Monday, September 20, 2010

It's been a while- FIRST TEST!

Today I had my first test in optometry school!  It was in Physiology, which was okay.  I could've studied more, but it's always really hard to study for a 40 question multiple choice test over TONS of "review" material.  I had definitely learned everything at least once before, it was just definitely rusty in the back of my brain and it's hard to decide (when studying), what he will find important.

Anyway, after the test in Physiology, I had a quiz in Optics.  We always have a quiz on our reading at the start of each new unit.  I made an 80, so that's not too bad.  The majority of that class is based on group work, and my group works fantastically together, so I'm not worried overall in that class.  However, I did wish we had more lecture time (sounds crazy doesn't it!).  I mean we read a lot outside of class to teach ourselves and then work through group assignments together to "learn" Optics.  It's just difficult sometimes because if we don't truly understand what we read, we "brew up" ways to solve the problems.

I have my next two tests on Friday back to back.  The first one will be at 7:45am (Anatomy), and the second will be at 8:45am (Theory and Methods).  Anatomy will certainly be tough!  I've never had this much information for one class in my entire life!   It's intense!

After lab today, I had work study for 2 hours, then I went up to the lab room to practice retinoscopy.  We have a practical next Thursday, and I've been really inconsistent with my ability to do well.  Basically, we can find patient's prescriptions by looking at how a beam of light is reflected.  We try to see if there is "with" or "against" motion, and from there we know whether to add plus or minus.  We also have to take into account if there is any astigmatism.  We look for the astigmatic band and make sure to neutralize the correct meridian first.

When I'm in lab, I have a lot of trouble because there are so many people around me doing different things and we have to work side by side with our partners using one chair and one phoropter- not much space at all!  Plus hearing other people talk about how their neutralizing their schematic eyes doesn't help me think through why I am doing what I am doing.

I practiced for another hour and fifteen minutes after I got off work, and it went much better.  I still need to work on my speed.  By next Friday I need to be able to neutralize 10 lenses in 30 minutes.  It should be crazy, but I am going to practice more this week, weekend, and next.

My white coat ceremony is NEXT THURSDAY! :)  I am so excited to finally have that thing in my possession.

Well... now that I have rambled enough- I am going to go study for optics and anatomy!

Kim :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My First Eye Exam at the Eye Center at SCO

I had my first exam at the Eye Center today.  It was very different for me as it was my first exam not with Dr. Moser.  We get to be patients for students in their 3rd year of optometry school, so they can't be as fast as the doctors.  I knew it would take a while, and I couldn't be impatient since that's going to be me in a couple of years.

I told them about how I can never keep my two-week lenses for a full two weeks, so they are making me use clear care solution.  I've never used it before, so we'll see how it works.  Everyone who uses it seems to love it.

I certainly get homesick sometimes from the little differences here and there.  This appointment was one of them.  The one doctor I went to in Raleigh who I actually enjoyed, and whose energetic personality got me interested in the profession, was Dr. Moser.  The students needed practice with a lot of things that didn't need to be done, so it was hard to sit through monotonous procedures.

The exam took 2.5 hours, and I have to come back Wednesday the 29th to follow up on the contact lens prescription and get dilated.  I'm not sure if I find this Rx as sharp as my previous one, but I think they took away some of my minus.  As Dr. Newman told us, myopes will fight for their minus, so you don't want to take it away... but they did!  Oh well.  I will mess with these for a few weeks and see how I do.  I have toric lenses in both eyes now, instead of just my right.  It's weird.  Nonetheless, the students were extremely nice and patient- especially with my inability to have my IOP checked with a puff of air.  I don't think she's ever seen anyone blink as much as me.  Oops!

In 2 weeks I will have my first two exams in Anatomy and Theory & Methods.  Both of those exams are scheduled for Friday.  The following week I have two exams, a quiz, and a lab practical on retinoscopy.   One exam is Physiology and the other is Optics.  My quiz is in Biochemistry.  I would say keeping up with 23 hours and a work study is the most time consuming schedule I have ever had in my life.

I'm going to try to join the Optometric Private Practice club and FCO (Fellowship of Christian Optometrists).  I wanted to do SVOSH (Student Volunteers for Optometric Service to Humanity), but there is a TON of lab hours required to go on the trips and you have to do a lot of jobs to raise money for the trips.  It's a very time-consuming volunteer organization that I just don't think I will have time for while trying to maintain happiness in my first year of marriage.  Hopefully, I can join it next year, but if not, FCO still does amazing mission trips!  Furthermore, my reward for myself was to under-commit myself in graduate school :)

Speaking of marriage, Tyler and I are doing wonderful!  He is working at a gymnastics gym about 15 minutes away from our apartment.  He is also looking for some other part time jobs to cover the morning hours that he doesn't work.  I know he will be able to find a teaching job whenever his NC license comes in, but we're not sure how long that will take.

Our tadpoles still haven't gotten legs and we have NO idea why.  We also lost the female frog about a week ago.  Tyler went to Petco yesterday and got another female.  We had never named the frogs before (beats me why not), so when Tyler got the new female we decided to name them.  The female is Kirby and the male is Sleven.

Work study is pretty good.  I am working with Campus Security and it's pretty low key.  I feel like we make work for ourselves that's totally pointless (radio checks every 30 minutes, writing our hours down in two different places, and putting our initials on printed e-mails that our boss receives).  However, I get paid $11/hour to pretty much sit at the front desk in the tower and make sure no one without a badge enters the building.

