Monday, April 28, 2008

rounding the bend.

this is it--well, almost. only 4 more days of PBL (my learning track here @ school). hard to believe that two years has passed since i first got here. hard to believe how much has happened since i got here--and really, how much i've changed.

i'm feeling that this transition will bring new types of challenges i've yet to encounter in my life thus far. unpredictable swings of ups & downs that i can't yet begin to fathom. and i'm guessing that i'll be an entirely different person by the time this whole journey is over, i'm just hoping it is for the better.

and yet, admist these outer stressors of testing & Board-studying (or lack thereof) & mandatory medical jurisprudence classes, there is also an inner turmoil that i can't quite shake. perhaps its the internalization of the various things in my life right now that make me want to crawl back in bed some mornings. or maybe its just that i'm realizing the reality of this dream--the reality of medical school & responsiblity & doctor-hood...and how it is (& will) affect[ing] my life, my family, & my relationships.

i certainly didn't expect all of this to be easy. i didn't expect to glide through this schooling process or have a lot of time to reflect, pray, or shave my legs. but i also didn't expect to be so unsettled about this whole journey. as the days progress, i am yearning for something more. more than handing out drugs to hypertensive patients who are 57 pounds overweight and consider exercise a walk to the mailbox. something more than filling out paperwork and constantly covering my tail so the big-bad-lawyers don't come knocking at my door. and something more than putting a bandaid on the ingrown nail of a 34 year old man's pinky finger because he never learned how to groom himself properly.

it is disheartening, really. to see our country in such a state of dis-health, un-health, NON-health. disheartening for those of us who will one day be in charge of handing out "quick fixes" that cause renal failure & liver damage. disheartening for those of us who chose this profession to help people...and find ourselves less-than-satisfied with our careers because of the paperwork & insurance reimbursement (what reimbursement??) & patients who don't care to take care of themselves.

but regardless of all bad that is out there, awaiting my arrival, i'm trying to stay optimistic. i take Board exams in 52 days and have piles (literally) of material to get through. there are systems i haven't even covered yet. and microbes i don't even know exist.

and i'm not going to lose hope. God has been so faithful thus far & i know He won't give up on me now. i'll get through this. ...and look back & wonder why i was so stressed out.

i'm going to try to be my own best patient. which means eating better. working out more. getting my sleep. and taking care of myself--which i seem to have neglected lately.

little strings of hope knit together my days. its not much at times, but it's all i've got to hang on to right now.

and i'm hanging on tightly.

Friday, April 25, 2008

a love story.

i haven't had time to read. nothing other than textbooks, at least. and my devotional--which squeezes itself into my nighttime ritual right before i turn off my bedside lamp.
but oh how i love to read. to get caught up in someone else's story. the temporary escape from my life....and the journey through anothers.
and one of the blogs i just started reading has her own (PG version) of a romance novel. i started it last thursday. and finished it on friday. and am anxiously awaiting the ending to this fantastic tale of city-girl-meets-cowboy-and-life-turns-up-side-down.
because above everything else, reading it makes me want to fall in love all over again. with jon. and because i'm not exactly feeling eloquent today, i'll just use her words.
"And I knew, even then: [ that jon], not only that night but in the months to come, would prove to be my savior, my distraction, my escape in the midst of troubles, my strength in the face of upheaval, my beauty in times of terrible ugliness. He held my heart entirely in his hands, this cowboy of mine, and for the first time in my life, despite everything I’d ever believed about independence and feminism and emotional autonomy, I knew I’d be utterly incomplete without him."

thanks for loving me, jon....
i would be utterly incomplete without you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


confession: i've been really into blogs lately. like really into them. too much into them. but unlike chocolate cake when you have too much, blogs don't give you a stomach ache or make your pants tighter. they do, however, make you feel lazy as all-get-out & like a complete waste of time.

and i've come to grips with that fact.

but i thought i'd share what i've found. mostly because these women inspire me. and give me hope in this dry & weary toothless land they call west virginia. and they give me hope that the 1950's aren't completely gone. that there are still creative children who thrive on dress-up & creative play. that there are still homespun families surviving solely on the land (& the internet). and that there is humor, albeit inappropriate at times, that can be found in virtually every life experience.

