Wednesday, December 31, 2008


1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Graduate College
Become a full-time worker, with benefits
Become an EMT
Join multiple dating websites

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don't remember if I made an resolutions. This year I've already started my resolution to force myself to try to meet people by joining a dating website, 3 months prepaid.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My best friend in the whole world, my puppy/baby Trevor.

5. What countries did you visit?
No foreign countries, even though California was pretty different.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A relationship, admission to a graduate school.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 11th, the day Trev-trev died. Consequently, I'll remember it secondarily as my college graduation.

I also keep remembering Sept 16 as the day I started work.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating college.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not being able to save puppy. God, he just ran this year didn't he. Tears stay back!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No real illnesses or injury. Although this was the first time in a long long time I wasn't sick in the middle of Decemeber, coincidentally it's also the first time in a long long time I didn't have major exams in December.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My iMac.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My college friends who got me through the long haul in my last semester.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My college adviser for showing such blatant favoritism toward his female advisees, and over looking me over at alumni weekend when I was standing right next to my female friends who he readily acknowledged.

14. Where did most of your money go?
California trip - totally worth it.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?


16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Disturbia, Womanizer and Low. Basically because these were the songs that I always went around singing and people clearly connect me to these songs. Singing at work.. singing while dissecting... Although, I'll probably forget what year they came out.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) Much happier, because work is so much better than school.
b) Probably about the same weight.
c) Richer, although it's debatable.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Go to the gym.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

It was spent with family and friends the same way it has always been spent.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

22. How many one-night stands?

Zero. Le sigh, it would probably do me good.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Battlestar Galactica

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

My former college adviser. I might have been close to hating him last year.

25. What was the best book you read?


26. What was your greatest musical discovery?


27. What did you want and get?

An iMac.

28. What did you want and not get?

LOST on DVD. Seriously, it was the only thing I consistently told people I wanted for Christmas and it's like the easiest thing to get too.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Batman: The Dark Knight

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was in Vermont with friends. I turned 22. But people still consistently guessed my age as being much older.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My dog being healthy.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
A continually step away from things like American Eagle, Abercrombie and anything like it. I totally succeeded.

33. What kept you sane?

Generally I'm the one keeping other people sane. I really am the only thing that keeps myself sane.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I don't like celebrities.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Prop 8.

36. Who did you miss?
Someone that I missed for the entirety of 2008? I don't think there was anyone. Must I really keep saying how much I miss my damn dog? I think you get the point.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
My friends from EMT class and work.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
I'm not sure if I really just learned this this year, but I finally took my own advice. I stopped trying to plan a million steps into the future and started just "throwing shit against the wall and to see what sticks." I became a lot less stressed because of this.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I don't know have any relevant lyrics. I just god around screaming DISTURBIA!!!!

This Meme was stolen from Dr. K

Saturday, December 27, 2008

That Guy

As I've previously said I'm one of the few males at my job - the only other being the physician.

Everyday the nursing staff takes lots of phone calls attempting to answer any question, relaying messages from providers, calling in prescriptions, etc. With so many calls being made, which often involve lots of people, mistakes are bound to happen. I'm not talking about life threatening mistakes. Mistakes like telling a patient a prescription was mailed to their house, and it never really getting done.

This happen to me today. Last Saturday a patient called saying they left a prescription at the office and wanted to know what they should do about it since they only have a 7 day window to fill the prescription. I hadn't worked that Saturday and asked the staff what was going on. I was told that the prescription had been mailed to her house and that she should keep her eyes peeled.

Today that patient came into the office. But first there were a number of messages from her saying she never got the prescription in the mail like the guy told her. So she came into the office, we updated her registration and she was given a new prescription. Of course she had to go on a little rant how the guy had told her that everything had been taken care of and that she saw the guy walking around the office today.

We get the point. You spoke to me and the information I provided you with was faulty.

