Monday, August 31, 2009

Countdown to another chapter Part 1 : Fighting mental battles

Today we celebrated 52 years of nationhood amidst H1N1, temple controversies, another hike in petrol prices, TBH premature and unjustified death and many other X-Files. For me personally, it's a day filled with sleeping, eating, sleeping and Internet just because I'm post-call. Life is mundane and sedated in Ipoh, especially without my chirpy housemates.

typical a day in Ipoh : walks/runs in parks ringed by limestone hills, eating and sleeping

Back-to-back call, to me, is like the black hole of medicine. It's something that has always been there but we try our darnedest to avoid. Once sucked into it, there is no escape. It's 2 and a half days of being stuck in the, nite, day, nite, day...almost 50 hours of staying alert and attending to all types of problems in the wards, OT and emergency department. It's something Malaysian surgeons are used to (with some centres having their surgeons being oncall the entire week..GASP!) and trainees trying to acclimatize to it ASAP, as much as possible.

the saving grace of many KLites working in Ipoh and the only major shopping centre in Perak

It was a long weekend and being off calls for many weeks, of course I'm the first choice of being oncall. Initially, I thought it would be fine doing back-to-back as I'm sure that my energy level is up to it. After all, I've done 15 EOD calls before in HKL (EOD is another medical lingo created to confuse many ppl not in means every other day) and weekends are supposedly cool days. However, I didn't figure in other confounding factors : the mental and emotional aspect. The key word is that the last time I did 15 EOD calls, it was in KL when I was back at home and back in my comfort zone. Now, it's an entirely different ballgame altogether.

An undispensable tool and something I'm very grateful for : HF Electrosurgery tools

Like what my fren PS say, the mental part has a lot to do with how we face challenges. Our mentality and fighting spirit could determine the hits or the misses. Initially, I felt kinda left out on Saturday as I missed the departmental party/KL's open house. Then I felt worse because my sister came to visit me in Ipoh and I could only meet up with her for half hour before I went back to hospital to settle some problems. So, I hardly had time for anyone, socially. The zenith of disappointment was when I realize I am oncall again next weekend (another back-to-back) on a similarly long weekends, while most people are with their families and loved ones as I run up and down the hospital corridors and wards.

In the end, as I'm typing this post, I began to reach a EUREKA moment...The consolation is that I should treat this as an early training ground, as minor sacrifices that I have to make in order to achieve my dreams. If I am not tough enough for it,if I am not strong enough to fight for it, not brave enough to encounter challenges, not enterprising enough to discover new terrain and not resilient enough to fight mental and emotional battles.....then I have no right to claim my dreams in the future.

After all, if we do not fight for what we believe in, what we hold on to be true, what we aim for in the future, then what's the point of having dreams in the first place?

My first part in musing about life in Malaysia before I cross the fence where grass is not necessarily but hopefully (with fingers crossed), greener.

1 comment:

shelbybaby said...

don't know how to console you as i've got problems consoling myself in that dept :P still, knowing you and your ability to muster a valley of strength (note: you've run a marathon, i can't even get outta bed to go for a run!) i'm sure you'll be fine. take lotsa tea and watch up! ok... maybe bad advice, who am i kidding? ;)