Posts from the ‘Anatomy & Physiology’ Category

Where Is Slim Goodbody When You Need Him?

Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus…..Estensor Carpi Ulnaris….Pronator teres….I’m going to have to set all these muscles I’m memorizing to music.  Kinda like that “Pump, Pump, Pump” song Potsie sang.

The longest muscle in the human body?  Anyone?  (Excluding Coble on that one) 

I’m feeling much better about the school thing.  I’m beginning to see the light.  I got all excited the other night during the lecture about cells and transports and stuff when he started talking about Phagocytes.  I understood what he was talking about because part of my job as Cootie Princess is I enter various communicable diseases and Phagocytophilia is something I enter a lot. It’s a type of Ehrlichiosis which is non-spotted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  I was pretty happy that my work helped me understand how the Lysosomes and Peroxisomes come  into play.  I’m also working on being able to explain in great depth how proteins are made. Reckon Potsie did a song about that?

Y’all are jealous of how I’m spending my free time.  I can feel it through the internets.

I Should Be Asleep…

Mr. Smiff and Them will be live on your radio airwaves today at 1:00 Eastern Time.  Maybe it won’t be “airwaves” for most of us.  Perhaps “Interwaves” would be a better term.  They will be on that fantastically, wonderful WNCW out of North Carolina. 

I’m considering a big decision tomorrow.  Nothing life-threatening or anything like that.  In the Grand Scheme, it’s not brain surgery.  It’s common sense.  I’m going to sleep on it and see how I feel about it in the morning.  I’m not one to be stressed out, but, of late, I am VERY stressed out and it just doesn’t bode well for me and those who live with me. 

Saturday is looking to be totally action packed with the School Carnival.  I’m a bad mom.  I did not sign up to work at the “fun-filled” carnival.  Anybody who’s read me any length of time can figure that one out.  I’m not good at playing PTO/Muffia. I’m not able to play along and say “Hiiiiiii-iiii! How are yeeewwwww?” To the other parents.  I dread having to go to this thing in the first place.  I managed to skip it last year. No such luck this year.

The Manchild is in a school play this weekend. First show was tonight.  I had to miss it cause of school but even his sister commented on how her brudder “stood out” even though he doesn’t have a major role.  That is quite a huge statement coming from the Holy Tara.  

I may actually hit two school plays Saturday…the MC’s and a friend of mine from church is in “Brigadoon.” This girl…teenaged girl, I think she’s a senior…amazingly talented.  I hope I can get away from the Carnival and see her.

Ok, I’m really going to bed now.

I Won’t Back Down

I feel like I can say with certainty that I did a lot better on my Lecture exam last night than I did on the Lab exam last week.  I don’t know what I made on last night’s test, however, I do know what I got on the Lab test.  How should I put it poetically….your Sista did not do so good.

All is not lost, according to my teacher. He said I do need to come to some open labs.  I do feel like I’m getting my sea legs a little more now though and kinda know how it works and really see that I have to put lots of time into this stuff.  I’m going to have to be obsessed with it. 

 If I could just stop getting upset everytime I go to the Math place.

I guess going to the Math place after my test last night and after getting my Lab test grade was not the best idea.  I get in there, get my headphones on, that geeky lady on the video started talking about decimals, and the tears hit.  (Don’t worry…nobody around me knew I was losing my mind. I’m really a pro at going nuts quietly).  I only stayed in there about 40 minutes and decided I wasn’t accomplishing anything.

Good thing is Fall Break is next week.  The Math place will be open and I’m planning on getting caught up to speed on the Math crap exercises.

Anybody who is really good at study skills who might have some study suggestions for me, have at it.  (I’m looking specifically at a certain Stanford graduate.) 


As I was on my way to school tonight, #2 was on his way to the Opry House for the International Bluegrass Music Awards.  He was pumped. 

The tie was his idea.  He calls them “Wear-a-Tie” shirts. 

The Lab exam was very hard.  I hope I passed.  It was reallllly hard.  I am tired. So very tired. I’ve been pretty uptight the last few days and boy howdy, that makes a soul tired. 

