Doctor Envy

Another one of my high school friends is finishing up med school.  He isn’t someone I expected to pursue that path but one of my computer programming friends.

It brings up mixed emotions.

On one hand, I may not have a degree but I do have 2 healthy and mostly adorable daughters.  I do get to live with a man I find fascinating, attractive, and good for my emotional health.  I have a job that challenges me to learn new things all the time.  And, I’ve had the space to work through a lot of the BS my particular flavour of religion fed me.  I may not have these things if I was an MD.

I may not have enjoyed being in the allopathic culture.  I spent some time in it while studying at the Nut-Farm (College of Nutrition and Pharmacy), and found it hypocritical, close-minded and fearful.

 “No, no one should need to take a Multi-vitamin, we should be able to get all our nutrients from food that has been mass-produced in nutrient depeleted soils and bred to be large and pretty looking instead of nutritionally dense.  Oh, except for this particular brand of vitamins that sends representatives to take me out to 5 course meals.  This is the only multi worth anything no matter what the studies say.  Don’t even look at other brands, they are bad!”

(Note- I’m talking about the overall culture, not individual professors, practioners, or classmates.)

People come into my store asking for the particular brand of vitamins their doctor recommended.  Often, it is this same cheap brand that has poor absorption but is made by a pharmaceutical company that once took me and my classmates out for those 5 course meals.  When I explain that we don’t have that brand but I have something better, those people roll their eyes at me and condescendingly tell me that they want what their doctor recommended.

I would love that sort of power.  These people don’t care that the amount of nutritional education that most doctors have is less than the introductory nutrition course offered to anyone at a Canadian university.  All those people care about is what their doctor said.

I love to diagnose.  My brain loves finding patterns.   And, I want the ability to order blood tests.  I miss looking at charts.

But, maybe being a doctor would be bad for me personally.

A cousin was talking to me about her job as a doctor in a hospital.  She said that basically she just walks around and plays with peoples’ meds.  I didn’t appreciate the way she talked about her patients or the way she talked to anyone else.  If being an MD comes at the price of losing respect for most of the world and severing ties with my family, I don’t want it.  Of course, she is a different person than I and many doctors are not like that.

But I do love to know better than others.  I know I would be both terrified and pleased at the power that people give doctors.

I think that the reason I have not resolved this issue is that I feel like the choice to pursue it or not was taken away from me when I got pregnant.

I didn’t choose for the birth control to fail, but I could have done more to prevent it.  Now it feels like that door is closed forever.  I do not have the unflagging energy required to pursue that type of education while taking care of a family.

Yes, there are many options still open for me and perhaps for opportunities that I would enjoy more.  But, I still have a sense of loss whenever I read about amazing doctors or hear about former classmates’ studies.  I wish I could just get over it.  This is part of that process.

11 thoughts on “Doctor Envy

  1. Ahab says:

    I’m dying to ask you a B-12 question. Is it true that methylcobalamin is better absorbed than cyanocobalamin? Yes, I’m a dork.

  2. prairienymph says:

    Yes its true. About the methylcobalamin anyways. 🙂
    Cyanocobalamin has cyanide which your body must remove while it converts it to methylcobalamin.
    Methylcobalamin occurs naturally and appears to be better absorbed and retained.

  3. ... Zoe ~ says:

    When I decided to quit my nursing job to have a baby…the last surgeon I was on call with asked me what I was going to do in the future. I told him I was going to have a baby. He wanted to know career wise, what was I going to do. I told him I thought I’d go back to school, get my degree in nursing (I was already an R.N.) and come back and be the boss. 🙂 He then told me not to waste my time and go to medical school instead. He told me I’d make a great doctor. I can’t tell you just how seriously I considered this, however, for many good reasons, my health and the needs of our children I could not do so. It stayed with me my whole life, this need, this desire, this want. I’m not entirely sure that some regret doesn’t stay with us for a life-time. I think it’s to be expected.

    If I had been healthy and if our children had not had physical &/or academic needs I probably would have gone back to school. Whether I could have had the marks to get into med school, well, I’ll never know. The thing is, what I see now for myself is, I was a doctor, and a nurse, and a teacher, and a physiotherapist, and a researcher, and a speech pathologist, and a bus driver, and a music teacher, and a sports coach, and a confidant, and a counsellor, and a school parent, and oh how the list goes on.

    Whether you go back to school or stay-at-home, or do a little of both or a mixture of this and that, respect yourself enough not to put yourself down for where you are at, at any given moment.

    I have a good friend who lives in the states. She’s an attorney and a partner in a law firm. She worked her butt off her whole life. High achiever. Her mother-in-law babysat her children. One day we were sitting talking and we were talking about my “almost doctor” days and how I felt somewhat defeated that I never managed it. That feeling that all these brains I use to have, I never got to use, as in higher-education. And low and behold she had tears in her eyes and was crying. I asked her why? She said all her life she wished she had spent more time with her children. So here I was envying her and there she was envying me. Life. 🙂

  4. ... Zoe ~ says:

    “Babysat” isn’t quite the right term. Her mother-in-law basically raised her children.

