Monday, November 7, 2011

Hurry up and wait...

Primary application. Check. Decent passport style photo. Check. Secondary applications and payments. Check. Check. Credit card payment. Paypal payment. Echeck. Check, check and check.... I've been writing my little heart out, digging deep and doing all sorts of soul searching. It's scary being so open and honest, it makes me feel vulnerable. And almost makes me second guess myself. Should I have been so honest? I know the answer to that, of course. And that's why I don't actually second guess any of it.
So now I'm waiting, and hoping. Praying. Wishing it were just so much easier. But I understand the process. All I can do now is continue to prepare myself for interviews. Practicing speaking techniques, staying calm under pressure, researching ethical issues to have a stance or at least an understanding of them, and being confident in my thoughts and explanations. I definitely feel much more calm this time around, already having been through the interview process at two very different schools. And excited too. Not quite the naive excitement that I felt last year, but excited about what the future holds for me and for my family no matter what the outcome is. So much good is happening, and things just feel on track. Like I'm headed in the right direction. It's an amazing feeling and gives me that extra boost of self confidence.
I applied to 13 schools total, and three have already sent me their rejection letters. Ten schools remain.  I just need to stay focused and keep working hard, reading and broadening my understanding of the medical field, ethics, and even research. I have to make this happen for myself, because I got a lotta love to give.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sick Day

Today I stayed home sick, curled up on the couch under a warm blanket with the TV on while dozing off and on. Towards the evening, while watching probably the third or fourth episode of 'Keeping up with the Kardashians', I started to think about work, school, having a family, and what I would be doing instead if I were say, a physician with kids. Would I be able to just take a sick day for a head cold? How do full time mom's handle sick days? I can't imagine having to change diapers, and run after a kid, when I didn't even leave the couch all day except to use the batthroom. As Ryan and I talk about having a family, I realize ever so slowly how much things will change whenever that happens. Less sleep at night, another mouth to feed, and yet this amazing life to care for and be responsible for. Being a mom will be such an incredible adventure some day.
And I want to be a working mom, so I still wonder about being a physician and taking sick days while also having kids. Supposedly kids are big-time germ carriers thanks to day care and whatnot. How often will I need to worry about possibly being sick? While shadowing an orthopedic surgeon at Children's Hospital in Seattle, I saw more than once physicians at work, sick and feeling awful, but with a face mask on while they saw their patients. Obviously, patients are a priority, so they made the energy needed to get through the day and care for each patient they saw. Is that how mom's do it? There's someone else to care for more important than yourself, and that's what drives you through the day, no matter how awful you're feeling?
I hope someday, as a physician and possibly as a parent, I'll have that energy and drive as my patients will definitely be a priority in my life. Because I got a lotta love to give.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Religion, part I

