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Monday, January 01, 2007

Taking stock

This year has definitely been a particularly challenging one for me. Aside from handling irregular hours and the fact that MDH and I hardly saw each other for 8 months of the year, I have learnt some very hard lessons about people, and also about myself.

As much as I hate to admit it, I've lived a very sheltered existence, which means that I am often naive in the manner with which I deal with people. I have learnt that a little bit of paranoia is often the better, safer way to do things, even though it means that I am perpetually looking over my shoulder. My trust is best left in the hands of God, who is infallible and always above reproach.

Additionally, I have realised that not all patients need to be seen by a soft-hearted, kindly angel-doctor. Some of them need the heavy-handed treatment of the stern, mean, steely-eyed physician. It is often necessary in my line of work, to stare imperiously at elderly men and treat them like errant schoolchildren.

In order to do this, I have had to hone my skills as an actress. Every morning, my routine begins with a prayer to the Almighty and a good long stare into the mirror, recharging the id and ego. A few preparatory deep breaths and I enter the ward with a big smile, exuding self-confidence and (in my mind at least) glamour. Inside of course, I am crying like a scared little girl.

The positive side to having to wear a facade all day, is that all patients and their relatives call me 'Doctor', even if they have not met me before. This either means that I meet their expectation of a competent physician, or they are too scared to call me anything else. Either way works for me.

My most difficult challenge this year is trying to keep my work stress in the hospital, so that I can come home and be an attentive and loving wife. It's too easy for MDH and I to come home and bring back all our medical conundrums with us to share with each other. It's too easy for us to allow our world to be completely taken over by Hippocrates. With all our conversations focussed on work, we may soon find that we have nothing else in common to talk about.

I'm still struggling with leaving work in the workplace and with God's help, I am getting there, but it is very hard, and I have had many sleepless nights spent mulling over a difficult case. Fortunately, MDH and I have been able to spend many magical hours together still, just laughing, having fun together and enjoying our marriage.

Well, that is all I have to say about 2006 and I look forward to 2007 with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. I wonder what God has in store for me this year.

Have a great new year, everybody!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! :) May you have a happy and propserous year in 2007! :) I've really enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you.


6:59 am  
Blogger tscd said...

lys: thanks!

7:03 am  

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