Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Ten days into the break between semesters. Ahh. Next semester scares me for a variety of reasons. I need to do well. I need to do better than I did this semester, but with less time and more classes. Yikes. Anyway, I am trying to put the stress out of my mind for another 3 weeks. I need to hit the Chem and Anatomy books before returning to maximize my chances of not falling behind.

This has been an emotional holiday season. This was the first year that my husband and I actually "celebrated" to any extent. Three years of taking care of his chronically, then terminally ill mother followed by one year of not caring about anything (I wanted to, but it was impossible) puts one in a confusing position. But this was the year that we were going to get into the groove. Start our own traditions (perhaps a combinations of each other's from years passed) and begin again. So, we began with the tree. We bought a real Christmas tree since both of us grew up with artificial ones. It is a gorgeous 9.5 footer that our dogs love to sit at the foot of for hours on end. We stuffed stockings and gave gifts. We went to church (ok, so that part never died) on Christmas Eve. Growing up in Texas, my family always had the tradition of eating tamales and chili on Christmas Eve after church. So, I found this place in town that sells tamales, bought some and made veggie chili. It was good. Unfortunately, the tamales were Peruvian style and not Mexican so there were big hunks of meat in the center instead of the shreds that I prefer. But, that was favorite part is the corn (masa) anyway and that was REALLY good. My husband's family had a tradition of eating oyster stew for breakfast on Christmas morning. The idea just grosses me out, so I should have known that the actual consumption would do worse. I tried. It was completely disgusting. I seriously did not make it through one spoonful. I thought I was going to puke. But, there he was..happy as a clam slurping his oyster stew. Eww. Since it was just the two of us, I made roasted cornish game hens, cranberry relish, rolls (ok, I bought those), green beans, and stuffing. I was pleased with the way everything turned out. My in-laws are both gone, so I can only imagine how difficult the day actually was for my husband. Holidays are always confusing for me. I never know quite what to say to him. I always ask how he is feeling and try to give him the opening to talk if he wants, but he never seems to want to so I let it go. Our mothers have the same birthday. December 26th. So, that is a double doozie for him.

I think I wrote sometime back about how my mom and I are pretty estranged and then how she recently wrote me a letter apologizing for many things. I had said that I would address the letter after finals. So, I did. But, then she called. I ended up telling her what I wanted to on the phone. She didn't interrupt. She didn't disagree. I would REALLY like to think that she has changed. We spoke several times in a few days and I even considered going down there since I don't have to be back in class for another 3 weeks. But, I don't fly. I am very upset about it and REALLY want to get over it but it just isn't happening right now. So, I was going to take the train. Until I recalculated how long it would take. Yikes! I think I that I will invite them to come up here at some point, maybe during Spring Break. But, it just isn't happening in the next 3 weeks.

Well, enough for now.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I am a religious person. Not merely "spiritual." I believe in Jesus Christ and I practice my faith. Why is this important in this post? Because all I can say is THANK YOU GOD! YOU ARE AWESOME!

I went shopping today (it kept me from checking every 3 minutes to see if grades had been posted). When I got home...the first place went was to my office to check on Chem and Human Bio. I was greeted by this email:

Dr. Underdog,

The TA's are posting the final grades for my CHEM class on Blackboard on today. Your final average was a 77.64 and you will see a "C" grade posted on Blackboard. However, in consideration of your hard work, time missed from illness, and in (hoping) to give you that extra boost for you to do EVEN better in [next sequential Chem] furthering your Med School aspirations, I thought you deserved the "B" grade.

This will (should) be the grade that will show on your transcript/eeservices. If it does not, hold on to this email, and send it back, in case a correction is needed.

Have a Blessed and Restful Christmas.

Doc Underdog's Chem Prof

(ok, so this isn't me...but it might as well have been)

I spoke poorly about this prof, I questioned her ability to teach, even her mental health...and this is how she treats me. I deserve to be shot. I have never been given 2.5 points in my life and I never expected from her. Was my mind changed about her today? Certainly about her personally, but I will still do everything in my power to never take another class taught by her.

The only grade still outstanding was Human Bio. I knew I had done wonderfully on all material...except evolution. I tried, but was so "history oriented" and history is rough for me. My grade came back. Evolution slaughtered me on the final and I ended up with a B in the course.

Anyway, my GPA was 3.14 for the semester. I can't say that I am too disappointed as this is my first semester back as a full-time student and I didn't do too well the first time around. At one point in the semester, I thought that 2 C's were a possibility. I am ecstatic! GOD, YOU RAWK!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chemistry Final Exam Grade...incoming!

What I hate most about this is not the work. It is the degree to which this matters to me. I met with my Chem prof 2 weeks ago. She is not a woman who is exactly straight in the head, but none the less..I must respect the title. So, I do. I needed an 80 on my final to end up with a B in the course. I just checked my grade. I got a 78. While I don't feel that this is over, I feel completely defeated. I didn't want to have to fight grading errors that she wouldn't address earlier in the semester, but now I have to in order to get the grade that I deserve. I want to roll up into a ball, find a dark corner somewhere and cry until I am out of tears. I know to many this will seem a bit extreme, but I don't feel that it is. A 78 puts me less than one percentage point from a B. Maybe even less than .5% in which case I would hope that she would round up instead of down. Frankly, any professor that awards a 79 when a 79.5 (or 79.1 for that matter) is earned is actually TAKING POINTS AWAY from a student and I don't believe that is fair either. But, in the case of a 79.5 or higher, there should be no question. I really don't want to have to fight this. It won't end up being pretty and I will simply end up making a bad name for myself. But, I can't afford not to fight it.

For now, I am going to go back to my corner and pout.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I hope I never learn to look beyond the person to the symptoms alone. Distance myself to create a healthy environment for myself and my patient? Yes, but I never want to lose sight of the person. I was sitting with my mentor yesterday afternoon. We had not seen each other in a little over a month and we were typing up some loose ends when she said "I'm sorry, that is my fault Dr. Underdog. Something happened...something pretty in I could have not been here...that has consumed my life for the last month." I looked at her with a concerned look as it seemed that she wanted to tell me more...and I wanted to hear it. I asked (obviously). I had noticed that her car was not in there when I had driven up earlier, but thought little of it. She then told me (with a nervous laugh every once in awhile) about how she had been driving on a major road near where I used to live and had been t-boned. Unfortunately, that was just the beginning. Her car was sent airborne and flipped twice. When she landed, moved backwards destroying a retaining wall and bringing her to a halt between 2 buildings. The airbags had not deployed as the sensors in the front bumper had not been activated. Upon hearing this story (with my hand covering my gaping mouth and eyes wide), I hugged her telling her what she meant to me. After all, had it not been for this person I would not be on the road that I am. She is strength and a reminder that I can do it. But, most of all, I see strength. I see a woman committed to the patients that she serves and unwavering in their care. I have rarely seen her emotional, but it was obvious that she was shaken. She had been dealing with her injuries for the last month and was just returning to work.

My point? People are not always what they seem. I always want to ask the next question...even at the risk of seeming intrusive. I want to look past the surface of the hardest of people and see something more. When I was involved in a very bad car accident (nowhere close to what she had experienced) about 8 months ago, I became acutely aware of the speed at which things can end. The sound of crushing metal was just beginning to leave me long enough to find peace. I have been witness to accidents through which people should not have lived. These experiences leave a mark. They burn a memory that is not peaceful. It causes nightmares and changes the way you think...the way you look at things, people...the way you live. These are the kind of experiences that can break the hardest of individuals.

I never want to put such a distance between myself and another that it takes another experience like the one I walked away from 8 months ago or the one that my mentor experienced recently to make me realize where my mind should be. I felt that happen to me and I watched as it happened to her.

I don't want to be stereotypical, I don't want to be judgemental and most of all, I don't want to be distant.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One more!

I have taken all of my finals...except one. Human Bio --- tomorrow at 1pm. Tonight I have a study group... in about an hour. I have so far, I have accumulated 1 A and 2 Bs for the semester. I am waiting on that 80 on my Chem final to make it 3 Bs. I need an 89 on my Human Bio final to get an A in that class. So, we will have to see. I am cautiously optimistic. I wasn't as worried going into my Chem exam as I am going into my Human Bio exam. I really want that A!! I did pretty poorly on my 2 finals yesterday...a 65.75% in Math and a 72% in Nutrition. But, both were enough for Bs in the class. I was not in line for an A either way, so I am satisfied. Gosh, I am just waiting for the return in Chem. I have been checking Blackboard about every hour (if not more) and I have a friend (also a classmate) on high alert with phone in hand at the first sight of her grade. So, it won't be there long before I know about it!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Finals...that's all folks!

