Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Best Valentine Day Ever 

Okay, this is sort of sad but I don't celebrate V-day. I've always been single around this holiday anyway so no biggie. But here is the sad and wonderful part, this year's V-day was the best I've ever had and here is why:

I've been on rotations during my clinical year in the PA program. This month, I am on psychiatry at the VA hospital. I love being at the VA and had requested to be here for psych. I love it. The patients are great, the hours are good, and the atmosphere is laid back. I could not have asked for a better way to get back into clinicals after spending two months sitting at home writing a thesis. For valentine's day I got a box of chocolates from one of the patients on the floor which I thought was very sweet, even though he was not a patient of mine. I honestly didn't know what to do, should I have accepted it? Don't know. Don't care. Because I could not refuse such a thoughtful, generous thing for a man who happens to like celebrating valentine's day. These veterans are wonderful men, most are men anyways, who I feel have experienced things that I could never have imagined. I have grown to respect those who have been through so much and able to still go on living. War isn't pretty but since I will never know what it will truly be like, I have a very difficult time trying to help veterans who are forever changed by it. To see the results of combat on their body as well as their minds is at times truly horrific for me and I find it just as hard to not be cynical of war because the after-effects are so ugly.

So to accept a gift from an old veteran who had been a POW in Germany and has experience such ugly things in the past, who could still take joy on such a holiday, who wanted to celebrate it by giving chocolates to someone who he knows is quite naive of the world and its politics, who had accepted without blame my stupidity for such things. . . I accept his gift.

On a lighter note, another patient - not mine and around my age who is quite attractive, had left the inpatient floor today. He left me a flattering letter. Again, don't know him, he's not my patient, and I did not speak to him until he introduced himself to me yesterday. He wrote sweet things but in the end, essentially asked me out and left me his number. I have this personal thing where I will always reply back because if a guy had the nerve to ask me out, he deserves an answer from me. It isn't right to ignore him. Trouble is, he has been a patient at the VA and I know that it isn't wise for me to contact such a patient, therefore I will not even think of going out with a person who was a patient that I know and have seen. Besides, he has his own problems that he needs to work on anyways. So therein lies the dilemma, he deserves a reply so to acknowledge that I read his letter and did not ignore him, but I can't contact him because that is overstepping the bounds. Right? I feel extremely bad that I can't answer him, even if it's a rejection. I hate this - "knowing what is right for him as a guy" contradicting with "knowing what is right for him as a patient".

All in all, it was the best Valentine's day because I received chocolates from one patient and had been flattered by another patient, both of whom had made this a wonderful day for me.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A life that I cannot get back to... 

I miss home. I have been in PA school for eight and a half months now. I went back to Big D just two weeks ago and there are things that I certainly miss. I miss my family and my friends. I miss the non-student life. I miss making money.

I sat around friends that are doing cool things because they have the time and funds. I have friends that are learning to scully, some taking cool classes like painting, and some that are about to embark on to new things in life. When asked what I've been doing...I have nothing to say but that I go to class, study every day, and that is about it. Pretty boring if I must say. I just find it humorous how I just have no life and I sit with friends who do. Quite a paradox. Sure, I can wait until I get out of school and join the fun-filled activity life with being financially set in a job, as my friends say. But what they don't seem to understand is that my life will never be like theirs. I won't have that free time like I used to years ago. There will be even more things that need to be done and my obligations will not be to myself, family, and friends, but to my future patients as well. I just wish I could have taken more advantage of all that free time that I had before. Who knew that I would regret such a thing.

I am not depressed about this. I guess you can say that I am in mourning of a life that I quite enjoyed but could not stay in forever. It's kind of like the board game of LIFE, always going forward but you can't go back. But then, I wouldn't like a life that mimicks the game SORRY, where I may keep having to start over. That couldn't be good either :)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Anatomy Service of Gratitude 

There are no words to say thanks to those who donated their bodies to medicine. It is a charity of enormous sacrifice that only those who have taken cadaver anatomy can understand. So I wrote a little thank-you to those donors:

Thank you for what you have given us.
You donated your body to medicine
of your own free will
expecting nothing in return
without knowing the full extent
of the power of knowledge
that you have imparted to us.
Without knowing that the education
was beyond any textbook,
any website,
or any imagination
could ever provide.

Without knowing that the experience
allowed us to feel and to express
the excitement of the anatomy lab,
the graveness of unveiling your face,
the nervousness in that first incision,
the humor because some of us needed it,
the surprise of those unexpected discoveries,
the lightheadedness for the difficult parts,
the fear of exploring those "shy" areas,
the fascination that is the human body,
the deep respect as we realized
the magnitude such a donation to medicine
truly means to us and our future.

