Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bullscockville, VA

After passing through the aforementioned locality, we kept on trucking: avoiding the "$26 / night - hourly rates available" truck stop and heading straight on toward 'Wendy's, Gas and 1 Motel Off-Ramp,' NC. After getting used to the Lysol covered old smoke fumes in our non-smoking room, we hit the hay. Now, we're off to Asheville.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Headed South

I'm getting in the car and driving Away.  I'll let you know when I arrive.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Speedy McInternet

Sorry for the wait and for what I assume will be a short and thoroughly uninteresting post. I spent the week at the grandparents golf-cart community, The Villages, where according to my grandmother, "None of the women can get pregnant and all of the men look like they are." Apparently a year or so ago their community had the fastest STD transmitting population in the united States. Hot.
I spent the better part of the week avoiding social situations by cleaning up / adding RAM and virtual memory to my grandfather's PC. In the end, I dare say, it was a little faster. But I'm afraid there was no writing to be done until the end, and that was in a Moleskin.
So, I flew back from Florida yesterday and will be leaving to drive down again tomorrow with the s.o. and fly back to Boston again in a week. This is a travel filled two weeks...
There it is - uninteresting as promised. There is hope, though, and I'll be in touch with more on that shortly. Until then, sorry for the dearth of writing. Have a safe and happy Hanukkah.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Life on the Other Side...

This wave of exams are past while others gather their forces just beyond the horizon.

I have IPA and chocolate pudding flavors still lingering on my tongue from breakfast, and I'm flitting through memories of last night's various after-parties. For me the night started and ended with good friends and good wine, enclosing a thoroughly fratish party somewhere in the middle. Not being an avid partier myself, I enjoyed watching from my plinth on the staircase: Beer Pong, Rock Band, and splash fights in the gene pool. If nothing else it was nice to watch these future doctors working as hard as chemically possible to forget the dense block of knowledge they'd just worked so hard to cram into their skulls.

The antioxidant cocktails folks were drinking - pomegranate juice and blueberry vodka - may not have been as health promoting as you'd expect from a group of young doctors. Although, with a mean life expectancy of 58 maybe that's all we can expect. But, back to the bookends: the friends and wine. There was hope there. After weeks of studying and stress culminating with an 8 hour scantron marathon, folks were letting the pendulum swing as far back from school as they could. For many this meant a sweet escape to oblivion and scholastic atrophy. And, really, good for them. They're the high passers of the bunch, and they deserve a break.

It was, however, refreshing to see where some folks let their pendulums drift when unencumbered by deadlines and expectations.

At the pre-party, our group unwound with home made wine and a gourmet meal prepared from the simplest of ingredients. Folks let me twist, crack and generally manipulate their spines and ribs, while another friend demoed the HVLA he'd learned from reading ahead in the manual medicine course book. There was music. There was dancing. There were articulations. Who could ask for more? It was nice to find health in this place in so many of its forms.

Be not mistaken, we are a vice-filled bunch. But, from the homespun recycled camp stove, to the pushing out of cars stuck in the snowstorm, to a good friend coming out to give us knuckleheads a ride home, I am more than satisfied that the future of healthcare rests in the hands of these friends.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

For All The Osteopaths Out There

I give you - Cranial-Sacral Therapy and its Effects on Fascial Compliance:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bush Bends the Country Over One Lat Time

Monday, December 15, 2008

And My Drooping Thoughts...

I mean eyelids.

Tonight I unwind from a thousand bits of knowledge thrust upon my brain too hard and fast to make any sense of the details. Mindrape, we call it. I call it.
No worries, I'll remember little of this is a week and will only be forced to relive it briefly during bored exams next year. From there on in its clear sailing, a lot of cranial, and the ever avoiding of contaminated needle sticks.
As of tonight, medical school has shoved its throbbing member so far up my pineal body ( that day is night and night is unimaginative. That said, Facebook is always interesting.
Flipping through photos of friends, I watched one sell his soul to the US army, another reproduce - the not-so-sexy part of the process - and still others enjoying this extended adolescence we call higher education. Twenty pounds, a spouse and a breast-pump seems to be the rule of thumb for many of these go-getters - flaunting their fertility in the face of their contemporaries. They mock those doomed to Ecstasy cocktails with Jagermeister chasers, constantly at risk of a GI eruption ruining their YesAd threads, or a flunitrazepam disaster. These folks are on facebook too. WAY more interesting than Junior.
I wish I had somewhere to go with this. A witty punchline or thoughtful segway would have been nice. But, as my brain is filled with so much anatomy, histology, physio and the rest, I've got nothing. Seriously. Today I argued for a solid ten minutes about the placement of an alligator clip on a 92 year old (dead) woman's clitoris! I mean, what the hell. It's like god tees these gems up for me and I can't even take the swing. (If nothing else, I did have a small victory when I called the female prepuce the "hoodie of the clitoris" on this week's practical exam.)
So, that's all. Facebook is funny sometimes. Sometimes. Usually it's just a colossal timesuck. And WordScraper.
For now, sorry for the edit-free quickie. In the future I promise to think about tweaking my posts before publishing them.
I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


