Wednesday, March 30, 2016


I am now a full 3 1/2 weeks into my Pediatrics rotation! You might be thinking this makes me a childhood expert of sort. No. I have come here to shout from the rooftops of the great metropolis of Wichita that indeed, no, I am no child expert. Here's what I've figured out so far:
  • Babies poop. A lot. 
  • The diaper industry has got to be making bank on these little turds (literally!). 

  • I can now safely identify a difference in age between a 2 month and a 12 month old.  Notice I said difference in age, but in no way could I tell you what they should be doing at those different time-frames, nor what shots they should be receiving. I'll leave that to the experts (Dr. Google), one of which I currently am not. 
  • Babies vary widely on their sleep habits. Some sleep almost through the night at 2 months, others decide to torment their creators for months on end. I fear for my own future sleep. 
  • The catch-all answer to any question my preceptor asks about what a kid has that has not failed me yet is, "It's probably viral". You hear that parents? NO antibiotics for you! Envision a Hot-Pink prescription pad with AMOXICILLIN inscribed in typical Lime-Green gel pen fashion trying to make its way out of the fiery pits of the Pediatrician's office, and my preceptor wielding an Otoscope in both hands yelling, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS". 
That, my friends, is the day in the life of a Pediatrician. 

And Remember, the most likely answer is: It's Probably Viral.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thoughts on Second Year of Medical School

Today is New Year's Day and I'm a sucker for New Year's Resolutions. Actually, I got a head start and began yoga and meditation two days before the New Year, so you could say I'm working ahead! Or... was I 363 days late? I'm following this great Yoga channel on YouTube called Yoga with Adriene that is wonderful for beginners. Why on earth am I trying out this stuff in the first place? Because I am was stressed. 

How stressed? Twitching all over the body, insomnia for a 1 1/2 month-long stint, and starting to see floaters in my eyes that I was convinced was a detached retina (I've still got those, and hope they go away, optometrist said they're normal). I never knew myself as capable as stressing out as much as I did. One thing started piling onto another, and one of the biggest things causing this stress is medical school and an injury. I got what I believed to be hip bursitis this summer, turned into possibly a 'stuck' Sacro-Iliac Joint, and possibly a labrum tear. It was a funny feeling in my hip that limited my ability to run / bike and do the things I love. I started to get down. It's gotten better over the past 6 months, but not as fast as my mind would like it to. Then the other stress symptoms piled on, and at times in the semester I felt like my world was falling in around me. 

My body was falling apart in my mind, and I'm only 23. What did I do to deserve this? Stressing about it didn't help, I knew that, but it didn't stop me from doing it. Dr. Google was my worst enemy, convincing me I had Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, or a number of other things. On a bad day, I'd wake up, hypersensitive to my body, just waiting for the first sign of the symptoms of one of my injuries or ailments, and the day would be downhill from there. A turn to Google again to check symptoms, and my mind is in the toilet. God only knows how many forums about personal stories of symptoms I went through. Being in medical school doesn't help either. All of these physical ailments were on top of memorizing the countless bones, brain pathways, and bacteria of the body. With each module, I thought I had something new. Going through the past semester empowered me with just enough knowledge to be dangerous. We have just a smidgen of know-how more than the lay person, giving us the ability to let our minds delve and wander into possibilities not known to the common individual. Sometimes I almost wish I hadn't learned about some of these pathologies, so then I wouldn't have to stress about having them. In my mind, ignorance is bliss

Reflecting on the past semester, I am in awe at the power of the mind and its ability to manifest itself physically. I'm also reminded that in Medical School, learning about the vulnerabilities of the body, just how vulnerable we as medical students are. Just in these final days of the Christmas Break have I been able to truly slow down, reset, and come up with a game plan for the next semester before Step 1 and clinical years. First, I'm going to make time to meditate and practice mindfulness every day (that I can). It can even be as short as 5 minutes, but I know anything is better than nothing. Second, I'm going to start a yoga routine a couple times a week on top of the exercise I already enjoy. Third, and this is big, I'm going to break my addiction to sugar and lose some weight (25-30 pounds, to be exact). I'm a huge fan of sweets, of all kinds, and so is my waistline. I've already been on track by eating healthier over the past year and a half since leaving college, as seeing people sick can strangely motivate one to take care of themselves. But, on top of this, I am going to attempt to cut carbs and processed food out of my life, and kick the cravings along with it. I'm well on my way, cutting out most bread and pasta a while ago. This'll just be battening down the hatches. Here's to 2015, the year I do it all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


