× Women in Medicine Blogs & Diaries

Mom of 5 making the journey.....

13 years 4 months ago #70591 by j.lasaundra
Wow! I didn't realize that I haven't written in my diary since August. well...I've been mentally frustrated and exhausted. Its been a long summer, with the summer program, classes, and two jobs. I finnally grew tired at the begining of September. I got paid and thought that a huge chunk would go towards my tuition. well, it didn't work out that way. My kids dad, who was paying half of my rent and bills, couldn't do it this month. He had some pending bills and couldn't spare the money, so I had to use my check for all of the rent, and also to buy school clothes and supplies for my 4 kids who are attending school this year. Needless to say, i was bummed :weeping: really bummed. I know the tuiton is not due until 10/10, but i started to feel hopeless, like I'm not ever going to be able to pay this off, no matter what I do. I started to doubt myself, and my ability to make it through college as a premed mother of 5. Is every quarter going to be like this? Will I never have enough money and always scrape to get by? I got so bummed, that I went back to my community college and signed up for financial aid there, so i could always fall back on them if i had to for this quarter. I know that i'm on a different path now, but I'll take any school over none.
another thing that bothers me my kd (kids dad). Its been 10 years and I am ready to move on, move out, get past whatever it is we have or don't have. Its kind of hard to say that i want to leave and right now, i can't afford to make it alone financially. We split everything 50/50 and its not just for my benefit, so that I can go to school, its also so he can manage--he has debts that i'm so glad i don't have--and a SUV, that i'm glad i don't pay a note on or buy gas for. Also, for the kids. they love having mommy and daddy. Me, i don't mind the help (whenever there is help), but i yearn to be on my own. really on my own. Like when people divorce and they have arrangments for visitation, and live in separate homes, have separate lives. I want that. Sometimes, my desires for that kind of life force me to do things like send out tons resumes to find a good paying job, put pre med on the back burner to work full time, move out with the kids......tempting...very tempting... I have so many issues.....its a wonder how I am able to still chase this wonderful dream. I think its the one thing that keeps me grounded. Its my anchor that pulls me back in when all hell is breaking loose all around me and inside of me. I pray for the strength to see this all the way through.
The kids started school. I had to move the older two to public school. they love it. I even let the 4 yr old go to Kindergarden. His birthday's late, but he's very smart. He fit right in. Its only part time though. Its cool for now, but when my school starts in two weeks, we'll have a problem. I have an interview for a research assistant position at the UW next week. I'm excited. I think it'll be a good experience to be working on research, and it'll be good for my application. I will be calling my doc to shadow him again next week. I said once a month I would shadow him, and next week will be a month from last month. It was so much fun last time. this time, i will wear comfortable shoes, and bring my own stethascope, so the docs won't always have to lend me thiers. Such wonderful opprotunities, I'm so blessed. When I'm down, I try to remember all of the blessing i recieved this year, with the summer program, the docs i've met and shadowed, and the classes i've taken. Thats why i'm so glad I have this wonderful diary!

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13 years 4 months ago #70592 by j.lasaundra
I have to say that my doctor finally called with my test results. Turns out, I have mild cervical dyphasia (please forgive me spelling). I have abnormal cells that are mild on the inside of my cervix and low on the outside. I have to get a procedure done where my doctor will freeze the cells and hopefully kill off all of the abnormal ones. I'm not happy about the results. I really hoped that the test would show that it wasn't as bad as they thought, and that would be it. I have this bad feeling that my health will eventually take me out. i know, its stupid. I really hope this procedure works. I'll update after my appointment on the 21st.

I went to work finally, after taking a week off to take care of the kids and thier back to school stuff. I know my workstudy bosses may have been fed up with me for the time i had to take. That's one thing about being a mother. If a kids sick, or has to stay home from school, mom's are the ones who usually have to miss work, or school to take care of them. In my case, the kids didn't have school or daycare because they were both closed, and I didn't have anyone who would watch them for me. I had to take off those days, or pay a babysitter just about what i would of made at my workstudy job that day, to watch them. I chose to stay home with them for that week. It gave me a chance to catch up on errands that needed to be ran, and time to get paperwork needed to get them in school. My boss told me that they wanted to hire another workstudy student and only had funding for one ( basically, i'm fired). I'm not upset because the job served its purpose in my life. while i was there, i was able to make money, pay my rent, buy the kids school clothes, and they helped me get my brakes fixed. So, after the talk, i left. I wanted to get my son to his pm kindergarden anyway.

