Revenge of the Kidney

I am a big believer in karma. Y'know, the whole "the world comes back to treat you exactly how you treat the world" jazz. So I try to keep my divisive relationships in my life to a minimum. If only I had learned from the kidney.

As has been well documented in the past, I have a hate-hate relationship with the kidney that extends all the way back to high school. When we sludged through renal physiology last spring, it was hands down the worst 2 weeks of first year (well, besides my shotgun wedding with biochemistry). I celebrated being done with the kidney. Reveled in it. May or may not have even done a happy dance in front of the mirror in just my boxers as Rick Roll blasted in the background.

Cue 4 weeks ago. MedZag's cruising along in his MS2 corvette down I5 after finishing up the first exam of the year, conveniently on cardiovascular stuff (my favorite organ system). I'm getting ready for the coming week and glance at my syllabus and the lights go out and the clock flashes over to 3:33AM as my eyes fix on Wednesday's lecture: Review of Renal Physiology. The kidney... was back.

Since then, I've suffered through such wonderful subjects as ECF Content/Volume Disorders Part I & II, Total Body Fluid H2O/Osmolality Disorders, K+ Homeostasis, Pathophysiology of Hypertension, Syndromes of Renal Disease, Evaluation of Renal Function, Renal Stone Disease, Acute Kidney Injury, Tubulointerstitial Diseases, Pathophysiology of Chronic Kidney Disease, Glomerular Disease, Acid-Base Review, Metabolic Alkalosis, Renal Tubular Acidosis and Metabolic Acidosis, Proteinuria & Nephrotic Syndrome, and Diabetic Nephropathy. There's been PBL sessions. Pathology labs. Tears.

It's bad enough that I have had to study the kidney all day long for the past month, but the kidney is not content with that. No, the kidney wants to leave me huddled and whimpering in the corner, drooling all over my chest and referring to myself as George Costanza. Yes, the kidney has also successfully invaded my dreams.

I had a dream where I was examining a path slide trying to identify if it was IgA nephropathy. A dream where I was examining a patient for rear flank pain to rule out acute pyelonephritis. A dream where I was counseling a patient in the ED on how lupus can lead to a rapidly progressing glomerulonephritis. I had a dream where I was eating a burrito and all the pinto beans had pelvises and tiny ureters.

I think I can now empathize with the chick from Exorcist: The Beginning. I wonder if renal exorcism is something they teach you in nephrology fellowship.