Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Is It Thursday Yet?
Ah, finals week. During my first tour of college around twenty years ago I would stay up all night studying. I'd drag my sleepy, studied butt into class and take whatever test it was and then stay up all the next night re-loading for the next test. I can't do that anymore. Can you say, "Almost forty."? Can you count the two kids over there? Chances are with the two of 'em, one will wake me up w/ a bad dream and one will have forgetten the How To Put On Your Own Blanket at 3 AM training session that we've gone over and over world without end anyways. And, so, I'll be up and bleary-eyed the next day anyways.
So, here's the deal, when you're old like me and you're busy like me and you go back to school the second time around you have to do it right. You do the reading when it's assigned. You start studying for the hard tests *at least* a week before the test. You show up to every class. You take The World's Best Notes (in part because all the note-taking keeps you awake!). You annoy the hell out of your fellow students by asking a million questions if you don't understand something. And that leads me to That Class: Nursing Theory. It will be my final final for this quarter and it's this Thursday. That test is the only thing that stands in the way of the completion of this first quarter in nursing school. And I have done NONE of the things I've just mentioned. Someone recently used the word "endure" to describe what it takes to get throught that class. I haven't endured. I've flaked. And I don't even care.
My pathophysiology final was today. I did, indeed, practice my exemplary busy mom study habits for that one. Still, hard test. My friend, S., came to class and informed me that I could get 13 wrong and still get an A in the class. It's good to have friends who figure these things out in their spare time! So, here's my list of the 5 diseases (not counting infectious diseases -um, ew, guinea worms!) I do not want to get in ascending order from, uh, "best" to worst:
5. Right-sided heart failure. There's something about all-over edema that really creeps me out.
4. Cirrhosis of the liver. You get varices (extra blood vessels) that can burst, especially in the esophagus. And, well, we're back to edema, especially in the abdomen.
3. Pancreatitis. Two words (or is it one?): auto-digestion.
2. Chronic renal failure. It's the edema, again. And this time it's in the lungs. And the urea build up. You can get a "uremic frost" wherein your skin is coated w/ crystals of urea like a dusting of candy-sugar or light snow. And it smells like pee. You wipe it off. It comes back.
1. Diabetes. It's the number one cause of renal failure, but it's not just that, it's that many of the complications occur because you're all sugary. Sugar literally gums up the works and causes everything from blindness to artheriosclerosis. And the infections! You are the perfect sugary breeding ground for bacteria.
Ooops. I left alzheimers off of the list. Oh, and hemorrhagic stroke. I should have done a top ten, but I need a break from pathofizz for a while. I have to spend time not studying for my last final.