Monday, November 16, 2009


I can't say I was super-impressed with my clinical this weekend. Only 3 real calls (the others were crap calls that didn't really require us to be there, and the medic didn't even write a refusal). No IV sticks, and the medic I was with was not nearly as cool or nice as the one I was with last weekend. On the other hand, it did teach me how NOT to interact with my coworkers. In fairness to the medic, he was very good with the patients. Just not me or his partner.

Again, on the other hand, I ran an OB that actually gave birth, for the first time in my 11 years in this field. Thankfully, it was not in the back of the medic unit, but it was on the stretcher. The patient was a multiple pregnancy, multiple birth, and the kid just flew out. We did make it to L&D, but the nurses and doctors there were too busy arguing over which monitor to put on her and weren't quick enough in moving the patient over to the hospital bed. It would have been nice, since even though her water broke on our stretcher, I would have liked to NOT have to clean up after the actual birth. Still, it was nifty, but I am damned glad it happened in the hospital.

Nothing exciting happened after that, aside from the IV I missed because it was a crappy vein, and then got pushed out of the way by the medic, who was very easily frustrated. It made me mad, because her AC was a pipe, and her hand was a little spidery thing that you see in arthritic people. Irritating, because I wanted to go for the AC first, and he said that you had to do hand first, and when I couldn't get it, took the AC himself. Later he said 'You can put down that you did IV's if you want, I don't care.' I'm not so desperate that I'm going to cheat, jerk.

Hung at the firehouse for a bit after that, and then home. Lazy Sunday, though I did get some gardening done to clean up the yard for the winter (as noted yesterday).

Today was our last test before finals. It'll be very very nice to have several weeks without having to hurry and study for some test or another. Gotta check the schedule again...we start learning 12-leads in a few days.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I can haz Christmas tree!

We got a Christmas tree today.

Yeah, I know it's early. See, I love Christmas. It's my favorite season (winter) and my favorite holiday, and not just because you get presents. It's because for just a few weeks out of the whole year, the majority of people act the way they're supposed to act, getting off the all-about-me bus and think about someone else for a change.

Anyway, we'd talked about getting a Christmas tree this year, but because C is in New Jersey over the holidays, we decided not to get one. We didn't have one last year, because he was in North Carolina. The year before, I didn't really have one, since I was in Antarctica. A tree, to me, is central to Christmas time. When I was growing up, it was a tradition for my mom and I to decorate the Christmas tree together, listening to Christmas music. When I was living at the firehouse, we had a tree that we decorated (albeit without the Christmas music). When I was living with Bee and Foo, we decorated the tree the day of the Christmas party, with all the people who came early, while Foo cooked for the party and Christmas music was playing. So yeah, Christmas trees have been rather central to my Christmas experience for a while. Not having one is hard. Not having C around is also hard, especially since we have not really spent 'holidays' together since we started going out. Yes, we are together for the actual holiday, but he's not around for the holidays, you know, the time leading up to the actual holiday when it's nice to have family around to listen to the music, see the sights, and so on. I keep reminding myself that it could be least he comes home most weekends, and he is not in a dangerous place (aside from the fact that it IS New Jersey). I have friends who's husbands are military, and are downrange for the holidays, so I know I could have it worse. It's still hard though, not to be able to share my favorite holiday with the one I love.

Anyway, we've discussed Christmas trees, and whether we should get one or wait till we have a house that will fit it. We've bought at least one ornament every year we've been together, so that when we have a tree, it's not naked. But when we went to the home improvement store today to get mulch, grass seed, and top soil to fix the yard(and how odd does it sound saying that 2 weeks before Thanksgiving?), I saw that they had little potted dwarf evergreens. We talked about getting a taller one to put in the corner of the yard where the hydrangea used to be (but died), and saw that they had cheaper one that were much smaller.