This clearly was not my fault. Many times the faulty information we give patients is a pure accident and most of the time it doesn't come back to bite people in the ass because if the patient hears a female's voice they don't bother trying to place it. But when they hear a male voice, all of a sudden they make a mental note about it. So often patients call saying, "I spoke that THAT GUY and he told me..." This sucks cause anything I do wrong ALWAYS comes back to me, whereas if one of my female counterparts makes the same mistake it disappears.

Even patients that I've never met before know who I am. Everyone recognizes the 6'4'' male nurse in the office. When I introduce myself to new patients they often say, "Oh yeah I've seen you around the office before." Are people checking me out? Or is it simply because I'm the guy nurse? God knows the patients can easily talk about me outside of the office.

On the plus side any nice things that people want to say are easily traced back to me, which I think is more often the case. We have a little survey on the back of the check-out sheets asking patients to rate our performance. Patients rarely ever write negative things, but patients can easily write in who their nurse was because when they ask the front desk who that guy was, there's only me.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


What e-mail do I get at 1:30AM? An e-mail saying I have an interview at one of my top choice schools!!!!!!!!

More later. Time for bed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nervous Breakdown?

Last year I kept a running tally of the number of schools I applied to and outcomes. I didn't do that with the PA schools. This may leave some of you feeling left in the dark. Allow me to shed a little light on my current situation.

Total number of programs applied: 18

Yes, that number is 1 - 8. States included NY, NJ, PA, CT, ME, MA, CA, MD

Total number of rejections: 10

Some of these came very quickly. Pennsylvania sent them out especially quickly. I think I only have like one active application left in that state out of 4 total. I suspect that I'm basically never going to hear from many of the remaining schools. That's what happened with most of the DO schools I applied to. I never got a letter saying what their decision was - the epitome of rude.

Total number of interview requests: 1

Yes, I know. This is really pathetic. I'm especially disappointed with this interview because I just found out I could only get a Certificate, as opposed to the Bachelors that I thought I would get. I'm not sure if this matters though in the grand scheme, since I already have a bachelors. I'm okay with the idea of getting a Masters later on in life. In fact I plan on getting it in something cool like Evolution.

Some people seem to be more frustrated with the state of things than I am. And I found out that people are even tip-toeing around the issue cause they think I might have a breakdown in front of them. This is not the case. My mental stability has been keep intact. I'm not totally discouraged, although I must admit I don't know why. I feel like I should be discouraged between the medschool and PA application saga, but I'm not. I think it's simply because I do have a job that I like.

So I wonder, do nervous breakdowns come out of nowhere or do people see them coming? The transition between applying to medschool and PA school went smoothly because I realized I wanted to be a PA. I had structure in life because there was a structured application cycle. I require structure in my life. It's the Capricorn in me. I told myself after college that I was going to stop trying to plan everything in my life, and I did, and I was happy. But I feel myself regressing back to those ways. I need to figure out wtf I'm going to do if I don't get into a program.

I feel there is no point in reapplying to PA school, unless I retake classes. To be honest, I do not want to retake classes. I just don't want to put myself through that. I don't want to work full-time and take classes. But really, it's more about retaking the classes, than it is about an overtime schedule. Some say that I should reapply simply because now I'm working full-time and have that experience under my belt, but I don't think it's enough to do the trick.

So I need to figure out my next goal. But at the same time I need to avoid the obsessive-compulsive way I use to attack things. If I go OCD again, then I will have a nervous breakdown.

I'm thinking the natural thing to go for next is nursing. There are attractive 15 month accelerated programs I can apply to. I can then go about getting an NP. But again, they require A+P and I don't want to go through that fiasco of retaking classes because they don't accept the A+P I took. Should this be the case though then I'm going to suck it up, take two months off from my job and take A+P over the summer.

Now even though going for nursing would give me a nice little goal which may keep me sane there is still the fact that I DON'T WANT TO BE A NURSE.

