As a naive child, my idea of what I wanted to be when I got older fluctuated, much like every other kid. When I was 5 I wanted to be a country singer, which probably stemmed from the music my parents played around the house and in the car. Until the 3rd grade, I wanted to be a zookeeper. So much, in fact, that I would read full encyclopedias, front to back, so I could learn about every animal I possibly could. The television channels that I watched were exclusively ESPN, Nickelodeon, and Animal Planet, and I would beg my parents to stay up after 8 o’clock just so I could watch my favorite show at the time, Animal Planet’s The Most Extreme. After that, it was a baseball player, until it hit me that although I was good, I had the physique of a twig and probably wasn’t going to be hitting home runs anytime soon. From then on until high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, until I took an Anatomy & Physiology class in my junior year.
The only reason I took this class was to get a science requirement out of the way, and, as it turns out, I accidentally made the best choice I have ever made in terms of education. Right away, I fell in love with the course. I had never learned too much about the human body and how it worked, and every chapter we went over in that class amazed me. I hated homework, like all students, but I kind of looked forward to the Anatomy assignments because it was something that I cared about and wanted to learn more about. Yes, it was a hard class and I struggled at first, but not once did I lose any motivation in that class. After just a few weeks, I knew that it was what I wanted to do in my future. I should also mention that my teacher in that class was the best teacher I have ever had. She was strict, but it was because she wanted us to succeed, and she knew the importance of all her students knowing the material like the back of their hand. I do not know how I would have engaged in the class if it was not for her, but it played a big role in shaping my interests and getting me prepared for college.
One other thing that got me interested in this came from my childhood, and until that class came along, this factor would have gone unnoticed and looked at as regretful. Growing up, I was a very accident prone kid. I would always find some way to get hurt, no matter what the situation. This was not because I was reckless or lived on the edge either; I wore helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads, and sometimes knee pads whenever I got on a bike or scooter, and I’m surprised I did not just upgrade to a big roll of bubble wrap or a suit made of memory foam. I broke my arms a few times, my nose, my ankle, had torn muscles, and a countless amount of sprains and strains. But one injury in specific stands out way more than any of the others.
My freshman year of high school, while playing in a recreational basketball league, I suffered a broken wrist. Not just any broken wrist though, my wrist broke, literally, in half. The sight of it still has me scarred to this day. For people unable to picture what I’m talking about, it was very Gordon Hayward-esque in the way it broke. That took a big hit on my freshman year of high school in the aspects of my grades and my athletics. This injury took me out of competitive basketball for good. I was in a cast for 5 months or so, and went through 2 surgeries. Looking back at it, what I took from this whole injury was not how terrible it was, but instead how amazing the doctors were when they worked on it. The surgeon that I spoke to before and after my surgeries was incredible. He explained very well exactly what was going to happen, and he taught me about what happened in my wrist and the healing process that would go along with it. I was surprised just how well they were able to treat it, because not only did it heal earlier than expected, but a week after I got the cast off, I was able to try out for the baseball team and ended up making it. I was baffled by how quickly I was rehabilitated and thus, my love for medicine and the human body increased.
Currently, I am majoring in Exercise Science at Merrimack College in hopes to follow a track towards becoming a physician assistant, specifically in orthopedics (bones and muscles). I hope to play a role in people’s lives that my previous doctor’s have played in mine, which is to help diagnose patients with injuries and help them through the rehabilitation process. I know that there are many other routes I could go, but as of right now, that is what I would like to do. To be able to help people on a day to day basis on things that could be life-changing would be an honor to do for my career. Along with this, I would like to help assist in minor surgeries if possible. Although the sight of my broken arm has scarred me, both physically and mentally, I want to make sure that nobody else goes through that, and if they do, I want to make the healing process as calming and efficient as possible to ensure that they are as comfortable as they can be while coping with an injury and recovery. If not, I would love to be an Anatomy teacher so I can express my passions to people growing up and even lead some of them down the same path that I took with my education, because moving forward, doctors and nurses will be even more important professions than they are now. I love what I am doing right now, and I am determined to dedicate whatever time I can to learning more about this so I can accomplish my dream.