Sunday, December 20, 2009

M-Day Plus 133

Christmas Break!!!!! Holy crap it could not have come sooner. It's been a long time since I've posted on here. Sorry about that folks. I guess we ought to recap the past...2 months?

So...life sucked there for a while. Microanatomy was, err...still is awful. We had a test on Friday right before break which had a fair chunk of that junk (<-- rhyme). I don't know if I have ever truly hated something as much as I hate microanatomy. It really is bad. Last Sunday as I was studying for the test I decided that if Microanatomy were a person that I would have little problem with killing it in the worst ways and spending the rest of my life in a federal rape me in the butt prison. That, my friends, is how much I loathe Microanatomy. I do not enjoy it and it keeps knocking me on my butt and laughing at me. So, what do you do when something keeps knocking you down? You smack it in the...uh...face. Yep, you smack it in the face. So what did I do with it and that test on Friday? I took a freaking club to it. And not just any club, a club with rusty ole spikes! It was a great test which was much needed.

Ethel has had some more action these past few weeks. It's been getting a little more personal too. We just finished inspecting her lower limb, which means delving into her wonderful feet, calves, thighs, and of course, the butt! Grrrr..pretty hot stuff wouldn't you say? Ok, that was wrong on too many levels. But, I've already typed it so it's apparently impossible to change.

Let's see, it's Christmas time! But, I think I've already said that. This must mean that I am running out of things to say. Well, have a happy holidays everybody and I'll do my best to keep posting on here more often. Ciao!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

M-Day Plus 94

Happy Veterans Day everybody! Especially for all of you postal workers, bank employees, and students at UAMS! Yes that's right. For the first time in my life I was able to rightly honor my veterans by taking a day off from school. For all of the hard work and sacrifice of the men and women who are in or have served in our armed forces, it is only fitting that we honor them with a holiday. So how did us med. students choose to honor our veterans? Well I'll tell ya. We honored them with trivia night down at the pub! Yup, we thank all of our veterans for their hard work and sacrifice so that we could enjoy a wonderful mid-week day off from school and an excuse to take a trip to the pub. Is this a satirical post? Well, part of me thinks it should be, however, I would be lying if I said that part of me also wasn't sincerely happy for having the day off. So, take it as you wish.

That is about the highlight of medical school at the moment. We have had beautiful weather here in Little Rock for the past few days. It's hard to believe I am still wearing shorts, T-shirts, and sandals in mid-November. This rarely happened to me in late September in Kansas City, let alone November. So I've taken this opportunity to go for some bike rides. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Ethel has been retired for a little while. Last week we removed her heart and lungs and cut them open. Since then we have given her a rest. In other news, we are learning a lot of information about the heart at the present moment, including how to read an EKG...or at least we're supposed to be learning this. I have to say it's pretty rough. I almost like the looks of the straight flat line personally. It's much simpler to interpret.

Well, I know little else at the moment so I shall go study. Again, Happy Veterans Day all!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

M-Day Plus 88

So you know that story about Alexander and his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? I think most of us probably read it when we were kids. It was a great 30 something page book about Alexander and his awful day. Well, I think I could probably write an entire novel about this past week. They say that bad things come in 3's. Well, if that is the case, I don't know which one to call #1 or the first one and which one would have been the last one. The sad thing too is that it seems like once I find some glimmer of hope to squelch this awful week, that piece of hope gets crushed with a sledgehammer. I mean, let's put this into 20th century perspective. Imagine you're playing Pacman and you're just about to beat level 99 for the first time ever (or in my case level 1) and you have one dot to go, with no pacmunchers in sight. You have a clear path to this final dot, but then, all of a sudden, a glitch in the game changes that last dot into a freakin Pacosaurus Rex who chomps the living crap out of your Pacman!!!!!! That has been my week. Now I've delayed posting about this for quite a while because I don't normally like writing publicly about bad things in my life for the simple fact that I don't like to be down in my life nor do I want other people to believe I'm some gloomy dismal person. But alas, here we are.