Yesterday, I made some phone calls to the financial aid office and again tried to appeal for more aid. The counselor basically told me that maybe I should consider going to a different school because of my financial situation. She said that they will always ask for thousands of dollars out of pocket, so if i am not financially stable enough, i should go somewhere else. After the conversation, i started to agree with her. Who am i kidding? I can't work at night! I have 5 kids. Plus, I've never worked and went to school at the same time. That's crazy talk.

Having said that. I'll move into yesterday...After talking with the financial aid lady, I went out to get the mail. GUESS WHAT WAS IN THERE! A letter from my community college's financial aid office. Apparently, the woman i spoke with a week before took some pity on my situation. They awarded me some 4k dollars in grants. GRANTS! things i don't have to pay back!! I couldn't believe it. This really was amazing. I really wanted to go to the university this quarter, but this puts a whole new spin on things. with this money, i wouldn't have to worry about anything financial for a whole year. i could just relax and go to school. Its very tempting. or it just makes sense. I know what the dean said about community colleges, but he is not the final answer. I have to do whats right for me and my family, and that might mean staying at community college for at least one more quarter. I could delay my entrance into the university until winter, things will be better then. I could take the same classes, and still be on track to take the MCAT this summer. I don't know, but i'm leaning towards going back. Unless some other miracle happens, or unless its too late to change my entrance date, i may return to cc. You have to admit, an extra 3k for living expenses, that doesn't have to be paid back is more realistic than 10k in student loans, and working while in school. I don't know. I'll make up my mind by Friday for sure.

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13 years 4 months ago #70593 by j.lasaundra
Here I sit. I haven't done too much in the way of determining which school I'll be starting in less than two weeks. I've tried to contact the Financial Aid worker at the university but she hasn't returned my calls or emails. I emailed a resident that I met during volunteering, and asked for his advice. Turns out, he started at a community college and then transfered to a university after two years. He also graduated from UWSOM. He told me that I should stay at the community college and get really good grades, then transfer. I respected his advice, but I'm still not a 100% sure that's what I want to do.

My 28th birthday is Saturday, and i don't know what anyone has planned for me. if anyone has anything planned for me??? I'd like to go to the casino. I haven't been in years. I like to play the nickel slots. they are a lot of fun. and I'm not a big money risk taker, so the nickel machines are perfect. Wheel of fortune was my game. I wonder if they still have it? I'll probably go with my sister.

Well, as I hold my house of cards...I found out today that I am no longer elgible for childcare assistance, and that I've been terminated. I think hind sight is 20/20. without seeing this coming, I had already took my oldest three out of private school and sent them to public school. Thank God for his direction. my worries now are my two youngest. a daycare bill for them would be near $2000 a month. With my income from work study, and thier dad's income from his two jobs, childcare assistance is out of the question. $2000 a month is also out of the question. I think my head is about to explode. its from one thing to the next. But this time, I'm not going to fall apart. I'm going to stand up straight and try to figure something out. Thier dad said he would split the bill with me, but he knows I can't go to school full time, work part time, and come up with $1000 for daycare and another 500-800 for my half of the living expenses. Ah! Anyway, I'll put it into the Lords hands. I think I've fought a good fight :banghead: I just can't believe all of the hurdles I have to go through every since I decided to go to school to become a doctor. I've had a lot of doors open for me, yet, i've had some serious montains to climb and its only the begining. Am I strong enough?

I got an interview on Thursday at the University for a research assistant position. I'm kinda excited. I like the idea of working in a lab doing research, and of course, I can put it on my application. I'm also going to be shadowing my doc friend soon. I haven't heard back from him on a particular date, but I want to make it for next week, providing I can find a sitter. Its always fun seeing patients and walking around with the other docs with my stethascope. (looking all important!) :cool:

well, that's it for now, I'll write again soon...

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13 years 4 months ago #70594 by j.lasaundra
Tomorrow is my birthday!! 28th birthday!! I'm excited. Tonight, my kids dad suprised me and took me and our kids to dinner at the restaraunt of my choice. It was great. I love when we go out as a family. I never saw this coming. I'm so glad he did that. While we were eating, we got tons of compliments from other customers there. They walked over to him, at least 3 or 4 different people, and commented on how lovely our family was and how well behaved the kids were. they really are good kids.

