Saturday, August 22, 2009

Grinding away

Today's tasks are:

1) Dig around in the attic to try and find some of my old medical records. I need to submit immunization history to Harvard and my OB/GYN's office is the most recent source, and they claim that it's too hard to find them. Awesome, eh?

2) Go up to HealthStop and get some booster shots. Which didn't get done at my checkup this spring because they wanted my OB/GYN's stuff first. And now it's urgent.

3) Fax a bazillion pages of medical forms to the HUHS office. So they can take the hold off my registration.

I also need to grocery shop, work on the annual homeschooling submission for my younger two children, and map out a route to run today that goes about two miles and doesn't involve the whole second mile being uphill.

Registration has to be done online by midnight Tuesday - confusing, it's the midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday. Orientation is Wednesday. Sometime I'm supposed to be paying tuition, too, but the finance office hasn't billed me yet.

Courses look really really cool!

Oh, and the fun at the museum yesterday was large: I did an eyeball dissection in the morning with a nice, fresh sheep eyeball, and the retina was in great shape! I could peel it off in a sheet! Then I spent some time playing with a Golgi staining protocol. I mixed the first solution I needed in the museum's chem lab, then diced up some sheep brain and put it in to soak. It's quite different using a lab for real stuff as opposed to course assignments--a lot more enjoyable.

I'd saved the nice retina, so I figured I'd try staining that, too - stuck some Carosafe in the petri dish and let it sit. That'll go into the potassium dichromate. Next up: putting the tissue in some silver nitrate. Then slicing the diced cortex really thin and seeing if the neurons took up the stain. The protocol calls for using a vibratome and doing 60 micrometer slices, but sheesh, this staining technique was being done a hundred years ago. So I figure I can get a reasonable approximation of around half a millimeter with a nice, sharp scalpel. If Cajal could do it, then I should be able to.

One of the managers for my area ordered me some sheep brains with dura mater intact, so I dissected one of those on Thursday, which was great fun. You get a lot more brain structure intact when you order a specimen that hasn't had the dura removed. That was the tissue I cut up to soak for staining.

We have a nifty microscope that feeds to a computer screen, and we can do image capture of the screen images. Big fun! If my staining works, I should be able to get some nice images of neurons. Oh, and now I know why Golgi images are always in an orange background: the first solution you stick the tissue into is orange. Then you put the tissue into silver nitrate and that forms a salt with the K2Cr2O7. The salt is what you see in the random neurons that take it up.

Lorena, Mel, Cheryl, Amber, Lucia - thanks! I'm trying to keep up with training and be reasonable with myself.

Later, all!


Blogger Jena the yarn harpy said...

Next on Cooking With Liz... ;)

Glad you are having fun with all of this.
How ridiculous about the medical records - I'm fairly certain that according to HIPPA, they can't feed you that line about your records being too hard to find. Someone's either being lazy or screwed up somewhere along the line.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Be careful up in the attic, it's hot out!

2:17 PM  

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