Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sleep Talker

As I've mentioned before, sometimes I talk in my sleep. Jeffrey is usually not very amused with this little trait of mine because it usually ends up costing him some sleep. Luckily, last night the thing I said was so weird and random, he ended up laughing instead of being mad at me.

Apparently, in the middle of the night, I woke up, quickly sat up on my hands and knees and said, "I'm so worried there's something in the bed."

Jeffrey said, "I think it's just us in the bed--do you want to lay back down and go to sleep?"

I did. Not one more word was uttered.

Why is my subconscious so weird?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One bright day

This morning I felt like I was in one of those crazy poems from "Where the Sidewalk Ends."

One bright day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back they faced each other,
drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise
and ran to save the two dead boys.
If you don't believe this lie is true,
ask the blind man, he saw it, too.

I woke up to the sound of the garage door opening at 6 am. As I got up to brush my teeth, Jeffrey was walking in the house from another long night on call at the hospital. He kissed me good morning; I kissed him goodnight. He went to bed, and I went to school. One bright day in the middle of the night...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Salmonella survivors

As you may have heard, the largest shelled egg recall in US history is going on right now. A salmonella contamination has affected millions of eggs sold in thousands of stores across the country. According to the recall lists, the eggs that we used to make waffles for my visiting family last week are not contaminated, but apparently something we all ate had bad eggs. Seriously bad eggs.
Confirmed reports of salmonella have been received from the bathrooms of my mom, my dad, my brother, my husband, and me. In case you aren't familiar, let me give you a little definition of salmonella poisoning and the symptoms you might see. (Wikipedia forgot a few descriptive words in their description, so I've included some additional words in italics.)

First off, there are two major strains of salmonella that affect innocent and unsuspecting humans like the Oglesby/Edwards families: Salmonella Enteriditis and Salmonella Typhi. You’ll recognize “typhi” from typhoid, a very serious illness that has largely been eliminated in the United States--score 1 for vaccinations. Some types of salmonella carry typhoid, but the current egg recall has nothing to do with this kind of salmonella. The risk posed by the recalled eggs relates to Salmonella Enteriditis, which is the source of a great many cases of food poisoning.

Enteritis simply means “inflammation of the intestine.” If enough evil bacteria survives your stomach’s gastric juices, the salmonella grows in the lumen (lining) of the intestines and can cause frighteningly intense diarrhea without any warning as well as fever and debilitating cramping in your stomach. Such symptoms will often hit at the most inopportune times, like right when you sit down to interview a new patient in the dental clinic, and you will have to sit there talking about floss while wondering if perhaps you may have to find a change of pants if you don't get a bathroom break soon. Infants and people with compromised immune systems can suffer far more serious symptoms (right now, I can't think of anything more serious than explosive diarrhea). For anyone afflicted with salmonella poisoning, dehydration is a huge secondary factor (secondary to always remaining within an 8 foot radius of a toilet at all times). Symptoms typically occur as soon as several hours after ingesting contaminated food or as long as a day after.

I'd love to tell you more, but I have to go to the bathroom. Again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Overheard in the Clinic

Jeffrey's and my favorite quotes from patients today:

"Could I please talk to the head of all the stupid surgeons in this hospital?"

"I need to speak to a supervisor--the cap you put on my tooth is making me blind."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Go Forth and Multiply

Today I had some lab work to do after my clinic appointment. Luckily we get most Thursday afternoons off to do such lab work and other errands. I was really excited about the idea of getting my work done and getting home before 5:30.

I had to mix up some casts for one of my patients. Our dental stone comes in separate powder packets, and each one is clearly marked with how much water should be added to mix the proper consistency. The stone I was using called for 13 milliliters of water per bag of stone. I wanted to mix 3 bags of stone at once. So here's your math problem, straight out of the 3rd grade practice book:

Q: Lauren is mixing dental stone in the lab. She wants to mix 3 bags of stone, and each requires 13 ml of water. How many ml of water should she add to the 3 bags of stone?

A: 39 ml

So would someone please tell me why I used 69 ml of water?!?! 69 is not even close to 39. I took AP precalculus and calculus in high school, then took precal at the college level, and yet somehow simple mental math still sometimes escapes me.

