About Kristi

I'm a native Texan who has recently been "displaced" to Buffalo, NY for my medical residency in Ob/Gyn.

Livin up the night life…sort of

I’m on Night 16 out of 20 for the month. Let’s just say it’s been a long month. My schedule is as such:

Go to work, come home, pass out, wake up, shower and make a lunch, pass through Starbucks for my cup of coffee, then back to work.  Then Saturday morning comes and I’m off work for 56 hours in a row! Most of which is spent asleep at odd hours and awake in the middle of the night. But alas, it is the way it is. After this week I’ll be back on a regular day schedule.

With this kind of schedule I have not had too much time to explore more of buffalo, but there have been a couple of fun things at home.

1)      I finally have a living room table! It came last week and I spent part of the weekend putting it together. It looks great and even matches the stain on the rest of the wood paneling in my apartment.

Isn't this awesome! I "built" it straight from the directions in the box!

2)      I have gone back to my roots…my baking roots that is. For the past two weeks I’ve taken some inspiration from the Farmer’s Market and baked with the local fresh produce. Last week I made a Plum Cake and this week I baked stuffed bell peppers! Both were delicious! The plums up here are really amazing- so many different kinds and colors! The kind I bought were plumcots, which I assume is a cross between a plum and an apricot.

Here are the recipes I used:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/07/plum-kuchen/ My plum cake looked nothing like the cake in this blog, and actually did not taste like cake at all.  It tasted like a cross between biscuits and jam and plum cobbler. In any case, it was delicious.

http://thisweekfordinner.com/2010/04/30/stuffed-peppers-worth-stuffing/ I used ground chicken- I wanted ground turkey, but all I could find was ground chicken. It was delicious in the end, so I suppose it doesn’t matter.

Here’s hoping this final week on nights (for this rotation at least) is a good one!

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Visitors from the home land

I’m back! I’m about to start my 4th week of Ob and have yet to write anything!!! I know…I really fell behind. In my defense I was sick for a couple of weeks and my work schedule has been busier than it was in July.

A couple of weeks ago I had two very special visitors- mom and grandma came for an extended weekend. We packed about a week’s worth of activities into 4 days. On Saturday as soon as they landed we went to lunch at the famed hot dog place, Ted’s Hot Dogs. They are known for their hot dogs of course, but also for Loganberry juice- like kool-aid with a syrup additive. People from Buffalo are crazy about it. From there we drove to north of the city to the Becker Farms and picked blueberries. I’ve never been fruit picking, but apparently it’s something people do in the north. It was a great experience! The sun was shining, the blueberries were delicious and the company was fantastic. Afterwards we cooled off with some Becker Farms beer- they had a very good selection of summer beers. On our way back into the city we stopped in the town of Lockport, named after the locks that connect lake Erie and lake Ontario.

We picked nearly 4 lbs...and mom ate about 2lbs while we were picking...only kidding!

Despite eating all day, we ventured out to Romeo and Juliet’s for dinner- a nearby Italian restaurant/ café!  Mom and I had been before and since we enjoyed the food so much the first time, we ordered the same thing this second time around!

The next day we put the fruits of our labor (those delicious blueberries) to good use and made blueberry pancakes for breakfast. We needed lots of energy for the next activity- venturing into Garden Walk 2011. This is a big event that is actually like 5 weekends in a row where local homeowners showcase their gardens. There are a couple of neighborhoods where nearly every home on the block has an exquisite garden in the front and back yard.  I just thought it would be neat, but it turns out its this huge event that is held every year in Buffalo and people come from all over the country to see the gardens! We met a couple of ladies who took a bus up from Virginia just for the garden walk! Crazy! The gardens were spectacular.  After about 2 hours of non-stop gardens we left and headed to my favorite coffee shop Spot Coffee for some lunch.

We decided to take an afternoon siesta after the garden walk…well actually Mom decided I should take a siesta because my strep throat was finally catching up to me. After that we woke up just in time to head down to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Victory for mass. This church has got to be one of the most beautiful churches in all of America! Truly amazing!

For our last event of my weekend, we went out to Delaware Park for Shakespeare in the Park- the current play being As You Like It. Every summer this group puts on two of Shakespeare’s plays and they each run for 3-4 weeks…for FREE (donations kindly accepted!) The play was wonderful and the acting was great! Unfortunately my new bedtime is super early and we left at intermission.

