I'd like some patience please...NOW!

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not the most patient person.  It depends on what we're talking about too...I'm more patient with some things (and people) than others.  But let me tell you...the whole med school process--from the minute we submitted our first application--has tried my patience like nothing else.

So much waiting....are we going to get secondary applications?.....Are we going to get interviews?....Are we getting accepted to a school?......Whew, okay we got into a school.  Now there is more waiting....how will we do on boards?.....Where will we apply for residency?......Where will we get interviews?.....Where will we get in?....and it goes on and on.  And it just seems like one big waiting game for me.

I've decided that med school lesson #26 (who's counting?) is:

The better I get at being patient, the happier I will be.

This thought was reinforced at church today as we discussed Dieter F. Uchtdorf's teachings about patience.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from what he said (and you don't have to go to my church to feel inspired by just how true these thoughts feel).  You can view the whole thing here.  It is amazing.


"Patience--the ability to put our desires on hold for a time--is a precious and rare virtue.  We want what we want and we want it now.  Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter."

"Patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace."

"Patience requires actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results don't appear instantly or without effort."

"Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"

"Often we can't see the Lord's hand in our lives until long after the trials have passed.  Often the most difficult times in our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way for future opportunity, understanding, and happiness."

"Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith."

Man, that last one especially hits me hard.  Accept what I cannot change.  The road to becoming a doctor is long, and I feel like I anxiously (and sometimes impatiently) await the next milestone and phase.

I feel like I even have more patience with my 1 year old than with the doctor process!  (And this is saying a lot especially since he recently learned how to open and close the dishwasher, and when we flip the latch to lock it so he won't open it and gouge himself with forks and knives, he's learned to twist the knob exactly right to actually TURN ON the dishwasher.  We have very clean dishes, my friends.)

I think I have less patience with the med school process because I have a lot less control over it.  Part of this whole process is learning how to have patience while accepting the fact that much of our future is largely out of our control.  (For example, our 5 year plan?  Uh, we don't know.....move where ever we get into residency!)

I'm hoping that by blogging about all this, I can remember it on the inevitable days when I want things to get easier instantly or without effort.  I'll have to look back and remind myself that the better I become at being patient, the happier I will be!


Wait-am I at home or the doctor's?

Studoc recently got his bag of medical supplies that all the med students are required to purchase.  For a whopping $1000 (which at this point is a drop in the bucket) for the stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, eye light and ear light thingy--ya know I really don't know the fancy names for all his stuff, but I do know stethoscope! :)  His stethoscope is even red like in this picture, because apparently the stealing of stethoscopes in med school is not uncommon, so he wanted the brightest/rarest color available.  He totally would have chosen a bright orange one if it was available!

So the med students are supposed to practice with these new toys (which is what I call them even though they're completely real and legit....but let's face it, to my husband they're new toys to play with!).

Lately I've been feeling like I live at the doctor's office, with him taking my vitals and such.  Sure it's good practice for him and I'm happy to help, but I have to admit, all the doctor's office stuff makes me nervous.  Some people are nervous about going to the dentist.  Not me!  Bring on the dentist!  Some people are nervous about going to the doctor.  I am some people.  But something tells me that over the next couple of years, I will become a lot more comfortable with all this stuff, especially with all the doctoring going on at home!  It'll actually be nice in the future...we'll most likely save several visits to the doctor with my husband's chosen profession.  I'm all about that!

In the meantime, I'll just get accustomed to knowing my daily blood pressure, having a blinding light shine through my pupils, and having him look into my ears (so romantic!).  It'll probably make going to the doctor's from now on feel a little like home.



Our cute little Bean

I just love this picture Studoc took.  He's taken so many others that are just ridiculosuly cute.  If he actually had time--and money--he'd definitely take up a photography hobby on the side.  I'm sure he will at some point in his career when things get a little more settled, because it's a hobby he truly enjoys. 

He doesn't yet know what he wants to specialize in with regard to medicine, but for the sake of joking around with him I say, "Hey--if you're a Pediatrician, you could totally have a photography studio at your practice!  Kids would come in for their shots, and leave vaccinated and with a convenient picture package!"  Parents would EAT THAT UP.  I know I would!  

