This has been an eventful week. Rachael Scholten, Christie's friend from Grand Rapids, came to visit last weekend. Last Saturday (which by the way has been my only day off so far this month) we went to the midtown farmer's market, minnehaha falls, and Ikea. It was a chilly time for the first two, but we had fun. As for me, I have spent the last week in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). It has been a little more stressfull since the patients are more complicated and the attending physician is tougher. One of my patients this week was a 12 year old boy who had been hit by a car 23 days ago on his way to Dairy Queen. He had an epidural and subdural hematoma which was evacuated by neurosurgery who also did a craniectomy (basically they removed the blood from around his brain and removed his left front of his skull to allow the brain to swell through that larger hole rather than through the back of the brain which would rapidly kill him). He was not opening his eyes and was still on the vent on Saturday when I started in the PICU, but now his opens his eyes, is breathing spontaneously, and will follow simple commands like "squeeze my hand." This was exciting for all involved, especially the nurses who have been taking care of him since the accident. I listened in to the pediatric neurologist talk to his mother this morning and apparently that he is following simple commands is encouraging. He said he will likely be able to walk and talk again, but also will never be the child that he was before the accident again. He will transfer to another facility for what will be at least a couple months of rehab.
Last night was my first call night. Started out 8am yesterday in the newborn nursery and left the hospital today at 1PM. The thing I liked least about being "on call" was that at least as a student there wasn't that much for me to do so it was a little worthless for me to be there. I suppose on a busier night there would be more for me to do. The call rooms were less than luxurious, but I slept ok.
The babies are fun. I examined a little girl yesterday right after she was born, and again today. She was in better humor this morning, but yesterday was a big day for her. It takes them a little bit to adapt to extrauterine life. Normal day again for tomorrow, our team is in the newborn nursery until Saturday at which point we will spend the week in the wards.
Today was my first day of my pediatrics rotation. Six weeks at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), the county "safety-net" hospital and major trauma center for the Twin Cities area. This week I'll be in the newborn nursery and this afternoon learned how to do a newborn exam on a one day old little guy. Haven't ever seen a baby quite that little before. Maybe tomorrow I'll get to examine a brand newborn. Met a guy in the elevator today from Ethiopia who could speak Russian to another family in the elevator, apparently because he spent some time in 1980 in Moscow as part of training in the Ethiopian air-force. Interesting character.
Christie is working on a presentation she has to give Wednesday for her critical care seminar. She is nervous about a couple tests that are coming next week.