22 Too Soon

In 3 weeks I shall be 22 years old. 2 decades and a bit on a little ol’ planet in the middle of a small solar system in a smallish galaxy in a rather large universe. How bizarre to think.

Birthdays don’t bother me too much. I’ve never fretted about becoming older, nor have I yearned to attain a certain age. I simply look forward to who I’ll get to talk to on the day. (Because in this day and age, the only time you hear from people you haven’t heard from in years, is on that day that facebook notifies them it’s your birthday). I also seem to get the same questions I do from all my friends. I am the oldest among my school friends, so every year they ask me “how it feels” to become that age. Every year, I say the same thing  (“I still feel 12”) and every year I ask myself what’s changed, if anything. Every year previously, nothing had. But this year I think things have changed quite a bit.

Last year when I turned 21, I told people I still feel like I’m 12. Nothing’s changed. Nothing feels different. But I think I also meant that I didn’t feel particularly like a 21-year-old. Everyone says turning 21 is a big deal (I’m really not sure why?) I don’t get any special privileges.. I can already vote, drive and buy alcohol. I still can’t gamble till I’m 25 or rent a car. So for me, there was nothing special about 21. Also, I felt I seriously lacked the maturity to be a 21-year-old. I remember when I was about 5 or 7, I used to think of people who were 21, as adults. Like BIG adults. Like they’re essentially done with life. Not that they’re ready to die, but more that they would have seen a lot, experienced a lot, have a plan and direction, and just be put together enough that little kids would look up to them and think “I wanna be like you when I grow up!” But now that I’m 21, I see how wrong I was. I felt like I was a 12 year old. I was still in school, still living at home, still spending my spare time reading, watching TV, playing guitar, talking to friends and stressing about fights and wondering when things will start going my way. Not that any of these are necessarily bad things, because like I said, I’m still a very small kid inside that gets happy when my mum cooks one of my favourite meals even though I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself. But it’s just very different to the view I had of someone my age when I was younger.

Now, 22. What’s different? Well I feel like I’ve aged about 10 years in 1 year. Not physically of course (thank goodness). And not in filling any of those categories before about having direction, etc (eugh). But emotionally. It’s the kind of thing you feel when you realise songs like Adele’s Million years ago and Ed Sheeran’s Castle On the Hill actually apply to your life. You start identifying with the themes they sing about and you feel that emotion vividly when you sing along.

1 day, 1 person, 1 year, 1 incident can change literally everything about you and how you view yourself and the world around you. In this year, I’ve realised who matters to me and who does not. Who cares about me and how they choose to show it. I’ve realised what -potentially fatal- weaknesses I posses and how latent they have been for so long. Have I conquered those weaknesses? Nope. Perhaps I shall spend my 22nd year doing that. But I’m aware of them. Which is a start. Yes all of this can happen in 1 year. I feel emotionally much older. Experiences don’t really correlate with age, I don’t think. That’s why I find it a bit silly when people who are just about 30 etc. say that they’re so much older and mature than I am. Well, if you really were that mature, you wouldn’t keep saying it, now would you? I think maturity is that quality you find in yourself that allows you to be in peace and find happiness without causing any harm to anyone else in everything you say and do.

In saying that, I’m still insanely immature. I don’t feel ready to be 22 and face the realities to come. But time stops for no one I suppose!

Another interesting thought is that if I live to 84, I have completed a quarter of my life already! Don’t worry, I’m not one of the people that think with every birthday they’re getting closer to death! I’m more of a live-in-the-moment-and-don’t-worry-about-the-future, kind of person. (Think that’s immature? probably). May then next 3/4 of my life be more productive on the tiny little 3rd planet from the smallest star in our itty bitty galaxy in the gigantic universe.

Specialize Why Don’t You

In ophthalmology clinic:

Ophthalmologist (who specialises in oculoplastics, particularly in cataract removal)Well Mr. Brown, I see you’ve been referred for cataract removal. But I really don’t want to remove these. They’re quite small. I don’t see why I should remove them.

Patient: Oh, well I also have double vision. Can you do anything about that? I’m not too sure what’s happening.

Ophthalmologist: …………..Well you see, I’m the cataract guy. So I have no idea what’s causing your double vision. You should really ask someone else about that.

Patient: Oh. Well my doctor said that if he wants to fix my double vision, my cataracts need to be removed?

Ophthalmologist: *Unimpressed look* Let me go discuss with my colleague

*disappears for 20minutes* *Patient’s wife stares at surgery consent form half filled out*

Ophthalmologist: Mr. Brown I’ve just talked to my colleague and he’s explained the practical aspects of doing the cataract surgery now! If I remove them, you’ll be able to have prisms placed on your glasses to fix your double vision it seems!

Patient: …Yes

Ophthalmologist: Well we can do the surgery then!

