Tuesday, January 22, 2008
So I have to have a personal change project that positively impacts my health. So I focused on running. I've been reading books to improve motivation and running techniques. I've thought about other habits that discourage my desire to exercise and rearranged my schedule or pattern of routines in order to align myself with a more positive outcome and decrease the prevalence of my barriers.
I had to submit my proposal this week for my change project. The change project has to be measurable, so then I have to think what health factor do I want to measure - heart rate, blood pressure, weight? So I decided on stress. I found a great rubric to measure my stress and I am going to cross reference it with my exercise habits and evaluate the effectiveness of exercise on my stress level.
Looking at things from the perspective of stress has rearranged my thinking a lot about the whole project. I had initially been solely thinking about exercise and all that encompasses, but focusing on stress makes so much more sense now. I am doing other things in conjunction with the project to evaluate my stress level. It has truly been interesting and I look forward to the end results.I've been running for three weeks now. It is getting some easier, but I'm still really out of shape. It hasn't helped that the temp's been in the 30's or that it was spitting sleet while I was running today. But I do feel better, my rubric is already indicating the positive effect that exericse is having on my stress level.
Learning to control my stress will become an incredibly important tool in the following months. I had a meeting with my advisor yesterday and we talked about a great deal of stuff. I have a lot of concerns regarding the 2nd year of the program and I needed some perspective. There are ~15 different specialties. I have chose acute care, which, incidently, is the most intense program. I asked about the course of the 2nd year and all that it involves. I asked how the intensity of the 2nd year compared to the intensity of the current 1st year and she replied that there was no comparison. She said that the fall semester will require dedicated studying at least 6 out of 7 nights a week and that I should basically plan on not having any type of social life (which fortunately will not upset my current state of affairs). As ironic as it may sound, my discussion with my advisor provided me with some clarity and decreased the extreame amount of worry and fear I have over next year (not that I don't still have an extreme amount of worry and fear).
Tomorrow begins my 3rd week of pediatric clinicals.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
So, the first day of class we talked about the physiological changes that an infant experiences right after birth. On the second day of class we talked about suicide. So we start with birth and go directly to suicide, how's that for consistency? Yesterday we talked about schizophrenia and psychosis. And today we talked about conception and fetal development. The funny thing is this is all the same class. We are going for one extreme to another.
The lectures have all been very interesting, but I have especially enjoyed the fetal development/birth lectures. A lot of stories were relayed and I thought that I would share a funny one.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I didn't get to spend any time with my pt today because I got put on another pts case right after I got on the floor and ended up in surgery all day. I observed the placement of a VP shunt - so essentially I was in brain surgery all morning. It was really incredible. I think the reality of the situation really hit home when I saw the pt's skull shavings fall to the ground like saw dust as the surgeon drilled a hole in the pt's skull. It was quite amazing. The story is so much more than skull shavings though. I was with the pt 1.5 hours before, the 1.5 hours of, and the 1.5 hours after the surgery.
I suppose much of life is about perspective, though. The amazingly beautiful and powerful human body would have been before me whether I had stayed with the pt with the UTI or followed the pt to surgery, but it took me seeing a pts brain to acknowledge it.
Maybe we are all guilty of chasing sunsets......but then again, they are amazingly beautiful too.
Monday, January 7, 2008
I had three classes today. We actually got to change classrooms, so I don't have to sit in the same seat all day, although I can't really figure out why they made all 129 (minus those who have dropped out) of us move to the room next door, but it was nice to have a change of scenery. My first class today was part 2 of a class that started last semester. It meets on both Monday and Tuesday mornings. It's interesting, very fast pace and exhaustive, but I enjoy it. The second class was okay, not sure what it's all about yet. My third class is all about change and ironically I am very excited by this. I first learned about it at the end of last semester and, in truth, I have thought a lot about it over break. The class focuses on how to encourage our patients to make a change in their life. Of course the best way to learn is to do, so we have to make a change in our lives this semester and then discuss it an the end of the semester. Essentially they want you to focus on something that will make you healthier - physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, etc. Like I said, I have thought a lot about this and I have already come up with ~4 ideas (I'm sure there are hundreds of things that I can do to improve my overall health/self). I still have some more thinking on this before I decide what I want to do for sure.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I also got to see an incredible exhibit that I have wanted to see for a couple of years. It is called "Bodies" and it is an artistic display of actual human bodies that are cut and preserved in order to show the amazing organization of our bodies. I enjoyed it immensely. There was everything you could want or imagine to see except for a cross section of the liver, the eye ball, and the heart. But I've dissected a heart and an eye ball, so all I really wanted to see was the liver. It may sound incredibly disgusting to a lot of people, but it was truly amazing and awesome (awesome in the true meaning of the word and not in the ninja turtle meaning of the word). I felt so blessed to have been able to view such an interesting exhibition.
As 2007 has come to an end, I can't help but reflect on the events of the past year. Where I was January 2007 and where I am January 2008 are totally different places. I have been blessed with a new niece and nephew - two truly amazing human beings who provide so much hope and excitement for my future. I find myself practically unemployed and back in school, something that deep down I knew I would do, but am still surprised by. I also realized that 2007 is the first year, of my entire life, that I did not, at least one day, sojourn to Oklahoma - and now my life has a recorded year without my being there. I had 2 very close friends move away. I went to 2 new and very exciting places. So many other things have come to pass that will forever define 2007 for me. This leads me to thoughts of the New Year and the opportunity for new beginnings. This causes me to ponder my goals and plans for 2008.
The future holds so much hope and excitement. We found out we are having another girl today. This will give me 4 babies. I am so blessed.