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26 hours later

26 hours later and I'm still standing.  I'm okay.  Maybe a little fuzzy around the edges, but definitely okay.

My first call shift is done.

I was so nervous about being on call.

I was nervous people were going to ask me questions I didn't know the answers to.  They did.  I was nervous I was going to get lost in the hospital in the middle of the night.  I did.  I was nervous I was going to be incredibly dumb in front of strangers. I was.

But you know what?

It was also sort of exhilarating and illuminating and maybe even the teensiest bit awesome in a holy-crap-I'm-actually-doing-this sort of way.

And because I was so nervous going into this, I was fully prepared for everyone I dealt with to be able to see right through me and give me plenty of sass.  But everyone was so nice.  Like, suspiciously nice-  I think maybe all that time in Brooklyn broke me a little bit and now I don't trust it when people are nice to me.

And since I'm pretty sure I'm not the o…

Likability

There are a couple of books that I reread on the regular.  They feed my soul.  They answer questions I didn't even know I'd asked.

One of those books is Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

In this book, Adichie lays out suggestions to a dear friend who has asked how to raise her daughter a feminist.  The suggestions are wide ranging, but the one that resonates with me is the eighth.

Teach her to reject likability.  Her job is not to make herself likable, her job is to be her full self, a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people. Remember I told you how upsetting it was to me that our friend Chioma would often tell me that "people" would not "like" something I wanted to say or do?  I always felt, from her, the unspoken pressure to change myself to fit some mold that would please an amorphous entity called "people."  It was upsetting because we want those closest to u…

The Mess

The other day one of my favorite tiny humans had a poop incident.

As I was cleaning him up I managed to get most of the poop into the toilet.  Somehow though, between me and my tiny poopy friend, we managed to get poop on quite a few other bathroom surfaces too.

The rug?  Got poop on that.
The outside of the trash can?  Got poop on that.
The sink?  Got poop on that too.

And while I recognize the tiny humans are pretty messy at baseline and that I myself am no stranger to mess, this was a pretty impressive mess even for us.

So, tiny poopy friend and I paused and took a moment to contemplate the impressively disgusting mess we had made, with the thought of maybe if we stopped moving we could stop spreading the poop.

As we stood there and contemplated the grossness my tiny poopy friend cracked a joke.  I don't remember exactly what he said, but I know it was funny.  So we stood there and giggled.  And we kept giggling while we cleaned up.

Later, I couldn't help but think about w…

The (Alternative) Commencement Speech*

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*Since I technically graduated from medical school in September of 2016, going to a commencement ceremony in June of 2017 felt super weird to me, so I decided not to go.  Oh, and, if I had gone, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have let me give a speech....  But y'all don't mind do you? Nah, I didn't think so.

Here goes.




To my esteemed colleagues, friends, and family: Welcome.

We've worked incredibly hard to get here.  But, it is only right that we should have worked hard to get here for now we find ourselves continuing in the tradition of the long and noble line of physicians who have gone before us.

Together, we have done a lot of living.  We have seen things.  We have watched each other grow and learn and struggle and do better.  We have cried tears of joy and tears of sadness together.  We have provided each other with comfort when comfort seemed impossible.  We went from a group of strangers with a common goal to becoming each others family.

We have helped e…

you gotta do the work

For the duration of my Mono-Month I basically became a hermit.  I didn't have the energy in my stretchy-pants-no-moving-state to even formulate replies to texts.

Bestie and Babydoll checked in on me one day and I looked at the text and then promptly forgot to reply for so long they started using the SHOUTY CAPSto demand replies to ensure I wasn't dead.  I'm pretty sure they even threatened to call my Mama if I didn't respond.

During that month, I didn't even really realize that I was ignoring everybody- all nonessential Caitlin-functions had been temporarily suspended.

Looking back now though, it's clear to me that I didn't even have the energy to deal with "the feels."  Talking to other humans would have required me to use higher thought processes and those weren't really functioning at that moment.

Relationships- whether they be with your Mama, your bestie, your partner, or even your mailman- and the feels that go along with them are hard …

Apartment Hunting with Bestie, Babydoll, and Construction Santa

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*As always, context-free for your enjoyment

Me: My current best-apartment option has a murder entrance

Me: Which is why I've emailed y'all the pictures, cause it's funny

Bestie: That is for sure a murder entrance.  But at least you'd have Construction Santa to help dissuade murderers?

Me: I like it

Me: He could have the spare bedroom

Bestie: Pros: presents and elves year round! Cons: he'd rate all guests as naughty or nice

Me: You're making me giggle

Babydoll: Shit I like it

Babydoll: Ain't too murdery

Babydoll: Construction Santa > Genghis Khan

Bestie: Of course Babydoll doesn't think the entrance is murdery.  She had a rape shed!

Bestie: But I agree, other than the entrance it looks pretty nice!  The kitchen is very you- perfect for cooking a big meal for a dinner party.

Babydoll: Excuse me, Bestie!  I've had multiple rape sheds!

Me: It's true.  She has.

Me: And one rape shed even had "help me" carved into the concrete block above the washer**

Be…

Fever Dreams and Lost Time

This is the first springtime I've spent fully in Florida in several years.  And while I love the warmth, I don't so much love the pollen.  It's only the end of April and nature has been in full bloom for months.  Everything has a green sheen to it all the time.  As soon as one type of tree quits blooming another type is right there full of buds and blossoms to take its place.

The pollen takes a toll on me.  I'm allergic to pretty much anything that blooms, so springtime here is a relentless march of allergies.  I take all the antihistamines and try to keep my windows shut as much as possible, but sometimes the pollen still wins.  
A couple of weeks ago I was forced to admit defeat to the pollen.  I was pretty sure it was the oak trees that finally did me in.  
I felt like crap and didn't move off the couch for a solid 24 hours.  I was feverish and weak and had no appetite.
But by day two of this "pollen hangover," my medical deductive skills had kicked in…