Monday, October 29, 2007

a fabulous weekend

since i had a "break" from school this past weekend, H and i took a trip to visit the town of our alma mater to eat tons of good food and meet up with friends. also, on friday my school had its halloween party which was a lot of fun. lots of pirates and girls that needed to wear more clothes than they did. so saturday was a nice drive, then the weekend we ate tons of mexican food (like AUTHENTIC mexican, so good) and whatnot. i did some work transcribing (i did a lecture that took like 8 hours to do, and it was very ridiculous), but for the most part i relaxed. but i really understand that lecture now.

this week i'm going to be highly regimented/scheduled. i have to be. tests start again next week...blech. but it was great to have a little break.

oh, and there's nothing like the police banging on your door at midnight. they just wanted to ask some questions about an occurrence that happened. but still, that was a little freaky and took me a while to go back to sleep.

so now i'm at school. woo. i can't wait for lunch.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

it's vagina time!

sorry that i haven't been posting in a while...things are hectic with all the tests going on and then plus i've been tired and busy...but alas, i must update the internets with my activities!

it seems like all that's going on these days are talk of the vagina and other pelvic structures...the lectures that i've been typing up all involve serious talk of genitalia of both sexes, and while quite enlightening, it's getting old! it's all in an educational mindset, and as a society we're taught to giggle and snicker at any mention of the "naughty bits", but even i am getting bored with talk of it. we had an ob/gyn come in to give a clinical correlation and he left us with this quote "you don't have to understand the pelvic anatomy to enjoy it." it was quite funny to hear that after having an hour or so lecture about causes of amenorrhea (ceasing of menstruation) and watching a video of a surgical procedure of creating a vagina for a woman who just never had one due to some syndrome. (now THAT was really morbidly creepy to watch...relatively simple looking procedure, the surgeons construct the vagina from butt skin, but major sqeamish factor.)

it's quite strange to hold an actual testis in your hand, which is what i did the other day in gross lab. the texture of it is almost like a hard boiled egg...hahaha, sorry if i destroyed that for you. also the cadaver bled on me yesterday (like REAL blood, not congealed clotted blood) and i freaked out (since i have that blood phobia/weirdness). turns out it just hadn't "set" all the way, so that problem should be fixed by the time lab begins tomorrow.

another quote: a professor when explaining the way fecal material passes through the large intestine said "pretend my leg is a terd and my pants are the large intestine..." ok, who can concentrate after a guy who's all about being professional and stuff says the word TERD? or turd, if that's how you spell it. *giggle*

in more personal news, i made my first A in med school on a test earlier this week. i was quite excited, i mean, it was an A and i did ABOVE class average. that made me feel very nice indeed. so i'm basically not in the hole anymore and pretty much hit my stride. i hope to continue this business of doing average and above because that would be super amazing for someone like me who's usually under the average bar (but still passing classes, for clarification).

also, it seems as if fall was totally skipped in this town. summer kind of just went straight to winter. and it's annoying because i haven't switched from the "summer wardrobe" to "cold weather wardrobe" (i just put fall and winter clothes together and layer). so i'm definitely doing an 80's throwback today since nothing really matches.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

the october grind

so far this week we've had developmental and gross anatomy tests...we won't get those grades back till thursday-ish. on this coming up monday we have MORE tests...histology, biochemistry, and more develpmental! aaak! but luckily, my weekend after that will be free so i can do something other than study...maybe a weekend trip? or at least a day trip somewhere? H made the comment last night "wow, you're always having tests". well, he's right. i keep reminding myself "this is a marathon, not a sprint", and it's not always easy to keep a positive outlook. yesterday was a crappy day at school...blame it on stress hormones and being a girl and just generally freaking out...i can't seem to get out of my "grades plateau", and it's aggravating me. i know i can overcome it though, and i've made the necessary appointments/arrangements with the right people to get me some good "strategy sessions". tomorrow i'm going to have a mental pep talk, and next week there's going to be an academic pep talk, and sprinkled in between are strategy sessions with professors. haha, med school is not all pretty roses and whatnot, and anybody who tells you otherwise is stupid or is not normal by any means. but i am going to conquer this year because i'll be darned if med school gets the better of me.

so that's that...i've gotten really good at overcoming stress too this year. when i'm overwhelmed, i like to go exercise and i like to cook. yesterday after school i went home, washed dishes, then went to the gym and did some good cardio while watching "america's next top model" reruns (talk about MINDLESS), then to the store and picked up some comestibles, then home to shower, cook, etc. i made a nice salad with teriyaki chicken, apple, mandarin orange, green onion, red leaf lettuce, and feta cheese. oh, and also had a nice glass of cabernet sauvignon called "337"...it's a california red and very affordable and tasty. quite nice, if i do say so myself. nicely relaxed, i then commenced reading about vitamins. see...i know how to take care of myself.