Anyway, I tried to add more powder and salvage the situation, but basically I just ended up with soup instead of the nice, thick consistent mixture we aim for in our stone. The cost of adding too much water is that the stone takes much longer to set. Usually stone takes about 30 minutes to set. Because I'm math-tarded, mine will probably be dry sometime next Friday.

This only goes to show that my friend Trang is right about the lab rule. The rule is this:

Amount of time required to do a lab project = 2 x (Amount of time you think it will take) + 40 mins

I thought that making my cast would take 30 mins, but applying Trang's rule I see that really it would take (oh no, more math!) 100 minutes.

(But somebody better double check that math for me.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Roller Coaster

Yesterday was quite a roller coaster ride. I came to school early to get ahead on a few lab projects. I was excited to see my new denture patient that afternoon. My denture patient was scheduled to have a custom impression taken with a tray that I made.

His appointment was at 2:00 pm. I broke his custom tray in half at 7:00 am.
As I started to remake the tray, I remembered that I was supposed to do an assignment for one of my classes, and it was due at 10:00 am. (In my defense, they only gave us one day to do it--we got an email on Monday about the assignment that was due on Tuesday. Still, that's a little embarrassing.)
I quickly got the information for the assignment and realized that not only did I need to do the assignment, but I also needed to print a hard copy.

To print, you have to put money on your ID card in the library and then follow 62 easy steps to use their printers.

7:45 am: Assignment is done (albeit very hurriedly done), money put on ID card, trip to the library, assignment is printed. At this point I decided to skip my 8:00 class (don't tell my teacher) so that I could finish re-doing that tray.

9:00 am: Tray is almost done, headed to class.

12:00 pm: Went to the lab to finish the tray, then set up for my patient.

I needed to check out about 40,000 items for my appointment, but my classmates helped me and made sure I didn't forget anything (that's the #1 way to waste time in the clinic--going back and forth to get items you forgot to pick up before the patient came). I met my patient, and as I was bringing him back to my chair, my scheduler saw me and said, "Lauren, your patient for tomorrow cancelled. You'll have to schedule someone else."


Worked on my patient for a while and was doing really well on time (the faculty like us to be done by 4:30 pm). At 3:00 I thought I would finish early.... 5:05 I realized that I was not going to finish early. Oops.

Finally got it done and asked the patient when he wanted to come again. He said that he really wants his dentures ASAP, so I had to give him the only appointment slot I have open for the next month...the next day's appointment.

Normally that would be fine, but between the first appointment and the second appointment I had about 6 hours of lab work to do in preparation. Gross.

So I was in the lab from 8-11 last night and from 5:30-9 this morning. The life of a dental student is so glamorous, no?

It could be worse, though--Jeffrey has his first night of "call" tonight. Wonder if he'll get to sleep at all...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coffee or Tea

Yesterday Jeffrey and I went out to eat with some friends from ACU who were in town for a couple of days. We decided on The Alamo Cafe for a some homemade tortillas and chips and salsa. Jeffrey and I arrived first, and Jeffrey got a call from Will while we were at the table because Will was lost. While Jeffrey was busy giving directions, an elderly gentleman began walking toward our table.

Since we were seated near the bathrooms, I assumed that the man was just headed there, but I was wrong. As he came closer I realized that he was holding a blind man's cane, tapping it right toward our table. He got up to the table, directly across from me, leaned over (drooled a little on our table) and said...

..."Would it be possible to get a cup of coffee to go?"

Uncertain of how to respond, I said, "I'm not sure, sir. We'll have to ask your waitress. Do you know what she looks like?"

Immediately after asking the latter question, I realized that I had just requested that a blind man recall the facial features of his waitress. Quickly I stammered, "I mean, do you know your waitress's name?"

He didn't.

I told him to stay there and got another member of the waitstaff and told her his coffee order. She went to fetch the coffee and I went back to the man. He was a little unsteady, so I held his hand until he could turn toward me and then I told him that they would bring his coffee to his table. He said, "I think I'll wait right here."

