This blog is about one ordinary guy, blessed with extraordinary experiences, and how I got Crazy Enough for Medical School. Now it's time to share those experiences with others. The name's Tim and I'm training to be a doctor. A trauma surgeon to be exact. From down right heart-wrenching to positively hysterical; come ride the ups, the downs, the twists and turns of my life. See the hardships, blessings, and lessons that have prepared me for my quest to become a doctor. Lets have some fun =)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Banana Hammock

Every now and then life will just go perfectly. The birds sing, squirrels from Sleeping Beauty come out to cook you bacon, and angels descend from freshly parted clouds followed by a warm trickle of sunlight to kiss your cheek and tell you, “Hey, you have a nice face. Here’s a bag of Skittles.”

Then there's times like when you find out about your living situation at a school you are paying $80,000 a year to go to. The birds silence their song to drop turd, the squirrels put down the bacon and go after your nuts, and that wonderful fruit-flavored confection bearing angel comes back like:

Remember that from the previous post? Well I actually DID match with few cool sounding (for the time being) people. I get my notice in the email that all the arrangements are made and check over the details... What? Who the heck are these people?! I didn't match with these fools! So naturally, I click on their "roommate profile" and scope them out. Who knows, maybe they are some cool dudes.



The first guy describes himself as an "incredible athlete" and active guy, giving an entire list of things he is "active" about. That list is one item long. That one item is... badminton. There are only a select group of people that can call badminton a sport, and that group is all above the age of 85, have multiple joint replacements, and are legally blind. When you are 20 something and calling it a sport you are an "incredible athlete" at, you better be playing with grenades. However, I have a feeling there is a severe lack of explosions in this man's sport. Now, I'm all for playing badminton. In fact, I think it's pretty darn fun. But calling it something that involves feathers a sport and judging my athletic prowess by seeing how well I can punish a geriatric "risk taker"? Nope. I mean it's bad enough there is curling in the Olympics. If we call badminton a sport, we will have to start calling chess a sport, and then Wheel of Fortune. It's just going down hill here people. He also describes himself as fastidious yet easy going. First off, who the crap uses that word? Second, you are either anal-retentive (I refuse to use that other word) or you are easy going, not both at the same time, unless you have some personality disorder. So, I have a narcissistic bi-polar geriatric hater that uses a thesaurus as one of my roommates. Great.

Next guy: He has no information written. So naturally, I creep him out on Facebook. WORST. MISTAKE. EVER. I will not sleep this night. It is this image that compelled me to even write this post. If I have to suffer SO DO YOU. I hope to GOD this isn't the guy I'm rooming with. But its the same name and under job it says "student" so there is a good possibility. Heck, 1% possibility is too much of a possibility when his profile picture is THIS:

***So I removed the picture cuz it was just straight up disturbing. The description just may be even more so, but at least that is all in your minds eye instead of your real ones. It was a rather large man in red bikini like underwear hugging a girl that decided to place her hand on said his red bikini clad junk. Boom. Now go stab your minds eye out.


NO PLEASE GOD NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! For the love of all that is holy... I promise I'll stop cheating at Uno. I'll help the elderly cross the street. I will take back everything I just said about the other roommate! Sweet Eight Pound, Six Ounce, Newborn Baby Jesus in your little manger, lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors... Please do not let this man be the actual guy I'm rooming with. LOOK HOW MANY TIMES I HAD TO CENSOR THAT PICTURE!

After griping about something as silly as badminton... this happens. Badminton is a sport! I take it back! Badminton can be art for all I care! I believe you oh Best Incredible Athlete of the much respected and highly regarded sport that is Badminton. You can use whatever words you want! Here, I bought you a thesaurus to go with your crazy words.

Saying I feel foolish whining about someone's word choice and athletic preferences would be an understatement. The moment my retinas were accosted by that unhallowed and irrevential image (I used a thesaurus for that one), BAM! LESSON LEARNED.

One good thing about starting this blog is that it helps me remove myself from situations and take on a 3rd person view. It gives me a more humorous and lighthearted approach to otherwise irritating, or sometimes optically unnerving, happenings. And after that image... I need all the help I can get. This doesn't mean I'm not going to hope Mr. Banana Hammock isn't actually my roommate. But if he is, get ready for some good blogging. We can play games like "Try to Keep Eye Contact" and "How Fast Can I Get to My Room and Lock the Door" and "Guess That Shape".

Okay maybe not that last one. Definitely not that last one.

