Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Monday, January 16, 2006

All or Nothin’ At All

I’m now living the rest of my life – early mornings and long days spent in hospitals. I’m not happy.
For the 1st 5 years of medical school, I had a healthy respect for the individual timetable and happily manipulated my days to suit me (missed whole years of 9am lectures). This is no longer an option as I now have to learn all of medicine and surgery in time to pass exams in April.
So I started this morning, like all mornings since November, on the 7.10am Luas to Tallaght which decided to park its little purple bum in Belgard, one stop from Cookstown – the stop where all the medical students get out to slip in the emergency exit gate of AMNCH and to the back door of the Trinity Medical Centre. Apparently a car was on the track in Blackhorse (ages back the other direction) and we were helpfully informed that our Luas tickets were valid on Dublin Bus – there are no buses anywhere near Belgard so we all headed off through the Cookstown Industrial Estate to the 8am neurology lecture that has been cancelled and rescheduled a million times already. With the help of a friendly lorry driver we found our way out and turned up at 8.35am for the cancelled lecture (again). This was a bad start to day that ended at 6pm.
And I had 3 chapters on stroke (the hardest thing in medicine) to read for tomorrow. They’re read. And not remembered. And put in the bag to be read on the 6.15am Luas tomorrow en route to the 7 am tutorial where they’ll be discussed – God love the patient with a stroke whose breakfast we will interrupt to manhandle in the interests of “medical science”.
I’ve several things I want to write about. Even more books I want to read.
And my life is being inexorably reduced to the largest subject of all – the human body – as contained on 2 book shelves and the neatly marshalled hours of tutorials, lectures and clinics. So this blog will probably start having more “I hate my life, when will it all be over” rants and random medical facts. (Did you know that people with polycystic kidney disease get subarachnoid haemorrhages not just from the 8% of them that have associated berry aneurysms but because of the hypertension? I didn’t either)
The point of this post (there should always a point in the post) is that I’m sick of it.
I spent the weekend trying to organise my notes, bank statements, life and “study”. Study which consisted of 1 hour of nephrology last night before I watched ER.  I want to do my Leaving Certificate again. Or become Dr Auds through a meandering, gentle research PhD.
Yes, medicine is fascinating. And sitting there while patients tell you the most personal and innermost workings of their bodies is an amazing privilege. And the subtle mysteries of humanity are never ending. But dammit, the medical profession needs more night owls to stand up against the early morning tyranny.
The Irish Blog Awards have no medical blog category (probably because there are no Irish medical bloggers!) but the international ones I’ve now stuck underneath the other blogs are also checking out.
Intueri, written by a psychiatrist is especially good – I really like this post about the unexpected awe of blogging.
Perhaps my skull is simply constructed of industrial grade concrete, but sometimes I still don’t entirely believe that real human beings actually read (and care about) what I write here, let alone take notice of how my writing has changed over the years. It’s such an abstract idea: these pixels are connecting one individual (who may be thousands of miles away from here) to me. It’s actually kinda mind-blowing when I really think about it: something shifts upon this exchange of ideas.
And I guess that’s the crux of it: Writing online—or for public consumption in general—reveals a lot about the author. This seems really obvious, I know, but is it? Here I am, sitting on a charcoal grey, rolling office chair in front of my computer on a sky blue desk, by myself. No one else knows I am typing right now. And yet, in a few minutes (God willing), I will click that “publish” button on Wordpress and this text will leave the privacy of my head and the confines of this physical space here in rainy Seattle…
… and it will appear on the grey and white space that is my weblog and, for whatever reason, people (real, live human beings) will read it.



Blogger Kevin Breathnach said...

Good post, Auds. Really puts the Leaving Cert in perspective. Although Biology - previously a near-certain A for myself - is becoming more intimidating as I learn about photosynthesis and respiration. Bloody quasi-Chemistry, so it is. I have no idea why certain energised electrons are dropping off here and there. Anyway, rant over.

Keep going though, Auds. I keep telling myself "one more year" or "six more months" - what is it for you now? A year and half?

January 16, 2006 11:38 p.m.  
Blogger Auds said...

Only 3 months actually. Exams April. Hit the unsuspecting ill public on July 1st. Scary scary thought.

Left out the ol biology myself for the Leaving Certificate - correctly reasoned that it would be too much work.
did love the electrons however - we had an icelandic lecturer in 1st year college chemistry who talked about "elephants" for a whole hour until 1 of our D4 princesses asked "so, like, what's an elephant? I never did that in school" He meant electrons - which resulted in crazy, 1 st week straight of Leaving Certificate frenzied tippexing and correcting.
Oh, God be with the days electrons were all I worried about.

(Note tendency to self obssessed narcissist paranoid worry and pity tonight - I just want to wallow a little more)

AS bad as finals are (and I've half of them done in november), the Leaving certificate was both harder and easier. Easier becuase you will be so prepared - like you will never be again for anything. Harder becuase it appeared to be this precipe from which you hung, prepetually about to drop in an academic black hole.
But it's not. It's grand.

January 16, 2006 11:53 p.m.  
Anonymous Sinéad said...

Hang in there Auds, you've come considerably far along on the road and the end is in sight.

I have the most unscientific brain in the world, so I'd have lasted no length in the medical world but I have a healthy (no pun intended) appreciation for all things anatomical. Having been ill, I have nothing but the utmost respect for the amount of information doctors are supposed to assimilate.

January 17, 2006 9:06 a.m.  

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