Friday, February 08, 2013

keep myself riding on this train

There is this amazing thing that residents drool over called a golden weekend. It is an infrequent but cherished occurrence.

It is what everyone else calls - the weekend.

I'd just had a very long day today that ended a very long week. Today was a particular whirlwind, a mixture of insanity in the hospital followed by chaos and madness in the clinic. And all day today, I had been telling myself- well, at least you have a golden weekend. I kept telling myself that I'd get to sleep off this exhausting week if I could just get through this day.

And then I got paged tonight, and my dreams of a golden weekend vanished. One of the other residents fell ill, and I got called in to cover for them.

Just earlier this week, a former resident was having dinner with me. He, a to-the-bone Midwestern guy as masculine and together as they come, told me that he cried during his intern year. You think that the tears come during residency when people die, but that's not usually what triggers it, actually. For him, it was a very bad day in clinic, during which he encountered a patient who had a ton of problems, none of which he could fix. The frustration reached its tipping point, and the tears followed. At dinner, we were talking about how weird it was that I got through all of intern year without shedding a tear. My friend A concluded jokingly that perhaps I was dead inside.

Today, when I got that page that was just the culmination of badness in a tsunami of badness, I thought- ah, my time has come. I came close. I was telling another resident about my day, and I was getting more and more frustrated with how unfortunate I was. I still had a lot of work to do at that point, and I realized I was just getting upset sitting in clinic, so I went home to finish my work.

When I got home, I was still deflated about my weekend disintegrating into thin air. There's this thing that happens when you're tired and you feel overworked or overwhelmed. You start to feel like you have very bad luck and the sky is crashing on you and the whole world is against you. And it's very easy to just wallow in that and feel like you've been wronged and spiral down further and further.

I don't know if it's so much better, my maniacal approach. But I just snapped at some point tonight and started thinking HAHA- you cannot bring me down, residency! Nice try!! I shall caramelize onions and make cookie dough and frost cupcakes and you will bend to my will! I mean, who am I really fighting besides my own demons and negativity? But it makes me feel better. It makes me feel strangely victorious. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to make sure those onions don't burn. And by the way, despite chopping them up tonight, still no tears.

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