Friday, August 18, 2017

Third Year, it's HERE!

I have to admit, I couldn't make myself blog here while I was waiting for my COMLEX scores. I knew I'd say a bunch of stuff, and there was a distinct possibility that I might have to swallow some of those things if I didn't pass. Every time I thought about logging in to see my score, my stomach jumped into my throat and then plunged into my toes. Test day was pretty much a traumatic blur. I do remember going to BoruBoru Sushi and having a fabulous salmon sushi bowl after. That was nice. The thought of having to pull out all the books again after closing that chapter most enthusiastically and then having to retake that monstrosity of an exam was just too much to grasp for my poor brain. My brain. It's still a quivering pile of jello, guys. I'm three weeks into third year rotations, and whenever my preceptor asks me a question, I fly into panic mode. I want to curl into a fetal position on the floor and scream. I'm really good at saying, "I don't know. I am sure I knew that before, but right now, I have nothing." I really hope this goes away soon. I'm seriously embarrassed at what a slobbering idiot I've turned into. I probably need some therapy.

Speaking of therapy, EVERYONE needs to visit Hawaii some time in their miserable existence anywhere else on this planet that is not Hawaii. It is beautiful. I could happily move myself and my entire family there. But I'm thinking it's the worst place in the world to have a job. I don't think I'd ever want to work, I'd just sit on the beach and be useless all day. That would be fine until it came time to pay the bills and buy some food.

Rotations have been fun so far. I just finished my third week with my first rotation, and it's really a whole lot better than the first two years. I'm kinda sad this is my last week with my first preceptor. I've seen lots of cool cases that I can't tell you anything about, because HIPAA.

I'm trying really hard to find my feet with this new schedule. We have early morning lectures at 7am Monday-Thursday, and I feel like I have just enough time to get home and flop into bed when I get done with clinic. I still have lots of reading to do, and we have cases assigned to complete as well. Then we have to study for our end of rotation exam, which is every four weeks. Add to that the required laundry, food prep, and maybe seeing my family a little, and I am having a bit of trouble fitting everything in. I'm hoping I'll hit a groove and find some extra time here and there to get some exercise and goofing off time in. I can't be stretched this thin and just be in third year! I guess I'm just a wimp.

Well, I think that's pretty much caught up from the summer to now. Here's hoping things settle down, and I manage my time well enough to get it all done. The life of a medical student. A whiny one, I guess. It's HARD.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blocks? What are blocks? I'm done with blocks.

I'm still here. I've just been buried in board study, and not much else has been going on. Well, it has been going on, I've just missed it because of the whole board study thing I mentioned up there. I have a new granddaughter! She's beautiful and perfect.

So what's been going on? Well, we finished our second year of medical school, and I'm in that lovely limbo period between finished with second year and taking COMLEX Level 1. That's scheduled for next week, and I'm still pounding the books pretty hard. It's been a bit of a challenge for me, because our school requires that we take a practice exam and make a minimum score on it before we are cleared to take the COMLEX. And I didn't do so good on that, so I had to get some help. But the help helped, and I'm all geared up to nail this thing next week. Except I'm pretty nervous. Hopefully it will go smoothly.

After I take the boards, my HB and I are taking a trip to HAWAII!! I'm so excited I just can't stand it. I'm also a little concerned with what I am going to do with myself after the studying part is over. I mean, I really only have a few weeks between COMLEX and starting clinical rotations, and the studying will definitely not be over for good. But I spend so much time studying right now, and I finished this afternoon and was casting about for something to do to keep myself busy, and I just got bored. I don't want to watch Netflix, I have seen everything on Facebook, and I really don't know what else to do with myself. I even took a nap, so I'm not sleepy. I've already exercised, too. So I guess I found time to blog, haha! Except there's not really a whole lot to update because it's just wake up, exercise, study, go to bed, repeat. I just feel the need to chronicle this as part of my journey, so you guys have to hear about it.

