Hubris and surgery

Laying yourself on a table. In the barest of garbs. Under the harshest lights, that which reveals every wrinkle, freckle and mole. With half a dozen cloaked and masked strangers milling about, partially disrobing you while sticking and prodding. A hand which politely smothers you with oxygen, no less.

It is hard to fathom the extent of vulnerability that the surgical patient is exposed to. The trust  a surgical consent implies. The desperation that every patient and her dearest ones have to encounter, before they finally relent to fate and agree to lie upon The Table.

Modern man takes many a thing for granted. He flies across continents. Doesn’t spare a moment ruminating his safety prior to stepping onto an aircraft, which is marvel of science agreed, but is not beyond malfunction.

He agrees to let machines take over his major organ systems, and willingly allows dangerous chemicals to be injected into his bloodstream. The science, the sacrifices, the disasters that have made these things routine are rarely thought of. It is assumed that the experiments have been concluded, that the proverbial sacrificial lamb has been long offered at the alters of science and research. And therefore, he shall be fine.

The wise often claim that doubt grows with knowledge. And that is why surgery and hubris are such strange bedfellows.

One must read, process, practice and retain tremendous amounts of facts and information to become a cutter of humans. With all this knowledge, should the human scalpel wielder not be quaking in his clogs?

Some who are in the business of treating human diseases (but not “cutting”), believe The Cutters are not as learned as they are. The Cutters apparently have nothing more to do than “Monkey see, monkey do”! 

Curiously, the opposite is the norm. He may deflect questions about possibilities of complications, guffaw at queries relating to failure, patriarchally skim over technical details of the surgery and generally air a feeling of surety.

Is it an act? The haughtiness, the overbearing self- assurance.  Is it a charade for the scared, finicky and can- seek- another- opinion- anytime patients? Is it an obligatory trait of the successful pliers of this trade?

Whatever the raison d’être for the co- existence of hubris and surgery, it isn’t a pleasant circumstance. It is garish, and unbecoming of a woman or man of science. For science teaches us to believe facts but to never accept the certainty of them.

Humility is at times mistaken for lack of skill or self- assurance. It is so rare to behold in these pompous times, one forgets how elegant, gracious and pleasing it can be.

Till next time,

J.

 

 

The Obsessed.

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
Franz Kafka

The problem with mercilessly following our intense obsessions is the relationships that we leave on the wayside. The fun- times that we discard at life’s sidewalk. The holidays we sacrifice at the alter of it’s pursuit.

Is is fair that people around you may have to bear some of the weight of the millstone that you perennially carry around your neck. People who dare to love or care for you may inordinately be forced to share some your vexation.

Will my progeny remember me as the selfish human who hounded my own obsessions, rather than cherish their fleeting childhood? Are missed park appointments and hasty bedtime routines a true benchmark for the parenting prize?

Is spending time massaging others’ egos a prerequisite for the “good human” epitaph.

Are romantic pursuits as wasteful and corrosive as they seem?

If one chooses to integrate into conventional society, one is signing an unconditional waiver of one’s true nature. We lie, make polite conversation, bend to others’ will, alter our basic personalities, practice meaningless small talk and generally waste the precious and limited time that could otherwise be utilised to nurture our obsessions.

Whatever people might say, and despite the mockery that the Obsessed are subjected to; we must thank them for all the things that they have brought forth, out of their convoluted minds. Their fruitions have given us every great book, piece of art, scientific innovation and technological advancement.

Let us let them be, please. For they allow us our fun, hassle- free and easy lives.

Till next time,

J.

Don’t wait.

We are a restless generation, I’m told. We are impatient they say. We cannot wait.

Nobody seems to get the fact that we CAN NOT wait. This is the pace that life dictates. If you haven’t noticed, every succeeding generation is more prone to impatience.

Why wait anyway? Our lives are most likely going to be short. Our productive life I mean. Not the cancer ailing, hypertension controlled, medicated life that is waiting for us sooner rather than later.

An old senior of mine, back from my undergrad days has been in touch with me in recent days. She is 37, an OB- GYN with a busy private and hospital practice. She runs triathlons and has a Great Dane named Albus and cat whose name currently skips my mind (I remember ‘Albus’ only because of the Harry Potter reference). Her husband is a 40 year old bodybuilder who also happens to be an orthopaedic surgeon (so cliched!). They waited to get married. Surgical training came first. They also waited to have children.

