Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Car Window Fixed, Bank Contacted...

Been a busy few days trying to get the car cleaned out - who knew that glass sprayed like that. It was everywhere, and even in places where I could not reach with tiny suction device, glass perched glistening at me in the sun... and the high humidity! The window was replaced, I can now drive safely again without the gold laminate on my front teeth, spinning rims, low rider stance, with very loud bass enhanced rap playing.

My contact at the bank stated the bank will and can do everything I've asked up to and including manage the account so that I remain anonymous with the couple as the only signers on the account meaning they can withdraw on a specified date (specified by me). On top of that, the bank will donate $50 and possibly matching funds to a certain level in order to help this elderly couple.

Right now I'm waiting on two things before I push forward:

1) I want to know whether they will get the insurance reimbursement for the loss of the coins
2) I want to know if the coins were in fact found or turned over by the coin dealers to the police department; or if tidbits and hints were given to the police

Once I know that the couple is truly out the money, has little hope of recovering the coins or recouping their loss through insurance, I will proceed with the donation account.

Make it a great day ~

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Elderly Couple...

The short story on the elderly couple that were likewise robbed, vandalized, and victimized are in their mid to late 70's, going home after enjoying a warm Saturday night at the outdoor plaza listening to salsa music, and eventually, the opera from Puccini, "Tosca" ...

It is shameful what happened to them. Thieves probably cased the couple as well as myself. Despicable comes to mind - how could anyone mercilessly rob an elderly couple and feel good about themselves? I know, the thief doesn't or he/she would not need to steal.

Their loss has bothered me since early Sunday morning when I arrived home. What could I do? Could I help? Could I get their names? If so, what then?

Well, here is the plan - stay tuned for how YOU can help:

I'm going to try and set up a deposit account at the local franchise bank. They are very reputable as far as handling funds, and were one of the first banks nationwide, to give their money back to the Federal government. The only issue in doing this is that I do not want my name attached to it, nor do I want to manage the account. I want a banker to do that for me so that there is absolutely NO question about who will get the funds. The internet being what it is, I don't want anyone to mis-perceive the intention.

Then I'm writing the local paper about what happened leaving their names purposefully anonymous including all identifying characteristics out but giving enough detail so that people know my request and article/op-ed piece are legit. Their continued safety and dignity will remain intact.

Once that is complete, or concurrently, I'm going to post a link here for Paypal which will be linked to that account. My instructions will be that the only people who can withdraw that money are the banker or the couple.

When there are sufficient funds, or the funds have stopped coming into the account, I'll ask that the couple be notified; all while remaining anonymous myself. They can do what they wish with the money and if by chance they've gotten their coins back, I'd make a simple request that they donate the money to Ronald McDonald house instead, or St. Jude.

Stay tuned. Hopefully, I'll have either made this go, or understood it can't be week's end.

Make it a great day!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Opera Good, Busted Driver Side Window & Theft

not so much.

I lost a Coach purse, Cole Haan wallet, Prada perfume, and some make up brushes, pens, passport (expired), new photos, more pens, lipstick, lottery tickets, student ID, other odds and ends...

The other couple who were robbed lost a lifetime's memory:

monetary value notwithstanding, the emotional toll on them was far worse:

50 years of collected silver dollars given to them by his father... father is long since deceased as the son was robbed was mid-70s...

THAT makes me mad; my window can be easily replaced in the morning (it is 2:30 AM now), my purse was but one of many, the billfold is easy as well...

My heart goes out to the other couple...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sometimes, I Do Believe

people are put into my life for a purpose and that I'm to learn something from them.

Take last semester's lab instructor. I know she doesn't read this very much, if at all, so I'm plowing forth.

Coming from a foreign country where English is taught but I would suspect back in her youth not well received, she arrived in the metro area with a master's degree in chemistry and an ability to teach. Her ability to teach in the lab is well known and everyone who tries even partially, learns an enormous amount.

If her students do not understand the material, she will try to rework a solution to explain better. If her students do not appropriately handle lab materials, she will instruct them to do otherwise without embarassing and without harsh words.

What I also learned from her was patience. My God, this woman had to be patient with me. The fuzzy whirring noise inside my head from the ADHD overload and all the issues I like to research - ALS, PD, Neuro - often stopped me cold from finishing tasks. Toss in my life - and no, dear reader, there is NOTHING like being tossed out of your executive home and shoved into a Flintstonian cave with tiny windows and tinier window coverings replete with red, make that RED, spiders and centipedes - and the dog knocking on death's door, my mom's surgeries, my dad's hospitalization, my son's off-going issues, my work was always complete, just never on time... she was patient, she understood.

