Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vermont Support Tshirt

Somehow, despite all odds, the landlocked state of Vermont
got hit hardest by Irene this weekend.
Luckily the loss of life hasn't been terribly high,
but the state has taken a beating.

In true Vermont fashion,
communities are rallying and people are clamoring to help.
If you're in the area,
you can look here for ways to help.

If not, you can rock this sweet tshirt
from the Independent Vermont Clothing Co.

MEDICINE/Quote of the Week

Mandy* (a 24-year-old woman in a manic state): So you're a medical student? Where do you go to school?

Me: Yeah, I go to University of Vermont.

Mandy: Are you a working girl?

Me: No, I'm a medical student.

Mandy: Were you ever a working girl?

Me: No, why?

Mandy: You look like you could be.


"Other elements of mania may include delusions (of grandeur, potential, or otherwise), hypersensitivity, hypersexuality, hyper-religiosity, hyperactivity, talkativeness, an internal pressure to keep talking (over-explanation) or rapid speech, grandiose ideas and plans, and decreased need for sleep (e.g. feeling rested after 3 or 4 hours of sleep)."
-Wikipedia, my favorite med school reference

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quote of the Week

Ella (another elderly, confused patient): Excuse me, where am I?

(Note: She has been admitted for a few weeks and was talking to me 2 minutes before that.)

Me: You're at St. Mary's Hospital.

Ella: The hospital? Why am I in the hospital?

Me: Well, you were confused. Do you remember who I am?

Ella: Yeah, you're my earth angel. [Smiling up her wrinkled face.]

Me: That's right.

The previous day she had told me she had 100 earth angels, and I was one of them.
Definitely a step up from having the devil on my body.

Why, what was your day like??

Monday, August 22, 2011


Because it has the best summer moments...
Braves baseball.


S'mores with family.

Introducing the International Man o' Mystery to Sunset Cove at home, aka the Redneck Yacht Club.
All those boats you see behind us are not at a dock.
They are tied up to each other.

Partying like we're 21.

Remembering we're not 21, have been working in a hospital all summer, and have the pastiness to prove it.

Continuing the new family tradition of running the
Peachtree Road 10k Race
on the morning of the 4th of July
in tutus.

Back in Burlington, dance partying for Lizzie's 30th.

While wearing Lizzie buttons!

Charlie and the girls.
Per usual.

Attending a classmate's beautiful summer wedding.

In a birch grove.

On top of a mountain.
It was seriously like a movie wedding.

Going to Camp. Camp Lizzie.

Complete with photobooth.


And yep.

Swimming holes in Vermont.

Sister reunion after a year apart!

Rocking out to summer songs.

Catching some waves.

Doing some light summer reading.

Late night cards and beer with family.

And spending a week with 75 of my closest relatives at
Buckfest 2011!

Yeah, July was pretty great.
Not ready for summer to be over yet!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Small homes: Part 1

I've loved Airstream trailers for a while and
always thought it would be amazing to travel cross-country.
But the idea of living in a trailer
was really sparked by this beauty.

I saw this "Writer's Retreat" as it's called
on a run around
Shelburne Farms last fall.

I swooned.

I daydreamed about living in it for days.

I called Shelburne Farms and asked them where they found such a dreamy trailer.

They told me Yestermorrow, a design/build school, had made it for a class project.

I called Yestermorrow and asked them if they could pretty please make me one too.
They said I would have to design it.
And they couldn't guarantee the class would finish it.
So I started looking into lots of different mobile, sustainable small housing options.
And, hey, it turns out there are a LOT of small housing options.
So I want to share them all with you guys,
but that will take more than one post.

Oh, and this was the view on the other side of those trees.
Not your average trailer park.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Because 1,000+ pages is a lot...

I thought you all might enjoy this video
about the new Healthcare Reform

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pirate Wednesday

Isn't this the dreamiest??

Monday, August 15, 2011


So, I've been plotting some of my favorite things...

I've been making plans for the next year, and I'm dreaming big these days.
I thought I would go ahead and scatter these confetti dreams to the 4 internetchi winds,
because once they're out there in the ethers,
they're hard to take back.

