Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Josiah and the nurse practioner

I made it to (and through) my lab this morning, but couldn't take the pain of my sore rubbing against my bandage. I, of course, had to park fourteen and three-quarters miles from my class (How does the parking lot fill up at 7:30 a.m.!?). It took me nearly 15 minutes to hobble to my car. I'm sure it was quite a sight.

I whipped off my pants in a careful frenzy. I noticed the pink which encircles the area of irritation had expanded. Also, the area immediately surrounding the wound looked a little like it was bruised. I began to wonder if the tissue was dying.

With some reluctance, I scheduled an afternoon appointment at a family practice just down the road. I psyched myself up for the absolute worst outcome, bandaged up my leg for the trip, and off I went.

First of all, everyone in the office (and I mean, everyone) was extraordinarily nice. The nurse who led me back to the exam room was not only pleasant, but quite lovely. She complimented me on my bandaging skill, and when I mentioned that I'm hoping to make that my life's work, she enthusiastically stated that I'm on the right path. Ha, I knew she was just saying that sort of thing to be nice, but it felt good to hear, anyway.

When the NP came in, she, too, was very pretty! With her was a student from my university, whose brother is in my major. Both of them were incredibly nice and supportive of my aspirations, as well as being impressed with my medical knowledge as it relates to my present condition...not that it's anything at all very difficult, but hey.

Luckily, I did not have to go under the knife! She put me on clindamycin (300 mg, 4x daily) and said I should apply a warm compress several times a day. If this still does not resolve the issue, I'm to go back and get diced up.

...as much as I don't want that, I sure wouldn't mind seeing that nurse who took my vitals and whatnot again. hehe.

So now, I'm sort of nervously awaiting the intestinal discomfort that may come as a result of this medication. She was going to give me doxycycline, but relayed that info after she decided on clindamycin. I took doxycycline years ago and it absolutely destroyed me. In a gentlemanly way, I expressed this to her, as well as my thanks for not making me take it again. haha

I heard the MD who owns the practice milling about, talking to his staff and patients as I waited for the NP to come in initially. He, too, was extraordinarily friendly! I've never been to a physician's office where everyone seemed so happy and so kind to the patients. I may have just found a new PCP! I hate to have to ditch my old one, but since he's about an hour away...

In other news, I have my meeting with someone in the counseling center about ADHD in the morning, directly after my a.m. class. I hope my discomfort is minimal. My class and the office in which my meeting will take place are a long haul from the parking lot. heh

And so the saga continues...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Josiah and the abscess

Saturday morning greeted me with some slight discomfort behind my knee. Upon examination, I saw a small, red, raised bump. I thought that perhaps it was a pimple, although sort of a weird place for one to appear. It's happened before, so I wasn't too concerned.

As the day progressed, especially in the evening, it was irritating me a fair bit more. On Sunday morning, it was bigger and a little redder, with some pinkish colouration encircling it. Maybe it's some sort of bite? Whatever it was, I was not going to let it stop me from playing a round of golf (beat my best score by 8 strokes, by the way).

By Sunday night, I was in some agony...and wearing long pants...without anything between my source of pain and the pant material. I stopped into a drugstore and bought some Neosporin with pain reliever, some gauze, etc. and bandaged myself up.

The sore in question didn't seem to get any larger today, but it has become a darker red...and the diameter of the surrounding pink circle has grown a little. It's not too terribly sore if nothing touches it and I can walk pretty well (like 90%), so I'm using this (against my better judgement) as reason for not visiting a physician over the matter.

I went and did some research online, first with the idea that what I have is some sort of bug bite. None of the pictures I found really tended to match up very well. I eventually hit on abscesses, and this seems to be the closest match, although I'm not entirely sure.

Like a damned fool, I went and looked up how abscesses are treated.



My tolerance for pain is minimal, I'm not ashamed to admit. Oh, please let it be something that resolves spontaneously!

...not my kind of luck. Will probably go in tomorrow if there's no improvement.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Josiah the volunteer

...got to observe all sorts of procedures, most exciting of which was a stroke assessment. Afterwords, the nurse who'd performed it went over the findings with me outside of the room and asked me how I'd rate certain aspects according to the provided scale. Also, we went to a computer and pulled up the CT and MRI images. There was one image in the MRI series that looked a lot like something from ERP's blog and I got all kinds of excited when I saw it.

I knew precisely where the problem was...

