Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break... sort of.

This week is the official Spring Break from Hope College. For me and Nicole, that means that we have extra study time. Why would we use our Spring Break to study? Multiple reasons. First and foremost, two weeks after Spring Break, we're going to be kicking it in Florida for a week, which means we will be missing exams. So, we have to take those exams before we leave. SO, by the time we leave, we need to be a week ahead of the curriculum in order to stand a chance on the exams, and what better time to get a week ahead than the week during Spring Break when there are no classes and you have to be going to work anyway? I'm getting all my presentations ahead of time and reading out of the book, while Nicole is working out of her books and getting her labs out of the way; my professor was nice enough to just let me not do the lab without making me make up the points. The other reason for studying during Spring Break- the MCAT. I will be taking the MCAT for REALS in exactly two months from today- May 21st. So, I have eight weeks. That's not much time until the biggest test (so far) in my life. There aren't very many events that can be said to be "life-changing," but the MCAT would probably be one of them for a doctor. My score makes a real difference to where I get in, or even if I get in. At this point, I have studied enough to be not incredibly nervous, but I won't be able to completely get rid of the nerves before the test date. Taking a couple more practice tests will definitely help. The next one might possibly be this weekend... We'll see.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A 7-year-old shirt made me money.

Back in 2004, I made a bunch of REALLY random shirts using images that I took in Germany. They're really, really random. I designed them on just so that I could buy them and wear them. Unique, original, fun for me. What I didn't give much of a thought to was that I left them as public. Apparently, in, when you make a product and don't keep it private, others can view it and purchase it! I got an email today, and apparently I've sold two prints of the below-linked shirt in the past year, netting myself a whopping total of $4.63 in royalties! I can get it paid out right now via PayPal, or I can wait 10 more years (if my current earning rate holds true) and get cut a check for $25.00 without letting PayPal stick their greedy mitts into my dough!

What excites me the most is that this could have easily been a much bigger deal. Just think, what if I had checked it and had become a huge hit in India or Japan or something and was rolling in thousands of dollars worth of royalties... That would've been the BEST.

Explosive Diarrhea

So, last night was fun.

Nicole was welcomed home by the cloying, gaggy stench of a basement full of diarrhea bombs. Poor Naiya had gone diarrhea six times while we were away at work, twice on her bed / platform, three times on the tile floor and once on the carpeted stairs. Nicole waited until I got home to clean up so that I could see what it was like because at first we weren't sure if she had been vomiting or going diarrhea. It was bad, but the good news was that she was not throwing up. If she had been, it would've been off to the vet again, pronto. When I got home, I could barely breathe without throwing up, it was so bad. I got a fire going in the fireplace, that really helped get the air flowing. The biggest problem was that the furnace draws air from the basement, then blows it to the rest of the house, so the entire house was reeking. With candles blazing around the house, we scrubbed, scooped, and used our mini carpet extractor to get rid of the nastiness. We took turns, as one needed to stay upstairs with Naiya in case she needed to go out. This was a good move, as she was having to go every 45 minutes or so. About 2.5 hours later, everything was clean and we could get on with our Thursday night.

The healing process is taking longer than expected, but she's doing well. Today, she hasn't had any diarrhea and is very playful. We might try a smaller amount of food later in the day, but we'll see. I'm hesitant, for obvious reasons...

For me - no class today! Cancelled, since Fraley (my Bio prof) is going to be "on a trip." Awesome. This way, I can go over Wednesday's lecture notes to try and understand what we "learned" about ECGs...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Brain + Tyler's Brain = THIS!5779891/this-is-what-pi-sounds-like

In other news, Naiya is continuing to improve, and she's now well past the danger zone (I think). She's still on a bland diet of yogurt, cooked ground turkey and chicken. She ate about a pound of meat and yogurt today, which is about 2/3 her daily normal needs. We'll see how things go tonight; I've been getting woken up by her about twice each night to go outside- once around 4am and once about 12 minutes before my alarm goes off. It'll definitely be nice when THAT is over...

I shadowed Dr. Hoey this morning (since I don't have Orgo Lab anymore!) and I got to see a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) get re-inflated via chest tube and vacuum pump! It was very cool. I also saw an elderly man getting ready to say goodbye to his wife of 61 years... Not so cool, but definitely a learning experience...