I am having a lot of trouble getting motivated to study for finals. You would think that good grades would be enough, but apparently not. Of course, I am being told that I am concentrating TOO MUCH on my grades. Um..ok...WTF? Anyway, I met with my Chem prof on Friday. Chem is the bane of my existence this semester and I thought that a C was my highest hope. Apparently not. She worked up my grades and if I pull an 80 on the final I have a B. WOO HOO. Please, Please, Please God! I just hope that I have retained more than my grades have shown thus far. I know, back to the whole grade thing.

I have done ZERO studying all weekend. I was in bed most of today. I sustained a couple of back injuries about 10-15 years ago and every once in a while my back likes to make me aware that it can wreck my life. Usually, I just deal. I move through it. But, it got to the point last night that standing was not an option. So, I have been in bed all day. Lazy, Lazy, Lazy. Sort of. But, I really don't want to get to the point where I can't walk...especially this week. I am looking forward to finals being over, but I am really looking forward to doing well on them. Thankfully, I get both of my Chem classes out of the way on Monday and don't have to think about them again. Tuesday is Math and Nutrition (more difficult than it sounds) which will result in 2 Bs for the semester and Thursday is Human Biology...which could go down as an A or a B depending upon the final. If I make an A on the final, I get an A...If I get anything lower, I get a B. So... my study group is on Tuesday night which leaves me Wednesday to review before Thursday. So, if everything goes well, I will end up with 2 As and 3 Bs. I guess that is "well."

I am registered for my classes next semester. The schedule?
Human Anatomy
Anatomy Lab
Chem Lab
Safety & First Aid (don't includes some certifications that I want)

My schedule is not nearly as cushy as it was this term. I have 8am classes 2x/week and a night class as well. Not to mention, in order to get this particular professor for Chem I had to enroll in a MWF class which means I no longer have my Fridays free - a luxury that I have enjoyed this semester. But, after such a horrible experience with Chem this term, I won't settle for anyone less. I had this professor for HUMS Chem this term and now I will have her for HUMS Chem and Gen Chem. AWESOME!

I am gonna scram for now. To all of you who have finals coming up...GOOD LUCK!


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Started Dec. 1...
I finally did the plastic surgeon shadowing that has been in the works for something like 8 months. I will be going back, but yesterday was my first installment. It was great. A few highlights:
-A man who had had lipo done by an ObGyn-
WOW. Needless to say, he has had severe complications. The gentleman is now on dialysis, has a huge hole in the skin of his abdomen which is exposing the muscle and the skin on his scrotum fell off. The first question I had (obviously not to the pt) was "What the heck was an obgyn (why wont Blogger allow me to use certain punctuation???) doing performing liposuction?" This poor man has obviously been through a lot. Whatever $$$ he saved going to this back alley doc is being far exceeded by what he is having to shell out now to stay alive.

(MAJOR TIME is now Dec. 7th.)
Attempting to complete this post as if no time had passed would be stupid. But, suffice it to say that last Friday was a super kick @$$ day and it provided a much needed shot of motivation to get me through finals. I can't wait until those are over! I will expound more upon that later..but for now I am going to cuddle up in bed. We just got home from an extra credit Science and Faith Seminar. It was supposed to be on the efficacy of intercessory prayer in relation to health and healing, but neither party held their ground. The scientist who was arguing the "anti-proof" side turned out to gush his faith while the theologian tried to argue the opposite side to take up the slack...ugh. Very disappointing. I am glad I got extra credit for going because I gained nothing from it personally.

Studying on tap for the weekend.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Loooooong Weekend!

With every passing day, I am amazed at the stress I will endure in pursuit of medicine. I may just have an easy life, but I have never pushed myself so hard on a constant basis. I have been more successful a things without trying as hard. Sports for one. I always acted like I put in the extra effort, but in reality it was a joke. I loved it and I had natural ability. I don't have a lot of natural ability when it comes to school and none of it comes easily. Consequently, everything requires extra effort.

I had 3 exams yesterday and 2 major assignments due at midnight. The day flew by. I was too busy rushing from one exam to the other that I didn't have time to be stressed nor realize my anxiety. When the day was over, I just smiled. The exams had gone well...we will find out just how well next week and I felt good. I hit a wall when it came to the assignments though. One was completely on material that had been taught last week and I, of course, was sick all week. So, I took a big hit on that grade. But, my homework average is somewhere around 97-98% so I am not too concerned. Thankfully, the other assignment was extended until Friday at 11pm. I don't think I will know how to complete it anymore by then than I did last night, so I am just trying to put it out of my mind for now. There is a ton of studying that I need to get done in the next couple of weeks. Finals begin the 9th of Dec. So...we'll see if I can maintain my good grades and pull up those that aren't so hot. Either way, I am proud of the effort I have put forth this semester. I hope to outdo myself next semester.

BTW...the title...we are out for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Back in the Swing...sort of

I am back in the swing of things...somewhat. I am studying and retaining which hasn't been accomplished in days. So, I have a lot to make up for. Human Bio down. Next up will be Nutrition. I don't have either one of those exams on Monday (thankfully) but there is no way I am waiting until the night before to cram. After this illness, which has lasted longer than I would have liked (I know - whine, whine) I am feeling refreshed and ready to hit the next 4 weeks hard! I have an advising appointment on Monday morning...for what reason?? I have no idea. I already know what I need to take since it all just one big sequence that has been laid out for me since before I began. But, it doesn't hurt to get face time with the guy. I am still afraid of blowing it for the semester and getting less than a 3.0. Which would not be good. But, I really need to put that out of my mind until it actually happens. I think the class that really worries me is Nutrition. I would be elated to get a B in there. I don't know if that is possible. It is sad actually, I was somewhat glad to feels o bad this week and get to put off that exam. In addition to feeling terrible, I was not in the right fram of mind to take an important exam. All I could think about was how scared I was of blowing it. It is funny how my definition of "blowing it" has changed so dramatically in the last 10 years. Then, blowing it was an F. Now, it is defined as a C. Some days it is defined as less than an A. Kind of a high standard to set, I suppose. I keep averaging and reaveraging my possible GPA with different grades, etc. Worst case scenerio...I have blown it with 2 Cs, 2 Bs and an A...I have a 2.928. Ugh. I am supposed ot be removed from my program with less than a 3.0. Since this is my first semester, I don't have anything to leverage against. So...would that be it? OR would they give me a break knowing that I have been out of school for so long? C'mon...cut the old lady a break. Anyway, I am looking toward
3 As, 1 B and a C. Thank you Chem. I appreciate the difficulty you have given me this semester and the awful prof that accompanied you. How dense was I when I was so happy to have gotten her? Ugh. Note to self and all readers...are there any of you out there?? Always read up on your profs at AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER. If the reviews say they are bad...they usually are. Don't think you can change the teacher...they are the way they are. Anyway, no use bitching...I just want to get through and beyond. I will NEVER...NEVER, EVER sign up with this prof again. I will literally go to a private institution and my $1K per credit hour rather than have this woman again. Literally, THAT is how bad she has been.

OK, enough bitching. Actually, I am in a really good mood and looking forward to blowing the top off what is left of the semester.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Under the weather.

Hi all! Thankgiving is next week and the semester is coming to a close. I have registered for Spring classes and ordered my parking permit. Unfortunately, my parking deck was sold out ONE DAY after they went on sale and I was unable to snag one. So, I have a different garage. A bummer, but there are far more important things in life.

I had 2 exams this week, but was very sick and wasn't able ta make either one of them. Thankfully, neither one of them were Chem. In Chem, there are NO MAKE UP EXAMS. You just get a zero. The one saving grace...if your final is higher than any one of your test grades, then it replaces that grade in addition to counting as the final. I am supposed to make up my Math exam by tomorrow and I'm not entirely certain how that is going to happen. I can barely make it up the stairs in my house...much less walk from my car to the building and up 3 flights of stairs. Ugh. I also must make up a Nutrition exam. I have the doctor's note that is required, but my prof has yet to get back with me. I emailed her on Wednesday (as required) and she has not replied. Supposedly, you are supposed to make it up the same week, but that would be just one day after the day the exam was given...which means you better not be very sick! Thankfully, I don't think that she holds fast to this requirement...especially since she is horrible to nail down.

Well, enough of this week.

Next week, I have a Human Bio exam, a HUMS/Chem exam as well as somehow making up the Nutrition exam. Lots of studying this weekend. I am glad this semester is almost over. I mean, I am terrified of finals, but ready to get it overwith.

OK, back to boring TV game show reruns. I have tried to study all week, but it has been useless.

Over and out.

