Monday, November 01, 2010

Close Calls

I had a test this morning, my second and last in the Med-Surg (Medical/Surgical) rotation for this semester. I needed to do well on the second one, because I tanked the first one-- barely eking out a C in our ridiculous grading scale (you can get a 76% and get a "D"). I hit the books and notes all week and into the weekend. I was fortunate that my son had a debate tournament on Saturday, so I didn't feel like I took too much time away from him. I found it humorous that I rode my bike to The Book Cellar to study, while he drove.

The extra studying paid off. I got a 47/50 on the test this morning, a solid "A," even by the inflated grade scale. It was not without a detour, though. On the way to school, a guy opened a car door in front of me. He saw it coming and so did I; I swerved, he tried to get the door closed, but the right pedal of my bike still caught his door. I was swung around and ended up coming down on my right side. Oddly, my two concerns were my bike and getting to the test. I stood up and did a quick self-assessment. The guy ran over to check on me-- he was profusely apologetic; he's a bicyclist too. He'd been watching for cars, not bikes, though. For my part, I'm usually more observant on that stretch. I was thinking more about the test and about the fact that there'd been a murder Halloween night about 100 feet from where I was riding. I realized that but for a couple of bruises and scrapes, I was all right. The bike was fine. I talked for another minute with the guy, hopped on my bike and went to school.

This last week has been a flurry of putting out fires. I'd had to run to the University of Illinois-Chicago student medical center to get a titer to check to see if the mumps part of my second MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) vaccination had taken. It had apparently not the first time. Fortunately, this time the vaccination worked. Had it not, there was the possibility of me not being able to start my next clinical, my OB leg, on time. Oddly, the blood draw, last Thursday, left a far bigger mark on me than bashing into a car door. This happens every time I have an IV or a blood draw. It looks horrible, but it doesn't hurt at all.

Perhaps the closest calls in the last week were financial. I got a nasty email from my ex- about a medical bill for my son that I didn't know about. Because it was unpaid, she couldn't book a doctor's appointment for him. I didn't bother to remind her that she's supposed to have been paying half of all the parts of the bills that insurance didn't cover. A quick phone call, while observing under my breath what an asshole she is, took care of that. That day I also got a notice that our electricity was going to be cut off by today if a past-due bill wasn't paid. On top of all this, my last auto-pay for this semester's tuition is coming due. Fortunately, between a loan from my best friend Jim and a very good Saturday night at work, I was able to pay the electric bill and should have enough left over for the tuition payment.

Today in class, I noted that two more people, both of them young, were not there for the test; in all likelihood, it meant that they're dropping out of the program. It saddened me a little; I liked both of them. As of November 11th or 12th, I'll have exactly six months left in this program. I've had some close calls-- academically, physically, medically, financially, and may have a couple of more (hopefully no more physically, though!), but I've come this far. I'm too close to the cheese to not finish.


Mnmom said...

Those falls, at our age? Not so easy. I fell last weekend and I'm still paying the price.

You are going to be such a great compassionate health care provider!!!

Pat Tillett said...

Ouch! I'm glad to hear that you are okay and that you made it to the test!

You have a huge load on your plate, just hang in there, it will all be worth it...

SkylersDad said...

Have you noticed how we don't bounce as well as we used to when we were young? Good luck with the home stretch in school. You are amazing, with all you have on your plate!

Random Thinker said...

Be careful out there. Don't want anything to stand between you and the finish line you're so close to crossing.

Johnny Yen said...


Funny how those bumps and bruises don't heal like they used to. I was surprised, in retrospect, to walk away from my accident.

Thank you! I keep it all in perspective. It would be just plain dumb for me to throw in the towel at this point, after coming this far, asking my family to sacrifice what they have, and how well I've done so far.

Coming from you, a guy with a ton on his plate, that's high compliment! Thank you-- it helps knowing that there are people cheering me on.

Random Thinker--
You're telling me! One of the reasons I chose the day program at my school is the high crime rate in the neighborhood my school is in. Got to look out for the non-crime hazards, too!

Churlita said...

God, how I hate money problems. That is most of the stress in my life. Good luck with everything.