So what am I planning?

Well, I've been toying with the idea of taking a year off of medical school for a while,
but now I'm starting to set the wheels in motion.

I want to live in this:

Learn how to do this:

And practice some of this abroad:

I want to decipher what I need to learn in my last year of medical school by practicing medicine in its bare bones form, free from grades and malpractice fears and healthcare reform debates.

I want to learn the practical skills I'll need to create the sustainable life I want to live. Growing food, natural building, community planning.

And I want to live a beautiful and free nomadic life.

In order to shimmy my life down its little path,
I've been brainstorming some changes and schemes to support this year 'off'.
Methods that fit with both my schedule (haha, oh man) and values.

So, things to look for:

1. Blog Update
This blog has mainly been an outlet for me and a way to keep in touch with my family (Hi Mom! I'll teach you how to comment soon!) and friends (Hi Kathleen! Thanks for commenting!),
but I think I want to focus it a wee bit more on three of my passions:

Design Sustainability MEDICINE

And all the places where they intersect.
If those places exist...

2. An Etsy Store
Since I'll be downsizing into a trailer for the foreseeable future,
I'll have to part with many of my flea market treasures
and vintage store steals.
Lucky you guys!

3. Art
I have thousands upon thousands of photos
(just ask my hard drive that is about to run out of room),
so within those thousands,
there are bound to be a few winners.
I just need to figure out a way to sell them?
Also, little know fact:
I've been keeping a list of ideas for artwork for quite sometime.
I just haven't attempted to make or sell any of said ideas, because,
the thought of putting myself out there with art
makes me
a bajillion times more uncomfortable
than performing a rectal exam.
Weird? Probably.
True? Definitely.

So, now that that's all out there...
I guess I have to make some of it happen!

I took the first step today and opened a savings account.
All before the age of 30.
Look who's got her big girl pants on now!

If you have any suggestions to help me get there,
there will always be a spot for you in an airstream trailer.

"Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quote of the Week

Me: Mary*, you seem happier today. How are you?

Mary (smiling toothlessly) : Oh, I am better. I see the devil on your body.

Me: Excuse me? You see the devil on me?

Mary: Oh yes. I see the devil on your body.


Me: I like your new sweater.

Mary: Oh thank you!

*Patient name changed.
If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.
Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, August 8, 2011

Revolutionary Papa

1, 2, 3

My roommate and I watched Part 1 of the epically long Che this weekend.
I know he's an extremely polarizing character and has ironically become the most commercialized photo in history.
But this film will stir up some revolutionary longings in your heart, man.
It will make you scoff at yourself for being politically correct instead of listening to that child voice inside your head that screams against injustice.
It might even make you step back from your cubicle and remember that there are ideals worth fighting for.

But the real thing that captured my imagination was,
how do you manage love,
how do you have a family,
how do you give enough to your children
and still give all your passion to your cause?

It's a hard question for men,
but I think it's an even harder question for women.

I don't have an answer,
but I liked these photos of Che and his family.


"Above all, try always to be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against any person in any part of the world. It is the most beautiful quality of a revolutionary."

-Che, in his final letter to his children

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The South

I miss the South when I'm gone from it for too long.

Best Billboards on my drive from Atlanta to Florida:
  • "HELL IS REAL. Sponsored by JT Construction Co."
  • "Would you give $200,000 to Liberals?? Roy Barnes did!!"
  • "Homosexuality is an abomination. Sponsored by Bluegrass Church of God."
  • "Where's the Birth Certificate??"
I know these thoughts exist in the South, but you need to put them on BILLBOARDS, people? For realzies?

I also passed not one but 2, HUGE Confederate flags flying along the side of the road.

It's good to be back in the Southland for a while.
"The South's got a lot wrong with it. But it's permanent press and it doesn't wash out."
-Pat Conroy, Beach Music

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Know Thyself

In doing this psychiatry rotation with various extreme personalities and behaviors, I think Socrates had some serious advice there, man.