Monday, November 13, 2006

This week is a big one. I have 2 exams, a Bio conference this afternoon for extra credit, a day of physician shadowing...and a vet appointment for one of the dogs :). Unfortunately, have had bronchitis since last week, am in bed and pretty weak. I need to get over this - quickly. Levaquin, Advair and Mucinex..will hopefully clear up the lungs soon. Thankfully, the fever has chilled out but my lungs are a lot more wet then they were. Ugh. I am not volunteering this week; I had determined that long ago due to the bio thing. I really hope that I can go to the conf this afternoon, but right now I am not too optimistic right now. I am downing hot tea and water like they are going out of style and I just realized that Thanksgiving is next week. AGGH. I have 3 exams before I can think about that. Three important exams. Actually, they are all important...but these are the last ones before the final. I have not finished registering for next semester's classes yet, but I was able to get the Chem prof that I was hoping I am thrilled about that. I have an appointment with my advisor at some point this week or next, I really need to look at my schedule. OK, just is next Monday at 0930. Hopefully, I have some form of trachea still intact by then. I am ridiculous pain with every cough.

Tomorrow, is my Math exam. I guess I need to go pay attention to it.

Adios peeps.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sort of better...

I am feeling a bit better than I was the other evening about my chances for the semester. I have a very realistic view of what my situation is and while it is not ideal, it is not hopeless either. So, I have probably the most difficult 5 weeks of my academic career (thus far) immediately ahead of me. In short, I need close to perfection. Not better than I have done this semester, but better than I have done in recent weeks. Needless to say, I am a bit stressed about it. Perhaps uptight is a better description. I have heart palpitations pretty commonly now and it is driving me nuts. But, that is about all they are doing to me. I am so blessed. Next week, I have 2 exams. Math and Bio/Nutrition. I need A's on both. Math...totally doable. Nutrition...I have yet to accomplish it. So, I'll do my best and pray hard...we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sometimes you can't win for losing.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I am having serious doubts that I can do this. I am in danger of being dropped from my program..the first semester in it. If I am dropped, there is no chance in hell of me...well, there is already no chance in hell, but there is even less of a chance if I am dropped. How will I face myself? Damn it. I think the worst part is that I have masqueraded as an intelligent person my entire life. Now what? I have to admit to all my doubters and most painfully to myself that I am nothing more than a complete an total loser who got exactly what she deserved. It wasn't the extenuating circumstances that surrounded many of those grades, it wasn't the fact that I had panic disorder, it wasn't that I couldn't see well enough to read throughout was that I am dumb. Damn it. I don't want to admit that. I don't want to admit to being mediocre. Where the heck does that leave me? What will I do for the rest of my life, however long that may be? We moved here so that I could go to school. I let my husband down. I dragged him on this journey that ended prematurely because I don't have the brain for it. Oh my gosh. I honestly don't know what to think, what to do. I am spilling my guts on a public site. What the hell? Where do I go from here?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lions, Tigers and Friggin' Morons...oh my!

I have a Chem exam tomorrow. Don't even get me started on how much of an idiot my professor is. How can they let morons head up entire departments like that? Ugh. The worst ones are always the ones with the power. Great. Anyway, I wasn't feeling hot this morning so I opted to stay home through my first class. (Ok, it really wasn't an option...I really couldn't go.) But, that is beside the point. I think I have a pretty good grip on Chem for tomorrow. I had a study session with 2 girls from my class and a TA we convinced to tutor us. So, now I lie here in bed next to a Chem textbook and notes that I SEEM to have a grip on..but I guess that will be determined tomorrow.

I wish tonight were not Halloween. I am not a fan of Halloween. Never really have been, even as a kid it was more of a chore for me. I never saw the point. And with the exam tomorrow, I had hoped to have a peaceful evening. Now, I have to move the convertible into the garage (not a small task) and worry. Hubby said that he is going to sit outside on the porch with the candy and when he comes in...that is it. But, I tonight really makes me nervous. Teenagers especially go all over the city to pick and choose (if you will) the best candy collecting areas. And of course, attempting to scare the **** out of oneself is common practice as well. Unfortunately, we had an extremely brutal murder...ok a quadruple block from here and the house is still boarded up. Even though the city dropped in crime ranking from #5 to #15, this is still not the safest place (nor the calmest) place in the country. Hence, the car goes into the garage if we still want a top on it in the morning. Pain in the @$$. It is my hope that people will be respectful of what happened in that house and not use it as a terror toy. But, people from all over the city came to gawk at the structure after it happened and my guess is that they will not leave it alone tonight either. People are idiots on Halloween. Anyway, I will be working on Math and Chem and hoping that one of the pumpkins that we bought does not come flying through the glass in our front door. Did I mention...people are idiots?

Despite working my @$$ off and being so confident in my performance on my recent Nutrition exam...I managed a mere 86%. I am going to have to settle for a C in the class. There is no way on the face of the planet that I can even pull a B (realistically). Furthermore, I pretty much F'ed up an entire semester in one week. Damn. What can ya do? Nothing really. Dean's list is out the window and my confidence is shot. I have no more to give on so many different levels. I am bitter, I am frustrated and I am beaten. Yet, I will meet with my advisor for next semester on Friday. WTF am I thinking?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It is cold. Usually, I love the cold, but I have an exam tomorrow that needs serious prep and all I want to do is sleep. I would love to think "yeah, the weekend is approaching and I will get to rest then" but the truth is I have a Chem exam next week and I really need to blow it out of the water. Not to mention, I have a doc appt on Friday about 2 hours away. Also, I found a lump in my right breast and need to try to get an appointment with my other doc for Friday as well. I mean, it is likely nothing, but nonetheless there and new.

I have a Chem quiz today that I am only slightly more ready for than I was last night (when I was COMPLETELY lost) and feel like the world is spinning at 3 times its normal rate. I got my Human Bio exam grade and while definitely not good, it was better than I thought I had done. But, when you reach the depths of the grade scale like that, a few points really don't make any difference. The vast majority of this could be prevented by staying on top of everything. I have failed at that. Not entirely, but enough. In the blink of an eye I went from not having to worry about Human Bio to "OMG, I have to really concentrate on this now!" Same with Math. What a horrible feeling. Of course, neither one of them are anywhere close to Chem, but I was soing so well! I have loaded my Nutrition review sheet onto my Axim so I will have it to study during my break today. Without jinxing it, I feel like this information is somewhat easier than the others. Oh, and a little side note...a piece of advice if you will...never take a course for which you do not have the pre-req. Not smart. Getting an A is ridiculously hard. The last time I had any Bio was 1993. A class 13 years ago does not constitute a pre-req. In all of my classes, I have 2 tests and a final remaining. The final is huge for me in my Chem classes. It will replace what I have successfully screwed up (it will replace one test grade if I do better than my lowest score to account for 60 percent of my grade) so I am really banking on it. Unfortunately, all of the supplemental instruction sessions are conducted at times when I have class. UGH.

Ok, I gotta get a grip. But, first...a shower.

Outta here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

1260 miles, 24 hours, no regrets

The last 5 days have been a total whirlwind. I blew 4 quizzes/exams because of how nervous I was about the flight...I can't afford to do that again. Especially since nothing worthwhile came of it. I ended up totally chickening out and hubby and I drove to Michigan to see a friend and party with a couple more. It was fantastic. I also had the opportunity to shadow my friend (a pathology resident) for one day and it was great. Went to a conference with her where 2 other residents presented re: 1. esophageal perforation during botox injection and 2. pulmonary fibrosis. Both were extremely interesting.

I had a wonderful time with my friend. Lots of laughs. I will be going back in December after finals (if she will have me). But, this time I will be taking the train. :) Not going to be a freak again and I am certainly not going to put the people around me through that again. It is a VERY long trip by train, but a lot less stressful and I will have the time at that point. Thankfully, the drive wasn't horrible...just long.

I have a Chem exam this week. I think I am going to opt out of my volunteering on Monday in favor of studying. They aren't going to be happy about it, but I really need to knock this score out of the park. Thankfully, there is no math homework due on Tuesday like there usually is...we had an exam and a couple of reading univ. days so that pushed things back a bit.

I need to work on some Chem homework today and get a grip on my schedule for the week. Once again, I am planning to shadow that plastic surgeon on Friday...we'll see how it works out. For now, I need a nap.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ahh, Ooh, internet quiz

I took this quiz (after reading it on a friend's blog) and, like all internet quizzes, the method and results are highly questionable. Nonetheless, here's what I look like on a chart of the 7 Deadly Sins:





Envy:Very Low



Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hindsight's 20/20

I don't think I could tell it too well yesterday, but merely thinking about flying is scaring the heck out of me today while yesterday I was like "yeah, so?" Apparently, it worked. This is good news. I slept for 11 hours last night, but I have been tired all week so that is no big surprise. I kept saying that Wednesday (when the big quizzes, etc were over) I would take a nap when I got home. Well, that never happened. So, then I planned for Thursday. Then I realized that I didn't want to sleep through my little dry run. Last night was wonderful sleep. WONDERFUL. I have a sort of vendeta against this fear now. Keeping me from experiencing places and people for this long. I am going to not only get through that stupid take off, I am going to enjoy the damn flight. When the ascent is finished, I am going to pump my fists like I just won some huge championship. Then, I am going to chill out for a short nap until we land. (Of course, merely talking about this now freaks the heck out of me...I love meds. I love them. Thank you pharma-land.) And...I can't forget 2 Timothy - God did not give you a spirit of fear.

