Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dr. Smith to the Rescue

Last Tuesday morning, I was sitting at PDX when an announcement across the hall caught my attention:

"Is anybody in this area a doctor? We have someone in need of assistance."

Since I wasn't actually in that gate area, I thought I'd give any other MD around a chance to respond first. No luck. About a minute later the same announcement could be heard in our gate area. After a few seconds of hesitation, I presented myself to the gate attendant as "Pam, a doctor," careful not to mention that most of my patients are already dead.

They directed me across the way where a passenger had had a siezure while loading onto the plane and had fallen backward causing a bloody gash in her scalp. A nurse, medical assistant and gate attendant were already in attendance and were applying pressure to the wound.

The nurse filled me in. "She's had a siezure, but I already cleaned out her mouth and scanned her with the her vagal nerve stimulator." I had heard of these, but didn't know they were routine. Had I been the first to see the scanner on her bag I would have thought it was a magnetic security card.

"Is she continuing to sieze and do we have anything to put in her mouth if she siezes again?," I asked thinking I could contribute.

"Do you mean a bite stick? Nobody uses those anymore!"

"Yeah," the medical assistant chimed in, "they don't help and people end up with chipped teeth." He then handed me a pair of gloves, "here you go, doctor." Though this action was meant to be helpful, it made me feel about two inches tall as the gate attendant needed no help applying pressure so I just held the gloves impotently.

When the paramedics arrived they had many questions for "the doctor."
"How long was the seizure?," "Was it tonic-clonic?," "How did she hit her head?." After each question they looked at me expectantly, but since I hadn't witnessed the event I had to keep directing them to the nurse, who saw the whole thing.

The paramedics then took over putting all their equipment to use, taking her blood pressure, pulse, and applying bandages. I just stood there, lamely holding my gloves. After about 5 minutes more of this complete ineptitude, I slunk off to the bathroom and back to my seat across the hall, feeling like a complete waste of human space.

A decade of medical training and I was as useful as a pumpkin! Perhaps next time the passenger will need an emergency bone marrow biopsy!

Monday, November 22, 2004


In the last couple of weeks, I have been having all kinds of weird pregnancy related dreams:

- I actually had twins, but Mac and I argued over the sex of the second one (he thought it was a girl, I thought it was a boy).

- I came home from the hospital with a plastic doll instead of a baby.

- I got a "preview" day, where the baby came out and we got to hold it and check it out, but then it had to go back in.

- We took the baby to the snow and its feet started turning blue. We couldn't get them to warm up because she kept kicking off her booties and blankets to expose her feet.

- The baby came while we were on vacation and we didn't have any stuff and we had to try to borrow everything.

- I went out binge drinking with my high school best friend, not remebering that I was pregnant until the next morning.

Then last night I had this weird monster montage that had nothing to do with babies. Go figure...

Small potatoes

My victory was short lived - today I got hit with over 100 new spam comments. What I really need is a way to block ceratin words in comments (say "wonder112" and "bob"), which would circumvent the whole changing IP address issue.

JD - I am ready for your help on this one.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Say what?

Recently people have gone from telling me I am getting really big to saying I am not that big for someone who is seven months pregnant. I personally like this latter vein of remarks much better than the former, but I must say some people have an interesting way of being complimentary.

On Wednesday I got two very similar bizarre remarks. After saying I was seven months along, one guy said to me, "Well, you're not a house yet." Not knowing what to say, I came up with something equally stupid,"Yeah, I am more like a condominium." We both (pretended) to laugh and I walked away. Later that afternoon, a woman said to me, "Wow, by seven months I was a tank!" Having curtailed one conversation with a come-back stupid simile, I decided to try again, "Yeah, I am more like a Hum-vee." I am blaming my stupidity on pregnancy; I don't have an excuse for the other two.

The other comment I got three times this week was "You don't look pregnant from the back." I didn't make any responses to this one, but a myriad of smart-alec remarks ran through my head:
-"That's 'cuz my uterus isn't in the back."
-"Yeah, my butt has always been big so it is hard to tell."
-"You can't tell a person has a cleft lip from the back either."
-"Um, do you remember that I used to have a waist, even from the back!"

But I just smiled, and tried not to waddle as I walked away.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Yo Triumphe!

Starting a weblog came with rapid positive reinforcement: new comments! I was so excited when I got my first couple of comments; they serve as an affirmation that people actually are reading. I was so caught up in getting comments that I gave my mother-in-law and my dad specific instructions on how to leave a comment when they tried to make a web-log related remark to me directly (over the phone - gasp!). But then the bubble burst ... I got my first blog spam: coolbob wanted to let me know about my on-line poker options.

From there the spam went up exponentially, mostly pushing on-line poker and popular prescription drugs like propecia, prozac and prevacid. On Monday when I was hit by 15 new spam messages, I was ready for war. Instead of invading an oil-rich nation, I had Mac teach me the ins and outs of IP blocking and I quickly black-listed three addresses. I have now gone four days without a single piece of spam! I admit I am a little disappointed that the spammer doesn't get a pop-up window saying, "your banned, mother-f#$%er!" (possibly followed by a large dose of genital radiation to prevent reproduction), but for now I'll be content with my little triumph ... until the next spam wave hits.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Big 3-0

Today I started my thirtieth week. I have rapidly come to the conclusion that there is no real need to make it all forty weeks; lung maturity is acheived by 35 weeks. Everything after that is just time for the baby to fatten up, making it harder to get out at the end. So my all Chinese food diet starts Dec. 18th. Anyone up for a labor inducing death-march hike that morning?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Veteran's Day

Mac had a very productive Veteran's Day. He got up early and headed off to 6 am spin class. He got home and climbed back into bed to read just as my alarm was going off. As I headed off for work, Mac was still in bed with The Streets of Laredo, and I figured he had a lazy day off planned for himself.

