Categories
Medical School Science

OMM

Things are moving right along. I think you’ll find that my posts are getting shorter and more “this is what happened today” than actual long, thought out posts about certain topics. Things change.
Biochemistry is quick. I mean they tell you that in undergrad and they’re like “they’ll cover a semester in 6 weeks.” But you don’t really believe it. You’re just like “yeah sure but I’ll know more things by the time I’m there.” Nope. I’m still the same girl that falls asleep after trying to study too long. Also the whole “6 weeks” thing is more like two weeks. We have a midterm Monday. Quizzes 3/5 days in the week. Yup. Our final is a week from Monday. Then we move on. Three days in and we are in chapter 12. So there’s a little glance at how quick it goes.
In other, more exciting news, we went to OMM lab today. For those of you who don’t know, OMM is osteopathic manipulative medicine. We practiced touching a partner, getting to know what certain kinds of structures feel like under our skin and how to describe those things. It sounds basic but it was a relief after talking about michaelis-menten kinetics. Plus it makes me feel doctor-y. My partner found an “asymmetry” of touch on my back where my muscle was strained and the osteopath that was there adjusted me after class! Perks of being a stomach sleeper. It’s odd getting down at eye level with someone’s crotch and pushing on their iliac crest, but I liked it! Fun stuff.
Now back to studying!

Categories
Medical School Science

First day of medical school classes

Day one is in the books. I am a medical student. I survived one day. I sat there thanking my undergrad professors silently for giving me little morsels to remember. I actually thought of some tricks and deep rooted fundamental knowledge they taught me to help me dig into biochemistry today.
I’ve got to study some more still before I call it a night, but I thought I would share a little gem of a video that represents my life now.

Categories
Life Medical School Medicine Science

The-Burnout,-Doubt-Everything,-Find-Resolve-Again Cycle

Pre-meds take heart.
I ache for you. I really do.
I know how it is. I know you doubt your decision to become a doctor or PA constantly. I know that it comes at the worst times too. Right before a test.
I used to sit in the student union with my science classmates, staring at our textbooks. We watched the sun go down from the same spot almost every night. We ordered dinner in there; sipped coffee; ate entirely too many sour straws. We pretended to know how to explain the problems’ solutions to each other. We tried index cards, quizzing each other, making up games, and repeating the answers over and over. We tried writing it out multiple times and diagramming it, any creative way to make it easier on ourselves to learn.
During this ritual, one or all of us would end up with eyes glazed over, elbow resting on the book, face in hand. Or worse-  head down resting on the book staring off into the void.
Jenna would catch my eye and say “What?” as in “What are you thinking?” and I’d spout off our usual joke about wishing the information would just enter my brain through osmosis as I was laying on it.
Then- and stay with me here because our overloaded minds rarely make  sense. “I just…. I can’t… I mean… [sigh]. This is just really hard and I hate it and I’m tired and I can’t… I mean…. ugh… WHY?
Natural progression dictates the others around you join in on the moaning. Such begins a big discussion of every cruel assignment, poorly written test, where your grades are at, how bad/good your week is on workload, and a psychoanalysis of how to conquer every class and professor. It goes on and on.
Eventually I would realize that all the other study groups in the room are long gone. The moon is so high its not visible from the wall of windows anymore. Everything is closed. My roommate is probably fast asleep at home. I start gathering up my stuff realizing I’m not studying anymore tonight and sleep would better serve me. As soon as the backpack is slung around to my back, books out of sight, I feel immediately guilty that I have not studied enough.
I walk to my car slumped over, exhausted and sometimes genuinely depressed at another day of failure. Of not understanding. Of not making the grade. Of wanting to do something, anything other than how I spent my hours that day.
I get to my apartment, briefly stare into the kitchen and decide that making food would take too much energy even though I had apple rings and red diamond tea for dinner 8 hours ago. I get ready for bed literally beside my bed, the motions so familiar I don’t even turn the light on. Its simple really.
Take backpack off, set it on the floor beside my bed where I grab it first thing the next morning. Pull my bra out of my shirt, take my pants off. Plug in my phone. Get in bed. No makeup removal, no brushing teeth.
This, my friends, is the burn out.
I feel for you premeds because I know this trudgery well. It was my life for what felt like most nights of the last three years. I know how you feel even if you can’t say it.
What we are not able to articulate to our study buddies in the moment where you are pondering your life silently instead of actively studying- is how you aren’t sure if you want to actually do this. To be a doctor. You don’t know if you can do it all through undergrad and then add four more years. You don’t even know if you’ll pass physics and it keeps you up at night when you are so so tired. At the ripe age of 20, you are burnt out and you want to do something else. Please, God, anything else!! You just don’t have it in you anymore.
Believe me there are plenty of people that will tell you that you can go ahead and do something else. Many of your classmates will choose something else and you will secretly envy them. I did. They are probably the wise ones. The ones that will be able to go on a trip to Cabo with 3 other married couples when they’re 25 while you are still in school. Its a respectable and understandable choice. I wish I had been able to do something else.
Several times, though, in the middle of the “doubt everything” phase, I would consider my other options. “What else would I do?” I thought. “What do I really want to be doing?”
I didn’t have a single answer. In the moment there were plenty of things I would rather do: eat, stand outside, take a shower, make a phone call, break down and cry, stab a professor, eat again, sleep. But in the future? What did I want to be? A doctor. That was always the answer. I want to see patients. I want them to trust me, let me into their lives, mourn with them, appreciate their humanity, heal them, understand their health as a human being better than any other doctor they’ve ever had.
My rational mind then takes me to what I must do as a follow up. If being a doctor is all I want, and being a doctor requires medical school and medical school requires I pass this course. Then it follows that passing this course requires I study. So here I sit and here I will study. This is what you want to do. That’s all the resolve I need. It’s that simple.
In each burn out, you ultimately have to figure it out for yourself if medicine is still want you want to do, time after time. But I just want you to know that it happens, and it happens to everyone. Often. Questioning it isn’t a reason to quit. It not being what you want is a reason to quit. Because being a doctor is going to take a lot of work. Its probably going to take a lot out of you. You can do it, though, if its what you want to do. It’s going to be easier to handle all the work, when you realize that its not just something you have to do, in the end, you wouldn’t rather be doing anything else.
Also, go easy on yourself. It may be miserable to sit there studying; I know my group dreaded going in to study at the end of class each day, but being there is half the battle. And if you really wanted to be doing something else, you’d be out there doing it, not studying.
I know it sounds crazy but I actually miss those late nights with friends studying and talking and whining about our lives. I’m scared out of my pants for medical school to start! What if its worse than those terrible nights?! Now that is scary.
“It’s so strange how life works: you want something and you wait and wait [and work] and feel like its taking forever to come. Then it happens and it’s over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed.” -Lauren Oliver
 

