A Day In The Life: Second Year Medical Student (Respiratory Block)

October 14, 2016

I'm super nerdy and I think "a day in the life" posts are entertaining. I did one last year during my first year of medical school in October, so naturally, I wanted to do it during the same time of year during my second year of medical school.

You can check out the last three of my "day in the life" posts below:

A Day In The Life : First Year Medical Student (Anatomy Block), 2015
A Day In The Life : Full-Time Nanny, 2014
A Day In The Life : Peace Corps Volunteer, 2013

This year, I have much more "free time." We have fewer hours scheduled in labs, but that means all those "free afternoon hours" should be filled with independent studying. We have a lot more DSA's this year (designated student assignments)... AKA reading assignments. So while this day looks a little more relaxed than last year, I assure you I have plenty to study :) But I really appreciate having more flexibility.

Also, in case you don't notice... I'm becoming a HORRIBLE morning person. I'm a pro at waking up as late as possible and still getting to school on time. I loveeeeeee that I can leave my house at 7:50 and make it to my 8:00 lecture. :)

Here goes!

7:15 A.M. | Woke up and found this text from my mom. Her goat had baby goats!!! Time to drag my butt out of bed and get to school. 

7:35 A.M. | Made smoothies for M & I (our typical breakfast)

7:42 A.M. | Let this sweet pup inside from going to the bathroom. Check out the gloomy fall weather! 

7:47 A.M. | A photo because I'm in love with all the fall colors. 

8:25 A.M. | Mid-lecture photo, because that's not weird at all :) This was mid-lecture learning about pneumonia and TB. 

8:57 A.M. | At our break, coffee was necessary. Also, I helped my mom name all those cute goats with the help of my friends. Those four goats are now named: Maple, Nutmeg, Pumpkin (3 girls) and Squash (1 boy). Naming goats seems like it was the coolest part of my day :) 

I didn't take any other pictures during our lectures... but from 8-11 A.M. we had our lecture about pneumonia and TB. From 11-12 A.M. we had a pharmacology lecture about TB drugs. 

12:05 P.M. | All settled in to listen to a lunch time talk about Child Abuse. One of the pediatricians at our school gave a talk about child abuse for the pediatrics club, family medicine club, and ethics interest group. 

1:10 P.M. | I attended a PER for the last respiratory test I took. PER stands for post-exam review. It's a way for you to review all the questions on the test to see what you got right and wrong. Faculty are usually present to clarify concepts as well. We aren't allowed to take anything into the PER with us, so all you get is this lovely photo of the sign on the door. :) 

2:17 P.M. | Arrived at home! And really, I'm just obsessed with this tree. 

2:24 P.M. | Said hi to my pets, pulled out my planner, and started knocking off some things on my to-do list. I had to make some phone calls for the pediatrics club and organize some of my school work for the week. 

2:45 P.M. | Started uploading some of the photos from the day into my blog. People always ask me how I find time to blog... and it's really not so tough. I just make time for it! (or at least, I try.)

3:10 P.M. | My husband got home for the day. We have a habit of always sitting down to tell each other about our days (a small habit that I've really grown to love). And most of the time, Bear thinks he is welcome to jump into the conversation (and our laps). 

3:20 P.M. | This is what it looks like to be in a relationship with a medical student :) I agreed to run an errand with M, so long as I could bring my notes with me in the car. I was studying for my osteopathic competencies I had the following day. 

3:25 P.M. | Pit stop for coffee, because.... coffee. AND it was my first pumpkin latte of the season (despite how much M thinks pumpkin is disgusting, I'll always love it.)

3:33 P.M. | REI. The best place for a study break and day dreaming of all the fun adventures. 

4:30 P.M. | Yes, we had coffee. And yes, we still believe in power naps. 

5:45 P.M. | After some more studying, I asked M to be my patient (and Bear was clearly the witness). He patiently let me run through all the osteopathic techniques I was going to be tested on during competencies the following day. I'm SO glad I bought a table to practice techniques on last year... we use it quite frequently.

6:05 P.M. | Dinner! Beef stew & beets. My kind of yummy. 

6:30 P.M. | Post-dinner walk for Bear, M & I. 

6:45 P.M. | At my desk, ready to study the night away. My cat, Kibi, was clearly ready to sleep next to me and support me the whole time. I spent the rest of the evening studying all the bugs and drugs in my respiratory course. 