I need to study this weekend. Human Bio and Math exams are on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dry Run.

Well, since I don't make a hobby of taking significantly more of my meds than prescribed and that is how my anxiety is supposed to be alleviated next week, I am doing a dry run today. My daily dose is 1mg. I took another mg about 30 mins ago and will take some more in a bit. I am mellow, but I can't tell if this will do the trick or not yet. I tried to figure out a way to scare the shizzit out of myself today for this little test, but other than flying, I can't think of a way. I guess that is good...I am not scared of as many things as I thought, but unfortunately, I can't test the true efficacy of this stuff at this dosage. Also, my Math prof put me in an awful mood so I became super mellow about 2 hours ago anyway.

I tried to convince hubby to take a flight with me somewhere...anywhere...this weekend just to test it out. So that my first flight in 3 years won't be alone. But, he said no. Ugh. Made me so mad. I just want to try this. It would really decrease my stress level if I didn't have to go it alone the first time after fearing it for this long. Maybe I will still convince him sometime this weekend. Heck, I don't care if we fly 10 miles, I just want to get off the ground. That is the only part that scares me really. (I am starting to feel the meds kicking in...woooooooo.)

Ok, I can't keep up a convo on AIM and blog too...gotta jet peeps!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


I know I already posted today. But, here I am again. Someone clue me in. I need advice. My husband and I decided to adopt because having a baby naturally isn't really the smartest thing in our/my situation. I am happy about this decision. It really takes a lot of stress off of me. But, I have serious maternal hormones going and am somewhat anxious to get this moving. However, I want to put it on hold until I am a little further along with my schooling. The problem? Whenever I hear of good news along these lines for anyone else it throws me into a tailspin. A dear friend of mine has really been wanting another niece/nephew and she found out today that that was going to be the case. I am thrilled for her. I really am. I think she really needs this...despite the fact that it is what she has wanted. But, I think I hurt her tonight. I just couldn't talk about it. I tried. I tried so hard to act like nothing was going on in my my heart. This is such a bad idea to lay this out in THIS forum...she reads my blog. But, this is MY RELEASE, MY WORDS...MY I will write.

What should I do? I don't want to be a killjoy for those I love. That is horrible. Not to mention, it is just wrong! Most of all though...I don't want to feel like this.


I really need to get motivated to study. I have math homework due on Tuesday and Chem homework due Wednesday. I have reviewed the new Nutrition notes this weekend and I have some sort of flu-y bug (AGAIN, ugh) so plenty of bed time to study. Instead, I am watching bad house primping shows on A&E and some bad rerun of True Hollywood Story on E! about some Janice Dickinson model. Ok, If you have never seen an episode of The Janet Dickinson Modeling yourself and your confidence a favor. That show makes the dumbest person looked brilliant.

Anyway, it is Sunday afternoon and I am in bed. This is getting really old. I guess it can always be worse.

Tomorrow is my volunteer day. I can't call in again and skip. I don't care how sick I am. It is getting really old to call in every Monday.

Overall, school is going fairly well. I am going to shadow this week. I go to Ann Arbor next Wednesday. Unfortunately, I have 3 tests before I leave. Ugh.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thursday, September 28, 2006

We'll see...

I am thrilled that it is Thursday. I don't have classes on Friday, so the end of the week is here! This week has been a bit more trying than I expected. I had my Math exam on Tuesday and I don't know that I did as poorly as I had expected. I hesitate typing that because it never brings anything good and we have yet to have the exams returned. So, for now, I will just have to be cautiously optimistic. No one get your hopes's not like I aced it or even got a B. I was expecting to fail. Anything above that is better. I got a few grades back that weren't what I should be getting - far from it. This threw me into a tailspin of anxiety and hopelessness. On Tuesday, I walked into my Human Bio class only to find out that the homework that I done (which was going to be used for the quiz) was completely wrong. I was already in a delicate frame of mind...just coming from the Math Lab where I ended up feeling dumber than usual. When the whole homework thing happened...I left. I couldn't do it. I grabbed my bag and ran out of the room. I spent the next 15 minutes sobbing. Knowing that missing a lecture wasn't going to help my efforts, I walked back in and sat in the back on the floor of the teaching theater. I had a 0/10 on the quiz and that was done. At least I was back in the classroom. While I was outside, I realized how important this whole thing is to me. I have honestly never come face to face with myself that way before. It frightened me. I am sure that encounter with my inner Dr. Underdog didn't help my stress/anxiety level the rest of the week. I had my Chem quiz yesterday and we'll have to see how that turns out. The quizzes are much more difficult than the exams...just as she promised. But, I was trying to get some extra review in and ignored my hunger a little too long. I got to the dining hall and sat down with my food and a huge hypoglycemic episode engulfed me. Not good. It was the second worst one that I have ever had and I was alone. I managed to get it under control with a sugar packet, OJ and Dr. Pepper and, despite my lack of appetite at that point, I munched on a sugar cookie on the way to my next class....which was my Chem exam. Timing is so off! Ugh. This morning, I felt awful again and made it to my class (though 30-45 mins late). Anyway, I am off to Human Bio and will grab something to munch on on the way since I am now petrified.

I am really looking forward to the weekend to clear my head and discuss some feelings with my inner Dr. Underdog who appears to be even more determined to do this than I am.

Over and out.

UPDATE: Somehow....BY THE GRACE OF GOD...I got a 92 on my Math exam. WOO HOO. Seriously, it was God... the class average was 77.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Out for Delivery...

My digital voice recorder that I ordered is out for delivery. Maybe it will help with my Nutrition class. Apparently, if you don't absorb it when she is teaching it, you can forget getting it on the exam. Her exams are killers.

I ordered the Olympus WS-320M...1 gig of memory and up to 277 hours of record time. Which far exceeds the others at 15-30 hours.

Let's see how this thing does recording in a teaching theater.

This has been your technology moment for the day.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I have 2 exams this week...did I already mention that? I'm sure I did. Anyway, I have spent my day studying. It is really sad when you feel guilty on the days that you don't study and miserably guilty that you didn't study on the other days on the days that you do study. Does that make any sense? I have been sitting at my desk so long hunched over this material that I have a pain along the left side of my torso. Every keystroke is furthering the argument that I should be institutionalized so you may be saying "Then quit blogging!" This is my release. My body is wound so tightly that I am afraid that if I get up from here I will do some freaky unwinding maneuver like those "snake" egg packets that you buy at state fairs and in small town chochky stores. If you don't know what I am talking about, you haven't lived. The best time to experience those is when you are a kid and the fear will be burned into your psyche so deeply that you can identify where every one of your fears originated until the day you die.

So...that's what I feel like. I want so badly not to study, yet still to do decently on my exams that I would actually be willing to get on a plane to avoid it. Going where? I don't care. Now, that is some serious disgust of studying!

My ring of flash cards will grow tonight. I am not sure by how much. But it will. I think I will introduce a new color to my

I am so angry with my shrink too. She led me to believe that she was going to give me some really good stuff to get me through any flight that I scheduled...but she ended up just increasing what I am already on. Should I be angry? Should I feel played or lied to? Or am I just being idiotic and overreacting? This is really a non-issue. As long as it does the trick, I don't care if it is canned dog food. Oh, and if she tells me that she is not my mother ONE MORE TIME...I am going to..

going to...

Damn, I don't know what I am going to do. She has done me WAY too much good to leave and find someone else and on her very worst day she is FAR better than the others I have had. I thought those were good. To an extent. I trust her too much. It has reached that point. Why do I trust her? Because she has never lied to me. Well, until this med thing...unless it isn't actually a "lie." I probably wouldn't even be thinking about it except that it has to do with my ridiculously irrational fears. I gotta get my head straight. Ugh.

I am really looking forward to going to Ann Arbor in a few weeks. Gosh, I can't wait.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another Class-free Friday...WOO HOO!

This week has been a bit rough. I have been sick since last Saturday and missed the vast majority of my classes this week. Not good. But, I seem to be better today so that is good in light of the fact that I have two exams next week. OH NO! I totally forgot about my Chem exam until right now. Ugh. More studying to do this weekend. I am not totally petrified about it because my prof says that she intentionally makes the quizzes much more difficult than the exams and I have done decently on the quizzes. Not to mention, I have had to study Chemistry for a couple of exams/quizzes this week. In fact, those were the only reason I dragged myself to class on Wednesday. I felt awful...but I wasn't going to put myself in a position to get a zero. Not difficult stuff at this point. Just a matter of putting it together the right way. Easier said than done in all honesty though.

