This blog is a year old. For one entire calendar year, I have been using this space to dump my thoughts, feelings and ramblings.
And I really like having somewhere to do just that. I’d hate to leave my rubbish lying around just anywhere… here it is safe, anonymous and instantly accessible. As a kid, I kept various diaries, but despite enjoying writing them, and having them to look back on, I was terrible at keeping up with them. The diary I kept (sporadically) in the first three years of medicine is probably the longest I’ve ever had.
But this is more than just a diary. Yes, I write about the way I am feeling and what I am thinking, but it also allows me to communicate with people from across the world. And to share the funnies, the photos, and generally do so many more things than is possible with pen and paper!
So what has this year of blogging brought me?
Well, this was the year of my first OSCEs. I passed 2 of ‘em, both terrifying, but maybe showing that I am going to be ok. I’m made lots of new friends, which may seem like a dumb thing to have achieved, but two of my closest friends, girls I’d lived with for 3 years, moved away this summer. I thought living with other people would be awful, but living with my new housemates has brought me new friendships in places I hadn’t thought possible. And new friends have been made on my course – friends I never would have picked out of a line-up!
Most importantly, this year has shown brought me the courage to articulate, with absolute truth, my fears about medicine. I am afraid of what medicine has been trying to turn me in to, but I feel ready, after a year, to fight back. I still don’t think I’m totally set in life, and I will continue to blog about this for a while yet, I can tell you now.
My very first post, dated January 17th 2006, makes me sad. It is such a miserable dejected post, and written on such a shit day. My new consultant, in the second week of my 12 week placement, had almost made me cry. He was a git, and this is confirmed by a friend of mine currently in 3rd year and attached to his firm this year. She’s 2 weeks into her placement and hates and fears him in equal measures. The problem was not mine, it was his.
Looking back on that post now, with the enormous benefit of hindsight, I was crap during that first teaching session. But I didn’t deserve the treatment dished out to me. And I now know that I have been enough this year. I have made it, exams passed, projects handed in.
But more importantly, I have made it in one piece. I’m still me. I might feel as medicine is crushing me sometimes, but right now I am enough.
PS This is confirmed by an example of me keeping my cool this week: after ward round on Monday, I was collared by an A&E SHO, who imperiously told me to ‘take bloods. You have done it before right?’ I, angered by her attitude, said yes of course I had. Off I trotted (fellow med student in tow) and found a confused little old lady. With non-existent veins. Eventually I managed to locate one, but it wasn’t good. I asked my fellow med student her opinion, and she said ‘I wouldn’t, but you can try’. And I thought, well, I will. Because in 18 months it could be me in the middle of the night needing to get blood from a vein like this. I need to have at least tried before. My first attempt was unsuccessful, but the second? Superb. Sorted. I did it. I was enough.