Friday, October 30, 2015

Medical School Recap Block 2 Week 1: Block 2 Begins

  1. This week went by incredibly quickly. It seems I was just lying awake on Sunday night, unable to make myself go to sleep because I was so excited. Now here we are on Sunday, marking another week off of our calendar. It is the first day of NOVEMBER! How did it get here so quickly? We actually finished a class this week, and have our first exam on Wednesday, which is the final for that course. It’s weird starting and finishing so fast. But it was essentially painless (har har har).
  2. We started anatomy lab this week, which means dissection on real cadavers. I can’t talk about anything specific on social media; it’s extremely frowned upon. Also, I feel like it’s an extremely private thing. I just want to say that I’m extremely grateful for people who are willing to help us learn and their families who help their wishes to be realized. 
  3. Last block, I used different colored markers to write on a huge wall calendar which classes I was taking every day, and which days I had exams. By the end of the block, it was a huge mess, partly because the scheduled changed a little in there, but also because I make big messes. This block, I have written everything out again on the calendar, and it looks so nice and neat. I’m going to do my best not to make a huge mess out of it this time. That’s not usually how things work out for me though. I always seem to be that kid that the mom dresses up so nice and fixes her hair, and two hours later, the stockings are full of holes, one braid is undone, and one shoe is missing.
  4. I got a package from Amazon today, and it’s one I’ve been kinda excited about. It’s a Netter’s coloring atlas of the body and a 64 pack of Crayola coloring pencils. I thought it might be a nice way of studying for anatomy. I love to color, and this will serve a dual purpose of (hopefully) being a relaxing thing and studying for anatomy.
  5. I was hoping I’d have a lot more to say this time, but things are getting pretty normal, so it’s hard to come up with exciting/funny stuff to write. Hopefully this week will be more eventful. ;)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Med School Recap Week 12: ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz

  1. A week can go by really quickly or really slowly. It just depends on what’s waiting at the other end. So at the beginning of the week, I was hoping it would pass really slowly because I was super tired from my first eleven weeks of medical school, and my brain felt like a heavy soggy pile of noodles. However, given how excited I am about the White Coat ceremony and starting my second block of medical school, it actually seemed like a really REALLY long week.
  2. So here we are today on the last day of block break, and also the day of the White Coat ceremony. I was a little weird about today, because I was afraid I hadn’t worked hard enough to get here. I hadn’t even put it on my official school calendar that I keep on the wall in my “office”. So this morning, I got up and actually wrote the day on the calendar because I’m pretty sure they are going to let me in now. It’s pretty exciting! The White Coat ceremony is a pretty recent tradition. Medical students are awarded a white coat with their name and “STUDENT DOCTOR” embroidered over the pocket. I kinda think that part is a warning. ;) Hey, so you can ALMOST trust anything this person says, especially if it is about diabetes or Chediak-Higashi Syndrome. ZING! My first running gag…
  3. So what did I do this week? Well, I did some SERIOUS sleeping. Like a lot. It was really hard at first because I am used to getting up early and WISHING I could go back to sleep. But when I had full permission, I was kinda like, meh, I could get up. But then I’d lay back down and wake up at say, NOON. OOPS. I also did some knitting. I seriously LOVE to knit, but it’s not something that I have a lot of time for. I decided this week that I am going to figure out how to make time to produce a few rows, just for sanity’s sake. It helps me relax and focus, and I think I’m smarter when I have a project on the needles. And hey, I need all the brains I can get, right? Don’t say it too fast. I also cleaned my house a bit. John has done a really good job keeping the house in running order, and clean to boot. But I’ve really been wanting to do a deep clean on my bedroom and bathroom, and I managed to knock that out this week as well. I did binge-watch a few TV shows, but I still need to catch a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead. Overall, I had a very relaxing and productive week off, and I managed to catch up with some loved ones as well. It felt really weird venturing out of the bubble and staying out a long time. I kept thinking I should be at home studying.
  4. So I’m about to jump in the shower and get dolled up for the White Coat ceremony. I’m really excited, it is something we’ve all been looking forward to this block, and it will be something we look back on with nostalgia. My Daddy posted on Facebook earlier and said I was a warrior. It made me really proud to hear that, because he understands. Sometimes when people hear that I’m in medical school, they say, “Oh you must be really smart.” OK, maybe I am smart, BUT I’ve worked my heinie off to get here, and smart didn’t make it easy. I do dumb things all the time that indicate that I may not be all that smart. I think what makes a difference is being willing to bulldog your way through stuff that isn’t all that fun to get to where you want to be. So if you’re feeling like you might not be smart enough for medical school – that is not what’s important. If you want it bad enough, you can be a dingbat like me and still make it because you worked hard. So there’s my sermon for today.
  5. Block 2 starts TOMORROW! I thought I’d be all uggghhhhh I don’t wanna go back, but NOOOO! I’m so very excited! Finishing block one reminded me that there is a finite amount of stuff I have to do to get from here to where I want to be, and I’m ready to start the bulldozer! Let’s do it, CREW!!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Med School Recap Week 11: Onchocerca volvulus causes river blindness, but I can’t tell time

