Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Procrastinating down memory lane.

My last exam of third year is tomorrow morning. I haven't been studying as hard as I should and i'm a bit scared but not scared enough to glue my backside to my seat.

Anyway, as usual before any exam, i have discovered a new toy, youtube! LOL.
I remember falling in love with this song way back in 1999 or 1998. Back then, Erykah Badu was a phenomenon, Eve was on the verge of blowing up and Jill Scott? Who was a Jill Scott? I remember coming down to Worcester from Boston to watch The Roots perform at the Palladium (of course, now that I live right next to the Palladium no has come to town and when they do, i'm busy. but i ain't bitter. ) Black Thought performed his part and Eve's which was hilarious and then some chick called Jill Scott came and sang Erykah Badu's part. I was mad. Like who are you? Where's Miss Badu? Funny how things change. Erykah Badu has fallen off the face of the planet and now, no one has to ever ask who is Jill Scott, ever. and Black Thought cut his hair off and probably changed his name too but i haven't been following them as closely as I used to. By the way, the first online journal I ever stalked had to be ?uestlove, the drummer.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Last week of the last rotation of 3rd year.

Wow! How time flies. Seems like that's how i start of all the posts i have managed to create this year. It's been hard! So hard, with patches of brightness thrown in here and there, but I have grown tremendously this year. I have matured so much and I am finally expressing myself without fear or shame and I guess that makes all the torment and self doubt that i have gone through worth it.

As usual, I create the post in my head but then when I actually sit here to type it up, I do not know where to begin. I guess I will start from the beginning.

I am about to wrap up my surgery rotation. 3 months of sleep deficit, food deficit, time for me deficit, time for God and family deficit and I could go on... A friend of mine predicted that I will end up a surgeon. LOL. The amazing thing is that I am being recruited to be a surgeon, apparently the surgeons I have worked with have identified me as having great potential as a future surgeon.

I still do not want to be a surgeon, the lifestyle is too rigorous. I want to get married and have children and be there for my children. I want them to know me. Surgery is even more jealous than medical school. It wants you to give up everything for it, and I can't do that. I mean throughout this rotation, I was in the hospital every single morning by 5am for weeks at a stretch. In the other rotations, we at least had a mandatory day off during the week. In surgery, we are supposed to have 10 hours between shifts and keep an 80 hour week. I was on call every 4 days, which means I spend 24 sometimes more hours in the hospital. I can't live like that for five years! No way. And then there's my age, even though i may look mad young, or as one attending put it, 21 lol, the fact remains, i am going to be 32 this year. I have three years to pop up out a baby before my eggs degenerate for good. LOL.

Nah, my heart does not lie in Surgery. My heart lies in pediatrics, a place where they are not even checking for me. I knew I loved Peds, when I would come home after a tiring day on wards and I would still stay up all night studying and reading. I come home after surgery and I pop in a movie. I half heartedly study; my mind is just not there.

It feels good to be wanted though, especially since each rotation has been so disappointing, whether I work hard o, whether i work little o, i get the same grade: student performs as expected, and to me, it's the kiss of death, especially since I have no desire whatsoever to stay in Boston for my residency. Coupled with my average board scores, I need serious prayer in order to get into a residency of my choice in the city of my choice.

