Well, February rushed by like a freight train. And still, the story of my life is “I’m not ready!!”
Thanks to everyone who expressed their condolences on my crummy week last post. Update: The cat lives($100 later), the car lives ($350 later), the parking tickets are paid. And my outlook is up. I have been reading Psalms: " I don't trust my bow, and don't count on my sword to save me- You are the one who decrees victory for your people." (Ps. 44). thanks for the prayers and thoughts. I am part of a good group of folks here that meet on Thursday afternoons for prayer and support. It's gonna be OK. And I got a real bed on Friday. no more sleeping on pull-out couch cushions. YAY!! That by itself is enough to chase the grumpies. Rob even posted my photo of it. The only catch is that I need new sheets, as we bought double sized in November. I can live with that.
Actually, I have to admit, at the moment I am merely ‘whelmed’, not over or under. We finally got past most of the introductory lectures, and began the real meat. Lucky for me, the first system on the menu was Immunology. The trick with this module was to scale back on detailed explanations and just cover the basics. I guess if they wanted it at the level I understand, it would take another 4 years! I’m sure my colleagues who specialized in GI are in the same situation now.
I am in a Problem Based Learning group of 10 students, and we are given a weekly problem to wander through. The point is not to find out what is ailing the patient (as in real life), but to show us what we don’t know, and then go dig it up. And then hopefully figure out what is ailing our poor patient. So far we have dealt with severe Acne, a baby with Severe Combined Immuno-Deficiency (SCIDS), An MVA with hemothorax and lacerated femoral artery, going into shock, Giardiasis (The Canadians proclaimed : “Beaver fever!” The Aussies had no clue what we meant), and Hep A. Luckily, they schedule our anatomy, microbiology, physiology and histology labs to cover what we are dealing with in group session. So for this week dealing with Giardiasis, we did a micro prac on parasites. And yes, among things that can kill you, they have venomous ticks here. Good grief. A gal on the micro bench next to mine had a relative die of a toxic tick bite only 2 weeks earlier. It makes our ticks and Lyme disease look like patty-cake.
I am really enjoying the Anatomy pracs. They have lots of specimens to handle and look at. Two retired surgeons, 2 anatomists and a radiologist assist us, and it has been really helpful working with people who know what they are looking at and why it matters. We also look at imaging in these labs (hence the radiologist). I still find it somewhat difficult to convert the MRI slices into a 3-D person, but I enjoy looking at the xray films, and half a clue about what I am looking at in ultrasound pictures. I think I need to make up a table of what happens at what vertebra, since everything seems to use those reference points.
Regular classes have started for undergrad students, and the ghost town campus is now packed. I have started swimming at the pool weekly (I met a very nice Dutch gal studying Sociology, and we keep each other accountable)
I have one elective in first year, and I have paired up with a Palliative care specialist. I have been interested in this for years, and I would like to find out early in the game if I can and/or want to do this for a career. The elective is a four week stretch in November. I considered doing the elective in a rural or remote placement, or overseas, but at that point, we are still going to be weak on procedural skills. I would rather wait until 3rd year when I can do more to be an asset to wherever I am going, and for longer (2 month placements). Also, if Rob can only move here by that time, there’s no way I’m taking off for a month.
Oh, and of interest, express courier to Canada is $45, and takes FIVE days. I found a lawyer who could halp me prove that I am who I think and say I am, and then got the Condo sale documents to the lawyer in Edmonton. Hopefully the rest goes off without a hitch, as possession is March 6.