Tomorrow my sister is taking me to a comedy show. She knows how much I love stand up comedy. First though, my sons have a football game. I told my sons to score a touch down for me!! we made a special hand jester for after they make a touchdown. After that, I'm going to get my pitiful nails done, eyebrows arched, and go home for early ice cream and cake. Then we'll go to the mall for the lady in Macy's to make-up my face and head for the show. I haven't got my face made up in 5 years. I'm not big on make up, just because i never have time to put it on, and I don't really know how to use it correctly. I plan to watch the lady carefully this time, so I can learn to do it better myself. My sister is doing my hair too. She wants to put a weave in it. she's just learning how to do weaves and she wants to test it out on me. I agreed since she did get us tickets to a sold out show. Long hair looks good on me anyway.

My doc called me, but I missed his call. He left a voice mail telling me that i could come shadow him this weekend if i wanted to, or i can wait until next week. I really want to shadow him on Sunday, because he will still be working in Neurology. Next week he goes back to Internal Medicine, I've shadowed him in IM, I want to see what Neurology is all about. He's such a nice guy. I'm so blessed to be able to have so many opprotunities to shadow and learn from him.

I got a part time job at Target. I don't know if I'll actually go though. I think It may be a good thing because of the holidays coming up. I like to have enough money to spend. its also good because i may actually have a chance to pay the tuition if i decided to go to the university. I just need to think about where its going to fit in my schedule and if it will fit into my schedule. My goal this quarter is to study 30 hours a week. The learning specialist said that people who study 30 hours a week usually have at least a 3.7 gpa. that's my target gpa 3.7. If I can fit it all in, then I'll do it. If not, oh well....

Still, no definate decision on the University or the Community College. I'm going to bring it up to my doc when i see him Sunday. See what he has to say....I am leaning more towards Community College though. they have a desktop publishing class that i want to take. I've been working on my own magazine for a while, this class can teach me what i'm missing to make the magazine look good. My second dream is to have a small magazine business to pay for college, med school applications, and med school.......

Well, two hours before my birthday!! Happy Birthday to Me!

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13 years 4 months ago #70595 by j.lasaundra
Well, birthdays over! I had a great birthday. After the family dinner the night before, my sons had a football game on the morning of my birthday. They won! My eldest son was awesome! He played quarterback and safety. He made so many contributions to the team winning the game. He has a great arm too! I couldn't believe I was watching rookie football the way he was throwing the ball. My other son rocked as a running back. He is so fast!! He doesn't really care for football, he's only playing because dad is coaching, and because his other two best friends play, and his brother of course. He looked like a mini Shaun Alexander (seahawks, nfl mvp). He must of ran for at least 60 yards the whole game. It was a great team effort and I was very pleased. I got a huge birthday cake! The kids and I love cake. My sister and I went shopping. I didn't buy anything except for some hair that my sister was supposed to put in, but we ran out of time. I got my nails and eyebrows done. I look half way decent now. My sister and I went to the comedy show, which was an 1.5 hour drive away. It was great! until it started to rain. the show was outside, so....We got soaked, and it got colder...After the comedians performed, we watched Ice Cube rap one of his songs, then we headed out to the casino that was next door, for shelter. I was too cold and wet to stay and play the nickel slots like i wanted to, so we went home. My mom watched the kids for me. My oldest was waiting up for me. He called me three times while I was at the show. They aren't used to me being away from them at night. I'm a homebody. My sister also bought me some beautiful flowers. DH bought me a sweater that I had my eye on. I was very suprised by everything. My sister even called me from New Orleans. SHE NEVER CALLS!! It was good to talk to her, especially on my birthday.

My doc called and left a message for me to come down to the hospital Sunday to shadow him, but I didn't get the message until today. I will call him tonight. He's been so busy. He's never at home. We've been playing phone tag for like a week. i'm not feeling to good though. I don't want to go to the hospital feeling like this. I have a cold, so I think I'll try to schedule something with him for later on this week. School starts Monday, so I want to do it before then.

I'm in the frame of mind right now where I want to clean up my credit. I will need to have better credit by the time i go to med school. that way i can qualify for more loans if i need them. The problem is, i don't have any credit cards, car loans, no kind of credit. I applied for a credit card online, and its a joke. a low limit, and high interest. I figured I'll just keep it up and then upgrade in a year. i will also get a secured card through my bank next week. I think that one will be better. I think if I keep those up for a couple of years, i will improve my score.