Everybody is entitled to make their own choices. I’m not here to berate or judge. In fact I have made some bizarre, downright stupid choices in life. And I have paid/ or will pay for them. But the choice to postpone our lives, to delay family issues in lieu of a surgical/ medical career is sometimes encouraged or indirectly imposed (poor maternity policies, stigma, patriarchal heads of departments, discrimination).

This triathlete OB friend has given me permission to write about her. She believes it the waiting that did it (science may not agree). She wants people to not wait. The public in general and the surgical trainees in particular. After 5 years of “trying” to have a baby and two more years of failed infertility treatment- they are disillusioned and tired.

She is almost a role model to me. A woman travelling the world acquiring special surgical skills. Publishing dozens of papers, when peers struggled to have one to their name. I was a teeny bit jealous too. I thought, not being encumbered by young children must be a great thing for her career wise.

She does not think so, not anymore.

I was acutely aware that my mommy- rants and constant whining about sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue might not sit well on the ears of a woman who seems to have everything except the one thing that she desperately wants. For the alpha- surgeon types being denied something makes one aggressively pursue it.

She and I both think that it is absolutely fine for a woman to chose career over having a family. That is her prerogative. We are not discussing them here. Here, we talk about those who do want to try a hand at having both but are forced to chose or delay one in order to further another. Our sincere advise to such women is- DO NOT WAIT. Go for both, it is possible and someday you will be grateful for it. That “someday” you will also wonder, how in hell did you manage all that sh%* together!

I seemed to have slowed my pace, while my male peers and colleagues are scurrying to attain training goals. But I do believe I will catch up. And surpass. Call it cockiness or confidence, I have to believe it to keep moving forward. (Our fraternity values confidence above all else.)

So ladies, do not wait. If you feel like it, go for it. Don’t wait. Train for that marathon, marry that gorgeous man, backpack across India, have that baby. Surgery will wait. Life will not.

Till next time.

J.

P.S. Cautionary warning- Yay for having a family and a surgical career. But let me warn you, the sh&^ will hit the ceiling on many days. Buy a long handled mop or wear a raincoat- that choice too is yours to make! 🙂

I never said it is easy, only possible.

The last laps and my survival kit.

There is no way around it folks, the next few weeks, nay months, will be all about baby. I cannot help it. It is such an all consuming life event. I once thought that nothing could be more consuming than taking the post- training exams. Boy! this is waaaay bigger.

Anyhoo, I digress (like always).

So, like the previous instance, this time too I have the feeling that things might progress earlier than expected. My poor babies, just cannot take it anymore at the end. Limited space in the tiny torso, too much movement, limited rest and haphazard nutrition I guess 🙂 So, they decide to take matters in their own hands and decide to “get outta there”!

Or will there be a final twist in the tale?


Everything involves a bit of gymnastics these days. Getting into my car (a car that is even otherwise too big for me and a 4X4 no less) involves holding onto the steering wheel and literally heaving myself into the seat. Making sure my midget legs are close enough to brake effectively while maintaining a safe distance between the tum and the steering wheel (and possibly the airbag in the unfortunate event of even a minor collision) is another conundrum. And waddling through the hospital corridors (albeit in  my apparently ‘small for 34 weeks’ tummy) makes me feel like a very conspicuous hippopotamus.

Pregnancy clumsiness, toddler carry- requests and the nature of my work means that I constantly have to bend toward the floor.

Of course I cannot bend over straight. Thankfully,  I have mastered the Bharatnatyam squat ..

stock-photo-portrait-of-dancer-with-arms-raised-performing-bharatanatyam-isolated-over-white-background-279896570


There are things though, STUFF- that get me through my days. Sometimes very long days. ’28- hour -days’.

rennie

I have these everywhere. Literally.

Bedside, couch- side.

Car, husband’s car.

Work bag, out- bag.

Every clinic table I have sat at in the past few months…

The boys at work have in fact started popping them in their mouths like mints these days because they find them randomly lying around.


knee-high-compression-stockings_78430bge_zoom0These are compression stockings. Never thought I would need them.

A couple of months ago, on a particularly long theatre day, one of the nurses noticed (they “SEE” everything!) that I was contastly flexing my toes and was restlessly hopping from one leg onto another. She kindly cut up some small sized Tubigrip and asked me to put them on. Nurses are brilliant at these sort of hacks, so I asked no further questions. She even helped me put them on.

