Monday, April 19, 2010

The Home (literally) Stretch...

Tomorrow morning I will take the first of three (THREE!!) finals. Up until now I've spent most of the day at the end of my rope. I now am settling into that feeling of calm that I usually have before finals because (unlike last semester) I do not have to deliver a bang-up score on any of my subjects. Something happened on Mini 3 last semester that prevented that, so epic fail on my part. Thankfully I was able to correct that momentary lapse. And hold the phone: IIIII (that's me) got a high A on DPS...what's happening...

The past weekend has not been without it's moments though. Since Friday night (it's now Monday night) we've spent most of the evenings in a pile of people and papers in somebody's apartment on their bed. As Epic Fail eloquently put it in her blog (yes I'm stealing from you), we'd occasionally drift off only to be kicked awake and told to snap out of it. Not only were we snapping out of it but we were also snapping at each other. I think every single person has repeatedly been chewed out only to turn around and do it themselves. I don't think anybody is taking it personally because we all know that it's a high stress time and medical students are weird to begin with.

I did have one moment in Subway the other night that now I just have to laugh at. I was the next-to-last at the counter to pay for my sandwich. Getting there took forever and a day all by itself. The person in front of me left her sandwich on the counter and took all her stuff and put it down on a table. Thinking (like I have often done) she spaced out and walked away from the counter without something I picked up her bag and handed it to her and asked her if she forgot her sandwich. She looked at me like I had just spit on it and said "EXCUSE ME!" not really yelling but in a really snotty voice. I wanted to say pardon me all to hell and "eff you!" for trying to do you a favor you stuck up wench. But I held my tongue and just said, "Oh, sorry, I thought you had forgotten your sandwich." She proceeded to look at me like I had three heads. If looks could kill...she would have a hole right through her...Heaven forbid you do something friendly...

Anyway, I was pretty hot under the collar about that (why I let things like that bother me I'm still trying to figure out) so I didn't say anything about it while we were eating, but I asked a friend who knew Miss Prissy about the next night. She said that yeah, she was really awkward and didn't know how to deal with people and a lot of people have had similar experiences. The only thing I can think of is...WHY is this girl going to be a doctor if she cannot even be polite in the blasted Subway line...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Who Doesn't Love a Good House Flood?

I came back from lunch (after sleeping until 11:30) to find half my bathroom and about 6 feet of my bedroom flooded. BONK. Can you say aggravation? I was coming back to get my books and I was in the frame of mind to hit them hard to start getting ready for the final, then that happened. I think it's an understatement to say I was less than pleased. If anything because now I only have one clean towel...oh well, only one is fine for the next week, even if it is annoying, and then it dawned on me, I only have 8 more nights in Dominica, which is a rather pleasant thought :) because then I get to go home and see my friends and family.

Thankfully the floor is just tiled, and not carpeted so I just wiped it up, then actually watched Little House on the Prairie to put some innocent happy thoughts into my head before resuming the drudgery. For the first time In several months I can say i went over 24 hours without giving any care in the world to whether or not I was studying. It was a nice feeling.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Cortisol Released!!!!

Ok, the title of this post refers to the stress hormone cortisol, which is (duh!) a glucorticoid, not to be confused with that all important mineralocorticoid aldosterone which mainly has fun regulating your kidney function. I can elaborate if you like. I can also withhold from elaborating if you like. It's your call (insert Reba McEntire singing, "it's your call, it's her, would you rather take it in the other room...") yes, that just went through my head. Be a hater if you want. I don't care.

