Thursday, January 29, 2015

The floodgates

I finally broke down today when I reached the car after twenty four hours of non stop working. I was devastated and broken. I was being dismissed at work by my superior who thought that I was not even fit to be on call because I was not performing well. I felt so crushed because despite the hardwork I presume I put in - of always getting to work earlier than everyone else, preparing the OT even before the house officers come, doing more pre-meds than my colleagues, going that extra mile and even reading up day before - she still thought I was very poor and got really disgusted at me.

I broke down because I was criticized by the decisions I even though I thought I was practising safe by informing if I was not sure or confident. I was being told off for not knowing what is urgent. I thought it was a little too harsh.

But then again, people may dismiss me saying I am just a plain spoilt brat. I was trained in a developed country (nevermind all the NHS crisis going on) in one of the oldest medical school. I did more weeks of anaesthetics than anyone else in medical school - a total a over 2.5 months. While my colleagues talk about NHS and its TPOT, I sat there thinking - hey, I was once involved in one of the TPOT initiatives. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I remembered how the Lead Consultant Anaesthetist console me about being confident in doing what I do.

All these, apparently, do not even apply in this setting. This, developing country setting with a strange mindset. I know people would totally hate me for making statements like this. They would be calling me stuck up and proud for nothing (that is why I am writing it here, duh, where no one reads). I reconsidered my decision so carefully about entering this department.

At the end of the day, I felt it was a passion rekindled. I was happy and excited for a moment. And then it came all these criticism and backlashes. People put me down. Some may call me sensitive but I can tell those subtle non-verbal cues and sarcastic comments certain superiors throw at me. I am, after all, trained in a setting where we read a lot into non-verbal and verbal communication.

Superiors do not allow me to do procedures such as insertion of epidural catheter. Then after that, they tell me off saying I am not enthusiastic enough to hunt for procedures to learn. I just politely pointed out that no one allowed me to do, then how am I suppose to even get the chance? At this point, I am doing most of them secretly with supervision of colleagues because I earnestly want to do but never given a fair chance.

I admit - I am as brilliant as you all who managed to garner the Masters programme and then pass it. I am not as sharp as what a typical doctor should be. I have always been a hard worker. I was responsible since young - I did my homework and revision and rested enough. I did well in school not because I was smart but because I was responsible and played my part. I remember finishing every single math work book I could find at home (my mother being a math teacher) and finally I overcame math by scoring 100% easily. I used to struggle to even finish an exam paper in the stipulated time. I put in effort and reaped the harvest. So you get the picture - I am not brilliant. I have very poor observational skills. I kept telling myself maybe I could learn epidurals by observing my colleagues doing, since I was not allowed to touch them - I still could not. I am just not a visual sort of person. My dexterity is even worse! I have very poor skills. I took ages to even learn how to tie a necktie. What more to say hand tie and anything else. I am clumsy and have poor touch sensory. But I always persevered. I always practised. When I was in paediatrics, I saw most of my colleagues being able to take bloods and cannulate tiny babies in the first few weeks. I, on the other hand, always volunteered to do the procedures but I never got them right. I always tried hard. I worked in NICU for 3 weeks and I never gave up. Before I completed paediatrics, I managed to easily cannulate even the most premature babies. I need time. I am slow but I always persevere and would manage it eventually. I just need time and opportunities.

However, those two are not exactly the things people are kind enough to offer at times. While people who are more junior than me are able to insert central lines and epidural catheters, I, who graduated housemanship more than two months now couldn't even do one independently. I know how people would smirk (even mentally even if they don't show) at me when I fumble and stumble.

I told myself - I am slow, but I am persevering. However, people view me as lazy and only love to sleep.

Today, I bit my lips hard and looked away trying to hold my tears back. When I got into my car, the tears could not be held any longer. They came down like floodgates being opened. I sobbed alone in the car. I was crushed.

Knowing how gossipy the culture is, no doubt by now everyone would have known my poor reputation. They would mark me and then get really cautious next time they work with me. I would be blamed for everything. I would not even get recognised even though I still continue to arrive earlier than anyone else. No one would care because at the end of the day, they just look at how smooth you talk and perform your procedures.

I told myself no more tears for my job. Today, I broke my own promise. And really, it is really sad to cry over something you genuinely loved.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A new ache

Today, I finally understand what a back pain is all about. I cannot actually believe that I, who have yet to turn 30, am already experiencing a gnawing ache in the back. It is simply too incredulous.

That said, I have just recovered from my mysterious illness. I still do not know what exactly happened. I craved to even understand the pathophysiology behind my illness. The sudden release of interleukins and inflammatory factors? I can only postulate.

I still do not feel fully myself. One illness after another. I am still being cautious and not fully working out. But tomorrow I must at least do something useful. Been hibernating too much. Way too much.

Oh, my new glasses are making me dizy. Still a bit undecided if I should bring it to the shop to get it rectified. But how and by what means?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I am ill

I am curled up in bed, feeling so ill. Usually by this time I would have completed at least ten laps in the pool, ready to go to church. Today, I feel nauseated. There are the thriving headache, the myalgia in my joints, the tinge of temperature (which I am positive isn't there if you measure it objectively) and boating of the abdomen which make me feel so sick.

My ID Minnie friend suggested dengue, my sister thinks it is simply 'malas symptoms', leaving me to debate if it is just a mind versus matter sort of thing.

Am I dehydrated? Depressed? In sepsis? 'cos I actually do have a septic looking feel at this moment. My hands feel cold and clammy while I am typing these. Would puking make me feel better?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello 2015

Hard to believe that we are just half a decade away from the so-called Wawasan 2020!

Hello 2012!

I must confess - I have been thinking of refining my resolutions many, many times. But when I actually sit down I try to write them out here, I feel stuck. I get a mind block of some sort.

To kick off my 2015, my friend Angel has registered me into the 2015 Colour Rush charity run. Wooohooo! I therefore, reciprocated by waking up this morning to do a 3k run on my treadmill. So-called training, lol!

Will I be able to finish the 5k run I used to be able to do 5k under 30 minutes. Those were the days when I was 5kg lighter probably.

Today I also got myself a new pair of spectacles, something I last did probably half a decade ago. I suppose clarity and better vision may mean something more this year, no?


Saturday, December 20, 2014

2015 resolutions

I think for 2015 I should be realistic. I am, afterall, turning 30 pretty soon.

1. Continue swimming 10-20 laps, at least 3 times a week
2. Competent in doing epidurals (my major upset stressor this past month)
3. Revisit London, Paris and Amsterdam
4. Finish at least ONE of the many books I bought for anaesthetics
5. Regarding weight - this is one resolution that I would never achieve. I don't know if I should still aim high and then fail every year or should I just be really realistic and practical. I think I should just have a resolution to lose to a size between 10 and 12 and fit in ALL the dresses in my wardrobe which I cannot fit in now.
6. Get confirmed and possibly a cell group to belong to
7. Pick up tennis (my failed resolution for 2014)
8. Go to the movies at least 3 times
9. Save RM15k at least
10. Fall in love with a real character (it has been half a decade, dude)