I’m wishing about now that I had taken tomorrow off. 

Crazy Days and Thursdays Always Get Me Down

I kinda hate I won’t be able to be at the IBMA awards tonight because of the great photo ops. I hate to miss big family events.  All three kids are going to the show.  They wouldn’t miss it.  I’m tickled they’re that interested and get to experience a lot of the same things I experienced as a kid.   Same time, I’m glad I don’t have to worry about what to wear.  Then again, it’s a big deal and I’ll miss it…on the other hand, awards shows are long, tedious and make me nervous.  I can’t even think about if The Grascals will win or not win.  Of course, I hope they do, but, I can’t think about it cause I have to think about Pseudostratified Columnar Cells.  (Shishter…you hear that?!?! That one’s fun to say). I do think XM Radio is broadcasting the show again this year and my friends over at The Bluegrass Blog will be liveblogging the event.

I’m frustrated about the Lab exam  tonight.  50% of it is identifying certain tissues, cells, their function, location, etc. We didn’t start that til last week and unlike everything else, he breezed through that.  It’s nuts.  I’ve stayed up very late the last two nights studying. 

The Manchild helped me study last night and it was quite comical.  Too bad a video camera wasn’t going.  He kept calling me “Trevor” cause my attention would sometimes wander.  That big boy of mine is a hilarious person.  How odd to have your spawn calling out your study material to you.   He really was helpful.  Thing is, he hasn’t had Chemistry yet, but, most of that stuff was as simple to him as me reading about Hollywood movie stars. Amazing.  He explained and helped me understand 4x, 10x, 40x magnification on the microscope. 

I decided about 1:00 this morning, I can’t worry and stress about this exam.  I’ll just go in there, do the best I can and move on to the next thing.  I have to remind myself that I started this college thing in one of the harder classes a person can take.  I’m doing ok.

You should see the bags under my eyes, though.  They can carry groceries.

Fractions Suck

I have to spend this weekend studying and doing more studying for my first A & P exam next Thursday.  Even the Chemistry stuff is making more sense to me now.  I mean, I always thought PH balance was only important to shampoos and stuff. It seems there used to be a shampoo brand they advertised on tv years ago that even had “Ph balance” in the jingle.   Who knew that if your Ph level is at 6, you are deader ‘n a doornail?!  I know my body parts, cavities, organ systems and functions, simple squamos cells, atomic numbers and why fats are solids at room temperature pretty good. I just hope I can get it all together enough to pass the test.

Some of y’all will find this to be the next step to insane, but, to me, the concepts of Anatomy and Physiology are WAY easier to comprehend (even some of the chemistry) than it is for me to figure out fractions.  I am STILL fighting those $#%@ fractions.  I can be showed a thousand times how do them, then when I’m by myself trying to do it, can’t figure it out and I throw my hands up in disgust, curse and tell myself this Basic Math will keep me from getting into nursing.

I call Mr. Smiff on the road and he’ll help me with them…I’ve asked a co-worker (who is also an accounting teacher) and she’s shown me….I’ve asked the biker looking instructor at school….watched the instructional videos over and over…but mixed fractions will not stay in my head. Alls you have to do these days to see your Sista cry is say “Divide and multiply mixed fractions”. I hateth them.

I may take a break this weekend from studying to go to The 15th Annual Daniel Smith Days commences this weekend in my neck of the woods in Hendersonville.  I would like to go to this.  I think I should make all three Smiff Kids (even the teens) come with me and #2 to this and INSIST they enjoy it.  Rock Castle is such a gorgeous place. It’s supposed to be pretty so you oughta ride out to Scenic Sumner County and see what’s going on. 

2007- A Smiff Oddity

Something odd and unusual is happening this weekend at the Smiff House.  It’s so highly unusual, I don’t even know what to make of it?  Can you guess what it is? 

Mr. Smiff is home.  No Opry. No nothing except helping me with my Math homework. I don’t think he’s had a free weekend since probably April.

