, and it's nothing fancy, but it is a full-length keyboard with weighted keys and a pedal, and a volume button and a headphone jack (a necessity for apartment living). He asked me to play Clair de Lune. I did, and as it usually does it made me a little sad how badly I fumbled through it, but it was so exciting to be playing the piano in my own home! I need it--I need music in my life.

Thanks, Best Friend, for filling my life with music! ...well before you bought me that keyboard. Our three years so far have been full of life's music. I'm holding out for an eternity more.

Oh and by the way, speaking of music, after so many years of not watching American Idol, a few weeks ago I caught it while I was at the gym, and I got hooked! This season's top few contestants have been phenomenal! Wednesday night's show this week was so good I even bought the songs.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Everybody around here has their "OBX" stickers on their cars. It's the #1 vacation spot. Not that Virginia Beach isn't a great vacation spot, because it is! But when you live in/around VB, you vacation in the Outer Banks.

Which is one place that this girl who grew up in NC had never been before (at least, that I have memories of)! It was a nice alternative to the backpacking in Shenandoah that we had hoped to do (Burke's ankle and belly are doing much better, but not really in good hiking shape yet). 

We stayed in a small "cottage" on Nags Head, but we tried to do all of the cheaper touristy things we could. Cape Hatteras lighthouse was so worth the trip down there. It was a beautiful drive and I was so grateful to finally be visiting this major symbol of North Carolina! 
*Fun fact: Cape Hatteras "protects" ships from the 12 mile sandbar, the Diamond Shoals. This area is called the "Graveyard of the Atlantic."
*Fun fact: It is the tallest brick lighthouse in the US and is 210 feet tall. 
*Fun fact: Due to beach erosion, in 1999 the lighthouse was moved 2,900 feet. They picked it up and put it on railroad tracks and pushed it! 

We rode the ferry down to Ocracoke Island. We didn't stay long, but it seemed pretty lovely!

We also learned all about the Wright brothers and the beginning of flight. 

We went to Jockey Ridge State Park. It's a huge sand dune.

Then, inspired by the people at Jockey Ridge and the excessive wind, we bought a kite to fly out on the beach.
I just have to say, if you haven't flown a kite in a while, you probably should. What fun and joy! ...And, what sadness when someone (who will remain nameless) accidentally lets go and the kite flies miles out to sea! (He was really very heartbroken.)

Throw in a trip to Fort Raleigh (the site of the Lost Colony) and a visit to the NC Aquarium, and basically we did all of the stuff that the fifth grade field trippers get to do when they go to the Outer Banks. (My 5th grade class went to DC instead.) And it was a blast! In addition, because our trip coincided with "Bike Week," we saw and fell in love with the following,
we spent a lot of quality time together,
and we thoroughly enjoyed visiting a beautiful place.