Screaming Inside

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The last couple days have reminded me why I blog.

My thoughts have been running through my head so fast that I'm being whisked along behind them right onto the express towards crazy. They bounce around against my skull, getting louder and louder that I'm not entirely sure people around me can't hear them.

When Hubster and I were dating, I'd often ask him what he was thinking. Turns out, guys don't like to be asked this. And without fail, he would say "Nothing."

I don't ask he what he is thinking anymore. I can read his mood better than the TV menu. And as our relationship has grown, he shares more and more.

But I always wondered about the "Nothing" response. Is it the same as when someone asks me what's wrong, and I say, "Nothing." Because I don't what you to know. Or is it really "Nothing."

How could anyone be thinking "Nothing" when my mind is constantly going. When I'm not thinking about what's for dinner and did anyone get the clothes out of the dryer, and we still need to get plastic bins for the things in the garage before winter, I'm thinking do I really want to fellowship in Pain Management or should I just stick to general anesthesia, and how long would it take to tile around the fireplace, and does Monkey like his new daycare and why haven't I started saving for retirement, and it's been a long time since I've painted, maybe I should try to work in some time.

It's like this ALL THE TIME.

So I blog. I'm not always to get everything out, but at least a little. A pressure valve. At least to thin out the internal crowd.


I'm never sure how much to share about work. Because I work in medicine. I feel that I can't just talk about my feelings and experiences, because I'm "representing my field." Can I talk about depression rates and the horrific grind of residency without you wondering if your doctor is depressed and therefore should they be taking care of you?

If I talk about doubts and mistakes I make in my training, does that make you trust medicine less? If I were to say that I felt 100% my senior was wrong about something, and so I went ahead and did what I thought was right and practically saved a patient, is that good or bad? Interns shouldn't be acting without supervision. What I did would not have hurt the patient, and definitely helped her, while doing nothing may have been devastating. But should I have acted of my own accord? Or should I have listened to my senior? Telling you this, do you trust the system less?

I believe in medicine.

I don't think we always make the right decisions. I know that people are hurt by poor decision making. Bad things happen, both due to unavoidable side effects or due to blatant over sight or negligence. It is one thing when your mail is delivered to the wrong address. It is another thing entirely when medicine is delivered to the wrong patient. Or procedures are done incorrectly.

But I still believe in medicine.

Western medicine doesn't have all the answers. I've seen more patients' pain managed with massage and acupuncture than I have with pain medicine and invasive procedures. I've seen patients defy all odds. I've seen families and patients alike get more benefit from prayer, blessings, meditation, and even withdrawal of care, than they would have from ongoing treatment.

But I still believe in medicine.

I may not agree with my training. I don't prescribe to the old school thinking of complete dedication to the exclusion of the rest of your life. I disagree with the hierarchy that's been created in the system. Training shouldn't involve humiliation, degradation, and exhaustion until mental breakdown.

But I still believe in medicine.

I've seen children walk who shouldn't have, because of surgery. I've seen women hold children they never otherwise would have had, because of medicine. I've seen people get a new lease on life after a heart transplant. I've seen infections cured, pain treated, bones set, and lives saved. Because of medicine.

I believe in medicine.

What I write is my own experience. I have bad days and heart-breaking moments. I battle egos as frequently as I do fevers and low blood pressure. I have been through bitterness, depression, and fatigue.

But none of that will change how I treat you in the hospital, with the best care I can provide.


Karen said...

My brain NEVER shuts off. I'm so right there with you!

I trust doctors. I trust medicine. Do I believe doctors never make mistakes and that they have all the answers? No way. But I know that doctors have a heck of a lot more training than I do and so I'm going to listen to them.

And I hope that if an intern knows 100% that the doctor is wrong, they'll do something about it.

Bonnie said...

Is it genetic, female? I don't know enough to make even a guess. I plan tomorrows meals schedules and wardrobe while I sleep. When I'm awake, of course there are too may overlapping lines to segregate! Blogging is a great release valve. I write to a prison inmate for the same reason. It helps both of us. I think your blog helps more than just you.
I'm glad you had enough sense to do the right thing even if it meant bending the protocol. I think that Medicine as a field isn't the cure for foolishness, it simply makes a bigger difference in the world than no Medicine.

P.S. Every time I write something no body else comments. What am I doing wrong?