Random thought threads from a rainy ‘call’ day.

 

I will admit that men and women of all vocations work hard. Engineers sometimes work odd hours, IT folk may work horrible hours, investment bankers suffer from stress ulcers; even tax practitioners and auditors have their “times of the year” when the hours are irrelevant. All said, for most people “hours of work” is a reality, which is sometimes subject to exceptions and extraordinary circumstances. But for some segments of society, work has no relation to the concept of night and day, ‘work days’ and ‘off days’.

Ask a security guard, a nurse, or better still – ask a surgical resident.

 

 

 

You might have heard inpatient doctors complain about their hours ad nauseam. About how our responsibilities never cease, and about how our hours never end. I try and refrain from that kind of commentary on most occasions, but some days I just cannot seem to keep it in.

 

 

Of course, there is always a trigger that sets me off. The rant is almost always precluded by some event/ occurrence or change in surrounding mien, that brings forth the feeling of resentment and discontent.

Today, the trigger seems to be the rain.

 

 

I’m no foreigner to rain. I have mostly lived in places where the rain is a constant of life. Where the rain is seldom appreciated or cherished and is most often considered a nuisance to everyday life.But in these parched lands, the rains are always welcome in my books. It reminds me of lazy childhood days, and naughty teenage years. The rain makes me feel young, fresh and unbothered again.

 

 

 

On a day such as this, a weekend no less; I should be home, lounging on the couch. With crisps on hand, re- watching old, action/ suspense movies  or fluffy reality shows while the Little One bounces off the living room walls as usual, and the husband lies semi- comatose a.k.a asleep and snoring away comfortingly beside me.

 

 

 

 

Here I am, sipping coffee and typing a quickie post, while I watch the rain from a tiny window in the on- call room, and wait for a call from the ER. It’s quite pathetic really. The window doesn’t open and I cannot hear the rain or smell the air; the coffee is tepid and poor and this post might yet be unfinished/ unpublished as I might get called any moment.

 

 

 

I have not seen the sunlight today nor have I have breathed in any “real” air (barring the conditioned variety). To make matters worse I have a pounding headache that seems mighty resistant to any analgesic that I can throw at it.

 

 

 

Most days, we wish for a “light- call”. A day/ night when we see few patients, stable patients, non- crazy patients, ‘classic- case’ patients, unsurprising patients…. You get the drift. Today though, I wish it were insanely, crazy busy (like some nights are) since it is the only way for the hours to whizz past, and not drag along painfully.

 

 

 

I love my job. On most days. But on days like this, I am forced to dwell upon the countless weekends and holidays I have missed. The innumerable hours of night sleep I have sacrificed at the alter of medicine and surgery, and the infinite hours of family time that I have relinquished in the path to be where I am today.

 

Hope the night is quiet folks. And hope some sleep is in store.

 

Till next time..

 

Dr J.

 

P.S. Above worlds were penned at different times during the day. In between the usual “business”. Quickly and without edits; on a handheld, mobile device.

*Disclaimer- No persons/ patients were neglected/ harmed during the making/ publishing of this post.There was no abdication of duty at any point of time.

Letting go.

Wanting to be in control is a basic human attribute. Needing to be in control is a specific personality trait. An annoying trait on most occasions, and crippling at others. It is a need that consumes you from the inside; an ever- present, relentless, churning desire to be on top of things. To know what happens when, how and where. And to be able to plan for it, and see it to conclusion in exactly the way you deem fit.

Even the most meagre of modifications conspired either by circumstance or by fellow human intervention produces a restlessness within that cannot be easily contained. It might ruin your hour, day or week and destroy other concomitant arrangements that you might have laid in place.

Why then do we hold on to this vile desire?

Why do we subject ourselves to this vicious, tortuous circle of plans and failed plans?

What is the harm in letting go?

 

The more I let go, the more I am in control. I can control my being and thoughts without regard to external influence. I am no longer an underling to fate and chance.

The more I let petty matters slide, the more self-mastery I attain. The restlessness abates every time I tell myself I don’t care. 

The more important things will always be important. And I can expend my inner resources on them more efficiently once I decide to let go of inconsequential matters.

And so, here I am. A woman who no longer obsesses over laundry. Or the “grocery shop day”. This woman’s inner state is not ruffled by a ruffled bed, or made unkempt by an unkempt home.