Phillippians 2:14 "Do everything without grumbling or arguing"   (easier said than done in my case)

Luke 6:37  “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

John 7:25 "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tom & Jerry

Working in a physical therapy clinic (for now), I see up to 60 patients a day between all the therapists. Some of these patients offer a little more entertainment than others. Two such characters decided to show up at the same time. It was a funny sight seeing two 90+ year old men sitting on opposite sides of a small inlet in the clinic. Both were doing their treatment and not able to see the other due to their PTs blocking their view. If you didn't know any better you would've thought it was one person facing a mirror. I was excited to see these two interact but little did I know, I was about to witness a little sample of pure geriatric jest and good old fashion, uphill in the snow, home grown, "I survived the depression and WWII" smack talk honed and hardened by years of dealing with almost 100 years of peoples' crap.

But before we step into the elderly arena, let's meet our contestants shall we? For legal reasons lets just call them Tom and Jerry. Both Tom and Jerry come in on a regular basis and boast of their age. Without fail, the question "How many 95 year old guys do you know that still have all their teeth and a full head of hair?" is asked by Tom at least twice at every appointment. Jerry on the other hand comes in asking "Am I the oldest one here? How many 93 year olds do you know that can do as much [working out] as I do?" After about the 908th time I've been asked these questions I started giving them different answers each time. "Well, I can name about 5, Jerry." Jerry's best reply was, "Yeah and I can name about 5 fingers that's about to shut your lying mouth." (Now since I know everyone is just super worried about my safety, I'll let you know all this is in jest. Though, I wouldn't want to cross the guy. I've seen him workout. His tripod cane looks like some serious business also). Tom wields a similar humor. I once answered "Well, does your mother count?" to his "How many guys do you know with hair and teeth" question and he laughed hysterically. Hold on to this. This comes into play again later in this blog. 

So now you understand my excitement. The two of them were smiling, looking around ,talking with their respective PTs just fine. Then inevitability hits. The two PT's move out of the way. Eye contact is established. I have now moved a sofa into the clinic and am sitting on the opposite side of the room with freshly popped popcorn and my 3D glasses watching on. Their smiles instantly drop. Their backs straighten up. They are now staring at each other like a couple of cats on opposite ends of an ally. Really old cats. Really old cats with guns. Really old cats with guns at high noon.

To compare between the sexes, we have older lady patients meet all the time for the first time. They talk about how pretty each others hair looks, or where they got that cute bag, and "Oh how I just LOVE your nails!" And then there are guys.

"How old is that guy... HEY HOW OLD ARE YOU?!" Tom asks.



"What'd that guy say?"

Seeing this going nowhere fast I stepped in to interpret, "He just said something about your mama, Jerry." Ok, no I didn't say that. Almost... "He asked how old you are."

Jerry: "Yeah? Well how old are you?"

Tom: "What's it to you?

Jerry: "Don't you worry about that"

Tom: "I'm 95 years old. Beat that grandma"  (Yes he did just call him grandMA. You read that right.)

With a defeated look Jerry answered under his breath, "Well sonofab****, Im only 93"

Tom: "What?"

Jerry: "What?"

Tom: "What'd he say?"

Jerry: "Is he still talking?"

This low key banter when on for awhile with the more than occasional "huh?" "what?" which made it that much funnier to watch. Then the exercises started. There were the occasional "You aren't doing that exercise right there chief" and the "Faster grandma lets go" and then magic happened.

Tom: "Get that leg up higher you old fool!"

Jerry: "At your age, that's the ONLY thing you can get up now, you old bag!"

Tom: "That's not what your mother told me."


I thought to myself, who taught this guy mama jokes?! Well... Remember that little comment I made earlier? The one I told you to remember? Yeah, it was me. I looked at the PTs, the PTs looked at the patients, Tom sat their smiling like a child who just finger-painted their first dinosaur picture.

Jerry, clearly impressed with the quick escalation of verbal abuse, looked over at me like:

And here I am like:

  And Tom is still sitting there like:

Seeing this reaction, I do believe with one fell swoop of matriarchal dishonoring, these two ornery aged guys straight out of "Grumpy Old Men" just became best friends.

As their session comes to a close, Tom and Jerry walk up to each other:

"My friends call me Tom"

"My friends call me 'Jacquomo Tortello Dominico Fedicco Baccegalupo." (He was purposely being a turd)

"Yeah? Well see you around Denise"

And out they walked both with smiles on their faces. The rhythmic "Huh?!" or "I can't hear you" was still heard as they shuffled out the door."

This last part is a little sweeter than you realize. Jerry will break down and cry every now and then. While taking out an old worn black and white picture of his late wife. He talks of his beautiful lady and how he misses her so like she died just yesterday. She has been dead for 8 years now. Not able to have children, he is now living alone by himself. He shows up to PT 2 or sometimes 3 hours early, I assume, just to converse with people. He is quick as a whip and brightens my day every time he comes in. Now, instead of asking where all the cute receptionists are, he asks for Tom.

Tom was in a similar situation for awhile. He then found a woman and married her 15 years ago. Tom told me when he married her at the age of 85 he promised her 20 years. And you know what? He may just make that promise. He is a strong guy, and not just for a 95 year old --oh and did he mention he has a full head of hair and all his teeth? Remember: full head of hair and all his teeth. He too asks for Jerry.

