So, test yesterday; today I got the grades: within one point of my all-time average. I shouldn’t complain – some people can’t break away from a *bad* score. I spent the day wandering around in the library, and tutoring a first-year.

Then drove over to the free clinic, where it was definitely not my day. Started off with a lady who wanted refills of her blood pressure meds. I chose not to inquire more closely into her history or symptoms while doing the triage. Fifteen minutes later, after checking her pressure, a nurse came after me and remarked that when someone has a blood pressure of 250/170, it’s as well to ask if she has symptoms! A minute later, the head nurse, who’d taken the pressure, came to point out to me her pressure was high, and she had a raging headache, plus chest pain, and I really ought to check these things! Ok, so, definitely won’t miss that again. I guess that balances the time last year when I did check, and found a lady having a heart attack right in our office.

Few minutes later, I’m interviewing a diabetic, also wanting meds, who mentions that his fasting blood sugar this morning was 250+. Not going to miss this one! I rush off to get a sugar-checking kit, then to find a nurse to help me, since so far I’ve not yet succeeded in drawing enough blood for the machine to sneeze at. Eventually get the nurse, she does the test, picks up the machine, and walks out. Five minutes later, the head nurse demands to know where her machine is; she glares when I say I suppose I left it in the other room. I run off to find it – it’s not there. Eventually, I track it down to the pharmacy – “that’s where it always belongs” – and return it to the head nurse, who explains pleasantly enough that it’s her own private machine, and she’d rather not lose it. I don’t tell her what the other nurse said about the pharmacy.

You’d think that’d be enough crossing the head nurse for one evening, wouldn’t you? Nope. I latch onto the ob/gyn who’s doing clinic that evening, and she lets me do some pelvic exams, which is still so nerve-racking for me that I basically don’t see anything in the room but the patient’s legs, and barely that. So presently the head nurse finds me in the hall and wants to know, did we do an STD smear on the last patient? Yes? Would this be the specimen? What are you doing leaving it lying around in the room? I don’t know! Five minutes later, she catches us again. Did you do a pap smear on the last lady? Yes? Where is it? On the counter in the room? tsk tsk tsk. So, *then*, the head nurse produces a first year, and says, since I’m always following the ob/gyn, she wants me to let the first year have a turn. I explain under my breath that I follow the OB on purpose. The first year is a nice girl, and the ob comes to the clinic rarely enough that I’m glad to share. But the next patient seems so embarassed to have all three of us in the room that I melt into the hallway. I think sometimes I’m more embarassed about all the observers than the patients are.

Today I’m trying to review for the term final. I’ve lost my drug flashcards, that I made, that it will take forever to make again. I hunt all over my desk and give up. Then I come to the cancer drugs section, and I’m really desperate, since these are too complicated to just skim over. Can’t find the cards anywhere. Not in my desk. Not in my notebooks. Not in my backpack. Not in my car. Not in the hallway. Three times over. I’m about ready to cry. My mother and sister very kindly volunteer to look for them. They can’t find them. My mother keeps repeating that she recently saw them in a strange place – they were inside something odd. Can’t remember what. I decide I’ll just have to fail the drug part of this test. Then my mother decides to look in my coats – and there, lo and behold, in my fall jacket, is the pack of cards! I put them there to keep them safe, see, and then it got colder. So I fall all over her saying thank you. Such an organized, competent doctor I’m going to make.