Anyway, I hope all my fellow med school students are having a nice summer (because most of them have already taken the boards), and that we will all be ready to jump in and figure out what the heck we are doing once third year starts. I guess once boards are over, I can begin obsessing about third year and how I don't know anything about anything.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bonus: I'm just over here busting up the odds

This post looks to be a follow up to yesterday's whinging about studying for boards, so you can ignore it if you like. But sometimes, when you're fearing the future, it helps to look backward. So here I go. I spent a large portion of my life going with the flow. And that's ok, if it makes you happy. I learned early on that making waves gets you unnecessary attention (detention?), and it's better to just keep your head down and take whatever comes. Good societies are built on everyone following the rules. But progress depends on people -- just every once in a while -- asking "but what if we...?" The majority of people in this world are content to check off their to-do list every day and keep putting one foot in front of the other, and that's OK. But there's always been this huge "but what if I...?" bouncing around in my head. It's really hilarious when I meet someone new and we are making small talk about what we do as a career, what makes up our family, or what do we like to do for fun. Oh, you have six children? WOW! Oh, you're in medical school at 43? OMG! You've lost 100 pounds in the last year? WHOA!

See, I didn't set out to do anything out of the ordinary, or stuff that people don't normally do, or anything that would statistically be something out of my reach. But here I am, doing all that stuff! I can't tell you how many times someone has said, oh well, the odds of that working out for you successfully are pretty low. I honestly didn't see it as a challenge. I just kept working towards what I wanted waiting for it to not work out. Except, so far it has worked out. SO I keep going. So when I whinge about boards and whether I feel like I'm going to pass, it's kind of like wondering if this is the part of my journey where they finally tell me I can't go any further. I'm way further out on the rope than I ever imagined I'd get. And I won't be content to stop here. If I don't pass COMSAE, I'm going to take it again. But I really hope I pass. If I fail COMLEX, well I'm going to take that again too! I don't feel hopeless or discouraged, I just feel REALLY REALLY NERVOUS. 

And then today I was scrolling through Facebook after my workout, and I saw a video about Mandy Harvey. She lost her hearing at 18, and thought she would have to give up singing. But she didn't. She taught herself how to sing in a new way, and she's super good at it, too! So she goes on America's Got Talent and makes Simon Cowell cry. Mandy joins the ranks of my heroes, which includes the Chewbacca Mom, Melissa Radke, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Girl Power! Anyway, I'm including the video from her performance. I was going to just make a Facebook post and share it, but then I started having all these thoughts, so I blogged instead. I'm sure your FB scroll button will love me for that.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Block 8 Week 9 (is it?): We've reached that point

So I've reached the point in studying for COMLEX Step 1 that I'm sure every medical student does at some time in their dedicated study block: I HATE EVERYONE. Not really, I don't hate anyone at all. But I keep catching myself watching people going about their lives doing things they want to do and having fun and zero cares. AND I AM SO JEALOUS. I see cars parked in front of shopping centers or restaurants, and I think about how all those people have all this time to do whatever they want, and I'm sitting here cramming more diseases in my head than it could ever possibly hold.

We are one week from taking COMSAE, which is the practice test that determines whether my school will allow me to take COMLEX on June 28. I'm convinced no one else in my class is struggling with this as much as I am. I feel like everyone is going to pass it with flaming flair, and I'm going to be sitting there with an almost but not quite good enough score. And that will send all the plans I have spiraling down the toilet. I've been following a study schedule, and most days I am happy with my practice questions. But, the last two days have been less than stellar, and I feel like stuff is falling out of my head faster than I can put it in. I can't decide if I need to study harder or take a break.

So yeah, when I am sitting here at Panera sucking at COMQUEST, I look out the window and there's a lady sitting at a table sipping a coffee and scrolling through her phone, and I think UGH why did I go to medical school? I guess I'll have to come back and write a follow up post answering that question, because nothing is coming to mind.

I think what I'm going to do right now is put up my computer and books and go do something normal humans do. If my head stops swirling with all the stress and stuff, I'll do another round of questions before I go to bed.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Block 8 Weeks 2-6: This block is weird and I don't quite know what to say here

I keep opening a new post with the intention of catching up with the last few weeks. And then another week passes of pretty much the same thing, and I really don't think anything I'd put here would be very entertaining. It's block 8: the final frontier. Dedicated board study is pretty much just lather, rinse, repeat. I get up every morning and work out. Then I decide whether I'm going to class or not. Sometimes we have class, but it's mostly review. There are some sections where I find the review helpful, and some not so much. Like today is GI, and I'm pretty good on that, so I decided to stay home and do some studying on my own. Except it is now 11am and I am still working on the whole getting showered and presentable after my workout. I feel like I move in slow motion here lately. I think maybe I need a little more structure in my study schedule. Right now it's pretty much dread, delay, drudge. We are about a month from COMLEX Step 1, so I gotta get my booty in gear. Gonna do that now, CIAO!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Block 8 Week 1: When Cameron was in Egypt's Land...

