Saturday, June 20, 2015

New Life, New Home

After a wonderful, crazy 7 years in Kansas City, I packed my bags and moved to Little Rock last week. I would say the very first thing we noticed as we climbed the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment was how much more humid it was here. Temperature wise it is very similar, but the humidity here is much higher. I spent my first night exploring the general area with my dad and step-mom. We discovered a little Mexican restaurant and found the closest grocery stores and gas stations. The following morning my mom and Jim arrived with the trailer full of my things. Between the 5 of us we were able to carry everything up in about 45 very sweaty minutes. I am beyond blessed to have so much help moving and getting set up. I had all of my big things put together and placed by Saturday afternoon and only a couple of boxes left to unpack when we called it a day later in the afternoon. I spent the evening driving around looking for dinner with my mom and Jim and we rounded the night off with some talking and wine.
I was sad to see them leave that night and the reality of starting over really sunk in. I spend my Sunday mostly laying around instead of doing the unpacking I should have been doing. Honestly, I was exhausted. All the real fun started Monday morning with the excitement of computer training followed by 4 days of typical orientation.
The best part about being here so far are the people. There are 10 of us starting EM residency and we all seem to get along really well already. We have a running group text which makes me giggle out loud in the middle of orientation. One of my biggest fears about moving here was not having the same social support that I had in Kansas City. I was leaving my friends and family behind starting from scratch and I'm not always the best at meeting new people, but so far things are going really well.
I've done a lot of eating and socializing. Today, I hiked for the first time in 2015. We hiked up Pinnacle Mountain and it is definitely one of those hikes where at the top you feel(and look) like you really accomplished something. It was more of a mix between rock climbing and hiking. The view was gorgeous(completely worth it) and I had great company. There is supposed to be a lot of hiking around this area and I'm excited to check out the other trails/parks. 
I have so many things to look forward to in the immediate future and I can't wait to get started come July. I am very happy I took this leap of faith to come here and don't have any regrets. I feel like I am right where I belong(how cheesy does that sound?).

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Graduation Party

I often say that I am very blessed and my graduation party is a great example of how true this is. My party was a joint effort by so many different people(especially my parents) and I am truly grateful for everyone's hard work and efforts to make it a special day for me. I owe a very special thank you to my sister Jamie who put together all the decorations to highlight my years in medical school. The decorations were incredible. I also owe a thank you to Jim Hoover for allowing me to have my party at his home.
I unfortunately was pretty sick throughout most of my party, but I was very excited to see everyone who came to celebrate my big event with me. The support I have received over the last few weeks has been overwhelming and heart warming. I cannot possibly express how much it meant to me that everyone gave up their Saturday evening on a cold May Saturday to celebrate with me. I wish I had more time and energy to get around to really talk to each and everyone who was there. It meant the world to me that you were all there.

Monday, June 1, 2015


On May 20th, I graduated from medical school and the entire process was very surreal. Using the word surreal seems to be the only way I can find to describe how I felt when everything was going on. I have been in medical school for the last 7 years and continued to work at the hospital until basically right before I graduated, so realizing that I was finished and graduating was not something I could seem to grasp. In the days leading up to graduation, I didn't think about the upcoming day much and didn't feel any different. Even on the day of graduation while we were driving to the Music Hall, I knew I was going to graduation, but it still didn't feel like it was MY graduation. I did have fleeting moments where it really hit me that I was about to add MD to the end of my name.
These are some of the thoughts I had during those moments accompanied by a look of complete terror(see picture below):
1. Holy hell, they are going to expect me to know thing and be able to do things
2. Good gracious, this is really happening
3. I can't believe they are going to give me a diploma. I don't know anything
4. I hope I don't fall on stage
5. Yep, I'm a total klutz I'm going to be that idiot who falls on stage
6. I'm really leaving Kansas City. I'm starting over.
7. Where the hell has the last 7 years gone.
8. What if I suck at this?

I think it really hit me as I was waiting to walk across the stage. A surge of unbelievable joy and excitement filled me as it became real(at least it was real for about 2 minutes, I'm back to not believing it happened.) I was very focused on doing it all right: hand off card, hand hood off, walk to Dr Jetanalin, stand the correct direction, get hooded, don't forget to hug her(she's the best), shake hands with people, walk to stairs, don't fall. Somehow I managed all of that without doing anything embarrassing. 
Graduation was followed by complete chaos as I tried to take pictures with everyone and find something to drink. Holy goodness, I was so thirsty and hot. After pictures we headed off to the Cheesecake Factory to have dinner. I am so thankful to everyone who stayed with me to have dinner. We waited an hour to be seated and didn't actually start eating until 9:30ish and everyone who came had a least a hour drive home. I am completely blessed to have so many wonderful people come to support me and watch me finish this crazy, strange, and wonderful journey.

The following week was all about packing up my place in Kansas City. Somehow I have accumulated a lot of stuff over the last 7 years. The Sunday after graduation my sister Jamie, brother-in-law, dad, and grandparents came up for a packing party. With Jamie in charge and everyone working hard, we had most of the house packed up in boxes ready for the big move the following weekend. I am incredibly thankful for the help. There is no way I could have gotten it all done without them. This was also the day I caught bronchitis from my grandma. By Wednesday, I was starting to feel the sore throat and exhaustion and by Saturday I was completely miserable. 
Yesterday, my family packed all of my things up into a trailer and brought it to my hometown where we will store it while I couch hop for the next couple of weeks before my big move to Little Rock on June 12th. I am beyond thankful for my family and all of their help Sunday. With the bronchitis taking its toll on my body and the complete lack of sleep 2 nights in a row, I was a miserable, crying mess on Sunday morning which started with me dropping my breakfast on the floor. My sister started organizing the house, while my brother-in-law went to replace my breakfast and find me some caffeine. Most of the day was a blur, but I hear the boys got the trailer all loaded and Jamie and mom made the house sparkle. 
I could never thank my family enough for all the hard work they have done over the last couple of weeks. I am very blessed. Today, I am spending my 25th birthday in bed getting rest and fluids in hopes my bronchitis will clear up.