The gentle compression made a huge difference. Why did I never think of that?

Then off I went – in search of size X- small knee length compression stockings (which are surprisingly hard to find in Doha – even at the hospital)

tubigrip.jpg

Calf soreness, restless leg syndrome and terrible leg cramps at night have been a constant with both my pregnancies. Only  this time, it has gotten worse. On a 24 hour call, by around the 12 hour mark, I can barely take my mind off the pain. The compression stocking/ Tubigrip on call days- really help.


rayyan-water-330mlx30-3

I have cartons of mini- sized bottled water in my trunk. My acidity/ reflux is worsened by consuming water with meals, and I cannot seem to remember to stay hydrated in between meals. So I try to always keep one of these mini bottles in my lab- coat pocket at all times.


pillows

The weird c- shaped maternity pillows don’t work as well as these generic ones, at least for me. My fancy, pink maternity pillow lay forlornly forsaken at the corner of the bed, while I tuck these humble, generic ones at every crook, crevice and contour of myself.


pill-box

Another surprising hit. I am never good with taking supplements. I used to forget to take them about 5 days a week, until I bought a cheap, gimmicky (as per Mr H), uncool looking pill- box. I have no logical explanation, but at the end of the week, I find it therapeutic to fill up the darned, little compartments. My motivation to take the pills is the emptying of the boxes so that I can fill them up at the end of the week. Does that make any sense at all?


cherokee-maternity

I am not sure why I waited as long as I did before ordering these. I wore XL sized, boxy, ugly, humungous scrubs at the hospital when my own ones stopped fitting me. The arm holes on those are the size of gunny bags and they were very, very unflattering in general.

As, a second time mum, things start “showing” much earlier but I refused to invest in maternity scrubs.

Some time after week 20, I gave in and ordered them over amazon (the US site, hence paying a ridiculous amount for international shipping). But they are worth every penny I say.

I bought the Cherokee ones, the exact top in the picture. The sizes seem to run large, but I don’t mind. The side panels are a soft, stretchy material and the bump- elastic on the corresponding pants (which you have to order seperately) are really soft, and doesn’t dig in (all the folks who have ever worn maternity clothes at some point would know what that means).

cherokee

I wish the pants were less flared though. I was never a fan of the boot- cut trend even when it was cool (sometime in the 90’s when I was in school).


bio-oil

I don’t care if this actually works, they make things less dry and itchy. I slathered it on the last time, and I continue to do so this time as well. For equality’s sake!


Till next time.

J.

The pregnant, surgeon-in-training.

If you google ‘pregnant resident’ or ‘pregnancy during surgical residency/ fellowship/ training’, you will be privy to a select few articles that occasionally appear in mainstream media about this small, unique subset of working women. Even medical/ surgical journals occasionally like to amuse themselves by publishing articles such as :

Pregnancy during residency: II. Obstetric complications.

Pregnancy during residency: I. The decision “to be or not to be”.

An article quotes a female orthopaedic fellow on how she scrubbed in for a long haul case at 37 weeks, with two lead aprons and carrying twins!

Doing 24 hour calls, even the better ones at 31 weeks now makes me wonder if she or the newspaper was stretching the truth a bit. At least I rarely have to wear a lead apron, or lift and hold limbs weighing half my body weight. Then I immediately think of conversations that I sometimes have with my non- medical, female friends who cannot believe I can stand and walk and run and bend and stretch and lift, for sometimes over 24 hours with hardly any breaks in between, all while being heavily pregnant. They too might be wondering if I’m “stretching the truth”.

Mind you, this isn’t a whiny rant. No.

If pregnancy were a man thing, it would be considered a great, life- altering, occurrence which warranted special consideration at every instance. The “boys” often talk of crashing for 12 or 16 hours straight during the day after a mediocre call- day. For some of us, even after the worst of calls, we go back home to moody toddlers who need to be picked up from nurseries and then bathed and fed and “poo-ed” and put to bed after reading Room on the Broom about 16 times.

Yes. It is a choice we choose to make. And at every step, we seem to be berated and chastised for making it. Considering wearing adult diapers to counter the weak bladder, and wearing triple or quadruple- sandwich breast pads to counter leaky mammary glands are not glamorous Pinterest hacks, they are survival tactics in times of dire need.

