Thursday, May 05, 2011


Scene: IR room 30, where nurses are responsible for placing the majority of CCHMC's PICCs*.

Adam, the nurse.
Amanda, the IR tech.
Jen, the documenting nurse.
Mary, the child life specialist.
XYZ, the patient (approximately 12 months old).
Dr. Leah, the helper (only present because the PICC nurses aren't allowed to advance a wire beyond the tip of the catheter; we get called when they get into trouble).

Casual chit-chat. Jovial. Almost silly. Introductions and time-out take place.

ADAM (prepping the patient's arm): So, Leah, do you have a man in Arkansas?

LEAH (donning gown and gloves): A WHAT????

ADAM: A man?

LEAH: No, I have a woman!


MARY: That's nice.

LEAH (to Amanda): I don't know if that's what I was supposed to say. (to the room in general): I've got a partner and two little boys.

Casual chit-chat resumes.

Later, flying with my Cincinnati mentor, Neil. I had the controls for much of the return flight. He even tested my skills by putting on blinders so that I couldn't see out of the windows. I was flying by the seat of my pants instruments and dials.

*If you're interested, I can always add more medical acronyms. I can speak solely in jargon when necessary.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It's hard to get through a day without amassing a new layer of complexity in life. Not only are there more things to do and more fires to put out, there are new ways of listing, organizing, and considering all these new things.

Where to put things has been on my mind. Papers - new leather bag, new file folders. Computer files - new external hard drive, new Dropbox, new Evernote, new PDF readers, new plans for new iPad that should arrive tomorrow. Thoughts - new desire to invigorate the blog not the least. How do I keep up with all the todo lists? How do I take notes at work? [There are so many thoughts.] Projects - how to separate, plan, initiate, and overcome roadblocks?

Just one example (work-related): I have many ideas for improvements once I get back home. How do I incorporate them? Why isn't there a simple way to document and share our operating schedule electronically? What system do I suggest? How in the world can we be HIPPA compliant? Why don't my partners want to use the available resources? How can the freshest member of the group expect immediate change? What will it look like to gain leadership responsibilities over the years? Will I be good at it? How am I going to be in charge of resident education the second I get back, when I've just started my career? How can I teach them while integrating all the new technologies (did someone say iPad)?

My brain just seems to stay busy these days. I've been working on ways to get all these thoughts out of my head. If you were to read a stream of consciousness of my thoughts in a 24-hour period, I'm confident it would take you weeks to get through it all.

And yet. There are moments when clarity is an understatement. Sometimes, my needle goes where it is supposed to go, and I can see it advancing into the kidney on ultrasound, and that tiny little duct is MINE, and I am there in the moment, and the contrast flows in, and the wire passes, and access is granted, and kids magically luckily thankfully get better. There is so much to be said for deep deep concentration that pays off. There is a time when I am operating and nothing else exists. This space of time shapes my days and rewards me and keeps me going in spite of journal articles and paperwork and stress and malpractice and budget cuts and suffering and birthers (for crying out loud).

Stay afloat we must. The journey continues.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Dying Day, Brandi Carlile

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Another Rossism not to forget, this in text message format from E:

Ross just said "my heart is a little breaking cause Eah is not home."

Well, buddy, mine is a lot breaking. But I'll see you in two days. Then one more trip for you to Cincy, then home. Forever, as you say.

Seems the Braswells are encountering a smidge of that desperate feeling.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Madison Rd,Cincinnati,United States

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Bought my new iPhone 4 today.

Turned Reid's car seat around to face forward. I'm sorry you had to find this disappointing news out on my blog, Erica. He's big.

Experienced the shock of having a debit card declined at the Apple Store. Realized I'm not very embarrassed, actually, given that I am self-assured of my financial stability (in spite of this freak incident) and in a foreign country called Ohio where no one knows me.

The debit incident led to a wild goose chase of fraudulent BofA concerns, phone call remedies via the AT&T kiosk (my old phone had been deactivated without a new phone), a trip to the apartment for alternative credit card(s), and a visit with the Apple store manager. It has been several years since I was without phone access for a couple of hours, but somehow I survived.

