When I was in medical school and considering my specialty, someone said to me: “You can train anyone to be a good obgyn.  What you can’t do is train someone to be a caring, kind, and compassionate human being.  People will see that about you and above all, that will stand out.”

Last week I had coffee with one of my current preceptors.  This man interviewed me when I applied to residency.  When I was accepted into this program, he told me that I was his favourite applicant that he’s ever interviewed.  He said I had a passion for life and a light about me that made him know instantly that I would make a great obgyn.  At our little coffee date last week he said to me: “Aggie, I have noticed that you are not the same person today that you were when I interviewed you.  I am so disheartened to see that our program has stripped away the best parts of you in an attempt to make you a good surgeon.  I don’t know why we do this to our residents.”  He continued, “I just wanted to tell you to not let residency win.  This is finite and when it is over, I hope that you will go back to being that person I remember from your interview.”

Both of these people, people I’ve respected and considered mentors, have spoken such true  yet conflicting statements.  In training to become the type of physician I want to be, I have lost the aspects of myself that would make me the kind, caring, and compassionate physician I imagined becoming.  Within this paradox lies my problem.  Can I ever come back from this?  Do I turn around now and work on nurturing myself back into the person I used to be, or do I risk continuing down this path I’m on and perhaps never recovering what I’ve lost?

Is there a right answer?

Mixed Emotions

Tomorrow is D-day (or P-Day, really).  I can’t decide what result I’m hoping for: Period or Missed Period. 

Over the course of the last 3 months, I have been becoming more confused about my decision for baby #3.  I’ve thought about it extensively over the past few years, but having my IUD removed and then my life getting so much busier simultaneously, I’ve been feeling more anxious about the decision and the effort to get pregnant. 

I feel like I’m on a 2 week up and down rollercoaster of emotion. I am disappointed when I realize I’m not pregnant and then I determine that I’m going to try harder. But then I’m post ovulation and I spend 2 weeks stressing out that I’ve made a mistake.  Finally, I get to this point where I’m mere days away from an answer and I really don’t know what I want. Last month when D-day came early, I remember not feeling as disappointed as I had in previous months. I also don’t think I’ve been “trying” as hard this month (and maybe that’s more schedule related than anything, but hard to be objective). 

These last few days I’ve had waves of mild nausea and a prominent gag sensation (but I’m always nauseated so I can’t rely much on that). I’ve been having moments of feeling hot and sweaty every morning for the last few days.  I’ve been getting a gross metallic taste in my mouth on-and-off for 2 days.  I’ve been more exhausted and falling asleep earlier at night. Today, it’s not even lunch time and I’ve already peed 5 times. 

I have a signed requisition for a blood pregnancy test sitting in my pocket and while I want to get it done, I’m scared of the result.  I really, really don’t know what I want. I don’t know if this is normal.