We are joining the church that we have been attending for the last several months this Sunday. We really like it, but they won't quit calling. Anyway, hubby is going to be preaching there again in October.

Well, wrap it up here. I am trying to get dressed ot go run some errands but somehow all of my brushes and my curling iron (which I never use) has gone missing. What is up with that?

TTFN peeps.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Up, UP and AWAY!

Oh WOW. Here's the story...a want to go visit someone that I met via SDN and I have some time to do so in October. The catch? I am horribly afraid of flying. I figured that would be solved by taking the train...which I have recently been introduced to and love. But, the trip is about 20 hours. SO...I sucked it up and decided to fly. I have not flown in 3 years. I made it half of a round-trip last time and returned home by bus...36 hours. Ugh. THAT'S how scared I was. Hubby wasn't too thrilled, but supportive. He should have just knocked me upside the head and thrown me into a seat. I am not scared of terrorism. I am scared of flying. Go figure. I need to get over this fear. Why not now? This is crazy and I feel nuts for attempting this...but I will be thrilled when it is over. The flight that is. I hope that I am able to relax and enjoy the time with my friend and not think about the return trip.

Anyway, I am going to do this. I am looking forward to it. I will also meet a couple of other people from SDN who will be in town for interviews that weekend.

What an awesome few days it will be! Now, Dr. Underdog, all you have to do is get on the friggin' plane.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wipe that smirk off of my face...I dare you!

I am so thrilled that today is over! I had two exams (both in Bio classes) and I was nuts beforehand. The first one went well...but it was ever bit as difficult as I had expected. The second one was fabulous! I can't wait to see how I did!

These days emotions are strange for me. I am so happy being so "miserable." It sounds funny. But, all I do is study and study some more and dream about knowing things that I studied... not quite the exciting life for most. Yet, I always feel like beaming. It is such an awesome feeling. I am so grateful for this opportunity. I have waited my entire life to say "This is it..." For me, this is it. It doesn't begin in med school. This might as well be the beginning of medical school for me. My performance now is equally (if not more) important than it will be 3 years from now.

While walking on campus yesterday, I had so much I wanted to blog about. Today, right now, sitting here after 2 exams that I have studied for exhaustively...I have no idea what those things were. So, until I remember or the euphoria from knowing that I have my first 2 tests down and the week is over...I am going to surf the 'net and chill. No thinking. Not much studying this weekend. It has been one heck of a week. Chem quiz, Math quiz, Nutrition exam and Human Bio exam. Dude, I am fried...for the moment. But so happy. Dang, I am so happy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Yadda Yadda Yadda....OY!

I am struggling. The ironic part is that I am not struggling academically, but emotionally as I deal with the academics. I feel old and out of touch. My home work takes me 3 times as long as it should (IMO) and I end up getting stressed out about review material. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday and we discussed this. The results from my psycho-educational testing that I had done in June came in and I turned over a copy to her. My reading is a major issue. I am so slow that I am classified as "Borderline." During the 2 days of testing I took numerous tests. (Gee, that sounded intelligent didn't it?? Duh.) I scored Average to Very Superior on everything (including my IQ) EXCEPT for my reading rate. UGH. What is going on in my head? I feel so confused. The Ph.D. who administered these tests witnessed one of my "blank out episodes" and documented it. My doc has never witness one, so it was actually a good thing. But, what it came down to was stress. Stupid. The report said something to the affect "What is most diagnostic however is the incredible standards that Dr. Underdog holds for herself. She constantly stated that she wanted to achieve the highest score possible on all of the tasks presented to her. When she was sometimes told of her very high scores, she denigrated them and felt that she should have done better. This almost perfectionistic stance may have caused her anxiety, and, at times, my have in fact inhibited her natural abilities.....She would benefit from reducing her stress and/or anxiety when learning as this seems to interfere with her ability to learn and retain information."


Ok, it is probably 100% true. But, DUDE! Come on! I have been working on this my entire life...Is there another way?

I have been sitting here stressing over sig figs in my Chem homework. I mean, is there anything MORE ridiculous to stress over? I am working myself up into a frenzy worrying about blowing it on a test. I am attempting not to think too much about anything. This has been my Achilles heel in the past, so I am trying not to let it creep back in. Anyway, last night we discussed methods of how to stop these episodes in which get worked up and blank out. Why do the most common methods sound the most ridiculous? Does she actually think I will employ these successfully??

I had been sitting here for hours doing (stressing about) high school level Chem homework and I got up to go into the other room. I almost freaking passed out. My blood pressure was low for me this morning. I have been dizzy, but nothing unbearable for the most part. I just get that way sometimes. I am in the midst of a Fibro flare, so I am sure that that is a significant part of it. Oh yeah, I don't know if I mentioned that here before. I have Fibromyalgia. It sucks. But, it is better than a ton of other stuff out there. I was diagnosed about 4 and half years ago. It is likely that it is due, in part, to the trauma my body endured when I was assaulted by my former business partner. That's a whole other story. Maybe sometime I will get into it, maybe not. The short of it is...she was greedy and couldn't be satisfied with overwhelming financial success that she never had to work for. Sad. So, she began embezzling from the company. I confronted her, she assaulted me. There ya go..there's the story. I walked away from a multi-million dollar company with nothing but my life. I lived in hiding for over a year. Maybe I have mentioned this before? I don't know. But, now I have Fibro. This flare involves a TON a fatigue and little sleep. The sleep I do get is restless and pretty much useless. It has been a while since I had a flare that resembled this one. Luckily, I don't seem to be experiencing the fog that can be present. I sure hope this goes away soon. I have 2 exams this week and 3 quizzes. I really can't afford this kind of distraction.

Ok, my break is over. I really want to get this Chem homework done tonight so that I can wake up tomorrow without it looming. Seven more problems. Why do I have to care if I get them right???



I want to go to medical school.

Damn you dreams, Damn YOU!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hodge Podge

Okee Dokee! A short week (due to Labor Day) and my beautiful schedule with Fridays off! I have now been to all of my classes and am thrilled with them. The Biology department somehow appears to have gotten together and scheduled their exams on the same day or at least in the same week. Ugh. What does this mean? I have Nutrition and Human Biology exams always together. Not good. Lots of info...

I am watching this Primetime special on Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to treat OCD and Depression. This makes me so excited about medicine. Psychiatry and Neurology are so interesting to me. I have no plans to pursue this area of medicine for a variety of reasons, but it is no less fascinating.

This weekend involves a doctor appointment and lots of studying. I have a follow up with my (brilliant) neuro-ophalmalogist next Friday. The trip to JHU is going to be long, but necessary. Thankfully, it will come a day after my Human Bio and Nutrition exams. I can't afford that kind of time away from studying beforehand. Not that one can't study in the car or train or plane or under a rock....but it doesn't work as well for me and I need all the help I can get.

Ok, I really want to get back to watching this show.

Talk to ya later!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Back in Class

I have finished up my first full week of classes. The downside? I added another 2 credits so I still haven't attended all the classes as of yet. I like all of my professors very well and am looking forward to a good semester, but I anticipate that it will be quite challenging. It appears that I may get extra credit in my Human Bio class for my volunteering over at XYZ Cancer Center. Awesome! That will make up for me having to hear everyday about evolution and how she isn't sympathetic to ID or Creationism. I am ok with the fact that she holds a different belief than I do. I just don't want to be reminded every class period about where she stands. I mean, we are not even studying that topic yet. Somehow, she has managed to work it into everything. Again, I am not condemning her beliefs, I am just not appreciate of how it is being shoved down my throat. I feel as if she is using her position for purposes that are not appropriate. If she believed in Creationism or Intelligent Design and was do the same thing, I would still not agree with her abusing her position. Not to cool with that, but she seems to be really enthusiastic about the class and I always enjoy those professors more.

Chemistry is going to be my biggest problem I think. I really need to keep on top of that. I added a 2 hour supplemental course to help me with my Chem class. Hopefully, it will turn out the way that I want it to.

I much reading to do this weekend. I didn't do any studying yesterday since it was our anniversary, so it has been back to the books today. Hopefully, I will get through Human Bio today and perhaps some of Math. I will leave Chem until tomorrow and Nutrition for Monday.

Ok, I need to get back to it...outta here for now.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Great Day!



(I will post video links as soon as I am able.)
Thank God!

Friday, August 25, 2006

School's in session.

I began classes yesterday. I am thrilled with my Human Bio and my Nutrition profs. Nutrition is going to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated. It is being taught by a woman with a Ph.D. in Pathology and is heavily biology based. Ok, so it's not going to be the easy A that I thought... Darn! But, it is still a Bio and will be included in my BCPM GPA so I am happy about that. Thankfully, my Human Bio prof doesn't require the accompanying lab. I looked at the syllabus and this one credit course has a quiz every week. I am not too stoked about that. It is not going to help me as I decided to drop. I would love to take it just for my own enjoyment, but my schedule is a bit heavier than expected, so I don't want to blow it my first semester back as a FT student.

