Monday, June 28, 2010

Aaaaannnnndddd I am Back (Briefly)

A holiday just is not a holiday if there is no faffing on med blogs.

I am staying at my sisters now for a couple of days and HUZZAH the woman has wireless.

And me.

Playing on my new mac! Yipeeee.

The girl starts her ED gig a week from tomorrow (as the blog readers breathe a sigh of relief, finally released from boring shackles posts detailing the studying for exams).

Two Words

Dial up.

Need I say more?

Country livin' is fine until you want to actually communicate with the rest of the world. Sigh.

Being ferried between family members is good when new babies and BBQ dinners are involved.

To life!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cut from a Vagina

Yes. Life is amazingly good.

Thursday was my last exam (the OCASE) which went very well with two exceptions:

1) I cut myself on the plastic vagina* during the internal exam

2) Had a serious mind-go-blank incident with one of the stations and wow is it ever hard to fill 6 minutes when you don't know what to do. You can only ask a patient so many different ways if they can dress themselves and pour a kettle without difficulty. More on that later.

The afternoon of the exam we jumped in a cold river outside of town then in the evening we went to a small house party hosted by a classmate. We cleared the living room furniture out and danced until 5am.

When I awoke my head was pounding, my throat was sore from singing, my abs were aching from laughing, and my feet were battered from dancing. All signs of an amazing night.

Minor travel glitches but arrived without incident to Ottawa and am now enjoying some serious down time with Tobie and his family.

Thanks for all the good luck comments.

Sigh. Year one--done.

*The most hilarious part about this was while a classmate and I were drinking coffee and waiting for our flight I said,

"Hey check it out I cut myself on the vagina!"

to which she replied

"SO DID I!!" and showed me a similar wound.

I really hope someone overheard that.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Girly Post (My OCASE Outfit)

Forgive me but my brain is nothing more than pulp at this point.

A few scattered neurons are firing here and there. Tenuous connections are fizzling out.

Tomorrow morning is my clinical exam (OCASE--it's got the 'A' in it because they also test anatomy during the practical parts).

18 patient stations that are unknown to us. 6 mins each.

Today during a study break I went out and bought a new dress for the final round of pummeling big day. Forgive the diagonal pose but it was the only way to get the bottom of the dress* in the photo.

Let's hit it year one.  I will spit in your general direction in but a handful of hours.

* Yes, a dress. This is the second time since January! Figured I should trade in my 'just rolled out of a dumpster behind Lulu Lemon' look I've been honing all year.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sea Horse? Sea Hell.

One of the main reasons I've kept my sanity recently is due to a video that Whitecoat posted.

If you have two minutes and you want to have a laugh at what happens when the ramblings of a very stoned mind are recorded and then put to brilliant visuals I would advise checking it out.

In other news, I wrote my first final today. The anatomy spotter of doom. I mean, you don't even have good guessing odds as there are always 10 possible answers.

In a new evil twist my prof really got into the negatives this time around.

So I'd get to the station--thinking

"Ok great! That is a clearly a horizontal section of the basal ganglia. Sweet. Bring it! I studied my ovaries off during neuro and can draw you any pathway, inhibitory, excitatory, sensory, motor, direct, indirect...what you got?'

Then I'd read the questions:

If 'A' is damaged at 'B' which answer is not true:

a-a contralateral hemiparesis below the zygoma without lacrimation and without hyperacusis
b- an ipsilateral hemiparesis below the zygoma with lacrimation but not hyperacusis
c-a contralateral hemiparesis without with lacrimation and with hyperacusis
d- an ipsilateral...

"wait--SHIT I am looking for what is NOT true---gah! Now I have to go back to the beginning and read from the start---crap what pathway was I looking at again? Which nerve was that? Which part of the---"


Next station.

Repeat x 50 questions.

Also the guy behind me in the stations was SNIFFLING and SNOTTING through the entire thing. At one point I was trying to decide between grabbing one of the invigilators and saying "give the MAN a DAMN KLEENEX" or taking my shirt off and throwing it at him to use as a hanky. Note to self, from now on bring tissues for others as well as myself. 

Hello fall re-write.

No one said medical school was easy. But what was all that drivel about 'the hardest thing is getting in'?


Now to collect myself for the next three rounds...ding ding!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Study Cloud

A firm believer in every cloud having a silver lining...I was trying to think of a positive spin on studying until it feels like my ears are bleeding.

Then I looked up and saw the wind whipping through the giant trees outside the library window.

I decided the silver lining is that as a trade off for not having a real job right now I get to sit in a quiet room and contemplate the human body for hours and hours.*

This is my attempt. Weak? Maybe.

*I also get to wear the same clothes everyday, cut off most contact to the outside world, and note-take my hand into a tendinitis. Ok, those are the 'downsidey' parts of aforementioned contemplation.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Without Tears

Some songs just nail it.

When I hear this song I see so many faces and broken bodies from the emergency department float in front of my eyes.

