Friday, November 2, 2012
knowledge is power
"We give and take a little more, the eternal game of tug and war. Power and control."
The endless pit that is my stomach rumbles shamelessly and the noise seems to echo through my ears. I'm convinced that the whole room can hear it. Ramming my fist into my abdomen in a vain attempt to curb the sound, I stubbornly continue to flick through my stack of x-rays. It's a test and a woman stands over my shoulder, listening to my every word. It is the final test, in many ways I am already qualified.
The words spill from my mouth in such rapid succession that my fellow clinicians look concerned. I'm so mechanical in this, I barely know what I'm saying myself, my voice sounds like a far away drone and in my state, the words mean nothing. "PA erect chest x-ray of an elderly female patient of good penetration and minimal rotation. There are no obvious bony defects or soft tissue swellings. Gross cardiomegaly is present with increased interstitial markings, blunting of both costophrenic angles and septal lines. There is peribronchial cuffing in both lungs as well as upper lobe diversion. All of this is consistent with congestive heart failure."
The woman behind me nods and moves onto the person next to me. I release a breath that I didn't know I was holding. I'm done. Next time I walk into a hospital, I won't be a student anymore. Fully qualified, holding lives in my hands. I think back to the first lecture I ever had at medical school. The opening line of this lecture was "as doctors, you will all kill patients. Hopefully none of you will do it deliberately. This is something you have to accept now or you will have a hard time." I don't know if I've ever come to terms with this. It scares me to the bone.
I try not to think about it. Try to get on with what I need to do.
"Oh my gosh, you're so thin!" But I'm not. Most of the other girls have lost much more weight than me. In England, I got down to almost 50kg. Then I got back up to 57kg. I think I'm hovering around 54kg to 55kg now. I have lost a bit of weight since I got home and away from that recovery house. I can feel that I'm thinner, but nowhere near as thin as I was when I was in England. Not as thin as I was when I was in control of my own food.
But this just goes to show that I can do it. I can lose a lot of weight very quickly. I can also put it back on very quickly, but I can lose it, and that's a relief to know. A little discipline is all I need. And it does come off. I had the faintest of thigh gaps for a while there. So it's possible. Now all I have to do is to get back there as fast as I can.
Tune out the hunger, it means nothing. Tune out the headaches. It means nothing. It's so simple when you boil it right down. At the be all and end all of any conversation, when I don't eat, I lose weight. So if I want to lose weight, all I have to do is not eat. It's very, very simple.