Stitches and Sutures

I'm a 25-year-old second-year medical student living in Ontario, Canada. I'm pretty sure that the only way to stay sane in medical school is to have a life outside of medical school, and knitting is one of my chosen diversions.

Location: Ontario, Canada

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Adventures in Winnipeg

I went to Winnipeg last week for a rural medicine conference. This is the second year that I've attended, and I have had a great time both times. Rural docs are fun people....possibly because they don't get the chance to party very often...but whatever the cause, I enjoy hanging out with them, both professionally and personally.

I'm interested in rural medicine as a career and plan to apply to Rural Family Medicine residency programs. However, it's easy to get down on family medicine in general and rural medicine as well when you're doing a whole bunch of rotations with specialists in the city. I find that an awful lot of them do a lot of criticizing primary care docs. After a while, it wears you down -- which is why it's really important to me to attend events like this conference, where I can get a re-infusion of enthusiasm to stir up my rural med passion again!

I also got to present my first research poster. I did the research (and the poster) with a classmate who is also into rural med. It wasn't particularly complicated stuff - basically stats about applications to a "pre-medical" undergraduate program, specially looking at the rural vs. urban numbers - but I found it fascinating. It was a great feeling to have rural researchers whose work I know well reading our poster and asking interesting questions!

Here we are. Note the incredibly well-coordinated clothing!

I'm on the left. Please ignore the hair that makes me look like a wave just hit me from my left. I'm determined to grow my hair out so I can have an updo at my wedding, and it's in that awful in-between, can't-do-anything-with-it stage. Suggestions welcomed.

Anyhow, we received lots of compliments on our poster and ended up feeling generally pretty good about ourselves.

I attended all kinds of fabulous workshops, on everything from medical school admissions to street drugs to wilderness medicine. Fascinating, and fun.

It was a busy few days, so I really didn't get to see too much of Winnipeg. However, it was at the Fort Garry Hotel (although I stayed a cheaper and just as lovely hotel down the street), which is right across the street from The Forks, so I did get to check out The Forks a bit. The Forks is this crazy park/market/theatre/fun complex that sits right on the riverbank in downtown Winnipeg. It seems like a pretty popular spot to spend summer evenings in the 'Peg and I must say I understand the attraction. It's lovely.

Unfortunately, all my photos of The Forks suck, so you should probably click the link up there if you'd like to check it out properly.

Winnipeg is experiencing all kinds of spring flooding at the moment, and since The Forks is on the riverbank, it's very wet. Lots of the walking paths are underwater. I spent way too much time trying to take good flood photos and unfortunately have only this to show for my efforts:

You're gonna have to trust me on this one. There should be walking paths, and there is water. Evidence that Winnipeg is indeed experiencing flooding. Don't get too excited, now. ;-)

In other news, my psychiatry rotation is going pretty well, and I have indeed been knitting.

In more exiciting news, baby Cassidy (of the booties below) was born yesterday, weighing and 8 pounds and change. Mom and baby are doing well and my mom is very excited.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Booties, pair the second

Another pair of finished baby booties. This pair is made out of a lovely mohair blend (sorry, the ball band is long gone) that I bought at the LYS in my hometown. I knit the pair once and somehow ended up with two totally different sizes, and since I couldn't find the mistake, I ripped both out and started again. Ripping that hairy yarn takes twice as long as knitting it!

While I was working on the second effort at these, I found out that the woman who owns the LYS where I bought the yarn died suddenly a couple of weeks ago. She was in her 40's, and I'm pretty sure she had some health problems, but as far as I know, her death was unexpected -- at least it was to me.

It's funny, the connections we make through our hobbies. I was really upset to hear of this woman's death, even though I knew her only through her store. She was "a character," as we say -- Stuart MacLean even did a whole segment on her when the Vinyl Cafe came to my hometown. Her store was a yarn store AND a hunting store, all in one. She was known in town as the person to talk to in town about knitting and yarn, but she also wrote a hunting and fishing column in the local paper. She was very entertaining, and so full of life. It's hard to believe that she's gone.

And yet, it's somehow comforting that these booties, made with yarn from her store, were finished just after her death, and are now awaiting the arrival of a baby girl to wear them. She's due this Friday, and she already has a name: Cassidy.

Cassidy's mom went to highschool with me, and she has actually become a good friend of MY mom's in the past few years. Her own mother lives quite far away and isn't always very supportive, so I think she sees my mother as a bit of a mother figure. A bit of a strange connection, but it works for all of us, so there you have it.