THIS  video is funny satire at first sight, but it is the quintessential harsh reality of female existence, signified by the contrast in our reality and that of male colleagues.  A colleague who recently had a difficult birthing experience, is about 8 weeks post partum, healing, struggling; and is back to the full grind (on calls, surgeries, clinics). You know what her the biggest gripe is at the present moment?

Not the hours.

Not the fatigue her broken, yet to be healed body is burdening her with.

Not the boy talk.

Not the extra calls every month.

NO.

All she complains about is that she can never find an empty room of any kind to sit in and pump for a mere 15 minutes. To top it all, there is “joking- mention” of making up for missed calls during the measly 8 weeks that she was allowed with her newborn. Apparently maternity leave is “vacation”.

*OH, I’M CRYING HOT TEARS HERE.

I am hopeful though. Despite sniggers in the OR when my belly comes in the way or the talk of women being “stupid” for “doing this”, I shall plough on.

I know, even if I don’t shout it out to their faces- that I’m stronger, better and will survive this and probably outpace them all in the long run.

In the early years of my surgical training, having children never crossed my mind, I believed it would slow me down, make me less competitive, make my bosses (mostly men of course) see me as a weakling. What happened instead is surprisingly different. Yes, I’m often racked by mommy- guilt, and taking care of other people on days when my own precious one is sick at home is harder than I thought it would be but motherhood has also smoothened my rough edges (the ones that I once proudly thought were my badge of honour, my “edge” over the competition). I am more empathetic, better with paediatric patients, way better at multi- tasking and generally a tougher nut.

I hope one day things change. I am hopeful that the next generation of female surgeons will not have to masculinise themselves to fit in, and can be comfortable being a woman at the workplace.

My Fitbit says I waddled walked 25089 steps yesterday. Of course it cannot measure the hours I stood for. They are no less taxing than the walking at the moment. My ‘one day at a time’ mantra has now morphed into a new ’15 minutes at one time’ one.

Though I was delirious with exhaustion at one point, and could not string together words to type in my on call report, I kept telling myself – I AM FUCKING AWESOME AND IF ANYONE CAN DO THIS I CAN.

WE CAN.

We are built with stronger steel than we give ourselves credit for, ladies. Just when I think I have been through the worse there is, it gets even harder.  The crap piles on, and on some days I find myself swimming in it. I hold my breath, grit my teeth and wade through it. I ultimately find my way out of the crapmire and then give myself a thorough wash. And I survive, yet again. Better, a sharper version of myself. The next time life needs to work harder to scare me.

So, go ahead ladies, jump into whatever your heart desires. Scores of others are fighting similar battles across the world; discrimination, mockery and sniggers not withstanding.

Only you can define your impossible.

Till next time.

J.

The Roads to Hell.

The not- so- young man had an attractive profile. He seemed highly educated and seemed to be somebody who had and enjoyed a fair amount of power and control. He was obviously rich and flashy, judging by his choice of automobile. I stared at him for a moment longer than would be considered polite or appropriate. I was curious.

He cradled something in the palm of his right hand. He gazed at it longingly, with a half- smile creeping up the side of his face. Someone either was being very naughty or cheekily funny. I mentally commend his dexterity as I watch him reply to the the person who was being funny/ naughty.

A jarring noise broke me out of my reverie . The disgruntled woman behind me and her Porche were both pissed apparently. How dare I block their holy path. The signal had turned green, and barely had I shifted from neutral to drive, Mr Powerfully Attractive beside me had sped off at 140 km/ hr whilst still cradling his phone and typing in his reply. He obviously had a spare set of eyes at the vertex of his head, and a spare brain tucked in somewhere dedicated solely to driving his outrageously fast car.

Being in my speciality, I am exposed to my fair share of MVCs (motor vehicle collisions) and ATV rollovers. Still, trauma cases are diluted by other less exiting things like cysts, tumors, congenital deformities and the most boring – cosmetic procedures. But for the past month and a half, I have been rotating in Trauma Surgery and I have access to pure, unadulterated Trauma. I have the honour of being privy to the injuries of the most mangled, messed up and sometimes maddeningly stupid stupid people on the roads.