Today, I was scheduled for only my math class. I am retaking College Algebra because it will replace my grade with AACOMAS. I walked into the class, sat down in the front row (I know, super-geek) and the instructor proceeded to call out the roster. Um, no Dr. Underdog and 4 of her fellow students! So, it was off to the math lab to find out what the heck was going on. To make a long story short, for the last few months, I have been receiving emails about how the class had been overscheduled and how they were going to move students around. However, the last 2 emails that I received said that everything was back to normal and my original section was the one that I should report to...which I did. But, I was not enrolled in that class. Apparently, I had been moved to a section down the hall. So, when another student and I walked in 20 minutes late after finding this out, the prof got mad. Not only that, he handed us and test and said something with such a thick accent that I still don't know what it was. My husband may be fluent in Russian, but I am not. The entire time I was in there, I had no idea what the man was saying. So, I went to go make my case back in the Math Lab for another section. Long story almost over...I am now in a prof's class that comes very highly rated and begin Tuesday. It will now take up the time slot originally occupied by my Human Bio lab (which I dropped) and I now have Fridays off!! YES! I am anxious to find out what my Chem prof is like. I am not willing to blow this because a prof is off in la-la land and I fail to do anything about it, which is a lot of what happened last time. Things are going to be different. I am going to do my best and that includes giving myself every advantage by not being lazy and accepting whatever comes my way. Some things we have no control over...I am cool with that. Things like this that can make a HUGE difference can be changed. I am happy about the change.

Anyway, I am outta here for now. Hopefully, Animal Control will be by shortly to take care of this horrible dog situation we have going. Our neighbor's puppy died of parvo and wanted to borrow a shovel. Hubby told him no because we also have 2 dogs and didn't want them to get sick. So, the guy just decided to dump the dog in the city supplied trashcan which was not his. If you don't call and order one (and as far as I know - pay for it) don't get it. He put the dog in our neighbor's can who is not home. I called Animal Control. This morning, I walked out to my car and knew something was decomposing. When I got to the car in the alley, I was really afraid that I was going to find a dead body. I guess I wasn't so far off. But, this was still in his yard. His dogs (pit bulls) get out all the time and run all over the place..including into our yard to deficate. This is disgusting. The trash was picked up this morning and won't be collected again for a week. Can you imagine the smell in a week? Regardless of the smell, I think it is a horribly sad thing to do to an animal. I can understand that the guy couldn't afford to have his dog treated...I am not holding that against him, but the rest is just inconsiderate and unhealthy. There are many dogs around...including our 2. Thankfully, ours have been vaccinated, but it nonetheless makes me a little scared. The dog that we housed overnight was a yardmate of the parvo dog. God, I pray that she didn't bring anything into our yard.

Our dogs are not exhibiting any symptoms even 2-3 weeks out so I am optimistic. But, ugh. I am hacked.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Video Released

Someone has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig. Here is the released video.

I pray that this is brought to a peaceful end, soon.

I can't imagine what my former colleagues in Washington must be going through right now. I am ripped up about this and I'm so far removed from the situation now. I must say that I am disgusted with the tiny bit of coverage that even FNC has given to the horrible event. Whose order was that? John Moody? Kim Hume? Brit? Sick. We know that there will be no negotiation for their release, despite the demands. This has already been an unprecedented capture and holding for the area. So I pray that it ends the way that the others have. I also must say that in an industry where hitting the air first is the goal, Fox couldn't even do it with THIS story. CNN beat them. The people at FNC may care for the two men, but the organization is doing some serious sucking in their expression of it.

Oh, and if you think that I am buying that whole "They are being treated well thing"...just look at Steve's mannerisms...are those what you would expect from a seasoned journalist accustomed to being in violent areas?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday Check In

Thankfully, the last couple of days have not been filled with flashbacks. Unfortunately, the med that was increased is doing funny things to me. Of course, it may just be stress. I went out tonight by myself...for just a little me time. Hubby and I spend an insane amount of time together. We literally have spent more time together in the 5 years that we have been married than many couples spend in together in a lifetime of marriage. It is nice and we are very lucky, but sometimes a little "me time" isn't a bad idea. So, I jumped in the car and went driving. I stopped and filled up with gas and got some dinner at Chick-fil-A. Then, I dropped in on a couple of stores. Nothing spectacular, however I did buy some really cute placemats and matching cloth napkins at Pier 1 -- and they were on sale!! All in all, it was a productive outing. I also stopped by Walgreens on the way home to get a eye glasses tool kit thing. I ordered a new watchband and I needed the little screwdriver to remove the old one. It is good to have one of those though...especially if you wear glasses. I freaked when my nose pad fell off last time. I had to find a LensCrafters to have it replaced. So, after I replaced the band, I gave the screws in my glasses a quick turn.

I bought my Human Bio book today! Now, I am all booked up. I just need to locate my spiffy graphing calculator. I know it is here, it is just a matter of where. I bought it in March when I was being tutored in Calc and Physics. I know that it made it through the move; I just need to make sure it gets into my backpack.

I think I am going to end here. Things are not what I would call "good" but they are not what they were on Friday either.

God Bless Y'all!

Friday, August 18, 2006

My dirty little secret.

Today was a very difficult day for follow up a difficult day yesterday. I have not discussed this in this forum because it is intensely private and quite painful. But, I have reached a point in my experience at which I can no longer be silent. I don't know if right now is the best time to write an emotionally charged entry, but I don't have any more to give. I can't go on like this. I feel like people don't know meaning they don't understand what kind of impact an event like this has on those who live it. I just realized that I have not yet said what "the event" is. I was sexually molested. For 2 years. It was horrible. I was young. I was confused. I blamed myself. I knew it happened, but put it in the past and barreled through. Now, it won't let me. I spend my days crying and shaking. When I am not, I am trying to recuperate from what has just transpired. I am literally trying to catch my breath. Sexual abuse of any kind, but especially that of a child, is inexcusable. I tried to forgive. I even thought I had. Despite my father telling me that "he wasn't sure it actually happened," my mother "forgetting" despite my confiding in her and she and my grandmother confronting my grandfather in front of me and my sister STILL saying she doesn't know what to believe...I moved on. I blamed myself. It isn't my blame to take. It is no victim's blame to take. But, I believe that there are far too many of us out there who do. I am one of the "lucky" ones; I have a wonderful psychiatrist who is incredibly sensitive to what I am saying. I have not begun to talk about it in depth until recently. If you know someone who has survived this type of abuse or if you don' will. It is important that you understand. I believe it is important that we understand each other the best way we are able. Please allow me to share what I have learned as a "survivor." I have never referred to myself as that before, partially because I am not sure that I have survived it yet. While I will give vague facts about what occurred, the entire story has never been told. Perhaps because I don't think I am willing to admit the whole story and the emotions keep changing... and emotions, my friend, are a significant part of the story. My molestation came at the hand of my paternal grandfather. It happened for 2 years, every weekend when I would visit. My grandmother was my best friend and they lived a short couple of hours away, so my parents would meet them halfway to "hand us over." I loved her. They did not have what I would call an openly affectionate marriage. They slept in 2 large beds that were pushed together to create one gigantic one that doesn't even have a size label. I would end up on my grandfather's side of the bed. While he was "asleep" things would happen. I recall opening my eyes one time and looking at my grandmother who was really asleep at a distance that seemed so far. After 2 years of this happening, and numerous lessons in "if someone touches you...." I told my mom in the kitchen of my grandparents' house. My initial feeling was that it couldn't be wrong, he was my grandfather for goodness sake! But, eventually I told. She immediately told my grandmother and they confronted him in front of me. When he denied it, they were satisfied. Why? I don't know. Why would I lie about something like that? Somehow, it never happened again. Asleep? I guess not. I always knew it had happened, but chose to move on with my life. It was an embarrassing issue and one that they now thought that I had fabricated. In 1991, I had been having nightmares involving him and one night in March my eyes shot from slumber and my body began to shake. I could not get the image nor the feeling out of my mind nor off of my body.
(I will skip much here in the interest of brevity, but suffice it to say that my parents were not what one would hope or even have the lowest expectations of them being.)
I have always fought the feelings. Every time I touched someone, I always worried that I was doing something wrong. I am not talking about an intimate touch, I am talking about a casual one. It is horrible. Somehow, I have been able to date and find a wonderful man with whom I now share my life. We have been married for 5 years. He knew that I had been molested before we married. I don't think he knew how hard it would be. Things have become a lot more difficult and I was recently diagnosed with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for those that aren't familiar). I am now suffering debilitating flashbacks and my doctor wants to put me on some anti-psychotic used to treat flashbacks due to PTSD in war veterans. I will not go on it. I do not want any new medication in my body...especially with school beginning in less than a week. She complied, barely satisfied when I agreed to increase my dosage of a medication that I am currently taking. Unfortunately, this medication is a huge reason why I can not get pregnant at this time. Of course, it really doesn't matter when I can't keep from crying when my husband touches me. I really can't handle anyone touching me right now. I told my doc yesterday that I would freak out if she touched me (on the arm or whatever) and I was serious. I don't think she realized how bad it had become until I had a flashback in her office and vomited. I have barreled through, trying to forget and not let it get in my way. But, now it is catching up with me. The horrible man that did this to me, not only hurt me but is now indirectly hurting my husband. While other women I know are getting pregnant and having children, I am fighting the clock and the fear of touch.