Since high school I have questioned my faith and grappled with the question: What do I believe? The Bible is a fantastic guide to living life richly and fully, but it's contents can be interpreted in so many different ways. It seems the different sects of Christianity have simply done their own picking and choosing of what to follow and what to leave behind as rules set for the time when the Bible was written. Now, I don't question my faith in the sense that I wonder if there really is a God, was Jesus our savior, or other such major points that come with Christian faith. What I question about my faith is what sect does it really fit into, and can you really just take parts of the Bible to follow or is there a way to apply it's teachings to the world today.
The questioning began when my teen group friends suggested I run for secretary, treasurer, vice president and finally president of the whole group. This seemed a natural progression for me, as I have always enjoyed leading a group and the responsibilities that come with the position. However, I was shocked to learn that I, being a young woman in the church, would have to wait for approval from our pastor before I could actually act as president. After having studied feminism in history classes, and finding my passion for leadership growing from previous activities, I could not believe that someone who has shown her capabilities would have to actually wavit for approval, even after being unanimously elected. This was just the first shock.
I soon learned that, although every member of the church has their own ideas about what should happen next for the church, only the male members are allowed to vote. The thought is that a husband and wife must come up with a single decision together on how to vote, and then the man will take that vote to the meeting. But, what if you are a single woman in the church? It's as if they're forcing you to find a man to speak for you. What if you and your husband have very different ideas on the matter at hand? Well, his idea will get voted, but not hers. I get what the church is trying to do and say, but I disagree as well as, in this day and age, women are running their own companies, they are managing teams, and voting throughout the world. It seems so antiquated and unjust to disallow a person her voice. In any other institution, this would be fought.
This was my first issue with the church and part of my reason for leaving (the other part is personal, but not needed for this discussion) after my first year of college. It boils down to me becoming a liberal and being open to many more ideas and people than the church had allowed me to be open to while a part of it. I should say that 'the church' is specifically the WELS Lutheran Church. I do appreciate my chatechism and the things I learned about my religion, it's history, as well as the execution of the beliefs, but I also find it so limiting. After a recent conversation about religion with some family, I realized that through this church, I have never had a relationship with God, and have instead only feared Him. Though I do pray daily, and repent as well, it most definitely has been out of fear. Fear of judgement, wrath, consequences in the eyes of others.
Since leaving the WELS, I have visited many other churches, hoping for a specific fit where I can have that relationship with God. Through my religious upbringing, I find the new age song and dance too flashy and showy and crave the traditional liturgy that the WELS offered. So recently, when I thought I had found my fit in a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, my joy turned to dismay as a new pastor began to change the traditional Lutheran liturgy to more of a Catholic service. Having moslty grown up Christian, and especially WELS, this did not sit well with me. I do believe one should not worship with a group that does not represent one's own faith. And, as I am not Catholic, I have a hard time saying prayers and other parts of worship that are part of the Catholic faith. Sadly, I soon left this church too.
My search continues for the perfect Christian church for me. One that incorporates my craving of traditional liturgy with my liberal ideals. As time goes on, I actually feel stronger in my faith and more convicted in my beliefs and how I let them guide me through life. There was a time when I was afraid to say what church I was going to as I knew my parents or other family would not approve, their fear being that I had lost my faith as I was not a part of a WELS church any longer. But now, I know that the church I choose will be perfect for me as it is one I chose, not another person. When I find it, I'll be satisfied spiritually and really be able to begin my relationship with God. But then, am I really finding the church? Or is the church finding me? Everything happens for a reason, and I know I am being guided in some way. That guide can only be God, as He knows how I will best have a relaitionship with Him. I just hope that church finds me sooner than later as I continue to travel through the adventures of life, reaching more and more people. I want to be able to talk about my faith comfortably, doing God's work every day, especially as I enter the medical field. Because, thanks to my faith and the qualities God has blessed me with, I got a lotta love to give.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


'Do something every day that scares you.'

The desire to do more is coupled with a fear that maybe I will not be good enough. But jumping in is the only solution and has brought me to where I am today.

I have been afraid I am not good enough, smart enough, witty enough, etc, since the third grade. This would be when my step-mom came into the picture and decided she needed to tell me daily that I was too stupid to amount to anything in life. By college I actually started believing it. I let the anger I felt towards her and her comments take over me. So much blame, wasted energy. I rode the downward spiral through two failed MCATs, even up through one attempt to get into medical school. Finally, with the help of my husband and a fantastic friend, I am breaking free of her hold over me. For the first time since I can remember, I know I can get into medical school. The knowledge is empowering, exhilerating and even peaceful.

The best part is I finally stopped pointing the finger and blaming and took ownership of my feelings and thoughts. That whole 'sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me' saying is crap. Words hurt, negative words nine times more than positive ones. The more you hear, the harder it is to brush it off and move on unscathed. It takes a giant leap of faith to break free of the hold by the negative words that have sunken in over years of repitition. I see the bright light at the end of the dark tunnel.

As I'm filling out my second round of AMCAS, re-writing my personal statement, I feel so much more positive. I know I will still feel nervous going into interviews, but I have a sudden confidence from diving into the things that scare me most in life, namely the possibility of failure.

Some things I dove into recently are both related to volunteering. I signed up as a volunteer tutor for the local Boys and Girls Club (finally), despite my fear that I would not be a good enough teacher or able to explain things to the kids. All it took was five minutes of fractions with one girl and that fear vanished. I tried to recycle the scratch paper I had used to explain why 1/2 is bigger than 1/3, but this girl took it from my hands immediately exclaiming that she needs this scratch paper in order to learn about fractions. That initial fear melted into excitement that I had done something for this girl that truly helped her. I then signed up to volunteer in the PCC of the Seattle VA. Though I know my way around a clinic and paperwork, I feared being in the regular employees' way and not getting tasks done quickly enough. But as I faxed letters, delivered mail, and made copies of needed handouts for all of the over 50 patient rooms there, it no longer bothered me that a nurse was disgruntled I was using the copy machine for over 100 copies. I know deep down I was doing her a favor by setting up each patient room with all the paperwork necessary for proper care of the patient, and she'll see that when she opens a file drawer and doesn't have to return to the copier yet again.

