>March 18 2002

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Monday morning after spring break. It is good to get back into my routine. I had a fun time, but I am ready to get back into the books and finish this first year.

I meant to post a couple of times over the break but I got the spring cleaning bug and took it out on my PC. I like to reformat my hard drive every now and then and reinstall all my software to get a fresh machine. Nothing speeds up the old dog like a nice clean Windows registry. My current PC is a Dell notebook with one bay, which can swap between a CD-ROM and a floppy module. I had never attempted an operating system reinstall on this machine and it turned into a royal headache. It took me about three days to get things back into shape. I had a lot of trouble getting my USB devices reinstalled and my DSL internet connection didn’t want to stabilize. Hopefully all is well now, and I learned a lot about my computer. It is frustrating how difficult these things have become. I remember being able to completely reformat the drive and get everything back up on my first PC in an hour’s time. I guess it’s the price I pay for my techie nerd OCD habits.

Also I spent a large part of spring break recovering from some kind of respiratory illness. I began feeling bad the Thursday before we got out. My head was full of congestion and I had a terrible pain in my ear due to pressure buildup. I was up most of the night and stumbled into my 9:00 AM Physiology exam not feeling to spiffy. That was the only class we had Friday, so I was able to go by Student Health services and find out that they did not have a doctor in. Luckily I was able to get the Dean of Academic Affairs who is also an Infectious Disease specialist to examine me. She put me on Augmentin and I made the mistake of taking my first dose before heading home. I hadn’t eaten anything since the night before and by the time I drove home, I was sick as a dog. I managed to eat half a sandwich before going to bed for the rest of the afternoon, and by Friday night felt much better. My ear finally quit aching but unfortunately it felt like I had cotton stuffed in it and I couldn’t hear anything on that side. It still has not cleared and I feel like my head is inside a drum. Then later in the week I got a bad case of conjunctivitis that lingered for a couple of days.

It was not all pain and suffering though. I had a good time at home with the family. My oldest girls were on spring break also, and we hit softballs, shot a lot of baskets, saw Ice Age and generally had a great time.

We started a unit on Endocrinology in Physiology today. Another new professor to adjust to and get a feel for his style of lecture and more importantly examinations. We also had a real good lecturer in Psychiatry today who talked about cognitive disorders in general and Alzheimer’s Disease specifically. I had no idea how much progress is currently being made in this area. Apparently there is a vaccine in development that could soon be used to treat this devastating illness. Rats have been bred that develop Alzheimer’s at 16 weeks of age. When injected with the vaccine at birth they never develop Alzheimer’s and if they are vaccinated at 8 weeks they have much less severe cases. Pretty cool stuff.

My next big hurdle is the first Neurobiology exam a week from Wednesday. This is one of those courses where we only have a few exams so it is important not to blow one of them. This one will be 30% of our course grade. I will be hitting it hard for the next 10 days.

About Marcus Lee

Child Neurologist
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