Speaking of school, I have my first exam in two weeks.  It is on the same night as the IBMA awards which means, I can’t skip the A & P exams to go to the awards.  It also means I have to do some serious studying to do this next coupla weeks.  I’m good on the body parts and cavities, it’s that #@*&! Chemistry stuff that I find to be something akin to trying to understand Swahili.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about having Mr. Smiff underfoot all weekend.  Any suggestions?

Sista’s Laboratory

I’m getting into a groove of sorts with the school thing.  I’ve been studying every night and I’m even beginning to get more comfortable with lab.  We looked at a fetal pig tonight and saw all the organs and stuff.  Pretty doggone cool.  We looked at the heart, lungs, and trachea of a lamb the other night so we could see what a serous membrane looks like.

I got my grade on my Math test I took last week and I did ok.  I got that dang Bonus question right.  Glad I spent that extra 20 minutes figuring that sucker out.  I have to get a C in both of these classes.  So far, I’m doing that.  That A & P stuff is fantastically interesting, but, there’s so much of it.  All the different transverse and midsaggital planes ,cavities, pericardiums, arterioles, cells, and various oses’….lots o’stuff.

Two new things I learnt in A & P this week…one, the word retroperitoneal.  More importantly, I learned from the A & P teacher that DUNKIN DONUTS is coming to Long Hollow Pike!

Scientific Thoughts…By Sista

I’m trying to wrap my head around proportions of elements in carbohydrates. 

CeeCoble? Engineering Brother In Law? Anybody?

The White Dove Sings

My second Lab experience left me feeling a little like the first one.  The good thing is, I didn’t feel quite so DUH in it.  We had our first quiz and we did an experiment on finding the starches, glucose and something else (can’t remember…just on my first cup of coffee) in certain foods.  My food was bananas.  It was positive for one and negative for the other.   I am hopeful that by next week or the week after, the Lab thing won’t be as intimidating to me. 

I like the lectures best.  We went over 8 of the Organ Systems and it’s really exciting to hear how it all goes together.  Even more exciting is when the teacher asks the class a question (looking for an out loud answer) and you can give the right one.  Funny, I got answer “Iris Diaprhagm” right in the Lab review but when we took the quiz, could not remember the word “Diaprahgm” to save my life.  I did remember “Parfocal”, Epithelial and squamos though.

I learned yesterday that Psychiatrists are so different than Counselor types in this way….they say hardly anything.  This guy interviewed me for about an hour, asking about this and that in my life, no reacting and just as I’m beginning to think “Maybe I DON’T have ADD” he says “I think we can get you some help and your life will change drastically.”  Interesting. 

 He asked me what I’ve done through my life to deal with this or that part of the whole thing and my answer was “I’ve built my own coping mechanisms.”  He didn’t really respond or react to much I said, but, when he asked me if I ever had any suicidal thoughts when I was a teenager and I said I thought about it but never made any attempt to.  I told him that I stopped having any thought of suicide when one day when I was probably 15, it hit me that you can commit suicide and people would be sad and say “I should’ve done this or that” but then, they’d get on with their business and you’d be an old memory put way back on a shelf that they’d see when they dust once every couple years.”  He laughed and said “That’s a sobering thought isn’t it?”  He asked if any of my family members have or had any psychiatric issues.  Heh. “Who, MY family?  Whatever makes you think, Doctor, that I would come from a line of people who are prone to addiction and psychiatric illness?”  I know he asks everybody that, but, it still makes me giggle.  I told my mother this and she said “Did you tell him about me?”  One thing about my family is we can laugh at our infirmities and we do often.  Yet another one of my coping mechanisms.

What made me finally decide it was time to move and do something about this?  Several things….I knew going to school and getting into the nursing profession would require it.  You can’t be trying to figure out what medicines to put in an IV and notice what somebody’s wearing or start chatting about the state of country music today and how crappy it is.  It might cause a careless mistake, resulting in something very bad for a potential patient…that sorta thing, you know?  Focus and concentration will be essential for me to complete my education.  I was lacking that when I was in junior high and high school.  I thought that there was something terribly wrong with me because I didn’t want to struggle to get a D, yet, I knew I wasn’t stupid.  If you have a photographic memory and you quit school, and the general feeling that you aren’t all you could be but you have no clue what to do about it…you know there is something wrong.   

