In the Life of a Fickle Intern

May 28, 2011

New Title

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 23:14

As of yesterday, I have forever lost my title as “medical student” and in return, have gained a very expensive piece of paper (my degree!) that will literally change my life in almost every aspect. I am officially a Doctor of Medicine. Craziness!

The week leading up to graduation was a roller coaster of emotions. Though I would like to think of myself as a relatively secure person when it comes to life in general, I had these intermittent waves of doubts about my abilities to transition smoothly from being a student to being a resident. If this transition occurred a year ago, I would not have had a second thought about it. I was at the top of my game, finishing third year with a bang and filled with knowledge from all those tests I had to study for. However, after months and months of “light” rotations and vacation, I am pretty sure my brain has shut down from lack of activity. My last real rotation that required me to work more than eight hours a day was in August of 2010. Despite my seemingly endless doubts, I pulled out of it just in time to graduate.

Through some self-consoling and some outside reassurance, I think I am back on track. I want to even say that I’m kind of excited to start this new leg in my journey. I’m still freaked out about the prospect of having my signature actually meaning something, but I think I’m ready to try it. I was a really good student, and who knows, maybe I’ll be a really good resident. I do love this job and when all else fails, I at least know that I will have ten other fellow interns who are probably just as anxious and nervous as I am to share this journey with.

Despite it all, I’ve regained my optimistic outlook on life. Things are good. A few hurtles here and there these past few weeks, but honestly, I have nothing to complain about. I have an amazing family and awesome friends, and I just finished 20 years of schooling! Life is good.

 

May 26, 2011

Packing

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 10:49

I’m learning a lot about myself as I pack up my room/apartment in preparation for this move.

1. I have an obsession with books. I’m leaving behind two big boxes of books at my parent’s house, yet somehow, I am still managing to bring with me yet another two big boxes of books I haven’t gotten around to reading. This does not include all the books that I currently house at my parents or my medical textbooks and references. I do love them! (But they’re so heavy to move!)

2. I’m a hoarder. I need to get rid of all of my clothes from high school. I also need to throw away those cute homemade presents/notes given to me by my students when I worked as a camp counselor 10 years ago…and the five year old makeup that just sits at the bottom of my drawer…and my collection of old/broken/used purses that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away…and the many, many, many pairs of shoes that I have never worn. The list goes on. I think I have a problem.

3. I never considered myself messy but man, I have so much clutter everywhere! I’m surprised I’m able to find anything at all.

4. I’m very attached to my baking supplies. I can’t decide on what to do with all them. Do I really need four cake pans? No…but what if I wanted to make a four layer cake one day? My mom would shake her head if she saw how many baking pans I’ve accumulated in the last four years at my apartment. She is already aware of all the ones I’ve gotten for her kitchen. I don’t even remember buying this stuff!

5. I hate moving. I hate everything about it. Packing. Unpacking. Leaving.

6. It’s a little more bearable with good, loud music.

7. I’m so glad that I don’t have to move my furniture.

May 23, 2011

Control

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 06:20

Although I wouldn’t consider myself a Type A personality, I definitely do exhibit some of the characteristic traits at times. I did choose medicine as my career path after all, the one field where I know Type A personalities dominate.

One of those traits that come out in times of change and/or stress is the need to control. I don’t actually need to be in control of anything, but I need the sense of control of my current situation in order to have any peace of mind. These last few weeks have thrown me for quite a loop. I am not going to lie. I definitely had a few days this last week where tears were triggered by the most minute things including words, commercials, or even my computer freezing! Crying has always been a coping mechanism. I guess it’s healthier than other forms of coping, but I do realize it’s a bit silly. I just felt like I had lost a grasp on my current situation, and I really hated the feeling of not having a plan, especially since I have to move within the next few weeks.

