Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 2204: Autopsies, keys and paperwork

Hello everyone.

Monday morning I was called at 7:10am to view an autopsy at the Milwaukee Medical Examiner's office. Of course, of course, I was a complete wreck that morning. I didn't have my school things packed. I didn't have a lunch prepared. I had no idea what I was going to wear (what? A girl has to plan for the cold!). I finally get out the door at 7:52am (I have to be there at 8:15am) only to have to run back in to the apartment for something. Well, in all of my hustle and bustle, I forgot my respirator! Luckily they only sort-of berated me and let me stay to watch the autopsy.

Well, the autopsy was fantastic. There were four cases (a slow Monday). One possible homicide and three "regular" deaths. The one ("regular" death) we watched was of a fellow who died in his bath tub. The autopsy was crazy! It took me an entire semester to chop up (pardon the crassness) a cadaver. These docs did it in 45 minutes or less. And the precision with which they do everything, impressive. What this autopsy showed me was that people have no idea what is going on in their bodies. My bath tub guy had diabetes so his kidneys had shrunk to about half their normal size. He also had a brain tumor! And clear signs of fat/plaques in his arteries! As a classmate of mine put it, how are these people still alive?

Additionally, the doctor/pathologist/medical examiner was high-larious. This is for all my friends/readers in the know. When describing the tools medical examiners use...
...these are the best tools to have. Since we're at the far end of the surgical universe, it feels a little bit like "Firefly" and we have to make do.
How great is that? :)

Here's the kicker to my insane week thus far. In my tizzy of running back and forth from my apartment on Monday, I misplaced my house key! Thank goodness the snow storm hit yesterday (oh, did I forget to tell you there was a snow storm? It's about...10? inches. I'm not sure.) and she went home early instead of socializing with her best friend. I could have been stuck at school until midnight! Luckily I found my key this morning, rather happenstancely. It was in the scrubs I wore to the autopsy. I checked them just in case and my key fell out of the pocket on to my hardwood floor. Clank!

Anyway, my clinical exam and reasoning (CER) class has really been pulling it's punches. Lots of required attendance and prep work and fake/standardized interviews and paperwork! We never have paperwork! I had to make a differential diagnosis sheet and write up the case. I'm not complaining because it was difficult. I'm complaining because I could be studying for next Wednesday's microbiology exam.

Sigh. Such is my life. Stress study stress study. Rinse. Repeat.

Until next time!