Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I think I have decided to resurrect the blog. Considering my track record of a one year-plus hiatus, I cannot say whether it will live on after this post. All I know is that I feel ready to blog again. As to why I quit blogging, I think an incomplete post from May 10, 2010 best provides some insight:

Every once in a while, I pull out the ol’ jacket of self-pity and try it on for size. Most of the time, I quickly remember that it never looks good on me and hang it back up. (Or, let’s be honest -- I throw it on the floor; I’m not that neat of a person.) But sometimes, even though it looks hideous, it just fits. Thus, I zip the jacket to the collar, cinch the hood, and curl up on the couch.

Sometimes I think that I made the wrong decision when I chose to go to medical school. This is one of those revelations that fall under the hindsight-is-twenty-twenty cliché , where the now-Crystalle would go back in time and try to convince the eager and ambitious then-Crystalle that the intangible demands and sacrifices of medical school are way beyond explanation.

Though just a small glimpse into how I was feeling at the time, these thoughts were ones that have resurfaced many times throughout the past four years. I’m not going to go into the details here, and I highly doubt that I ever will, but I just couldn’t blog and be sincere. I was tired of feeling (albeit self-induced) pressure to present a happy picture to the world. At the same time, however, I didn’t want to be a debbie-downer or complain. So, I just quit writing.

I have recently read some of my old posts and have realized that blogging was an outlet for me. It was a way for me to be somewhat creative, brush up on my technical writing skills, reflect, and (loosely) serve as a historian.

A lot of things will be changing in the next few months for the Evans’ household. We will be moving to Oklahoma City in a little over three weeks where I will start residency. Last time I mentioned anything in the blog, I was considering Family Medicine vs. Emergency Medicine. Then I decided that I wanted to do Internal Medicine, but ended up making a last minute change in plans.

But that's another story for another day. Until next time! : )

Saturday, April 24, 2010


It’s been almost two months since my last blog. What the heck?!?!?

I spent the entire month of March on a surgery rotation and am now one week shy of completing my Ob/GYN month. I could cook up some nice and entertaining stories about my experiences, but I've got too much catching up to do! ( I still might, though my imagination often takes me to a place where I’ve unintentionally violated HIPPA as the people I am talking about stumble upon my openly public blog, placing all of my painstaking, debt-laden efforts over the past few years in jeopardy. I’ve just got to make sure that enough time has passed to eliminate such worries, all while making sure I remember the stories…)

I often think about blogging and then don’t know where to start because so much time has passed, and the thought also quickly dissolves once I think about the brain power and time that it would take to catch up. I guess it would be more feasible if my blogs weren’t so long-winded, huh? I’m working on trying to take more pictures so I will have to type less, and I just found our long-lost camera under the passenger seat in my car today so there's hope. If you consider the trends, though, it's not looking too good...’s my attempt at catching up:

Jerm has a new job that seems to be going well. From what I am hearing, the environment is very laid-back and very much aligned with his personal approach to things. Other than this, he has been playing a boatload of basketball and doing lots of outdoor watercolor sketching in his spare time*.

Core really hasn’t been as bad as I imagined it would be. The long work hours aren’t the best and most preferred, but it is manageable with a few days off every once in a while. The “pimping” hasn’t been that bad either. I am the type of person that I either know something or I don’t (a lot more of the latter… just kidding if you are considering me as your future physician!), so I attempt an answer or I say “I don’t know.” Most residents and attendings don’t make us students feel too stupid for not knowing something. After all, question sessions are great ways of learning when they are on-the-spot and in front of a peer group. I guess when I put it that way, though, I could also include that they are good for confirming sweat-gland functioning and proving that any amount of deodorant is entirely too little.

At this point, the most prominent issues on the forefront in my life are board examinations that are coming up in a few months, and the fact that I am going to have to start getting in-gear and figure out what the heck I want to do with my life so I can apply for residency. As much as I hate to admit it, this crap stresses me out to-the-max. And, though I’m not sure if anyone is, I definitely am not a big fan of stress.

