November 03, 2023
In writing this blog post, I let myself think back in what I wished it existed when I was a medical student. I hate having stuff just for the sake of having it, so my list will be on the practical side.
According to reviews it is of great quality, with attention to detail, easy to assemble, and students have been using it and loving it while studying anatomy. Now, I had easy acces to the real thing, but that is not really possible in todays time, so here is the next best thing.
2. Next in line for a practical but sweet gift: this anatomy mug
3. Now, obviously I am in love with my own mugs, like this modern black anatomy mug.
Absolutely perfect, but yes, it is mine, so what else am I going to say.
4. With great reviews coming in is this suture kit!
Durable, holds up great, has enough sutures and is a great and practical gift for med students and why not surgery interns. Never enough practice.
5. Someone in your family just starting medical or nursing school? They are working hard towards it? Think about how proud they will be to have the first stethoscope! I say, go for quality. Never mind it is their first, you don´t want them to hear something else than they were supposed to :-)
6. I find we go through bottles pretty often. The cause is usually a dropping injury to the bottle. This household is a queen in dropping bottles and usually plates. You know, the ceramic or porcelain ones...
So here comes the cheaper but quality version bottle of those more famous ones. Durable and comes in beautiful colors and a lot of sizes!
7. I think books are always an easy but extraordinary option. If you have a budding pathologist friend, family member, then these will be very much enjoyed by them:
8. Stationery products
These are almost always a hit. Who doesn´t love a good notepad, a nice sticker or a planner?
My favorite notebooks are from Moleskine. The paper quality is nice, I love using Pilot pens for writing in it. I use it for journaling, note taking or really anything that crosses my mind. I also use their planners, and I love the ones where on one side you have the weekly layout, on the other one you have a blank page for your notes. It is practical, you see your whole week at once, but have place for notes as well. They come in different sizes, and if portability is required, than I would get the S size. Choose the soft cover if lighter backpack is a wish.
My absolut favorite pen is the Pilot G2. I've heard about these from just about anyone in the planner community. I will always return to these. My daughter uses them and she refuses to use anything else.
9. Now don´t laugh at these. One thing every vascular surgeon colleague told me and everyone who listened: if you need to stand more than the usual, wear compression socks. And I did. I know my family history, I know I am predisposed to varicose veins, so wear them I did. I even wear them in the summer when going hiking. I would not leave the house to go stand in the hospital for 12 hours, without compression socks. The 30 something year old legs of theirs will be thankful. I know socks are something you get from grandma, but grandma knows best.
10. You want to be more original? And you like to knit? I love to knit, so I could not leave this out. This heart anatomy pattern is free and is amazing! I would freaked out to receive this as a gift. It is a quick knit and I am sure will make an impression.
11. I am sure the girls will be obsessed with this heart anatomy necklace. From all I've seen, I like this the most.
A simple, elegant and delicate necklace. I am charmed :-)
These all would make great gifts, and you can find something here for every budget. But you know, maybe just ask them, what they would need or love to receive. Maybe a gym membership, or better yet a streaming platform subscription, because time is scarce, and they would rather work out at home. I am sure each and every one of us, can at least name a category of gifts that we are interested or delighted in receiving. Times are not easy. I know simply giving your time and energy will be the most appreciated gift you can give. I would give so much, to go back in time and have another study session with my mom. We didn´t have websites with test questions back in the day (oh, a subscription to these would be so helpful) so my mom sometimes played the test bank part :-). Always a winner.
Have a beautiful period leading up to the holidays!
PS: some of these are affiliated links. Thank you for understanding!
October 13, 2023
These books offer a look at death, from various perspectives. I did not read them one after another, however I enjoyed this ´genre´ so much, that it motivated me in looking for the next one I could devour on the subject.
The first one I read was
This is a blend of autobiography, science, and true crime following the life and career of Patricia Wiltshire from college professor to forensic ecologist. Wiltshire has helped police solve numerous crimes with the help of nature. She became a very sought after consultant for the police.
To be honest, I thought it will be a more exciting book. I enjoyed the others from this list far more. While one can appreciate and respect her knowledge and dedication, this book was dry in places, and contained a lot of self adoration.
The second I read, I absolutely adored.
This is a memoir of the doctor who began her career as a forensic pathologist right before the September 11 attacks.
She describes working with bodies after natural death, murder, and a couple of heavy cases. Then 9/11 happens and she has to process the bodies of the twin towers. At times it is an incredible painful read, but it so beautifully written and it is so engaging, I could not put this book down.
