Monday, April 16, 2007

An NG Tube, Fancy Soaps, and a Mash-Up...Not Your Typical Three-Day Weekend

Hydra soap from the SF neighborhood collection: Sunset

Hydra soap from the SF neighborhood collection: Golden Gate

I actually believed that the three-day weekend following the Metabolism and Nutrition final exam was going to be extremely boring. Since Paul and Albert fled to Canada after the exam (I'd like to think that it was caused by something glamorous like tax evasion, a federal offense, but it was really more like food tourism in Paul's hometown), I planned for three days of absolute bliss and those lazy childhood afternoons that were blissfully wasted watching TV in a small windowless room.
God, I was so wrong. But in a good way...
So here is a blow-by-blow recap of an action-packed weekend:
THURSDAY (3 hours of sleep)
8 a.m.-12 p.m. Metabolism and Nutrition Exam
- Visited my PedPAL at the hospital, she is 14 years old, but she weighs only 60 lbs. because her mouth hurts from Graft-versus-Host disease (GVHD) and she has been unable to eat on her own. When I came to visit her today, bringing fresh irises and a teenage magazine called CosmoGirl (which I carefully screened before purchasing), she was sporting a new nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. It made me really sad, and she's getting a more permanent PEG tube in a few days.
- Took a shuttle to Mt. Zion to pick up a letter of support, then decided to walk to Fillmore St. to see the boutiques. The walk was longer than expected, but the weather was nice and it was fun to roam the city. The best new find on Fillmore was a fancy soap shop called "Hydra," which specializes in custom designs and scents. The gimmick that really won me over was their SF Neighborhood Collection, which has soaps named after each SF neighborhood and a corresponding scent (e.g. the Marina soap smells like the ocean, the North Beach soap smells like coffee, the Haight-Ashbury soap smells like incense, there's also soaps for Sunset, Castro, Twin Peaks, Fisherman's Wharf, Mission, SoMa, etc.).
- Came home, napped for 1 hour, before attending a merry medical school class get-together in the evening, went to bed at 1 a.m.
- Did I mention that this is a UCSF sponsored blog?
- Woke up around 8:20 a.m. to the call of my classmate Craig and Sarah, fellow MedTeach volunteers. We traveled to Alamo Elementary School in the Richmond District (hmm, no Hydra soap for Richmond!) to teach 4th and 5th grade students about the cardiovascular and respiratory system. We brought real pathology specimens and taught them about heart attacks, listening to heart sounds with stethoscopes, looking at red blood cells in microscopes, the dangers of smoking, and how breathing through a hollow licorice tube is analogous to asthma. The lessons were so fun, and the kids were really smart.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
Me: "What is a heart attack?"
Kid: "When something attacks your heart."
Me: "Almost."
Me: "The heart has a big room where it pumps out blood."
Kid: "You mean the ventricle?"
Me: "Uhhh, yeah."
Me: "Do you know what's inside a cigarette?"
Kid: "Marijuana!"
Me: "No. Where did you hear that?"
So we ended at 3 p.m., and after teaching 16 separate lessons to little groups of eager elementary school children, I decided that being a teacher or pediatrician is too demanding. It's not that I don't like kids, in fact, I LOVE kids, but the amount of patience, dedication, and hard work that goes into raising 33 kids simultaneously is something that gives me the heebie jeebies right now.
After MedTeach, I went home to change and nap for 30 minutes before going to a $20 dinner at Palomino's on the Embarcadero with my roommate and her friends. It was a delicious dinner. Then I went to get gelato at Holy Gelato on 9th and Parnassus with my college roommate, Kim. We met at 9:30 p.m. and decided to head back to my place after a proposed bonfire at Ocean Beach was postponed to a later date. We talked for FIVE straight hours, until 2:30 a.m. about EVERYTHING...I can't even begin to summarize the crazy ideas passing between us. We talked about life after death, the dichotamous nature of the world (why is it always good/evil, man/woman, life/death? Would our conceptual framework be different if there were three sexes necessary for reproduction...say, man, woman, and fox?), Maslow's pyramid of needs and the value of high art. Then we got creeped out by talking about souls and decided to watch the Top 20 VH1 countdown. One thing that was strange was that Kim has been reading the same news articles that I have been reading...the Post article on Josh Bell, the NYT article on perfect high school girls, another article on the Flaw-O-Matic...we didn't share any articles between us, promise.
I fell asleep around 3:30 a.m. -- Woke up at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Checked my email, ate some lunch.
Fell back asleep from 5-9 p.m.
Attended a mash-up called Bootie SF with some friends from medical school. A few weeks ago in Vegas, a girl accidentally burned my right index finger with her cigarette while clubbing at TAO. It was an accident, but it was bizarre. Saturday night, while dancing at Bootie SF, DJ Axel from LA was throwing copies of his new album into the crowd. I raised my arm to get one, and he threw one at me, but the CD hit me in the face and cut my left cheek. And I STILL didn't get the CD. Yet another entertaining nighttime injury. I'm going to be like one of those biker pirates with a leather eyepatch and a story behind every scar. Chicks dig scars, right?
Fell asleep at 4:30 a.m.
- Woke up at 11 a.m.
- Visited my PedPAL again and we continued working on our Paint-by-Numbers project of a ballerina painting. We're running out of white pigment, but the painting is turning out nicely.
- Shopped in Union Square with Irene and Elaine.
Wow, so that was my weekend.

1 comment:

DJAxel said...

Hi Stephanie,
I just came across your blog. Sorry about cutting your cheek with my CD!

Email me your address at and I'll mail you the CD.

Thanks for coming out to Bootie!