The other day I took an online version of a Myers-Briggs test
because I couldn't remember the results I got when our college counselor had us take it in high school.

Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging

Here's what it says:

INFJs focus on possibilities, think in terms of values and come easily to decisions. The small number of this type (1 percent) is regrettable, since INFJs have unusually strong drive to contribute to the welfare of others and genuinely enjoy helping their fellow men. This type has great depth of personality; they are themselves complicated, and can understand and deal with complex issues and people.

It is an INFJ who is likely to have visions of human events past, present, or future. If a person
demonstrates an ability to understand psychic phenomena better than most others, this person is apt to be an INFJ. Characteristically, INFJs have strong empathic abilities and can be aware of another’s emotions or intents even before that person is conscious of these. This can take the form of feeling the distress of illnesses of others to an extent, which is difficult for other types. INFJs can intuit good and evil in others, although they seldom can tell how they came to know. Subsequent events tend to bear them out, however.

INFJs are usually good students, achievers who exhibit an unostentatious creativity. They take their work seriously and enjoy academic activity. They can exhibit qualities of overperfectionism and put more into a task than perhaps is justified by the nature of the task. They generally will not be visible leaders, but will quietly exert influence behind the scenes.

INFJs are hard to get to know. They have an unusually rich inner life, but they are reserved and tend not to share their reactions except with those they trust. Because of their vulnerability through a strong facility to interject, INFJs can be hurt rather easily by others, which, perhaps, is at least one reason they tend to be private people. People who have known an INFJ for years may find sides emerging which come as a surprise. Not that INFJs are inconsistent; they are very consist and value integrity. But they have convoluted, complex personalities, which sometimes puzzle even them.

INFJs like to please others and tend to contribute their own best efforts in all situations. They prefer and enjoy agreeing with others, and find conflict disagreeable and destructive. What is known, as ESP is likely found in an INFJ more than in any other types, although other types are capable of such phenomena. INFJs have vivid imaginations exercised both as memory and intuition, and this can amount to genius, resulting at time in an INFJ’s being seen as mystical. This unfettered imagination often will enable this person to compose complex and often aesthetic works of art such as music, mathematical systems, poems, plays, and novels. In a sense, the INFJ is the most poetic of all the types. Just as the ENTJ cannot not lead, so must an INFJ intuit; this capability extends to people, things, and often events,
taking the form of visions, episodes of foreknowledge, premonitions, auditory and visual images of things to come. INFJs can have uncanny communications with certain individuals at a distance.

(Bold is my doing.)

What do you think?
Want to take it?
Tell me what you get!

And here are some links for descriptions:
Here, here, and here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We are the Storykeepers

Photo credit: Mayo Fujji, my classmate, on her trip to Montana

I don't think I knew how much of medicine was storytelling.

The majority of time is spent gathering people's stories,
"taking a history".
And people tell you everything.
They will tell you about the aches in their little toe, their great aunt's hernia repair, the time of their last bowel movement, that they're having sex with someone who isn't their wife, all the drugs they've done, and they'll tell you their fears.
Fears about cancer, about heart attacks, about death.

Then we keep these stories.

We can't share them with many people,
only those involved in their care.

But we write them down in H&P's (History & Physical)
or we present the story to our attending physician.
And we keep them inside of us.

When we see that patient again,
this time for high blood pressure,
the history of their divorce and their family history of diabetes
comes tumbling out of our story chest also,
like a pulling a piece of tangled string and realizing that it's connected to everything.

And these stories become a part of us.
We know someone who is a recovering heroin addict.
We grieve the loss of people with stage 4 lung cancer.
We struggle with the knowledge that COPD (emphysema) patients are out there still smoking slowly causing themselves to drown in their own lungs.

Today I started my psychiatry rotation.
I have a feeling that the stories are about to get more harrowing,
and that they may haunt me.
But I feel like these might be the most important stories to hear,
because there are no dressings to be changed,
no stitches needed,
listening might just be one of the best medicines we have.
And there are no side effects for the patient,
only the care giver.


Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
-Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It