Saturday, December 1, 2012

Holidays, Day 1.

I am disappointed that I haven't been able to keep up the blog more regularly this semester. It's been such a wonderful and horrible few months. It makes me sad to know that a lot of it will be left undocumented. I was going back through old posts and was amazed at how much I've already forgotten. I am so pleased that I put the time in during those early days. Maybe I'll print the blog again when I am done medical school and read it on the beach somewhere before residency begins, to remind me of the twists and turns that got me there.

Seeing all those posts gave me the impetus to summarize what has been going on lately. I try to remain an upbeat person and I also try to keep my issues in perspective by reminding myself that I'm lucky to have first world problems. But.

That said.

I am so ready to kick 2012 to the curb. There were some major low-lights.

My mom's house was hit by lightening and burned down in August. She was physically unharmed, though understandably shaken up by the whole thing. She's handled it amazingly well though, and has demonstrated what a tough and philosophical woman she is. Go mom!

Mom's kitchen.
My aunt on my dad's side died of lung cancer (also in August). It was really tough seeing her this summer before I left. I knew that she'd probably die before I came home for Christmas, and I was really sad to miss the funeral. She was a very tough lady, remaining stubbornly independent right until the end. She became aphasic for the last couple of months due to brain metastasis, which was a cruel twist. I hated watching her struggle to find words after a lifetime of sharp wit and story telling. Plus, it was like saying goodbye to my dad again by losing that connection to his last living sibling.

Love the shirt, Auntie Rita!!
In October, some crazy junkies decided to try to light my house in Ireland on fire after attempting to break in. Nothing like waking up to police and firefighters on your front lawn. That was by far one of the most frightening nights of my life, to date. You just don't realise how much refuge and security you get from a house until you don't feel safe and relaxed in it!

And overall it has been the toughest semester of medical school. With the Canadian boards, the residency application process, my research projects, my Grand Rounds presentation, and student society work piled on top of the hospital rotations, I feel like I've been flying by the seat of my pants since arriving in July. I've been on a "take this one day at a time" regime as main method of survival.

But yes, I cannot ignore that it has also been a fantastic few months, with a smattering of high-lights too.

I was blessed with a great group on my hospital rotations. No sociopathic gunners, no drama queens, no gossip generators, just pleasant folks who were trying to learn and get through the challenges of being a medical student.

I was living in a beautiful house, with my dear friend and ideal flatmate, Margaret. She's the type of flatmate whose car you're happy to find in the driveway when you get home. The kind that doesn't borrow your clothes or blast trance music, leaves no dishes in the sink, likes her own space but is always up for a hospital debrief and cup of tea when needed. Win.

Yes we are wearing matching sweaters, thanks for asking.
My pediatric and obstetric rotations were fantastic. I am partial to tots and tums, so I had been looking forward to these electives for ages. I even had the great pleasure of being at the mall and running into one of my former patients whose labor I attended. She gave me a giant hug and kiss and proudly showed me her 7 week old daughter. Those are the nice treats in medicine that remind you why you're going $300 000 in debt and forsaking a normal life for years on end.

Though it has mostly been work there have been a few little adventures that have kept me sane. Three weeks ago myself and two Besties went on a trip to Belfast for a pediatric/obstetric review course (and some evening shenanigans).

For the record, Eileen (in the nerd glasses) was trying to
We did manage to get a lot of work done as well, despite the shenanigans. Though Eileen did nudge me halfway through the Saturday morning session to show me an addendum she'd made to the schedule...

The lightweight.
So yes, I suppose I cannot complain too much. But I am ready, oh sooooo ready for my Christmas holiday in Canada. Once again I plan to adopt full pajama wardrobe on most days. Yes I will be working on a literature review and writing up my 10 000 word reflective journal assignment...but...those can be done in aforementioned pajamas which makes it bearable (just). (And no, sadly I cannot just submit the blog as my assignment!)

Here we are, Dec. 1st and I am officially half way through final year. Bring on the eggnog, festive sweaters, and (hopefully!!) residency interviews.

Happy Holidays! From me and my Nerd Herd. xx


dolce vita said...

Good luck! Been following your blog for ages now and I cannot wait to hear about your adventure!

My good wishes to your family as well :)

PGYx said...

Such wonderful highlights, and such terrible lowlights. Your drive and optimism inspires me to continue in my own challenges. Wish you the absolute best during this residency interview season and last half of 4th year!

Aunt Murry said...

Rest well. I cannot believe how invested in you I am. I have been anxiously waiting for an update to see where you land. Odd, no? You are living my dream that I didn't follow so I suppose that is why. have a great holiday!

Albinoblackbear said...

@DV and @AM-- Thank you! It's crazy for me to think that there are people out there who have been following the blog for a long time, excited to see where I end up. I get such a boost from that.

Believe me, the blogosphere will be the second (after my mother!) to know any new developments!!

@PGYx--Thank you so much, it's always so nice to hear from you. I hope that overall things are going well for you these days, I miss your updates! Sending hugs.

PGYx said...

@ABB Things are moving along fine in my neck of the woods. Halfway through year 7 of education and training! I will send you an update e-mail one of these days with no expectation of a response. :-)