Thursday, February 14, 2013

almost done with third year - how time has flown

I thought that time only flew when one was talking about children. I am experiencing a bit of that now as I battle with the ever growing closer 8th grade graduation and the label of being a parent to a high-school freshmen *double eek* - especially since I swear she was a little baby being photographed in her first Halloween outfit (she was a duck). But I have to say that this last year has absolutely flown by.

The days of board prep do not seem so terribly long ago - of being immersed in questions and hoping and praying to just pass so it does not have to be done again.  Yet here I sit, a mere 14 weeks from being finished with 3rd year and it seems like just yesterday I walked into an operating room for the first time.

And I have learned so much this year.  I have learned about the type of doctor I want to be, and about the type of doctor I do not.  I have eliminated specialities as careers, been pleasantly surprised by some and still not sure about others.  I have seen the good and the bad of medicine.  I have seen a doctor whose hands are tied because there is no good option for treatments, being limited by insurance and deductibles and the realities of a patients financial situation.

There have been days when I have faced the improbable in the eye and managed to keep my composure - and then come home and hug my kids a little tighter, cry and be so incredibly grateful for what I have.

I have found my strength from my family - who have given me cards and tokens of support when I least expect it.

But I have also found it in the clinic - in the patient who is grateful that I am there. In the patient who is grateful for that hand to hold, or someone to explain at least a plausible explanation or why they are feeling this way.  I found it in the patient who told me I was a gift and she would follow me wherever I practiced because she appreciated me and my approach so much - I can not tell you how incredibly humbling an experience that is, and how good that felt.

I find myself being thankful.  It is no secret that I was originally wait listed at the Biomedical Sciences program here, that there were some doubts about my ability to do this or that I came into this experience with a huge chip on my shoulder and something to prove.  I had to prove to others that this can be done with a family - it can be done after you have been out of school for a while that it can be done if others tell you to quit.

And I am grateful for that call.  The call that came that day in August after I was on the wait list for the Biomedical sciences program, the call that came after I had been accepted into a graduate entry nurse practitioner program at DePaul - the call that would change my life.

After this year, I have come to realize that life is a series of events - al of them in which a higher being has their hand.  They guide us to be in the right place at he right time.  Sometimes that lands us somewhere good - oftentimes that lands us somewhere bad.  I have learned to cherish those right place right times moments - because it is those moments that I draw on and remember when I hit the wall and begin to think I can not do this anymore.  It is those moments that make every sacrifice, every first missed, every game late to, every conference skipped, every family gathering skipped, every bit of what it takes to do this so worthwhile.  It is those moments when I am reminded of why I am doing this in the sea of why am I doing this?

The other day I looked in awe at the profile of my youngest - all of a sudden she looked so o-l-d, and I found myself wondering when she grew up.  It is the same way I sometimes catch the reflection of myself in a mirror and I wonder "who is this person and where did I go?".  This experience has forever changed me but it has not changed me.

So for those entering this path anew or considering entering this path I say - buckle up and enjoy the ride.  Because before you know it, you will be facing match and boards and patients in clinics show ill at times take your breath away.

To the almost end of third year - and the almost start of fourth :)


  1. I haven't ever commented before but just wanted you to know that I've been reading your blog for a couple of years now (as I have been finishing by last two years of pre-med prereqs) and I love it. It helps me to feel a little less alone on my journey. Thank you so much for your honesty in sharing your experiences. I will continue to follow you.

    P.S. I'm 38 years old and will be applying to medical school this May. I have a 6 year old and a 4 year old.

  2. In the medical profession, it is a roller coaster ride. That is what I see with doctor friends. Specially when they are studying. After mastering the field, though there's a lot to learn, seems like every situation is an ordinary day. How nice of you performing both responsibilities. Smiling while reading.

  3. I'm about to start up at CCOM, and I just wanted to let you know reading stories like yours encourages me. I've seen a lot already as a pre-med, and I'm excited to start the next chapter of my journey like you did three years ago.