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When medicine chooses you....

11 years 4 months ago #69853 by momRNtoDO
I just reread my last couple of posts. I would like to say that it seems I have a lot of drama in my life. I wish at times that I only had to deal with the drama of who is dating who, who got dumped at the last party, or something quote-unquote mundane. For the first two weeks after my first surgery, I cried every day. I couldn't tell some one about what happened in the ER or afterward with out sobbing. Then I called the patient rep, and got a phone call from the treating ER physician. I got to explain to him what had happened to me, and laid out for him the timeline of my care. He had no idea apparently that ordering an MRI on the weekend did not mean in the AM. Just whenever the MRI tech came in for a STAT test. Mine wasn't ordered STAT. He kind of apologized, kind of tried to pass blame on to someone who I never interacted with at all. Then I told him the things that needed to be improved on to streamline care for the next patient. It's amazing how little he knew about how things were done in the hospital he had worked at for quite awhile. Hopefully he followed through with protocol/policy changes he was going to suggest.

Despite that, on the up side, I honestly can say that I am taking the experiences of the last couple of years, and mostly, the last couple of months, to shape my future positively in some way. My back has always been a problem, but I swore I wouldn't have surgery unless it was an emergency...So I got to experience an emergency. I have been trying to lose weight for, well, forever. I am proud to say that since starting this medical school journey, I have lost 50 pounds. I have another 50 at least to go, but I have to accept the feat of 50 lb is huge. I quit really trying to lose, and it took 20 months. But, it hasn't been as hard as crash diets.

As for my recovery from my back surgery, I obviously could walk for graduation and white coating. I still have sensory impairment over my L-4 dermatome, and muscular weakness and fatigue in my thigh. My injury has really helped me in understanding motor and sensory innervation.

I had an experience today that I want to share. I am a big girl, but not lazy. I was actually at a point where exercise was looking fun again when my back injury occured. I have to take the elevator to go one floor up or down, because if I do the stairs too much or wrong, I might fall, and on the best days, my quads begin to cramp, and then my leg goes numb.

I feel embarrassed to push the elevator button, because it is only one floor, but I do it. I have actually started apologizing to my friends for not taking the stairs with them. I shouldn't feel that way.

Anyway...I got in the elevator with three other people today, and a guy in my class said, "Hey we are going two floors, but come on, just for one floor?" I got angry. I asked him if he knew what had happened to me. He said no. So I told him that part of my left leg is partially paralyzed, and that I would love to be able to take the stairs. He felt pretty bad, and apologized. At the beginning of the year a professor actually said something to me about it, but he kind of apologized after I talked to him too.

I can be judgmental, and proabably mean at times, but just remember, we can't always see the hurts or hindrances underneath. I have always chosen to smile through pain, and have always felt that there could always be something worse than what I was going through. I do not know how much sensation to expect to come back. The Neurosurgery NP said that cramping is good. It means muscles are being reinnervated. Pray for me, because I am having a ton of cramping, and with it weakness. I don't want to be the example for gait disturbances this week :p .

Love each other. Be kind to each other.

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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11 years 3 months ago #69854 by momRNtoDO
Tomorrow is the Anatomy Practical and Path Practical for Musculoskeletal. Then Friday we have our section final. I am feeling a strange sense of calm, and I hope that is because I know the info. We are taught via the Genesis curriculum, learning by body system. We get all the different disciplines about musculoskeletal disease during 6 weeks, then test over it. At the end of each year we have a cummulative final. I feel that the arthritides and autoimmune diseases have been thrown at us from so many angles, it would be my fault for not having learned them.

I am nervous at the same time. I want to do the best I can. Last year, the 2011 class pres spoke with our incoming class, and said don't expect A's but to try for them. I never thought I would be near an A student again, and was ready to settle for "around the top of the bell curve". But I am close. I feel a little vindicated, and I am not sharing my grades with anyone, but inside I am saying "I knew I was cut out for this!" There is a different set of expectations, it seems, for people who start medical school in the not quite so traditional way. Some people look down on the school's master's program, as a back door in for those who aren't good enough to get into the 'real' med school. I think it has actually provided an advantage, because we had condensed science classes and the opportunity to get to know faculty and brush up on basic science stuff that we need to know for med school.

After the rocky start to the semester, I didn't really expect to do more than pass for awhile. Anyway, hopefully I don't jinx myself, and fail the final or something. That is worth almost 60% of the grade. It could definitely do some damage to my grade! Wish me luck!

BTW...Start physical therapy next week, to try to get my cramped and stuck quads working right. Hopefully I will be able to get more ROM and be able to do more. :wave:

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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11 years 2 months ago #69855 by momRNtoDO
Musculoskeletal ended well...much better than I had hoped. Then came cardiopulmonary. One might think that since I had done critical care nursing for over 5 years. All my classmates and instructors tell me "You've got this in the bag...It won't be any problem for you." Well, if I knew everything I needed to know, I wouldn't be in Med School, right? Well, maybe with the background info under my belt, and if I went to all my classes and was able to keep up with the schedule...Yeah...Maybe I would be doing great right now.

Do you remember me saying that it seems like there is a lot of drama in my life? Well, stay tuned to the latest episodes. The weekend before our first section exam, a friend's husband died, and basically stopped all of us who knew her in our tracks. I didn't expect much out of the first test at that point. The next week I realized that I had been nauseated for a week or so. I thought that maybe it was because I was still mourning for my friend. Or maybe I was coming down with the latest virus to come through our class. No...I'm not pregnant...Can't physically become prego.

