Sunday, April 29, 2007

My next big project

Fetus 12 weeks
Originally uploaded by emtkatydid.
I've been sort of busy lately, with work and all, but Chris and I found time to work on another project that I think you're all really going to like. It's set to go live on November 7th, although there are a lot of us here at FetusHQ who are hopeful that we might be set to go a little earlier than that, although not too early, of course. We have found that if editions premiere too soon they can have a lot of bugs and well, it's just the best for all end-users if the project is seen through to completion.

So here's photographic (ultrasonographic) evidence of how the project is proceeding so far. We're happy to report that fingers were visualized, as was a heartbeat and lots of cute little fetal movements. Head to the right, hand above the head, and stomach to the left. Though we ARE hopeful that the final color scheme might be a little less monochromatic....

Anyhow, I'm feeling lots better now, and apparently (according to our midwife) the next 3 months will be the best I EVER feel, maybe in the rest of my life? So I'm looking forward to that.

So, yeah. Surprise!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Old knitting

Mom sweater
Originally uploaded by DrEtak.
I finished this last summer. It's a tunic sweater pattern from the Summer 06 issue of Vogue Knitting. Originally it was done in white, but Mom is much more of a green person. I had to alter the neck to add more length at the shoulder, but it ended up fitting Mom perfectly.

The best part? Grandma, the goddess of knitting, ASKED MOM WHERE SHE BOUGHT IT. Whoo!!!

On Call...

So, I didn't actually die, just abandoned my blog for a while. A long, long while. It just wasn't fitting into life for a while.

I don't know if it will keep fitting in or not. I've started work on a new project...with any luck, we'll be finished by early November or so. But there will be more info to come in future weeks.

Tonight I am on call. We have a night float system at our program, and we do nights for two weeks. Additionally, we have a PA come in from midnight to 8 am, so we end up doing only 8 hours a night (from 4 to midnight). This resulted from some RRC issues about too much service and not enough teaching...golly, those crazy RRC people. (RRC = Residency Review Committee, the folks in charge of credentialing residency programs and making sure they do everything they are supposed to, including teaching us lots of stuff AND not abusing us too much.) So most night float stretches are pretty good, and even if it's super busy, you usually get to go home at a reasonable hour.

However, when the PA goes on vacation, another resident comes in from 4-10 pm, and then the night float person comes in from 10 pm-8 am. And...the PA was on vacation on Wednesday, and Thursday, and Sunday! And currently, overnights have not been good for me. It's been much better for me to be IN BED rather than roaming around the unit tucking the elderly into bed, or sitting in the ER listening to the next story of tragedy and horror. This has all resulted in my sleep-wake schedule becoming very altered, which caused me to have insomnia when I got home at midnight last night and could FINALLY sleep. There I was, with a cat under each arm and a husband next to me and....nope. Nothing. At all. *sigh*

I'm not quite sure what to say about the Virginia Tech thing. My brother went to school at Richmond, and one of my friends is in med school in Richmond, so I've probably at least BEEN to Virginia a few more times than some people. And being a budding shrink, it seems like the kind of issue I'd be thinking about. I did end up seeing a few patients the night after it happened who'd been destabilized by it. One had an intensification of his psychosis and ended up lying on the floor of his parents' living room, sobbing hysterically in front of CNN. Another approached staff at the homeless shelter and told them they needed to send him to the hospital, because he couldn't see what was stopping him from taking a cop's gun and doing the same thing as Cho. So it did affect our community.

But I've been intrigued to see the number of forensic social workers and psychologists willing to discuss the man's issues on TV. Without examining the person, but by what small history we have, and by the evidence of his disturbing behavior in classes, people are willing to offer all kinds of diagnoses. Psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, paranoid personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder...we're trying to label this, to put it in a box, to make it "other." This makes the case safe. In effect, we're labeling and extruding him from the community. By labeling him with some kind of named illness (although he is clearly very broken), we both feel we've explained the unexplainable, and insulated ourselves from the possibility that it could ever happen to someone "normal." It is possible that a person could make a horrible choice. People do this all the time. They lie, steal, murder, cheat, sleep around, hurt themselves, and hurt others--all without having a diagnosis of mental illness. In fact, there are people in Iraq who are planning the injury and murder of many more people than died in the VTech assault, and we don't call them mentally ill...but we call them radicals, or extremists, and we ignore the numbers of innocent people who die there every day. But people have their reasons for doing things, even inexplicable things.

And the point of something inexplicable is that you CAN'T explain it. There's no doctor on earth who can really explain why this happened. Trying just seems so...pointless.

Anyhow. This is what happens when a shrink is short of sleep. More info on the project...later.