Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Feast: A Soul's Awakening

How can my heart contain you, O Beauty so infinite?
How can my constrained soul hold Eternity?
How can a created bear its Creator?

Yet of pure Love, you humbled yourself into bread.
Into a meal Heaven collapses;
imperfect made perfect,
profane made sacred.

Into me you come, into you I come.
You stay in me and I stay in you.
Totally given and fully devoted, the Groom and his Bride.


Monday, 12 November 2012

7 Quick Takes #1

I always knew that I'm gonna do this sooner or later. Sometimes there are pieces and parts that I wanna highlight and share with my readers, but of which I don't plan on writing too much. I'm gonna do this more liberally; I don't assign a specific day because my creative juice is rather unpredictable, and who knows when I will have free time. I'll keep the "7" to discipline myself. (Being a Catholic school graduate, you breathe discipline, you eat discipline, you dream discipline, but recently I'm losing my work commitment somewhat, so I wanna make myself used to it again, starting here.)


The highlight of last weekend is receiving a postcard from... <dum dum dum> ISRAEL! I believe some of you know that I collect postcards and that I'm a Postcrosser, and I display my collection on my other blog. But this card gets an honour to be here because... well, it's my first card from Israel, and Israel is a rare country on Postcrossing. Unlike Russia, whose postcards are absolutely gorgeous, but is a "common" country; I send to and receive from Russia for too many times already!

Additionally, this card is one example of my ideal card. I love map cards, as much as I like maps and globes in general. By extension, I also love cards bearing country or state symbols or flags. If map + symbol + flag = JEWEL.


Everybody is getting bored with clerkship. And when I say everybody, I mean everybody, including the straight-A girl and the gunner. We do our duties, but barely beyond. I asked my mum once whether this is normal, and she said yes, though it's not ideal, but it is normal, especially since we're going to graduate soon. Well I still have Ob/Gyn after this, and this is certainly not a good preparation for the hectic life in Ob/Gyn. Oh well.


I've found myself criticising diagnoses, differentials, and workup results. I hope this is a good sign that I've finally understood medicine, like how to make a proper diagnosis, what lab to order, etc.


The hospital's emergency service is VERY bad. Horrible, even. The ED is supposed to have some of the smartest people, and yet what we have is some of the most careless people. Yes, they may be smart, but they don't care about making and canceling out differentials before sending patients to the wards. All they care about is getting away from patients as soon as possible; this often means people get admitted without complete workups and/or empirical treatments. Plus, one of the doctors apparently like to create his own magical diagnoses, which include "acute seizure" and "pan-gastritis". Tell me this doesn't actually makes you doubt his intelligence.


I didn't know ejaculations were indulgenced. (People, take your mind out of the gutters, it's prayers I'm talking about.) I sometimes mentally sigh with "My Lord and my God!", and that is indulgenced once a week if said under normal conditions. Not bad, eh?


I haven't gone to the cinema for 2 months. Too tired + nothing worth watching recently. Except maybe Skyfall, but I'm not a Bond fan. I'm waiting for Sinister and Silent Hill Revelation. They say the latter sucks, but I always like all things Silent Hill, so whatever! I also heard that The Walking Dead is a great series, but the thing is, I need someone to actually drag myself to watch it. I seldom watch TV; I only turn it on for The Amazing Race, occasional Wipeout, some CSI, and one or two HBO movies.


I'm hungry. Off to nom something.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Taking a break.

During my first week of pediatrics, I experienced things that some would conclude as symptoms of mild depression. For a few days I could not eat or sleep properly. I didn't feel sleepy or hungry, at all. My rest-and-digest system was suddenly taken over by fight-or-flight mode. All I wanted to do was being awake and keeping myself busy with studying and paperwork, as if these were the only things I was born to do. I could not think of anything other than medicine and more medicine. In the morning I didn't even feel tired despite the lack of rest the night before. I felt strangely energised. I felt like I could hold the world, and swallow it whole. Deep down though, I knew it wasn't healthy, because I wasn't happy and that I needed to get out of it as soon as possible. I knew that if I'd kept going like that, I'd eventually experience a major breakdown, either physically or mentally or both. Luckily I'm blessed with a powerful compensatory mechanism, so I managed to survive and to enjoy a proper life again.

Looking back, the one thing that had been missing from my life was... life. Before that, I almost always refused an offer to watch movies, hang out in the malls, or have a random girly chit-chat. If I didn't feel like I have time for that, then I wouldn't do it. In fact, not only did I have time for that, I needed it.

In a field as rigorous as medicine, taking a break every now and then is crucial to preserve your sanity. You'll feel this need more when you've entered the clinical portion of your medical education. The studying part is already intense, without having to take into account the system, the hierarchy. No wonder, I think, if so many excited medical students quickly turn into overworked, frustrated, depressed, angry, aggressive, even suicidal persons (and it doesn't get better as they become physicians).

A proper break must take your mind away temporarily from whatever causing your stress. It does not make you avoid the problem at hand; on the contrary, it will help you see the problem more clearly, so that you can handle it better.

A break can take any forms. Obviously, it always helps if a medical student has one or two good hobbies. I blog, I read novels, I write poems, I paint pictures, I tweet, I enjoy memes and sometimes even do the trolling myself. Recently I've been adding more social events: going to weddings, eating out, watching movies. The last two are best done on the weekends, but sometimes I challenge myself to do them spontaneously, such as directly after work with teammates who are not doing shift. I also collect religious pictures and quotes because they always help tremendously in reminding me that there's Someone in control of it all. It really puts things into perspective.

I'm looking forward to this weekend when I will have a new movie to watch with a high school friend I haven't seen in a long time, and a Holy Mass to attend. I'm also looking forward to reading the Catechism, as part of my Year of Faith project.

What do you usually do to de-stress?