October in review, for all of the things that I’ve wanted to say this month but haven’t had the time or energy to channel them out into the world wide web.
Maybe it’s better this way. I’m not sure. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep this blog going while in medical school.
October was a challenging month. It started with the end of the neuro block, 8-weeks of grueling coursework in the nervous system. With all of our exams on Monday mornings, it makes it really challenging to take a guilt-free weekend off from studying. By the time we got to the end of neuro I was tired and beaten down, but we picked ourselves back up to start the GI tract the next day. The rest of October passed in a blur of brown-tinged jokes and complaints of abdominal pain. What causes diarrhea you ask? It feels like a million things.
My patience was tested. My focus was tested. My ability to find that elusive balance was tested.
On October 1st, I saw a beating heart. In a human body.
On October 1st, I got the opportunity to shadow a cardiothoracic surgeon while he did an open repair of someone’s ascending aorta. Those are basically all fancy words for the tube that comes off of your heart and sends blood to all of the different organs in your body. It’s pretty important that it is strong and sturdy, but sometimes they become stretched too thin and that’s when we worry about them breaking. So, this surgeon went in and replaced a piece of this man’s aorta with a manufactured tube. It was incredible and exhilarating and humbling, all at the same time. I was also terrified of the possibility of tripping and falling onto the patient the whole surgery. My mantra for the day, “do not fall, do not fall”.
On October 8th, we finished neuro and promptly ate our weight in Denver Biscuit Company.
On October 10th, it snowed.
On October 12th, my friends and I went to the ballet, Sleeping Beauty. We put on our fancy dresses, I put on some new lipstick and we pretended to not be medical students for one night. Which was actually pretty difficult because we went to the ballet with the CU School of Medicine Alumni Association… Also, I may or may not have rested my eyes during the first act.
On October 27th, my 2011 MacBook Pro was considered to be a “vintage machine”. I don’t think they understand what the word “vintage” means, but I bought a new computer anyways.
I had been thinking this month about some of the things I was thankful for because my cousin Katie was running a series on her blog about resistance and gratitude. I sent her 5 things, but I left out one. I’m really thankful for student loans because without them I wouldn’t be able to get through medical school. So, while I have to pay them back eventually, at this moment in time I am able to focus on becoming the best doctor I can be, while not having to worry about where my next meal, rent check or gas money will come from. Because of student loans, I can purchase a new computer. This is a privilege.
All through October, we studied a lot, making tables and graphs of the diseases of the GI tract, and having a little bit of fun along the way. Now here we are, on the edge of November.
This month I was challenged to be faithful; to trust in what is coming and what I cannot yet see. To trust that this hard work will pay off and that the season will change. I am encouraged.
How has October been for you?