Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What is bred in the bone comes out in the flesh

My grandfather use to always use this expression - ‘what is bred in the bone comes out in the flesh’. I think of this often since I have had children. It has never surprised me when I see one of my children display characteristics of myself, their father, my grandparents, etc., but it’s the odd bits and pieces that set my mind to wandering

The Last Amazon left home to study neuroscience with an eye to eventually become a neurosurgeon. One of the reasons she choose to study at this university was an optional program which acts as a mentoring program for students wishing to pursue a medical career. Enrollment is very limited and she was fortunate to be accepted into the program.

I think it’s a great idea and I am not sure why more universities don’t offer a similar program considering the high drop-out rate by the second year of medical school. Far better to realize one is not suited to medicine before paying umpteen thousands of dollars in non-refundable tuition. Personally, I am hoping she opts for research rather than medicine. Not because I do not think she is not capable of being a great doctor but because I realize the pursuit of medicine often requires sacrifices and I want her to keep her options open. It’s very hard to be a doctor and both a wife and mother. I am not saying it cannot be done just that it is very hard and I don’t wish hardship on my daughter.

She applied to a brain injury clinic which turned her down due to her age - such is the joy of being only just turned 17 and in university, although she was offered a spot at the clinic for next September after she turns 18. She was eventually accepted in the Emergency department of a local hospital. Yesterday, she texted me she got the word to suit and scrub up as she was going into the OR as an observer. This wasn’t the Grey’s Anatomy observation room but a place on the floor watching the ‘action’.

I received this email from her last night:
It's hard for me to try and explain it by email. It'll be better if I talked to you about it. But I'll try anyway! I got to watch some interesting surgeries- two ileostomies, a kidney stone removal, two breast tumor removals, a hip replacement and a knee replacement. I also got a chance to talk to med students and hear the latest hospital gossip! I also talked to this anesthesiologist. I practically spent the entire day 8am-5pm on my feet observing surgeries! Oh yeah and the best part of my day was... I got to actually touch the tumors (once they were removed)!

I wasn’t even sure what an ileostomy was and had to look it up. Gross, but I suppose necessary, considering the alternatives. I can’t imagine even having the desire to touch a tumor and her father positively blanched at the sight of blood. Scraped knees, cuts, stitches, and broken bones were always my domain. All of I can think of is my poor mother (who volunteered to live with my daughter while she studies out of town) listening patiently as my daughter excitedly explains in gory detail involved of the operations she observed.

It truly has been an educational experience for my mother to live with the Last Amazon. Recently my daughter came across the term ‘coprophilia’ in her studies and did not have a clue as to what it meant. My mother volunteered to look it up and now wished she hadn’t. My mother so shocked she had to call and share it with me. All I could offer in the way of comfort was to suggest how awful to live one’s life ignorance…. I am writing this waiting for my mother’s call which I know is coming.

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