Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Short is better than nothing

I am a chronic worst case scenario imaginer. Like, whatever I'm doing at that moment, I imagine what can go wrong and how I'd deal with it. Some call it pessimistic, but really I'm just trying to be prepared.

For example, right this minute I'm at a Panera having breakfast. I want some water but my crap is all over a table and my "always prepared" mind went to "what if someone stole all my stuff while I was gone".  My first reaction? Yelling "hey! Can you at least leave me my flashcards? Take the money and laptop...just leave my flashcards please."


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Being Human

So obviously my big thing this summer is anatomy. It's pretty much consuming my every waking thought (and many of my sleeping ones too), just like it is for everyone else in my class. It's a 5 credit class with 2 different lab components and a lecture component. The more fun lab is surface palpation. Basically, we all show up in shorts and bikini tops and touch each other. Not awkward at all.

It's actually not. It took all of like 2 minutes for everyone to realize no one was looking at them as anything more than a warm body with a scapula. (Scapula, not scalpel. Very important distinction.) It's actually pretty fun. 

The other lab is, obviously, cadaver lab. 

I'll be honest...it's not been as traumatic as I'd anticipated. Maybe it's because I haven't seen her face yet, or maybe I'm just heartless...I don't know. But the only time I've really had any kind of response to the whole thing has been in the last couple of days when we've been working on her hands. 

Her fingernails are painted. Doesn't bother me. Her hands in general - don't bother me. What bothers me is when I'm trying to work on something and need to hold her fingers back...the rigor makes it feel like she's pushing back against me. It feels like her fingers are wrapping around mine and pushing back. 

It freaks me out every time. 

That's the only time I get flashes of her as someone with a story, and it always makes me think of my grandmother's hands, for obvious reasons. I've alternated between wanting to call my grandmother every day and not being able to call her at all.

That said, there's this sort of block that prevents it from straying too far from clinical. I recognize that this is a fellow human being who decided to give her body so that I could learn medicine. I get that, and I fully appreciate the significance. I appreciate that it was 100% her choice to give her body for this, and I fully intend to do the same someday...assuming I don't die in some epic and bizarre way, that is. And assuming I live past 65. Before 65, I'd rather be an organ donor. I guess I should write a will about this...are blogs legal documents? (Note to self, check with lawyer on this.)

Anyway, like I was saying. I don't know if it's all just gone too fast for me to process and it'll surface at some horrible time later or if this is really just how I'm "handling" things. Right at this moment, I don't have the down time to spare for a total meltdown, so I'm just going to keep putting it on the back burner until it either boils over or fizzles out. For now, I'm doing fine.

On a related note, I've opted for the "take a deep breath and keep moving forward" approach for studying. I won't pretend that the sheer volume of information we're responsible for in the short time we're given isn't overwhelming - it is. But in the end, panic is only going to hurt. So instead of panicking, I'm making flash cards, flow charts (literally, they're about blood flow to the upper extremities), and diagrams.

I'm taking it one day at a time and trying not to feel frustrated or guilty when I get to class and realize that I've read the wrong thing or didn't read anything at all for what I needed. Tomorrow, next week, the week after, are all chances to recalibrate and regroup, and that's where I'm at.

I've also, in true compulsive spin instructor form, thrown together a playlist for the occasion. The first two songs have gotten a LOT of play lately. Anna Sun makes me a little homesick (no, the house hasn't sold yet...sigh), but it also makes me feel light and in touch with my deeper mind, which is helping keep me focused and calm.

Little Talks - Of Monsters And Men
Anna Sun  -  Walk the Moon
We Are Young (feat. Janelle MonĂ¡e)  -  fun.
Young Blood  -  The Naked And Famous
Shake It Out  -  Florence + The Machine
Hello Hurricane  -  Switchfoot
Souvenirs  -  Switchfoot
Dark Horses  -  Switchfoot
Snowflakes  -  White Apple Tree
Send Me On My Way  -  Rusted Roots
Safe & Sound  -  Taylor Swift

And youtube also reminds me that we're not alone.

