Saturday, April 7, 2007
Another baby post
It is funny how life seems to go on around me as I sit and study medicine. Several people close to me are very pregnant and due soon. Being a similar age to them and also married, it sometimes feels odd that I am not going to be having children any time soon. Odd, but a relief.
There are two things that I have done in life that have helped me enormously when dealing with small children: owning cats and working with babies and little kids. Sure, saying that having cared for cats for years helps with children sounds strange to begin with. But think of it like this: cats make up their own minds about what they do and don't want to do.
If you have to make them do something, such as taking a tablet or even holding them when they don't want to be held, you have to be able to do it quickly and with the least amount of distress for them and for yourself, no matter how much they don't want to. (Fortunately babies aren't born with massive claws. Or sharp teeth. Not that I have ever been scratched badly or bitten by a cat, but it would be one less thing to worry about.)
Holding squirming cats has made me good at holding squirming babies. I also seem to talk to babies as if I am talking to one of my cats. Which is just darn weird. However, they seem to like it. By the time they are past being treated like cats (at around 1 year or so), they are more like cheeky little people, who I can deal with as long as I get to hand them back.
Working with small children as part of my old job helps, too. If I could stand in a hospital room flailing my arms in the air and cheering without feeling silly while being a working professional, I can do it in a private residence without even flinching. It is much less likely that the Departmental Director will walk past you and complement you on your cheering skills while you are at a friend's home.
I am very much looking forward to dealing with babies clinically for the first time, as a medical student. They are so different from the average adult patient that it will be quite novel. Of course, there will probably be quite a few comments about me getting clucky from my (much younger and unmarried) fellow students. Meh. I can live with that.
So friends have their babies, and I have my medical degree. I need to make sure I am living in the meantime, as well as studying. Fortunately, I still have a semi-active social life, as well as a husband and a home furnished with cats, which helps.
I think that studying medicine is actually very good for me. I am less stressed and am actually living my life much more than I did when I was working full-time. (I used to have to run out to the nurses' station and for Gastrogel shots on a regular basis on the bad days. There were a lot of bad days.)
I actually have goals outside of study that aren't even work-related. Sometimes as we work on things we fully intend to get better at, we grow in ways we never expected. I know that as exams approach this might change a little. But it is still there to begin with, which is something I never accomplished while at work.