I cheer myself up though by remembering how God has seen me through. I remind myself that it is not the middle that counts but the end. I remember how I was put through a lot of stress in my last job before medical school. I used to work at a helpdesk at some uni, and it was such a diverse workplace, (the surgery residency at my school is very diverse too, unlike all the other residency programs at my school which is blond and whitebred. not a spelling error). I guess the powers that be was not feeling that diversity too much, so they decided to give us all competency tests. We had to score a minimum of 90, we were not given any study materials and we were not even shown our scores after the exam, nor were we allowed to know how we missed the mark. I remember telling God that if He could just see me through August of that year, which was when I was planning to be done with the premed classes i was taking at the time, I was going to give Him $1000 as a thanksgiving offering. To me then, and even now, $1000 was a whole lot of money and I started to plot how I would save a bit of my paycheck so I could fulfill my vow. I told myself that all I had to do was hold on until August of next year, after which I would run off to naija for 3 months, work on my webdesign skills, (I used to run a webzine about boston at that time; work on my photography skills and so on. My ass got fired along with the rest of my coworkers in November. I cried. Then I dried my eyes and realized that they had given me $10K as severance pay plus i could collect unemployment for 3 months or whatever the maximum is. Because they had fired me in November, I had to drop out of my classes ( I refused to pay for those classes and i guess i could have negotiated that they pay for my classes). I decided to re-enroll in Umass Boston but the next semester did not start until January. So I had 3 months free. In short, God gave me my heart's desires in a way I did not expect it. 1) the stress of the job was gone. i hated that job so much.. I used to be late every day even though i started at 10 in the morning and even though i went to early morning prayer every day at 6am. I hated going to work! Hated it. 2) i got to go to nigeria for three months since i had nothing else to do and i had money. 3) i paid off my remaining student loans. 4) i dedicated myself to studying for my mcats and retaking my classes because the severance pay + the weekly unemployment checks meant i didn't have to work at all. 4) despite the three month break, I still finished all my classes and took my MCATS in August. 5) Despite all the naysayers, I passed my classes with flying colors, passed my mcats with flying colors and got an interview at almost all the medical schools I applied to, plus got recruited for and interviewed at the #2 medical school in the country at the time, they even paid the application fee. The only school that did not interview me was Tulane and well, we all know what happened to New Orleans in 2005... I actually wanted to go there too, they had a hot program in Tropical Medicine. 6) oh yeah, how could i forget, i got into medical school, my number one choice. 7) and when I was done with interviewing, in fact, while i was at my last interview (although i didn't know it was my last interview at the time), i got the call that I should come in for a job interview. I got the job. God just rocks man! Can someone shout allelujah! 8) last but not least, what is the tithe on $10k? enough said.

I remember during all those times feeling so hopeless and depressed and discouraged but then God would just show up and show off and do some amazing things that all I could say was wow - He loves me.

So right now, in the midst of my discouraging grades, I hold on to that testimony and other testimonies and I trust Him, that as always, He will work it out for me.

Gotta run. I am 43!!! minutes behind schedule. Yepa! The head of the clinical site i was posted to has warned me not to embarass her so I had better study. I would like to do well on one rotation.

in a minute...

Monday, April 02, 2007

One rotation between me and fourth year.

Just like that, ob-gyn is over. We had the exam last week, the oral and the written. Unlike the trauma that was the internal medicine oral (i spit on the memory), the ob-gyn oral was so much better. I walked into that place like I owned the place. I was the doctor, I wasn't the student and I acted accordingly. I deferred to no one and spoke like I knew what I was talking about. Of the seven stations I had to go through, I only lacked confidence in two of them, I kept saying to the standardized patient, I am not sure, I will look that up. Funny thing was though, that I did have those answers right. I hope that does not count against me. I had encountered two of the standardized patients before during the internal medicine exam. The one I encountered first during the ob-gyn exam was the last one that i encountered during the IM exam. By the time I had gotten to her station during the IM exam, I was so discombobulated. When I told her my name, she gave me this look and later during the feedback, she said i need to say my full name. I was like, look at this woman. I stopped saying my full name because it took time out of my precious fifteen minutes to start explaining the name. Anyway, this second time around, she was surprised at the difference in me. She said I was no longer as apologetic as I was. I told her that I own this. I think she thought I was joking. lol.

But enough of boring school. I am back at sea level again after 4.5 weeks up in the mountains. We have spring break. I have chosen to stay at home, in Worcester and take care of home things. I want to put down wooden floors in my hallway. I have been doing that since first year (lol). I want to have those floors in before I graduate (lol). I want to paint my walls. I took a picture earlier this year so I could show someone my garden living room (have lots of plants) and I was struck by how bland and depressing my space was. The white walls were just so blah! Adefunke's blog post on painting has also inspired me immensely. I also promised myself one plant as a gift. Actually, it's going to have to be two because I want a tall palm tree looking plant to go in the dining space and I also want a nice colorful shrub to go in my window garden. I was inspired by the office of one of my preceptors to make a window garden. Basically, i have these huge windows that cover almost an entire wall. My former roommate left one of her plants that climbs and climbs and climbs and it has grown so much. I decided to put a butterfly on the window, a sun and then add two more plants to the space. I put my peace lily plant there - ever since I changed its pot it has been flourishing and has even given me three flowers something i have never seen in all the time i have owned it- the climber and then i want a nice colorful plant, like bright orange, red or something. Obviously, this calls for a trip to the garden shops or whatever it is called.

