Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Engineering at its Finest

I started my Anatomy and Physiology II class this week. I am taking it at North Lake college. It is going to be a great semester!! I have a great instructor, the lab is well equipped with, ohmygoodness, current and complete models!! Not like last semester!!

In lecture tonight we discussed the heart, it's anatomy, circulation and the layers protecting it. I had forgotten how amazing our bodies are!! Such a marvelous feat of engineering! The way the valves work by changes in pressure driven by sheer physics alone, their chordea tendineae helping hold the atrioventricular valves steady, the organization of blood flow, the whole "structure defines function" in its true form.

I love developmental biology too, and the heart's development is so cool. Am I sounding like a nerd yet?? It starts as two tubes and grows together, twisting around to form the great arteries at last. Wow.

People take their bodies for granted, when, in fact, each person possess one of the most amazing examples of engineering the world will ever know.

Look after that engineering and it will serve you well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Physiological Response...

I went to my doctor today in order to complete one of my many requirements to apply to nursing school: a physical and vaccination record.

The general physical was fine, I have had my annual one recently, so all was well on that front. However, I have no paper record of my childhood immunizations nor do I have the paperwork for the Hepatitis B inoculations I received when I worked at the Amelia Court HIV research clinic. I also need proof of tetanus.

So, just to cover my posterior, he gave me all the childhood inoculations again (subcutaneous) and the tetanus (intramuscular). The Hep B, I will hunt for the paperwork, otherwise, we just pull blood and do an antibody titer .
I have never had a vasovagal response before. Today was my first. I must admit, I loathe and detest shots. I can give blood whenever, doesn't bother me. But shots....I HATE them. I feel so violated.

Well, I survived the dreaded shots, but will avoid them at all costs. If I gotta go back on Friday and give blood for a titer, no worries. For some reason, taking something out of my vein is fine, forcing something into my deltoid is not!

Monday, August 22, 2005

When the Child Becomes the Parent

It is becoming painfully obvious to me that my mom is mentally declining. Things are starting to not add up. She can't remember what she tells people. And it's important stuff like when we went to buy a car for her recently, and she said she couldn't remember if she had given the sales man her social security number and other pertinent information....Not good.

How do you discuss with your parent that you fear for her safety driving when that is the only means of independence she still possesses?

Or, that you are worried that she is no longer capable of dealing with the rest of the world safely? I may have power of attorney, but that doesn't change the fact that she is still very independent.
It's a real rock and a hard place. I really thought I wouldn't have kids, I guess this is fate's way of making me live that experience anyway.
She is really healthy otherwise. At 70, almost 71, she is great otherwise. It's just that the tables are turned and it really is a challenge to stay clam and not get frustrated. She can't help it.

Good air in...Bad air out.

It is really painful to watch such decline in someone you care for so deeply. It is so painful to watch when someone you love begins to fall apart.

How is it that the parent goes away only to be replaced by someone so uninformed?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Nose Knows

This is a really interesting article about dog noses and the ability of detection their noses have. I have watched PBS programs about dogs detecting heart attacks and cancer. Their noses are truly amazing organs. I think it would be great to have a dog nose for just one day. One day is probably all I could handle.

So, with a nose that sensitive, why do they always want to roll in the foulest of foul things??
And they are so HAPPY about their aroma after the roll-on-the-dead-thing dance.

Auto buying

I assisted my mom in purchasing a different car this past Thursday. She settled on a 2005 Corolla. Her Saturn was not comfortable for her back anymore and she did not see well out of the car.
So, why does buying a car take so long? We were there for hours. You would think with the age of wireless that the application and credit check would be fairly quick. But still it takes hours. She is thrilled with her new car and I am thrilled she feels more comfortable driving.

I am comfortable with her driving as long as I am not in the car with her!!
Is this what always happens with parents as they age?
Parents are uncomfortable with their teens learning to drive and grown kids are not comfortable with their parents' driving.
Is turn about fair play?
Just a thought.

My Head Hurts.....

I have never suffered from headaches on a regular basis. Aside from the sinus headache I get in cottonwood season, I don't get headaches.
Well, the one I had this weekend made up for all those missed headaches.
I guess it was a migraine. I have not had one before, but this fit the description to a tee. Blinding pain, severe nausea, trouble seeing, and a desire to attain the fetal position in a quiet dark room...And never leave. I have since read about some remedies for such debilitating headaches. Most seem to prescribe Magnesium, Riboflavin and Feverfew. If I get one again, I will do anything to get rid of it. I have a friend who suffers from recurrent migraines and I sympathize. Wow, those are awful! I wish you luck on finding a remedy that works! My research suggests several therapies.