If you know someone who has endured sexual abuse, please realize that it didn't end when the abuse stopped. They relive it when they are least prepared to do so. Please do not dismiss it because you are uncomfortable with the topic or don't know what to say. We need you. Our intent is not to make you feel uncomfortable or upset you, but to have someone listen to us and prove that we matter. We didn't matter to our abuser. Those feelings are hard to live with when we relive the agony or the act in our mind. We can't change the past. It is what it is. Please help us make the future positive. Give us the opportunity to share. We need to. We may not be able to tell you everything that happened, my mouth still cannot form the words and my mind can't hold a thought so disturbing in an effort to express it. I am thankful that there are organizations like RAINN ( I have not use their services, but I am thankful for the necessary attention that they bring to the issue.

Gosh, I want to understand you...please try to understand me. I hurt. We hurt.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Steve Centanni

I know that I have already posted today, but something has been going on that is troubling me. A little (very little) backstory on me...I used to work for Fox News Channel in Washington, DC. While I was there, I met many people...for this purpose I am referring to my fellow employees. One of whom was Steve Centanni. Steve shared an office with a dear friend of mine ... Kelly Wright ... and I often looked at the collection of humorous momentos or press creditials to impressive events that hung on the bulletin board and wall next to his desk. Centanni and his cameraman were kidnapped in Gaza on Tuesday. I literally screamed when I found out it was someone that I knew. I know that journalists "volunteer" (so to speak) to be there and we say the same for soldiers, but that does not make death or peril any less tragic or dimish the fear. As of this writing, no one has taken responsibilty for the kidnappings nor made any demands in exchange for their release. This is unusual when all other American abductions were successfully ended within a matter of hours. May we always keep those in harm's way in our thoughts and prayers.

This, that and the other

It has been a couple of days since I last posted. I volunteered on Monday, which was exhausting but no less fulfilling. I will volunteer again tomorrow...unless I call in because I really want one of my last days before school to be free days with hubby. I may do that. There is a patient on the burn unit that I would like to be involved with, but I am just too wiped and selfish with my remaining hours of freedom right now. Classes begin next Thursday and I wasn't brilliant enough to plan far enough in advance to schedule a follow up eye appointment at JHU. With us now living farther away from Baltimore, it is more than a one day quick trip. I can be, I suppose, but it would be a miserable day. So, hopefully, we will go the night before and stay so that we only have one way to drive the following day.

This morning, I was a horrible doggy mom. While cutting a knot out of the fur underneath the big dog's ear (a task that she trusts me to do), I chopped into her ear. Oh my. It was so sad. She was bleeding and I felt horrible. It looked like a relatively bad cut b/c it was on the edge and therefore the skin split apart quite dramatically. But, we stopped the bleeding, put some rubbing alcohol on it and applied treats to is good. For a second there, I thought that we may actually have to make a trip to the vet for a suture or two. This was troubling b/c we don't even know where to go. We haven't established a relationship with a new vet since the move. Anyway, big puppy is lying here in bed next to me and things are ok.

I got a lot done yesterday, including buying my books. Ok, I officially feel REALLY old. It wasn't just the 18 year old teeny boppers carrying boxes into the dorms, but even the supplies for class! I handed my schedule to the "woman" behind the counter and she returned with a stack of books and a box containing a little remote control looking thing. Apparently, this is for taking quizzes in class...or something. My chem prof is requiring it. I feel so old. Not to mention, I am completely out of shape. A fat, old woman...not too pretty for beginning school with a bunch of teenagers! That's ok, I used to gravitate to the old people in my class. They weren't idiots. They were serious. Not to mention, they had resources to make a project go well. I remember one project in one of my Health Admin classes. One of my group members was Debra, a very nice and easy going woman with discipline. She also worked for a well known hospital near my univ. So, while the other groups were putting together their H.A. projects in dorm rooms, we were in the radiology department of a Texas hospital getting exposure and input from other employees. I'm not stupid. ;) Don't misunderstand me, she was a very nice woman who I had befriended prior to the project.

Well, today I need to call the parking office and change the tag number of one of my cars that I listed for my parking permit. I really should look at the plate before I start typing...but NOOOO! Click, click, click, tap, tap, tap and I entered the wrong info. At least I got the make and model of the car correct , not to mention half of the plate. But, if I know anything, those rent-a-cops will nail you for anything. So, I best be changin' it.

I have decide to remain in my College Algebra class even though I have already taken it. Why? I got a C in it last time (a million years ago) and DO schools/AACOMAS will replace the grade with the higher one. So, provided I can pull something higher than a pitiful will be good. If I can't, I better give up this whole idea of med school. Now God, PLEASE let me get a prof who doesn't refer to himself in the third person and tell people how stupid they are. Oh yes, good times.

Ok my reading public...all 5 of you...HA! I am gonna close here.

Hopefully, I will update again soon.

Hasta luego.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ms. P

I didn't recount my volunteer day on Thursday, so I thought I would before I returned for what promises to be a full day tomorrow.

On Thursday, I was planning to stay only until noon...b/c there was a ton or work to be done at home before the party on Saturday. We began the day with a call re: a pt who was losing her hair and wanted to talk to someone form the wig salon. Donna and I went up there and met a wonderful woman in Stage 4 with the sweetest demeanor and wonderful attitude. It was hard to believe that she had been through all that we knew that she had. But, this was her second time with cancer and she knew what to expect. We talked for a while and she decided to have the remainder of her hair shaved off to put a halt to the shedding. We talked to her in depth about what she was looking for in a wig and then went back downstairs. After spending an hour or so talking to these people, you have some idea about their personality. We chose 4 wigs, packed the clippers and other necessary items and headed back up to her room on the 6th floor. Ms. P was waiting for us. Not holding a cosmetology license (and having no desire to secure one) I am not allowed to cut hair nor wigs and that includes shaving. So, Donna takes care of all of that. Ms. P and I were talking while Donna was shaving and it was obvious that she was becoming was I. I, thankfully, did not allow my emotions to show through, but sat down in the chair next her. Never having gone through it myself, I don't know how I would react to having my hair removed for such a reason. Truth be told, it startled me a bit. I am frankly surprised at how significant our hair is to our identity. This beautiful woman seemed to lose a bit of her gender identity as her hair fell to the floor. That was shocking to me. I have heard how cadavers are sometimes difficult to identify as a man or woman because of their lack of hair, but this being my initial experience with a situation such as this one, I was nonetheless surprised.

After the last of her hair had tumbled to the floor, we began pulling out wigs for her to try. She ended up choosing an adorable one that really looked quite nice on her. We laughed heartily as she told us the story of her last wig (from her first experience with cancer 12 years ago). Apparently, she had used regular hairspray on it (not designed for synthetic hair) and taken a curling iron to the wig as well. To say the least, it was in horrible condition afterward. I cracked a joke by using my "serious" voice and saying "On behalf of your new wig, I beseech you to..."and continued to list things not to do...especially things that she had already done. She was roaring. I was thrilled. She reached her hands out to us as we left and Donna and I each took one. It was a moment. We had spoken of God and her church and the people and activities she was looking forward to getting back to. Donna and I, both God fearing women, said we would be praying for her. She was appreciative. I had wanted to go back and visit before she left, but that was my last day before Monday's return and she is leaving today. I was sorry that this weekend was to be so busy and hope that she will call downstairs to the salon if she returns for treatment. (She lives in another state.) She was not certain of her diagnosis...either Non-Hodgkins or Hodgkins, either way it is a Lymphoma in stage 4. I do hope that she continues to have the attitude and spiritual life that she has enjoyed. She and her diagnosis do not match, but I guess I will be reminded of that a lot.