  1. I’m sorry this week’s update is so very late. The very minute I walked out of the building, my hubby called dibs, and he’s had three months of butt-napping to catch up on. What is butt-napping? Well. The art of butt-napping is when you ask someone to accompany you on a short errand, except 4-5 hours later you still have them in captivity to whatever you decide to do next. Butt-napping isn’t always a drag for the nappee, but it just depends on how eager they are to return to whatever they had previously planned before they were butt-napped. The term is actually a sanitized version from the movie Shrek, when he tackled Donkey. I’ve been known to text my mother with, “I was supposed to catch up on laundry, but I’ve been butt-napped!”
  2. I’m sure that the goal of medical school (specifically block one) is to prepare me to be a good physician. However, one of the side effects of learning about every single virus and parasite known to man is that I am now forgetting important things that I might need to function in everyday life. Like telling time. Thursday, my clock got messed up on my computer, and I didn’t realize it until way late in the day. I thought it was 3pm, but it was 5:30. How does that even happen? I really hope I don’t forget how to wing my eyeliner. That will be a dealbreaker.
  3. Friday was the last day of block one. We had a microbiology final at 8am, and that was it. As I walked down the steps toward my car, I had a momentary feeling of panic that I needed to get home and get back to studying. This keeps coming back from time to time, and I’ve gotten more adept at telling my brain to come out of hiding, it’s OK. Maybe in a day or two, I’ll remember how to tie my shoes. Until then, it’s zippers or Velcro.
  4. I hope my musings don’t scare the pants off of anyone hoping to be a physician in the future. I know it sounds like when class is in session, I never leave the two-mile bubble that encompasses the school and my apartment. It sounds like that because it’s true. There are only so many things one can accomplish in a 24-hour period, and it is MUCH easier to let the team handle everything they can so that we can capitalize on the few hours that I’m not actually in class, studying, or sleeping. If I had to drive all over creation, well, that would subtract from what little time I have left. We do get to spend time together – I have attended almost all home football and volleyball games that my kids play in. I also go to church at least once a week, and we manage to get a few meals together as well. It’s hard managing the time crunch, but we make it work.
  5. I just wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate my fellow classmates for making it through block one with our sanity still mostly intact. It was super hard, and I did have several times that I second-guessed this gigantic undertaking. But we got through it, and next week we will be rocking our white coats at the ceremony! High fives to all my VCOM Class of 2019 dudebros, dudettes, and just regular folks (You know who you are!). Also, HUGE thanks to my family and friends who have gone above and beyond to keep this zoo running. Thank you for the prayers and encouragement when things got ugly. I’m also really grateful to the faculty and staff at VCOM-Auburn. They are doing a great job, and I’m so proud to be part of the inaugural class.
  6. They are interviewing candidates for the class of 2020 already, and I’ve seen a few of them around campus. I can’t believe they are already getting ready for another go. It will be weird to double the number of people next year. I’m really excited to welcome the next class and fight them for good parking.
  7. I’m not sure if I will have a weekly post for this coming week, because all I plan to do is catch up on laundry, housework, and actually cook some real food. If anything exciting happens, maybe I’ll post about it. But otherwise keep an eye out around the 30th for the first week of block two. Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Med School Recap Week 10: DEEEEEP breath, aaaaaaand…

