Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Some things you can't de-program

And it seems that HR and administrative logic are some of those things. I can't get the logic out of my head... how you are *supposed* to run an office, and logical ways to organize schedules and contacts and pretty much anything along those lines. I'd like to grab their so-called benefits administrators and shake them! Of course, it's much easier to be a couch coach than the real thing, but I can't help but think that I could shake that shit up. 

I was told recently in an advisory session that I need to work on my tact. I said, "Oh, you mean my caustic personality?". He said, well, in your words, but yes... 

Ah... what he doesn't know... is that this IS me being tactful. This is my patience. Because all I'm doing is having an occasional bitch-vent about it, rather than going in and tearing people apart like I'd truly like to do. I am not calling anyone a dumbass motherfucker like it says to in my head. I am not throwing temper tantrums. I am even studying, and so far, am a reasonable member of my class. I'll let you know when that changes.

Besides, we all know that I have different levels of bluntness to adjust for my audience. Really! It's true! I wouldn't lie! But I suppose I should occasionally cut back, just for the children's sakes, no? *sigh*


Monday, March 31, 2008

Okay, so it's been over a year... And?

So I'm a douche. I get it. I'm the asshole.

I've been a little busy. Application, working full time, school 4 nights a week and volunteering on Fridays... led me to entering Cornell last August, 2007. I will graduate October 16, 2009. Loverboy has been a complete support the entire time, and the fam listens to me ramble on about ridiculously dorky science things. My friend D joined me at Cornell, so we've both been mostly kicking ass and taking names (sometimes more than others, but whatevs.).

Now? Now I am finishing my second semester, and almost 50 credits so far. Damn near 60 by the end of third semester... in mid-July. A (brief!!) break, and then it's clinical rotations for me, for the next 16 months. I remain unsure what specialty I'd like to enter, but the list so far: ER, trauma surgery, cardiothoracic, and maybe Ob/Gyn later on (I find I like it far more than I thought I would). I'm taking all kinds of crazy stuff - lab skills for surgical specialties (caths and IVs and scrubbing and etc), fundamentals for every body system, anatomy was last semester (yes, they are real cadavers), peds, Ob, Pharmacology, Microbiology, blah blah blah. Too much to bore you with just now.

In other news... my sis and mom are currently kicking ass taking care of their health. My nephews are brilliant and cute, and E isn't being a brat everytime we visit so much anymore. R and N are moving east and procreating all at once, so Mom is pretty excited. And Loverboy is really taking some amazing strides this year for himself. He's pretty awesome, but that's his story to tell. I'm so thankful he's mine, though. My sanity is greatly in need of his patience.

Today... I am migraining, pre-menstrual, and bitchy. But what else is new? Heh. I'll be fine, it's just an off day. And that's what the gods invented hardcore meds for - to take away hardcore pain. Class should be a trip tonight... It's an 8a - 7p day, just like we have 3 days a week this semester. Brutal and boring to sit for that long, but we manage. Sometimes I think it's all just a contest to see if we can take it. Well, fuck those motherfuckers. They're not taking *me* out.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Kitty City - Fatboy Slim

You must watch this video. You must. Right. Now. Stop what you're doing, and watch.

I don't care if you hate cats, if you think they're evil allergy-inducing demons, this is damn near the cutest thing I have ever seen. Ever.

Best. kitty. city. Ever.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Officially Filed, Baby!

As of my birthday, September 25, I filed my application for 3 Physician's Assistant programs. Mind you, I'm pretty focused on Cornell, but it would just be foolish to put all my eggs in one basket. Leaping without looking. That sort of cliche. :) So I applied to Touro Manhattan, Stony Brook, and Cornell/Weill. I know great PAs that have attended or worked with all of those programs, and I have the prereqs for them, so they seemed like my best choices. But seriously... I really want Cornell. My eggs are virtually if not literally in the one basket. Hm.

This semester has been a little nutty. I'm working full time, going to classes 4 nights a week (Chemistry and Anatomy & Physiology), and volunteering Friday nights in an Emergency Department. I keep saying all of this aloud, hoping it'll sound more normal the more I say it. So far... no dice!