...and as I was thinking this, the nurse asked me if I could point it out! Heck yes, I can. Without a second of hesitation I pointed to a bright white spot and said, "There!" He was quite impressed and I felt on top of the world.

It was one of the better days I've had at Big City Hospital. This week I'd been having some doubts as to whether I'd made the right decision in quitting my job and becoming a volunteer, but all of that doubt was erased within an hour of turning up. Very much looking forward to what lies in wait!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hoooooly MOSES!!

I wrote an email to my molecular biology professor this morning after class, partly expressing my exasperation at having my whole conception of the professor-student classroom relationship being knocked for a loop. See, he very briefly presents an idea and then begins asking questions of the class...he won't tell us the answer unless we're really struggling, but sometimes not even then, in which case he directs us to seek the answers on our own. I'm so used to the standard model, in which the professor opens floodgates of information and we're to open wide and ingest it. His method shakes up that comfort zone and places a tremendous amount of responsibility on each student.

At first, this really had me terrified. Going into the class, I'd heard a few stories about his exams and how no amount of study beforehand can make you feel in the least bit prepared. A 50 is apparently a good exam score... uhh. Not exactly the kind of thing you hear that instills confidence.

Now that we're starting to sink into things, I find that I really enjoy leaving the lecture with more questions than answers. I enjoy seeking out my own answers instead of them being handed down, and I kind of enjoy the insecurity of it all. I told him I feel like I'm lost at sea and unsure of which was is up. In his response, which I received just moments ago, his response was, "When you find which way is up, let me know, please!" How many professors in how many disciplines would response to an S.O.S. signal like that? Not many, and that's what makes the subject all that more delightful. He's adrift, as well...but obviously in much deeper waters.

For once, I'm studying a subject in which not all of the answers are known. To think that I stand just about as good a chance as anyone to find an answer...or to ask a question that will lead someone else to an answer...is so incredibly appealing.

I also expressed these feelings in the email, as well, along with some questions about epigenetics from a PBS special I saw a while back. Turns out that he did some ground-breaking research in that field and that the programme I saw will be shown, in part, during the course. That gave me goosebumps and got me a bit worked up, but what came next made me grin ear-to-ear and yell out, "NO....WAY!"

What caused such a reaction?

First, a little backstory.

On the second class meeting, the professor had two former students come in and speak to us about the class and how to succeed. We were invited to ask as many questions as we could think of, for these folks were his brightest students,  he proudly proclaimed. One of them just received some tremendous grant and all kinds of accolades for work that she is doing in the field, and the other just scored a 39 on the MCAT.

A 39.

These obviously are not unintelligent folks.

The Q&A session was enlightening, but wasn't nearly long enough. We needed a few hours to really satisfy everyone's curiosity and ease their fears. haha

So, back to the response I received from my professor and the bombshell written at the end.

He'd given me some extra information about the subject in the PBS programme...just enough to really get me excited for section in which we study that phenomenon. It was followed by, and this is a (almost) direct quote, "I believe you would eventually perform very well in this class - you remind me of (the guy who scored a 39 on the MCAT), one of my guest student speakers on Wednesday!"

I've read it over and over again in the last half hour since that arrived in my inbox. What a tremendous compliment! That's even better than the one my genius anatomy professor gave me last fall. WOW!

Feels like starting over

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

This week marked my last day as an employee of Big City Hospital. Not much else to say, except that I start tomorrow as a volunteer. I'll be in the same department and everything, so the change isn't going to be too terribly apparent. The exclusion of a paycheck isn't so hot, but massively shorter hours and less responsibility (freeing me up to witness procedures and such) sounds lovely.

Having completed my first week of classes, I feel a bit exhausted physically and mentally. My molecular biology class is downright devilish, but alarmingly interesting. Never thought I'd live to see the day something like that came from my lips. Microbiology was always a bit more my speed. Hm!

One startling bit of news was delivered this week. I'd written an email to a medical student in which I, among other things, talked about how my university career is going so far (not good enough to get into medical school). I listed a number of factors that I feel contributed to my poor showing, and expressed a little frustration that I'd worked like a dog in some classes but still failed to produce an A or a B. The response I received knocked me for a loop.

She said that I expressed a lot of characteristics of having ADHD. She knows, because she has it.

