Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Reflection..

As I sit here reflecting on the past 5 months, listening to Bing and Nat caroling their merry Christmastime melodies, smelling an amazing turkey in the oven, twinkling lights aglow upon the live evergreen tree that dons a Christmas angel that has been in our family for 40 years, I cannot help but realize how blessed I am -- and how vastly different my life is since this point last year. My life has made a complete 180 turn since last Christmas. Sure - I'd been accepted to Lincoln Memorial University - DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM). Sure - my marriage was rocky. Sure - I had a few close friends in my hometown that I would sorely miss when the time came for me to move to greener pastures. Sure - I had an undeniably large family with three precious nieces. And yes, definitely, I had hours upon hours of free time... that, in the end, I took for granted.

Now, I am an OMS-0.5 (or an OMS-I if you want to be presumptuous) at LMU-DCOM. I'm on my way to a slightly painful divorce from my very best friend with whom I've remained as close as possible. I've made hundreds of friends in the past 5 months and have genuinely emerged from my introverted shell. I have a few new, very close friends while remaining true to my very best friends here. And now, I have the same very large family with an additional niece or nephew (v3.0) due for release in June 2010. And free time, ha. What is that? Well, I definitely couldn't tell you what it felt like before my semester ended a week ago.

There were times in the past 5 months where I've cried myself to sleep, wondering if I'd made the right decision by going to medical school. There have been times that I've wondered if I was going to even make it through the semester. There have been times that I've wondered if I was making a $60k mistake. But, there have been (MANY) times when I wouldn't want to change my life for all the money in the world. And there have definitely been countless times where I've laughed so hard I've cried, smiled so much my cheeks hurt and giggled until I felt like a 4 year old. My life is grand.

There have been a few academic setbacks as I've adjusted to the pace at which med school drives you. But I've prevailed. I've officially passed my first semester of medical school, even if not with the grades I'd expected at the beginning of the semester. But next semester, I've got it down. Right as the semester wound down, I realized my shortcomings and began to correct them.

Sexually charged mnemonics (hey, they worked). Tipton and his scooter. Toga parties. Mid-semester moving parties. Late hours in the anatomy lab and feeling famished after. Cursing my profs for their workload.. and myself for taking it for granted. $2 movies. La Esperanza and Pelanchos all. the. time. Mmm... Purple. Withdrawal from the SGA race. Drama, drama, drama. Bob-Hugs. The Vortex. Red Lights. Waffle King. Swimming. Going to bed early at 3am. Ripping a screen out and my neighbor crawling through my 2nd story window the second night I'd moved into my apartment because my crappy landlord told me to crash on someone's couch because he was too lazy to bring me a spare. Journey before every exam. The Post. The "unk." "Can you hear me in the back?" Live anatomy fashion show. "You need to stop being strong and just cry." My little blue dog.

So, so so many memories over the past 5 months and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my DCOM family. I love my girls.. my guys.. my profs and my school. And I'm proud to be an LMU-DCOM Med student and Railsplitter.

Merry Christmas to all. To my classmates: it's an honor. enjoy your break and I'll see you in the new year. To my family: I love you.. thank you so very much for supporting me throughout my endeavors. To my girls: Can't wait to see you. We'll set the place on fire.

Be blessed.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Studying in med school...

"Studying in med school is a lot like being really really drunk and then trying to have sex; you don't ever really finish, you just sort of do what you can and then pass out after awhile."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Birthday Present from DCOM...

Today (9/22) is my birthday.

I couldn't be more excited for a multitude of reasons:

1. I'm finally getting this stuff.
2. I'm happy and surrounded by tons of wonderful people.
3. DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is celebrating my birthday by giving me my first patient interaction! In about 16 hours, I get to have my first OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam - or Standardized Patient). I'm SOOOO excited! I cannot wait!

Will certainly let you know how it goes.

And if you haven't noticed - it takes forever for me to update. Sigh, I just don't think about it.

Plenty to write about... but it's going to the wayside at the moment.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Despite the fact that I am ridiculously frustrated... I love it here.. and wouldn't have it any other way.

Will write soon..

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The first month...

So I've survived my first four weeks of medical school.. my first written exam, my first team exam (barely), and my first lab practical. And I'm thriving. I love it here. I love every single thing I'm learning. Perhaps a bit of it is aggravating simply because of the professor's methodology, but overall I'm doing quite well.

We haven't received our exam grades, but I feel pretty confident about them. I'm either right or I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off and I totally tanked it.

