Wednesday, March 14, 2018
just being more tired and waiting for things to be over someday. medicine isn't how i thought it'd be
Monday, March 5, 2018
I also haven't been treated that great by others and I don't even know why. I don't do anything wrong, but I guess there's just terrible personalities I'm around. I'm training myself to not care and I feel like I have to reprogram myself as a person to really get through working with personalities that are needlessly critical and judgmental in people who do nothing to help you but everything to bring you down.
I can't let people like that continue to drag me down and keep making me feel awful. Whenever I reflect on a bad situation, I try to tell myself, "Well, at least you're not them." And "Well, maybe that guy's just a ***** and that's what he's like to everyone."
It ties back to the theme of us young doctors in training putting in so much effort while dealing with a lot of stress and pressure just being spit on and treated like we're not worthy enough to be around these people who are specifically hired to train us and help us become better doctors.
On a side note I've stopped drinking alcohol.
I was never much of a drinker until a few years ago. I drank socially and that was it. Then I started drinking to facilitate relaxing, never to excess and never to blackout, though. I never would get drunk daily or had drinking interfere with work or relationships.
Drinking sort of became a hobby, though, and I noticed I developed a high tolerance. There were times I felt too tired or too inconvenienced to leave my house and go get a drink and there were other times I had "cravings," but those were incredibly rare and only happened a few times a few years ago at the most recent, and I never overdid it. I was a "moderate user" according to current NIH criteria.
I stopped drinking hoping it can help me optimize my already irregular and not restful sleep cycle and also live a healthier lifestyle without the hepatotoxicity. I also calculated how much I used to spend on drinks on average a month and it'll be nice to have a little bit of extra money in my pocket.
I'm so tired and have so much work left to do. Finishing residency seems so far away again as well. I keep hoping I'll have the endurance to continue and maybe even excel, but I often feel like I'm just barely making it day to day. Just have to keep believing.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
If you asked me a few years ago on my outlook overall, though, it was a lot worse than it is now. I'm not at a point where everything is sunshine and happiness, satisfaction, and confidence, but something similar to that might be attainable, I just don't know when. Maybe it'll actually get better. Maybe there's a silver lining to all of these clouds.
I think I've gone through some really hard parts already, so it makes sense that I can continue and make it through. I think what gets me down is that there are just some aspects of residency I don't think will ever change, the ones that bring everyone down and make you feel like an idiot or a loser.
I think so much of residency is being happy at home and finding musical albums or novels that elevate and fill my soul, and then I go back to work and get crushed, come home and pop out all the structural defects and dents and maybe miss a couple, then go back the next day.
Just makes me feel more tired. Thank you everyone, for listening and offering help
Friday, February 23, 2018
I've started trying to go out more a little to see if I can mitigate some of the stress and anxiety, which is a little outside my comfort zone, but I go with friends.
It's been a long time since I started going out again. I used to know how to dress and look "cool," I guess, but I have no sense of fashion anymore since I live and sleep in scrubs. I haven't bought any new clothes in about four years. My oldest pair of shoes is 10 years old. I don't really get "dressed up," but I try to avoid looking crazy. I'm the most tired-looking person wherever I go.
I went out with a friend who I talk to more than hang out with. He's not in medicine and some people would probably think he's a little "out there," and he goes on for a long time about a certain subject or point.
Our conversation found its way to Crossfit and trying it out, and he said "Don't hurt yourself, man," and talked about a few friends of his who have ended up with rotator cuff injuries or knees that aren't the same anymore.
I went home later, tired, exhausted, anxious about going back to work, but what he said is sticking with me.
Medicine is difficult and particularly challenging as a resident. You lose control over many aspects of your life. It's a contact sport involving your own psychological well-being.
You can't afford to hurt yourself in medicine.
By that, I mean, you can't afford to dwell on things or make things heavier than they already are, and you can't afford to burden yourself more.
Maybe we have to tell everyone taking up medicine, just like any sport, to be careful and not hurt themselves. We have to be there for each other, when people hurt us and when we struggle.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
I've been too tired and overwhelmed to write and respond to people on here but my days are more manageable when I I think about every one of you who is supporting me and sharing stories of things they went through. It feels like I have an army of support. Thank you
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Recently I "confronted" someone who kind of ruined my outlook on my training for a few weeks and who is a constant source of anxiety. "Confronted" is in quotes because I did the resident thing of approaching any conflict like a submissive dog. I worked with them a year ago and still remember that particular had experience, but this one is more recent.
I was humiliated in front of a lot of people for being slow and awkward at a new procedure, it just set that person off I guess. I basically told them I felt really stupid that one day and I think I pseudo apologized.
Then they said it wasn't really me and that it was a stressful day and I'm actually not and idiot, that I work very hard, and I've been making a lot progress.
It made me feel better. I approached them because I kept asking myself how many more days would I be anxious and how many more days did I need to feel afraid.
It was a big step for me. Medicine is complicated and there are so many personality types in the field. I feel brave for stepping forward and getting closure about that situation. I just wouldn't want that to happen to anyone. Everyone has a story about a time they were humiliated, had things thrown at them, or were in tense situations with other doctors.
So much of being a resident though is "rolling with the punches," and the culture is that you just take all kinds of verbal abuse, long hours, and brutally frequent 24h calls without saying anything. The solution is either to leave residency by quitting or graduating from it. There are professionalism committees but I guess they're ineffective or no one reports because recently a scalpel was thrown, in 2018.
I've also seen a lot of not quite so ethical situations and I'm sort of scared to speak up. There are all these powerful people who let it happen and go along with it though. I'm not really significant and anything I say doesn't carry any weight. I just wish some things didn't happen here.
Just so tired and trying to get some rest now
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
I got a new dog, sort of in a random way. She is this sweet, ragged little dog. I used one of my personal days and met this little dog I wanted to adopt for a while. I trimmed her nails and wild bits of fur around her face and ears myself and made her look like a proper educated lady. I'll cradle her in my arms and sing to her to entertain her, and she seems to enjoy it. She's almost like a little doll I guess, you can pick her up and set her down on a pillow or a part of your bed and she'll be happy there. She loves to run around. We both look like life has been hard to us, but more so this little creature.
I'm no less tired than I've ever been. And even more anxious than ever, which is weird. I feel sad again as well. I don't even look forward to things like days off anymore. It just seems like "oh great, two days off. I'll just be back at work anyway." I don't feel like I'm sad at the same depths as before, though. I felt like I used to be in the dark and the cold at the bottom of the sea. I think I can see the sunlight coming through the water now. I think I can make it to the surface some day.
I feel like the only major thing making me feel better is progressing through residency. If medicine were like a permanent state of residency, I truly would leave medicine and pursue something else. And try to find a way to pay off my debt.
My life is a cycle of stress at work, disturbed sleep, and not really being able to fully take good care of myself no matter how hard I try. I noticed a tremor the other day when I was eating, my fork was nearly rattling and it felt embarrassing.
I wish there were people at work I could just sit with and open up about my day or things I find challenging without being judged or talked about.
Another thing I find really weird is now techs and nurses can be really disrespectful to residents but absolutely fawn over the attendings. It's like they have something to take out on residents for unclear reasons and we're safe targets because we don't have much permanence or authority. I've had complete strangers say some awful things with no merit to me that I just let bead off of me. I get that some people like to think they're edgy, clever, and sarcastic but it's really just annoying. I think the biggest insult to them is not acknowledging them and I take pleasure I that, just doing my work and letting them wither by not giving them attention.
Lately I haven't had a life outside of work and the moments I can talk to my dog and kiss her on the head before I go to work are the only really nice aspects of my life. I have so much to be grateful for, before anyone says anything and I've really gone through some awful times in my life. I'm happy to have a decent place I'm renting and I love being on rotations where water is easy to access. .
I wonder how long this restlessness and anxiety will last. I know I will be sad but I think it'll become less and less, it only seems logical.