So Monday we had our first combined Gross Anatomy, Microanatomy, and Medical Physiology exam. For those of you who don't understand what I mean by the word "combined", this was a 3.5 hour, 155 question exam over 3.5 weeks of material from each of the aforementioned courses. And to top it all off, we had a 1 hour Gross practical exam in the afternoon which basically means that we have to go into the Gross Lab and identify tagged items on the bodies of the cadavers. So as you can see, this was a monster exam that requires studying. This, however, just sets the scene for my horrible week. I will now back up about 3 days or so.

So on Thursday I think Little Rock recorded its 30th day of rain for the month of October by re-enacting the great flood from Genesis. For those of you who are observant, you will also notice that Thursday was the 29th day of the month of October and note that this was a monster hyperbole. And if you don't know what that word means....: www.wikipedia.org. So anyways, it rained, yes big whoop. Friday we had the day off to study for this monster exam. It rained some more, but most importantly I woke up with a sore throat. Now you see where this is going.

I figured this sore throat would be nothing and proceeded to take vitamins and attempt to study my tail off. Well, Saturday comes, and things get much much worse. I had swine flu.

Not really, but it makes me feel better by saying so. I did have a monster sinus infection that only proceeded to get worse and worse over the course of the weekend, and thus made studying more and more difficult. Well, Monday rolls around, and it turns out that Halloween decided to linger. The test was the worst test I've ever encountered in my entire life. That test made me it's butt pirate. For those of you who don't know what that one means....nevermind.

Tuesday rolls around and I begin to feel a little better but not great. Turns out everyone did bad on the test as well, however, that doesn't change my grade any. Maybe I can atleast mow the grass here at UAMS someday if things don't work out. But anyways, I decided I would breakdown and visit the doctor though about my condition to just verify that it wasn't actually the flu. I tried to get in that afternoon, but to no avail. I had to wait until Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday afternoon rolls around and I head to our clinic on campus. I was seen by a 1st year resident who I think was somewhat intimidated by me. I don't know why, but his hand definitely was not very steady as the little otoscope was jammed in my ear. He evaluated me and came to the same conclusion I had come to which was that I had just had some sinus and congestion issues. He then proceeded to write me a prescription for Robitussin....which all of you saavy people might know is an over the counter drug.

Another downer moment was the realization that I might be allergic to green tea. I had noticed I had developed a couple of rashes that started about the time that I began to drink this new type of tea and which seem to be aggravated with my further drinking of this tea. This is a bummer since I really enjoy this tea. Well, I mentioned this to the inexperienced doc who writes me a prescription for a steroidal creme that is not over the counter. This led to me having to deal with an incompetent Walgreen's staff for over an hour with no success. The mom and pop store across the street later completed the task in 10 minutes.

So that's about the bulk of the awfulness of my week. Or at least of the stuff I care to mention on here. There have been a few upsides to this week though.

In gross lab on Tuesday, we got to look at Miss Ethel's lungs. This meant that we had to get through the chest wall. As you might know, the chest has lots of ribs and bones. Soooo we took a hack saw to them :) And, to the clavicle, we used a tree trimmer :) :) This was fun. After we got the chest wall out we looked at her lungs and cut them out. Then on Wednesday we reached what our professor regarded as a monumental moment in medical school. We took out her heart. This was pretty neat I have to admit and a major step in our relationship with Miss Ethel. After all, in just two days time she has given me her heart and I in return, have left her breathless.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

M-Day Plus 79

So I should probably start this post with a little word of caution. There is one point in this post that I will use some sort of explicit content. I try to avoid this as much as possible, but the context for this one is just perfect. So, when the time comes I will warn you again, however, I think after reading it you will understand it's purpose.

So yesterday was the final day for Miss Ethel for a while. We have seen all we need to see for the time being, and now it's time for her to give us the test. No, this isn't the test of meeting her parents, but rather a long and strenuous test over her beautiful innards. I don't know which test would be easier...but we don't really have a choice on this one. Either way it is good to have a break from her but now it's time to study.