My, my they have a name for everything!!
I had one of my bi-annual checkups just a week ago. And I must confess to having some level of dentaphobia--yes a fear of dentists.
Even though my dentist is great and so considerate, I still don't want to go. It's like, well, pulling teeth if you will forgive the pun.
I spent so much time in the dental chair as a child, I hate going. Consequently, I will do anything to make those twice-a-year visits go more smoothly.
What did I get busted for this visit??
Chewing ice.
Yes, I got beat with the "Don't eat Ice" stick this visit.
Otherwise, I have a clean bill of health where my teeth are concerned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Commuting via Bike

Since I have recently changed jobs, I now am close enough to bike to and from work. I commuted via bike in college and loved it. Since I am not a morning person by any stretch, that 7:30AM English class (eeewww!) was made easier by my having spent 30 minutes on a bike...I was awake!!

My new job requires that I be there all chipper by 8. Yes, to the regular world, this is boring. But this is really difficult for those of us who spring to life with boundless energy at 10:30 PM. 8AM is torture....
So, I believe a 20 minute bike ride will a)make me be awake and b) help combat that whole sitting still thing that I am still not used to.

Currently I am borrowing my friend's mountain bike. I think I have to have a hybrid. Once I am comfortable riding that for a while, I may switch to a road bike. Speed is so cool. I will keep you posted.

Since I am a bike nincompoop, any help or suggestions on bike shopping and how NOT to spend a bloody fortune would be appreciated!!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

An Apology

So, I must apologize for my lack of blogging action. My online math class has come to its end and I have been really studying to ensure the A I require. So here I am, back to Always Ask the Question(s)…..

De-Evolving the Gene Pool

So, here’s a thought.
If our society has removed many of the selection pressures of natural selection, are we doing our gene pool a disservice??
Are we participating in the down fall of our own species?

Without selection pressures, how is our gene pool to improve?

We often joke about the fact that those plastic bags that come with new appliances have the text printed on them that says, “This is not a toy. Do not give to small children.”
That is there because we presume that someone did just that at one point with horrible results.

We do still have the Darwin Awards.
Examples of how natural selection is still functioning.

But with all the safe-guards in our society, how is one to a) learn about the natural world considering a great deal of that learning takes place through trial (hey this might work…) and error (pain) and b) never getting to think about something on your own, evaluate its possible consequences and learn…i.e. deductive reasoning?

Just a thought.
In the words of Jeff Foxworthy, “Let the pain of learning begin!”

Things I wish I wouldn’t see people doing while driving:

Talking on the phone AND eating.
Brushing one’s teeth.
Applying makeup.

Pets or no Pets??

I am someone who adores animals. I have taken them in off the street, rehabilitated abused ones, and raised orphaned wild animals. You name it, I have probably done it provided it pertains to the health and well being of some cute little critter. And even some really large ugly ones too.

However, I have reached a point where I no longer wish to have any more pets than I currently have. I simply am too tired. And when they go, there will be no more. Animals, like children, require a tremendous amount of attention, time and maintenance. Yes, the pay-back is totally worth it. Life is really great when they snuggle you when you are down, play with you on a walk or just sit with you and purr. Not to mention the entertainment factor. However, I don’t want anymore. I can foresee another day when I will want them again, but not now and not for some great while.

I think I will take the same attitude with pets as I have currently with children:
Borrow and return, borrow and return.

The Cost of Education

I just finished paying for the next class I need to progress toward my nursing degree. It was a four hour course and the tuition alone was $240. That does not include books.

So, this begs the question:
Why is attaining something so fundamental to the betterment of society as a whole so d@@!!@mn expensive?

Many other countries have virtually free education, and it is not poor quality either. France, for instance covers everything, books, tuition, room and board and the cost is a mere few hundred dollars a semester. And it is a top-notch education too.

Thailand is another example of virtually free education. And a quality one to boot.

So why is it, that in the US, one of the building blocks of our nation has become almost out of reach for those of us not born to wealth? For one to take out a quantity of school loans that would set him or her back 10 years to pay them off is absurd.

What is a solution to this?? There needs to be a way to gain an education and yet not be in debt for the rest of your life.