Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The kiddos

Hi everybody!

Well, today when I opened up the thing to post a blog, it said that we were on our 200th post! How exciting! Even more exciting? I am home from call and blogging at 1239AM. Home with a closed service....I am full of admissions and can't take any more. Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight! I can't go straight from hospital to bed. I have to do something for at least five minutes before I throw my scrubs on the floor and jump in next to my sleeping (and warm!) husband.

Here are some pictures of the girls (mostly Mary) from the last week or so. We were in St. Cloud last weekend for a wedding...yup...Julia danced the night away again....anyways, enjoy the pics and we'll talk more later when I'm not up typing after midnight. :) We are all doing well. I can't wait for Halloween...not only is it a fun holiday centered around pumpkin guts, kids, and candy, but it's also the END of the month of OCTOBER...which means my month of internal medicine at St. Mary's is coming to an END. To celebrate, I guess there will be lots of candy-eating and perhaps a drink or two....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I have a lot to be thankful for. My grandpa forwarded me an email today...and this picture was enclosed. I laughed til I was blue in the face. No, these are not my kids. However, they are about the same ages as Mary and Julia....and Julia was *BEGGING* for markers at the store tonight. Thankfully, I said, "no." Good god...I can only imagine what my husband would have done if he would have come home to see a sight like this one. I would have had to admit him to the hospital for acute-onset psychosis.

See, I have a LOT to be thankful for! My husband is not admitted to the psych ward, and my kids don't look like this! (as far as I never know for sure when there's a two year old in the house...)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some days are like that, even in Austrailia.

I don't know what's going on lately...everything seems to be falling apart. Do you ever get a day/week/month like that where everything around you that has been working just fine and doing just fine for a long long time suddenly decompensates into a state of chaos?


Well, things had been going pretty well around here until a few weeks ago when we learned that a couple of family members were sick. Then, the stock market crashed and everybody is up in arms (I haven't checked any financial stuff of ours...the envelopes are in a big pile somewhere...), Then, it was the transmission on the car. Then, the toilet upstairs was running nonstop and when I went to check on it, I flipped the light switch and a spark flew out at me. While I was examining the light switch, Julia proceeded to drop a ring of mine down the drain in the bathroom and then got her fingers stuck in the drain hole trying to retrieve it. By then, the toilet (which she had flushed) was overflowing and the water on the bathroom floor caused her to slip while she was hanging over the sink and she came crashing down to the floor.

After a long day at the hospital, I came home last night and went to bed. Julia was asleep, Mike was feeding Mary. I fell asleep right away. I knew it was too good to be true. About an hour later at 1230 AM, Mike came bursting into the bedroom in a fit of bloody mayhem. Both of his hands covered in blood. "Oh crap!" I thought. "The ER doc at St. LUke's tonight is rotten. I will have to take him to a different hospital." Then, I woke up a little more and remember that I should probably take a look at his injuries....and maybe even ask him what happened in the middle of the night that put a bloody hole in his thumb and forefingers.

As it turned out, Psymuhn, our previously-innocent puppy-dog, had decided to take a little vacation. Mike wanted to go to sleep, so he went out to put the dog in the house. Psymuhn was nowhere to be found. Mike went out in a gray hooded sweatshirt to look for him. When he returned to the house, he found Psymuhn sitting on the back steps waiting to get in the house. I don't think Psymuhn recognized my husband.....our usually benign doggie growled at Mike. Mike decided to ignore the growling and put the dog back into the house. When he opened the door to go inside, our no-longer-innocent pup sunk his incisiors into my hubby's hands. I think Psymuhn thought Mike was an intruder trying to break into the back door of our house. Psymuhn felt terrible about the whole ordeal. He looked pretty embarassed and ashamed when I saw him. Mike has a few small puncture wounds on his hands and he is seeing my partner at the clinic right now. Perhaps there will be antibiotics in his future.

One more thing, Mike tells me that when he picked Julia up from daycare today, she gave him a big hug. I was all warm and fuzzy about this until he finished the story: Julia then proceeded to take a BITE out of Mike's right thigh. Chomp. Just what papa needed.

Today, I sympathize with Alexander, the main character in one of my favorite books, "Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." Through the whole book, he keeps threatening to move to Austrailia because his day is so terrifically bad. He gets the ugly shoes. The cat hates him. He has a cavity at the dentist. He has to wear his least favorite railroad train pajamas. His mom makes him eat his veggies and his brothers steal the sting ray car kit out of the box of cereal. The last page of the book offers some sage wisdom. When he's gonig to bed, his mom tells him, "Son, some days are like this......Even In Austrailia!"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Internal medicine

Hello readers,

This blog doesn't have any pictures....sorry. I had an afternoon off and spent it with the fam. We had a great afternoon going shopping...I'll tell you about that tomorrow.

