Sep 30, 2008

Geeze where do I begin?

I went from having really nothing to say but "camped at Taylor Hall; made doe-eyes at boyfriend; tried to find source of study for pathophys; periodically mimed the First Aid book eating my head. Highlighted every line of pulmonary physiology in the BRS Physio since it all seemed important. Thought I was doing well at studying pharm but totally wasn't. Watched Red Dwarf. Slept." to having a ton going on where I don't know where to start. As frequently seems to occur.

Midterms! Aiiiiieeeeeeeeeeee.... oh, was that ever an exercise in humility. Weirdly, the exam I had the most problem with at a philosophical level is the one I'm pretty sure I did the best on with all the added hoopla (not that it justifies anything), while I'm thinking I didn't do half as well in Clinical Skills as I thought (damn you, Hashimoto's thyroiditis!), and I have no idea what I got in pharm, but I'm kind of hoping it's in the double digits. Gods.

Taking the pharm exam made me realize two things:
1: I'm VERY bad at drugs. I knew this from biochem when I was going through my flashcards while my dad was visiting, and he was reading me off the answer for the mechanism of neomycin without looking at the card because I'd missed it so many times.
2: When I learn drugs, it's kind of like I have this new deck of playing cards in my head where each suite represents a drug class and I know what order they're in. Taking a pharm exam is kind of like taking that deck of cards and playing 52 card pickup. And I just look at the fluttering mess on the floor and go "Uh oh." So... new study approach for me, I think.

In the wake of midterms, I pretty much spent the rest of Friday in full on bender-mode, starting with George's party, featuring great company, great rum punch, great food, great pinata. Then the Beauty and the Geek party which had some really innovative costumes by my colleagues. Then Banana's, largely to steal Dem's french fries.

Then spent the rest of the weekend recovering from Friday by lounging on various beaches and making a two and a half week overdue trip to Spiceland Mall to buy food, since my on campus studies have caused me to subsist off food from Pearl's, which means I've hit my upper limit for intestinal parasites.

Saturday, La Sagesse was characteristically gorgeous and the weather went from looking like it was going to rain us out to being really nice. We had a wonderful lunch at the restaurant there, went for a long swim, and got eaten by ants on the beach. Oh, though word of advice since this applied to all of us, myself included... don't go out for a long night of drinking and reveling, get four to five hours of sleep and then jump into a cab for a lengthy ride along fast tight curves. Glurgh.

Sunday, initially dive planned, but still recovering, so lounged at Grand Anse. The beach was nice, but apparently the storm that missed us hit it, and the water was kind of eerie. There was a dead eel washed up on the beach which some brave girl, as everyone watched her in awe, picked it up by its rotting dead tail and hauled it over to the garbage can so people wouldn't have to deal with it. REALLY nice of her.

The seascape though, save for a couple flying gernards (woo hoo!) seemed oddly dead. The coral was pretty brown, and then Lori and I swam through a patch where there were bubbles on the surface and we couldn't see anything, but then started feeling itchy and then actively stingy and we were like "okay, time to go", so I have no idea what that was about and it's never happened before. I'm wondering if we swam through the remains of a boat propeller-hit jellyfish. I had some spots when we got out, but quickly faded, and drying off to a diminishing sun made it all worthwhile. As did not having to study.

Last night was Dark Knight night, since Lori and I seem to be the last people on earth who haven't seen it, so we made a night of it with Dave. Awww, RIP Heath Ledger. Much as I love Batman, I've always thought most of its villains weren't half as scary as Batman himself, but that is the kind of Joker that makes you want to sleep with the lights on. Sorry Jack Nicholson; you'll always have the Shining.

In the meantime, the surge of response to the whole pathophys thing has been awesome and you guys are absolutely fantastic!! It looks like we may get some changes too: Our note packet was printed and there for lecture (Yes, I went; stop the presses, though three buses passing me made it a thirty minutes late for first lecture thing), they seem to be shifting the setup of the Friday classes AND have already posted the objectives, they're having a meeting, and stuff's happening. Wahoo!

We just started the hematology unit which so far seems to be recycling path. Hematology is one of the nastiest parts of path due to having to be able to read a CBC in 75 seconds and pull a diagnosis out of it, but so far it's review, which is good, because eventually if I study myeloid derivations enough, it may stick in my head like the frigging female menstrual cycle finally did. You'd think, that being female, it would not take me FIVE SEPARATE medical school classes to learn when the progesterone rises, but I'm slow like that. Some stuff goes in once and stays there until I'm dead and other stuff that other people have gotten a year ago, when they're reviewing it in class, I'm going "dammit. Still don't know it." And I go back to my original source or the internet (Wiggers Diagram, I'm looking in your direction) and I redraw it, and I read all the parts of it out loud, and I see if I can redraw it from memory, and state all the parts, and feel secure, and know it on the exam, and promptly forget it entirely until it comes up again.

To backtrack a bit, I had my anesthesia rotation this morning, which I thought would be really boring (ewww, pulmonary phys), but was really interesting, particularly when first the Bovie died, and then the entire power shut off three times until the OR was running on the backup generator. The doctors were great, let us close in on a hernia operation, and showed us everything. They're also a very calm lot, moving effectively and deliberately, but not panicky as the anesthesia cart is screaming over its sudden power cut, the lights have gone out (hooray for windows), and the patient is open. Noooo problem. Continue putting hernia back in, no reason for alarm, sewn up, with awesome response to being put under.

They let us in pretty close without screwing up the sterile field, and were very willing and ready to answer our questions. So far all the docs have been like that, so I've been impressed, as I've mentioned, with the rotations, and find them to be a really cool experience that's giving us not only a taste of a lot of different areas of medicine, but also of the whole "medical experience in another country". Some stuff is utterly the same, while other stuff is mystifyingly different.

Got home from the selective to wash up since I knew I had a nice dinner after lecture, but found I had no water. I haven't found that this happens to me all that frequently, but when it does, it tends to hit at inconvenient times. Same with internet access. I'll have NO problems with internet access for weeks when I'm screwing around watching youtube videos while trying not to study, but the second I try to download some small group assignment that's due the next day? Total connection meltdown.

In other news, FANTASTIC dinner with Dave tonight where he was, per usual, being a perfect gentleman, and is gradually breaking me into Merlot, which is usually up with Cab on the "List of the only two wines I have trouble choking down", but I've been really enjoying it lately. What can I say; I'm a wino!

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