Outside from Miss Ethel we've had a variety of things happening. We've had some classes over X-rays and MRI's and other image stuffs. Unfortunately all of them were just about worthless so I probably know little more than all of you who read this. We also had another PBL of sorts today, which is termed "problem based learning", or something similar, I'm not really sure. Today we had to discuss some bone injuries and we started off with a quiz about it. I'm pretty sure I got every answer wrong on that quiz except for the one question that everyone else got wrong. Don't ask. After we debriefed that mission we were given another problem with only a single question. While the rest of my group, and all of the groups for that matter, went with one answer, I chose to travel the road less traveled and voice my opinion to my group about it. Seeing as how I didn't have much credibility at that point, and rightfully so, my word was not heeded well. However, in the end it paid off to stand out and be an individual as I triumphed! (My answer was right :D ) I owe that victory to Dr. Duncan and his teachings and clinical experience.

Tonight we had gotten a group of people together to have a dinner of sorts. I am tired of eating fast food and other crap personally, so I thought it would be nice to have a group of people rotate cooking responsibilities. So tonight I kicked it off with the ole family favorite, the Jack Daniel's BBQ Pork Tenderloin. (If you want that recipe you can find it on the JD's website). Anyways, it was pretty awesome if I may say so. I'm pretty sure that all the girls who experienced my cooking are now ready to marry me, and all the guys are probably wishing I was gay. Ha, well maybe not. But it's good to be confident in one's cooking. And hey, nobody died of food poisoning yet! Chalk up another victory!

Ok, so here's where I issue the warning. WARNING for fragile eyes/ears/stomachs/vases...whatever is fragile.

So this weekend I took a little aptitude test on our school's website that is supposed to determine which specialties are best for one's personality type. It asks you all sorts of questions like, "Do you like people?"...no, "Do you like listening to people?"...no way man, "Do you like to be in charge?"...get back to work or you're fired!. Well, none of those responses are entirely my personality actually, but you get the idea of what types of questions there are. So after I completed my test they gave me a list of specialties which were ranked as to how they would fit for me. I will now give you the top 5 responses from my exam.

1. Colon / Rectal Surgery
2. Emergency Medicine
3. Anesthesiology
4. General Surgery
5. Radiology

Ok....so, now that you've finished laughing and have made it past #1 on my list, let's review them in reverse order.

5. Radiology - This sounds interesting, however, after listening to the world's crappiest medical imaging lectures these past couple of days, I don't think I could tell the difference between an X-ray showing Hulk Hogan's forearm from the little green army dude lodged in little Timmy O'Toole's nose.

4. General Surgery - This is pretty good. It is one of the things I have considered. So, good job aptitude test.

3. Anesthesia - Again, another good option. Probably my most considered option as well.

2. Emergency Medicine - I don't want to have to deal with the little green army dude in that kid's nose.

1. Colon / Rectal Surgery - HMMMMMMMMMMM...I've never thought about this one! I mean, who knows? This could be my calling. I guess all I have to say is, if you're an asshole, look out!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

M-Day Plus 76

So it was about a year ago now that I had the most horrible interview of my life. This is roughly the anniversary of my medical school interview at Arkansas. I got grilled and there wasn't any defrosting in the microwave. I was taken out of the freezer, plopped face down (we'll assume this is a fish gettin' grilled), and grilled. But, somehow, some way, I managed to get in to this school.

So here I am today, we have had one long week of dates with Ethel. I'm ready to trade 'er out. Somehow I don't feel that she's going to let us do that quite so easily. We have basically spent an entire week looking at Ethel's arms. There is a lot of junk in there. All sorts of nerves and arteries..just lots of crap. It's all confusing, and clustered, and hard to get to, and we're just sick of it. We have been in the gross lab for 10 consecutive school days now, which is a long stretch, and we have one more until our test in about a week. I'm honestly so tired of thinking about that dang lab that I don't really want to write anymore about it right now.

Well, I probably go study, or watch a football game. Happy days everybody!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

M-Day Plus 70

Disclaimer: This post has little to nothing to do with actual medical school itself.

What would you do with 2 million dollars? That is the question I have for all of you who read this. Some of you might say you would build an orphanage, feed the hungry, or save the whales. Others might build a big fancy house, buy a nice Mercedes, or take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to some exotic location. These are all great things, but not what I would do if someone were to give me 2 million dollars right now.