The art of letting go, is the key to freeing myself from the vagaries and mercy of  Messrs Chance & Circumstance.

Till next time.

Dr J.

 

The 3 min 40 sec skincare routine.

Yes folks, I spend about 4 minutes or so on skincare everyday. Considering the fact that I can allot only about four hours to sleep and rest, I think 4 minutes on skincare is borderline luxurious.

Here goes…

  1. Getting the war- paint  off.

    FullSizeRenderI use one of the two, depending on what I feel like and how much time I want to spend on it. I do prefer the Bioderma Sebium H2O though. It quicker, less icky and more effective.

  2. For the non- squeaky clean finish.

    FullSizeRenderIn the summer, my skin can handle the cleansers that give the “squeaky clean” feel. Not in these dry months though. I have really been liking this particular cleanser.

    I bought it because, I have been seeing it in the female on-call bathrooms for a while now. And over the last month someone has been quickly getting through the bottle. Therefore I surmised that someone really likes this cleanser, and I know first hand that Bioderma is a fairly “gentle” brand. It hasn’t disappointed me and I’m thankful to the faceless/ nameless doctor that has unwittingly recommended this to me.

  3. For the night-time.

    FullSizeRenderI finally finished up every last drop of my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and then headed off the very next day (as I had promised myself about 10 months ago) to pick up this pretty brown bottle.

    This is all I use on my face at night- two drops is more than sufficient. Will let you ladies know what I think of it soon..

  4. An old work- horse.

    FullSizeRenderYou guys must be bored of seeing this on this blog. Apologies.

    I use it on chapped lips, cracked heels, flaky elbows; basically my SOS cream.

  5. Trying to use- up.

    FullSizeRenderNot really worth the hype IMO. Maybe it doesn’t suit my skin/ situation. Or I might not be using it right. In short, will not repurchase.

    7. You little beauty!

    FullSizeRender

    It might sound far too simple- minded, but this flat, tub of glycerine is all I use for dry skin. No fancy body butters, and no fragrant body lotions.

    So pray tell me ladies, what are you folks using this winter??

    Till next time.

    Dr J.

Falling temperatures and rising spirits.

I sit in an uncharacteristically still and silent room tonight. The comforting thrum of the ol’ but trusty air conditioner is conspicuous by it’s absence.  I wonder if I will find it difficult to fall asleep without the white noise that I associate my nights in Doha with.

All this, thanks to the sudden turn in the weather. The nippy mornings, and the chilly nights. I am forced to not only contemplate my need for supplementary white noise to fall (and stay!) asleep, I also am forced to pen a literary acknowledgement of the blessings of the Weather Lords. The searing heat that seemed relentless just a couple of months ago, is a distant memory. But there are occasional flashbacks that zip across memory threads; they serve as reminders, to enjoy every nano- second of the current atmospheric conditions.

I have never thought of myself as an earth-creature. I never considered myself to be in-tune with nature or as “one with the elements”. The demons I fight are all within and not without. Yet, the change in the winds, and the nip in the air, has perceptibly altered my mien and moods.

The heat made me feel stifled, harried and perpetually exhausted. The chilly air by stark contrast induces a sense of freshness and exuberance. I feel freshly- alive (if such a term exists) and oddly; cheerful. The bright morning sun hitting me, while the cold wind swirls around me, seems like a warm embrace that ends with a tickle by icy fingers.

My senses seem more acute, and my mind clearer. I can now even consider walking from a certain point A to point B without melting along the way, or needing an IV drip of electrolytes thereafter. These were things that I once never thought of, things I always took for granted, before moving to Qatar.

I have occasionally lived in muggy, coastal weather; but I’m mostly a child of the moderate climes. I never quite fathomed a place where I would find it too hot to walk across the street or to the nearby grocery store. Therefore, every degree drop in temperature is a reason to rejoice.

I fell asleep last night, at about THIS point (I did not publish this post). I woke up grumpy and groggy. I got through the morning motions, like a man condemned to the gallows in a few hours. But as I locked the main door, and clipped the pager onto my scrubs, the cool breeze wafted into the corridor and I shivered. The cold zephyr instantly soothed my spirits. I walked out with some cheer in my soul, a spring in my step and a song on my lips. The sun has barely risen but my day has long begun. Yet, today I shall not complain, for the Weather Lords have appeased me into a sense of calm and contentment.

Aah! sweet weather, how I love thee…..

Till next time.

Dr J.