After leaving the room, while we were in the stairwell, Donna and I discussed how she seemed to become more emotional at times. Donna said that she could identify those times by the way her scalp tensed up and then I would sit down beside Ms. P...and it loosened again. I felt like a had made a difference and that was a wonderful feeling.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


The party is over! It was fun, not everyone came...and we had wayyyyyy too much food. But, luckily, a neighbor who was here (and is the king of impromptu cookouts) called a cookout for tomorrow evening at 5. Simple solution? We are taking all the food!! That way, no one has to make anything and the food doesn't go to waste! Some of our friends drove 100 miles to get here and due to some really bad took some 4 HOURS! Others just turned back. I don't blame them. I was so touched that someone would drive so long to be here for a few hours with us. But, I was really disappointed in those people who didn't call. They just didn't show up! Unfortunately, those people were quite abundant today. They accounted for 19...including kids. We had about 20. I was prepared for everyone. Oh well, that is the way it goes. We are wiped out and church is tomorrow morning.

I am too wiped to type any more.

Night all!

Friday, August 11, 2006


I thought that my ability to handle stress had improved but apparently I was wrong. Maybe it's the meds. Hopefully, things are just so screwed up still in my head that the slightest little thing is throwing everything out of whack. But, I would like to know why - with 24 hours before this thing - my husband has opted to sweep the basement when there is a gigantic mess in the rest of the know the part that people will actually SEE?????

I guess a better question is why the heck am I bitching about this on my blog while he is working?

Stupid me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Randomness @ its best

Wow, this week is going by too fast. I one of my 2 volunteer days this week on Tuesday. I was in the wig salon..which is where I will be from now on..well...for a while..I think. Ok, so how's that for specificity? I don't know if I wrote about this or not and I don't want to surf away form this page right now to find out. If not, I will post an email that I wrote to a friend of mine explaining how it went. Saturday is the long awaited party. Well, not so long awaited really....and I could use a lot more time. But, if we wait until the house is complete, I will be well past residency and nearly retired. So, Saturday it is. Frankly, I am surprised at how many people are supposedly coming. Looks like well over 30. Many of them are driving 2 hours each way. Maybe we were liked more than was expressed for the past 5 years. Anyway, I am really looking forward to it, but Tuesday was gone to the Cancer Center and tomorrow morning is theirs as well. Don't get me wrong. I love being there, but this week is a little tight. I did bug out for tomorrow afternoon to give us more time to work around here though.

I am not a good hostess. I stress myself out way too much. We don't entertain much. But, when we do I am a wreck. I buy way too much food and freak out that everything won't be perfect. There will be kids at this one, so hubby and I went and bought some coloring books, bubbles and other toys to entertain them.

I don't even want to think about this thing right now. Going to go get in bed. The day began early with a knock on the door from the electrician while I was still in my PJs. Thankfully, the electrical stuff is finally done! It is so nice to see light fixtures hangin from the ceiling that we have only looked at in the box! Such a feeling of accomplishment. Another feeling of accomplishment...completing this blog entry.

'Night all.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Life is facing in the right direction

While I am not yet back to 100%, I believe that things are at least facing in the right direction. We are having a party this weekend and have been working very hard to get things accomplished in preparation for that. We checked the forecast and, as of right now, it looks to be the best day in quite a while! Yeah!!! I called to change my program to the formal "Post-Baccalaureate Health Sciences Certification Program" and need to take some paperwork over to the admissions office. I am excited about this change and hope that it affords me more opportunities than the informal track would have.

This is so hilarious....a fire engine is roaring by... We live near a road where a fair number of emergency vehicles travel...with lights and sirens. The dogs in the neighborhood freak out with their howling and barking. Ours? Nope. Too lazy. The big one is asleep on the bed and heard the ruckus, picked her head up as if to say "WTF?" and plopped it back down into restful slumber. Pretty funny stuff. I think later today I am going to go to Wal-Mart. I am not crazy about Wal-Mart for a variety of reasons, but there are some things that Target just doesn't carry. Usually, they are tacky things that a person really should not spend money on...which is exactly what I am looking for right now. HA!

This week is shaping up to be a productive one. I will (hopefully) have the baseboards in the kitchen back reinstalled before sleeping tonight, a ton of weeding was done by hubby today, we treated and added about 50 gallons of H2O to the fish pond and will begin the algae treatment probably tonight, an electrician is coming on Wednesday to install light fixtures, outlets and switches and the piano tuner will be here Thursday at 1pm to get the piano in shape for people to play this weekend. We have several musicians coming over on Saturday so it will be nice to know that the instrument is in playable condition. :)

I am going to wrap up here, but in the words of Robert Frost, "I have miles to go before I sleep, I have miles to go before I sleep."

Peace out peeps!

I totally overdid it in the heat today...again. Not as badly as last time, but I feel all goofy and stuff. Hopefully, I will feel better by morning so that I can keep to my volunteer schedule. Not to mention, I have a ton to do the rest of the week. Anyway, much was accomplished today and I found out that a neighbor that we have not gotten to know (pretty much at all) will be at the party on Saturday. I am so excited! She and her husband have a 3 y.o. son and she seems to be someone that I could get along with very well. Yeah! Making friends!! Cool! Just in time to not have any time at all. ;)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Bad day.

Today is not a good day for me. In fact, I would classify it as awful. Not that anything significant has happened, I just feel terrible. I don't know that I am capable of being any more descriptive than that. I am angry to point where it hurts and I don't know why I am angry. I am depressed, I am...heck I just don't really care about discussing it. I have had bad days in my life...we all have. The feeling associated with this one ranks up there pretty high.

Anyway, I have discovered a program (a formal post-bacc) that I was previously unaware of. That is not true, I was aware of it, but thought the requirements were beyond what I have. So, I called the director and asked him about it. He said that where I am is just fine and to call this other person over in admissions to get her change me over into this program. Ok, great. But, that was Friday and I was unable to talk to her before the weekend? Why? Because I was sitting in a chair getting one of the worst haircuts of my life. I am not only feeling horrible, but I look like a moron. Great. Not to mention, a lost dog showed up on our front porch yesterday and we were unable to find the owners before nightfall. So, the sucker that I am insisted that we keep the dog safe in our back yard until the owner was found. Great. What we have found out from the single tag that graces her collar is that it is likely that she became lost when her owner visited the nearby river, perhaps for hiking, biking or kayaking. The dog is incredibly sweet, gentle and well behaved...certainly better behaved than our 2. But, we have a party next weekend that will take place largely in the back. This dog can not be here!! We have to wait until Monday to call the county office where the tag is from (which is a good 2 hours from here) to try to track down a name and phone number. Then, get these people here to pick up their friggin' dog. I don't want to put the dog out on the street. I can't do that. And, if she has an owner (which it appears that she does) I don't want to drop her off with the SPCA either. So, for now, she will remain fed and watered in our back yard.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

If I could come up with a title, maybe I would know what I am thinking...

When I was younger, I always said I wanted to become a pediatric oncologist. I soon learned that peds is not so much about kids as it is about the parents. I no longer want to have anything to do with a pediatric specialty. LOL. I had a full day of volunteering at XYZCC. What I may not have explained is that XYZCC is part of a large hospital. I don't know if that is necessarily pertinent, but there is the info if you need it in the future. Today, I spent my time in the wig salon. I will be one of the peeps in there as well. What people don't know about this tiny room in the winding halls of XYZCC is that it is a place where any woman undergoing treatment for cancer (regardless of where she is treated in the metro area) can receive a free wig...or cranial prosthesis (whichever you chose to call it). We have hats for men, but no toupes. Furthermore, there is a selection of women's hats and scarves. Patients find out about this tiny room that can house many emotions in a variety of different ways.

Today, I went on rounds of a few floors. I met one particular patient who I look forward to following from a psychological perspective. She is awesome. I walked into her room with my junior counterpart and from the get-go it was non-stop laughter. Ms. M is newly diagnosed. I do not know what type of cancer she has, but as she put it "I came in for a quick bone scan and I stayed." Tonight she was supposedly having her hair cut before she begins chemo next week. Her laughter was infectious and her spirit was inviting. Next week, we have the first formal consultation with her to choose her wig. She was especially interested in how to apply false eyelashes without looking like 2 spiders had taken a traumatic adventure into her upper face. I pray that she keeps her attitude as it is today throughout this journey, but the reality is that life is going to become more difficult for her than many or even most of us have ever known.

I am sorry, I have been derailed. Someone that I care very much about is very ill. Disease stinks. I hope to make a difference one day in a profound way. For now, let's keep in mind those who are suffering in mind, body and/or spirit tonight. As I easily go on in my life, battling whatever issues I may encounter, it is so easy to become self-centered forgetting the pain that is ever-present in the lives of so many. None of this is an original thought...just one that we need to keep in mind a lot more often.

As I sit in my comfortable, middle class house with the thermostat maintaining a brisk 72F, how many people died from the heat today? How many walked outside this morning to make a living and didn't come home tonight? I am so grateful. How many patients that I saw today will not be alive tomorrow morning? I pray that when I enter those rooms, I do so with the respect that each life deserves. I pray that I treat the patients who are not aware of my presence with the same respect that I treat those who are. Always.

Tonight has been rough. I am going to close here.