While I wait to get picked up - the one son did in fact have another seizure today, while I was taking my exam (did exactly the same on the second part as the first). My husband talked to the pediatrician and now we're all headed up there.
Thanks to all who PM-ed me after our last adventure. He's okay, as I suspected. His brother was the most shaken up, since neither boy had ever seen his brother seize. So having the pediatrician tell him that everything was fine was good for both boys.
So, now I'm doing cardio physiology. I really, really like it, but it's taking far longer than I anticipated (I'd hoped to be done by yesterday evening. Nope.) I think part of it is that there's a lot of repetition of concepts in the objectives, since these are some of the most challenging concepts we've had so far.
Some of my classmates study existing objectives that previous students have made. But I found that that's.... boring. I'll admit that I really *like* reading the textbooks. I'd rather read the book, do my objectives, and then spend a few days studying them, than spend the entire 3 weeks studying objectives.
So I'm spending my day at home (since I have no small groups, lectures, or meetings today), reading a chapter, then writing up a chapter, then repeating for the next chapter. 5 down (plus 2 cardio histology), 7 to go! (Then a week on respiratory.) Yeah, I still haven't gotten out of my pajamas. I have done a whole chapter of work, though!
I'm also realizing how *different* people's perceptions of the different modules can be. I was ready and then some to be done with neurophys, and I'm loving cardio, and can't wait for respiratory. But there are many people who are thinking the exact opposite. Neuro had a lot of straight memorization, and was low on the concepts. Cardio and respiratory seem to be the exact opposite. Pressure-volume graphs abound. I guess you either love it or hate it.
It started in neurophys, testing all the weird reflexes. Not too dangerous. You can't do too much with that.
Next cardio phys. Can't really do much to alter that. Thank goodness. I was feeling my carotid a. a lot. And studying with a stethoscope is a lot of fun.
Now, I'm in respiratory phys. I nearly made myself pass out 3 times today, just studying. I can't get myself to go back to reflexive breathing. And, yeah, I have asthma, so that wasn't helping matters. I think I'm going to bring my inhaler to school tomorrow.
I think I'm the only one who's liking respiratory more than cardio. I know, the heart's supposed to be the coolest. thing. ever. (Unless you're a brain person.) But I'm really liking the lungs. And the weird ways of testing lung functional residual capacity. Like body plethysmography, which starts out with a person seated in an airtight box, and gets more strange from there.
Hmm. On the horizon are renal and GI. Can't wait to see what those systems make me do. My husband thinks I'm insane. (Uh, am I going to get pregnant during reproductive phys? I mostly hope not. After all, it's only a 6 day module.)
In other news, it looks like I'll be leadership for next year's peds interest group. That's right. Only two of us showed up for the meeting to decide stuff for the next year. And it apparently takes at least 3 people to run the group. But no matter! I'm not involved in anything else at school. Not significantly, anyway. Furthermore, I get to bring my kids to the beginning of the year picnic. (They love going to events at faculty members' homes, particularly when said faculty are grandmotherly physicians.)
One final thing, I will make a little plug for They Might Be Giant's new kids album, Here Come the 1-2-3's. Really well done, great music, fun videos. My kids love it.
Time to write some more. Why wouldn't the night before I take my exam be a great time?
Inspired by a couple of things, I decided to wait a couple of days before taking my cardio and respiratory exams. I'm shocked and amazed at how much more I understand the stuff than I did on Monday, and I'm still at the "recommended" date, nowhere near the max date. We'll see how this pans out. (erasing things superstitiously that are more positive) When people ask (because that's what we do in ISP - ask each other when they're taking the tests) I just say I'm not tired of it yet, so I'm going to keep going.
I'll say that I really, truly love respiratory. Cardio's fine, and if you're going to learn the cardiac cycle, go here
to learn it, but there's just something... elegant about respiratory physiology. (And I think that surfactant is probably the coolest thing in the universe.)
I'll give my book reviews now: Mohrman & Keller's (Lang series) Cardiovascular Physiology works pretty well for me. It's organized well, and reads quickly. Succinct and easy to carry. My favorite book of the module is Schwartzstein and Parker's Respiratory Physiology: A Clinical Approach. Oh, the beauty. Oh, the perfect framework. Oh, the dopey animations on CD that make everything clear. Again, concise, easy to carry, easy to read through quickly. I'm so pleased.
I've also, on the recommendations of others at my school who've done ISP, started using the BRS books along with my modules. Once I'm reasonably clear on what's going on, I read the relevant chapters of the BRS Phys or Histology books. They present it slightly differently, and more summary-ish, but it's really great. And my scores on their end-of-chapter quizzes correlate pretty well with the module packets' practice quizzes. And I like the size of those books, too. (I'm really pathetic that way; I like to pretend I'm reading a novel or something.)
