Doctor No, Part 2

I had another idea in the last month or so.  This one seemed  like a real winner. And I was dead serious.  I was going to go to medical school.  It had a lot of things going for it, this idea.   I’d spent a lot of time in medical and biological classes in the last couple of years.  I loved those classes.  I already own all the human anatomy coloring books and a copy of Gray’s Anatomy.  My nerves of steel were on display during the slide-shows in my medical terminology class (which I aced, by the way one more piece of evidence).   All the slide-shows except for the dental one, the thought of which makes my mouth water to this day.

All my time at the ER and medical clinics with Jasper (Stitches, belly-aches, delayed development) and my mom (cancer, cancer and cancer) confirmed that I was very comfortable in medical settings.  I’d be a bilingual doctor, by god.  I love hospitals and clinics, who else does that? Maybe specialize in psychiatry or neurology, endocrinology.  Work with stroke and brain injury patients, maybe.

Before I started the interpreting program, I intended to go back to school to study neuroscience.   I even took an upper level class and did well in it, but my GRE scores in Math were in a score range usually reserved for gruel.  So no neuroscience, I guess it’s heavy on the statistics and other math stuff.  But medicine! Much more hands-on, less theoretical. After I got through the Chemistry and statistics, I’d be home-free.  If I didn’t make it through, at least I would have tried.  The worst that would happen is I would write about it, right? (foreshadowing)

I’m not sure how I got so wrapped up in this, but I did. I was visualizing myself having to cut into a cadaver, sewing up lacerations, giving shots and walking out to my car with my stethoscope absent-mindedly still on my neck (Silly Doctor Lisa, always doing that).  I’d have to take maybe 10 years to do it, but what the hell.  These things would be hard,  but I would do them.  I’ve done hard things before.   I was really good at terminology and patterns and diagnoses (oh my god, I diagnose myself on a weekly basis), anatomy and physiology, that stuff would come easily.

For a change, I didn’t tell people about my idea. Only my brother, and I offered him 5 bucks to keep it quiet.  He said for 1o he’d do it. I decided to just check out the idea and see if it was possible or likely.

Let’s remember, I am 40 years old, terrible at math, studied Anthropology and Linguistics in college, and I get cranky when I don’t get enough sleep. I never lost sight of those things,  but I was positive I could overcome them.  And I think it was Dear Abby who said that in 10 years I’d be 50 whether I do or don’t, so I might as well do.  I was ready for the brutal truth when I went to talk to the admissions advisor at the U of M.  The first meeting should have been a warning to me, because the secretary and I had our lines crossed and the good Doctor wasn’t in.

On top of that I lost my stupid car in the labyrinthian ramp.  The ramp is entirely underground, for starters, and it’s huge.  But all 6 levels are heading down, down, down.   I was clever enough to write down that I was level E, number B8.  Little did I know that first, I was F, not E; and second, there were three different B8s.  One also had to know the color of  the spot.  I don’t want to have to be rude, but it was some fucked. up. shit.

I walked around that damn ramp for Forty five minutes.  So long I thought for sure the people watching the cameras would search me out and want to save me.  So long I thought I could start to feel the heat from the earth’s core under my feet.  So long I almost cried, and  did berate myself for even considering trying something as complex as medical school.  What an idiot.

At one point, I could even see my car across a divide I couldn’t cross.  I tried to just walk around, but somehow I was in a place where my car was not.  Oh my god it was traumatic.  Remember the time I tried to find a cabin in the dark, in the mountains?  It was very similar to that, but without the mountain lions (parking ramp murderers instead).  I can hardly believe I survive in the real world.  Dumbhead.   I was never going back there.  But I did.


2 thoughts on “Doctor No, Part 2

  1. Maggie says:

    Ha! I’ve never told you about my big brother, who is my inspiration for continuous reinvention. After 20+ years as a software developer, he decided that he really wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Went back and got his certification, started his student teaching and discovered that he HATED it. Relatively happily went back to software development and continued along happily. Last year, at the age of approximately 60, he had a serious medical issue and has now decided that he’d really like to be a doctor. Realistically, though, he understands that he can’t get into med school, so he’s going to try for a Physician’s Assistant program. He’s currently taking the pre-reqs, has gotten his EMT license, and is applying for entry in fall of 2009.

    Go for it.

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