Friday, October 9, 2009

All-Consuming

Hmm, no one got or seemed to have noticed my reference in the title of my last post. I'm not too surprised; you'd have to be pretty geeky to figure it out. :-P

Anyway, I'm feeling somewhat better today. The cold, gray, cloudy, rainy weather isn't helping any though. Apparently we're supposed to get a frost warning for Sunday morning as the temperature dips to about 28F. Wtf, I hate the Midwest. Must . . . get . . . into . . . residency . . . elsewhere . . .

This morning I went into the anatomy lab with my lab group around 11:30am. We were there until about 3pm. Medicine is an all-consuming field, and is rightly called the "jealous mistress." At the moment, in my current state, that's sort of a good thing. See, the all-consuming nature puts me into a kind of trance. While I'm focused, all that exists are my peers, me, and the body (or patient) before us. While I'm in the anatomy labs life outside is put on hold. I am where no cell phone can reach me, no internet can distract me, no personal emotions/woes can waver me. We all become dedicated with one goal: to identify as many structures as possible and to learn from each other (and other groups' cadavers). We found the elusive torus tubarius (which I still think would make an excellent sci-fi name for a planet) right above the Eustachian tubes, we located the hidden levator veli palatini, and saw the internal thoracic artery (which was easy to find once you know where to look). On one body we saw the glossopharyngeal nerve (cranial nerve IX), which hadn't been successfully dissected out on any other body. While we moved from body to body, our purpose was solitary and almost nothing disturbed our trance-like focus.

This doesn't mean, however, that we didn't have some fun while poking around inside bisected skulls that look no longer human - indeed, some look like zombie aliens that would readily maul your own living face off. We would often encounter some structure whose name would evade our memory. One person with the probe would poke at it, another with the anatomy book would look up the possibilities, and the rest of us would concur (literally saying, "I concur") or not.

The trance is almost absolute. The "outside" world doesn't rush back until I change out of my scrubs. But when it rushes back, it redoubles its force, and I am exhausted. It's an . . . unnerving sensation.
-----
I got a ride back to my apartment from a lab mate, Leslie, because I didn't feel like walking 15 minutes in the drizzling cold. She asked me how the LGBTPM talk went, because she wasn't able to go though she wanted to. Apparently she's super-liberal and is hoping to transfer med schools (you can do that?!) to where her boyfriend is. She knows the dean of admissions at that other med school - who happens to be gay - because she worked for his partner at Planned Parenthood for a couple years.

She was shocked at how conservative our class and our med school was. As far as she could tell, there wasn't a single "out" person in our class. In the car ride back, she asked me if I knew anyone in the class who might be LGBT. *insert hesitant pause here* I responded, "Umm, yeah, me."

Did I just come out to her? Yes. Though I didn't use the words "bi" or "gay" (at the time), simply "I don't know what I am." It seems she has pretty good gaydar and thought I had been out back in undergrad but not here; she was mistaken with that, lol. While in PA, her best friend was so-called "King of the Gays" and she knew many many gay guys - hence her apparently really sensitive gaydar (if only I had that).

At this point we had arrived at my apartment. Upon stepping into my apartment, a sinking feeling overcame me. It was like confessing to a crime - how it gripped my chest. I laid on the couch for a while, napping lethargically. I then sent her an email asking her to keep what we talked about confidential between us - almost as if to absolve myself.

Her response later amused me. If only she were single, perhaps I'd consider my slight crush on her. But alas, the curse meant she of course had a boyfriend. I digressed, in there she assured me that my trust wasn't misplaced and that I should always feel comfortable confiding in her. Also, she offered to be my "wing-woman" should we ever go out to a gay bar/club or something. Fleetingly I felt like Ted Mosby with her as a female version of Barney Stinson (though she's more like Lily Aldrin in personality) from the show How I Met Your Mother, lol.

---TANGENT---
Oh yeah, the one remaining member of our lab group didn't come in to anatomy lab because she was busy shadowing the chief of surgery - scrubbing in and even assisting in a mastectomy (at least insofar as holding the retractors). Gunner. -_- Pfft, she doesn't even know the cranial nerves yet. Now I've got to get my game on.

It may be a while until I post again. Block 2 exams all next week. Joy. So not ready. T.T
---END TANGENT---

8 comments:

mrgagaa said...

I imagine how it must've felt when you "came out" to her; I would've felt exactly the same way. But I'm glad you have a confidant and someone who's accepting and isn't judgmental about who you are.

Good luck with the exams. Hope to hear/read from you soon.

Dave83201 said...

Wow! You just opened your mouth, and out the true came? Loose lips can be dangerous, but also fun! (Dumb joke I know, but I'm up at 4 AM sleepless reading your blog, so don't expect much better. lol!) So many bloggers are posting new coming out experiences I feel suddenly alone in the closet. Hmmm I wonder if that's a karmic hint from the Universe or something. Well, I'm proud of you regardless!

I did miss talking to you. Do I need to set up an appointment with the receptionist before we get to chat again? he,he!

OK... back to bed for me... where I will undoubtedly dream about your crazy zombie alien bisected skulls. Thanks for that! You sure you don't work somewhere like Area 51? I know... that's probably classified info.

Mmmmm! Good news! I just found a half eaten package of double stuffed Oreos in a drawer, and they're not stale! You ever take two double stuffed and put the cream together to make a massive quadruple stuffed Oreo? It nearly defies common decency its so amazing! No milk in the fridge however. Oh well, life is still goooood!

OK... now back to bed! Take care my fiend!

Drew said...

Aek, how long have you been in the Midwest? Live here as long as I have and then you can complain about frost warnings.

Actually, I don't even complain about frost warnings, they're more for farmers so they know to get any crops out of the fields. Believe me, you'll get used to the snow and cold fast enough cuz it lasts for 7-9 months.

Hugs,

Drew

Aek said...

mrgagaa: Thanks. :-)

Dave83201: Yeah, something like that. >.>

I miss talking to you too! No need to schedule an appointment, I accept walk-ins from 4pm until midnight (my time, so 3pm to 11pm your time). So you just have to be online around then!!

Yes, back to bed with you! You need to get plenty of sleep. My best friend in undergrad created the dodeca-stuffed Oreo (I think that's 12 . . .). He was sick for a few days after eating that monstrosity.

Drew: I was born in the Midwest and I've lived in the Midwest my whole life (so far). So I'm accustomed to the cold winters. Which is why I can complain about it so. However, this particular state seems colder than the state I came from - which is annoying, as I had assumed the climate was more or less similar. :-/

Drew said...

The farther north you go the colder it gets... Now Minnesota, that's a cold state, at one of the towns on the border of Min and Canada they have (im pretty sure) some of the coldest temperatures in US record.

Drew said...

Oh and btw it's snowing in Appleton right now so :P

Mike said...

WOW... Colder than the state you came from? I am surprised there. I always heard of the other as being the coldest.

That's cool you came out to Leslie, and how she wants to be your wing-woman. Take her up on it... they're fun... totally gay lovers...

Good luck on your exams!!!

Caligula Sanchez said...

I'm super jealous of you getting to do anatomy lab. Eeeep I can't wait.