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?