Despite my semi-emotional moments, I got most everything situated. I have a place. I haven’t seen it, but I like the street. That counts, right? I have triple checked with my current school and my future school to make sure all paperwork were in. I have a plan for moving, mostly that I am not moving anything and refurnishing once I get there. I feel ok. No more tears. However, despite my self-reassurance that I am ok, my body is telling me otherwise. For a week now, I have woken up almost every night at odd hours mentally making lists of things I have to do. I usually can coax myself back to sleep, but today, I woke up at 4:13 am making a list of condiments that I will need to stock my new refrigerator. I know, I’m going bonkers! And surprisingly, I cannot fall back to sleep for the life of me. I figured I might as well get up and make real lists to appease my very active mind. I think I may still be a little stressed out.

Once graduation (this Friday!) is over and I’m moved and settled, I think everything will return back to normal. It actually probably won’t because I’ll be all by myself in a new city with new people in a new hospital system, but I’ll just tell myself that for now. So many changes happening so fast!

May 17, 2011

Scam

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 23:36

I’m a pretty straight-laced person. I try not to lie (too often) or to cheat or even to be mean. I have this weirdly optimistic outlook on life and I assume that people are kind and good deep down. Even medical school hasn’t jaded me yet!

However, after my series of events last week, I might be a tad more jaded about the goodness of mankind.

Through craigslist, (I know, bad start!) I found an ad for this seemingly legit house for rent in Baltimore. It was a little too good to be true, but through a series of emails, I was convinced that the owner is a doctor working abroad in Nigeria. Not once did I doubt that this transaction was not legitimate. I mean, I am a future doctor who would LOVE to go abroad to a third world country and work. AND while doing so, I would rent out my house. It’s logical, right?

Well, in the midst of the excitement of meeting this kind-hearted, Christian doctor and getting a great place (I even had a friend in the area go check out the house to see if it was occupied and really for rent!), I agreed to a verbal lease over email and wired her a deposit. I know, most people are shaking their heads right now at my gullibility and stupidity, but it just never crossed my mind that this wasn’t a real, legal deal. I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before so I don’t think about stuff like this! Unfortunately, my family is just as honest and straight-laced as I am so they had no doubts either.

Anyway, the emails became more and more suspicious. She emailed me these series of stories about having to relocate to Libya and wanting me to send more money for rent since she wouldn’t have access to a bank and whatnot. It all made sense! I wanted to kick myself in the butt! She had been “putting off” sending me the lease and keys because I was “out of town” and she needed me to personally accept the package when it arrived. I was so mad at myself!

So yes, I am out a huge chunk of change, but in return, I have gained some pessimism and doubt about the motives of mankind. It was a horrible lesson to learn, but I guess in the long run, I’ll look back and laugh at my own naivety.  As for now, it’s still not funny and I am still really mad at myself. It’s not even the money that really upsets me. It’s the fact that I am an amazingly frugal person who budgets everything, and yet, I go and throw away a huge sum voluntarily. I didn’t even get to donate it or anything!

The worse part is that in hindsight, the whole thing was so wrong and suspicious from the very beginning. Her grammar was horrible, and her emails were very boastful of what she was doing. If she was really that good of a person saving lives, she would not be flaunting it. I can’t believe I didn’t see all this!

Going back through craigslist, there are so many warnings about scams. Somehow I missed those too…

Though I wanted to give her a piece of mind and write a really nasty email telling her to do something really bad to herself, I took the high road and wished bad karma on her. I know, I suck at this retaliation ordeal but I didn’t want to stoop to her level. Apart from that, I didn’t know what else to do. I did report her to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center. Maybe that’ll help?

The moral of the story is: don’t be stupid. People are malicious!

To top off my wonderful week, my rental car got towed in DC, my nephew wrecked my old car, and I still have a rash that I cannot diagnose! I hope that this pattern of bad luck (or stupidity) ends soon!

May 16, 2011

Rash

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 13:27

Fair warning. The pictures may be a little gross.

After recovering from my 48 hr viral syndrome in Missoula, I was feeling pretty great. We ended our trip in Glacier National Park near Kalispell, Montana. It was absolutely, ridiculously gorgeous! Even though only a small portion of the park was opened, it was definitely worth the drive. I really, really want to go back when the weather is warmer and see the rest of the park. It was so beautiful!