Anyway, cortisol is related stress. With tests this week (and finals next, what speedballing squirrel disc jockey made this schedule!) most people are in full stress mode, and it manifests in different ways. Most people, like me, get crabby and are itching to go postal on anything or anybody. Things that go through your head are:
- is it really that difficult, the menu's right in front of you, and you've been standing in line for TEN minutes
- give me my food NOW
- is it absolutely necessary for you to slam your crap down EVERY TIME you sit down
- in a similar vein -- is it ABSOLUTELY necessary to scrape your freaking chair across the floor so loudly that the whole room hear it....most everybody else manages to get up without sounding like a dying elephant...
- if you insist on sharing your smoker's cough with us, please do us all a favor and take your freaking hands/arms OFF the desk. Every time you hawk up a lung you shake the entire desk. I counted, you've coughed three times in the last two minutes, and spilled my drink from shaking the desk. Better yet, use Robitussin you idiot.
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh rant

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hell Week (one) is over

This was, as the title suggests, hellacious. Four practicals in four days. LAWD.  It goes something like this:

Tuesday: Neuro practical -- 50 questions, 25 chosen carefully from about 3000 slides that we have to identify (and of course correctly spell, not that I'm opposed to that...). Following that was 25 wet brain samples whereby the professor would put pins or a probe in random places about the brain. We spent three days studying for that one because it was going to be the most difficult as a) my Neuro grade would benefit from a healthy injection of a high A (I'm not failing, but would like to be doing better) and b) it wasn't multiple choice.

Wednesday: Immediately following the neuro practical it was time to study for the Histo practical. About 300 slides from which 50 questions would be plucked...A friend and I were studying at my apartment because it's closer to the Annex (where the exam would be given) and we had eaten lunch at Rituals. We were due to take the practical at 2. At about 1245 I noticed a slide that we hadn't covered during the two days prior, and realized, AHHHH, there was an extra lecture we had forgotten about! Ducky, just ducky. So, we spent the last hour going over that one. Thankfully we were pretty familiar with the material anyway from studying it for Minis. We just had to know what it looked like...Good thing too because because about six questions came out of that lecture and we would have been SOL. Thankfully I think I got them all. After THAT practical we went back to my place so my friends could get their stuff, but we were exhausted from the weekend, plus the stress, plus all the studying. We ended up watching a movie and I'm pretty sure I conked out for like thirty minutes of it. I was finally woken up by a very loud "MORNIN' MISS DAISY!" coming from Morgan Freeman. It sounded like he was screaming right into my ear. After that we went to grab some dinner, and then did a bunch of nothing for a few hours while you brains healed. I then scribbled out something for my DPS practical the next day. It was supposed to be short, so I happily complied.

Thursday: DPS practical. I'm not a fan of this class. They want to teach us how to interact with patients, but that entails only limited instruction without actually interacting with PEOPLE. As a result it seems like they just end up grasping at straws as they end up repeating the same hogwash over and over and over again. Often it seems like they also make up stuff. Every time you think you get it though, they change the answer to the same question. It's a moving target. Makes you wonder if they even know the answer...We've discussed this, and we get the feeling that they want to teach us behavioral, but since that's not scheduled until next semester they end up propping up their egos by preaching at us about nonsense. Thankfully that practical took fifteen minutes and I was done. On to anatomy!

On Wednesday I had attempted to go into the lab to look over a few things, mainly the liver and the arteries of the mesentery. Unfortunately there were 700 people in there who all had the same idea. (side note, I just typed the word "idear" for that one. Inside joke, but it's making fun of a Trinidadian professor who says "aorter" and "placenter". I didn't know Trinidad was in Kentucky until I came to Dominica...). All I really wanted to do was look at the liver, as apparently the lectures and dissections had done nothing for me...Well, a rather annoying individual latched onto our group of four as we were starting to open up the bodies, and it all went downhill from there. He wanted to run the show, as opposed to everybody working together (we have a system). He also was one of those people who have no concept of HEY-YOU'RE-IN-MY-BUBBLE. I would take a step back because HEY-YOU'RE-IN-MY-BUBBLE, and he would just step right on with me. HEY-YOU'RE-IN-MY-BUBBLE jerkwad. Anyway, I went off to a different body while they were playing this really loud and annoying video that was done on a body that had every possible aberration and rarity that you could find in the human body. I went over and checked out the colic arteries because I had botched those on the practice practical as well. I was on that body literally thirty seconds before the smell just knocked me down. Imagine, if you will, roadkill covered in bowels and boiled with chitterlings. That's how that smelled.  I held my breath and did a mad dash for the colic arteries and covered that one back up. I then decided that between the rotting, moldy bodies, body preservative, and 637 of my fellow classmates that this was a lost cause. I went home and watched dissection videos.

