Monday, October 13, 2014

Things I've learnt today

So today I started doing some work for a family friend, tracking down articles that he needs for a super impressive medical textbook that he's working on. It's basically document delivery, but with a better job title (research assistant). Which is pretty cool. Except, you know, for the fact that he happens to be an eye surgeon and I kind of sort of have eyeball phobia...
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But that's not really going to be a problem until I get to the point where I have to photocopy articles from print journals. And even then, I'm sure I can do it with an extreme case of squinting to see as little as possible. But that's Future Kirsti's problem. Sucker.

For now, I present to you a list of things I learnt today:

1. Proquest is the enemy
Unlike the other databases I was using, Proquest is all "GUESS WHAT? THIS ARTICLE HAS PICTURES. SEE??????" in the search results. Obviously, I spent the rest of the day going "Please God let it be available in Not-Proquest.

2. It's easier than you'd think to type in a document title with one hand.
The other hand was covering my eyes so that I didn't see the medical pictures. And lest you think this only apply to eyeballs, NOPE. I did the same when there were weird pictures of intestines too.

3. Doctors will find it hilarious when you cover your eyes so you can't see the pictures.
I guess when you have to dissect a human corpse in class and you look at the insides of organs all day, pictures don't seem so bad. In contrast, when the most you do in class is play with nineteenth century ceramic fragments, medical pictures are pretty gross.

4. There are some weirdly named diseases out there. 
I'm looking at you, Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

5. But they're oddly fascinating.
I WANT TO KNOW ALL ABOUT IT. But I don't want to read the articles because there might be pictures. (As far as I understand it from the abstracts, you think that your body is much bigger or smaller than it actually is.)

6. Phantom Eye is a thing.
It's like Phantom Limb, but with eyes. WHO KNEW?!

7. If an article title features the words "self-inflicted", stop reading.
Seriously. You don't want to know. The rest of the title will be traumatic. Don't even think about reading the abstract.

8. You will misspell ALL THE WORDS. 
Ophthalmology. Schizophrenia. Munchausen's. Just to name a few...

9. You'll find articles you REALLY WANT TO READ. But ohgod the pictures.
For example, I stumbled across one with some sensationalist title like "She bit off more than she could chew". It was about a woman who ate some sushi, then ended up with a gastroenterological condition. I started reading it because I really wanted to know what she ended up with. But then page two featured a thousand pictures of her intestines and I had to cover my eyes and click away. And then of course when Ness was all "SEND IT TO ME, I'LL READ IT!!!", I had no idea what journal it was in, so now I'll never know. Sigh.

10. Ridiculous text message conversations with old friends are the best.
This may seem unrelated, but I promise it's not. Somehow, a "how did your day go?" conversation turned into mock-writing a Mills & Boon style romance novel involving phantom eye:
"Stand back," Brent cried in his manly voice, "It might explode!"
"Honestly, Brent," Tammy replied. "You really must see someone about your phantom eye."

"No Tammy," he whispered whilst gently tucking a stray hair behind her ear. "I can't go back to that place. The flashbacks of my eye surgery are just too painful." A single tear dropped from his deep blue (good) eye and coursed through the dust on his face. Dust from the explosion he predicted, despite having a phantom eye.
"Oh Brent!" Tammy cried. "You've saved us all! Thank Heavens your phantom eye came with clairvoyance!"
"Oh Tammy," Brent murmured whilst nuzzling her neck, "You have no idea..." 

You're welcome, internet. You'd never know that between us we have over 12 years of university education, would you??

So. How was your day? Did you learn anything new and unexpected?

K xx

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