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Dear all,

Hey there! This week’s is going to be released one day early because I’m on call tomorrow and I can’t promise that I’ll want to write anything once I get back…I was supposed to be on call today, but I kind of didn’t want to get out of bed at all. Plus I was having a dream that didn’t involve being in the hospital, and those are becoming increasingly rare…

This past week I began Surgical Oncology 2, which involves fun stuff like parathyroidectomies, mastectomies and breast reductions, and colon resections! So I actually HAD to scrub in and DO stuff. Ugh. “OTL

Well, actually, my first day was a clinic day, where we saw patients who needed surgery or patients who had surgery and were following up. That was pretty nice. I mean, it was an outpatient clinic, so I was in my element, haha.

We had lake group meetings that week, and Monday was Keuka’s day. So, after getting a free box lunch (tuna salad, woot woot!), we got more advice. My personal advisor – who is a psychiatrist, serendipitously enough – told me to open a Roth IRA account, haha. Funny, that’s what my brother has been telling me to do for the past, like, 6 years. I guess I’ll finally do it…

I’m literally dancing on the fence between family and psychiatry, though. I met with both family and psychiatry “specialty advisors” and they both gave me good reasons to do both of them. I won’t disclose where I want to go in case interviewers stumble upon this blog (HAHAHAHAHAHA I’D BE SCREWED EITHER WAY THOUGH), but let’s just say that I want to settle down wherever I do end up doing residency, because I hate moving with a passion.

I also started the whole “begging for letters of recommendation” thing, and it’s always surprising when attending agree. It’s like, “Oh, you remember me? I wouldn’t remember me at all! In fact, I’d probably forget me the next week.” But I guess I’m more distinctive than I thought! XD

On Tuesday, I saw a parathyroidectomy, a mastectomy, and a thyroidectomy. Yay for retracting fat for hours…”OTL

Wednesday was…slightly traumatizing. I got to see breast implants get put in, which was interesting. Then I saw a panniculectomy (AKA “tummy tuck”), and I immediately got jealous (dude, I don’t know how people lose weight on surgery, since I come home ravenous and eat my fridge every day). Lastly, there was a breast reduction. I read the pre-op note, and the reason for the surgery was “pendulous breasts”.

I clicked out of the note and steeled myself for what was going to come.

Any women with such breasts, I’m so sorry. I don’t know how you do it. Those must be so friggin’ heavy, and…uncomfortable when you’re walking around. >____< You know, I thought about getting belly fat implanted into my chest, but you know what, I’m good. I like my AAAs, thank you very much. (Full disclosure, I’m not sure what size I am since I’ve never been “officially” measured, but my sister’s old AA was too big for me a couple years ago and I’m pretty sure my breasts’ growth has plateaued. Though I do want to get measured eventually. Wow, this is a whole lot of TMI. Why am I so open about these things? Anyway, moving on.)

Breasts are really fatty. Like, really fatty. The entire time I was retracting, they kept slipping out of my gloves. When the surgeon finally cut one of them away, I almost dropped it. Not as bad as dropping a baby or a brain, but I was relieved.

Thursday morning I got to be first assist (only because there is no intern, haha) on a pilonidal cyst removal and a hemorrhoid removal! Suturing with gloves on is really hard…

Then, in the afternoon, I was moderately traumatized by a Fournier’s gangrene case. For those who don’t know what that is and don’t want to Google search things (I actually recommend NOT searching for this, because it’s incredibly gross to look at), it’s necrotizing fasciitis of the perineal area. In plain speech, it’s when the tissue around your genitals dies from infection or another cause. It’s more common in men and poorly controlled diabetics, and this patient was both. He already had his penis and scrotum removed, and he was lucky his testicles were still salvageable. Those were buried in the remnants of his pelvic area, and he was stuck using a catheter for a while. The resident told me it would be temporary until the area healed, and maybe he would be able to urinate while sitting down.

But you know I tried not to look at it too much, opting instead to ogle the cute anesthesia resident monitoring the patient’s vitals.

I had met him before the surgery began, and he was handsome even without the orange mask on, haha. Plus his voice was super hot, like voice actor-level hot. Our eyes met several times and he came over to talk with me once or twice before scurrying back behind the curtain. (I would have stood with him, but considering the surgery was on the total opposite end, that would have looked bad to my resident…) After the surgery, I stalked him on Facebook, and he’s single! So obviously, I’m just going to pine from afar, as usual. Hahahahaha…I’m so lame. “OTL Hm, though I wonder if he’s on service during my anesthesia rotation. Ugh, though I’m not used to having only a week to woo someone. Dating sims usually give you one month. This’ll be like hard mode…well, challenge accepted! (LOL just kidding, seriously, I’d rather die than try, and this is why I’ll be single for life.)

On Friday, there were two robotic surgeries, both colon resections. It was pretty cool seeing the resident and attending work together on separate robots. The novelty wore off quickly (especially since they were each over 6 hours long), and our resident saw that, letting us leave halfway through the second one.

Today, after finally waking up, I did chores, went to the mall to reintegrate into society, and studied a little for Step 2, since I’ve only got two months. Tomorrow I’ve got call, and I’m hoping the intern just lets me go home. “OTL

Well, I think I’ll do a little more work, then sleep early. See you all next week!

Most Sincerely,
Annette Liem

~Sarcastic Quote of the Week~
Anesthesia resident (after coming over to me to watch the surgery): Yeah…I’m going to go back to giving fentanyl boluses…