And tomorrow, this woman whom I admire so greatly, is going to an opera with me. I cannot wait. She forgives my eraticness and will enjoy a performance art that few others fully appreciate.

I did pass gen chem II. I am not sure the grade, I do not know if I care. But I do care that I met a new friend, and compadre in arts-arms, so to speak... almost as if she were placed in my life not only to teach, but to be a friend. I'm blessed :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No.

The military is full, over flowing with people according to the Air Force, Marines, and Navy. They have 6000 too many officers in the AF, did not ask Marines and Navy BUT all three said they were looking to eliminate those jobs and the cadets that were brought into the AF Academy to be officers? Those hand selected to be amongst the very best and brightest?

Yeah, they have to wait another year to get officership spots.

Wowser.

Son did not sign.

Son is not going into the military.

Son is getting firm end of my finely toed flip-flop up his nether region where upon Dr. Dalai can do a CT scan of his anus and indeed find, said flip flop.

Sigh. Back to drawing board to help my son get motivated.

After Today, I Believe

I will be the mother of a military son. Over the weekend, on the way to visit my ailing mother, we talked about the different branches of the military, what each unit is known for, and what he was interested in. At first he said bomb making in the Marines but I think it is the utter stoicness that instills a desire in him to join, not the actual bomb making. As we talked it became clearer:

He does not know what he wants to do, knows that he is wicked smart, knows that he is far more capable of doing great things than he is doing now.

One point in time it was intelligence, another it was being a Navy Seal as he thought, and still thinks, the final test of getting shot out of a torpedo tube (is that even real?!?!!?) sounds pretty amazing.

Ultimately, he's always wanted to fly. At 6'8" that is not going to happen. He wanted to be an astronaut when he was a little boy and often remarked on our weekend trips to Cape Canaveral that he wondered if he'd fit when he grew up. He inspected the shuttles, watched the videos, we watched a live launch of Discovery, he did an entire research project as a 6th grader on Johnson where we are connected to the in-flight director of NASA (he owns everything that flies off the ground for NASA up to and including the shuttles, international space station, and ...). We were photographed by the Tampa Tribune when we visited the memorial to astronauts; my eyes watered as I remembered to the horrible day the Challenger broke apart; the photographer caught that moment... my young son said he wanted to be like them... only land safely back on Earth.

Today, he will sign up for one of the military branches. I hope he chooses one that will allow him to aspire to something greater than he is doing now, allow him to somehow fulfill that youngster's dream of flying... for we all know how hard it is to let our dreams go.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

And The Answer Is???

At midnight on Wednesday night, early Thursday morning while I was fast asleep, the happy gastro folks figured wheeled my mom into surgery for...






gallbladder stones, blocked bile duct, inflammation.

GREAT answers and guesses, and yes, what you were given is what I was given. I'm hoping to get her blood results so I can see the actual levels and how they compare from the very large, global behemoth to the rural facility. My hunch is that the levels were similar, or slightly skewed up admission to the hospital, enough so that a diagnosis could be readily made.

Also helps to have a specialist in gastro on board and the mumbo jumbo technology :)

Make it a great night - my mom goes home tomorrow!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

79 Yr Old Patient Presents With

pain on scale of 9, underneath breast bone
nausea
EKG is negative (3x)
breathing is difficult
blood work is fine
borderline diabetic
no ulcer
not a panic/anxiety attack

Diagnosis?

Tomorrow - and no Pacs, you may not play.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Was Asked Recently...

if I missed the business world and its financial rewards more than I love being in school pursuing a dream.

Another friend of mine told me to not quit until I take my last dying breath adding that sometime in this decade we need to make me into a rural family doc.

And then there are my parents - with my mom having emergency surgery this week after having NOT been diagnosed appropriately for two weeks prior in the tiny little village clinic, she wanted to know what the rural clinic/hospital could have done better, differently, stopped her pain. Then she asked, "Will you be a different doctor than what I've had?"

