Friday, June 09, 2006

so the main thing you have to know is that i was once pre-med. yeah i was also a music i tried to tie it together with art therapy but the truth was after i did an internship in that i wasn't super convinced about that whole thing. or at least i wasn't sure i could pull that all off.

ok, so knowing i *am* insane...what do you think about my taking the basic science courses that would qualify me for the mcat as a non-degree student? yeah, wouldn't that be interesting with me teaching the same students who might help me study for the coursework i either never took or took in, uh...yeah...right around the time they were born.

why? why the fuck would i be thinking about this now? i suppose that i've learned a lot about myself in the last few years, learning that maybe i should have become a psychiatrist, that maybe that's what i was really meant to do. but i guess i have to remember...would i really be able to be the loud-mouthed social justice activist that i try to be, that i am on some days, that i fail to be on other days...would i be able to do that without losing my license if i ever got that far?

but then i look at all the materials...all the coursework that easily excites me less than my undergrads who all seem to be sure that med school can be the only possible route for them...and yet they don't like what they are doing...and they question it. because they aren't really sure that med school is what they want...but how can they (or any of us) know what we want before we've gotten the chance to do what it is we think we want to do.

i recently read a personal statement of a pre-med student (not one of mine) and it looked pretty much the same as every other pre-med statement i've read in the past few years: (1) they've always had a passion for science and medicine (2) they have a personal story of tragedy or semi-tragedy that resulted in their never wanting to have anyone die again (3) when they realized that "science" is not for them but medicine is (4) why they know that medical school is the only thing they could ever, ever do.

so i'm nowhere in that last category in particular. i have to ask why though? why now? i guess it was seeing my grandfather today in the *mental care* ward of the assistive living center...seeing the bed sores...the woman who the staff laughed at who was convinced that something what all clearly, clearly wrote...paranoid delusions, they said...and i later told my dad that, yeah, they must be coming from somewhere grandfather silently screaming with the tears that couldn't or wouldn't come out and it was time for him to go home, he wanted to go home. i guess it was that same idea that i came to my current job in the dorm with...i think i can help. somehow.

my dad said earlier in the day "i'm from alexandria, where are you from" and my grandfather said "i'm from alexandria too." and my dad said that he thought that they probably planted that info into him so he knew to say it. but my grandfather isn't from alexandria...he's from virginia beach...and before that the navy...and before that rushville, nebraska. so later i asked him where home was and he said rushville, nebraska and i asked him who was there in rushville and he said that he didn't know but that he wanted to go home tomorrow.

he'd asked me how i knew him and i said that i was my dad's daughter, which didn't really register. i later told him after the nebraska comment that i lived in illinois, which is close to nebraska (closer than here for sure). tears in his eyes that wouldn't fall out, and the hemorages on his hands and arms and the bed sores, and the lips that were almost invisible against his almost pure white face and white wisps of hair...and he asked if i was trying to go home too.

i could just think to say that we all are. but i think he's ready to really go home now.

we all this place, this world. we are all going home. wherever that is, wherever that will be. but the question caught me in a different way...going home. and i thought about how many times i'd tried to go home, how many times i'd wanted to go home, how many times i think about it now. trapped in this body, on this earth...but there are so many places to go i stay and try and live another day.

all i could say to my grandfather was that he'd be going home soon, knowing what that would actually mean...the loss of his physical presense on this earth...and then the crazy lady came by and said that he was dying, he was dying, and that we needed to get him out of this place. and we do. now i need to help my father transfer him to the place where he'll likely die...the 24-hour care hospice. but at least i hope someone will be around when it happens...or that at least it will be a peaceful end of life, with some dignity...the dignity that's been removed from him all these grandmother, the dealer of death.

tertiary stages, demenia ++, late stage this and that and it all comes across as blah, blah, blah. but where are the people that know that none of this really matters in the end...can't you see the pleading? it's time to go home. and i guess, see, that's what reminds me about medicine...knowing what i can see and knowing what i know...knowing that maybe, in another life, i would have maybe been a doctor...a psychiatrist. but would i have ever learned a thing that i know now? and how long would it take before i bought the tickets at the station for those in pain...

home. home. home. where do we go now, sweet child?

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