Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 1197: Paging Dr. Jess

The other day in Anatomy lab, we had several hand surgeons in lab helping us with our dissections. They were all extremely capable, knowledgeable and didactic. As the lab period began to wind down, our professor spoke to us using the overhead microphone. "Doctors, it is past 4:30. You should all probably get going. You are all welcome to stay but it's good if you take some time out for yourself."

I said, aloud, "No. Don't go! We need your help." And then I realized, he was talking to us. The students. Then I started to chuckle. They keep calling us student doctors and if/when we shadow physicians and begin our rotations two years from now, patients will be calling us "doctors." The idea is so crazy to me that my first thought when our Anatomy professor spoke to us was that he wasn't even speaking to us. I wonder when being called "Dr. Jess" won't be such a crazy idea and it will seem more fitting.

I imagine that will happen when I find the remnants of my imploded brain and can begin piecing together both my brain and the information I'm supposed to retain in order to be a future-physician.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 1194: Information. Overload.

This is my brain.

This is my brain after week two of medical school.

I wish I could express how much information there is. All the time. It never ends. And the question becomes, when you are in school from 8:30 am until 9 pm, when exactly are you supposed to study? I am quickly believing what one of my professors (an M.D.) is saying, P = MD. Pass = Medical Doctorate/Degree.

I'm not saying I want to pass. Heck no. I want to ace things. But if the best I can do sometimes (given the amount of information) is a pass, then I'll just have to take that and move on. There is no time to dwell on the 'pass' when there are things like nerves and their innervations (what muscles they stimulate) and genetic disorders and other things like that are more pressing.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 1188: Learning galore

As previously stated, it has been go-go-go since day one of medical school. I have been reviewing my genetics like crazy (see pictures below) because of a quiz we have tomorrow. I have heard that genetics is fairly easy course, but that doesn't stop me from being prepared. Who goes into a test feeling cocky? Confidence, fine. Cockiness, you're asking to fail.

In other news, I forgot how distracting the internet can be. I do love having it though. It's especially nice to be able to look up school stuff at my whimsy instead of waiting until I get to school to do it.

Also, I have chit-chatted with some pals. Case in point, my friend M (whom I visited in Ohio earlier this year). She is just so light and wonderful and level-headed and we're so similar! She understands how much I don't want to socialize with my classmates and how much I would rather stay in and be lazy than go out and drink-and-party on a Friday night. I love being understood. Sigh. Anyway, she's got some tough stuff going on, and she's dealing with it like the amazing woman she is. It's just nice to reconnect with people who get you and, hopefully, you get them.

Anyway, back to the studying. On the agenda for tomorrow:
  • Run before class
  • Shower, prepare my snacks for school, caffeniate
  • Arrive at school early, ace my quiz, have two more genetics lectures after the quiz
  • Free lunch during student organization presentations
  • Lots of anatomy (and lots of feeling overwhelmed)
  • Home. Studying. Lots of it.
  • (Probably lollygagging on the internet at some point)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 1184: The madness begins.

Hi hi! Orientation for school began Monday August 8th and I didn't get internet in my apartment until yesterday (August 16th), so I haven't been able to update with all the insanity that is school. I hope to get some backdated entries with my California pictures with Bruce (picture-heavy post), stuff about the drive to Milwaukee (with a stop at Mount Rushmore!), and the numerous ups-and-downs that have happened since moving to Milwaukee August 1st (a nervous breakdown, orientation, meeting people and the white coat ceremony).

All I will tell you is this. Since classes began on Monday, I have had seven genetics lectures, two anatomy lectures and my first anatomy lab. I didn't double-glove today in the lab so my hands smell like formaldehyde. Don't worry. It doesn't stop me from eating with my dead-people-smelling hands. Medical school is hitting the ground running and I like it. I wouldn't have it any other way.

More posts soon. Promise!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 1181: White Coat Ceremony & Chicago

Well, it happened. I was inducted into the medical community. What a ridiculous concept.

I was very fortunate to have my family and my friend Bruce there to watch me go through the absurdity that is the pomp-and-circumstance of the coating ceremony. The whole thing was a bit tedious -- point in fact: I fell asleep during the main (what's that called again?) speech. It wasn't that it was boring. It was the fact that I was up early picking up my family from the airport and it was warm in the theater.

