i haven't written since training at this hospital. there are plenty of ups and downs and truthfully, more downs. halfway through my training, i wonder if i can get off this ride and board another train. this feeling has only gotten stronger with each long shift, each overnight, each frustrating encounter and each unrecognized accomplishment. as the longing gets stronger, i ponder why i am in this profession. is it worth the emotional turmoil? am i truly helping others and if i am, is it greater than causing myself grief? if the answers are no, then what next...
most women understand a hobo to be a type of handbag with soft cloth that could be slung on or even thrown about. however, it is also a word to describe a homeless person or migratory worker, one who is never fixed in one place for long. in the last 10 years, i lived in 6 different cities in 3 different countries. this precludes anywhere i've been for less than 2 months. it feels like i am a seedling drifting with the wind, unable to plant myself and grow some roots. i am soon set to move back to the other end of the world and while it is exciting and new adventures await, i wonder when those roots will grow.
south australia to new jersey
437am. i've tried for the past 4 hours to get some shut-eye before my day starts but i can spot a losing battle when i'm in one. jet lag has consumed me once again after i traveled from one corner of the world to the other. i only hope that sleep deprivation doesn't mean mistakes and blunders, but instead, umpteenth cups of coffee to keep my disposition interested and excited.
the brilliant blue sky greets me with warmth and sweet smells when i leave the hospital at 7PM. it's a welcome sign that spring is here! it sure beats my age-old signs of a snotty nose and runny eyes. too bad, allergies, you've been beat! i am about to go back to Vascular Surgery, a period of time that i can fondly forget due to the early starts and late finishes. i never saw daylight when i was on Vascular. let's hope spring soon turns into summer.
Now playing: CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)/Kathryn Selby/Richard Hayman/Slovak Philharmonic - Rhapsody in Blue via FoxyTunes
the dim fluorescent light overhead illuminated her soft features and blond curls. her eyes were closed peacefully as if sleeping but her mouth was fixed as the telltale fishmouth. i tried shaking her awake, calling out her name. as if in doubt, i pulled off my trusty stethoscopy that was slung over my shoulders and put it to her chest. after checking a few more things, i reluctantly called to the nurse, "time of death, eight twenty three pm."
my first verification of death on my first medical evening cover. welcome to medicine in the real world. goodbye surgery.
rest in peace, EM. 57 yo with nsclc.
with the hustle and bustle of work, it's been easy to lose myself in the details. i wrap and define myself in my interactions, successes and mistakes. the last 3 months have been an uphill journey. there have been no plateaus, only flatter inclines. will i ever reach the summit?
only recently was i suddenly reminded that there is a bigger picture. i hope i will have the evening off to listen to this speaker - she is a doctor who has worked with leprosy patients. i am told her story is both inspirational and thought-provoking.
averted eyes. covert glances. newspapers. cups of coffee. odorous armpits. rickety-screeching of the train. this is the world of the nyc subway. one safe place to stare at is the string of ads overhead. learn english. get plastic surgery. need a lawyer? ah, but one panel always intrigues me - train of thought. it is a series of quotes that mta and other orgs are hosting. this quote is the one i like best:
every man takes his own depth of vision for the limits of the world. -arthur schopenhauer
gazing at the tv guide, i had the choice of glee or pbs's documentary on bacha bazi. i ended up watching the documentary. it reminded me of zana briski's 'born into brothels' and the female lead in 'slumdog millionaire.' except...i feel like this practice is a lot worse. everyone knows it happens even though it's taboo. the police are in on it. grown men talk about being owners of boys and their obsession with them. these children are innocent and have no control over their fate. ... of course, this is coming from me, who cried after watching 'training day' over the injustice and cruelty that power can yield. www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dancingboys/
i'm experiencing life during my first east coast winter! i've always lived in milder climates so it's been a new experience. i guess my journey of new things hasn't ended even though 2009 has. so, more discoveries! lists are so nice cuz they're easy and fast. so far, my winter in NYC and its discoveries:
*just because the weather increases 10 degrees, from 34 to 44, it does not mean i can wear less clothes and a thinner coat. it's still freezing!
*having to ride the subway everyday is not as fun as i thought it would be after experiencing rush-hour crush, cranky people yelling at me, and my inability to subway surf
*i may love brooklyn chinatown more than flushing chinatown. the 拉麵 is heavenly
*i've met, for the first time, some nice burmese people. it's not the 1st time they're nice, it's the 1st time i met burmese
*waking up to a thin blanket of snow covering everything is beautiful
*bagels from street carts are yummy
*a 'study break' is, like the weather, deceiving. it actually means 'study DAY' aka 'let's-try-to-catch-up-on-work-then-fail-miserably-and-still-be-stressed-anyways day'
i have a black dog. it follows me around everywhere whether i like it or not. i'm not partial to dogs but i don't hate them either. they're cute and cuddly but puppies also remind me of L - just the mention of a puppy and i think of him. looks like that association will be here for awhile. back to this black dog - i don't want it but apparently it's also here to stay. the problem is how i learn to live with it and make it my friend.