The Full Picture

When I was in high school, one of my best friends was in a relationship with another one of my friends who I was less close with. This girl dumped my friend over text and basically pretended their relationship never happened. 

When I found out what happened to my best friend, I developed a massive dislike for this girl. I labelled her in my mind as a terrible person that I never wanted to be associated with. 

It took me a few years to realise that you can’t classify someone as a good or bad person that easily.

One of my current friends told me you have to judge people based on how they treat others. That’s what makes them good or bad people.

To a certain extent, I agree. If you can treat someone badly, and not feel any remorse, you have more bad in you, than good.

However, that wouldn’t be seeing the full picture. If you were someone who was never treated well by anyone, would you necessarily know what it means to be treated well, or be able to treat someone else well?

Not really. That’s just how your world has always worked. That doesn’t mean you’re inherently 100% bad.

Another friend of mine said that doesn’t matter. Being treated badly does not justify treating someone else badly. Ie. You being hit as a child does not equal you hitting your child is acceptable.

Which does make sense. But even that wouldn’t be the full picture. 

Because these people don’t necessarily say to themselves, I was hit as a child. So I must hit my child. They don’t plan on doing what they do. They’ve just been put in a circumstance where they do something and not understand it’s not acceptable.

That doesn’t make them 100% inherently bad either. 

I’ve met so many doctors in hospital who are fantastic doctors, but they go around treating their junior staff and colleagues quite badly. Many students call them good doctors but not good people.

Again, that’s not the full picture. 

Some people are just moody. They’re annoyed with people for whatever reason. But in the end, they’re all just trying to be happy. It usually isn’t something they have against one person specifically. 

They can’t be classified as fully bad.

Lots of people will tell you stories about people you don’t know and paint them in a negative way. You would never have the full picture there because experiences are so variable. Even if you got to know them, they may treat you differently to how the treated the person you heard about them from. Based on different circumstances and situations.

I guess what I’m trying to say here, is that it’s so hard to call someone a bad person and have every single thing they do, support that statement. 

This means it’s equally difficult to say someone is a good person. 

These days I feel like there’s no point in classifying people. Everyone has the potential to be wonderful, and equal potential to destroy. 

You just have to weigh the good parts of people against the bad. And face the fact that you will never have the full picture about someone. 

Back To Paediatrics

Well a year and a half later, I have returned to the land of the children!  

A completely different hospital this time, thankfully. Because I had a less than great experience last year. 

But this year! I am allocated to the paediatric gastroenterology team! I was hoping my love for gastroenterology would balance out my fear/dislike of paediatrics.

And it does, to a certain extent. On my first day I learnt about 3 new conditions I hadn’t seen or heard of before which was super interesting. And my consultant is extremely nice, which makes things so much better.

But I’m still not feeling the paediatrics vibe. 

Beyond the fact that children scare me, I am not cut out for the people the grown-ups turn into around children.

I cannot handle or do baby talk.

Like just no. People don’t realise how ridiculous it sounds to others.

Sometimes I think even the kids judge some of the adults and their attempt to comfort them using baby talk.

You just end up saying things that make no sense. 

There was a crying baby on the ward round, so my house officer took off her brightly coloured lanyard with her nametag on it, and waved it in the baby’s face. (Which by the way I don’t approve of. There could be millions of germs on there) but then, the nurse in the room let out a dramatic gasp and said “see that?? You love a good nametag don’t you!!”

…???

What.

That doesn’t even make any sense. And it’s not something a kid would stop crying to.

And of course this kid didn’t stop crying. I mean it wasn’t going to be like “yes Sharon I do love a good nametag thanks. I’ll stop crying now”

I mean honestly. So unnecessary.

And the other day on ward rounds, a child was hiding behind the curtains in his room and the registrar was trying to examine him. My house officer out of nowhere looks at me with the most serious face and says “where’s Timmy??” (Not his real name). For a second I was confused if she was seriously asking me something.
But no. She was doing it for the child’s benefit. He of course ignored her. 

Oh God. I cannot do that. I talk to kids normally. And I do okay-ish with examinations. 

But yeah I don’t know. Definitely cannot be a paediatrician. 

Thankfully the rotation this year is only 4 weeks and I am currently on my 3rd week.

But seriously people. Stop with the baby talk. It’s not cool anymore. The babies are judging you big time. 

Right Brain Deviation

How much do you know about your right cerebral hemisphere?

You’ve probably heard it’s the artistic side of your brain.

