Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anatomy: Check!

Monday marked the last day of my first semester of medical school. To end on a positive note, here are some of my favorite parts in no particular order:

- Surface Anatomy
I didn't anticipate how much I'd like finding things on my own body. Especially the muscles. To be able to sort of visualize what was beneath my skin was so cool. Everytime something hurts, I can't help but think about why? what nerves are there? what muscles are there? could it be referred pain? what arteries supply that area? Anyways, I feel like a huge nerd most of the time, but I kind of like it. No, I really, really like it.

- Applicable Learning
Yes, studying will always be studying. Which 90% of the time I don't want to start. But, once I do, the best part about medical school are all of the applicable tibibts that relate to the learning. Clincical correlates. For instance, learning about two different types of sensory nerves in the context of why we feel dull and often indescriable pain in our stomach and not a sharp, easy localized pain (unless our appendix has, say, ruptured). Answer: general visceral afferent nerves versus general somatic afferent nerves. Learning about the sports related injuries to better understand why this bone attaches to this muscle at this particular point. Or, why this joint is more prone to injury compared to another. Everything, well almost everything, makes so much sense! I love hearing about why things break and how they can or can't be fixed. FINALLY! No more of the straight facts. Our bodies are fascinating.

- Anatomy Lab...despite the small amount of free time I actually spent there
Looking at a hip joint on a generously donated cadaver totally beats the rotisserie chicken dissections I've done in the past...yes, you can see the amazing intricacy of a knee joint in your rotisserie chicken. Most people just aren't looking. Next time, look. : )

- Teaching English
One thing I have learned about myself is that I love to teach. I can't wait to teach people about their bodies as a doctor someday...but I've been preparing for that day in lab this summer--teaching English. One of my lab partners is from Vietnam. Now, I'm not an expert when it comes to pronouncing anatomical terminology quite yet, but when to use the word "suck" versus "sucks" I can do. One of my very important lessons: you don't say "I sucks" or "You sucks" and you also don't say "It suck." The 's' is crucial in the correct use of American slang. Your welcome Tung.

- Lectures, recorded and online
Who knew watching lectures online at 2x the speed could be so efficient?! Not me, until the last 2 weeks of class...In medical school there are so many resources. Too many really. But, this was one of their better ideas.

- My Rohen anatomy atlas (the perfect coffee table book and conversation starter!)
I love letting people see the insides of their bodies. Rohen has an anatomy atlas full of real cadaver pictures, not just computer generated diagrams. Most people don't really want to see at first, but once they see one picture, it's addicting. Soon, everyone always works up the courage to ask, "Does this book have the reproductive parts in it, too??"'s all very cool. I wish I could dissect myself and put it all back together. But, Rohen is about as close as I'll get until my surgical rotation. Once again, our bodies...super intricate and absolutely fascinating to explore. For those who have been so fortunate to have experienced the Rohen atlas on the coffee table, you know what I'm talking about. For those who haven't, come visit! and I'll show you!

- Acupuncture
In my opinion, it's not for everybody. After our first exam, we had the opportunity to try it out. It did nothing for me. Except provide a 20 minute time to rest, while the pins in my wrist and knee were a constant disruption--fortunately, I couldn't feel the ones in my head and feet. Here's what I'd say. If you have a headache, you take tylenol. It helps. If you don't have a headache, and you take tylenol, you wouldn't think it worked. I believe it works for some people, for people who are extremely stressed or in a great deal of pain, but otherwise, don't try to fix something that's not broken.

One last closing statement, everyone here is smart. Or at the very least, extremely dedicated. There's really no counting on other people to make you appear like you know what you're talking about. Either you know your stuff or you don't. I need to work on being a little more committed to knowing my stuff. I've taken advantage of the liberty that being a student has at times. But, next Monday, time to hit the ground running. Now, this week off, which is the final week of my three weeks of summer vacation (I know, I know, welcome to the real world) will be spent relaxing.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wonderful, Merciful Savior

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we're falling before Your throne

You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for 

Beautiful song. Feeling especially Blessed tonight. Mal was here. Ryan was here. Mom and Dad were here. And I made mom's peach cobbler for the first time. Could it be peach season all year long? Please?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Alchemist

Coach Sarah read an excerpt from The Alchemist this past spring. Since then, I have seen it everywhere, and finally, I finished it about a week ago. I rarely finish books. I always start one, then find a new interesting one and pick it up instead of finishing the other. But, I finished this one. I really liked it. Especially this particular dialogue. 

- The Alchemist: People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren't, or of treasures that might have been found, but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.
Santiago: My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer.
- The Alchemist: Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.
- Santiago: When I have been truly searching for my treasure, I’ve discovered things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible for a shepherd to achieve.

I was talking recently with Erin Cvengros about being brave. What are we scared of? Opening ourselves up to failure, maybe. I am. I compensate by trying to control situations, by planning them out step by step. But, this book reminded me that if you never try, never push past the breaking point, you'll never get anywhere truly worthwhile. I believe God calls us to get uncomfortable, vulnerable, in order to rely completely on Him.

