Monday, June 30, 2008

Drumroll, please

I told my parents about the baby yesterday. I had been planning to go home since my little brother would be home from college, I knew they'd wonder why I was dry-heaving all over the place (lovely), and I felt uncomfortable keeping it from them anyway. Besides, with Tyler gone, I'm going to need their support whatever happens.

To understand why I was so nervous to tell them, you have to understand that when Tyler and I got engaged, they were not supportive at first. They felt that 22 was too young. I can see their point (and I could see it then), but it really hurt that they weren't excited for me at the time. So with this news, I'm already scared out of my mind, and I just didn't feel like I could deal with a lecture about how I'm in school and what am I going to do now, or about safe sex or something like that.

I wanted to bring it up in a positive way, so I went out and bought two bibs-- one that said "I love grandma" and one that said "I love grandpa", and wrapped them up. Driving to their house was the longest hour of my life. I was so nervous, I just kept picturing their disappointed faces. The dry-heaving over the steering wheel was also... unpleasant. So I walked through the door, shrieked "I come bearing gifts!!" in a slightly possessed way (what? I was nervous) and shoved the gift bag in my dad's face.

He opened it and they stared at the bibs for a second, not saying anything. I said, my voice shaking and starting to cry, "I really, really need you guys to be supportive--" and they both jumped at me and hugged me really hard (ouch! boobs!) and they started crying. "Oh my God Julia-- congratulations-- this is such wonderful news-- we're going to be grandparents!! I can't believe this!!" My mom was gripping my shoulders and telling me with tears in her eyes that she had been so worried about us trying for years and going through fertility treatments with all sorts of frustration (because of my hormone problems and ovarian cysts, which in all fairness have been serious enough to warrant several trips to the ER). I was so shocked by their reaction that I just stood there shaking and crying. They just kept hugging me and yelling about how happy they were. I still can't really believe it, and I'm crying right now just thinking about it.

It was all they could talk about for the rest of the day. I told them all of my concerns about finances and school and they told me not to worry, that everything would be fine and that they were near enough to babysit all the time. My mom started telling me about her pregnancies (summary: morning sickness for 5 months... hope I didn't inherit that...) and my dad started downloading cheesy old songs off of iTunes. No joke. I think I'm still in shock.

So Tyler was just as relieved as I was to hear that they were so thrilled, and both of us feel a lot more relaxed about the pregnancy now. It's starting to feel more real to me-- I guess it's been a whole week, hasn't it? I am kind of worried, though, that I'll miscarry after I've gotten my parents so worked up about this, and that they'll be really upset. I feel like I'm kind of stuck in limbo, because I don't want to keep feeling scared and upset about the baby, but I don't want to get excited either (in case I lose it). I wish I just had my OB appointment now so that I could know if there's a heartbeat, so I could figure out how to feel. If I get excited and I lose it, that is going to spell a lot of misery for me because I know we won't try again for at least 2-3 years, and I don't want to be longing for a baby for all that time.

Anyway, today I am focusing only on my relief that my parents were so supportive. I stressed about it all week, and now I only wish I had told them sooner!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I am the luckiest, part 2

So I just checked out a 2-bedroom apartment with a washer and dryer that's just up the street from where we live now, in the same complex as one of my friends. And it is perfect and available on the perfect date! We can take "ownership" of it the day after Tyler gets back from ND, and the rent is only-- get this-- $9 more per month than we pay right now for our 1-bedroom. (Since we are both in school, they have a program that allows cheaper rent.) I can't believe that this is working out so perfectly! Ahhhhhh!!

Also, I checked out my health insurance benefits today (yes, I was going to look up fun stuff like nurseries and names, but I got sidetracked by the practical) and they also? Are awesome. I have one co-pay for my first prenatal visit and nothing after that, diagnostics and labs are 100% covered, and I have to pay an admission fee when I deliver-- that's it! Well, I'm sure I am missing some things (and who knows whether I'll have problems or need a C-section, etc.), so I need to get a more detailed coverage certificate and read it, but still. Amazing!

I am just so happy that this is all working out, I want to scream at the top of my lungs and do backflips. However, I can't do backflips, pregnant or not, and our current apartment is too small anyway. I can't wait to talk to Tyler tonight and tell him!