That’s true. The right hemisphere is responsible for abstract thought, music, artistic skill and several other things that we don’t know about.

The truth is, we know very little about how the right hemisphere works. It has its own rules about function and control. The left brain has set rules.

Regions for speech, movement, hearing, eyesight, etc.

But the right brain is more complex than that.

A good example of this difference is in stroke patients. If you have an injury to the part of your left brain that controls speech, you won’t be able to speak, but you can sing.

How interesting is that?

Your right brain is also where your “subconscious” mind is thought to reside. And the emotions that go with it too.

Essentially, the right brain is a mystery.

Michelangelo thought so too.

Creation of Adam

Recognise this painting? It’s called Creation of Adam. Painted by artist and sculptor Michelangelo.

If you look closely, God is depicted as arising from a shape that looks like the right hemisphere of the human brain.

The right cerebral hemisphere is where God lives!

Okay that’s a stretch, but essentially Michelangelo realised that there was some innate power in the right half of the brain that we don’t understand. Something that was God-like. Intangible and unable to be explored definitively.

And to a certain extent, that’s true. Even doctors and researchers today don’t fully understand the functionality of the right brain.

You can see it in emotions too. A pokerface is generated by your left brain. You can probably control that. You can master it with practice. But the small flicker of surprise in someone’s eyes that people catch, is your right brain displaying your true emotions.

It’s just really fascinating.

For me especially.

I’ve always wondered about my right brain. I feel like my subconscious mind controls a lot of emotion in my otherwise completely non-emotional personality.

I’ve mentioned this before. I don’t cry easily. I used to think this was a strength. My thoughts were always very analytical about any situation. I would think really hard about an issue then consciously come up with a conclusion and think to myself, Oh hey, I guess I’m fine! I’m not too bothered! I must be quite resilient!

Let’s all laugh together.

My left brain is very put together apparently. But whenever there are big issues like this, my right brain starts processing the emotional stuff attached to those issues.

A few years back I had a big emotional situation with my family. I was however, the most seemingly put together person. I was comforting all my family members and I was chuffed about being so stable.

But then in the weeks, months that followed, I realised that I was crying more often about tiny things like getting a low score on a high school physics test, or burning my toast on a day when I was late to get somewhere, etc.

My right brain controls that I think. While my left brain says I don’t give no damns, my right brain opens the floodgates when I least expect it.

Happened recently too. A few days of discussions with someone, and I was analysing the situation and realising what was wrong with it. But every time I thought about the issue itself, I wasn’t too bothered.

However, I ended up locking myself in a bathroom and crying for 20 minutes for something very small, the next day.

I realised that the small thing wasn’t what I was upset about. Somewhere in my brain, the bigger issues were stockpiling emotions and letting them out when obviously small things came up.

Does that kind of sound like my brain is messed up? Hmm. A little. I think my right brain is just really powerful. More than I know how to control. I would like to learn how though.

I’m fine by the way… Until my right brain decides to release, that is.

I just think it’s really interesting.

Forgetful

Sometimes I think, wouldn’t it be great to have memory loss?

Like amnesia. Like short term memory loss.

Okay I know that sounds horrible. Like of course it would be horrendous if you or your family members forget who they are or where they live or their closest relatives, etc.

But just think.

What if you could forget your most embarrassing moments? What if you couldn’t remember the people that screwed you over? Or the actual events that wrecked your life? What if you could forget the grudges?

I would love that.

I remember everything. Well, not everything. Let’s say I remember a lot of useless stuff. Do I remember what nerve powers dorsiflexion of the foot? Nope.

But do I remember what someone was wearing the day they yelled at me and made me feel terrible? 

Yep and yep and oh God why.

Sometimes I just wish I could forget things. I don’t know why I bother remembering certain things. It’s not a conscious decision, I can tell you that. Some part of my brain just decides to retain info that isn’t really going to do much other than bring back the feelings surrounding that info vividly.

That’s another thing. It’s not just oh yeah I remember that. It’s more like oh my God remember when that happened and I felt…

Which is really unnecessary. There are enough emotions in the present to deal with without having an emotional back log too.

I just wish I could forget a lot of the stuff I remember. Most of it though has a lot less impact on me, which is good. But I wish I could forget it all completely.

Don’t you?

My Word Is Law

I have a bad habit that most people these days do not have.

I stick to my word.

-B

It’s kind of hard to explain. But basically, when I say something, I meant it.

Words often mean nothing. That’s the way of the world these days. What someone says today, they’re likely to change it tomorrow. Or say they never said it.