When I got home from work, Mac was gone - this time at the 6 pm spin class! I put my bag down and headed to the kitchen and was immediately struck by its cleanliness: dishes done, counters wiped, sink scrubbed, floor swept. "Oh, wow!," I thought, "I wonder if he cleaned our bathroom, too," - something I had been hinting at for a while. Turns out he did! As I headed back to the kitchen I got a glimpse into his room. "OH MY GOD!" - this time it wasn't a thought; I said it out loud - Mac had cleaned the whole room, INCLUDING THE DESK! I admired the rarely seen wood surface a few moments before deciding I better hang up my small clothes pile to avoid criticism. One of Mac's sweatshirts was in the pile so I went to hang it up - HIS CLOSET WAS ORGANIZED, with a pile of stuff out for goodwill! While looking at the stuff on the floor, I noticed something else: VACUUM TRACKS!

Back in the kitchen I set out to make dinner, but took extreme caution to be neat and not use many dishes. When I went to put some recycling in the garage, my eye immediately fell on a light fixture box. "No way!" - I ran to the guest bath, empty can still in hand, and saw a beautifully installed (and more important, unbroken) new light fixture above the mirror! At that point, I figured I better make dessert, too!

Too bad we don't have a few more military holidays throughout the year!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Tough Tittie II

On Monday night we went to a breast feeding class. Mac and I got there a couple of minutes early and the instructor was still in the process of setting out the hand-outs. As she put one down labeled "Prevention of Breast and Nipple Soreness," I made sarcastic comments to Mac about how his mom would love that. The instructor wondered what I was sniggering about and so I summarized my mother-in-law's advice. The instructor assured me that no pre-treatment was necessary, I would be just fine without doing anything ahead of time. Unfortunately, she didn't have the same "no experience necessary" attitude when it came to positioning and holding a baby for feeding. She handed out some plastic dolls complete with gaping mouths and told us to practice. As I demonstrated bringing a baby to my breast using a proper "football hold," Mac couldn't help but point out my discomfort - "You are bright red! Are you embarassed!?" Ok, yes, maybe a little bit (ok a lot), but at least I didn't have to go home and do nipple exercises!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Flu Shot

Last Tuesday I finally got the very elusive flu-shot, a recommendation for all pregnant women this flu season. I was fairly resolved that I would have to go without when I got an e-mail saying the VA has a surplus and would vaccinate any OHSU residents who were going to rotate at the VA in the medicine or ICU departments (to keep the Vets safe, not the residents). Since I fit none of these categories, I headed over to the VA, where Nurse Ratchet was in charge of distributing the vaccine. She did not like that I didn't work for the VA, that I was a pathologist, that I was pregnant, and she ceratinly wasn't buying my story about pathologists seeing Vets to do FNA procedures. Fortunately, Florence Nightengale was working back-up and kept winking and waving me over to her side, where I got my shot.

Today, one person is absent from work with the "flu" and another thinks she is coming down with it. Meanwhile, I am feeling much better about my VA escapades and I hope I'll be fairly safe if the flu does circulate at work.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Yard Work

This weekend, in an attempt to get everything cleaned up fot he winter, I spent about five hours outside, cutting plants back. Being especially aggressive this year, I wound up with five huge piles of debris. Mac was out for a bit, too, doing some mowing and seeding - possibly the last grass haircut until spring.

Since the garden is near dormant, I gave the chickens a special treat and let them out to "work in the yard" as well. They had a great time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004

An Egg-regious Tragedy

Yesterday, for only the second time in nearly two years, I had to buy eggs (the first time was actually due to a conflict in my egg generosity and my baking schedule, not an actual shortage). Ruby and Ada had an impressive egg record since they started laying, but they are getting old and the decrease in sunny hours hit them hard this year - they haven't laid in three or four weeks. And Pearl has always been a bit of a disappointment - still a little too wild (and smart) for our domestic egg desires. I suspect the spring will rejuvenate their ovaries a bit, but I think the height of fertility has passed them by. And while I wait for spring to come, I will begrudgingly fork over $1.39 for mere AA large eggs and remember fondly the time when I used to gather three super-jumbo sized eggs in a single day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Pure and Noble

I consider myself highly ignorant when it comes to computer stuff, which is why I am always astounded at the depth of computer inadequacy below mine.

Yesterday at work, two people were standing around the printer complaining about its annoying malfunction. I came up to the communal device after attempting to print my own material. "The printer is broken," they told me. "We've tried several times, but we haven't been able to get our stuff."

Noticing the "out-of-paper" light was blinking, I deftly inserted a new stack. Instantly, repetative copies of my colleagues' desired document began to roll out. Feeling especially magnanimous after saving these damsels in distress, I immediately ran down the hall to tell the first person I could find how retarded these two were; ah, yes, I make such a noble heroine. ;)

Monday, November 1, 2004

Adult Costumes

On Saturday night I went to a Halloween party thrown by a friend at work. Due to restrictions in size, energy, and time, I recycled an old costume and headed off into the sunset.

My department has a theme-based costume party every year, but I don't think I've celebrated Halloween to its full extent since college, which is possibly why I was unaware that adults fall into one of two categories at Halloween:
1) those that put on a wig or silly hat and call it a costume, and
2) those that dress in black, goth, or some sort of raised-from-the-dead costume.

With this in mind it seems I should have forgone the knocked-up cow-girl costume, and instead gone as a zombie-vampiress impregnated with the devil's child.