  1. One. More. Week. We have been medical students for 10 weeks, and there is one last week left in block 1. Block 1 is called basic sciences. But let me tell you, these sciences are anything but basic. They seemed a little on the acidic side to me. *BA DUM TSSSHHH!* Science jokes, I got ‘em.
  2. This week has not been too terribly horrible. I know I’ve been a big whiney butt for several weeks now, and there was that one week (that we will never speak about) that almost did me in. But this week has *only* had two exams, and it just wasn’t too bad. It’s been the week where I was able to take a big deep breath so that I can hold my nose and get through next week. We have three exams next week. Then we are done with block 1. *sniff*
  3. So I will have an entire week off to do some serious nothing. I have made lots of plans that include reading an exercise book I’ve been eyeballing on my nightstand for a couple of weeks now, but have had ZERO time to crack open. Most important on the list, however is CATCH UP ON SLEEP! I plan to sleep as much as humanly possible.
  4. A lot of us have discussed mistakes that we made this block that we plan to avoid repeating in the next block. It’s like New Year’s Eve is approaching, and we are making our resolutions. I resolve to stay ahead, get plenty of sleep, and figure out how to manage my time more efficiently. I feel like this will be a recurring theme between blocks. ;)
  5. The last few weeks we have been covering some very interesting organisms in microbiology. I have since sworn off noodles, cottage cheese, shellfish, and swimming. Trust me, you don’t want to know. Also, seriously people, don’t let your dog lick you. Anywhere. And go get tested. For everything. Because EW. I’ve also seen pictures of diseased body parts that I can never unsee. All of you folks looking forward to me being a doctor owe me a big one for taking that in. More EW.
  6. We had our first standardized patient last week, and we were allowed to watch our videos from the encounter this week. I was pretty sure it was bad, but I had no idea how bad. My professor assured us at the beginning that we probably did way better than we thought we had. But no. You guys, I was so nervous, I forgot to knock on the door. I just busted up in there like I owned the place. BAM! Heeeere’s the DOCTOR! Oh boy. I did much worse than I thought, and I was thinking it was pretty bad. I guess I can only improve, right?
  7. So thanks for hanging in there with me for 10 weeks of medical school. One more week, and it will be break time! I can’t believe it has gone by this quickly. I guess staying busy does make the time go faster. And it is fun. In kind of a painful way.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Med School Recap Week 9: Insert Sassy Subtitle Here

  1. This is the part where they bring in the puppies, right? It has gotten to the point where there aren’t any “tough weeks” that stick out. It’s just a long trek in the snow both ways putting one foot in front of the other and praying that we get to the end without freezing solid. (Our brains, that is.) We are past the point of “can you deal with med school,” to the point of “can you deal with med school AND this other really hard thing that would knock you flat all on its own.” I’m just gonna go ahead and say UNCLE. Seriously, a room full of puppies and perhaps a foot massage would go SO far.
  2. We have two weeks left in our first block of medical school. Everyone is all, “OH! We get a WHOLE WEEK OFF!!! WOOHOOOO!” I hate to be a hag, but uh, think about how fast a weekend flies by when there’s an exam on Monday. Block break is going to make that look like slow-mo.
  3. So this week was the one where my anchor in the hurricane (not Joaquin) R-U-N-N-O-F-T to Nashville for THREE DAYS. John had this big trip planned, and I gave him a watery smile and a thumb’s up that we would be just fine while he had a good time. As far as he knows, everything is fine, and we are all in one piece. And actually, I managed to keep everything in working order AND I had dinner with the kids (well last night only one kid was home) AT the table every night he was gone. The fire alarm only went off once, which is really funny since we had delivery…
  4. I had my first standardized patient this week. I’m not allowed to talk about it, but I had it. I won’t reveal any specifics about my case, but there are a few things I think I CAN say about it. First, I REALLY struggled not breaking character. I am a super honest person, and one of the things that helps me when I meet someone new is relating to them on an awkward level and making jokes. So I felt like a dirty liar through the whole thing because I was pretending to be a doctor and the patient was pretending to be a patient, and even the vitals were LIES. Second, there was this crazy mischievous streak in me that REALLY wanted to bust the patient’s story. Like, I wanted to ask questions that I KNEW they weren’t prepared for JUST TO MAKE THEM CRACK. I might be truly evil. Don’t tell anyone.
  5. A rumor in medical school goes viral in 3.7 seconds flat. I thought maybe since we were all gunners and super-focused on our studying that this kind of nonsense wouldn’t be an issue. I was WRONG. We are all super tired of learning about the pentose phosphate pathway, and a little juicy gossip is JUST the thing for a little break in the monotony. It’s relieving and disturbing all at once.
  6. Stethoscopes are kind of a big deal. Also, pretty expensive, so a big commitment as well. Everyone is starting to buzz about what kind they have, or what kind they hope to get from their family for the White Coat ceremony. Some people are REALLY opinionated about which one to get, even though they have never used one. It kinda sounds like adopting a dog, or having a baby. I’m the goofball in the corner that just wants mine to be PURPLE!
  7. So that comment about weekends before Monday exams is actually a thing this weekend, so I’d better get to it. Hang in with me, there’s only two more weeks in this block!