Saturday, February 25, 2006

So, the breakdown I had to have occurred.

In fact, I was beginning to worry that it hadn't yet. After my first foray into the world of medical work, I had a wonderfully relevant supervisor who confided to me that she cried by the Thursday of any new job. Once she realised that this was normal, it wasn't nearly so disturbing when it happened.

So, the second week of the job, I worked 60 hours, went to 4 hours of lectures, bought some textbooks, got scratched by a patient, helped pick up the pieces after several young people tried to kill themselves, told a family their perfect new baby has a scary lifelong diagnosis, and I was still cruising. Exhausted, yes, but relatively intact. To the point where I was wondering how numb I had become.

But this Tuesday, meltdown occurred. I held it together for the first hour of work before the floodgates opened. The poor temporary receptionist in our office crept away from my soggy blathering, however my current supervisor was wonderful. And it all came out - the wierdness of hospitalising patients for being 10kg heavier than most of my previous patient base, not knowing anything, the emotional strain of battling people who don't want to be helped, being behind everyone else in study, forgetting how to talk Medical, my renewed doubts about decisions last year the more experience I get...

By the afternoon, I had almost recovered. Able to go to a lecture and actually absorb something. And the major benefit of a study group is already apparent: the others feel that they are behind & don't know anything either.

So, this weekend will involve sleep, newspapers, walking in the sunshine and cooking. And maybe a little study, of the reading for interest's sake kind.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hospital shock

How do 4 patients manage to take up my entire day?

Why are radiologists not scary any more, but medical students are evidently terrified of me?

Who dared to invent the pager, and can I have their address?

Why do all the cars stop between Burke and Warrigul roads?

How on earth do I correct a calcium?

And just what is a normal weight, anyway? 35kg may get you into hospital here, but it was half my previous population!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Settling in 2: boxes

The process of unpacking is one that I've never been much good at. I still have boxes that have been untouched for at least 8 years. I always have the best of intentions, but...

This time, I have a strategy. The house has an enormous shed, a corner of which I can use for that elusive thing: storage! I have visions of a clear room - floor space, no pile of boxes in the corner, no jam-packed assortment spilling out from under the bed.

But, in order to achieve this, there's a lot of work to be done. Nothing goes into the shed without being sorted first. This has worked so far - but I start work next week. Methinks it could be a long-term project.

In recognition of the others who helped me with all this Stuff in the past year, another round of thanks, for use of sheds and attics and garages: B, T, D, D & L, J, and C for fish sitting.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Settling in

Well, am well and truly back in Melbourne now. Have a house (my room full of boxes), a job to start next week, and am started on the round of catch-ups. Have managed not to bite off too many peoples' heads in response to inappropriate comments (mostly along the lines of, "How was Thailand, pretty filthy?) and have only brought up the subject of AIDS deaths at a cocktail party once (in my defence, the just-met acquaintance asked me. She'd just told me about working in rural Africa. So I took her interest to be genuine - and answered truthfully. Still a wonderful conversation stopper). I've had far too many conversations about housing prices, done my tax return, slept a lot and started stocking the pantry.

So, let me thank the C family for generously allowing me to stay at their place for a couple of weeks, D for lots of support and drives to and from the airport, and R & C for the unenviable task of helping me move on a rainy day. Many thanks, or as I would say for the last 9 months but will be understood by nobody, Tanguna pomelon rahao.