Tom and Jerry met a few more times and each time ended with a handshake, a pat on the back, and a smile. You can never be too old to touch or be touched by someone's life.

Tom is no longer a patient there but made sure to tell me with all sincerity "I always thoroughly enjoyed working with you. When you become a doctor, I would count myself blessed if I was under your care. No really, Tim, I mean it." I hope to some day be worthy of such a compliment.

So at the end of this blog, I raise my glass to feisty old people, smack talk, mama jokes, friendship, and confirmation that I may just be heading in the right direction.

Proverbs 27:17 

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Roommate Matching

I had to stop my story about two old patients talking smack to about each others’ mamas mid-blog to bring you this story. And normally nothing tops old men throwing maternal jabs and sarcastic motivations at each other… except for roommate matching. 

So here I am, making a profile of my interests, hobbies, living habits, etc. I sift through other mens’ profiles reading excerpts like “I’m a pretty active guy, love to work out and stay fit. Love dogs. Can be shy at times until I get to know you…” 

That was about the time I started to keegle. I’ve never felt the need to peruse a gay online dating site before, but this is starting to sound A LOT like one. Roommate matching just became faaabulouuusssss! I’m just waiting for the profile that reads “I enjoy long walks on the beach, and cuddling up to watch The Notebook.” Here I am, checking out other dudes’ profiles to see if they are a good fit for me. I message some that sound like they could be at least not total dingleberries, and when I open up my email the next day to see a lack of response, I feel rejected. COME ON roommate match #2, we are 98% compatible! LET ME LOVE YOU! 

Then when I don’t hit it off with the guy I want, I lower my standards and try again. This is beginning to sound like I need relational counseling.  

That’s it. I’m going to start messing with these people. You asked for it Roommate Matching Powers That Be. While discussing school and study habits, I’m going to throw in there my passion for jelly assortments and favorite wine tasting destinations. I kidd you not Kemosabe. I’m keeping this blog open as a draft and will be updating it with the responses I get from the guys. Stay tuned!

Me: “My MAN! How goes it? I’m a pretty active guy myself, it’d be cool to have a workout partner. You ever do open water swims?”

Roommate match 1: “Hey Tim nice to hear from you. How are things? I have not. I’m more of a leisure runner than anything else. I do crossfit, but I just started and am nowhere near ‘fit’ yet.”

Me: “Fine with me! I can’t wait to do my run workouts on a beach! I was thinking, after running we could, you know, have nice long walks on the beach. Kinda helps clear the head. We could talk about our favorite kinds of toast. What you say?”

*No response yet*

*Update 2*
Me: “Hey you sound like a pretty cool dude. What’s your story?”

Roommate match 2: “Dear Tim, I am originally from South Korea and love to travel. I took a year off to work in a research lab and study for the MCAT…”

Me: “ Yeah I think I may get lonely, not having any family there. You down to watch My Little Pony with me? My previous roommate used to. It made me feel loved.”

Roommate match 2: “Im sorry, I would not feel comfortable with that. Good day”

Me: “LOVE ME!”

*Update 3*
Me: “So uh listen…. CAN I HAVE YO NUMBA? CAN I? CAN I HAVE IT? CAN I? CAAAN I? Can I please receive the secret code, that if dialed telephonically, will patch me over to you, which means it will be your beautiful numbaa?” 

Roommate match 3: “hahahaha dude... Roommates. NOW.”  

What’s beautiful about this is that some of these people may very well get stuck with me anyways lolololol.

Should future doctors be more mature than this? Absolutely not. I’ve spent enough time in the hospital to see what works and what doesn’t. The humor in a hospital can be juvenile, dark, and sometimes just weird. But what people don’t realize is it is a tool for dealing with the crap we see every day. Show me a doctor that can’t make light of SOME situations, and I will show you a doctor that will burn out and quit within the year. I’ve seen it again and again. On the flip-side, there are those that can laugh at themselves or situations they find themselves in. Those are the doctors that will wade through crap and blood for hours on end to save a life. Those are the doctors that have the fortitude to dive into the most horrifying of situations and wrench out that which is good. And humor doesn’t have to stay between just coworkers. I have seen humor bring people back to life. A crushed spirit will never allow a broken body to mend. Lift those spirits and the body will work miracles. Humor is not confined to just making someone laugh. It is a way of reaching people when nothing else will. It shows patients that doctors are not emotionally removed robots that fix up people like a mechanic fixes up cars. There is, and should be, emotion. Doctors: cry with your patients, pray with your patients, laugh with your patients. In this you will show the love required for healing. I’ve also learned you can never go by how someone reacts to what you do (within reason of course). Just like Patch Adams came across the angry, bed-pan throwing patient in the movie, I too have come across patients I thought just absolutely hated me. And again just like in Patch Adams, I was shocked and moved to learn that it was I that was requested to be by their side, to work with them, to get them to do what the other staff couldn’t, to hold their hand during their last moments. Sometimes being the “goofy one” also opens up the opportunity to be the patient’s motivation when the going gets tough, their comforter in sorrow, or their rock when all hope seems lost.

