Friday, April 18, 2014

The Marathon

When I mentioned in my previous post that I had written my licensing exam, I was referring only to the written portion, which took place on April 1 and 2.  Here in Canada, unlike in the US, we have to complete (and obviously pass) both a written exam and an oral exam in order to be licensed.  My oral exam is in 18 days.

Not that I'm counting.

The first few days after my written exam were glorious.   I allowed myself to not study, and I got a pleasant reminder of what life can be like for normal people who aren't living under the spectre of the most important examination of your entire life.  I slept in, I watched ridiculous quantities of television, and I spent long hours getting to know the girlfriend that I'd been officially dating, but barely seeing, for a month and a half.  Amazing!

And then my allotted break was over, and I went back to my life of textbooks and study group and practice exam sessions.  And although it wasn't all that different from preparing for the written exam, it felt vastly more difficult.  It was kind of like reaching the end of a marathon and being told "Now run back."  I was exhausted and unmotivated and just mentally done, and yet I still had to keep going for over a month.

Which is where I am now.  18 days away, fed up, and tired of my entire life being ruled by my study schedule.  I am so so so so so so so ready for this to be done and over with.  The only thing keeping me going?  The terrifying possibility that I could fail and have to do it again next year.

And with that horrible thought, back to the books I go.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


It took two outings as friends for interesting girl to decide that there was, in fact, a spark.  I wasn't entirely surprised, as I'd felt there was a spark from the very beginning, but I was definitely pleased.  We started officially dating two weeks before my licensing exam, which ensured that we saw very little of each other in the beginning and that I was at my worst and most exhausted whenever we did get together.  Since the exam, which I wrote last Tuesday and Wednesday, we've been doing our best to make up for lost time by seeing each other daily.  It's been lovely.  She's lovely.

There are challenges, as there almost inevitably are.  The biggest one is that she's devoutly Christian, while I most definitely am not.  In the very beginning, I invested a lot of mental energy and angst into trying to figure out whether this difference could be overcome - whether it was even worth overcoming.  I wanted to know with some kind of certainty that the risk I was taking in opening up myself up to her would pay off.  But who the hell knows?  Who can say, in the early stages, what will or will not turn into something amazing?  So here I am, taking the risk, heart open.

Anyone remember what my word was for 2014?


Sunday, March 16, 2014


Until recently, I was anything but.  I would wake in the middle of the night, heart racing, trying to remember the differential for Sweet's syndrome or whether Staph aureus or Staph epidermidis was the most common organism to cause post-valve replacement endocarditis.  I would worry incessantly about my upcoming licensing exam, paralyzed by the fear that I could fail and be forced to repeat all of this next year.

And then, suddenly, the fear went away.  The information that I had reviewed multiple times finally started to stick in my seemingly knowledge-resistant brain.  My performance on practice questions went from terrifyingly bad to acceptable to pretty damn good, if I may say so myself.  And I started to feel human again.

I don't know how long this will last.  I have only 16 days left until my written exam, and I'm sure that the anxiety and doubt will rear their ugly heads again before this is through*.  But for now, it's nice to enjoy a moment of calm in the middle of the storm.

*Not to mention that I have an oral exam in May.  Happy happy joy joy!


In other news...Three days after getting the message from interesting girl about the "lack of spark", she messaged me again to say that she'd missed hearing from me and to ask if I'd be interested in being friends.  I was, and so we're giving friendship a try.  And it's been really nice.  Until very recently, I've only had straight friends, and I never really saw any necessity or value to having queer friends.  But as my circle of queer friends slowly grows, I'm starting to see the importance of having people in my life who just intrinsically understand this huge part of who I am.  It's awesome.

Friday, March 7, 2014

In Spite of Wishing and Wanting

Fifteen years ago, when I was fresh out of university*, I took a whirlwind trip through Europe with one of my best friends.  Midway through the trip, we ended up in Vienna, where an international modern dance festival was being held.  By that point, we were growing sick of castles and paintings and anything else that was more than a hundred years old, so we decided that a modern dance performance was exactly what we needed.  Faced with a program that was written almost entirely in German, and a knowledge of the language that didn't go far beyond schnitzel and bier, we based our selection on which performance had the cheapest student tickets.

I have no idea what the dance was intended to be about, as the summary was far beyond what I could translate using my tiny phrase book.  And the performance itself didn't provide any additional clarity, as I couldn't deduce a story or a particular message from the scantily clad men who writhed around on the stage.  But what did have meaning for me was the title of the performance:

In Spite of Wishing and Wanting.

Five little words that capture the very essence of being human.  Five little words that have stuck with me for over fifteen years.  They come to mind every time I watch a patient get worse despite all of the people who long to see him get better.  They come to mind when I speak to addicts who have fallen off the wagon again, and again, and again.  They come to mind in my own life, when yet another attempt to start a relationship fails. 

As you can probably guess, things with the interesting girl didn't work out.  We had two seemingly lovely dates, with good conversation and lots of laughter, but my request for a third was met with a polite refusal due to a perceived lack of "spark".  It was probably for the best, as there were a number of incompatibilities between us that would've become major issues in time, but it still hurts.  It's still an ending where I had hoped for a beginning.

And it's a reminder of how longing isn't enough to make anything happen.  Of how the universe is indifferent to our desires, no matter how much we may wish and we may want.

*Degree number one of three.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Medical Mondays...On a Monday!

Hello, and welcome to anyone joining me from Medical Mondays!  I'm sitting here reading blogs while eating my morning oatmeal, and I noticed on Your Doctor's Wife that today is Medical Monday.  Actually today!  Not yesterday or two days ago, but today.  I feel so organized and on top of things!

Not that I have an actual blog post for the occasion or anything...maybe next month... But please do keep coming back to the blog, as there will be posts in the future!  And there will be updates on the Great Dating Saga, because (whispering softly so that the universe doesn't view this as an opportunity to smite me) there's a second date tonight. 

Wish me luck.  And Happy Medical Monday.