Let's focus on the good, shall we?

I am realizing that I really need to quit my bitching. Yes, this is going to be difficult for us, but we can handle it, and we definitely wanted kids eventually. This week has been a whirlwind for me, but I am finally settling down and accepting the situation. So, here are the things I am grateful for:

  1. Today was my last day of class, and I definitely passed the two exams we had today. Now all I have to do is study for the boards, which at least I can do on my own time, in the privacy of my apartment, and with a trashcan next to me. And then I'll have two whole weeks off!
  2. Even though I will have to take out more student loans than I usually do, we should not have to worry about money at all (until I have to pay them back, of course, but I'll be a dentist so that shouldn't be a huge problem). We've been so careful with our money that I have less than half the debt the rest of my classmates do, so at least we are starting off in a good place.
  3. I have always exercised almost every day and I eat well, so I haven't really had to change my diet. I've cut out almost all sugar (and of course alcohol, sushi, etc.), which I know is going to be tough to maintain, but in general it's been easy to eat healthy since I have always done that anyway.
  4. We can take an extra month to look for a bigger apartment (and Tyler will be back to help move) because the lady in our rental office took pity on me.
  5. Even if my parents aren't happy about this at first, Tyler's parents will be completely, unbelievably thrilled. Also, my friends will always support me... and I know my family will too, once they get used to the idea.
  6. I found a wonderful new OB (after being on hold while calling my school's health center for a half hour, I decided I needed to go elsewhere) who delivers babies practically down the street from where we live.
  7. I have always worried about whether or not it would be difficult for us to conceive, given my ovarian cysts and irregular periods. Turns out that wasn't an issue! Also, I worried about waiting until I was almost 30 due to my extended education. Again, not an issue now.
  8. I have an amazing husband who loves me and will love our child beyond belief. Our relationship was strong before this happened, and I have faith that it will only get stronger.

So, whatever happens in the next few weeks, everything will be fine. I am so relieved to be coming to terms with this so early-- I thought it would take me much longer. I am not quite at the excited stage yet, but now I am positive I will get there, and sooner than I imagined!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Apartments: this is all happening way too fast

Since we are unexpectedly expanding our family, we are probably going to need something a little bigger than our 700 sq ft 1-bedroom apartment. A washer and dryer would also be a plus. Unfortunately, I have to let our apartment complex know that we are moving out by Monday... but we don't have anywhere to move into yet, and I don't want to leave myself with only 30 days to find a place and move (while Tyler is gone, and I have to take the national boards on July 14)! I guess my family could help me, but I haven't told them about the pregnancy and I'm not planning to until we confirm a heartbeat-- my first appointment is July 18.

Soooo I went and talked to the office here today and they gave me these 3 options:

1) Notify them Monday that we're moving out and be out by July 31.

2) Extend our lease here for one month and be out by August 31 (Tyler would be back to help!).

3) Sign a new lease for 9 months instead of a year (the baby would be about 2 months old when we'd have to find a new place and move).

I have to study for two exams tomorrow, so I can't obsess over this right now, but I am thinking option 2 is the best. I have an appointment at another complex up the street for Saturday, and maybe they'll have something perfect for us that's available in August and then I can take that option... but I am probably dreaming because that would just work out too well. In case you haven't noticed I haven't had the best luck lately (see: unplanned pregnancy. Vomiting this morning for the first time before I've even finished my 5th week. ...That's about it but it seems like way too much to me.)

Anyway, if you've got any advice on the apartment situation, throw it this way...

So I might be a little unprepared

And as proof, I submit for your consideration a conversation with my best friend and her fiance last night (the one who's wedding I posted about the other day... I told her!! She is actually excited!!):

Me: I just feel really overwhelmed... I mean, I don't even know what kind of stuff babies need. And I have to submit my loan application this week so I have no idea what to incorporate into our budget.

Her: Well, I can help make you a list... here, we'll write it down. Okay: stroller. Carseat. Snuggly.

Me: Oooh, I got one! Pins with ducks on them!!

(Pause while they both look at me like they are considering a preemptive call to child services) Her: Are you going to do cloth diapers?

Me: What?

Her: Okay... I was thinking things more like bibs and diapers, but we can put duck pins on the list.

