It took me one and a half hours, but I got my two assigned notes written in time this morning, and felt very pleased with myself. It’s quite a change from the surgical attitude of ob/gyn (I mistakenly thought surgeons didn’t care about checking on their patients; turns out they’re quite obsessive, but about very specific things) back to the medicine attitude of fiddling with the details of every single organ system – and of course students are expected to be more precise and detailed than the seniors. Which is good practice for us, to be sure.

All the way to work I was planning my approach to the girl with asthma. I decided to try telling stories, since my cousins love my storytelling. I went through my repertoire, and thought of some adventures she probably wouldn’t know – Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady, Nathan Hale, etc. Well, by the time I finished with the other patient, I didn’t have much time left. So when she rolled over in bed and shook her head at the suggestion of stories, I didn’t push. Just listened to her lungs (much improved) and left. This afternoon when there was free time I checked on her again, but there was a family member with her, so no go. I guess I’ll save the stories for the next conversible patient I get.

I brought a quarter cup of coffee with a good deal of sweetener to grand rounds, and managed to stay awake – in large part due to its nauseating taste. I cannot understand people’s fascination with the stuff! Of course, the other students were now equally amused by my not falling asleep – and my faces. Then we went to our lectures, which were actually case discussions, not requiring to take notes. So I pulled out my knitting (short-sleeved spring sweater for my mother’s birthday; never mind that it was last month). I was under the impression that no grading could result from the session. Afterward I was informed that the lecturer will be our attending for the next two weeks. But I spoke up a good deal, to demonstrate that I was paying attention. Tsk tsk tsk.

After being recommended for the tenth time that the answers to all my questions could be found in the Harriet Lane handbook, I restrained my magnetic attraction to home, and stopped at the university bookstore to buy it. Somehow they had a bunch of attractive spring gifts, and some other medical books, and I ended up spending a great deal more than I had envisaged. Hmph. I guess I really better study tonight.

The team I’m on seems to be assigned to specialize in pulmonology – which in kids means asthma. So the prospects of seeing seizures or DKA look slim. I set myself a different goal for the month: learn to handle asthma confidently. There; that’s certain to be achieved. (Doesn’t stop me from pinning my hopes for action to the ER rotation next year.)

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