Friday, September 25, 2015

Med School Recap Week 8(?) Or... Y'all put that 2x4 down and we can settle this like gentlemen.

1. No one has the corner of the market on having a hard time. In other words, when someone is struggling, you don't have to monologue your difficulties in order to make them feel better about struggling. This is something I might have been guilty of this week, thankfully it was internal. I have heard a LOT of people say what a difficult time they are having for one reason or another, and I started thinking about how they have no clue what hard is, and maybe even I thought about what weenies they were. Before I stopped myself. A lot of interesting paths have converged here at school, and this is probably the hardest thing that most of us have ever done. I'm doing this hard thing and trying to balance the rest of my life with it. Thing is, everyone else is too. I can't say that my particular set of circumstances is any harder than anyone else's. It's all relative to your experience. Anyone who has gotten into med school has probably worked their tailfeathers off and none of this is coming easy for anyone. SO if you want to talk to me about what a difficult time you are having, I will save you space and give you a hug or handshake or high five and we will commiserate.
2. Having said all that, I have been SERIOUSLY surrounded by some really awesome supportive people. It was a stinking rough week, and I didn't make it intact by any wide stretch. I think if only about 3 of the 50 things that knocked me on my butt had happened, I would have been OK. But I'm rounding the bend on week 9 in a full army crawl, covered in mud and blood. I'm only still moving because someone dragged me through Tuesday.
3. If I make it through block 1 with my faculties intact, I'm going to dance it out for a good 3 days straight. After I sleep for 44 hours.
4. I had some rules that I had every intention of abiding by when this whole thing started. It had to do with not cramming, getting enough sleep, and staying ahead. I want to go back to week 1 and laugh in my own face. Because today, I've had 2 hours of sleep. I'm no longer juggling. I'm just madly defending my face from the next thing to fly at it and hoping I can duck the thing behind it in time. I've got two black eyes and a bloody nose. BRING IT.
5. I wouldn't advise asking a first year med student more than halfway through block one whether you should go to med school. Just back away slowly and put the ice cream on the floor within reach.
6. Hopefully I will be more optimistic next week. I'm waiting for my rose-colored hindsight to kick in. C'mon. Any minute...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Med School Recap, Week 7: You Had Me at Glycolysis

Or... Four More Weeks Until Block Break!

1. I guess this is the point where we start counting down the weeks left rather than the ones completed. I suppose I should feel proud that I've hung on through seven grueling weeks of 24/7 Science. We've actually completed two of our seven (eight?) courses, so I probably should feel accomplished in that regard. I would, if I had the time to stop and ponder it. As of now, I'm a little foggy.
2. One of the things that I've experienced this week is a bit of a jolt to my attitude. I guess you could say I've been a bit of a whiner (HB might say more than just a bit!), because things have been hard over the last couple of weeks. I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed and tired, and I've questioned whether I've got what it takes to get through all of this tedious studying. I was driving home on Thursday, and I started thinking about how I've always loved to learn, and I've always enjoyed the challenge of learning stuff that a lot of people consider impossible. I remembered several times when I was younger that I would teach myself things that were supposed to be way over my head simply because I enjoyed the challenge. Somewhere along the way, I tripped across things that I put in the category of "I don't care to know that." That list has gotten so large, it would probably fill several books at this point. I managed to get through my undergrad skirting things that I felt like just weren't worth the time it would take to understand. Now I wish that I had taken the time to understand a lot of those things, because they are coming up in a BIG way in medical school. See, you can learn just enough to pass, and maybe even make a decent grade, but it's really in your best interest to learn as much as you can, because it's all building blocks. When you get to the part where you're building on what you SHOULD have learned back there, it all crumbles over those details you should have understood in the foundations. So I was knocked over the head with the fact that I've become lazy with learning. It kinda broke my heart, because I've always been an insatiable learner.
3. I guess it might be a little late to try to knock these three tests coming up this week completely out of the park, but it is my goal to find a way to get on the right track in these last few weeks. I'm definitely starting Block 2 off with a MUCH better attitude. Yeah, even if I graduate in the bottom of my class, I'll still be called doctor. But God didn't put me here on this earth to accept mediocre. I want to walk across that stage with the confidence that I threw my very best effort and positive attitude into everything I attempted.
4. If you've made it through my personal pep-talk so far, congratulations. I hope that my struggles somehow encourage someone that reads to re-examine their motivations and commit to going all in.
5. I have missed my family so much the last few weeks! I'm hoping to carve out some hours with them even though the next few weeks seem to look even crazier. Zion had an out of town game last night, and apparently he brought his A-game! I'm so proud of him, AND he turned 16 this week! I am so looking forward to having a driver in the house. It's been way too long since I've been able to send a kid on a soda run. Add that to NOT living in the boonies, and it's just all kinds of win. That man I married -- I sure miss him! Block break cannot come too soon! Bo is still recovering from his syndesmosis surgery, and I know he's looking forward to having both feet on the ground. And Mack is owning the volleyball from what I'm hearing. Next home game, I'm so there!
6. Thank you all for reading and praying and thinking about me. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a hole all by myself, and when someone says they read my updates and are praying for me, it really is encouraging. Until next week!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Med school recap week 6: I can't spell DO

