Perspective

Something I need a lot of after living inside my head so long.  Sometimes very simple concepts can be very illuminating, and sometimes it takes others to point it out to you before you realize it yourself.  Funny how that works isn’t it?  That’s probably why God created us so uniquely, yet made us such social creatures who need each other to survive.

But yeah, just had 2 conversations today that have really hit home in terms of how i never really put my own happiness first, and really how deeply trapped i feel. i cried twice today inadvertently actually haha – once when talking to kenny, and once when talking to nathan.  kenny said something today that surprised me into laughing about it… he said that if this is what i can accomplish when i don’t even really want to do it, then think about how much i could accomplish if i was actually passionate and eager/happy to do something!  @___@.  that was such a good way to think about it.  and that i shouldn’t think of it as not having integrity if i start and don’t end up finishing residency, or if i decide not to do it at all – that i should think of it as the world is losing the potential for whatever else i could be meant to do by me going down a path that isn’t right for me.  nathan echo’d that later today, saying that it’s ok to be selfish sometimes, and just look out for yourself.  he said to answer one question: is your life good right now?  i of course kept overthinking it, because i have so much more than so many other people (including him!) that it’s hard for me to say it’s not, because how can i be complaining if i have so much?  but he pressed me by saying no, it’s a simple yes/no question.  and so if i had to think about it and be straight, the answer is no.  kenny also asked a good question: where do i want to be in 5 years? 10 years?  and only after that, work backwards from there to figure out how to get there.  i tend to get lost in the weeds – “paralysis by analysis” as kenny said (and i had no idea his sisters were in med school too!), and both of them picked up on that.  “that’s the problem.. you can’t be thinking ahead 10 steps in 10 different directions, because you never move forward.  you need to take those 10 steps and move forward.”  “i always tell people 60-80%.  If you can get something to 80%, then you just gotta go for it.  you can’t wait until you’re at 100%, because otherwise it’ll never get done.”  so true.

i have too many dreams and too many contingency plans, so the dreams never get put forward.  i need to choose.  and step forward.  i’d been sort of having a nebulous idea that i kind of need to figure out what the fall-back plan is, if i ever want to go back to medicine, if i decide not to do an intern year first.  he straight up said i need to figure that information out to make the next step. so i’ve e-mailed the relevant faculty member, and we’ll see if we can set up a meeting.  and he said i should spend like 30 min a day trying to figure out what i want my life to look like every day.  i guess i’ll try to blog at least a bit every day (though maybe after this week as i’m catching up with SO MANY PAPERS/THINGS THAT NEED TO BE WRITTEN) to figure it out.

praise God for good friends though. or people who can see my weak spots and are willing to point it out to me straight.  it really is helpful to make real, true friends.

and I guess a bonus conversation – today one of my patients (and i guess really, she’s technically the first patient that i can call “mine” in the sense that I’m acting like an intern and taking care of her stuff “independently” and only reporting to the upper level instead of an intern) called specifically for me (and not my upper level) to ask a medical question.  i answered it, but she also called me over so she could share what she learned of Chinese after she and her husband went to China recently, and he gave me his photography website and showed me pictures he took in China too.  Of course, that could have simply been because I happened to be Chinese (though how they knew I’m not completely sure) but anyways, she addressed me by “Dr. [my last name]” and previously, she’d also revealed certain life secrets, like why she married her current husband, the circumstances of her son’s death which is obviously still hard on her, and things like that.  that does make me happy.  but she has a pretty big mass and i don’t know how likely she would be of doing well or lasting long, as i don’t think we have great treatment for her… so the question is…is that good enough? to just make someone feel heard and cared for even without being able to do much for them?  or maybe, in the end, doctors aren’t really able to do as much as people think they can after all…

hm.. i wonder how many doctors actually want to be doctors for the pure sake of being doctors?

speaking of perspective, which made me think about eyes, i hit 20cm for the first time today! in my right eye.  and about 18cm in the left.  whoo hoo!

 

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new glasses/prescription!

So went to the eye doctor today.  My eyesight is apparently still L: -7 and R: -6 according to their chart… however, today we switched to a room that had really dim lighting before the prescription check because the one in the first room was broken, so if the the reducing myopia people are to be believed, it likely means it’s actually improved if the lighting were better (and indeed, when they put the two of them together, I got a headache trying to stare through that.  So I think that’s a good sign of some improvement at least!  But yeah it is a little sad that it didn’t come out any better, but I guess what can I expect after only a little over a month at high myopia?

