Friday, December 7, 2012
when it all boils down
"I am surrendering to gravity and the unknown. Catch me, heal me."
The past 2 weeks have been an absolute rollercoaster for me. There were highs, and many, many lows that came with a pile of stress. I don't exactly know how I feel about being a doctor anymore, in the past few stress filed days, I've felt less than happy to be in my position.
The level of stress is almost intolerable. I don't know how to deal with it and apparently I've developed a real psychosomatic way to expressing stress. I don't necessarily feel it, but I will become sick. And right now, I'm really, really sick. It does save me from the hospital, but I feel overwhelming guilt about it.
There are no words to explain how it feels to make the transition between student and doctor. Nothing on this world could have prepared me for it. Life is so different when it's my head on the chopping block, when people expect me to know the answers and make the decisions. The reality is, nothing has changed inside me in the month between student and doctor, I haven't suddenly gained magical diagnostic skills, magical communication skills and magical insight into the processes of the hospital. But now, I'm expected to know. And it's fucking scary. It's fucking scary when I am the only on one the ward at 10pm and somebody is spiking fevers or has high blood pressure or is having chest pain and the nurse calls me and I don't know what the fuck I am supposed to do.
Up until this point I have only had one situation in my life where I have been too stressed to eat, and that was when I thought the professor was going to fire me. But now, that level of stress is daily, even when I'm not at work, I have no appetite. I can't stop thinking about my patients, I can't stop thinking about all the times when I didn't know what to do. I can't help being scared about the next day.
Everybody told me that the first 2 months of being a doctor is absolute hell. And I still wasn't quite prepared for it. I can't tell you how much I've cried the past few days. This is a whole new level of feeling inadequate, a whole new definition of fear, a whole new way of life.
But there must be some sort of silver lining to all this. I am trying to retrain my body into not getting sick when I feel stressed, and I'm trying to express my stress with a loss of appetite. A lot of people lose their appetites when they are stressed. It will also be less suspicious, because all doctors lose a bit of weight when they start work. Or they gain weight because they are emotional eaters.
My paper is also a massive stress factor for me right now. My co-author has been procrastinating his part for months now, and now the professor is making a big push for it to be done this weekend and he's freaking out. On top of that, his laptop isn't working, and he's asking me to do things that are way out of my depth and I'm freaking out. Sick as a dog, guilty as hell, freaked out to death and scared out of my wits. What a great end of the year.
I better get some decent weight loss out of this, it will be some sort of consolation.