Thursday, December 11, 2008


Yesterday was the last day of clinicals. I was placed in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit this semester.

The purpose of lab and clincials this semester was to become proficient at the physical exam. The first part of the semester we practiced conducting physical exams on our lab partners until it became a habit. The second part of the semester we conducted actual physical examsd on real patients. It was much harder to do physical exams on my patients than my lab partner. My lab partner (third from the left) was responsive, agreeable, helpful, and not sick. Most of my patients this semster have been intubated, had numerous IV lines and EKG leads to maneuver around, had restraints on, and were sedated. The few I had that weren't sedated had ICU induced psychosis and were absolutely crazy. Every exam had to be modified and I learned a lot.

I enjoyed my time there. I learned so much everyday and I left wishing we could stay longer. I look forward to the day when I can.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I suppose I feel like I have been burning the candle at both ends for quite some time now. Prior to Thanksgiving break, I had adapted so that I could function at a very high level of stress. Then I had the week off at Thanksgiving, which has thrown me completely off. I'm having trouble regaining my momentum and even though the end is in sight, I feel I will never make it to next Thursday. I have always been amazed by people who would work so hard and then quit right before they accomplished their goal, but I think I can understand now. It would make perfect sense to me if someone were to drop out on July 31st, despite pending graduation on August 2nd. Sometimes you just don't have it in you anymore.

My break will start next Thursday and will last until the 5th of January. I look forward to the time off from school, but overall I'm not excited by the events which the break will bring. I'll be moving, my parents will be moving, much of life, as I have grown accustomed to it, will change dramatically. I'm not one for changes.

Growth is often a product of change and I hope that that is what the upcoming changes will yield for me. Fear is often a byproduct of change and I know that that resides within me; however that which I fear is not well defined and is somewhat obscure. Change often presents new opportunities, new beginnings, and new challenges - each of these can offer both positive and negative aspects to one's life.

I wonder a lot about my future job - where I will work, and what exactly I will be doing. I wonder about my future place of residency - where on this great big Earth I will live. I wonder about so many things and that wonder at times leaves me feeling so unsettled and lost. I wonder where my place is and what my purpose is. I know that I am in the process of doing what I am supposed to be doing, I feel that as I have never felt that, but there are so many contingent factors associated with that that I do not know. I do not know what is best for me or for my future or for my family. I suppose something that saddens me a great deal, is that I do not have a home. I've lived a nomadic life. I had begun to think I did, but in coming days that is passing away. It is difficult to step outside of one's self and establish yourself and allow yourself to become, especially when you must do it alone.

I've never in my life been under the level of stress that I have been under the last few months for a prolonged period of time. I've learned what it means to take it one day at a time. I've been unable to look more than two weeks in advance without becoming disabling overwhelmed. Yet, I am surviving. I look back over the last few months and I see my growth and I am able to identify my progress. But there is so much I do not know. There is so much I will never know. I try to learn and to grasp it all, but it is not possible, there is simply too much.

There have been so many events that have occurred over the past few months and their stories reside within me desiring to be let out and told. I do not know that they will make it out, but I do hope they do. If for no other reason than I do not want time to elapse and awake one morning to find those events have left me. Birthday Curse #2, Male Surrogate exams, Female Surrogate exams, Lost Dogs, Liver/Kidney Transplant, the cursed 20 page paper........