About

MCAT cat

Howdy.

I am a gritty empath from a small town, who loves my cat and my partner (nearly) equally. I am a writer and a lover of action-adventure video games; I am also on my way to medical school.

Probably the most important thing that you should know about me is that I want to practice medicine for populations that, like my home town, are underserved in a variety of ways — be it something more “obvious” like geographic access or class, or something less talked about like race, gender identity, or body weight.

Holes

I blog about holes: holes in our safety net, our medical infrastructure, our empathy towards other human beings. Perhaps more importantly, I blog about small ways that we can move towards patching those holes and, hopefully, make the world a better place for everyone.

Health

I’m a spoonie: someone who, due to any number of reasons — in my case, autoimmune disease — has be more careful than the average person not to push myself too hard, or else I’ll do serious damage to my body. I am very fortunate for a spoonie; I tend to have enough spoons to not only go about my daily life but to work two jobs, get into medical school, and help take care of my boyfriend (who is also a spoonie but has far fewer spoons than I do). I blog about my health in various ways:

  • Chronic Self Love: When I was 17, I became so sick that I had to take this awful (but effective) medication to keep me functioning on a day-to-day basis. This medication made me gain 60 pounds — yes, you read that right — and has covered my body in purple stretch marks that are larger and more did-you-get-mauled-by-a-bear? than your average stretch marks. Having a medical condition that affects the physical appearance of your body can very difficult in terms of self-esteem. For that reason, my journey to be healthy requires that I spend time ensuring I have a healthy relationship with my body. It’s a daily, never-ending journey — hence the word “chronic.”
  • Chronic Self Care: Along similar lines, it can be difficult enough being a pre-medical student, but being a spoonie pre-medical student with two jobs, a research position, a sick boyfriend, and — when I was still in school — full-time classes and volunteer positions to boot can make it even harder. I like to share the self-care tips and musings that got me through.
  • Recipes: My doctor once told me that I have to “buy into” clean eating more than the average person due to my condition. As an aspiring physician, I know the importance of a healthy lifestyle without all the gimmicks and Goop articles. As a lover of mac-and-cheese, queso, grilled cheese (sensing a theme?), I try to find easy recipes that I’ll enjoy and not regret later. Obviously, eating well won’t cure me, but it’s nice to minimize how much food makes me sick.

High Aspirations

I want to be a physician. And I want to be a physician who shakes things up — who dies having made medicine more empathetic, more effective, and more equitable. I am already going to medical school in Summer 2018 — I’ve got some acceptances under my belt — but I don’t know where, yet. But I will reserve a small part of my blog to typical “pre-medical” posts: how I got a 523 on the MCAT, how my interviews went, etc.

I picked this name originally because this blog focused mostly on access to mental health care. However, the word has come to mean so much more to me. I think of synapse as a verb, not a noun — something you do, not an object or a concept. Namely, I think of synapsing as taking the first step to bridge a gap. A hole, if you will.

 

 

If you have any questions or want to talk, you can email me at synapticwriting@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter.

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