Tag Archives: medical school

Rough, Yet Satisfying

28 Aug

School was rough today. It was so long, and I was super exhausted. I don’t think I could have stayed another minute. I was so nauseous, too. And I have a killer headache. But I did correctly diagnose a 4 year old girl (in a clinical vignette) with a purulent bacterial meningitis manifesting in her subarachnoid space with a high concentration of neutrophils (hence the purulence) and with phlebitis due to the meningitis. It was secondary to chronic otitis media. Maybe I can actually do this whole doctor thing! I’m getting pretty good at it 🙂 So that made me excited, because I did get pimped on the question and I got every single thing right! Which is very rare in this class. Gah Pathology!

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Someone Wrote This About Me

25 Aug

I know a 23 year old girl who has been declared disabled. She has had several types of cancer. She is weak and always sick. She coughs up blood. She is thin and can not eat solid foods. She visits the ER at least every 3 days to get blood and fluids and meds and nutrition to keep her alive. She has every right to give up on life. She is in pain all the time. She has been like this for over a year now. The doctors told her she has a less than 10% chance of surviving what she has.…

Do you know what she did last week? She started her next year in medical school. After her first day of school, she ended up in the ER to get blood. She then went home and started reading a required text that will likely take her most of the year to read. After the third day of school, she had to call an ambulance to go to the ER. She was coughing up blood and choking on it. She had procedures and then went back home late that night. She managed to get to school the next day. She still drives herself. She wants to be a doctor, and she is not giving up on that dream. She thinks everyday that this may be her last day. She is scared. She is in great pain. But, she is not giving up. 

It’s strange to think that I inspire people. It’s a weird feeling because I don’t know that I’m doing it. All I try to do is get through each day. When people tell me that they feel inspired by me or that I’m so strong, I usually end up feeling awkward. But somehow, this struck me. It showed me how by doing what I do, it can actually mean something. That motivates me to keep going even when it seems impossible. Thank you for believing in me. I will try not to let you down.

My Dream Made No Sense At All

25 Aug

I was dying from cancer. I was having a very weird conversation with Jim on the phone. My dad got diagnosed with colon cancer, so I kept following him everywhere, and he got annoyed. I dressed up like a ballerina and took pictures of myself and ‘how things used to be’ before I got cancer. Then, I was Stewie from Family Guy going down a slide that cost 50¢, but I paid $21. It was for people 11 years old and under. It spun you around in your thoughts. Then I was me again watching telemundo and univisión with my friend from high school. Then we talked about a bunch of people in music videos with lots of colors as I ate from a jar of peanut butter and jelly swirled together while in church. After that, my mom took a history of my cousin Crystal’s life from her before she died. Then my cousin Malcolm and I started flying in circles around the room higher and higher. I was trying to get higher than him because I’m slightly older. He’s much taller, though, and I scraped the ceiling, so it didn’t work. Then I circled so fast and I jumped awake. It was startling.

The night before, I forgot that I also dreamt that I was in a new house with my family. My room was really small and inside of my brother’s room. Then I explored it more and discovered it was huge with it’s own other bedrooms and luxurious bathrooms. Then it became a bed store. I had to run back to the original room before time ran out and I lost it forever. The bathroom was in my brother’s room. Every room was full of old baby stuff from the last family that lived there. It was all shoved to the sides of the rooms. The shower had carpet and no walls, so I felt weird in there.

I had another dream that I was at an expo, and I dressed up in my dobok to go back to a taekwondo and MMA competition. It was also an ice skating, hypnotism, and ribbon twirling competition. I wanted to compete, but hadn’t fought in a long time, so I couldn’t. We looked at some clothes and hair ties they were selling at the expo and my mom got into it with a lady at the scarf table. We looked at some clothes and then went to watch the matches. We saw some guys fighting tirelessly and they were still going when we left. We watched my friends compete, and we sat next to this lady who claimed she loved me since the day she gave birth to me as she clung to me during the hypnotism routine. my mom then explained the details of my birth. The woman’s daughter and the woman went to the parking lot with us and they left. My mom and I got in her rental car. She had forgotten to cap the exhaust pipes. On my passenger side, I had a steering wheel and what I thought were brakes, too. It was just a shortbread cookie can. There was bluetooth hookup for your pager. It was a kind of old car.

My last dream was that I was at the hospital working with my mom. I was following her all over the place. We tested my dad’s kidney function and his heart function. Then she got a phone call and had to leave. I saved some medicine for one of her patients in the medicine cabinet at the office. Then she took me with her, though I was supposed to go with my dad. We posed for pictures with a dog on a tennis court, then we went through the halls of the hospital. I started to samba dance, and we saw all of these people in costumes ready to do a dance competition. We went into Dr. Niambi’s office, which was huge as in my dream she was the ‘queen of my medical school’ and we talked to some ladies about their children. My mom asked me to leave, and then they discussed ‘adult matters.’ I came back, and was asked why. I said I missed them, and they all cooed. We were then all dressed up. Will Smith was talking and his kids were playing in her water fountain getting all dirty. My dad and I moved away from them and took Dr. Niambi’s microphones out of her call box. She came back and started to sing, so my dad and I ballroom danced. We put her microphones back, and then my mom went into her office to discuss her partner dropping her from the practice to see whose fault it was. Then I woke up.

