Ahoy, Readers!

July 16, 2013

Hi guys,

Hope the summer’s treating you all well. I’m in the middle of my study break for CK, grinding away. It’s actually not as bad as studying for Step 1; I think I like the Step 2 material better because you can logic your way through most questions–ex. well duh, you’re not going to do an X-ray or CT scan on a pregnant woman, that’s two answers gone already when trying to figure out the next best test. I got a visiting student study pass at the University of Chicago medical library (FREE!) for the summer, so I’ve been bussing there to get some peace and quiet and a solid study environment. Studying at home is ok too, there’s just a lot of distractions like Candy Crush Saga, cooking, running, etc. I’ve found UWorld and Kaplan questions to be most helpful so far. I realized I’m not utilizing the radiology photos given to us in questions to my full advantage, so I’m reading First Aid for Radiology for some tips on interpreting what I see. In general, I’m finding it more difficult to sit down and read review texts than questions, so I try and focus on the questions.

OB finished nicely. As I mentioned, was grateful for the outpatient clinic afternoon. Didn’t think the shelf was particularly difficult–finished with almost an hour to spare which is UNHEARD of for me, a fast test-taker. Scores haven’t been posted yet, though, so I have no idea how well I did on it. Went back to visit OB attending and she was happy to see me.

The second 5k went well–it was the Chicago Women’s Half Marathon and 5k. Have completed a third 5k since then, the Bastille Day 5k, and my times just keep getting better. Have the Color Me Rad 5k on Saturday, then the Biggest Loser 5k in August. There’s a Firefly run in the afternoon sometime soon that I was thinking about doing, but we’ll have to see. When running outside during daylight hours, you have to be really careful about how hydrated you stay. I got really overheated the other day during a 10k run and ended up walking the last 3k home because I hadn’t properly hydrated and was starting to feel the early symptoms of heat exhaustion. I should probably run with water, yes. I had sort of slacked off on my diet, utilizing some great deals groupon has had on fantastic Chicago haunts, with the rationale that I was allowed a pre-race splurge. But then saw the photos from my last two races and was disgusted. Back on the diet. Have been doing low-carb, still vegetarian. Life without carbs makes it more difficult to run so to compensate, I’m cutting back on my distances, doing more 5k’s with an occasional 8k, cutting myself some slack if my times aren’t record-breaking. I’ve noticed there’s a lot of broken glass strewn about where I usually run (this includes by a CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL!), so to all of you readers out there walking/running places, be careful!

Went out with some friends to Six Flags Great America and had a blast. It’s been years since I went to an amusement park and I have to say that the rides have gotten a lot cooler from what I remember. I rode the Superman coaster where you sit down, then the ride flips forward so that you complete the ride on your belly–like Superman flies. AAH! So cool! Was worried that with my hips I wouldn’t fit on some of the rides; didn’t have a problem all day. Whew. Really enjoyed the waterpark too. Wore board shorts and a rashguard over my bathing suit and felt less self-conscious.

Booked tickets to fly home next week to drive my car back up to Chicago so that I’ll have a way to get my peds rotation, North of the city. I don’t really intend on spending much time there as I need to get back and study for CK, but I have promised a friend, also from NC, that I would bring her back some of our sacred BBQ. I’ll gladly take a day off of my diet (who really sticks to their diet when they’re visiting home, anyway?) and make the pilgrimage down to Shelby, NC to Alston Bridge’s to pick up high quality BBQ for her and some of my favorite BBQ sides for myself–fried okra, hush puppies (and BBQ sauce to dip them in), red slaw, YUM!

Can’t believe I’ve been gone from the island for over a year now. Good luck to all those kiddos finishing up now, getting ready to take their Step 1’s. While parts of clinicals have been frustrating, overall, I’d say I’ve really loved the experiences. I’d take hands-on learning with patients any day over sitting in a classroom learning from powerpoints. I’m getting further and further removed from island culture, but please keep bringing the questions about island life and basic sciences–they’re great questions!

Ok, will probably be in touch after CK is over. Have a great summer, guys!