what a wonderful thing is the end of a string

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    First day of school!

    I was so stressed out yesterday. This summer was a mess. So many things did not go as planned. We did, however, find an apartment two blocks from school. That rocks. I’m really happy about that right now, as I casually sip my coffee rather than planning my commute.

    Somehow, in my panic, I began to reconsider everything. I thought maybe I was at the wrong school, and I wished I was at my favorite school in the Midwest. I thought maybe I should have done osteopathic rather than allopathic medicine. I was especially upset because I wanted to get my house all unpacked before school started. I was a mess. I finally told my husband (after hours of grumpily unpacking) that I needed to get out of the house.

    That was the best choice I’d made all day. We took the bus into downtown, caught a movie, and then went out for drinks and a light dinner of fun appetizers. It was awesome. Exactly the relief I needed, after days and days of working through boxes.

    Now I’m finishing my coffee, after which I’ll change my shirt, brush my teeth, and casually stroll down the two blocks to school.

    Hard to even imagine what is in store for me. 🙂


    I am a lot less nervous now. Yes, I’m a newbie, and in for something crazy… but there are a lot of other people in the same boat! 🙂 I find a lot of peace in that.

    Not much else to say for now. We have had mind-numbing orientation stuff for two days, with two more scheduled. It’s good, though. We’re getting to know each other and the school and the policies without any real obligations. Just show up and be bored. And they’re feeding us. 😀

    So exciting! The physician who seems to be the head advisor of student life keeps joking that she won’t ask us how we’re doing in January. Quite foreboding, but I don’t care. It’ll be a disaster, but it’ll be fine. I think I’m going to head out of town this weekend… my last weekend before real classes start!


    Anatomy lab is exhausting.

    I’m sure all of you who have already been through this are having a good laugh right about now. 🙂 Ah well.

    Today was the first day in lab. We were instructed to remove all the skin from the back and then find all muscles, reflecting back upper layers to find deeper muscles. I think the instructor claimed that we’d have the skin off in less than 10 minutes. Two hours later… :/ Ugh. Then another two hours to get the muscles separated out.

    I was completely surprised at how physically demanding it was. I know, this sounds wimpy and whiny. I’ve had many jobs where I’m on my feet all the time, but I found this uniquely exhausting. The pulling, the smell, the ongoing frustration of not knowing if we were doing anything right… I expected to love anatomy lab. It’s only the first day, but I hated it.

    I’m going to head to the library soon, but I am so tired. There was also a delay getting my financial aid check due to a paperwork mix-up, so that’s a little concerning. We’re running low on money. They say the check will be ready tomorrow, but I have class all day, so that won’t do me much good. Second-year students are having a book sale at lunch time, but if tomorrow is like today, I’ll be picking at fascia during lunch. (sigh)

    I hope all of you are enjoying my pity party. I’m not happy about having to go to anatomy lab again tomorrow, but I am happy that it has GOT to be a better lab than today. I hope?

    Anyway, all you happy peppy people, keep on smiling! 🙂


    Okay, so anatomy lab is looking up. It’s actually really easy to remove skin – after your first time. The rest of med school is not so cool. I mean, it’s okay. It’s insane. I don’t know.

    Last week I was spending about 4 hours every night reviewing what we’d been over that day, and previewing the next day’s material. Even then, I could’ve spent a little more time with it. Then this week our clinical skills class started, which goes late in the day twice a week. No big deal, right? I mean, there goes some study time, but… I don’t know. I’m pretty overwhelmed. Everyone says it will be like this, but it is so hard to understand until you’re there. I’ll survive, and I guess it’ll be fine in the end. It’s just a totally different thing to talk about having to spend all of your time studying, and to actually do it, and maintain focus, and not burn out, and repeatedly tell friends and family you can’t hang out and you can’t talk on the phone.

    See? I’ve gotten pretty whiny.

    In other news, the doctor I’m assigned to for my first clinical skills segment is a trauma surgeon. I’m a bit intimidated by that, but the new melancholy me says that I will survive.


    I’m almost done with anatomy now, and very happy about that. My study skills have improved, so I don’t study nearly as much to get the same scores. I could have instead maintained the study time and improved my scores… maybe in the next class. 🙂

    Not much else to say, except that I’m really looking forward to being done with this rote memorization class and getting on with science classes. It will also be nice to clear my first hurdle.

    Preceptorship is a continual challenge, and my husband is an on and off challenge. It is difficult to balance life and school, and we’re still planning to start a family soonish, so I’m sure that will only get trickier.

    Three weeks until my anatomy final! Hurray!