So when I consider the fact that I don't want to be a nurse I think about jobs I would enjoy. I do enjoy teaching biology. Should I be a HS teacher? But I don't want to have to get a masters in education. Plus, I don't know if I would actually enjoy teaching high schoolers. Teach college?
Should I try for a PhD? Thinking about this just hurts my head. Taking Subject GREs, researching school programs that I don't know anything about, and then doing research when I don't even like research. And then there is the pay which isn't what I'm aiming for, especially for a job that isn't in my first field of choice. Ugh.

Why couldn't I just have done better in school so I wouldn't be in this situation? I almost wish it was because I didn't try hard enough.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Shopping Tip About Sizing

I realize that buying clothes for someone else can be a difficult task, especially when the person is no where close to your size. Let me share with you this piece of advice from a 6'4'' person: just because we are tall, does not mean we're fat. Go with a LARGE size when picking out shirts if the person is tall and average weight. And by average I mean not overweight. This needs clarifying since "overweight" is becoming "average." Every Christmas my family Kris Kringle gets me a shirt/sweater that is XL, and every year I add another shirt/sweater that doesn't fit me. This year not only was my shirt an XL, but it was also a Tall XL. I kid you not when I say this shirt fit me (reminder: 6'4'') like a girl's sweater dress. Let it also be said that I loved both of the shirts I got, if only they fit me correctly. I didn't get a gift receipt with them, and one doesn't even have any tags on it, so the chances of me returning/exchange are slim.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I saw Milk this evening. It was fairly eye opening for me, seeing a little bit of what the gay rights movement in San Fran was like in the 1970's.

There was one scene in particular that spoke to me. Harvey Milk is with a group of gays talking about how they're going to get Proposition 6 (not allow gays to teach) shot down. And he makes the plan pretty simple. You need to get as many gays to come out of the closet possible, because people who know a single gay is more likely to vote for gay rights 2:1. This is a statistic that I already knew about. It was especially emotional when one of Harvey's friends admits that he never told his parents. He is then put on the spot to make the phone call. Ugh, I would not want to be in his shoes. Regardless of how great it was to come out of the closet to my parents it is NOT something I would want to do again.

This got me thinking back to my office party that I attended last night. All of the women are very open abut talking about their sex lives and nether regions. I think it's cause it's basically all women in the office, so it's the side of women most guys don't see. Add some alcohol and you basically have them stripping each other.

Of course the topic of discussion falls squarely on me. All of the women absolutely adore me. I cannot stress this enough. They start probing me about my last relationship, my last fuck, etc. I pull out the "separation of personal and professional card" and avoid answering any questions. It was not my finest hour. I don't think this totally counts as staying in the closet, but my reaction wasn't purely an issue of professionalism. This I can admit. But in all fairness announcing that you're gay to a room full of drunks at an office Christmas party is a little rough. Could you imagine that silence at a single table of 15+ people?

I'm slightly concerned about coming out at work because of the doctor. I really couldn't give two shits about any of the women I work with. But he's very Irish Catholic, conservative and judging by anecdotal evidence has no gaydar. I don't know how he would react to that situation.

As it is, he prefers it if I don't assist with female patients during Total Body Scan Examinations for the comfort of the patient, since there is a plethora of female assistants. But on the other side of the coin he does like having me around because he exclusively has me assist with male genitalia issues, and since I'm the only male it makes me especially valuable. I'm afraid that if he knows I'm gay he's going to start second guessing this decision and acting weird/feeling uncomfortable. He makes some comments towards me which are obviously a male bonding type of thing and I would prefer not to change that.

But the movie makes me feel SO GUILTY. Like what the fuck am I doing for the gay movement. I can't complain about not having rights and NOT BE OUT. People have this stereotype of gays, but me coming out can change that stereotype so quickly for the people who know me.

Ugh. More on this later...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

From the Nurses Voicemail:

"Hi, I'm calling on behalf of my daughter who is a patient at your office. I was referred to your Doctor by a friend of mine for my question. My daughter has a wedding coming up and the.. err... umm... the boy has 2 brothers who have alopecia areata (patchy, not male pattern, baldness). I was wondering what kind of hereditary factors there are with this condition, like for her future children. We need to know if we should be proceeding with this marriage because of it."

