I Think I’m Coming Down with Something…

Lately I’ve had a very serious problem. Whenever I study a disease, I seem to have it. First it was diabetes because I felt like I had to pee every 30 minutes AND I swear I was having hypo/hyperglycemic episodes, next I had small intestine bacteria overgrowth because … well just trust me – I was definitely symptomatic! Next, I most definitely had and e. coli infection, the reason for which, I also wont go into, followed by iron-deficient anemia because I had extreme fatigue and wasn’t eating enough meat, and finally for a very short time I thought I might have mumps, because after hearing about the outbreak in Columbus (which I had just visited for the hubby b-day celebration!), I did my own research on the infectious disease, and guess what? My salivary glands started hurting (tell-tail sign for mumps!)!

Is there a diagnosis for one who over-diagnoses themself, I wonder?

School has been ok. I say ok and not great because last week was my full physical exam practical, from which I feel I am still recovering. A full physical means doing a complete physical examination on a standardized (paid, acting) patient (where you have to ask a million questions, test all the nerves, muscles, and you must do a pelvic/rectal exam – depending on the patient you get – its a surprise!). This should have been a simple enough task – we were given strait forward instructions and I practiced enough times to make it just about muscle memory but oh the anxiety was sky high! This is a very time-sensitive exam, and under the pressure to do everything from memory as well as in a short time span was largely contributing to that stress. I am so thankful right now that clinical skill exams are over with for some time now (hopefully that doesn’t mean forgetting everything I just crammed into my brain). The experience was very epinephrine and cortisol inducing!

I also have been struggling with migraines a lot this month. I had a really nasty one – exactly one week ago. It was full force and long lasting. I even took my max dosage of Relpax and it wouldn’t budge. After bearing through class, I went home, attempted a light cardio work out, took a hot shower, drank lots of water, and prayed!

Relpax x2 = maxed out!

Relpax x 2 = maxed out!

Thankfully, a couple hours after doing all that and after receiving lots of text/prayer support from James (beloved, far-away hubby) and my family, the migraine melted away – nausea and photophobia with it! Finally, I left my desk, where I had been sulking in my chair, cradling my head, moping to James on the phone, and from there I proceeded to go to the kitchen to put my new appetite to use… PRAISE the LORD!2014-04-15 18.20.12 2014-04-16 20.36.44

I made a decision recently to actually take part in a full time extracurricular activity here at my medical school. (BIG STEP FOR ME!).  Since starting medical school a couple things happened:

1. entered full-time (as in … about 85% of waking time) study mode

2. got married! X)

This changed quite a few things for me, especially because my darling husband resides (on at least 5 days/week) 2 hours away from me. Essentially I entered a commitment-o-phobic mode. I’ve since formed a habit of not attending club meetings and participation in volunteer activities has been very sparse compared to those of my undergraduate days. I have just been too busy! I hesitated to join this extracurricular because I relish my time! Its so valuable these days! I couldn’t help but feel like that much time (~4-5 hours/week) was too much to give up-especially knowing how much I like to take off to go to Dayton or just thinking about the added stresses I shall have next year with boards hanging over my head. But the extracurricular activity is an OMM (osteopathic manipulative medicine) honors elective. As a military student, I know I wont have the option to get extra practice in OMM through a fellowship, and I know I want to use this skill as a physician. The deadline passed for the application, and as soon as it did, I felt a sinking feeling of regret. I decided to sit down and email my mom a list of all the pros and cons of attempting to apply belatedly for the elective . After typing it all out, I was even more sure I wanted to do it deep down, but still needed that extra push – to which Mom gladly obliged – in her prompt email reply telling me go for it. I promptly wrote and email and personal statement to the professor and he has vocalized that I will be able to do it next year-yay!

On the way to Good Friday's service.

On the way to Good Friday’s service.

