When Doctors Tell Patients What They Don't Want to Hear

what is this farce? I hate this. I’m filled with this intense discomfort, and I keep swallowing a huge urge to vomit. I want to vomit. huge, bilious, chunky streams of vomit replete with all the emotions I can’t express, but that are sitting on top of chest, lodged beneath my thyroid, suffocating me. it’s like a poison that’s thrumming through my veins, pulsing in my ears and through the rest of this carcass I call a body. 

I feel numb. it’s hard to breathe. I can’t breathe. I know I have this terrible expression on my face, but the only thing I can think of is that I’m getting wrinkles and I really don’t want wrinkles and god damn it I need to go unscrew my face and vomit before my awkwardness chokes me to death. I feel like I really, really, really need to drop a big, fat emoti-deuce but I just can’t, because some asshole has sewn shut my anal sphincters. and so now all I have is a rectum so impacted, my colon is getting backed up, and I’m just back filtering all this emote-shit into my system. it’s poisoning me. I am contaminated. kill me now. or just let me somehow expel this impacted bolus of emotion that’s making its way into my head. and now I have a throbbing headache and I’m just so god damn ready to kill something or eat something. but not all of these terrible, horrible, dark and twisted emotions. give me a shot of benzos into my soul because I am drowning drowning drowning in these thoughts and these feels and this horrible rush and welling of everything I want to say and feel but I don’t have any time I need time.

somebody euthanise me. 

trust me, I’m a professional

'profession' is defined as being of service to the public, a self-governing body, and a master of a specific body of knowledge. 

so during our crash course into the clinical year, we had a lecture on professionalism. just a little three-hour reminder that we’re to hold ourselves to the utmost highest in standards of behaviour, expression, responsibility, integrity, [insert more words]. and now that we’re to effectively enter the workforce, we have to be proactive about our learning whilst understanding that we are at the bottom-most of the totem pole. seriously. I can’t even bring myself to make eye contact with my superiors, I’m too busy introducing myself with an apology and fighting the urge to grovel.

what I imagine my intern/resident/attending sees when I open my mouth: awww you’re so lost it’s aDORable. but seriously, get out of that cup.

did you know that students can be on academic probation if we’re bad at answering communications? also, that it’s apparently one of the best predictors of who is going to end up in the red with their state medical board? O LOR’. doomed, I am. there goes my would-be-but-maybe-not-anymore-burgeoning medical career. my own honourable parents shoot me an email every once a month or so, with a lovely little ‘please give us a call or send us an email or shoot up some smoke signals or even just a goddamn text when you can, we love you and miss you!’ tinged with sadness. elicits all sorts of guilty feelings, because seriously is it that hard for me to just let them know I’m still alive? (yes, yes it is) there’s this preoccupation with staying constantly connected, be it through the fbooks, the emails, the twitter, the snapchats, the texts, and it’s exhausting. I mean, that doesn’t really apply to the whole ‘hi parents, I have not yet given up the good fight!’ message thing—that’s just cause I’m a jerk, I guess.


what I look like at the end of the day. and after talking to people. and after smiling for 9 hours straight. still alive? debatable. 

you may suspect that I have zero friends. that would be true. 

back to the professionalism shtick: probably won’t have an issue with respect for others cf. overly casual language or demeanour. thank you my overly developed sense of stranger danger; I’m more at risk of coming off as cold and aloof because of my crippling social anxieties. my dear grammy’s iron-fisted control over not letting me roll in my sleep—also the reason why I have a super flat head—tag teamed with father’s periodic warnings to never trust anyone because they’re always out to get you—pretty much made certain that I never reached that developmental milestone. also probably-maybe-hopefully won’t have an issue with “appears callous, dispassionate, or insensitive in the face of others’ suffering or distress” because I usually retreat into hello kitty, bug-eyed, dog-registered, accent-magically-comes-back-super-strong girly voice when I face hierarchy. again cf. stranger danger. and my growing up in a culture of self-deprecation and habitual undercutting of my performance per luck rather than skill pretty much guarantees that issues with ‘self-promoting or arrogant’ are nil. 

ahahahahehehehugh made of awkward.

but conscientiousness cf. not responding to emails and phone calls promptly, professional boundaries cf. ‘exhibits inappropriate use of social interaction, language, humour, physical contact or self-disclosure in interactions with patients, families, peers, team members or staff’…less clear. part and parcel is also romantic encounters in the professional setting. which may [not] be a problem. my last encounter with a man can basically be distilled to, “I’ve been hitting on you all night and you never even noticed!” and “wait you mean you’re NOT gay?!”


and even now, ‘makes inappropriate disclosures about self, patients, or institution on internet/social networking sites’…is that what I’m doing here? should I stop this? yes. yes, I’mma stop now and painstakingly comb through all my entries for unprofessionalism.

later kittens. I missed you. 

bam and I’m back.


The Fallen Project marks Peace Day.  The project consists of 9000 stencils of bodies, representing both civilians and combatants who died during D day landings of WWII.


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"Everything is amazing and nobody is happy" by Meowbay

'Everything is amazing and nobody is happy' w/Louis CK

so I was going to actually post words, specifically about a ‘how to give bad news’ session that we recently went through, but I’ve been feeling like a poop. probably because I haven’t worked out since rotations started, which I already know is bad news bears, and I’ve been charting the slow involution of my summer abs by obsessively measuring my waist each day. but it’s also probably more because being around stranger-people is exhausting and the fact that I have to somehow have them like me makes me anxious, at which point my instinct is to eat my feelings. I’m a savant for vicious cycles, kittens.

had a panic attack the other day, and a friend brought me soul food. a dangerous venture in and off itself, seeing as I am made of awkward and don’t know how to respond to kindness. so when this friend biked over at 2200 and handed me a plastic baggie filled with the pureness that is his soul (1.5 quart chocolate fudge brownie, 2 pints cookies and cream ice cream, and a bottle of gummy vites), I’m pretty sure I wailed at him for making me fat while simultaneously pledging my undying fealty to my best friend forever. it was sort of a blur. mainly because I was also blinking back sad, fat tears that welled up completely unwelcomed, and I really didn’t want him to have to see me cry into a pint of ice cream. 

incidentally, that ice cream was gone in two days. I demolished that 1.5 quart pretty much in a single sitting. pretty sure I have diabetes now.

anyway, when I find myself feeling particularly panicked, when all of my neurotic ticks decide to flare up all at once and I’m angrier than an 8-cm dilated pregnant woman denied an epidural, when I feel—inexplicably and most despairingly—sadder than a vault prolapse (not sure what I’m talking about? google image it and I know you’ll feel sad) and when all my stress has phased into particulate matter that have immediately deposited into my love handles, I like to rewatch this guy and try to remember to breathe. 

and a more recent one, also excellent: http://youtu.be/5HbYScltf1c

secrets of telling bad news next time. 

Well, he was always the golden boy, but I think I’ve bested him as the favourite, because I’m the only one who calls her regularly now. And I’m becoming a doctor, and that’s what Jesus did.