I Put Cinnamon In My Coffee Today

I did. I put cinnamon in my (first) coffee today. It was very good. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it must also be age defying and beautifying. Just like coffee.

Speaking of age defying, I found a varicose vein. I am horrified and have already started 1) research compression body gear (its on my inner thigh so SOCKS DONT WORK; 2) wondering if I’m too young for sclerotherapy; 3) starting a list of “things residency gave me.” Residency has stolen a lot of things from me. Time. Sleep. Sanity. Now, it has given me something back. A varicose vein from standing all day. #thisis29

Tonight’s residency topic is something that you probably didn’t know exists: the interpreter phone.

Yes, most of the patients at Bellevue (or other HHC Hospitals) do not speak English. Beyond Espanol, there’s a smorgasbord of languages spoken, including, but not limited to: Mandarin/Cantonese, Fukanese, Bengali/Bangledeshi, Polish, French, Haitain Creole, Russian, Mandingo, Tibetan, and languages from far off corners of the world that I didn’t even know existed.

I can dial the interpreter phone and follow the prompts by heart. You get real tight with that little black, two handset device.

As an intern, there is a very special love/hate relationship with the interpreter phone.

You see, the rate limiting factor of your morning rounds is often the rate at which you can get the interpreter on the line.

When you’re an intern and terrified of not getting your notes done before rounds (I always was), sometimes you just want to scream “STOP PLAYING THE ELEVATOR MUSIC AND GET ME THE POLISH INTERPRETER!!!” It really gets the heart rate going in the morning, in addition to your first coffee of the day.

When rounding, you often get the same interpreter time and time again. Sometimes I just wanted to say, “Surprise, Polish interpreter #665702! Its me again! Same questions – LETS DO THIS REVIEW OF SYSTEMS!”

Sometimes I carried around the interpreter phone with me from room to room because there is nothing more enraging at 5:00 in the morning than missing interpreter phone on the wall.

A final note on the interpreter phone. Sometimes, there is a lot of back ground noise wherever the interpreter is. I like to think the interpreters are in interesting locales representative of the language they are speaking. And, a lot of times, it sounds that way. I could’ve sworn I’ve spoken to a Bengali interpreter who was in an market in Bangladesh and have been convinced the Tibetan interpreter is on the side of a mountain with a sherpa.

I’m sure its not true. But, its fun to think that way.

A final note for the night….remember, get your pap smear…

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 10.18.52 PM


Until next time…

Coffee tally: 3

PS – I almost wrote “RTC 3 weeks” at the bottom of this post…clinic notes are invading my psyche. [RTC = return to clinic]


One thought on “I Put Cinnamon In My Coffee Today

  1. My favorite experience with a Polish interpreter was when she tried to silence her chuckles, and when I asked what the patient was saying, she said, “Um, he’s basically just swearing and telling you to go away.” Excellent.

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