Scared Stiff

Thursday, June 25, 2009

In a world where people live and die from decisions people make, where 80 hour work weeks are considered merciful, and you are asked to give up sleep and family time without a blink, we're supposed to be tough.

But I'm feeling anything but.

I am scared. Probably more scared than I have ever been in my whole life.

I realize now that all those other times I thought I was scared, I was just nervous. (Well, except before Bug was born. I was actually scared then. But completely different.)

This time, I'm so scared it is difficult to swallow. I walk around with this strange feeling in my stomach that alternates between a dead weight and a hole. I find myself looking at the ceiling when I thought I was sleeping.

Starting July 1st, I am actually going to be taking care of patients. Not medical student patient care. Not "go see this patient, write a note, tell me what you think, and then I'll take care of the rest" type patient care.

This is the real thing.

Obviously (and probably a huge source of relief to all you reading this) I am supervised. Closely.
There are people very invested, for my sake, their sake, the hospital's sake, and mostly the patient's sake, very invested in making sure I don't screw up.

But for the first time, I can sign my name with an MD behind it. And if I write an order in a patient's chart, it will happen. For the first time in my professional life, I have real responsibility that has real consequences. Never will the transition be so enormous.

As a medical student, we can interject our opinions or thoughts, but in the end, we are not responsible. Now, I carry the title "Intern." And that means I am responsible.

I love patients. I love the feeling that I am in a field where someone, voluntary or not, puts their trust in me to take care of them. To treat them. To ease their pain and their worries.

Only in parenthood do we see that some type of trust.

And the thought that I might hurt someone, unintentionally of course, but still hurt someone none the less, scares me.

During medical school, we study nearly endlessly. We take exam after exam. We sacrifice for that opportunity.

To have the trust of a patient.

And I don't want to do anything to lose it.

My boys are lucky

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hubster is a great dad.

When I tell him this, he just shrugs and mentions the times when he gets frustrated with the boys, or is too tough on them.

I didn't say he was a perfect dad. Just an absolutely fantastic one.

He loves being the father of our two boys. He wants to share everything that he did as a kid with them. From learning how to shoot a slingshot, to catching caterpillars, to watching old cartoons.

One of my favorite things is to see all three of my boys on the couch together, giggling loudly to Tom and Jerry.

After Bug was born, and Hubster offered to take him for a diaper change, my mother-in-law stated she was surprised that he was so willing to be involved like that. I guess after raising him as a teenager that did everything he could to get out of chores, seeing her son willingly change diapers, warm bottles, and supervise bath time would be surprising.

But it has never surprised me. We love being a family together.

It may not have surprised me, but it sure makes me happy.

Happy Father's Day, Hubster!

Far from the Maddening Crowd.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's been a very long time since my last book review.

And this particular book has been sitting on my side bar for a long time.

But, okay, here's the confession...

I didn't read it.

I tried. I really did. The title, Far from the Maddening Crowd, just sounds so intriguing and appealing. It was another 1800s English literature book, which I usually just love.

So I really did try.

But I was only able to get about 5 chapters in before I called it quits. Which makes this book only the second book that I have started to read and not finished. The other book is Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad. I still plan on reading that book, mostly because I loved Heart of Darkness so much. But when I started reading Lord Jim was in the middle of my clinicals during third year of medical school, and I did not have enough reserve brain power to devote to the book at the time.

But I digress.

Why did I not continue to read this book?

Because it was the most tedious thing I have ever tried to read.

Long, drawn-out descriptions of dogs, or farming, or tools. Pages upon pages of conversations at taverns. With so little character and plot development by chapter 5 I just couldn't take it anymore.

It had none of the appeal and entertainment of Austen, or moodiness of Bronte, or wit of Dickens.

Plus, it also had a chauvinistic thread through it that grated on my nerves.

I'm sure that there is someone out there that has read this book. And possibly even liked it. If you know of a reason I should pick this book back up and finish it, let me know.

How may I help you?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I think Lowe's is failing its customers.

(Home Depot probably is, but as there is no Home Depot here, and I've never bought anything from them, I can't be completely sure.)

Lowe's really needs to add another layer to their employee training.

The skill to size up a customer's ability to actually do the project they are buying materials for.

Let's say, hypothetically of course, that a Lowe's employee has a couple come through their check out lane. That couple is buying 7 blank doors, a hinge and lock drilling kit, the hardware for said doors, and about 20 gallons of paint.

The appropriate thing to do would be to say, "Have you considered pre-hung doors? It's doing to take you hours upon hours to drill the holes for locks and chisel the slots for hinges. And then when you're done, you're going to find out that the door is a quarter of an inch too big anyways."

Or when the same couple comes through the next day with 30 boxes of Pergo flooring, someone should at least mention Lowe's installation services. Or mention the hours of frustration that couple has in front of them.

Yes, Lowe's offers how-to books. Yes, Lowe's offers (quite pricey) installation services.

But when a person is standing in the flooring, or lighting, or paint section of the hardware store, they are filled with sugar plum plans for their new home. They get excited about the possibilities. The more excited they become, the more confident they become in their own skills.

The Lowe's cashier could be their last link to reality.


Friday, June 12, 2009

We made it to Iowa safely. On Sunday. We just got internet today.

And there are so many things that I could write. About how much we already love living here. About how nice it is to have a house.

About how the home renovation is already a complete disaster and I just want to curl up on the floor and cry.

About how many posts I've missed on the blogs I'm following that I'm never, never, never going to be able to go back and read them all.

But we will save all that for another day.

Because my arms hurt so much from holding a paint roller that I can't type.

The road before us

Friday, June 5, 2009

The boxes are full. The rooms are empty.

We leave in the morning.

We have a lovely (flat) long drive ahead of us.

