× Women in Medicine Blogs & Diaries

starting a journal

12 years 1 month ago #69911 by coffeeandtea
Well, here goes. I'm a second year medical student, trying to power through the burnout that I've experienced lately. I've had a really busy year, with lots of ups and downs. aka stressors.

I got married.
The first four months of marriage were practically unbearable they were so hard. We finally signed up to go to a marriage counselor, and after about two months once a week, we started to communicate better. But it's still an adjustment, being newly weds. And we're BOTH in medical school.

My younger brother died.
Coming back to school was the hardest thing I think I've ever done. I'm still greiving every day. I've been really withdrawn since coming back, and I miss my family terribly. I want more than anything to be at home with them, but instead I'm trying to "power through" my second year of medical school. A lot of the reason why is because I was only 1/3rd of the way done, but already had invested 18,000 into it. Still though, school seems trivial compared to the loss of my brother. It's hard to go on and act normal when I feel the loss daily.

My parents moved.
We've lived in the same house for years. It's "home". It's full of memories of my brother. It's just the comforting place that has always been my homebase, with all of the moving in college and medical school. I went home this past weekend, and we were boxing everything up... That, too, is something I'm sad about, but trying to keep in perspective. My parents are moving solely to get another family member out of a really tight bind. Her family, 4 kids and all, are on the brink of bankruptcy, so it was unavoidable if my parents were willing to "help them out". Basically, my parents are moving into their house, along with the bigger house note. Anyway.

So, I think I do need to write. I'm trying to revamp my eating habits, because they've been terrible since getting married and sticking to a budget. I eat what my hubbie eats, which is pretty much empty calories and carbs. So, I'm going to make an effort to eat better. Also, I need to get back into shape. With medical school, I haven't been to the gym consistently at all... studying just always trumps it, but that's just an excuse. I could get up earlier, take a break from studying, run with the dog, etc.

We did get a puppy. And then we got another puppy. It's good, because I was having the maternal urge thing (no kids yet), but taking care of the pups has made me realize how hard kids would be. So, it's helped with that, though training the pups has proved harder than I expected. But we're doing it, and they are a major joy and stress-reliever.

Right now, I'm trying to decide between doing a life style specialty that will allow me to work part-time and take care of kids, or doing what I love. hopefully, those two things will overlap. If not, don't know what will happen. Hubbie says to wait until I go through rotations. I think I might really like ob/gyn. It's what I've always thought about doing, but I know the life style leaves a lot to be desired. I've considered ER because of the flexibility, though I don't know if I'd like it, really. Just because I want to really know my patients (I think), and if someone dies, I want to know the family, or at least know the patient, when I deliver the news. I've recently decided that after my brother's death. My hubbie has been through almost all of his rotations, and he's thinking surgery. He doesn't know yet if he's going to do general or subspecialty. He's got the grades and scores to do pretty much almost whatever he wants, so it's up to him. We do want a family eventually, but then again, I want him to follow his passion. I think it counts for something that I would trust him to operate on me or a family member (though I know that wouldn't actually happen).

Anyway, that's all for now. I desperately need to study for my fourth test block (ONLY HALF WAY DONE with this year!?) and I've really been putting it off. Like, I'm not sure if it's doable. But, I had to make up third test block from December while everyone else was studying, so I'm not being hard on myself. Though I do need a swift kick in the butt. But I need to learn viruses. One thing I DON'T want to do is infectious diseases!

Well, more soon.

coffeeandtea :wave:

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12 years 1 month ago #69912 by coffeeandtea
Today has been semi-productive. Woke up before 8 am, got to studying around 9am at Starbucks, until about 11. I'm halfway through with my micro lectures, but haven't touched anything else. Trying to get micro knocked out because the test is Feb 1 and we have the board the next week, before any of our other tests. Boooorrring. Second year is dragging along, but in a way I'm sort of appreciative. I know the Step is going to suck. I know studying for it is going to suck. But I look at hubbie and he has to go to work EVERY DAY practically, and he gets up really early. Third year means no more sleeping in. Of course, it also means no more staring at power points for 80% of the day.

