Friday, December 11, 2009

A Medical Student Mother's Day in the Life

I am a medical student in Grenada with my husband and 2 boys, 6 yo and 4 yo.

1:30 am.  Finished studying pathology for the evening.  Read through my favorite blogs to clear my mind before attempting to sleep.  The house is quiet except for the plethora of creepy crawlies outside singing for companionship.  When I first arrived on the island, I thought I would never sleep with that noise.  Now, I can't sleep without it. 

4:30 am.  My oldest taps my leg.  He had a bad dream about a Tsunami coming to the island.  He asked if the water could come in through the windows and if it did, would it carry him away?  After a quick discussion on geographic phenomenon, I tuck him back in with his soccer ball pillow.  He is asleep in less than a minute.  I wonder how he does that.

6:30 am.  My youngest is up with the sun.  He burrows into our covers and snuggles in between Mommy and Daddy.  Unfortunately, that also means that sleep is over as we know it.  He chatters away as we slowly wake up.

7:00 am.  Time to actually get out of bed.  My brain is still foggy with visions of pancreatitis while I make toast.  My hubby dresses the kids so I can get ready for class.  Hot tea.  My savior.

8:00-10:00 am.  Microbiology lecture.  Diarrhea, how do I cause thee?  Let me count the ways.

10:00-12:00 am.  Pathology lecture.  Renal glomerular diseases.  I am amazed at the intricacies of the kidney and diligently take notes in the margins of my Robbins.  Our professor is actually quite excited this morning, gesticulating, and even showing us his own personal artistic rendition of a glomerulus.  The class oohs and aahs.

12:00 pm Break for lunch.  Ok, well, more like eat my granola bar while I walk to a meeting for hospital coordinators.  Looking forward to clinical training.

1:00 -3:00 pm  Physical diagnosis rounds with standardized patients.  I interview a "patient" who has been physically abused by her husband.  After a series of denials, she slowly opens up to me and we discuss her situation.  While I realize she is only acting, I feel a visceral reaction when she describes her abuse.  I wonder what to do with those feelings if I am with an actual patient? 

Our group discusses and another student tells our preceptor that he felt I shouldn't have prodded the patient into revealing her abuse.  The patient states otherwise, that she didn't feel like telling him about it and that she felt comfortable enough to tell me.  She also says she didn't feel safe telling a male about her abuse. 

We discuss the different options we would have back in the states for referrals and also how to handle child abuse.  I tear up just thinking about it.  I leave the class in a pensive mood.

3:00 -5:00 pm  Pathology laboratory, working group.  I present my case on urine casts and the diagnostic capabilities of everyday old pee.  Our facilitator grills me on rapidly progressing glomerularnephritis.  I hold my own.  The kidney is my friend.

5:00 pm  The hubby and kids pick me up after lab.  They chat about the huge rat that ran through their open air school today.   Luckily, there was a large man nearby with a machete.  Ah, the joys of island living.

7:00 pm Story time with the kids.  My oldest reads us his Big Book of Everything.  I see the page on Tsunami's.  Ah, right.  He skips ahead to the volcano eruptions.  Mass destruction and carnage right before bed...awesome...

7:30 pm Have a nice talk with the hubby about our days.  Wish I could just relax with him and watch a movie...

8:00 pm  Chat with my study group on Skype and Facebook.  Distribute our topics for the next week of pathology cases and discuss the day's lectures.  Everyone is feeling the stress as we gear up for finals. 

8:30 pm  Make tea.  Arrange my notes and prepare for another long date with Robbins.


1 comment:

  1. I'm a fellow medstudent Mom, located in a major US city. I'm half way through my first year and I have a 2 year old son. I'd say your version of a medstudent day is pretty spot on. Except of course, we worry about blizzards instead of Tsunamis :)

    Alright, back to studying. T-minus 3 days until the anatomy final.



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