Me (weakly): Right. (I just remembered those duck pins from when my little brother was born... I don't know...)

Her: You know you're going to have to train Franklin (our dog) to stay off the bed now, right?

Me: What? Don't babies sleep in cribs?

Her: Well, yes, but they're on the bed with you sometimes. And I bet Franklin would eat it. (This is true-- Franklin is so attached to Tyler that he growls at me sometimes if I try to pick him up out of Tyler's lap. He is really going to hate a baby.)

(Pause while I silently panic at the thought of Franklin chowing down on our baby) Her: Okay, just calm down. We don't have to talk about this now.

AAAAAAHHHH!!! I have no idea what to do with a child!! Honestly, it hadn't even crossed my mind-- all I've been thinking about is school and money and giving up our lifestyle, etc. I haven't even thought about the fact that I've never changed a diaper, ever. Where are you supposed to learn all this stuff?? My friend knows because she was ten when her little brother was born, but I was three, and I've never babysat any kids younger than three or four. Is there some kind of class you can take? Should I start Googling, like, yesterday??

Okay, I need to settle down. I am going for my run now to zone out. But if anyone has any advice on where to find all this info that apparently everyone knows but me, that would be pretty sweet. Also, Mandy thank you so much for the info on toxo-- I actually did know that from my infectious disease class, but my knowledge on this stuff is pretty hit or miss, so if anyone thinks of anything I should know, please don't hesitate to post it or message me, because with dental school I have very little time to do research on this.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dear uterus,

How are you, good? Good. We need to have a little chat. This new nausea and heartburn thing, well, I'm thinking it's a little premature. I have two exams Friday and the national board exam in about three weeks, so I'd really appreciate it if you could hold off on that kind of stuff. Let's face it, you're causing me more than a few problems lately, so early symptoms like this seem a little bit unfair. Okay. Good talk. Smooches. Love, Julia.

So I've been going on and on about how this has been affecting me emotionally (and financially, and academically...), and I haven't bored anyone yet with how it's affecting me physically. I noticed before I even took the test that I was peeing all the time (we're talking twice an hour), which is really unusual for me, but I figured I was just drinking a lot of water because it's hot out. Well. Now it's already to the point that I'm sitting in class and I think, "Hmm, I think I have to-- holy shit I'm going to pee my pants if I don't go NOW! NOW! NOW!!!" Also, I am always starving, except for this morning when my cereal felt slimy in my mouth and I couldn't finish it and then I got to clinic and felt horribly nauseous. It went away, but came back later when I was grocery shopping after class. If this is going to keep happening, it is going to be hard to keep it from my classmates, because three people this morning asked me why I looked so pale. Luckily we only have two days of class left, and then a month off to study for and take the boards.

Finally, smells are really bothering me. Like whoa. I went to feed my cat this morning and the smell of his dry food was absolutely overpowering and made me dry heave. He looked all disgustedly at me and I was like, okay Simba, sometimes I make dinner and you stand in front of it and scrape your paw like you're covering poop, so I think we're even.

This all seems rather early to me... from what I've read, none of it is supposed to start until about six weeks? I am only about five, I think (I am not sure). Anyone want to fill me in...? Maybe it's just anxiety? Because I definitely have, you know, a little bit of that going on.

Anyway. In clinic today (which was miserable, because it was my turn to have my teeth cleaned and whenever water touched the back of my throat I gagged), the guy in the operatory next to me asked the "patient" (another classmate) whether she had changes in her medical history from last time, and she yelled, "Yeah-- I got pregnant! HAHAHAHA!! I got pregnant!!" I gave her what must have been a mortified look because she said "Oh my God, Julia, I didn't really! That would suck so much!!" And then I said "Pardon me while I vomit in your lap." Okay, no, in real life I just made kind of a squeak noise. And then I forced myself to set my pointy dental tool down before I stabbed her in the eye.

So thanks again for being so supportive, ladies, it really helps when I have to face situations like that at school and I know what it's going to be like for me when I have to start telling people!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Okay, finally time to write an update to my frantic post from yesterday. Stupid dental school, getting in the way of the important stuff... I told Tyler about the baby when he called last night. I had to wait until 10pm because he's busy until 8pm (mountain time) and anyway he had no idea that I was literally sitting on the couch and shaking, waiting for him to call.

