Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Arrest not a goof for the Boulder district attorney  0

Posted on August 28th, 2006. About News and Politics.

Despite the fact that the DNA evidence in the decade-old JonBenet Ramsey murder case did not match that of suspect John Mark Karr’s, I still don’t think the Boulder D.A. goofed on this one. Here’s what MSN has to say about it:

Defense ‘deeply distressed’
“The warrant on Mr. Karr has been dropped by the district attorney,” public defender Seth Temin said outside the jail, a few hours before he was cleared in the Ramsey case. “They are not proceeding with the case.”

“We’re deeply distressed by the fact that they took this man and dragged him here from Bangkok, Thailand, with no forensic evidence confirming the allegations against him and no independent factors leading to a presumption that he did anything wrong,” Temin said.

Well, except for Karr claiming he loved JonBenet, and that he was with her the day that she died. And the fact that he was absolutely obsessed with the case. And that he was wanted on child pornography charges in other cases. But sheesh – according to Karr’s attorneys, the Boulder D.A. really shouldn’t have arrested him without forensic evidence. Come on! There are LOADS of cases where a suspect is found guilty in a court of law when DNA evidence is not even available! My guess is, had DNA been unavailable, Karr could have been convicted for insisting that he was there at the time of Ramsey’s death. Juries have definitely convicted with less.

So when Karr’s attorney is outraged because his client was arrested on “a presumption that he did anything wrong,” well – let’s just put it this way: if I don’t want people to presume that I robbed a bank, I’m not going to claim to anyone that I robbed a bank.

Generic Post  1

Posted on August 24th, 2006. About Ramblings.

No, not “generic” in the sense that I’m going to complain further about Express Scripts and the outrage that overtook me when they refused to fill the prescription for the drug actually written on the script. Rather, this is just a generic post to explain that I am still alive, albeit barely.

I have endured a rough two months. I’m not undergoing chemotherapy for a terminal illness, and I’m not locked away in a foreign prison for a crime I did not commit, but I still think the past two months have tested my faith in my surroundings. I have worked as the neurology resident on one of the two Harborview Medical Center neurology teams since the start of July, and, including my most difficult of days during my intern year, I have never felt this exhausted. I hardly ever sleep for more than fifteen minutes at a time while on call (which is every fourth night), and on non-call days I arrive at the hospital at 7AM and never leave before about 6PM. After two months of eleven hour days with a 30-hour shift thrown in every fourth day/night, I nearly reached a breaking point two weeks ago. Life had quickly lost all of its luster, and all I could think about while I was awake was how I wanted to go to sleep so that my life would disappear.

I’m not sure what happened this week – perhaps I’ve come to terms with my fate as a resident, or I have recognized that, while I have to tolerate this for at least the rest of this year, there is still a temporary quality to this experience. I am also blessed with having found my soulmate, who has supported me greatly over the past two months. I’ve realized that feeling constantly depressed about my situation only makes him sad too, and I don’t want that.

I have also realized that there are times when I love being a physician. It’s a privilege. Today a patient’s elderly wife thanked me for spending ten minutes with her and hugged me, and this made me happy. I am constantly part of a life-saving team of doctors and nurses. Our patients have been unfortunate to endure severe strokes, and in addition to saving lives, we preserve quality of life, which I find just as important, if not moreso. That is truly wonderful. I just look forward to the day when I can do this by working less than a gazillion hours a week.

I have found time, however, to do some creative writing, and I think it has been a successful way of coping. Evan, my friend Beth, and I recently hosted a party, which also helped me spirits. I enjoyed serving shrimp and grits, chocolate parfait, and mixed drinks galore to my friends, colleagues, and neighbors in between call nights.

This is another source of my disappointment. When I was eight years old, I wrote my first “novel,” a collection of about one hundred sheets of loose leaf notebook paper, collected in a plastic binder, recounting the story of a mother and her thirteen children, who all had American names, and who somehow sailed on a cruseship-sized boat that they rented from Austria to South Carolina (I later developed an appreciation for geography). When I tired of writing the story, all of my characters caught “brain fever” and passed away. Today, as a neurology resident physician, I still don’t know what I meant by “brain fever,” but that’s what they had.

I always imagined that I would be one of those prodigies who published her first novel during college, and the New York Times review would rave about such a young person achieving phenomenol success as an accomplished author by an early age. Yet, as I am turning 28 in October, I recognize that, should I publish a novel tomorrow, it would not seem so remarkable anymore. Evan told me recently that if I really wanted to be a writer, then I would find time to write. And he’s correct. I cannot publish what I have not written.

I do want to be a great physician. And a writer. And an entrepreneur. And a restauranteur. Or a caterer. I want to learn Russian through taking classes and traveling abroad. I want to regain the skills I once possessed as a pianist during my high school days. I would love to teach biology at a local high school for a year. I hope to organize a 5k through the Central District of Seattle one of these years. Perhaps the frustration in life comes from wanting to do so much in what seems like a brief amount of time. Life, while long, just seems to slip by so quickly.

Down Side to Alternative Energy  1

Posted on August 16th, 2006. About Uncategorized.

I ran across this article this morning as I perused financial sites prior to catching the bus (or shall I say, “electric trolley” – there’s some smug I’m putting into the atmosphere). It outlines concerns about ethanol as an alternative fuel source and how it could potentially lead to greater world hunger. I can understand how growing fuel would strip soil of minerals over time, making it more difficult to produce crops. Fine. So where is the electric car?

Evan and I saw Who Killed the Electric Car? a few weeks ago, and it was both interesting and sad. I was considering the possibility of an electric car in Seattle, and how an EV1 would suit my needs here. When I do drive, the distance is well within the limits of the EV1. If plug-in stations were located around the city as gas stations are, then it would not be a problem for the huge majority of commuters. Our electricity comes predominantly from hydroelectric power, so no problems there either. No questions of hunger, pollution, Global Warming…too bad they are not even available for purchase.

My Beef with Express Scripts – Part 3  7

Posted on August 2nd, 2006. About Health Care, Ramblings.

You may recall my tirade against Express Scripts, the online pharmacy that my primary health insurance company requires I use for maintenance medications in order to receive my negotiated rate. For those of you whose memories fail you, please take a second to peruse my soap box moment regarding this company. Last week, two separate people in the blogosphere used Residential Space as a means for venting their own frustrations towards Express Scripts. It appears that they have pissed off more than just yours truly.

Recently I refilled my birth control pills, and enjoyed a strange pleasure in paying money for them at my local Walgreen’s. I suppose the day may arrive where I could require medications for hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia, and it may become too expensive to purchase them. Of course, what would be more expensive would be fees for a nursing home following a stroke because Express Scripts failed to send my medications to me on time. Yet, another reason not to have a chronic illness.

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