From fear to confidence, I'm ready to reach for the stars. Even if I miss, I'll still land on the moon, essentially hitting my goals one way or another. Because I've got a lotta love to give.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I feel like there should be a 12 step program to getting over rejection. There certainly are stages and deep feelings associated with them. I am getting through the anger phase now.
I'm angry that I didn't get in to medical school this year, which makes me angry at myself for not doing whatever it is I should have done to get in. Then I start to wonder if I'm smart enough, which leads me to being angry at my step mom for always telling me I was too stupid to do anything with my life. And then I'm back to being angry at myself for thinking those thoughts that I know are so far from the truth.
But I am getting through the anger stage. It's hard, but it definitely fuels me to figure out what I need to do more or even just better. To show them in the next round that I am meant to be there alongside other physicians.
It's not easy to explain why I want to be a physician, but I do know I have always wanted it. To be the guide to people's health and well-being, help them make better life style choices. To know the answers to their ailments and be there to solve the mysteries of the body. I crave that, immerse myself in it daily, and want so much more to do with it. I'm so held back at my current position in life, I'm just itching to break free of the current chains that bind me so I can be my best version of myself. Taking care of people.
All because I got a lotta love to give. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Monday, March 7, 2011


Totally sucks. I worked hard, hoped and prayed my little heart out...and I didn't get in.

Let's be honest here, I'm not happy. I am a bit on the depressed side. So I'm ignoring how I really feel at the moment to try and buck up and enjoy the things happening right now in my life. But is that a good thing?
I tried just diving right back into the reapplication process (yes, I am DEFINITELY reapplying), but after looking over five schools I suddenly felt overwhelmed with sadness and started crying. This part of the application process stressed me out for months last year and I was so relieved to finally have picked my final 15...and now I have to do that all over again in a short two month span. I'm stressed, and bummed out, and really trying my hardest to not feel like a failure.
But I do feel like a failure at this point. Deep down, I hoped I was good enough to get in the first time around. I received two interview invites, and thought the second one at least went pretty well. I was so excited about the future. And now it's being pushed back further and I have to wait longer.
I just somehow have to figure out how to use this energy for driving myself through this again. I know how badly I want this, and it will happen because it is my dream.

There is a silver lining. I am being promoted to laboratory supervisor at my work. I am excited about that as it will be a fantastic exerience and allow me to really use my take charge capabilities. I want to be making more decisions in the lab, and know more of what's going and have more control of certain aspects of it. Here's my chance.
Also, we can do some traveling this year. We've already planned our trip to Japan this summer.

So, yes, extremely sad with the current situation, but I cannot and will not let myself be deterred from my dreams. I just need to work harder and show them all how much I want this. I can't let anything stand in my way. Because I have a lotta love to give.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I realized a grave mistake I've been making throughout my quest to become a physician.

Almost all of my secondary applications have asked about physicians being role models for health and wellness, or practicing what they preach, and how I feel about that. I do feel it is important for a physician to practice what they preach: eat well, exercise, don't over indulge often, etc. And yet, here I have been over indulging, not watching my weight or my health too closely. How can I preach that and not actually do it? Once I realized this (just a few short weeks ago) a light switched on in my head. I suddenly am finding it so easy to walk away from sweets, eat wholesome and healthy foods, and I almost crave a workout of some sort each day.

How did this all start? Well, after being pescaterian  for almost two years, my immune system started breaking down. I was sick or just not feeling well for the past six months. Then a few friends suggested I add meat back into my diet. I thought about it, read some articles that were thrown my way about how vegan/vegaterian/pescaterian diets aren't for everyone...and the meat is back! Just small portions however. My energy levels feel like they have sky rocketed and I just feel better. I am no longer telling my doctor how tired I am feeling, which to me is one of the greatest things. Thanks to the extra energy, I have stepped back into a regular pattern of working out, which feels fantastic and helps to clear my mind as well.

But, I was stil having pretty bad stomache issues (just nauseous all the time), so, after a converstaion with one my aunts about gluten allergies, I went for it. I cut the gluten out and that gave an almost immediate response as well. My stomache felt settled. Along with that went my sugar craving. I went from craving a sweet snack/treat throughout the day to maybe wanting a couple of bites of chocolate at night. I had to laugh at myself one night as I was eating some chocolate squares. I had a mix of 64%, 72% and 86% dark cocoa squares. The 86% had before then been overly bitter and just not tasty to me at all. So I avoided them. But that night, as I was eating a chocolate square, I thought to myself how it was almost too sweet for my taste. I checked the wrapper, and it was the 86% cocoa chocolate! I literally laughed out loud.

All this boils down to one thing for me: getting healthy, acting healthy, and showing others how I am healthy so I can lead by example. We are such a nation of bigger/more is better, and that really is the wrong way to think about food. I am still training my mind to believe that each meal is not my last and I can enjoy the leftovers another day. It is tough, and a constant challenge, but it's getting easier. I need to lead by example for my future patients and have the ability to show them how easy it can be to be healthy.