Me: Hi honey, how was your day?

Tyler: Good, we found some really great...

Me (interrupting): Okay sorry I'm going to have to ruin your day. (Great lead-off, Julia. Way to start positively.) Um... I... I have to tell you something... and I just don't want you to be mad... I know this is my fault because I must have messed up somehow and I'm just so scared so please, please don't be angry with me. ... (gasping for air and starting to cry) I'm pregnant.

Long, dead silence where only noise is me struggling not to cry into the phone... Me: Please say something.

Tyler: Are you sure?

Me: Um, yes?

Another long silence... Tyler: Okay, we're going to work it out.

Thank GOD!! We talked about it for about an hour and, well, we are both scared stupid about this, and it's terrible timing, but we wanted kids once I was done with dental school anyway. I don't know why I was so terrified to tell him, I know that this will be more difficult for me than for him since he's done with classes and can do his research and dissertation on his own time, and besides he doesn't have to carry and deliver the baby. Part of me wishes he were thrilled, because that would make me feel better about it, but the reality is that we're not thrilled... we're just hoping to get there sooner rather than later.

What stinks (okay, one of the things that stinks) is that we're going to have to make a lot of big decisions within the next week, and I'm only like 5 weeks along so we don't know if I will miscarry. I have to submit my student loan application, and we have to sign our new lease (our apartment is barely big enough for us, let alone a child)... I don't know, I'm sure there are more things we have to do, but I am totally clueless about this because it just wasn't on my radar yet.

I stopped by my ob/gyn because she's at the hospital I go to school at, and they made me an appointment for July 31. I am a little confused about this... I thought at least they would give me a blood test to make sure I am pregnant? But apparently they just trust the home pregnancy tests and wait to take people until the first trimester screening. I have to admit that when the receptionist said the words "first trimester" I thought I was going to have a heart attack because I am still not used to this idea. Then when I was leaving she said "oh, and congratulations!!" and my first impulse was to kick her in the teeth, because I was wearing surgical blues and I look like I'm 16 and does this seem like a "congratulations" situation to you, lady?? I am hoping to be a little more gracious about this soon... anyway, it did make me feel a little better somehow. For some reason I feel like I'm in high school and everyone will judge me and look down on me and know that we didn't mean to have a child now. I can't even imagine telling my parents... oh, lord... let's not think about that now...

So, thank you all for your encouraging comments on my last post, because they also made me feel a lot better, especially the orthodontist (oh my GOD you have no idea how much better that made me feel, school-wise!!!). I am going to try as hard as I can to make this real in my head, so... without further ado, the "before" pic:

Great, I'm already a little bloated. Let the journey begin!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Okay, first of all, if you're trying to have a baby and having trouble conceiving, please do not read this.

I posted a few hours ago that my period was late and I was going to get a pregnancy test. I saw a faint line and MandyEworth told me that meant it was positive (I am stupid about these things and thought maybe it was negative since it was lighter than the control line). I feel numb. I don't know what to think. Okay, yes I do know what to think. What the hell?!?!?!? How could this have happened?? I have ovarian cysts, my gynecologist told me I would most likely need drugs to help me conceive when it came time for that. I saw my ovaries on ultrasound, they look like Swiss cheese. How in the heck does that work?!? I feel sort of betrayed, even though it's not like we just took that to mean we could do whatever we wanted and not use birth control. We use FAM and condoms (and according to my chart, I ovulated a week after we last had unprotected sex-- so what the heck happened there??).

I am panicking. My husband is going to freak out. How are we going to get through school?? I've put us so far in debt trying to be a dentist, and now this happens. Now is not the time. We can't afford a child. My hands are shaking.

How am I ever going to get any of the doctors in clinic to respect me? How am I going to earn their respect if what they will see as evidence of my carelessness is sticking right out under their noses?? What are all my classmates going to think? Nobody (at least, no woman) has a child during dental school. It's just not something you do.

Worst of all, we just aren't emotionally ready for a child. We aren't ready to give up our lifestyle. We aren't ready to be that selfless. Tyler is going to be so upset, I have no idea how I'm going to tell him. He's not even here, and I won't see him until the end of July. I'm going to have to tell him over the phone. Ohmygod. I can't believe this.