this woman amazes me. makes me long for a thrift store nearby--like i'd be able to find 'treasures' anyways. too bad i can't sew. and i can only knit dishrags & scarves. and i don't have children yet to make costumes for. but regardless, she inspires me...because her kids are
This is the one that would be, might be, will certainly be considered wildly inappropriate at times. But the truth of that matter is that she is hilarious. it took me a few weeks to really enjoy reading about her tales, full of added drama & CAPS LOCK-ed letters & too-many-exlamation-points. She'll make you giggle. At least chuckle. Smile, maybe?

There are TWO perks to this website. The first is that she has the most incredible mouth-watering, cellulite-expanding collection of recipes that i've ever seen. ALL with pictures (for those of us who don't read too good). AND her everyday blog is full of stories. Kind of like House on the Prarie, but with a modern LA-girl-meets-rugged-ness twist. And if you'd like a substitute for an amazing novel & want to fall in love with your husband all over again, read about how she fell in love with her husband here. It is an on-going love story--written in professional, publish-able novel-like form. And to be totally honest, I wasted 1.5 hours reading it last night (instead of taking an online test for Board-studying). AND I still have 12 chapters to go!! :o)

A Holy Experience:
This womans writing makes me want to pray. ALL THE TIME. She finds God in the most unexpected of places. And writes in a way that rolls over your tongue like a good glass of Merlot. And my i wish i could write like that. And talk to God like that. And notice life like that.

And that is all. I've got a pocket of blogs left to share. But these are my favorites. Maybe it is because part of me wishes my life was just a little more like theirs--a little more filled with crafts & baking & recipe-making & praying...and a little less overwhelmed with school & choices & future. Or maybe it is because their creativity inspires something inside me....the need to create. The need to make something that has nothing to do with science & everything to do with art.

Whatever it is, they have all made my days just a little bit brighter.


not in my future.

as evidenced by this mornings experience, i am quite positive that proctology is not in my future. i mean, some people really dig sticking their fingers up other people's poop holes (haha), feeling around in there for all sorts of growths & abnormalities that the body can push out (pun entirely intended). not me.

perhaps i'm just not deep enough (oh see, now i'm starting to get funny), but i will admit that it was a bit of a traumatizing experience. probably because (a) it was a 50-something male, (b) fingers aren't meant to search in those deep dark places of other peoples...eehheemm....bodily cavities and (c) it was an assisted exam...which means that the person receiving the exam told me what to do...and worse yet, told me how it felt.

if you'd like an incredibly akward experience, i recommend one similar to what i experienced this morning.

i just hope my faulty-pocker-face stayed in bed.

in other news, this is day TWO of success in my quest to become a morning person. which, as i take it, is a sure-fire-sign that i am getting older. those teenage hormones aren't quite as ramped up...and my melatonin isn't making me a robotic-sleeps-in-until-1pm-person anymore--at least not all the time. and now (in my old[er] age), i long to wake up with the sun. have a quiet morning over Hazelnut drink mix (with caffeine!) & oatmeal. and just be. there aren't many other times in the day that just being is possible. especially when i lay in bed for two hours at night thinking about my grocery list or my to-do list or the floors that need to be swept or the which time sheer panic enters my darkened room & hours (literally!) pass before i enter my first REM cycle.

so this quest of waking up with the sun has been a goal of mine for a few months now. and i've failed miserably thus far. but THIS WEEK...just might be the beginning of something new. yesterday i got up at 6:55. today it was 6:45. and heck, that is progress, don't you think? i mean, TEN WHOLE MINUTES....!!!!

i've been thinking about starting a goal of going on a quick run in the morning (ahh...another one of my life-long goals: to become a runner...isn't happening now). or take a jaunt to the gym & study on the elliptical until i'm sweaty & smelly & have burned my 500 calories (my pants are getting tight, okay??!!).