Also my new glasses finally arrived today!!! the tracking was totally wrong… it even still says it’s cutting the lens, but whatever. i’m very glad it finally came, which makes it about 4.5 weeks since I started this reducing myopia journey where I’ve been able to reduce my close-up prescription!  (Would have been quicker if I didn’t have to wait I think, but oh well).  Reading is still fairly clear with it at maybe 50cm, so yay, though definitely can’t use it for anything far.  And just so I know what my measurements were before starting these new glasses, I believe it’s L: 17cm and R: 19cm.  Which hey, I guess is better than I would have expected given some backwards shift when I spent all day in front of a computer on Monday!  But yeah, so now these glasses are -4.75 (L) and -4 (R) whoo.

Uh oh though.  Brendan’s new post on his blog makes me wonder if this whole exercise is futile anyway to begin with.  It would of course seem too good to be true in the first place :\

random thought(s) of the day

if you want to make a better society, the best place to start is by investing in the youth.  they carry so much energy and potential, and are still open to change and new ideas.  they can help shape the future, and also by ripple effect, they can affect those older than them in their families, possibly changing minds of old stubborn hearts with their sheer exuberance and force of will (or just the love the older generation has for their young’un’s might help them be swayed).  They can also really affect their peers (since peer influence is very heavy at that age, so if you can harness it for a positive light, it can spread virally into a positive movement), and they are also the role models to younger siblings and kids who look up to them.

i think that’s why i’ve always loved working with youth, and would always like to be involved on some level, up to the young adult stage.  plus, i hear it keeps one young, and i’m basically a big kid at heart to begin with, so why not? XD

also, in completely separate news, God is so funny.  I stayed up kind of late yesterday trying to get my pre-approval app for Stanford ready to send, but i wasn’t able to finish before feeling super tired.  i did however, have a bit of a concerned thought looking at the timeline, because they don’t let people know if they’ve been accepted until AUG 15 which is SO freaking late, especially since i have to plan whether i can bring my car to my first away or not based on whether or not i need to fly out right after (and that first rotation starts a little over a week after that, which is WAY not enough time to buy tickets and all that, (and figure out whether or not i can go to a wedding in the middle, to boot!))  so yeah i was like man, if i do end up applying there, timing will be super tricky, and if i end up not making it and only finding that out aug 15, it’ll be really hard to apply for my other choice for aways by then too, because it’ll be kind of close (and actually, i just submitted that application and noted that it said the deadline is 2 MONTHS before the rotation, so i wouldn’t have even been able to try to apply after anyway if i’d tried that).  well, today i got my answer in the form of an e-mail that said sorry, they do actually require me to draw blood titers after all for a disease i already had as a kid, and i was like LOL NOPE.  so thank you God!  saves me the trouble of the applications, worrying about whether or not it’ll be accepted, potential issues at home if i’m super tired all the time and parents (mostly mom) who might be upset at me not being able to give her enough attention, and also saves me a TON of money (a wasted $200 + $20 for the N95 mask fitting + $96 for the titers if i went for it), and now i can apply to davis’s family/psych program to see if i like it, which was kind of the plan i was thinking about to begin with.  so yeah, that all worked out very nicely.  thanks God!  sometimes it’s very helpful to have a door closed at the right time :).

today was also my first day on heme onc, and i was there for >12 hrs… didn’t get to leave until past 8pm >.<.  thankfully, supposedly we’re allowed to check out earlier on non-call days.

HOLY CRACK just read noragami chapter 75 last night (it’s FINALLY BACK!!!) and LASJFALIHEWTLEHWIRALWEIRH I’M SO CONFLICTED WITH HOW TO FEEL!  It was seriously a roller coaster ride, but so good.  T___T.  (and re-thinking about a lot of things that have occurred over this series in general also just reminded me of what i was posting about yesterday too, and why i love this series so much).  but GAH NORA IS THE WORST… i HATE girls like her who mess up innocent guys for their own gain and just use them through seduction and playing on affections, and then dump them after they’re no longer useful.  ALSDAWLEHTALWEhir.  and that LAST couple of pages LKDSJAFLIHEWTLIAEHr.