Mom and Grandma stayed till Tuesday and were able to venture up to Niagara Falls on Monday and to the Buffalo History museum on Tuesday. It was really great having them here and showing them around the city that is my new home. When they left, I had a weeks worth of leftovers in my fridge and a full tank of gas…not too bad 😉

What a cute Grandma!

 

As for work, well, it’s super busy and still overwhelming about 50% of the time, but I was warned that is how everyone feels during their intern year. They say it will get better…I’m hoping that’s the case 🙂

Festival Season is upon us

The peope of Buffalo LOVE summer. So much that many Buffalo natives will claim that the wonderful summers make up for the snowy, long winters. (The reasonable people still tell you the truth.) In any case, people really take advantage of every single day in the summer. And thus every weekend there is a different festival to attend.

The madness

Last weekends festival was the “Taste of Buffalo”- a great event held in the middle of downtown to celebrate the many fine restaurants of Buffalo. Basically, lots of restaurants showcased their speciality items or new and crazy food items for a small fee of $2-4. Here are some of the unique things I saw/tried:

– Nitropops- little chocolate brownie icecram pops on a stick…it was like what a cupcake is to a cake, this nitropop would be to a dilly bar.

– Macaroni & Cheese pop- I imagine this would have been a delicious ball of mac and cheese, lightly breaded and deep-fried and then served on a stick…but sadly they were sold out by the time I reached the stand

– Funanas- ie. chocolate bananas…but seriously, why would you call them funanas?

Fun-ana...what's my name, what's my name? Delicious but no need for the name or silly advertising!

– Chicken Wing soup- Yes, this is what you think it is…a soup based on the beloved Buffalo Wings. It was actually not great….which is of course a challenge for me to find a way to make chicken wing soup delicious and not a hot, creamy mess.

– Roast Beef Sunday- This looked like something KFC would dream up! A base of mashed potatoes, covered with beef and gravy and probably something else on top. I passed on this one.

– And then of course the usuals….pizza and calzones at everyother stand!

The LB stands for 'Lil Bacon

All in all, it was a good time and a great way to explore the restaurant scene in Buffalo without spending a fortune. The best part may have been this local Motown band which consisted of 5 or 6 black guys in their sixties who sang and danced to classics like “My Girl.” Such a fun day!

Tomorrow is the kick off event for the “Italian Festival” which is held a couple blocks away from my apt. On my drive in to work this morning I saw people setting up carnival rides…this festival is a bigger deal than I ever imagined!!! I wonder if they need taste testers for the pizza tasting contest?!?!

And for the doubters out there, I do work. Well, mostly. I go to work, but I’m still spending a large amount of my time 1) finding out where I’m supposed to be, 2) figuring out what I’m supposed to be doing and 3) staying out of trouble….I’ve had minimal to moderate success. At least everyone is friendly and helpful about helping navigate the hospital and clinic.

 

The Beginning of Intern Year

I remember at the beginning of medical school they tell you that there will be a lot of first days in medicine, so get used to it. I really had no grasp of what that would mean until sometime during 3rd year, when I found myself getting to know yet another new group of people who would be my temporary teammates until we all transferred to different assignments, sometimes the next day and sometimes in a months time. It turns out those first days go on well into residency! Every time I walk into Labor and Delivery or 2 South, the ob/gyn floor, or the OR I have to introduce myself to a new group of people. Which, honestly it’s way easier introducing yourself as “the new intern” versus “the rotating medical student” but the respect is somewhat the same at this point.  

My co-interns!!! Melissa and Anne Marie (plus Joy, the baby). You get a keepsake poncho for riding on the Maid of the Mist...mine was promptly recycled.

Baby Joy doing what she does best, being adorable! She is Anne Marie's now 4 month old daughter.

 

My first official day was last Friday, July 1, the day most programs integrate new interns into the hospital and clinic services. This month I am on the Gyn service, which is essentially going to a bunch of gynecological surgeries. So far, everything is going well, I’m just trying to learn the current order of things which takes a little time. And it’s weird realizing what my responsibilities are, like writing prescriptions. Yep, that’s one of my jobs, which I occasionally forget about. And writing REAL progress notes. Before, there was low motivation to write a note if I didn’t have to, because my progress note was for “my educational benefit” only, and not for the actual communication of patient information. But now, my note kind of matters…

This weekend I took my first overnight call in the Labor and Delivery ( L&D), which was honestly the least crazy I’ve seen our board of laboring patients over the past week- there was a 3 hour time period when there were NO patients in labor and no patients who thought they were in labor sitting in triage. But it was nice to start on a slow day so I could figure out how things worked in L&D, which is where I will be next month. Which reminds me, No, I have not delivered any babies yet since beginning residency. Just in case you were wondering.

This Sunday, in honor of the 3rd of July…j/k the 4th of July, which we celebrated on the 3rd, a few of the residents and I went up to Niagara Falls for a picnic and to watch some fireworks. There were people everywhere!!! It was pretty spectacular to see the falls at dusk and to celebrate America’s Independence Day!!! 

At the Falls with my co-residents, Christina and Jenni.

 

We had a tough time dodging all the tourists! We managed to capture this before the masses crowded in for the fireworks.

And I’ve saved this for the end, because it brings me great sadness to report that I have relinquished my TX drivers license and am now in possession of a NY drivers license. It’s official- I live here.

Journey to a foreign land

Hello from NY! Let’s start with a couple of easy housekeeping things. First, if you’re reading this I presume you know me or somebody who knows me. If not, well my name is Kristi and I’ve just moved to Buffalo, NY from TX (the best state in the Union) for my residency in Ob/Gyn. Second item of business: why does this blog even exist? Well, that’s a great question. I’m hoping to use this blog as a space to keep my family, friends and possibly random folks updated on my life, while also including some reflections on life as a displaced Texan and life as an ob/gyn resident.  I have the best intentions of keeping this updated once a week, which I am hoping is a realistic goal. The current plan is to update this every Wednesday…we’ll see how that works out!  

Two weeks ago I made the trek across the country to my new home in Buffalo, NY.

Ok, in reality my dad drove and I rode along as passenger. Together in the 26 foot Penske truck with attached car carrier we crossed 1400 miles and 7 states in 2 short (okay they were a little long) days. To my dismay, it was COLD when we arrived! My neighbor was wearing a sweatshirt… with his shorts and flip flops, but still… I spent the rest of the week, unpacking and shopping! Who knew moving into a place on my own could be so expensive?! My mom flew into town on Tuesday night to help with the move, but really she and my Dad spent a lot of the week exploring Buffalo & Canada on their tandem bike and providing me with comical entertainment.

The last two weeks have been a combination of boring orientation days followed by evenings and a couple of weekends exploring the town.

I do best in Q&A mode, so here are some questions I might ask someone who just moved to buffalo!

1)      Are the buffalo wings better in Buffalo?  Well, I’ve had wings a number of times now and I’ve tried the “best” and “second best” wings in the city. The “best” wings are found at Duffs- your everyday sports bar that, like most places in Buffalo, sells hot wings, beer and pizza. The “second best” and original makers/fryers of buffalo wings can be found at the Anchor Bar in downtown Buffalo. This place is more of a restaurant, but also serves beer, hot wings and pizza. But were the best wings in Buffalo any better than Wing Stop? My answer is: No comment, but only because I don’t want to be kicked out of the city.

2)      Have you been to Niagra Falls? Of course!!! I actually went in December while I was interviewing here. And I went again a two weeks ago with my co-interns Anne Marie and Melissa! It really is pretty amazing! We also went on the Maid of the Mist boat ride that takes you super close to the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls (the one in all the pictures). Everyone enjoyed it, except for Anne Marie’s 3 month old, Joy.

On the Rainbow Bridge, crossing from America into Canada

3)      What’s the weather like? Mostly, lovely! There have been a few chilly days and a few rainy afternoons, but for the most part warm afternoons and cool breezy evenings. Since we are so close to Lake Erie, it feels like I live next to the sea! And the days are super long!!! Daybreak is around 6am and the sun sets a little after 9, which makes an evening jog at the nearby Delaware Park feasible and not ridiculously hot! I know this will change come winter time, but like every good Buffalo citizen, I’m soaking up the summer while it’s here!

4) How is your new place? Lovely! Here are some pics:

Fancy Living room....not quite finished

Dining room

Petite guest room...ready for your visit!

There is so much more to write about Buffalo, but I shall save it for another time! I start on the gynecology service this Friday!!! This is about to get interesting 😉