I think I’ve narrowed my specialty choices to two, but I’ve got a little more soul-searching and experiencing to do before I fully decide. I am learning that there are pros and cons to every specialty and am questioning if my perception of a specialty now will change once Jeremy and I have a family. This is a HUGE factor for me.

And this is a whole different blog in itself that I may or may not have time to write, but it won’t be now because – what you don’t know -- is that I am actually at the hospital working an overnight shift and my pager just went off.

Have I mentioned that Labor & Delivery is the most disgusting and beautiful thing ever?

I believe that I have.

*Just kidding about that watercolor sketching part.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


My name is Crystalle, and I have returned from my journey away from the face of the planet to proclaim that I have not abandoned the blog.

I’ve just taken a temporary leave-of-absence for who-knows how long.

After spending the last week and weekend of February at the hospital for a Family Medicine rotation, Day 1 of March swept me away into a Surgery rotation. The mornings are early, the days are sometimes long, and I have to work two weekends out of the month (I’ve already attended two surgeries this morning), but I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Weird, huh?

Well, you might not think this unless you knew a little background. You see, as I’ve mentioned before, “Core” – the term used to describe the month of surgery, the month of Ob/Gyn, and the two months of Internal Medicine at our teaching hospital – has quite a reputation as a morale buster. Stories about long, twelve-plus hour work days on your feet, stretches of up to nineteen days straight without a day off circulate (thankfully, I’ve only worked twelve!), heightened by the rumors of easily agitated, curt attending physicians who “pimp” (a very formal medical term, I assure you) about the minute details of medical topics.

I will attest to the suckiness of the early mornings, and the nice callus that is forming on my left big toe is a testament to hours and hours of weight-bearing activity (and maybe even a statement of poor posture/gait/footwear choice, but this detracts from the emphasis of my point so it gets parenthesized).

Though I’ve answered more than a few questions with “I don’t know” – three words that have easily become my BFF over the past weeks– I’ve not been pimped too much.

And while I’ve been talked-to quite sternly in the operating room over the handling of a laparoscopic camera (who knew that to move the light upwards in the field-of-view, the apparatus on the scope moves downward and vice-versa??!), I do not take it personal because – quite frankly -- I feel that I am doing the best that I can with the knowledge-base that I have.

It doesn’t hurt that my attending physician is a female surgeon with a fierce gumption that I perceive to be acquired from working in a highly-discriminative, male-dominated field. Though I can sometimes see tendencies during procedures (mostly pertaining to equipment malfunctioning) that make me believe the few stories I’ve heard about operating room outbursts, I haven’t witnessed anything crazy. I respect her and totally love her in a thank-you-for-being-personable-and-not-as-scary-as-I-anticipated way.

I have to say that I love being at the hospital, mostly because there is no substitute for being in the environment and learning the technicalities and goings-on associated with being there on a day-to-day basis. I am learning something new every day, which is refreshing and very gratifying, and it keeps things interesting. I highly enjoy being around and interacting with people (though I cannot say that the nurses are always the most friendly, but I’m secretly and passively-aggressively starting a black list), and it is so nice to see some of my classmates, even if in casual passing.

On a final note, I most particularly enjoy the proximity of the hospital to our house. After being away for several rotations, I have realized that I highly value being able to come home to Jerm and the doggies after a long day.

After all, warm hugs and puppy kisses are definitely a morale booster.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I recently had this great idea that I would complete a faux-finish painting project in the main bathroom of our house. When I was in Elk City in October, the physician's office was painted beautifully using this technique, and I was inspired to incorporate this warm and inviting style into my home.


For those of you who may not be aware of the technique, you take a dark paint color, mix in a considerable amount of glaze, and paint a small surface area of the wall. You then manipulate the paint to give a characteristic three-dimensional look using either a paintbrush or dry rag.

While this sounds wonderful, warm and fuzzy, and totally doable, I would just like to say that I do not recommend this project unless you have a considerable amount of upper body strength, an exorbitant amount of time and patience, and a sense of humor accompanied with a back-up plan.

