"What about your TV? Are you seriously thinking of leaving your baby behind? In STORAGE?! Every last lovable 52" of it? We can't abandon our child. He NEEDS us."
"But babe, they have FOUR patient simulators! Not ONE like most schools, BUT FOUR! Do you know how cool that is? Those things cost upwards of $250,000. EACH!"
WHAT!? That's crazy talk! The TV card didn't work. My husband was farther gone than I expected. So we talked further and I threw out more reasons, concerns, and questions about how and why it wouldn't work and bygum, Gary had an answer for EVERYTHING. There were no loopholes for me to snake through or scriptures to back me up and I was left without a qualifying argument. I came to the realization that I really was OK with attending this school and knew it was the right thing to do, but this girl's got issues with change and that's why I was fighting to keep my world as comfortable as possible, which is silly really. Every change I've gone through I've fought, but once I'm on the other side of it I think man I should have done that FOREVER ago. I'm not sure why I'm such a wimp when it comes to change, but I am getting better, trying to view it as an opportunity for something great to happen because really that's what it is, an opportunity.
Gary started working on his application the very next day and had it completed and submitted by Tuesday afternoon. Thursday morning he received a call from a super nice lady named Melanie asking him in for an interview. Oh and she usually interviews in Denver, but happened to still be in Vegas from the seminar Sunday night. Her plane left in a few hours, "But do you think you could be here in a hour and a half?" Those of you who are familiar with applying to medical school will know that stuff like this never happens. Primary applications are followed by secondary applications which are followed by an interview and then a rejection or acceptance letter (typically rejection) usually over a span of 6-8 months. The speed with which Gary shaved, showered, dressed, and ran out the door would have won him an Olympic gold medal if such an event existed. Who needs Micheal Phelps when you can watch a transformation from drab to fab in 8 minutes flat?
Yesterday Gary received a call from Melanie (note just ONE week after his interview) to inform him that the admissions board of Ross University had arrived at a decision and that they would be pleased to have Gary join their student body this coming semester. I don't know how to describe the feelings that followed that news. Overwhelmed. Relief. Thankful. Scared. I'm gonna pass out now. Any one of the prior adjectives would work. Gary came to visit me at work and we hugged, said "wow" a lot, and stared at each other in dumb disbelief. Then it sunk in a bit more and we realized dude we have A LOT of work to do.
Yes, my hard-working hubby HAS FINALLY BEEN ACCEPTED TO MEDICAL SCHOOL. He will be attending Ross University of Medicine located (here comes the big change part) on the small ISLAND OF DOMINICA in the Caribbean. Oh and guess what? Class starts the beginning of MAY. Like May of 2009. Like May in two months. Like we need to pack up every aspect of our lives, stick 'em in a box, put 'em in storage and hop on a plane in two months May. Yeah, like that. Hence my head exploding.
Now upon learning the location of this school, you may have questions of its credibility and will Gary be able to practice medicine in the U.S. and do they teach advanced curriculum? Believe me, I've already been over this extensively with Gary and he with the Dean of Admissions at the seminar, but to ease your worries a bit I will tell you that this university is fully accredited. They have ties and agreements with hundreds of hospitals in the U.S. and place a high percentage of students in rotations and residencies. In addition one of the top doctors at UMC in Vegas attended Ross University. Because there is the stigma that international schools aren't as good or sophisticated, Ross has gone above and beyond what most U.S. schools provide to prove themselves. Most of their students pass the USMLE and have access to valuable resources while in school. Remember the FOUR patient simulators? I'm not concerned about the quality of Gary's forthcoming education.
What was that? How long are we going to be sipping pina coladas on the beach? Well never for Gary 'cause he'll be in class, but I'll be there for 16 months and then they'll send us back to the states for rotations. I'm very grateful that I won't be stuck on an island for four years. I'm a desert rat, lived in Nevada my entire life and after spending a vacation in Hawaii I was so happy to get back to straight 75 mph freeways and dry air. Hawaii was beautiful and amazing, it just wasn't home. Then again, home includes ridiculous summer temperatures and dead brown scenery. I may not want to come back after 16 months in tropical paradise.
If you want to know more about Dominica, google it. That's what I've been doing and I've discovered that the island is 290 square miles, has 365 rivers and dons the name of "The Nature Isle" due to its unspoiled natural beauty. I've also discovered that Dominica is a "developing country" which is just a euphemism to say that there's not much there. Dominica doesn't support large scale tourism like the other islands of the Caribbean, but is instead for the outdoorsy adventurer or the hundreds of medical students being shipped in every year. Oh and Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 were filmed in Dominica so just about every motel or restaurant has a picture with a cast member and a caption that says "JOHNNY DEPP WAS HERE!"
But what about HURRICANES?! Um . . . yeah, we're not going to talk about that. Besides I'm too busy making lists of all the loose ends we're going to have to tie up to worry about hurricanes. That and I keep having random thoughts like what if they don't have the tampons I use? Janae went to Eucador on her mission and she said they didn't really sell tampons. Am I going to need to pack a 16 month supply of Playtex Gentle Glide? I know, more information than you needed, but I am so worried about them not having popcorn that I'm gonna end up arriving in Dominica with suitcases filled with popcorn and tampons, but forget the basics like my underwear. Gary decided he would head down there a couple weeks early to secure housing and to do some recon to let me know what I would be LIVING WITHOUT for over a year.
In a word . . . . . never mind, there is no one word to effectively describe everything I'm feeling or facing. But I am excited and scared and my mind is completely blown. Everything is happening so fast and I the thought came to my brain that it's all happening so quickly for a reason, being which if I had an extended amount of time to mull this move over in my mind, I probably would never go through with it. Best not to give me the time to agonize over the decision in the first place. The important things in all of this is that Gary is going to realize his dream of being a doctor, we both know that this is the right move for us, and I GET TO EAT FRESH PINEAPPLE EVERYDAY. Excuse me while I jump up and down.