So I'm annoyed with financial aid. They sent back my money for the semester (I'm living on loans) because they assumed I was taking a leave of absence for the semester. Well, now I'm back, obviously, and my money is almost a month late. They keep giving me the run around about it, and my only saving grace is that hubbie has gotten his loans to fall back on. But really, my brother just died!? Do they really have to make my life any harder right now?

I also left home and our adorable puppy to park on campus only to find out that the mandatory class I came for has been rescheduled for tomorrow. Now I've got to trek it through the rain and then pay money to get out of the garage. grrr.

Well, enough griping. Two good things today- I went to the newly renovated grocery store nearby, and it is AMAZING! There aren't many cool places to shop around here, but they've completely revamped this place and it even has a organic section and a foreign foods sections. Plus all of these samples of cheese at the gourmet cheese bar (crazy!) and a sushi bar! So that was exciting. I actually love grocery shopping, as weird as that sounds. And I've just started my eating healthy kick, so I got tofu and stuff to make wraps, soup, and a huge bag of grapefruits. I don't really like tofu but I'm going to learn to like it because it is CHEAP! REally cheap. Five servings of this stuff is 1.99- so much cheaper than meat! And it's low in fat and high in protein. So I'm going to really try to like this stuff.

Anyway, I have to run like five more random errands and then try to get my date straightened out for the STEP 1. It seems like they'd make the process easier, considering the test itself is so painful. Cut us a little slack!

Oh well, I'll be back soon. The rain has actually stopped, so I'm going to make a run for it.

love, coffeeandtea

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12 years 1 month ago #69913 by coffeeandtea
I woke up at record-time, not so bright and early, 5:30 AM! I do understand that some people wake up that early every day, but I'm just not a morning person. I did get up though, because I decided to go with one of my friends to a Spin class at 6 AM. The class was full- of morning people! And I actually kept up, surprisingly, though spinning is really hard. I need to keep it up, because it really works out your butt and legs, in addition to being a great cardio workout. And it's nice to have it out of the way by 7 AM.

Well, it's 10 now, I'm at school trying to get some studying done, and I'm falling asleep. I guess I need to change my schedule around if I'm going to wake up that early from now on. Hopefully it'll get easier. I got six hours last night, but I'm still yawning, eyes glazed over, fuzzy brained. But being a doctor, you have to become a morning person, sooner or later.

I'm really behind in school. I had to come back and take my 3rd test block after Christmas (everyone else took it before Christmas break). So I was studying and taking those tests while everyone else was already done and studying for the upcoming tests. Well, now I haven't studied for test block 4.... And it starts next Friday. I'm almost beyond the point of caring. I'm so behind, I really can't see how in the world I can catch up. And it's hard to try when I'm already burned out from coming back, in addition to having to make up tests. AND the fin aid problems are just the icing on the cake.

Anyway, I left the dog at home after getting him to sit down and shake. I gave him half of a begging strip, which he LOVES. He really is the cutest puppy ever. He's a mini schnauzer, salt and pepper, with some white on his face, and black eye brows. Me and hubbie are both pretty obsessed with him.

Well, I guess that's all for now. Oh! I packed my lunch today, and it's going to be so GOOD. This sounds really weird for most people, with the exception of organic food eaters and vegetarians, possibly, but it's a sundried tomato wrap, with Greek hummus spread on it, fresh mozz, tofu, cucumber, sprouts, carrot, and red cabbage, and ginger vinegarette. I had one last night for dinner and it is yummy! :goodvibes: I copied it from a local restaurant (I have absolutely no creative potential in the kitchen). Well, more later. Back to learning about scary slow viruses that attack your brain...

Love, coffeeandtea

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12 years 1 month ago #69914 by coffeeandtea
Well I'm back again in the same day. I guess with starting a journal, you have a lot to say at first. Really, I actually don't have too much to say, but I'm trying to study and need a break before starting. Terrible. I'm really so worried about the upcoming test block that it's sort of paralyzed me. This year I figured out what works for me in terms of studying, and it is repetition mainly. Well, I haven't had time to get through all of the slides ONCE, much less two or three times, which I've usually done by now. So I'm sort of at a loss as to what to do...? I guess just dig my heels in and stick this out. Don't really have any other choice. :(

Everyone was talking about the Step today in our mandatory class and it was a little frustrating. I mean, the test is in May/June and it is STILL January. If you don't believe me people, step outside. It's not summer yet! Or even spring for that matter! And there are people in my class already reading First Aid and working questions..?