You'd just have to be sure to take the pictures before the shots, obviously.  And you'd have to be prepared for a little logistical confusion ("Does my health insurance cover this 8X10?").  But other than that, I think it's a fantastic (and funny) way to combine his two passions!  Don't anybody steal my idea now...you heard it here first. :)



I can't handle the sight of blood.  Mine--someone else's--anyone's really.  It freaks me out!  (And the monthly thing doesn't count...that's not "real" blood to me.)  Obviously, I'm not going to find and post a picture of blood for this post, because.....EW.  Allow me to explain where these thoughts are coming from:

This morning I was awake early, because many times I can't go back to sleep after I've heard Studoc get up early and leave for school.  So I'm trying to go back to sleep for another hour, and I'm halfway there, when all of the sudden I wake up in a panic hearing some weird, loud whimpering noises.  My baby makes strange noises sometimes, so my ears direct instictively towards the monitor.  Nope, not the baby.  Baby's okay. Sounds like it's coming from outside my 3rd story window...like a pack of wild dogs whimpering and barking and going crazy outside.  So I look out my bedroom window, and this is the scene looking down onto the street:

A middle-aged woman is standing in the middle of the street in a yellow sweatsuit crying in a frantic way.  I look at her stomach/side and it appears to be drenched in blood.  I see an unleashed dog running close to her yelping, then running away.  Three other dogs yelping and barking, but those dogs are on leashes and their owners hurry and run away with them.  Did she get attacked by a dog?  I also see a car stopped in the middle of the street several feet back from the bleeding lady.  The driver and passenger--a young man and young girl--are already out of the car and the young man is on his cell phone.  Did they stop in the street to help her?  Did they hit her with their car?  Did they hit her with their car while walking her dog, hence the yelping?  Or were the dogs yelping due to some innate sense of blood and someone hurt?

So many scenarios are going through my head as I try to make sense of what I see.  My first rational thought is "okay, they're calling 911, so that's good."  More people are congregating on the street now.  The young woman helps the bleeding lady lay down in the middle of the street on the non-bleeding side.  Someone brings a blanket for the victim.  To help with the bleeding?  For comfort?  They lay it over her lower half.  Should I go down there?   No, I have a sleeping baby in the next room.  Plus, what'll I do?  Go down, see the blood, and have a panic attack?  Make more work for the EMTs?

The Police are there now.  Okay, that's good.  Now the firetruck.  Bringing out the stretcher.  Okay, I can't watch anymore.  At some point I called Studoc as I was freaking out about it (he wasn't in class yet).  He was all calm about it, and asked me to tell him what was going on, but I couldn't look out the window anymore.  He told me it'd be okay, that they have lots of help and other such comforting phrases.

My point:  THANK GOODNESS for people like my husband who have no problems seeing or hearing about blood and who can stay calm and collected during stressful situations.  He will be such an amazing doctor.  Thank goodness for those police officers and firefighters and EMTs who can handle all this stuff that makes me nearly throw up/pass out.  I wonder why it is some people can handle the sight of blood and others can't.  Amount of exposure to such things?  I dunno.  Strangely, I don't have a big problem with children's blood....but adult blood freaks me out.  Is it because I've had more exposure to children's blood with all the scraped knees and such?

As a follow up on my story, I peeked out the window after the commotion cleared out of the street, and I saw orange spray paint on the street where the victim was lying and where the front of the car bumper was...which leads me to believe the car had something to do with it.  I really hope that that lady's okay, and so grateful for those who are in the noble calling of emergency response and medicine.


Update/The Reverie

Don't you just love all my little pictures I put in my posts?  I think they enhance things a bit.  The visuals make me happy.  This visual is because Studoc has been studying extra EXTRA long hours because he has an exam every day this week, each day on a different subject.  I'd like to have a little chat with the guy who thought this was an excellent idea, and teach him about such phrases as "disgruntled wife" and "studying so hard it fries the brain."  <---As to the latter, I'm certain there's some science behind that.

