Bleary Eyed

~Bleary Eyed

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
i have to share this news. so i'm part of this group ACT UP that goes around and bird dogs (i.e. publically harass) politicians on key issues relating to HIV/AIDS. They're trying to get a group together to go to CAlvin's commencement to birddog bush! heehee. Should be interesting...if only i could make it, they're a colorful crowd. Look what they did to Gore back in sept 1999 [click here]. MIght i add that the eventual result of all that political pressure(that still continues) along with action from other AIDS groups and international organizations was 1. the removal of trade sanction threats from the negotiation table,2. in 2001 the 30 trans-national drug corporations dropped their lawsuit against the South African Government over patent laws, 3. Generic Drugs for South Africa imported from india now at the cost of less than $200/yr/pt vs the patent price of $10K-14K/yr/pt that drug companies what to charge. RIght now ACT UP is pushing for support for the Global Fund and protesting medicaid cuts in light of the fact that the majority of HIV/AIDS patients in the US rely solely on medicaid to provide their medical care and medication.
So today has been a day of checking things off my list.
1. financial aid paperwork crap- check
2. SIGNED UP FOR MY USMLE STEP 1 TEST!!- check. JUNE 15 IS THE BIG DAY PEOPLES. let's see if i survive. May I ask my dear inner circle of friends to check on my sanity on the 14th in case i blow up from extremely high stress levels and anxiety
3. taught the last ochem course for the year (ever I hope)- check boxes for moving- check
5. Caught up on lectures- check
hmm, that's it. i thought i did more than that. Oh well. that's all I got for now. Ciao!

Friday, April 22, 2005
I've been reminiscing lately...thinking about those moments in time that I wish I had photos of.
1. Taking my puppy yuki in my backpack to school after dying her ears and tail hot pink.
2. the all-nighter after high school graduation. Food, karaoke, and friends.
3. Dancing at a truck stop in texas
4. Making a Huge Japanese flag to hang in our dorm room.
5. A frog, momo, dC, the beatles, and lots of Food one summer afternoon
6. girl's nights at various houses. gin&tonic, a hookah, and some rockin' music
7. 3 am on an island in a lake in finland. just me and the crickets.
8. late night in a hostel ... it's dark.. pistachios and good company :)
9. Karaoke, anywhere- finland, japan, u.s., jordan. THey were all good!
10. 11pm, star lit night in the desert. Friends, a hookah, and me

and so many more..i can go on for pages, but i'd bore you all :P needless to say. i hold these and many more close to my heart, i hope they never go away. i am going to write them down in case i get early onset alzheimers :P

Thursday, April 21, 2005
Yellow pepper on the road, squashed and blackened. that be me. I must be burnt out. I cant deal with stress anymore. Even the little things give me such anxiety these days. Missed phone call, classes, tests, everything just seems to be too much and so overwhelming. A friend of mine emailed me today to tell me that I need a fireplace, wine, and a man with a solid chest. haha. too complicated. i think i just need to calm down, suck it up, and move forward. i'm at the end of that rope teddy and just hanging on ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

An ODE to the Banana. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 16, 2005
I drive to Grand Rapids tomorrow + 1 bulgarian. It's strange to see just how much it has become a home port for me here in the United States. I remember how much I wanted to leave and live anywhere but Grand Rapids that first year. Yet I stayed for my full 4 yrs and even stayed an extra year after graduation to work. Even though I am now in Cleveland, I still return every few months for a weekend of visiting old friends, taking over Da Cheong's kitchen, and even bopping over to the history and philosophy departments at Calvin. I suppose it's true that the people not the place make a location your home. I haven't formed too many deep friendships here in Cleveland, and the few that I have won't be here for the remainder of my medical education. Maybe that's why Cleveland has yet to feel like home. I could leave tomorrow without many qualms or regrets. Well, I still have 2 maybe 3 more years here. Hopefully some suprises will come. Friends do come from unexpected places and the you never know when you meet a stranger if 5 yrs from that point you'll even remember their name. I remember the first two people i met in Grand Rapids. I stepped off the plane and onto a gray and cloudy city. Tom was there waiting with a sign that said "lynne Tan" to take me to Calvin. i think he thought I talked to much :) (I probably still do) and after arriving at Calvin, the next person I met was Da Cheong. Now 6.5 yrs later I'm still friends with those two people, in fact, I'll see them tomorrow if all goes well. Life takes you on so many unexpected turns, so though I see just a straight and boring path ahead right now, I know that at some point the road will curve and shift once again. Holding my breathe til that day arrives again.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Battle of the religions. A little something for you Foosball fans. I took this photo in Finland at an exhibit....strange what ppl come up with. *not shown: Ganesha the goalie* Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 07, 2005
Per request from an dear old friend I'll shift to some things medical. Not that there is really much to write about the medical school these days. I doubt a public post of my experiences with the male and female genitourinary exam would be appropriate (or welcomed) by most. So, let's just say that things have been going...Just Going. Nothing shocking. Nothing more profound then learning to sort through liver function tests. I'm settling down into a more comfortable routine with my patient interactions, and sometimes I even feel like I know what I'm doing. We'll see how 3rd year clinical rotations go. I will actually be going to a clinic in Gallup, NM to do family medicine. I'm psyched! It's at a small IHS (indian health service) clinic staffed by only 4 physicians! So 4 weeks with the Navajo nation this november if things come together. In the meantime my next project to tackle, other than Arabic and the USMLE exam, will be to read up on Navajo History, culture, medical practices, and find some sites to check out in New Mexico and Arizona. I think I’ll finally get to see the Grand Canyon! Who thought I could get this excited about America?! They must have put something in the water today.
Well, that's all I've got. Apologies Guam. :) maybe next post

