Dx: Death Crud

I’ve finally accepted that my friends are right: despite all my excuses, I can’t actually just be “allergic to winter”*.  This means my immune system isn’t actually made of steel and I’ve caught the Death Crud that’s been going around.

I admit, at first I pooled together my entire fund of knowledge from M1 so far and decided the most logical choice of illness – given a slight rash I had on my leg – was definitely Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.  But it’s been 12 hours and I’m still not on life-support, so.

Hack.  Sneeze.

Question: What do surgeons do when they come down with upper respiratory gunk? I can’t believe they’d ever stay home for something so trivial – but it seems like sneezing incessantly into your face mask would compromise the sterile field.

Anyway, I can’t help but feel a little guilty for lying in bed and watching Genetics lectures.   Normally, I’d force myself to be out studying like a normal person and living the dream (you know, sitting up, drinking coffee, wearing clothes that aren’t made of flannel**) but I’m hoping if I act like a sick person today it’ll make the Death Crud (and its associated red eyes, red nose, and hazy thought process) go away sooner.

If not before finals, then at least before Christmas, please.  I’m spending the holiday with Boyfriend’s family and, since I probably won’t impress them with my wit or off-kilter social skills, I’d at least like to not look like a drug addict.

I set my goals high like that.

*  Although, COULD BE TRUE.  Immunology doesn’t start until January 3rd, so what do I know.  TO BE DECIDED!
** No judgement on those who do wear complete outfits made of flannel.  I’m telling you, as soon as I reach the magical point in my career where I’m old enough to be “an eccentric intellectual” instead of “inappropriate”, it’s happening.
Oh, it’s happening.
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7 thoughts on “Dx: Death Crud

  1. Feel better! Two versions of the death crud went through our VM3 class in October/November. At that point I decided we needed to make a sick pen* for all those under the weather to keep them seperate from the general population. No one listened to me, which is why I got both version 1.0 and 2.0 of the crud. For what it is worth, in surgery lab, those of us who had snotty noses monitored anesthesia(still had a mask on, but no possibility of us contaminating the sterile field). In practice the vets I have worked for have done sugery but scrubbed out to blow their noses when needed during longer procedures.

    Have fun with immunology. The cytokine cascades are rather fun to memorize (or not…I like immunology!).

    *for those of you who aren’t farm kids–sick pen: normally a cattle feedlot term where they seperate the steer with bovine respiratory complex from the rest of the herd.

    • Farm kids are the best! Sick pens would be a great innovation in public health.. 🙂

      Also, that explanation makes sense. I bet people with chronic allergies would have a tough time in surgery.. lots of scrubbing in and out. Respect.

  2. as for surgeons sneezing and coughing – I’d like to know to. I remember during a tour of the surgical pavillion at the med center I volunteer at, someone asked a similar question, and the nurse answered superiorly: “we don’t.” As in they don’t choose to sneeze or cough. they are made of that kind of strong stuff.

    Last I checked, hacking and sneezing isn’t typically a voluntary decision. Brittney’s answer makes more sense.

    • Haha, I’ve asked other doctors about this and they say the same thing – “They’re SURGEONS. They don’t SNEEZE.”

      I have terrible allergies. While loratadine works okay, I think a better solution would be to apprentice myself out to a surgeon so they can teach me their jedi mind-over-matter magic.

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