Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lesson of the Week: Do What You Have to Do

So, today wrapped up my second week of school. As I mentioned in my last post, since I realized my passion and goal to become a doctor a few months ago, I have a hard time participating in anything that is not medical related. Case in point: Social Values in Mass Communication. I have this class Wednesday nights from 8pm-10pm & Saturdays 1pm-5pm. This quarter(which is over in 6 weeks)Ii'm also taking a Health class from 6pm-8pm on Tuesdays and 8am-12pm on Saturdays, The health class I am completely in love with and love attending that class every day, because it's something I'm actually interested in. This mass communication class is so incredibly boring to me that it's a struggle for me to sit in class and actually absorb, or pretend I'm interested, in the knowledge.

Today after health class I went to Trader Joe's to grab some lunch and get some groceries. I had already made up in my mind that I was not going to that boring Mass Communication class. I just could not fathom spending my Saturday afternoon in that class for 4 as I was driving back to my house...I realized that we all have to do things we don't want to do, but have to do to achieve our goals. This class, is unfortunately a required class for me to transfer to the university and I realized that I needed to suck it up and do what I have to do to transfer, complete my bachelors, and get into med school.

So I rushed home, threw my groceries into my fridge, grabbed two bananas, and sped to class, because I didn't want to be late. I swerve into a parking spot on two wheels, grab my laptop, jump out of my car and book it into the classroom. It was empty. So I'm thinking "What the hell?!?! Was it cancelled?!??! Did we get switched to a new room?!?!" So I feverishly pull out my smart phone and load up my schedule and I see that we are still in the same room. I don't see a cancellation notice. I walk around the building and I don't see any of the 100+ students in my class standing around anywhere. I pass by this older guy, who looked like the professor of the class, but I wasn't quite sure, so I didn't say anything. It's currently 12:06pm, and I thought the class started at 12pm, so I double checked my schedule again and realized it started at 1pm. I exhale a sigh of relief and go take a nap in my car until 12:56pm and went to class. Once again, boring as hell, not even remotely interesting, so I spent most of the 4hrs online looking at pictures of surgical procedures and reading articles regarding anesthesia. We took a quiz at some point. It was common sense questions that any person who watches the news, reads a newspaper or news articles online would be able to answer fairly easily. I bolted right after the quiz and was proud of myself for sticking through it, so I rewarded myself with a 90minute massage...which was sooooo freaking amazing.

So, lesson learned: Do what you have to do, in order to achieve the goals you have set, and if you are good, you treat yourself to a fabulous massage from William! :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Life Has Begun.

I know what you're thinking. "How can you write such an awesome blogpost 3 months ago and then not follow up with another?!?!" Lol. Well folks, life happened..or shall I say came to a screeching halt. After my last post I was so excited about starting school again and jumping on this journey. Then I had to deal with real THE WORK PLACE FROM HELL!!!!!

So as you may or may not know, I work for a really huge corporate financial company, the specific department that I work in handles product solutions for small businesses. I'm going to try to make this as brief as possible so here we go: My manager is on a nightly cocaine prescription. She is also sleeping with our Chief Operations Officer. She will disappear for two or three days at a time and will not come to work or give an explanation for her absences because she doesn't have to. She is "untouchable" do to the fact that she is screwing the head honcho. She reports to our two directors, one of the director's is the C.O.O.'s son. Our CEO works out of our NYC office and he never fly's over here unless he has too. I am the supervisor of the department, under this said manager, but above everyone else. Long story-short: It started going down hill in June when she decided that she wanted to cut our departments spending by getting rid of employees but she had no ground to actually terminate them. So she tricked 4 of our employees into basically saying that the did not want to be apart of our department anymore, even though didn't actually say that (confusing I know, I'm still trying to figure it out). So that gave her the grounds to move them to another department against their will. Then she started disappearing again so myself and the rest of the team went to HR..but they didn't nothing about it? Why? Because the VP of HR is our C.O.O.'s good friend of 20+ years. So they ignored us. Then the CEO found out about some of the things going on and he flew in and started swinging the proverbial axe. Fired the two directors of our department (including the C.O.O.'s son), suspended one of the the VPs, and then the C.O.O. goes missing. My manager disappears again for two days and now that the directors are gone, I'm basically running the department. So I have all these people coming to me asking me questions, to which I do not have answers. Asking for direction, of which I cannot provide.

So to say the least I've been STRESSED OUT this entire summer. Then on top of that I was semi-depressed because once I figured out that this path of medicine was the path I wanted to take my life on, I no longer wanted to do anything that was not related to healthcare. I would sit in my office and ask myself "Why are you sitting here doing financial crap, ripping people off, and contributing to the downfall of small businesses across the America, when you know you're suppose to be helping people and saving lives?!?!" At that point, the fall semester had not started yet and the feeling of "I'm wasting so much time"  was overwhelming. I kept telling myself: "Just keep pushing through, once school starts we will feel like we are finally on the path." To which, I was right. School started last week, and it has been great. I'm still a long way from med school (about 3-3.5 years) but I'm finally on track and it feels awesome. So I apologize for my absence.

