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Dear all,

Good morning, I’ve only got two more weeks of surgery left, eek! This week was my anesthesia rotation, so I consistently was let out before 3 PM (and even at 10:30 on Friday! =D), so I’m well-rested to take on urology week tomorrow.

First off, my resident was SUPER chill. (Unfortunately it wasn’t the hot single one from that Fournier’s case; can’t win them all.) Not only did he let me out early, but he taught me a lot while we were in the OR. Initially I did only work like handling fluids, and drawing up vials, but later in the week I was able to insert a peripheral IV and even intubate!! It was fantastic seeing how things are on the other side of the curtain. I was in peds the entire time so lots of tonsillectomies and myringotomies. Like, pretty much every other case. Also cool to see since I’ll be doing ENT in my last week.

Even though it was chill, there were some hiccups along the way. My resident said anesthesiology is like piloting a plane; takeoff and landing are the most difficult parts of the procedure; it’s pretty much smooth sailing during the flight. Getting them to fall asleep is pretty easy with the mask and some inhaled anesthetics, it just sometimes takes a while. One of the female attendings would sing to them when they were crying on the operating table. (Ironically, it’s easier to get them to sleep if they’re crying because they hyperventilate so more anesthetic gets in. XD) Making sure they don’t buck (make movements during surgery) is also important intra-operatively. But I guess it’s the “getting them to wake up” bit that is the most stressful. My resident said that, so far, every patient has woken up for him. But sometimes that road is a little bumpy. That happened twice for me; on my first and last day. The patient was all stitched up, and extubated to try to get him to breathe on their own. But then boom, laryngospasm. It’s more common in kids but I was pretty much *gently* shoved aside by the attending as he called for help and the resident bag-masked the patient while keeping one eye on the patient’s chest and the other on the pulse oximeter (which is behind by 15 seconds, so yeah). The attending would draw up some succinylcholine (a paralytic) to relax the vocal cords. Then was the waiting game to get the patient’s oxygen saturation back to high 90’s, and slowly wean them off to breathing on their own. So that was an exhilarating 15 minutes.

I tried to take advantage of all the time that my resident gave me off. That did well until Friday, where I spent all of my time listening to English covers of Vocaloid songs (WHY ARE PEOPLE SO GODS DAMNED TALENTED) and writing my own parody for our class of 2017 match day video. It’s “Be a Doc” and sung to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan. I know it probably won’t be used for the actual match day video, but this can help pad my résumé so I can show I’ll be useful in helping with lyrics. Since I haven’t been that active in clubs or activities, this is the one legacy that I can leave behind, hahaha. I don’t want it to be like high school, where I was completely left out of the graduation slideshow. Hahahahahahahaha #stillbitter “OTL

On Thursday, there was an awards ceremony for the Bruce Dearing writing contest. It took three years, but I finally realized that writing funny stuff doesn’t win prizes. And true enough, each winning piece featured death/dying. Is that just what happens in the medical profession?

Anyway, I got second in prose, behind Brielle Stanton who has consistently won first each year. Kaitlin Kyi and second year Jordana Gillman won first and second, respectively, for poetry. There were also faculty winners. Everyone read their piece but me (because I was 99% I was going to cry, since it includes stuff about my dad – WHO ISN’T DEAD, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, BUT THERE WAS A TIME WHERE I WAS VERY WORRIED ABOUT HIM, ALL RIGHT). So it was kind of funny when a couple people came up to me and Kaitlin afterwards and said, “Both your pieces were great!”

Like, okay, thanks and all, but there’s no way you could have known that about mine, since the works won’t be published until October. XD Even when people are trying to be nice, they annoy me…

Yesterday, I went to a play with Jas, called Christians. (MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD, SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF IT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU.) It was about a pastor whose sermon included how he doesn’t think there’s a hell, and that ever person goes to heaven, no matter how good or bad they are, and they don’t need to be a believer to do so, bringing up a non-Christian male who ran into a burning building to save his sister, and eventually succumbed to his injuries. He’s opposed by his assistant pastor (also, I learned that there are such things as assistant pastors LOL) who states that that’s going against the church’s teachings, and there is indeed a hell, and non-believers will go there, even that selfless man. The church gets divided, slowly at first, but then more and more people leave to follow the assistant pastor, and eventually the once-successful church falls back into debt, the head pastor’s wife and daughter leave him, and the story ends. As we were filing out, this agonistic Buddhist girl and this Sikh girl listened to the comments from other watchers (“Well there had BETTER be a hell, haha,” was one that particularly stood out to me). I can only speak for myself, an extremely non-religious person, when I say that I hope that whatever people believe in is what happens to them when they die. If you’re Christian and believe you’ll go to heaven, then I hope that you’ll see Saint Peter and the Pearly Gates. If you’re Muslim, then I hope you are awarded entry to Jannah (note: this might be wrong so someone please correct me). If you’re agnostic like me…then I hope we all end up at a high school where we get to fulfill our dying regrets before moving on. Then get reborn as barnacles. (That’s an Angel Beats reference right there…)

So, today my roommate is coming back, which means I have to clean up my messes of the last month. Got to vacuum, do laundry, and actually be a real person. Man, that’s so tiring…

See you all next week! Hopefully I’m not too tired out by urology…hahahaha…so many inappropriate jokes…

Most Sincerely,
Annette Liem

~Sarcastic Quote of the Week~
Resident: *while carrying 11 mo back for surgery* My brovaries are going crazy right now.

Let’s get down to matching, to secure our fate,
We will never give up, let’s increase our match rate!

We’re the saddest bunch June has ever met, but even she will see,
We’ll make sure, that we all are MDs.

Sleepless as our interns, hyped up on caffeine.
Once we find our pattern, it becomes routine.

We’re a witless, sad and whiny lot, and sometimes as slow as mules,
Somehow we’ll make it out of this school!

[Random students about how they “can’t even”]

We must be swift as EM attendings,
With all the force of a skilled surgeon,
With all the strength of an OB/GYN,
Mysterious as clinical pathology!

Time is racing toward us, ‘til we take Step 2,
Learn everything high yield, then we’ll hit the booze.

I’m tired of the constant stress, wanna pack up, go home, and pout.
But I owe too much cash to drop out!
We must be sharp as internal med,
With all the kindness of family,
With all the mental strength of psych,
Mysterious as clinical radiology!

We must be smooth as anesthesia,
With all the gentleness of peds,
With all the wisdom of those in neuro,
Mysterious as the Class of 2017!