Friday, September 25, 2009

Driving in DC

So, lately, I've had lots of thoughts regarding driving in and around our nation's capitol and I thought I would pass them along.

Driving into the city is one of the most amazing things to me, even after living here for over a year. It still makes me smile when I drive over the bridge from Arlington, VA into DC. First I pass the Iwo Jima Memorial, then I drive over the Potomac where I often see Georgetown's Crew team practicing. Then to my right is the Washington Memorial (see below) and to my left is the Kennedy Center and Georgetown's Waterfront. It's a great way to start the day, let me tell you!

This past month, I've been driving to the local children's hospital which requires that I drive through the city (as compared to driving to campus which is just on the other side of the river). When driving through it's pretty cool because it's like the city is just waking up, without all the crazy traffic and masses of pedestrians. Most restaurants and shops are closed, a few cabs are driving around, the garbage trucks are making their rounds and some early bird pedestrians are milling about.

Unfortunately, the afternoon/early evening is HORRIBLE! There is traffic and congestion on practically every road I have to take. And if there is ever an "incident" traffic backs up and things don't move. For example, the other day, a motorcade came down the street I was driving along. All these cars had to figure out how to get out of the way when there were a huge line of cars in front of them - not exactly an easy feat. Or, the big-rigs or delivery trucks that think nothing of taking up an entire lane during rush hour traffic on an already busy street. Or, how about the fact that it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to get home on any given day - oy! Those things can get super frustrating.

I always thought I would be afraid of driving in a city like this, but some sick part of me enjoys it. There's something about driving around, being able to navigate the one-way streets and dodging cabs and pedestrians that makes me smile. Plus, if I have to be stuck in traffic, DC has some pretty cool architecture, tree-lined streets and all those government buildings and monuments to look at. You can call me crazy, I'll understand :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Oh Lacey

Our poor dog is absolutely crazy. Sometimes when we have the windows open in the bedroom and the sliding glass door to the balcony open wind blows through the apartment. And, if we don't make sure the bedroom door is held open with something it will sometimes slam shut. Well, this exact scenario happened this morning. Lacey barely escaped the door slamming shut on her and since then has been panicking. She's been pacing around the apartment going between Corey and I, for comfort, then will leave and just walk around in circles. She's walking around with her head and tail down and she won't sit down for longer than a few seconds at a time. I'm pretty sure she's gone bonkers...but we love her. Hopefully she gets over this scare pretty soon, because she's starting to make me anxious!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Manic Monday...and Tuesday...and Wednesday...and...and..

Who would have thought psych would be keeping me so busy? Well it has - my days start at 5:15 am when the alarm goes off and I've been making it home between 6:30 and 7 almost every night! The ridiculously long commute of 1.5-2 hours home doesn't exactly help make the days any shorter. But I am enjoying myself - for the most part.

I had somewhat of an emotional breakdown at work in front of the resident which, might I say was super embarassing, but things happen, right? It pretty much started with a patient who was so unbelievably rude to me for the entire time I was trying to interview her that it made me really angry. I told the fellow about it and how I felt I would have negative counter-transference toward the patient. The next morning in rounds, the resident made a comment to the effect of "Jodi doesn't really like X." To which I got defensive and blurted out that it wasn't that I didn't like her, just that she was so rude and disrespectful. He immediately told me he wasn't being critical just stating an observation. I hated that this patient could make me so upset and defensive about things. Later, I pulled the resident aside for advice on how to handle the patient in regards to setting boundaries, showing my anger/frustration, etc. While asking about this I got upset and he asked me what I was feeling. I tried to tell him I was frustrated and in the middle of it, burst into tears. The first thing out of his mouth was "This is powerful." Are you kidding?!? I just embarassed myself in front of you and that's what you say? He went on to explain that this was what's called projective identification - pretty much where a patient makes you feel how they feel by treating you a certain way. So, in other words, this patient was projecting feelings of frustration, anger and sadness on me, making me feel this way, despite the fact that she never said that was how she was feeling. Crazy stuff, I tell you! Of course after all this, the patient was being needy and asked to talk to me multiple times. Oy!

Backtracking - last weekend was great! On Thursday, Corey, Dianna and I met up with Amy, her mom and her aunt+uncle for dinner. We had a great dinner and had lots of laughs thanks to stories like Amy almost being trampled by a moose :) Then Friday after work, I had a birthday dinner with Corey, Dianna and Kirsten at a great Mexican restaurant nearby. We ended the night playing Yahtzee and watching Mamma Mia...kinda dorky, but lots of fun. On Saturday we packed up the car, drove down to Charlottesville, did a little tailgating, then watched TCU beat UVA in the first football game of the season. It was loads of fun, except the fact that we were surrounded by UVA fans - nonetheless we had GREAT seats thanks to Corey's bargaining power! Sunday I spent a birthday gift card to buy some work clothes - amazing how quickly you can spend money when buying nicer clothes.

Now I've got one week left in psych. Then I'm heading home for almost an entire week because my mom is having surgery. I'm really happy I'm able to make it home - thanks to my preceptor for the next rotation (ER) being unbelievably kind and flexible. Also, we were able to find a reasonably priced flight and the in-laws generously contributed a little financial aid. I'm really looking forward to the trip home, despite the circumstances. Please keep my family, my mom and her surgeons in your prayers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Prozac makes the world go 'round...

Well, much to update on since the last post!

I've started my psychiatry rotation at an inpatient adolescent unit - needless to say I see lots of interesting stuff ranging from the first onset of schizophrenia to depression. I've also seen suicidality, anxiety, eating disorders and psychosis. Some of it breaks my heart to see, other stuff is just plain interesting. Being that adolescent inpatient psychiatry is a relatively small area, I will refrain from telling specific stories in the interest of patient privacy, but I'll definitely share my insights and experience as much as I can. The fellow on the unit is absolutely wonderful and the resident is great. My resident is the most passionate person I've met in a long time - he is fascinated by every single patient we see and absolutely loves teaching. Sometimes he's a bit over the top, but it makes work that much more enjoyable for all of us. In an "It's a Small World" incident we realized he went to college with my cousin at Brown and actually knows her. Crazy stuff! So far, the most important thing I've learned with this rotation is how normal my life has been up to this point. I have so much to be grateful for, but most of all I'm so lucky to have such wonderful parents who raised me in a caring, loving, and supportive environment.

For Labor Day weekend, Corey, Lacey and I drove down to SC to visit Crystal (my sister) and her family. She has a new dog so Lacey had a playmate for the weekend. Unfortunately they fought a decent amount of the time, but when they were playing they seemed to be having fun. Strange how animals can be. Lacey exhausted herself though because she slept the entire car trip home and has been asleep since we got home. Corey and I just spent time with my sister, her husband and their two kids. They have one more on the way, due in early January, so we spent some time at Target buying baby stuff - lots of fun! It's nice having family close enough for us to drive down for a weekend. While we were down there we visited Corey's cousin Adam who lives nearby. It turned out that his other cousin was down there visiting as well as Adam's girlfriend. We had a nice brunch with them on Sunday. It was great to get out of town for the weekend and visit with family, but it definitely made us miss Texas even more!

This next week is going to be extremely busy. Dianna (my college roomate) and Amy (my college friend) are coming into town on Thursday to go to the TCU football game! Friday is my birthday and Saturday is the game. Should be lots of fun!

On a more somber note, my family could use some prayer and positive thoughts. Without going into details, there are some health issues affecting one of my family members which will result in surgery at the end of the month. I would really appreciate it if you could keep my whole family in your thoughts and prayers.