Wow!  That was a lot of updates.  I'm really tired, but I still have some more studying to do before I can sleep.  Class starts bright and early at 7:45am on Fridays, and I don't get to leave until 4:30 (theory and methods lab).

E-mail me if you have any updates to share with me or just want to say hi!   :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Keeping up as an OD student

I had my first day of work study yesterday, and getting ready to head to my second day in about 15 minutes.  It's pretty low key considering most people who enter have badges, so I don't need to check them in.

I am working really hard to keep up with classes.  There's a lot of reading, and a ton of tests coming up.  I have so much terminology to learn and I've just been using to make online flashcards for myself.

I've got different types of ductions, versions, vergence, and phorias to rememeber.  Plus all the names of muscles that control eye movement and and the cranial nerves that control those muscles.

We looked at a bunch of ocular anatomy slides in my anatomy lab today.  It was really neat to see how the glands and muscles looked on a microscopic level.  It was also amazing to see the different layers of the retina on the slide.  We're going to go more in depth with this ocular anatomy later, so we'll look at those parts in greater detail, but it was still good to get an overview.  My favorite is how the iris looks, and being able to see the tiny projections from the ciliary body called zonules that connect to the lens.  I can't wait until we actually get to dissect an eye to really see all the parts in 3D.

We got to see virtual and real images in our optics lab yesterday using a screen a light source and a lens.  The lens was set up between the light source and the screen and we had to figure out where the image was using the screen.  It definitely helped in understanding virtual images.

I have my first appointment at the eye center tomorrow.  I hear it takes a really long time, because students are doing all the procedures, but that's okay.  I must be patient because that will be me in a couple of years.  I honestly just need contact lenses, so I can't wait to get in there and get my Rx figured out!

Until next time  <3  :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

updates from the student

So I've had a nice day off so far.  I got to sleep in and make a yummy french toast breakfast for me and the hubby.  We tried to go out to learn to drive a stick shift, but I'm really impatient with myself and I get very frustrated every time I kill the car.

I spent the rest of my time today listening to lectures online, finishing my reading for Optics and working on practice problems for theory.  There's a ton of material to keep up with, so I'm trying really hard to stay on top of things.

Tomorrow I kick back into full gear for the week with class from 7:45am-12:00pm, meeting with my advisor at 1:15pm, Optics lab at 1:30pm, and work study from 4-5pm.

I'm really enjoying what I'm learning but it's becoming a little more than I can handle sometimes.  My favorite class is still Theory and Methods.  It's the most relevant to what I've seen as a technician and we get to play with our awesome equipment in lab.  I'm trying to practice with my retinascope everyday to work on neutralizing powers.  Honestly, the most difficult part in that process is calibrating the schematic eye.  It's also neat to have to establish a working distance for your entire career; it's exciting to really see how what I'm learning now will be used all the time in my practice.  My working distance for my short self is 50cm.

I'm also learning how distances for anything in practice is crucial or the wrong prescription will be given to a patient.  That makes me want to apologize to the doctors for potentially taking very poor visual acuities when not paying attention to how far away the patient was from the near point card or the Snellen chart.

Other than that life at school is steady.  I get the second Wednesday of every month off, so this Wednesday I don't have classes.  I still have lab in the afternoon, but no classes. :)

Super jealous of my family who get to travel down to Florida THIS weekend for the NC State vs. UCF game!  I'm very excited for Wolfpack football after our win this past weekend against WCU.  Tyler and I got to watch the game on our computers using!  :)  It was fun to watch the game, but it certainly made us homesick.   It's nice to know that we can watch the games if we want to though!  GO PACK!!

Until next time, I'll be practicing with my retinascope!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

loving being an eye NERD!

Well, as the title says, I'm loving my time at Southern so far.  It's certainly difficult stuff, but I love being around people who find the eye equally as fascinating as I do and who all have similar work ethics!  For the first time in my life, school is not just for a grade in the eyes of both the students and the instructors.  It's wonderful and everyone is so helpful!  I've had the time of my life while learned some new terminology :)

I'm an anisometrope but not an antimetrope.  Both are conditions of ametropia, which is anything other than emmetropia (or the lucky ducks with perfect vision).... yeah!  haha

40 is apparently "old" in the world of optometry because that's the golden age of presbyopia (and I'm over half way there!) - don't worry, I still think 40 is very young!

By age 65, accommodation is apparently non-existant... good money for optometry, but not what I want to struggle with when I'm old... so someone figure out a way to change the hardening of the lens PLEASE!

The world through a rotating cylindrical lens is the coolest thing ever... or maybe the most un-sturdy ;)

I can tell if someone's lenses are plus or minus without knowing the prescription of the lenses (yeah optics)

Due to First Pass Metabolism, oral dosages are higher than injected doses.  The small endoplasmic reticulum found in liver cells gets rid of ingested toxins!  The cells are still one of the most fascinating components of biology.

The human heart becomes very large in a morbidly obese person because it has to work hard to pump blood throughout the body.  The results parallel lifting weights: few reps of high weight increases bulky muscle mass, but low weight with many reps increases lean muscle mass.  Therefore, a large heart is not a healthy thing.

Lysosomes filled with undigestible material eventually form lipofuscin.  An example is drumen, or the yellow dots seen in macular degeneration.

Just like last time... if you understood half of this, you're definitely a nerd... like me!  :)

Tomorrow night we will have a BBQ dinner (stereotypical Memphis) to meet our advisors!   I've heard from other students that mine is really sweet, so I'm super excited to meet her.

Southern College of Optometry is simply the best school to be receiving my optometric education!  I'm ready to keep learning about the eye and how to be a great doctor!