What I would do, if someone were to give me 2 million dollars, is build a Buffalo Wild Wing here in Little Rock. Yup, that's what I would do. As some of you might remember in my first post, I was a little irate at one point when I discovered that Little Rock did not have a Buffalo Wild Wings. So, I took it upon myself to do a little research into the franchising costs for such a place. It turns out that it costs anywhere between about 1.25-1.75 million to open a Buffalo Wild Wings in Arkansas. So, if anyone would like to make me about the happiest man in the world right now, feel free to donate 2 million dollars to my cause. I'll take checks, the paper kind or the big cardboard ones. I'll even accept cash. I rather enjoy the sound of someone opening a briefcase full of money. I think that may be one of the coolest things in life that I will most likely never ever experience is a briefcase full of money being opened. Oh well I suppose, but anyways, think about it folks. I would most definitely give you free wings and drinks.

Other random stuff to write about today. I think I may have finally found a church which is exciting after a 2 month hunt. I will still keep my eyes open for other possibilities but I think I may have a near winner. I did come to a rather cool realization at church this morning. There were people giving praises for various things in their lives and it seemed as if at least half of them pertained to some sort of medical condition and how God worked through the doctors to heal them. This is really cool to think about because I will have the opportunity to be a visible instrument of God. Pretty neat if you ask me. All the more reason to ground my faith where it ought to be.

Well, that is all I have for now. We have an embryology quiz tomorrow. It should be a doozy. For those of you who don't know what embryology is, it's how babies are made. I never knew how it was done before...and before you all give me grief about this one too, I would be willing say that 99-100% of you who read this don't know either. On that note, I'm signin' out.

Friday, October 16, 2009

M-Day Plus 68

So today was a rather informative day for Ethel and her fellow companions, however, I should probably fill you in on what happened on D-day plus 67 first (this would be yesterday...). Now I should warn you, I will include some technical detail in this post. I do this partly so that it helps me to remember it and also because hey, it just makes me sound smart! So get your Wikipedia handy and let's get to it!

Yesterday was a looong day. It started with lectures/tutorials at 8:00 in the morning and concluded at 5 when we "wrapped up" our 4th date with Ethel. Haha, "wrapped up!", get it? We literally have to wrap her up after we're finished with her in a big cloth and plastic sheet! Oh boy, I crack myself up sometimes. Anyways, yesterday we took a little more skin from her and give her some more of a weight reduction procedure. We skinned the arms down to the wrists so that we could see the cephalic, basilic, and median cuboidal veins of the forearms. In addition we observed her superficial branch of the radial nerve, the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve, and the lateral and medial cutaneous nerves of the forearm. This was pretty exciting and was quite the delicate procedure. Not the type of thing you do with a mallet and chisel. But this was yesterday, it's in the past baby!

Today was fairly quick and simple. This was nice since this is now our 5th day in a row of gross anatomy labs and we will have another run of 5 more next week. Today we cut into Miss Ethel's shoulder. We observed her deltoid muscle, her Teres major and minor, her supra- and infraspinatus, and also her axillary, supra- and sub-scapular nerves. We also viewed her circumflex arteries and veins and her suprascapular arteries and veins. This was pretty neat, but this wasn't the greatest find of the day.

When we got into lab today there were sheets posted on the wall. No, these weren't grades, or the list of those who made the team. These sheets contained information as to how Ethel and her fellow friends had passed. Yesterday I made the hypothesis that Ethel had died of some form of heart condition. Whilst skinning her arm we noticed that she had been bruised pretty badly from IV's and that she had a little knot tied in her skin up towards the anterior of the right side of her neck, suggesting she may have had a central line. This all indicated she had been in the hospital prior to passing. I speculated a heart condition, and today it was confirmed by the little white paper on the wall that Miss Ethel indeed passed from "cardiac arrest". RIP my fair lady. Perhaps we should have hit you up about that dietary counseling a little sooner, or maybe at least studied your diet diary a little better.

In other news, we also got to learn of some of the other conditions with which the people around the lab had died of. The most interesting had to have been one that was caddy corner to our own Miss Ethel. This man, in all seriousness, passed of a methamphetamine overdose. I guess all the commercials I've been seeing lately didn't reach him in time. This did raise some of my own questions though. My main one is, who makes the call on whether your body is used for science? I mean, I was always under the impression that this was a voluntary thing. But I ask you, what meth addict would plan to donate his/her body to science? Interesting question to ponder if you ask me.