The brachial plexus is amazing... and histology is certainly not my favorite. I'd have to say that my favorite classes are anatomy and osteopathic principles and practice. :)

I've met tons and tons of people here.. some pretty awesome people.. many different backgrounds and ethnicities -- people from every region of the country.

I'm staying incredibly busy between school work and going to walmart - it's the only thing to do here! Small town = nothing. But that's a good thing!

I'm going home this weekend for the first time since before school started. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think I'd rather stay here. I don't really have a terrible amount of studying to do, but I think I just like being here and on my own so much that I'd rather stay. BUT it will be good to see my nieces and family.

I'm having car issues... which is such a burden. I think if I hadn't had problems with it this weekend, I would have done a bit better on my lab practical 'cause I would have been able to focus on studying for it. Instead I was worrying about purchasing a new car or getting mine fixed. The ECM went out on it and it's going to cost $1000 for the part. I only have $3000 invested in the car, so.. I think it would be more logical to purchase a new one. BUT... since I'm a medical student and I have no reportable income, no one will finance a vehicle for me. Sigh.. My car drives okay for now.. but who knows when it will give out? That's the only thing frustrating me right now.

Hm.. I don't really have much more to say.. White Coat is a month from today! My first OSCE (Objective structured clinical examination) is on my birthday, which is in less than a month. I get to go home and practice my clinical skills this weekend. That's exciting! I'm not entirely comfortable with practicing on people that I don't know as well. Obviously, that has to change... but I'm easing into it. :)

Goodnight and good luck!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Exam I

My first exam is in ~1 hour.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel. I've been really relaxed about everything up to this point. Maybe it's a bad thing... maybe not. I just feel like I'm in the right place and that nothing can go wrong... but I could be way off base. I've studied. I've memorized. I've done all sorts of things. But no matter how much I memorize or study or try to regurgitate, I can't fit it all into my head. No one can.

So, with that being said.. Wish me luck. I'm coming home and blogging about this experience as soon as I make it home. I'm so excited to have this exam over with because I've let my apartment get trashed as I've studied. Books and school stuff are ALL OVER the place.

Ah. Wow. I can't believe I'm here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I officially became a medical student at DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University.

Today.. I received my ID, parking tag and some kickass swag.
Today.. I received a piece of paper stating my present indebtedness. ((gasp))
Today.. I was recognized by the Dean of Students as one of the first accepted to the class of 2013.
Today.. I met a lot of neat people from completely varying backgrounds.
Today.. I was fitted for my White Coat and stood in a mirror with it on. I nearly cried.
Today.. I was told by DCOM's benefactor, Pete DeBusk, that the next few years would be like trying to drink from a fire hose.

Today.. I said, "Bring it on. This is my blessing and I'm ready for it."

So here's to my calling.. and becoming a medical student. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's almost here...

So, the last time that I posted was in April... and I still had a few months to go before school started.. I was dealing with financial aid issues at the time.

Welp, I have those straightened out.. and I have an apartment.. and nearly 60k in loans.... and...

School starts in 9 days.

Yeah, I'm incredibly overwhelmed. I'm nervous.. anxious.. excited. I can't wait to see what this adventure entails, but at the same time, I'm afraid of all the changes I am making to my life. Change isn't something that I deal with very easily right now.. but I'm working on it.

There have been many hardships over the past few months... and still more that I have to face. But I'm getting there. One day at a time. That's all that I can do.

Wow, well.. here's to this rollercoaster. Hopefully I'll start blogging more once I have more interesting things to blog about. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Via itsonlythewind.

When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always be worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better. — unknown

Couldn't be more accurate.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ghosts from the past...

I always knew my past would come back to haunt me. Always.

When I was 18, I ran off with a boy in the military and got married against everyone's wishes. We moved to California, bought a car, lived on base and all that jazz. He was deployed to Iraq and came back to father three children (none of which were mine) prior to our divorce. During the time that he spent sewing his seed, he defaulted on the car loan (I was not in possession of it) that I had cosigned on. That's been five years ago.

Well.. now, when my life is semi-on track, it comes back to bite me. Right on the ass. I applied for my Grad PLUS loans, which will help to cover cost of living while I'm in school this year... and my credit wasn't automatically approved. I was notified that my credit would be reviewed and action would be taken based upon the decision. Fail. My entire cost of living is in that loan..

I'm angry. I'm hurt. I'm annoyed. I'm disappointed. And I'm doubting myself. I'm doubting that this is my path. My mistakes are so many but I have always prevailed despite them. Until now.. But what now? and WHY now? why couldn't it have bit me on the butt when I was going through the rest of my life?