I'm trying to take it easy this week. I have to work on my sleeping habits. I won't go to sleep until 12am then, i wake up at 3am and watch tv until 4am. I have to stop this!!! I am practicing going to bed at 10:30pm--no Letterman, no Dr.90210, I am also practicing sleeping with the tv off, for less distraction.


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13 years 4 months ago #70596 by j.lasaundra
Oh Diary,
What a week. Well, I had my procedure done on Thursday. The doctor froze the cells in my cervix and now they are falling off. the procedure wasn't supposed to be painful, but it was, and i was in a bit of pain afterwards too. I had to ask for pain medicine before i left the office because once i had a chance to stand and move around, i started to feel intense cramping. I had the boys with me, they were waiting for me in the lobby. so well behaved. I didn't cry this time. I was strong throughout the whole thing. I think I was strong for the boys. I never want them to see me crying. It might of scared them. After we left the hospital, i got a chance to go and take care of my childcare assistance issue. I had all of my paperwork straight, so I was able to get childcare assistance. with both of our incomes, we barely made it. we have a very large co-pay, but its a third of what we would of had to pay if we didn't have the subsidy. I thank God for it. Now i can have peace of mind that my children will be cared for while i'm at school. I love the childcare providers for being so patient with me.

So, the friday before, i got hired at target to do cashering, i thought it could help out with my tuition. I needed someone to watch the kids while i went to the orientation (before i had the childcare issue taken care of) so i got my mom to come over. It was a disaster from begining to end. She slept the entire time i was gone, my older sons came home from school to find that she had left the front door open :eek: while she was asleep and my baby was asleep. She wouldn't answer her cell phone the whole time. I raced home after it was over and she was still asleep when i got home. She turned on the heat without moving my sons fire truck bed, so the first thing i smelled when i entered was burning plastic. I couldn't stop myself from yelling at her. finally she woke up and wasn't even aware that my older children were home. I knew that her watching them for me while i tried to make extra money at night, was a no-no. all she wanted to do was sleep. you can't sleep with a baby in the house. not to mention, while taking my kindergardener to school, she wasted beer in my baby's stroller. Why did she have a beer while watching my kids??? Last straw!!! She had to go. I was sorry that I ever thought it would work. Oh well, sorry target!!!

I have so many issues with that lady. I will never understand how a person could be so self centered. So... Ah!!! Never again!!

I know this is crazy, and beleive me, i'm mad at myself, but I still don't know which school I am going to go to, and its Friday night! I just keep thinking that I need to do more to go to the university. I know i could just take the grants and stay at the community college. what's one more quarter?? but something deep inside keeps telling me not to give up yet. I've asked every single person whom's opinion i respected, and i've gotten mixed answers. my doc that i shadow says "there's no free lunch" pay my tuition. my sister says "girl, you better take those grants and stay at community college". I just want to become a doctor. I also have a deep fear. a fear of my chemistry teacher at community college. I have the same guy from last quarter. he didn't like me then, and i'm sure he doesn't like me now. I'm pretty sure he will try his danmdest to make sure i can't take his class this quarter. he doesn't care if i'm going to the university next quarter. my math is over 3 years old. and math required for chem at the community college. it has to be less than 3 years old. that alone can get me kicked out of his class. he checks everyones transcript the first few days of the quarter. plus, like i said, he gave me a 2.0 last quarter in the intro to chem class. I saw him make a girl retake the intro to chem class last quarter and she had a 2.3. Going back and retaking those classes just because that's the way he has everything set up is bogus. it will totally screw me up for next quarter. my advisor at the university told me i should take chem and physics this quarter and that could be in jeopardy if i have to retake math and intro. my advisor told me not to even take any more math. she says i don't need calculus . the only math i need is statistics. RIGHT ON!! I hate math. I feel like i want to move forward, not backwards! any how, the university is having a job fair on tuesday, i want to go to see what's being offered since i'm a work study student. I can find a position that fits my schedule and pays decent. Plus i just found out they offer an emergency loan. having that would change a lot of things for me. My plan for now is to go to the univeristy Monday, sit through my classes, find out about the emergency loan, and then go to community college classes on tuesday and see how i feel after that. Its kind of a stupid plan, but i hope things pan out by Monday so that Tuesday I will know exactly what i'm doing.

This is a terrible flaw i have. I have to learn how to make a decision much faster if i ever want to be a doctor. stop second guessing myself, and remember everything i learned about myself and how to become a doctor from the SMDEP program.

I can do this.......

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