While everyone else was busy planning special activities for this Yuletide season, my routines were pretty much the same.
“Sleep, wake up, go to work, sleep, wake up, go to work…”
Everything else from cooking to cleaning get lumped into each day.
I’ve really missed my very organized self. 😢
There are days I don’t even have the time to eat one proper meal. No kidding.
On such days I’m doubly thankful for Coca-Cola.
So my birthday was a couple of days ago and among other things, I’m thankful for God’s MERCY. He is the reason I’m still STANDING.
The latter part of this year has been trying for me spiritually (erratic with no functional church, dusty bible syndrome et al), but his MERCIES kept me. So the song on replay for my birthday was this:
I won’t even lie, my last few postings have been increasingly hectic. I just switched from Orthopaedic to Neurosurgery, and every other day there’s at least one RTA patient waiting for me in the Emergency ward.
At several points, I almost broke down (Physically and Mentally) and there were days I found myself in tears (I know, “too much water” in my tear glands..haha). In the midst of all that, God has been teaching me some vital lessons for this season which I’d like to share:
1. PRAY MORE, NOT LESS.
This sounds obvious right? if only you know how hard it can get.
Everyday feels like a marathon as I try to race against time (I can still hear my Reg’s voice, “IPR starts by 7:00am”. Yet I’m in the hospital till after 10 p.m. on some days even when I’m not on CALL ) but that’s no excuse not to have a quality time with GOD (my Father): who is the Source and Centre of it all.
From my experience, the less I pray, the more irritable, tired, anxious, distracted and restless I get.
Pray as if your life depends on it, because it does.
I’m learning among other things, to:
– Pray for MYSELF, my COLLEAGUES, other CO-WORKERS and especially my PATIENTS.
– Pray for the WISDOM, COURAGE and STRENGTH to face the challenges that each day brings.
– Pray for the PATIENCE to deal with trying circumstances, irate patients, annoying co-workers and every other kind of evil that the enemy wants to bring my way.
– Pray that I’m a BLESSING to my Team and not a BURDEN to them. I don’t want to be labeled as a Lazy, Undisciplined, or Disorganized Doctor.
*IPR: Intern’s Pre-round.
2. TAKE CARE OF YOU, SO YOU CAN TAKE CARE OF OTHERS.
This is soooo important.
I recall one day, I was so physically exhausted while running some errands, that some nurses around took time to lecture me about the importance of taking proper care of myself.
When all is said and done, there will always be patients. But I’ll only be here for a season.
Wisdom teaches me that to give my best, I have to build stamina. Because I can’t give what I don’t have.
So these days, when I find myself getting worked up, I take a break.
When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m tired, I rest.
A hungry Doctor, is an angry Doctor. A sleepy Doctor, is a snappy Doctor. It’s that simple.
3. CONNECT WITH YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK.
Your Friends and Family are especially important during this Housejob phase.
It’s easy to become so consumed with the work that you don’t have the time to reach out to others.
I know this because I’ve been there.
It’s even more tough when you have a significant other who is not in the same location with you.
So here’s a suggestion that works for me (It’s called the PTCV Principle):
- Pray for them always.
- Text whenever you miss them.
- Call when you have the chance.
- Visit when there’s the opportunity.
4. DON’T JUST COUNT THE DAYS, MAKE THE DAYS COUNT.
Housejob isn’t beans. I’m sure you know that by now.
And if you’re like most people, you just want it to END already. So you can move on with your life.
Before you know what’s happening, the days have turned into weeks, the weeks into months and the year is over.
Of course you don’t want that year to be spent merely seeing patients that are anicteric, acyanotic, afebrile, not pale , well hydrated and without pedal edema. 😅
That’s why you must be INTENTIONAL about everything you do on a daily basis.
I’m often reminded that if I want to make a difference, the time is NOW.
5. LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH. LEARN.
No matter how tough a day is, you can always find time and creative ways to enjoy it. For me that includes:
- Reading a good book.
- Eating a good meal.
- Listening to uplifting music.
- Hanging out with friends
- Watching a funny movie
And of course connecting with patients and co-workers.
You don’t know how much you have in common with others until you’re willing to have casual conversations with them.
I’ve made a number of acquaintances with people who speak my local dialect, share my first name or birthday, similar beliefs and the likes.
It’s an AMAZING something!
Again, it’s MERRY Christmas from me to you.
I hope y’all don’t forget the REASON for the celebration- Christ’s BIRTH!
Here’s my all-time favorite Christmas song: