Tuesday, November 30, 2010

this. is.

this. is. my. day.

it is amazing that i am awake and coherent right now.
i woke up at 3:45 a.m., was at the hospital by 5 a.m., left work at almost 6 p.m., and got home about an hour ago @7:15 p.m.
that, my friends, is a long ass day. 16 hours to be exact. and now i need to study before bed, and then wake up tomorrow to do it all over again.

the weird part is that while most people would be hating on the idea of waking up at such an unGodly hour to go to work, i am actually stoked to go back to the hospital.

this. is. awesome.

today, i felt useful. needed. i was part of the team. they counted on me to do stuff, and they let me do whatever i wanted... i put in an IV today, i saw a patient on my own and came to a diagnosis, i filled out admission paperwork, and all i had to do was ask.

i told them i want to amputate something while i am on this rotation... they said 'cool'. chances are i will be cutting off a part of someone's leg in the next couple of days.

this. is. madness.

i only wish i would have had this experience from the beginning. i probably would have liked the rest of my surgery rotation more than i did. i felt like i was in the way most of the time. best described by one of the interns on my service as: "3rd year medical students: when helping hurts." i totally felt like i didn't have a clue what i could do to be helpful. now, i realize it is, for once, all about me. whatever i want to be involved in, is where i need to be. chances are i should have been doing something else while i was putting in a line today, but i wanted to place that IV... so i did. meah.

this. is. selfish?

i dunno. but regardless of what it is or is not, i am feeling wonderful right now. stoked. happy to be where i am. even though i know i will be exhausted in a couple of days. it is all going to be worth it.

this. is. joy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

awesome in its simplicity.

"words can be meager things. sometimes they fall short."

this is the line that made me stop what i was doing and take a moment to pause in the brilliance of it.

"there they go again," he continued, "there go those words fallin' short again... paltry things."

i was sitting here, in my living room, minding my own business, when all of the sudden i was struck... blind-sided, actually, by a line from one of my new favorite TV shows, The Walking Dead.
the main character was describing his experience, and lacked the words to truly embody what he went through.

i relate. i feel like i am constantly battling the fact that words have severe limitations.
there are moments in every day that i lack the words to describe how i am feeling, what i am doing, how you are acting...
all of my experiences, stifled by the fact that they cannot be expressed in their truest form, because there simply are not words enough to describe them all.

well, in an attempt to break free from this feeling i will merely say that in my purest moments i am either in love & faith or in fear & self. this is my truth.
and while i realize that this statement falls light years short of all that i truly want to say, it can and must be enough.

yet awesome.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

i am the system, and it's a stochastic process

From wiki:
"Stochastic (from the Greek στόχος for aim or guess) means random.
A stochastic process is one whose behavior is non-deterministic, in that a system's subsequent state is determined both by the process's predictable actions and by a random element."

the things that have occurred in the past few days have by no means been completely random.
i am aware of the process i am involved in... and how the things that have happened to me over the course of the past few days were unplanned.
yet, expected.

i witnessed a stranger's death.
i was present.
i got vulnerable. twice.
i was honest, open, and unafraid.
i made a bad choice.
i voiced my feelings, and i took care of myself.
i got taken care of by the people who love me.
i was reminded of my awesome.
and then, it was all alright.
i was with my people.
and i was home.

none of this was random.
all that has happened has occurred with purpose.
i have grown, yet again.
through the discomfort, through the fear, i sprout up like a little green thing trying to find sunlight.

i remember how awesome i am, and how awesomely i am loved.
MY subsequent state is being determined both by my own (as well as others') predictable actions, and by a random element.
that random element is my HP.

so once again, i get to be grateful.
because without the random, there is no process.
and without my HP, there is no true me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

so... it happened

i was asleep in the on-call room, when the trauma pager went off.
it was almost 1 a.m.
i didn't want to wake up, but right when i was getting ready to unintentionally doze off again, it went off a second time.
i got my shoes and white coat on, and ran to the elevator to get to the ED (emergency department).
i walked in and the trauma team was already working on her.
i threw my coat on a rack, got some gloves on and stood watching as they cut her open.
they kept saying something about gun shot wounds, and how there had been an acccident.
i don't want to divulge too much, but needless to say this was way more than i had bargained for when the pager went off... considering that the last time the pager went off, some kid had fallen off his bike.

they were working on her. cutting off her clothes. she was not breathing on her own.
they were trying to cut into her chest to massage her heart... it had stopped beating.
they were trying to save her.

i just stood there.
i had no idea where anything was in the room.
i had no idea how to be helpful.
it was frightening.
finally, the chief resident, being a rad guy, started asking me for stuff off the wall and in cabinets -- stuff that was clearly labeled... so i could help.
thank god for him. he helped me get involved. i needed it.

after about 20 minutes (i honestly have no idea of how much time actually passed... i'm guessing it was about 20 min) they called it.
she was gone.

her eyes were still open.
her body was cold.
there was blood everywhere.
it was one of the saddest things i have ever seen.

all i could think was, "who would do this to this poor woman?"
she could be someone's mother, someone's wife, someone's best friend.
and no one has any idea what has happened to her.
someone's life has changed forever. and it happened here. in front of me.
in just a matter of minutes.

