There are moments when I am amazed that I'm actually in medical school and doing things like suturing up a man's face, delivering a baby, holding someone's hand and calming them down through the few moments before they are intubated, and in lots of very banal moments where all I can think is - 'you've mixed me up with someone who knows what they're doing... but I'll do my best to be what you need in this moment'. Only because I know that I'm surrounded by others that have done this for years and that I have no fear about asking for help, am I starting to get a bit more comfortable with the uncertain world that is working in medicine.
Since summer I've lived and worked in Baltimore, DC, Philadelphia, Hartford (CT), and am currently living in Phili and working in Camden, NJ - at least for the next two weeks. I'm applying to residency programs and interviewing all over the place, and on the weekends either traveling to interviews or new rotation sites, or working in the hospital to make up 'missed' time from my rotations while I was off interviewing. In the hours I'm not in the hospital or clinic, or when I get a few spare moments, I find myself studying not for exams, but because medicine is a humbling field and there is .always. more to learn, more to re-learn, to understand better, more to improve upon. That in addition to remembering the little details: to reserve the rental car for the interview on Friday, get my massively busy attending to fill out the school-required evaluation form and fax it in, to get those groceries, figure out where I'm living and what my commute to the new hospital will be, how the new computer system at the hospital works, learning a new hospital layout every few weeks, how my new attending and team run rounds, and all the little details of general life that seem to pile up alongside my laundry.
However, amidst the standard chaos that is life and being a traveling medical student, I have found the most understanding defiantly romantic man and so on the few days that my reeling and spinning slows we find ourselves together. Wonderful adventures follow: hiking and exploring wherever I've seem to land, eating all kinds of wonderful foods, meeting friends, playing fiddle at SCA events, swing dancing at Glen Echo, Mobtown in Baltimore, or in downtown Phili in a public park. On the harder weekends when I've been trapped by the pressure from the mountain of 'things I don't know' he's been there with his own computer and we've quietly, separately but together, pounded away on our work with the simple joys of sharing a meal together or punctuating a small measure of progress with a kiss as one of us stretches and grabs a glass of water. He has also been there when the weight and severity and horror of what I encounter in clinic or in the hospital forces its way through my mental barricades - when I come home and find it crashing in on me - somehow kept at bay until I have closed the door of my apartment. These are the moments when it helps immensely that we share the same field.
I never expected to fall in love with someone in the medical profession, as I am a decently geeky person, and in general most doctors aren't the same flavor as geek as someone who gets amused by things like positive anymore (http://microsyntax.sites.yale.edu/
To give you a bit of background about him if you don't know him: he's a full fledged physician-scientist working at a .very. well known institution in Baltimore and despite all of that, incredibly humble. Since he's tackled his own path to being a physician he understands what I'm going through as he's been there. His schedule between research, clinic, and being on call is equally insane - although with the additional pressure of being an attending physician fighting both for his patients as well as fighting for research funding. But whatever his academic and career successes, he is at the core, one of the most genuinely kind and gentle people one could ever meet. He is geeky in equal measure as I am, evidenced that our first date we went geocaching and our third date we were playing fiddle at the Maryland Renn Faire with some of his awesome friends. (Btw, he met my Dad for the first time that day - dressed in full garb bouncing in with a box full of dresses borrowed from his friends for me to wear to faire.)
We have been both been been blessed with fantastic families and amazing friends - who we don't get to see as often as we like - but in time I hope all of you will meet him.
So while I'm unlikely to be better about about updating this journal regularly I figured I'd take a moment and stop in.
Life has continued to take me on this wonderful chaotic mess of a journey, but I've been loving the adventure.
I wish you all calm seas, a carrying wind, and a song in your heart.