     We turned the A/C on yesterday. You can see my facebook post about that one. Good Lord is it amazing though.
     As I made the astute comment in my blog yesterday about how everything takes time, I decided to do something about it: I bought a watch. A Casio G-Shock Sports Watch actually. Thank the grandparents for the Amazon Giftcard, I feel so loved and thought of. 
     No, the watch was actually because I was tired of whipping out my oversized smartphone to check the time. It's time to just disconnect and go live in the woods dude, like seriously. I'll go all Thoreau out there and whip out some delicious writing that I'll come back into the fray of society and just make millions. Sound like the most likely career path for me? Anything's possible.
     So I work with kids at a school. I'm a pool assistant on M,W,F. The real reason I decided to get a watch is because the lovely folks at the Lawrence Pool have made time and knowledge of it a luxury formerly reserved for spices from the Orient. Their giant sundial of a clock on the side of their building has obviously got some teenage angst, because there's something seriously wrong with it. First of all, it's not the right time. It's way off, like way left field. And, seeing as I've been coming back each week, it seems as if they've made no effort to fix it. Secondly, I was informed by a co-teacher that it doesn't even keep time correctly. Good grief, I thought we were beyond that sort of shenanigans! That's big government for ya though, public funds paying for petty products. So, if your eyes wander elsewhere in the poolside compound, you'd expect to find a replacement for the defunct monolith on the side of the building. There is a small clock, somewhere, about the size of the small one that would go inside of an office cubicle. But, the catch is, it only seems to be out there occasionally, sporadically even. It's like they literally don't want us to know what time it is. It's been my decision that the pool has adopted the unsung slogan: "Lawrence Aquatic Center, where time will fly by and you won't even notice you're late for that job interview." I'm pretty sure it's in some of their staff materials somewhere, I'm just not sure where yet. 
     Anyway, I think my watch comes today, and I'm super excited to begin enjoying another modern accommodation! It's even got one of the glow backlights so that, if by miraculous chance, I should arise into panicked consciousness in the middle of the night from a horrible dream about Oreos being multicolored, I can look over at my watch and remember the exact moment I reassured myself such a silly and forward-thinking action on behalf of a company would never happen
     That's all for now folks, got to get back to tending the little lambs!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It's Hot

     You know what? It's hot! You know what else? It's hot! I'm perched upon the precipice of prose in my stunning hand-me-down recliner, slowly soaking up the sweat that oozes out of me. "Cool" and "Refreshing" are words that do not have a place here in Lorimar Townhomes. Good God, which one of the three of us decided it would be a good idea to hold out on turning on the air conditioning? Oh wait, that was me. I think my line of reasoning on that one was, "Oh ho! Wait'll the folks at work get a load of this! Ol' Coop still hasn't utilized his modern accommodations! He must be a true man at one with nature!". Highly the contrary. I really wish this was more like last summer where I was gearing up to study abroad in Costa Rica about this time, which turned out to be a balmy 75-80 degrees the entire time. Costa Rica was not Satan's armpit. Kansas is Satan's armpit. 
     Enough about it being hot. I think I'm delusional. At any moment I'm just hoping for one of my roommates to crack and hit that little golden switch that we're so obviously entitled to, yet we've all taken some silent oath to not touch upon fear of castration. They seem too "gifted" and "special" to even comment on the obviously deplorable conditions that we're inhabiting because it seems as if I'm the only one that comments on the big elephant in the room. Why won't they crack?
     Living in an apartment has its perks and its quirks. Perk: My own room behind closed doors to do whatever the heck I want. I'll let your imagination run the full gamut of possibilities as to what that might entail (insert winky face here). Quirk: I have to buy my own groceries, cook my own food, and wash my own along with my roommates' dishes about half the time. Perk: I can drink a Guinness whenever the heck I want. I've come to love Guinness. It's delicious, not too heavy, and still a great summer beer. My waistline has also seemed to enjoy its company. I do indeed hope that no gene flow occurs between the two. Quirk: It takes time to do all of the things of the aforementioned quirk. Lots of time. Last Tuesday was grocery day (which I was very pumped for by the way) but after getting off work and doing the deed, it was 8:30 and poof, the day was done! Good God, when the heck am I supposed to have time to take up bookbinding, woodcarving, pipe smoking, and glassblowing? I guess that's what I'll leave Wednesday nights for. Nevertheless, it takes a lot of time to do a lot of mundane tasks. I need a maid. First world problems indeed. I also need a Guinness. 
     I'll leave this post here for now, I've got to get to bed and prepare to engage in combat against the "Guinness Waistline" as I've dubbed it. That fight will be left for tomorrow morning. That, along with making coffee and cooking breakfast, another task that needs to be combined into one machine that will undoubtedly be found at Sharper Image in ten years. 
     I hope everyone hasn't noticed my almost two year hiatus from writing. I really enjoy it, and hope to post more regularly now that I've come to my senses and realized I can be mildly funny with words. I promise not to mildly disappoint! 
My brother after he lost a tennis match this weekend due to: 
1. Obviously the heat and nothing to do with stamina or physical fitness which us Nickels are notorious for.
 2. Not wearing all Under Armor apparel. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Behind Blue Eyes

