Sunday, September 6, 2015

At Least I Didn't Kill Anyone

the site of the incident for which I will go down in history in the annals of my medical school and possibly elsewhere


I made it through one more performance of Grease today. No disasters occurred. Kenickie didn't have to rescue me from being dropped on my head and possibly severing my spinal cord. No one forgot any crucial lines or entrances. The orchestra didn't screw up today, as they did last night. Fortunately their screw-up happened in one of my solos and not in an ensemble number, though I might have employed the same tactic to fix it as I did last night with my solo.

It was in the reprise (incidentally, many musicians do not know that the correct pronunciation of this word is actually the French pronunciation: ( /re /PREEZE/) of the Sandra Dee number that I don't know what the conductor was doing, but he certainly wasn't conducting anyone. The drummer was doing his own thing, basically beating the hell out of his drum set on what should have been a very mellow song. Saxes, of which there are too many for this production, were blaring away. The pianist had quit p;aying. The guitarist and bass player were following me, but the drummer and saxes were too loud for them to be heard.

I stood up from the bed where I was supposed to be sitting during the song and walked over to the orchestra pit. I sat on the piano bench, and the pianist scooted over (barely enough for me to reach the keys, but at least I'm skinny and could fit on the bench) and whispered, "Let's start this one over." I didn't even wait for the pianist but started in on the piano into myself. They all followed, and it went so well that the director had me wander over to the orchestra pit and play the song again as I sang tonight. I think the drummer's problem was that he really didn't know what the song was that he was supposed to be playing. He did fine the second time through and during today's matinee.  The "conductor" has been shooting me daggers with his eyes since then, but who gives a flying rat's rectum? I'm not even getting paid for this.

The director just said it seemed more spontaneous with Sandy playing the song as she sang it. It also gave me a quicker exit off the stage to get into my black leather outfit for the finale.

My grandma heard from my Uncle Michael about my computer woes and bought a much more expensive Mac than I ever would have purchased for myself.  She paid for it in Salt Lake City, and I showed the people at my local Apple store my ID and walked out with it late this morning. My dad is probably upset with her but what can he do? She's his mother. She told him if he doesn't start to treat his children better, he's going to turn into his father. There was no more stinging insult than she could have directed at him.

My uncle Jerry, who's not technically my uncle but is my dad's best friend, is a musician. He's wealthy. My parents aren't actually paupers, but compared to him, they are. He appreciates the value of a quality instrument for a musician who is skilled enough to benefit from its use. To help keep peace in our family, as in so I won't file papers to sue my father on Tuesday morning, he's buying me a new violin. He has given me a $20,000 dollar limit. I will not come close to approaching that limit because I do not need such an expensive violin and I will not take advantage of someone's generous nature. I'll stick with the $7,000 dollar model I had picked out in the first place. My Uncle Jerry will be here by mid-morning on Saturday so that we can go to purchase my new instrument. I could possibly get a slightly better deal in the city, but there's something to be said for buying locally when the item one wants to purchase is available locally. I'll get much better service from the local dealership if I buy their product (my uncle has already ordered it, so it will be in stock), and I don't necessarily have time to be running to the city if I have an issue with my violin right before a performance.

My mother will be quick to kick over the two grand when it's Uncle Jerry she's giving it to and not me. She's being shamed into doing what she should have done in the first place  -- not to buy me a seven-thousand-dollar violin, but to give me the at-least-two-thousand-dollars that I should have gotten from my old violin and to sign over my account to me so that I can access the rest of my money to have a nice instrument.

I have performances Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, so there is a light, however dim, at the end of the tunnel. I have been able to block out all my hours for class, labs, faux medical practice, lectures, study groups, individual studying, performances, and sleeping. I still haven't quite figured out when I'm supposed to eat. I took a few minutes to gobble down a sandwich while I typed this.

I may very well be fighting off a bug of some sort. With the schedule I've been trying to maintain, such would not be unusual. Please send prayers, positive vibes, or anything else that might be of benefit in my direction so that if I do become ill, the worst of it does not hit until after the final performance on Saturday night. As far as striking down the set on Sunday, I could not possibly care any less and would probably claim to be incapacitated even if such were not the truth just so I could play my new violin.

I love you all (this includes Grandma, Becca, Uncle Michael, Uncle Jerry and Judge Alex in addition to those of you who have posted here) and appreciate your kind words and support more than you can know. 

