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Mood swings

4 March 2008

Hi Patrick,
Thank you for the offer, but yes, I am declining UW’s offer for admission to the MEPN program. I will be attending Yale University this fall. Thank you for all your patience and help throughout this process. It has been an honor to be considered for UW’s prestigious program.

Sigh. After a day of terror and tears trying to figure out exactly how I am going to come up with an additional 30,000 dollars (on top of 28K in federal loans) to cover my first year at Yale, and simultaneously still manage to pay off a significant amount of credit card debt, AND manage to pay the $2,000 I owe on this year’s taxes and the $600 to Yale to hold my place — I had a voicemail last night from Patrick at UW which I knew could only mean one thing.

I have somewhat mixed feelings, but it’s clear now that if I can barely afford to move to and live in New Haven, Seattle would be a bit of a stretch. All the YSN GEPNs are freaking out about having to take out nearly 60,000 in loans, just for the first year. Emesis indeed. I was a total basket case yesterday.

But I got a personal loan this morning so I at least know that I will have no more revolving credit card worries and that the monthly payment on that loan should be manageable while I’m in school as long as I budget well and get a cheap apartment. Which I am committed to doing.

So there! Take that, evil nursing school and associated debts! I shall make you my bitch!

And I just made some tasty banana muffins. Today is going much better, thank you. 

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Saving Monica

20 February 2008

Stories like this one make me proud to work at this hospital and in this ED. I’m already aware of how much I will miss this place and the environment that is acute care. One of the crazy things about working in a high-profile trauma center is that very often I’ve seen these patients that are in the news — the drunk drivers, the tragic MVAs, the sexual assaults, the stabbings, the pedestrians struck. It’s always interesting, being on this side of what gets reported in the Globe.

I’ve wondered off and on (along with the debate of MD vs. NP, a story for another blog) about whether or not I should’ve chosen Acute Care and if I’ll be bored going into geriatrics/primary/long-term care after two years of fascinating cases in the ED. But the more I think about it, I realize that I’m  just plain excited by everything that has to do with taking care of people. And I think I’ll always be eager to be a part of it.

ps. For another amazing nec fasc story, check out this book by another Boston doc. 

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And the winner is…

19 February 2008

YSN ArmsWell, I dropped the class, making Yale my de facto choice. Realized that tonight was the add/drop deadline to get half of my money back from Harvard… and decided that I need the $350 more than I need the remote possibility of going to UW. Because even if I get in off the waitlist, I’m ambivalent about going there, and most likely, I would have to send six hundred nonrefundable clams to Yale before UW has any news. So I’m done. It’s not worth the money to stay on their list when I know that I liked Yale, was impressed with their faculty, program, and students, and I’m confident I’ll be happy there.

Now what I’m going to do all night at work without assigned reading, I don’t know… 

You know what else is kinda funny? When I was in elementary school, I had a blue Yale sweatshirt that I wore all the time. I have no idea where it came from, I’ll have to ask my mother if she remembers it. I know we didn’t know any Yalies. And I also recall owning one other piece of collegiate apparel – a cheap Harvard T-shirt. I guess someone must’ve given them to me, or maybe I asked for them since my brother was always getting Michigan stuff and for some reason I decided to align with the Ivies. I remember wearing those shirts all the time and telling amused aunts and uncles that I was going to go to one of them… Funny that I didn’t apply to either as an undergrad but will end up with an affiliation to both after all.

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Skulls & Bones

14 February 2008

For those of you who hadn’t yet heard, I did get into Yale. The letters haven’t yet arrived, but the Admissions Director, saint that she is, called me personally on Friday with the news because of my add/drop deadline.  I had originally asked her if she would know before the 10th, with the idea that I would call Yale on Friday and ask, but once UW let up with the orgo nonsense and she said Yale would accept the class, I figured I was in no hurry to drop and could just wait and find out with the rest of the class.

