Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blood Work | Embryology | Competency

Britt's Blood work came back today (not to mention she did awesome with her needle-phobia) with a reading of 5,500 Units/mL hCG, consistent with the levels during 5 weeks of pregnancy. This hormone surge causes all sorts of fun changes in a woman's body: Tender and bigger breasts, increased blood flow to the female reproductive system . . . . er, I think that is it, or all I remember, or maybe just the most important parts from my perspective. Britt may not realize that the real surge isn't till week 8, as seen on the chart below:

More after the Jump . . .

Does this 10x increase in hormone levels mean she is going to have 10x the pregnancy personality? I hope so :) A pregnant wife is a happy husband. I think that is how the saying goes. 

Funny Things

I think it is quite comical how baby websites associate fetal development with a fruit. According to "The Bump," week five is an apple seed - which reminds me that I am going to have to change that image of a blueberry on my sidebar to one of an apple seed. . . 
Want to know what I imagine week 5 to be? This is how we, as dental students, learn about the fifth week. There are no cutesy seeds/fruits/veggies, just a multicolored blob of pharyngeal slits and layers of endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm. 
File:6 week human embryo nervous system.svg
Or, heck, even this bad mofo is from our Respiratory Lecture last month, cute huh!

Boy, let me tell you, memorizing all the derivatives of each branchial arch makes this week of pregnancy particular stingy in my memory. 

Enough science. The point is, learning embryology from a biomedical perspective is about as fun as giving birth; except labor has its own reward that lasts you a lifetime while, for me, Cranial-Facial Growth and Development left me with a big 'ol B- on my transcript. Not so fun. It is a breath of fresh air learning all-over again embryology from a fathers perspective. "Your future son/daughter's major organs are begging to form." Are you kidding me!? That is flipping awesome! My baby has a primitive heart, lungs, kidneys, even a miniature spleen! (*Don't think about the stages of development... Laryngotracheal slit --> Trachoesophogeal ridge --> respiratory diverticulum --> . . . DONT THINK ABOUT EMBRYOLOGY!!!*) In all actuality, it is sort of difficult to enjoy in Britt's excitement when she reads to me The Bump's stage of the week newsletter. Partly because it is so very simplistic, which, as you know, I kinda don't like things being dumbed down, and also because it reminds me of all the mnemonics, lists, charts, stages, etc that I had to memorize for various exams throughout undergrad and dental school. However, I am super stoked for the baby to be a watermelon because, well, that is just ridiculously big to fit inside of Britt's uterus. 


Today we had our competency, test to make sure we know what we are doing, prepping tooth #4, the maxillary second premolar, for a gold inlay. Inlay's themselves are rarely used in modern dentistry because there are much more conservative and aesthetic procedures instead. However, the inlay is the basis of all indirect casting work so we have to learn it and be tested on it. At least we don't have to do a direct gold restoration like they had to back in the day.

Overall, I did really well. I will know how well once we get our grade next week. I have yet to score less than a 38/40 on any competency and am hoping that trend continues with my indirect technique competencies.  

The problem with these testing situations, being an OCD perfectionists, is that if there is a tiny fault in the prep, one which will most likely go unnoticed by the graders, I have to correct it. While doing this, I usually make another small, unnoticeable error that needs to be corrected. Eventually, I have a prep that still meets sufficient criteria but is not my best work because I have removed so much excess tooth structure by fixing little errors. In clinic, we will only be removing tooth structure that is undermined or decayed - meaning ideal preps go out the window and you only fix what needs fixin.' 

  • Panda Express. Granted, we hardly partake in fast food or dining out, we DO have a B1G1 free coupons
On the plate for tonight is a big 'ol slice of studying. One half a verbatim to do and 6 more lectures to study to be 'caught up.' PBL tomorrow morning and a bunch of busy work thanks to the gods in the office of dental education and a certain P.H.D we all know and love. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for some commentary on diapers!


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