1. Someone should get in a time machine and go back to right before last week's recap and punch me right in the butt. I'd do it myself, but there's that whole space-time continuum per Doc Brown and I'd never make it back. I said it wasn't so bad. Lies.
2. Three tests last week and two this week = ARGH. TPIC (The People In Charge) keep telling us to read ahead, study every day, learn to prioritize, and remember to take care of ourselves. I can't seem to manage to do more than one of those things in one day. So my solution is to learn to deal with what's immediately in front of me for as long as I can, and then occasionally come up for air and reintroduce myself to my family and friends. Also I've eaten nothing but garbage all week.
3. I've bargained with God a lot this week. I heard a pastor say once that God likes it when we make promises, but we have to keep them. I hope God realizes the duress I'm under and gives me a pass on some of the things I mumbled this week. Otherwise, I'm going to be studying all day every day even when there's no exams on the week's schedule. I probably should do that anyway, huh?
4. I have a big ol' box of bones sitting in my room at home. I can't wait to get done today so I can go pull them all out and study all the stuff we're supposed to know about them. I'm ready to get beyond pulling one out the box and going, "This is the ulna, right?"
5. At some point I'm going to have to stop writing these because if I read this about my doctor, I'd have second thoughts about putting my health in his hands.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Med school recap week 5: Oy my aching neurons

1. Everyone has been dreading this week since the block calendar first came out: three tests in one week! Ow! I guess the large amount of dread that had been building was probably worse than the week itself. In other words, it wasn't that bad. I've been better committed to studying since I knew I was going to be called to account. However, the other classes that didn't have tests were sorely neglected. I have severe atrophy in my cell bio muscles. That will be fixed this weekend. Sorry kids. (BTW still passing!)
2. I was very happy with classes being over at noon for the first couple of weeks. It afforded more studying time. Now we have labs and lectures and all kinds of stuff keeping us busy later in the day. I am hoping I can balance study time with all that going on. Time to get more efficient!
3. This week in OMM lab, a couple of the circulating lab instructors asked me to show them that I can locate certain landmarks. ON THEM. I am cool working with my partner, but there is just something weird about showing Dr. DeArment that I can find his mastoid processes. Definitely way too into his personal bubble for my comfort.
4. I just ordered a big box of disarticulated bones to be delivered to my house this week. Seriously, there is a skeleton winding its way to my home. As.We.Speak. When it gets here, I will be spending a lot of time finding every little bump and divot so that I can identify it. I REALLY enjoy studying alone. See, I've discovered that most medical students are super focused and opinionated on how to study (yes I mean bossy). When we were looking at the bones in lab this week, there were four of us to one box, and I wasn't able to get my hands on anything to see for myself because we had a limited time to check off the landmarks off our list. So I got my own skelly to investigate at home at my own speed. CLUTCH. Next I want to buy one full sized all put together. Because that's important too. (Don't tell HB)
5. It seems like the entire medical community is pretty jazzed about REALLY rare diseases. We've had questions on exams in different classes on this ONE disease that has been seen less than 500 times in the last 20 years. But if I ever see Chediak-Higashi Syndrome, I'll diagnose the CRAP out of that sucker.
6. Still loving my life. I'm still here, and it seems no one has figured out that I'm a big dumb imposter yet. Cheers!