Friday, June 23, 2006

an M3 in 3 days

i got an extra white coat. some black pens. had all my doctor-y clothes dry cleaned. the car is getting a very expensive tune-up. i read first aid for the wards and how to be a truly excellent junior medical student. i'm taking ACLS this weekend. all of this to be totally prepared for rotations.

but really i'm not prepared at all. i feel woefully inadequate for what i'm about to start. i am about as anxious as i was in the days before i started med school, although i haven't gotten a rash. yet.

it helps to relax at home, doing little but watching tv and catching up on world news. i felt like a loser for not going out all day at first, but after spending the last two years feeling like a different person and wondering when i'll get myself back, i know that part of me is gone forever. that's not just a function of being in med school, it's just being a grown-up.

i know where i will be on monday. i called yesterday and i will be on the endocrine service. i'm technically supposed to be doing general internal medicine, but that's how things go sometimes. the upside is that the attendings for this service consistently get positive comments in evals and everyone emphasizes how much they enjoy teaching students in a non-stressful environment.

i just might survive. wish me luck.

Monday, June 19, 2006

i am alive

you wouldn't believe the number of times i've said "hmm, need to update the jerk" and didn't. i even had a couple of drafts that i wrote that didn't feel right.

as you can guess, i'm done with 2nd year. i've taken my boards and await to take the USMLE on wednesday. then i start my medicine rotation at...well, i'm not sure really. (ok, this will give away my identity to people who read my other journal, which i have been updating as usual. but, like anyone cares, right?) due to the preceptor's illness, my previous medicine rotation was cancelled. i'm supposed to find out today where i will be next monday. it could be anywhere, even michigan, although that's a stretch.

2nd year went well academically, but personally tested the limits of my sanity and emotional stability. i didn't get divorced or anything, but a death in my husband's family brought confirmation that there is indeed a fatal genetic disease hanging around. i don't want to elaborate, but it's one of those diseases where you think "jesus, i'm glad that's not in my family" when you learn about it, and since it's on every board exam, so i'm bound to get a nice punch in the gut on wednesday when i'm trying to concentrate.

in the last few months, we have learned a lot about insurance policies and terminal illness. patients with the disease have a suicide rate 7 times higher than the normal population, and face the reality of never being insurable again after testing positive. needless to say, i am terrified at the possibility of losing my husband after he suffers from horrible symptoms for years or commits suicide, not being able to have children and the absolute uncertainty of our lives forever.

yes, they could find a cure. the problem is theoretically an easy one to solve, and there is a lot of research money thrown at this disease. but they are still in the easy (like, mouse and drosophila) stages of the most promising research, and i'm afraid by the time they figure out something he will be too sick for it to make a difference. godspeed, researchers- please find the way to help people with this gene.

i wish i could say more, but the fact that this is out there in the internets stops me, as does the pain that comes with thinking (and writing) about it. i just had to put something up here though.