Now, time to beat back the headache with some Tylenol PM and eat cheesy pasta (thanks Nicole)!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Naiya is doing better!!

Hooray hooray, Naiya is doing much better! She's been much more active, playing with stuff, and alternating with being really inactive. Such good improvement! She has eaten quite a bit of chicken and rice today, and has been drinking on her own, though I have to command her to do so. But hey, at least we're not having to force her to drink 6 mL increments by shooting it into her mouth with a plastic syringe... A big thanks to my Mom for coming to stay with us yesterday and today to help us care for Naiya while we're working ridiculous schedules.

On other notes, I am now completely done with Organic Chemistry, with the exception of studying for the MCAT. I turned in my final lab report on Wednesday morning, and got my final exam (which I took on Monday afternoon) back today. Didn't do too bad, especially given the stressfulness that was this week. I won't get my final grade for a few week though; they're undecided about a curve...

I took my final exam on the plants section of Organismal Biology today, and couldn't be happier. It was quite a bit harder than I expected, but I think it will probably have a pretty big curve, because everyone seemed to have trouble with it. I'm just glad it's done with; I've been looking forward to the section of that class all semester...

All right, time for bed! So good!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Naiya Update

Things are still unsure with Naiya. She is in some pain, but the best we can do is try to make her comfortable as she makes it through this. She is on several medications - Sucralfate to protect her stomach lining from high acid levels, Omeprazole as an antacid to help lower her stomach's acidity, and Cerenia to help her not vomit. She won't eat or drink, so we need to squirt water into her mouth slowly with a syringe, and she swallows it that way. The vet said that it is normal for her to not eat, but that we need to keep her hydrated. Last night she threw up three times - twice at home and once in the car on the way to the animal emergency hospital. Since then, she hasn't thrown up any more. If she did, the vet said that would be bad and we would need to take her in again right away. Originally, they recommended that she stay overnight at the hospital, but that would have been REALLY expensive, so we opted for the best we could do in terms of out-patient care. She's very lethargic, and pretty much won't move around. The suggested diet is boiled chicken with boiled rice, but at this point she won't eat anything. We're having to force-feed her pills, or grind them up in warm water and do the syringe trick.

Anyway, that's just a quick update. I took a half day off work today to help Nicole at home with Naiya, and now to hopefully get some studying done for my exam on Friday. Bio lab is in the morning as well. Running on sleep fumes at the moment; with only about 3.25 hours on Monday night and three hours last night, I'm definitely feeling it. Presentation today went well, and I've officially finished Organic Chemistry, as I finished my final lab report before my presentation this morning.

Though this movie is much more up-beat than I'm feeling at the moment, here's the video I made for my bio lecture project, which was also the reason that I only got 3.25 hours of sleep Monday night. In retrospect, I probably would have made some different choices that night if I'd known what Tuesday would bring... We made a poster too, which you'll see in the video toward the end.

Naiya is Sick .: No Sleep for Us

Let me just say as a precursor that I was up until 3:15am Monday night / Tuesday morning working on homework and projects, and I got up Tuesday morning at 6:30am for my Organic Lab (last one ever - yay!) before meeting with a professor, then working until 9:30pm. When I got home, suffice it to say I was fairly disturbed when, immediately upon my entry into our kitchen, I see Naiya vomit bloody froth. When she did it again, and I checked her gums and saw that they were a bit discolored and weren't repopulating with blood too well when pressed, we took her to the vet. We got back about five minutes ago (check the timestamp on this post and you'll see why this is a big deal) from the Animal Emergency Hospital in Grand Rapids, and it turns out that she has pancreatitis. Yikes. Multiple injections, subcutaneous fluids, prescription meds and several hours later, she's doing fine and she's on a plan for getting better, but only time will tell how things are going to turn out. Please pray for us, as this has been a bit rough... The vet said that we caught it REALLY early, so she stands a good chance, but we'll have to see. Now, I have to water plants for Biology at 8:00am (which seems so trivial as to be laughable at moments like this), so I'm out.


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