I realize that posting has been thin lately, my apologies. I just feel so damn guilty whenever I am on the computer doing anything other than reading an ebook about osteoporosis or anemia.
I am still happy to be here overall, but the blush of September has certainly faded. The realities of being a student again and the small to large sacrifices that entails have really started presenting themselves.
One of the things I forgot about was the feeling of 'being done'. You know, when you've mailed your thank you cards, filled up the car, and marinated the chicken and you sit down with a glass of wine and you sigh...ahh..done. Nothing left to do now but relax. That feeling is gone, officially. And I know will be gone for a very very long time. Now when that sensation begins to wash over me the studious devil that sits on my shoulder reminds me that I really don't know all the ligaments in the upper limb...and I really don't know all the differentials that would cause elevated alk phos levels. I guess I ought to drag myself back to my desk for another wrestling match with one of my very expensive textbooks.
Having money was nice too. And a car. Ohhh...a car. I know, I know...it is so much more environmentally friendly to walk and bus everywhere. But the bottom line: it sucks when you don't live in a major city with good public transit. Every time you need to get milk or laundry soap it is this 2 hour epic combination of bus riding, walking, taxi taking, ride coaxing, waiting, more walking. I knew we had arrived at a new low as I observed my housemates on the 2.6km walk home carrying their new printers on their heads.
Ok, I am aware that the rest of the world has it much harder than I do and that my whine is likely falling on deaf ears. It is simply that the reality of my old life continues to fade. And while it fades I see so many things I took for granted go with it.
Even just having a comfortable living room to entertain in. They provided us with a small couch (i.e. so small you can't do anything other than lie in the fetal position on it--which is the position I most often feel like reverting into anyway I guess) and two chairs. There are FOUR people living in this house, this means if we have ONE guest someone has to sit on a computer chair. Lovely. How homey and welcoming.
I miss being able to walk to a nice coffee shop and study. There are none around here (well there might be but that introduces the same logistics as grocery shopping) so it is either the my dorm 'cell' or the library. I miss the beautiful Clinical Sciences library at the U of A (Keith, Lana...you know what I am talking about). A multi-story open concept, sky lit, plant friendly, quiet-as-a-tomb, study spot that was open really really late...and again really really early. The library here has the charm of a bomb shelter, is tiny, and has flickering fluro's overhead. If the asbestos doesn't get me the status epilepticus will.
Walking today I again tried to tell myself that I had to stop comparing everything to my old life and start accepting the fact that I am here and this is my reality for the next 4 years. I have heard many of my physician friends say if they had known what they were getting into they might not have chosen medicine--this is when we talked about the lifestyle/career aspect of it AFTER becoming MD's. I had always sort of felt really reassured that I'd never question my choice because I have a pretty good idea of what I am getting into when everything is said and done and I have a nice 6 figure debt attached to the piece of paper which says "MD".
But there are certainly some days that I have to ask myself, if I knew how much life would change during medical school--would I have chosen it? At this age? Right now...my answer is a really solid "Um...I think so".