Sunday, November 19, 2006

Shouting and lager

Had the weekend off, so went to a party dressed as a Nazi; a man's gotta have a hobby, eh? It was a murder mystery party, so I had to go in character. The mystery itself was never really unravelled, as everyone got stewed and confused. I distinguished myself, by drinking myself into a coma. This is neither big, nor clever, but I'm fairly certain I thought it was funnier when I was younger. Which brings me to my main point; I have come to the conclusion I'm a terrible drunk. I tend towards histrionics and a short temper at the best of times, and beer does not help. What's worse, is that I can no longer handle my beer. But I still think I can. It's not a good combo. Considering my recent history, I'm having altogether too many moments of real shame and embarrassment, and blackouts for that matter, brought on by drinking heavily. Binge drinking. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to come over as the fun police, despite my outfit on Saturday. If people want to drink, that's fine, but there's altogether too much acceptance of us drinking solely to get drunk, and then making arseholes out of ourselves.

The statistics tell us that binge drinking in young people is up - see Panorama on BBC1 this evening - and that bastion of liberal, rational thought, the Daily Mail was screaming about the number of people hospitalised by booze on a daily basis. The more I think about it, the more I'm forced to admit, they've got a point. Somewhere, deep in our culture, is the idea that a good night out ends up with us paralytic. I'm as, if not more, guilty than most. Medical school is, or certainly was in Shroom's day, almost a training ground for hard drinking. It is no surprise the medical profession fosters more drunks than most; we get our training in early.

For myself I consider this a great shame, because I like a nice drink with friends, but I now have serious doubts about my ability to drink responsibly, or whatever the current PC phrase is. So I am faced with the unappealing prospect of giving it up altogether... of course this could be yet more melodramatic over-reaction on my part; that would not be out of character, but if I find myself unable to know when enough is enough, what are my options? I nearly lost a very good friend to drink, have seen colleagues go to the wall with it and I've soured more than one relationship through it. Maybe enough really is enough. Time, Shroom, please? I'll let you know.

Since I'm feeling confessional, you may as well know I smoked a cigarette today. Just the one, mind, but I'm quite pissed off about it. I'd managed seven weeks. Ah, well; gotta keep on keeping on I guess. One in seven weeks, isn't too bad. Not that I'm counting...

To keep up the cheery mood, I continue to be distressed about the Government's ideas about how Medics should be trained. Several of my more eloquent colleagues have also held forth on this matter. I recommend this and this for a neat summation of the frustration suppurating within the profession.
Actually, since we no longer govern ourselves, we're, strictly speaking, not professionals anymore. Which is nice. My father, Pa Shroom, is an old school, retired, surgeon, and I regularly see him shake his head in amazement at plans put forth by the bunch of chimps currently governing this country. I am especially concerned for the future of surgery in this country. As training is shortened, and 'simple' jobs farmed out to Nurse Practitioners, there seems that surgery will go backwards. Pa Shroom fervently believed that Surgeons should be Physicians who "knew how to cut". This idea is still clung to by a few, and mostly laughed at by the real Magicians. Which is probably fair enough. But it bloody should be true. However, increasing knowledge base, and sub-specialisation has meant the end to generalists of all kinds. My big fear, though, is that if surgeons keep allowing themselves to be thought of as technicians, rather than well rounded medics, that is what they will become. And it's no great leap from there to abandoning medical training for them, because if they only cut, why would they need all that extra knowledge rattling around. I realise this is very far fetched, and I'm sure all surgeons out there are interested in the pre- and post op management of their patients medical problems, but I increasingly see an attitude amongst my knife wielding brethren of disinterest in anything that can't be cured with cold, hard steel. I even hear talk of surgical requests for medical consults on febrile post-op patients because "fever is a medical problem".

1 comment:

sisyphus said...

Yeah, one cigarette in 7 weeks is pretty good going.

Happy birthday for the other day - same birthday as me!