The only thing about the picture that's inaccurate is all the words, when Studoc's books are mostly filled with pictures/drawings.  And no matter what book you open, it inevitably opens to drawings of men/women unmentionable parts.  I make a point to never open up his books, because I'm squeamish and stuff like seeing the insides of people grosses me out.  Even if they're drawings.  I don't care about seeing the insides, people.  I just want it all to work properly!

Getting through this week will be a relief for our family....I feel stressed about these tests, and I'm not even the one taking them.  Kind of like when I played soccer back in the day.......(harp music playing while blurry cloudiness signals I'm in a reverie.  And let's add a soccer ball picture, too).

There we go.  So once upon a time when I played soccer, I remember how it felt to play during the game.  The pressure ran through our players like electrical fun.  We wanted to do our best, and preferably win.  I loved being in the game, and having that feeling...even though it was pressure, I knew I was in there and could make a difference.

The hardest part of the game by far was when we had to rotate people and I had to sit on the sidelines for a bit.  The pressure was still there--the anxiousness, the excitement--but it was different.....because I wasn't in the game.  I yearned to be in the field to do something about the pressure I felt.  To block that kick.  To steal the ball from that player.  To help my team.  But it was out of my control.   

I have felt like this about Studoc's tests in medical school.  I feel the pressure, anxiousness, and excitement (although I'm sure he feels things emotions to greater degrees than I do).  But I'm not in the game.  I'm on the sideline.  It's difficult to be involved with the team and not in the game--I can't very well go to school with him--but I'm trying to find ways to help and support from the sideline.  I'll cheer him on.  Be there for the wins and losses.  With juice boxes and orange slices.


Potent Quotables

My recurring thought of today this week.....

"When we pray for strength, God gives us weights."


Button, button, who's got the button?

Sometimes I wish there was a "pause" button in life to halt life when things are going generally okay and everyone is healthy so that all Studoc has to worry about is studying for all the exams he has next week.  And for that matter, sometimes I wish for a "rewind" button and definitely a "fast forward" button.  Let me explain...

So, last week was bad, because Bean had the mother of all diaper rashes...flaming red raw skin like it was eating away at his skin type of rash.  SO painful for my little guy!  So last week I exhausted myself doing everything humanly possible to try to help his rash.  After a full week of 2 baths a day, Tylenol, every butt cream on the market, etc, etc, it finally started to heal a little (where was my fast forward button?)  I thought, "FINALLY, it's starting to get better and things can get back to normal again....right?"


Monday night Bean was up all night.  ALL.  NIGHT.  Crying.  Fever.  Nose running like a faucet.  I felt so bad for Studoc who heard him crying on the monitor all night and heard me getting up 10 times when he had school the next day!  Bean's still sick today, and on top of that, he was scheduled for his 1 year appointment and got 3 shots to add to his misery.  Poor kid.  (Don't call CPS on me, I'd rather he be a little extra fussy than get Rubella or something!)

And to top if off, I woke up sick today also.  It's so fun being sick and taking care of a sick baby while my husband is MIA because he needs to study for next week.....I just PRAY he doesn't get sick, too.  But you know he will.  Right before his exams next week.  Or else it'd be too easy! :P

I guess my point is, I feel like even if you take a big pencil eraser and erase everything else about life but medical school, medical school is still unavoidably incredibly demanding.  Add any kind of life in the mix, and it feels overwhelming.  But that's the name of the game, right?  To try to learn how to handle this insurmountable workload while balancing a life on the side?  I guess I should cut us some slack since we've only had a month so far to learn how to do this.

Fast forward button, you would be any med wife's best friend.  Skip ahead to when husband's out of med school.  Wait--skip ahead to when husband's done with residency.  Wait--skip ahead to......oh hey, there went half our lives!  So, big med wife lesson #2:

Get rid of the fast forward button.

I've got to stop thinking in skip ahead mode and telling myself..."things will be better/easier at such-and-such point in this med school game..."  I've got to start thinking in "Play" which means enjoying the NOW.  (Well, not necessarily the now being sick and having a sick baby, but in general....you know what I mean.)


Labor Day "Vacation"

Today was Labor Day Holiday.  So Studoc didn't have school.

