Feliz Ano Nuevo (yes, without the tilde)

My dear Spanish speakers will get it.  And hopefully, you’ll laugh.  As for the rest of you, meh. 🙂

Well that (meaning 2009) was interesting, wasn’t it?  Let’s cut to the chase: I bring you the highlights, a la Your Favorite Cat Lady…

1.) It has been a Year of the Miracle (AKA the Year of Immortality).  My parents escaped death, coma, vegetative states, and paralysis, by the skin of someone else’s teeth.  A case against the Click-it-or-Ticket Seatbelt Mafia: listen up: my father is alive because he was not wearing his seatbelt.  Had he been buckled in, his head would’ve hit the windshield so hard he would have died.  Got it?  He is up walking around with only scar tissue remnants of his wounds (and a nasty concussion, simply because you cannot get hit that hard, buckled up or not, and get away without getting one).  My mother on the other hand, was buckled in, and not only did she suffer head trauma as well, but she had more bone fractures than my father did, and severe internal injuries caused by the seatbelt itself that caused serious internal bleeding and thus required major emergency surgery.  And again, for the cheap seats: she was the one wearing her seatbelt.  I also personally knew one other person who would have been alive today had she not been buckled up.  So there.

Anyway, I’m beyond thankful that they are alive, period, injuries or not.  By all respects, this is the holiday season that in many parallel universes, they were not around to be able to celebrate and by all rights, we could easily have buried them in May and have spent our first holidays mourning their loss.  Miracles do happen, and my parents are proof.

2.) It has been the Year of the Diagnoses.  Finally, I have at least a few key answers to several of the mysterious illnesses I mentioned struggling with last year.  The first answer came in May, the day before my parents’ crash: Meniere’s Disease.  Now, I have two of the three major criteria, but I am missing a key component, so I think that while we might be on to something, that particular conclusion isn’t quite accurate.  We shall keep looking.

Also, this year, I joined the gluten-free club.  No, it’s not a fad.  No, it’s not a choice.  No, it’s not easy.  Yes, the decision itself was easy.  As a result, much of my brain fog has cleared, my memory is slowly recovering, my ability to learn has improved, my mood has stabilized dramatically, and better yet, my night vision has returned almost completely after a decade-plus-long hiatus.

I also began working to correct my anemia by taking iron supplements more diligently, and boy has it paid off.  Not only do I have more energy, but my mood is significantly lighter and my exercise endurance has increased a lot.  I gained some weight, but hey–the neuropathies in my legs went away.  Heh, win some, lose some.

I also discovered a keystone clue regarding the hearing loss: turns out that my father not only has it (and looks like he has lost the same frequencies as I have), and so has his dad, but so has my grandfather’s practically-entire side of the family.  The deafness is rampant throughout that limb of the family tree.  So this whole thing is, in all probability, genetic.  This is good and bad.

First, it’s good because it means I didn’t do as much stupid stuff to myself by working in bars and talking on cell phones as I thought I had (although my cell phone ear is still quite a bit deficient compared to the other ear).

However, the downside is that since it’s genetic, the handicap is leans more toward inevitability and less toward my being able to influence it.

3.) It has been a Year of Closet Mexican citizenship.  This year I bought Spanish textbooks from Half Price and broke out my 10th grade Spanish flashcards from 1993 and switched over Facebook and my cell phone all to Spanish, as sort of a full-immersion initiative.  I also fell in love with a variety of Spanish-language music from both Spain and Latin America.  My horizons have expanded a lot, and this is just the beginning.

4.) It has been the Year of Social Media.  My membership on social networking sites thus far has been limited to Facebook (not yet Twitter, nor have I been real active on the cesspool that MySpace has become), but my Facebook involvement has probably been enough to count for all three.  Facebook has been both annoying and fun.  It’s a great timewaster–it got me through several boring spring afternoon classes, and I’ve made friends with people I knew from high school that I hadn’t even really been friends with at the time.  The drawbacks come from cludgy slow servers and creepy targeted advertising.

5.) It has been a Year of Student –> Doctor.  It’s a slow transition.  It takes a while to sink in.  And of course, the underlying vibe is that “You’re doctors now, act like it” on one hand (with all the duties, responsibilities, and legal binding), but “you’re not doctors yet, you don’t have a license” on the other.  Ugh.  Make up my mind already.  Pick one, but you can’t have it both ways.  But they do, and who am I to stop them?

Regardless, I birthed and nurtured a caseload of patients, 19 in all.  Of the weekly visits our 30-intern pod saw, I accounted for a significant number, (15-20% or so), myself.  I’m proud of that, although it’s small potatoes compared to what real practice will have to be like.  But I had FUN with my patients; that’s what really worked for me.  We could be heard laughing down the hall.  People who had known me before we started school came to see me in a whole new light, and I earned the I’m-a-doctor-now respect.  It was kinda cool.  I wish I could take them all with me.


Now that I’ve looked back on where I’ve been, it’s time to look ahead to where I’m going.  Resolutions include:

What’s in store for 2010?  If I could answer this with any certainty, I’d be earning a side income as a psychic, but at least I can take some educated guesses.  Sneak preview: the sale of our house and the move to a radically different living arrangement in a totally new city, the start and hopeful flourishing of our new practice.  Hopefully, many new friends and contacts, good luck, fresh music discoveries, miracle treatments, lots of laughs, fond memories, good vibes, healthy bank accounts, well-functioning bodies and minds, and strong partnership.  We’ll continue with our neuro training, and maybe get my CCN and 100-hour AK certification.


My 2009 Songlist:

1. Los Aterciopelados – “Complemento”
2. Zero 7 – “Waiting Line”
3. Zero 7 – “You’re My Flame”
4. Fiona Apple – “Criminal”
5. Cars – “All Mixed Up”
6. Paramore – “Decode”
7. Los Aterciopelados – “Cancion Protesta”
8. Lucy Show – “Undone”
9. Chagall Guevara – “Murder in the Big House”
10. Kid Cudi – “Day n Nite (radio edit)” (dance version)
11. Tears For Fears – “Cold”
12. Soda Stereo – “(En) El Septimo Dia”
13. Manu Chao – “Me Gustas Tu”
14. Julieta Venegas – “A Callarse”
15. Julieta Venegas – “Eres Para Mi”
16. Mana – “Oye Mi Amor”
17. Los Aterciopelados – “Madre”
18. Cafe Tacuba – “La Locomotora”
19. Owl City – “Fireflies”
20. Nelly Furtado – “Maneater”
21. Mindy Smith – “Hard To Know”
22. Suzanne Vega – “Widow’s Walk”
23. Madonna – “Celebration”
24. Aisles – “Revolution of Light”
25. Radio Futura – “La Casa Del Amor”

There ya have it – Hasta La Vista, 2009!

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