Hmmm... so, to answer:

1) I love being in school, I love chasing my dream; right now, I miss being registered for Fall, have my o-chem books on my coffee table, the model kit at my side, and I'm ready. The scholarships just did not come through - they went to people without first degrees. While I do not like that much for very selfish reasons, I do understand. I also loved having money where I could do whatever, for whomever my heart skippeth a beat for, whenever I wanted. Now, I have to plan and feel slightly guilty that I cannot do all that I would like... as I try to figure out how to register for fall. My dream is still alive, not on life support, but alive. Just need to find the right "food" to keep it going. As resourceful as I am, the brick walls are hurting my head... but I keep looking, keep pondering, keep evaluating other means - PhD, MPH are both alternatives to getting to ultimate destination. Was also asked: if I could help people without having the M.D. behind my name (I will also toss in the D.O.), by doing something different, would that be just as satisfying? The answer is resoundingly, no. Being married won't change my perspective on wanting to help others, it would be tending to a man whom I adore getting a woman at the end of the day who was fulfilled, content, and probably often, exasperated. (THERE ARE NO WEDDING PLANS!!!!! That was just for example purposes.)

2) Yes, during this decade I need to keep trying. Last night, at a fabulous Italian restaurant (OMDG you and Luca would have been proud!), I mentioned that I'm single and need something to do that is meaningful for the rest of my life. No one, at this point, gives two great dane mounds of poo whether or not I'm wealthy, but many care if I pursue my dream. I care that I do something good with my life so that my legacy is relevant, not lost in the mire. I care that somehow I did not give up so easily... and yet, as you've all followed my blog, this path has been less than easy strewn and ripe with mounds of poo. But I survived and thrived, right?

3) Mom, I'll try. I do not believe the rural doctors missed anything in reading the lab reports, taking her history, evaluating her condition. I do not hold the rural family doctors accountable for her pain during the last two weeks. What it did make me realize is that large, behemoth, internationally renowned clinic/hospital chains have far better technology in order to care for their patients than the small rural clinic does. It is not a matter of brains, but technical brawn.

We'll see how it goes, I'm still meandering the path; still hoping for the "AD2B, you got an award letter from Udx.edu" and longingly, looking at my model kits.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

If I Were Just 20 Years Younger

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING A PREMED

Anyone else think that Prince Harry is now far more handsome than Prince William? (pictures courtesy of People.com; and picture of William is old!)


If only I were:

1) low level royalty lineage (instead of my family, according to family lore (LIES), that we are responsible for starting WW I as my great great grandfather was the head of the Prussian guard who failed to secure the life of Archduke Ferdinand)

2) wealthy with small republic named after my family (hahaha - stop - hahahaha, can't breathe!!!)

3) connected (as in beyond internet and dicey People magazine)

This avid Princess Di fan is very much impressed with how her two youngsters turned out... now for a royal wedding again :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GRE Thoughts

Still trying to figure out a means to attend school this fall.

Am considering applying for graduate school admission, biochem or bioethics, which would make me late for fall but conceivably I could still take the outstanding pre-reqs for pre med and the degree, then use loans/grants to pay for those. Interestingly, the courses I would need for acceptance and full degree admission to PhD program are the ones required for pre-med.

I kind of like that coincidence. Will be checking it out further with the school itself on Friday.

Not quitting; not giving up that easily!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Financial Aid Resources Non-Trad PreMed

Loans from the obvious sources are generally UNavailable for post bacc work. Here are the caviats to that statement:

1) You apply for degree seeking status at your target, best of breed in area 4 - year, preferably land granting university (that means it grants PhDs in research areas like biochem, physics, math, etc). HOWEVER, you must apply to the specific college that is outside the college that you got your first degree from. This does not mean if you went to the University of Michigan you must not apply for degree seeking status at U - Mich, it means you apply at U-Mich to a different college within.

For instance, my first degree is from the College of Liberal Arts, which means that as long as I am degree seeking in the same College of Liberal Arts, or the synonomous name at another university, I CANNOT get federal loans/grants.

How do you get around this hurdle?

Apply for degree seeking status in College of Biological Sciences, or College of Math and Engineering, then apply for federal loans.

Are you specifically going to get a 2nd bachelor's degree? Probably not, as the goal is M.D., not Pre Med, BA, BS, BAc, BE (you get the picture).

2) Sign up for FASTWEB.com. The link is here:

http://www.fastweb.com/

Do not underestimate the amount of loans, feature grants, scholarships they are able to dredge up. Some that have been sent to me were obviously not worthy of my time (I'm not a bi-racial purple squirrel with parents who have immigrated from Norway in the last 10 years while having been birthed on a boat from Ghana and speak 12 languages including the extinct Coptic).

However, I was able to glean some other scholarships worthy of attention and date setting within Microsoft Calendar. ALL of your scholarships will require some form of essay. Make sure the date for submission is properly calendarized, then program a warning date 1 week in advance. WHY? Because I'm anal about making sure my project dates are hit, I put notices in my calendar to make sure I stay on track. Did I hit this target on that date.