I can’t do that.

I know that when I say I’m going to do something, or feel something, I am 100% committed to it.

It won’t change. If I know I’ve said something, it’ll haunt me forever.

That goes for good and bad things.

If I promise you something, it’s a promise I make myself. I’ll never forget it or deny I said it. I’ll follow through regardless or changing circumstances or feelings.

Feelings do change. I won’t deny that. But if I said I’ll do it, If I said I’ll stick to something, that is essentially a law I’ve set for myself. I would see it through at any cost.

I think this is just because I need some form of anchor in my life. I use my words as my anchor. I’m careful about promises I make and words I give to someone. I need to rely on that for myself as much as others.

So if I give you my word, you can bet your life on that.

Or mine.

Because I know I will be.

Emotional Trauma

Deep breaths. In and out.

Fear. Humiliation. Frustration. Sadness. Helplessness.

Replaying over and over

No evidence on the outside of course.

As if watching the normalcy of the world from behind a glass.

Keep breathing. Deep breaths.

In and out.

Survived. Still here.

But it replays. Over and over. Swirling.

Fear. Humiliation. Frustration. Sadness. Helpless.

Still remains.

Yeah.

It’ll be okay.

Maybe.

Fakebook “Friends”

They’ll like every one of your photos. Even the one with too much exposure or the one of the small rocks that don’t really mean anything to anyone. 

They’ll comment on your selfies “looking good!! ;)” “damn where you been? :-* ”

They’ll post on your wall “happy birthday!!!” Because the website reminded them.

But when they see you in person, you don’t exist.

You exist in a parallel universe under a big blue banner only.

If they see you somewhere, they won’t be asking you how your birthday was. Or how your holiday was. They won’t be telling you you look great in person. 

No you’re just a clever simulation in real life.

They’ll talk to their other “friends” about you off the record. 

They’ll tag their other “friends” in memes saying “we know someone like this ;)”

They’ll use that website as an advantage. They’ll watch you. Waiting for you to do something. 

They’ll use it to assert dominance. At a click of a button, you disappear. 

They’re not “friends”.

I would literally rather be anything else other than your Facebook friend. I choose reality. I’m glad about that.

Getting Compliments

So I just finished 3 weeks of my immunology rotation. I knew zero information about immunology before starting this rotation and now I know a little bit more than that.

Anyway! I had a consultant on this rotation who I had briefly during my general medicine rotation. He’s also an immunologist. Who knew!

He is without a doubt, the nicest, most down to earth consultant I had ever seen in any specialty. He’s always ready to help literally anyone with any issue, regardless of their position in the hierarchy.

He is extremely respected as a consultant by his department. He’s just generally nice and funny and smart.

I have massive respect for him too. Not only does he teach and answer my questions clearly and lets me see patients in his clinic, but he also acknowledges my presence wherever and whenever he sees me. Even when I am on a ward round with a different team. If he walks past, he waves and smiles sincerely. 

Which, I can say from 6 years of experience, is a Huge deal. 

Anyway the point of this topic is that for some reason, he seems to think I’m great. 

Now. I’ve mentioned before that I’m awful at receiving compliments and basically not good at being given any attention at all. Dr. AJ (This consultant), told me I’m really good and it’s been a pleasure working with me in both general medicine and immunology.

Err as great as it was to hear that, it immediately made me 10 times as nervous around him. 

Okay I don’t know what it is, but if someone likes me and gives me compliments like that, I feel like they have these expectations of me that I’ve got to live up to. 

Which makes me super nervous because I have no idea what I’ve done to have these expectations of me.

I still think I’m pretty average. 

Yes I realise this is probably a self-esteem issue but whenever I realise that someone seems to think I’m good at something, (specifically something I don’t believe I’m necessarily great at), I start freaking out a little bit.

Which is the last thing I should do because it’ll make me overthink everything and make mistakes. And it also seems to manifest as this weird giggly version of me. It’s very bizarre when I get compliments I get uncomfortable to the point where I think the best thing to do is laugh it off. 

It’s really not the best thing.

Giggling like a 5 year old is hardly what you want from someone you just told was extremely professional or intelligent or whatever. 

Oh God is this one of things I have to hope will go away with time? 

I seem to have a long list of those particular traits. I’m starting to worry they won’t just go away with time. Blechh. 

Anyway that’s my self reflection.

Point is though I’m super grateful to have met Dr. AJ and so grateful I was able to impress him, even though I’m not too sure what I did.