Breathing the Tuesday air

Stress, stress STRESS!

First practical exam in osteopathic evaluation coming up a week from today, with the second one in osteopathic tutorials a week on its heels. Today I sat in on the class I missed last week due to travels, and so glad I did. We learn new things all the time, with very little class time spent on review, and while that seems totally reasonable, practical skills can be much harder to pick up than memorization. Somehow, even after two years, I still have trouble counting spinal vertebrae and palpating transverse processes in the neck. Does it even make sense that I can feel nerve and artery tensions and not bones? Hmmm…. something more to learn there.

Trying to clean house, create some space for my roommate who arrives Thursday bright and early. Two more classes, two more nights sleeping, and then taking the train to London for another epic airport moment. It’s funny, no matter how many tear-jerking airport scenes you see in the movies, it’s no less real when you get there. Never knew I’d get to partake, but no complaints! In the meantime there’s laundry to put away, floors to clean, bathrooms to sanitize, groceries to shop for, and maybe some new decor as my horoscope suggests.

Wish me luck as I clean/organize/study/transition/cohabitate/try to maintain stability! :)

Fimbriae, oocytes, and follicular liquor

Second day of embryology today. Learning the female anatomy and reproductive system. We’re waiting until next year to go over the hormones, since that takes us into endocrinology, so today it was anatomical and physiological. Much different than the male counterpart, more steps, more name changes, more complexity. Thank goodness I’ve been through this before, or my mind would be boggled! Continue reading

Adventure 1: Eugene

First adventure of the year: HOME!!

As the first half of second term was winding down, and my week off was getting closer and closer, all of the ideas were swirling: Stonehenge, Folkstone, Calais, Paris, Wales. As I pondered, each got vetoed for one major reason: I don’t want to travel alone. I considered going home, but I’ve already been there, is that an adventure?

By the end of the week though, I realized that I wasn’t going anywhere unless I Continue reading

Subway romance

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, hundreds of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first Continue reading

Cardiac physiology

I wonder if physiology professors everywhere hack on about the same things: action potentials in muscle cells, both cardiac and skeletal, and the contents of the cell. So many things I’m more curious about, like the human genome and DNA, transcription, meiosis and mitosis, brain chemistry, kidney function, etc etc. But somehow it seems to me that the longest lessons always wind up being on action potentials, with their sodium and potassium channels, depolarization, and concentration and ion gradients. Maybe it’s just UofO and ESO. Maybe these are just the ones I understood the first time (thanks Grant and Greg!).

So let me explain it to you, to test my knowledge!

The heart has two types of muscle cells: autorhythmic and contractile. Autorhythmic cells control the electric signal that initiates the beat of your heart. Contractile cells cause the actual beat you feel, pumping blood through the body, and coordinate the timing. Both of these work in a never-ending cycle of depolarization and repolarization.

Hokay, so… in autorhythmic cells, like any cell, sodium is constantly being pumped out and potassium is constantly being pumped in by ion pumps that live in the membrane. They do this to Continue reading