A bit of my back story…

So this blog isn’t going to solely be about my journey and battle with Lyme disease, but will also be covering my journey as I go down the path of finishing my medical education.

When I went to college, back in the early 90’s, I was pre-med and earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biology. While I was in school, I also held a job as a medical assistant to a gynecologist who specialized in fertility medicine specifically, and while he had stopped delivering, he was actively helping infertile couples get pregnant. I learned a lot under his direction, and my desire to finish med school got stronger.

I also happen to spend a semester at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY, helping on a research project that was attempting to determine a threshold dose for hot particle radiation that would cause ulceration in nuclear reactor workers. It was fascinating stuff, and in my spare time, I did things like tour the particle accelerators on campus.

I took my MCATs in my junior year, and did well despite not having finished my final semester of physics. I will add though, that the experience of that test was overwhelming, even in my enthusiastic and active 20’s.

But life has a way of screwing with plans, and marriage led me from New York to Virginia, with a husband in tow. Well, actually I was the one in tow.

And my new husband and I eventually came to a crossroads, where we had to decide if the money we had saved would best be spent by investing in a business for him and start a family, or if I should restart the application process and finish my education. Since I was still young, we thought that I could afford to put that goal off, as hubby really wanted to start a family.

So, not long after, a baby girl arrived in our lives, and I was pretty much preoccupied with raising her for the next, oh, 14 years or so. And here I sit, at 40, comfortable that while I’m still raising my daughter, she’s in a good place developmentally and that I can once again pursue my education…. which all started because my LLMD asked me to finish and join her practice as an NP.

And I have to say, it sucks starting over. I’m afraid I won’t have the stamina I had in my youth, and that this is going to be a longer process than I anticipated. I would really like to be done in 4 years, but I’m not sure if that is completely unrealistic. After all, my degree was in bio, and I need to earn a BSN in order to be able to apply for NP programs. Another 4 years? Just for a BSN? And then another 2 for my NP?

It’s disheartening, because to apply to med school, I’d probably only need a few refresher courses and to retake the MCAT and I’d have my MD in 4 years as opposed to my NP in 6.

Unfortunately, I’d be investigating this more deeply, but as it is, I’m already in classes doing pre-reqs that somehow didn’t transfer with all the education I hold. (I also have an Associate’s in Accounting. Yeah. It’s complicated.) I am literally doing about 15-20 hours of homework a week. And I don’t remember basic undergrad courses ever needing this much of my attention, and I carried twice the course load back then. Is it my age? Is it the Lyme disease that depresses my functioning? I don’t know. But there are days when I literally spend upwards of 6-7 hours in a day doing homework or studying.

It’s a question that eventually needs answering, though, and I plan to ask it the minute these summer classes end and before the program begins in late August. Until then, I’ll just be plowing though these 3 courses. Someone make sure I come up for air, ok?

Stressed? Who? Me?

Yeah. Ok. Maybe a little.

I’ve started classes again, just a few pre-requisites that need to happen before I begin the program in earnest in August.

Applied Ethics.

Informational Technology.

Developmental Psych.

“Yawn.” Right? Well, yes and no. They have each had their “fun moments,” but the challenge of balancing class time and homework time, and family time, and housework, can be incredibly overwhelming.

As a result of the stress, a couple of things are happening. First, my psyche has finally decided it will grieve NOW over the loss of my grandmother 6 months ago. I break down in tears in weird moments, or I turn into a straight up bitch to my family. And my husband drew the line there.

So now I’m in therapy. Well, sort of. I’m seeing a grief counselor. And wouldn’t you know it, SHE gives homework, too.

Secondly, I’ve unconsciously decided that somehow SUGAR will make all the stress go away. Now, as a Lymie who is supposed to be following a Paleo diet, this is a big no-no. It means my health has deteriorated, and if I don’t grab a hold of things soon, Ill be in no shape to start the harder part of my education come August. It increases inflammation and fatigue, to say nothing of throwing off my gut environment and immune system.

I’m going to have to figure out a way to deal with stress in a healthy way, because it’s only going to get more stressful from here on out.

Tequila, maybe?

Ok. Maybe not. *sigh*