Monday, February 12, 2018

Studying Pediatrics Sucks Sometimes

Today was awful. Well, I guess there's still the rest of this afternoon, evening, and tonight. Let me rephrase. This morning was awful. It was tough and terrible and it totally sucked all of the energy out of me.

I knew this semester was going to be challenging and not just in the academic way. This semester we are studying pediatrics. Up until today, everything had been fine and for that I am grateful. I think I had even started to let my mental guard down a little... I shouldn't have. Because I got sideswiped today.

The morning started out with a quiz. Quizzes are never fun, but I was actually prepared and sitting outside the testing room reviewing my notes. That's when I overheard one classmate explaining the process of getting pregnant--the first day of your last menstrual period, ovulation, and implantation two weeks after that... To the pregnant classmate!!!!! She is pregnant and didn't know all that stuff. But of course she didn't. She didn't have to know it. She just had sex with her husband and got pregnant. For free. Gahhhh. I put my fingers in my ears to block out the conversation and kept studying.

(Side note: That quiz was hard. I studied for about four hours yesterday, took 18 pages of handwritten notes (because I am old and I handwrite everything, which is a better learning strategy anyway, but I digress on my digression), and I still only got an 80. I mean, an 80 is fine, but after all that work I honestly wanted a 100.)

Moving forward. The quiz is over and we began the morning lecture. We have an upcoming field trip to the NICU (the intensive care unit for babies) and the professor was going over the logistics. Then she said, "Is anyone else besides 'Pregnant Classmate' pregnant? Or is it just her?" Um what... Like someone is going to be all, oh yeah, I'm pregnant. I just haven't told anyone yet, but right now would be a perfect time to reveal personal information to the entire class. Gah. No one answers, so apparently no one else is pregnant. The professor went on to say that Pregnant Classmate is allowed to skip the field trip if she wants because she knows the NICU can be upsetting to pregnant women. I immediately thought: What about women who have lost babies? Wouldn't the NICU be even more upsetting for them? We don't know what everyone has been through. There might be someone sitting in that class who has had a traumatic experience in the NICU. But no one ever considers the infertile and baby loss population, do they? Now that I am home and thinking about my day, I am really regretting not raising my hand and asking that question.

Moving on. Then the guest lecturer came. She works in a NICU and was there to give a presentation about the environment, equipment, medical conditions seen there, and other related information. The first thing out of her mouth was, "Who here has kids?"

Can I just go home now? I am done with this day.

I haaate that question. It implies that only parents know about children, which is simply untrue.

So all the regular people raised their hands. We all know who has kids by now. And then the guest lecturer went on to talk about the NICU. Without even connecting her presentation to the question she just asked. Whether or not people were parents had nothing to do with the entire lecture! There was no reason to ask that question. And then, of course, the last slide of her presentation was a collage of pictures of her daughter.

It was too much. I was already stressed and sleepy. My emotional resources were low. And then I got caught off guard three times within an hour and a half. I came home and crashed for over two hours. It all just exhausted me. Studying pediatrics with fertile people can really suck sometimes.

10 comments:

  1. Oh, man. That sounds HORRIFIC. I hope that you can be real kind to yourself this evening and recover, because that was a whole pile of trauma-poking. I HATE when people ask "who has kids" or anything that's like, "moms, right?" but has NOTHING to do with the talk at hand. This happened with Bryce at a conference on optics where the presenter went on about how she took time from her maternity leave to be there and present, and had a bunch of slides with her baby on it, and kept saying things like "you parents know what I'm talking about" even though her presentation was about FIBER OPTICS. Please. Can you talk to your professor and let her know that maybe she ought to include any baby-related trauma in her "take a pass" group? That you could see her if you've had any experiences relating to the NICU or pregnancy complication/loss/infertility instead of only giving a pass to the pregnant people? I'm glad you could plug your ears during the "How to Get Pregnant 101" info shared with an actual pregnant person. And I totally get being pissed at an 80. I love handwriting notes, too. So much stuff out there on the hand-brain connection when you handwrite as opposed to type information you need to remember... Good for you!

    Anyway, I'm sorry it was a crap day and one hit after another. I hope the rest of pediatrics proves less trigger-y. Sheesh.

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    1. Thank you for the validation. It was horrific. Today was worse so I think I will publish a post on that.

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  2. Dear Phoenix, I am so proud of you! You are studyig pediatrics this semester! I know yesterday was hard. But today is another day.

    xo

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    1. Thank you Klara. I find the information so interesting and fascinating, but it is difficult with the insensitive professors that I have. How can every professor in the whole program be so clueless? I wish the world considered people like me, even if it's just every now and then.

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  3. That sucks. Those questions are so stupid.

    At least in your blog you are documenting the mistakes these professors and guest lecturers are making. Maybe when you've finished the course, you could put it all together in a note and present to the course managers? And perhaps distribute it to your classmates too.

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    1. I am being thoughtful about how I can be most effective after I graduate. I know I am not the only person in my class thinking this way. We can't do anything while they hold all the power, but several of us are documenting everything. I may take that battle on; I may not. I will see how I feel and where I want to put my energy after I have my degree in my hand.

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  4. Ugh, what a series of crappy events. I would have thought someone who specializes in the NICU would be a bit more aware because babies go there when things *don’t* go perfectly, right? And obviously lots of people besides pregnant women could find NICU upsetting. Although I dunno...I don’t exactly see that as an excuse to not go. I would hope the people who take a pass still have to do the tour later. If it’s part of the curriculum then it’s part of the curriculum.

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    1. Exactly!!! Someone who works in the NICU sees just as many devastating situations as they do happy endings. Where does the cluelessness end??

      As for the pregnant classmate who gets to skip the field trip... That is a whole other issue. She is the prime example of pregnancy privilege. After being instructed several times to not get pregnant during the program (which isn't right either, nobody should dictate anyone's reproductive timeline), they are allowing her to end the semester two months early without penalty. Not that I want her penalized, but she will not have to do half of the work the rest of us will be required to complete.

      I seriously hate that place. I just gotta get outta there!!!

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    2. Ugh, that is so wrong. I really don’t understand how someone can miss half the course content and still pass. I can see why you hate that place it sounds effed up on a lot of levels.

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    3. Hahaha thank you!!! I am glad I started writing more openly about my current situation because I can tell from everyone's comments that it really is as bad as I think. I will get through it of course, but knowing I'm not alone in my perspective helps immensely.

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