Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sweaty Scapulas

I am finally half-way through my last year of residency. It has been the hardest year of training, without question. It is difficult to finish one residency feeling somewhat competent and able (Family Medicine) and begin a new residency where every day you just feel like a completely inept moron (Enhanced Surgical Skills). Stack on to that the sleep deprivation, increased debt, crippling self doubt, and sore muscles. It all makes me ask "why am I doing this to myself" on a daily basis.

I was finishing a cesarean section last July and I said to my attending afterward, "I've never actually felt sweat dripping off my scapula before". She just smiled and said, "welcome to surgery". And she was right.

I've seen and done things this year that I haven't even begun to process. I'd love to write about these experiences but I am constantly mindful of confidentiality, not that I have the time anyway. I miss writing. I miss looking back on my perspective on events, being reminded of things I'd completely forgotten about.

A good friend of mine recently published a very...very...brave piece about her life in Iqaluit many years ago. It is so beautiful and raw and brilliantly written. It made me wish I could be a writer and tell the stories we face, and the people we become as a result of being trained in the medical machine.

Maybe that will be my New Years resolution. Just to start writing again. Even if it is only for me.

11 comments:

Greg said...

Here's hoping the writing won't be for you alone...

Solitary Diner said...

I'm reading! Would love to read more of your writing.

Albinoblackbear said...

Thanks guys. :)

Anne said...

I would love to too! All best wishes to you; dealing with the confidentiality issue must be very frustrating.
And the link was really something. Thank you.

charliesbird said...

Yip, sweat running down the back of my legs during caesars when the theatre is uncomfortably warm (for the surgeon), but perfect for the babe! Welcome to the club!

Albinoblackbear said...

@Anne - yes it is frustrating because if I change aspects of the story to maintain (or allow for) confidentiality, often the fundamental reason why the interaction or event was poignant is lost. I recognize that one could say the "story" isn't mine and isn't mine to use (exploit?) but I too am a part of these events, and these events change me, frighten me, inspire me, irritate me. So, from that perspective I want to share as much I need to share these moments.

I am glad you read Lisa's piece. She is a formidable woman!

@Charlie yes - thank you!

Zed said...

I've always enjoyed writing, but finding the time is really difficult. I want to make it a promise to myself to write and read more this year. Good luck with the rest of this placement

skyjockbill said...

Wishing you well with that resolution - and myself as well! I hope you do find a way, you've often said how important it is for you, and I hope that you find a way to share your talent and insights with others too; you're a good writer. Perhaps you'll be the next Atul Gawande or Siddhartha Mukherjee.

ertwro said...

Well, I found you again. It's been almost 5 years since we were getting ready for step 1. I'm About to start Internal medicine in Colombia and you are almost done with your residency. Damn time sure flies. Greetings :)

Albinoblackbear said...

@Zed Thansk!
@Skyjock Oh man, those literary medical giants...in my dreams!! But thank you. :))
@ertwo Yah, it does indeed fly. Congrats on internal med! Best of luck!!

Andrea B. said...

*Waves*