Thursday, October 8, 2009

Power Overwhelming

To whoever knows where and who says the quote of this post's title, you have my love.

Anyway, before you read my (what will probably end up being somewhat long) post below, first head over to Jeremy's blog at Falling Through the Void and wish him a happy 21st birthday today!! :D

The last day or so I've felt pretty overwhelmed. Not sure at what exactly, just overwhelmed. I mean, I'm doing alright with classes and such, considering I have Block 2 exams next week (head and neck - the hardest Block). I should be studying furiously right now instead of making this post, but whatever.

Yesterday I was at school for over 11 hours - 8:15am until 7:30pm or so. It was 11 hours of classes, presentation, anatomy lab, and review sessions. There was one more review session that I just decided to not attend because my focus started getting fuzzy. That, and I was falling in and out of sleep all day and zoning out every few minutes for the last hour of anatomy lab. I power-walked back to my apartment and was just exhausted.

I hate being exhausted. Exhaustion means I can't control my emotions very well and random things get to me. In anatomy lab, one of the "daddies" (there's a group of married dads who sit and study together - it's like they have their own clique) was talking about how much he loved his 10-month-old son and how funny his son was when he farted. His son would make this funny angry-like grimace right before he farted, and after he farted he'd smile and laugh. A small part of me cried at this I think.

Time dragged by when I got back to my apartment. It was surreal and rather lonesome. I guess I could feel the clock tick (though there aren't any ticking clocks in my apartment). I don't have much time in med school for a social life and in residency I'll have even less. By the time I'm out, I'll be over 30 - too old to really start looking for a relationship . . . Anyway, I went to bed super-early (for me, anyway). But I woke up 3-5 times throughout the night. I've never had such interrupted sleep before; that bothered me.

I'm alright today though. I would be better still if it weren't dark, cloudy, rainy, and cold outside. >.<
Today I went to a LGBTPM (LGBT Persons in Medicine) lunch talk. The speaker was the chief of gynecological oncology or something like that. Apparently she's lesbian. Why have I met several lesbians in high positions but not bi/gay men? Curious . . .

Anyway, she gave a presentation on LGBT issues in health and medicine. It's quite shocking but a part of me wasn't surprised. There was a report in 1989 that found 1 in 3 teen suicides was related to sexual identity/orientation issues. This report was buried. I can't remember exactly the other figures she said, but something like 60-64% of LGBT persons report getting substandard care from their healthcare providers - or maybe that's the figure of LGBT persons who feel uncomfortable coming out to their doctors. Also, about 2/3 of out LGBT medicine professionals (doctors, nurses, etc) report getting negative comments or harassment due to their sexual orientation. They also report that many of their colleagues made denigrating remarks about LGBT people behind their backs.

She also discussed how back when she was in med school, in the late 1980s, that homosexuality was grouped together with pedophilia and bestiality lecture(s) in the psychopathology course. Human sexuality was its own course and lasted only 2 weeks. Not much has changed since, except maybe that homosexuality was moved to the human sexuality unit. She then went on to say how banning same-sex marriage can also be a health issue.

A 2007 case where two lesbians and their 3 children were vacationing in Florida, and one of them got a brain aneurysm and had to be rushed to the hospital. The hospital denied the partner and their 3 kids from visiting her while in the hospital. She ended up dying 8 hours later. In those 8 hours, the partner had time to fax over her durable powers of attorney to see her dying partner with their 3 kids. They were still denied. The hospital also refused to release her death record to the partner, so she wasn't able to get reimbursement from life insurance and such. The partner decided (rightly so) to sue the hospital, but apparently just last week the FL state supreme court turned down the case.

It's embarrassing that LGBT persons don't feel comfortable coming out to their doctors, and when they do, they often get substandard treatment. It's equally shameful that LGBT members of the medical community must often hide. I've heard that sometimes being out as a med student can harm one's chances at certain residencies (not sure if this is a rumor or not, but it doesn't surprise me if it isn't) - maybe I should be safe and "conservative" about this, just in case.

I was really annoyed when only 3 M1s showed up for the talk, including myself. Apparently, out of a class of over 200, only 3 of us cared enough about the issue to attend. Oh, and the other two were women. What does that say?


Otaku said...

Hi! Umm, do you have friends who are World Of Warcraft players??? I have one son who used to play it, and he used this saying all the time....

I do have a question for you, why is looking for a relationship after 30 to late??? Me thinks you are feeling sad and depressed. Cut down on your caffeine intake, get some fresh air, and if your rooms are dark, get some incandescent light bulbs, and turn the darn things on! Often October is a tough month, summer is gone, the days are dreary and bleech. And oh, yeah, I realize that I sound like a total mom, that is because I am!

Love your blog, I love the science portions! I haven't written before today, but have been reading you for a while now. Oh, and your 'mind pictures' of your cadaver, shudder!!!! I am a squimish kinda girl! ;-)

mrgagaa said...

It sounds like you've had a lot on your mind and have been pretty busy lately. Sorry about the bad weather and the irregular sleep. Just hang in there and know that your readers are behind you. Some of us are going through the same thing as well. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

It says there's a hell of a lot of closeted M1's. That's what I would read, anyway.

Jason Carwin said...

after seeing LGBTPM, I thought we had added yet more letters to it. lol.

Also, I think the word you are searching for is clique. I think you typed cliche.

It is a bit worrisome that there are no openly gay/bi doctors in high level positions.

Aek said...

Otaku: Nope, not from World of Warcraft. I just feel that after 30 is a bit too old for me, considering the circumstances. I guess I am feeling sad and depressed.

mrgagaa: Thanks. It's good to hear, but still it only gets me so far.

James: Can you really blame them/us? I mean, what parent would take their kid to see the pediatrician if they knew he/she was bi/gay?

Jason: Yes, the word I was looking for was "clique." Thanks, I've already changed it.

auotaku said...

I am sorry, but I fail to see the problem about taking your child to a bi/gay pediatrician. And just because your colleagues know, why on earth would your patients know? Unless you wander thru the office with a rainbow GLAAD shirt on! So, keep it quiet until you get your residency secured, then let people know if you feel safe. I think the older generation is coloring the views of the younger doctors. They were gay when it was so not ok to be gay. When you have your degree, find a job in a gay friendly community. Fairbanks Alaska is super cool with bi/gays of both genders, and we always have a shortage of doctors! Do your homework, and move to where you can be you. You, just plain here I am, you. And, 30 is just fine to start a relationship. But, if you do move up here, bring a partner of whatever sex with you. The shopping is kinda thin on the ground here! My husband hand to import me from the states! ;P

Mike said...

I have to say it does not surprise me so few people come out to their doctors. I was asked during a physical about the time I turned 18 by my doctor if I was gay, if I started having sex, things like that, and the importance of protection. He quoted that gay men tend to have higher instances of STDs and things like that. Of course I didn't say I was, but it seems like lumping and targeting- sure it could have been a warning- be careful, but still. Knowing the doctor's background was enough to let me know he was not ok with it. And while it didn't bother me at the time as I was so in the closet I could see how a doctor's beliefs/things like that could impact the care.

. said...

I really enjoy your well thought out discussions and experiences Aek. I think you write so very well and it's always interesting to read and see your thoughts. BTW, age 30 is not too late to start looking for a relationship. I feel with someone who is well adjusted like you may have one before then if you are not constantly looking for it. I sincerely wish you the very very best!!