Hopefully everyone has seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off and I don't need to recommend this one. Don't be embarrassed if not, just go watch it.

Block 8 begins: dedicated board study block. Except not so dedicated, because we have a few extra things to do in addition to board study like BDLS and ACLS, and more things with initials that I have no idea what they stand for. All through my block break, I was getting emails from school about all these dang assignments I had to complete DURING MY BREAK. Um, yeah, I'll get right on that...

Break. It's a noun. I thought it meant hiatus, vacation, a pause in activity. I was WRONG. Apparently my school takes it to mean to smash, split, or divide into parts violently, reduce to pieces or fragments. Because that's what they did to my sanity all block break! Seriously guys, I need that week to get my head back in the game. Oh well.

Monday started with our dedicated review course. We have a lecturer that comes in and reviews stuff we are supposed to know already and sum it up so we can retrieve it when we take boards in June or July. By the end of the day Monday, my head was full to bursting and I was TIRED. Then we had to come back for more on Tuesday. It's pretty heavy duty, and sometimes my brain just goes NOPE. But it is a really good review course, and I'm picking it up OK. Hopefully it will stay in there, because he keeps pouring MORE in!

Oh, and guess what I do when I get home from school? Study for boards. I have a study plan all mapped out that includes First Aid, Combank questions, Osmosis questions, Sketchy Pharm/Micro/Path, and Savarese. There's more than that available, but I can't fit anything else into my schedule currently. I try to fit anything extra in on the weekends. Ah, the weekend. I had a huge list of things to do that included -- you guessed it -- more board studying. Except I didn't even dent that list. I did some questions, and I tried to do some reading, but my brain wasn't having it. Hopefully going forward in this block, I'll have a little more stick-to-itness.

We have another week coming up with the same lecturer reviewing with us, and then next week we have our BDLS course. That's Basic Disaster Life Support. Apparently next Friday, we will be participating in a fake disaster with the local law enforcement and emergency services. We will be expected to triage and treat victims, which is pretty cool. I think it will be a nice break from the constant review classes. And it will be OUTSIDE. I love outside. So I'm definitely looking forward.

It's hard to believe the time has passed so quickly, and we are inching up towards boards and then clinicals. Everyone keeps telling me clinicals is going to be so much more fun. I've had fun so far, but most of the fun is looking forward to being finished, haha!

Here's to another week of more studying! Ciao!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Block 7 Week 10 and 11: We made it!

And here we are once again, at the end of a block. You guys know how it goes by now. Nail-biting, nerves, anxiety, RELIEF! The last two weeks have been non-stop studying and testing and waiting for grades, but it's OVER! But there is something different about this block. It's the end. We have covered all the lectures and now it's time to move on to dedicated board study. So for the next few months, it will be boards non-stop. Eat, sleep, study, repeat. I'm excited about it, but I'm also a little nervous. I can't believe two years of medical school are almost over, and at the end of July, I (hopefully) start my clinical rotations. Must. Pass. Boards. I can't say it went really fast, but at the same time, it seems like it should have taken longer to get here. I'm pretty excited.

I have one week between me and the dreaded Block 8, and you can bet I'm going to live it up. Well if living it up means sitting on my duff doing a bunch of nothing. You guys know how I feel about nothing. Ahhhhhhh. It's lovely. HB was out of town last week (in Hawaii, don't get me started), and I actually got a lot of cleaning and stuff done. I like to pace around my house and clean up instead of study because I'm complicated like that. So I don't have a huge list of housework that I need to get done really. We are throwing around some ideas about going camping or hiking or something. I kinda hope we manage to do something. I miss hanging out with my kids and HB, and I'd like to spend some time with them before boards prep gets super-serious. But I also don't want to plan a bunch of plans that will feel a whole lot like something other than nothing. Because ahhhhhh. Nothing.

Anyway, I don't have much else to report currently. I have an empty mind (haha nothing new) that is shrinking from responsibility. So I'm going to get back to doing my nothings. Have a nice break guys!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Block 7 Week 9: If it makes you happy...

