And burnout is a real thing. You have to find a way to keep yourself stabilized in the middle of the tornado. I’m gonna have to find this work-life balance soon, even though I’m home only 1 day of the week, most of the time not even for 24 hours. Today is a Sunday, and it’s my grandma’s birthday. It’s the first time I’m home for more than 36 hours. It’s actually my first “weekend off” since hospital duty started June 1. By weekend off, I mean I got off my duty yesterday at 12 noon. So, it’s not the whole weekend off, but I’m not complaining. I’m gonna take what I can get.
I don’t dread the hospital so much anymore. Right now, for the last 2 weeks of June, I’m having fun, because we’re rotating in the Nursery for Pediatrics, and it’s so fun to be with babies. Babies are the softest, purest things on the planet, aside from baby animals. You can prick them all you want and they would cry while you do it, but they resume sleeping right after, as if nothing happened. Bigger kids are more terrible, usually.
But for July, the wards are waiting for us. It’s the most dreaded rotation of everyone in Pediatrics. I have yet to find out what it’s all about, but I realized it’s important – no, it’s crucial – to keep negativity out of your life every chance you can. I know it’s mean to keep negative people out of your life, but if they’re your duty-mates or if they’re your friends, you have to make every effort to turn them away from negativity. You have to keep finding the positive in every bad thing. Even when the resident yells at you, even though your seniors tell you about how incompetent you are, even when some nurses never fail to point out your mistakes and seem happy to do so, always view everything as a learning experience. Always make yourself a better version of yourself with every bad encounter. Only then will you become a winner in all these situations which make you feel like a loser. Strive to react better the next time bad things happen, because bad things will always happen. You don’t have to be full of hate every time. You don’t have to be consumed by the hostility of what’s supposed to be hospitable. Respond well. You have control over all your decisions. Feelings may be uncontrollable at times, but don’t let them be the master of you.
I think I just told all these to myself.
Being on duty also entails discipline. For the first three years of med school, it was all theoretical. We had to read a bunch of stuff and take a lot of tests. We saw patients at most 4 times a week. If you didn’t study, if you failed a test, you had only yourself to answer to. If you don’t keep it a secret, your parents, too.
But in the hospital, no matter how much you want to be absent, you can’t, and this is for your sake and for the hospital, too. No matter how incompetent I think I am, I actually have a role to play. Manpower is always appreciated in the hospital. The discipline comes in when you have to put everything about you on hold, for your patients. You can’t eat even if it’s past 1 in the afternoon, you can’t pee every time you’d want to. You can’t sleep when you have patients to attend to, and when you can sleep, you don’t have any place to sleep on, so you’d have to settle for the floor, or if you have a bit of a stomach, you can go to the couch doctors usually use (which I did out of desperation the other night). It entails so much discipline, I forgot what relaxation means. Getting home from a 30-hour shift is a luxury. Sleep is such a luxury, I realized I would choose it anytime over food. This is probably why I don’t know how to crave the usual things I used to crave back then. It’s like everything has paled into blandness. But you know, it didn’t stop me from cramming everything in my stomach at my grandma’s birthday lunch.
I told myself once I find that work-life balance, I’m gonna start exercising again. Once I get used to having only an hour or two of sleep (this is a luxury; there will be days when I won’t have any sleep), I’ll have to go back to the things I usually did, before all my hours went to being in the hospital. I just hope it’ll come soon. It’s been almost a month.