Housejob Chronicles- Coping Mechanisms!

Hello Everybody,

It’s CHRISTMAS!!


And I’m glad even though it doesn’t really feel like Christmas around me.

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. 


It’s an essential tool for preventing hypoglycemic shock.😉

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: 

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

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HouseJob Chronicles: What School Did You Finish From?

Hey folks,

First of all, this post is long over due. I’ve being working on the draft since like forever and even abandoned it at some point, cos no time.

So I have had a crazy few days post-leave. I’m so stressed out that I could use another break! Lol.

My face during Intern’s Pre-round…lol

I’m just glad I got to publish this, at last!

The post is especially for, but not limited to the Foreign Trained Doctors (FTDs).

My “brothers and sisters” from the diaspora, welcome back to REAL LIFE- Naija Version!

I’m sending you thousands of cyber hugs that will last you through the first few months of your House Job at least.


If you’ve passed through the MDCN hurdles already, you’d have observed that the system is NOT ready to welcome you with open arms. I’m not even kidding…

If you’re one of those patriotic FTDs (I’m not one btw🙄), who returned with high hopes of contributing your skills and expertise to the expansion of Naija’s health sector; I’m sorry to burst your bubble:

Whatever fancy reasons you had for returning to Naija, no one cares.

It is a sad reality.

But for what it’s worth, there are some great moments too. Like having patients discharged after spending days/weeks in the hospital or hearing an uncooperative patient Left Against Medical Advice (LAMA)…lol. I should do a separate post on that.

Anyhow.

So once you start your house job, expect to feel intimidated by your seniors. Naija doctors love to move STUFF. Eeesh!!

The million-dollar question that got my fellow interns tongue-tied, like we weren’t expecting it…lol! 

It wasn’t a funny scenario but I can laugh it off now.

The “Ogas” at the top love to deliberate on which is the best medical school in Naija, so they keep setting baits for house officers in form of questions, sane or otherwise.

Whether you are foreign trained or locally, you’ll experience this at some point or the other, although the former seem to be more at the receiving end.

Having passed through the initiation process of getting asked the same question multiple times, I have a few tips for upcoming House Officers:


1. OWN your identity.

You’re a MEDICAL DOCTOR, with a CERTIFICATE and a LICENSE.

So wear it like a cape. Be PROUD of it, because it’s who you are.

Embrace it. Love it. Live it.


If you schooled abroad, it was your decision, your money (whether sponsored or not) and your experience. Ditto if you were locally trained.

Even if studying Medicine was a mistake, it was the best mistake of your life.
Don’t let anyone guilt-trip you on it.
2. You have NOTHING to prove.

You heard that right.

There’s NOTHING to prove to anybody.

Not your skills. Not your knowledge. Not your personality.

What you know was enough to get you to this level. And if you build on your knowledge and skills, you can (and will) get better.

Remember, your senior colleagues (Regs, SRs, Consultants) did not get all their medical expertise during their housemanship year.

They earned it with time. Life takes time. 

So while there’s always room for improvement, you have NOTHING to prove.



Remember this.

3. Do it with JOY!

When all is said and done, what really matters is the impact you made wherever you find yourself.

So whatever you do, do it with EXCELLENCE. And COURAGE. And JOY.

Give the kind of care you would like to receive.


Put in your very best at all times, even when it’s hard. It’s okay to feel out of place sometimes but don’t let anyone (not even yourself) hold you back.

***

Image: http://www.eunicesmiles.wordpress.com

I’ve asked myself this question a couple of times, and tried to answer it as sincerely as possible:

My answer is YES.

And to add to that, given similar circumstances in the current Naija, I’d still study abroad and maybe the very school I attended. Tenkiu!



Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

   ❤️❤️❤️
Disclaimer: All images unless otherwise tagged, were obtained from the WEB.

December|| R E S T

Yaaay!

It’s the month of the JINGLE BELLS!!!

Though I’m yet to get a good feel of the Christmas spirit.

No lights, no decorations and no gift hampers, on every street corner or roadside stall.

And to my all-time favorite, when are the carols starting??

 “Hello Santa, are you on leave too?” Hehe. 

So yours sincerely, got a one-week leave from work…I’m not even a month into this house job thing and my name comes out first on the leave roster.

No special request or anything. Just like that.

Initially, I wanted to swap dates with another colleague, but as God would have it, this LEAVE was a timely excuse to visit my family and get one or two things done.

