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Arrested Development: Pretending to be an Adult and not Succeeding

Arrested Development: Pretending to be an Adult and not Succeeding

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Blogs

When you see license plates from Oregon, Texas, and British Columbia on Indiana Avenue on a hot August day, it can only mean one thing: it’s Move-In Day at ICO.

Now that I am far removed from moving in, I can look back on the beginnings of ICO with fondness, instead of what it actually was.

(insert “Jaws” music)

The first few weeks of ICO are fun and games until someone pokes an eye out. Luckily, we have all chosen a profession where eyes falling out are child’s play. A second year can suction that bad boy back into your orbit and continue studying for Pharm.

The start of a new season is always met with an elusive combination of excitement, anticipation and a touch of fear. At least for me. I was the kid in elementary school who laid out what I was going to wear for the first day of school every September. I am now the adult who looks forward to the excuse to buy new pens because I am an elitist stationary snob and if it’s not a fine-tipped RSVP pen, it might as well be a crayon.

siva watermelonSeeing the incoming first years get to experience all the fun “beginning of the year” events through my aged, fourth-year, cataract-ridden eyes is kind of a trip. Remember how fun ICOlympics is when there are 184 of you to participate? Now the 30 of us here look around and shrug our shoulders. I guess Siva’s going to be in the watermelon-eating contest, by virtue of being a girl.

Full disclosure: Alex Golden and I won that contest. I don’t care what anyone says.

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A Canadian in Chicago

A Canadian in Chicago

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Blogs

Let’s start this off with an apology.

Sorry guys, I’m Canadian. Born and raised.

  • I like hockey.
  • I drink good beer.
  • I speak French, the language of love and separatism.
  • I’ve seen Anne of Green Gables so many times I know the camera angles.
  • I voted for a prime minister.
  • I learned my provinces and territories in grade 1, not first grade.
  • I coloured Dr. T’s notes with my pencil crayons and throw in a “u” wherever I damn well please.
  • Sorry I said damn, I didn’t mean to offend anyone.
  • I read the 20/20 line: T-Zed-E-C-L. This is not 20/20-1.
  • I will never understand yards, gallons, acres or pints. Unless it’s a pint of beer. That one I know.
  • I write exams instead of taking tests. I receive my mark instead of a grade, shortly thereafter.
  • I wear a toque when it’s warranted.
  • I don’t think that -10 degrees is particularly cold, but I’d rather die than go outside when it’s 80. (Although let’s be real, I have yet to master Fahrenheit.)
  • I like everyone.

One of those things is a lie. I like almost everyone.

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Emergency Room STAT!

Posted by on Jul 10, 2013 in Blogs

Who doesn’t like ER?

ER is where I first set eyes on George Clooney, after all.

There is a certain allure to having an ER shift at the IEI during your rotations. Anything can walk in the door and you have to be prepared for it all. This is where three years of didactic and clinical experience merge, where your skills and aptitude are put to the test, where fire meets ice, and where dreams come true.

Did you fall off your chair with excitement?!

I have the good fortune of having my ER shift with the incomparable Dr. Mothersbaugh on Monday mornings. This is notoriously the craziest shift, because as everyone knows, the most scandalous and riveting eye injuries occur on the weekend.

(An aside: Most scandalous and riveting teeth injuries occur on Tuesdays.)

total Hyphema

I admit, I thought I’d be seeing 8-ball hyphemas often enough I could start predicting the future with them. Whenever a patient checks in, my heart flutters for a second: Is this the story I bust out at dinner parties for the rest of my life?

In truth, “emergency” means something different to all of us. Waxing your entire eyebrow clean off may seem like a true emergency to you.

But when someone checks into the ER, they don’t do it lightly or with abandon. They are scared that something has happened that may permanently affect their vision, and that is a frightening thought. As much as it is their right to seek an optometric opinion, it is our responsibility to handle it with care, concern and attentiveness.

Even if it’s blepharitis.

What is the most valuable piece of equipment when it comes to ER?

Go ahead and think on it for a second. Here’s a hint, it’s probably something that has been swallowed in the depths of your briefcase and hasn’t seen the light of day in far too long. No, not your measuring tape.

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How to do a Pediatric Exam without Turning into a Crying Toddler

Posted by on Jun 24, 2013 in Blogs

Welcome to fourth year, my little pumpkins.

kids in glasses

I am currently knee-deep into my first externship rotation, which consists of ocular disease and pediatrics. Running in heels from advanced care to vision therapy certainly can keep one on their toes (literally)! The diversity of my days keeps me interested–although some of that can be attributed to the mild hallucinations triggered from lack of sustenance during 12-hour days.

By no means am I good at pediatric exams–or anything for that matter–but I decided to compile a list of tips and tricks I’ve amassed thus far to help newbies like me navigate their way into the terrifying mythical forest that is the pediatric/binocular vision sub-specialty.

Read these with a massive grain of salt. A small boulder, really.

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Inject Me

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Blogs

When people are asked to list their favorite things, it’s easy to come up with the common ones:

Long walks on the beach.
Raindrops on roses.
Whiskers on kittens.

Nope, you didn’t read it wrong. Who doesn’t love to walk into one of ICO’s labs and shove a 21-gauge needle, bevel up, into your friend’s veins?

Injecting Allyce's eye

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