Sometimes I just need a break. Most people don’t consider running a break. Running is my alone time. Even after being at the hospital all day, it’s dark, it’s 30 degrees, ice mans snow on the ground. When I lace my shoes up, have my lab doing dances around me because he knows which shoes are my running shoes, and sometimes I don’t even need music. The road, my dog, and outside is all I need. It’s no joke: running and running shoes are cheaper than therapy.
The last six months have been a whirlwind of change and good things for the future. I was fortunate enough to secure a spot as a PGY-1 Obstetrics and Gynecology resident in Oklahoma this past February. This was a difficult year for the match and I feel very blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue the career path I have fallen in love with over the past two years.
After Match Day, my husband and I started the journey of first time home purchasing. Finally after three long months we are finally getting settled into our new home and our new city. Whoever said that buying a home was fun lied. The first weekend of looking at homes was fun and then watching homes being put under contract the day we put an offer on one was a bit heartbreaking and emotional. Don’t get connected to a house until the closing date has come and gone is my advice.
Finally adding a new addition to our family has been an experience. We added a silver labrador to our family in March. He went on my last rotation with me, traveled with us on our house hunting experience, and has finally started to get cozy in his new home. He probably wondered for awhile if we had one house that we were going to live in. His name is “Doc”. He was my graduation present to myself which is also a good amount of my life commitment. He is healthy and fun. We have managed to keep him alive since we got him. Here is hoping he is raised to be a great hunting dog and running partner. My instagram account has become a documentation of his life. He is loved and the closest thing we are going to have to a child for quite some time.
Graduation is happening soon. I will add the title of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine to my name. Lots of life changes. All for the better. Hopefully I will have more interesting things to write about.
The Match is 5 days away. As I sit here and wait on patients to show up there are a million things that are going through my head right now. Everything from what’s going to be for dinner, where are we going to be living once we figure out where I match, why is this week going by so slow, how many miles am I going to run tonight, why are first weeks of rotations so awkward, I need to go grocery shopping, etc. I’m sure that drives my point home.
I can’t seem to focus long enough to read more than one or two pages in my endocrinology book. This stuff is pretty interesting too.
I feel that this picture is pretty representative of my life right now. This coat hanger has so much potential. I’m sure will hold many coats in its future and stay in the wall for many years to come. Unfortunately right now it is sitting in a brand new office waiting for someone to pick it, someone to need it to hold their coat, right now it’s just two screws hanging out of the back of a panel.
All of this snow and cold weather that Oklahoma and the rest of the nation seem to be getting is a significant amount of snow, sleet, ice, and just freezing cold temperatures. Is it really that different than any other winter. Last year Oklahoma had a warmer than usual winter, but then the summer was a bit milder than normal also. We have not had a significantly cold winter in quite a few years. This has caused so many schools to be closed, businesses to be closed, and things to be rescheduled. I do not remember ever getting out of school for snow, rain, or cold temperatures. Am I just imagining this?
Even with all this complaining that I am doing I still like winter. It gives me a reason to wear warm cozy clothing. It has made me second guess training for a spring marathon. Oh runners problems. Hopefully this moisture will stop by this afternoon because running seven miles on a treadmill does not sound to exciting to me. I can put on all my winter running gear and hit the trail. That is one thing that is definitely a priority here in Tulsa. The trails are always cleared. As I was pulling into my neighborhood the Tulsa Trails workers were out clearing the trails, pushing the ice and snow off to the side. They were also clearing the damage to a pole and tree in the middle of a trail from a car that decided it looked like a good place to park this morning.
I wish I were on a ski slope somewhere. Seven weeks left of rotations, maybe I can get a ski trip in at the end of rotations? Maybe, maybe not. One can only wish. Six more weeks of winter, according to that groundhog.
You do not ever see it when you are a teenager or young adult. I do not think parents even actually see it. I have slowly begun to notice how much children reflect their parents. Some of my friends have children. Some of them do not. I am starting to be in the age group where some of the children are newborns, some are toddlers, preschoolers, and some are pre-teens. Their minds are being molded everyday by things that they do at home, things their parents do, things their friends do, and experiences that they have.
One of my friends has the two dearest children. Yesterday the regular babysitter was not available and I happen to be having lunch with her. I immediately volunteered to hang out with the kids so that her and her husband could keep their plans. These two girls are phenomenal.
L is six years old. We have met multiple times. I have been to their house for game night. I have dog sat for them. I have even been sailing with them. Every time I am over at the house or with the family somewhere silly L takes some time to warm up to me and then by the end of the night she would prefer I just stay or would like to know when the next time she is going to see me. Last night L was particularly hilarious. She finally came into the living room to accompany E and I, but she hid under her pillows most of the night. While watching the “Princess Bride” every time someone held hands, looked lovingly into each others eyes, or heaven forbid KISSED, L would yell “EWWWWW, that is SO GROSS!” or “why do they need to kiss?” “Are they in LOVE?” All of these exclamations cracked me up. I am pretty sure E just sat on the couch and rolled her eyes are her little sister. I love the spirit and personality of L. She is so joyful and precious with a little bit of attitude.
