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7/7/14 02:17 am - First week of residency

I knew residency was going to be hard but I didn't know it was going to be this hard. This past week was abysmal.

I thought I was starting off hard cuz my first shift was a night shift. Never knew that it was gonna be the easiest time I'd have in a whole week. Cuz I was on night, by the time I was on day shift, my co-intern was already on his third day of day shifts so he was light years ahead of me. And it feels like I've been falling behind since.

First week is all about learning the computer system. How to order stuff, what buttons to click on. How to change settings so you're not spending so much time looking for what you're looking for. One of the worse days of my life was Sat. First let me explain my schedule.

This entire month, I only get 2 days off. I don't get weekends off cuz patients need to be taken care of on the weekends too. And I'm doing one night/week. Anyways, so I was talking about Sat.

I got up at 430 to get to the hospital at 545. Then, my senior resident decided that I'll see 8 patients that morning- 5 of which, I knew nothing about. So I started scrambling to learn about them. That means finding out what they're at the hospital for, what problems we're treating, how the treatments have been and how they're doing. And that means, vitals, labs, consult notes, meds. And then, what my plan for them would be for the day. The whole shebang about each and everyone of them. And clearly, there wasn't enough time to do all of that for all of my patients.

So you get to the hospital and you pre-round, meaning you look everyone up on the computers to gather information. Then, you have to go see each one of them, talk and examine them, all before rounding begins. Some patients take forever to see cuz they're miserable and ask you to do this and that. Some patients have family members who want to talk on and on. Doesn't matter. I have to see them, examine, talk to their nurses if possible about what happened overnight and/or give them instructions. Then, before rounding begins, I have to have all my thoughts gathered to present.

So the timeline is this. Wake up 430, get to hospital at 545. Pre-round till 830 or 900, during which I have to have learn everything about my patients and have seen them. This includes walking all over the hospital cuz they're spread out all over. During rounds, we see most of the patients. For each patient, we stand outside their door and I have to present to the team. Have to talk about what happened overnight, what was done, how they're doing this morning, their vitals, labs, imaging, then list out their problems one by one and talk about what we're doing and what I want to do next for each problem. Each team normally have ~15 patients.

Sat was bad cuz I didn't have enough time to learn about my patients. So I did such a terrible job presenting them. I was asked questions and I had no answers cuz I didn't know my patients. And assessment and plans, pfffff, I had none. It was painful listening to myself. So rounds was bad. Rounding usually ends at noon. That day, we decided to discharge 3 patients. And I knew a little bit about how to discharge them but each took such a long time cuz they're complicated and again, it's hard to write a discharge summary of their hospital course when I barely knew them. We had to get each of them out the door in a couple of hours cuz we already had patients waiting to be admitted! So discharging patients, putting in orders for the ones who are staying and calling the consultants for those who needed further work up. We have to call consultants early cuz they need to see the patients we consult them on the same day and so they need time to work on. I was trying to get ahold of a consultant with no avail. I paged one several times but no call back. Finally, I called the attending and he was pissed cuz it was already 330pm. He berated me for calling them so late but not only that but also on my lack of knowledge on the patient I was consulting on cuz I had learned about her only that morning. My senior ended up finishing the call with him. It was bad.

So everything was happening at the same time from noon-3pm. Entering orders for patients who are staying, calling consultants, discharging patients and this whole time, my pager was going off once a min! Nurses page constantly on all of our patients and I was holding the pager that day. When paged, we have to answer within minutes. Usually, I'm picking up the phone the next second after the pager goes off. And then, I have to ask the senior or figure out how to answer the most trivial questions cuz I still don't have the knowledge or the confidence to handle the questions.

Admitted 3 patients that day after discharging 3. Admitting means looking into the computer to see if they've been to the hospital before and if so for what, what happened, what their labs were, everything about them medically. Then find out what they're doing here, review labs/imaging and then we go talk to them and get their whole history through them. Then examine and then add in orders for them to be admitted.

So 3 out, 3 in. It was 9pm when I was finally able to slow down a little to have a sip of water, the first I've had since 430am. I started following up on the consultant notes, putting in orders and started on my notes. So every day, we have to write a note on the patients we see. I saw 8, discharged 3 and admitted 2. So I had 8 progress notes to write, 3 discharge summaries and 2 H&Ps for admissions, which are much lengthier progress notes.

I left the hospital at 11:20pm Sat night. And everything was going to start all over again in about 6 hours.

That day was exceptionally bad cuz we were the admitting team. There're better days when the other teams are admitting so we just have to take care of our own patients. The rest of the other days haven't been as long but they were pretty similar. I have never felt more incompetent in my life.

There just have been no time to learn. It was a vicious cycle of sleep, eat when I can and running like a headless chicken at work. I literally lost 5lbs this past week. And cuz I hadn't had time to learn, I haven't increased my knowledge on what to do in terms of treatments, etc. And I do terrible during rounds.

