Life update: Don't worry, I'm still alive!
The long hours toiling within hospital walls have not turned me into a droid-doctor. I am still here, albeit less than I'd like, trying to adjust.
In a week, it will be two months since I last posted on my blog, and even longer since I posted a video on my YouTube channel. Saying this out loud, or rather, typing this for my eyes (and yours) to see, somehow feels like a massive betrayal to all the work I’ve done since leaving Indonesia last year.
Truthfully, a lot of the time I spend not actively working, or resting, or catching up with friends and family, goes to feelings of frustration. That I’m not put together, that I’m not managing to juggle the new life and the old one, that all the personal work I’ve chosen for myself: this blog, that channel, all of it, is fading out of existence. Why? Why haven’t I learnt to do it all yet?
I did make a solid attempt to write last week ever since I was posted to the district hospital for two weeks. After a month of working tagging hours (06:00-22:00), I’d like to think that my supervisor thought I deserved a break, because you work regular human hours at the district hospital (06:00-17:00). In those two weeks, I slowly started to find interest in things other than just food and sleep.
I had forgotten what a life beyond basic human needs was. I had forgotten the joy of journaling my gratitudes, epilating my legs while sipping coffee on the balcony and intently listening to productivity and mindfulness podcasts, laying in bed on a Sunday morning alternating between cuddles and silly conversations about dreams doodled in MÅLA markers…
The answer to my earlier question about why I haven’t learnt to do it all yet? Because it takes time to adjust.
In my last post, I wrote about how I’d been tagging for four days. Today, I am no longer tagging, and will show up for my first night shift in a few hours. A shift that starts at 9pm, ends at 11am, and will likely see me getting not even a wink of sleep, because disease and demise doesn’t have a watch, and doesn’t care for your conveniences. Someone has to be there 24/7, and after 53 days of tagging, it’s finally my turn for the night watch.
The thing is, after almost two months of entering housemanship, I have come to realise that perpetual exhaustion, countless, creative ways to make mistakes beyond your comprehension and capacity, and oh, did I mention exhaustion? This is all just the beginning, because the job is just grueling and merciless in nature, as it should be. There are actual lives at stake here, and unlike the carefree days of clinical rotations whilst in medical school, in a crisis, we are the first line of life-saving action.
This process (housemanship), tough as it may be, is undeniably an essential concoction to create the doctor you will become/ are becoming. If there is one piece of advice I would give anyone hiking the same trail?
Turn every single moment into a moment that you can learn from, and if you don’t hit 10,000 steps by the end of the day, or get yelled at by someone, then you’re doing housemanship all wrong.
It's time for me to drive to work now. Before I go, I would like to thank the Universe, and everyone who sent me well wishes from wherever, for last weekend, because it was the best weekend of 2021. Why?
- I was allowed to off-tag.
- My sister got married, for which I got two days off, and went to KL, by plane. (Who would've thought taking a propeller plane to KL of all places would be a point of pleasure in my life?!)
- Max Verstappen is the new F1 World Champion!
And finally, after what feels like a lifetime, I found the time and space to write, and even upload a video (which I didn't edit, because evidently, I forgot how). Here is to a future in which the doctor and creator can co-exist, hopefully more consistently. Wishing everyone a merry festive season ahead, and luck to me on my first night shift.