I don't know what it is sha. But whenever I have an exam that is precisely the time that I get hooked on blogger. I have been reading laspapi's blog and it filled me with this intense desire to be in Nigeria. I think that what excites me so much is that there is a community of creative people and they are doing their thing and i love reading about it. wish i could actually witness it.

but we will see. i am definitely doing a rotation in nigeria next year. maybe lagos, maybe ibadan, maybe ondo state but it shall be in nigeria. in fact, maybe around this time.

speaking of creativity. I have silenced mine. I haven't written in so long. It's like my voice has gone underground completely. I told myself that I am going to commit to doing early morning pages again, and taking myself out on dates and all those things I did way back when. I feel so dead inside. I feel numb and blunted. Nothing touches me. Nothing moves me. I am so cynical and bitter these days and I do not like it. At all. I who used to see possibilities in anything, i of the great imagination, i have become the negative critic. The one who pours cold water on everyone's dreams. Kai. I can't live like this any longer. It must change. When I started thinking these thoughts, I immediately thought of getting a book. I have this idea that all the solutions to my problems lie in a book. lol. Am i an efiko or what? I used to have this book called the Artist's Way. When I became a christian, i threw all my metaphysical and new age books. lol. I hope that I didn't throw that book away. I want it back. I will search my library later today, soon as i get up from here.

Love life. Well. Still non-existent. But God has been using white women to hook me up. lol. I guess He does hear my daily prayers about sending me my man. During my family medicine rotation, one of my patients was telling me about all the single african men that i could meet at her church. For real! it was too funny. I keep meaning to go to her church. Maybe I will go one of these sundays. The problem is, I am stuck on one particular man. But he is not stuck on me.

alright, i'm supposed to be reading ahead in surgery. told myself 1-2 chapters a day. so off i go.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Week 5

Amazing how time just flies!

I am beginning week 5 of my ob-gyn rotation and not a moment too soon. I am so through with where I am posted. My greatest worry now is who is going to evaluate me? I do not feel like I impressed anyone at all with my skills. Some of it is my fault i guess. Maybe I should have done more surgeries or something. Some of it is the way the practice over there is set up. Most of the docs want you to follow them around like a faithful lap dog. A few actually let you talk to the patient by yourself and do some portion of the exam. I give props to all the women who let me do their pelvic exam. (minus one lady. She was rather odd. She had the flattest expression I had ever seen. I wanted to ask her if everything was okay at home, at work, with her cos she was depressing me. She allowed me to do the exam but I noticed that after I messed up, homegirl cheered up, a lot! Maybe i'm just too sensitive but she is suspect. )

So let's see what were my goals of this rotation.
1. work out every day. (nope)
2. eat right every day. (nope)
3. lose some weight. (obviously nope)
4. blog every day. (no comment)
5. study every day. (i did! i did! so proud of me!)
6. be aggressive. (still do not understand the meaning of this word)

So what has ob-gyn been like? Lots of pre-natal visits. Some gyn visits. Lots of surgeries which I avoided but I swear this week, I will go to more. I just really really really detest the scrub nurses, or techs or whatever they call themselves. They are so rude! I do not know why. And this is a common phenomenom. My friend told me about her experience at the hand of the or nurses during her rotation in worcester. I was in a surgery the other day and first of all, I was sick, in fact been sick the whole of last week and I just managed to be in that surgery when I all I really wanted to do was lie in my bed and sleep it off. Anyway, at the end of the surgery, i went into a coughing fit. I was so embarassed, I wanted to enter the floor. I tried to control it by not coughing but that's when tears started streaming out of my eyes. After a while, I started to panic. I felt as if i could not breath. And I think that it was probably the mask that i was wearing that irritated my already irritated airways, sha. I stepped away from the sterile field and i am coughing my brains out. you know what this witch says, keep your hands up. hello lady, i am dying here! i ended up walking out of the surgery. she was all too glad to help me leave.

i feel sorry for myself o. if i can't stand these little smalltown scub nurses, how am i going to handle the ones at home base for three months? God, give me a thick skin. But, all i know is if anyone messes with me this week, I will show them the rough side of my tongue. They should better watch themselves.

ok. i am breathing.

anyway, i've gotta go study. i'm already 1.5 hrs behind schedule.

and cherub formerly known as jewels and kisses. i really would like to tell you about the experience but umm i'm worried about hippaa and my future residencies doing a search on me. lol. i watched good morning america the other day, they were discussing blogs, myspace and the impact on the job hunt. but if you have any specific questions, just post them and i will do my best to answer them. before the year 2009.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another one down.

Just finished the oral exam of my fourth rotation. I can hardly believe it. I am two rotations away from finishing my third year. Where does time go to?