New News

20 Aug

I’m having a lot of bone pain in my pelvis and hips today and getting these weird sharp headaches that last for like 5 seconds on the left side of my head. My right eardrum was like…vibrating, too, and it was very uncomfortable. I had a little bit of tea and a cracker today, so that’s a lot of progress! I didn’t even throw it up. Maybe tomorrow, a piece of toast, who knows? I’m feeling so exhausted, I can hardly function. And my mom called me at like 10:30 last night when I was just…about…to fall…to sleep. Darnit! I usually go to sleep later, though, so she didn’t know. I called the hospital about my bill to ask for a student application for charity form. I can apply for them to forgive my bill. If that doesn’t work, then I can be on the sliding scale since I have no income, and only have to pay like 35% of the bill or something. I got tutored in pharmacology today, and it went really well. Since some of my classmates are tutors, they get paid for helping me study, and it’s free for me. So that means it’s a win-win for both of us! I got into a study group to do practice questions later on this week, too. I got some of my textbooks I ordered in the mail, too, so I got excited in the nerdiest of ways.

There was a shooting at an elementary school here in Atlanta. With an AK-47. Why can people even get those? What are they using them for? I don’t understand why anyone would shoot up a school, but especially an elementary school. It was a grown man, too…not a kid who brought their parents gun to school to like show their friends or something. There are some truly sick people out there. He told them to call some TV station. Did he do this just to get on TV? He’s been arrested now. Anyways, rant over. I’m gonna finish watching So You Think You Can Dance.

Chemotherapy Today

18 Aug

 So, I had chemo today. It was kind of not a good experience, because I was already throwing up and feeling so weak last night that I couldn’t really make it to the bathroom. My aide came in the morning to help out and she took me to chemo, where I got lots of fluids. I keep getting so dehydrated. I don’t mean to let that happen, I just can’t keep anything down. I got a new medicine that should help me be able to eat, it came in the mail the other day, so hopefully that help with the dehydration, too.

I feel really weird that the nurses have to put on all this gear just to administer this medicine, and it’s going straight into my veins. Like, that can’t be safe, right? I don’t know how much hope I have that this trial is going to work. Certainly not as much as some of the people around me, but they have to have hope for me. It’s all they can do. And this is the last thing we’re trying, so everyone is kind of placing their eggs in one basket if you know what I mean.

I just want a chance to feel normal, and this trial can take up to a year. A year of this is certainly not going to be normal. Not even close. Maybe I’ll get used to it, and maybe the side effects will stop being so bad, but I have a feeling that as the toxicity builds up, it’ll be the other way around. I really want to be able to finish school, and I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I’m already feeling like I can’t do it. I’m already doubting myself. I’m also starting to feel like maybe I won’t make it to graduation, so maybe all of this is pointless. Maybe I’m just overthinking things, but I really don’t have anyone to talk to about these things. Not in person at least. I don’t have a lot of support here where I am, so it feels like I’m doing this by myself sometimes. That’s a really lonely feeling. I’m trying to push through, but there’s only so much I can do, and I don’t exactly know when it’s time to stop, but I don’t know if I will. How do you know something like that? I do want to stop. Kind of. I also don’t.I have been thinking about dying a lot. I’m scared that it will hurt. I’m scared that I’ll miss things. Important things. My brother just turned 18. He wants to go into the Marines, and then he wants to become a police officer. I wonder how much of that I’ll get to be a part of. It’s hard with this uncertainty always hanging over my head. I try to stay in the present, but how can I? I’ve been planning for my future my whole life, and now it might be taken away. That hurts. I’ve wanted to be a doctor for so long, but the process just takes so incredibly long, that I may not see the end of it. People keep suggesting alternative treatments and diets to me, or eating soursop and all of that, but I can’t even eat, I can’t change my diet much, because I can’t even figure out what stays down in the first place! My classmates are going out to eat, having parties, and doing all of this fun stuff, and I’m unable to participate in the majority of it. It just doesn’t seem fair. I know that life isn’t fair, but…you can’t help wanting it to be.

I should really get back to studying now. I have to study for microbiology, pharmacology, pathology, and I don’t think I have much to do for fundamentals of medicine, but I do want to see if I can get to reading some more of Robbins. It’s hard to do today. It’s hard to concentrate, because I’m just so tired, and I feel so sick to my stomach. I found out one of my friends from when I was younger got married and had a baby. She has two kids now. A lot of my friends are getting engaged, married, and having kids. I’m just sitting here having cancer. A lot of my classmates are getting engaged, too. I’m happy for them, but every time one of them gets engaged, it just reminds me of how lonely I am. I know I’m rambling, and the flow of this entry makes little sense, but that’s what I need right now. Just to vent in whatever way I want. Like I said before, I’m not a write. This isn’t article quality. Just some random thoughts of a sick student. I keep wishing life were different. I keep thinking how different they’d be if I were healthy right now. How good my grades would be, and how much easier it would be to make friends. Maybe I would even be asked on a date. Who knows. I can’t keep living in “what ifs.” It only makes things worse.