The project started out strong (top left side of the wall), but a break was in order after three hours. The problems started when I resumed the next day and had to mix more paint/glaze -- as you can tell on the top and bottom right sides of the wall. Before I knew it, I had more paint in one area than another, and I was stepping out of the bathroom every time I applied paint to try to achieve evenness in terms of dimension. It was a disaster!

Looking at the picture now, I have to admit that it doesn't look as bad as I felt that it did at the time, but this project was consuming way more energy and time than I wanted to give. It took me two days to get this small area painted!

I decided that I would instead paint the bathroom a solid color. The paint that I had purchased for the faux project was way too dark for my preference, so I purchased a lighter color paint. However, when I got home and tried it out it was hideous!

So I mixed the darker paint with the lighter paint to come up with the perfect color, and voila!

The color that I am speaking of is the primary color in this picture above. If you look closely, however, you'll notice that the walls kind-of have a darker border around them. (Look, look at the borders everyone!)

The bathroom currently has this darker chocolate/purple border because of a slight miscommunication. You see, Jerm thought he would help out by painting the trim and edges one day while I was at work.

You know, as a surprise.

And so he painted continuously along the edges of the ceiling and baseboards, making great progress, not even taking time to stop and admire his fine work. At one point, he did have the thought that the paint was taking a rather long time to dry, but quickly dismissed the suspicion secondary to his goal of completion...

...until he got to the very end of his painting efforts and noticed that something was amiss.

I received this text: "Is the paint in this plastic bucket the old paint we're no longer using? That's what I was using and starting to realize it's drying darker...or just taking forever to dry."

As it turns out, his efforts turned out to be a much bigger surprise than even he anticipated.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Blogging has currently taken the backburner to my studies and an impending schedule change. Beginning next week, I will be working at what I like to consider "med school boot camp". Basically, I will spend one month in surgery, one month in OB/GYN, and two months in Internal Medicine. The hours are long, I will have to work nights, and I will be working many consecutive days without breaks.

I am excited! (Not so much about the schedule, but I think it is a great learning opportunity and a way to get some hands-on experience!)

Unfortunately, I am also working this week and upcoming weekend at the hospital and am in the midst and preparing for two exams on Friday. So, needless to say, I have been trying to spend any and all free time with Jerm and the doggies.

Here is a very brief picture-story glimpse of what's been going on since I took my test earlier this month:

Jeremy and I painted our bedroom a new color. It is a grayish-blue (steel blue, if you will - even though the second picture makes the color look lighter), and we are very happy with the results.

It took us a few weeks to bring this project into fruition, and we still have a lot of things that we want to do as far as decorations are concerned. However, time and budget constraints will likely turn this into a slow-and-steady process.

I found some great curtains on for $14.99 each and bought two for each window in our room. We have managed to hang one curtain, but I have yet to iron out the wrinkles from the packaging so no pictures for the blog! As a teaser, here is the website picture of the curtains. They are not this color!

Also, here is a picture of the lamps that I want from These are quite pricey, and they totally lose the battle on the scale of practicality. But I love them a whole bunch. A whole, whole, whole, whole bunch.

When our room is decorated to its full potential, I promise that I will post all about it. I'm not sure when the process will be finished, but it will get finished someday.

I have it all planned out in my head. (Don't I, Jerm?)

More pictures about another decorating project to come tomorrow or Friday or sometime this weekend. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I haven’t really felt like blogging lately, mostly because so many things have transpired in the past month that I don’t even know where to begin. But I guess I will begin somewhere and give a fast-forwarded update.

First, an update on Jerm’s career change, in as few words as possible:

Jerm quit his accounting job to pursue a teaching career.

Jerm accepted a teaching position.

Jerm hated teaching.

Absolutely. Hated. It.

Jerm quit the teaching position.

Jerm is currently looking for another accounting job. He had an interview this morning, and we are keeping our fingers crossed.

