× Women in Medicine Blogs & Diaries

Diary of an undecided post-bacc student

13 years 10 months ago #70515 by lawtomd
Another exhausting workday.....I want to stay up and get some things done around the house but I'm so tired....woke up late as usual--hit the snooze a bunch of times. Made it to work early, amazingly enough--but didn't have time for breakfast. Work day dragged on....I spent my lunch hour reading about the bar exam. And then hubby and I went to Panera for dinner, which was nice, and then ran some errands, which was fun.

The fasciculations are still here....but today I didn't notice them as much. I think they're stress related. I feel like the stress I'm feeling over my move is getting stronger....when I think about all the changes coming up and all I have to do--packing up, coordinating the movers, etc. I start to feel so overwhelmed. And then on hubby's call nights the overwhelmed feeling and the lonliness gets worse....

Lately my chest has been feeling really tight--I have to strain to take a deep breath--especially when I walk. I'm not wheezing or anything, and I've never had asthma, I'm not sure if it's just tight intercostal muscles or what.....but I'm worried. I don't know if it's just a result of the poor posture of being a secretary or what....I'm trying to take a lot of hot showers and do some stretching--hopefully that will help.

I'm reading a good book, Barbara Sher's "Refuse to Choose"--a book about having multiple interests, and managing them, and also ideas on how to find a career that fits with your multiple interests....very good book and very interesting. One career it mentioned that I found interesting was being a consultant. That's a career I've always thought would be great for me. For instance, when I saw the movie, "Hitch" I thought--wow, Hitch has a great career. (For those of you who haven't seen the movie, Will Smith plays a "date doctor"--someone who helps men figure out what their dating/relationship problems are and how to fix them.)

So in the movie, Hitch meets his clients at restuarants or in their homes, and his job just seemed....fun. No desk job, no 9 to 5 doldrums....just a fun, interesting, creative job where he helped people and worked on his own schedule. Plus, consultants charge a pretty high hourly rate. Most of the career consultants I've researched charge betwen $120-$150 per hour for their services. I think I'd really enjoy being a consultant....but I'm not sure in what field. One problem is that many consultants have lots of experience doing the 9 to 5 thing....and then start off in a different direction on their own.

Spring seems to finally be here--I noticed daffodils blooming today, and I'm finally able to put away the winter coat and wear my spring coat--yay!


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13 years 9 months ago #70516 by lawtomd
Gosh, it's been awhile.....I was on vacation for the past week, and it seems I missed all the excitement here on mommd....congratulations, Kris, on the arrival of your new little one!!!!

I was out of town April 20-25, visiting my grandmother and other relatives. It was very nice, very relaxing, and a nice mental break from all the stress that seems to surround me here. First of all, it was great to be away from my job....my body and mind both appreciated that. Second, it was nice to take a mental vacation from thinking about my career angst, the move, etc. The move is coming up pretty quickly....July 15 is just around the corner. Wow. So much to do!

I still can't stand my job....I went in on Friday, and it was as if the relaxation of my vacation was erased the first 10 minutes I was there.....ugh. I think the worst part about returning from vacation with any job is the amount of stuff waiting for you to deal with....emails, piled up papers, etc. Not that I have any emails to deal with in this job, but just in general. For the average American worked, I bet it's really hard to return from a relaxing vacation--I bet you have to work overtime for awhile to catch up.

I was pleasantly surprised that my relatives didn't bug me about the not practicing law thing....I remember when I first graduated from law school, and went to visit them, they were all quite horrified that I was not practicing law, and I felt very annoyed by their incredulous questioning.....this time, no one said a word about it, it was very nice.

This weekend I had my usual nice, but unproductive, weekend. Friday night I went shopping and got a couple of cute sundresses. Then I made dinner (breakfast dinner, which ended up costing $20 for all the ingredients--I should have just gotten take out). Saturday I got us up early and we went out for brunch--it was ok. Then I cleaned out my closet--put away all the winter clothes and replaced them with my summer clothes, and also tried to organize and toss old papers. Today we got up early again, ate breakfast, took a nap right after, and then I went out for a long walk and then went to Border's to browse. That was nice, but I haven't done a single productive thing since then except to pay some bills.

What is wrong with me? Why is it that I never can seem to have productive weekends? When I was cleaning and organizing I found an old to-do list from mid-January. By now, I had actually gotten most of the things on there done, but it had taken a couple of months. I have a to-do list but I never seem to be able to cross stuff off it. Why am I so undisciplined? It's something I'd really like to change.

Well, it's getting late, so I'll sign off now.


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13 years 9 months ago #70517 by lawtomd
Well, yet another unproductive weekend. I did basically nothing all weekend. Friday I had the day off so I did some errands and cleaned....but by Sunday the place was a total mess. Friday night we stayed in and I made twice baked sweet potatoes, and we watched a movie. Saturday morning we went for brunch and then stayed in and he studied while I read about law. Saturday night we ordered pizza and watched a movie. Today was totally lazy, I took a couple of naps and basically did nothing at all. Why are my weekends so totally unproductive? My weeknights are just as bad.

