A tough day

Today was a tough day. This is an unedited journal entry for me to look back on, and for me to be more transparent about my experiences.

Today was one of those days when I didn’t feel very useful– to my patients, my attendings, my seniors, and my fellow residents. My histories and exams were full of holes, and my patients should have received better care. I missed those must-not-misses, floundered in the EMR, and just couldn’t find my groove– and in my struggle, those who train, teach, and mentor me, those who are my safety net, were in many senses unnecessarily burdened due to my inadequacies. I’m grateful for their graciousness. I hope to pay it forward some day. Being a resident, I am still learning the written protocols and unspoken conventions of my hospitals. I understand that this is a learning process, but on these days I feel that I’ve let people down. It feels bad.

On a brighter note, I am fortunate that even on my toughest days, when my personal shortcomings are highlighted and compounded with the grief of losing my Mom and a beloved pet cat in the same year, even with a world shadowed by a new pandemic and economic crisis, in a country that is more polarized than ever, surrounded by a population that seems to relish in the despair of others, even in these times, I maintain gratitude for the privilege I was born into, the arguably indefensible comfort that I live in, the consciousness that I’ve woken up into, and the evolutionarily advantageous spark of hope that I kindle and protect as best I can. I love the people I work with and am privileged to have the opportunity to listen to people and connect with them in a time of need.

So chin up, get some sleep, and dive back in tomorrow. There are people to connect with. There’s science to learn. There’s a path toward justice and equity to help excavate, and a lifetime of privilege, love, and grace to pay forward. There are songs to sing and languages to learn. Books to read and concepts to understand. Foods to enjoy and relationships to relish. Animals to love and arrows to stomp. I’ll do what I can, because it’s all I can do.

PS: I’ve got song interpretations and performances/covers in the pipeline. Just need to carve out a little more time. Also some ideas for further sections have started bubbling up in my head, so there’s another thing for me to look forward to.

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