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21 August 2010

At the Beginning with You...

So, Guido and Donna reminded us on Facebook that the original anniversary of J-land was today.  Funny to think that about 3 years ago on August 6th I started my first blog "Do They Have Squirrels in Buffalo?"

I remember clicking on the AOL Journals button a little more out of curiosity than actually thinking that I would be keeping up a blog for this long.  I'd heard of blogs at that time, I just didn't think I'd have anything that interesting to say which would keep people reading.  I started it more as a way of keeping my family and friends up to date on what I was doing.  "Need to catch up, read my blog."

I never expected I would make the friends I've made online.  Donna was one of the first people to comment on my very first blog posting.  She actually lives in Buffalo and assured me that, yes, there are squirrels in Buffalo.

Along with her, I've shared in so many stories of celebration, heartache, new life, and sudden deaths.  Through Guido we've shared prayers and thoughts, visited those who are ill, and have become a close community whose members are only known mostly through these postings.

I think about my own journey as chronicled through this blog... I'm going to save my end of the year wrap-up for just before I leave for California and close this chapter of my life to start a new one... and a newly named blog.  Until then, relish in the friendships, relish in the sharing of this human condition, and relish in the forum that started it all... Happy Anniversary fellow J-landers... I'm glad to have met you along the road.

13 August 2010

Workings of the Mind

As I wrote before, for the last 3 weeks I have been on an elective in Neurosurgery.  It's been a heady (hee hee) experience being back in the OR.  Learning SO much about neuroanatomy.  Since the beginning of the month, we have been on-call for spine, so I've also been getting quite the education about spinal lesions and learning how to read MRI's.

We've been rather busy due to "trauma season," and at times have affectionately nicknamed the Trauma ICU as "Turban City" since 90% of the patients are ours and have their heads wrapped following surgery or ventriculostomies.

During the last several weeks I've come to realize a few things:

 - drunk anything is bad.  It makes you drive carelessly and hit 70 year old grandmas who then bleed into their brains.  It makes you jump on the hood of a car that then drives away, and you fall and fracture your skull and then bleed into your brain.  It makes you jump off a porch causing you to break several bones in your spine which leave you with weakened legs and needing a urine bag because your bladder no longer works properly.

 - you can be hurt by the ones you love.  The guy whose name you tattooed on your shoulder can shoot you in the head and dump you by the side of the road.  The family of your boyfriend can object to your relationship and cause broken bones in your face and head.  Your drunk husband can roll over the car causing you to have massive brain injury and leaving you as helpless as your two young toddlers.

 - walking down the street is dangerous.  You can get shot at, run over, mugged, or just trip and fall.  All of which can land you on our service.  So is riding your bicycle, driving in a car, or flying in a plane.

 - I like opening and closing surgical cases more than the actual procedure.  I know, weird.  But there's something very satisfying about gaining the exposure, identifying the lesion, then trying to cosmetically close the wound.  While drilling and plating is interesting, once I've seen the anatomy I'm satisfied.  I know, weird.

 One more week then it's back to the E.D. for my final 11 shifts.  We're on a countdown of 30 more days until I move from coast to coast... I've got to start thinking of new names for my blog...