Finals are going to happen soon... too soon... but not soon enough. January is going to feel like a vacation fit for a queen of sheba. (Referencing bad TNT movie seen last night... The Librarian. Wow, was that bad. Wow. Wow. Wow.

...Wow.) I've gotten the email from Cornell that says "hey, you, we're processing you"... supposedly that means I have 3-6 weeks from that day to wait to hear about a secondary application. Supposedly. It's been 4 weeks if you count Thanksgiving week, and I'm not sure that I do. I'm REALLY REALLY REALLY anxious about this. REALLY. Really.


Sooooo.... why did I choose PA school instead of med school? There are a lot of variables, but mostly... I wanted to be working in my career as soon as possible, without the added stress and added restrictions that being a doctor would entail. As a PA, I can spend a few years in the ER, and then switch to Orthopedics if I want, or general surgery, or OB/GYN, or... I like that flexibility. I like that PAs get to spend so much more time with the patient on a day-to-day basis. And... I also like to go home and enjoy being with Jason and my kitties at the end of a long day. That's a lot easier to do when you're a PA than when you're an MD. As far as anyone can tell without actually doing it... this is the best job for me. I definitely don't want to be at a desk forever. And I do want to be as useful as possible. Sooooo... PA school for me! I hope. If they want me. Ever. Yep... I'm a little nervous. Yep.


Friday, May 26, 2006

UterUS, not UterYOU

I discovered a few specific things about being a woman. So I thought I'd share. Our two major hormones are Estrogen and Progesterone. FSH is Follicle Stimulating Hormone: FSH stimulates one of the follicles in our ovary to mature to ovulation and start putting out its own estrogen and progesterone. LH is Leutenizing Hormone: LH causes the follicle to actually ovulate and go into the oviduct (beginning of the fallopian tubes) when it surges up.

The major BC pills/patches/rings/etc do one of two things: put out higher (middling) levels of both estrogen AND progesterone because that inhibits our hypothalamus from putting out hormones (GnRH=Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone) that cause us to eventually ovulate by telling the Anterior Pituitary to send out LH and FSH; OR they (like the Mirena IUD) put out no estrogen and high levels of progesterone, which inhibits the anterior pituitary from putting out FSH and LH - thus no ovulation either.

Please note that during pregnancy, your body is producing mid-levels of both estrogen and progesterone (first from the corpeus luteum, which is what forms of the leftover follicle spot the egg came out of in the ovary, and then from the fetus itself) because mid-levels will also keep your lining thick and lustrous to better support a baby... and remember that this also keeps any other follicle from maturing to ovulation, since you only want one at a time.

So when you take pills that also put out mid-levels of estrogen/progesterone, they are imitating the state of pregnancy, keeping you from ovulating at all. So it's not really bad for you - studies have shown that women who have had children/been on BC have lower incidence of ovarian/uterine cancers than those who have not. And when you have your off week, the levels of Estrogen and Progesterone drop suddenly and that naturally causes you to shed your lining.

IUD's work entirely differently (assuming you have a copper IUD and not the Mirena). The copper IUD's have no hormones - they work solely mechanically. Basically, because of the copper itself and the presence of this object in the uterus, it creates an inhospitable environment for sperm. They are unable to remain viable if they even reach the uterus - and reaching the uterus is trickier since the IUD causes thickening of the mucus at the cervix. Frankly, no one seems to know exactly why it works, only that it does work. This site has a lot of frank and interesting information on the IUD.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The MonkeySphere

I have discovered a theory that explains the whole entire world society as we know it:

What do monkeys have to do with war, oppression, crime, racism and even e-mail spam?

You'll see that all of the random ass-headed cruelty of the world will suddenly make perfect sense once we go...

What the hell is this about?
According to the research and this brilliantly snarky and intelligent article, we are physically incapable of thinking of people as people in numbers higher than about 150. We just can't manage it. And this explains, well, everything. Religious wars. War in general. Hating on government/corporations/countries because they are anonymous blobs of people.