Thursday, after the DPS practical I didn't even bother going near the lab. I just reviewed the dissection videos again and looked over the list of whatnots I had made for myself

Friday: Because a disc jockey-squirrel who had a speedball habit made the exam schedule, the D's ended up going first, while the O's and Q's went after the Y's and Z's who went before the M's....anyway, my exam was at 1645...yipeeeee. I spent the morning going over radiographs and reading a little biochem. I'm not sure why I bothered to go over the radiographs. All of the radiographs that were included in the practical were changed, and I swear she threw some in there from lectures we never had. Oh well, I only missed one. One of them turned out to be the stomach, though I saw it on the computer screen when I entered the lab, and had no clue what it was. I stared at it for five minutes as I made my way down the line to that question (we have 45 seconds per question) I kept staring at it. At first I thought it was the pancreas b/c two of the choices were Superior or Inferior pancretoduodenal artery (say that five times fast please). Then, FINALLY, the little hamster got on his wheel and I noticed, OH, there's duodenum...this has to be the stomach. And where they're pointing could only be left gastric artery. Patting myself on the back as I went to the next one, which I saw from literally across the room as situs inversus. Thankfully that was one of the last things we looked at thinking, well, really, if they put that on there then they're being jerks. Well, chalk one up to the jerks. I walked out of there with my tail between my legs. But today when I looked at the answer sheet, I think I only missed 4, which is pretty darn good on a mad-dash practical!
Note: I ended up missing 6, for a still solid 85, not complaining as it puts me in a very good position going into the final.

Word for Hell Week being over. Now, 4 more, and then I can begin the sure-to-be-stressfull journey home. Why oh why couldn't American have added that extra flight when I was rearranging my travel plans. Oh well, the plus side is I have to overnight anyway, and do not have to entrust LIAT to get my baggage any further than Antigua.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The mind...

I had the most bizarre dream last night. What's even more bizarre is that I vividly remember it. I dreamed that I was traveling to Vietnam. Why Vietnam I'm not entirely sure, but that's mostly irrelevant. I remember walking through the airport (or at least what my brain thinks an airport in Vietnam looks like, as I've never been there) and then realized I DON'T HAVE MY PASSPORT. A minor problem. At this point I still hadn't woken up. Somehow I get out onto the streets in Vietnam (sans passport and obligatory Vietnamese visa that had, and still have, no recollection of applying for and obtaining...) and go to change money. I hand somebody my credit card and say, give me $5,000 USD in dong please. (Yes I got my credit card back, but I don't recall the fool ever running it...). I then looked at the money as I was walking down the street and was seeing bills with valuations of 11,550. I have no idea the valuations of Vietnamese dong, but I digress. I then started shuffling through the money and realized that many of the bills were cardstock copies of the US dollar...and they weren't even cut out on center. I then realized, I MUST be dreaming. Time to wake up. I think I'll go make sure I still have my passport...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Adventures...of Cows...

I needed a break from staring at the development of the genitals (wouldn't you) so I went outside around 5 when it was actually tolerable. I sat down next to a field and observed that there were several cows grazing in it. I noticed the cows were obviously feeling frisky, so I actually started to watch them. One cow got too close to another, and it was promptly headbutted. Another mooed LOUDLY at a cat for five minutes. The cat was behind a gate and just sat there looking at the cow like "what, I'm not going anywhere, and you can't get me, so shut up". I agreed with the cat, which is a frightening thought if you let your mind go there... Later the cows decided that the soccer goal was going to be their playtoy. One got his horns stuck in the net and dragged it like ten feet before it would come out. Three of them then proceeded to kick and shove the goal. After a while I lost interest. Such is my life right now...