So we got one. It's only about 2 feet tall right now, and is outside now. C plans to build a small table to put it on in the corner of the living room, we'll leave it potted, and in the spring, we'll plant it. In the meantime, C, who has become enamored of the LED lights being advertised on TV, wants to put lights and ornaments on the tree while it's inside. Granted, some of the ornaments we have are bigger than the tree itself, but we'll figure it out. Maybe a bow for the top.

But for now I am excited. I have a Christmas tree, and although C will not be here during the week, he will be around on weekends, and we can do some decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. The fact that the tree is potted means it won't dry out, and we can plant it in the spring.

So now I can have my dream of sitting in the living room, listening to Christmas music, the only light coming from the tree in the corner. The only thing missing is the fireplace.

One thing at a time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


When we last left our intrepid adventurer, she was asking cardiology questions. We actually did find the answer in pharmacology class later on (oddly enough).

At any rate, now that I am off antibiotics, my throat is sore again. A trip to the doctor today (since strep throat and I are such good friends, and I have no desire to have scarlet or rhuematic fever) I thought that was the prudent thing to do. According to my own personal Marcus Welby, I still have blisters all over the back of my throat and my tonsils, which is most likely the cause of the intense pain I have been having upon swallowing (but only on the right side). New antibiotics (Keflex) make me hope that I will kick this. A blood test to rule out mono has also been taken. However, the lack of fever and extreme exhaustion make me doubt it is mono.

This weekend was my first field clinical. I was in Baltimore City, and things weren't super busy, but they weren't really slow either. I did manage to get one IV on Saturday, and ran my first 'real' GSW. Yes, it took 11 years to get a real GSW. Most of them have been either 'it's not really a gunshot' or so much a gunshot that the cops cleared us before we got on scene. This one ended up being an organ donor, but still...Sunday was even slower than Saturday, with several 'man down' calls though there was one that might have been a dissecting aneurysm. I go back on Saturday for my last one, and I hope that I will get at least 2 IV's.

In other news, my back is still sore, though I suspect (read: hope) that today's extreme pain is due to awkward sleeping last night. I have a date with a heating pad later tonight, and perhaps even some more serious painkillers than Advil.

In the meantime...I have a pharm test to study for tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Question for the masses

A question has been raised in my cardiology class that no one seems to be able to answer to the student's satisfaction.

What is happening, at the cellular level, that causes ST segment changes during an MI? I know it has something to do with repolarization changes due to dead and dying or ischemic tissue, but she wants to know the specific reasons behind the amplitude changes.

Any takers among my 2 or 3 readers?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It Lives!!!!

I am alive, no thanks to the strep throat I got last week. Just as things were getting together.

Still, I survived 2 tests during that time, one when I was sicker than a dog, so I can't be too upset.

The semester is halfway done. I'm getting excited about being a quarter of the way done. I would like to be doing better, but I can't complain over much about B's.

Today was the H1N1 vaccine clinic on campus. I was supposed to be a runner, which meant that I was supposed to be taking filled syringes from the vaccine fill-up station to the various station giving the actual shots. I ended up taking care of a classmate who got sick, and walking her back to her dorm. When I got back, I made sure the stations had syringes, and spent the rest of my time there filling syringes with vaccine. Not the most exciting of 'clinicals' but good practice.

This weekend starts the first round of clinicals. I have 3 days of riding on a medic unit to get IV sticks before the 50 mile marathon in late November (yes, that was 50 MILES, not KM. A bunch of silly people run 50 miles up the Appalachian Trail in western MD, and the medic students have the responsibility of fixing the rampant dehydration and foot funk they will have by the end of the 50 miles.), so this Saturday, Sunday, and next Saturday will be spent in Baltimore. Hopefully my curse of no calls won't carry over too badly so I can actually get some calls. One of my classmates delivered a baby this week at her clinical. I don't really want to do that.

Drill tonight at the firehouse. I have some ideas I would really like to implement, but I haven't found the time to write them down to give to the Sgt. Also, have to study for my test tomorrow. Time to get cracking. There may still be time to pull A's out of my ass in these classes.