Sunday, November 29, 2015

Medical School Recap Block 2 Week 5: Don't Image Search Necrotizing Myositis. Seriously, Don't.

  1. My latest tradition in medical school is having a good cry every Sunday night. I usually have a 'one thing' that sets off the tears, but it all pretty much boils down to feeling overwhelmed. This week, it was reading Rory Feek's blog about his wife Joey's battle with cancer. She's at home receiving hospice care, and she's pretty much bedridden at this point. I was just thinking about how doctors are supposed to be heroes and save people's lives, but they can't save them all. It would be nice if death didn't come for young mothers of babies, though. I'm not saying anyone else deserves to die more, but I am saying that doctors aren't the heroes. It's people like Joey that find out that they have cancer shortly after delivering a sweet baby who will grow up not knowing how awesome her mother was.
  2. Then there's heroes like this doctor, who lost a 19 year old patient and was captured on film having a good break-down outside. This picture breaks my heart, but it also gives me hope. I didn't set out to become a doctor without a heart. People don't want a robot caring for them. I hope at some point I can overcome being a sniveling sob-bunny, though. I've never cried so much in my life as I have since I started school. And if anyone else is an INTJ (Myers-Briggs), you know crying is not something we are supposed to do. I guess I've held it in my entire life, and I can now cry at the drop of a hat. It's disconcerting and I hate it.
  3. My HB does not seem fazed at all by my new cry-it-out-Sunday habit. He sits and rubs my feet and talks about whatever started the avalanche, and then analyzes me and says I'm crying because my big girl pants are getting wadded up. Whatever.
  4. Since this block is about all things musculoskeletal, we are learning how to splint, cast, inject, and aspirate. This is terrifying and exciting at the same time. I love whenever things get clinically-related, because we get to do stuff! But the idea of sticking a needle into someone's knee is pretty horrifying. Good thing we practice on the mannikins first. Don't get me started on how I'm afraid of the mannikins. 
  5. I'm really excited about this week, because I get to torment, er, have lunch with some of the potential members of next year's class. They are doing interviews this week, and some of us from this year's class get to have lunch with the interviewees and take them on a tour of the building. Apparently a ton of us signed on to do the honors, so they had to make a schedule. I'm kinda excited, and hey, free lunch!
  6. Thanksgiving holiday was a nice break, except for the homework assignment that showed up in my email AFTER I had left town to go visit family. Monday is going to be an all-day small group learning (SGL) activity that involves a butt-ton of pre-reading material. Of course I put it off til today, because holidays, duh! I suppose they are trying to teach us that as we get further along in our education, and probably as doctors (except for probably dermatologists), we will be working through a bunch of holidays. Thanks. *adjusting big girl pants*
  7. Also, tomorrow should be when we get some of our grades back from the exams we've taken lately. I've not been so very eager to see all of those. That anatomy exam was painful, and I don't really want to know. Ignorance = bliss, right? Hopefully they will let me stick around. 
  8. So I guess that's pretty much everything for this week. Tune in next week for "Why the Med Student is Crying Now."

Friday, November 20, 2015

Medical School Recap Block 2 Week 4: I Felt Like Vermicious Knid Was a Valid Answer for That Anatomy Practical Question.