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Friends Health Life Lists Medical School Pictures Products Recipes Running Science

Roadtrip Recap 1 and Settling Back in at Home

Ahhh, it feels good to be home. Mostly.
First of all, I want to thank so many of you for stopping by on my page! On my stats, I could tell people were checking into my homepage a lot more than usual. It could have been a fluke, but it made me excited to be able to post again. I didn’t have wifi and we were eating walking around and doing various concert things an awful lot for me to do much posting.
Currently, I am in sitting in bed with a mess of crap all over my room to unpack.
Some things I am not ready to face though. I am refusing to take off the most comfortable merch sweatshirt I got from Needtobreathe’s merch manager, and I have not removed my mascara fully in over 6 days. At this point it just sort of crumbles off when it dries out enough and then it falls into my eyes and becomes rather painful. I’m a stubborn lady though and I’m just not ready to go there.
Still, I must accept on some level that vacation is over. The self-tanning lotion has all but rubbed off, and my blisters from walking around the city in new shoes (bad horrible idea) are healing nicely.
Last Thursday, I hustled around Tulsa getting stuff done before the trip. I had to pick up Dani at 4. I got to her apartment/work, got her keys and got to work terrorizing her cats loading up her stuff into my car. We got on the road and quickly tired of any music that wasn’t “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea.
In Springfield we stopped for dinner at Hebrews Coffee. We found it on Urbanspoon.  Sandwiches and coffee were exactly what we needed to get us the next three hours up the highway to St. Louis. I got a chicken caesar wrap and it was the best one I’ve ever had. I wanted a Hazelnut iced coffee to go too; they didn’t have hazelnut syrup but they make their own almond syrup in-house so I got that and it was the best thing I have ever tasted.
Selfie Time
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Fun fact- a guy that worked there was wearing a needtobreathe shirt. This was the look on my face when he said he wasn’t going to the show the next night.
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Back on the road… More “Fancy”
We got to #stl and went to our hotel in the Central West End/Forest Park neighborhood.  As it turns out this is right in a network of hospitals, medical centers, medical/pharmacy schools so it was cool to see all the apartments, medical institutes, and stuff nearby.
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The neighborhoods were very quaint, well-lit, and cute so we felt comfortable walking around after midnight, seeing sites like these.