========================================================================

Student: Mr. Jones also had a maculopathy in addition to his cataract. Could you tell me what caused it and how we would fix it?

Ophthalmologist: I didn’t notice his maculopathy. I’m going to remove his cataract so his macula doesn’t concern me at all. Someone else can fix that for him. I don’t know what’s going on there.

========================================================================

Really? I mean, REALLY?

I’ve seen and heard that if you specialise, you acquire a kind of tunnel vision whereby you forget all the other aspects of medicine (eg: an orthopaedic surgeon wouldn’t know much about a patients’ gastrointestinal diseases). That’s reasonable. Acceptable almost.

But this, is pushing it. You can be specialised. But you shouldn’t be so specialised within your OWN specialty such that you no longer care about anything other than that one type of surgery you’re equipped to do, surely.

I just found this consultants’ attitude a bit shocking. What if he was in surgery and a patient has a cardiac arrest in the middle of the procedure. Would he be like “It’s okay! I’ve got the cataract out. Someone else deal with his heart please.” Eugh.

Let’s hope I don’t become so one-body-part focused.

How weird.

Guilty Pleasures

I know only that “guilty pleasures” exist, but I have never understood the point of feeling guilty about pleasure. Rather, I see plenty of reasons for feeling guilty about failing to take pleasure in things.

-Nigella Lawson

Pure Poetry, that. ^^

The Beginning Of The End…

It’s the beginning of the end

The end of an era

I can feel it. Can I do anything else? No. It’s not my choice.

This is the way it has to be

It was special. It couldn’t really be explained.
It was quite fast
A flash of brilliant sunlight
Before dark clouds shrouded everything

Something was given
Against all odds
I didn’t ask for it

But I treasured it

Taken away
I couldn’t stop it
Though I tried
It wasn’t mine to hold on to
I never really had it
It seems

Now it’s coming to close
Before my eyes
Slipping away with every second
As easily as that

No. It isn’t easy
It’s never easy when you’re not in control
And you don’t know why

But you’re not allowed to know why
Not allowed to mourn
Just get on with it
Move on

Wish for things to be different
Wish to redo
Wish to take it all back
Wish for forgiveness

Or wish none of it ever happened?

No. It happened
There were lessons
I can never stop being grateful

But because of that

There is no moving on
There is no forgetting

But then…………. How can I be free?
How can I change?

I can’t
My existence must be forgotten somehow

I have to forget

Though the voice inside says I never will…

 

Osce Blahs..

My osce finished!  As did the obgyn rotation! Yaay!! *mini virtual celebration*

How was it? Well.. *averts eyes*

It was okay. I’m fairly sure I passed. But a couple of the stations were just traumatic. Mostly because of the examiner to be honest. I know I know you’re tired of me going on about useless mean consultants, but I just don’t get it. And I promise I’m not the only one who thinks so.

The station was on antepartum haemorrhage:

Me: I understand you’ve come in with bleeding. How are you feeling at the moment?  Dizzy? (trying to find the cue for an emergency situation)

Examiner (pretending to be patient): *looking down at clipboard* Well no. I’m lying down at the moment so I’m not dizzy.

Me: Err. How much are you bleeding?

Examiner: Ohh I’ve gone through 3 pads, they’re soaked, blood dripping everywhere. *still looking at clipboard*

Me: okay..?  I’d like to activate the emergency bell and get help. I’d want to check your haemodynamic status and get IV lines in and get you to theatre for emergency delivery of baby.

Examiner: *write in clipboard. Says nothing for 30 seconds* hmm. And you’re going to do this all on your own are you?

Me:  …?? No I’d call for help.

Examiner: well you should have said that *Still looking at the bloody clipboard*

Me: …… I did. But yes I’d call for help and start the emergency delivery process.

Why do I always seem to get uninterested people who don’t hear me say things? Sigh.

Well, at the end he said I passed. So Woo-kinda-hoo. I suppose.

Another station had a lady who started tallying up the scores on her clipboard while I was still talking. Eugh. Why people. Why?

Well. After this mess, I decided to go for a night time drive and walk with my camera. Got a nice shot of the moon over a famous Hill in Auckland.

Rangitoto and moon 2

This is Rangitoto island. I think this picture looks like a painting. Lol just kidding. My exposure and lens was all wrong and I was freezing to death.

But the end result was still pretty good I think. There’s something about the moon and clouds that’s so soothing for frazzled post-osce nerves.

Study Hard, Then Forget

I am studying hard for my osce at the moment. But as good students do, I was distracted by a conversation with a school friend I hadn’t talked to much recently. The topic turned to studying methods. She has finished her science degree and is currently working on her postgraduate degree.

She talked about how relieved she was that she didn’t have to “study” for tests, etc. anymore. And how I still did. She asked me whether I struggled to study. Or if the work I put in is enough. It struck me as an odd question. But I got what she meant.