Everyone has been so nice though. The team is made up of one attending, who has gone through residency, a senior resident and two interns. I'm an intern- a first-year resident. So the senior resident has even more responsibility of course. He has to be on top of his game by knowing everything about ALL of our patients and also, supervise us. He had to pick up a lot of slack from us cuz we just don't know what we're doing. And we always have a gazillion questions on what button to press to give what order.

So outside of that, I got into a car accident on Fri. With a cop. And apparently it was my fault. But thankfully no tickets. But since my car was in the towing place over the weekend and was not commissional, Dan has been taking me to work and back this whole weekend. So in additional to not seeing me and putting up with my mum all day, he had to get up at 530am to get me to work and come back out to get me whenever I get out. He has been going through a lot too. So I come home all pooped and cuz my Mum hasn't seen me all days, she follows me around like a puppy. A yippy puppy cuz she wouldn't stop asking questions or stop talking. A lot of times, I just have to ignore her and work. Oh yeah, I try to organize as best I can at home by looking in on my patients at night so I wouldn't get so flustered the next morning. Some nights, I just pass out.

So Mon, today's my only day off for awhile. I need to read up on stuff and get prepared and be ready for a long 2-week of wards cuz my next day off is on the 20th. I probably won't be contactable for awhile.


6/24/14 04:20 pm - Auction

I went to my first auction today! At my new place. They auctioned off all of the guy's stuff and things went super cheap! And I bought so much stuff, it's not even funny! It was so tempting to bid on everything but I held myself back. Went all out on the furniture cuz they're nice ones and the advantage of buying now in addition to it being cheap is that we won't have to assemble it or move it inside the house. The auctioneers were nice to let me leave them in the house.

So auction today. Walk through tomorrow AM. Closing Friday PM. And then, that'll be it. It'll be ours. Man, it's been a lonnnnng process. Been a nightmare, really, buying this place. I cannot wait to be all moved in.

Anyways, winning 22 bids was pretty nice. Quite a high actually, lol. Well, until I had to pay. I cannot believe I spent nearly 600 dollars today. Got a bedroom set along with mattress and box spring and everything for $110. Some other small furniture (I had to hold myself back on wardrobes that went for 40 bucks or small tables for $10 each), some decorative stuff, lots of electronics that Dan wanted. I think the best deal I got was 2 medium vacuum cleaners and 1 hand-held for $7. Yeah, if I summarize my buys today, it'd be mostly furniture and electronics.

Friday, come already!!

6/18/14 06:53 pm - Runaway cart!

So this is the third day of my residency orientation. And gosh, it's been so painful with full days of lectures. And I'm talking 8am-5pm. But I'm liking where I am and think I made a great choice coming here!

So yesterday, something hilarious happened. A group of us were walking down this corridor when I saw this lady going into the restroom. Soon after, the 'cart' starting rolling and I was like 'Ohmygosh, runaway cart!!' And I sprinted after it. Got there only to realize that it was one of the robots that carry specimen from place to place!! Gosh, I was so embarrassed!! I thought the lady was a custodian, who left her cart outside the restroom. Man, what can I say? I was so ready to save people and the world from runaway carts. Of course it happened next to a nursing station. When they figured out what happened, they started laughing too. Oh my. I don't know if other interns have chased after robots before or it'll just be me. I might go down as the first and only person to have ever done that.

6/11/14 10:55 pm - One cool thing about Mum

She's drinking alcohol for the first time! I didn't even start the conversation. Seeing my full liquor cabinet, she asks if I drink alcohol. I said 'sometimes'. I was actually worried about how she'd react to my collection of liquor when she first got here. Cuz this woman, at the age of 62 has never had a drop of alcohol in her life. But she's been pretty cool about it. Might almost make up for all the times when she follows me around whether I'm walking down the corridor or packing in the bathroom or walking to to kitchen to get a drink.

This is definitely the highlight of her stay with me so far. I don't think she drank enough to get drunk or even tipsy. But I'm tickled by the fact that she's drinking alcohol for the first time now.


5/8/14 10:17 pm - Graduation is here!

It's tomorrow. It didn't feel like a big deal till rehearsal today. I'm actually excited! I'M GRADUATING TOMORROW!! No more short coats!

4/16/14 07:11 pm - Closing pending but yes, we have a house!!

So our offer was countered and we took the counter cuz we like the house so much. Since it involves a court, it was deemed best to have the home inspection done so there are no contingencies when the judge signs the contract. So we went ahead and did it last weekend and it went well! The inspector found only cosmetic damages.

The interesting thing is, we learned a lot about the seller from the neighbors. Apparently, he's a 63yom who has a trust fund and who has some mental illness issues. He had been arrested 20 times before in the 3 years that he lived there and has ran around naked in the backyard. A closer inspection of the house revealed that he had terrible violent tendencies. There are holes in the walls where he slammed the door so hard that the door knob went through the wall despite there being a door stopper. There's a door where the door stopper went through the door, leaving a round hole. One kitchen drawer was ripped open and the refrigerator looked like he took a bat to it. But these are all cosmetic damages that we could fix up easily so it was okay with us. Those flaws allowed us to get the house we want at a low price so it's all good. We'll fix it all in the meantime we're there.