Then I started putting pieces together: Some sharp abdominal pains over the last few weeks, nausea, a recent large weight loss, and now nausea. Nah, not my gall bladder. No. But the next day, abdominal pain, nausea and pain radiating to between my shoulder blades. I guess I better go to the doctor.

Yep. Sounds like your gall bladder. The next day's sono showed stones. Of course it was the week of Thanksgiving. So of course, I needed to wait to have it taken out. Okay, so I wait. It can't be that bad. Was I wrong. Four days later I was in the ER, with low expectations for my care. The ER was actually very good. I had excellent care there. But the story changed when I hit the floor staffed by agency and part time nurses that were too busy to think about thorough care. My first nurse was very good. The next 18 hours were different though. The day after I was admitted, the surgeon came to see me at 0730, and said you are going to surgery at 0800.

So, the surgery went off beautifully. I went home that evening after I woke up and was able to eat. I had a little pain. I was to take a week off and then go back to school. But of course...I can't do anything the way it is supposed to go. I had a couple of good days, then spent POD 3 vomiting for 8 hours. The next day I had belly pain so bad I ended up in the ER, had a CT and was sent home told to take more pain pills. The next day, the pain was worse. It felt like some one was inside me kicking my liver. I actually felt my insides flinching every time I took a deep breath. As I laid low and didn't move, I got better and the following Monday at my post op visit, I felt better.

I went back to school, but before I was half way there the pain came back. I thought it would pass so I went on and tried to sit through lectures. I ended up leaving early and went to see my family doc, because I had gotten the impression that the other folks I had seen thought I was over reacting. When my doc examined me, he was alarmed and said I needed to be readmitted to the hospital because it was not normal post op pain. I went back through the ER, really dreading what was to come. 9 or IV sticks later, and a few hours into pain and readily accepting IM pain meds, I had been scared to think I might get an IJ IV or a PICC. I was really worried. The anesthesiologist stuck me a couple of times. By the time the IV went in, I was beyond relieved. Then came 4 days of tests and pain meds and nausea and dread that I would fail my Cardiopulmonay section, or at least the first half of it.

I ended the four days in the hospital with and EGD and I swear, something happened during that procedure and my pain was gone. The doctor's don't think that it could have had any effect on my pain, but it did. There was no finding that was thought to cause my pain, but I think that I had a nerve pinched or irritated by something and the EGD moved things around.

Then I was released, told that if the pain returned, go to clear liquids until it went away. Knock on wood, it hasn't come back. But I was released just in time for finals week. Fortunately, my administrators are understanding and are letting me make up the course work I have to finish over the holiday break and when we return.

I hope that the New Year will bring me good health and no more missed school, as well as the good health of my family. Wow. I would love any prayers any of you have. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year to you all!

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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11 years 1 month ago #69856 by Bettina Burnette
God must really love you! I find when I suffer it is often His way of drawing me closer to Him.
On a medical note, if you haven't already, I recommend you take some hefty dosing of NAC
N Acetyl Cysteine to get the anethesia out of your brain tissues.You will find amazing mental clarity and a burst of energy when those toxins leave. With all the pain meds you have had to take it might be a could idea to detox your liver as well. As you might guess I strongly endorse the benefits of integrative medicine.
I must say you remind me of myself. Some of us have an extra dose of tenacity for life. It is a gift from God to endure the trials with joy and gratitude. Blessings to you. You are an inspiration to me. As I read your journey, I know more and more that it is a calling that I can not ignore, in spite of the obstacles that lay in front of me.

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11 years 5 days ago #69857 by momRNtoDO
I am still convinced (and happy as a clam)that medical school is working out well. God has had a hand in everything that I have endured. I am blessed...I truly believe that all of the hardships I experienced over the last year and a half will form me in more ways than I will ever know.

I am done with Cardiopulm! :twocents:

PS~I am doing better than I ever thought I would, obstacles included. To anyone thinking about medicine, or going through it, God will help you fulfill His plans for you. Don't worry!!!!!! :goodvibes:

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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10 years 2 weeks ago #72968 by momRNtoDO
Wow...over a year since my last post...obviously I am not the journalling type. I would like to share some things with all of you since last posting.

First of all...I have mistakenly spent time on another "student doctor" site (please read into that) and want to say how refreshing it is to come back to this site and its positivity. I have yet to find a thread there that is not full of whiny, angry students complaining about how they have been wronged by the AMA, the AOA or some other entity. Here the support is tangible. THANK YOU!!!

Well, since last year, I have become a second year medical student and I am one section away from becoming a third year. First semester this year had me in two grueling sections of Neuro (my school teaches in a systems approach) and Skin/blood/lymph. I am finishing up endocrine, hopefully on a strong note.

I had some time in first semester where I thought I was actually going crazy...losing my mind. The difficulty of subject matter had just sky rocketed for me. I wanted to blame it on ADD, hypothyroidism, something that could be fixed. Then I realized that it was second year burn-out, just early, since I had come straight from the Masters program at the med school. I am still having a very hard time focusing and getting through studying, but I am pulling through.

This year has gone by so much faster than first year and I am so excited to start clinical rotations. I have great news that I matched to my hometown. There was a real possibility of either having to make a huge commute (weekly) or move away for a month at a time. That seemed incomprehensible to me. Thank God that I was able to stay near home. I am worried that I will get shorted on my academic instruction, though, because we are farmed out on a preceptor basis, with no real academic structure. Any suggestions?

It's nice to be back :)

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

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