I started reading Huck Finn for English class this week, talk about a gas and a hoot and a holler. I've been looking at making apple cider donuts, I got the idea from a friend. They sound delicious, however they take the dedication of Confucius to make. Seriously, why take 3 hours or so to make a Donut when Kwik-E-Mart is right down the street? Oh wait, that takes a car drive to get there, I guess obesity will just have to wait and I'll just settle for an apple itself. Drat.
I wonder when recipes were created. Did people all of the sudden decide, with the apple for instance, "You know, this is good and all, but I'd rather put a bajillion hours of time into making it something else, which may or may not taste better, while at the same time fighting off the Sabre-tooth tigers that look longingly into my decrepit cave." I have this thought almost every time I open my AppleMac.
I spent an exhausting amount of time in the study room over the course of the past week learning about Genetics. It paid off with a 90% on the test! Talk about a miracle (a.k.a. talk about corn nuggets!). What has everyone been up to? Have you noticed "Fall" outside? I wonder when it's actually determined. I think it goes something like this: Officials around this part of the world are on adrenaline-filled 24 hour watch, scrambling to catch a sighting of the first actual leaf that "falls" to the ground. This job, along with other prestigious ones of this sort of ridiculousness, is commonly disparaged as useless. That is why I like to raise awareness on these methods of employment. Crucial stuff here, crucial.
Kirk, the Chinese Exchange Student on my floor, has been dazzling me with his use of the English language recently. He's finally got a full grasp I would say, I think it took about 6 years or so. Gosh that's an awful long time. Last night at dinner, one of the residents was asking around to see if anyone was allergic to dogs. He asked Kirk, and Kirk replied with, "Dogs? Delicious!" and a grin to match that of the Joker's. Talk about a funny guy! This kid has been running on about 2 hours of sleep tops over the past 3 days, and he's still got the audacity to whip out that sort of hilariousness that you just can't make up. I love Kirk. He went to Yellowstone over fall break to see nature, and stole a rock. He got a speeding ticket coming out of Yellowstone, and was informed (as was I) that it is illegal to take rocks out of Yellowstone. You can't take anything out of there. Ridiculous, right?! This prompted my subsequent question, "Well can you take your trash out of there, or should you just leave it too?" Ridiculous, I know, but necessary nonetheless. Take care!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Explain This

So I'd say I'm sorry for not updating all of the time, but I know you don't care. Who are you anyway? This is a little scary if you ask me, it's like a one way street here. You'd think the cyberhighway would at least have a few safety checkpoints or something. Guess not.
Today I cooked lunch. I not only single-handedly cooked lunch, but I made a MEAL. There's a difference  between lunch and a meal. A lunch consists of Ramen. A MEAL consists of bbq pulled pork and chicken, baked beans, lunch (a.k.a. dinner) rolls, fruit cocktail, tater wedges, iced tea, and Corn Nuggets! Corn nuggets, you might ask? To quote myself:
     ["What," you might be asking, "on God's green earth is a corn nugget?" Well, funny you'd ask, because believers and non-believers alike have agreed that upon the 8th day of Earth (4000 b.c.), God gave his only food, corn, and deemed that it be fried in the holiest of manners. This, my friends, resulted in a long and rich history of the Corn Nugget! A creamy, corny (no pun intended), center, wrapped with breaded golden love, and fried with so much love that it solved the Cold War crisis.]
This is all undisputed fact. This information has also not been up for more than 24 hours. That's something to consider in today's fast-paced world.
Today we had our Genetics test. If there has been one class this semester that has sucked away my soul, it has been Genetics. I love it once I understand it, however the process of understanding is quite lengthy. It's as if trying to cram a 4-course meal preparation into an hour. I mean come on, that's culinary suicide.
Speaking of ducks, several people have encouraged me to just become a chef. This sounds like a great idea, but I'm afraid I'd get too fat from all of the great stuff I'd eat. Not to be cocky or anything... But seriously...I'm off to bed for now, I'll try and make a better post later this week. Does anyone have an interesting topic?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

That circle is a square.

First thing's first:
Good!  Now that that's out of the way, we can begin.  Begin what, you might ask?  Begin to be, of course.
I attended the Autumnal Equinox Starlight Walking Tour of Mount Oread at a pesky hour of 5 a.m. on Wednesday morn.  Quite intriguing I must say.  Every building has a purpose for the way it is built, surprisingly.  Also, some of the buildings line up to point to the north star.  Cool stuff!  Unfortunately, I only made it till 6:30 before my body realized that 3 hours of sleep was most definitely not enough to suffice.  The struggle lasted another few minutes, but in the end, sleep won.  Darn the eternal Z's of slumber.  One extremely interesting quote that the Professor Emeritus Ted Johnson had, however, was this: "If we are busy, we cannot learn. We come to the University to learn, and this cannot be done if we are busy."  That was most likely the sole reason I stuck around for as long as I did, waging apocalypses against the steady onslaught of sleep-deprived symptoms.
Sophomore year has been extremely busy. That's why I believe I haven't learned much, except how to attempt to combat business. It's a difficult task, for sure, but no more difficult than wrestling that psycho-chick girlfriend away from your best female friend of 11 years (not a personal example, just sayin').
Another good question for y'all: What gets done between the hours of 6 and 9?  Absolutely nothing.  That's what, and I can never seem to figure out why. Time in the Collegiate world hath designated that these hours be used for nothing more than non-productive tasks, such as buying starch in fruitless hopes that I will one day learn how to iron a shirt. Probably not happening, but at least I have starch.
I hope everyone has been tending to their personal matters well, for if not, I fear the worst is yet to come.