Lately I've been feeling extremely dissatisfied and angstful. I feel like I'm in the midst of the quarter-life crisis, and I don't know how to resolve it. I feel like I'm more confused now than I've ever been before. My marriage is great, but besides that, nothing else feels right. My career is up in the air, I have no friends, I haven't done anything productive in the past year at all--basically it's been a total waste of a year. I took the MCAT exactly a year ago, and since then I've done nothing productive at all. Sad.

On a positive note, my fasiculations are gone, but they've been replaced by some odd breast pain. I've always had breast pain throughout my cycle, which usually starts at the end of my period and lasts clear up until the first day of my next period. The first-third days of my period are really the only days of the month when I do not have breast pain. The rest of the days I have pain. Well this cycle, the breast pain started on day three and is really bad already, which is somewhat odd for me. Normally it's annoying, but doesn't get bad until the week before my next period.

Anyhow, besides that, I am dreading the workweek. Ugh. Another boring week of typing and answering phones. Woo-hoo!!!!!

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13 years 7 months ago #70518 by lawtomd
It's been awhile since I last posted on here....I see from my last posts that it's been exactly two months. A lot has happened in the last two months, enough to change my worldview a bit.

First off, since my last post, two close family members have been diagnosed with cancer, and one of them passed away already. This news really turned my world upside down. I've been out of town quite a bit in the month of June dealing with these two family members' illnesses--I went for the surgery and recuperation of one of them, and then I went to say goodbye and for the funeral of the other. The second family member was diagnosed with cancer, then 4 days later she passed away from it--it was totally unexpected and shocking. I made it to her in time to say goodbye--but I feel very sad that it was so sudden--and so expected. One day I'm talking on the phone to her and everything seems fine--a few days later she's diagnosed with cancer and then less than a week later she passes away. Very hard to wrap my mind around.

So these two health issues have really altered my worldview. I've been thinking a lot about priorities--what's really important in this life. This experience has really demonstrated to me that maybe the most important thing is not a high-powered, but fulfilling career, when that career requires so much time in school, so much studying, and so much sacrifice. Maybe I need to settle for something less high-powered, but that will allow me to have much more free time. It all comes down to what one's priorities are, and I think mine are changing.

Besides these two health issues, in the past two months I've had several other stressors. A big one is our move....we're moving now in two weeks. I got back from the funeral last week but haven't really felt like doing much in the way of packing, though a few days ago I started with one closet. I've packed a couple of boxes but I feel overwhelmed. The move feels overwhelming. In two weeks I'll be moving to a city in a whole new region of the country, where I don't know a single person and I don't know the city either. I'm worried I'm going to feel very lonely there.

My cat got sick in May....thankfully he recovered, though for a while there it seemed like he had a really bad illness. I quit my awful job the first week in June--a job which was causing me to be physically ill because of how stressful it was to me. And I did sign up to take the bar exam, and I was studying for a few weeks there (and enjoying it--enjoying being back in the studying groove)--but because of the two family members illnesses/funeral I realized I couldn't take it and so I'll take it the next time it's given.

So that's what I've been dealing with lately, which is why I haven't been on this board much. I feel overwhelmed with all these things I've been dealing with, I feel overwhelmed by our upcoming move, I still feel incredibly confused about my career, though I think I know deep down that medicine isn't right for me, I have no idea what kind of job I'll be able to get once we move, and I still don't have a single friend I can talk to about all this.

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13 years 6 months ago #70519 by lawtomd
Hello everyone,

It's been a long time! I see that I haven't posted since June 30. In the past month, I packed up the apartment, drove halfway across the country, and now we're in our new apartment in our new city. We've been here three weeks now. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be--i.e. moving. I'd always heard that moving is one of the major stressors of life, but honestly, it hasn't been too bad at all, despite moving to a city we've been to twice before and where we know no one.

Surprisingly, I haven't felt lonely at all despite not knowing a single person here. I joined a bunch of groups--and I went to two events already. One was a walking group and the other was a book club. Both were good events, and everyone was very nice. At the walking group there were several newcomers to the city, and no one knew each other previously, which was great. I felt really good about the event and will definitely go to more of both of these in the future.

DH started his new job, and so far likes it. I haven't felt sad or lonely at all being home alone the way I used to. Maybe it's because I have a lot to do at home--unpacking, cleaning, getting the apartment set up. I went on a job interview today and it seemed to go well.

Honestly, I feel happier here than I have in a long time. Part of that may be because I'm not working. As many of you know, my previous jobs caused me a lot of stress and I'm starting to wonder if maybe looking for a regular job is _not_ the way to go for me. I'm enjoying being a housewife, though I think I'd feel a little weird being a housewife at age 29 with no kids.

