Author Topic: Journal entry 11.9.09  (Read 3467 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Soft Words

  • Shoppe Keeper
  • *
  • Posts: 1103
  • Soft words falling... gently... fading away into time
    • The Guinea Pig Poet
Journal entry 11.9.09
« on: November 09, 2009, 01:58 AM »
November is traditionally a busy month for me. last year I decided that the normal amount of madness wasn’t enough, so I started doing Nanowrimo. I won Nano last year. I crossed the finish line (barely) three hours before the deadline with a story that was incredibly cheesy and hilariously bad. But I did it and that is what counts.
This year, I started Nano while on call and I will finish on call as well. Halfway through the month I will start a NICU rotation. Last month, I did a very satisfying 30:30 here on splash. It feels like I’m running out of words, sometimes. Other times I feel like if I had someone to make me coffee, it would all be good and I’d write. Yet other times I want to have vacation in the second half of November so that I can focus on Nano and Nano alone.
While I recognize that I’m making excuses, some of them legitimate reasons for not writing right now, I also think that I would do better if I had company. Of the writing, literary sort. It is sort of difficult to explain a fascination with words, grammar and story-telling structure to a colleague set comprised of people with PhD’s in molecular biology, biochemistry or public health in a hospital setting where I’m supposed to have erased all other pursuits from my life in order to become the best possible physician on the planet.
Sometimes when I sit down to write, I feel guilty – I should be reading up about a patient instead. I should be reading up on established patient care guidelines. I should be reading medical journals. Trying to correspond with the authors. Come up with intelligent questions. Know obscure diseases and eponyms. Know the mitigating factors for diseases, drug interaction profiles. New clinical trials and drugs and research projects. Read up so I can teach my students better. Or go finish my prolonged presentation on asthma, diabetes or other things like that. I should be doing more than I am doing to become a competent physician, my current Holy Grail.
But when I go without writing for periods longer than three days, it starts to build up. Frustration, anger, incredulity at the amount of information I process and the bigger amounts I’m expected to process. Yes, I do it. I have yet to yell at a patient or a colleague because I got only two hours of sleep at night after finishing looking up information for a presentation, patient care, or things like that. I don’t feel like myself when I don’t write. I feel like there is a vital part of me that is missing.
I chose a people-centered field as a career. Being a doctor goes beyond prescription and referral to finding solutions and resources. It requires a patient ear – pun intended. Physicians are exalted and placed on pedestals as if they are beyond human. In my position as a physician-still-in-training, I interact with atleast 50 people in a day. And it gets to me. I need my space, my silence, my solitude. I need my words.
I wonder if I am compromising on providing optimal medical care for my patients by taking two hours off every day this month to complete Nano. I wonder what sort of compromises I will make to give myself time for the volunteer work I agreed to do. (Yes, I’ve recently agreed to help out in non-medical ways at a refugee camp/shelter in the city where I live. Yay November.) I wonder if it is wrong that I have interests and needs beyond my career. That I will actually lug my laptop back and forth so I can write in the 30 minute lull between admissions. I wonder if it is wrong to take time off for myself more than usual, or whether it is wrong to feel guilty about the whole thing.
Yes, I’ve been told I should develop and keep up hobbies. I should go out and have fun. I should try to meet new people. I don’t have to limit myself to the hospital or its environs. That it is okay and it is healthy to feel anger and frustration (cringe).
I’m still working on finding a balance. There is little anyone can tell me since I’m surrounded by wonderfully focused people who don’t need anything beyond medicine (and food and sleep, y’know, the basics). I think I’m just going to muddle through. It’ll be okay, and the answers will come.


PS - A picture from my photowall.
Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Offline Mystic1

  • Senior Alley Host
  • *
  • Posts: 3022
  • To know virtue, acquaint yourself with vice.
Re: Journal entry 11.9.09
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 10:50 AM »
on enlightenment's edge...
autumn sunrise

You will find your footing...eventually.
I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.