Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Worth It

Things are picking up speed here in the final push to the finish. Suddenly a hundred things are pulling for my attention and I'm remembering the nit-pickiness involved in extricating oneself from one country and moving to another. Annoying things like transferring electrical bills to a different name, showing people the apartment, answering questions about my car to prospective buyers, pawning possessions, cancelling bank accounts and returning internet modems.  Time feels warped in that it seems like an eternity until I am back in Canada, yet there's not enough time to complete all the extracting tasks, study for finals, feed / clothe / wash myself, put petrol in the car from time to time, sleep, and possibly exercise when a window of time and weather presents itself.

Yesterday I was studying with some friends when I realized that we had spent the last 20 minutes discussing which brand of under-eye concealer hides dark circles the best (this may seem like normal conversation to some women but these particular ladies are *not* the make-up discussing types).  This was shortly after we screened each other for depression upon discovering that 'generalized anxiety disorder', 'panic disorder' and 'depression' criteria were starting to hit a little too close to home. We stopped studying psychiatry at that point and moved quickly to cardiology where we all felt slightly safer territory existed.

I woke up a few days ago with a burst blood vessel in my left eye which has definitely hitched up the haggard appearance a couple of notches. I am told that REM sleep can cause blood vessels to burst. Fantastic. This on the heels of 3 straight days of waking up not to an alarm but to the sound of my own teeth, grinding. On the upside I suppose that my face is getting exercise while I am sleeping so...win?

But it's not all cereal for dinner and fitful sleeps.

Today I received a card in the mail from one of my maternity patients. She had been one of those women who labored in such a way that I was in complete awe. I am pretty sure that if (and that is a big IF) I ever have a child I will be the craziest, drug-seeking, wild-eyed, foul-mouthed, sweaty, crying mess. She was this calm, focused, sweet, gracious lady throughout her (analgesic-free!) labor until complications resulted in an emergency c-section. For the duration of our long night together she used hypno-birthing and relaxation techniques to stay calm and work through the contractions. It was an amazing thing to see.

In her card she included the hypno-birthing CD along with a photo of her and her now 5 month old daughter, on holiday in Paris. It was a lovely gesture and a beautiful sentiment. My favorite line from the card being, "I will always have the most amazing memories of my labour...remembering yourself so close in my heart when I think of the wonderful team we had together on that night".

During a week (month? year?) when I have often asked myself if all of this is worth it, I receive this card. What a privileged and beautiful place to occupy in a strangers heart: the place that holds the memory of their child's birth.

Knowing something like that makes up for every single stressful hour. It makes up for being the person who breaks bad news, or the person who has to scavenge for food in the day ward after being in the hospital for 20 hours without a meal break. It really does.

It makes all of this worth it.


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I think this is my favourite post by far! I enjoy them all however :) Good luck on your upcoming residency, I can't wait to read about it.