Sometimes you have to be selfish in the sense that you can't fully take care of others until you take care of yourself properly. And I am finally doing just that; taking care of myself so I can better care for others...because I got a lotta love to give.  :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


A discussion that blew out of proportion on Sunday night at my dad's house truly reaffirmed my hope for the future of health care in this country and how I am planning to contribute within the health care community. But it was reaffirmed in an unfortunate and round-about way. The yelling and barking and badgering that ensued when I voiced my pro opinion of health care reform made me see how much I have to give to those who need medical attention in the world. I can't stand by and watch without voicing my opinion based on the events I see every day.

My father, who hasn't seen the inside of a doctor's office in ages, tried to tell me what's best for health care and how the system works. And that he knows best because he owns his own business. Well, his business is HVAC, a field I'm pretty sure has nothing to do with saving lives or giving medical attention. So how can he know best? He began blaming health care reform for his insurance company raising the rates of the particular plan that he had and dropping the current plan to entice him to spend more for the same benefits. When I tried to explain that this is not a result of health care reform, he jumped down my throat and then his wife, my step-mother, joined in simply to tell me that I am too young to know what I am talking about and that I am really just too stupid to know anything about the topic. At first I was angry about the misconstrued ideas they kept spitting out about health care reform and the government in general. But then, as I began to realize that I do feel every person is entitled to their own opinion or belief on things, what really got to me was how they treated me. I am not stupid. And I'm not a little girl who's lived a sheltered life and has never seen or experienced the world. I work in a clinical lab setting, where I am exposed to all the trials and tribulations patients have while dealing with mounting medical bills and insurance costs. I have volunteered in the ER and surgery department of hospitals. I have coordinated research projects, dealing with a group of people who typically gets dropped by their insurance when they need it most. I have shadowed physicians and even had discussions with others during interviews for entering medical school. But oh yeah, I'm too young and stupid to know anything about the issues in health care, let alone have an opinion on the matter.

I do realize that this day in age one has to pick and choose the information to believe as so much is blown out of proportion during political discussions. However, I also realize that working in a particular field opens your eyes to what truly happens in the day to day events, giving one a better perspective of what needs to happen to make that field function at its best. Knowing this, I feel more at peace as I know in my heart what is right and wrong. And I know even more so now than ever before how blessed I am to have such a huge heart that wants to give, give, and give some more. Even to those who can't afford to pay me for the help I can offer them.
Thank you, God, for giving me that.
I have a lotta love to give.

Friday, January 14, 2011

To new beginnings

Life is certainly an adventure. As I'm preparing myself mentally, emotionally, and even financially for the possibility of getting into medical school and reaching my dream of becoming a physician, I am continually learning about myself. I am finding out just how much I can juggle and keep up with life still. And how much love I have to give in this short life we live. With so much going on in my head, I decided starting a blog to keep track of my progress in life would be the best thing to do. I may or may not check in every day, but I can at least rely on this for getting some of my thoughts out. There are so many things I want to do in life, and talk about. Due to people having vastly different opinions leading to heated discussions, I want to get my thoughts out here, uninterupted and pure. Along with keeping track of my journey into becoming a practicing physician, I want to sound off on such topics as health care reform, dealing with family who is extremely opposite my political and social standing in life, why I want to be a doctor and the things I want to do for mankind (maybe if I write it down, it really really really will happen).

To start off, an issue to consider for a young woman of my age (27) who is embarking on a long and very difficult journey to my intended career is children. I am happily married, and falling more and more in love each day. But what comes with that is seeing the beautiful potential of starting a family. And yet, when is the timing right? Now? Or ten years down the road? Or should we have started a few years ago to make getting through medical school and residency that much easier on myself? Am I nuts for even thinking now could be okay and trying to convince my husband of this?

My husband is not ready, and yet the desire for children grows stronger. And so I am now questioning where that deep yearning comes from. Why do I want kids besides just the fact that my biological clock is ticking frantically? Because I want to take care of people, which is essentially why I want to be a physician. I thought about fostering, but my husband isn't ready for us to even have kids in the house. So I am thinking of working with kids at the Boys and Girls Club in the Rainier Beach area south of Seattle. I am hoping this will give me the kid exposure I am craving, as well as even at least partially fulfilling the desire to care for children in any way possible.

One little piece of what's been happening in my head. So much to do, so little time. So time to get a move on. Time to make my dreams come true.
Because I have a lotta love to give.