One last thing for the day. I know I'm about to open the Pandora's Box of ridicule and grief with this but I just have to share it. I witnessed today, the greatest anus I have ever seen in my life. Now, I haven't....really seen one, or any...ever...before except for the others cadavers' in this lab. But, this anus was probably close to 2x the diameter of a Kennedy half dollar! Hooooly crap! The sheet says this person died of natural causes too...Now I could make all sorts of comments about this, but I'll just leave you to ponder it on your own.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

M-Day Plus 66

Hey ya'll, I've decided to start a blog. I probably should have done this 66 days ago, since that was the official start of medical school, or as I like to refer to it, "the battle for my sanity", but as you know life happens.

To put everyone up to date, this is the 66th day of medical school, hence the phrase "M-Day Plus 66". I am enrolled at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences studying to be a doctor of some sort. It's a pretty nice school in a town that is slowly winning my favor. As some of my closest friends know, I was rather alarmed when I learned that Little Rock, AR did not have a Buffalo Wild Wings. This was a minor defeat for my sanity. To balance this defeat; however, I had managed to discover some very nice bicycle trails around the city. So I guess you could say I'm in somewhat of a neutral, entrenched stance at this point.

Last week we were off for the entire week for our fall break. This was very nice as it helped to cap off our first two classes, biochemistry and cell biology. They went well and I enjoyed them, but now it's on to the real business.

Two days ago we started gross anatomy with classes, and teachers, and students, and dead people. Some people prefer to call these dead people cadavers. Whatever floats your boat. We met this person two days ago and found a lively, well-nourished, elderly female. Well, maybe she wasn't so lively, or well-nourished...then again maybe she was. Anyways, it was exciting, we got to meet Ethel. Our group has yet to decide on a name, but I like Ethel so that's what she shall be for now. Ethel has lots to teach us and I was just ecstatic to meet her. As you might expect, we did all the normal things you might expect to do on a first date with a lovely lady, we skinned her back. I realize this sounds like a pretty selfish endeavor so far, after all, she does give us a lovely pile of skin from her back. However, it was not an entirely one-sided affair, because after she donated her skin, we trimmed all of her unwanted fat from her backside. And believe me, there was a lot of it. This part was pretty gross actually. The lab was very fun for about the first hour, but eventually I decided it would have been better had Ethel just exercised a little more. We might have to have a consultation about this later. Anyways, that was day 1. Off to a good start.

On day 2 Ethel was apparently not so happy with us. She seemed to let off this odor to indicate that she did not approve of our first date. Nevertheless being the persistent little boogers that we are, we decided to get to know her a little better. This time we decided to get a little more intimate with her and give her a deep muscle massage..or..removal. She allowed us to observe her trapezius muscle and her latissimus dorsi along with a dozen others deep in her back. And then we cut them out. Yup. We don't waste no time with our women here in Arkansas. So, that was about the jist of yesterday.

Today, ok now we're finally caught up on this blog. Today was the most exciting. We got to see what makes Ethel dance...somewhat literally. We had to look at the spinal cord and some of the surrounding nerves. In order to do that, however, you must get through the spine. How do you do that you might ask? Well, you take this big mallet, and this big chisel, and you go....WHACK! And then you repeat. I have to say it's a little unnerving at first, but after a while..man that became fun. I struggled at first, I was just trying to lightly tap it until one of our instructors showed us better. After that point...well, my lab group swears I have anger management issues because I was just whacking the crap out of that spine as they said. Although they chose to use more explicit terms. I haven't turned on the explicit content warning on this blog so I will spare you the details of some of those comments. Anyways once we broke through the vertebral column we got to see the spinal cord. Man that was cool! And Ethel, who once was a pain in the rear because of all her fat, turned in to a beauty! There were people from all over the lab coming to check her out. They need be reminded, however, that she's ours. They can't take our Ethel! We're just startin' to get to know each other!

Well, that's about it up until now. Miscellaneous items...there is a sweet coffee shop nearby I shall visit again soon. Um, our power went out yesterday from sometime in the afternoon til about 10 at night due to some idiot deciding the building's transformer box should be low enough to the ground to collect water and flood. Um...that's about it. We'll let ya know what happens tomorrow!