Big Changes

Friday sure was a big day for us! It was match day and I found out I got my first choice!! We will be moving to Colorado in about 2 months. And if that wasn’t exciting enough…we accepted an offer on our house that afternoon! The inspection and appraisal still have to be OK before anything is finalized, but it looks like all the cards are falling into place.  It will be bittersweet to say goodbye to our first home, especially with how much work we put into it. But the person who purchased it is young and will hopefully have many years of  memories in our updated home.

We couldn’t be happier to try out a new area with milder weather and more outdoor activities than we can begin to count. People keep asking if we will stay there or come back. At this point, we aren’t sure and are planning to keep our options open. If we love CO, we will stay there. If we miss WI, we’ll be heading back this way in 3 years. Until then, we will just enjoy the wonderful opportunities that have come our way.

Long Overdue Update

Wow – I can’t believe I haven’t posted for over 6 months! Where has the time gone? Oh yeah, being a mom, wife, and 4th year medical student. I have so much to update but I’ll keep it as short as possible.

Motherhood

Let me start by saying Eli is absolutely amazing and I truly love being a mom (most days). This wasn’t the case at the beginning and now I am realizing that I’m not alone in that feeling. I didn’t cry when Eli was born or feel an overwhelming sense of love for him the second I saw his face. Don’t get me wrong, I loved him and he was beautiful, but it wasn’t much different than what I felt when I saw another friend’s beautiful new baby. I wondered when this would change and honestly, it was probably around 3 or 4 months when he really started to be interactive. The first few months were OK. I was tired from never sleeping more than 2 hours at a stretch, but I was getting the hang of things. I really wanted to go back to work and thought about starting back a few weeks early. I missed the mental stimulation of medical school rotations and needed a break from baby. I decided to hang in there and went back after 10 weeks, as originally planned. Going back was the best thing for our relationship. It made me realize how much I did love him and left me looking forward to our evenings together.

As the weeks passed by I became amazed at how much he changed. By 3-4 months he was sitting up in a bumbo and grabbing at our food and trying to feed himself. We decided to let him taste a few things around 4 months, even though I originally planned to wait until 6 months. He was developmentally ready, so I reminded myself that books and recommendations are guidelines that need to be tailored to the child, not the other way around. By 5 month he was sitting up unassisted and loving his food feeder. He was babbling up a storm and really turning into a little boy. He took his first flight at 5 months and did OK. By 6 months he was trying to stand on his own (while holding something) and really started to love his solids. By 7 months he was able to pull himself up to stand and was trying to figure out the whole crawling thing (thankfully he hasn’t figured it out yet!). He officially loved food by this point – a lot – and figured out chewing, despite having no teeth yet. He will be 8 months in a few days and it looks like crawling will likely happen in the next few weeks -eek!

He is one of the happiest babies I have ever met and I am so incredibly in love with him. We were able to spend a lot of time together these past few months because I am wrapping up rotations and have some time off. I am so grateful for our time together! Looking back, I’d rather have started back at work after 6 weeks if it meant I could have 4 more weeks with him now. He finished day care in December and has been home with me, my mom, or J over the past few months. J is going to be a stay-at-home dad starting in April and is so excited about it. He knows it won’t be a walk in the park, but he is looking forward to really getting to bond with Eli.

 

Med School

I am so grateful I finished my board exam before Eli was born, because baby brain is for real. Sleep deprivation does some crazy things – one thing in particular is loss of word-finding ability. I can’t begin to count the number of times I couldn’t think of simple, everyday words. Going back to work was an adjustment – if I couldn’t think of the word cardboard how was I going to take care of sick patients with pneumonia?? After a few weeks I got back into the swing of things and it started to improve. Even now I still have trouble recalling things, but I just look it up and study  harder. Thankfully the year is wrapping up and I haven’t had many tests. In fact, I just finished my last exam of medical school and only have one 4 week rotation left (for the month of April)! Where has the last 4 years gone??

After med school there is this thing called residency. It’s sorta a big deal. Most of 4th year is spent applying and interviewing for residency. I have decided to go into family medicine with the intention of practicing full spectrum FM (outpatient, inpatient, and deliveries – you know, the way all doctors used to be). These jobs are a little hard to find, which means the residencies are also hard to find. I had specific criteria for what I was looking or and ended up interviewing at 9 programs in Wisconsin and Colorado. I have found my dream program and next week (March 20th) I will find out if they liked me as much as I liked them. The way residency match works is I rank the programs I like and the programs rank all the people they like. Then this fancy computer program looks at all of the lists across the world and puts you in your best possible match. On March 20th, I will open a white envelope at 11am and find out where I will spend the next 3 years. It’s pretty exciting and I can’t wait to find out!

 

Other Stuff

I have been spending too much time on facebook. I justify it by saying that I am showing family members pictures of Eli, when really I’m just wasting time I don’t have to waste (which has to come from somewhere, so it probably comes from more important things like sleep, exercise, and family). So, I am thinking about giving up the facebook thing all together and just updating this blog more often. We’ll see if that happens. If it does, you all have lots of cute baby pictures to look forward to 🙂 Here’s a great one to tide you over:

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[Step] One and Done!

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Yesterday marked a huge day on my path to becoming a doctor – step one of the medical licensing exam. I am SO happy to be done! For those of you not in the medical field, the medical boards are 3 steps. Here’s an overview:

Step One is an 8 hour exam taken after 2nd year of medical school, before you start your clerkships (clinical rotations). This basically tests everything we [should have] been taught during the first two years to make sure we know the “basics” before they let us loose on patients. I say “basics” because a lot of Step One is memorizing random and rare diseases we will never see. Oh well. The score from this exam plays a huge role in your residency options – if you don’t do well you can forget about going into a competitive specialty, like plastic surgery, dermatology, or radiology oncology. I think I will be doing family medicine or internal medicine, so my score doesn’t matter as much, but is still important. I need to wait 4-6 weeks to find out how I did. Until then, I’ll just tell myself I rocked it and move on with life 🙂

Step Two has 2 parts – clinical skills and a content test. From what I’ve been told these aren’t too bad. The clinical skills is just make sure we can interact and exam patients; it sounds like all US med students pass this without any problems and that it is mainly for international medical students (some of whom never touch a patient before becoming an MD). The content exam requires studying, but is nothing like Step One, since most of the material you have been regularly in clinical practice.

After medical school, graduates officially hold an MD (or DO if you attend an osteopathic school). This is when you start residency. The first year of residency is called your internship year. Step Three is taken after this internship year to make sure you know what you’re doing in an unsupervised setting. Many states allow physicians to moonlight in ERs after their 1st year of residency, so this test helps make sure people aren’t moonlighting that don’t know what they’re doing.

While there is still a long road ahead (2 more years of medical school, 3 years of residency), I have no doubt it will be here before I know it. The first two years of medical school have FLOWN by and I’ve heard that the next two go even faster.  I will try to post more about clerkships as I get started. But first, two weeks of vacation 🙂

To celebrate being done I made myself some Irish coffee. It was wonderful and exactly what I needed after 8 hours of testing.

Irish Coffee

irish coffee3

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of freshly brewed coffee
    (French pressed>>>Drip brew)
  • 1.5 oz whisky
    (I used Kentucky whisky because that is what we had on hand, but I’m sure it is even better with Irish whisky)
  • 1 tsp honey

Directions
Mix the honey with the hot coffee until completely dissolved. Add the whisky and stir well.