The test instructions said that if the line was faint, I should take another one first thing in the morning. I got this digital test that tells you "pregnant" or "not pregnant" and I'm going to use it in the morning so I don't have to mess around with terrifying ghostly lines.

Please, someone out there who this has happened to, tell me this is going to be okay.

Update: couldn't wait. Had to know. Holy fucking shit.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cooking for "just me"

One good thing about my husband being gone for the summer is that I get to try out new recipes that I know he wouldn't like, and I get to eat random things for dinner that I'd never make for both of us. (I love the man... but he is not a very adventurous eater!)

Some of my faves: chicken with lime and avocado salsa, salmon-potato cakes, ceviche salad (seafood that is "cooked" by marinating in citrus juice, plus selected fruit served over salad), eggs scrambled with lox/sour cream/dill or sundried tomatoes/feta, broiled tomato halves topped with parmesan, bread crumbs, olive oil, and fresh basil; salade nicoise, quiches of all kinds, grilled cheese with tomatoes and ham, chicken souvlaki, salmon and sweet potato frittata... and on and on. (If you want any of these recipes, just ask!!)

Salmon potato cakes

Salmon potato cakes

Chicken souvlaki

Chicken souvlaki

I know that there are a lot of tomatoes in that list, but I laugh in the face of salmonella. I can't give up a single one of my veggies. Spinach is my worst addiction-- during that spinach scare last year, I went to the sketchiest grocery store I could find, bought a bag, and devoured it as usual. I am not really a fruit person, but veggies... can't live without 'em. And just in case you think all that sounds really healthy, I have been known to eat ice cream for dinner, and I never ever miss dessert!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Things are looking up!

Thankfully this week has turned around for me before it's over-- I came home yesterday all bummed out about Simba and Tyler being gone, but then I decided I'd better snap out of it because I am not going to spend my summer all depressed.

I studied for my pedo exam which was today (easy!), and cleaned my apartment literally for six hours. We are neat freaks so the place is always clean, but I did some research on feline asthma and saw that if I minimize the allergens in his living space, he won't need as many drugs. Why this didn't occur to me before, I do not know. But I decided to keep the apartment closed up and use the A/C for the rest of the summer, and I vacuumed, dusted, and scrubbed everything in sight. I even cleaned under the bed and found the following, which must have been stashed there by my dog: six highlighters, a pack of flashcards on infectious disease, several dinosaur teeth and a claw, countless tissues and socks, and a bottle of Astroglide (this last provoked a yell of triumph, as I've been wondering where it had gotten to).

So I've only heard Simba have one wheezing fit since I cleaned, and I don't know if it was the cleaning or the prednisone shots, but something's working, so I am thrilled. I can't stand to see him so miserable!

I also found out I got an A on my oral radiology exam (not that it matters, since everything is pass/fail)-- the exam I had to take the day after Tyler left for Germany, so that made me happy too. And this afternoon I'm going to a BBQ at our friends' apartment. I'd better head out for a run first though, since I've eaten approximately 3000 pounds of chocolate since Tyler left and I'm starting to look like I'm with child. Unfortunately none of it has gone to my boobs-- what a rip-off!

Have lovely weekends!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

But of course.

It seems like one of our pets gets very sick every time Tyler leaves for the summer. Last summer, it was our chinchilla Humphrey-- one of his teeth got infected, which made his eye infected, which made him stop eating, which made his GI tract quit working, which made him need to stay at the vet for a week while they tried to fix it all. They told me he would probably die, but somehow he pulled through and has been fine ever since.

This time, it's our cat Simba. He got diagnosed with feline asthma last year, but it's seasonal and usually one shot of steroids per year takes care of it. Well, he got that shot about a month ago and it worked for awhile, but then it got worse again and I had to start giving him an inhaler twice a day. This is just as ridiculous as you would imagine:

That's not Simba (thank you Google image search), but you get the idea. Anyway, the inhaler stopped working too and I had to rush him to the vet yesterday because he was having these constant wheezing fits. To make a long story short (too late?), I now have to give him subcutaneous prednisone shots once a day for 5 days every time he gets like this.