cwe street
 
Of course, at night it looked more like this
jdks;f
 
(These people take much better pictures than I do on my phone)
There were a lot of cute patio cafes with cute white lights strung, but nothing struck our fancy to eat so we kept on walking.
We went back to the hotel, I took a shower, and went to bed; ready for a day of Needtobreathe when we woke up.
I’ll stop there.
ADD Moment Change of subject.
On my list of things to do this summer, I have that I want to do a juice cleanse. Well, what better time to do that than right after vacation (read: eating out all the time)?
Plus, all I wanted to eat on my trip was bananas anyway. How weird, right?
So, right when I got back into T-Town, I stopped at the grocery store and got stuff to make my last meal dinner and dessert for my parents and I. I noticed that Target had a particularly wonderful selection of produce. I freaking loaded that cart. Seriously I’ve never bought so much fruit in my life.
So, 3 day DIY juice cleanse starts tomorrow.
Why?
1. It’s summer
2. I love fruit
3. I’ll try anything once
4. I’m interested to see if it changes the way I feel. For instance, I think it will make me feel hungry 🙂
5. I have no major plans/events this week
6. I’m young and I can do weird crap like this
 
Other details, things to keep in mind…
If you look into juice cleanse you will see that the lemon-water-honey-cayenne is a popular one, but for me it’s just not feasible. I have pretty quick metabolism and running means I have to have calories or it would just be a 3 day-headache-y-jitter-y mess.
Then, there are the online juice cleanses where they send you each day’s juices to your door. Sounds awesome right? Well, it runs you about $10 a bottle. 6 juices a day means $60 on food a day times 3 days =$180. Mama no likey. Enter, the DIY Juice Cleanse!
Obviously this diet is not sustainable or healthy for any amount of time, but spending $180 on food for three days isn’t something I even did on vacation. Incorporating fruits and veggies is something I want to work on and $10 for juice isn’t the way I ever want to do it so I will also be working on a cost breakdown and see if this much fruit/veggies actually costs that much and if eating healthier really is more expensive. Pound for pound though, I got A LOT of food.
Granted, these companies juices are very good quality and have a lot of ingredients I, as a novice juicer will not be using. Parsley, ginger, etc. Also, I only got organic produce when it was available and priced reasonably.
I’ll do a breakdown of my juices and prep later but I basically have 5 juices that I will drink everyday along with as much water as I want. Then I have a 6th backup juice that is different every day for the times when I’m dying of starvation and want a Quiktrip Pretzel.
This was my Target Haul, we’ll see how this goes.
dgdgfda
My dad laughed when I told him this was happening.
#longhairdontcare
Fun Fact: The cashier at Target asked me what fruit my mango was.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Categories
Life Science

How I know I'll make it

Yesterday I was faced with every senior’s dream come true…
A pass/fail (hard) class with a final I can get a zero on and still pass. I can literally walk away. Unscathed. Scot free.
I rejoiced. I bragged to several people. I mentally told myself that I do not have to study at all for that final, giving me a completely free evening. I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that I had perhaps already taken my last Malmberg test.
I considered not even going to take the final. I entertained the idea of not studying. Both are opportunities I have only dreamt of having in my four years here. This does not happen in the OBU science department. Even if your grade is good enough, you dare not skip a final because you will undoubtedly have that same professor again next year and you do not want them to have a bad view of you. I’m telling you this so you realize how big of a deal this is.
So, here I was faced with this exact scenario.
Pretty quickly, I decided I would go take the final and just not study.
I sat idle for about 2 minutes. Then I picked up my book, got out my notes, and studied- hard- for about 6 hours.
I know. I was surprised as well.
I studied it while I ate snacks, I studied while I watched TV. Each time I got up to pee or get a drink, I picked it right back up without dreading an evening of studying. I did it because I wanted to.
Suddenly, when presented with the opportunity to either learn optional material or just sit and be ignorant, I decided to learn. Maybe I am frightened of being unprepared for a situation I have control over. Maybe I care more about what my professors think than I say I do. It could be many things. It is not, however, because I am an overachiever or a star student. I doubt I will even do that well on the exam.
It’s because whatever else I am or am not, I will not settle for less than the best of whatever I can do right now in the moment. I am a doer.
This is something my dad will tell me he knew was true all along.
But it’s revolutionary for me, going into medical school, afraid of already being burnt out on school. Now I know that however much I’m beaten down, however bad my confidence suffers, however much work I have to do, that I would still rather do the work than have nothing to do at all. I want to know all the things. And apparently I can’t rest until I know I’ve made progress in that endeavor.
Bring it on med school

