January has come early

I remember being told January is the hardest month to get through, and that’s been holding a pattern in my life for the past few years. This year, maybe it’s come too soon. With an intense, exhausting neurology rotation; with a bunch of social stressors surrounding family and extended family; with a general feeling of being in between, hanging out in limbo, not really accomplishing anything.

I’m not happy. I’m not in a good place. I’ve been extremely irritable and grumpy the last three weeks, and it seems like I’m just waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for things to get better, waiting for this rotation to be over, waiting for Christmas break,waiting to be out on my own.

I haven’t seen the sun in 3 weeks. I literally haven’t seen the sun since the weekend, like actually. I go to work before 7am and come home after 6pm which, in this latitude, is dark as night. In between I work like a dog to try to make myself useful, see patients, so what I can for the critically ill people we’re supposed to be looking after. All our wards are away from the periphery of the hospital, so away from any windows. Yes, it feels like a dungeon.

My family are being horrible to each other, and I’m being horrible back. I’ve been a complete grump to talk to. My sister is on evening shifts so I haven’t seen her all week; she’s trying to sort out some hotel and flight booking business for our upcoming family vacation, and instead of having a chance to talk to each other, we have only texted. And as everyone knows, texting can go easily wrong, especially when two people are busy and stressed. Suffice to say, it blew up, and now I wish we had opposite schedules for another week so I didn’t have to see or talk to her.

I bought a gym membership that I have yet to use. I haven’t meditated. I haven’t practiced gratefulness. I haven’t journaled or written. I haven’t done anything good for me. CaRMS is submitted and instead of being a stress free flower child, I’m as wound up and grouchy as ever.

On stroke I inform patients they will have a lifelong debilitating deficit, and then carry on with my day to do the same to the next patient. I work at least 10 hours a day just trying to be part of an efficient team, while staff often are completely oblivious to the fact that I and the residents are working so hard at maintaining efficiency, and take very inopportune times to teach or see complex patients. It’s also hard for staff to be efficient when they are getting paged with hyperacute strokes happening that moment, that they have to return at least 5 times a day. I also don’t know any of the medicine of stroke, nor do I really want to seeing as it’s an extension of all the things that make me hate general medicine (disgusting arteries as a result of years of lifestyle abuse).

I absolutely loved the two days of general neurology when I was on it–weird and wonderful encephalopathies, symptoms of unknown origin, fascinating immune pathologies. I feel completely jipped of that experience after being pulled of general neurology only two days in, due to being needed on consult service. Figures that the most interesting week to me is the one I don’t get to spend any time on. With stroke being at the end, I’m honestly just done.

It’s been a dark three weeks, even though I fully expected to love neurology, right after coming back from an elective seeing The Guy and having all that wash up again, right after the stress of getting my sister’s engagement set up and dealing with the social stuff, everything is just draining.

I am so drained.

Next week: off.

Netflix, single attendee pajama parties, and hot chocolate galore.


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