helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

  • Mood:

inspired, fascinated, depressed

I have spent several hours tonight Googling for the various risk factors of different kinds of sex. Not because I need to know, but because a kiddy turned up on a forum I go to wanting to know how you know if you're ready to have sex, & I have Google-fu. As well as finding information for teenagers I also found some profoundly geeky links. I have an urge to post this link for anyone else who loves medical geeking: On March 14, 2003 HIV InSite convened a panel of San Francisco experts to discuss the data on risk of HIV infection associated with receptive oral sex.

It's absolutely fascinating. I'm sitting here reading paragraphs like: There also are data from animal models describing in detail the histology of tonsillar tissue, which is very similar to the histology of vaginal and rectal tissue, both in being rich in dendritic cells and also having these so-called M-cells that are similar to the MALT--or mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue--of the gut and the rectum. These cells are able to transport antigens to lymphoid tissue in the absence of trauma or inflammation. So I think that there's good basic science evidence that tonsillar tissue in particular should be susceptible to infection. and going "squee!" with general scientific excitement. Not least of all because I read the entire thing and understood all of the medical/scientific terms used.

Man. I wish I still had time to read Medscape on a regular basis, or even to keep up with the scientific literature in my own field. I wish... it didn't hurt for me to try to read scientific literature in my own field, and see all those names of people who were once my contemporaries :/ Now I'm teaching rather than doing, and generally teaching kids who are already turned off from science, and are having a tutor simply to stop them failing the exam. I get maybe 2-3 students a year who will go on to become scientists. It's not enough.

But what's the other option? I try to get back into research and have another fucking breakdown?

What I do for a living is the best of a set of bad options. I need to be involved in science on a day-to-day basis to feel happy. Explaining stupidly simple (in the grand scheme of) things like the mole and having someone else - who may even be math-phobic - get it for the first time is amazing. But I don't do enough of it at a high enough level, really. Too much playing catchup with students who are taking chemistry simply as the pathway to medicine, not enough students who are doing chemistry because they Love It.

I really need to do some more research of my own. Even if it's not for anything. I should relearn my A-level physics and see if it makes more sense now, learn the A-level biology I never did, make more connections between the various bits of science so it's holistic rather than separated. Stop beating my head against the wall of what might have been, and learn to live with what is.

And in all of this, what's coming to mind, as with anything vaguely medical, is my recent medical trauma and how it wasn't necessary. It really wasn't necessary, because I have enough knowledge & understanding for everything to have been explained.

Coherence. What is that?

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