I had such a lovely experience last week. I was working Accident and Emergency overnight, as I have finally completed my surgical posting and moved on to Family Medicine.
A mother brought her nine-month old baby in with a chronic cough. Now, it was probably the happiest baby I had seen all night and probably could have just waited to go to the clinic the next day, but whatever: she was there, so I saw her.
In among the questions of TB, smoking relatives, and pets, I asked if Baby was born term, and how. Her response, “Yes, he was a big baby! You did my Caesarian Section!”
I heard this song for the first time as I was driving to my New Year’s Day call on Friday. Apparently I’m the only person in the whole world who hasn’t heard it, but WHATEVER okay.
I wept a little.
THIS is what I want to say to people. To the new interns who are hopefully going to realise this year that medicine was the right career for them; but who will certainly meet many challenges this year.
Medicine is hard and you’ll be expected to be super-human, never to have broken wings, never to feel like you can’t go on.
Remember that for every person who expects you to motor on without a wink of sleep, without any debriefing after a difficult resuscitation, there is another who will lend you their wings when it’s hard.
Look for them. Look for us.
Find the people who will support you when your day or week or month is shitty.
And when your wings are working… please help someone who needs them.
Exactly one year ago, I started Internship. Hard to believe that the terrifying days just kept coming, until one day they weren’t so terrifying anymore.
Today marks the beginning of my second year of Internship, as the new interns arrive. I am excited for them, mostly. I also have quite a few friends coming!
I’ll be on call today on the surgical service. I anticipate a busy busy 24 hours; because with great celebration comes great trauma, unfortunately.
One year from now, if all goes well, I’ll be starting my community service year – in a different province, different hospital.
I don’t really know what to expect for the year ahead. To be honest, I haven’t even had time to make goals or plans. But I trust it will be a year of great learning and experiencing.
What a time to practise medicine, indeed.
As my first year as an adult (sort-of maybe I guess?) draws to an end, I find myself reflecting a lot on what has happened. Incoming interns ask for advice and I wanted to write a really cool and inspirational post but I find myself not knowing what to say. Almost as if I haven’t learned enough to offer advice.
Christmas and New Year’s is such a fun time in South Africa. It’s the middle of Summer. The weather is gorgeous, perfect for swimming and braaing, spending time with family, and reading.
It’s my first festive season of working full-time.
So a while ago, in the heat of a post-run “I can do anything” high, I signed up for the Two Oceans Marathon.
If you don’t know me well: I started running in 2013 because it was the only sport I could do that didn’t require a huge financial investment.
It kind of grew on me a little. This past year was a good year for running. A while ago I just kept running and accidentally did a 21 km (half-marathon).
Anyway. The Two Oceans Marathon is an ultra at 56 km. It is on 26 March 2016.
I haven’t even run the qualifying marathon yet. I’ll do that in February.
It’s just that running has been really hard for me ever since I signed up.
Especially getting those long runs in… It’s just that considering I have at least one 24+ hour call a week, that means I’m out of action two days a week… leaving me five days to do four runs.
It’s hard. I’ve always just run for the sake of running, the only person I had anything to prove to being myself.
Suddenly I doubt myself every step of the way.
I feel like the Blerch is following me around wherever I run.
I need advice, running world!
I didn’t want to know that the man with the compound skull fracture had fallen into a sewer drain while being chased by the police because he was the man that had been scamming poor people out of their grant money for months.
I didn’t want to know that the man with the gangrenous arm had been bitten two weeks ago, by a girl he was trying to rape.
I understand the importance of a good clinical history. But right now, while I’m saving their lives, can I not simply know that he fell in a ditch? Or that he suffered a human bite?
I don’t want to know WHY these things happened to them. Not right now in any case. Tell me later, when they have pulled through the worst. Tell me then, if you must.
Is this wrong? Continue reading