The horrors we see everyday in the trauma room are hard to describe. It has to be seen to be believed. After every shift, as I buckle up to leave the parking lot- I wonder if I will be back to the trauma room (as a patient this time) before I reach home. Honestly. It does not matter if I am a usually careful driver. It does not matter if I am a defensive driver. All it takes is a split second. One error in judgement. One stupid driver. And that stupid driver doesn’t have to be me!

Every time I break hard, I have visions of the airbag exploding in my face, my neck whiplashing back and forth like that of a rag doll. I think of how my car would be crushed between the car ahead and the bus behind.I imagine my knees smashing up against the front and the force traveling up my femur and breaking it. I can imagine smashing my hardly- insulated- with- fat little body and breaking it in at least half a dozen places.

I can hear the sirens speeding down to the scene, the EMS men and women with their heavy duty gear extricating me from within the mangled mess. Them placing me on the long- board. Of them putting the C- collar around my neck and me thinking how loose it was and that they should use the paediatric one instead. Of my insides being strewn on the tarmac, of my precious blood pooling at the bottom of the driver’s seat and staining my lovely beige, leather seat. I can imagine them asking me my name, as I gurgle in response.  I can’t breathe because the broken ribs impinge each time I inhale. There are blood in places where they shouldn’t be. I am sure there is some leaking within my cranial cavity somewhere , and definitely some in my lungs. I wonder about the organs in my abdomen and there seems to be blood in my eyes- so my face must be a mess. I wonder which colleague would end up operating on me. Then things would go dark.

A bunch of highly trained surgeons and nurses would be called and told that a young female with multiple injuries is on the way. In as few words as possible, they would receive a brief description of what transpired. My GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale), vitals and injuries would be rattled off. They will gown up and wear personal protective barriers and get an amazing array of equipment set up. They would notify the blood bank and the OR. It is like a highly rehearsed play. Each one knowing exactly what their role is.

I would arrive at the scene- the leading lady. Strapped, tubed, compressed. Strangers, or rather in my case, people I sometimes work with, would cut away every shred of my clothing. Inspect every surface and orifice. Palpate, percuss, and  scan every inch. Chest tubes, IV lines,  endotracheal tube, urinary catheters, possibly the OR. Being moved to the TICU (trauma intensive care unit), then the ward after a few days (if I’m lucky).

Everyday, I would meet at least three nurses. Doctors from neurosurgery, orthopaedics, maxillofacial and trauma surgery (at the least) would round on me. The dietician, physical therapist and occupational therapist would determine what I eat, and how many times I get to sit up or get out of bed.

And if I survive with my sanity and limbs intact, it would be just the beginning of the long, hellish road to recovery. This, thanks to the imbecile of an idiot in the car ahead of me who was busy texting a reply while he swerved and braked suddenly to avoid the 6000QAR penalty for running a red light.

Honestly, I dread these roads. Folks, before you pick up the phone to reply to that inane, unimportant message or call, remember that you have but a pair of eyes. You may consider yourself an expert driver, but this time doesn’t necessarily have to be like the thousand times before. We have seen it far too many times. The young and healthy, the old and accomplished, the rich and poor- losing life and limb to the Road.

Trust me, having your brain matter splashed on the road, or bleeding to death in your car is not a pleasant way to go. Heck, even breaking one rib (forget the multiple fractures I spoke about here) or one tiny bone in your hand is insanely annoying.

I hope I never meet any of you lovely folks in the Trauma Room.

Have a lovely and safe weekend y’all! And please, ditch the damned phone while driving. Please.

 

Till next time,

Dr J.

The one that stayed on.

This is going to be a lazy post. I am post- call and should ideally be sleeping. But the nursery run is in about an hour, and trying to get some shut eye now would be an utterly worthless exercise. I therefore decided to log on to the virtual world and say hello to the part of humanity that I have not had contact with for a while now.

How are you folks doing? The heat killed anyone yet?

Personally, I am not a fan of the dull, muggy weather that is doing business outside right now. I saw daylight today after a more than 24 hours, and this is not the weather I wished for. The natural light is inconsistent and therefore I shall use that as an excuse to not get my bottom off the couch and get some decent pictures of the stuff that I’m going to talk about today.

Here’s the deal people, I just got off a 30 hour shift and honestly cannot be bothered about impressing you folks with my virtually non- existent photography skills. So I shall be a lazy bum and use stock images. Deal.

Yesterday morning, on a whim, I decided to test something.


