Monthly Archives: September 2014

An Introduction to Medical School (The Hanna Edition)

Underneath the Platysma

Underneath the fine lace (aka the nightmare inducing Platysma)…

My first five or six weeks of medical school have flown by in a haze of adrenaline, gratitude, information overload, and sleep deprivation. I wake up most days well before my alarm, work for a few hours, cook or blend breakfast (one day I decided to blend, only to find that I had no fruit–my breakfast consisted of unsweetened almond milk blended with a few cups of kale and a spoonful of plain full-fat yogurt…), and head to my 8 am classes. With eyes wide (as to prevent drooping lids, luckily for me in this case, not ptosis), I absorb and absorb beyond saturation, sometimes spending my afternoons and early evenings with my nameless cadaver, sometimes spending them tucked away in a sunny corner in the library or curled up in my home office until my computer, or the position of the sun, tells me it’s time to try for some sleep. Often still inspired, I stay awake writing bad poetry until my mind and body can take no more. If I’m lucky, my eyes close and my mind shuts off (or fills with images of peeling away the platysma), and five hours later, the cycle begins again.

Seriously. I thought we already had this conversation 40 years ago.

Seriously. I thought we already had this conversation 40 years ago.

Outside of classes, there are ten billion things in which I would love to be involved (and once again I wish that I had another few centuries of life in my twenties…). I have committed myself to Global Health, so I will be traveling abroad this year. And, being myself who is now located in Texas, my eyes (and mouth) are open wide for opportunities to advocate for improved women’s health and the de-politicization of the female body. Adrenaline is also running high for Wilderness Medicine and Emergency Medicine, and I am really looking forward to both gaining skills that I can use in the backcountry (and other resource-poor settings) and learning more about access to care for our nation’s poor (I see so many opportunities to put my MPH to good use in Emergency Medicine).

Outside of medicine, I am practicing my handstands daily and am trying to expand my yoga practice in the moments between classes. There is very little time in my life for the things I need to do, so I am trying my best to use the little free time that I do have to the best of my abilities.

So, my dear friends near and far, this is a little vignette of my life (and perhaps a call for forgiveness of the lag time in making and returning phone calls and emails).

Hanging out with some friends on a Friday night

Hanging out with some friends on a Friday night