I mentioned in a comment that I fell asleep on a cadaver. It's true. I was looking down at the cadaver's thorax before I made an incision, and the next thing I knew, a professor and classmate were lifting my upper body off the chest of the cadaver and walking me out of the lab. That is an incident I'm not likely ever to live down. It will probably follow me from my internship to my residency to any fellowships I complete to my eventual practice. C'est la vie. At least I didn't kill anyone. He was already dead.




20 comments:

  1. See? Things are going to be fine.

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  2. Several times I've thought my world was imploding, but it's never quite done so all the way.

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  3. Glad things are looking up. Your faint onto the cadaver sounds a tad embarrassing. I had a similar faint as a final year student. Midway through the afternoon of a full day's operating,extremely hypoglycaemic - no breakfast, no lunch ( yes,I know but I was busy,busy, busy !!!!) , standing assisting I fell face forward into the abdomen opened for a big laparotomy.

    My only consolation was that this occurred in a hospital in another country (I was on elective) and I didn't have to live it down amongst my peers.

    Please,look after yourself. The training is long,physically and mentally demanding. Eat properly, sleep properly, relax properly and don't push yourself beyond your limits.

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    1. This has been very much a earning experience for me. I have to look out for my own well-being because chances are that no one else is going to do it for me. i still have to get through this week, which will be exhausting, but I made a commitment which must be honored whether the dean who coerced me into it is an asshole or not. I'm sleeping when I can, eating as well and as much as I can, and cutting a few corners on studying because I studied all summer when my classmates were mostly frolicking and hadn't even ordered their text materials. Still, it worries me to cut corners in any way, and it's still no guarantee my colon or ileum won't do their usual numbers on me.

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  4. Laparotomy is a surgical incision into the abdominal cavity, for diagnosis or in preparation for surgery so others will not need to look it up. Due to being an empath it was like great news to me to hear how well things turned out. You always have my well wishes aimed at you in whatever you do.

    Now here is another analogy. There are 2 ways to go though a roller-coaster that goes upside down. One way is to wave your hands and know the centripetal force will keep you in and just enjoy yourself. The other way is to hold on really tight and think that your effort is what is holding you in.

    You have the choice in every situation to just enjoy yourself in the situation or to get completely freaked out. Any M.D. will tell you that stress will take its toll. So there is no need to get upset, it will only shorten your life. There is a whole chart of whether to get upset or not and it always leads to not. Like either your problem will get worse or not. If it gets better, then there is nothing to worry about. If it gets worse then it splits into more options.

    The final negative reaction is that you are going to die. But you have always known that this is the end of every story and it is the one inevitable thing. The dentists used to be believe if the wisdom teeth did not come in, there would be problems. So they would cut them out of the bone and the jaw would become very swollen.

    So the dentist told me (after I had braces) that my wisdom teeth were IMPACTED and need to come out. I told him that they felt okay and that he should drop dead while many of my friends were getting the operations to get those things taken out of their jawbone.

    When I told a good female friend that had a dentist for a father, she got very freaked out. Many years later I still had no problem with them so I asked him about them. "We made a steak." That is what my grandfather would say and then my brother and I would correct him and say "no you made a mistake." They thought that they would give people problems as they got older. But they learned from people who got them NOT done that they could be okay. My wisdom teeth still did come in and they are okay. That is unlike George Washington who died of a very sore throat when the MDs took 3 pints of blood from him.

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  5. One more thing. Is that a facsimile or is it a picture of you attending your fake patient? I wanna know:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlR9nXCfazo

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  6. It's a stock photo. Thank the good Lord that no one captured the actual incident (or at least I HOPE no one capture it) om film or video. I actually think the professor would bite off the head of anyone who was found with pictures of me passed out on the cadaver. He was quite concerned and very sympathetic, and I doubt he'd take kindly to someone having too much fun at my expense. Beyond that, it would be a violation of the cadaver's privacy if someone didn't get the next of kin's consent, and I doubt anyone went to those lengths. I'm hoping, anyway. I don't wish to be the next YouTube sensation.

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  7. What if you are the next Youtube sensation by saving someone's life in a public place? I bet you would like that one. Then little girls would say "I want to be a medical doctor like Alexis." Actually I was referring to the time when you killed a fake patient according to the opinion of the doctor.

