Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Oh, grad school...

The tension came to a head today.

It's one month to graduation. After that, we have a 4-6 week internship to complete.  The papers are coming due, the stress is rising, the to-do list is long, the stakes are high. We are days away from being responsible for people's health, which is no simple task. And we are tired of jumping through hoops.  Mostly, we're just plain tired.

Due to some scheduling changes, we got done with our all-day class an hour early.  Our favorite mothering professor said, "I'll still let you out early, but since we have a minute, how are you guys really doing?"

Our small class of twelve goes silent.

Nobody says anything for a minute.  Then someone says what we all are thinking.  "This sucks."

And then we all jump in, one after another, stating the hardships we've had this past....however many years.  But mostly this year.  This year, when we go from learning "fluff" material to learning how to acurately diagnose, treat, and manage complicated patients.  This year, when we have too many demands on our time.  This year, when we're all working, going to school full-time, trying to have somewhat of a life, and find a new job in a new profession.

One mother speaks up, or tries to through the tears.  She's got three kids at home.  She never sees them.

Another one relates.  "What kind of mother am I, to drop my kids off at daycare every day?"

Others talk about how they just don't talk to their husbands anymore, because the tension and stress is too high, and they just argue.  So now they don't talk.  Others took their pets to a relative's house, because they can't take care of them right now.  One worries about the effect of sustained stress on her unborn child.

I count my blessings, because I feel I've fared relatively well through this mess.  But I've had my many moments of tears over nothing, nodding off while driving, and the like.  I can cry at the drop of a hat.  I struggle between immersing myself in my work--because people's health will depend on what I know--and still having time for my husband, my very sick mother, my family, and myself.

We (my classmates) all love what we're learning.  But this schedule is too much for most people for long. And we still feel inadequate, not confident in our knowledge or skills.  This world of health is so vast no one can know it all, and yet, you're expected to know a good deal of it.  And people may die or suffer serious consequences if you don't.  Talk about pressure.

So we commiserate together, with the only people who really know what we're going through.  And I fight back the tears, because apparently I have no control over my emotions anymore.  I think we all left feeling a little better, knowing everyone else is not doing ok either, but the days of this are ticking away. 


Abbi said...

THat doesn't sound very easy! I hope this last bit of school goes very well for you!

All in a Day said...

Hang in there!

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing...can't wait for you to finish!!!!