Then I needed some physical, mental and even spiritual REST (plus a CHANGE of environment) because my job has definitely taken a toll on me. Tbh, the past 3 or so weeks on the job feels like 3 months already but I’m thankful for the journey so far.

The theme for this month is REST. And here are a few things God is teaching me about it:

1. REST is not a Suggestion, it is an Instruction.

If we go through the scriptures carefully, we’d observe that the SABBATH was given as a commandment for the Israelites and they were to dedicate that day to God as a form of WORSHIP. (Exodus 20:8-11)

2. It is in the place of REST, that Strength is drawn.

No one explains this more beautifully than the Psalmist,

“He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised.”

Psalms 23:2-3 GNB

3. Focus is a byproduct of REST, while distractions are an evidence of a restless spirit.

No wonder Jesus says,

““Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you REST. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest.”
Matthew 11:28-29 GNB

Truth is, a restless spirit cannot hear from God and we must be quiet enough to hear God’s still, small (yet loud and clear) voice, and receive instructions for each phase of our individual journeys.

That’s my heart-cry this season, and you’re welcome to join in too. As I embrace his rest, I receive instructions for this phase of my journey and I go from STRENGTH to STRENGTH . Amen.

Here’s a verse from one of my favorite songs:

“Find rest my soul,
In Christ alone,
Know his power,
In quietness and trust.”

So like I mentioned in a previous post, I recently moved to a new town. That meant leaving everything that was familiar to me- my family, what few friends I had, my (new) church and the likes.

Hello, LOKOJA. (Credit:WEB)

If you’re an old timer on this blog, you would have noticed how I don’t like stress one bit, which includes that of moving to a new place.
I easily get addicted to my “comfort zone” and I prefer a kind of LIFE I can have a say about (the timing, the place, the people etc) 🙈

Recently, I was reminded of this scripture:
LORD, I know that no one is the master of his own destiny; no person has control over his own life.”
Jeremiah 10:23 GNB

In an earlier conversation with God about this Housejob thingy, he asked me, “So what do you (specifically) want?”
I came up with some STRONG points:

– I want a place not too far from home and church (so I can continue to enjoy my family and “serve” the brethren)😉

– There are some (God-inspired) projects at hand that I need to execute (at my pace and convenience, lol)

So in my mind I was thinking, “It has to be Ibadan, it just makes perfect sense.”

Then there were well-meaning voices around me confessing the same too..lol. I even gave God a deadline about when I wanted the job blah, blah.

[Lesson learnt: Never attempt to teach God his own job. His PLAN, His TIMING].

The irony was, when the job finally came I felt “zero prepared” but this line from Christine Caine’s book, UNSTOPPABLE, gets me all the time:

“When God calls us and sends us, we are ready whether we feel like we are or not.”

Anyway, like in so many previous instances of my life, God had something BIGGER and BETTER in mind, according to his own PERFECT purpose. I must confess I’m yet to grasp even half of that picture. 

“My thoughts,” says the LORD, “are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.” Isaiah 55:8-9 GNB

At some point, the only answer I was receiving as per my Housejob prayer was “I HAVE ALREADY TAKEN CARE OF IT.”

He reminded me of my stay in Lagos, which I wrote about here, here and here.
The challenges I shared on the blog were a mere fraction of what I actually experienced. But I’m doubly thankful for that phase of my journey, because it became a reference point for this new season.
Things that usually would have stressed me out are now what I embrace as mere adventures. Moving to Lokoja came with its share of challenges, but there was a WORD already for the season:

“My help will come from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
Psalms 121:2 GNB

And this has literally been my reality from the application process, to the interview, uptil now. 

Every where I go, there is at least one person eager to be of assistance to me and I just see God’s hands working things out for my good because He is Amazing like that!

My point is, God always comes through for us in every phase if we learn to trust him.

I don’t mean there won’t be challenges, but with God, no challenge is insurmountable.

So no matter what you’re facing at this time, take time to REST in God’s faithfulness and he’ll come through for you.

***

❤️ Guess who is in town??😉

Well, Pictures don’t lie!

❤️ 

Who else has seen this Movie?

I’d say 3.5/5. Nice storyline sha👌


❤️Currently Reading:

1. Unglued Devotional (Lysa Terkeurst)

2. The Meaning of Marriage (Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller)

3. The Purpose driven Life (Rick Warren)

4. Understanding the purpose and power of a man (Myles Munroe)

5. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey)

6. The Bible: ROMANS

PS: What do you think about these tee shirts (designed by yours truly) and which is your preference?

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️