It Just Got Real

13 Aug

We had so much information today, my head is spinning. I feel so totally overwhelmed, but one of my classmates helped me learned the first little bit of the pharmacology lecture, and now I feel much better about it. The professor’s sentences on his slides are just so cryptic I feel like I’m spending the whole time trying to decode what he means. And in pathology, the book is so long winded it nearly puts me to sleep! Just make your point and move on…but it’s Robbins…a classic, so I can’t dis Robbins. The pathology gods would smite me. In FoM2 (Fundamentals of Medicine 2AKA The Class Where We Actually Touch Patients, the professor went over the entire year with us…maybe just to overwhelm us. But, it sounds fun, we’ll get to do H&Ps on each other (History and Physicals) and then we’ll do it on professional patient actors, and then onto real patients at the hospital! The part that’s freaking me out is that we’ll actually do GYN/prostate/testicular/pelvic/rectal/etc exams on…real live peopleNOT our classmates or anything, but that’s gonna be quite the experience. However, we’ll start with histories, looking in the eyes, nose, ears, throat, etc. Much more mild and less…invasive of people’s personal space. I kinda got sick at school today and threw up. No bueno, but I made it to the bathroom, so it was ok. Now I’m exhausted, but I have more of Robbins to read, so I’m gonna do that.

First Day of School

12 Aug

So my first day back went pretty well. It was just orientation, so nothing difficult. It was SO tiring, though. I could sleep a thousand sleeps right now. Imagine when the lectures actually start…as in tomorrow! I have a fever and a headache, though. We got the lecture packets for the next 2 days for if we wanted to be gunners and pre-read. So…pew pew! I registered again with the office of student disabilities. I got my home health aide back, because I’ll need her in the evenings and on weekends because I’ll be tired and because of chemo and stuff. It’s kinda kicking my butt a little. It’s rougher than I thought it would be. I still haven’t figured out a way to get nutrition either. I got a waiver for my Hep B shot, since I can’t have shots like that right now. I called the company that mails me some of my medications, and apparently, my doctor never sent in one of my scripts yet, so I’ll have to call her tomorrow. It’s storming really hard right now. It stormed hard while we were in class, too, and knocked the power out for a second. I’m a little nervous about this school year. Looking at the packets and the books, it’s going to be really hard. They said so, too. I don’t know if I can really do this or if I was just kidding myself. I mean I know I could if I was healthy, but…I’m not. I’ll try my best, though. I’m in too deep to quit now!

So Here’s What I Did…

10 Aug

I hightailed it over to ATL where the trial is so that I can stop sitting around here feeling sorry for myself. Moping is against medical advice. I can actually DO something about my health now. I know I’m technically not really exactly supposed to be driving, but what’s the worst that can happen, right? I made it here safely. Plus, school starts Monday, and I HAD to be here for that. I hate missing school, and it gives me something to think about instead of sitting around having a pity party. My parents didn’t know I left until I got here. They were PISSED, OMG! But since I made it safely and I’m 8 hours away, there’s not much they can really do about it now besides yell at me over the phone. I can handle that. They’ll get over it…I hope. So now…I start the clinical trial tomorrow, and this is the best way it’ll match up with my school schedule, so I shouldn’t have to miss much school. I’ll be on Sunitinib (Sutent™) and Gemcitabine (Gemzar™) together…we’ll see how this goes.

Giving it a Go

1 Aug

I was so scared to tell my parents about my depression and now I wish I would have told them sooner. I don’t know exactly what I was scared of. They’re my parents, they love me. They have been nothing but supportive. I felt like I had to keep it inside so that nobody would think that I can’t handle medical school, because I can. I don’t want to quit school or anything. I was afraid people would make me take a leave from being sick and depressed and thinking I wasn’t capable of finishing out the year. But I did finish, and with pretty good grades. 2 A’s, 3 B’s and a C. I think that’s pretty darn good given the circumstances. Now that 2nd year is about to start, people are starting to doubt my ability to power through again. I’m kind of doubting it, too, but only slightly. I’m still going to give it one hell of a go and pray for the best. I won’t let anything stop me, I’ve wanted this for too long.

Guys! Hey Guys!

21 May

I got a 90% on my neurobio exam I took on Friday!! That means as long as I just pass today and Friday’s miniboards, I’ll get a B in OS3! YAY!!!

Let’s get this over with haha, summer!

I’ll be working in a breast cancer research lab everyday from 9:30 to 5 doing assays, but that’s besides the point lol

YAY!!!