As quoted from Robin Williams as Patch Adams:
“What’s wrong with death, sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity, and dignity, and decency, and god forbid maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy, gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all – indifference. Now I’ve sat in your schools and heard people lecture on transference and professional distance. Transference is inevitable, sir. Every human being has an impact on another. Why don’t we want that in a patient-doctor relationship? That’s why I’ve listened to your teachings and I believe they’re wrong. A doctor’s mission should be not just to prevent death, but also to improve the quality of life. That’s why you treat a disease, you win you lose. You treat a person I guarantee you’ll win no matter what the outcome.”

Proverbs 17:22

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


In a world now plagued with memes (a word obviously created and spelled by someone with dyslexia, and quite possibly high on 2 - 5 different kinds of recreational drugs), my inebriated friend once asked, "What meme best describes med school?"....... Well he more accurately asked, "bwat mee-mee shows how much your !@$#ing med school blows @#$." But lets just go with my translation, shall we?

It only took me .00041 seconds to think of my answer. And here it is:

ALL the debt. All of it. Forever.

You know why that stick figure looks so weird? Because he is going to medical school, that's why. That little fool is wigging out. Notice the lack of pigment in his skin, due, of course, to books not letting him outside. Big scary books. Big scary books that'll kick your butt if you try to close them and walk away. Respect the books. Now we will direct our attention to his stylish hair-do. "Where can I get that sweet hair?! What do you call that fantastic follicle arrangement?!" Cheap. You call it cheap. You call it self-done in a dorm with clippers that no one recalls the origins of. I can go on and on from his studying induced eye proptosis, to messed up teeth from nervously biting on pencils, to the fact that he is most likely wearing a hand-me-down moo-moo straight from a Macklemore song. It all boils down to the fact that something is very, very wrong with this person. He is willingly going to med school.

Now, am I just being dramatic now? Of course. But there is no denying the fact that SOME aspects of medical school absolutely suck. Like when I found out the tuition. I calculated it out and it will be just shy of $300,000. **UPDATE: It will be more than $384K with non-subsidized loans (the only kind now available to professional level students)** That is tuition ALONE! That does not include food, rent, living necessities, etc. I don't even want to calculate that part. I think I need to go change my shorts O__O.

About six months ago I had a patient who happened to be a doctor. He is an "Atomic Cardiologist." I asked if he blew up hearts for a living... He didn't get it. Anyways, we naturally got on the subject of school. Do you know how much this guy paid for medical school? $1,700 a semester... What? WHAT?! I told him to excuse me for a second, drove to the nearest Play-it-Again-Sports, bought a wiffle bat, came back, and beat him to death with it. Don't worry. I clocked out of work. I don't beat people to death with plastic toys on company time here people. I'm not an animal.

Ok no, the Heart Bomber wasn't beaten with anything except questions. Why has medical expenses gone up SO drastically? In the course of 40-50 years tuition experienced a near 2,000% increase. I wish that kind of increase would plague my poor excuse for a food pantry.

This tuition makes no sense. There is a shortage of doctors and an even bigger projected shortage. Yet, the powers that be continue making it increasingly impossible to pay for. Yep, that'll fix it. -________-. No wonder every doctor that learned of my acceptance into medical school has told me NOT to do it. 

I know what some of you are thinking, "Oh, but when you're a doctor you will be making so much money and will pay it off like THAT! =D" ... boy.... I'm going to slap you. I'm going to slap you like a bad bad donkey. First off, docs start paying back their loans the moment they graduate. Second, doctors going through their first 4 years (residency) are only paid around 35-40K a year. Third, a cardio-thoracic surgeon and head of the pediatric surgery department I shadow is STILL paying off his student loans... 30 years after going to school. Fourth, doctors have a ridiculous percentage they pay already for malpractice insurance.

It is a dream of mine to do charity work, missions trips, pay for and perform someone's surgery that can't afford it. But I fear I will not be able to do so with such a heavy debt looming over me. I am working two jobs, holding car washes, doing odd jobs here and there, making fundraising videos, everything I can but there is no way anyone can save for a $300,000 cold hard smack down.

However, whatever comes my way I know God will provide. This is what I am called to do. Staring down more than a quarter of a million dollars of debt and still going for it... There is a certain amount of crazy you need to reach before starting med school to even attempt it.... Yeah, I think I reached it. *twitch* ... *twitch,twitch*

Philippians 4:19
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

Matthew 6:26
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"