I was skeptical at first. As we discussed the matter further, I began to see it as a real possibility. A lot of things certainly match up. I got a little excited, realising that this could be the starting point for a new direction in my life. I certainly know I have the intelligence and the potential to do well, but I've been having a hard time following through with it in recent years. With a little help, I could realise my potential and who knows how far I'd go.

With a bit of fear, a bit of embarrassment, and a bit of eagerness, I went to the university counseling center and scheduled an appointment to talk with someone about this and to see if I can go through a proper evaluation and such.

Even if I haven't got ADHD, I do have some sort of problem that needs sorting out, and I feel like I'm reclaiming a little of my life with this first step.

Who'd have ever seen that coming?

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Par for the course, part 23987209

Highly intelligent, extremely cute girl who was in my microbiology class last fall is in one of my classes this term. I worked up the nerve to speak with her today...

and she's only recently acquired a boyfriend. As in, within the last two weeks. She'd been single forever, she told me.

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

haha. All I can do is laugh!

...and cross my fingers, hoping she's free again soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The psychology behind getting rip-roarin' drunk

In times of extreme emotional instability, while not the healthiest avenue down which to travel by any means, I can understand why someone would drink themselves stupid. Furthermore, I can also understand someone with little to no experience with alcohol drinking far too much, as they haven't got any feel for their limitations.

What I do not understand, at all, is why people (especially groups of guys) want to congregate and drink until the point of passing out...or why they plan these events with such enthusiasm. Bro, we're going to get soooo waaaasted!

 Logically, incapacitating oneself so severely should be among the last items on life's to-do list.

Some of ERP's latest blog entries deal with "partying" (a name for that activity that I always found to be so cheesy and silly-sounding), and Party Boy II made a comment to Party Boy I on Facebook about them getting all effed up when they reunite over Christmas break, which brought this on. It's something that I think about from time to time, but this holy collection of events all but told me that this post needed to be made.

Having a few drinks and getting silly is one thing (and an enjoyable thing, at that), but to take it to such an extreme... I never have understood.

I must admit that I am grateful for that behaviour on some level, though. It sure makes for great med blog posts.

Monday, August 23, 2010


They're good to have.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lucky charms

Ceci n'est pas une Josiah.

I've never been the kind of person who went much in to superstitions and whathaveyou, but one thing did emerge during mid-2009.

It seems as though I acquired a "lucky" pair of underpants.

As a child, many times did I hear tell of people having "lucky" items, such as pennies, a rabbit's foot, four-leaf clovers, as well as a wide variety of other interesting, and sometimes comical, items. There were several points in my early life in which I decided that I, too, should have some lucky article. I had a couple of lucky pennies, and somehow ended up with a rabbit's foot keychain when I was around 7 or 8.

What good fortune did any of those items ever bring?


So, for many years, I went through my life never so much as giving a thought to anything of that sort... that is, of course, until somewhere around June 2009.

I'd purchased myself a new package of underwear...and there was a bonus pair included. Lovely colours (solid), quite soft and agreeable to the most sensitive of areas. Ahh yes, money well spent. Whilst folding the laundry after the first washing of these new drawers, I noticed one of the new pairs. Light blue. A baby blue, even. That's always been a favourite colour. Don't reckon I'd ever owned a pair of similar hue. Exciting times. Cause for celebration, Carnival style.

Now, the next part of this story is a bit cloudy to me. Although I'm no longer sure of precisely what transpired on the day I first donned those magical underpants, besides taking constant note of how wonderfully they fit, I do know that it was fantastic. So fantastic that, when I was removing them, I made an immediate connection between my good fortune and my underwear.

A charm was born.

From then on, any time something big was coming up, I'd be sure that my bearers of brilliant luck would be clean and ready for wear. I wore them on test days, I wore them when I was likely to encounter desirable women on a Friday night, I wore them to my interview and to my first day at Big City Hospital, and on my first day at my new university...which, incidentally, is what brings me to tell this tale.

Yes, on that day nearly one year ago, my first day on campus brought many delights of the female variety. I met many attractive and intelligent young women that day and felt like I'd hit the jackpot. Of course, I learned over time that all of them were too young and/or already dating someone, but the fact of the matter remains that I'd met more girls in one day than I had in the last 6 months back home.

So, this afternoon as I was folding laundry, it just so happened that the ol' baby blues ended up being the last pair in the pile. Primed and ready to go for tomorrow, they are, which shall hopefully be even half as successful as the previous year. I'm crossing my fingers, looking out through the window for shooting stars...

That was it?

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

Well. The ceremony was lovely.

And she.



Almost better than I'd ever seen her. Once, on the best New Year's Eve of my life, she looked better...but the circumstances had something to do with that.

I scanned the church for attractive women as we were shuffling out and off to the reception, but came up rather empty. There were two women who seemed like they were nice, but boyfriends/husbands/whathaveyou entered the picture.

I'd thought that something like this might happen. The very thing that dragged my carcass in there with a big grin on my face...nowhere to be found. I have to laugh. This is my luck. I can't even meet women at a wedding!

The reception went just about how I'd imagined it would go. Her stuffy relatives either ignored me completely, even after making eye contact, or were very short with me. Excellent! Her mom was in full swing in her role as Ms. Socialite, bragging about this, that, and the other.

I found one of Old Flame's sister's friends to talk to, and that turned out to be really nice. Yeah, she's married. Wouldn't be terribly interested if the situation were different, though. I saw some other people I used to know through Old Flame that I really liked and we had a good, but short, series of conversations.

Old Flame and I only spoke for 2 minutes at the most before someone interrupted. Her husband stuck around for less than 20 seconds, no exaggeration. Fantastic. At least I made the sincere effort!

The best part of the whole ordeal was being introduced to a friend of Old Flame's mom. The guy seriously shakes my hand, eyes me up and down, and walks off. Just like that. Wouldn't even make eye contact with me for the rest of the time I was there.

I am so incredibly glad that it was not me inheriting that mess today!

So, Ol' Josiah rolls on.

Maybe this, finally, will close this sordid chapter of my life.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This is it

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

Today's the day. Old Flame will be Mrs. So-and-so in a few hours. I woke up yesterday morning depressed at the idea, and can't honestly say that today is much better. I did a lot of thinking about it last night before falling asleep, and it's got to be that I still wish things were as good as they were for a certain period of time. No better adjective comes to mind than, "magical." The whole affair was from way out of left field, completely caught me by surprise, knocked me for a loop, and so on and so forth. She was the funniest, sweetest, most compassionate, and certainly, most beautiful woman I'd ever met. Things were absolutely brilliant.

For a period of time.

Then she cooled off a bit. Then things were normal. Then she'd cool off again. Over and over. I knew she had a whole bundle of stress in her life, what with her family and some things in her past, so I tried not to pressure her or pry.

I was going nuts. A real miserable wreck during the down times.

I should've broken it off, but I was afraid that my doing so wouldn't make things any better. There was the distinct feeling of being stuck against the wall, nowhere to go. All I could do was wait for the good times to come round again...maybe make my break then.

But who was I kidding? Each time things were back to normal, I convinced myself somehow that they'd always be normal from then on. No more of this cyclic stuff, she's off that.

Wrong, each and every time.

She's the one who ended it, after three or so years of madness and ecstasy...never simultaneously. She reeled me back in briefly not long after, but then swatted me upside the head with the news she'd been seeing someone else.

It took a long time...a very long time...to get over that. In fact, it wasn't until sometime in the last 3 months or so.

We've stayed in contact, still good friends...we have a lot of the great conversations along the lines of what we used to have, but the sparkle in her eyes is diminished. It's kind of similar to a re-rerun of "Good Times." First time was brilliant, second time was still pretty good...but the third time, there's nothing there. It's flat and void of originality and life.

I've only met the guy she's marrying a handful of times. I liked him alright, I guess. He's a little whiny and has some questionable items in his past, but whatever. I'm not marrying the fool, and with the way things have been the last couple of months, it doesn't look like I'll be hearing much about him either. She's been far more out of contact than she has been in the past. Probably for the best, really.

So, in a few short hours, I'll put on my best suit and make the drive back my old hometown. I'll sit in a beautiful church, surrounded by loads of stuffy society types, and let this thing blow on through. Maybe during the reception I'll meet a nice, eligible woman and we'll sneak off to some little restaurant and lay the foundation for something beautiful.

Or, Old Flame will introduce me to a few who are somewhere in the vicinity of less-than-desirable, and announce to them that I want to be a doctor. The talons will dig in and I'll have to concoct some calculated and daring escape.

Or, better yet, all the women will be astounding and Old Flame will provide proper introductions, but they'll sense that I'm not from a family of billionaires and turn their noses up. haw haw haw.

Whatever. I just want it to be over and done with quickly and come back home. Classes resume Monday, so I've got far more important things with which I should be concerning myself.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting better all the time

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

I packed my things and returned to my apartment Monday evening, only to find that the locks had been changed. Thirty minutes later, I had the new key and began  hauling things in... and found that one of my new flatmates was present.

Turns out to be Grad Student! We got on famously and spent the next five, yes five, hours talking about a variety of subjects. It felt so good to have a flatmate with whom I could converse about world matters and who perfectly understands the need for quiet and a reasonable amount of order. He's incredibly polite and, at 2 a.m. when we decided to call it a night, he mentioned he'd stay up a bit and watch television...and wanted to know if the volume was low enough so as not to disturb me! It was an incredible moment, after living with inconsiderate animals for a year.

As I prepared for bed, I noticed that I was feeling a little ill. Perhaps it was due to not eating enough... I got a granola bar and forced myself to take two measly bites. Nope, hunger is not the culprit here. I felt incredibly nauseous...and worse. Oh, my.

I submitted to the first wave of illness around 2:40 a.m. At 3 a.m., noticing Grad Student was still awake, I knocked on his door and explained the situation. I asked if he'd mind running down the street to get some crackers and Gatorade, my go-to food products during times of illness. He was all too happy to go, and I expressed my gratitude a million times over.

Barely 30 minutes would go by and I'd have to visit the facilities to carry out two of my least favourite activities. I was completely miserable, beyond any awful feeling I'd experienced previously. What a nightmare.

Things very slowly improved throughout the day Tuesday, but I was surely not without copious amounts of misery. After procuring some medication to settle the stomach, as well as some ginger ale, soup, and so on, thanks to my lovely mother, I was in far better shape. I slept for nearly 13 hours last night, completely uninterrupted.

Today, I ate for the first time in over 36 hours...and showered. I'll tell you, the shower was far more enjoyable.

Another guy is due to move in tomorrow, and the last on Friday. I do hope that I'm in proper shape to greet them and assist with the transportation of their belongings into their respective rooms. Furthermore, I hope that they're near as decent as Grad Student!

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Monday, August 16, 2010

There comes a time

My  dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

My return to Big City Hospital has been better than I thought it would be, but the magic and the excitement and my desire to be there as an employee have all slipped out through the back and are waiting for me to catch up in some destination unknown. Consider my two weeks notice to have been formally submitted.

Perhaps it's a mistake, and one that I'll regret greatly in the coming months and years, but this is what my heart says to do.

Some of the nurses weren't too happy, most didn't care (or didn't have time to). The idea of coming back as a volunteer was suggested by a few of them. I might do that...stay in the hospital environment, but only for a few hours one day a week. This will free up plenty of time to focus on my studies, decrease my overall stress level, and afford me the opportunity to still spend time with the nurses with whom I've forged a bit of a friendship.

We'll see. I'm still back and forth on having a medical career, and to what capacity.

Also, those who oversaw my management of the event I failed to organise all approached me recently and asked that I give it another go, but with several months extra to work on it. The realisation that the event would not be anything near the capacity to which I'd aspired was a crushing blow several months ago. Things have changed and I don't know if I feel the same passion for some particular areas of the project. I want to go through with it, but I don't know if I'll have the kind of people I need to  make happen.

Furthermore, Old Flame's wedding is almost here. My desire to go is slightly above my desire to wake and find a bald spot upon my head. She's my friend, I'm happy, etc...but ahh. It could've been us. I'm glad that it isn't...yes, finally glad... but ahh. Plus, her family members make me squirm with their high society airs. I guess the upside is that there will be plenty of women around and I'm at my best in a suit and tie. Ah, I don't know.

That's what it comes down to, all over again.

I just don't know.

I just need a little hint of what I should be doing, what decisions I should be making, what I should focus on and what I should let fall to the side.

Maybe I don't need any of that. Maybe what I need is to shut up, keep my eyes open, and press on.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lessons in Medicine, Act III

To recap where we've been:

Act I: Worship the nursing staff

I learned this well before ever entering the hospital environment, thanks to the blogs I follow. I feel confident that I'd have learned this on my own, but it's good to be prepared in advance.

Act II: Know everything

Simple enough. Be on top of your game. For me at this point, this entails just minor knowledge of the conditions of certain patients, but mostly the whereabouts and general goings-on for the nursing staff and doctors who parade through Comes in handy when you're answering phones. heh

And, without further ado...