i’m glad the next month’s issue is actually very close because i don’t know if i could have stood waiting a month lol (and it was VERY SMART of me to avoid reading this while studying because that could have really derailed my study schedule for DAYS.) @__@

well, after mom had another screaming match (and literal screaming at the top of her lungs for a while) and i had a short sob session right before i was supposed to leave this morning (and because of unexpected traffic, i literally almost missed my flight with only a couple minutes to spare after getting out of security, and i had to go through the stupid scanner instead of opting out for the first time because of it >.<), i ended up looking into stuff on borderline personality disorder, and she definitely fits at least 6/9 (you need 5), and it explains a lot.  that’s partly how i was able to calm down so quickly after too, because i was able to tell myself i didn’t need to be that upset because it was her pattern that she needs to learn to break, and it wasn’t my fault.  i think i was mostly upset out of frustration too, not so much sadness anymore.

but yeah, i was reading some stories of people of what it’s like having a mom with BPD and i was like wow, this is exactly our life.  no wonder i and my sis have so many issues.  we cope very differently – she with a lot of pent up anger that lashes out, or moody depression, me with not standing up for myself and not having self confidence, and also some maladaptive behaviors when i’m in a significant other relationship when i feel insecure that is very remniscent of how she acts (though on a much much lower scale) that makes me easily depressed or feeling unworthy.  thankfully i think i’ve grown a lot over the last couple of years and am able more to not let myself be hurt when she starts making things all about herself being the victim like she did again today, and to not be as influenced about what people think of me, and to feel like i AM worthy.  it’s been a difficult journey, but i’m finally starting to come out, though it’s still hard sometimes.  i guess it’s very true that those who have been abused become abusers in my mom’s case, and for me, i just need to make sure i don’t internalize it and end up similarly, or just constantly under a shadow of needing approval or needing validation for what i want to do, and not be too affected if she disapproves of my desire to do something, like she has been doing for most of my life, which has led to me being boxed into where i am while she claims innocence like “i never thought you’d go this way! how would i know?! stop blaming me” (despite saying over and over what a great profession medicine is, and never approving of me doing anything else).

sigh.

overall though, while i’m obviously very awkward and weird and whatever in many ways, i think i’ve come out fairly well-adjusted, considering the circumstances.  and i think i probably have God to thank for that.  and i do feel a little more for dad’s plight. while he certainly has his own issues and mistakes and inability to understand others’ emotions, he has had to deal with her tantrums and such for quite a long time, and i can see how that could push someone to their limits, especially someone who wasn’t used to a lot of discipline growing up.

AHHHHHH~!!!

SEE WHAT I MEAN?!?!?! after i posted up that vid, we’ve been talking back and forth today just now about a short fighting thing we want to film (the director just typed up a quick draft in an hour or two and i love it!) and i’m already awhirl thinking about how to change up some scenes and make things more dramatic, dialogue changes, what moves to do, what people to bring in, etc.  NOOOOOOoooo bad timing… NEED TO FOCUS AND STUDY!!!  (and SO much stuff i need to catch up with right when i get back >.<!!! AND I NEED TO WRITE MY PERSONAL STATEMENT GAH).

but seriously.  pret-ty freaking excited.

need to start working out lol.

(That being said, PEOPLE really matter though.  like, part of the reason i’m so excited is because i’ve worked with all of them before, and i know we mesh well as a team – that we all are cool with throwing out ideas and bouncing them off each other, and everyone’s learning and willing to try new things, which makes for a fun environment.  and i know we all respect each other, and there was a LOT of laughter last time we worked together, so it makes for a good memory and a good chemistry/dynamic.  but there was a suggestion to add someone who i knew was not necessarily so easy going in person, which would change the dynamic, so i asked to pick someone else instead who is just as good, if not better (and luckily they were on board so it all worked out), so definitely having a good group can make or break experiences like this.  and a good/fun story too.

i will honestly say personally i’m a little bit on the fence about how i feel morally in terms of working with someone whose values don’t really match my own (in terms of the kinds of content i see posted on their FB sometimes where i’m like … really?  i’m a little concerned how you view women and people based on the stuff you’re posting… :\ so that’s a little bit of a dilemma because this opportunity wouldn’t be there if we didn’t all work together, and he’s never been disrespectful to me or anyone else we’ve worked with, but part of me still wonders if that’s ok.  on the one hand, maybe i can help temper how he thinks about women, but i don’t know if it would be bad to be associated in the meantime, if that makes sense, as if i condone that kind of behavior/thinking.  :\  can someone’s work be separated from their social media?  (and just to clarify – i’m not aware of any immoral ACTIONS he’s done with or to anyone, and he may not have (i hope not), and i’m definitely not aware of anything bad he’s done with anyone he’s worked with (not that i know much about him lol, but just saying that if i did know of anything like that, i wouldn’t be working with him), but just the way he talks or jokes about women/lust sometimes make me like uhhh that’s not really cool, and i’m not completely sure if you’re aware that you’re being offensive to any woman who’s reading your posts but anyway…) he’s not a christian so i know our values are very different on that aspect, but anyway, just something i do wonder.  at any rate, our projects are always very pro-women and i don’t accept being part of projects that promote values i don’t agree with, so for me, i think that’s ok for now i guess.  will have to think on the rest some more another time.)