I’ve talked with numerous people, adults who have said finally stepping out and getting help changed their lives in huge ways was a big encouragement to me.

 ALso,  with #2 having the issues he does, he needs organizational structure in the worst sort of way.  I can’t help him very good or be the best mom I can be to him, without giving him better structure.  He even told his teacher last week, “But you don’t understand what my house is like!” One of  the BIG kickers  of the whole thing is having my daughter say to my face that I’m lazy.  I don’t want her to think I am because I am not.  I want to be able to do the simplest of things that normal people do.  I don’t want to have any utilities disconnected ever again because somebody didn’t pay the bill.  Not necessarily cause the money wasn’t there, y’see.  I don’t want to have to call my sister and ask how in the world you organize a kitchen cabinet because it’s such an abstract concept to me.  I want to be able to run my home like a normal person and not feel like a total failure cause I am not able to process the simplest of steps in accomplishing that. 

  I almost feel like that after 25 years, today is going to be my sort of Independence Day. Or at least the beginning of it. 

Far Out, Man

My Math class is not a traditional sort of class setting.  It’s the kinda thing where I can do most of it from my computer and basically, all I have to do is turn in my homework and go and take the tests in the thing they call “New Skills”.  They have instructors up there all the time so I can go on Saturdays or not.  Pretty neat. I have to be logged in at least three hours a week. I can do it there or here in the privacy and “comfort” of the Smiff House.

I’m quite grateful that my firstborn is as smart as he is.  I was taking an assessment test online and had to ask his help.  He’s really good at explaining stuff. I’ve seen him help #2 with homework.  He’s got a knack. He’s gonna get sick of helping his mother with her Math.  I can tell. 

Even the Holy Tara looked at my book and said “Like…this is easy!”  I said to my dear daughter to look at the title of the book….”Basic Math.”  Duh.

A couple of things that have crossed my mind this first week of college…one, I can not imagine being say, 18, taking a full course load and being at a UT or someplace like that.  How in the world do kids stay focused with all the extra curriculars going on?  I’d have lasted about 5 minutes at a university when I was younger.

Secondly, the human body is an amazing thing.  I’m already amazed at the intricacies of how every little thing works.  I never knew that blood vessels have their own muscles.  I learned this week how/why we get goosebumps.  I learned a lot about the epithelium and so many things. I have a lot of material to learn by December. 

I’m reminded and  blown away through this first week of A & P at how great God is.  He made these bodies and designed them down to the smallest detail.  Every little artery, capillary, muscle, tissue….it’s really amazing.  That any of this just happened or is the result of a Big Bang or whatever, to me, is nuts.  Stuff this great doesn’t just happen.

This is gonna be fun.

Holy Homeostasis, Batman!

When I was just a child Sista, when Strep Throat would rear it’s ugly head every year, lots of kids would get it.  I remember my sister had it and others close to me had it.  I think the reason I never had it then was cause the standard treatment was a Penicillin shot in the bottom.  The thought of having to drop my drahs to get shots there was so mortifying to me (I really didn’t care about the needle), that was just about my greatest fear was to get strep and have to get a shot.

I never got strep til I was 31 years old and it was perhaps the sickest I have ever been to date.  I wasn’t even offered a shot then.  I’m prone to sinus infections and get at least a couple a year that send me to the doctor’s office to get a perscription.   I actually keep a sinus infection rolling most of the time.  I break down and go get something for it a couple times a year.  The sinus stuff reached a level some years ago, that it was rare for me not to have one, I had a septoplasty performed to correct the deviated septum that was preventing air from getting in.  That sucker was so curved, on the X ray, Dr. Tom Holzen showed me what appeared to be like the curved handle of an umbrella and said “That’s the problem.”

I had that surgery in January of 2000 and for a good while, I didn’t have any sinus infections at all.  The doctor said it wouldn’t cure them forever, but, it would help and it did.  I know I don’t want to have any kind of sinus surgery again.

