First Quarter Done 

And with that, psychiatry is over!!!!

Will I lament it’s loss? Naaaah

Well I will miss the people. The other house officers and my team, and having my own desk.

But I will NOT miss the department, the nurses, the fact that I have to look after geriatric patients I know nothing about, after hours. Just a big NO. 

Did I learn a lot? I’m not entirely sure to be very honest. I can’t say what skills I’ve gained in psychiatry other than developing an absolute “I don’t give a sh*t” attitude to certain things that aren’t even “problems” but someone else decides to make it a problem and they decide to make it YOUR problem. Which I will no longer stand for.

Having not much to do is really not my thing, I realised. Well I sort of knew that already, but now I’m certain. I need to stay busy. It just makes the day go so much faster.

I’m off to general medicine next! I am very excited. It should be very busy in comparison. 

But as usual, when I least expect it, my bad luck streak reared its ugly head. 

I was supposed to be on a team with another House officer. It was supposed to be a very busy team. On Friday, the last day of psych and the Friday before I start on gen med, I find out that the other house officer has been moved to another team and I heard that my team is going to be dissolved due to a lack of consultants.

Oh, and no one told me this.

I found out because the other house officer approached his new team and asked for a handover, meanwhile I was thinking we were still on the same team. Admin had called him about this, and not me.

Why?

Because that’s admin.

I freaked out and went to them and asked what would happen to me. They said the team is not going to be dissolved “yet”, and I am still on that team. But it is true that there are no available consultants for that team currently and this is likely to create several “changes” to the team structure. None of which I have been informed of yet. 

The lady I spoke to said “don’t stress. The other house officer has been moved but you’re still with this team. If there are any changes, we will let you know”. 

“Don’t stress” she says, even though had to approach her myself and ask about this or else would have shown up on Monday and been utterly lost as to why the other house officer on my team is no longer on my team and why my team has no consultants.

Thanks a lot, lady.

So I kind of don’t know what’s happening on Monday. The house officer currently on this team I will be going to said he would give me a good handover and there are patients on the team currently and there is a registrar. This is good.

But he also said he heard the team might be dissolved. This means I could be moved to another team sometime during this rotation.

Blech. 

I really must find out why I’m suddenly having these bizarre things happening to me.

On the bright side, ironically, every one I told this story to, basically said “well hey think of it as a blessing. You won’t need to deal with the other house officer anymore!” 

This is true I suppose. I will either have a team of my own which will be great.

But it could also be not great in that the team is slowly dissolved and I have to be moved to a different team. 

Which may not be terrible depending on the team. But with the way things are going for me currently, I would not be surprised if things go terribly.

What do I do? 

Gotta just keep swimming I suppose. 

We’ll see what happens Monday. 

Stress Excuse 

Something that ticks me off to no end is when people use ‘stress’ as an excuse to feel entitled or to treat others badly.

When you’re stressed, suddenly everything seems like a huge problem? Everything someone does is wrong. Things that, in any other circumstance is not a problem, it doesn’t affect you at all, and was never intended to hurt you in anyway.

But you end up losing it anyway, and making other people feeling just as awful as you do.

Like I am sorry your life is so hard and stressful for whatever reason, but expecting others to tiptoe around you and secretly whisper to each other “oh don’t worry, they’re just stressed. Don’t say anything to set them off” is not on.

You need to have the insight that you’re stressed and that’s why suddenly everything seems unfair and offensive. Not because the world is suddenly out to get you. Just because you don’t have a decent outlet for your stress, does Not mean everyone turns into a punching bag or a chew toy.

If you’re the sort of person who stresses about everything, then please have insight about the kind of person you turn into when you’re stressed. The rest of us are not here to annoy you. 

Everyone is just trying to do the best they can to be happy everyday. 

Don’t say “sorry I’m just really stressed” and expect people to understand. Because hey, everyone has troubles and you’re not the first person in the world to be stressed or to face certain issues. 

Just keep breathin and breathin and breathin and breathin. 

And stop being horrible to others. 

Implosion

Sometimes you experience something beyond awful, and your brain has no idea how to deal with it.

You don’t cry, you don’t get angry, you don’t yell, you don’t give up, you don’t break down.

You keep going like a machine

But you’ll have this relentless headache. 

A thought of complete apathy echoing inside your head.

That’s your brain imploding.

Who Cares

Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine. Well actually, she called me and said she needed to vent. So I listened to her troubles for an hour or so.

It was a typical story. She was all cut up over a guy who, in my opinion, was a bit of a narcissist. Basically he spent a lot of time talking to her and then began phasing her out.