Coming back to Memphis after an unsuccessful house hunting trip to Baltimore, I developed this weird, isolated, bilateral rash on the back of my hands. It hasn’t migrated or enlarged. It has a lacy, maculopapular appearance. It blanches and it isn’t warm to the touch. It feels relatively benign though it is starting to itch a little bit. I am bit frustrated because I cannot for the life of me figure out what the heck it is. I am assuming that it’s a drug reaction from the antibiotics I was on early this week, but it would be a delayed reaction. Since I have no constitutional symptoms, I’m guessing that this is not part of a disease process. I hope so anyway. The pictures I’m posting are kind of gross, but I thought it was only appropriate that I share my own ailments on this blog. If you know what it is or have a guess, please let me know! I will have to do some research later! That is my goal for the day – to figure out what this silly rash is.

May 10, 2011

Viral syndrome

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 19:28

I wasn’t kidding when I stated in the last post that my body hates me. Three days into our beautiful camping trip, I came down with some sort of viral syndrome, most likely Roseola or Parvovirus from my symptoms. I had the full works – spiking fevers, chills, malaise, and a full body rash from my face to my legs. Luckily, the timing worked out and we had rented a cabin in Missoula for these last thee days so I was fortunate enough to have a couch to doze in and out as my two travel companions explored the area. Being a person who doesn’t like to take medicine, in addition to my cellulitis antibiotics and my malaria prophylaxis, I have been popping Advil and Tylenol like tic tacs trying to keep my fever down.

Last night being the first night in three nights that I didn’t wake up with a fever, I ventured away from my couch today to do some mild hiking with my friends. Looking back on it, it wasn’t terrible at all, but on the way up, those 2 miles felt horrid. The view was beautiful, but I was not feeling it.

Worse yet, as with all camping trips, there is plenty of wine and beer. Considering that I have become dependent on Tylenol, I’ve had to avoid all alcohol to save my poor liver. I’ve been eyeing my two friends jealously as they enjoy their drinks. The sacrifices you make for your liver!

Though we have one more official day of tent camping, I have offered to book a hotel for the last night because I don’t think I can handle the stress. I’m such a wimp!

May 4, 2011

Travels

Filed under: Personal Ramble — dailymedicine @ 06:56

Last fall when I was planning out my travels for my last two months of freedom before residency starts, I did not take into account my physical state of being. After a month of jet setting in India and Thailand, I came back to the US a little battered and bruised, a little a lot. My poor body was exhausted, in addition to the cuts and bruises I gained by attempting to take on some Thai corals. My mom confirmed how I felt when she expressed that I looked haggard and battered on first seeing me. (We have an honest relationship, what can I say. :))

Two days after returning, I headed to Atlanta to go to my best friend from childhood’s wedding. It was an amazing weekend and I had so much fun seeing all my girls from high school, but my body was beginning to revolt (cellulitis, anyone?) I added some blisters to my collection of cuts and bruises from the crazy shoes I chose to wear and the crazy dancing I did. No complaints though!

Now, two days after that, I’m once again sitting at the airport waiting to fly out to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to do an eight day roadtrip/camping trip through Wyoming and Montana. I know, it’s a tough life.

Flying straight from Washington, I’ll be ending this six week excursion in Baltimore where I will be checking out my new neighborhood. I originally booked this trip to find a place, but through some major alignments of stars, I found a great place (hopefully) on craigslist and put down a deposit blindly. I’ve got a good feeling about it.

So that’s the really quick and dirty update. And even though I want to do nothing more than just sit on my lazy bum in front of the tv for five days straight, I wouldn’t change a thing. I will be exhausted for the next three years. Why not start training myself early by doing something as amazing as everything I’m getting the opportunity to do. I just wish my body would get on board and stop acting up.

Speaking of which, I need to take my antibiotics!

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