Saturday, July 13, 2013

Letter 664: Oubliette

A lot of things are bothering me lately: The weather. The theater lists. My roster. My energy levels. Roly-poly rotund bellies and fat pads at places where they shouldn't be. Babies. Babies that come out all wrinkly and alien-like and people still gush "Aww... he/she is soooo cute" out of politeness to the parents. Teen moms. Teen moms who cannot sit still for their epidurals because they are so hysterical over their contractions. People who are as tall as they are heavy. For instance, people who are 175cm and weigh 175kg. They shouldn't have surgery at all in a place with no ICU facilities. Heck, they shouldn't even be allowed to get so big. Why? If there is a god, why do You let us humans become so grotesquely unhealthy? Why is there no in-built mechanism to counteract expanding waistlines? And why, WHY do You have to give us diseases that are so indiscriminate? I have been obsessively refreshing the lab results page every minute at work and I still cannot fathom how is it possible that those results that I see before my very own eyes, with my very own name above, are actually mine.

***

I want to go to the beach. I want a seaside holiday where I can just sit under the sun and stare at the vast nothingness of the sea and do nothing. I want to think about nothing. I want to talk to no one. I just want to lie on the sand and let the sea wash away all the things that are bothering me. 

***

The worst thing about being a doctor, is that you see what the average person doesn't see, and you know a little bit more about certain illnesses that the average person doesn't understand. For instance, you walk into the labour ward, and all these women are crying and screaming the house down because of their contractions. Labour pains showcased on medical dramas pale in comparison. And vaginal deliveries? The best I can describe it is "baby coming out from one hole, shit coming out from another". Really. People don't see the fecal material that comes out when the mother is pushing, because the mother is obviously incognizant of what's happening down there, and the father (if he is present at all) is next to her, freaking out at the sight of the labouring woman. When the baby is delivered, the parents' attention are all but focused on their little bundle of joy. Who cares if the mother's hemorrhoids are poking out or if there is a 4th degree vaginal tear requiring a stoma? We have a baby! Yay!

***

Being a doctor is both a blessing and a curse. If my doctor says to me, "You have cancer", I can live with that, you know. I know my options. It's either surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a combination, depending on the type of cancer. I know my survival rates. I know how to deal with it, and how to go on living life as it should be. But if my doctor says to me, "You may have X disorder, or Y disorder, your levels aren't really that conclusive, we need to do another blood test in 6 months, but we're pretty sure that whatever you have is incurable and the only way to manage it is by cytotoxic agents because we're pretty sure that whatever you have is going to affect your heart, your lungs, your kidneys, your nerves, and pretty much every single organ", what do you do? What can you do?

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I want to breathe. I need to breathe.






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