Act III: Use your common sense

So far this week, I've seen a number of examples of how plain ol' common sense can play a tremendous role in patient care. To be perfectly honest, I'm having a terrible time trying to verbalise this point. It just goes without saying, similar to how one knows how to breathe. You just know. Err, well, you know what I mean.

A confused, mumbling elderly person who'd been pretty lucid previously probably needs to be looked at. Dizziness, nausea, and seemingly unquenchable thirst won't be resolved by dumping more Pepsi down your throat. Again with the nausea; a patient who can't keep anything down probably shouldn't be given pills to be swallowed.

On and on and on it went. Sometimes I wonder how we've survived this long. haha.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's such a perfect day

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

Upon waking this morning, I took to running, skipping, hopping, and ecstatically moving all over the flat. I even stood there, silently, admiring the place for several minutes. Excitement swept over me as I thought about purchasing a classically-styled wall clock, a nice floor lamp, and some other little bits and pieces to add a touch of character. Ooooh, I could even haul out my record player and show off my impressive jazz collection to several close friends. Some of them have never seen the place!

The possibilities sweeping through my head were exciting and endless. The realisation set in that, in two weeks, three new flatmates will have arrived to spend a year and that at least one of them might be sloppy. Sort of put a damper on my festivities, but I quickly brushed that aside to enjoy the moment and reassure myself that nobody could be as bad as Party Boy.

Pharmacology and I parted ways this afternoon. Overall, I was really disappointed at the shallowness of the material...the book seemed as if it were written for high school students. The biggest tragedy was the last chapter, and the one for which I'd been so excited all term: Neurological Disorders. I was expecting some good info on Parkinson's and dementia, but instead, received only 3/4 of a page for each. The majority of the chapter had to do with blasted headaches and those confounded seizures. Booooooooooring. Ah, should've known better. Now that I'm thinking about it, there wasn't even the slightest mention of neuropathy. To think!

My pharmacology book was a rental and was due back by 5 p.m. Seeing as how the bookstore is in relatively close proximity, I reckoned I could spend the afternoon watching a little golf before I subjected myself to the unbearable heat of summer.

4:30 arrived before I knew it and it was out of the flat with me. I dragged an armful of books with me to the car and started it up... but there was a bit of hesitation before the engine cranked up. Hmm, that's not good. I turned the car off and waited a minute or two. Upon trying to start it up again, I was greeted with a rapid clicking sound from the dashboard...nothing from the engine.


I know a great deal about automobiles. I'm so good (HOW GOOD ARE YOU!?), I'm so good that I can look at a car's headlights and tell you...exactly which way it's going. Thank, Mitch Hedberg, for the joke.

As I was saying, I know next to nothing about automobiles. I did, however, find that I knew enough to realise the battery was kaput. I phoned in for help at 4:40 p.m. Next, I phoned the bookstore to tell them of my tale of woe. The gentleman politely told me that he was sorry about my luck, but that if the book was not back by 5, I'd be charged late fees. Nothing anyone can do about that, so, there you have it. I thanked him for his time and disconnected. It took but one phone call to find a place nearby that could get me set with a new battery in under 10 minutes. Great!

At 15 minutes past 5 p.m. (nearing the expected arrival time of The Man With The Jumper Cables, everything capitalised), the bookstore phone and said that they'd be open a little later and that I could drop it off without charge until 5:45. I told them I was still waiting for assistance and then had to get a new battery, but I'd do my absolute best to be there before they shut the doors.

Help arrived at 5:40 p.m. Furthermore, I had to stand near my car in the heat for precisely an hour. Not only that, but it began to rain as The Man began to dissolve mountains 10 km high of corrosion crusts from the battery terminals. Perfect.

Ordinarily, I'd have been fuming mad. There's another situation which I won't go into that required my presence. I wanted to be there, as well. With all of this, however, it was looking like an impossible task. But yes, I decided to just throw my hands up and surrender to the circumstances I'd been dealt.

I'm so glad that I did.

The Man was rather friendly and we had a good conversation as he resurrected, however temporarily, my car's battery. I got the feeling, a feeling I don't often get, that he was a good and honest man through and through. A thousand utterances of thanks were delivered, and received well, as we parted ways.

The automobile service joint is, at least from what I remembered, right off of one of the main roads near the university. As I approached where I thought it was, I felt my phone vibrate. I'd missed a call and whomever it was had left a voicemail. I listened to it without checking the number of the caller.

