Sunday, June 17, 2018

Reflections, new directions, and pet photos (!)

Tonight is the residency graduation ceremony at many OB/GYN programs across the country, and marks approximately a year since I finished residency and and we moved across the country. I've struggled a bit to get back into the swing of the blog, in part because we've gone through a tremendous number of transitions this year and I think we've hardly had time to process one before another is upon us. I posted earlier this spring about the evolution of the blog, but it was a bit of a half-hearted attempt that left me feeling even less certain about the direction going forward. Here's a short list of some of this year's transitions that I'm hopeful to share more about in the coming year.

I'm so close to being finished with medical training - That's right, folks, it's really happening. For those you who thought I had been in college for the past 17 years, you should stop lamenting my slow progress and start celebrating the fact that in that time I have earned three (3) degrees, one (1) certificate, three (3) medical licenses, four (4) DEA numbers, including a special one for prescribers of medication assisted treatment for opiate use disorder, two (2) bilingual provider certifications, and eligibility to take my general obstetrics and gynecology board exams this winter. I also have a job. I think it's okay to let you all know at this point that I'll be joining my current division of general obstetrics and gynecology as an assistant professor in August. In the coming year, you can expect more thoughts about medical education, work-life balance, and the challenges of providing health care in the prison system.

The weather here is completely different - And it turns out that biking with seasons is a whole different ballgame. It's one that I had blissfully and intentionally forgotten while living in the Bay Area. Aside from the occasional rainy day, I could count on being able to use whatever portion of my free time I desired to ride a bike. Although the fall and early winter in North Carolina were seemingly designed for cycling, the "spring" and "summer" have been nearly indistinguishable and have involved temperatures and humidity that make me hesitant to leave the house walking, much less cycling. Despite this, I have lots of cycling goals for the year to come, so you can look forward to more NC scenery views from the saddle.

We have an extremely anxious dog - Walter's entire life was chronicled on the blog, and it still makes my throat catch a bit to see his name as a label option for each post. Cyril, too, has struggled with the loss mightily. He had some significant anxiety issues when we adopted him, and they worsened appreciably after the attack. It turns out that veterinary medicine offers some of the clearest evidence that medications for anxiety change lives. Our little dog is a patient at the NC State Behavioral Medicine Clinic and in addition to the equivalent of doggie therapy, he is now on lots of anxiolytics. He is making great progress, and you can anticipate some reflections on the challenges of a totally differently high needs dog from our last one.

Eighty-five years of questionable decisions in our house - The "what were they thinking" posts will not stop. I have a back log of "before" and "in the midst of it" photos to share, including some demolition photos from what we have been calling "the forbidden bathroom" due to it's lack of non-rotted structural support. This week will also mark the start of the first professional work on the house.

Suffice it to say, there is a lot going on right now and so I'll share some photos of the pets relaxing to remind you (and me!) to do the same.

Cyril loves relaxing in a lawn chair. He tends to cycle between the sunny grass, the shady grass or pavement, and the lawn chair as his temperature needs demand. 

Eli is perhaps the most effective pet at reminding me to take a break. Here he is, seemingly saying "Now it is my turn to use the computer."

This is not some high-tech cat bed that we are using now. It is a high tech washing machine that the cat is using as a bed. I may or may not have started placing a folded bath mat in the washer for him to sleep on. In my defense, it needed to be washed anyway...

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