Sunday, February 05, 2012

I don't want to talk about it

So that was horrible, and I am done professionally with both Tom Brady and Madonna. That's all I really want to say about that.

I thought I would bake a lot during my vacation, but I didn't. So many things I thought I would do during vacation, I didn't. I had no concept of how spent I was. Things catch up to you. When I hiked the Inca Trail, the day we reached Macchu Picchu, we were all fine and euphoric. We were tired and wanted a shower, but we didn't feel it all until a few days later when we were waiting to board the plane home.

It took me about three days into vacation to realize that, of the 8 weeks previous, I had spent 5 of them working night shifts (and not consecutively, which would actually have been better). It's not that working nights is so hard. In some ways, the skeleton crew working at nights allows for some more independence and interesting learning that is useful around this time in the year. However, working nights will mess with your body. After a while, I did not know whether it was morning or night. Sunlight meant go to sleep, darkness meant wake up. I was drinking obscene amounts of caffeine. But I didn't really think about it at the time.

Then suddenly, I was sleeping the day away. I was walking around in a fog. I felt submerged. I did not feel like doing anything; actually, I couldn't seem to bring myself to do anything.

In addition to my body needing a long stretch of time to readjust to living, I found, for the first time since I've started internship, I did not want to even think about medicine. I didn't want to have anything to do with it. Usually, I will start to hunger for reading the latest journals. Usually, I am unable to resist the temptation to check on my patients on my computer. Not this time.

I don't view it as some worrisome sign that this is the wrong profession for me or anything so extreme. Residency training, despite all the work hour adjustments and attempts to improve wellness, is still just fundamentally exhausting. There are the hours, which are numerous, but also the work just takes its toll. It sucks you in, at first, envelopes you- you submerge yourself willingly. Until you start to drown.

Luckily, just about then, vacation comes along. So all in all, I am still tired. I sometimes feel disillusioned. I sometimes worry where health care is heading, and where people's attitudes towards their health are heading. I sometimes wonder if I'm learning enough, or if I'll be in a position to teach in a mere six months. It turns out I like this work. It's just that I've now realized that once again, I need to reinvent to allow for a life within this life, if that makes sense.

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