Friday, August 14, 2009

it's not a miracle we needed

Luxuries at the moment include blogging this post, and the promise of properly washing my hair tomorrow morning- I could have indulged and washed my hair tonight, but frankly, I lack the energy such a task requires. Yes, I'm fully aware of how idiotic that statement is; doesn't make it any less the case.

I will write this because I used to, once upon a time, mention music more frequently than not, and eventually, the following will lead to the mention of music, I swear. This past week has been, well, the suck, let's call it. Probably the worst part of a med school rotation in surgery is that, as a student, you end up spending a lot of time standing, nervously trying not to break the sterile field, but unable to see or do much of anything. At such times, you are acutely aware that you could be doing other things with this time, like, I don't know- sleep, eat, study, go to the bathroom, shower. But, such is surgery.

Today, I was unfortunately scrubbed into an excruciatingly long surgery. The first week, when I was stuck scrubbed into these types of marathon boredom sessions, I used to get progressively impatient, noticing how tiring it is and starting to fixate on that Danny Glover quote "I'm getting too old for this sh*t." Probably moreso than any other specialty, it's seductively simple for me to latch onto that quote and use it as an excuse for all.

But then I have to remember that, were that the case, I wouldn't be here at all. Yes, it is a bit more physically demanding some time, but then I've never been a person who enjoyed standing around for hours on end and I've never been a person who could function on a minimal amount of sleep. I made do when I was younger, and I can make do now. It's just easier for me to fall into the trap of whining right now because it's fairly clear to me that I don't want to be a surgeon.

I don't know if this is a distinctly female thing, but I can only think to describe myself yesterday as being so tired that I was afraid I was going to burst into tears. Just from sheer exhaustion. Does that only happen to women? Better yet, does that only happen to weirdos? Regardless, I came home and decided that I couldn't have another day like that. There's no crying in baseball and all of that (no worries though, I did not cry at the hospital- on principle alone, I will not be driven to tears by surgeons). So today, I was actively thinking of ways to deal with the boredom.

The room was silent, which, as it turns out, was a blessing. Most people complain because this particular attending does not allow iPod's to be blasting music while he wields his scalpel. Usually, I would complain too, as one of the few joys for me the past few weeks has been analyzing various surgeons' playlists (I still have a soft spot in my heart for the dude who played most of the Pretty in Pink soundtrack and General Public's Tenderness). However, it means you are at the whim of someone else's tastes. Today's silence was a kind of a freedom.

I've already posted it here in the past, but I think Phoenix's 1901 has fueled me through 2009. Or, when I've worn it out a bit much, Lisztomania is just as useful. It reminds me of the year that The Killers first broke and I kept finding myself driving at unsafe speeds whenever their songs played on the radio. Phoenix is pretty much my Red Bull. There's something so hopeful and hopeless about the songs, but the music has this pulse and drive. These are songs of now, somehow. So, when I really can't take it, when I think I can't take another minute, I let the music get into my head and it just pushes me forward. No choice but to keep going, that's what the band seems to say. And at 3:30 in the morning, or when holding a suction tube for two hours, that's a message that needs to be heard.

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