I guess it's no secret that I've been in the dumps in a serious way for the last few weeks. I don't want to do anything that remotely looks like studying or learning. I just want to curl up in bed and watch Grimm episodes and eat carbs. Some of this has to do with impending board exams, and the rest is probably separation anxiety because the HB has been out of town SO VERY MUCH lately. He's going to freaking HAWAII the week before block break WITHOUT ME. Yes, salty, that's me. 

So today I thought I'd write a post about things that make me happy, because there are quite a few things on that list.
First, when I'm all bummed and my friends come over and play cards and make me laugh. Last night, Mikey and Ezra and Dottie came over and we ate twizzlers and starburst and oreos and ice cream and played cards until LATE. We laughed and goofed off, and it was AWESOME. Sometimes your study buddies turn into family, and that's pretty nifty.

Next, CHEESE! You guys, I love cheese so very much. It's good all by itself, or on a cracker, or melted and smothering a tortilla chip. Cheese is a friend that has NEVER disappointed. I feel like food is going to star in a major way on this list.

Fat babies. OMG guys. My grandsons are so adorable, and the little one is all chubby and squishy and he loves cuddling. The older one is easily placated with cheese (just like his Bubbie), and he says the most hilarious things. I wish I had been able to relax and have fun with my littles like I do with my grandies. But I was too worried about being the perfect mother and I had no chill.

HIKING! I have never been an outside person. Mainly because I was fat and out of shape. I'm still kinda fat and out of shape, but not as much as before. I discovered that I REALLY don't like going to the gym and working out on a machine with a bunch of other hamster people. I like to be outside. We have this awesome park that has lots of great hiking trails (and biking apparently; I discovered this when I was almost mowed down by a couple of eager bikers), and I would go there EVERY DAY if weather allowed. However, our weather has been iffy here lately, so I haven't been as often as I'd like.  But this is definitely on my list of happy things.

PEEPS (See I TOLD you there's lots of food)! Easter is my favorite time of year, mostly because of peeps. I like to open the package and put it up out of sight of my kids until they get stale and then eat them. Yeah, I know, pretty sick, right? They are so yummy! It seems like everyone has deep opinions about Peeps. I'm definitely in the LOVE department.


My HB. I have a major league crush on that dude. I've loved him since I was 11 years old, and I ain't stopping now. Or ever. He is stuck with me FOR LIFE. Poor guy. He doesn't seem to mind though; I guess I'm pretty charming or something. Or maybe he's hanging on until I'm a doctor so he can be my Trophy Husband. We're both OK with that.


SO we had our standardized patient last Tuesday, and that was INTERESTING. You'd think by now I wouldn't get all in a dither about this since I've done it every block since the first one. But I get so dang nervous! Another dumb thing I did was get a gel manicure on the Friday before. So I have these fake nails that I'm not used to, and I'm expected to type my notes on the encounter in nine minutes when I can't even spell my name with these durn things on!

I went back today to review my note, and it's a mess! Typos galore! I think a toddler might have done a better job. I seriously hope that I pass. Yes, it's that bad. But I feel like my patient experience went well. I hope the grader agrees.

Well, I guess that's it for this week. Two more weeks in block 7!!! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Block 7 Week 8: I just want to wrap up in a blanket on my couch and play video games

So there's this motivational speaker guy that I follow on Facebook. He's really awesome. He was born without any arms or legs, and he travels around and speaks and writes books and is generally a great dude. I see his posts and they are all like, don't let your problems slow you down, turn them into stepping stones or some kinda flowery language like that. Most of the time, I'm all like, yeah dude, let's get it! But not today. Today, I want to go home and get under the covers and pretend like I don't have SP tomorrow.

I know I write this blog and I'm always like, hey, I'm so blessed to be here, and things get hard, but you just have to work hard and you'll get there. And most of the time I feel like that. But today. UGH. Blame it on Daylight Saving Time (if I ever get a straight answer on who thought it was a good idea to start a Monday an hour in the hole, Imma dig him up and kick him right in the butt), or Monday, or the fact that we are starting week 9, or any number of bummer things that are going on. It's just that this is a hard place to be. I don't want to study or practice for my standardized patient for tomorrow.

The thing that a lot of medical students will tell you about this undertaking is that you have to pass on a lot of fun things that the rest of the world gets to do while you are becoming a doctor. And most of the time you can tell yourself that it will all be worth it when you are living the dream. But I read an article this morning that pretty much just dumped a truckload of sand on that idea. This is the article: Sleep Deprived Docs Disclose Hospital Horrors. To sum up, the ACGME (that's who is in charge of medical education in residency after graduation from medical school) approved a return to 28-hour shifts for doctors in residency. The article discusses some anecdotes of doctors' experiences after a long call period. It is scary and horrifying.