I'll leave you with quotes from my first class with Professor Kelly, who teaches Health and The Human body and is now my new favorite professor:

- "You'll end up waiting around 45 years for approval: That shit ain't coming folks!" - Prof. Kelly
- "You are a puppet to many strings, my advice: follow that string up to the source and cut that shit!" - Prof. Kelly
- "If you are only connected to that person physically, and not energetically, you'll break up with them in 6months..especially after those hot positions are all dried up!" - Prof. Kelly
- "Some music today is dangerous. People are all writing songs about 'Drugs, Bitches, & Hoes!'" - Prof. Kelly
- "I'm real folks. You may not be ready for me, and that's OK. You can take another health class that teaches out of a pharmaceutical ass licking textbook if you want!" - Prof. Kelly
- "You gotta love your body. When was the last time you looked down at your sex organs in the mirror? Check out your stuff folks!"

And Finally:

- "Masturbation is a form meditation folks! Have at it! (while making a masturbatory gesture with her hands)" - Prof. Kelly

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dr. Courtney? The Decision.

So why do I call myself Dr. Courtney? Why & when did I decide to become a doctor? Well it all started about 9 months ago when I began my new, & current, job at a big financial company. The department within the company that I was to be working for was new, so they hired 10 of us to get it up & running. This woman, who I call My Favorite Patient, instantly became the mother of our group. Firstly, because the average age of our group was around 24(I'm 22), & she was atleast 40 years older. Secondly, because she always had a wealth of knowledge, experience, & guidance to give us all whenever any small or large, negative or positive, thing occured in our lives. Thirdly, her voice was motherly, loving, & not listening to her wasn't even an option. She always told us the truth, & never quite what we wanted to hear.

My & My Favorite Patient's cubicles were right next to each other. We talked about anything & everything. I seemed to always bring up topics related to medicine, healthcare, etc, and one day she just flat out asked me:

MFP: Why are you not a doctor?

Me: Uhhhhh...I don't know haha. I started going to school for that but then life happened & I just decided to do something different.

MFP: Well, you know that it's your calling right?

Me: Is it? I'm not so sure. I don't thi-....

MFP: PUUUHLEASE! The way you go off on tangents talking about the physiology & blurting out all these medical terms that us regular people can't even pronounce hahaha! No. It's your calling. I can tell.

Me: (Thinking she's got a point on one hand, but on the other thinking she's just blowing smoke. I couldn't really be destined to become a doctor???) Haha! I don't know. I guess we'll see..

MFP: Yes we will, I'm going to stay on top of you until you follow your true path.

Me: Ooooooook.....

The next day when I came into the office she greeted me with:

MFP: Well GOOD MORNING DOCTOR COURTNEY! (With utter seriousness)

Me: (Thinking she's really taking this doctor-thing too seriously) Hahaha! Good morning My Favorite Patient!

MFP: How was your night at the hospital?

Me: (Alright I'll play along) It was quite eventful actually. I completed rounds & was on call most of the night but didn't get much rest due to an apendectemy, laporoscopic removal of a metatasized kidney, ruptured spleen, and then a coding during a routine Whipple procedure due to malignant hyperthermia. The patient survived however.

MFP: My, my, my, that was a busy night. Atleast you were there to save the day Dr. Courtney!

Me: Yeah, the patient sent me home-baked cookies as a thank you! Haha!

This routine followed day after day for months. It actually became kind of fun because I would start looking up different cases and surgery scenarios at night to replay to MFP the next day. Five months after we were hired, I earned a coveted promotion, making more money than I ever thought was possible for a 22 year-old & was well on my way to establishing a lucrative career in our company. I was dead set on the fact that med school & becoming a doctor just wasn't in the cards for me, but it was fun just to have these faux post-procedure conversations!

Then one day (2 months ago) I was online at work & as usual browsing medical blogs/websites & came across the topic of "Precordial Thump." You know, on 'Grey's Anatomy' when a patient is coding & one of the doctors makes a fist & hits the patient's chest to bring them back to life? Well I was reading all the facts about it & the info was SO fascinating that I began to look it up on youtube to learn how to do it, if the need ever arose (I had just learned how to do an emergency trecheotomy the week prior so I was on a roll). After I learned and practiced the procedure, much to the dismay of my poor ginnie-pig notebook, I went over to MFP's cubicle & went on an excited-fast-talking tangent!