I don’t really feel like this is my story to tell, but I can say that this prospective career change has been one huge learning lesson which has changed our life. We were forced to step back and assess many things – how to successfully live on a student income, how to merge two bank accounts into one without killing each other, how to more effectively communicate when things are not exactly seen eye-to-eye, what makes us happy, what we want for our future – and the list goes on and on. Ultimately, I believe that the change has been beneficial for our relationship and has brought us closer together, even if it may not have been the most optimal career move on Jerm’s behalf. So beneficial, in fact, that I did not want to kill him (even secretly) when he informed me that teaching was not the fulfilling and dreamy career that he had idolized for so long.

Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t want to give him a swift kick in the butt or a random slap-chop to the back of the head. I just didn’t want to kill him.

In other news, somebody had his 26th birthday this past Friday. Such a big boy!

I meant to take pictures of all of the birthday get-togethers but I only remembered my camera on our first dinner out.

These are my grandparents that I have inherited through marriage. I only mention this because these two people have accepted me as their granddaughter from the moment I have met them, and we are very close even though the marriage that brought us together has dissolved. They are wonderful and supportive and are so very, very special to us.

The birthday boy and me. I do not sacrifice sleep to get up and get ready, which only matters when picture-taking is involved. (I was trying to avoid a disclaimer but I. just. couldn't. resist.)

Special thanks to everyone who took us out to lunch/dinner to make Jerm's birthday special. We love you guys very much!

For Valentine's Day, Jerm and I joined forces to start/wrap up some painting/cleaning projects which we had started in the previous week. But I'll post more about that later.

Happy BirthValentine's Day, my love!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


After you read this blog, you might want to nominate our household for one of those TV shows that expose and remedy families with junk and clutter problems. And I have to say that I am okay with that, because – if anything – maybe we’ll get some help detail-organizing our house and life, something that I’ve been wanting to do for the past three years.

So, in the spirit of tiredness and apathy and sass…

Exhibit A is our Christmas tree and lights that we still haven’t managed to put away from the holiday season. More importantly and embarrassing, however, is the dog hair on the floor. And, yes, this is typed in smaller font because, as noble as it may be to “keep it real”, I’d rather keep it real small. It’s kind of like whispering.

Exhibit B is our kitchen table. It started out with a few innocent school papers, followed by sale papers and mail, and then it somehow transitioned into this. That black thing is a fan. I’m not sure where it came from or how it got there, but I suspect that it arrived the same way the other things did: by someone not putting them where they belong. And to avoid shifting the blame on Jerm, I must confess that most of the stuff on the table is my fault. Notice my white coat and the USMLE book on the chair? I walked in Saturday after my test, placed my stuff on the table, and then planted myself on our couch for some mindless TV action.

Exhibit C speaks for itself. (Go ahead, take a real good look. Quite frankly, I cannot believe that people live like this either. Absolutely disgusting.) To make matters worse, the tray to the left was full of cupcakes until I got my hands on it. Nine cupcakes, seven of which I may or may not have eaten myself. In our defense, Jerm and I have recently set a goal to make an effort to recycle. Though we have containers in our garage set up for this, things often accumulate on our free kitchen surfaces out of laziness. This is something that we are working on. So, just for clarification, these unhealthy foods were not eaten in one gluttonous, face-stuffing, love-handle expanding setting.

And finally…

Exhibit D is our office, which I’ve put in here to serve as a not-so-subtle disclaimer as to why our house currently looks the way it does. This is where I’ve spent the past two months attempting to study for a board examination that I should have taken six months ago. The dogs and I camped out day and night when possible, and things piled and piled up each day. (Thanks Maisie-cakes for the shredded paper on the floor!) In Jerm's defense, I am not the cleanest person during my obsessive studying attempts. In fact, it is quite safe to say that I don't even make an effort to lift a single finger towards housework when I have an upcoming test. The world absolutely stops, which has made for an interesting and messy past couple of years if you can imagine.

I’ll admit, this mess is a disgrace to domesticity and cleanlinness and responsibility and adulthood.

And I realize that I am going to cringe tomorrow once it hits that I’ve exposed our mess and, indirectly, our character flaws to the world.

But today, I don’t care.