Friday, May 16, 2014

Trauma Surgery =-)

I'm sure every medical student feels like this at some point, but I feel really bad actually vocalizing it. Sometimes you want to see the worst diseases and the worst injuries, you even hope for them. Trauma surgery is one of those classes that REALLY makes you think this way. Car accidents, bike crashes, stabbings, burns...they have it all. And hey I'm not picky. It's not like I want anyone to get hurt or sick, but I'd like to see them so I know what they look like and how to treat them.

In all seriousness though, these patients were some of the sickest I've seen yet. They were also some of the most interesting. They were just your average, everyday person until one day something terrible happened that changed their life forever. What's scarier is that they could be anyone: you, me, your parents, your friends, ANYONE.

Some of the worst patients were the ones with burns or who had to have amputations. Most of them seemed in pretty good spirits, but a few seemed really down. It's the first time that I've seen the immediate result of an amputation so it was kind of surprising and educational at the same time. The surgeons motto here is, "if it can't be made to work 100%, cut it off." (Well, no one never said that directly, but it was implied).

The Doctors who taught us were really great. They really knew their stuff and were more than willing to help us out if we were interested in something. I think that's really important here especially, if you show that you're interested and treat the teachers with respect, the class is 10x better and you get to see way more. I don't think some classes have learned that yet though. Then again some teachers are just bad no matter how you swing it.

The best part by far was that I got to scrub in for my second time ever!!! It was on a broken elbow, I'm not sure how they broke it...but yeah. That was sort of the funny thing about the class- it's technically called trauma surgery and there was trauma, loads of it- just nothing that needed immediate attention. In the end it was primarily old lady's with broken hips and people who did something stupid and ended up with a broken leg/arm, the sort of stuff I'd typically expect an orthopedic doctor to deal with. When I asked, they said that they are trained as either orthopods or general surgeons and then become trauma surgeons. I guess that kind of makes sense.

Class technically ended on Wednesday, but today I went in to observe a procedure (medullary nailing of a fractured trochanter) and I'm going in tomorrow to do a night shift in the emergency room!

Needless to say, I'm kind of having a blast!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Project Barcelona

I've been off the web for a while now and FINALLY I can tell you what exactly I've been up  to!

In case you were wondering no I was not in Barcelona. But, most of my family thought I was going to be! Instead my step mom and I organized a plane ticket and I headed home for a week and a half! My dad and grandparents were both shocked. =-)

My sister and I
It took almost 24 hours to get there and back (normally it's only 10 if that total). I had a 9 hour layover in Munich on the way there and then again on the way back in Frankfurt. I found a corner with a nice chair and slept for most of it, but my legs kept going to sleep so I had to keep switching positions.

My dad wasn't nearly as shocked as my grandparents, but he kept patting me on the shoulder like I was going to disappear or something. I surprised my grandparents by walking into the exam room acting like the vet when they went to give their dog a rabies shot. It took about 10 seconds for my grandmother to realize what was going on.

My sister knew I was coming so she came down and met all of us at my grandparents house. She even made me a cake, because incidentally it was my birthday. She also gave me a set of scrub tops which she embroidered "Dr. DiaryMD" on the front (obviously my surname was there instead of DiaryMD). I can't wait to graduate so I can wear them!

My Dad lives in the DC area so when we finished visiting my grandparents my mother came down from where she lives and her and my stepdad went downtown and explored all the smithsonian museums we could possibly cram into one day. After they left my grandparents decided to come and visit and so I spent time with them and my dad, and step mom.
Just a boat going down the road!

My dad just sold his boat so we also went down to the marina so he could have one last look-over at it. (I thought he was going to cry). He's moving (again) and where he's going is too far away from any bigger bodies of water so he had to get rid of it. On the way out of the parking lot we came across how exactly they move bigger boats in and out of the water. It's pretty neat!

Really, it wasn't a very eventful visit, and it was quite short compared to my normal visits. When the week came to an end on Saturday my dad loaded my oversized suitcase into the car and we all went to the airport.

I tried to get an earlier flight from Frankfurt back to my school with no luck, but the flight attendant told us that the flight was overbooked by 20 people and that they needed people to opt out and take a later flight. I volunteered and was told I was first on the list, all I had to do was go to the gate wait for the plane to start to board, then they'd call me and I'd go back to the main entrance to sort out my ticket for the next day, and I'd get to spend another day at home!

What ended up happening despite the lady's insistence that I would not be getting on the plane was quite the opposite, I did have to get on the plane. And having not said a proper goodbye because I and everyone else thought I was coming back I was obviously a little distressed.
Thank you Lufthansa!