See, as a medical student, there are some things about our education that are kind of a drag. Like sometimes an instructor of a particular class might not be presenting the most up-to-date clinically-oriented information, and we get frustrated. Or maybe I did bad on an exam, and it makes me feel like I'm not working hard enough. The rigors of the first two years sometimes wear you down and you just feel in the dumps. But you tell yourself, hey, we are so close to clinicals, and getting closer to graduation, then residency, and then being a "real doctor!" However, it's really hard to look forward to the next step when it looks like what these interns are experiencing in that article.

It doesn't make sense to me that anyone thinks it is a good idea to have a sleep-deprived intern practicing medicine. If truck drivers don't get enough sleep, they cause 60-car pileups on the freeway.  If a physician doesn't get enough sleep, the attending smacks him on the butt and sends him into the ER to work up the next patient. What does a 60-car pileup look like in an ER? Or in the NICU? I don't think I want to know. I certainly don't want to be the intern responsible for a bad patient outcome simply because I fell asleep while I was supposed to be working up a head injury.

I'm really sorry for the bummer blog post today. I have to remind myself that this path I'm on is a calling for me, and I'm not promised that it will be fun and rosy when it's all done. All I know is this is what I'm supposed to be doing. It would be a lot easier if I was sure that spending all this time becoming led to something better than what the doctors in that article have experienced. It would make it a lot easier to give up being with my family and blanket-wrapped video game times. And not all days are like this for sure. It's just today kinda sucks.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Block 7 Week 7: My Motivational Playlist

I started getting the idea for this blog post this week, and I wanted to make sure before I dive in that everyone who reads this doesn't misunderstand me. While I might whinge and moan about how difficult medical school is, I do not want anyone to think that I am ungrateful for this opportunity. I talk to a lot of people who are smart and qualified who have not been accepted into medical school. These are people who probably look a lot better than I do on paper and in interviews. So I do not want to give the impression that I am not content with where I am. The other side of that coin is that I want to be real. A lot of people live their lives thinking that at some point in the future, they will find "happy." If I weigh a certain amount, if I get into this school, if I drive this car, and if I can wing my eyeliner just right, I will exist in this place called happy. I won't lie, there is a special satisfaction that comes with getting that eyeliner winged perfectly.

But at the end of the night after wowing the public, ya gotta wash that stuff off, right? Otherwise you wake up in the morning looking like an SVU victim found in an alley.
So that kind of happiness is temporary -- but that's another blog post for another time. Having said all that, let's go.

Some days I can't find the motivation to get in the car and do the same thing all over again. When school first started, this was not a problem. I'd get up at 6am, take a shower, get dressed in my snazzy new business casual attire, and hit the road like:

Fast forward to block 7, and it's more like:

ESPECIALLY on test days. I have spent the better part of two years (which isn't really a long time, is it?) getting up, getting dressed, and going to class. We sit in the same chair next to the same people and listen to other people talk about (and show gross pictures) of disease processes and sometimes even some normal stuff. A few days a week, we come in and take exams. It gets monotonous. Becoming a doctor pretty much sucks up all the hours in a day, and that stretches into weeks, and months, and years. I think I understand why a lot of doctors get salty about their patients consulting Dr. Google after spending so much time learning the ins and outs of the human body so that we can treat them properly. 

So what do you do to keep your head on? Well, it takes some extra work and time (which are things that aren't plentiful), but it can be done. One of the things that helps me is music. I LOVE music, and I have some pretty varied tastes in that area. I have a Spotify subscription, so I like to make playlists. I have a playlist for just about everything. I organize them according to artist sometimes, and then I have some that are specific to situations. Then I have my starred playlist, which is huge and always growing. It's just songs that I've come across that I like. Most of the time I just set that one to shuffle, and I'm good. HB teases me that I don't have any music from this decade on that playlist, and he's pretty close to right. So then I have this one playlist, and it changes a lot because I find new stuff to stick in there and I get tired of some of the older ones. It's called I Don't Want To. I think it was originally called Monday, but the new descriptor is more fitting, because it doesn't just happen on Mondays. I think every song that gets to be on this playlist so far has been an upbeat tempo that just gets you moving, but also has lyrics that motivate me. "Don't Bring That Trouble" by Needtobreathe has been on there for a while, and I don't see it getting retired any time soon. "Unstoppable" by Sia is a new addition. I don't want to put down a complete list here of songs, because I think it's a good idea to find your theme songs to populate your Motivational Playlist. 

