June 19, 2008, 10am
It's been a while, I know. My anatomy practical exam and mini 1 required my attention.
So how did they go?? They went well. The anatomy practical was pretty hard and mini 1 wasn't too bad. What is mini 1? Well, it's basically the first exam of the semester where all of your subjects are tested. So instead of having five separate tests for five separate subjects, we have one BIG test on one day. YEAH... So I've basically been living in books and my notes. I don't think I've ever been so tired in my life. I am still working on my sleep recovery.
How did I make it through? Wellll, I basically LIVED off of Monster energy drinks, no lie. Now, I kind of use this as a place to give the nitty gritty little details of the life as a med student in a caribbean island, so at times I may go into more detail than necessary, but this is my life and this is how I live. So anyways, once you are sustaining yourself with Monster all day long, you become an insomniac. Probably... I dunno 45% Monster induced and 55% adrenaline induced. So, when night time comes around and you're laying in bed thinking about the flexor muscles in your forearm, it becomes time to mediate your sleep cycles, too. MELATONIN. Essentially, both my sleep and wake cycles pretty much became medicinal, which is pretty insane if you think about it. I mean, I was literally taking control over my body as best as I could. I walked out of mini 1 with two black, blood shot eyes, but hey, I made it! :P
Oh, and you definitely start doing weird things when delirium sets in. Essentially, you stop caring about anything at all and you get odd urges to eat your chapstick or you walk into things or you stop being able to spell ANYTHING correctly.
Finally, Monday rolled around and it was mini time. Our mini was at 1pm which was pretty great because I am a "cram up to the moment" kind of person, and let's face it, there's just never enough time. After mini 1 the school threw a big "Beach bash" for us - they gave out free tshirts (I didn't get one!), had free food (hamburgers and it was glorious), they had water sports like tubing and sailing (no, I didn't do either), all kinds of people were in the ocean (yes, I did go in! pretty far, too!!) and well, alcohol. Lots of it. Oh, and a bonfire, too. It was paradise, for sure. The water in the ocean was PERFECT and EVERYONE was in there enjoying themselves, so I wasn't afraid of sharks knawing my leg off (for those of you who don't know, I have a fear of open water). Then some friends and my roommate and I came back to our place and continued the festivities. I won't go into more detail there. The night was finished off with some bar hopping.
There is one thing here that I noticed - ALL the locals know when your mini is and they all either ask you how it went or wish you luck. And they all know how it goes, so I will let you in on the pattern. Week before mini, Portsmouth is a ghost town. Everyone is sequestered in study rooms, libraries, classrooms, homes with their faces in books. Everyone is double-fisting monster. Day of mini, people start coming out, most walking zombies. Night after mini, ummm.... how do I phrase this.... Mardi Gras/Cinco de Mayo/21st birthday/St. Patty's Day/Night after Boston has won the Superbowl/World Series/NBA Finals? Essentially EVERYONE is out putting themselves into a different kind of delirium, and the locals come out and enjoy the scene. No further comment on that. lol
So now, my life is returning to normal. Normal basically means that I play soccer and work out again, I cook, and.... sleep!?! Before I forget, I have to mention that I learned how to suture yesterday!! Yeah, it was pretty great and let me tell you, if you need anyone to suture you, you want to come to me. :P Well, as long as it's a really tiny wound cause I get bored after 5 sutures. Back to my story - so we went into the gross anatomy lab (if I haven't clarified this before, the gross anatomy lab is where all the cadavers are that we dissect) and they had skin flaps already removed for us. Two long incisions were made in the skin flaps (we each had our own!) and then we were shown how to suture. I was extremely excited cause now I feel like a REAL med student. I didn't get to play with any needles to anesthetize the area, but I did get to play with forceps, clamping scissors, and a suture hook and thread. So suturing is pretty easy, not too complicated. You just have to make sure that you pull the skin taught enough but no so much so that it starts overlapping. Suturing is pretty darn close to sewing. Now, this might scare my mom, as she's seen some of the things I've sewn, but I wasn't on a sewing machine, so I kept a pretty straight line! Still want me to suture you? lol
All in all, I am LOVING medical school. I never thought I would say that, but it's true. Studying isn't too bad when that's really all there is to do, and things are SO much better when you realize that you're actually learning things that you've been wanting to learn for a long, long time (like suturing!). I also get to do really cool things like dissect things and be part of EMS (story about that) and I plan to go to clinic sometime soon to see patients.
Back to EMS. So last week, on my second EMS call, I was awoken from my melatonin induced slumber for my FIRST call! I was awake in a moment and ready to cure the world! I'm not going to say directly what the call was for, all I am going to say is that is what I learned that night. Well, it turns out that you do not want to put ice packs, fresh water, or heating pads on jellyfish stings. What do you do? Vinegar! Oh, and GOOD LUCK finding vinegar on an island at 1:30am. I mean, yeah, there's a Subway with vinegar in it right next to the Health Clinic, but does anyone have keys?? NOOOOOO. Anyways, the call was a lot of fun and I finally got home around 3:30 am. Another GREAT part of being a med student!
Alright I have written a short novel here, so I am going to finish up. I don't want to bore anyone so they never come back and read my blogs. My next few days will be spent studying, working out, sleeping, maybe a party, and... that's probably about it. Every day is the same here, just some days you don't have to watch class.
I am coming home in almost EXACTLY two months, so mark your calendars for August 20th! I was able to arrange to come home almost a week earlier!
Alright I am hungry and out of food, so I am going to have to go find a way to remedy this situation. I hope everyone is well!!
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