Monday, October 12, 2015

Tests, Celebration Plans, Slut Clothing, and Unconscious Classmates



I had a major test at school on Friday. It was related to the GI system and was considered to be relatively important; a thorough grasp of the GI system is more or less essential for anyone treating patients. Not much of what we've learned in this series was actually new to me, but I approach all presented material as though I've never heard it before in terms of notes and studying, as I don't want to miss anything. I was relatively stressed going into this test until one of my cohort mates went into some sort of health crisis.  

I don't know if the student's issues were anxiety-induced or entirely a health matter. If the lecturer of our most recent section had been there, we probably would have been required to write up differential diagnoses of her condition along with lab and radiology orders. Fortunately both for her and for the rest of us, the lecturer in question was not present to add to her humiliation and to the rest of our workload.

I really hope my fellow med student is OK. No one with whom I've spoken has heard anything about how she is. I don't wish this sort of thing on any of my current cohort mates. There were a few students who were here previously that I found to be so unqualified and incompetent that I feared for their potential patients to the degree that even if something of this nature had taken the person out of commission, I wouldn't have been truly sad for them.   

The ailing student, who appears to me to be in her late twenties and hadn't  previously displayed any obvious signs of illness, was gasping for breath and was trying to walk up the stairs of the auditorium when she fainted. Raoul caught her. He and another guy carried her up the remainder of the stairs and into the corridor or anteroom or whatever the outside of our building that is still inside and leads to another auditorium is called.  I felt very sorry for everyone involved. The woman was wearing a top that crept up easily, and there was no obvious way for her to be carried that wasn't a bit awkward. Raoul tried in vain to pull her top to a position where it would cover her.  Poor Raoul is very proper and turned quite red at the site of the woman's bright purple bra.  

Being the paranoid person that I am, immediately upon my return home, I went to my closet and sorted every item of my clothing into two sections: clothing that will protect my modesty in the event that I become unconscious during lecture and have to be unceremoniously carted out of an auditorium, and slut clothing. There's really no in-between. Either a garment will cover me when someone is lugging me up or down stairs, or, for practical purposes, only a hussy would wear the clothing item to lecture knowing what I now know about gravity, the carrying of an unconscious body, and related matters. 

My initial plan was to dress like a nun, or  maybe to wear one of Warren Jeffs'  women's prairie dresses that cover more than burkas, for the next two-and-one-half years. Matthew pointed out to me, however, that what shows when a person is in normal full-consciousness mode is immaterial.  Well-fitting shorts and a long enough top are more protective of  a person's privacy than most dresses are. Thus, the paradigms of proper clothing and slut clothing have shifted somewhat. The zebra-print shorts that I have on loan from my Taiwanese-American friend's younger sister are now on the "nun clothing" side of my closet, while a couple of  previously-considered-benign dresses have been relegated to the "slut clothes" section.

Most of us would probably feel nothing but sympathy for an under-the-weather peer. Still, having such a thing happen to someone else took my mind off the nervousness I was feeling  in regard to the multiple choice scantron test, and I was able to get through it more quickly than I usually do. I didn't rush,  and the questions, while difficult or unanswerable for anyone who didn't know the material well, were mostly straightforward and not designed to trick a person into a wrong answer. 

I had a professor last year who was totally into writing trick questions. It wasn't a major issue for me, as I semi-quickly broke his code, and even was able to help a couple people in a couple of of my study groups to understand how he typically twisted the words in his questions, and how best to un-twist them. He justified his ambiguity by saying that patients would not always be straight with us, and that the human body certainly would do what it could to confound us as interns and physicians. He was only preparing us for life as physicians and surgeons by speaking in riddles.  

Personally, I think he was full of nonsense and delusions of grandeur and probably fancied himself as the next incarnation of House, MD.  My dad knew the professor from when they were both completing their residencies here, and he said the guy was always full of himself. There's not much I or anyone else can do when a  professor is a complete jerk. In regular university classes it's mostly easy enough to schedule around a professor who's obnoxious, but in a medical school cohort [other than the few slots in which we'll schedule electives] where we move as a group for one session to the next, there's not really any getting around such a person. If this jerk teaches any elective courses, I suspect the enrollment in said courses is somewhere between incredibly low and nonexistent.

I just checked my December schedule. My first final exam will not happen until two days after my twenty-first birthday, which will be on December 2.  The scheduling is most fortuitous for me, as on that night  I plan to drink myself into a state midway between oblivion and alcohol poisoning, ideally slightly closer to oblivion.  Because of the lucky break in scheduling, I will not have to complete my first final exam of the year either hung over or still loopy. Praise  Jesus, Buddha, Maitreya, Mohammed, or anyone else who chooses to claim responsibility.

These shall remain a wardrobe staple. I probably should offer to buy them from my cohort mate's little sister.




12 comments:

  1. I pity your classmate. That sounds really embarrassing. Hope she's okay.

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  2. It's embarrassing enough having a lecture stop because you fainted ... the clothing part is just added to that. Hopefully no one mentions that part to her.

    I hope you are feeling better in the midst of all the stress. I had to drop one of my classes because my course load in tandem with my health was just too much for me physically, at the moment. I'm trying not to let it bother me too badly - at least I'm doing something! The summer professor has connected me with the higher ups so we are working everything out.

    Overall though you seem in good spirits. I concur organizing the wardrobe.

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    1. I had to drop a class in undergrad because it was too much. It's pretty common even for people who do not have your health issues, so you should not feel bad in the least.

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  6. Ouch! Like our grandmothers said, don't leave the house in dirty underwear - in case you're in an accident. Honestly, though, I think most people would be more focused with her health rather than her purple bra.

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    1. i think people really were more worried about her health. Raoul just gets embarrassed very easily, and she's enough older and more sophisticated than he is that it made it a bit awkward for him.

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  7. While an undergrad I got so stressed out that I went into a clinical depression and broke out in hives. I learned a lot about myself that year. I hope your classmate gets through it and at least she was wearing a bra, no matter the color. That part probably didn't bother her as much as passing out.

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    1. I was diagnosed with PTSD after a sexual assault and with a mild anxiety disorder but no one has suggested I'm depressed yet. My mom had post-partum depression, so I'm probably susceptible to it as well. i'm going to try to postpone any babies until after my residency. I'm, not yet 21 now and will graduate form med school at 23 if everything goes according to plan, so there should still be time after my residency for a baby or two if that;'s what I decide to do.

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