The Last Day (Kind of…)

Thursday is supposed to be my last day of Medical School.  However, we needed to hand in our final rotation evaluations by today so after my preceptor filled it in, she basically told me to take the rest of the week off.  So, aside from my rotation exam on Thursday (and then my little medical licensing exam in 2 weeks), I am technically done Medical School!  Today!  image

The next time I ever have to use this, I will have Dr. in front of my name… Kind of hard to believe.

I know I’ve spent the last few weeks complaining about how unlucky I have been and how down I am and how unfair my life has been. But the reality is that I am fortunate and lucky to have everything that I do in my life.  I have spent the last week really trying to reflect on the “good things” in my life – the things I should be grateful for – and it started after I posted my grumpy post from last week.  I told you all about the beautiful house I found in the new city we are moving to, and I realized that I should be thankful that I am in the financial position to be able to buy such a wonderful house for me and my family.  So, on this last day of medical school, I will share with you my list of gratitude:

I am grateful for…

… the financial stability to provide for my family.

… a healthy body that allows me to exercise and stay fit.

… the ability and motivation to reach my goals (because I am…)

… friends who are supportive of me (and who run 10K with me on cold Sunday mornings)

… healthy children

… a husband who loves me, respects me, and supports me (most of the time).

… the opportunity to train and work in a job that I love (even if it’s not where I want to do it…)

… the privilege of playing a meaningful and impactful role in the lives of many different people.

So, on this last day of my formal medical school training, I can say that in the grand scheme of things, my life is quite wonderful.



Grumpy Giraffe

This morning I woke up grumpy.

I am too grumpy to eat, I am too grumpy to talk, in fact, I am too grumpy to walk…

Okay, maybe I’m not that grumpy… (I’ve just read “Grumpy Bird” one too many times).

My New House

My New House

I really wish I knew what is was that makes us wake up “on the wrong side of the bed…”  I’d be lying if I said that life hasn’t been stressful lately.  The last month has, quite literally, been a horrible roller coaster – truly with more downs than ups.  Over the past few days, husband and I took a road trip to the new city we are moving to and we bought a house.  It is a beautiful house and I am super excited about “the house” but that’s about it.  It was good to be back in my home province, but I was not excited about moving there.  I didn’t want to come home, mostly because it was just going to be a reminder that I have to leave behind this life that I’ve made for myself here.  I was happy when I was back yesterday, but today… I just don’t know what my problem is.  I can’t even think of one thing that will make less grumpy.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been missing from blogging lately?  Hmm… maybe that’s it.  I guess I better get back to reading everyone’s blog!  I’ll let you know if I find something that makes me less grumpy today.

Is there anything you do to cheer yourself up when you wake-up grumpy?

Sleeping pills don’t mix with marriage

A few weeks ago, after getting my less-than stellar news, I wasn’t sleeping very well and got a short term prescription for a sleeping pill – zopiclone.

The instructions for this medication is to take it right before you go to bed – and rightfully so – it is considered a hypnotic drug.  Anyway, I took them for a few days to help me sleep and I usually followed the instructions very closely… how hard is it to take a pill and go to sleep?

Well, when you’re married, sometimes going to bed doesn’t always mean “going to bed…” (hint hint… nudge nudge…)

ImageI woke up one morning feeling like I had the strangest, most realistic (yet unrealistic) dream.  I spent most of the morning trying to decide if I was remembering a sexual encounter with my husband the night before, or if I was dreaming it all up.  I was so, so confused!  I remembered everything that happened, right down to the last detail, but for the life of me, I could not decide if it was real or imagined.  How scary!!!

Turns out it was real…  And, although I only show a short part of this conversation, my husband thought it was a very funny situation and continued to tease me about this for quite a while (I just didn’t include it all here, because it’s probably not very “blog appropriate”).

It’s kind of hard to believe that a drug can mess with the brain so much in such a short period of time.  (And I assure you, this whole situation was consentual, even if I was “drugged.”)


Insult to Injury

This morning I was running late for handover when I unexpectedly ran into the ob/gyn program director (PD).  This is the first time I’d seen him since the match, and I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been avoiding/dreading this interaction since then.  I was suddenly faced with the decision on how to act in this rather uncomfortable situation.  While I wanted to snuff him off and walk away, I chose the higher road and stopped to talk to him.