So she wasn’t happy. She told me it hurt immensely that she cared about this person so much and they didn’t care at all.

Towards the end of the conversation, she said she saw this quote online somewhere that said “if someone doesn’t care about you, stop caring about them”. She said she wanted to “stop caring”.

Now I have a few issues with this. 

Lots of people just go around saying “meh just don’t care about them”

First of all, if you really cared about someone, there’s no way you can just hit the “stop” button on caring. It ain’t that easy. No way.

And secondly, why should you??

Nobody ever started caring about someone because they thought to themselves, hey they care about me. I better reciprocate.

No. You care about someone because you like who they are. 

So why on Earth should you “stop caring” just because you suddenly realised this person doesn’t care about you? 

You didn’t ask them beforehand “hey are you up for caring about me? Because I’m thinking about starting to care about you”

Um yeah no. It doesn’t work that way.

Yes caring hurts. Yes it means that as long as you care, you’re likely to be hurt and feel awful. But I’m afraid you literally signed up for that. 

But I’m not sure I understand why caring is a bad thing. 

If anything, you should look at yourself and feel so proud that you are able to care about someone that much. And if you can’t stop caring, then even better!

Because you have a feeling that is constant. In a world where everything changes so rapidly and feelings run out or expire so quickly, you have a constant. 

You’re genuine. 

Don’t hate yourself for feeling something that pure. Don’t think it needs to go away. Embrace it. 

You don’t need to stop caring. 

Something about someone else made that feeling develop in you. Whether or not that something was real, your feeling is definitely real.

And if that feeling doesn’t change, regardless of whether the other person reciprocates or not, then even better.

This isn’t to say you should put up with any sort of abuse or neglect from someone else. Because definitely not. If someone makes you feel terrible for long enough, at one point you will stop caring. It’ll be a thing where you distance yourself and start trying to make yourself feel good in other ways.

But what I mean is, don’t feel bad or pathetic that you continue to care about someone. Caring about others is all about you, really. It’s how it makes you feel.

And I think that’s a good thing. 

Summertime Feels 

Summertime is really the best time to go out and reflect in places. 

Chances of coming by a view that is absolutely stunning, while on a walk, are much higher in summer than in winter. 

Unless you live somewhere where it snows and you like going on mid winter walks in a winter wonderland of course!

But anyway. Today I was due some reflection and mindfulness, as I’m 2 weeks off from finishing my first rotation as a house officer. 

I haven’t talked much about what my job actually entails. I deal with all the medicine for psychiatry patients. Often, most of them are perfectly healthy. But occasionally I get someone who is very comorbid so I have to order tests, make sure they happen, talk to a bunch of different departments, trying to piece together their management. And because of where the psych unit is placed at my hospital, people are very reluctant to come over there and do things for patients. And getting potentially aggressive and high AWOL risk patients to different parts of the hospital is also challenging. So getting things done is hard.

On my long days I also cover geriatric wards. Where every patient is liable to crash, the nurses are super nervous and the house officers during the day dump whatever they are unable to do while they’re there, on the psych house officers. 

But I’ve made it this far. And I’m going on to general medicine next. Which is going to be a massive change in pace which I would welcome, but also will be a huge challenge as I feel I haven’t done much medicine in these three months to prepare me for what general medicine will bring.

Lots of emotional highs and lows this rotation. Being told by someone that I lack motivation, that I lack common sense, that nobody would take me seriously, that I’m not trying hard enough to be involved, coupled together with my own insecurities, fears, the feeling of being frustrated that I can’t do more with my life, and the sickening realisation everyday that I know that I will never get what I want….

It brings me down.

But I’ve been chugging along. 

All of the stuff above is just noise I hear in my head everyday. 

But when I’m on a walk and see the omnipresent sea, the gentle lull of waves going back and forth on the shore, sounds of people and birds and boats going about doing their thing, the sun setting and creating the most beautiful set of colours as a backdrop to the city line and the ocean, my eyes and the rest of my senses are pleased. A wonderful stillness and peace comes upon me and drowns the noise out. Just for a little while. Making me feel that I’m part of something much bigger in the universe.

Of course those moments pass and reality and the noise comes back, but I’ll try holding onto that feeling of peace just like in the photo. 

Mid Morning Delight

So today, like every other day since I started working, around 11am, I started to feel slightly dizzy and light-headed. And hungry.

I’m hungry most days without much motivation to actually eat something. Today wouldn’t be much different. But I had some free time and thought that I should at least go to the staff café and pick up a snack to keep me going. My energy levels were also dropping. I thought I would get some chips or packaged nuts or an energy bar or something.