7:53 P.M. | Also, fun side note: listening to lectures on double speed is something you learn to do in medical school. What's sad is that double speed sounds slow to me now... so I had to add an extension onto google chrome to listen to things at 3x speed. What has my life come to!? 

10:45 P.M. | Finished up some studying, made to-do lists for the week, and called it a night! 

Whatever is good for your soul... do that.

October 6, 2016

For those who don't know, I served in the Peace Corps in Botswana as an HIV/AIDS volunteer from 2012-2014. Everyone's experience in the Peace Corps is different, but mine was absolutely amazing. I was lucky enough to end up falling in love with a new country, a new culture, and a welcoming group of people to call my family.

This post is not intended to be a reflection of what I loved or disliked about my service. This is a brief post about my recent visit to Botswana. Feel free to check out my other blog, Bulletins from Botswana, if you're interested in my thoughts/writing throughout my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

During my service, I fell head over heels in love with the people I'm going to introduce to you. They took me in as family. They loved me, cared for me, and made Botswana home. My heart is going to be tied to this family, this village, and this country for the rest of my life.

* * * * * 

Let's back track a bit... I was free from medical school responsibilities from June 6 to July 25. M & I set the date to get married on July 2. But my heart was aching to get back to Botswana. I remember calling Michael in February and asking if I could head back to Botswana before the wedding & the answer was a loud HELL YES. I found a great priced ticket and with M's approval, that was that. (Have I ever mentioned how much I love him? He stuck with me the whole time throughout the two years in the Peace Corps - - and two years of that kind of long distance? He deserves more than one or two awards.)

M agreed to handle wedding things whenever they came up so that I could go back to visit Botswana and my sweet family there before our wedding. The school year ended on July 6 at 12 PM and I was on a plane by 4 PM. (Talk about passing out on the plane...) I had a FULL TWO WEEKS in Botswana right at the start of my summer and before my wedding.

Is that madness? I don't know. I don't think so. M didn't think so either. WHY? Because that's what my soul needed. It broke my heart not to be able to have them fly back to the USA for our wedding, so at least I could go visit, show them pictures of my dress, kiss their sweet faces, and enjoy some much needed time with them.

I'm slowly figuring this all out, but really.... WHATEVER IS GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL... DO THAT. And that meant that I was going to Botswana right before my wedding, because that's the only time I had off to do so.

* * * * * 

While I was looking through recent photos and getting ready to write this blog post, I started reminiscing on old times in Botswana. I started flipping through old photos from my time there and comparing them to my visit in June. My heart MELTED. If photos aren't your jam (specifically lots of photos of me with my Botswana family), scroll past this section. I'll add more thoughts about my visit after the photos. (BUT SERIOUSLY, oh my goodness. My kiddos are two years older, two years smarter, and at least twice as confident than the last time I saw them. My heart is all mush.) All photos on the left are from my Peace Corps Service and all photos on the right are from my recent visit in June. 

Same girl, same attitude.
Some of the girls I taught at school 
Dino & her sweet family
Mma Pego
My sweet family 
* * * * * 

I'm planning to write one more blog post about my visit to Botswana to outline more of what life looks like there on a day to day basis. But for today, this is all I have time for. 

I remember a friend from the states asking me WHY NOW? Why not wait to visit until we are finished with medical school? (That certainly would have been more convenient.) 

My answer was this: you know that feeling you have when you're home sick? Like whenever you've been abroad or the furthest away from home you've ever been? You start to miss your home, the people, and all the familiarities that come with it. You miss the smells, the food, and your normal routine. There's something so sweet about being home, and something so heart breaking about being away from home for long periods of time. 

I feel homesick ALL the time. Day in and day out. If I'm in the states, I'm homesick for Botswana. If I'm in Botswana, I'm homesick for the states. And no matter what... I'll never have all of my family and the people I love in one geographic location (or country for that matter). My heart is scattered, quite literally, around the world. 

Botswana is home. I was homesick. And so I needed to go. I needed to wrap my arms around those sweet kids and remind them that Auntie Boitshepo loves them. I needed to go check on all the kids I worked with at the local schools to see where their dreams and goals took them. I needed to drink tea with my elders and hear about their health, their wisdom, and advice. I needed to slow down, take some deep breaths, and be reminded about what truly matters. 

It was oh-so-good for my soul. And exactly what I needed. 

Ke a go ratja ditsala jame.
I can't wait to step foot in that beautiful country again. 


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