Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Codeine Dreams

I had meant to write more about my experiences at NYU last night, dear readers, but that will have to wait a little while because I went home early last night (tired) and because I have been struggling with a pinched nerve in my back that acts up whenever I become exceptionally stressed out (or whenever something good happens to me). This time, my little demon decided to awaken me from my sleep at 203 AM, and refused to respond to one pain pill, so 45 minutes later, I took a second one, which did the trick. As you might imagine, at the moment, I am floating around mindlessly in a cloud of codeine (pictured), but at least I am not in pain any longer.

The short story is that I had an absolutely fabulous time at NYU and I can hardly wait to tell you about it, but first, I want to stop drooling down the front of my shirt. (okay, I am taking creative liberties with that last observation; I am not really drooling).

Meanwhile, I am trying to finish a syllabus for a short course in molecular conservation genetics for a group of very talented NYC high school kids who are taking this course at AMNH (by the way, if any of you or your colleagues have lab exercises in molecular conservation genetics that you’d be willing to share, I’d enjoy talking with you about your experiences and I definitely would love to see what you’ve developed!).


  1. #1 Kitty
    March 22, 2006

    Dude, emailing you!

  2. #2 Sara @ YellowIbis
    March 22, 2006

    That’s great news! Except for the nerve pain. Looking forward to hearing the details on the NYU thing.

  3. #3 Pam
    March 22, 2006

    Sorry about the nerve pain — I used to have that too. Some quick possible remedies: change your typing position — new chair, different height, different angle, whatever. Make sure there is no “chill” on your back while typing. Stretch before and in the middle of typing sessions. I worked in a legal word processing pool from 7am to 7pm while in the beginning years of grad school and had a pinched nerve until a) I started stretching and b) did less typing and more pipetting. . . hope it gets better soon!

  4. #4 GrrlScientist
    March 22, 2006

    thanks for reminding me to stretch, Pam. i had forgotten all about that.

    but i still wonder .. why the pain now? it isn’t as though i was sitting very much yesterday. i was sitting less than normal, in fact.

  5. #5 Pam
    March 23, 2006

    Since you indicated the pinched nerve acts up in good times as well as bad, I avoided mentioning one obvious correlate — stress. Sometimes mine flared up when I was approaching an unpleasant situation. Other times it acted up three days after I typed up someone’s masters dissertation, so the timing doesn’t necessarily make sense. I actually lightly indulged in yoga for a few months and it went away permanently. By the way, today I got a job as a headhunter for the pharm/biotech industry . . . will prolly email you in that anon. P

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