So unless I know you, screw you - you're outside my monkeysphere! Go monkey around elsewhere!*

*Not really. I am supremely grateful to your monkeyness for reading my monkey blog. :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Immigration and YOU

For the immigration nerds in our audience (okay, just me):

Trying to immigrate to the United States is a motherfucker. There are several ways to go about it, but most take a really long time and tend to be very expensive.

1. Getting authorization to work in the US.
a. Working visas. H-1B - you must have at least a BA and be working in a job that requires a BA. Must prove YOU'RE so wonderful, we can't get an American with your qualifications. J-1, trainee visa, lots of restrictions, may have a requirement to return to your home country for 2 years. F-1 is for students only, though you can get permission to work for "training purposes". Very limited amount of time, however. L-1 is for people working in a foreign branch of a multi-national company (UK sends an employee to their US branch). E-3 visas are like TN's for Australians only. New category, so some kinks are still being worked out. TN visas are for NAFTA treaty members (Mexico, Canada). They have to be within certain job categories, but can be renewed indefinitely. B1/B2 visas are tourist/business visas. You're either visiting for fun, or a business meeting - not getting paid at all.
b. You can also receive work authorization through the green card process (aka Lawful Permanent Resident card process). More on this later.

Once you are approved, most of them require you to go through the US embassy/consulate in your country, and get a Visa Stamp. Some, you only need the stamp if you're traveling out of the US, so if you get a new H-1B visa approved while you're already here, you can just start working. On a J-1, however, you have to return to your home country, get the visa stamp, and return before you can begin to work. It's annoying, really. This part can take from 3 days to several weeks/months, depending on where you're from. They tell you it's just processing delays... but it's because you're from Jordan. Really.

The Green Card Process itself:
Now, once you're here and you want to stay forever because gee, it's so nice here (and comparatively speaking, I'm sure it is)... now you can apply for that LPR you've all heard so much about.

You CAN apply from an H-1B, F-1.

You CANNOT apply from a J-1, TN, E-3, or B1/B2, as those are approved predicated on the idea that you're only here temporarily. That's a key phrase, people... I've seen J1's denied because the applicant didn't make their Temporary Status clear - didn't show enough ties with the home country. It's a tetchy thing.

Now... if you apply for that LPR through your spouse, it often goes more quickly, but you have to prove you are married for looooove, not to get them into the cooouuntry. However, if you happen to be from somewhere like Syria... it's gonna be awhile. Talked to someone today about a couple who's been trying for over 2 years. Yikes. My brother and his lovely German wife only had to wait less than a year.

Applying for the LPR sponsored by your workplace... is complicated. And this is where I see most people get screwed. You have to prove that a: your skills are unique to you; b: the job requires the skills that you have; and c: the workplace can't find anyone else like you (up to actually advertising for YOUR JOB and interviewing people!!). We go through this to a minor extent with H-1B's and E-3's, but not to actually posting in the NYTimes. This can take years and years, depending on what you do.

The doctors? Eh, a year or so. The janitor? 10 years so far.

There are other ways to go - asylee status if your country hates you, what you stand for, is in the middle of war and/or genocide (especially on your people), etc. Asylee status can be tough to prove, but not always. Once you have it, it's yours... but it is dependant on whether your country is in the same state as when you left. Sometimes, they can take that asylee status away. But it does confer automatic employment authorization, which is nice (but get the card anyway to be nice to your employer, most employers don't know that!).

Once you apply for the LPR, you will become eligible to apply for an EAD (employment authorization document). A few words on this.

Receipt notices do not confer any kind of employment authorization on you whatsoever. NONE.
YES, IT REALLY DOES TAKE THEM 90 DAYS TO PROCESS YOUR EAD RENEWAL. Don't believe them (the people at your interview or the USCIS) when they tell you "you'll have your green card before then", or "it won't take 3 months"... because that's when you get screwed. Just apply for it. It's not worth saving $185 and then find yourself on unpaid leave because you have no authorization to work anymore.