Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Change Of Pace

   On Friday we took the last test of our last rotation of third year.  That's right, we're officially done with third year.  The end was pretty anticlimactic, considering how long I had waited for it to be over.  The Internal Medicine shelf was really hard, so I'm not really sure what my final clerkship grade will be, but I'm almost positive I passed.  We spent the weekend celebrating with classmates and finally getting to those "lifey" things we've been putting off for months.  We finally put in our garden for 2013, which I'm particularly jazzed about.

DIY succulent garden (inspired by pinterest) 

African daisies

Pink carnations (had to represent G Phi up in my garden)


Napping puppy - oops, that's not part of the garden!

   Anyway, the weekend was really nice, and I feel like I got a bit of my "lazy" out, but tomorrow will entail a very different change of pace.  Tomorrow begins my very short study period for Step 2 CK.  Yes, I am freaking out about how few days I have to prepare for the big test, but I'm just going to keep pushing a little bit longer, and then have a real vacation after the test.  Funny enough, I think it will actually be nice to just study all the time for a change.  I won't have to try to impress anyone, and I can be on my own schedule and decide when I wake up, eat, sleep, etc.  
   In addition to my study crunch for the next couple of weeks, I have decided that I'm also going to use this time to lose some weight.  I was pretty healthy in the beginning of the year, but in the last month, Internal Medicine left me feeling exhausted, drained, and anxious - which is the perfect recipe for triggering stress eating.  So I've crept up on my weight again... But it's nothing I can't fix with a few weeks of diet and exercise, which I'm actually looking forward to.  So here goes!  Tomorrow is day one of working hard for a couple of weeks, but this hard work will definitely be rewarding in the end.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013


   I think I finally won over one of my OB/Gyn advisors.  If you recall, many months ago, I met him and had bit of a reality slap, finding out that I had much work to do to make myself a more competitive residency candidate.  Well, a couple of meetings and many months later, I pitched him my research proposal, and he loved it!  He was really impressed with my ideas, and is really excited about them.  I'm actually glad he pushed me to do my own research project, because I am really excited about it now.  I came up with an idea all on my own, and I'm going to see it through, start to finish.  And at the end of fourth year, I'll have created an entire research project on my own!  I'll probably blog more about the details of it later.

   In addition, I'm also working with one of the residents on a separate project, so now I'm working on not one - but TWO - research projects.  Who am I?! I would have never thought I'd be doing this, but I'm enjoying it so far, and I think it will feel really rewarding at the end, when I can say, "I did that!"

   Anyway, it seems like a small thing to get excited about, but I was feeling particularly happy about the fact that I ended up impressing someone who didn't seem to think much of me before.

   In other news, we have one week left of our third year.  One week.  I don't know how it went by so fast, maybe because I was buried in the hospital for a year, but I'm finally almost an MS4.  It's really sad, but I'm actually looking forward to studying for Step 2CK, because it means I can wake up when I want, set my own schedule, not have to worry about impressing anyone, and just do my thang.  This is so the opposite of how I felt after taking Step 1 haha.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I Better Watch It

   I keep getting random people telling me that they read my blog - people like classmates, acquaintances, etc.  First off, this surprises me.  I have the link to my blog on my facebook, but it's kinda buried, and you won't really see it unless you're looking for it.  Also, I don't post links directing people to my blog on facebook or anything.  The second reason this surprises me, is because I guess I assume my blog is boring, and who would want to read it?  I mean, I write it because it's cathartic, and I like being connected with the medical blog community, but I guess it's kinda cool that people are actually interested in my thoughts.

   But I think the one thing that I'm realizing is that I need to be careful.  I decided a while back to make my blog anonymous, so that if you don't already know me, you can't easily figure out who I am, but if you do know me, you'll know everything about me.  Does that make sense? Haha clear as mud.  But yeah, I've been careful not to name any names, and make stories about patients loosely based on reality so that no one's personal information is compromised.  But now I'm beginning to worry that I might not be quite secretive enough.  It's a fine balance, because I want to get things off my chest, however, I don't want my rants to fall into the wrong hands and get me into trouble.  I suppose I'll just continue to write as though anyone could potentially be reading this blog, though that may cause me to leave out some of the good stuff ;)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

In Medicine, We Sacrifice A Lot

 These last couple of years, we've heard over and over, when you go into medicine, you sacrifice so much.  I knew I'd have to sacrifice things, miss out on fun activities, delay important life milestones, and neglect relationships.  But man, we really do give up a lot.  It's hard to grasp it until you find yourself with no time, no patience, and no sympathy for others, even your loved ones.  My grandma just got discharged from the hospital for a UTI, but she is still delirious, and we're starting to worry if she's gonna get back to her mental baseline.  This issue is bringing up a lot of family drama, about who is gonna take care of her, what will we do for her, what can we do for her, and all I can think about is how I just can't.  I just can't deal with these things.  I don't have time, I don't have energy, I don't have the patience, the sympathy, the strength.  I just can't.

  I'm just gonna have to be selfish on this one, and stay out of it, let everyone else figure it out, and keep my head above water.  I can't afford to get involved, to be supportive, or to lend my time and energy, because sadly, I'm barely scraping by with what little I've got.  I'm just gonna do what I've gotten really good at this year, and remain numb.  Numb and selfish.  God I hope this version of me doesn't last forever.

   I guess the best way I can be helpful, but still keep my own head above water, is to support my parents while they help figure out this whole family crisis mess.  I can do that.

My friend L recently posted about third year in med school, and how it changes us.  And I really enjoyed it, because she perfectly explained exactly how I feel.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

How Will You Spend Your Last Birthday?

   There was a patient in the ICU, who was brain dead, with no chance of meaningful recovery.  I didn't know her that well, but just listened when we rounded on her as a team.  The residents were getting annoyed because the family was dragging their feet on withdrawing care.  Not that they were obligated to withdraw care, but they had decided they were going to withdraw care, but kept prolonging the date they were gonna do it.

   Our attending remarked, "You know, as young physicians, I understand it is very hard not to be judgmental of patients and their families. But please, you must try to understand what they are going through.  This woman is somebody's wife, somebody's sister, somebody's daughter.  And this is the last moment in her life.  Just think about that.  Think about what it'd be like to be in their shoes.  The husband hasn't been sleeping for weeks.  He's a wreck, and he is understandably having a hard time dealing with this, so let's give him a little compassion."

  And as the attending gave his speech, the nurse walked in and began hanging pieces of paper around the room.  As I looked closer, I realized she was hanging signs with a picture of a birthday cake saying "Happy Birthday".  I almost lost it.  Here this woman was, laying in a coma, surrounded by doctors and med students she never met, with tubes and wires coming out of every inch of her body, while her family was at home agonizing about letting her go, on what will be her very last birthday.