Monday, July 16, 2012

Why am I doing this again?

There are some days, many days where I question what I'm doing with my life.

When you're the "smart one", the one who doesn't have to study, the one who is always told "you should be a doctor", it seems as though your life is all laid out for you. And it was. Well sort of.

Then the doubts begin. You fail a test. You fail another test. You learn what rejection feels like. You realize how much you do not succeed in your endeavors. You hurt others around you because you keep trying harder and harder to succeed and neglect relationships. 

Work begins and never ends. Ever. All you do is work. And work. And keep working. And people keep asking things from you. Stupid things. And they ask idiotic questions. I mean, really really dumb things... like "How do I not get constipated?" and "How could I be pregnant?" and "Why aren't you giving me more Lortab?"

But then, then something happens to make it all worthwhile. Something that renews your faith in humanity and in your own self.

I was in the ED and picked up a patient with a "foot wound". It had been a long day already and I had a sinking feeling that this would be just another uncontrolled-diabetic-overweight-pain-pill-seeking-angry-patient. The patient was none of those things. And the wound on the foot was not trivial. The patient had seen several doctors in the previous week. As we discussed health history and the history of this foot wound, I began my physical examination. 

I am consistently made fun of in the ED because I do a full exam on all my patients. I keep telling myself that it's good for my education and I'm making myself a better doctor, but I really want to not do it all the same. 

Nonetheless, I did my full exam. When I touched the patient's felt like a piece of fragile bubble wrap. I immediately called surgery.

I got lucky. And, I guess, so did the patient. I could have just ignored the complaint or skimped on my examination. But I didn't. And my patient lived. 

So, to answer my question: I do it to save lives; for moments when my patient grabs my hand, looks me in the eye, and says, "Thank you. Thank you for helping me"; for the realization that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. 
I apologize for the "woe-is-me" nature of this post. But I have a feeling I'm going to need this reminder in the future. Probably more than once.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Statue of Liberty (not in NYC)

Happy Independence Day on this the 4th of July, 2012!

I hope that all of the American readers are enjoying the full extent of backyard BBQ's, mindful memorials, and fun with friends and family and fireworks! And for those not in the US of A, I hope you are most certainly enjoying this lovely July day as well!

I promise that as soon as the local cable/internet supplier gets around to connecting me full time to the World Wide Web, I will return to regular blogging and promise to show you updates of my new bungalow and life in the Midwest.

For now, I'll regale you with a tale of history and stress relief and Americana.

I've been super busy orientating and working and trying to get the gas turned on at my bungalow... It's been a tad stressful. I've been resorting to going for walks late at night in my neighborhood after I get home from work because I can't watch TV or get online and it's so darn hot during the day!

On one of these walks, I ventured down the far side of a larger street and noticed a small school. When I arrived at the corner of said school, I was surprised to find the Statue of Liberty!
There she was! Standing there, in all her glory in front of this little school! After my adventures in NYC (here and here and here), imagine my surprise at finding the Lady in Tulsa, Oklahoma! WHAT???

Well, being the highly educated young woman I am, I did a little research into why this symbol of America was in my neighborhood. After asking the all-knowing Google, I learned that in the 1950's, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, Boy Scout troops across the country erected over 200 replica statues in 39 different states. The theme of the project was "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty". The project was started by J.P. Whitaker of Kansas City. He commissioned a Chicago company to make the statues, and troops or cities across the nation were allowed to purchase them and the scouts would erect them.

Scouts erecting one such statue (circa 1951)
The statue I found has this plaque at its base:

 "With the faith and courage of their forefathers who made possible the freedom of these united states
The Boy Scouts of America
Dedicate this replica of the Statue of Liberty as a pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty
40th anniversary crusade to Strengthen the Arm of Liberty

Another statue is on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Little did I know, but I was just a few hours away from it!
Obviously, the Boy Scouts weren't the first to erect replicas of this iconic statue. In my researching, I found there are many such copies all over the world! One of the most well known would have to be the reproduction in Paris, France. 
Many others are found around Europe. There are several in Asia too. Including this one in Tokyo Bay, Tokyo, Japan.
Some of the other places in the US include a statue in the New York New York in Las Vegas
 There's even one made out of Legos in LegoLand!

 I know I've seen this one before, but I don't think I really ever acknowledged that it was there! 
Alki Beach, Seattle, Washington
 The Boy Scouts of America have a website where they are looking for pictures and locations of the statues they erected in the 1950's. They have a list of the different cities and locations where the replicas were registered. Check it out. There might be a statue in your city and you never even knew!
I didn't mean to get the sun in this pic, but I actually kind of like it.