  1. The other morning, I woke up before my alarm, and I was having all these cool ideas to write about. I was positive that I would remember these epiphanies when I got ready to write. But alas. I sat down later to put it all down, and it flew out of my head. Quite like all the answers for the anatomy exam on Friday.
  2. I don't want to make this entire post about the disaster that was the anatomy exam and practical. Suffice it to say it was extremely difficult, and despite how much time I spent studying, I don't think it went well. One of the things about being in medical school is having attacks of imposter syndrome. I'm constantly asking myself how in the world I managed to get in, and what's going to happen when they figure out how dumb I actually am. I was seriously embarrassed to write my name on the paper with my answers from the anatomy practical. I just honestly did not know most of the answers. I tried to make some educated guesses, but they were definitely more guess than educated. I signed onto the medblr (medical tumblr) group to wail about my certain failure, and most of the med students on there assured me that they never passed an anatomy practical in their entire medical school career, and they are now doing their clinicals or getting ready to apply for residency. I guess that made me feel better, but it was still a depressing weekend. At least Auburn won, right?
  3. I'm looking forward to a short school week and then THANKSGIVING! I love the holidays, and I'm definitely looking forward to a few days off. I'm also hoping to make up to my sweet hubby that his birthday fell during the busiest studying week of the block so far. We had a hurried family dinner at Moe's before I had to go back to studying. He's a sport about it, but I still feel like he's owed a little more attention. If it was my birthday, I would still be walking around with my lip out. Speaking of MY birthday (haha), this year will be the first time in my entire life that I have school on my birthday. It's on December 21, and I will be celebrating with an epidemiology test and some clinical check-offs involving injections and casting. Exciting, no? Actually I'm kinda looking forward to it. I was always jealous of kids having birthdays during the school year. I'm wearing a crown and a sash (not really).
  4. I found out this week that I'm allergic to sulfa drugs, specifically Bactrim. I have a piercing (in my ear, mind you) that has gotten infected, so my doctor prescribed antibiotics. I woke up the next morning after the first dose, and was COVERED in HIVES!!! I've never had hives before, and let me tell you I don't recommend it. My doctor switched my meds, and the hives are almost all gone. But I missed class all day Thursday because I was an itchy whiny mess (I know, you didn't expect that, huh?).
  5. It's hard to believe that November is almost over and Christmas is right around the corner. This will be a really strange year for us. We are living in an apartment, so celebrating at our place is not an option. I've gotten used to having the family at the big house. But I guess it doesn't matter where it is as long as the family is together. My family is so much fun! It's going to be so much more fun this year because Liam (grandson) is getting big enough to enjoy the celebration. I can't wait to spoil him with lotsa pressies! AND Emily (daughter, Liam's Mom) is expecting another grandbaby in July 2016. I love squishy babies!
  6. I guess I'm wrapping this post up. I hope everyone has an awesome holiday with their loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!
  7. EDIT!!! I almost forgot to talk about something REALLY cool that happened this week! My son Micah applied to medical school (actually the same one I'm attending!), and he found out this week that he has been ACCEPTED!! Isn't that so cool? There's going to be TWO doctors in our family, and we get to be at the same school. I'm so very excited for him and kinda for me too. I can't wait til next year! Congratulations Micah!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Medical School Recap Block 2 Week 3: Somebody stop this thing…

Also... Friday the 13th sounded like a good test day? C'mon FOLKS!
  1. I feel like I’ve been in medical school long enough to say this with some authority: Once we are dead, we all pretty much look the same. While I can’t expound on this too much, I have observed that it really doesn’t matter what color you are, what gender you are, or what political party you subscribe to — the only thing that makes you stand out on a slab is any extra features that were added during your lifetime. Pacemakers, scars, surgeries, enhancements — things like that do show up on closer examination. But medical students can’t tell whether you were greatly loved, or if you voted for Bush, or if anyone attended your funeral. Some of us like to imagine what your life might have been like. More than any of that, we are inspired by what might have led you to make the tremendous gift that you did to medicine and to people you didn’t even know (HOPEFULLY). I think about their souls sometimes. I’m a Christian, and I remember thinking as a child that you had to be buried in a grave somewhere to go to Heaven. I have no idea where that idea came from, but when I first learned about people gifting their body to science or medicine, I wondered where their souls went. One thing I do know is that their souls aren’t there any more, and that it isn’t just biological function that animates a body. But that’s all way too deep for this post, eh?
  2. Someone came up to me this week and said that they had asked someone about how I was doing, and was told that block two was turning out to be a lot easier than block one. I balked at that statement, because I like to think I’m working a lot harder than I actually am sometimes. Also the word easy really can’t be applied to medical school in my opinion. But after I thought about it, I guess I could say that block one conditioned me to be able to function better in block two. I didn’t come to medical school to fail, but I am constantly learning what it takes to do well enough and be able to incorporate some ‘real life’ into this chaos. The concepts are not as difficult to grasp in this block because they are all related to the core concept of the musculoskeletal system. There is a lot of overlap and repetition (thankfully), and there is more rhyme and reason to learning the information. But easy probably isn’t the right word.
  3. Everyone seems to have caught the plague and mostly recovered. I think the HB might be trying to come down with it now, which is not acceptable because he runs this joint. I remember when the kids were little and they’d get sick, I’d catch myself being envious of being able to lay in bed and be excused from life for a little bit. John sometimes says he won’t get his flu shot because he wants to be able to take a week off and catch up on his favorite shows on the DVR. I have to remind him the flu is not worth it. Since I’ve brought up flu shots, GET YOURS PEOPLE!
  4. So one of the things you might like to know is if you see a new blog post pop up, I’m probably supposed to be studying. Like now, for instance. This week we have a pathology exam on Monday (that’s tomorrow, Val — seriously) and an anatomy exam along with the separate but equally important lab practical on Friday. And it’s not like there’s a lot of time during the week to get a bunch of studying accomplished. Peer tutoring, reviews, labs, and various meetings tend to impinge on what isn’t a lot of free time. So this is me whining about an upcoming busy week as usual. You’ll just have to excuse me if I feel like my chaos>your busy-ness this week. I think this is part of how they make us heartless in medical school. ;)

