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....: 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.