Thursday, May 5, 2011

Countdown to Graduation, Part Three

Continued from Countdown to Graduation, Part Two.

Tomorrow I will finally graduate from medical school.  As I have been reflecting on the past four and a half years, these are some of the memories I want to be able to share someday with G-Bear, E-Bear and Baby Bear.

Year Three

I took a long weekend off after taking my Board exam to celebrate with T, G-Bear and my parents.  The following Monday I began my third year rotations.   I started with pediatric orthopaedic surgery.  One of the residents on the service was so cute that it was distracting :)  It was T!  For two weeks we got to drive to work together.  In the interest of being above reproach, we didn't actually work together during the day, and I made sure to work under other residents.  But, it was wonderful to drive in together, sit together at the conferences, and talk about the day as we headed home.  When my OR ran later into the evening than his did, he would go home and bring G-Bear back to the hospital so that we could all eat dinner on his card when I finished.  The nurses would ask T how he liked having me on the service.   He joked that he enjoyed being the boss.....but it only lasted until we got home :)

I blazed a trail through the first half of third year.  With E-Bear growing bigger in my belly everyday, I was intent on finishing as many hard rotations as I could before he arrived.  I powered through 5 months of medicine, surgery and OB/Gyn.  While I was on pediatric surgery, I watched surgeries performed on babies that were younger than sweet baby E-Bear who was still growing inside me.  On those days, I could barely hold back my tears in the OR.  Despite the early mornings and late nights, I loved working with patients and the hands-on learning style.  I missed T and G-Bear like crazy, especially on my call nights.  

A "Good morning, Mommy!" picture of G-Bear that T sent me one morning when I was on call.
Pics like this kept me going when I was missing them so much.

While I enjoyed all my rotations, OB/Gyn was really special for me.  I rotated on the service during my 30th-36th week pregnant with E-Bear.  I loved everything about caring for pregnant women, gyn patients and delivering babies on labor & delivery.  I soaked up everything I was learning both for my own benefit and for my patients.  When I failed my glucose challenge test during one of my prenatal appointments and had to have a three hour glucose tolerance test, I had it done while I was working in the OB clinic, and I ran down the hall every hour to have my blood drawn at the lab.  It gave me new appreciation for how annoying and uncomfortable some of the tests we ordered could be for patients.  Having had G-Bear before the rotation gave me a special love and perspective that I could share with my patients.  Completing the rotation before E-Bear was born gave me lots of time to reflect and prepare for the miracle of his birth.

Halloween on L&D.  T brought G-Bear to see me because I was on call.

E-Bear was born a few weeks after I finished my OB rotation, just before Christmas.  Thanks to the flexibility of my medical school's curriculum, I was able to schedule nearly all of my vacation time for the weeks after he was born, giving me just over 2 months to be home full time with the Bears.  E-Bear was so easy on his momma, and I treasured the time I had to enjoy the transition from one Bear to two. When I did start back, I scheduled easier, non-call rotations so that I could ease back into the routine.  When I was at work, the kids remained in the able care of the Amazing Miss R, who continued to love them to pieces.  

I finished out the year with radiology and psychiatry.  I was the proud momma of two amazing Bears.  T was rounding the corner of his dreaded third year.  Fourth year was in our sights!  Just before I started fourth year, we vacationed back to Alabama for Aunt A's spectacular wedding.   We returned home, ready to resume the routine.  But there were several more challenges waiting for us in the months ahead.

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