Friday, November 6, 2015

Medical School Recap Block 2 Week 2: Things are going well, must be time to GET SICK

  1. Don’t you just love it when you feel like you’ve finally got everything going according to plan, and then a WRENCH gets thrown in? That’s the theme for this week, folks! Sunday night on the way home from church, my throat started feeling a little sore. By the time I got up Monday morning, I was carrying around about ten extra pounds of mucus in my head. My seat mates were so pleased to be greeted by me and my super-sized bottle of hand sanitizer and one of those sweet little packets of Kleenex. Those sweet little packets are just enough confidence to get you into the middle of a lecture, and then you’re out. Now what? So thank the Lord I have a son that drives and is always so very willing to run errands for me. He brought me a giant box o’ Kleenex and some cold meds. But there’s still nothing like getting in the middle of an exam and having to blow your nose and sounding like a foghorn while everyone is trying to concentrate. I don't recommend it.
  2. Trying to stay ahead on class prep was a mess this week. It’s like when you’re sick, your tolerance for slogging through is at an all-time low. I guess when you’re an adult and you have a real job, sitting on your butt in the middle of the hallway and dragging yourself along with your heels and whining, “But I’m siiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiick!” just isn’t going to cut it. It’s not like I actually did that. My inner toddler is quite the mess, though.
  3. I must have started looking like I was coping with the sick + medical school crapstorm, because here comes another wrench. I’m a mom, and when my kids aren’t feeling well, it gets hard. My poor Zion started having symptoms of the sore throat, so I told him to go directly to bed, and I gave him some of the meds I had been taking. This didn’t work out so well, because apparently he has a HORRIBLE case of strep throat. His last football game of the season was Friday night, and he didn’t want to let his team down, so he rested up all day Friday in order to be on point for the game. Granted, we didn’t know he had strep at the time, or Mom would have forbidden it. He was up sick all night last night, and when I looked at his throat, I couldn’t believe how red and swollen it was. So John took him to urgent care this morning, and the doctor was not pleased. She told him in no uncertain terms that he was out of commission for the next week, and she loaded him down with meds. He’s still miserable, and we are just trying to keep him comfy until the meds start fighting back for him. I’m really hoping that this doesn’t spread around to the other kids.
  4. Micah got an interview for VCOM! I’m pretty sure everyone knows that our son Micah is applying to medical school for 2016. He applied to VCOM, and it took a little while for everything to get verified, but they sent him an interview invitation yesterday. I’m so excited! He’s like a thousand times smarter than me, and I know he will knock it out of the park. Won’t that be cool going to medical school with my kid? They’d better accept him, that would be awkward otherwise, right?
  5. I hope this doesn’t sound like a whiney post this week, I can only really recap what my life is like, and while I’m still having a great time — and I’m incredibly grateful — sometimes life happens and talking about it makes it moderately better. I’ll be so glad when everyone is feeling their best and able to tackle what comes next. Which I believe is pharmacology and anatomy. *whew*