So, yeah, I'm complaining a lot today. I went and hung out with my preceptor today. She's family med, and I think she's great. She's really upbeat and always laughing, and just seems like a genuinely happy person. I wish I could like Family med, because they seem like a happy bunch. I just feel this pull towards working with sicker patients. And I don't know if I'd want all of that variety. I'd almost rather be good at one specific subspecialty.

I did read recently that the key to being happy as a physician is having a balance with work and life. My husband is 99% sure he wants surgery, and even though he doesn't want me to take that into account when choosing my own specialty, of course it will. We both want children, and I know that dual physician marriages WITH kids are hard enough. So it seems like the smartest thing for me to do is consider the hours of whatever I choose. Especially because he's going to be working a lot!

I'm probably jumping the gun, because I haven't gone through rotations yet. One step at a time. I might luck out and fall in love with something with good hours. It's just a lot to consider when you know you want to be a mom. I'd really like to have a baby before I'm 30, and I'm 25 now. Anyway... just ramblings of a procrastinating, daydreaming, med student. :boggled:

Now to work!

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12 years 1 month ago #69915 by coffeeandtea
I scheduled my Step 1 today :eek:

I'm taking it on June 2nd. My 1st wedding anniversary!

Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but my hubbie has a solid week of boards through the week of June 2nd, so we really can't celebrate until after that anyway. Still, it is weird to know that I'll be taking the big test on the actual day of our wedding last year.

I mainly decided to schedule that day because it leaves me with almost an entire week off before starting third year (right...a break) I just can't imagine cramming for 5 straight weeks to take probably the most stressful test of my life and then immediately throwing myself into third year. Doesn't sound like a healthy plan.

So I'm thinking after taking the test, I'm going to go on vacation! Not sure where, but at least a few days in the mountains or on the beach or in a big city... I'd really like to go to NYC, but I'm not sure if it'd be worth the money. Anyway, I'm definitely going to reward myself with something.

Hubbie took it last year, like 4 days before our wedding. I had NO CLUE how hard it was on him. Now, looking back, I can't believe I got upset over him not appreciating the favors (hand dipped pretzels, created by me and mom), or the mints we made (blue mints with his initial on them). Yeah, it was all beautiful, but he was dealing with the STEP. Now I atleast have a small idea of what that's like. I merely scheduled the thing and my heart was pounding through my chest :boggled:

good night all!
coffeeandtea (earl grey today!)

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12 years 1 month ago #69916 by coffeeandtea
Well, haven't really readjusted to the 5:30 AM's. I've been getting up to make it to a spinning class at six, which I really love, but by 3ish I'm crashing. I don't know why exactly, because I get the same number of hours' sleep, but I still just feel so exhausted. But I'm just going to adjust, bc this class is really amazing. It's just energizing, fun, and it really works out your bottom half, plus it's great cardio. And it's nice to have the workout done first thing in the morning. :yes: I'm trying to drop some weight because I've gained about 10 lbs since my wedding, so I've commited to exercising more regularly (3+x week)and eating better food. So far, I've stayed on track. I've decided to stay off the scale for about a month, because I don't want to be discouraged if it takes a while to come off.

Anyway, I'm trying to study breast pathology, but I can't seem to focus. My throat is feeling a little sore, I feel groggy, head hurts, chills... I don't know if it's mostly I just need a short nap, or if I'm catching some bug floating around. Hubbie's been sick, Mom's been sick, and I shadowed my preceptor Wed and she had two patients with the flu. So.... I should've been a good little med student and gotten my flu shot, but alas, I didn't. Sad. So I guess I'll just have to ride it out and hope it's not the flu. I'll never forget last year- I got strep throat right after getting engaged, in the middle of the cardiovascular block in physiology. That was not a high point :rotfl:
(just wanted to throw in that emoticon, it's my fave)

coffeeandtea (house blend with cream)

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