Monday, April 22, 2013

And I thought I would never need physics again - HA!

I am spending a week in the special care nursery on the baby side for my pediatrics rotation and today was day 1 :)

So what does the neonatologist I am working with decide to talk about today but everyone's favorite subject - thermoregulation. *insert me doing a huge gulp because physics and I generally do not play well together*

So we begin basically with the basic information about why we worry about preemies.  Larger surface area per body weight, not as much brown fat stored, no shiver mechanism etc.

Then he says we understand teh physiology we need to discuss the physics of why they do what they do.
*insert silent gulp from me*

So what are the four ways a preemie, or any baby for that matter will lose heat?

1. Radiant - we naturally lose and gain heat from  the environment, thus the warmers

2. Evaporation - babies are wet and our breath is moist so that is  why they dry them off quickly

3. Conductive - wet towels or blankets are cold and a baby would lose heat, that is why they change blankets

4.  Transduction - babies lose heat simply through the movements we do and air flow we create, we need to be extra careful with preemies to not move them too much and make them lose heat that way

Much to my surprise I actually remembered all of these - and just when I thought that I would never need physics again!!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Almost famous?

I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Rose Raymond, a staff writer for the DO online magazine to discuss my blog and how it came to be.  And so I gave my first ever interview halfway through third year of medical school - something I would have never in a million and one years imagined I would do.

To begin with she asked me the all important question - why did I start this blog to begin with in the first place?

And I had to stop for a second to think, to really think and figure it out.  Part of me knew it was something I had to do if I got to this point, it was something I needed to do.  And another part of me looked at the blogs out there and found that they were written by men - not to many written by the female voice, and I wanted to correct that.
But the bigger part, the part that I am hesitant to admit even to myself at times, was purely selfish.  I waned to document this journey, yes, but I also wanted to prove to every single person along the way who told me I should not be doing this or I had no business doing this or I would never do this that not only could I do this but here is how I did it.

And then I felt more than a tad ashamed - I have not written as much as I should during this incredible journey.  I am afraid my documentation skills are lacking at best, and permanently missing at worst.  But as anyone with children and a life outside medicine knows - sometimes, no oftentimes, life has a funny way of sneaking up on us and getting in the way.  Not that it si an excuse but I am afraid I have been a victim of too much life.  Too much going on in first year to give it the attention that it needed, followed by the heticness of board prep second year followed by a major family issue that has needed far more attention than I could have ver imagined since January - and life has been messy.  But as any nontraditional would tell you - life is indeed messy, sometimes messier than others and I unfortunately seem to be doing more cleaning up rather than managing lately.
I can make no promises but I am going to make more of a concerted effort to document the last leg of this journey - match *eek*.

And she asked me what I got from doing this.  That answer came quickly - I get you all.  When I least expect it, I get a comment left on my blog that reminds me there are others considering this path who have been told they can not or they should not or how could they - and I know that I must continue to shine a light down a path that was previously dark for them.  I know I must show them that it can be done - with a lot of careful juggling and balancing and doing your best tightrope walker impression but that yes it can be done.
I think of the gentleman who approached me at the first health areer professions day I did as a medical student at MWU who was a non-traditional student and who told me he was there because my blog had made MWU seem like a very non-trad friendly place and accepting of its students.  Both of the previous statements are very true in my experience, by the way.  And I remember him telling me he was there because of me - because I showed that it could be done.  I also remember the complete awe I felt at that moment - I had inspired someone I had never met and who did not know me from another person on the street to go down this path.  Unfortunately, he did not keep in contact with me and I do not know what happened to him - but  I often wonder if he followed his dream and where it may have landed him.

But mostly, while doing this interview I kept thinking of the quote which was on my graduation announcements from University of Wisconsin-Parkside:
"The only way of imagining the limits of the possible is to reach a little way past them into the impossible" Arthur Clarke

Thank your or riding with me on this impossible journey my friends - you provide strength in times when needed.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The osteopathic trek to Philadelphia

This week marked another checkmark in my slowly dwindling things to do before I graduate - I made the trek to Philadelphia to take part in the COMLEX-PE which is offered outside Philadelphia in Conshocken.
Since I have never been out to Philadelphia, I decided rather than spend the night, or nights i n my case, near the testing center that I would spend my time in the city of brotherly love itself.
I ended up staying about 5 blocks away from Independence Hall and very close to Chinatown so I was in the heart of everything.
Even though my test was Tuesday afternoon, I opted to fly in Monday night because I did not want to have to worry about flying in Tuesday morning and getting delayed at either airport or running into extra daytime traffic.
I flew out on Southwest which was a first for me.  Now I had avoided this airline because I was scared of the whole no assigned seats thing given I had never travelled that way before.  But in talking to people who had flown and were more seasoned travelers than I, I found out the insider secret to traveling if one is going to fly Southwest.  The secret, or so I was told, was to do one of two things - 1. opt for the early bird online check in which would automatically check me in or 2. check in myself online 24 hours before my flight.  Since Sunday was Easter and I wanted toe pend as much of it as possible with my family, I opted to do the early bird online check in.  I have to say that despite all my reservations, I was actually quite pleased with who smooth flying Southwest was.  I was fortunate enough to be one the first boarding group both directions so had my virtual pick of seats - I of course decided to sit by the window both ways, even after deciding on the way out that it was not a brilliant idea given the over water takeoff and landing.  I actually find that I prefer the organized boarding of Southwest - everyone has their spot in line and people are very polite about making sure they are in the proper place - versus the usual gang rush to get to the gate to get to the assigned seat on time.
Although I do have to admit one very large flaw in my plan - arriving at night.  I drove by my hotel numerous times before stopping to ask a police officer for help.  Of course I will also say that it did not help that the only sign on said hotel was on top of the 7 story tall billing admits bunch of other equally tall or taller buildings.
For those following behind me - it goes really quick.  The 14 minutes you have fly by and then the 9 minutes to write a note seem like a blink comparatively speaking.  It seems like you have just started and then all of a sudden you are done.
So with an afternoon session, I did not get to se much of Philly Tuesday night so I opted to do my touristy stuff Wednesday morning before my flight left in the afternoon.  I went down to Independence lane and saw the Liberty Bell, toured Independence Hall and visited the tomb of the unknown soldier.  It was a beautiful area and the historic district was absolutely stunning with its cobblestone streets.
So now I wait six to eight weeks to find out if I managed to pass - let the wait begin.