In those few hours a week
spent in your presence
you have overwhelmed our senses.
Overwhelmed our eyes,
our sense of touch,
and for some of us,
our sense of smell.
Overwhelmed us
with knowledge in one hour
equal to what it takes
ten textbooks to explain.

Perhaps you gave
because we are
the future of medicine...
But what you may not know
is that you truly became
a part of our future,
or in many ways,
you actually gave it to us.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Six months later... 

Wow, has it been six months since my last posting? Many things have happened since then.
Worked like crazy during July and August, moved to Connecticut, and started school. School...I am lovin' it!!! I love my classmates, the program is great, and Yale is awesome! Connecticut is beautiful with all the trees and some mountains that are not really big so I don't know if they count as mountains. But comin' from Texas, they're mountains to me. During the past four months, I have become a sort of alien, no longer human. At least I don't feel that way. I am not myself. I spend every waking moment in class or studying like crazy. I had blocked out everything that was me. I blocked out my friends, my family, my life in Texas. I was too busy to even realize it. My short-term memory is shot. I missed everyone's birthday because I couldn't even keep track of what day it was. Sounds like hell? Not really. This is all part of the process I guess. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. It has been an intense, extremely stressful, chaotic kind of lunacy. A part of my life that were I to write an autobiography, I'd title this chapter: INSANITY. And I love it. Where is the logic in that? I don't know, must have left it somewhere between Texas and Connecticut. I am on Christmas vacation right now. Two weeks to be normal and it took a couple of days to adjust to it. People keep asking, "How is school? How many hours am I taking?" And I can't quite describe it. School? Well, I am passing so that is definitely a good thing. Hours? No such thing. I have a list of classes and people can try to guess the hours but what is the point? In four months I went through physiology, anatomy with full cadaver dissection, physical diagnosis and examination, immunology, dermatopathology, cardiopathology, microbiology, biochemistry, research/thesis work, pharmacology, diagnostic imaging, and pathology. Maybe there are a couple more classes but I can't keep track anyway. If anyone wants to figure out the hours, be my guest. I still illogically love it.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Reliving TV - Part II 

Okay, freaky, but I have to tell this one since it was so funny. I was watching late night reruns of Will and Grace. In one episode, Will goes on a date with one of those arrogant conceited bastards. In one of their conversations, the date is talking to Will and says, "So I've been thinking of something special to get my parents for their anniversary. I want it to be something personal. I figured CASH was personal enough, what do you think?"

He, he. Oh, the horror to think I actually dated one of those. If any of you have known me for a couple of years, then you guys know what I am talking about!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Reliving TV 

Omigosh! I just discovered that I had relived an episode of Friends. Watching a late-night rerun of Friends, I came upon Monica and Richard sort of becoming friends after a huge break-up over wanting different futures. But finding that they miss each other, they end up becoming friends with benefits instead. After a wonderful week, Monica finds that she wants exclusivity.

M: Why can't we be the kind of friends that sleep only with each other, friends that spend time together, friends that could one day stand in front of other friends and say to each other, "friends forever"?
R: Well, we could do that . . . but in the end, we would still want different things.
M: I-I need to go. . . getting over you was the hardest thing I had to do, and I don't think I can do it again. . .

Soap opera-ish, I know, but oh so true. Sounds familar? Only to me. I guess that means that I am Monica.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

At least they didn't take my cowboy hat. . . 

As some of you may know, my car was broken into Sunday night in uptown. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one. Two other cars were also burglarized a few blocks up at a restaurant's valet parking a couple of hours before. They took my gymbag with dirty clothes, rollerblades, and a brand-new $100 down coat that I had just purchased from my trunk. They broke my passenger side window and took my little flashlight and my car stereo. Total costs to replace the car stereo, the dashboard piece they broke to get the stereo, and window? $500. A couple hundred more to get new rollerblades, swim gear, and another coat. Not to mention having to cancel a couple of credit cards because I had receipts lying around and who knows which receipts came from idiotic stores that print the whole credit card numbers on them. Totally sucks. Having had my car broken into before years ago, and having had a car stolen from me before; it could have been worse. I am slightly cheered that they did not steal my car and that they didn't take my very expensive cowboy hat. Even the cops agreed that they were surprised that the hat wasn't taken. Apparently, the thieves were total amateurs not to have recognized a good cowboy hat when they see one. Or they just weren't "true" Texans.

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