Categories
Health Medical School Medicine Science

Doctor Patient Relationship

I read this article today.
I have often thought about the kind of doctor I will be. Its hard to not know about how terribly our health care system is failing us- it seems like all it is about nowadays is the bottom line, malpractice lawsuits, and the affordable care act. All of these have strong opinions associated with them. The doctor patient relationship is something that I think most people can agree on.
You want to have a nice relationship with your doctor, because its built on mutual trust. But the broken health care system we are a part of, isn’t fostering good, trusting relationships, its hindering care. In order for a primary care doctor to make a doctor’s salary, they have to carry a load of 2,500 patients, seeing up to 24 a day at clinic’s I have shadowed at. In this article, which focuses on the emergency room setting, those docs are also prone to the pressure to see more patients, who are often in more critical situations.
One thing I’m glad they focused on was the changes in medical education. Since obviously we aren’t doing something right, it is a good idea to look to who is teaching our doctors and see what we can change there. I think teaching social skills is sort of impossible though. Some people have it, other don’t. What they can teach though, is the psychology. What do people like? More specifically, what do patients like in a doctor.
I think focusing on how your behavior comes off, and getting feedback on your bedside manner, are excellent and extremely valuable ways to make sure that the care we take a lifetime to master, come off in the best possible way and is received well. Everyone can improve on little things that are so important- the eye contact, the introduction, body language etc. And I hope that I am taught these things at my school, or at least get to practice and get criticism from standardized patients, doctors, and professors.
A doctor has to walk a delicate line in a short amount of time. We, myself included, want our doctors to command respect, but not be arrogant. We want competence perfectly dosed with compassion. We want fast results and answers but not hasty conclusions. We want someone that listens but knows all the answers. Its almost impossible to be that balanced all at once for a less than 30 minute appointment.

Categories
Life Science

You're hot then you're cold

I’m going home today! I get to see my dog and my mom and my best friend- and, no those aren’t all the same person! Shame on you.
I have an interview for a medical school loan repayment/scholarship this morning, and then a dentist appointment and a doctor’s appointment.
I will then be meeting up with my friend Dani to shop for something to wear to needtobreathe because we take it seriously and it’s a big freaking deal!
I’m also going car shopping to try to find a nice, reliable vehicle to get me through the next big chunk of my life. I’m looking into like a compact SUV. Think jeep compass, subaru outback, etc.
So yay! A long, busy, fun Easter weekend with my family! I’ll be sure to try to post things when I can’t find anything else to avoid homework with.
Anyone else have trouble regulating their temperature?
Something’s wrong with my hypothalamus.
I’m the first person to start flat out shivering when its chilly in a room. The thing is, I’m not even like this fragile being that everyone counts on to be cold all the time. I don’t always bring a an extra jacket with me because unfortunately, I’m also the first one to start sweating when it gets a little toasty. Not like a little moisture either; I mean I pit out T-shirts on the reg and have to change clothes three times everyday when it warms up. Basically I sweat like a Mexican.
I’ve had this theory for a while now that when I’m forced to wake up by alarm instead of on my own, my thermoregulation is off all day and I get hot or cold more easily.
Then again maybe it’s just because when I’m awoken by alarm I’m cranky and find things to complain about all day like being too cold.
Someone needs to do a study correlating lack of sleep to being abnormally hot or cold, so that I can be right.
Of course all of this could be due to the freakish cold front we had on Monday where it snowed momentarily and then it was 60s-70s the rest of the week.
Join me next week when I talk about my constantly clammy hands and freezing toes. Just kidding. But really, this post has nothing to do with anything. So I’m sorry about that.

Categories
Life Science

Tomagotchi Death and other Unfortunate Tales

Anyone remember these?
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Source
 
When I was a kid I would get a Tomagotchi, lose it in my closet and find it a couple days later. My little digital creature would, of course, be dead. But, you simply restart and try again.
 
In my desperation of my capstone not working, I decided a Tomagotchi would be a great way to harness some control over my life. So, I downloaded an app. Next best thing right? Just like old times.
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Wrong. Instead of taking expert care of it, I only checked it a couple times and it has died already. It died in its own poop.
Needless to say, it didn’t have the effect I was looking for. Haha. Oh well.
Here’s something else slightly terrifying.
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What you’re looking at is a plate of bacteria and fungus my group and I swabbed off of ONE GRAM of spinach leaves out of the bucket at SUBWAY.
Disturbing right? Oh well. It probably isn’t pathogenic. And I will continue to eat there. Immune systems and all that…
Science is cool.

Categories
House Life Science

#seniorprobs

Its a good feeling- this whole ‘I’m-already-in-medical-school-so-I-can-kind-of-relax’ thing.
But I’ve sort of turned into the kind of student that pins things on Pinterest and watches Grey’s Anatomy, and not the kind of student that got into medical school.
So, oops.
Hopefully that switch will turn back on when I need it to.
But for now, I’m eating donettes and dreaming of “command center” ideas to put in my med school study room.
Tomorrow I will work diligently on my research project.
And Saturday I will be shopping with my nieces and not thinking at all about everything I have to do.
You win some, you lose some.
 
Look how organizational!
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Source
 
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Source

Categories
Science

"The amazing th…

“The amazing thing about mammalian development is not that it sometimes goes wrong, but that it ever succeeds.”
-Veronica Van Heyningen