Sha, it's not been easy. I failed my first rotation exams - the oral and the written. I am still in shock myself but I have finally come to accept it. Also, to recognize that failing it does not mean that I am a failure. But, I must admit when I heard that news in October, I went into depression. Well, a mini-depression (ironically, I was doing my psych rotation at that time lol). I stopped working out and everything. I got even more anxious than I am already, and I am an anxious person.

But with time, I now understand what I did wrong.
#1. I missed the memo that the exam was past board questions. I did not find this out until a week before the exam.
#2. I spent my time studying from the wrong book.
#3. I left my notebook with all my notes in Boston! How stupid huh! I didn't find it until after the exam. In fact, I think this was a big factor in my not passing the written.

As far as the oral, I lacked so much confidence. I didn't ask enough questions from the standardized patients and plus I really dislike them. But now that I have had 3 other rotations under my belt, I am more at home with them. The only flaw I have now is to stop laughing at them when they are telling me their concerns. I did that by accident at a mock interview. It was just funny!

I feel more confident in my interviewing and physical exam skills. Now, I need to work on my assessment and planning skills. It's funny, I immediately know what the problem is. I just have this instinct for it, however, I still do not have all the relevant tests in my head. I still find myself consulting a book for that. I know, it takes practice practice practice.

Other than school, I thought this year was going to be an exciting year sha. It started off in an exciting manner. I met this young man online (do not laugh!) and man, he had me going. He was calling me every morning and texting me every afternoon and evening. Come to find out homeboy is married. Wow. I didn't expect that. Maybe a girlfriend or something but a whole wife! Anyway, it was a painful surprise cos he really had me going although the more sensible and always thinking part of me always felt that there was something not quite right about him. I haven't told him that I know that he is a fraudulent time waster. Fortunately, although at the time, i thought it was rather unfortunate and i even wrote the little free verse below, he had stopped talking to me before the discovery. I had told him that I was kind of glad that I had given him a chance because some of the things he had said to me during our second or third phone conversation had me really suspecting him - in short, he was discussing his anatomy with me.

I know, i know, i should have hung up the phone right there and then but I was still trying to figure out if i should be offended or what! After all, I see naked people every day and go all up in them too. LOL. I am trying to get comfortable with that whole thing. The first and last time I did a prostate exam I was so traumatized I wanted to drop out of school right there and then. Shudder. I start Ob-gyn on Tuesday which means six weeks of palpating cervixes and feeling uteruses and ovaries. I am sooooo not looking forward to that.

So I digressed. Anyway sha, after that conversation, homeboy stopped talking to me and I was quite perplexed. I tried to apply that stupid book (hate that book) he's just not into you rules but my curiousity got the better of me so i sent him an e-mail on Saturday. He replied me via text later that day but I didn't get to read it until this morning. (phone was broken) and by that time my sister's bf had already told me that dude was married.

Man! I so want to cuss him out! I so want to tell him that his secret is out but my sister has told me to be quiet and not even engage in any back and forth. Ahhhh, she is taking away my drama!

Need to go find my friends so we can eat lunch and go for the second half of this exam jo.

in a minute.

Friday, February 09, 2007

been a long time...

i am trusting God with everything that i've got
i'm trusting God with all my dreams, my hopes, my joy
i'm trusting God with all my fears, my hates, my insecurities
the pain at the pit of my stomach
the tears rolling down my cheeks
all of my failures, all of my doubts
i'm trusting God through this night
that has lasted six long years
with only a moment or two of sunshine
to help me endure the months and months of dark
O Lord

I'm trusting You through my doubts
I wonder if You hear, I wonder if You care
I wonder what Your plans are
I wonder if they include my joy
Sometimes I whisper a lie - You must hate me
Then try to cover it up with the truth - Romans eight
But I return to that lie again and again
When You won't let me get my way
Why won't You let me get my way Lord
What is wrong with my way?
What do You see that i don't?
And why won't You share it with me?
So I could be at ease, at peace
But I guess that's why it's called trust

The alternative would be to walk away
Not that I don't do that already
But I love You Lord and i can't keep away
Even though You drive me mad w/
The piecemeal way You reveal my story
I know it will be all good in the end
with years of light to make up for the years of dark
with days of laughter to make up for the nights of tears
But Lord God, my beloved Dad
Must I go through the pain to get to the sweet stuff
I promise I've learned all my lessons
I promise, I promise, I promise
Please just take away the pain!

february 8 2k7 @PVHS