This past weekend we traveled back to LaCrosse for my good friend and fellow PA classmate's wedding.
I know I have said it before, but this girl is AMAZING! Jennilee put herself through college and PA school while raising her young daughter by herself! AND she is the sweetest, most nurturing, thoughtful person I have ever met. And that is no exaggeration. I was absolutely delighted to be there for her wedding day to celebrate with her.
Being back near my alma mater had me reminiscing. I can remember during my first year of PA school one of our course instructors told us that one day we would look back at these training years fondly. I scoffed at that statement then. I was overwhelmed and stressed constantly. I never felt like I was succeeding as a student or as a mom and wife. I quite literally felt like I was just barely holding on and surviving.
But I made. Largely due to the support of my incredible husband and Jennilee. And you want to know what? I do look back at those years fondly. In fact I often say "those were the BEST years of my life" much to my former self's dismay!
While driving around LaCrosse reminiscing, I told Joe the most important lesson I learned in PA school. And I will warn you he didn't enjoy the story. Not one little bit. Nor did he appreciate it. Maybe it is only truly appreciated by females.
So without further ado the most important lesson I learned in PA school:
During my second year I was doing a rotation with a dermatologist. Frequently dermatologists perform "full body skin checks" monitoring for potential precancerous and cancerous skin lesions. As the name implies the ENTIRE body is examined. In order for this to occur patients wear only a hospital gown and the dermatologist exposes different parts of their body until all their skin is examined.
At the end of one such exam on an elderly female, I helped the patient off the exam table and explained to her that we were done. I instructed her to get dressed and that the doctor and I would return in a few minutes to discuss our findings.
And then it happened. She started to get dressed right then and there with me standing in the room with her. And if that wasn't awkward enough, it was made worse by what I observed next. The patient pulled on her nice dress slacks and then carefully tucked one breast and then the other into the waistband of her pants! She completed dressing herself by buttoning up her blouse and tucked that in right along with her boobs. And I just stood there frozen. Equal parts horrified and traumatized (and slightly fascinated).
And in that moment I knew I learned something very important. Something I would never forget. No matter what I will always wear a bra. Always. Always. Always. Boobs are not meant to be tucked into pants, even if it seems easier than putting on the bra. Lesson learned. Thank you elderly dermatology patient.