Monday, August 16, 2010

Little old me

Ever since I got into school, and since then, I have had various people I do not really know telling me congrats and what an inspiration my story has been to them.
And it amazes me.
It is amazing to think that little old me, sitting here taking a break from the biochem that is not really biochem, could serve as an inspiration to anyone.
And it is awe inspiring to think that someone out there looks to me as a beacon of hope, of light....that someone looks at me and sees the possibilities.
I am in awe and speechless and dumbfounded.
So thank you.....thank you to everyone who has believed in me, thank you to those who have hoped with me, who have cried with me and thank you to those who now look to me as a source of inspiration. I promise with all my heart I will do my best and prove that this can be done.

As my t-shirt says today....
"Your impossible dream can become a reality"

Here is to my impossible dream becoming one and hoping that anyone reading this for inspiration has their impossible dream come true as well.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Reflections on the first week

I think this week has been one which has brought many unknowns and new experiences as well as being one which has proved to me at least that you should never take anything for granted. So here is an overview of my first week....

Started the morning with History of Medicine. The professor of this class is genuinely engaging and funny. Even though we only have a paper and technically do not have to attend this class, I will be going since I enjoy his lectures so much.
Then we had two hours of psychiatry. Call me jaded, but being a psychology major this class so far has absolutely nothing to do with psychiatry. So I am now referring to it as the "Holy Roman Empire" class. Yes this is based on the old Saturday Night Live skit. "The Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire...discuss."
An hour break for lunch.
Then another hour of the Holy Roman Empire class.
Then the class I think makes me the most anxious. 2 hours of anatomy. *gulp* The first hour they scared us by showing us some test stats from last years class...*double eek*. Then we did the intro lecture which was basically all the terms we would be using over the course of the next few quarters.
Overall it was not too bad of a first day.

started nice and early (8:10am) with Biochem. Now this is not really biochem but an intro to evidence based medicine so for the next four weeks my biochem has nothing to do with biochem and is more of a second Holy Roman empire class. And the paperwork. I guess this is where having worked in the corporate world comes in handy and being used to paperwork and team building activities comes into play.
Then it was two more hours of the other Holy Roman Empire class..aka psychiatry.
An hour break for lunch.
Then 2 hours of histology. we covered all the cell structure stuff in an hour and a half.

Another early morning, but today I got to wear scrubs!!! Today was the first day of OMM. The class was interesting as we learned about the history more in depth and then it was off to lab and learn about anatomical landmarks. It felt good after sitting in lectures all week to get up and do something active and use my hands. It was fun and I think I am really going to enjoy this class a ton!!!.
After lunch we had a 2 hour lecture in Anatomy on embryology. I love embryology so I enjoyed this lecture. I am grateful I have had more in depth embryology classes before though as I think if i was missing this I would have been a little overwhelmed with the sheer amount of material presented. I am sure within the next few weeks I will be not loving anatomy but so far it has not been as bad as I expected it to be.

This is the day where everything went to heck in a handbasket.
I have known for some time that my iron ran on the low side of normal and that I was mildy anemic in part most likely due to my gastric bypass. My doctor had moved and I had decided to find someone closer to go to. My new doctor had decided to test my transferrin saturation to determine how my body's iron reserves were doing. The results were shocking to say the least. My transferrin saturation was 4%, anything below 20% is considered really bad. So basically my body has been using my own iron stores for some time now and I needed an IV iron infusion since I was no longer absorbing iron orally. So that was set up for this morning. The plan was to get the iron infusion and then go to class.
I did fine through most of my iron infusion. Then they disconnected me and I was ready to go. When I went to the lobby to go to the bathroom before I left I noticed that my legs started feeling funny, like they were being pricked with a million pins and my cheeks were feeling really warm and flush. I looked down at my legs and noticed they were reddish and mottled looking and appeared to have hives. When I looked in the mirror I noticed that my cheeks were really red and were also starting to get some hives. So I went back to the center where I had my infusion and they told me that I was indeed having an allergic reaction to the infusion. So I needed a dose of corticosteroids, benadryl and then some IV fluids. They also gave me reglan and pepcid since my stomach was not feeling so good.
Needless to say, I did not make it to histology lecture today.
In talking with my doctor later, we will never know what I reacted to. I could be reacting to the chemicals that the iron was complexed with which are supposed to help it go into the tissues or I could have been having a reaction to having that much iron in my system since it takes a while for the body to take up the iron from the bloodstream. We will be looking for a less toxic alternative, but I will still do preventative measures of corticosteroids and benadryl before I receive my next infusion to help stave off any adverse reactions.

We only had biochem today. for this I was glad since I was still not quite feeling up to doing much. We were done by noon and then I went to have my second step of my TB test done as well as a titer drawn at the wellness center. I had a doctors appointment on my way home since he wanted to see me due to the reaction I had yesterday as well as get a B12 shot. And finally, my maintenance light was on in my car so I took it to the car dealership and got the oil changed.

I also decided to undertake a photo project known as Project 365, This is a project where you take a picture a day for a year. The hopes is to document the things around you as they change and the changes in you as well. From time to time, I will share some of the photos from this here. So here are some photos from the first week of med school :)

a picture of the much awaited id complete with the title "Medical Student":

The first day of OMM, rocking the Tinkerbelle scrubs!!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Halfway through orientation....

A list of random things I have learned through the first few days of orientation......

1. There is a hurricane coming at me so I should be prepared
2. I am going to learn how to drink from a firehose willingly
3. If you need me I will be studying, studying or studying ;)
4. A fair number of my classmates, possibly me, will have academic difficulties during the course of the year.
5. My ID card which worked 2 weeks ago on every door at campus now no longer works on the doors but does however still let me in the front gate...very confusing.
6. I have about a month, maybe month and a half, before the geese invade and I am dogding goose poop on the sidewalk again
7. I will get to use the brand new OMM lab next year....YAY!!!
8. I will *not* get to use the brand new anatomy lab *sigh* (it too opens next year)
9. Pretty heels are not good for long days
10. Parking while garage construction is going on is going to be a pain in the behind
11. More people on campus know me than I knew did....still trying to figure out if this is a good thing or a bad thing. So much for keeping ones head
12. Presentations really can be that long.

And the most important two........

13. There is no place I would rather be than where I am right now!!!
14. My classmates are some pretty cool people :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Twas the night before orientation.......

And all through the house the kiddos were stirring.....
the excitement was in the air and their motors are still whirring.
There were the clicks of teh keyboard as the final paragraph of the thesis was written.
There was aloe placed on sunburn, of course only after baths have been given.
The dinner was cereal...too much junk eaten at the day at the lake...
and yes we did eat cake :)
The clothes were laid out on the bed, prepped with much care
Now only if I could do something with this oh too short hair!!!
There will be coffee in the morning, of that I am sure
For the first early morning in weeks it is bound to be the only cure.
The lunches of pb&j will be packed for the munchkins,
and my bag is filled to the brim with all sorts of gumptions.
The nerves are a buzzing, and so will be the alarm...
I guess I should be glad I do not work on a farm ;)
In the hopes for a relaxing evening, the nerves won the war
And I am left hoping that all the sessions we must attend tomorro are not a bore.
I will have some old friends and new friends and a new group too....
If we all work together I am sure we will all get through.
And so I say as I lay my head down for the night....
"Happy orientation day to all and to all a good night!!!"