So it was a very nice surprise that she remembered my situation and went out of her way to look up my phone number and call. Twice, in fact, before she reached me. So kudos again to Yale for treating their students like actual people and being pretty damn awesome.

But she asked me not to tell anyone, so a blog announcement was no-go until she sent out all the congratulatory emails yesterday. So now it’s official, but since I haven’t received the letter or the financial aid info yet, I won’t be making any final decisions for a while. 

In other news, my anatomy class is dragging along with nothing interesting learned thus far except the fact that my fellow students aren’t smart enough to realize that a cultural anthropologist giving a painfully cursory overview of the central nervous system is not going to be able to answer pedantic little pathophysiology questions about something you read in NEJM. The poor woman hasn’t been asked a single question within her scope of knowledge so far this semester.

But I digress. What I was getting at is that I’ve been pretty bored and feel like I’m still not learning any actual anatomy, so instead I’ve been watching a 15-hour human anatomy dvd set  that is just, well, unbelievably cool.

One thing I learned from Dr. Acland’s dvd came just in time for Valentine’s, so I’ll share. The human heart is, well, “laid down on its back” from what we usually imagine: the atria aren’t above the ventricles like they teach you in school — they’re behind them. Happy Heart Day!

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Best wishes from Boston…

9 February 2008

Got in tonight and went straight to the 24-hour coffee stand in the middle of the hospital. They have two roped-off lines set up all the time, because the place is mobbed most of the day. Usually there isn’t a line in the wee hours, but there were two residents in front of me, so I waited at the beginning of the roped-off area where all good hospital employees line up like little ducks for their doses of caffeine.  

The docs took a while placing their order, so it had been three or four minutes of just standing there when some random guy walked right past me and up behind the residents. I waited for a minute or two to see if maybe he just was looking at the lovely assortment of pastries and would then, as protocol dictates, return to the line. But he continued to hover behind them, so when the residents walked away and the cashier said “Next?” I stepped forward and said, very politely, mind you, “I was waiting in line.”

He stepped aside and said, “Well, of course, your life is much more important than mine.”

I didn’t respond, unsure whether he was being sarcastic, overly deferential, or what. Didn’t really matter. He merely was new to the laws of our coffee-hut and needed a quick primer. And besides, I was already on the clock.

What I didn’t expect was his comment after I recieved my large ice tea w/lemon and sugar.

“I hope you get a case of the runs.”

 Classy, huh? What a way to start off the night.

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Orgo no more.

5 February 2008

So I petitioned UW and they have agreed to accept my chemistry minor/course rigor/lab experience instead of forcing me to retake organic chemistry to raise my B- to a B. Huzzah.

The upshot of all of this is that I can stay in the running at UW without the agony of orgo and dropping an extra $1400. I’ll take Human Anatomy this semester which will do double duty as my last UW prereq *and* as a means of waiving the Anatomy course at Yale. Best possible scenario, considering. So for now… I shall be patient and see what shakes out between Yale and the UW waitlist.

And I’ll try not to get a B- in Anatomy.

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Aw, come on!

28 January 2008

The Bobs are playing with me. My offer from BC had soothed the general frustration about UW, and I had actually started to feel relief about not having to pay for/take those classes this spring. Decided I would just wait to hear from Yale, and then Bob willing, have the choice between Yale and BC, likely choosing Yale.

Got my letter from UW. Yes, on the waitlist. Yawn, quelle surprise. To justify my preemptive decision to give up on UW, I emailed Patrick and asked what spot I’m holding on the waitlist for AOANP.

I’m first.

Son of a biscuit. 

Anatomy starts at Harvard tomorrow night, but I haven’t even registered. I guess I could start that class and wait on orgo a bit longer… just in case? But, honestly, what are the odds that the person who was offered the sole AOANP spot at the top nursing school in the country is going to turn it down? And whoever they are, they have until the end of March to decide.

If you’re out there, admitted AOANP, please tell me your plans! And anyone else out there, feel free to share your opinions. Cause I have no idea what the hell I’m gonna do now.