And my mom, bless her, isn't the most optimistic person. She's the queen of demotivation. I told her yesterday that it was based on a credit check and I was worried about his car being on there. "You're screwed." she said. Thanks, mom.

So, now I'm lost. I don't know what to do. Waiting is always the hardest.. but I already know they'll say no. I guess I am screwed.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


"I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn’t know you had inside you. And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends … you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes, you can even convince yourself that he’ll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you’ll go somewhere new. And you’ll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade."

Friday, March 20, 2009

An abode.

Well -

I now officially have a place to live when I go to medical school. Hip hip hooray!

Now I just have to come up with rent for the next few months.. blah.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My experience with EMR

When I was originally hired as a "file clerk," they hired me because they were at least two months behind on their charts. Referring physicians were not receiving their OV notes until at least a month after the appointment. This was in early 2005. That summer, they moved to another building with "more" space for their records (as well as to accommodate their growing practice). This included shelving on tracks that would allow a more space-efficient filing system. Before we moved charts to the new building, our office manager had us to do a estimated count of charts. From the years 2002-2005, more charts were counted than space was available in the new building's space-efficient filing system. This was before we'd even moved in! Within months, we had the 2002 charts boxed up and moved to the basement.

As a file clerk, I would spend many of my Saturdays and after-hours faxing office notes and binding them into the charts. We were seldom ever caught up on paperwork. After all the charts were bound and ready to be filed, it would take an entire day to file them into our new shelving unit.

In January 2007, we began the transition to EMR: preparing our computer system, speaking with representatives, implementing software and training. Six months later, we "went live." What a fiasco.

In the end, it took about 6-9 months to iron out the wrinkles. Three months later, I was laid off from my job as "file clerk" due to lack of work. There were no charts to bind, office notes were faxed via the computer in about 20 minutes, and no charts to file in the ridiculous space-efficient shelving system.

Despite the fact that I lost my job, I cannot tell you just how much EMR helped my former employers' practice. From a receptionist point of view, it makes phone calls, refills, questions, and records requests so much more efficient. From a clinical point of view, it's a lot easier to mark check boxes, type abbreviations and review patient history with the touch of a button.

As a student of the class of 2013, it is my hope that by the time I am ready to practice (~2017) that EMR will be a permanent, essential component to medical practices across the country.

Whew, mouthful.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm a bad blogger.

Dr. Rob's post makes me realize what a poor blogger I am. Believe me, I do like blogging quite a lot. But I'm guilty of being a poor blogger. Maybe that's why I only have three people following my blog. ha.

I have plenty of things on my mind, but don't feel that this forum is the best venue to make them available. Lots of family issues, school issues, unemployment issues, money issues. Lots. But I really feel that I shouldn't bore you with it. I'm not charming. I'm not witty. And this blog definitely isn't themed -- yet. I'd say that once I start school, things will have a bit more continuity.

I'm stuck mulling over my living situation, my finances and my future. And right now, I'm not ready to share that. It's too sensitive. Maybe soon.

Although I will publicly announce that if anyone has information regarding rentals in the DCOM area, comment me. I'm beginning to get desperate.

3 months till I need to move. It's hard to believe. 4 months till my life is turned upside down.

But for now, I'll remain here in blogland with sporadic posts about random things and hope that one day I'll find the motivation to be a good blogger. :)

Edit: Oh, oh yeah... follow me on Twitter.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's been a while..

Wow, have I ever been busy.

Between trying to find a job and a house/apartment at DCOM, taking my additional physics class and getting everything lined up for school, I've been busy, busy!

Unfortunately, however, the only fruit of my labor is a bruised arm from a blood draw when I had my physical. I bruise easily. Very easily. It doesn't matter how good the nurse is at sticking, I'll bruise. What started out yesterday as a bruise the size of my thumbnail has grown into a bruise the length and width of my entire thumb. Blah.

I'm waiting on a response from a lady that has a gorgeous house up for sale at DCOM. I am absolutely in love with it. I'm mainly looking to rent, but this house.. wow. It's captivated me. But, I haven't heard anything from her.. and I'm a very impatient person. I'm sure once it gets closer to time to move (Early/mid July!!!), I'll find something. I just don't want to get behind and be left scrambling for a place to live.

Ah well, such is life. I guess it's time to go take a physics quiz and enjoy my weekend. Can't wait.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not Cancer!

Willow doesn't have cancer! (Well the vet wasn't 100% sure, but the labs were clear)

She's still passing a little blood, but we're keeping her on antibiotics for another 10 days and if things get worse, we'll go from there, but right now, she's just dandy and cancer free!!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My big, yellow dog...