    • prairienymph says:

      Thanks for sharing your story. You have had a lot of difficulties and yet you seem so gracious and not bitter.
      I feel ashamed to feel regret and envy although I know no one can ever have everything.
      Part of what bothers me is that I don’t know if this dream is gone, changed, or still possible. I think I’ve moved on and am looking at other things when it hits me again.

  5. ... Zoe ~ says:

    (((Hugs))) … I know that feeling, in so many ways I still have the dream, though that possibility for me no longer exists. You could always take some university courses part-time and get a feel for the committment it requires and see if it fits with your home life. It’s not easy to figure out, I know.

  6. The difference between God and a doctor is that God doesn’t think he is a doctor. Doctors get less than 1/4 semester of nutrition. NEVER ask your doctor anything about nutrition. Ask your veterinarian.

    • prairienymph says:

      Its true. We get some people come in our store because their (European) doctors sent them, but we get people who talked to their vets too. Thanks for the reminder that I have way more knowledge than most GPs on nutrition and disorders like IBS. I think for me this issue is more about insecurity and the desire to be some sort of heroine that people look up to. I need to get over that saviour complex – its not good for anyone.

  7. Sarge says:

    It’s odd the way things turn out in life, though, something I saw at my father’s funeral.
    Most people were somewhat surprised to see me there, my parents seldom spoke of me (they didn’t like me) and most of my family and people from “back then” hadn’t seen me since 1965 0r 1968.
    They were all pretty sure that I had wound up either dead under a hail of police gunfire or serving hard time under the jail house for committing some unspeakable crime, or that I had died long ago in some ditch or alley, a degenerate wino or junkie.
    My sole attractant to police attention (until I got run down by a woman in a Jeep about five years ago) was a traffic ticket at age 16. No drugs or booze, never drank, not even a beer.

    Most were very surprised that I showed up with my only wife, to whom I’d been married for over thirty years, and my sons, both navy, the oldest with a lot of “fruit salad”, and that I played the harp for the service. Wore my tux and had my own “hero medals” on, and some who had known me before (most of the people were miltary or retired) actually checked up on me, my mother told me later.

    Right after my father’s funeral I had occasion to speak to one of his best friends.
    This man had a son that I remembered as a decent guy, we didn’t move in the same circles, but he always seemed nice. He is an osteo surgeon, went to North Carolina in the 60s when they were offering a lot of monetary incentive to get doctors down there. Now a multi-millionaire, if it’s worth owning in the state he’s got a piece of it, sits high in all sorts of boards and councils.
    But my parents HAD, in fact, talked to this man about me.

    But this man asked me a question, “are you happy”?
    I said not particularly, we’d just got done planting my father even if he hadn’t liked me, but he said, no, in your life.

    I said, Yes, pretty much. He exploded.

    “How can YOU be happy”?? was what he literally shouted.

    He pointed out that I had chronic pain, was disabled and disfigured, had no education, money, or position, had no god or religion, nor even the regard of my parents, so how was this possible?
    How could I have sons like I do, a wife that stuck with me, a positive attitude, why didn’t I just go shoot myself, go to hell, and get it over with?

    But his fulminations were’t really about me.
    His son was miserable. All his money, property, prestige, importance, and he was (then) in the process of unloading wife #5, none of his kids were worth a damn: they were all slackers and in and out of some rehab, needing to be bought out of trouble they’d brought on themselves, and it was, ” hopeless…hopeless …” he said.

    So, maybe who winds up with “the most marbles” at the end of the day isn’t necessarily a “winner”, after all.

    • prairienymph says:

      Thank-you, Sarge, for your words of wisdom.

      That helps put things into perspective 🙂 I’d rather end up like you than this guy. Although I wouldn’t mind skipping the chronic pain. Hope you are doing well considering.

      • Sarge says:

        Well, if you have a decent place to live, there’s food and drink in it, you have the love and regard of a “signifigant other” (I HATE that expression…bleagh… but it IS handy), your kids have turned out all right, your grandkids show promise and are being shown the right direction and turned into both thinkers and doers, then you really don’t have too much to gripe about. That and having most of your integrity intact.

        When we die, it’s forever, and the only “bliss” I’m sure of is the dibs and dabs we get in our day to day lives.

        I play “Taps” for a lot of funerals, and the old saying is quite correct: no matter how much money you have, how “important”, you are, the number of people who come to your grave-side service will largely depend on the weather the day it takes place.
        That’s it at the end.
        That, and two generations after you die, no matter who you are, people hearing that you died would be very surprised to hear it…because they will not have known you even lived.
        And to tell you the truth, those aren’t bad things, say I.

        The pain, though… I’d do without it if I could, but it seems to come as part of the package of life experiences, can’t duck out of it, try though I might.
        Laurence of Arabia (at least in the movie) had it down, though.
        The trick is, not minding very much that it is there, and coupling that with the mind set that there are more important things at the moment than the pain and putting it to the “back of the bus”.
        When there are seats available in the “front”, though, it will take one and remonstrate quite viorously. 🙂

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