For instance, my AMCAS submittal date is July 1, 2011 (sigh). However, a few weeks ago my beacon warning went off regarding my personal statement which was written about a year ago. I submitted it. I also had a beacon warning about my letters of recommendation. Those beacons also do a indirect support function: they remind me what the goal is when mired in the drudgery of financial aid scrounging. Nice seque, eh!?

Fastweb sends me updates according to my profile. My parents are high school educated, my dad is a veteran of the Korean War, etc... which gave more areas for the search tool within Fastweb to send me data.

3) Research ALL companies that seem like they might offer a scholarship:

Eli Lilly
Talecris
Bayer
Mayo
Cleveland
J&J
Tylenol

Get the idea? Yes, it is hard work but SCHOOL is easier when there's money to pay for the pre-med classes, right? School, the basis for what you are reading here for, is easier when the stress of school is just that. School.

4) Private loans suck. This country's large dependence on horrible financing in the mid '00s has led to reforms in the banking industry as well as student financial aid that no longer make this a viable option for 99.9% of the non-traditional pre-med students.

Simply said: don't plan on them, don't incur them.

Why do they suck? Well, if you can get one, your interest rate will be higher, inflationary adjustments made repeatedly, shorter term to repay, harsher payment plans, and requirement of credit worthy co-signer.

For most of you, option 1 should work just fine.

Make it a great day! Pursue your dream :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Reading Ped Onc Posts

Puts that fire back in the belly... not that I needed it, the desire to be a doc is not cease and desisted.

I look at my boxes that contain the Beanie Baby stuffies depicting diseases for pediatric patients. I wonder if they could create one called, "Hope" another called, "Grace" and a third, "Love" for the patient, parents/family, and everyone who enfolds a family and supports them through a pediatric cancer diagnosis.

Pediatric oncology doctors are an interesting bunch. I shadowed a few a long time ago while in high school, and then again last year. Someone once asked me why I would choose such a tragic specialty and all I could think was, "What is so tragic about it?" Understand, I do realize many children with an undesirable diagnosis do not survive to 80. But with the diagnosis and treatment of well intentioned, trained, and talented physicians, the likelihood does increase.

So, like the old story about the child tossing starfish back into the sea, I'd love to be able to save "that one" and "this one" and the "one over there"...

I'm continuing to research other funding ops for school and chase more lucrative contracts. Stories of patients makes me try even harder :)

Make it a great day! Celebrate the blessings in your life.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Hands Went Cold

The drama in my life started when the company I worked for repeatedly had issues in their financial statements, above and beyond what is considered material. Eventually, I was asked my opinion, I gave it - RESTATE, my life as it was unfolded and crumpled into a gigantic mess.

Yes, the SEC contacted me and yes, they vindicated me and supported me. However, without being given a fancy piece of paper, I am unwilling to say anything more than what was legally put forth by my attorneys (a term I use lightly).

Today, for whatever reason, the legal department of that company has decided to see what havoc they razed upon my life; I'm sure the butt of all jokes around the company notwithstanding, they also know the company did wrong.

Just another reason I cannot go full time back into the business world. While I care about the people's health and well being - even the people who did this to me, I do not fit with the fire to destroy someone in order to get ahead.

Apparently, the company executives there, still gloat over destroying someone's life. Apparently, that I did not commit suicide, or end up in psych ward was not enough for them. Too bad for them the spine up my backside is far stronger than they anticipated, and too bad for them, my opinion of the wrong doing at that company still stands strong.

If only, I'd get a pretty piece of judge signed paper from the SEC to testify.

Vindication always tastes sweet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

End Of The Road...

I think it is time to hang up my school jeans, sit back, and ponder this dream of mine.

The will to do well is purposefully defined. The ability to do well is likewise defined and tangible.

However, finances are obscure and having survived almost 3 years of being poor, I'm dead.

It is one thing to wonder how to pay for tuition, and another to contemplate buying toilet paper, or milk, or putting gas in the car to get to a job that pays me 1/4 what I used to earn. I'm okay with earning what I do, I actually love the company and my contract is easy.

What I hate is being so poor I have no health insurance, my rent has been paid on time exactly twice, the toilet paper ran out on Sunday but because my tiny little bank is closed on holidays without 24/7 service, I could not transfer money. There was no meat in the fridge and the milk was left out by my son.

No meat. No milk. No money.

The scholarships I applied for lean heavily to students, non traditional students at that, who have not earned a degree. I applied for the scholarship anyway because it did not specify I could not. Who knows what luck I may have had?! Apparently, none.

