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One Month In

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Each day I look at my failures, my mistakes, my difficulties and I feel regression. However, in the sum of things, there is progress. It is good to take a step back and observe the overarching direction, to see whether your efforts are going to fruition or if you need to reassess and try a different approach. It is never too late to turn things in a different direction since progress is not linear. Progress to me has always been intuitive, it has melded to whatever life throws at me at that moment. This last week was certainly difficult with the addition of added stressors. Some of which I chose to take on, so that is somewhat a downfall of mine. Taking on too much while expecting not to crumble. But with a step back, a breath, some time to myself, a moment to re-assess I know that it will all be ok. 
[Stelvio Pass, Swiss -> Italy]

Perfectly Broken

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The Japanese have a method of repair which is termed kintsugi or wabi sabi.  The metaphor of this philosophy is quite beautiful. When an object is broken, say a plate or bowl, it is subsequently fixed with gold. The original object is made stronger. The imperfections are not hidden, they are highlighted and they are what make that object unique.

Such is resilience and such is life. Lately, I've been a bit harsh on myself with comparing to how things were or how I wish they could be. However, resilience means not giving up and pushing on despite setbacks and so-called imperfections. I am made more valuable by being broken, over and over again.


A Dance in The Theatre

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The room is illuminated by two surgical lights emanating a cool blue tinge to the patient on the table. Ribs retracted, the slow, steady hum of the bypass machine in the background accentuated by the steady heart rate beeps. "Pressure?!" bellows the primary surgeon before the cardioplegic solution is pumped into coronary circulation causing arrest.

The procedure starts, four sets of eyes follow as a cut is made into the fleshy red tissue. The device is placed into the designated valve and slowly the incision is sutured. A small pucker remains on the ivy leaf shaped left auricle. As the heart starts returning from arrest it squirms and quivers, like a bag of worms. Fibrillation.

"Paddles!! Charge to 150!" bellows the surgeon as all hands leave the table. Thud. "Charge to 200!" Thud. All eyes are on the fleshy organ that has now developed mild bruising. Will it beat with all this damage? Resilience triumphs today as it cardioconverts back into rhythm and re…

Love

"Where there is love, nothing is too much trouble, and there is always time"

One of my absolute favorite quotes.

Think

Do you know who you are?
Do you know what has happened to you?
Do you want to live this way?

"All it takes is one person, one patient, one moment to change your life forever.
It can change your perspective, color of your thinking.
One moment that forces you to rethink everything you know."

As the end of this month approaches, I am forced to re-evaluate my perspective. It was a month of harrowing surgeries that made me think differently about medicine and patient care. Everything from a huge thymoma on a sweet tail-wagging Labrador (pre- and post- op) to a hemangiosarcoma that had no saving.
It was both beautiful and weary. Now I am off to a "safer" side of medicine, one where there are fewer feelings involved and one where I can comfortably run off to recuperate in.
This month also beat me up in other ways. I am still waiting for a response to the residency but I am not quite so sure anymore. I honestly thought I was the best fit for the position and the stronges…

Onwards

The end of this year is fast approaching and it has been a year of adventure, growth, and change. I hope that the next year will continue as such. I am looking forward to all that it continues to bring. Cautious optimism.

While it is good to look forward to things, there is always the joy of the journey.  While in Australia I got extremely homesick and started yearning coming back to California. This depleted the pleasure of the moment and thankfully I was able to realize that. All it took was a conscious change in attitude, a reframing of the mind, so to speak. This can be done in any circumstance where there is suffering. Realize that you are suffering. Source out a why behind the suffering. There may often not even be a why behind the suffering, but the validation alone is often enough. Then change your perspective.

If you cannot change the circumstance, you can change how you think about it.

Dangerous Love

This past weekend has been spent surrounded by very inspiring individuals. Makers, do-ers, discoverers, searchers. And yet all so humble. I suppose that is what drives the medical profession, or scientists in general. We are usually never satisfied.

Right now I am frustrated at myself with my lack of motivation and inspiration. With my lack of purpose. It feels pointless and frustrating to live like this. A life with purpose is everything. Find purpose and you have everything. Purpose can always change. But to live without it is meaningless. It is a waste.

I know that I will find purpose again, however, right now I am in limbo. I know that I should be studying for the NAVLE, which I am. But that is purpose in itself. There is no passion behind it. Purpose should be self-driven. You cannot help but think about it. You cannot help but obsess about it. I want to find that something again. My dangerous love, where are you??