Tuesday, August 31, 2010



So funny thing happened the other day. It was the 3rd day of school, which I was thoroughly enjoying, in my Hematology lab. We were learning how to do manual White Blood Cell counts! I had finished mixing my sample, loading it into my capillary tube, and placing it into my Ammonium Oxalate solution to lyse the Red Blood Cells. Now. To do all this, we use a snazzy little contraption called a unopette.

The needle looking part on the top of the chamber is the capillary tube. When it is full with the patient's sample, it is inverted into the container that holds the diluting solution. While the capillary is inverted, one is supposed to gently squeeze the chamber until liquid is near the top and then seal the opening with one's finger. The capillary is then cautiously removed with the finger seal still intact. The chamber is then squeezed even more, and the capillary re-inserted into the container causing negative pressure to create a vacuum. Once the finger is released from the capillary, a faint "woosh" can be heard from the intake of air. This is repeated 3 or 4 times to mix the sample and ensure the RBC's are properly lysed.

Now. Can anyone guess what happens when the chamber is squeezed too tightly while trying to remove the finger-sealed capillary? That's right. Fluid expels from the tube, hits the finger, and re-directs into the unsafety goggled eye. *Disclaimer: I wasn't instructed to wear safety goggles*

Naturally, I blinked at the reaction of something shooting into my eye, but while I was wiping my face clean the girl sitting next to me started screaming that I had been contaminated. Before I knew it, all 3 of my teachers were picking me up out of my chair, taking my contact out of my eye, and shoving my face into the eye-wash station where I stayed for a miserable 5 minutes. (If anyone is curious as to what that experience feels like, I felt like I was suffocating.) When I pulled my face out of the water, I turned my sopping, mascara smudged face to see the entire class staring at me. I dried off and ran down the hall to the ladies room to take out my other contact. Having only one in was making me nauseous. I returned, filled out the incident report and began to count my White Blood Cells, all while blushing from embarrassment.

Because the sample had already been diluted by a factor of 100 and my eye was washed out immediately, no one was concerned with my contamination. That is, until my professor pulled me into the "students prohibited" prep lab. Another one of my professors, Becky, was just ending a phone conversation. The Dean of the School of Medicine had been informed of "the incident" and instructed that I go see a doctor as quickly as possible. Becky had already scheduled me an appointment with the Student Health Clinic and I was to go immediately for a follow up. When I got to the doctor, she didn't know what to do with me! Since they don't often see patients for biological exposures, she left me in the room while she made phone calls to find out what to do with me or where to send me. No one answered, so she sent me home. I returned to class the next day to report my big-waste-of-time doctors visit to my teacher which infuriated her. Apparently I was supposed to have had a panel of blood work done to check for HIV and the different Hepatitis infections. My teacher called the lady in charge of Risk Management for the University of Utah and I was supposed to follow her instructions on what to do next. Well, when I called said Risk Management lady I was only able to talk to her front desk boy who informed me that the chick would call me the next day. The next day came, this is Friday by now, and I was told by the lady to go back to the Student Health Care center and have my blood work done. I called the doctor who told me I didn't need an appointment and to come in after I was through with class in the afternoon. Well, it just so happened to be International TB testing day. Every new international student at the U was at the student clinic having vaccinations and TB test being taken care of. When I went to check in, I was turned away because they were too busy and none of the nurses had time to do blood work.

The weekend passed and I returned to school Monday morning to inform my teacher of yet even more run around. Once again livid, she called my doctor and had my lab order faxed over to the hospital where she proceeded to personally escort me to have my blood drawn. They finally stuck me yesterday and I was informed of my results today. Negative for everything! I wasn't worried about it because for one, I wasn't even sure it actually reached the mucosal membrane of my eye and also it was such a dilute sample to start, there was hardly even any infectious material to be contaminated with. Anyway, the most unfortunate part of this whole circus act was that unluckily for me, John's benefits hadn't kicked in yet so we had no health insurance. :( However, even though I signed a waiver to be fully responsible for any medical costs I might incur during my studies, the university offered to pay all my medical bills because I hadn't been instructed to wear protective gear during the lab. :)

Needless to say, when I got into lab yesterday to perform the exact same experiment, it was mandatory that the entire class wear full face protective shields to protect all mucous membranes from possible contamination. Oops!

The moral of the story is, if you want to stand out the first week of school, splash blood in your eye. Your teachers will never forget who you are!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guess we're gunna be Kings fans...

So, I guess the latest big thing that has happened in our lives is John getting a job with the FDIC. We are so excited! Not only for the much needed steady income, but also because it is such a great career opportunity! The only set back is that this job will steal my husband away from Salt Lake and take him Sacramento! :(

This new job will require quite a bit of traveling on John's part, especially during this first year. We were told he could possibly end up spending 3 weeks out of each month traveling to various offices around the nation. Because of this, I have decided to stay and finish the Med Tech program at the U. I'm so glad I decided to stay because it has been an amazing experience! I love what I'm learning, how many people can actually say that! Anyway, we feel very lucky at this point in our lives to be given such amazing opportunities so we are taking advantage of them!

Oh, and if anyone ever wants to visit, just let us know! We have a cute apartment, but the best part is that it doesn't snow there!!!!!!!!! :D

Friday, May 14, 2010

It came, it came!