So sometimes when you're feeling rather like this:

Don't do this:

Make a playlist, and walk into class like this:

No, it won't change the monotony of medical school or make you a better student, but it might just help you get through another day of I Don't Want To. And eventually you will cross those off your list and get to better days.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Block 7 Week 6: Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

Not really, I just love that quote from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I have to say that second to The Princess Bride, Bill and Ted is one of the most quotable movies of my teen years, maybe ever. I am an unabashed aficionado of dumb movies, and Bill and Ted is one of my favorites. I think I learned more history from this movie than during all of my high school years. Shhhhh... I know. 

I guess you could say that strange things ARE afoot, though. Now that we are nearing the end of our two years of desk travail, I am feeling a little overwhelmed. I'm trying to fit in board studying, regular studying, life, exercise, family, church, and all of the usual things we have to juggle. I've had some difficulty with the board study, though. Honestly at 8pm I'm falling in the bed like it's midnight. Yes, I'm taking my vitamins. I just feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done, and even if there were, the last four or so just aren't good for studying. My brain hurts!

So what's new in week 6? Not much, just more of the usual. We had a huge push of Clinical Medicine Psychology this week, and I am reeling with all of the possible mood disorders and psychotic diagnoses that are out there. We had our exam this morning, and I think I did OK. I know there are several students in my class that have been excited for getting to this subject finally, and I'm glad they are having a good time. I think I hit my peak in OB/GYN. 

I'm starting to get really excited about moving back home for clinicals. I love my house and my neighborhood and the idea of getting my chickens back! I will miss the proximity to town, however. It's nice to be able to hop in my car and get to Kroger in five minutes or less. My kids have really gotten used to being close to town, and they can get to their various sports practices quite easily where we are. So there's definitely pros and cons regarding the move, but I really think the pros (CHICKENS!!!) very much outweigh the cons (NO CHICKENS!!). Yes, I based my entire decision on the ability to keep chickens.

But seriously, we all have our coping mechanisms. My son (first year med student) bakes. How he bakes! Breads, cookies, you name it! I can always tell when school is getting heavy, because the house fills with yummy carb scents. I'm not doing as well with coping, because I tend to drown myself in online shopping. (Have ya seen my leggings collection? OMG!) But one of the things that really keeps me from floating away into panicky feelings is chickens. Before medical school, I had 15 fluffy feathery friends that ran free in my back yard. They were quirky and sassy, and just sitting in the backyard watching them seemed to drain all stress right out of me. Also, EGGS! The fresh eggs were definitely a plus. I'm currently replacing my chicken angst with a lizard. He's pretty much just a naked chicken. Here's a shot of Muerte:

But he doesn't lay eggs. I'd rather he didn't, actually. But it's really fun to let him run around the house, and watch him eat superworms. He gets excited about worms and crickets, y'all. REALLY excited! So he's my indoor pseudo-chicken. If I could put a vest on him and call him my service animal, I would take him to school every day. 

Speaking of service animals, we have a service dog that visits our school on mornings that we have exams. His name is Hodges, and he's a sweetie. He pretty much just wants to play tug-of-war with his toy, but I love seeing him on test days. One of the students in our class is conducting a study about interacting with Hodges and possible reductions in stress before exams. I'm not sure if I feel any differently about my exam after visiting with Hodges. But it's nice to play tug-of-war with him anyway. 

I guess that's all for this week. Stay tuned next week for post-mortem after our OMM final and practical.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Block 7 Weeks 4-5: Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads...

So the big news dropped on Friday; our assignments for third and fourth year, that is. I was very pleased to get my first choice, and I'm even more excited that we get to move back HOME! While I have loved my time here, and I love the house we currently live in, I am so excited to get back to MY house. I miss my yard, and my neighborhood, and CHICKENS!

