Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Your Life's Waiting Like A Goddamn Fool

I seem to have an increasingly hard time 'putting pen to paper' of late.

I still feel a bit pressured at work; I'm guessing that's not helping. Also it seems like an increasing number of people I know keep finding this blog. I know this is ridiculous, because I haven't really made any attempt to anonymise myself, so should have expected it really; but I didn't. I guess I thought too little traffic wandered over to my little corner. Ah well.

So where are we at?

MMC / MTAS continues to fall apart around our ears, taking with it the careers of so many doctors. Just thinking about it makes me alternately furious and depressed. And I've got a job.

My yearly assessment draws near. And my paperwork isn't up to date. Ask not for whom the Bell tolls; it tolls for Shroom

Emotionally, work has been fairly shit the past week or so. I've treated several patients whose diagnosis appeared deadly obvious to me, but who seemed oblivious to the possibility themselves. It's like being the worst kind of fortune teller in the universe. I'm sure all the medics out there know the world know the feeling...

Patients present with what seems, to them, to be an innocuous collection of symptoms. To me, coupled with the inevitable signs they haven't noticed, or are denying, it's anything but innocuous. The knowledge that around the corner awaits the instruction to "get your affairs in order" fills me with nausea. I realise I'm being selfish, because at least I don't have to hear that about myself. But for a few moments when I'm certain of my dreadful diagnosis, I feel shit because I have to bear it alone. No-one can share my burden.

Then you divest yourself of your dark suspicion, your foetid information all but stinks up the room; a miasma of misery. Now it's their burden, not mine, and I don't have to shoulder the weight anymore.

I don't feel any better. Just a little more selfish, for trying to ease my pain with theirs.

Some days it seems all you do is ruin people's days, and, by extension, their lives.


Medblog Addict said...

Great post. Glad you are writing again.

Patient Anonymous said...

Like I've said to you before--how'd you get inside my brain again?

Hang in there.

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

I was wondering where you were.

You seem to be in what I call a terrible "blue mood". Maybe you can find a remedy to help with those episodes. For me, it's hobbies and being totally lazy on my off days (to "re-charge"). Sometimes I just need to hear somebody tell me that it's "going to be alright". And it is, doctor---it's going to be alright. (Maybe not as fast as you like, but it WILL be alright....)

Joey said...

Dear Dr Shroom,

I'm a relatively new reader of your blog, I stumbled across it a while ago and have been checking in every so often...I'm just about to embark on a medical career - i start F1 in august. you write really well, and a lot of what you write rings true with me, although it's all second-hand for me just now since i'm not *the Doc* so i'm just watching. Just recently i was in A&E during a really busy shift, we had 2 elderly ladies die (but only after my first CPR attempt, messy) and i felt crap for days afterwards, so i guess i got a taste of what you deal with all the time. So yeah, i just wanted to say hi, and that I appreciate reading your blog, and if I knew you i'd give you a hug cos it sounds like you had a really crap day!

So keep up the good work - i'd never have the courage to say all this to you in real life because you are The Reg and i am the snot-nosed medical student, and to us you guys are still pretty scary, so thank goodness for the anonymity of text!

Take care,

Medblog Addict said...

Just wanted to let you know that you are missed. That was a great comment by Joey--maybe a little incentive to start writing again. No pressure though.

Faith Walker said...

I just discovered your blog through another (i'm so tired i can't remember).

Very well written. I can't say i missed you...but keep it up!

Sometimes I find it hard to post. I do usually post daily, but recently, i've been in a fug- partly because I am not sure what i can get away with posting. Some things that happen at work- although i want to post, are totally not post-able.


Maggie said...

Just discovered you today via Sisyphus, and this post really struck me. Now I am not a doctor, but used to be a med lab technician in the dim and distant past, so know a *tiny* amount about things medical.

You said "Patients present with what seems, to them, to be an innocuous collection of symptoms. To me, coupled with the inevitable signs they haven't noticed, or are denying, it's anything but innocuous."

This is sort of the position we are in with my mother. She has Type II diabetes. She is living on a diet of mainly digestive biscuits and strawberry jam (admittedly "no added sugar"). My father is in hospital since March 13 and is likely to have to go into a nursing home (we have a case conference tomorrow).

Her memory has got dreadful since my father went into hospital. Yesterday she rang up 12 times within 15 minutes, asking where my dad was - "he's gone away and hasn't taken any of his warm clothes". Husband "he's safe in C hospital on N Ward. He doesn't need warm clothes, he's being well looked after." All 12 phone calls said more or less exactly the same thing. The only reason they stopped was my daughters arrived to take her to visit Dad.

This morning she telephones and accuses me and husband of trying to get her and Dad's money. She tells me that someone told her Dad had run away. I said I thought she must have been dreaming, he's safe in hospital. "I'm not confused I know exactly what's going on. I heard it several times". I reminded her of yesterday's phone calls and said we were worried about her.

"There's nothing wrong with me". I reminded her about the diabetes and that she should be careful of her diet. "I don't have that any more".

One of her GPs is visiting this morning ("to take a look at my sore leg"). I am sure she will appear perfectly rational to him/her, while complaining her daughter is after her money and ranting about us contacting her GPs the other week when she saw my father in the flat (which I've blogged about - we think it might have been Charles Bonnet Syndrome as she has ARMD and her sight is getting increasingly bad).

Both husband and I are worried by her mental state, but she just thinks (and accuses us) of "you're just trying to put me away, I know what's going on, you want my money". Aaarrgghhh!

Thanks for your blog, will enjoy exploring your earlier writing.