The longevity and performance of my current favourite foundation.*

* under extreme conditions


 

I would not use a heavy- duty foundation on a call day usually, but this was an experiment. So, I went ahead and piled on the stuff with a damp Beauty Blender at 0525 hours yesterday. This is the war- paint am referring to-

estee lauder

 

I hate that it doesn’t come with a pump and I have to bother with the extra step of washing the back of my hand everyday. But apart from that grouse, I love this foundation for all the lovely things it brings to the table. The coverage, the finish, the sheer ability to not budge from where it was applied to…

I went about my call- day as usual. Running around, rounds, seeing new cases, admitting some, discharging many, going to the OR, post- op rounds, taking power naps whenever I could. I wore a mask for several hours too. But there was negligible transfer, almost zero shine (till about 0200 hours this morning) after almost 18 hours and the darned thing stayed put till the end. Dare I say, I’m mighty impressed.

It might sound gross when I say I wore this for over 24 hours (even slept!), but kindly give me some credit for the research spirit please.

I finally could not take the icky feeling anymore and washed it all off and went barefaced at around 0630 hrs this morning. 25 hours after I put it on, it was still almost 90% effective. It truly is “stay-in-place” make-up. Bravo!

The shade range that this comes in is worthy of praise, and compared to some other “high-end” foundations that I own, this isn’t that heavy on the pockets. The finish (in my opinion) is best when the foundation is applied with a barely damp Beauty Blender (versus fingers, brushes and dry sponges). It kind of sets/ sticks onto your face in a couple of minutes after you put it on and then does not budge. The downside to this, is the slightly “clogged” feeling that I cannot quite describe in words. The foundation looks great in person, but you definitely “feel” it on your skin. If piled on, or not blended properly, it can definitely look cakey.

In short, despite it’s shortcomings, I now understand why this one is a bestseller. Someday soon I shall do a post on all the fancy foundations I own/ use but for now I can tell you that this one ranks right up there. For sure.

What are your war- paints of choice ladies?

Till next time,

Dr J.

 

P.S. I should ideally be putting up before and after pictures of my visage for such a post- but let’s just say I’m camera shy shall we 🙂

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.

Troubles. And a mid- air chat.

The trouble with trouble is that when you are in the middle of it, it seems insurmountable. Life ahead seems inconceivable. You use terms and phrases like never, ever, why… They become a mantra. You fail to appreciate all the things you have going for you. All the things in your life that make it inherently better than so many others’. You do the worst thing you can probably do in such a state- compare yourself to someone in a “better” situation. 

“Better” is so relative. My better may not be really be better than your better and vice versa.

We wish for trouble to pass us  by. We wish for it to vaporize, to cease to exist. But we often forget, or fail to realize that every change, every great day, every fabulous occurrence in  our lives have been preceded by trouble. So trouble is a rite of passage. A way of life testing us in preparation for something bigger, and usually better.

I was told last night, by a well off (in every sense) friend that I am ‘living the dream’. Ha! Really? Who would have thought! And yet…

When did the dream life stop being enough?

We all lead weird, twisted lives. In an era of the ever- connected, where nothing is personal anymore; we all chose to show only the fluff and gloss to the world. We show the best snippets of our life to the world. Hence, we all go around believing the other is happier, luckier, leading the more fulfilling life. What a shame!

Hey folks! Hope you all have been well. And hope Zoe has been keeping you folks engaged here 🙂

Four things usually get me all contemplative and broody- dawn, dusk, the sea and flying. I started typing this post, at 36,000 feet above sea level, on a really cramped economy seat, with the laptop precariously perched on one knee and a ‘finally asleep” one year old sprawled on another.

I was done. Spent.

Done with the travel, the endless packing, the distances, the train stations, bus rides, weary transits, the baby- food prepping, the juggling of many lives….

I was hungry, exhausted, and almost near tears. I am not one for public displays of tears and tantrums, so I needed to vent. I almost posted this then, but good sense prevailed. And thank heavens I did not connect to the obscenely expensive mid- air, on board wifi. Phew! I might have had to get rid of my jewelry to pay for it.

I am at a cross roads in life. At the cusp of huge change. Two very, very different paths lay ahead of me. And for once, I do not have to make the choice; destiny will do that for me. I’m a puppet in her hands now. It’s eerily liberating to submit to fate and let go… to renounce control.

Till next time..

Dr J.