Monday, April 04, 2005
So....I seem to sit here and twiddle my thumbs quite a bit these days. i keep thinking i should be more productive. Things are just flying by. It's april again, dont know where the time between last april and this april went. Still fluctuating in that strange place between frustration and contentment...ambition and laziness...dreams and life. Not sure what to do about it but keep swinging. 2 more years and i'll be a doctor. scary thought. 2 more months and i'll be practicing clinical medicine. 2 more days until i have to be in the hospital again to see patients. 2 more hours til i have to go to sleep. 2 more minutes until my chin falls asleep while i rest it on my USMLE books as i type this entry. where does the time go. WIsh i knew. I'd follow it and steal a few moments back.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

It's always a strange thing to spend an evening out with people you only know within a limited context. Last night was our annual Doc Opera performance- Med students acting, singing, dancing, and playing music to make fun of and highlight the life of med students and doctors. Songs such as "DISSECT" (to the tune of "RESPECT") and I believe in a thing called GLOVES (I believe in a thing called love) were some of the performances last night. As usual we congregated at the designated afterparty location in the Cleveland warehouse/club district.

Here's where things got strange. I suppose I am used to medical students drinking by now, but I'm still not used to them "letting their hair down" so to speak. Our normal contacts at school are very impersonal and fairly minimal. At these parties, every person you see thatyou know remotely is greeted with great enthusiasm, although it is likely that you saw them at school just that afternoon and greeted them with barely a "hello". Instead you get "ABI!!!! You're here! How've you been?" *hug hug* *kiss kiss* followed by some scuffling to get you out on the dance floor. This goes on through the evening. It's almost disconcerting to see people you practice physical diagnosis with bump and grind on the dance floor. I experienced the same thing at the AMSA convention a few weeks back. Everyone hooks up in one way or another, often with people they never expected. The next day at school, things are back to normal for the most part. A few cringes and moments of embarassments may crop up in your mind but mostly it's back to normal. I usually wake up the morning after thinking "crap! I cant believe I did those stupid things last night. What was i thinking?" But as it was this morning at our AMSA brunch gathering of slightly hungover students things were back to normal and all business. No mention is made of activities the night prior.
Two mottos come to mind. One from the convention "What happens at AMSA, stays in AMSA." and one i heard my first week at school at an orientation/bar outing "Medical students study Hard and party Hard."

Saturday, April 02, 2005
It's been one of those weeks. Long and relatively uneventful, but the things that have happened have only served to leave me an angry, bitter, frustrated, and irritated human being. I guess things add up and it's the time of the year where things come to a boiling point. I dont know what it is, but I find my self snapping at people around me. I cant remember ever been quite this irate at the world. Guess it's been a steady emotional downhill since Monday morning. NOt sure if the stress of boards has finally hit or the fact that it still seems impossible to stimulate interest of any sort in these 'causes' I've been trying to promote through med school events. I know everyone's busy, but I find it sad that a free lunch often stimulates more interest than 30 min talking with a young teen with HIV. We do what we can to put the two together by serving lunch at our events, but push comes to shove a lot of the recruiting is telling people that we have such and such food at the event. I guess I can't expect the same priorities in other people's lives. Maybe I should shift my priorities around so that this 40 grand/year education is more at the forefront rather than these international health issues I spend time with. After all, what kind of doctor will that make me, and also won't these issues still be around in 10 yrs when i finally am finished with my medical training and have "time" to commit to them?
I guess this isn't the only thing that's been bothering me. People in general just seem to be letting me down these days. I hate it when people make promises they dont keep and not only that forget to tell me until it's too late. Perhaps I just need a break (another one). Take a breather and some me time away from medical school, international health, the steiner house, and just bury myself for a few days in a library with my USMLE books. so that's my plan.
Books: Fiction

Anil's Ghost
Michael Ondaatje

The Alchemist
By Paulo Coelho

Books: Non-Fiction

Oasis of Dreams
By Grace Feuerverger

Betrayal of Trust
By Laurie Garrett

Pathologies of Power
By Paul Farmer

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