Pretty much the biggest news going on right now outside of clinical rotation assignments is BOARD EXAMS. Yeah, we have to pass the big Step 1 before we are allowed to do our rotations. Everyone is carrying their well-thumbed copies of First Aid everywhere they go, and you can see people scribbling notes in them all the time. I have a really cool schedule for board study, and sometimes I even stick to it. Next block is 24/7 boards boards boards. *sigh*

I kinda hit a wall this morning right after my pharmacology exam. I was getting in my car, and saying bye to a classmate. I caught myself saying, "Enjoy the rest of your day, I'm going home, and then I'll be back tomorrow to DO. THE. SAME. THING. ALL. OVER. AGAIN." This medical school thing ain't easy guys. You kinda get used to it, but sometimes you stop and ponder the lather, rinse, repeat-ness of it, and it gets OLD. We sit in lecture all day, we go home and eat something, then we study study study. Sleep, get up, repeat. I'll just say I'm super looking forward to clinicals next year. The monotony is wearing me out.

Speaking of worn out, that's my middle name! By about 8 at night, I am so absolutely pooped. I feel like I've aged a hundred years since school started. After attending class, trying to get in some exercise, and studying (if I can stay awake long enough), my energy is gone. I think maybe I need to up my vitamin dosage or something. I'm feeling kinda like this guy: 

Anyway, I guess that's all that's going on with me right now. Hopefully next week I'll be more interesting, right now though, I'm going to bed. Good night!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Block 7 Week 3: Five by Five

Ah yes. We couldn't have a blog without a little Buffy, right? I never could quite figure out what Faith was referencing exactly when she said she was five by five. I guess it was her way of saying everything's OK. Or maybe not. She wasn't exactly OK, was she? I kinda get her though. I find myself saying I'm OK a lot of time when I'm not exactly sure that I am. I'll think I'm OK, and then I'll have a mini panic attack while I'm trying to nail down a pathway or cascade in cell bio. Yeah, we have our cell bio final tomorrow, and this is not my best subject. So my brain will start cramping and then I panic because I don't want to remediate cell bio. We always jump to the worst conclusions don't we?

We are trucking along here in block 7 now. We only have one more block left in our pre-clinical education. Then it's time for boards and clinical rotations. This block includes hematology, dermatology, and lymphatics. People will come up to me sometimes and ask if I'm almost done with medical school. Haha, no. But it has gone very quickly, especially second year. First year seemed to drag out indefinitely. Then this year started, and ZOOM! I feel like I've learned a ton, but then someone will ask me a question about a condition, and suddenly I'm like, oh. We haven't really learned that yet. Or worse, we will have learned about it, but maybe not the particular aspect they are wanting to know about. For most illnesses, we get clinical presentation, a little info on any kind of genetic goof-up if applicable, and drugs that treat it and their mechanism of action.  If it's a bacterial infection, I should be able to tell you if the bug is gram negative or positive (in theory), which really doesn't tell you much about the disease course or what you can expect. It does help with the kind of medication that might wipe it out though. I'm hoping that kind of info will be more clear in clinical rotations. 

Sometimes it seems like medical school is asking a little more out of me than I want to give up. Especially when something fun is going on, and I have to once again bow out and go study. Like right at this moment, my family is at my house eating nachos and chicken wings and watching the Super Bowl. Now, I'd rather eat crickets than watch a football game on TV, but I love a good excuse to get family together and eat junk food and hang out. But here I am studying for my exam tomorrow and feeling a little meh about it. I try to comfort myself with the fact that it will be over and I will be a real doctor, but that seems really far off from here.

Yeah I will deal with it, thanks. A really awesome lady told me one time that a lot of medical school involves holding my nose and getting through stuff I don't like. I think that was her reasoning for enduring organic chemistry in undergrad. So here I am holding my nose. But it's not all bad. We get to do some really cool stuff. Every Friday, we have early clinical experiences, and a lot of those have turned out to be really cool. Last week, I was assigned to shadow at a local EMS station. So I went to a firehouse and waited for them to get a call. Unfortunately, they didn't get any calls while I was scheduled. Or probably fortunately for the community. I never quite know how to feel about when I don't get to observe something because I know it means that nothing bad happened on my shift. Does that make me a bad person? I'm just sitting there on their couch like, I'm ready!

So I guess I need to get back to studying for that exam. I'd rather sit here and blog and do just about anything else, but in the morning I'll be sitting at my seat wondering why I wasted so much time. Tomorrow after my exam is over, I'm going to take a huge nap and maybe make some leftover nachos and watch some TV. That is, if I can remember how to operate the microwave...