Friday, January 27, 2006

Mnemonic Follies: Blood Cells

Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are granulocytes; monocytes and leukocytes are agranulocytes. So, Phil looks grainy. Use any visual involving someone named Phil, and imagine a grainy photo. (Warning: multi-channel learners may associate visuals of musicians with that person's music, and bad music may lodge in your brain. Most Elvis Costello tunes will drive out "Sussudio.")

Neutrophils neutralize infections, usually bacterial ones.

Basophils release histamine and heparin; they pump out the bass of immune response.

Eosinophils (EE-oh-sin-uh-filz) fight parasites. Parasites; ewwwww!

Monocytes are single-minded killing machines.

Leukocytes come in T and B varieties; TB is a nasty bug itself; being given a grim diagnosis is as shocking and sucky as hearing, "Luke, I am your father."

Yes, that's Phil Collins and Empire Strikes Back. Yes, 'non-traditional student' does mean 'older.' Shut up.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I can't handle my handle

Hey cool. Look what I found:

Well, slap my ass and call me Shirley. Could it be that 2006 is the year I just gracefully give up on the 'zen viking' moniker? I mean, I try to maintain a certain equanimity and peacefulness in my dealings with the world and people in it. But in truth, I'm really more closely aligned with Taoism than Zen, if you want to talk seriously about philosophy and belief systems. And I almost never want to talk seriously about philosophy and belief systems. Plus, several people near and dear to me are actual, real practitioners of Zen. I'm merely Zen-esque, at best. I accomodate and engage in a certain amount of Zenoform behavior, to be medical-y about it.

Must mull this one over. I've been reading, listening, and generally experiencing the med-blog world a little more recently, and it could be time to make a leap to more frequent, shorter posts, so as to acknowledge I'm part of a genre now... and maybe even allow for some future inclusion in a list or blogroll.

Hmm. Thinking... thinking...

Friday, January 20, 2006

Back in the Empire State, and the... flannel and Subaru state

And lo, it did come to pass that the non-trad did set out from his home, and traverse the miles. He did eat of the Steak N' Shake, and find a really decent, cheap motel in Elkhart, IN, and so it was that he was finished paying tolls for crappy roads and did settle back in rural New York.

And the school did begin, at the college on the "nice" side of the town, and as far as he could tell, he was appropriately registered and ready to rock. And thus did the study of blood commence.

And in that time of vacation, some modest events had transpired, and those stories would eventually be told on their own, but the main points were that the long-distance relationship was healthy and intact; the non-trad discovered he enjoyed single-malt Scotch; his mobile phone did plummet into an icy storm drain; and the chick from Friday karaoke with the book deal's book did indeed come out, and furthermore it did not suck. (Fuller review to follow, yo.)

And the Playstation football did recommence, and the non-trad found a very curious thing happening: a three-game winning streak. And thus was he moved to talk of the trash, as that is how the housemates did show their manly regard. And, it was good.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

it's weird to be proud of this...

...but that's what working in healthcare is all about: re-ordering what used to be a normal, somewhat sane sense of how the world works.

I was back in the ED today for a few hours, doing my job. Wearin' of the maroon scrubs again. It was good to be back, nice to see some people. I even got to talk a little with a PA there who's been a great source of info and encouragement. And I was happy to find that my prime ED tech skill, the thing that sets me apart from the rest, is intact. Just as reliable and strong as if I hadn't been away six months. And that's what's weird, because while it's a pretty cool skill, it's not exactly "hits the vein every time" or "can instantly estimate heart rate within 2 beats a minute." I'm reasonably good at those things, but what do I win in the tech-skill lottery, as something I'm awesome at?

"Obtains rectal temp without baby crying."

Hey, whatever. You probably have some odd stuff you can do, because of your job.

Monday, January 02, 2006


I'm on break. This is, I think, almost excuse enough for not posting. I have plenty to say, and some of it might be interesting, but I am tired, dude.

There will be more soon, because as of mid-January I'll be back out at the Farmhouse, and taking only one of my three courses (for wacky two-school schedule reasons). I'll also be shadowing a local PA pretty much one day every week until June. Maybe then I can talk about my groovy recent shadowing experience in a notable ED which should remain nameless, or being kinda-sorta back in my home-base ED. I have a half-shift tomorrow, and I suppose that means I'll get paid a little.

Plus maybe there can be some random stuff about TV and movies, because while at school I just plain don't have much to say about those. For now, though: naps.