Adult Friendships

Oh dear. Not a great topic. Not in a great mood.

Right so. I had a family member who had cardiac surgery this week. They came out, having had a successful surgery and recovering well. Quite stressful watching them recover and things. But something else has been on my mind.

One of my friends, my best friend, who I adore, who I’ve known since high school, whose wedding I will be a groomsman at….. I haven’t been talking very much to.

I haven’t hung out with him for about 6 months. We talk now and then. About minor things. When I try to share thoughts about certain issues, he is superficially empathetic. Where he used to be quite amazing and helpful when we were younger. He also doesn’t share his issues with me. We used to talk about basically everything and would help each other out. For some reason we fell out of that habit.

He didn’t show up to my graduation (granted he was in Wellington proposing to his girlfriend) or any of my birthday gatherings. Each time I had told myself I had to be understanding because he was a good friend and he had been there for me several times.

I had told him about my family member having surgery. He had clearly forgotten about the whole thing. Hadn’t really checked in with me or brought it up. And that bothered me a bit.

But it wasn’t just him. None of the friends I had told about this had remembered it was happening. Nobody checked in on me or my family until I had brought it up myself. 

But weirdly, another house officer, someone I had only met this year at work who I had casually mentioned this to, had messaged me on the day of the surgery as well as checked up on me the day after and the day after that. 

I don’t know if this is expecting too much from friends. I really don’t know. I’m willing to understand that people are busy and life really does get in the way. But I just sort of hoped friends would be thoughtful beyond that.

I remember stuff like this and make it a point to check up on my friends. 

So I just don’t know.

It weirdly makes me feel I can’t really count on anyone to understand. 

I mean I have my family who I love and who I can count on. But sometimes, as I’ve mentioned on here, the way they talk about each other and the way they fight all the time makes me lose faith in that too. 

Am I too sensitive? I can’t seem to understand what my role in these things are.

I was once told everything is in flux. Friends don’t last forever blah blah blah. I had said I make friends for life. I guess I’ll always think of people as friends and find happiness in being there for them and doing things for them. But I think I have to realise that it absolutely does not go both ways. And expecting it to, is probably not the best idea.

It’s weird. One of the things that ties me to New Zealand are my friends and the people I know. I wonder now if there’s any point in holding onto that. Maybe it won’t be so bad to just move on. 

I’m unsure if any of them will really be bothered if I left. 

I just don’t know. 

But if this is what adult friendships/ relationships are like, then I’m really not ready. 

Needing To Calm Down

Work has been super busy. I’m finding it a bit hard to do anything other than come home and sleep.

I’m also finding myself becoming quite cynical.

Well that’s not new, but apparently my cynicism is increasing in level. Not sure how much to, but when I get calls like:

“Hello, I’m calling about patient……Um…. hold on a second” where I literally want to scream oh my goodness what would possess you to pick up the phone and call me without knowing which patient you’re calling about?!?!

It leaves me quite drained and bitter.

Desperate to keep spirits up, I went out and invested more in photography.

I bought a lensball! I just adore the effect it has

Lensball pierLensball rangitotoIsn’t it fabulous? Bringing a new point of view to good ol’ Rangitoto and Mission bay.

Next week is important for me. A family member is undergoing a major medical procedure. And I guess I need to be calm and strong. It’s a pretty stressful time.

I need to calm down

High Mountains And Deep Rivers

1 Week of Cardio done. 

Cardio is interesting. Patients with way crazy conditions, some quite unwell, some where there’s just not much you can do. 

It’s been quite busy for me. Not quite finishing on time. But hey the day goes by quickly.

I had a lovely registrar this week. And it was actually his final week as a cardiology registrar. He was nice and included me in discussions and even helped out with a lot of the jobs. 

Today, on his last day. Though we had only been working together for 3 days, he told me that I’ve been a great House officer and he wanted to give me this.

He said he had been saving this book to give to someone who was really good. To use and help them study. He said he wanted me to have it for being so great this week. 

Then I found out that the charge nurse on my general medicine ward last rotation, had nominated me for House officer of the month. 

I didn’t win of course. But it was nice to be nominated.

From my low point last week where I thought I was just the worst House officer in the world having nearly killed someone with my prescribing blunder, this was quite the opposite feeling.

It was nice to feel good about the things I do. And be grateful for people who seem to appreciate me. 

It really is having the highest mountains and having the deepest rivers.

You can have it all but life keeps moving…. 

No Excuse

Today I got an email from a registrar whose patient I reviewed over my night shifts.

I had reviewed this man who had had a stroke and whose level of consciousness was fluctuating, making his swallow unsafe. The registrar who admitted him, had prescribed oral medications for him.

The nurse had called me to change his medications to IV. specifically, his anti-seizure medications.

I changed all his medications to IV, including his beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. These are very sensitive heart medications that slow your heart down when it’s going too fast or beating irregularly.

The registrar emailed me to tell me that these medications are never prescribed IV unless there are very specific indications or a patient is in intensive care. I had prescribed them on a ward overnight.

She informed me that thankfully, the patient hadn’t received these medications because the pharmacy does not dispense them overnight. She said that she would never prescribe those medications because the doses aren’t the same in oral as they are in IV and they could have caused a massive slowing of the heart and basically would have been fatal to the patient.

She told me not to stress about it as the patient is fine, but it’s just something to be aware of in the future.

I can’t quite explain how scary this was for me.

When I was changing his medications to IV, I hadn’t known those medications were available IV. When I saw that they were, I thought to myself, huh. That’s interesting.

But it didn’t occur to me to look up whether they could be used IV in a patient who had oral medications. What I should have done was withhold those oral medications until the patient could be reviewed the next day.

I nearly killed someone.

If the patient had received those medications, he would surely have had a massive bradycardia that wouldn’t have been easy to reverse.

I have no excuse other than I didn’t know. Which in my head translates to a level of incompetence.

I should know.

I can’t still be operating at a level where I don’t know what I don’t know. And that apparently nearly hurt someone.

I actually did cry when I read that email.

I probably should take the “well that’s how you learn” approach. It turned out fine. But I don’t think I’d ever be able to forget just how bad it could have been. Just how vulnerable someone is to the consequences of my actions.

I know I’ll be double, triple checking everything I prescribe from now on. And there’s just no excuse for getting something like this wrong.

None at all