Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Yes, I am a heart nerd.

And I am not embarrassed about it either. 

I have admittedly sort of a ridiculous track record of getting REALLY into whatever I am into at any given time.  But then again, I guess I find an interest and cultivate it intensely for long enough to integrate it into my life. 

Surfing was like that…as in it was the most important thing I did for a few years.  And I have zero talent for it…so it was a good challenge.  It still is.  But then again, maybe it is the challenge that is so satisfying. 

I had this professor in college…total wing nut.  Sort of an old stoner turned community college history professor.  Brilliant.  A tad eccentric.  The guy literally would stand outside his building, smoke tobacco out of a pipe (seriously, like one of those Sherlock Holmes kind of deals) and try to corner unsuspecting students and engage them in intellectual conversation.  I think he told us once that he had spent a year in some back woods cabin…no electricity, no plumbing and he drug his poor wife out there with him.  Like I said: wing nut!


I can’t remember how it came up in class…which was U.S. history up until the Civil War by the way.  So he was explaining to us for some reason how he wound up teaching history.  The story went that he had been a bit of a math genius…granted, it is hard to say how good of a historian of his own brilliance he was…it seemed genuine though…it seemed authentic and honest at the time…granted I was only seventeen...


So he had this ridiculous talent for math.  Like he could not bother to show up to a class all quarter, crack the text the night before the final, sort of study, then proceed to get wasted, wake up late, go to class and pass his exam with flying colors. 

I sort of hate freaks that can do that. 

But he wound up hating it too.  It was boring.  He was really, really good at math and ultimately he didn’t want to have anything to do it.  So he started to study history.  Because it was hard.  He sucked at it.  But it was interesting.  It was a challenge. 

This tale, regardless of how accurate it is, has ultimately…and weirdly…shaped my approach to life (I guess you can never predict who will have an impact).  Pretty profound for community college history I’ll admit.  But it has really affected my approach to learning. 

So that’s why I surf.

That’s why I climb. 

And that’s why I want to pursue a career focused on cardiology. 

It isn’t easy. 

Granted, it makes sense, I’ll admit.  Once you understand the physiology, you can anticipate how everything is going to work.  But understanding the physiology isn’t easy for me…which is what makes it ultimately so satisfying. 

Plus, there is the emotional piece.  I love my heart families.  I don’t know what it is about them…bad things happen to good people I guess.  Or maybe its the good people who can pull through…can hold it together through the roller coaster ride.  But it’s hard.  Everything is so tenuous.  Yes, we can theoretically fix your babies heart but we still can’t grantee that he or she will ultimately be okay.  Medicine is, well, a practice after all.  This is a challenge.

And it seems worthwhile. 


  1. The heart after all, is just a positive displacement least that's what the husband claims...but then he's always reducing things to simple engineering.