Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The dreaded day

This semester in my program marks a big transition: beginning clinical rotations.

I have dreaded and anticipated this semester from day one of school.

Would I like working with patients?

Would I be able to find a doctor nice enough to be my preceptor?

Would I be able to handle the mountains of paperwork needed just to show up at said doctor's office?

Would I feel stupid all the time?

And finally, and most importantly, what about Mary?

Four weeks in to this semester, many of my fears have been allayed.

Yes, I LOVE working with patients. Yes I found a doctor to precept me and he is SO, SO nice. Yes, the paperwork darn near killed me off, and didn't all get completed and processed until the DAY I started clinicals (that was way too close for comfort). Yes, I frequently feel stupid, punctuated at times by rare, thrilling moments when I feel smart.


Mary has been with me on this journey all along, from the positive pregnancy test FOUR days after I got my acceptance letter to her spectacular debut a few weeks after my first semester ended.

Then the real test came: now that I have a baby, do I keep going with this crazy school thing?

In the interest of full disclosures, I came very, very close to dropping out after my first semester with Mary.

I almost dropped out because I love being with her. I don't think staying at home with a baby is degrading or unfulfilling or a waste of a woman's time. I think it is the best use of my time possible.

I also began to question being in the program, the stresses of finding clinical sites, and the moolah--LOTS of moolah--that school tuition would drain out of our savings.

So I sat down to write an email to my family explaining to them why I was going to drop out of school.

I couldn't send that email. I could NOT sent that email, and I couldn't even finish writing it. And right then I knew I was going to finish school, no matter how hard it became.

And so, inevitably, the dreaded day arrived, when I would have to go to my scary, intimidating clinical site and Mary would go to a babysitter (her wonderful aunt). I have never left her with a babysitter for so long before.

I dropped her off...and she was fine. And I was fine. She had a great day with her cousin and was well-cared for, and I had my first day at clinicals and it wasn't as intimidating as I thought it would be.

Moving back out west has been an answer to more prayer than one--it has provided better means for me to finish. Better, closer clinical sites. Family nearby to help.

In other news, we had family pictures taken:
Isaac has a beard, which he has since shaved.
I couldn't get used to kissing facial hair, attractive as it was.
And Mary, it turns out, is more photogenic than her parents.