and of course…

the computer freezes this morning.  of course.  the last day before the test.  so all my study materials i had open, webpages to review, are all gone.  that’s cool.

then again, so are all the distracting pages.  so maybe it’s God’s way of telling me to focus lol.  who knows.  anyway, thankfully it started up alright after the hard restart.  hopefully there won’t be any more issues today.  wish me luck!

i’m going to give myself a year

i think i’ve decided what to do about this residency thing.  and the dilemma that i’ve been facing, especially over the last 2 months.  not about which residency to go to (that’s pretty much going to be in God’s hands at this point I think), but there’s just so much to life that i want to do and accomplish, and i don’t know if 5 more years and then academia and/or industry is the right path for me.  we’ll see i guess based on how God answers, but for now, here’s the deal.

i’m going to give myself one year.  one year so that i can at least take step 3 and get my license to practice (in most states).  and i will work hard that year and learn a lot that year, and really evaluate, both from a physical health perspective, and from a mental health perspective, whether i want to continue or not (and try very hard to put aside the guilt that will come with starting something and not finishing it for once).  for once, i will weigh things for MYSELF (of course, prayerfully as well) to see what my path is to be.  right now, i still don’t see it.  i don’t see myself going the route of academia.  i don’t see myself being an amazing, groundbreaking basic scientist (though perhaps i might do “groundbreaking” clinical/psych research in the sense that it won’t have been done before, but on questions that i think should be obvious but doesn’t have anyone actually doing research to substantiate it yet).

what i really want to do, i think, is CREATE.  when i think back on what makes me excited, and what makes me thrive, it’s projects where I can be CREATIVE.  and maybe it’s partly the people and dynamics too of course, and maybe i just haven’t found the right people who are passionate about the same things yet in medicine.  i do get sparks of it here and there when i really start talking about nutrition or psych issues underlying medicine and people (usually attendings or upper level residents) who are open minded and really get it… then i DO actually feel validated or whatever, and i enjoy having those conversations.  but of course, they usually don’t really go anywhere because of the how the system is set up and how little time there is to talk about or implement any of these things within the hospital/academic set-up.  and maybe that’s exactly why i don’t see myself there.  it’s too confining – the structure of the hospital.  i wouldn’t be free to explore different modalities of treatment.  and maybe that’s the crux of it.  maybe i do like medicine, just not the way it’s practiced here.  blargh i don’t know.  see, i swing back and forth.  and i think that’s exactly why i owe it to myself to at least see the first year through – to go as far as i can to get what i need at the very least, to be an official doctor.  then… then… we’ll see.  maybe it’s off to explore the world’s medicines.  or maybe it’s to be a medical journalist.

OR.  or.  maybe it’s to be something completely different.  a writer, film director, musician.  something related to the arts that can draw on the experiences of being a doctor/in medicine.  to tell people’s stories.  to heal in a different way.

i just came across a fun clip from the short film we made last year – an outtake.  and i just remember how fun it was being in such a collaborative, fun environment where everyone was just trying out new things, pitching in ideas, laughing and joking.  obviously it’s not always going to be like there.  there will be disagreements and issues to work out, and hard work.  but it’s just so cool to be able to look back on it, and see the product we made.  and i just got the script for a episode 1 of a short series of animated shorts i’ll be one of the main characters for, and it got me all excited to go back and record for it because it’s exactly the type of light-hearted character i like.  maybe nothing will come of it, but it’s fun and i don’t mind spending the hours it takes to record.  stuff like that is what really makes me wonder what i’m doing with my life.