First of all, I hate sticking him with a needle. Sticking strangers in the mouth? No problem. Sticking my poor little wheezing cat? Huge problem. I practically threw a temper tantrum when the vet told me I'd have to do that (I'm sure he thought I was insane, since I just finished telling him that I was a dental student). Second of all, why do things like this always happen when Tyler is gone? I'm terrified that his asthma will keep getting worse and worse, since it's gone downhill pretty rapidly this year. I'm scared he won't live as long as he should because of this. I hate leaving the house because I'm worried he won't be able to breathe and I won't be there, but I'm not allowed to miss a single hour of dental summer.

And to top it all off, Tyler called last night and I was so relieved to be able to talk to him about it, but he said immediately "I can't talk, some people from England just got in and I have to take them out into the field, but can you do me a favor?" And I said, "yes, no problem, but I have to tell you about Simba really quick, he's gotten really sick" and he interrupted me and said "not now, I need you to do this for me, I'm really busy today." I freaked out and yelled "I am constantly doing you favors while you're gone and all you ever do is leave me alone while you run off to dig your dinosaurs, and now you can't even listen to me for 30 seconds when I have had the worst day ever with our poor sick cat! You've never even met our vet, and I've been there at least 30 times this year! You can take care of your own sh!t!!" and hung up the phone like I was in middle school. Awesome.

He kept calling back but I just didn't pick up. I was too upset, and when I get upset, Simba gets upset, which makes him have another wheezing fit. Sigh. I always try to be supportive of Tyler's stuff because I know it is his passion, but sometimes I have needs too, and I just couldn't deal with it right then. All I wanted was for him to at least listen to me for a minute and tell me he was sorry for me. I can't believe I hung up on him, how old am I, 12?

Ugh. This is a bad day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I am the luckiest!

First of all, thanks ladies who commented on my blog from this morning... you have no idea how comforting it was to me on this sleep-deprived emotional day... Second, my in-laws surprised me by buying me a plane ticket to go out to ND and see them and Tyler during my two weeks off!! They are so wonderful. They knew we couldn't afford it this year, but they said they wanted to see me too badly, and that eight weeks was too long for me and Tyler to be apart, so they bought me a ticket. If you read my earlier blog, you know that this made me want to cry my face off (with happiness, of course).

I don't know what I did to deserve such amazing in-laws, but I am not going to question it today. I am just going to go to bed.


Tyler on CNN, and related thoughts

I'm so exhausted. Tyler came back for about 12 hours on his way from Germany and to ND, and we stayed up all night. We had to leave for the airport at 4:30am, so it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I'm here at school at 6am and I will have to be here until 5pm. Ugh. I feel sorry for whoever my partner is for teeth cleaning today. [:)]

Sometimes I wonder what I've gotten myself into by marrying this man. It is so hard to put him on a plane knowing that I won't see him for over two months. It wouldn't be so bad if I could talk to him on the phone when I needed to, but cell phones don't work where he lives in ND (yeah.) and he's too busy running his research foundation to talk to me anyway. Last night I begged him to at least leave the dog with me, but when he finally said yes I couldn't take him, because he's just so attached to Tyler that it would be cruel. I hope that I am strong enough to stay with him when he leaves me alone so often. Right now I am so tired that I don't feel very strong at all.

He was on CNN yesterday (or rather, a dinosaur he found was):

(link deleted)

I was sitting in class surfing the internet (natch) and saw that article. He didn't even know it was going to be there. It was funny to randomly see my husband in the news, and eventually other people in the class (also reading the news) started turning around and catching my eye and pointing at the screen. He's like a (very) minor celebrity-- he's even on Wikipedia! At times like that I feel so proud of him and everything he does, even though it takes him away from me. And then I did a Google News search on his name and found this:

(link deleted)

If you don't feel like clicking, here's the part that made me cry in class:

(also deleted... sorry... but stuff comes up on google searches and I don't really want his colleagues reading my blog)

Now here I am crying again in the hospital cafeteria. (I'm much more susceptible to crying when I haven't gotten any sleep... didn't really think that all-nighter through, I guess...) It just was so strange to see that, which pretty much exactly describes why I love him, in some news article online. He is just a really good and generous man, and it really made me miss him. And even though it made me really proud of him, it also kind of made me wish, in a very small and selfish corner of my mind, that he'd quit doing what he does so that he could be that generous with me all year long.