Everything is looking up: less than 6 weeks of school remain, and it’ll be summer before we know it! My toe is recovering nicely from my lil ingrown removal “surgery” (this is why you should never cut your toe nails on the sides at all!). Weather is sunny and warm!! Easter was wonderful – good times at the church, with the family, and some time for relaxing! I got my book and flashcard shopping for the summer all taken care of and have plans to take care of the military gear shopping in these next few weekends. Thanks for the comments, I miss everyone and wish for as many updates from y’all as possible!

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It’s Finally Happening…

It’s one of those wake-up-at 5am-Mondays to get my hubby out the door, on the road, to get to work, and now I can’t go back to sleep days. PERFECT! I says to myself… I’ll blog! see this blog has been on my to-do list for a litttttle bit of a long while now…

So I get up, I’m starving (per usual) therefore make myself breakfast, crack open that bible to get myself one meager chapter further in my endlessly long journey towards reading the bible all the way through, get lost in one of those stories about some king of Israel who did terrible evil things in the eyes of the Lord, but still the Lord helped him and His people when he begged for it, then he went right back to doing evil… #thehumancondition. Next, I finish up my good-ol’ breakfast with Jesus time, sip on some coffee that I made much too weak (Sarah – I always think of you when I do this – you’re right – there is nothing you can do about crappy-weak coffee D:). I pop up the ol’ lappy toppy, get distracted on facebook with watching a freshly posted video of a girl I went to collage with, back in my BG days (totally awesome: she graduated, and is now a hula-hoopist in Hawaii! Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZCmw6aD4gs&list=UUQGVGq3Df7S5nGn-kyZiGGg). Next, I scroll down to a story about this homeless guy who was randomly extended an offer to receive code-writing lessons from young, ambitious, kind kid who wanted to see how this homeless man took on the challenge to learn this incredibly valuable skill (5 1/2 minute long clip, you gotta watch: http://www.upworthy.com/one-time-a-guy-gave-a-homeless-man-a-computer-and-the-recipient-did-exactly-what-the-giver-expected?g=3). I seriously like the homeless man’s answer to how he keeps up such a positive attitude: “Faith and prayer,” he answered without hesitation, “It works, try it!” The guy’s name is Leo Grand, and the kid who invested time and effort in teaching him is Patrick McConlogue. Such an inspirational story!!!

THEN, I finally open up my blog page and start typing… after almost two months of nothing… Yay!! It’s finally happening!!

Last weekend was hubby & lil sis birthday time! We threw a fun, day-long party at the rents house with lots of food and drinks, with some ice cream cake and chocolate (naturally). All my sibs were there: older sis, lil bro, and of course the birthday girl, along with the bro-in-law, rents, and my grandparents! James and I, after a lackadaisical,  PJ-full morning, had scrambled to get ourselves out the door and to the party, but we got there, almost on time!

For the main meal (lunch + dinner: l-inner), we had some juicy pork with delightful green beans and way-too-tasty roasted redskin potatoes (I was like I’m only going to have 3, mmmok 4, maybe 5… 6, What the heck! 7,8,9…). I sat down at the end of the table, next to Mammaw, where I found myself with one of those rare opportunities to speak with her for more than just, “How is school going?” small talk. It was nice 🙂 The convo started relatively slow; she asked me about classes and the newly married life. However when I asked about her an Pappaw’s health, I guess you could say the conversation took off. Next thing I knew, it was happening. My grandmother was asking me those questions all medical students start to get from family and friends right around now: those questions that we don’t really know the answer too, but we think we know the answer to, but should really get the answer from a real doctor… Over the past few weeks, I’d been encountering similar situations,…from my older sis… my mom… I couldn’t help but think to myself, “It’s happening…” just like they said it would, it’s finally happening. And it’s kind of exciting 🙂

After the meal that left us all half-comatose (oh the postprandial somnolence!). We did presents and games. The lil sis opened her array of random gifts:

  • Trader Joe’s wares from a shopping trip with the older sis (I especially liked the guilt-free popcorn!)
  • A new book to add to her library
  • Some other things I can’t remember because it ‘
    • a) wasn’t from me
    • b) wasn’t food
  • James and I got her a fun infinity scarf and the requested iphone-exercise-arm-holder-thing (technical term) – bright pink – ho-yah!

