12 June 2009

I wanna hold your hand…

It's Friday night.

What am I doing??


Seriously. You didn't read that wrong, I'm studying (well, and blogging I suppose.)

But before you go feeling sorry for me (or laughing at me, whichever one you picked) Know that I am meeting up with friends for ice cream later (a good motivator). And I played basketball with some classmates after school for a while…It was really great for stress relief!

Today I got (well, really, I didn't have a choice…) to hold a dead man's hand. I get to dissect a cadaver (which is one of the coolest but most difficult learning experiences EVER!) and we had to hold the hand palm up so we could dissect it and learn all the muscles and nerves and blood vessels.

The hands I want to hold most right now are sitting around an orphanage in Africa! Not sitting in a tank full of chemicals in an anatomy lab!

But the kiddos in Africa are helping me more than they know: They are motivating me to study harder, learn more, and apply it better!

Like in Physiology the other day when we learned about Blood and we talked about Helper T cells. I want to know all I can about Helper T cells because (as I researched this afternoon) CD4 is found on Helper T cells. Doctors test CD4 counts in patients with HIV to get an idea of how far along the disease is. Before, I never would have known any of this.

If I can't be holding the sweet, underloved hand of a child then maybe I can learn as much as I possible about helping that child (or another child…or another person).

Never before have I come home from class and ACTUALLY studied (even though I've had numerous teachers tell me that it is the best way to remember things…) but now I see that it is true. I know I can't change the world, but I can do my best to do whatever I can for others.

Pray for strength and wisdom for me. Pray for the kids in Africa. God is with us. All of us!

And now, back to studying…

08 June 2009

Between Green and Grey

Today I started my 3rd week of PA school. I'm finally getting into a pattern of studying, learning, reviewing, and memorizing. I'm starting to make friends and make time to exercise and make meals. It's great!

Today we had a class where we took what we're learning in physiology and applied it to clinical medicine. We took things that are black and white (facts, constants, and body functions) and applied it to people. People are anything but black and white! Everyone is different, acts differently, responds to medications differently, and has a different combination of factors to consider.

We learned that medicine is Grey. It doesn't follow a specific set of rules all the time. You can't just learn a "best solution" for everyone. There's always going to be an exception or something new to consider. Interesting! But so much harder, because you have to think hard about all the possible solutions.

Much more fun than learning the brachial plexus! (the nerves and arteries and veins running from your spinal cord down to your arm) Really, I've decided that God did a really good job making the body. It is so complex. Really!

If you've never had to memorize the brachial plexus, be glad. There are like 50 acronyms just to remember everything. It's silly.

That's where I am now. Just so you know!

03 June 2009

Africa, switch gears, Med School

So, after having the time of my life loving children in an orphanage in Africa, and learning more about the world, myself, and my AMAZING God in two weeks, I returned home and started medical school.

Less than 12 hours later.

You can go ahead and call it crazy, because I think it is. Or was. But God definitely worked out all the details for me. Like getting me into my apartment on a holiday Monday. And allowing me to get some sleep so I wasn't too exhausted to stay awake at orientation. And letting me get my ID picture made. And helping me study for my first neuroscience test. Those details.

I didn't even have time to clean out the dirt from my feet or reflect on life until that Thursday night. And even then, it was only because I was relying on God's ever-sufficient strength to help me through the week.

Some things I miss about Africa: Nein's Giggle, the "never lonely" feeling, the pure and undeniable love (from the kids, the staff, from God), the rice and beans!, Koolaid at the top of the hill, holding little hands, smiles, sunshine, afternoon thunderstorms, being able to sing and dance, the eyes (the ones that look at you like you're amazing simply because you think the kid sitting next to you is important and lovely and worth your time), the bright colors, the peace…

Some things I definitely won't miss: feeling nauseous, fish with heads and bones, 4:30 am rooster calls, watching men urinate by the side of the road (you just see a back standing toward the road and a little stream of liquid), saying goodbye with tear filled eyes, the speed bumps, not having a personal bubble…

Sometimes it's HEARTBREAKING.

Ok, a lot of times it's heartbreaking.

But class started right away and gave me plenty of other things to think about (like 3 straight hours of neuroscience every morning and cutting up cadavers and completing HIPAA training…)

So far, I like school. I'm not going to say I love it, because really, who loves the pressure of tests and memorization. But I love learning about things that are pertinent to life and things that could actually help me one day.

I've grown so much in the last month. I've experienced love (for people outside my family), I've trusted God with everything (my life!, school, my apartment), I've experienced another culture, I've moved to a big city, and started dissecting a human. Wow.

It is hard to sit here in Dallas knowing how big the world is and how much help it needs. Even people around me need help! But I know I'm training right now to be able to help more people and be open to wherever God leads me next. Which could be anywhere!