    Anatomy final was Monday. It is so awesome to have that class done. In part because I hated it… and in part because I have cleared my first hurdle. One quarter of medical school is already done! That went really fast.

    I know I’ve only had two days of it, but I love the next class. It’s cell biology, biochem, and histology rolled together. I realize there will likely be parts I don’t like, and it’s certainly more difficult than anatomy, but it is so much more interesting. I’m studying more, but enjoying it! Maybe it’s just the contrast with the rote memorization I just finished. Anatomy is like an evil art class. Just memorizing things. Utterly boring. I almost hate to say that, because I know that anatomy is essential to everything a doctor does. Still, truth is truth. I hated that class.

    I really like histology lab. Looking at slides just makes me happy. Always has. Every class I’ve ever taken with microscope work I’ve been the last one to leave. I’m sure I’ll hit the biochem portion in January and want to die, but I’m happy right now, so I’m going with it. 😀

    In other news, my husband and I are having disputes over family holidays and money. He’s not working right now, and is transitioning between undergrad and post-bacc at a different school. That means my loans are paying all the bills, which also means I don’t think we have enough money to make it until the next check, or his school starts, or whatever. He also doesn’t want to travel to my brother’s for Thanksgiving. We always go to my brother’s house for Thanksgiving, and that’s typically the only holiday I see all my siblings. This year my husband is upset because my brother and his family never come to see us. Nevermind that we live in a 1-bedroom apartment and he and his wife both work heavy hours in intense jobs. My husband has no job, plays x-box half the day, and complains that he has to put all the effort into the relationship. It drives me crazy. I really don’t have any idea what to do about that. I think he’s a bully in general, but has no idea. Men. Ugh.


    Somehow I haven’t updated this in a very long time.

    Long story short:

    I am 2 1/2 weeks and 4 exams (3 after today) from being out for the summer, and potentially a year. It might just be my current burn-out, but a year off with the baby is sounding nice. As fun as it would be to fight the administration for an October break, I just don’t feel like struggling through next year. MS1 while pregnant was already much more difficult than I thought it would be, and rumor is a newborn is harder.

    My husband finally got a job. Our lease expires in 1 month, so it’s a good thing he did. The bad news is that upgrading to a larger apartment where we can fit another body (we are in a tiny 1-bedroom right now) is expensive in this city. The car died last week, so we got another – which we also needed to do before the baby came because it was old and unreliable, but most importantly, only had two seats. I’m trying not to panic about how quickly his new income is disappearing in the new bills. I guess all that means is that we really couldn’t have waited much longer.

    I can’t wait for summer! I have a research job lined up that sounds very fun. I just need to buckle down and study for a couple more weeks. I am finally getting my energy back (at 19 weeks), but I am totally lacking motivation! Must study!


    Well, here’s the quick update. Summer was okay – not great. I didn’t love the lab job, but I am sure it was a valuable learning experience, or something. Summer heat plus pregnancy is a terrible combo, so I laid around like a swollen lump after work most days, and the house is still not unpacked from the move.

    I worked out a plan for this coming year, which is half-time research. I am putting in as much time as I can now so I can take a good chunk of time off when the baby comes, which should be quite soon now. I’m 36 weeks along, and very uncomfortable. It comes and goes, but right now I feel like she is just way too big for the space allotted her. I guess that means the belly will give up and pop out another couple of inches soon. :p

    The good news about the half-time research is that I can keep my student status, not have to mess with my loans, and still get health insurance and financial aid. I think in the end I will be glad I did something to stay active and involved in school during this year, but I still wonder. I don’t really see another time when I’ll ever have the chance to just take a year off, so I don’t know why I keep adding things to it.

    I am almost ready for the baby to come! I have her room most of the way set up, and am in the middle of washing clothes and blankets and things and getting them organized. Since I have no stinking idea what I am doing I am preparing everything I can think of, because I am sure there will be countless surprises! 🙂


    Baby’s due date came and went yesterday. Ha! I wish it were a deadline like what “due” means in the rest of life. 🙂

    Oh well. I just realized a couple of days ago that my husband’s grandmother is coming to visit next week, so I’m starting maternity leave then. Hopefully I’ll have a baby here for her to see, but who knows! I had been cutting back my hours these last couple of weeks anyway, since I was crazy tired. I wanted to work until the baby came so my leave time could maximize time with her. If she comes tonight… success! Otherwise, I’m sure I’ll appreciate the extra sleep.

    I like my lab, though! It is interesting work, and I am finding that the more exposure I have to endocrinology the more I enjoy it. This has not been true of any other field, although we’ll see what happens when I (eventually) hit my clinical years.


    Hey melbelle, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts here quite a bit!

    How is the little one?

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