I'm not going to have access to the internet for a few days, but don't worry, I didn't forget about any of you.

But just in case you do want something else to read, here are a few of my favorite posts. Because some days are better than others.

My Secret Love

Speeding Up

I'm done with waiting

Another Year Older

Change of mind, not a change of heart

Enjoy (hopefully.)

And I'll see you all soon. From 1200 miles from here.

Just before the drop

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I love roller coasters.

I wait in line excited, watching the people riding before me envious that they have already made it through the line and onto the ride.

But every time I'm in my seat, harness clicked in place, and moving slowly, slowly up the hill, I start to get a little panicky. I know the ride will be fun, but the slow clanking ride upward makes me nervous. Right at that moment I want off.

I'm getting that feeling now.

We pick up the moving truck in the morning. We hit the road the day after. I don't think I've been this excited about something in a long time.

But tonight has the feel of the chain clanking under my feet as I reach the summit.

And I'm scared.



I tried to think of a nice tie in to this next part, but couldn't. So here it goes. This is less of a confession and more of a...confidence. I don't know. You read, and then you tell me.

I don't really have any friends.

(Okay, don't sit there reading this and say "Oh, the poor girl." Or "Great. I smell a pity party.")

It's not like I've never had any.

I had a lot of friends during high school. But as high school friends, we lost touch as we went our separate ways.

I was friends with my roommates during undergrad. But I was a science major living with three music majors and we all had such different personalities, I think we were glad to let things slip when we moved out.

Out of my group of childhood friends, I was the only one who went to college. I think that decision put a little distance between us. Not purposefully of course. A few of them talked about going to college.

There was always a lot of talk.

It was medical school that really put the nail in the coffin of many of my childhood friendships. Some of my friends were not that subtle about that fact that they were not interested in continuing our relationship.

At first I just thought it was because between raising two boys and working on my medical degree, my schedule just didn't allow for as much time together as it once had.

But after a few obvious snubs, I began to think it might be more.

I blamed myself mostly. I wasn't there enough. I wasn't trying hard enough. I just wasn't a good friend.

Hubster has always been of a different mindset. He thinks that most of my friends were intimidated by what I was doing. That suddenly all their talk couldn't hold up to my actions.

I had always dismissed this.

Until recently. I read an article that female physicians have a hard time making friends in general. Some of it is self-induced seclusion. But not all. Women have talked about negative reactions they have gotten once other women have found out that they are doctors. Soon, they just stop telling people what they do for a living. They try to avoid conversation about work so they won't be asked the question that will stop all future conversation. Many have guessed at possible reasons. The other women are intimidated by the title. Others don't think they are "worthy" (huh) of physician friends. Whatever the problem is, apparently I'm not alone in it.

Medical school was the most emotionally demanding, physically exhausting thing I have ever done (and that is including surviving two newborn phases of 1 am-3am-4am-6am feedings). However it offered a respite from the loneliness that I had felt before that time. I had the most amazing friends in medical school. People that were working towards the same goal I was. People that were coping with the same challenges. People that weren't offended if you didn't make it to a party, because well, they didn't make it either, because they were home studying for the same exam.

But medical school ended and my friends are scattered across the country. We still talk occasionally. But, obviously, it is not the same.

Blogging has helped. I get to have conversations. I've reconnected with people I hadn't talked to in years. Some have even gotten to see that I haven't turned into the emotionless controlling "stereotypical" doctor. And I've made bloggy friends.

Which I get to take with me regardless of where I live.

I've been asked if I'm sad about moving. Scared? Yes. Sad? Not really. Yes I will miss my mom only being an hour away.

But I'm not really leaving anyone else.

I think being lonely in Iowa will be about the same as being lonely in Utah.

Closing Time

Monday, June 1, 2009

We closed on our very first home today!!

(Okay, actually, Hubster and I had signed the papers in front of a notary and FedEx-ed them back on Thursday. But that's a minor detail.)

Today, the house is officially ours!

About time!!!

I've said it before. We hate apartment living. But before now, there was never a good time to buy. We didn't buy when we first got married, because we just couldn't afford it. And then we didn't buy, because we didn't know where I would go for medical school. And then we didn't buy because we weren't sure where we wanted to live. And then we didn't buy because we didn't know where I would go for residency.

You get the picture.

But now, we are going to be in one place for quite a few years. We get the opportunity to settle down.

And we couldn't be happier.

Things we are looking forward to

- a back yard!!! Monkey and Bug will be able to run outside when ever they want. And kick balls and blow bubbles.

- more space. Seriously, our apartment is about 700 square feet. And we've got four people in here. It's just a little bit crowded.

- a garage. Now we don't have to basically draw straws for who gets the covered parking during the winter. We both get covered parking!

- a garden. I can stop growing things in the window sills and start growing them outside.

- creative license. We get to pick paint colors, carpet, etc... Yeah!!!

Of course, there are things about the move that make us sad.

Things we will miss include...

- people. My family is here. And being 1200 miles away will make the casual weekend at my mom's just a little harder.

- the mountains. Never thought I'd hear myself say that. But I've become slightly attached the last couple years.

- the familiarity. It's going to be tough getting to know a new city after having lived in this one for so long.

But we are excited!

Things we will NOT NOT NOT miss...

- the downstairs neighbors. Wow, they've made our life miserable, what with their broom and all. I drop up cup putting away dishes. Bam bam bam. Monkey rolls a ball in the kitchen. Bam bam bam. Bug falls over in a fit of laughter. Bam bam bam.

- the cramped space.

- the smokey smell the maintenance man leaves behind everytime he comes in to fix something.

- the downstairs neighbors.

- the upstairs neighbors and their love of Guitar Hero.

- the downstairs neighbors.

- the downstairs neighbor's broom.

- the lack of outdoors space.

Need I go on?