 I've been told I'm still "so young," but, I still feel old enough to look back and see how much I have learned about myself in the past 4 or 5 years. It's taught me about who I want to be, who God wants me to be. It has given me a certain confidence in life. One that allows me to make a fool of myself. One summer while working at Somerset, I remember Jerry Jacoby mentioning that it's this "confidence in Christ" that allows you to dance without restrain. I've also started reading Captivating. It talks a lot about who God created us to be, how He has incorporated part of His essence into us. Into me. That truth makes it easier to see Him living in me. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Gen. 1:27) Captivating continues this thought. "God wanted to reveal something about Himself, so he gave us Eve." Just the realization that God wants me, that he created me, to be something more than the image I have of myself feels like an accomplishment. That's why I'm so excited for my faith to continue growing. What does God still want to show me? Where is he going to lead me to reveal more of Himself to me? I love thinking about that. It's scary. It's hard to dive head first into something I can't explain or understand. Thank God for a peace that surpasses all understanding.
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7) 

Monday, August 16, 2010

New Adventures

I have enjoyed this summer so much. I'm not liking that I automatically used the past tense there though. I know it's not quite over yet, but it's still far enough along to be able to look back and relive some of the most exciting times of my life thus far. It's an absolutely gorgeous August afternoon in Michigan, so it's easy to be reminiscent of an incredible summer. 

Starting from the beginning. Graduation from the best college (in my unbiased opinion) in the entire world. That's all I can say about that experience without diving into a 3 hour discussion. Here is a picture of me with the two people that made it all possible. And some of the best friends a girl could ask for.
Mom and Pops
Kate, Anna, Al, and Katie HOLSINGER (she just got married!!)
Next on the list was Commissioned Officer Training (COT) in Montgomery, AL. An awesome experience. Tons of lectures on leadership, communication, and the ins and outs of the Air Force. What started out as an overwhelming first week, ended in a feeling of accomplishment, an enormous pride in our country, new friends and a love for the military lifestyle that I can't wait to be a part of in four (short?) years. The entirety of the Jones Family came down south for the graduation ceremonies which was so much fun. I'm so glad I was able to share in the whole experience with them! 
Ryan, Mom, Nana, Dad and Mal post-parade--officially done with training!
Uncle Dennis, Aunt Michelle, Louis and Kirsten!
The man who first put the idea in my head

Litter carry 

India Flight (Iron Knights!)
The day I arrived home from COT, I moved up to East Lansing to move into a new apartment with Katie in Okemos. It's about 3 miles from MSU's medical school. I love it! I loved rural Hillsdale, but the fact that I can drive 10 or 15 minutes to get almost anywhere is awesome. I did an extensive amount of shopping the first few weeks I was up here and had to sacrifice some studying :) But, as always, everything was still accomplished--sleep is just not always high on the priority list. Since then, I've been balancing the studying with exploring the greater Lansing area with SO many friends who have come to visit and others who live nearby. I love company. Ispo facto, feel free to visit! If I don't have time, I'll make time :)
My new desk (which I love!)
The Apartments...our building on the far right!
Some advantages to being in a city are the extensive number of foreign  restaurant options to try. Jessica and Katie Luke came up last week and we had Thai (minus Jessica who isn't a fan). And then, Kate and I went to Sahara last week--a phenomenal Middle Eastern place. We had falafel patties, beef, chicken, and lamb shish kabobs, and some awesome fatoush and tabbouli salad.
the chicken, beef, and lamb combo
Tabbouli Salad
Fatoush Salad
It's been a great summer. A memorable one, that's for sure. I am so blessed. Recently, while watching one of my new favorite movies, October Sky, I was overwhelmed with how happy I am to be here. To be right here, right now, exactly where I am in every area of my life. Close to family. Close to friends. Finally doing what I've always dreamed of doing--or at least well on my way. Katie walked out of her room and found me sobbing on the couch. Tears of pure joy. Joy that only comes from the peace of obediently following God and taking advantage of the opportunities He puts in front of us to serve Him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My First Post.

For a long time, I have enjoyed the stories, thoughts, or pictures shared via blogging. But, it's taken awhile for me to take the plunge. So today is the day. Here is my attempt to share small slices of my life with anyone who happens to be interested. I'm selfishly hoping this becomes motivation for me to start keeping track of the crazy things I experience, the awesome new tidbits of knowledge I acquire, or the inspiring words of wisdom I glean from other people --and, to also start taking more pictures.

This is my Grandma. Grandma Luke, today I am taking your advice. It's not the same as your daily diary that you have faithfully completed at the end of each day for the last, oh I don't know, several decades, but it's a start. I'm forgetful. So, I think this will be good for me. And maybe, hopefully, for at least one other person who stumbles across it.