Anyway. I better go see if the caf is open yet, because I desperately need caffeine so I don't get so emotional in clinic that I start crying into my classmates' mouths... what a nightmare...

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No leak here, ma'am

This is a little random, but I need to distract myself from my annoyingly still-numb bottom lip (today was local anesthesia, part II, and apparently my friend really got me good this time).

There has been a giant square hole covered with a plastic sheet in our bathroom ceiling for about six weeks now. The people in the apartment upstairs had an expensive fancy showerhead, which leaked, naturally, and made our ceiling fall in. The maintenance man's solution was to cut out the destroyed part of the ceiling and cover it with a trashy-looking plastic sheet until he was sure no more water was coming down before fixing the ceiling. Well, there hasn't been any water, but there hasn't been any ceiling-fixing action going down either (despite repeated requests). So today I came up with a game plan to get him to come back to fix the stupid thing.

I came home from clinic and went straight to the rental office. I thought maybe my white coat would intimidate them (I'm a dental student, bitches! Heed my white coat! Fix my ceiling!). I complained that my shower was leaking into the apartment downstairs. I thought that since the water leaking problem got his attention last time, it should get it again. It must have worked because the maintenance man arrived 5 minutes after I got back to my apartment. He went in and checked the shower. The verdict: "no leak here, ma'am." I said "huh... weird. Can you fix my ceiling now?" He gave me a dirty look and said he'd be back Friday at 9. SCORE!!!!

At least now I've figured out the secret to getting things fixed around here: trickery!

Also, for your viewing pleasure (?), here's a nice pic of me about to give my friend anesthesia:

Not sure how she let me stick a needle in her mouth with that creepy look on my face...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Today was the dreaded day...

That we gave each other shots of Novocaine! It actually went pretty well. I am still mostly numb and a little sore from where my friend scraped my bone with the needle a couple times (ouch, I'm sure that will get worse as the numbness wears off), but we both managed to get our blocks without too much trouble. Tomorrow is mandibular injections which is supposed to be harder, but I feel fairly confident that I can do it now. I was so afraid to stick her with a needle-- definitely more afraid of sticking her than of getting stuck myself!!

Too tired to blog much... all these new classes in preparation for getting patients are really cutting into my blogging/reading blogs/commenting time!! I hope to catch up on that soon, but now it's time to try to eat some dinner without chewing a hole in my cheek...

Monday, June 9, 2008

He's gone

Tyler left last night for Germany. He'll be back in about a week before he leaves for ND, but he'll only be home for less than 24 hours.

I am so sad. I miss him so much already. This is the second summer he's been away while we've lived together, but somehow it's worse this time. Maybe it's because I already know what it's going to be like, not sleeping with him, not eating with him, having him not come home at the end of the day. Maybe it's because I don't have a fun project this time (last summer, I was planning our wedding). I don't know... all I know is, I miss him!! Our dog Franklin is more upset than I am, though-- he's really attached to Tyler. He sighs a lot and flops down all over the place and looks at me with big sad eyes. He wouldn't even get out of bed when I got up this morning. Poor thing. At least Tyler will take him to ND with him once he gets back from Germany... how pathetic is it that I'm jealous of my dog!!

Anyway, I was moping all over the place before my exam this morning, and then I got kind of a wake-up call... and I had to remind myself that our situation isn't really that bad. I saw that one of my classmates wasn't there to take the test. His wife had their baby boy at 24 weeks about a week and a half ago, and the baby had heart surgery last Friday. I don't know how it went, but it wasn't a good sign that he wasn't there. I know the baby has been battling an infection and bleeding into his brain and all sorts of problems... my heart just breaks for them. They are both in their mid-30's, waited a long time to have a child while they got all sorts of education, and now this has to happen to them. On top of that, another classmate's wife is having a baby boy that's due almost exactly at the same time as the premature baby was due. It's just really sad. Anyway, it made me think twice about my little pity party, because some people have it much worse. That poor baby... I hope he's okay...

Friday, June 6, 2008

What a week!

Will things ever slow down enough for me to process them? I'm so glad it's the weekend! I need to get a bunch of crazy things off my chest...