You know how I keep saying I’m studying cramming? Well the truth is, I stink at that. I can’t cram info to save my life. There are those people who literally take photographs of their notes in their minds and regurgitate info in that 2 hour period they are expected to do so, then forget it all. One of my fellow med students actually said “Can’t wait till Friday, and then I can forget all this!”. She was referring to the day of the osce and the information she was trying to memorise.

Now this bothers me a bit. Truth be told, she probably won’t forget it. She’s the brightest student of my year and she studies 24/7. So no, she won’t forget it because I’m sure she’ll revisit this info again atleast 10 times. Just. In. Case.

But the statement itself, shows the attitude I suppose? Learn something long enough to forget it? Blech. Of course, the education system is partly the cause of this, as they expect students to learn texts word-for-word and spew it out in that exact form and order even though- lets face it- in practice, it’s not in that exact form or order. And basically you have to learn/do something else entirely. But that’s the basis of knowledge. I take issue with this. I cannot rote learn. It’s one of the reasons I’m not very good at anatomy as opposed to physiology. For me, things need to logically fit together. I can’t accept that X = Y because it just does.

If I lose marks because I didn’t understand a concept, I’d be okay with that. But I seem to lose marks these days purely because I’m not a robot that can download screeds of info into my brain or take photos/scans of pages of notes and reprint them exactly. Sigh.

Because of this, the ‘grades’ I get are, shall we say, average? But my friend and I were talking about how that’s probably the best for people like us. I don’t like stressing. Mostly because I don’t seem to handle stress well. And more because I don’t see the point in being miserable in order to achieve that extra 5-10% in marks. Like I’ve said before, the marks are the real thing that’s going to be forgotten in the very near future. And I value learning. I enjoy learning. I would be sad if I forgot the things I learnt. So I could never really learn something and think to myself I can’t wait till I can forget it after ____. Now this isn’t to say I don’t forget anything. xD I forget a lot of what I study. And often it’s numbers, drug names, genes names, etc. But I remember concepts pretty well I think.

I just hope that what I’m left with is knowledge. And that isn’t just book knowledge. That is the ability to refer to the right books and the right resources (google, in this day and age) when I need it and find that info as quickly and accurately and apply it appropriately to the situation. While keeping a cool head. Cuz stress does bad things to people. I have way too much experience with that. It can turn you inside out. It can make you crave things that you know are bad. It can make you turn on people who care. And to be honest, that just isn’t worth it.

Anyway. The reason I decided to write about this is that my friend did a lot to calm me down while I studied for my osce. To see the bigger picture.

I shall (hopefully) do well tomorrow. Hopefully.

But here’s a quote from Einstein that may apply here:

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school…” – Albert Einstein

True enough.

Interaction?

3 people walking down a path.

Person 1 to Person 2: Can you show me where the door to the corridor to the hospital is? I don’t remember where it is and I’m gonna get lost for sure haha.

Person 2: Yup don’t worry I can show you!

Person 3 to Person 2 (in complete ignorance of person 1’s existence): Oh the door is just one floor down aye? And then you just follow the signs? It’s pretty easy right?

Person 1 keeps walking.

………………………….Ouch.

Ouch. Ouch and ouch a couple more times.

What just happened?  Are you even serious?!

Was person 3 just talking to Person 1 THROUGH Person 2? Or was Person 3 just making it known that the door is an incredibly easy find and Person 1 is really fail and should not be asking? Because Person 3 really didn’t need to say anything to add to this conversation. And the content of what Person 3 said could have been the answer Person 1 was looking for. Only, it wasn’t said directly to Person 1. It was said to Person 2. Who didn’t ask where the door was, nor did Person 2 show interest in offering Person 1 a verbal answer. So why then, did Person 3 do this.

Why? Because talking to Person 1 would break some sort of rule? That sounds racist doesn’t it? Eugh I guess that’s not what I mean. But I mean, what is that about?! Person 3 knows where the door is. Good for person 3. Person 2 is oblivious, obviously. And Person 1… Well I don’t know. It’s probably Person 1’s fault, really. But Person 1 felt non-existent, sadly, and kept walking. You could tell.

But hey I guess I can’t say anything. Because instead of doing something about it, I blog.

Funny.

Oh well.

Some Things In My Life At The Moment

I think I’ve gotten into the habit of blogging when I can’t deal with other things in my life. But it seems to help. So oh well.

Anyway

Things happening in my life at the moment that are constantly on my mind:

1.The Obgyn osce coming up on Friday. Waiting for it to end, waiting for this run to end. But got lots of study + cramming to do in the next couple of days. But I suck at cramming.