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

My big, golden yellow dog.. Willow, is 8 years old. I've been vying to get her sprung from solitary (i.e. on a tie-out, outside.. miserable) so that she could come live with us for months now...

And finally, it happened. Thursday night was so cold, we decided to get a crate and bring her home with us. She adjusted perfectly.

I woke up this morning to find my husband couldn't catch her to take her outside... and that she'd peed in the floor. She's always been well housetrained. Problem is... there was blood in her urine.

I called the emergency vet, took her there.. and after two hours, am left empty. She definitely has an infection. A bad one. But then there were also a lot of bladder cells that had sloughed off into her urine (plus a blood clot).

Long story short.. my vet wants to recheck on Friday after a round of antibiotics. However, with her age, we're checking for bladder cancer. He told me she had a 50/50 chance.. and wanted to prepare me for the worst.

I don't quite know what to do. I feel so empty. I just want to cry.. constantly.. and bury my face in her fur. She has been my best friend for 8 years now... I don't want to have to let her go.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


No, I'm not dreaming.

This is real.

I'm going to med school. I'm going to be a doctor. W-o-W.

I received my matriculation packet in the mail yesterday. Holy cow. Gotta get on the ball. School starts at the end of July and my white coat ceremony is the weekend following my birthday! (yay!)

Now, I just have to figure everything else out...

That's going to be the not-so-fun part.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

to HPSP or no?

I've been struggling with this.... (joining the NAVY for the HPSP program.)

Particularly today.

I can't decide whether or not the monetary benefits, prestige, and stability are worth it. It's an excellent opportunity. When I was in San Diego, I had to go to the Naval Hospital and I absolutely loved the staff there. I always thought it would be "cool" to be a Navy doc. But now that I have the opportunity to do it, there's one thing standing in my way.

I don't mind being told what to do or where to go, as long as I have a slight bit of say in it (choosing my specialty). I don't mind the unlikely possibility of going on a GMO tour. I don't mind base housing or military pay or any of the military life stigmas, because I've experienced it firsthand already. In fact, I'd love to join and live in officer housing as opposed to enlisted. I'd love to travel the world. I'd love to help those military wives who (as I briefly experienced firsthand before my ex came back and fathered three children, none obviously with me) endure so very much and receive so very little in return. That would be an honor.

I had been pretty gung-ho about it until this evening. My parents are staying with my brother and sister in law out of town in order to help my SIL out with the kids while my brother finishes up an important project. I have to go down and feed the animals while they are away. I went down today and my mom had left me a note. She gave me a list of instructions (water plants, put the mail on the bed, etc) and the last was "Always keep in your heart that I love you." And I seriously lost it.

I'm so close to my parents and it's so hard to imagine that I'll be leaving them. I'd give up anything just to make sure that they are cared for. My mom turned 68 this year and my dad turned 76. I don't know how much time I have left with them. They are at least somewhat healthy, but both have their problems.

If I remained a civilian, I would have more flexibility with my internship and residency as well as my location after completion. I will also have accrued approximately $250,000 in debt. I could work for a rural program in my family's area which would help some with loan forgiveness/repayment. But, I would be closer to my parents and have the ability to be near them in the event of illness. Not to mention the ability to take a leave of absence if necessary.

If I were to go the NAVY route, I would have very little flexibility with location of my internship/residency (one of ~3 sites - VA, MD and CA). Once I went active duty after my residency, I could be stationed in one of a plethora of beautiful places, but it is likely that I would have very little say in where I went. The kicker here is that I would be absolutely, positively debt free. But, it would be very difficult (if even possible) to take an emergency leave of absence if the need were to arise.

So, I don't know. Sometimes I wish I could just give up everything and move back with them and take care of them. They're by no means helpless, but I'd do anything for them. Anything. Here I am. Stuck, again, between a rock and a hard place. If anyone has any advice for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. I'm so lost right now.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm baaaaaack...

Just got back from LOVELY, LOVELY New York & New Jersey.

What an amazing week. Wow. I really got to enjoy myself. I completely vegged the first few days.. walked around, visited sites, did NOTHING. It was awesome.

I finally got the courage to go to the City by myself on Saturday and I wish I'd had more time to visit it. It wasn't as intimidating as everyone had made it out to be. hah.

I'll upload some more pictures at some point. But, right now, I'm tired from traveling all day.

Note: Empire State Building from the pier beside the hotel I stayed at. Sorry, it's a little crooked - need to do some editing to my graphics before I have them printed. :)