Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meant For This

     I want to be in medical school so badly.
     Lately I've just been burning with the want to grow up. I know that that is a stupid want, and I've even talked about it a little before in Growing Down. But for the past week or so, I haven't been able to get that desire out of my head. I'm sick of being a kid. I'm really hurting as far as my arthritis goes, and if I'm going to feel that pain I need to be relating to other sick kids. I want to be a doctor because I want to relate AND treat at the same time. Pediatric rheumatology makes arthritis seem like a blessing. If I have to deal with arthritis, it sucks. If I have to deal with arthritis but even just one patient feels better as a result of ways I've helped them as a doctor, then my arthritis becomes "worth it".
     I want to be DOING something. I want to be a part of something big. I want to be in a country I never dreamed of going to as a medical missionary. I want all of the knowledge of medical school. High school has really made me realize that I absolutely love biology and I need to take my life in that direction. As a medical missionary and a pediatric rheumatologist, I can combine biology, ministry, and my borderline-insane want to help as many arthritic kids and teens as possible. I know I can be a good doctor because being a doctor is what I am supposed to do, what I am called to do. I am meant for this.
      About a month ago, I was thinking about the possibility of going into business instead of medicine. It all looked pretty good, getting an MBA and being a manager of something somewhere. You don't have to be in school nearly as long as you do for medical school. At the end of the day though, I just can't bring myself to do anything other than medicine. Of course, I am not so ignorant that I refuse to recognize that my opinions and plans could change at any time. I just think of all of the possibilities and all of the ways I can turn my struggles into someone else's joy and it is a wonderful thought.
      Enough of that.
      I had my first water therapy appointment in a while yesterday. It was P-A-I-N-F-U-L. I am especially feeling it today. My knees are so uncooperative. My elbows aren't cutting me a break, either. On the positive side, my new physical therapist is very nice. We discussed Russian history, biology (especially genetics), and The Bachelor (hometown dates are Monday!). If you know me, you know how much I love all three of those things. In fact, they're probably three of my favorite things in this world. The first appointment is always a little awkward, but she's very sociable.
      I finally caved and took my methotrexate injection. My mother is a pro at giving shots, and I didn't even feel the needle. On top of it not being painful, I just didn't feel it at all. Not even in a neutral way. I didn't feel the medication going in, either. It was a pleasant surprise.
      I actually joked with my mother that I was going to give up methotrexate for Lent. It would be a quality sacrifice, but obviously it is a stupid idea and I am going a little crazy. I think God is okay with me having my methotrexate. It is probably better than me needing to have knee replacement surgery in twenty years because I let inflammation creep back in.
      Sometimes with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis I wonder if I should just stop taking every medication I'm on (down to ibuprofen and folic acid) and let my body breathe for once and not be so constrained by the clashing of chemicals. In those situations, I have to truly accept that my body is pretty screwed up. It strangles itself on its own. The medications, as horrific as they are, let the air in my lungs. They are not responsible for all of this; my stupid immune system is. The medication is the good guy, and my body is the bad guy. At least we know my immune system isn't lazy. There's a bright side to everything.

Love,
Rachel

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Feel free to comment or shoot me an email - thekidwitharthritis@gmail.com I'll try to get back to you either way!