This week before block exams has dried me of wit. Fortunately for you, this is unbelievable:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bill Ayers' NY Times Article

After reading this New York Times piece and consulting Dr. Wiki, I think Ayers is an ok guy. I mean, seriously, who among us hasn't lost a friend or two to a premature nail bomb explosion? I hear that happens to a lot of guys...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

And reflection sessions aren't all bad...

Jonathan Story
EOM1 – Reflection Paper
21 October 2008

Twelve Down – One-Hundred and Ninety Eight to Go
The ventilators in the anatomy lab broke last night, saturating the air with the gaseous counterparts to formalin and other toxic embalming fluids. This morning I had to bang out of lab early and left the building tired and frustrated, with a headache I could only attribute to a thoroughly pickled brain. I walked a few hundred yards to the ocean, where I baked in the sun while talking on the phone with old friends. I learned that my girlfriend, Kate, and another 3rd year intern were skipping their afternoon rotations to fly to a crazy old doctor's island hideout. An old roommate told me he was moving to Portland's West Coast counterpart with a dozen of his closest friends. He asked me how med school was going. I told him about today's dissection: the tedious tracing of tiny nerves all the way from finger tips to cervical roots.
"We follow the digital nerves under the flexor retinaculum where they emerge to join the palmar branches and become the median nerve proper which follows the anterior forearm before diving under (or is it passing over...) the bicipital aponeurosis and meeting up with the 3rd section of the axillary artery with whom our nerve will travel intimately - wrapped together in a satin sheet of shimmering white fascia – all the way up the inner arm. When they finally go their separate ways, the brachial artery will have matured, becoming the subclavian, and splitting our nerve in two: the lateral and medial cords. These join with a dozen other nerves of the upper limb and 2 divisions of the posterior cord before forming three distinct trunks which then split into five cervical roots before joining with the spinal cord, the brain, and maybe the soul."
And, there – in the warmth, the sun and the sea air – I felt infinitely privileged to be in medical school.

Two months ago the sun had stamina, but tonight 7 o'clock might as well be midnight. My brain is tired. My body aches.
This week is the deep breath between classes slowing and exams gearing up. And, despite the gray, it makes for some good people-watching amongst my peers – none of whom seem to be on the same page as anyone else. For some, this week is an exciting opportunity to start the race early and get ahead before anyone else realizes the gun's gone off. For others, it is a time just to get their bearings. Some are making reservations at the cozy seaside B&B in Kennybunk, while others stare down from the high dive, squinting to find the bucket they're supposed to dive into. I keep having that dream where my car is careening out of control but no matter how hard I press, the brakes just won't work. Okay, that last part about the out-of-control car was a lie. It would have worked well with the theme, though, right?
The point is, medical school is a gnarly mass of tangled green anatomy twine, used chewing gum and stray mystery hairs. We unwind the layers, salvaging what we can and cutting out the most hopeless knots, all the while gleaning the small treasures we find along the way: Dr. Norton's microcirculation rabbit-ear video, Dr. Schuenke's sacral nutation demonstration, realizing in Foundations of Doctoring that I have conductive hearing loss... Fuck.
In Foundations of Doctoring and Osteopathic Principles and Practices we get snapshots of where all this science is supposed take us. While we don't see patients very often, our sleep habits dictate that we will at least be patients at some point this year: giving, I'm sure, some other doctor a great deal of job satisfaction. Medical school is, as it turns out, brimming with equal parts wonder and cynicism.
And, here – in this chilly October darkness – I feel privileged to be in medical school. But, I also understand the cost.

And, this is a good idea...

Staring down at a cracked and twisted white MacBook case, I can't help but think, this is a great idea. I'm balancing the machine between my wrists and the armrest of my massage chair - the lean forward, kneeling, horseshoed face-cushion kind - and wondering if this fall will be the one that finally kills the old girl. A voice inside screams, "This is why I can't buy you nice things!" but, damn, is this comfortable.

I got the MacBook new for school this Fall, but she is old for her years. One can be jammed in a bookbag, slammed in a locker and thrown across a carseat only so many times before sustaining serious trauma. But, it should last long enought to pr

And so it begins...

Arduous aphorisms and anecdotes aside,
I'll start simply:

And, so it begins.