He started off by saying that he was “very surprised” with how the match went because they didn’t match any of their own students (including me).  He then went on to ask me where I was heading for residency and if I was happy to go there.  He had this tone in his voice like he was genuinely interested or excited about my future prospects.  I replied by saying that I felt, professionally and educationally, it is a really good thing I am going.  I continued by telling him that I probably would have ranked [where I'm going] first, if it wasn’t for all the reasons why I wanted to stay here.  At this, his tone suddenly changed.  (I think for a second he was hoping he could avoid scrutiny if I admitted that I chose somewhere else as my first choice)

Basically, I told the PD that I ranked his program as my top choice and effectually insinuated that the reason I’m not staying here is because of how they ranked me.  I didn’t do this in any rude or unprofessional way, but I think it had the desired effect. 

At this point, he sort of got antsy and tried to blame the whole matching system: “Yeah, I really don’t know how all that happened.  We try our hardest to put the list together the way we want it, but sometimes it is just out of our control.  I think it has more to do with how everyone else ranks us more than how we rank them.”  Well, yes, this is true to some extent.  But overall, it doesn’t matter how high a student ranks a program; if the program doesn’t want them (or doesn’t rank them high), they won’t get the spot.  My case is a perfect example: I wanted to stay here and I made it my first choice, but I didn’t get it – so they didn’t have me high on their list.  The interesting thing about the whole situation is that this program is generally not well sought after (it’s got some problems, there are lots of better ob/gyn programs in the country, this is a small city, and the weather really sucks) and most of the people who come here from out of province hate it here and some even transfer out.  So it’s not hard to predict that the people who are coming here probably didn’t have it as their first choice and got turned down from other programs before getting assigned here.  It is a confusing situation, and when it comes down to it, I got a better end of the stick: I didn’t get my first choice, but a better, more competitive and sought after program ranked me high enough to match even though it was my third choice.

Regardless of what happened, the reality of the situation is that the program here didn’t rank me high. Fine.  Whatever.  I’ll come to terms with it eventually.  But don’t lie to me and pretend that you don’t know what happened… and don’t blame the “system” and say that it’s surprising and confusing when we both know how it is designed to work.  That is just plain insulting.

Appreciation Dilemma

Since I found out I will be moving, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what to give to K to show her my appreciation for everything she has done for me (personally and professionally).  I have told her many times how instrumental she has been in many aspects of my life, namely how my career choice has evolved.  And while I have tried to impress upon her how much of a role she has played in some of my “personal” development, I just don’t think there is ever a way to express that.

One idea that I had pop into my mind was to put together a “journal” of sorts for her to read.  I have a collection of shadowing reflections (from old school assignments) that illustrate some of the things I’ve learned from her career wise, as well as a collection of letters and emails I’ve written to her (some that have been sent and some that I never sent), as well as some excerpts from my blogging.  Without looking to closely at all of these things, I know that there is a huge “transformation” in how I wrote about and viewed my relationship with her since I started medical school until now.  On the surface, she went from being my obstetrician, to being my mentor, to being my friend.  However, there is so much baggage “background” with all of that transformation that you can really appreciate more when you read my journalling.  For this reason, I thought that sharing some of my “internal dialogue” with her would prove to be interesting and rewarding for her.

However, given my track record of not thinking these things through well enough, and also not giving enough consideration to how other people might view things, maybe this isn’t such a good idea.  I talked it over briefly with a friend (the only person I know in real life who reads my blog) last night and she had some cautious words for me.  So today, I am not feeling so great about this idea… However, I am also post-call, lacking sleep, grumpy, and generally insecure about myself (like I am on all my post-call days)… so nothing seems like a good idea right now.

I really, REALLY want her to know how important she’s been in my life.  One thing my friend mentioned, however, is that sometimes the things that make friendships meaningful are all those things that go unsaid.  I think a part of me believes that, truly.  There was something I read recently, though, that talked about how people become close friends, and it is all about “personal disclosure:” The more about your personal self/struggles that you disclose with someone, the more you become close friends.  That being said, I know that I have disclosed much, much more to K than she ever has to me. So, is disclosing more the right answer here?

If I don’t do this, then is there something else that I can do that falls beyond the category of a traditional thank-you/going away gifts?  I don’t just want to give her something cheesy, or useless, or that will ultimately collect dust.

I would venture to say that K has been THE MOST influential “force” in my life in the past few years.  If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you probably understand the many reasons why.  I suspect that she has no idea how deeply she has changed me, but the real question is, does she really need to know?