I was a bit obsessed with this book. Reading it before bed, I would often turn to my husband with questions starting: 'did you know, that...' until a point he told me, nope, do not tell me anything anymore. This is a combination of great and gross science that is presented in a professional yet humorous manner. I would urge anyone to read it. It is again one of those books that you finish in a couple of nights, it is so interesting.
A funny book (if you can take it) about what can happen to human cadavers. This book covers everything to the horrific to the incredibly fascinating, and it may not be for the squeamish, but I guess if you are here, you can take it and have fun with it. This book was fascinating, if you are curious about death and what happens to your body during, and after. And no, not everything is what you learned in med school.
All right, I will leave this at that. I will do the other two books in my pile at a later time.
September 28, 2023
July 12, 2023
I figured I owed you an explanation on where I have been the past, oh, 16 or so months?
I think I may have disappeared from the face of social media around the time the Ukrainian war broke out. I felt I don´t have much to say. What other topic would be there to discuss when people´s life are affected in such truly horrible ways? In times like this, seeing light and simple topics discussed on socials is strange and seems plain stupid, indifferent and insensitive.
Yes, there were posts, and the best way to help, but people went on with their life. Which I guess is how it should be.
But as time went on, other things happened around the world, and I felt that I have nothing important to say.
I worked very long and hard hours. I did paperwork on vacation days, I wrote on the serpentines of the Romanian mountains things that shouldn´t have been important, yet, they were deemed that, by my boss.
With not having a day off, and being bothered on my day off while taking my kid to the ER (she is fine) I became frustrated. Increasingly frustrated.
Yet, I continued to work and be frustrated and not find my place.
I started suffering of all kind of symptoms, which were a bit strange for me, always in top shape. But nothing changed for a while.
Then around my birthday (go figure), I started thinking, with all this work, I lost all my morning solo time. Suffering from insomnia, and waking up at 3 am constantly would mean I get time to just sit with my thoughts or read a book, right? Wrong. My dog still takes me on a long walk every day 🙂 and I must say, walks are life changing. Grateful to this dog of ours.
I worked on new illustrations and watercolor paintings in every free minute.
So I reintroduced a couple of times of reading and journaling every morning. It seems, without those I loose my footing. If I don´t have a couple of minutes to sit with my thoughts, if I am on the run all the time, I am not myself.
In January a couple of new people were hired, so that gave me some time to create more.
I am happy to say that many more art was created since then. I have old old dreams that I hope to materialise this year. I was planning to create these new products (not wall art) for a few years now. Time was never on my side, but now I am optimistic and things are getting planned out and put in motion.
I will return with blog updates and on socials.
November 21, 2022
November 21, 2022
I start every day with a walk. Be it cold or rainy, dark, gloomy or a fog that doesn't actually allow you to see anything I walk through the woods with my dog. I am thankful to be living near the woods. I meet all the same people, biking or running at crazy hours and in crazy weather like me.
It was my delayed grief therapy. I walked and cried. I miss my mother and I needed to feel my grief. I noticed after a couple of months, crying did not come. Now I walk and enjoy the woods and I listen to music, or a podcast, but the woods already gave me what I needed.
I can work through hard decisions there, like quitting my job, or quitting in general. I became very good listening to my intuition, but then I somehow lost the connection and it shows. I took a job I did not like, just because it is normal to work outside the home, I needed to work double the amount of time it was discussed, always overtime, computer work while on vacation, a boss creating a toxic workplace, celebrating working on state holidays, and everything you can imagine.
It took some guts to say no more, but I am still working, while waiting for the people to replace me. I want to only do art for a while. To work with clinics and hospitals and to paint. It is a full time job and it is a job, just like everything else. More importantly, it is a job that supports me and I wholeheartedly love. Every part of it.
Hope to be writing more here. Hope to have more time to go out and meet new people, see new shows, visit galleries. But the most importantly, hope to have time to spend with my family. I hate telling my girls, I can't now, I am working. I forgot this or that because I have too much on my plate.
I hope my sleep will improve, because working from 3 am to 6 pm is not fun. I don't want to do it. I don't celebrate hustle culture. Never did. I hope Europe is not getting on that train, though might be too late for that.
Hope to see you here more or through my newsletter that is getting revived. So many new people there. Thank you!
PS: The above picture is the lake I walk to through the woods. I snap a pic and then hope to put together a short video of the trees changing through the seasons.
November 21, 2022