It finally came in the mail today! My letter of acceptance to the Med Tech program at the U! I am so relieved and so dang excited! I'm excited to finally start taking classes I'm actually interested in...no more of this History of Ceramics gen-ed crap! AND, now graduation is finally in my scopes! 2 years until the ultimate liberation, and then I'll get to grow up and be a professional! Anyway, one of the happiest days of my life, right here!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Been busy....

Well, we have 1 year down! This year we celebrated our first anniversary and I really wanted to get a cute picture of us, I was thinking along the lines of us being all done up and ready to go on our date, but.......we forgot! Late that night we hurried and took this one so we officially had a picture of us on our anniversary! So, since I was in charge of our lovely Valentine's Day date (see awesome previous post), John was in charge of this bad boy for us and I have to admit he took me by surprise! We actually celebrated on the 13th, because our real anniversary landed on a Sunday this year, so the 13th being a Saturday I had to go coach Special Olympics that morning. As I was walking out the door I saw 2 envelopes taped to the front door. Curiously, and quickly because I was late, I did as I was instructed: picked one at random, did not open (actually I accidentally opened it, didn't peek though!) and set it on the piano.

Well practice ended up going short because it started to snow pretty badly. Naturally I called John to tell him I was on my way home, but I was instructed to stall because I wasn't allowed home yet. I was curious! John has only ever really surprised me a couple times before, so I ran to Bed, Bath, & Beyond to buy some time. When I was allowed to come home I was welcomed into a sparkling clean living room and a candle lit lunch! It was so adorable especially because I had left laundry and my school stuff all over the place! (Disclaimer: it was mid-terms, and housework tends to get ignored during weeks I have exams.) The cutest part was that he actually cooked me lunch! John HATES cooking and would rather eat nothing at all than heat something up, so needless to say this was super out of the ordinary. I guess when I had picked my envelope earlier that morning I chose chicken enchiladas (my favorite dish) for lunch. I was curious who helped him make it because well, lets be honest, I knew he didn't do it himself :), but he wouldn't tell me! Later I found "Murphy" written on the bottom of the casserole dish and thanked his mom. After lunch another set of envelopes was awaiting me, the one I picked held a cute, hand-drawn picture of the movie "Shutter Island." So later that night we went to the show and ate dinner at Olive Garden where I was able to get my favorite dessert, their Lemon Cream Cake! So this was our super-cute-couldn't-have-been-more-perfect first anniversary.

So the next awesome thing I did this year was go to my first concert! With Ry! And it was Michael Buble! Perfection! John got me this ticket for Christmas and even though it felt like forever I finally got to go! Of course I went with Ry because she introduced me to him one dull night in our dorm, and we've both been a little obsessed ever since. The concert was amazing! He is one talented man and not bad to look at for an hour and a half....I'm just sayin'.....Anyway,I had a blast and came home with a sore throat that night. I honestly had never screamed like that before and I'm sure it was at a pitch that only dogs could hear. It was ridiculously fun and kind of sad as well, because its the last big hurray Ry and I will have before she grows up, graduates, and moves away from me in a month! But what a perfect way to go.

Ahh Michael.... :)

Lastly. The final "cool" thing I've done in a while was go to Moab! In order to keep my student loans for this semester I had to find a 2 credit class to keep me enrolled full time, so I took a rock climbing class! For our grade we went down to Moab, climbed, camped, hiked, oh yeah....and rappelled Corona Arch! The rappelling was my favorite part! Up until then 85 feet was the highest I'd rappelled but Corona was about 150 feet. The actual rappel was a blast, but ascending up the mountain was the scary part. The reason it was so scary is because we had to climb a wall that had an 800 ft drop on one side, plus I was hooked in to a line with 5 idiotic freshmen boys. Need I say more? I was so sure that while they were horsing around, one of them was going to topple over the edge, pull the line, and take the rest of us with him. I doubt the little anchors in the mountain would have held a couple tons of stupid teenagers, but I made it to the top, tying all my own secure lines along the way and I could probably be a boy scout now with all the knots I had to learn to tie. Waiting for my turn was pretty scary too because it was starting to get windy and the anticipation was intense. The girl in front of me started bawling and had to be caressed off the edge by one of the instructors, I don't blame her though, it was her first rappel and boy was it hard core. When it was my turn, I got up there like a champ and shimmied right off the top. It was such a blast and the view was breathtaking! Personally, I think its more fun to go off the side of a cliff rather than do a free rappel, but coming across an open rappel like that is actually pretty rare, so I'm stoked to say I've done it!

Just some more of Moab...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our first Valentine's Day

Our first Valentine's Day together had to be a creative one because, well, we're a monetarily deprived college student couple. So, to make the evening fun and festive what else was there to do but make our own heart shaped BBQ chicken and chicken alfredo pizzas while watching The Breakfast Club? We had to capture this moment and use it as our first blog because these are the memories we want to retain and tell our kids about in the future when they are bumming on there meager first Valentine's Day date. :)

I started this blog as my last attempt to write down the goings-on in my life since I've never been able to keep a journal of any kind. Hopefully I'll be able to stay on it so we'll be able to reminisce and the rest of you can get to know the ins & outs of the Murphs :)