11 March 2007

dazed & confused

i'm not sure how much i've written about my post-op experience. i seem to be in a never-ending battle vis-a-vis how much personal information to reveal here. that may sound funny after posting pictures of my healing gut, but, well, that was my gut. to me, emotions are much more personal.

four weeks out from surgery, i'm still being blasted by those pesky emotions. so much so, in fact, that i've had an incredible amount of difficulty sleeping...well, at least at normal times...i seem to only be awake in the wee hours of the night, which, contrary to what one might expect, is not a good thing. given that this was starting to make me feel crazy, i decided to go back to my primary care physician (pcp), mr_dr_do. [in an effort to maintain some degree of privacy, i've decided to follow granola_mom's lead and use euphemistic names in place of actual ones. in this instance, my pcp, who is a doctor of osteopathy, is in practice with his wife, mrs_dr_do, who is the fabulous female professor that my school managed to chase off.] mr_dr_do, upon hearing me say that i was beginning to fear that i am just going crazy, said "i hate that word." :-) he's been one of the few physicians i've ever encountered who unabashedly acknowledges the real difficulties of being ill without blaming me for my symptoms. amazing, no?

anyway, mr_dr_do decided to add to my ever-lengthening list of medications. [yes, "good people," as dean_honey likes to say, even physicians-to-be and physicians themselves have medical problems and have to take medication. contrary to past popular opinion, physicians are not infallible superheroes. <--and if you have one that thinks s/he is, run for your life in the opposite direction, stat!] the good news is that, as a result, i've finally gotten some decent sleep. the bad news? i feel dazed and confused.

for instance, at this moment, i should be studying for one of the three exams i have coming up over the next two days. [yes, you read that right: 3 exams in 2 days. and i'm literally paying for this. maybe it's time to re-think the crazy diagnosis....] however, since i keep catching myself staring off into space, lost in thought, instead of focusing on my studies, i decided that perhaps a writing session would do me some good. at least then i'm doing something instead of staring. i also decided to sit on my porch to write, since that way i'll get some sun, which may convince my body that day is day and night is night and not the other way around.

sitting on the porch is still a little strange for me, though. i live on the second floor, above one of the smaller units in my condo complex. these smaller units are invariably inhabited by retirees who spend an inordinate amount of time at home. the good news is that this means there's a built-in security system; the bad news is that someone is always watching me. so when i sit on the porch and hear little_old_man below me sneeze, am i supposed to say "bless you"? when little_old_woman starts cursing in spanish (<--thanks to my friends growing up, i pretty much only learned the bad words in spanish, in spite of being in a city that is predominantly hispanic), is it inappropriate if i begin laughing? what is the etiquette of sharing living space (even if only auditorily or visually) with other people? i wonder....

but i digress. i was talking about emotions, wasn't i? hmm....

lately my emotions have brought me nothing but confusion. as i'm learning (albeit the hard way), surgical recovery is not a linear slope back to health. rather, it's more like a roller coaster, fraught with ups, downs, upsidedowns, and inbetweens. when you add surgical recovery to the stress of being a first year medical student...it's beyond comprehension, let alone my writing abilities, to describe precisely what this feels like.

as you may have noticed from my last post, i tend to get angry more easily than usual. i also am not as good at censoring myself. the never-ending sense of frustration is what hits me hardest, though. i hate feeling scattered and unable to focus. i hate that, in spite of my place on the dean's hit list (it takes talent, does it not, to go from the dean's list in college to the dean's hit list in medical school? maybe not. both the student doctor and mr_dr_do mentioned having had difficulties with medical school. it took me until this week to earn my first A on an exam. imagine what that kind of challenge poses to 160 type-A students? okay, now you have a sense of the atmosphere at school.), i cannot force myself to sit down and study for hours on end. the "maybe-it's-time-to-take-a-leave-of-absence" rumblings have begun, mostly because, unlike most professional schools, mine takes attendance. oh, and attendance is mandatory. nevermind that we're all too anal-retentive to miss class except in dire circumstances.... do they really want me to barf on the floor in the middle of lecture?

anyway, i fear i'm starting to whine rather than write, and my typing, as soft as it is, seems to bother little_old_woman (i do recognize the phrases 'too fast' and 'girl upstairs' in addition to all the four-letter words i won't mention here--who knew that little old ladies cursed so much?!?!?), so i'm going to sign off for now. besides, i'm sure there will be more ramblings from this dazed & confused medical student soon....

1 comment:

j.p. said...

good to see you posting these days - it lets me know you still have a pulse when you're so busy and all (and i like hearing what's going on).

congrats on the 'a' on the exam - that rocks. knowing how hard this whole thing has been, major props to you!

and i'm glad to hear you have a doctor with a head & a heart (doesn't like the word crazy, and admits md's take meds - wild!).

oh, and btw, i appreciate the new links (checked some of them out tonight, will look at them in more depth later) - and for the sake of your privacy/anonymity it was good to take off a link you removed ;)

- oh and i must say i like the new color scheme (but maybe that's just cause it's similar to mine - hehe).

a little disclaimer...

i'm a medical student. just a student. so please, don't take anything i say too seriously. remember that i was an english literature major as an undergrad, so there is much fiction to be found in these pages. do you think i'm telling a story about you or your illness? more likely, you're tapping into my sense of "everyman"--that is, your story resonates with what i write here because it's not so uncommon after all. need help? please, please go see your physician. <--i'm not her. yet. ;-)