My best friend from dental school got engaged the night before our last test. It's really exciting because they've been together for a little over 5 years, so she's been dying to get engaged (okay, full disclosure: I've been dying for them to get engaged) for a really long time. Also, her fiance is best friends with Tyler, so we're both in the wedding, which will be almost exactly two years after ours! I'm totally thrilled.

Anyway, as far as school goes... since we finished med school on Wednesday, we've been in dental class from 8am to 5pm every day so far. Which is exhausting, especially since we didn't get a break and we have our oral radiology final exam on Monday. At the same time, though, it's so wonderful to be learning real dentist things like how to write a prescription and how to give anesthesia and so on. Speaking of anesthesia-- the day we have all been fearing is coming on Tuesday: the day we inject each other with Novocaine to learn how to do it! They say it's a rite of passage for dental school... I am kind of terrified to have a completely inexperienced person shoot anesthesia into my mouth (and more terrified to have to do it to someone else), but hey, we have to learn how to do it somehow. My partner will be my friend who just got engaged... I really hope I don't paralyze her lip or something. Just in time for her wedding! Talk about a nightmare.

Finally, Tyler is leaving this Sunday afternoon, which makes me really sad. My life has been so crazy lately and will only get crazier as the summer goes on, so I guess it won't be that bad to have the house to myself and just concentrate on school. But I will miss him very, very much. I'm getting sad just thinking about taking him to the airport, so I'll leave that topic alone for now.

Whew... I can only hope next week is less insane!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Well that was anticlimactic.

I'm DONE!! I took my last med school exam today. I finished it as fast as I could (I just wanted to get out of there) and ran up the stairs to the academic services office, grinning my face off, and when I handed it to the office guy he said "okay." I was like- okay?!?!? That's all I get?? I don't know what I was expecting... maybe a medal or a check refunding me for all my tuition ("just kidding, we really weren't going to make you pay to go through all that")... I couldn't celebrate with anyone else from my class because nobody was done (I guess they didn't rush through it like I did), so I just drove home. And while I was driving I suddenly started sobbing so hard I thought I was going to have to pull over. I'm just so, so happy to be finished with all that. It has been a really difficult and stressful two years.

So I got home and freaked Tyler out because I was crying so hard with mascara running down my face, but then he understood that I was crying with relief and happiness so he just gave me a big, long hug.

Even though I have a big dental exam in only five days, I am SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Two years of med school? Check. (Almost.)

My 2-year sentence as a medical student will be complete on Wednesday afternoon!! At my school, all dental students have to take the same classes as the med students for the first two years (plus dental classes in the afternoons). And let me tell you, it has been the most painful, difficult thing I've ever done. There were many times when I thought I wasn't going to get through it.

Let me back up: I was really arrogant when I started dental school. I assumed it was going to be kind of easy. I came from a small, elite college and I thought I was pretty smart. Anyway, I got a reality check when the med school curriculum hit me in the face like a ton of bricks (a ton of very, very boring bricks). It was tough to get through it as a dental student, because most of it has nothing to do with dentistry (examples: psoriasis. Brain cancer. Obscure bacteria. Etc.) and it all just has to be memorized. I often wondered what the heck was wrong with me that I signed up to do med and dental school simultaneously and thought it was a good idea. But somehow I will be finished on Wednesday after my last big exam... I have to keep saying it because I just can't believe it's done...

And at the end of July, after taking a ton of dental classes to catch up with the rest of the dental students in the country (most of whom did not have to take med classes) and after taking part I of the national board exam, I will finally get into the clinics and start treating patients. That makes me nervous, but excited. Mostly nervous, actually, since I've only done a little bit of drilling and some root canals on some plastic teeth. It seems like they pretty much just throw you into the clinic and tell you to get going. Which is terrifying but amazing at the same time-- after two years of waiting to do what I came here to do, I'll actually get to do it-- no more messing around. My poor first patients, though. They'll come in all "oh hey, thanks for fixing my teeth for practically no money, wow this is such a great deal" and I'll give them a panicked look and accidentally drill straight through the roof of their mouth. Kidding, I hope.

Seriously though, all the upperclassmen say that you don't get much (read: anything) done your first appointment, even though it's 3 hours long. Either that or a professor does it for you and you go home and cry for a couple of hours. I think it's a measure of how much med school sucked that I'm beyond excited to go do that!