Me: Ohhhhh emmm gee! Guess what I just learned!? Have you ever seen a doctor punch a patient's chest to resuscitate them? Well it's called a precordial thump! The intent is to interrupt a potentially life-threatening rhythm such as pulseless ventricular tachycardia & cause the heart to revert into it's normal rhythm. You bascially strike a single, very carefully aimed blow with the fist to a specific place on the patient's sternum in the absence of a defibrillator, you know the machine that charges, then pushes electrical volts through your body to jumpstart the heart??? Well, the thump actually causes the cells of the precordium, surrounding the heart, to produce an electrical depolarization of 2 to 5 joules..which essentially electrically shocks the heart! Isn't that freakin' cool!?!?!?!!

MFP: (Doesn't say a word. Smiles, tilting her head slightly to the right, with eyes of wisdom saying everything that I already knew inside, but chose to ignore.)

Have you ever had a moment of complete stillness & clarity? When the intentions of your heart & mind were perfectly aligned & every thought was clear, made sense, & you knew without a shadow of a doubt that you were: exactly where you were suppose to be, exactly when you were suppose to be, & exactly what you were suppose to do next was suddenly, piercingly crystal clear? I had that moment right then. That is when I decided to become a doctor. We all have free will, but that doesn't mean God doesn't attempt to put people in our lives to do a little course-correcting. 'Adjustment Bureau' anyone? ;)

MFP has actually been in the hospital for the past two weeks recovering from surgery. I visit her 4 times a week to check in on her & make sure she's being well cared for. I've only had to go off on one of her caregivers thus far (which brings me to a topic that really pisses me off but that is for another day's post). All of her nurses actually think that I am a doctor due to the fact that everytime I round the corner into her room she exclaims(in her loving & LOUD voice):


Me: Just checking up on my favorite patient..

Thursday, April 26, 2012

One Step At A Time

So, lately I've been reading pre-med & current medical students blogs ad nauseum! I was SO enthused about jumping on my own medical school journey that I wanted to know anything & EVERYTHING I could about the process & also get to experience a little bit of it vicariously through them. All of this reading has lead to me constantly thinking about: MCATs, med school applications, matriculation, gross anatomy, Step exams, final exams, residency matching, potential fellowship programs etc etc...over and over again in that order constantly every night before I go to sleep. It's to the point where I cannot go to sleep for hours!!!
Last night I was obssessing over administering anesthesia for the first time. Trying to imagine the process: Airway, Breathing, Circulation. Hypnotic, Paralytic, etc.
Then today I realized why people say: "Take it one step/day at a time." I never understood it before because my logic was: How is one to be properly prepared to reach one's goals if one does not have a detailed trajectory mapped out as to know what to expect &  what action to take at each stepping stone?!?!? The answer is simple: One mustn't obssess over tomorrow because all we have ever & will ever have is THIS present moment. So concentrate on this step, this day, this present moment & excell in it. As long as we are always focused on excelling in the present moment, we will always excell.
I think this is a great lesson to be learned by many students on the Doctor track from the blogs I've been reading.
Sidenote: I just played tennis with a friend because I'm trying to lose weight and because I love tennis. Long story-short..he kicked my ass...BAD! I guess I'm a little rusty. Just took a hot shower to soothe my latissimi it's sleep time. Bonus: I don't have to be at work until 2:30pm! :))))

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Trauma Rush.

"I knew today was going to be a challenge two Pediatric open heart cases back-to-back), but what I didn't know was that I was supposed to be carrying the Pediatric Trauma and Pediatric Arrest pagers today too. You want to know an wholly unpleasant way to find out that fact? Be working in the OR, getting your patient settled before going on bypass, when a nurse wanders in, thrusting the pagers towards you. "Dr. Au, one of the anesthesia secretaries said you're supposed to be holding these pagers today, and that one of them just went off." Whee! I don't know why someone who is actually working in the OR is somehow also supposed to be available to field the arrest and trauma pages (this just builds in a critical delay--I had to page my attending to handle my patient on the table while I grabbed the arrest bag and went running down to the ER to attend to a patient who, for the sake of anonymity, I will call Stabby McKnife) but hey, things can't always make sense, can they? That would make things too easy."

This is from Dr. Au, a board-certified Anesthesiologist in Atlanta, GA. This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the reason why I wanted to become a Doctor, and more specifically, an Anesthesiologist. The excitement, the rush, the fact that you are actually saving people's lives every day. Think about it. As an Anesthesiologist, it's your job to breathe, circulate, and maintain homeostasis for that patient...basically keeping them alive while the surgeon performs a procedure that ordinarily would kill them. The meticulous attention to detail. The quick recall memory one must master (In case your patient's blood pressure begins to spike and you must administer drugs to keep them stable but also remember all the drugs you have already administered and deciphering which drug will not affect the others adversely.) Ahhhh!

Yes people, I want to save lives every day. The road I will embark on to get there will be treacherous. This is why I started this blog. To maintain a journal of my experiences along the way. It will be a long journey in fact. I am in the midst of completing my undergrad, so we're starting at the very beginning! Are you ready? :)