the way i am feeling right now is totally overwhelming me.
all of a sudden, this is all too real.
what i am doing with my life.
this is it.
what we do.
we save people.
and sometimes... we fail.
i hate failing at anything, which is probably adding to why this is so excrutiating... besides the obvious fact that someone has died and the fact that this is a truly horrible thing.

so i sit here.
in the on-call room.
with the disheveled sheets on the bunk-bed behind me.
and blood on my scrubs.
i sit here, after trying to go back to sleep, and finding myself unable to stop weeping.
deciding to type this out.
so you can read it and share it with me.
so i won't feel so alone in this moment.
i sit here with tears streaming down my face.
and all that i feel is consuming me.

fear... terror, is more accurate.
all of it... all that makes me human.
and all i want is not to feel it.
because the rest of the team was stoked that they got to cut into her chest.
and i just wanted to hold her hand. and close her eyes, because she couldn't anymore. and tell her that i'm sorry we couldn't save her. i'm sorry we couldn't do more. because no one else bothered to notice that she was wearing a ring on the ring-finger of her left hand and someone out there just lost someone they love.

this shit is for real.
i seriously hope i can stand it.
because right now i am begging my HP to please help me to hold it together long enough to make it home and maintain some semblance of grace.

if this is too much for you, i'm sorry. because i know it is too much for me.

i knew it would happen someday.
i knew i wouldn't see it coming.
and i knew it would affect me.
and now it has happened.
someone has died. in front of me.
someone i was partially responsible for.
and there was nothing more we could do.
this moment will live with me forever.
that woman has changed me forever.
i'm so sorry it had to happen.
and i will carry this sorrow with me for the rest of my life.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

overnight call

overnight call at the hospital is disorienting.

i got to work and it was barely getting light out...
i watched the sun come up...
i ran around the hospital...
and then i watched the sun come up again.

i only slept a couple of hours through it all,
and the lack of a normal rhythm made it difficult to tell...
was i at work for a just few hours?
did it just seem long?
or am i right to feel this way?
a little absent-minded.
and a little emotionally drained.

did i dream it all?
it hardly felt real.
i helped operate on some people.
i rounded on patients and they loved me for it.
i decided i hate being in the ER when i'm tired...
cuz belligerent drunkards are annoying as shit.

and now that i have slept it off, why do it still feel a wee-bit strange?
i still feel like i'm dreaming.
it's wild.

so i try to get back into a routine...
i go do my regular friday night thing.
i hang out with friends after, which is great fun,
not to mention the fact that it helps me to feel normal.
i catch up on my weekly teevee fix.
and yet, i feel just a little off kilter.

i think i need to get to the arclight.
that will fix it.

(anyone want to see megamind with me?? let's do it!!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


so i'm sitting here. in bed. on my iphone.
poking when i should be sleeping.
and all i can think about
(besides how sleepy i am gonna be when i roll out of bed tomorrow morning)
is how insane my life is...
and how cool and humbling it is that my day can consist of seeing really sick people, talking them through their fears, holding their hand as they go under anesthesia, and then cutting these people open and sewing them back up.

even cooler is how i then get to go to the place where my people are...
and how i am reminded of how far i've come,
and how these people and this place help me feel complete and safe.

i am really glad i was invited out tonight.
it felt great.
it made my day feel whole.
and good.

so... now i'll get my sad little 4 hours of sleep,
and it will be worth it to be a little tired tomorrow,
because it was a good night and i am pretty lucky to have all that i have,
and whatever i think i need is irrelevant because
i am happy and whole and good.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

oh my good-ness

so i have come to realize that i am too good.
i love following the rules and living up to expectations.

i am SO good, in fact, that it has made me bad.

i am bad at thinking outside the box.
i kinda suck at not caring about what you think of me.
and worst of all, i shy away from taking risks.

so i go through my day a little timid.
shy, reserved, and afraid.

i don't like it.
not one bit.

so today, i am deciding to stop being quite so good.

i'm gonna take a risk tomorrow.
i am gonna stick my neck out...
and if i get cut, i get cut.
i have a feeling it won't kill me.
and i also think it will make me better and stronger.

so here i go.
good-bye my good-ness.

Monday, November 1, 2010


lately i have felt as though i am fading away.
like part of me is disappearing... almost like it is dying.
it is making me feel hopeless and sad.
i feel empty and alone.
i feel tired all the time.
and worse, i feel angry a lot.
which i know is just masking some sort of hurt.
the source of the hurt?
not really sure.
but i think it's a byproduct of the fact that i never know what my day will be like.
or who i will be trying to please that day.
or who will decide its their turn to shit on me that day.
and it probably also has to do with the fact that i have to compartmentalize all my emotions, because good medical students don't cry at work.
regardless, i am feeling like a shadow of my former self and it's bumming me out hard.

people ask me all the time how i'm doing.
and i always answer, "fine."
and i truly think that is the most honest answer i can give.

i'm fine.

not good.
not bad.
but OK.

some days i feel great and fulfilled.
other days i feel like total shit.
and i never know what it's gonna be when i leave my house in the morning.

i wish i did know...
so i could brace myself.
and maybe then i wouldn't succumb to the negativity of people making me feel bad for stuff i didn't do/should've done (and YES, people CAN make me feel a way... because they do it purposefully and with intent).
and maybe then i would feel like myself all of the time.
like i am in my body and not losing parts of myself
as i walk through this life.
like i am all of me, and not just a shadow of me.
like i am not fading away.