Sunday, October 27, 2013


I love Halloween back home. I love dressing up, handing out candy, I love trick or treating (when I can find a younger person to uh...chaperone), I especially love the halloween TV specials and movies. The downside of Poland = No halloween. Yeah a few random kids celebrate it, I got three whole trick or treaters last year! But, it's not the same. There's no festiveness, no magic. So this year when I heard about my schools annual halloween party I decided that I wasn't just going to be a lump on a log, I was going to actually go!

Fortunately I talked some of my other equally introverted friends to come with me. The hardest part was costumes. Seeing as they don't celebrate it here, they're a bit hard to come by, so you have to be imaginative. Somehow my friend managed to wrangle a cat costume and I always wanted to make my hair stick straight up. I went from there and it kind of morphed into a "Spa Victim" ensemble, complete with the green mask, cucumbers, and bath robe. My hair is really long, so I'm surprised it worked, but it stuck straight up the entire night (with the help of a bottle of hair gel and half a can of hairspray). I even did some "head banging" at one point and it didn't even move.

After we were done prepping, which took quite a while. We headed to the dorms for a "pre-party" which was probably actually better than the real party. I haven't laughed that hard in forever.

Once we were done there we headed over to the "party zone" which was basically a huge club the school rented out. It was kind of a let down, there weren't too many people, I'm pretty sure half the people that were there don't go to our school, the music was all techno- though we did hear a few modern jigs including Michael Jackson, Psy, and Nirvana... But, it was LOUD.

Maybe I'm just a wimp, and maybe it's because I don't drink (at all). But, if I can't hear myself shouting at the top of my lungs to my friends the music needs to be turned down. Unfortunately loud noises that are sudden also have an adverse effect on my brain making any sort of music with a loud base and a heavy beat twitch central (a few years ago that sort of noise would have had me in convulsions...literally).

We mostly just sat around and people watched. There were some pretty cool costumes considering the lack of shops around. Watching the girl dressed as a puritan twerk was probably the highlight of my night, though the couple dressed as 'George and Martha Washington' weren't doing so bad themselves. There were also some costumes in pretty bad taste- the girl dressed as a Marathon Bombing Victim for example. I wanted to walk up to her and give her a piece of my mind (primarily using my fist), but you can't fix stupid.

We left after about three hours. What can I say, we're getting old! I did have fun though. Will I ever go to a club like that again? NO. But, I'm happy I can at least say I tried it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ped's: Week 1

So I FINALLY started classes. Yep, after almost 3 1/2 months of nothing- I'm back! And wow it's terrible! I haven't woken up this early in ages, you mean I have to actually eat breakfast before the sun comes up??? Haha, it's great. I love it!!!

How do you like my horribly large yellow scrubs? Schnazzy right? 

I'm in pediatrics right now and so far so good. Our half of the class is divided into groups which go around to each of the departments of the peds hospital in 3-4 day shifts. We started in the cardiology ward. I feel like I learned so much, the doctors were really great. Yeah, it felt like a few of them didn't want us there, but they were all very helpful. It was almost felt like we did more knowledge-fact based learning than actual hands on stuff, but I think it's because our teaching up to this point has been lacking in any actual clinical usefulness. (That's what happens when you have people who are so specialized in their subject that they can't apply anything to real life or even speak English- But, I digress).

I feel like they taught me the things I should have known ages ago! I can now almost recognize a murmur, I can sort of read an ECG (by sort of, I mean I can tell when somethings not right but not exactly what), I still have no idea what I'm looking at on an echo, but I assume that will come with time. All in all it was a great three days, we even got lucky and spent a day in the cath lab watching them put in coils and what not for PDA's and other congenital defects. And everyone was so nice- did I mention that?

After peds we had a surgery rotation that we're still in the midst of. I like surgery, but I can't see myself fixing hernias and resecting bowel's all day. Maybe it's just Poland that's making me feel that way, we'll see what the next few days hold, but I don't get the greatest vibe from surgery. We got to be in the room  during the first day, but got kicked out today because one of the nurses started complaining about there being too many people in the room. Yes, with our group of 5 there are a fair few of us, but she wasn't being very nice about it. In the end we just watched from a television in the other room. The view was better and we were able to sit down! I should have brought some popcorn.

Side note: I get the feeling that nurses here think they run the show. I've seen them yell at doctors, chat it up in the OR's and in the hallways, and 'bitch' at patients (who are all children) all week.  Nurses are important to making a hospital work, of that I have no doubt, but these nurses seem kind of nasty.

All in all, it's been really great. I thought we'd be more 'hands on' than we are, and learning procedures like how to put IV's in or do sutures instead of pretty much 'shadowing' the doctor and having seminars in the hallways, but I suppose it depends on the rotation and it will come with time!