I wish I could say we slept in way late to catch up on much-needed sleep.
I wish I could say we spent the whole day at the beach basking in the warm sun and splashing in salty water.
I wish I could say we got together with a bunch of friends and family for dinner and had a rockin' BBQ.
I wish I could say we had a blissful, relaxing day where we got to be together alllllll day.


Well, all that didn't happen.  We got up at our normal times, and Studoc had to go to school to poke around at dead bodies.  He has a big lab practical next week, so he and a bunch of his classmates met at school to study the cadavers, because his practical is going to be something where the professor points to a bunch of different muscles, nerves, veins, arteries, bones, etc. on the cadaver, and he has to know what they all are and do.  Yeah, it's a LOT to know....hence the all day (and all week) studying.

BUT.......when he came home and needed a break, we went to a nearby park with Bean to feed the ducks in a pretty pond and play frisbee in the green grass.  It was really fun!

Bean with the ducks

Then we came home because Studoc had to study for several more hours.  But at least we got to spend a little more time together than normal and do something fun!


You know you're a med wife when...

...a simple, relaxing massage by your husband inevitably turns into a full-fledged anatomy lesson.

Actual conversation 1:

ME:  That feels great on my neck....my neck has felt tight lately.

STUDOC:  Yeah, this is where your (such and such) artery is.  It starts here, and connects here, and here are some of your lymphnodes....

ME:  ....wow.  This is so relaxing.


Actual conversation 2:

STUDOC:  Can you take off your socks so I can feel your feet?

ME:  Sure!  I'd love a foot massage!

STUDOC:  (feeling my feet)  Today we learned how to feel a person's pulse in two different places on the foot....(uncomfortable poking and prodding)

ME:  Um, that kind of hurts.

STUDOC:  Sorry....(with enthusiasm) see look!....I can feel your pulse here......and ........here.......

ME:  Hmmm.....that's great.  This is the worst foot massage ever.

STUDOC:  (laughs)  And I can feel your (such and such) ligaments...

ME:  (sigh) (smile) :)


Coloring in Med School!

Yesterday in med school, Studoc told me they were learning to identify surface bones and organs.  So what did they do?  They were given a bunch of washable markers and told to draw and color on their partners.  Studoc said he felt like a first-grader coloring but that it was really funny and actually great practice.

So he drew on his partner.....bones around the face and sinuses, arteries in the neck, sternum and stuff around the chest (girls wear sports bras and they work around them, in case you're wondering...and I would list more stuff they outlined and colored, but that's the extent of anatomy I remember from 9th grade Biology).  So people ended up looking all Halloween-ish and like human cartoons.  Isn't that funny??

Apparently Studoc dodged a bullet and wasn't drawn on because they ran out of time.  Bummer.  I totally would've made fun of him! :)

So that's what my husband in a professional school did yesterday.  Colored with markers.  Awesome.


I love cell phones!

I repeat....I LOVE cell phones!  This happens to be the phone that Studoc and I both have right now, the LG Chocolate Touch.  It's not the greatest phone I've ever had, but it's alright.  The one big thing it lacks is learning text, which my old Chocolate had, and you don't realize what a big deal it is until you don't have it.  So if a word is not in your predictive text, you have to ABC it every single time....and it doesn't remember it!  The virtual keypad takes some getting used to also.  But my reason for posting that I love cell phones is not to give a review of mine (which you apparently got anyway)...

....I love cell phones because Studoc is gone so much all day, and thanks to the marvelous invention of the cell phone, we can still keep in touch and he doesn't feel so out of reach.  We text each other during the day.  He calls me on his lunch hour.  I send him videos of Bean, which always makes him happy to see his baby and also a little sad that he's not there.  And Studoc sometimes sends me videos of himself "paying attention" in lecture, because it's fun for me to see him, too.  Obviously, all of this is done in moderation so as not to distract from all the learning and whatnot. :)

In Interpersonal Communication you learn that it's the small, "mundane", everyday interactions that are the most important for strengthening and maintaining relationships.  It's not the big relational moments that we tend to think of as our defining moments--it's the little everyday consistencies that are most important and bring us closer together.

So thank you, cell phone, for increasing my mundane interactions and helping me feel like my Studoc is still part of my day!

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