I get up early, clean, do laundry, unpack, and take a nap in the middle of the day. Then at night I put together dinner and read for the rest of the night. I'm enjoying this schedule immensely. I'm wondering how long I would enjoy being a housewife. I kind of like being in charge of my own day and not have to look at the clock every 5 minutes, know what I mean?

Anyhow, the city is great so far and there's so much to do. This is my first time living in a new region, and I'm enjoying it though it doesn't feel that much different from where we came from!

Overall, I think maybe this move will be very inspiring for me. I remember the last time I felt truly inspired. I had just returned from a study abroad program in college, and the energy and enthusiasm I felt after I returned--well, I've never experienced anything like it since. I'm feeling a little of that now. Feeling my motivation, energy, and zest come back. It's been a long time since I've felt that way--I guess nearly 10 years!

I was looking back at my entry on this blog from year ago...boy, I can remember how I felt then but I don't feel like that now! I don't feel any of the depression I felt back then. I mean, I feel disappointed by the fact that I still have no career plans, but at the same time, I'm wondering if maybe that's not so important if everything else is in place. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Would it be so bad to just not have a career....but at the same time have perhaps a more fulfilling life? At this point, age 29, I don't have a career. I have no idea what I want to do. But maybe that's....okay. I'm not sure, I'm still wrestling with this.

I'm still undecided about med school--I started my post-bacc the summer of '03 and now it's been 3 years. I haven't taken a post-bacc class since the fall of '04 and I last took the MCAT in April '05. I feel kind of out of the loop of pre-med, but at the same time I still haven't figured out what I want to do for a career. What is my problem????? I've seen several career counselors this year and it still hasn't helped. I'm still totally undecided about med school vs. dental school vs. clinical psych vs. other grad schools vs. a law job vs. something else.

Today during my interview the interviewer said, "you know, your resume is a little confusing." That's the understatement of the year! When you've worked in the OR, been a journalist, and been a legal secretary all _after_ law school, people start to wonder.....but there's really nothing I can do about my resume right now besides getting some more volunteer experience in the fields I want to pursue.

Well, better get back to the unpacking. I'm almost done! If anyone would like to PM about any of the stuff I've written about, I'd love to chat!



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13 years 6 months ago #70520 by lawtomd
Hello everyone,

I've gotten quite a few PM's about my last post, specifically on how people are pleased that my outlook has become more positive since my move--thank you! I appreciate all your kind words. It's true, I do feel a lot better here. I was thinking about it the other day, and a big part of why I suddenly feel so much better is because DH finished residency. It was four years of a brutal schedule, and now I have my hubby back.

Let's review briefly what the past 4 years of DH's residency were like:

5am: DH wakes up
5:30-6 pm: DH is at work
6-7 pm: we have dinner, and DH falls asleep on the couch
7-9 pm: DH studies
9 pm: bedtime for DH

Weekends consisted of him being at the hospital, on call, studying, or sleeping to recover from the 80 hour workweek. Ugh. No wonder I felt so sad most of the time--I didn't have much quality time with my hubby and I had no friends. We didn't go out much, either because he was studying or just too tired. Then, residency ended July 1. Oh happy day! Now, he's a few weeks into his new job. I must say, what a change from the above schedule! After work we have like 6 hours together before his bedtime. We go out several times a week. We have fun all weekend. We're planning fun trips. I'm exuberant!

I am also making a concerted effort to just relax and enjoy things, as I've had a very stressful summer, to put it lightly. First, a very close family member of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Then I get a month's worth of severe breast pain--to the point where I cannot even lift my arm without severe pain. Even the most supportive bra didn't help. I was quite concerned, and saw my doctor, who diagnosed me with fibrocystic breasts--this was a flare up. Then a second very close family member of mine was diagnosed with cancer and passed away within 5 days of her diagnosis. Then DH finishes residency. Then we had to pack up the apartment. Then we actually made the move and had to deal with a brand new city, a brand new region, and not knowing a single person here. That's a lot of life stressors in just 3 months--for both of us.

The other thing people have commented on in their PMs is my current role of housewife. I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying it, and people have encouraged me to make it my career. I am thoroughly enjoying it, especially given all the life stressors we've endured in the past 3 months. Well, I don't know if I really could do that....I think after a few more weeks I'd start to feel like I needed to work....but in the meantime, I love having the day to spend as I please. It's a joy, a pure joy. No looking at my watch every 5 minutes, no dreading the workweek ahead on Saturday mornings.....just doing whatever I want.

I do, however, feel kinda bad about the fact that DH is supporting us right now. I am not contributing anything to the household--I do clean and make the food, but other than that, I'm just job searching and doing things for me around the house. I don't like feeling like I'm not doing anything to contribute to the household, so it makes me feel bad to think about spending money just for me.

Other than that, I went on an interview yesterday. It seemed to go well, we'll see what happens. I've been sending out resumes and cover letters all day. I can really only send out 5 per day, as each one has to be specifically tailored to each job, and that takes awhile!

Well, toodles for now.

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