Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Ok I realize this is like 4 posts in one night but I have a lot to catch up on!

So my birthday was August 11, but I was in Brazil so Jake and I celebrated on Saturday. He gave me my present right away in the morning and I must say I am a lucky lucky woman. He got me the new hot pink leather Tribeca Coach purse. I was squealing and bouncing like a 5 year old! I also got a bouquet of blue irises :) We spent the day in Rocky Mountain Park! We love being up there and it's so refreshing that we might go back up this next weekend! For dinner we headed to Carelli's which was yummers!

My new purse:


My first week in Family Practice in CO!

So my facilitators are awesome and got me a rotation in CO so I can live with my husband (you know like a real married couple). It's really great. The doctors I am working with are really motivated to teach and are doing a great job. On my first day, I was suturing up a neck! I have also put in a cortisone injection to the knee which was kind of freaky, but so much fun! My SOAP notes are getting better and clearer as the time goes on. Yesterday I was on call with Dr. M and had a good time at the hospital. We had a delivery, rounded on 5 babies, went and had lunch, then saw a 17 year old that had been admitted.

Today, my favorite patient was a 4 month old who was so happy and busy smiling and laughing at me. It might have been because I had a huge shiny necklace on, but I like to think she was enjoying me! I find that the hardest patients to work on are those who just cry and cry in the office. I'm not talking about children either. Adults who are so depressed that they can't even carry on a conversation without crying. I was told by my facilitators that I need to identify who those patients are and make sure they don't suck all my energy out because it can make you down in the dumps. It's very difficult to get through those conversations. Anyways, there's not many like that and most people are in pretty good spirits.

I've gotten asked so many times how old I am. Apparently, I look very young and they are always shocked I'm so far along in my education. What they don't know is that I will be like in my early 30's before I'm all done!

Ok, done for today.


So I passed! My heart was pounding and my respirations increased greatly, but I finally got the nerve to click submit. And there it was "passed."

Thank you to everyone for all the good thoughts and prayers. I know they all helped!

Brazil Trip

My birthday where I have a pan of maracuja mousse.

Me in my rede!

C-Section baby!

Our boat!

Me with a scalpel, making my incision for a tubal!

So I've been a super slacker and never updated my blog since getting back from Brazil. Let me just start off by saying it was amazing. We flew in, took a bus to our dock, and spent a lot of time loading all of our luggage on the boat. Our boat was pretty cool and most of us slept on the top deck in our redes (pronounced hedgies...aka hammocks). We started out on the Rio Negro river and made our way to the Amazon river. We traveled all night and made it to the village of Sao Sebastiao in the morning. This is one of the larger villages in the Amazon and the mission I went with is very involved in that community. That afternoon we just sorted medicicines and got the boat ready for patients the next day. We also got a tour of the village.

So the next day we got up and traveled to a very tiny village where patients boarded the boat in families and went through all the stations. We even had our own dentist on the boat! That evening, the boat dropped the surgical team (5 of us) in Uracura where we stayed for almost a week in a hotel. There was myself, Dr. P, two nurses and our translater. The surgery days consisted of tubal ligations, A&P repairs (which is basically making them tighter), and hysterectomies. Many of these women have had 7+ children and their uteruses (uteri?) and bladders start to prolapse out. I also got to take part in a C-section. During the tubal ligations, I assisted on the first one, and then spent the rest of them acting as the surgeon! It was very exciting to do a tubal ligation almost entirely by myself! My first time with the scalpel was daunting though. It took a little while, but I gathered up the courage to do it and now I'm addicted. Don't worry, I won't become a cutter :) I have to say that these Brazilian women are just warriors. All they get are spinals for anesthesia and not once did I hear a peep out of them complaining. I hate how people in the US think pain is such an awful thing.

Moving on. So the food...which is obviously a very important part of my life. We had these awesome cooks on the boat. But I wasn't on the boat so much so we had to eat out a lot. We ate at the same restaurant for lunch every day and they told us what the menu options were each day. The food was ok, but in Brazil there are rice and pasta at every single lunch and dinner. And so within a few days I was a smidge sick of it...but you just suck it up and eat when you can eat. My favorite thing I ate in Brazil was maracuja mousse. This is basically passion fruit mousse. OMG it was the yummiest dessert I have ever had. Even better than creme brulee. They made this for me on my bday :) Also, I found the best soda: Bare. It's like a combination of root beer, creme soda and Coke all in one. It's made from a fruit of the Amazon. On my last day, I finally got my hands on a Caipirinhia - a yummy Brazilian drink. I was able to buy some Cachaca at the grocery store (a Brazilian rum) for a whole $2.50. It is currently in the fridge waiting to be put to use.

The heat: I have never sweated so much in my entire life. It was only in the mid 90's every day, but holy shit was it humid. Like my legs and stomach were even sweating! I didn't even know my stomach could sweat. I would get out of the shower and be sweating. I would be sleeping and sweating. I enjoyed walking more than standing still so at least I couldn't feel myself sweating and the air would be moving across my body! I can't even describe how hot it was, so I'll stop trying.

Overall, amazing trip! It was kind of hard because the group who went was all from the same church and knew each other very well so I was the outsider. Oh yeah, and it was a mission trip so there was a lot of praying and "Praise God." If you know me, I'm not into that so much, so I spent all of my down time reading. I think I got through 7 books in that time. I learned so much and moved very quickly on the learning curve. I would love to go back and do more surgeries.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bon Voyage!

I'm off to Brazil! I actually won't be there until tomorrow but my journey begins today. I'm heading over to Dr. P's at 4, and we have flights to Charlotte and then Miami tonight. We'll "sleep" in the airport and catch our early morning flight to Manaus tomorrow. Needless to say I'm pretty damn excited and just hope this whole trip runs smoothly. I'm pretty much packed and just have some last minute stuff to put. Jake has me so prepared for this trip it's pretty unbelievable. I have my own first aid kit complete with a snake bite kit. After reading on mission's website the other night that all the heavy rains are driving the anacondas into the villages, I dug my handy little kit out to make sure I knew exactly how to devenomize myself. I still can't believe I'm about to see things IRL like anacondas. I'm really going to have to internalize some freaking out with all the snakes and bugs.

I'll be there for both our 1st year anniversary (Aug 9) and my 25th bday (Aug 11). That's pretty bittersweet, but I'll survive. I'm hoping I can at least talk to Jake on both days. We bought an international plan for my phone so hopefully it works. If not, I have some phone cards for back up.

Alright, I need to get some last minute things done today so as I think they say in Portuguese "Adeus!"