So everything is set. We just have to wait a few weeks for the contract to get into the judge's docket and for him to sign it. Hoping to close in early May but it might be in June. Cutting it pretty close to when we want to move but we have faith that it'll go quickly now that the home inspection is done.

So excited! We have a house now. Explored a little bit after the inspection and the location is very convenient. We're only a couple of minutes from Costco and a shopping complex. There's the biggest mall in the region nearby too. the only bad thing is that I'll have to drive about 20 min to the hospital every day and back. But I guess I'll get used to it with time.

4/7/14 12:45 pm - An update

So we're still waiting for a counter-offer..

We made the offer on Tue 11am and they have up to 3 days to reply since the seller is 'deemed unfit' and the court appointed a guardian to make decisions for the seller. We were warned by the realtor that they do tend to take longer so we waited and waited till Fri 11am. No response. So at first, the realtor was like 'this is unheard of in his 4 yrs of work. We offered 98% of the listing price and there has been no response'. We assumed it was cuz they were so disgusted by us low-balling them that they didn't even respond. And Dan and I decided to up the offer to their listing price but they have to pay for the closing cost.

Before the realtor submit the new offer, the seller's agent got back to him saying that the court-appointed guardian had been on Spring break vacation and hadn't been checking his emails. How ridiculous is that!! So since the deadline for the offer was already over, we decided to make another offer- higher than the previous offer but lower than the listing price in the hopes that instead of making the counter-offers and such, they would just accept it. The realtor said that would be our best chance of getting the house since it's a steal and the longer we take to close, the more people will view the property and there would be more competition. So the offer was sent in this morning. We hope to hear back by Wed AM. And hopefully, by the end of this week, we know the final yay or nay on the house.

It has just  been so frustrating.. this is taking the fun out of owning a home.

4/1/14 04:32 pm - We made an offer!!

Had a great weekend looking at houses. Looked at 12 houses and liked 2. And just made an offer on one this morning. I am so excited! I hope the seller accepts it!

The day began with disappointment. We had been going on the lower end of our budget cuz I thought 'this is our first home and I want to keep it small'. Almost all the houses looked very nice on paper. But man, what a shock I got when we saw houses built in early 1960s. I cannot live in those styles of houses with wooden panels and bathrooms outside the master and bedrooms not having closets. I thought the whole day was going to be like that and braced myself to have to come back another day to look at more houses.

Things got better as the day went on. Perhaps, the realtor arranged the order to be that way. The houses got more modern and the prices rose. But I got happier. Finally, the realtor showed us this house that wasn't even on our list. It's only 4 yrs old. The insides were dinged up a little cuz the owner didn't take care of it. But cuz of the cosmetic damage, it was the lowest-priced property in the neighborhood. We loved it. The problem was, we loved another house that is 35k lower, closer to work and smaller. We couldn't decide. Had to take a second look at the smaller house and saw things more clearly as the realtor pointed out all the things that can cause in the future as it was built in 1985 and the current owner did the tiling and stuff himself so they were done sloppily. The choice was clear. To me anyways. Dan wanted to see concrete numbers so we waited till we talked to the banker again. But yeah, it was a clear choice.

Gosh, I hope our offer gets accepted and if they make a counter-offer, I hope it's a reasonable one.

3/26/14 09:54 pm - House hunting

So....I think we're going to be home owners in a few short months, eeek!! I'm so excited! I don't know why but I am. With us moving soon, we considered the option of buying but we were still not sure. After a lot of research and after talking to this specific banker for an hour well after the bank closed, we're convinced more now than ever that we should buy. For one, it's going to cheaper to buy than rent in this area. And it will be so cuz of the Physician loan that this particular bank has. They work closely with the residents and get us a lot of perks. As a resident, I can have the following options:

- 100% financing
- As low as 5% down with no PMI
- We're considered Premier customers with a 24/7 personal banker
- We got the lowest interest rate
- I can close before actually receiving my first paycheck
- Refinancing any time with no fees

How cool is that?!

He said even with the housing crash in 2008, there was only a 3% drop in the area and now, it's back on the upswing. So this is a good time to buy.

We're going to go look at houses this weekend. I'm so, so excited! Dan is a little more conservative but even he was won over by this banker.

3/21/14 11:47 pm - Match Day

I got my first choice!! There was so much anticipation built and by the time we were leaving for the brunch, I just wanted everything over with. There were speeches and finally, I was able to open the envelope. For a full first half a second, I thought I matched at my home school, which I did not want to go at all. So many thoughts raced through my mind, like how could this happen!! It's my 6th choice and I shouldn't be getting my 6th choice. At the same time, a part of me was yelling that I don't want to stay. Then, my eyes went further down the letter and I saw my #1 school. Immediately, I thought I wouldn't see the school name if I hadn't matched there. Slowly, it hit me that I did match at my #1 program and I just broke into a big grin. Dan has it all in sequence in pictures, lol. So, so thankful that I'm going to where I want to be. I didn't get into my #1 school for medical school so gosh, I'm so psyched that I'M GOING TO MY #1 PROGRAM for residency!!

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