2.Stuttering when I talk. This is mostly from osce practice, but I’ve found lately that I just cannot put sentences together coherently without tripping up in my mind and thinking Damn that sounds stupid, don’t say that. Change it. But ofcourse I can’t always do it that quickly, so everything comes out in a mess. What my consultant decided to call a “verbal diarrhoea”. Sigh. Hopefully it’s not some sort of permanent dysphasia

3.My Paediatrics consultant report + final grade…………… I don’t know what to say about this. I’m not happy about my grade or the comments provided by the paediatricians. No point pondering the reasons why. I think it’s safe to say my future in paediatrics as a career is effectively destroyed. Well, not really. But yeah. Oh well.

4.My Selective in September in Australia being (hopefully) confirmed in the near future depending on how good NZ Post is. Judging by their colourful ads with trendy dancing women, they better get my documents to Australia like, today.

5.Lots of people I know being sick. It’s stressful. Please feel better people!

6.That thing that’s always in the back of my mind. But nothing really I can do about that.

7.Getting back into macro photography. Quite happy about this pic. Little win for the day.

IMG_4512.JPG

 

That’s enough things for now. Must go read up on the management of threatened preterm labour as opposed to actual preterm labour.

Hope everyone else is having a fabulous day!

A Big Little Win

Research article

My little win today, was finding out the research project I was working on has been published! I’m sure I mentioned my fascination with psychology and medicine right? Well lucky for me, I found a supervisor and a project that fitted that category.

It was a very stressful summer recruiting “72 healthy adults” and conducting all those experiments. But It’s nice to know it was worth it. I felt the need to thank all my friends that participated. I’m eternally grateful

This was my little win for the day.

Have a read if you’re interested!

Never Let Them Know

Another tutorial today. I’ve mentioned how much I LOVE these Obgyn tutorials right? (hint sarcasm).

There was a particularly obnoxious consultant in a rural hospital running the tutorial. She was mean. She knew she was mean. But she was unapologetic about it.

In this age of technology, we do video conference tutorials. We had to sit and watch her grill our fellow med students based at that hospital as they presented the week’s case. Interrupting them every so often to tell the whole group that she would FAIL them in an osce if they had said what he just said. Then lecturing us for 25 minutes straight on what the RIGHT answer is. She even decided to tell the boys of the group that they should ALWAYS offer to have a chaperone WHENEVER they examine a woman.

But of course, I had to come into this somehow. And I almost didn’t. In a large conference room, with a small webcam, if you come in late, you get the seat just outside of the frame of the camera. Then, if you make the BIG mistake of  accidentally appearing in the frame for a second, you get called out. “Who’s that in the corner there??” “If I was your supervisor I would fail you for not participating in the group”

Why.

Then when there was a difficult question, guess who gets picked on? “Hey, what’s the name of the person in the corner? You can hide all you want but I can hear you, so answer the question. What is the indication for urodynamics?” I said I was unsure. A student behind me ventured an answer. She responded: “Well, there’s one student who is awake”.

Why? Why why why why? Just WHY?

What is she gaining? What is she achieving by saying stuff like that? What is ANYONE achieving by making someone else feel small and stupid? Does it boost their ego? I can’t see that being the reason, because she went on to say something to the effect of “I know I’m being harsh, but don’t worry you’re all going to do fine in the osce, I won’t be the examiner! Hahahaha” >___> If you KNOW you’re being a certain way, and you KNOW that way isn’t ideal, then WHY are you still like that?

I’ve dealt with bullying in my childhood. As an adult, I never thought I would have to deal with things like that. But as it turns out, when you grow up, bullying just becomes more subtle, and from sources you never imagined. And unfortunately, it’s more deadly. It makes me miss the direct form of bullying I experienced back then.

What bothered me is that she straight away assumed I was hiding or avoiding answering questions, and decided she was right, and acted on those assumptions. People need to stop assuming things. Why is it such a rare thing to give people the benefit of the doubt? Or atleast pretend to? Eugh.

So. How did I respond? Well unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve been in this position. And if I learnt anything, it’s this.

“never let them know they get to you” – Nick Wilde

I put on a face. It was a smirk. It was a “what the heck” look when she told me to show my face to the camera and that she would fail me. I looked straight at the screen with this face. One of the students referred to it as a “Sass” look. That’s what I did. I wasn’t about to give her, or anyone else the satisfaction of knowing what I was feeling underneath. I told her I was not sure of the answer, with the same confidence and sass. After the tutorial ended, I joined with my colleagues and excitedly ranted about how horrible she was and how silly the whole situation was and how we shouldn’t care about what she says. Though I hate putting on a fake face like this, I’ve learnt there’s no other choice. And it’s more important to follow the whole “conceal, don’t feel. Don’t let them know” thing. No it’s not the best idea. But it’s the only thing to do when you’re and adult in this situation.

And then, when you are home and alone, succumb to how she actually made you feel..

And then blog about it.