It was worth it, but it was kind of ridiculous. I rewarded myself with a visit to the Cheesecake Factory bar for four seasons pizza.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Something does it to me, and I don't know what it is.

I've been meeting with a trainer every week since I moved here. We do total body stuff, like lifting and jumping and abs. It has happened twice now that I just hit a wall and can't go any more. I feel like I am going to pass out. My muscles will NOT work. I try to keep going so that his impression of me as a weak out-of-shape puny girl is not perpetuated, but then I have to sit down for a second. After about two minutes, I'm OK to get up, refuse his offers to drink Gatorade or quit, and head to the mat for abs.

He says I'm not eating appropriately. Well, DUH. I eat what I want to eat, then I have beer and ice cream. I tell myself that I am trying to eat his prescribed diet of balanced protein, carbs, and gallons of water. I do okay for a day, then I have a four hour case. I stumble to the cafeteria for a sandwich (with chips and a coke). He says eats several small meals a day. I say I am an interventional radiologist who makes rounds, gives lectures, and charts between cases. After a day like that, I head to my burger joint for my only real meal of the day.

So frustrating. Even when there's a will, it doesn't seem like there's a way. I miss being a runner. I miss training for a half. I miss not having to whine about being out of shape. [I miss my favorite jeans.] This moonlighting gig is a bigger problem than I thought it would be. Every other night, I do a work/sleep cycle from midnight to 7. Which means that I can't work out in the morning before work because I'm reading films. On the alternate every other day, I'm loving my sleep because I didn't get it the day before.

Just this morning I talked to my friend who coordinates said moonlighting, and we both want to cut back. If I could do 8 or 9 shifts a month rather than 15, it would make a huge difference. We're going to try that in July, so it's something to look forward to. I thought that I would be up here by myself and time would just multiply. Not true. I'm still a busy doctor, and I'm still whining. More things have to change.

I'm going to eat better before workouts. I'm going to print a running schedule. I'm going to replicate trainer workouts in between trainer workouts so that I'm not starting from ground zero each time. This puny stuff HAS to get better. Above, a visit to the Apple store when family was here in January.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Have. To. Vent.

Just spent a wonderful evening with coworkers from Cincinnati Children's. Four IR docs, one wife. Nice dinner at the oldest establishment in the city.

I share with Neil my experiences at Sewanee; there are many similarities to his university in Melbourne. There are many many people who can't relate to a Sewanee life, but he gets it. He then tells me he got married in the chapel there, with his wife three months pregnant. His choir buddy arranged magnificent music, and he paid the college caterer with a case of wine. He's is a romantic through and through. We are like-minded liberal individuals. It's a sweet story, and his wife is beaming.

John says his wedding was in the chapel of his wife's high school. Perfect picturesque setting.

KK had TWO weddings, one in India and one here in the US. People came in droves from Brazil to see the US version. The photographer screwed up. The DJ was fabulous. People danced all night.

I keep my mouth shut, because what am I supposed to say?

"I fell deeply in love. It was madness. We barely came up for air. We knew from the beginning. We bought rings in the NOLA French Market years before Katrina. One night, we danced in the rain outside our apartment. We sketched our dream house. We had a small ceremony at our house one evening. Her family wasn't invited. It's been 10 years."

This is why marriage matters. Equality means a million little things and lots of big things. It's not JUST because there wasn't a church, or pomp and circumstance, or acceptance. It's not JUST about inheritance tax. It's not JUST what other people think of us. It's all those things put together.

I'm not a hugely outspoken lesbian on a mission. I go about my life and rarely notice the differences. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm gay. It's like I totally forget. But this "venting" is more than refraining from whining. It's about the right things to say and do.

Marriage matters. It matters to me and to my family. It shows the world that we matter and that we're just like everyone else. It means I don't have to sit there smiling at dinner, internally considering the latest news from Maryland and Hawaii. It means my kids could be my kids. It means I don't have to consider Dutch citizenship, or a future trip to Iowa, just to get the job done. It means somebody might take a chance on their own honesty one day, knowing that "gay" can be done well.