Now I know it has been almost 20 years since I was 11 years old, but the conversations I had with E last night or anytime I have been with the family just astonish me. She is so well spoken and intelligent. Plus she has the sweet innocent beauty that an 11 year old is suppose to still have. She is such a positive roll model for her little sister and reflects her mother’s and father’s values so well. Her and I sat at the dinner table and discussed her “Revolutionary Day” at school that she had the opportunity to participate in yesterday. She remembered so much of what had happened that day. She told me all about the doctors and other interpreters for the revolutionary war days. She even wanted to know about my day. After dinner we picked out a movie to watch. TV time is a rare occurrence is this family, so they were excited but you could also tell the girls were tired from their day so we were looking for a nice movie. I was glad I could teach E something even though not a useful life skill. Showing her how to search for movies on UVERSE on Demand. The movie was a kid friendly love story, “The Princess Diaries.” The movie was such a good love story and a sweet kid movie. E wanted to make sure I enjoyed it as much as she did. Again what a wonderful girl. The girls were ready to find a game to play, but the parents came home right as the movie was ending. Bedtime.
These girls are such a beautiful reflection of their parents. I am so glad that I get to be a part of their lives. I am interested to watch them grow and see the people they become.
Do parents ever know the impression they make on their children. The impression it leaves on others.
I hope one day the impression my future children leave on people is a beautiful reflection of their family and the values they are raised with.
Oh by the way, happy Chinese New Year!
4 years worth of friendship.
or if you want to see 4 years in a flash:
I was told a few years ago, “4th year of medical school is a magical place.” Well finally with 10 weeks of rotations left I might actually agree with this statement.
The first half of fourth year is very stressful and little sleep happens. You work your tail of at all of your audition rotations as so that you discover how well you fit with the program and the residents. These are the people that you are going to be spending the good majority of the next 4+ years of your life with.
Well interviews have come and gone. The “interview trail” is over. I am back at home for good. I have 10 weeks left of being a medical student.
The rotation that I started on Monday is great. I have never done an anesthesia rotation, so this is a new experience, new things to learn, new people to work with, and hours that I definitely cannot complain about. I am at work before the sun comes up, but it is worth it. Spending the majority of my medical school education on the sterile side of the sheet, I am now getting a different perspective of surgery and the surgical patient. Also even though pharmacology still makes me cringe, learning about all the medications used for anesthesia and the process of anesthesia is a very interesting subject and fun. The doctor and CRNAs that I am working with are pretty amazing too. There has been good medical knowledge being gained and good life lessons being observed and learned this month.
It doesn’t matter what field of medicine I am rotating in and learning about each rotation I still ask myself, “will I ever know as much? be as good as? be a good resident? one day, a good attending?”
Knowing that the “Match” happens in 26 days is a bit stressful, but fortunately I am enjoying the rest of my fourth year.
Ice. Its a beautiful thing. It makes everything glisten.
21 days to be exact.
Stay warm. Spring will be here soon.
I love to run. I love to run with my people, by myself, and with new people. Running can be my time to get in the zone, push myself, and really make myself feel like I am getting a great workout. It can also be a great social hour. I have made some of the best friends in my life while spending time running down the trail. Running is just kind of what I do. It is really nice having a running trail 2 blocks away from my front door. Recently I also decided to join a gym. Because unfortunately I have to do some strength training and build up some strength that will hopefully give me some more endurance.
Deciding and committing to a race. I had decided to commit to a full marathon this spring and took some convincing to get my dear friends to commit to it. Maybe the checkbook hasn’t committed yet, but the hotel rooms have been reserved: April 27, 2014 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. That will be the race. Hopefully I can figure out a way to keep endurance training in my life during residency, so I am trying not to look at this race as the last long distance endurance event that I might have the chance to do in the next four years.
Choosing a training plan was next. I have used Hal Higdon training programs for my first half marathon, plus the other 9 half marathons that I have ran. I used it to become a runner and I used it to increase my speed and I used it just to be able to maintain a pace. They are great programs. I used the Novice Full Marathon App to train for my first full marathon in San Francisco last year. It served me well. The race went well, especially considering that it was in San Francisco and I trained on whatever hills I could manage to find in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The update to the Nike + running app came just in time for me to decide to use its coaching tool for this marathon. Week 1 or 16 is almost complete. Managing cold weather running, wind, and knowing how much running on a treadmill my outdoor running soul can take is now what I must figure out. For the next 16 weeks I will run at least 607 miles. When I put that in writing it looks like a ton of miles to put on my body, my knees, and my new running shoes.
Long run this weekend is only 8 miles. My legs are appreciating the cross training I did today. REST will come on Sunday.
So match day for the class of 2013 has come and gone! DO and MD match. Does this mean that the real countdown to the end of medical school has begun?
So many fourth years tell you to enjoy your third year because fourth year becomes a pile of paperwork. All I have to say is thank goodness for e-mail and apps that convert a picture to a pdf. When setting up audition rotations I think I have been asked for everything except my signature in blood:
1. Letter of Good Standing from School
2. A copy of Medical School Transcript
3. Letter from Department Head, Indicating applicant and dates of rotation
4. Medical Malpractice Insurance
5. Driver’s License and/or Passport
6. CPR/BLS Certificate
7. Background Check
8. Your Full SS#
9. Your Date of birth
10. Immunization record
11. TB test results
12. Short biography (who you are? where you went to undergraduate? family status? future practice interest? hobbies? favorite activities? what do you like about their state/program/school?)
13. Do you need housing? (at least they want to make sure you have a place to live)
I am sure that this list will get bigger as my rotations get closer and more EMRs go live at different locations.
Eight weeks of rotations left of third year. Guess I really do have to make up my mind what I want to be when I grow up.