Saturday, 24 June 2017

On Being There

Today was not a good day.

Around 11am, my cockatoo basically crashed. He'd been looking a bit worse for wear the last few days so we'd made a vet appointment, but he became acutely worse. My husband rushed him to the vet, but I had to be at work so I couldn't go.

He died in the vet's hands while I was at work.

I was speaking with my very upset husband on the phone while he held our beloved pink fluffy cockatoo minutes after his last breath. Our pets are very dearly loved and we go to the ends of the earth for these creatures we choose to share our lives with, and we have fought so hard for so long to keep Gallifrey going, but his body finally couldn't hold out any longer. He went downhill so fast, there was no saving him.

When I have lost pets in the past, I've had an extremely hard time in the immediate aftermath. Hearing my big, strong husband that upset - he is as close to our pets as I am - is also really hard. Thinking about the devastation my kids would feel is hard.

But today, I shut it down. I shed a couple of tears and then told myself to shelve it, I had work to do. So I put it out of my mind and went back into the pit and kept going.

I smiled and laughed and joked with my patients, and chatted with my colleagues, and I learned and worked, and followed up and figured out where things go. I sutured and lanced and interpreted x-rays and labs and I think performed very strongly as a medical student today.

And now as I sit to write this, and I think about the fact that I'm not going to see that little beast trying to steal my supper anymore or sneaking up behind me to 'preen' (pull out) my hair, I'm finally letting the tears fall, because now I can. Now I'm me, not the doctor-in-training, and I have space to let myself feel the grief for the loss of my feathered friend.

Today I realized that I finally can pull down that barrier when I need to, far more effectively than I have in the past. I can shut it down and shelve my personal life and get the job done, and when I leave I can still feel, I can still process. I can hit pause on the processing I need to do, and I think that's a very important skill to have developed.

But now it's time for bed, and then in the morning I'll wake up to a slightly quieter and less colourful house.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Away and Being Away

I have been unwell lately. Sufficiently so that I've been on medical leave for almost two weeks and won't be back at school until next week.

I've been away from my blog too because I'm just trying to focus on feeling better. It's not been a great time, honestly. On the plus side, the knee I injured early in my last rotation is actually feeling better since it has actually had time to heal and I've had lots of time to read. I've also had time to actually see my doctor about some ongoing issues and stuff is actually getting addressed, which is good.

Needing to be off on medical leave unexpectedly is certainly never a good thing, but it has allowed me time to recover that I did very much need, so there's that.

I'll be starting back right at the start of my emergency medicine elective and I'm quite looking forward to it. While I don't think it's the field for me, it does have incredibly important skills (this is true of all rotations, I suppose) that I'm looking forward to learning. Emergency management is part of what OBs do so that's pretty important to get to know.

Plus I'll be rotating with some absolutely awesome classmates, so there's that.

In three weeks, my older two kids are going to be heading off to the Island for the month of July and half of August. I'll be heading down to join them in late July for an elective. We've worked out a fairly decent approach to the trip this time. My parents are going to be flying here, picking up our SUV and the kids (+/- the dog) and driving back. They get to use the SUV the whole month of July, and it's much, much better to drive for 17 hours in a comfortable Highlander than in their little Nissan.

This means that when I go home for my elective, I can fly which saves me doing the drive by myself again. My husband will be flying down to join us during the second week of my elective, and then we'll all drive back together.

Works out.

It's a working "vacation" for me, essentially, but I think it's very important to have as much interaction with the Island medical system as I can. It's important for deciding whether I can reasonably go back. While I'm there, I plan to ask to meet with the OB department to discuss the possibility of being a family doctor who does deliveries vs the likelihood of being able to return home to practice if I pursue OB.

We'll see, anyway.

I'm just looking forward to getting home at all. The Island in the summer is a magical place and I miss it desperately.