Let me tell you something about that white coat. It is warm. They don't look very cozy and heat-conducting, but boy, I was h-o-t, temperature-ly hot in that sucker.

(No, I won't be posting pictures of myself in the coat. I feel ridiculously pompous wearing it. Imagine the pompousness of posting pictures of me in it.)

Because my family is hysterical, they thought Milwaukee had little to offer so we drove two hours south to Chicago that weekend. We ate. A lot. At Hot Doug's. At Sushi Wabi. At Calumet Fisheries. At Giordano's. And we got to walk along Michigan Ave/Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago and feel all touristy. All in all, not a bad weekend. (I had no idea Millennium was spelled with two 'n's. Thank you Firefox spellcheck.)

A pretty fountain at one of the entrances to Millennium Park.

The Bean at Millennium Park (sorry for the blurry iPhone quality)

The fun reflection possibilities of The Bean

Classical music happening when we strolled through Millennium Park

Michigan Ave.
An entryway near/in the Tribune Tower

Another view of Michigan Ave.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 1177: Orientation woes and yays

There are two words I would use to describe orientation: long and forced.

1) Long. Each day was pretty long. They were filled with housekeeping details (getting locker assignments (high school much?), taking ID pictures, etc), financial aid presentations (we could all get our delicious loan money), and other somewhat necessary things. Then, after all that, the school and/or second-year medical students hosted events to get us all (M1s and M2s (the fancy med school terminology for what year each medical student is)) to comingle. Which leads me to word two...

2) Forced. Here is my logic. There are 204 of us. We will be with each other for four years. What is the rush in getting us to be social every damn day? I am way too lazy to deal with the forced nature of orientation week. "Hi, where are you from?" "Where did you go to school (undergrad)?" "Where are you living?" Blah blah blah. The same question. Every time. With every new person. ... Pass.  Look, I'm barely going to have any friends as it is (I don't like people). I'll make the few friends I have in my own time, thank you very much.

I suppose I should get to the "yays" part of orientation. I suppose that would be, when I showed up Monday morning, they actually had a name tag and binder of information for me. That was probably the best moment of orientation week -- proof I was actually supposed to be there.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 1173: Getting settled.

I am completely amazed at how stressful it is to move into an unfurnished place.

Upon my arrival in Milwaukee on Monday August 1st, I bought a bed. They couldn't deliver it until Thursday so Bruce offered to get me the bed with his family's van. Well, we didn't get to that until Tuesday. I didn't sleep that well Monday night and I decided to go to Target before we got the bed to start furnishing my apartment. While there, I felt absurdly overwhelmed with how little I had. Couple that with all of my worldly possessions piling up in the living room, and an empty bedroom with no bed, and not-a-good-night's-rest, is it little wonder that suddenly, out of nowhere, while on the phone with my sister, I have a flat out nervous breakdown. I am hysterical. I am crying all over the place, my hands start to tense up (and I can't curl my fingers back in), I have to put my head between my knees to get oxygen into my lungs and I am just a mess. Luckily, Bruce saved the day. He came and got me and we got my preciously firm queen-sized mattress and set her up in my room. And I love her.

The rest of the week was spent buying things and building things (desk, chair, cabinets/shelving units). Groceries were purchased. Clothes were unpacked. No internet was to be had, but that gave me a chance to catch up on Sex and the City. The love of my life television series. Orientation begins in two days! Eep!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 1168: The drive to Milwaukee

The drive from California to Milwaukee was completely doable. Bruce and I stopped in Salt Lake City, Mount Rushmore and Rochester, Minnesota. Salt Lake City was very beautiful. Bruce and I watched "Cowboys and Aliens" at this adorable little downtown-y complex. Mount Rushmore was pretty momentous. I was surprised at how patriotic I felt when I was there. And at all the foreign tourists. Rochester (home of the infamous Mayo Clinic) was hot! And humid! Bruce said it finally started feeling like home. Rochester was a cute city where Bruce and I watched "Crazy Stupid Love," which I would highly recommend seeing. Anyhoo, here are the pictures from le drive.

Entering Salt Lake City

The Gateway -- the cute downtown-y hip place to be in Salt Lake

Wyoming, I think?

Bruce photographing the presidents on his fancy newish smartphone

Hello George, Thomas, Franklin D., and Abraham!