but then, i think about jeremy – he wouldn’t have nearly the amount of influence he has now if he hadn’t worked his butt off to be good in his field first.  another friend from high school, adam, wouldn’t be where he is now or doing what he’s doing if he didn’t have first hand experience with being a student athlete, and now after equipping himself with going to law school, he started his own LTD and now his own law firm to help those going through the injustices he saw in that environment.  in a way, i sort of feel like my role in the cosplay community too is a bit like that – i try to be a positive influence to all those there, but i also wouldn’t have met a lot of them if i hadn’t first put myself out there and started cosplaying and being so nitpicky about my cosplays so that people took notice and started talking.  ok that’s not completely accurate – there were also a few other socials and gatherings and happenstance, but still.  it’s a window into a world i wouldn’t have known if i hadn’t tried, and i think people respect my work and therefore get interested in it.  anyway, my thoughts are completely non-coherent at this point, but what i’m trying to say is… i owe it to medicine to give it a chance.  i owe it to medicine, to myself, and to God, because i still believe He was the one who put me on this path, and He was the one who opened doors, so if he’s continuing to do so, there must be a reason, regardless of whether i see it or not.  and my job is to be obedient.  and maybe part of the struggle is because i do think there is something more – more to this purpose than just being a doctor or scientist.  and maybe i’m just impatient (it HAS been quite a few years after all).  but i’ve come this far already, and it seems non-sensical to not at least take one more year to get the license and fulfill this part of the journey.

in the interview i finished watching today of jeremy’s, he reminded me that in God, we have joy “beyond our circumstances”.  and it’s very true.  am i really happy/satisfied where i am in life right now?  i’m not sure, and i would lean towards no.  and that goes for both career and personal life circumstances.  but can i still have peace and joy keeping me steady?  because of my trust in God and His ways, knowing that He has a better and more perfect plan than i could ever orchestrate for myself, the answer is yes.  and i think coming to this decision tonight has helped with that.  so God, I leave this in your hands.

one more day to study, then test day.  and then… all the e-mails and responses i haven’t even touched/looked at over the week and preparing for the next block lol.  @__@.  it never ends.

i’m grateful though too, that i will get at least a few months off before residency starts, to really figure out what i want in my life.  (and honestly, to finally take a break! lol).  i think that worked out well too timing-wise.  praise God again for that.  as long as i don’t squander it, i think it will be a really good time for reflection and exploration.

so yeah. it’s a bit of an extension on the “deadline” that kenny, rita, and donnie encouraged me to make last year by a year, but i think this is the right move, and i WILL get there guys.  just need to at least finish what i started, or i’ll have wasted a good chunk of these last 8 years.  but i promise i’ll make that decision for good after intern year.  because you guys are right – i do owe that to myself as well.

omgosh… i just realized i had a dream about standing up in front of a class and explaining the difference between use of atropine, adenosine, and amiodarone in heart arrythmias.

… i’ve definitely been studying way too long LOL.

at least it’s almost over.

which is also scary to think about.

2 more days. @__@

haha.  God is funny.  Today’s sermon was on the shield of faith, and a bit part of today’s talk also talked exactly about depression and how to fight it with faith from God’s word.  Both this week and last week was just like my time at Harvest – almost like God affirming my decision to go to church.  mom even agreed to come with me today!  which is good because i think that was a good message for her too.

sis is back today too!  Happy Father’s Day!

on a completely separate note, man, studying for this exam is getting me all down about medicine again (speaking about depression LOL).  that and we just had a convo about sis going to japan for the next couple years to work, and i’m like why am i stuck here as usual not getting to do anything? T__T lol. but yeah.  SO many of these stems are like “this person has hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, smoked, drank, etc and now they’re coming in with [some problem due to the above, preventable diseases if they’d made better lifestyle choices]” and i’m like ugh.  THIS is why i didn’t want to do internal medicine (i guess i’m a little like the pediatricians in that way).  if someone couldn’t be bothered to take care of their body, why do we use up resources to bail them out, and do it over and over as they continue to make bad choices?  as opposed to people who had bad luck, got into an accident, got an autoimmune disease, or got sick, or some other crazy disease that they couldn’t help?  is it bad/mean of me to wish i could just be a doctor to THOSE people?  to do what i feel like medicine SHOULD be for – for true medical issues, and not issues that are brought on by bad diet/drinking, smoking, drugs, etc?  it just seems like an overwhelming amount of stuff seen in the US at least has to two with those 3 things, and it’s ridiculous that so many resources are poured into trying to save people from themselves, when so little goes towards prevention or frankly, kicking out the stupid companies that sell these horrible things.

blah.

anyway. 4 days to go.  save me.