A couple of weeks back, I threw together our digital photos from the boys' first 4 years into an album made with iPhoto. (Apple had 20% off till February 29. I jumped on it.) It's the kids' new favorite book. But I was looking at the backgrounds of the early photos, and realized: my house is SO much cleaner now. You'd think that I'd have had more time to clean when I was a SAHM than I would as a medical student. You'd be pretty much wrong. Two babies/toddlers are way harder than medical school. (Not intellectually, but operationally.) I'm just so proud.
And now, in my irregular running feature of crazy things kids say, some stuff from dinner.
"People gave me presents when I was a baby. They might have thought I was Jesus."
"Presidents' Day is February [his February birthday - NOT Presidents' Day!]"
Humble is not one of his defining characteristics.
"Do people grind up dogs to make hot dogs?" (not touching his hot dog at all - he still would not touch it even when we told him it was beef)
Ironically, in the end, I did significantly better on cardio. Bizarre. I have no (rational) explanation. But off I go into the land of renal phys. And yes, I'm finding myself needing extra trips to the restroom.
We had a snow day yesterday. That meant, in our case, since we knew the night before, that I went out to school (rode the bus, since our street was an inch thick sheet of ice) early in the morning, then came home for a slightly early dinner. Then my husband went out from dinner till 10, then worked at home till 11:30. Since most of what he does is computer research work, he's got a lot of flexibility when and where he does it, except for meetings, the rare class or presentation, etc. That being said, if time gets suddenly taken away from his day, I find myself doing an awful lot of bedtimes.
One of my sons slept in underwear last night (as opposed to a pull-up) and stayed dry. We'd told him, after a couple of dry nights in a row, that once he stayed dry for a week, he could sleep in underwear. Mostly just letting him know our thoughts on the matter, not trying to motivate. Next thing you know, the week's mostly gone by (I really can't remember when it started) and he's asking to stay in his underwear. So I made sure he went to the bathroom again right before bed, and said okay very hesitantly. But it worked! This morning, he didn't know what to do about getting dressed, since he was already wearing underwear. ("Do I take them off? Do I keep them on? What part of my clothes do I change?") I'll mention this, in part to give hope to others. This son was, at 3 1/2, just starting to be even remotely potty trained. It took going to his new school. After a couple of weeks there, he stopped having accidents entirely. His brother, who's been at least trying for a year now, is still having regular accidents. Kids, even identical twins, who cut teeth, walked, talked, started reading, on the same day, learn things differently.
I thought I'd write tonight, since I think it's significant that I'm spending my Friday night studying. Ordinarily, I try to take at least a couple of nights off per week. However, my kids started spring break on Thursday, and don't go back till next Monday the 31st. So, between my husband and myself, we're "covering" taking care of the kids and getting our own stuff done. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get ahead enough on my studying, and so I can't take off nearly entirely like I'd planned.
This is pretty stressful to me, since, while I can technically take the time off, if I do, I'll just have to make it up later, and I really don't want to spend my late June finishing my first year. Nope, better to just deal with the stress and stay on the suggested day. (Plus the second years tell us that these modules - renal and GI - are the hardest of med 1.) My big concession is that since the kids don't have school this week, I've reverted to my "natural" hours - rolling in to start my day at 9:30-10, playing with my family 5-7:30, then studying till 1AM.
We did get out to our zoo's family night. We ran into a guy from my school who has kids, a year ahead, but in ISP, so I vaguely know him. (Side note: I always wonder how the wives feel when I meet the SAHM wives of med school husbands, mostly because I'm *really* "mom-like" but also *really* nerdy-med-student.) We also ran into a kid from my sons' preschool class, which was the Most Fun Ever thing for my boys.
I also saw another mom from my former crunchy-hippie SAHM life, but didn't say hi. I couldn't think of anything other than "I learned about celiac disease today, and thought about you." I was always a bit different from these moms, but I feel that the difference has been amplified since I've started med school.
In other news, I have my ultrasound "exam" Monday. That's gotten me a tiny bit stressed, since it took a bunch of time today (that I didn't have because of the kids' spring break), and also that I've had almost *no* practice. We're supposed to have had 4 sessions, and I did my 3rd today. Oh well. Drey from here is one of the 4th year teachers, and so I saw her today. That was fun. I'm positive, though, that part of why I'm such a slow ultrasound learner is because I keep listening to the fun stories the 4th years tell instead of paying attention to the scans.
Obligate funny kid stories:
Last week, when I was doing my renal objectives, my son came downstairs at bedtime, and asked what I was learning. I told him I was learning about pee.
"And tomorrow you will learn about poop?"
"Actually, that's next week."
(He starts cracking up.)
"I want to be a doctor when I grow up."
Earlier this week, both boys were so excited that the school nurse came in to teach them about germs. (They're doing a unit on the human body, and loving every minute.) So, very earnestly, I asked what they learned: "I don't know about germs. I don't learn about them till next month." My other son stands up on his chair at dinner and gives me a five minute lecture on germs. He's asking me now every day when I'm going to learn about germs and can't believe I'm still learning about poop. Neither can I.
Back to the poop. (Well, strictly speaking, digestion and absorption of protein.)