True story.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Reason #1 Why I Need a Boyfriend

If waking up was a job, it would be one I would never apply for.

I generally set my alarm for 1 hour before needing to be at work. I hit the snooze button on my alarm every 5 minutes for the 30 minute max it allows. I then shower and dress in 15 minutes and leave for work. Fortunately I work 10-15 minutes away, so generally everything goes according to plan.

Today I had to be at work at 9:30AM. My alarm was set for 8:00AM. I told myself that I would keep it set at 8:00AM to allow myself some extra time to trim the facial hair. So I went through the motions on hitting the snooze button for a half hour, and at 8:30 I was almost ready to get out of bed. I told myself I still really had an hour until needing to be at work and that I would get out of bed soon.

1.5 hours later I found myself cursing at myself for falling asleep and then proceeded to call work to ensure to them that I was indeed coming in to work. Just 45 minutes late...

All things considered this is actually I huge accomplishment for me. In college I was notorious for being late for my first class of the day and it wasn't rare for me to sleep through them. I just have terrible sleeping habits and unfortunately as much I wish I could change my brain just doesn't work like that in the morning.

This is why I need a boyfriend. Someone to sleep next to me and kick me out of bed when I need to wake up. I know this makes me sound like I'm 5 years old, but I'm really not the same person when I'm all comfy in bed.

Monday, December 01, 2008


I've noticed that some of the patients we have are less than than trusting of the Physician Assistants at our office. They'll often question their diagnosis when they don't like what they hear, and will show up at the office two days later seeing the physician. Sometimes the PAs never know about this, but as a Faux-Murse I know all goings on in the office.

I can understand the patient's reasoning behind wanting to see the physician. The PAs are not the definitive care in the office, and are less experienced than the physician. But the interesting thing is when they see the physician they 99% of the time agree with the assessment of the PA, and that other 1% can be chalked up to style of treatment.

A funny thing to point out is that the PAs put a lot more work into their patients than the physicians. When presented with a wart the PA will pare (scrap) before using liquid nitrogen (freezing). When a patient comes in with a face filled with close comedones (white heads) the PA will do a much more thorough job cleaning them out. The reason for this - those procedures don't get reimbursement from insurance companies, but since the P.A. income doesn't depend on reimbursement they don't care about spending extra time with them. And in reality the physician shouldn't care about spending a little extra time with the patient because it ultimately doesn't affect the number of patients they're going to see. (PS - this is the main reason why I hate private practices, because patients become nothing but a symbol of income)

I've also realized from working in healthcare that physicians are by no means perfect. I think a lot of people get caught up in the title of "Doctor." They think there is something totally magical about the profession. I was talking to a friend of mine who's in medical school that I finally realized that medicine is not as complicated as it once seemed. I use to feel very leery of explaining conditions, medications and such to patients. But after a while I realized that the things I was telling patients was the exact same thing that the physician was. It's not rocket science all the time. Medicine is not a total science. In fact, it was quite a shock to me just how arbitrary medicine can be. This is especially highlighted when patients ask the simple question, "How did this happen." We don't know how you developed that abscess on your ass, or why you have terrible psoriasis, etc.

You know back in the day when I was applying to Osteopathic Medical (DO) schools I claimed that one of the reasons I prefer ed it over Allopathic Medical (MD) programs was because they treated the cause of the condition, as opposed to the symptoms of the condition. I feel like the majority of the work we do is just treating the symptoms, because we don't truly understand the cause of the disease. We throw a bunch creams at you until one of them clears up you skin. It often seems like total guess work. And actually, that's exactly what it is.

So what am I trying to some up in this multi-directional post? I guess I'm just sharing my reflections on just how abstract medicine can be. PA vs Physician? Protopic vs Ultravate? Allergic reaction vs Arthropod Assault (bug bites)? Honestly, sometimes it doesn't even matter. Medicine is not even close to the perfect science that some people think it is. Healthcare providers are very human. You know how at your job you generally know what you're doing, but often you still need to improvise. Well as scary as it is, medicine is the same way.