Friday, May 30, 2008

The Ecstasy and The Agony

Today I finished my general medicine rotation and took our school's mid-medicine written exam, my second-to-last exam of 3rd year. It wasn't too bad--statistics, concepts, EKGs and CXRs. I'm pretty sure I got everything right but I'm usually surprised by just how dumb I can be on exams. The most important thing about this is that I now have only have ONE test left in all of 3rd year, and it's a biggie... the Medicine Shelf Test. Which transitions us nicely to:

Of course, there's the looming Medicine Shelf. There is also another month of medicine (I do have high hopes that it will be good). However, NOTHING compares to this horrible, crippling pain in my lower back. I am seriously walking like a 100-year-old. It is SO pathetic. Plus I'm in pain basically 100% of the time. This has been going on for three or four days now and it is flipping killing me. Yesterday I tried to stand up from a chair, had a giant spasm and almost FELL DOWN in front of my whole team. I was going to try to get a lot done this weekend since I have it off, but now I'm considering drugging the bajesus out of myself and finally getting some relief/sleep (which I have not had since this started). Also--walk rounds=usually painful; walk rounds when your back is one giant spasm=unbearable. It's like every second takes an hour, and you WANT to be concentrating on learning whatever the attending is talking about, but instead all you can focus on is trying not to throw up or a fantasy about finding a dark room to lay down in and cry or how much you wish someone would take pity on you and just kill you already.
Is it just me? OldMDGirl, you too claim to be old--do you ever have this problem?

In any case I am taking my broken self and money I don't have down to get a professional to address this problem right now. Those of you reading in other states--let me know when my screams of pain reach your time zone.

Until then, cherish your youth. For you too will someday become whiny, old and pathetic.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hell hath no torture

like 8 full patient write-ups which have to include ridiculous level of detail including a full neuro and rectal exam in every patient and a minimum 1 pg long discussion with references.

In fact, I'm pretty sure there's a special level of hell reserved for people who smack their food and drive in the far left lane going the same speed as the car next to them where all you do, day in and day out, is patient write-ups.

I've done six, but it feels like a bazillion.

Side note: Maybe it's just me, but doing a rectal exam in every patient kind of feels like assault.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

so... close...

Well, I only have 4.5 weeks left of 3rd year medical school. And it's totally blowing my mind.

Medicine is the rollercoaster of 3rd year squared. You have days where you panic because you are convinced that when you become an intern--something that is terrifyingly close to happening--you are certain to kill patient after patient. Then you have days where you just seem to know what is going on, where the attending likes every patient plan you have, where they basically just sign your orders as they are and you think hey, you might be able to do this after all.

So, on the one hand I am SO excited to be almost done with 3rd year. I have a written exam on Friday about EKGs, x-rays and--*shudder*--statistics. Then, in a little less than 5 weeks, the medicine shelf test. My very... last... shelf test. Holy moley.

Medicine is a lot more fun than I thought... and it is also a lot harder. Which is saying something, because I expected it to be hard. I guess I expected it to be hard like an 80's move montage where the main character does lots of hard work set to peppy music over the course of about 30 seconds. Whereas instead it mostly involves rounding for 5 hours a day, doing a bunch of scut for another 5 hours, rounding some more, and coming home to read and study for another 2 hours or so. Maybe if we had a guy follow us around with a boombox on rounds, playing some peppy 80's music, that would be better.

Hm... maybe I'll bring that up at the next team meeting. I'm thinking "Working for the Weekend", or maybe "Danger Zone". Ohh...what's that song from the Karate Kid? You know, "You're the BEST! Around! Nothin's ever gonna keep you down!"

Yes. That should make rounds go faster.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Things don't just appear in your colon.

They can only get there two ways: from the top, or from the bottom.

You can tell me you have no idea how they got there.

But I'll know you're lying.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Okay, Jerkheads

Listen very carefully.

Are you listening?



I am tired of helping doctors try to save your stupid ass from 80 pack years of retardation. I am tired of pretending that I'm not silently passing judgment on your decision to use your money to buy cigarettes instead of your medications. I get that you can't undo the past, but when you TURN OFF YOUR FRICKING OXYGEN TO SMOKE YOUR TWO PACKS A DAY I WANT TO STRANGLE YOU.

That is all.

Friday, May 9, 2008

O Medicine, why dost thou bludgeon me?

Okay. I have done a lot of flipping out on this blog. But nothing--nothing--has prepared me for the amount of flipping out that is about to commence.

I was so damn cocky. I have studied and worked very, very hard over the course of this year, partially because I want to get into a very competitive speciality, partially because of THE FEAR (that old friend to all mudphuds returning to the clinic after a prolonged absence), partially because, and call me crazy, but I want to be a good doctor. In any case, I felt that I was really doing well and getting more than the gist of 3rd year. I mean, I'm practically DONE, right? I've done all my rotations except medicine. I felt like I at least mostly knew the basics of what was going on.

Until now.

Right now the main thing I'm feeling is YIKES. Because I. Don't. Know. Crap.

The things I don't know fall into many categories:

1. Things I Thought I Knew But Clearly Don't Know: Antibiotic coverage, diabetes.
2. Things I Thought I At Least Sort of Knew But Know Nothing About: EKGs, VERY basic labs and their meaning.
3. Things I Knew I Didn't Know And Thought I Had More Time to Learn Before Looking Like an Idiot: Basically everything else.

Add to this that the entire week has been crammed full of graduation events for my husband. I'm very proud of him, but couldn't he have picked a more convenient time to graduate?!?! In any case, that's all for now. I'm sure you recognize the pattern by now, of me starting something new->freaking out->posting about said freakout->going into crazy study mode->chilling out slightly->getting close to the shelf test->freaking out again and more robustly->taking shelf->posting about how tolerable or terrifying the shelf test was->moving on to the next freakout. So, I will go now to partake in crazy study mode. I'll see you when I'm approaching chilling out slightly!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Five down, one to go

So awesome holy wow! I just finished my psych shelf. HUZZAH! It was not that bad. I mean, I don't know that I tore it up or anything, but I am 99% sure I passed (knock on wood).

The craziest thing ever is that I only have one shelf test left. I can't really wrap my mind around it. I mean, two months left of 3rd year!! Wow. I only have seven months total of coursework left in medical school. That means that I will be unleashed on an unwitting patient population in a frighteningly short period of time. Hmmm... that feeling of anxiety which went away when I finished the test is beginning to come back...

In any case, psych was a great rotation. The hours are great. The people were nice. The subject was interesting. But I think that the best thing about the rotation was how included they made us feel. I had a role, which was actually meaningful and useful. After lots of rotations where you are basically a shadow of a shadow, it is such a nice change of pace to feel like people want you to be there, and that you help them out.

Anyway, I have a bazillion things to do... more on that a little later... but for now, just a deep breath, and reminding myself... five down, one to go.