Well, today I had my first afternoon off in over two weeks. I have been on an internal medicine rotation at St. Mary's, the bigger hospital in town, and so it's been a long stent of 12 to 18 hour days. Yuck. For one thing, I really don't like internal medicine. I love OB, surgery is great, I like taking care of kids and women's health, I even like the ER. But one cannot like all aspects of medicine...I have learned. Some doctors freak out at the thought of delivering a baby, some wouldn't be caught dead talking to a patient that was under the age of 18, some prefer their patients to be asleep in the operating room...... Well, I have learned that I despise internal medicine. Yes, it seems to be quite a broad topic. I don't mind working in the hospital, I don't mind elderly's not that. I fianlly realized what I don't like about it: I hate the pathophysiologic state of so many of our "frequent fliers" in the hospital. Otherwise known as "train wrecks," these patients spend more time in the hospital than at home or the nursing home...or wherever they live otherwise. They are usually very overweight, unemployed, and addicted to a barrage of things, namely cigarettes, alcohol, pot, oxycontin, etc. Many of them have acquired either HIV or Hepatitis C. They are hospitalized for a variety of reasons.....alcohol withdrawl, DKA, pneumonia, respiratory distress, etc. But THEN, instead of getting better and going home like most patients, their true colors come out when they're hospitalized. They end up spending a few weeks on the floor, complaining and being rude to everybody, begging for more and more narcotics, and making your day seem a lot longer than it should. By the end of three weeks, sometimes even longer, the attending physician gets fed up with things and discharges them home. They leave, sometimes AMA (against medical advice), and usually come back for another visit in a few weeks.

This is why I don't like internal medicine. People like this, who don't take care of themselves, wind up costing us millions of dollars (yes, one person can ring up a bill of over $1,000,000 in a month, no problem). At least in Minnesota, my tax dollars are funding every penny, except for the stuff medicaid doesn't cover...then the hospital foots the bill. So, after discharging these frequent fliers at the hospital, I go to clinic and manage my hard-working patients over the phone because they can't afford the copays to actually come in and see me. They can't afford to take time off of work, even if there is health insurance there. If only they'd quit working and take the state-funded health care. They'd be able to come to my office every week!

Anyways, sorry I am so glum today. I think it's becasue it's only October 11th, and I know I have most of a whole month left of this internal medicine business. The hospital is kind of like a time vortex. You can spend days and days there, all day, with no daylight exposure, and there is still a ton of work to be done. I really look forward to the day I can go to some rural 25 bed hospital and be their doc. I can transfer the frequent fliers to some other big hospital down the road and not have to deal with it! :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Julia loves to dance

We had a friend's wedding tonight. Our friends, Dan and Jessi, were kind enough to offer to take Mary for the evening, so it was Julia and mommy and papa....just like old times. Julia was SO excited to get to "the party." She spent most of dinner begging to escape from her high chair. As soon as cake was done, it was DANCE time. She danced through the "muzak" that accompanies dinner, then the slide show of the bride and groom, and finally through the first two hours of the actual dance (except for when we tore her off the dance floor for the couple's first song together.) I think she danced for three hours straight.
Here she is dancing in the middle of a big circle of people with the bride. All you can see is her legs...but bear with me.
Finally, at about nine thirty, after more than three hours of dancing, we found her "taking a break" on the dance floor. She still screamed when we picked her up and carried her away. Julia would rather spend the night on the dance floor, thank you very much!
Papa and I got the chance to dance for a bit. Dr. Mason, our attending pediatric physician, snapped a picture for us.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Hi out there!

Well, it's life as usual in the Sprengeler household. Papa and I have been working at the hospital, nerdily calling each other throughout the day with questions like, "honey, how do you convert a lithium dose to depakote?" or "Honey, what exactly does it mean when the doctor writes, 'NHL' on a chart?" to " Honey, I smelled a funny smell on one of the kiddos and you will be home first: you get to bathe them when you are done working."

When we get home, there's hugs and slobbery kisses (especially from Mary, whose new pasttime is drooling), dinner-making, and perhaps a family walk with our favorite "live a block away" friends, the Lindes. When it's icky outside, Mama and Pap just might tap into the specialty beverages in the back corner of the fridge...and order a consult with Baby Bach or Baby Mozart for the wee ones. As you can see below, Mary and Julia really get into it.

So absorbed in the 30 minutes of glory that they wouldn't even look up at the camera...
Hi everybody! I'm FOUR months old already!
PS: What'd you think of that VP debate???