Saturday, October 08, 2005

Celebrating Ambulating: My Month in Greenwich

Friday concluded my taste of ambulatory care--so-called, I have reasoned, because (in contrast to the bedridden ill overnighters of inpatient medicine) the ambulatory patients walk into the clinic, and then walk right back out. To sum up the entire rotation in one sentence, I think this first introduction to primary care general medicine confirmed my suspicion that family medicine is the best fit future career for me. That definitely calls for a (somewhat preemptive) woohoo!

As evidenced by my journaling absence, these past four weeks were consuming in a way I had not anticipated. For reasons still somewhat unbeknownst to me, that mild sublinical depression I develop on psych (which I mostly attributed to the fact that I was, after all, on psych) blossomed into a full-fledged case of The Blahs (technical term). I couldn't sleep, I couldn't blog--I even (gasp!) lost interest in the novel I was reading. Interestingly, though, almost every friend or family member I talked to during those middle days of September appeared to be swimming in a similar funk. Maybe there was something awry in the cosmos, maybe the change of season has some crazy effect on people's serotonin levels, maybe we were all feeling the rootlessness of the millions of displaced Americans...whatever it was, it was definitely *not* just me.

In any case, I think I'm over the funk, and not a moment too soon, either; tomorrow I start the mother of all rotations: Internal Medicine. For the next eight weeks, I will try my darndest to be the best perfectly punctual, enthusiastically eager to learn and please, painstakingly perfectionist, compassionately caring, and occasionally obsequious third-year medical student I can possible be. I will endure call every fourth night, many hours of rounding, possibly even the death of a patient of mine (hopefully due to something completely unrelated to me!) Yet, in spite of the pain, I can look forward to what might be the most transformative two months of my medical school career. If there was any time that I felt as though I was about to get bound tight inside a cocoon (a cocoon called Yale-New Haven Hospital, that is) and emerge a butterfly (a butterfly who can act like a doctor, that is), this is it!

In conclusion, here's a quick list of highlights from the past month:

HOT: Went to my second Cuddle Party today and might be on TV! It was a media event in response to the recent CSI episode on Wednesday that featured the fictional organizer of the Cuddle Party as a possible murder suspect. Fortunately for my own self-consciousness, the only media that showed were a pair of women writing a documentary about unconventional communities for an Italian TV channel, a wannabe journalist NYU student, and a spandexed older lady named Gisella writing a story for some German magazine. Whew!
HOTTER: Won a pair of toasty-warm footie PJs at the Cuddle Party today! I think the last time I wore footie PJs was one night about 22 years ago when I woke up in the middle of the night with the horrifying feeling of wet warmth running down my legs, and puddles inside both of my watertight footies. The PJs were pink and furry, with white plastic footies; let's just say that I highly discourage the wearing of such PJs if there's any chance of overnight "rain". Ick.
HOTTEST: Started doing Bikram Yoga, aka "you must be fucking kidding me", consisting of 23 asanas (yoga poses) done in a room heated to some ungodly temperature (around 95 I think). Having only done it once, I haven't fully decided yet whether it's a 90 minute medieval torture or an hour-and-a-half of transcendent bliss. More on that soon.

MEMORABLE: Did my first testicular examination on a patient and palpated my first set of artificially augmented breasts (also on a patient. Different patient.)
MORE MEMORABLE: Saw Dar Williams in concert for the second time! Fell in love with her music all over again, especially "The Babysitter's Here" and "The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-ed". Also fell in love with the divine tight harmonic blend of her opening act, the unambiguously gay trio Girlyman.
MOST MEMORABLE: My Best Friend's Wedding! Eli and David got married on Sept 25 in Boston, going down in history as one of the first thousand gay couples to legally wed in Mass. They planned every detail of the wedding themselves, and did an interesting, suprisingly good job of making one of the most heterosexual, feminine events in our culture uniquely personal to them and also quite masculine. Even the flowers were sort of phallic. I was the best man. :-)


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