but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

on the other hand, this morning-person-ness is really taking a toll on my body. my left eyelid has been twitching non-stop since yesterday morning. and although i will admit that i am stressed out & emotionally drained & WalMart-ed out & ready to move to NC for the summer & not enjoying learning or studying or school right now, i didn't think my eye-twitching had anything to do with it.

turns out i was wrong. apparently it is a sign of fatigue.

dang it!

i guess this morning-person stuff isn't working in my favor. perhaps rising with the sun isn't in my future either...along with proctology.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

my new life goal. aside from trudging the swamps of busy-ness. aside from the chaos of daily living. aside from the battle-cries that emanate from my struggling heart.

a prayer. (click on the link...& be inspired to live just a little bit better today)

to pray. to speak. to live. to become.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


God is good :)

i'm always amazed at my level of doubt, hestitation, & delinquency. and i am a bit embarassed to admit that my faith has been less that stellar lately--i certainly would not get a gold star on my report card.

this journey, this battle, this life brings its fair share of challenges. but God continues to make Himself known to me. continues to show His face. continues to burrow His way into my buried heart & shine the light of conviction into my darkened soul. and God continues to answer prayers.

i got my schedule for next year. and God is good. vacation when i wanted it. home with jon around deployment. and potential...for years to come.

paul's words as he wrote to the Phillipians come to mind. for those are the words that God speaks to us:

"My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don't waver. Stay on track, steady in God." -Phill. 4:1

He does want the best for us. i too often forget that. and somehow twist my thinking into forgetting His sacrifice. he does love much. and somehow i let the worry & anxiety about the future cloud the message of the Cross. and when we trust Him, he does fill with pride. and yet, somehow, my little life seems too big for the Creator of the Universe to handle.

certainly not the case.

thanks for the reminder. that YOU are in control. that YOU are all-powerful, all-loving, and all-giving. thanks for the reminder that YOU have my very best in mind...our very best in mind. and that for YOU, nothing is too great or too difficult for grace.

Monday, April 21, 2008

the circle of life.

its an odd feeling, really. to have the Circle of Life playing in my head. and elton john's voice that hasn't left my side today.

odd because i feel like this really is the Circle of Life. new births. new experiences. marriage. love. and...death. and i feel that up until this point, my life has been full of "normal" growing up experiences. but that my grandparents have almost all passed away..i'm realizing that this whole growing up thing is coming to an end. and the time is fast-approaching where i am going to have to be the grown-up. weird.

my grandpa died tonight. after a long battle with Alzheimers. and colon dysmotility. he passed peacefully. surrounded by family. full of medication to dull the pain. and even though i kind of wish i had a medication to dull the little bit of pain i'm feeling tonight too, i realize that it is a good pain. a good pain because this means that life is moving on. that i am growing up. and that God's Earth keeps on spinning. a good pain because another death serves as a reminder that this is life. that i am alive, breathing, living...and that my days are full of opportunity.

too often i take them for granted--my days, i mean. too often i sleep them away. or let negativity take over my soul. and too often i forget the command that God has given us as our single, solitary, sole purpose here on Earth. and too often i fail to recognize that my life does have purpose, and is written by the Master Planner Himself. my days are numbered. my life, here on Earth, won't last forever.

so it is a good pain i'm feeling tonight. at the loss of my grandpa. at the birth of a new soul into heaven--and most of all, at the reunion of love between him & his fabulous wife of what would have been 50-something years. and you know, that says a lot. a lot about him. a lot about his character. and it especially says a lot about the Love that God has given us to experience here on Earth.
i'm inspired by it. enthralled with it. and hoping that jon & i will carry on the tradition left by my grandparents...and his grandparents. the tradition of love. that knows no end. that sees no other option but to continue. and love, that draws inspiration from the ultimate Lover.

and i can only hope that when the time comes to say goodbye to yet another generation (i guess that would be the time when i am considered "old" & all grown up), that i, too, will be able to make a selfless decision to let God's timing take control. without medical intervention of uneeded preservation. without pharmacological concoctions to dull pain & activate respiration & suppress the body's natural response to death. i can only hope that i'll be as strong as my parents. and love & care about them enough to just let them go.