I can put together the money for school but then there is the problem of rent, bills in my parents' name, my parents themselves, and of course, my son.

I think I might be done - at least in the short term... maybe until next spring term, which then puts me a full two years behind schedule and applying when I'm 48. Yuck. Scratch that.

Double yuck.

If the decision to quit holds, I won't abandon the blog for as OMDG said a few months (a year??) back, let people know there is life after dropping out of the med school race... and what the life looks like could help countless others.

Make it a great day - live for your dream!

Monday, July 5, 2010

September 2011

Via National Geographic, a contract here and there, I'm going to Nepal and Tibet to climb to the base camp of Mt. Everest. The trip is through National Geographic Expeditions... A year to plan and save, a year to get the remainder of my premed courses under belt plus my MCAT, this trip will be my great reward.

Have always wanted to stare the mountain in the face, and marvel at its splendor and violence.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

And Back To Life...

Mr. Zim's graveside service was poignant; a reminder to all of us that material possessions only mean so much and that the reality is, a good life means many people at your grave, mourning their loss. As it was with Mr. Zim.

The cabin was full of life. Kids running around jumping in the lake, the boats going to and fro in front of the cabin, inside people milled and either reminisced about their family - greeting long lost cousins with warm hugs - or introducing themselves to the non-family members present... my mom, dad, and me.

The eldest son has a PhD as does his wife. They know my path to med school, but also the path to PhD if med schools turn up their noses at me. What I found encouraging is that they didn't seem to think my age was a problem, especially if my grades remain where they've been, my MCAT score high. We talked about me taking calculus during my glide year in preparation for PhD program. I don't want to fit it in now, and I have substantial statistics from psych, business, and engineering perspectives. The M of the BCPM is well taken care of but PhD programs require calculus. I'm also thinking I could maybe do it though independent study.

So, today it is back to life... and focusing on living. With BBQ, fireworks, and parents in tow, it should turn out to be a grand evening.

May yours be as well!! :)

Make it a great day today, and a better one tomorrow!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bereavement...

even the priest had "dust in the eye" syndrome, had to stop and catch his breath before continuing with the Commendation.

Mr. Zim's loving, adoring, living, and very much grieving wife, children, and grandchildren shared stories of their father, and listened to dear friends tell their stories as well.

My dad choked up reading a poem he had written for Mr. Z. I've never seen my father cry.

The dying man's son had made a promise to his beloved father that he would sing, "You Are My Sunshine" to Mrs. Z. after the funeral. The son could barely whistle, "Please Release Me" let alone sing the song. So the people at the luncheon stepped in to sing and help the son fulfill the promise to his father.

Mrs. Z asked how I was doing in school, asked how long until I could apply; the kids asked me as well. Did not seem appropriate to tell them it has been less than smooth sailing, instead just smiling and saying with each bump, I put my foot upon the ground and take another step on the path.

Mrs. Z said "Don't stop."

No one was at peace today, except for Mr. Z. Holding his hand I whispered a silent, and not heard, thank you to a man who probably never knew how much I loved him... and his family.

I was blessed by his family's presence in my life. And I hope I too can honor her words by "not stopping."

Right now, really - right. now. Please count your blessings. Please let those whom might be distant from you know that you care - even if not the actual words, through deeds.

Make it a great day.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Trolls :)

Ogres and other people who have to try and drag others down... misinterpreting posts or just being a royal pain.

I've taken the blog to a place where if you want to comment, you have to be signed in.

Sorry, I'm just amused that someone has to stalk me on the blog, post silly diatribes to me in private. If the person really wants to have their negative feedback and commentary published, then they will have to sign in. Ask OMDG, she called me on being possibly unprepared for an exam and some might have said it sounded like a b@#$y thing to say. It wasn't. It was her honest feeling that I'd fubarred studying (which I hadn't). Her op. Professionally stated. I posted it.

I have no problem being told someone doesn't agree with my opinion. I don't even have a problem with someone saying they don't want to read it anymore. That's okay too. There are a bazillion blogs out there to read, I'd say find one that you like, and stick with it.

In my case, I tend to be fairly middle of the road on most topics. I can see the good in every situation, no matter how difficult, or how obscure. I see good in all people - mostly - Ted Bundy, et al being the exceptions.

I do not like Obama's health care plan. He blows. I did not like Bush's venture into Iraq, nor his pandering to Wall Street. Blobama Care and Iraq - vastly different issues, same opinion from this writer of the man behind the ink.

Comment what you will on what you want, just keep it civil and professional.