Still gives me goosebumps.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Expressive Medinitis Aphasia

Yesterday my friend Eileen and I went out for a study lunch together, quizzing each other. When we went to pay the woman at the cash asked her what she'd had to drink--Eileen was gesticulating madly saying " was pink"

The woman just looked at her blandly, "cranberry juice??"

Eileen, "YES!!"

This is what happens. You can describe everything about the production and flow of cerebral spinal fluid but you can't name what drink you had with lunch.

One week tomorrow and this girl is gettin' on a plane!!!

And there will be wine, and Manfriend, and a spa, and sleeping in, and farmers markets, and exercising, and mountains, and family, and goodness.*


*Not in order of importance or indulgence.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Stethoscope is NOT an Accessory!

Let me say it again in case anyone missed it:

The stethoscope is NOT an Accessory!

Though I applaud your excitement at becoming a doctor and understand that you have oh-such-strong-urges to let the world know that you are on the path to enlightenment practicing medicine, if you are walking from your home to your clinical exam DO NOT WEAR YOUR STETHOSCOPE AROUND YOUR NECK. You have hands. Carry it in your hands. Or purses. Just don't wear it like a necklace.


If I hadn't just witnessed several of you doing it I wouldn't have felt obligated to rant about it.

Example of when it is okay to wear it: when you are seeing patients.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why I Love My Mother

I was greeted with an email from my mother this morning.

The last few lines completely made my day:

The exams will be there soon enough. Don't get yourself too tightly wound.  You are already prepared. Chill a little. My considered opinion is don't overload the synapses cause "Girl,You know stuff."
Much love

Moms know stuff. I am heeding her advice. Though I did have an amazingly productive study day at the library after performing a below the fingers amputation of my laptop and leaving it at home.

Momma surrounded by all her grandbabies (at her 65th birthday that I missed this year)!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Brain Empty, Yet Full?

I have been staring at this blank box for a few minutes now. My brain feels completely empty, yet full beyond capacity at this point. My first exam is a week from today and I am finished on Thursday.

Sweet Thursday.

The cupboards and fridge are as stocked as they can be--remember there are four of us sharing a bar fridge (actually).

I have almost finished reviewing all of the anatomy notes and now have a pile of PBL to start going though. 33 some odd cases that I need to cram in (the PBL cases are where all of our physiology, histology, biochem, pathology, pharmacology is derived from).

It's funny to watch our brains become warped as the studying gets more intense. For example, fits of hysterical laughter is not uncommon (at what would be considered bland stimulus in the past). Also the loss of names and facts not pertaining to medicine are gone...street names, what city your layover is in, phone numbers. Now the minutiae is in there and I've lost the ability to remember things like...well I can't remember because that information has been deleted or pushed to the area in my brain responsible for playing piano or something and I can't access the files. 

In an attempt to keep my sanity I am cooking proper dinners and exercising almost everyday, getting about 6-7h of sleep per night, and staying away from people who stress me out...I can now justify this behavior scientifically with the the whole mirror neuron phenomenon (thanks Rob!)

It's finally raining outside which is a nice change from the constant heat and blue bird the past 2 weeks.

The countdown is on people. It's on.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Irishisms of the Day

Overheard today in clinical skills lab:

"And what's your own name then?"

Apparently that is more polite than asking someone "what is your name".


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Things Are Not Always As They Seem

So this photo appeared in our city's "society" magazine this month. It is of me and my housemates at Medball. I always sneer at mags like "Hello" because I don't want to look at pictures of people I don't know at gala's (whatever that word means) drinking Champagne. Nor do I feel the need to see family photos of celebrities frolicking at the beach in their matching white billowy linen tops and stressed denim blue jeans. Barefoot. Laughing and petting their dogs.

So the joke was on me this month when it was brought to my attention that I was on page whatever with a glass of bubbly looking all dressed up and snazzy with my equally snazzy housemates. Anna bought copies for all of us.

But I nearly had to pay her back in laundry tokens for buying them. Such is my current financial state.

Next time I see one of those spreads I am going to assume the same of everyone in it. That goes for you too Princess Caroline of Monaco.

The Questions That Keep Us All Awake at Night

"The oxytocin causes increased rhythmical contractions of the uterus, which have been postulated to cause increased transport of the sperm. A few sperm have been shown to traverse the entire length* of the fallopian tube* in the cow in about 5 minutes, a rate at least 10 times as fast as that which the swimming motions of the sperm themselves could possibly achieve. Whether this occurs in the human female is unknown."

Thank you for that Guyton & Hall: Textbook of Medical Physiology, 11th ed.

I can't imagine why a woman would shy away from being involved in the study to finally crack that mystery. Nothing is sexier than a man in a lab coat with a stopwatch.

How is one supposed to be impressed by this time trial without the knowledge of the length of said cow fallopian tube?? I hope they pick up this oversight for the 12th ed.