OH, and for something fun, yesterday we bisected the cadavers. yes, rex got a height boost, straight across his body just on top of the iliac crest. today we're going to be checking out the bladder and whatnot, then later on this week we're tackling the butt region. luckily there's no poop in his large intestines so we don't have that obstacle to worry about! and he's not that fat...something about butt fat just isn't so pleasing to the senses...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

random observations

wow, i just checked, and this will be my 101th post on this blog. neat!

the past day or so i've been suffering from a weird sinus/allergy induced crud. i'm feeling a heck of a lot better today than yesterday since i slept a lot and relaxed. however, i have a physiology test tomorrow and gross and developmental anatomy tests on monday...not a good time to be sick. BUT, i actually feel good about these tests, so i'm not really worried. you know me, i'm laid-back all the time, or at least try to be.

so for some observations...it pains me to see all the smokers outside the hospital "grounds" getting their fix every time i come and go from school. at first the smokers would be sitting on the street, but now i guess they're braver and sit in the shade of the trees in the hospital lawn. how's THAT for image? people staked out smoking, still throwing their cigarette butts on the ground. it's just gross.

i've realized that at my cath lab hospital, the morale seems to be so much better. the cafeteria ladies are nice to you, they don't scare you, and they always say "have a nice day". everyone feels like part of the team. however, at my [university] hospital, you can definitely tell that morale is a lot lower with the support staff. when i go to the cafeteria, i feel like if i say something wrong i might get food thrown at me. aaak! then i realized, OH, [university] is STATE RUN and the cath lab hospital is PRIVATE. big difference! private hospital means better pay and better benefits. whodathunkit!

i'm really enjoying some gross lab these days. supposedly my group's cadaver looks like one straight out of "rowan's atlas", which is an atlas that has pictures of actual dissections instead of more stylized drawings. i would say that that's a great compliment.

i'm also liking most of my class. i get along with most everybody that would want to get along with me (and i with them, for that matter). i really do feel like i am of the class of 2011, that i really do belong to it. realizing that the other day (to the fullest extent) made me think that maybe i was really supposed to "red-shirt" last year because i was so unhappy with the people that were in the class of 2010. so yeah, maybe my graduation date isn't so "square" (11 vs. 10, eh), but this class is more like a good family, rather than backstabbers. big difference!

lastly, for now, i realize that i do learn a lot from reading all those medical blogs. ok, so initially i read them because i wanted to learn more about "being a doctor", and now i read them because i'm addicted. but i'm learning! all the ER doctors talk about pneumothorax, and we learned about those yesterday in class. i read a blog that posts radiology pictures every day, and that has helped me in gross anatomy. so yeah, to any of you big time REAL doctors that read my lowly blog, just know that i really appreciate what you write about!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

still truckin' along...

so life is still good these days. this week has been an interesting one for me. test scores came back, weren't what i wanted, but i was able to analyze what i did wrong. what irritates me is that it seems i have a case of test day anxiety (since so many questions that i missed were due to me being spastic...like i sincerely KNEW so many answers that i missed), but i feel like that's a normal thing that happens to everyone. so the good news is that i can definitely learn to control that. so i'm not beating myself up. i can't get down on myself, because that starts the vicious cycle that just spirals out of control. i'm learning from it, picking myself up, and going on with school. and a side note, i'm not the kind of student that freaks out irrationally or without warrant. when i say test anxiety, i mean that i legitimately knew the answers, could explain why, teach others, etc etc, but for some unknown awful reason i blank out and there you go. i know the difference between freaking out on a question vs. just not knowing the answer. big difference.

today i had a friend call me up to go running at the local park. (her reason for making me get out was to destress and whatnot, and she was right!) it was quite nice, and she gave me pointers on how to improve my running, and that was very good for me to know. follow that up with some steak and you've got one happy med student.

so tomorrow we have histo and gross labs, and i think that might be the happiest med school day ever, since i LOVE histo and gross labs!!! like, yeah, i'm quite excited. maybe i'm a freak, who knows. oh, and i got a compliment from my gross anatomy prof, he said that he could really tell that i was "stepping up" and "involved" this year, which translated means "you go girl". oh yeah.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

first official freak out of the year

so today was my first official freak out of the school year. gotta say, not so bad. i expected it to be a lot earlier in the year. i think i managed a little over 2 months freak out free. it's ok though, sometimes you just have to let things run its course. i knew that today was going to be it because i got back a test grade that i did not expect and it made me feel very disappointed in myself. then we had physiology lectures where the professor hasn't really gotten this marriage of powerpoint/lecture/real-time quiz thing down really well, so that class was quite frustrating and i felt quite unproductive and confused most of the time. then i got some headaches during pre gross lab lecture (it's weird, my stress this year manifests as severe headaches. last year it was GI distress...) and that was annoying. then lab, which was good, but my lab group was kinda out of sorts so there was weird vibes. plus standing under the lights for a few hours really dehydrates me, then chewing the same piece of gum for hours gets kinda gross, and the smells of the abdomen just aren't that peachy. then coming home, i did mindless chores that i've been neglecting (studying for that damn test yesterday!) and then puttered around. then BAM it just kinda hit me that i'm freaking out! so i freaked for like 10 minutes, then it was over. quite efficient actually...hahaha.

but today wasn't all the way horrible. lab was good after all, since we did see all our structures that we needed to see, and i had a nice dinner of red beans and rice. and the freakout was only 10 minutes. that's an accomplishment in itself! :-)