I'm fairly certain that it only took the waitress 3 minutes to get the coffee, but it felt like several years since the man stood directly in front of me, looking across my table into my eyes, but without saying anything. Finally, she returned with his coffee and led him back to his table.

10 minutes later, I heard a familiar tapping sound and found that our friend was returning to our table to make some other request. The waitress intercepted him and asked if she could help him. He said, "Are you the one who got my coffee?" She said yes and he handed her one dollar.

Shouldn't I at least get 50 cents of that tip?

In other news--Update on things that have happened in the oral surgery clinic:
We had a patient scream so loudly (not in pain, just nervous when we pulled her lip back to see which tooth was bothering her) that people from other departments at the hospital came to see what was wrong.

One of my patients exclaimed, "Ay, ay, ay!" each time I touched her (with a shot, with an instrument, or just on the shoulder).

Another patient came in for extraction of the broken roots he had in his mouth. They were broken because he had tried to pull his own teeth with the old string-and-door trick, and was unsuccessful. When we asked him why he didn't just come see us in the first place, he said, "Because they were hurting too bad and I knew I could do it myself."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Fly By

Pardon me, but I seem to have lost track of you know where July went? The last date I have solid memory of was July 5th, when Jeffrey started his first rotation and I had my first day back to school. Since then Jeffrey's seen multiple lung transplants and open heart surgeries, I've filled my first cavities, my parents have come to visit, Jeffrey's aunt and uncle and cousins have come to visit, and, as I mentioned before, we've completely lost our ability to keep track of what day it is.

School is feeling less and less like school and more and more like the professions we came to school to learn. The dental clinic at school is a funny animal. Somehow it makes me constantly busy, yet leaves me feeling like I haven't accomplished enough at the end of each day. Jeffrey often equates his days to pledging a fraternity in college. (He's had to apologize for things that aren't his fault and answer questions that stump the residents.)

Still, somehow, through all the confusion of this new chapter of our road toward and M.D./D.D.S., we are still glad that we're here.

Speaking of chapters, I'm technically supposed to be reading chapters in my book about dentures because (cruel and unusual punishment of dental school #496...) we have a "reassessment exam" on Friday in that class. That means that we're basically re-taking the final from that class that we took last know, in case we forgot everything over the summer. Some of you out there might be thinking, "Oh, that's a really good idea..."

But you would be wrong. It's really mean. Really, really mean.

Reasons I can't study for that test right now, in no particular order:

1. Blogging. (Duh.)

2. It's Shark Week on Discovery channel. The other 51 weeks of the year, I totally root for the underdog (and by underdog, I mean the adorable, tiny seal pup trying to escape the jaws of, well, Jaws), but during shark week I am 100% behind the shark getting a meal. I have watched shark week so many times over the years that I think I'm starting to recognize some of them (the sharks, that is, not the dorky marine biologists), and yet somehow I can't take my eyes off those toothy monsters (again, the sharks, not the dorky marine biologists). I must have a serious tooth fetish. A dentist who loves shark can't make this stuff up.

3. Reading. I love reading. I had to be told as a child to go outside and play with friends because I would have just stayed in with my little books all day if not for some coaxing by my parents. I don't know that I read a single book for leisure all year last year (due to my extensive required reading on "The Theory of Prosthodontics"), but I rediscovered my wordy friends at the public library this summer after I took the Board Exam. At that time I was reading 2 or 3 books per week off of my ridiculously long "need to read" book list. I've scaled it back to 1 per week now, and I really hope I can hold steady with that throughout this year. It feels really nice to use the non-science side of my brain.

4. I keep thinking about my patients. Things I forgot to tell them, things I need to do when I see them next, things I need to ask my faculty about, things I need to write in their goes on and on. I've even started dreaming about choosing shades for their false teeth. So essentially, I can't study for school because I keep thinking about school. Ridiculous.

5. (In whiny voice) "I don't waaaaaant to!"

So I'm not studying for denture class, but I am looking over a few notes because tomorrow I will probably be pulling some teeth! Oral surgery rotation begins for me Monday afternoon at the clinic downtown.