Ten months later…
It’s hard to believe that my first year of medical school is in the books. I swear it was only yesterday Charlene and I were packing up all our things to voyage East. During that long 48 hour drive I constantly pondered whether or not I really wanted to do this. Hell, if I was even capable of doing this. And here I am now, lounging in my chair reminiscing about a year that was fraught with joy, heartaches and just about everything else in between. So let’s delve right into it, shall we? These are the top 5 moments that made my first year so engaging:
1) The Human Body
By now this might seem elementary, but the human body truly is a work of art. Nothing goes to waste. Everything is as it should be. Alright, maybe not everything. Sure we still have vestigial traits and how we develop can seem a bit backwards at times, but in the grand scheme of things it really is amazing. Take for instance the renal system. Sure, peeing is responsible for removing chemical waste but did you realize that it also moderates the fluid in your body and maintains a delicate balance of your pH. Or what about the cranium? It turns out it takes a complex network of neurons and nuclei to ensure that when you turn your head right your eyes can continue looking left.
I really could go on and on about this, but in a nutshell this is really the biggest thing first year taught me to appreciate. Given how dynamic it is, it almost makes you wonder why the human body doesn’t fail more often. Let’s face it you’re more healthy most of the time compared to when you are sick and it has everything to do with the ingenuity at work beneath your skin. John Mayer might be on to something after all. Your body really is a wonderland.
2) Team Thunder Conchs
So amidst all my studying, I actually did get a chance to get away and experience a pretty awesome vacation. A group of 16 of my classmates and I all took our talents to South Beach for spring break and enjoyed a cruise that not only spanned an entire week, but saw us in both the Florida Keys and Cozumel, Mexico. Not only was I the tannest I ever been, but I also got to enjoy unlimited soft serve ice cream 24 hours a day. Allow me to reiterate. Unlimited. Soft. Serve. Enough said.
3) Break Ya Neck
Allow me to preface this point, by telling you that Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine has got to be the most frustrating class. First off, it is not easy to understand. The rules not only change from treatment to treatment, but the techniques themselves are hard to grasp conceptually. Second, there is sometimes little consensus over how you are suppose to approach something. As such, many sessions are spent staring blankly at each other in confusion as you try to sort the facts out in your head.
That said, there is no greater joy when it finally all comes together and for me that was when I properly set someone up for cervical HVLA and heard the “crack” of affirmation. From that point on I became more adept with my technique and before I knew it I was treating my friends on a daily basis. Do not get me wrong, this hardly means that I am going to specialize in it. But it feels good all the same to know that I can apply what I have learned whenever I hear one of my friends complaining of back pain.
4) Midnight Basketball
It’s the simple joys in life that I’ve learned to cherish since attending school again. In particular is basketball. I never realized how much I would miss being able to play until the year began and now it has become almost ritual to play after a massive exam block. That said, by far the most entertaining sessions take place after a 12 hour study binge in the middle of the night when the entire school is empty. Sure we are all tired, but there is just something about being able to get out there and take our frustrations out on the hardwood that is so damn fun. I already know this is going to decline rapidly in second year when our free time is considerably reduced, which is why I appreciate it while I still can.
5) Charlene Ong, BSN, RN
And with that I save the best for last. That’s right. I am now the proud boyfriend of a bonafide registered nurse, which means all those times Charlene was whipping out culinary treasures (her handiwork is all over this blog in case you’re wondering) and working full-time she was also neck deep in her own studies as she prepared for the biggest exam of her life. In many ways, Charlene is the real hero of this adventure so far. Without her motivation I would have succumb to the pressure a long time ago. Needless to say, I am so unbelievable overcome with emotion for her. In fact I’m pretty sure this is exactly what I looked like the moment we received the good news:
These are the moments that have made this experience so unforgettable so far. Do not get me wrong, it certainly hasn’t been easy and even now those moments of doubt creep in to make me feel that I am in way over my head. But at the end of the day, I really wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I am blessed. So thank you first year for preparing me for the road ahead. May second year be just as memorable.
This journey has just begun.