Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why?

Obviously, I'm not admitted yet but working that direction. My response has been and I will definitely look for help tweaking WHEN the time comes (notice I did NOT say, "IF"):

When I was very young I remember playing house with my friends but they were mom and sister, I was Dr. J. As I grew up obstacles self-made, and those not so, became prevalent and in my opinion back then, insurmountable. The drive to be a doctor has never left me.

A few years ago, while on the partner track at one of the largest public accounting firms, I was driving behind a dark blue Chevy Corsica. The road ran east-west at 55 MPH with side roads stopped via stop signs.

At the dip of the only hill on this road a pickup truck had stopped at it's stop sign. Then for no apparent reason, barreled forward, slamming into the side of the blue Corsica I was behind pushing her into the oncoming lane of traffic where a Mack truck barreling down, east bound, and ended up on top of her hood smashing the front side completely.

Immediately stopping my truck, throwing on the hazards, desperately trying to reach 9-1-1, I asked the other drivers if they were okay, told the Mack driver to call 9-1-1 since he had signal, and looked inside the Corsica.

She was not in good shape. The Mack truck still running, the driver of the pickup truck sitting down on grassy median, I pried/kicked open the door of the lady's car. I knew from training she needed to remain calm, awake, and immobile.

I kept her calm by talking to her. Asked her about her family, all the time keeping her head still, telling her not to move, that help was on the way. We talked about the weather, her hobbies and about keeping very, very still.

In a few minutes the rescue team arrived. They took over, cleaned me up (I had a few blood blotches on me), took my statement, and I left. This was not the only time I've been first responder on accident scene, it has happened a lot.

In the 30 minutes it took me to leave that scene, I have never felt more at peace and more at odds with my career choice. Arriving at work, I opened up my paycheck stub... it meant nothing. I'd share with you the amount but will suffice to say it was staggering.

I felt nothing. Zip. Almost guilty, in fact. I won't lie and say it's not nice to pay the bills, live in a big fancy house, and drive a big, black, shiny Escalade but in all honesty, it does not matter. I will give it all up for the one chance to attend med school.

I'd always wanted to help people, diagnose what was wrong with them, prescribe course of action, watch the improvement, and watch them become healthy. In high school I volunteered for the church, belonged to the medical explorer's club, researched various diseases (usually oncology related). Later in college, I would write research papers on the latest genetic findings, drug therapies, medical ethics questions, and oncology.

In college, I had dreamed of helping sick kids when my own son died of SIDS and I realized how discriminatory some doctors can be against single moms. I had dreamed of helping pediatric AIDS victims in Africa on mission trips, and volunteering with cleft palate surgery kids in Mexico.

The last two I've been able to do without being an MD but at a very rudimentary level. I truly believe God gave me the gift of a great mind and I'm using it for nothing. This past year I had the great privilege of being on the inside of a doctor's personal life. After all the time I spent with him, and seeing that life, I want it for myself.

I want to have more days where my work means giving back to others. I want more days where my brain is pushed to understand, diagnose, and assist.

I want to be an M.D.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beta Blockers & Test Anxiety

Two tests into one of my classes and I'm learning something entirely outside the scope of the class. I have severe test anxiety. Back in the good ole days when I did not care what grade I got, or when I got the grade, life was much easier.

School is everything I thought it would be. Love it! What I'm learning to cope with is the overwhelming test anxiety that leaves my head pounding, blood pressure sky rocketing, and breathing shallow. At times during the exam, I feel like I'm going to pass out. I knew coming back would test my endurance, my will power, and my staying power. Just had no idea that I would stress out like I do.

The doctors and I were hopeful that new treatment would help to alleviate the stress. We were wrong. I just want to be able to take an exam like everyone else and NOT panic. Guess I'm not there just yet but I am not giving up.

Apparently, doctors now prescribe beta blockers for severe test anxiety. On an exam, and during the lead up to the test, beta blockers will help lower my blood pressure which causes the migraine headaches, and help me stay focused. It is our collective hope that once I've mastered how to learn and to test, I won't need them anymore.

I can only hope.