So I’ve been walking around with a sinus thing now for at least a couple months.   They’ll make me miserable for a day or two, then ease up…kinda ebb and flow.  This week it was getting to the point it was trying really hard to move south into the bronchial area so I figured I’d better get something.

I went into a new walk in place in Hendersonville since my doctor’s office is only open part of the day on Wednesday (grrr) and I’m glad I did.  I saw a PA that I swear could be Aunt B’s sister except she was blonde.  Before I saw her, I heard her through the wall and I thought “That sounds like a blogger” but couldn’t think which one and she came in and there was Blonde Aunt B

She looked in my nose and went “Oh goodness” and said she liked to treat sinus infections head on and would I be opposed to a couple shots.  I was not opposed and got a cortisone shot in one cheek and some sort of antibiotic shot in the other that hurt like the dickens.  It wasn’t bad going in, but, until I went to bed last night, that thing throbbed and hurt. 

It was worth the sore arse though because within about an hour, I began to feel like a different person.  Within a couple hours, I could breathe through my nose. (You don’t appreciate not being able to til you can) and I just plain feel better than I’ve felt in weeks. 

Funny how over time, you just get used to feeling bad and you just adapt and adjust and go about your routine.  Homeostasis has been interuppted (I’m trying to adapt and learn to use A & P terminology. Just ignore)  Then, when you get medicine and things start behaving normally again, you’re like “Oh mah gawsh!

Next time I have a sinus infection, I’m going to see Aunt B’s twin.  I’m also going to ask the regular doctor why they don’t offer to shoot their patients up more.

Just Call Me Lucy Ricardo-Queen Laboratory-ess

Thoughts on my first day of school…

The class was packed.  I’d say the median age was 25 and up.  There was one or two who looked like they could’ve been playmates of the Manchild at one time, but, for the most part, it was grownups.  It’s mostly people who are going to be nurses, physical therapist assistants, radiology types, respiratory types. 

I dig the teacher.  He is INTO this Anatomy & Physiology and he seems to know his stuff.  I’d say he’s in his early to mid 50’s, with a hint of a New Jersey accent.  I like his lecture style.  

The Lab part of A & P….who knew microscopes were so intimidating and scary?  I mean, you have to be careful with this and that and I know I musta looked like Lucy Ricardo trying to figure that thing out.  I think I was the only person in the whole Lab who had never used a microscope before.  The only microscope I’ve ever messed with was one we got for Christmas circa 1976.  I don’t even think I messed with it at all.  I’m really pumped about getting to dissect a lamb’s brain and cow’s eyeball before the semester is out, if I can learn to focus the damn thing.

We swabbed our mouths for cells, put them on a slide and looked at them.  I was so intimidated by the saline solution, iodine and slide thingies I didn’t get a good sample but enough where I saw a few of my mouth cells up close and personal.  They were lovely.

This guy Jim that I used to go to church with and played volleyball with.  “Why don’t you come play with us?” Jim asked.  What I wanted to say was “Because I’m still limping from the time you fell on top of me trying to hit MY ball, ya big Doof. Jim is a big ol boy, about 6’4 and weighs near ‘250 or so.  I stopped playing volleyball because, silly me, I thought it would be fun and instead it was painful and people like Jim hit balls that I was fully capable of hitting.  I am a good volleyballist.  I just don’t believe in causing physical injury in the name of Jesus.

Back to Lab….NOW I know why that little character on the Muppets was called “Beaker.”  Those glass things that are kinda like scientific measuring cups are called beakers.  Oh hush.  While you were all studious, taking Chemistry in high school, I was out cruising around Williamson County listening to Emmylou Harris and Dwight Yoakam.  Then, when you went to college, I was busy hanging around the Station Inn hoping that cute bass player would notice me then I was married to him giving birth to his heirs and heiress. 

I’m going to give a new Anatomy and Physiology word to y’all every week.  The word of this week is “Epithelium.” Ponder and meditate on that a bit.

I bet Becky, the nice lady who sat next to me in Lab is probably going to move to the other side of the room next Tuesday so she doesn’t have to sit with me.  Poor thing.  She knew microscopes.  I bet she wanted to slap me.