Archive for November 2008

Endurance

November 25, 2008

On Sunday, I ran the Salybia 5K. Although I placed the same as I did last semester (16th of the 34 female runners and walkers), I improved my time by nearly 3 minutes! However, that new-found speed is currently being paid for by my poor quadriceps which still ache every time I try to descend a flight of steps. With my trusty old iPod set to my inspirational Sunday morning mix, I started the race with an early burst of speed and was one of the first to come over the hill going up to the Annex and down the road that ends in a T-junction by the coastline. As we passed the halfway mark, my stomach began to churn and my lungs began to burn and people I’d passed began to pass me. I slowed my pace to a jog, trying to get my breathing back to normal and whispering to my GI tract, first threats, then pleas. By the time I’d reached the three-quarters water station, I’d stopped running entirely. As I power-walked through a stretch with no shade, another student came up along my side. Earlier in the week, after she’d mistaken me for my pal who placed 2nd last semester, she asked if I’d be running again and claimed that she was much slower than either of us. She joined me for a few steps and then chided, “You’re going to speed up again, right? You can’t finish back here with me.” I didn’t just want to dash off and leave her behind but I did begin to pick up my pace. Maybe I’d gained my second wind or maybe it was because someone was expecting me to finish ahead but I started running again and didn’t stop until I’d crossed the finish line. (more…)

Inside Out

November 18, 2008
Is everyone's rectum this red?

Is everyone's rectum this red?

Pictured to the left is a particularly vivid visual from a fascinating lecture we had yesterday on the ischio-anal fossa. The puborectalis is a part of the levator ani muscle – innervated by the by the perineal branches of S3 & S4, it forms a sling around the anorectal junction and keeps it closed so that the contents of the rectum don’t fall out (as they would if it were in a straight orientation). It relaxes during defecation, allowing the anorectal junction to straighten so that movement and expulsion of feces can occur. It also provides support to the bladder. Paralysis of this little sling could cause all sorts of problems, including rectal prolapse. Yikes! Although, it kind of reminds me of I.R. Baboon… (more…)

The Morning After

November 5, 2008

Battered and exhausted after the brutal Mini II exam, I hibernated yesterday. I chuckled with my cousin on the phone for a bit and then, since Dominica is now one hour ahead of the east coast, I decided to turn in early instead of tuning in to CNN and waiting for the votes to come in. The last time I’d done that, the last time I cared so much about an election that I stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning, I’d gone to sleep thinking that the candidate I supported had triumphed, only to discover upon waking that things had gone awry. This time, I’m not going to wait on tenterhooks, I thought. I’m going to go to bed and see how it is when I get up. Plus, I had lab at 8:00 AM so I didn’t want to oversleep and miss it. So instead, I missed a little bit of history.

My anatomy TA was disappointed by the outcome of the election. A staunch conservative, he fears that our president-elect is too liberal. Another friend, who I just discovered is a registered Republican, thinks that with Democrats in power, government spending will run rampant. There was not much jubilation on campus; instead, quiet, personal celebration: Yes We Can! t-shirts, Obama buttons, shared grins. I can’t really understand how anyone could be anything but bursting with joy today.

I’m so used to being a cynic. I’m so used to defending the arrogant, antagonizing actions of my nation to people who consider American pride to be nothing more than brazen, boastful swagger. Over the course of this election, I started to think that maybe there are two Americas, the small-town, heartland, amber waves of grain part and the critical, analytical metropolitan part. But last night, and this morning, we connected. We came together and we did this.

So call me unpatriotic (but you better not to my face, ’cause I’m from Queens, and you know what that means…). This is the first time in my life that I’m proud of something America did.