Posts Tagged 'school'

And a lovely day to you, too!

To afford being a med student, I work in home care. Most of the time, I really love my job. I love the interaction with my clients, I love that I can work independently and make decisions on how to better help people in need. I love that I am welcomed into peoples homes, and that they are still at home because of the facilities there are in place. Oftentimes, without home care, these people would be in a nursing home or even a hospital. I love the variety of clients I get to meet. I don’t even mind the poop and the piss of the incontinent clients. I love making a difference in their day.

Today, for instance, I helped a terminally ill (young) woman wash her hair, so she would be presentable for the visitors she was going to have over. I helped a woman with Sjogrens who had also broken a limb. I helped an alcoholic man with MS. I reminded a schizophrenic man to take his medication, get dressed and go to work. I helped a man with Parkinson’s under the shower, and helped him get dressed. And I helped a few people with little things (for me, not them) like putting their shoes on. All in all, a lovely day, wouldn’t you think?

Not.

**CAUTION: WORK-RELATED RANT BELOW** Continue reading ‘And a lovely day to you, too!’

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Want, need, get, have, love

About eight months ago, my ipod quit on me, outside warranty. At that time I was getting ready for a 4 month (frequently camping, back to basics) trip to Canada, so I decided against getting a new one right away, since it wasn’t going to do me much good. Instead, I picked up a cheap potable mp3CD-player, and asked my family and friends to fill up a CD with mp3s they like. I have a solar-powered battery charger, so I could pretty much always have music.

When I got back early November, I didn’t have the money to get a new one right away. It didn’t really matter, though, since I was almost too busy to listen to any music. But the last few weeks, I really started to miss my ipod. The compactness, the fact it can carry all my music, and I can play whatever I like and not be dragging around a pack of Cd’s. I am a fan of portable music libraries. So I got to the point of want.

But, being a student not wanting to go too much into debt, I have a system of buying, well, pretty much anything, based on need and want. Basically, it’s a short series of questions I ask myself whenever I pick anything up from a shelf. It goes like this:

  1. Do I want it?
  2. Do I need it?
  3. Do I need it today?

See? Simple. Only if all three questions are answered affirmatively, do I buy the ipod/pack of biscuits/cauliflower/pen/… Now, there are always times You want something and don’t need it, but still really want it, or suddenly find yourself going out to dinner with friends. I set aside some money for these things each month, and this works.

Now, back to the ipod. I was at Want. But an ipod is expensive, in my book at least. It’s about 3 months of  fun money, and I can’t miss out on social activities just because I want to be able to stick headphones on my ears and listen to music as I go about the mundane things in my day. So a long-term want it stayed, even though by now I wanted it bad.

But then I took off for the week and took my portable CD player with me. Two things stood out for me, that should have been obvious to me earlier, but I had been a bit stressed, and missed: Music, especially through earphones, makes me happy; and portable CD players are a hassle.

In short, what I realised was that the ipod is at this point in my life a necessity, because it really keeps my spirits up, and doing that has been a little hard over the last few months. It’s a Need.

Of course, I told myself I didn’t need it right away (money, money, money -it’s not like I don’t have enough to buy the thing, but I always like to save up and then make up my mind about what I spend it on). But then I had a really interesting class (on Philosophy in Psychiatric Treatment, an elective I’m taking), in which we explored our own motives for doing and not doing things, and how we sometimes harm ourselves by not creating the circumstances in which we can work to the very best of our abilities.

Hmm… I’ve been having a hard time staying positive and focused. Music makes me more productive. But I’m not listeningto any, because the CD player is too big to just stick in my pocket. That’s not exactly creating the best circumstances for yourself, is it? So I decided I Needed it Today.

There’s a big electronics store on the way from the medical school back to my house, and last Monday, immediately after said class ended, I went to the store and Got myself a new ipod.

So now I Have an ipod again. And you know what? I’ve had a great week. I’ve read more, felt more relaxed, slept better, and got more things done in generally.

Verdict: Good choice. I Love that I made it.

Inertia

At times, I fall into the trap of punishing myself for not doing things with inertia. By inertia I mean I limit my interactions with the outside world. I limit the things I am allowed to do for myself. Until I finish the task at hand. I often don’t notice I’m doing this until I am completely stuck, and my life has lost so much of its velocity, it takes an incredible amount of energy to get it up and running again.

At the moment, I am in a phase of getting my life up to speed again. The last few months, I’ve been slowing my life down to the point of me sitting in my house and writing my thesis, and pretty much only coming out to go to work or to get groceries. It got to the point of ridiculousness. If I couldn’t write, I damn well couldn’t do anything else. How insane is that?

And I know it’s stupid, because once I realise it has happened again, I’ll try to hide it from the people closest to me, because I don’t want them to think of me as a pathetic little git. I can only start talking about it with them when I know I’ve started to move in the right direction again.  

Reaching out for help has always been something that’s incredibly difficult for me. At school, asking questions meant I had failed. At home, my dad would either get angry for questioning a set rule, or overly anxious and more upset with the problem than even I was, because I was in pain and that was just the worst thing in the world for him. To this day, I hardly tell my dad anything about any problems I have, because it inevitably makes the problem worse. My mom fluctuates between analyzing the problem and getting impatient, the ‘just get over it’ approach. Which sometimes helps, but often just makes me angry. As for asking friends for help, for me that has always felt like burdening them with my issues.

I know that when a friend of mine has a problem, the only thing I would want is to know about it so I can help, but I measure myself by another standard. See, when I am in my inert phase, my problems are just not worthy of help. Worse, actually, I am not worthy of help. I think I fear abandonment the most, which really isn’t giving nearly enough credit to my dearest friends.

But I’m on the upswing again, so I’m filling up my social calendar. I planned a trip to Spain in April with a few friends, arranged to start up with vocal lessons again, made arrangements for friends from abroad to come visit, I’m helping a good friend move house, I’m visiting my gran, I’m planning evenings out with people, I’m hanging out with my brother and sister. I’d like to get more sports activities in other than cycling, but I managed to hurt my back somehow last week, and now an old injury seems to be playing up again, so my range of motion is a little restricted. Just when I get the feeling I really want  to do something….

Research Blues

I’m suffering from a bad case of report writer’s block. I need to finish my research report, so I can finally get my MSc. Of course, after doing the actual research I went travelling, and now I’m paying he price for not finishing the project at that time.

I have never been very good at writing official papers, which is something that fits perfectly with my general anxiety about exam-taking. It’s so hard to create something I’ll be judged on. So I have come up with many ways of avoiding the project. One of them is, oddly enough, sleeping. I have never slept in as long as I have been the past week. I’m usually up before my alarm goes off at 6am, but lately I’ve been waking up around 9 without even noticing I’ve turned the alarm off. I know the only way to get past this is sitting down and actually doing the writing, and that I only need a day or two of fulltime writing to finish once I get into it.

So what the f*** is stopping me?

It doesn’t help that there’s no set deadline. I don’t have to finish this (officially) until I want to actually get my MD, which is at least two years away. So sometime before that, I have to finish this. But who wants to be writing a report on research they did years ago and won’t be pursuing further in the near future? Especially during internships with 70-hour workweeks and shiftwork and too little time to sleep. So I really want to finish in the next couple of weeks. As in, write the last pages this week, and reference the last bits I haven’t referenced yet. Then submit the report to my direct supervisor and rewrite next week and submit the final report the week after that… But that does mean I’ll  have to actually write the rest of the damn thing.

And how do I do that?