    I also forgot to mention how cool you are by walking over to the orchestra pit and sitting on the piano bench! I wish I could have see that. You said "That is an incident I'm not likely ever to live down." That is funny about you falling asleep. But with the above with the piano, are you ever going to live that up? Of course you are. You are going to do things cooler than that. Also maybe your Dean is going to say what I like to say--"Alexis, what would I do without you?" That is an actual question! Would they have closed down, the whole production without you?

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  8. Also you created another question since I care about you. What are you referring to when you say "my colon or ileum won't do their usual numbers on me."

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  9. My massage therapist had this thing that I think that I also had. When I was little, I would get excited about something and have these intestinal cramps. She thinks that it was like with her where her ileocecal valve would get stuck and cause intestinal cramping. I asked my maid if I could stay home since it was my birthday and she said 'yes." My mother would have said "no" because she knows knows what happens. So when the kids were in my front room, opening my presents, I was in my bedroom feeling intestinal cramps.

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    1. i have chronic ulcerative colitis with a bit of involvement in the ileum and am somewhat prone to bleed-outs. Sp far I've hd three surgeries related to it. mostly they just watch it closely and I absolutely do not eat foods that are known to give me difficulty.

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  10. Glad you can see some light up there in the future. I would imagine that if you're already exhausted, a cadaver couldn't do much to keep you awake.

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  11. If it makes you feel any better I almost passed out in one of the farms cadaver labs from a combination of the smell and pain from my subluxated toe. They just sat me in a chair and watched me lol. I'm guessing such things are a common occurrence. And I wasn't even doing any cutting, just observing.

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    1. It helps that anyone else almost suffered a similar fate. When we had our first experience in the cadaver lab, four people barfed and one passed out. I was one of the barfers. so far I'm the only one to fall asleep, pass out, or whatever right on top of a cadaver, though. fate.

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    2. We had some people get a bit queasy on our first trip. That may have been because we were a biomechanics class made up of undergrads and engineering grad students and when we walked in there were two med students who had a cadaver sitting up with the skin halfway down the face so the brain and eyeballs were visible. That was our first time in the room. They were mostly just showing us joints in a back room lol.

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  12. Hi! I've spent this afternoon playing catch up. I'm glad everything worked out eventually with the computer and equilibrium has (nearly) been restored!

    Sleeping on a cadaver, though? That is really bizarre. At least it shows your level of comfort around death and mutilation. And it will give your professor something funny to talk about at parties.

    All Best, Becca

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    1. i suppose I'm probably cocktail party fodder for a lot of people now and in the future. I'm just glad it was apparently not captured for posterity on photo or video. My prof allegedly said he would kill anyone who pulled out a cell phone,.

      Technical difficulties are delaying the start of Grease. We should be opening the curtain momentarily.

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  14. Lots of people re-tweeted your last post since I waited for it to have a happy ending with you before I tweeted it. I was thinking of your brother. What is he getting out of all of this? If you had not been nice enough to let the religious people ruin your computer, you would not end up with a much nicer computer. You should still get your bad one fixed and keep it for a spare or give it to someone who needs it!

    Also if you had not helped out with Grease then-- you will have to wait on that to see what happens! At least you have all this in writing to show that people that do good things, have good things happen to them. Of course you do good things because you are an angel. Actually you are my angel Alexis!

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  15. There's some organization on campus that fixes computers that most of us consider beyond repair and gives them to students in severe need. Since mine had medical information on it, my department has to give clearance before it can be donated anywhere, but i think they'll take one look at it and conclude that anyone who thinks they can fix it has their blessing.

    As far as my brother is concerned, he'll probably get the extra cash he needs for his December Hawaii trip (we finish really early in December this year, so they can beat the rush and travel relatively cheaply) because he stayed out of the controversy and avoid irritating my mom. He's not complaining about my new computer because he knows that once I have control of my major account, if he's ever in a pinch financially, he knows that I will help him.

    I heard that my grandfather, the geriatric Mormon big wig, alost had the big one we he learned that my grandma bought me a new computer. That sort of made my dad's day (he's not fond of his rat bastard father) and almost made him not mad at me anymore. As far as my grandma is concerned, she has no reason to fear him. If it ever came to blows, which it won't because of the Mormon minion servants, she'd win easily.

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