Walking on eggshells.

I assume many have abandoned this blog by now. I can see the numbers dwindle and my hard work wither away. It’s been so long, and so sparse. The posts on this page are as rare as rain in Doha, and I could blame circumstance, life and the universe for it. But in truth, I can only blame myself. My tired, sorry little self. My chivvied mind and fagged body.

Life is akin to walking on eggs all day, everyday. A game which you are forced to play, but that you can never win. You can hope to cut your losses and save face, but you may never conquer.

Today I write to applaud and commend all those men and women before me who have done this before us. And to inspire and instill hope in those who will embark upon similar endeavors in life in the future.

To tell them that it is incredibly hard, and yet profoundly gratifying. To confess that silent, inner tears of frustration and exhaustion notwithstanding, a five minute power nap in the middle of the day (in the OR changing room or an empty conference room at office) is as invigorating as a good night’s sleep.

Being a surgical trainee and having a young child (or several) with no family support means your life is propped up on a grand tower of conjectures and uncertainty. There are dozens of ifs and buts and very few certainties . You live each week by the day and each day by the minute. There are so many things that can go wrong each day, chances are something invariably does. Plans are vague notions and back up plans are mirages on the dark horizon. Despite your religious notions you often find yourself seeking divine intervention. You plan for the best and hope the worst does not transpire.

You run and run and run. And just when you think you can do it more, night falls and late as it may be you finally get to give in to the blissful, heavenly weight that weighs your lids down and shuts your harried mind off. You hit dreamland a second before your head hits the the pillow () and at that sweet interlude between awareness and somnolence you know within your deepest, truest self that it is all worth the effort. That you are doing your best and that this too shall pass.

Dr J.

Exhaustion.

“My head aches, my eyes burn, my arms and legs have given up, and my face in the mirror has a grayish cast. The bed, across the room, calls in its unmistakable lover’s croon, Come to me, come, only I can make you truly happy, oh, how happy I’ll make you, don’t resist, remember how you moan with pleasure the instant we touch…..

Laura Acosta”
Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Fatigue Artist

And so my dearest beloved, my friend forever and my closest confidant (as I often murmur unspeakable secrets into the non-so-fluffy-anymore cushions) calls out to me. Unkempt and chaotic, my bed seems to purposefully mimic my life and circumstance; so as to say-

I am just as you, like you.

And therefore shall not judge you.

I shall welcome you to my soiled but loving sheets with nothing but comfort and understanding.

I shall not croon words of advice or sing songs of fake commiseration.

I shall offer you the biggest gift of all.

Silence.

And a gentle place to rest your tired limbs and jaded mind.

Come to me, my love.

And we shall together dream dreams of a brighter, better day.

I realize now, that exhaustion, like everything else in life is relative. And incomparable. At 23 I thought being on-call for 30 hours was exhaustion. Little did I know, there are levels of exhaustion that are far, far beyond the limits of my then young, juvenile mind.

There are also several kinds of exhaustion. Metaphorical, physiological, philosophical, physical, mental, notional, fruitful and utterly unproductive. And then there is a type that cripples you. A dark, demonic concoction of all of the above.

There is price to pay for everything, folks. But it is thoroughly unfortunate and oddly ironic, if the price for material contentment is arrant exhaustion. For the latter shall never let you savor the former.

Sigh!

Till next time,

Dr J.