but in the meantime, i'm going to enjoy life. i'm going to enjoy my experiences, my days, and my opportunities. and most of all, i'm going to enjoy the love & grace & purpose that God has poured into my life. because it is times that these...of grief, and mourning and celebration of life...times like these that make me grateful for breath.

thanks for the inspiration, Grandpa. thanks for the lessons of love. the summers spent on your sailboat learning how to steer & how to read the wind. thanks for the trips to Orcas Island. and the bike rides you enjoyed so much. for the summers i spent day dreaming in the pool & under the willow tree on the tree swing Uncle Todd built. thanks for the optimism you continued to show, despite your failing memory & challenges of health. and most of all, thanks for the legacy you left. for the family values you sewed. and for the faith whose seeds were found in your every-Sunday-church-going.

we certainly won't forget you.
oh...and say hello to Grandma. i miss her too.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

i'm over it.

so really, i'm over it all. school. studying. the excitement of becoming a "doctor"--like it was something special in the first place. i'm just over it. ready to be done. not even with studying...not even with boards (although those too fit in the category of "will be beyond elated when over")...just with this whole situation. i'm getting tired of it. no, in fact. i'm already tired of it. and we've still got a long way yet to go.

i think my original perception of what this journey would be like was pretty accurate. i thought it'd be hard--nobody expects this sort of school (where you learn to be in charge of other people's LIVES) to be easy. i mean, who knew there were like 32 bones in the human ear. God, you got WAYYY to detailed on that creation--tone it down a little, dude.

what i certainly didn't expect, though, was to be so disheartened from the experiences of others in this profession. i know that i want to be there for my family. i know that i want to be available to our kids--whenever they may decide to show up on our doorstep (that is how it works, right??). and i know i want to the best wife i can be. but from the remarks of so many other women professionals, IT JUST ISN'T POSSIBLE to have both. and that makes me sad. sad because i was told in the beginning that it was possible--although i've had to adapt to the fact that i won't be able to give my 200% to both...which has become okay with me. sad because this field that seems so "portable" & "family oriented" really truly is those things...for the patients. and sad because i feel like the magic of this entire adventure has been widdled away to a pathetic little ember whose light doesn't seem likely to last the next two years until graduation.

so the truth? i'm just over it. i'm ready to be done. ready to move on. ready to move in with my husband. ready to be available to HIM before my own selfish ambitions of career & world-betterment. ready to shovel away this pile of debt & textbooks & brain space & bury it in the grand canyon.

maybe these feelings are normal. some statistic spouted out last week that something like 72% of med students are actually clincally depressed at some point in their education was probably true. and the reality is that it is laughed at, accepted as "the way med school goes"...and left between the highlighted pages of our psychiatry textbooks.

but then again, maybe these feelings aren't normal. i'm supposed to be ("supposed" to--as in, that is what the world is telling me) enjoying this time of my life...of my marriage...of my friendships.

and yet here i sit. in hick-town, USA. freshly returned from a shopping spree at walmart where i bought all that i needed--a new toothbrush & a vanilla candle. my husband is 360 miles away. i've got a stack of notecards taller than my head to get through by tomorrow night. and boards coming in something like 68 days (but who's counting, right?).

and i'm totally, completely, entirely over it.

vent over. i needed that.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

there are days.

there are days that it seems life is just too much to handle. too many decisions to be made. too much on my plate. there are days that i'd much rather stay in bed all day, sipping chai & reading a real book. one where i can get wrapped up in the pages and transport myself to the world the author has painted with his words. there are days when it seems like the future is just too big, too scary, and too aversive to even try to keep on going...when the truth i'd much rather curl up next to my husband and let time pass us by. and there are days when it takes all the strength i can muster to just get through it without a good cry & a friendly box of kleenex.

today is one of those days.

life is overwhelming. the future is daunting & entirely uncertain. i'm already sick with worry. i could go for a good cry & a better hug. my study stack doesn't shrink....ever. and i'm not sure that my decision to be do this...was the right one in the first place.

but tomorrow is another day. and i can only hope that it will be better than today.

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