Archive for February, 2010

Free Association Post!

February 7, 2010

It has been a while since I’ve last posted. I’m having a hard time pinning down specific things to talk about, so I figured I’d just let fly with the gestalt in my head.

I’ve been thinking about some of the memorable patients I’ve met over the course of the year. Single, earthy, elderly grandfather taking care of his two grandchildren. The girl who shot herself in the head, and the doctor who told her family. The really nice guy with inoperable pancreatic cancer. The other really nice guy who had the courage to joke about having his leg amputated. The sister and her mentally retarded brother who live together with her boyfriend, somehow making things work. The little girl with leukemia that we tried to send home for her birthday, but came back the next day to stay for four months. The man who lived in utter squalor at home with terminal cancer, that we kept in the hospital for two days against his will. The cancer patient who tried to leave AMA, trying to curse the doctors through his trach tube. The man who asked me when I’d be a doctor, and if he could be my patient. The woman that I tried to “give homework” to overcome her agorophobia by driving her son to school . . . and she succeeded. The 23 year old girl with a rare and terminal liver cancer. The little girl that we coded for two hours. The little boy with prune belly syndrome who smiled all the time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about surgery lately. About making it my career. I figure for some people, working 40 hours sucks because it’s just a job, and they spend another 40 hours chasing their hobbies and their passions. But if surgery is my job, my passion and my hobby. . . maybe that’s not so bad. I was told I was a low-average applicant, and I will need to do some solid work in the next six months or so if I want a shot at a good surgical residency in California. I am thinking that perhaps if I do surgery, I won’t necessarily get what I want, but maybe I will get what I need.

I have spent the last two Saturdays at the student run clinic I used to help direct. It’s amazing how far I’ve come since I was there a year and a half ago.  It’s kinda awesome realizing I have something to offer/something to teach.

My parents bought me this huge (for me) full size bed that I am luxuriating in each night.

I have started fencing again each Monday. It’s been so long, but the joy in that activity is still there. After practice this week, I went to dinner with some of the fencers afterwards. We all turned out to be grad students in one discipline or another. Was great to relax and be socially awkward in front of people who couldn’t care less.