Saturday, May 31, 2014

More to Life

I've been saying I want to be a physician since I was 8 years old and at 15 I made it my mission to get into the medical program. My 17 year old self had confidence I would sell my soul to have(ok I probably would sell my soul.) I didn't have a back up plan if i didn't get into the program, I was just so sure it would work out for me. I was so sure, I didn't apply anywhere else. I didn't realize how competitive it was to get in until after I interviewed and met the "competition." The day my letter came, I remember calling my grandma while I cried. Somehow I choked out, "I got my letter." And her response was, "oh honey, I'm sorry." The tears were misleading. The following fall I started my journey that would prove to have some major bumps, but brought me here to this point in my life. The last stretch, the final year.
It is a startling reality that I have less than a year left of school and I am finally there. I guess the thing is that while I have been saying that I would be a doctor for the last 16 years and have been in medical school for the past 6 years, I never really imagined myself getting to this point. I suppose I thought it would never get here, but here I am. In less than 1 year, I will be introducing myself as Dr.
This last stretch comes with its own challenges and a very different kind of stress. Over the next few months, I will be collecting letters of recommendation, writing my personal statement, and deciding where to apply for residency. It feels like every decision carries a lot of weight in the outcome of "the match."
With the stress of everything that is to come and being on my core rotations, I quit making time to do the things I love to do(aside from medicine). Like sew, bake, hike. But I stepped into my craft room for the first time in months a couple of weekends ago. I had forgotten how great it felt to finish a project or how fun it was to pick out fabric. I've settled on making myself skirts and putting together quilts to donate to the local children's hospital.  I've also started walking trails during the evening, something that totally puts me at peace. The beautiful pond and all the newborn animals have a very relaxing effect.
Remembering there is more to life than school has been totally rejuvenating. So while I have tried to plan out how everything is going to work out this last year and attempted to be completely prepared, I've realized that I have given my education everything I had and now it is time to give up the reigns and see what life has planned for me. I'm sure it will be amazing. After all every time things didn't go as planned, life ended up being great. Sometimes life isn't about planning, it is abut living.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Shoe, The Zoo, and The countdown(+small pleasures)

I have never had a "traditional" family. There is my mom's side and my dad's side. So last week I went to the zoo with my dad's family, where we lost my niece's shoe to the zebras. The good news is that the zoo keepers were able to retrieve it a couple days later and it looks almost perfect!

This week I went to the zoo with my mom's half of the family in celebration of mother's day. We had a blast! With 2 energetic children, we were able to see every exhibit and catch a couple of shows. The little ones loved the animals, but not the walking.

On Surgery
Last night I completed my 2nd of 5 thirty hour calls that I will complete over the next couple of months. Making it 14 days down and 47 days to go before I finish up with my final core rotation and get closer to being back in the ER. I have decided to make the best of my time while I'm on surgery, relearn some anatomy, and reenforce why I chose Emergency Medicine over Surgery(not a difficult task). As I was standing in my 6 hour surgery last night, I considered renaming this post "Surg-1, Katelyn-0" but instead I decide the point goes to me. While my feet were killing me about half way through, I made it and that is a victory. We resected cancer out of a man's colon and that is definitely a victory for everyone. And the case confirmed that I was never meant to be a surgeon, mostly because I don't have the attention span.
I will say overall on surgery, the days don't seem as long as I thought they would, but the mornings do seem just as early if not earlier than I imagined. If their days started a couple hours later than they do I think it would be much easier on my body.  So while I've decided to make the best of it, I am also going to countdown the days.

Small Pleasures
One of the pros of being so busy during your core year of medical school is you remember to appreciate the small pleasures in life. For me that includes listening to music during my drives, diet mountain dew, a full night of sleep, taking a walk, and catching up with old friends. I'm pretty sure that the only thing that kept me going through the last hour of last nights surgery was knowing I had a diet mountain dew waiting on me when I finished. It is the little things in life!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Update and the future

It has been so long since I have posted anything on either of my blogs and I am going to blame that on pure exhaustion. When I first came to medical school I was sure that I would be a Neonatologist and 2 years in I decided I would go into OBGYN and specialize in infertility. It turns out that I was not meant to go into either of those fields. A couple years ago, after I realized that OBGYN was definitely not for me, I took some time to think about what I loved about medicine and what worked well with my fast pace personality and I decided on Emergency Medicine. Like so many things in my life, once I set my mind to going into Emergency Medicine I was sure that it would just work out that way and for probably the first time in my life I was right.
After lots of thinking and switching my rotation schedule, I started my Emergency med rotation at the beginning of February. I was completely nervous and for so many reasons. I was worried I wouldn't like it and then I wouldn't know what to go into, I was worried about making a good impression, and I was worried I would be no good at it. However, the month was pure bliss. I loved the excitement, I loved the fast pace, I loved the people attracted to the specialty, and most of all I loved how natural it felt for me. Aside from confirming that EM was the best for me, that month also opened up many doors. I met a number of extremely experienced and respected EM physicians who opened my eyes to EMS and toxicology. Both areas I am now interested in doing some further training in.
After Feb came my March/April rotation in OBGYN. I won't say much about it here other than as a subject I enjoyed it, as a rotation, well not my favorite.
And now I am 4 days into my Surgery rotation. I haven't had a real first day so far, but this week is sure to test my physical abilities. While I don't think it will be the most mentally challenging rotation, I do believe it will be the most physically challenging. Tomorrow is my first 30 hour call and I am sure it will be quite the experience. I am kind of excited about it to be honest. It is the only chance I am going to get to see traumas while I am on surgery which is my main interest. However, with the waking up at 3:30 in the morning and getting home close to 6 in the evening, I am sure to be MIA for another couple of months.

In the midst of all of my core rotations, I have also been working on preparing for my future. In just a few short months I will start interviewing for residency all around the country. I am getting very excited about moving forward in my career, but I'm also very nervous. As part of the process I am going to do a couple of "away" rotations in Emergency Rooms around the country. Basically all that means is I will spend a month working in an ER at a different medical school. I was offered a rotation in North Carolina and I am very excited for the upcoming opportunity. I will leave at the end of September and can't wait to share all of those experiences. I have also applied for a couple of other rotations and I am waiting to hear back on whether or not I will be offered a spot.

In other news, I housed my grandparents, sister, brother-in-law, and niece overnight this weekend. I have lived in the same home for the last couple of years and I have rarely had company and never company quite like this. We had pizza, played cards, and shared lots of stories during the evening and then got up the next morning and headed for the zoo. Mer turned 2 this year and she is just a little jabberer. Roughly every few minutes I would hear "come on aunt katie." I am definitely her favorite when I'm in the room and I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that I provide the brownies and don't handle any of the discipline.
We had a wonderful day at the zoo and the zebra's gained a new toddler shoe. I'm not sure my sister was thrilled with that last bit, but I'm sure there is some zebra out there right now who is very thankful for their new stylish hoofware.
Having everyone over was something I definitely enjoyed. I have known for a long time that I want to build my own home one day and part of what I want is many furnished rooms to have guests stay comfortably. My sister and her family spent the night in the craft room and shockingly they all came down not covered in glitter. But one day I will be able to provide them with an actual room and a bed.
For now however all I can offer is a glitter covered room and an exhausted Aunt Katie.