James opened his big present: a large grey plastic thingy. tee hee hee. I informed him that this was part 1, from which he had to guess part 2 (which was really huge and I kinda didn’t want to wrap). He was a little slow in interpreting, just couldn’t understand what this big plastic thing was. So we passed the clue over to Mammaw to see if she could help him out, and sure enough she dropped a huge hint, “Is it something for a bike?” Thus after lots of laughing and teasing, he finally got it: part 2 was the bike trainer he had requested. Now, I explained to everyone…after some teasing…that I may have tried to convince him he wasn’t getting the bike trainer for his birthday (what?! I HAD to – he randomly guessed it earlier that day). This may have had something to do with him not guessing the gift. Nonetheless, we gave him a hard time for it!

It was a fabulous evening! James and I decided to slip out the door for a slog (slow-jog) when everyone decided Sequence was too slow paced and the more thrilling game of Nertz was to be next. This was our out on getting sweat up. You see, my family has a special disposition towards competitiveness which especially pervades the realm of card-games.

This was their stance when we left for our run:

 

Playing Nertz: start of game (some, but not all, people are already on their feet)

Playing Nertz: start of game (some, but not all, people are already on their feet)

And after (notice the increase in number of “table hover-ers”)

Climatic end of Nertz (all, but one composed brother-in-law, on feet)

Climatic end of Nertz (all, but one composed brother-in-law, on feet)

Ahhh good times. The run was nice, but slightly chilly. That was a week ago. This past weekend, on the other hand, the chilliness had all but disappeared! After what seemed like an endlessly brutal winter – much more endless and brutal than usual, it was finally a gorgeous perfect spring weekend! The weather is changing – it’s finally happening!

Tons of other things are finally happening… not only does birthday weekend mean fun and good times, but it also signifies my baby sister growing up…!?! What?? My baby sister is a tall, beautiful, grown woman! She’s outta high school-out of the house (mostly)-she’s joining a sorority-she can drink in Canada-she’s going to college-has an awesome co-op job, a whole world of new friends… And that’s not even the half of it. I remember holding her in my arms, a teeny little babe – staring in awe at her teeny little fingers – each with their own mini fingernails – there’s no way I could have imagined all that has come to pass since then-and I still can’t believe it’s finally happening!

What else? Then there is my bro – that crazy son-of-a-gun finishes that last undergrad term of his with awesome grades, a certified, bonafide company of his own, and a ticket to fly standby to Berlin for a conference for invertor people (another technical term)/innovative technologies. Thus marks the end of a nearly 5 year endeavor – I know my mom can’t believe it’s finally happening. 😉

School is backing off. Anatomy and Histology, two giants of the medical school curriculum, have fallen off my plate. I have subsequently loaded my plate back up with: worry over board exams (which start a year from now), crazy, and, yes I know this sounds crazier, but I’ve started thinking about clinical rotations/residencies. 2nd years are all about to be taking their first boards, the 4th years are all about to be graduating/heading off to residency – so I just can’t help but reflect on those things a bit. Not only that, but the hubby may be re-stationed anytime between the end of my-2nd year sometime in 3rd year (but hopefully not till 4th!). I know its stupid to worry about the future, but there comes a point for every med student when they start to think about this stuff – and for me, it’s happening…ant this one might be a bit early.

But don’t let me fool you into thinking I am stressed right now… oh no, my class-load reduction has done wonders for me, as has the change in weather. I’ve taken several random mid-week trips to Dayton to see the hubby and last week we had a birthday-date-night at the wonderful old restaurant in German Village, southern Columbus. The weather is awesome, classes are much more manageable, and summer break is on its way! I feel like it’s finally happening – a brief break, a pause in the storm, and I’m loving it.

 

Roof-top studying in some sunshine!

Roof-top studying in some sunshine!

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Romantic B-day dinner at Schmidt’s!