So yesterday I took my first official test in my new midwifery school. So happy to say after the very emotional week that I have had...and PLENTY of distractions from my homework, I passed the test with flying colors! The night before, knowing that I had one night left to cram for my exam, I accepted an invitation from a friend to come over and help my 10 year old son cook his homework which would then be our dinner. Even though I didn't have dinner duty, I had a hard time really focusing on the work at hand. I forced myself to go to bed at 9 pm with a paper left to do and a 5 am wake up call. (I leave for San Diego every Friday at 6 am to arrive for class). At 2 am I woke up and wrote this journal style. My teacher encouraged me to keep writing that one day I would have a book. I have 3 books and 2 screenplays in mind...ha ha when will I ever get them done! But since I was so strongly complimented I decided to post my homework writing assignments so far. Just a day in the life of a budding midwife...well at least into the brain of this one.
Medical Terminology for Dummies
Of course I am really not a “dummy” however; this memorization thing is not really my strong suit. I have known and understood for a long time that this type of learning for me is not something I gravitate towards naturally and will constantly be something I battle as I continue my studies as a midwife. I am much more inclined to learn via oral narrative, practical hands on experience in real world situations and the study of trial and error in human interactions and witnessing the triumphs of the human spirit. So studying 250+ words in electronic flash cards well, let’s just say my mind rebelled!
However, last time we were in class, I really appreciated the conversation about what medical terminology provides. Like efficiency and exactness in utilizing very specific terms to be able distinguish parts of the body and diagnosis potential dysfunctions. However, I additionally appreciated the conversation regarding what that same terminology can do in regards to alienating clients, creating detachment and a limiting perspective in a practitioner (possibly and even society at large). I can also appreciate the fact that with language and very specific distinctions, naming functions and dysfunctions within the human body can also expanded one’s perspective and create a deeper understanding which can in turn enable that person to hold a body of knowledge that others can rely on.
I noticed how fascinated I was when words I have heard many time were broken into pieces; prefix, root and suffix. It started to make sense to me that this could demystify many words we hear, not every day necessarily, ok well perhaps as a midwife you will, but just as a normal human being. I think for many of us we just have a body and we go through life not really knowing what’s completely happening within it. Kind of fascinating really, unless you are taught the distinctions you know very little about what is happening within the very thing that you are most intimate with every single day of your entire life. Perhaps you get pregnant, or have a heart attack or an accident where you break a bone. Before then you may not understand exactly where and what your cervix does, or each individual valve in the heart and the one in particular in your body that seems to be challenged a little, or that you have 32 bones in your arm. As I began to study this module I realized that learning these terms began to demystify “medicine” for me and realize it is just a body of knowledge. And as another midwifery class I took mentioned, midwives use to be the women in a group of people, who was the most interested in things, like women’s cycles and the pregnancy and deliver of a child. Because this was interesting to her she would ask questions and devote time to learning and understanding more and in turn became the “expert” that others would turn to on this subject. As, I mentioned in the beginning this is not one of those areas that I am naturally interested in, this is one of those subjects to get through on my way to becoming a midwife. And even with this new found interest in what these terms are opening up for me there is still just a natural difficulty in learning them.
I did however enjoy watching my favorite TV show (part of our homework assignments) and noticing those words that fly by in between the dramatic scenes that I naturally gravitate towards and notice that it’s starting to sink in…at least in the tiniest, tiniest way. I was hoping that I would be farther along in mastering this module, and understand everything they said. Hoping I would be able to break each term into the suffix, root and prefix and understand them completely. That was my fantasy when I first read the assignments for this month. However, in watching my last episode, even with the hours of studying that went into this module, I had to admit to myself that this for me will take time to sink in, maybe over the YEARS of studying I will grasp this language in a way that I was hoping to master over just a few weeks. I know that Marla talked about a spiraling of knowledge. Maybe this test is just way for us to get introduced and see how much we have to learn and the REAL test will come at the end and see how far we have come….I hope so…because as many hours as I have read those terms over and over. I can see I am just beginning to skim the surface. Its interesting when you start to learn something, in the beginning even though you know more than yesterday, it can feel like your walking on a moving sidewalk at the airport in the wrong direction. It can feel like you are standing still even though you are making progress because you now know just enough to know how much you don’t know. And the task of trying to learn how to be a midwife can seem much bigger than you ever realized. So I guess in summary, I realized my weaknesses even more in regards to what I need to really study and master as a midwifery student AND how I can’t underestimate that these next three years are going to take everything I have, AND stuff I didn’t even know I needed.
The other was my mission statement as a midwife this was an exercise to flush out how we would like to practice at the end of this all...
As a Midwife…
I provide quality holistic, compassionate healthcare and counseling through all the stages of a woman’s life. I devote myself to the contemplation and integration of the spiritual wisdom inherent to the human body and rites of passage of childbirth for all members of the family. I honor my role as a keeper of the body of knowledge regarding the miraculous world of a woman’s body and share this knowledge freely.
I empower women to find her unique voice, innate power and build communities, our modern day villages, as a way of thriving as individuals and families
I give my clients informed consent and protect a women’s right to choose how and what she does with her baby and body. I am a stand for her transformation and the overall well-being of an intact family unit. I work diligently to keep myself as a neutral partner in her experience and consistently do my own interpersonal work to continue to hold this neutrality. The foundation of these relationships is trust, honesty and transformation.