August 10, 2011
return to what?
School? Oh yeah, I'm a med student. School starts next Monday? Really? Huh, I guess I should show up. To most participants of this mad, fantastic journey, med school would seem a dream come true. So few get a shot at getting a chance at running the gauntlet and many work so hard for so long to make it happen. I should be grateful. And at some level I am, I guess I am. But for me, it's so much more complicated. Before I ever even got to my hospital training (happens next summer, by the way), my mom pointed out to me that the FIRST person I ever pronounced dead, so to speak, was my brother. One can never, ever unlive that. And now my dad faces his own gauntlet of stem cell transplant. Yes, it's a hope that my brother didn't have. But it's not without it's own cost. Ten to fifteen percent of the patients die right off the bat. Infection or rejection, not that it matters so much as to the cause. Nevermind the psychological toll of exchanging a year or more of one's life to the medical establishment for the hopes of a long remission. Now do that on top of grieving the loss of your son/brother to that same foul, loathsome and damnable disease. So, yeah, add the concept of medical school to that and it becomes more than just a little bit ridiculous. Med school is notoriously rigorous and stressful in it's own right, and deservedly so. But it can't help taking a back seat to the more personal issues at hand. Emotion trumps reason every time.