Archive | July, 2013

reading rainbow

8 Jul

The anti-productivity fairy has officially swatted me with dust because I just fell asleep trying to process pages of drug names, their mechanism of action, side effects, toxicity antidotes (I always want to write/say anecdote).  My attempts at optimism are waning.

Have I mentioned that I joined the public library chain?  I haven’t had a library card for maybe 15 years, and I LOVE it!  John says it’s painful, but I actually think that studying surrounded by rows and rows of books and books is kind of lovely.  And it’s summer and there are all these little nuggets running around, and I cannot wait to share this with Ari.  Hopefully she’ll have an easier time getting her first library card than I did.  I remember that I had to be able to spell my full name in order to qualify–do you know how hard it is for a four-year-old to spell “Oppenheimer”?  Well, maybe I was behind the curve.

Med fun facts of the day:

  • It’s not HIPP to have lupus.  (Drugs that can cause SLE-like syndrome: Hydralazine; INH; Procainamide; Phenytoin.)
  • With seizures, I BITE My tongue.  (Drugs that lower seizure threshold: Isoniazid; Bupropion; Imipenem/cilastatin; Tramadol; Enflurane; Metoclopramide.)

Ari sweetness of the day (the last I already posted on FB, but too yummy not to repost):

“I love you!”

horace 1

“Oh?  Do you love be back?”

horace 2

“I eat your face!”

horace 3

chocolate & egg whites

3 Jul

Christina, a table 6 lady and one of my closest friends in med school, has maybe the best attitude ever.  She legitimately enjoyed studying for the boards–she found it both rewarding and fun to rediscover (or simply discover) the nuts and bolts of how disease processes and drugs work.  While Christina enthusiastically recounted her six-week step 1 immersion, Rebecca (her girlfriend) asked, “Are all med students like this?”  No.  Most definitely not.  As a population, we tend to lean more toward the whiny end of the spectrum.

With her in mind, I tried to go into today prepared to find joy in biochem, perhaps my most feared of the basic sciences.  I can’t say I was all together successful (sitting in a library a mile from Ari’s daycare, it was all I could do to keep from bolting out of the parking lot), but a few details certainly helped lift the day.

Biotin: Vitamin B7, a necessary cofactor for several metabolic reactions.  Where do we get it?  Chocolate.  I kid you not.  (And organ meats and legumes and nuts…but, come on, wouldn’t you rather get your biotin from chocolate than sweetbreads?–this coming from a girl who actually likes sweetbreads and could eat her weight in pate until she gets weepy thinking about the poor ducks.)  How might we lack it?  By the excessive ingestion of egg whites.  Egg whites contain avidin, which binds to biotin and makes it indigestible.

My take away is that Hollywood starlets should have a fist full of Nutella on some carb-heavy bread (carb for pyruvate, acetyl-CoA, and propionyl-CoA carboxylase, the enzymes for which biotin is a cofactor) in lieu of their standard egg white omelets in order to avoid going bald and being covered in rashes (the result of biotin deficiency).

photo (27)photo (28)

The chocolate consumed in utero had an effect.