It was the bookstore.

The time, it was nearly 6 p.m. The same guy I'd dealt with earlier said that they'd just closed and were sorry that I hadn't made it in time.

...BUT, as long as I could drag my carcass in there when they first open tomorrow, I can avoid being charged anything extra.

It was a beautiful moment for me. The money, ehh, even though I haven't got it (hurry up, financial aid!), isn't was bothered me. It was the situation. Another situation in which I find myself at the receiving end of a solid blow to the kisser, as they used to say. This, too, I resigned myself to and went about my business. To hear, however, that someone was going to cut me a break... cut me a break...really made me feel incredibly thankful! I tried to phone them back to thank them, but there was no answer. I'll arrive in the morning with chilled bottles of champagne, then. heh.

There were two university-aged guys in the auto store (which, by the way, was nowhere near where I'd thought)...and once more, I found myself in the company of friendly, talkative people. We laughed about how much we'd each paid for books for the coming year, and I spread to them the gospel of e-books via torrents and such. The younger guy, just starting out his college career, was beyond thrilled to find that he could return one of his brand-new, unopened books and take back his hard-earned $170-something. I was glad to have been a part of that moment. haha.

The changing of the battery was, of course, swift. The conversation as it was switched was lively and ended with the both of us wishing each other the best of luck in the upcoming year.

The situation in which I wanted to become involved had been canceled, so there was nothing left to do but go back to my lovely flat and do, for the first time since May, precisely as I wanted! I cooked a nice dinner and as I was sipping away at my Yorkshire Tea, my phone buzzed.

Miss South America returned today. She was on my committee for the project that failed, and I'm rather sure that she fancies me a bit. I wasn't too interested, being all swept up with The Nurse and everything at the time... but now that I'm off of that, and sort of in limbo with the lovely shy girl from lab, I realised that I thought of her frequently while she was away. Our conversation ended with me asking her to visit before classes begin. She agreed, but then took off on me... probably chased her off somehow. Ha.

Things are just lovely, all the way around. I can't believe my luck to be experiencing such joy so shortly after being such a miserable wreck. That much sweeter.

I'm off to watch a film on Netflix before bed. Haven't seen a film all the way through in a while. Nice treat, with a glass of Newcastle to accent it!

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Thursday, August 5, 2010


My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

It is my great privilege to announce to you that, as of five minutes ago, I am the sole occupant of this flat. The clouds have parted and the sunshine is raining down in all sorts of heavenly glory.

...and the place is CLEAN!

There is nothing to step around, over, or on to get from my room to the kitchen. There is no need for a doormat outside of my bedroom door to scrape off the assorted deposits on my socks so as not to track them into my pristine carpets... erm, well, believe me, the idea was seriously entertained at more than one point in the last year.

It feels like a brand new start. New opportunities, new beginnings, new, new, new!

Tonight, I'll prepare myself a celebratory feast. Off to procure the ingredients!

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The plan

The plan, as it stands now, is as follows:

Number 1: MCAT next summer
Number 2: Apply to a couple of med schools and a couple of PA schools
Number 3: Look at graduate programs in the Scandinavian countries and the UK
Number 4: Look at employment with Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Number 5: Look at employment in the golf industry.
Number 5a: Look for employment in a laboratory...actually use my degree. GASP!

If I get into PA school and not med school, I reckon I'll do that a few years, which will surely strengthen my application. It'll also give me an even better look at the life of an MD and I'll make absolutely certain that's the route for me. I'll apply to med school 3 times, and if I don't make it, I don't make it.

Back to Big City Hospital later this week after three weeks away. I'm nervous, and I'm kind of dreading it to be perfectly honest. It was a disaster the last week or so I worked. Nothing to do but roll the dice and see what happens, though.

Major update: O-chem and I have officially, and finally, parted ways. I destroyed the lab; almost certainly made an A. The lecture...not so much. Probably another C. I spent a few days ripping myself to bits over that possibility, but now that it's over? Pssh. Whatever. I did the best I could, and that's all I could do. Gotta move on.

Party Boy still has loads of his stuff here, but half of it is in his new place and he is sleeping there...last night was the first. It's unbelievably lovely to have peace and quiet in the flat. It's absolute silence. It's beautiful.

Now's the time for a cup of tea and some work for my last exam of the semester...and I'm doing it with a smile.