 Hope everyone's having a good week

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Alphabet Soup

In an effort to keep blogging, I'm going to try something new. Over the course of the week, I'm going to fill in the alphabet with random stuff that happens/comes up/seems interesting. It's going to get choppy and ugly, but at least it's content, right? I'll put the date at the end of each one, to give a rough timeline of when I wrote it. Maybe that'll help.

Anatomy...it's fascinating, but I'm having a really hard time getting myself organized. Last night I made flash cards that may work. This morning I flipped through them on the bus. Didn't retain a damn thing, but I'm not giving up hope yet. (6/14)

Buses. Or more specifically, bus schedules and directions. Yesterday I decided to try the route that I'd need to take if I ever wanted to stay on campus past 6:15 PM (like, say, if I wanted to go to the gym ever). The first bus went ok. There were some colorful characters and I fell asleep for some of it, but it was ok. I got to the transfer station and ran across the street to run right onto my bus. At some point an hour or so later, everyone got off the bus and the driver just stared at me like I was supposed to do the same. Turns out, I'd gotten on the right bus going in the wrong direction. My stop is the last stop....in the other direction. So I rode the 31 from the middle to one end, then back to the other end. 2.5 hours after I left campus, I walked in my front door and made undercooked frozen pizza for dinner. It was a super day. (6/14)

Cooking. On that note, my cooking skills/motivation have gone from cooking from a new country every week to "that looks microwavable, let's just eat that." (6/14)

Damn. 26 is a lot of letters. (6/16)

Even if I don't finish all the letters by tomorrow, I'm still posting this. Because you guys deserve some kind of post, even if it's a crappy one. Look at T though...it's worth it, I promise. (6/16)


Gluconeogensis. it happens in the liver but not the muscles. Thought you'd like to know. (6/14)

House. Hasn't sold yet. It's only been a month and a half, but still. It'd be nice for Nick to be out here. Somewhere along the line I got a little attached to him I guess. Go figure. (6/14)

Iliocostalis. It's one of the words that's been stuck in my head all week. That and thoracodorsal. Apparently, spell check doesn't include the medical dictionary. Go figure. Dammit is somehow a word though. (6/16)






Old Bay. Just found some in my brother's spice rack. It literally just saved dinner. Winnah. (6/16)


Quizzes - we had 2 the first weekend, which was conveniently the same weekend as the CO Tough Mudder. I may as well have been drunk while taking them Sunday night. Good news is, I got 100 on my first one and 70 on the other one...so that's ok-ish. (6/11)

Rabbits. There are rabbits on campus. Lots of them. I'm not sure why this is so novel to me, but it is. I love it.

Sleep...turns out it's necessary. Less than 6 hours and I'm a puddle of sobbing mess by the time I get to campus. The day goes downhill from there. Last night I forced myself to be in bed by 11 (I get up at 5:30 now...seriously) and so far today feels better. Keep your fingers crossed. (6/14)

Tough Mudder. You knew it was coming. Enjoy:

Unexpected bummedness. My 10 year class reunion is tonight, and I'm at home (in another state, mind you) making tape outlines of the arteries of the arm (not to be confused with the brachial artery, which is just below the teres minor).

Yup, I'm that exciting now. (6/16)



Xyphoid process. There it is:

And now you know. (6/14)


Zero ability to finish this. Sorry. Maybe next week I'll be more interesting. Or I'll find something better than the alphabet to keep me motivated. Who's got a fun phrase I can use instead? Sub 20 letters plz.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tough Mudder CO

Ran another Tough Mudder this weekend. My best good friend flew in from MD to run with me, and it was awesome.
The pics are all from driving up and the start of the race. Don't worry though - epic video montage to come.

Exploring the concept of fisheye.

Longer post about other stuff is pending. Probably end of the weekish.