I walked into the poorly lit café. The trays that served hot food were empty. Breakfast time had ended and the cooks were working on making the lunch menu. I walked over to the shelf with bags upon bags of chips. “Kumara crisps” the bright red writing on the packets said. A boast that this is super healthy, why wouldn’t you pick me? Low salted, baked and virtually bland, oddly shaped chips that can scratch the inside of your mouth or crumble down the front of your shirt as soon as you bite into one. I picked up a bag without enthusiasm.

Just then, someone walked past me with a small paper bag in their hand. They had come from the other side of the pillar I was standing in front of, where the cabinet was. The cabinet usually has sugary treats. Caramel slices, passionfruit cheesecake, raspberry brownies, etc. I’m not a big sweet tooth. So there’s no point in my going over to the cabinet.

But the person that walked past me said “I’ve just got a Danish” to the lady at the cash register.

Danish?

I curiously went over to the other side and saw a large platter with a cake cover placed over it on top of the cabinet that had the same treats they always had. The platter however, had four, flat, eye-shaped, bright golden pastries piled one on top of the other. “Danish” the pink writing on the outside of the cover read. That’s a terrible description, I thought. I lifted the lid and eyed the pastries. I could immediately smell butter, sugar, and something like golden syrup intertwine and assault my senses.

Hmm. The pastries were eye-shaped with a border of pastry crust but a centre of custard and three raspberries in a row baked in with the pastry. And the whole thing was covered in  a layer of dried golden syrup. This looks promising, I told myself.

I picked one up and placed it in a white paper bag and headed for the cash register.

When I was back in my office, I pulled the pastry out of the bag and saw the top few layers of pastry crumble into my hands. Ooooh. that’s the sign of good pastry.

The smell was strong as I brought the pastry to my mouth and took a bite, making sure I had a mouthful of the pastry, the custard and the raspberry all at once.

In a word: Heavenly

The pastry crumbled away in my mouth as the soft, sweet custard and golden syrup delighted my taste buds, and the tart and perfectly cooked raspberries cut through the sweetness, and sent a burst of flavour straight to the pleasure centres of my brain.

Every bite, the buttery, crumbly, slightly sweet pastry alone, or the soft, creamy, perfectly balanced custard alone, or the small but immensely flavour concentrated raspberry bringing it all together, made me smile. I took small bites, savouring it and making sure I was aware of every mouthful.

It was the first time in days that I actually enjoyed eating something. My mouth was very happy. And I had the right amount of sugar and happiness in my brain to continue on with my day

Parallel Parking

parallel parking (2)

I hate parallel parking.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who hates this unnatural movement of a car into a stupid space.

So today I had to pull my car into a space between two cars. Now it’s not just that the technique of getting into the spot that’s hard. It’s also estimating whether your car would fit into said space. 

And that’s very difficult. And I don’t even have a big car. 

But after 15 tries, I realised my small Nissan March would NOT in fact, fit in between the large Ford and the old Toyota sedan. 

What a waste of 20 minutes and petrol and the poor rubber of my tyres. 

I’m sick of it. You’d think with all the modern engineering, they’d come up with a solution for the stupidest thing you need to do with your car.

And I know they have self driving cars that are supposed to self park like fancy BMWs or Teslas. But I’ve heard that they take just as many tries as you do and have no consideration for oncoming traffic.

It really needs a better solution than this. 

And so I had an idea on my 12th try of parking my car. 

Bear with me here because my doodles are not the best.

My idea is to have wheels on a car that behave much like a four wheel suitcase.

Have you seen those? They move in any direction, including sideways.

So my idea is this:

Build a car whose wheels will all turn sideways and just slot into a parallel parking space!

Like so. 
Now in order for this to work, the axle of the wheels have to look a bit different. For all four of them to change direction at once. 

I think it’ll have to look something like this:

And when the steering or button activates the sideways turning mechanism, it’ll look like this:

And it just moves sideways and slots into the space!

Tada! Revolutionary, no?

No longer will you have to suffer with the awkward reversing and the cringing every time someone watches you parallel park. 

It could even help lane changing! Just one swift movement and you’re in the next lane!

And maybe they could build cars with sensors that will tell you if a space is indeed big enough for you to parallel park in. 

Ofcourse this is going to take a lot of more complex engineering, and this is probably not even how cars work, but hey who knows! 

It might be the car of the future! 

But at any rate, you heard it here first! 

Unless someone else already had this idea, in which case, Please make your idea a reality!!!! I for one would love to never struggle to parallel park and then park somewhere else, again.