Monday, January 11, 2016

Today's yuck

  1. The stench of a week old cigarette breath and unwashed mouth
  2. Retching sounds and a bowl half full of vomit...
  3. Blood splatter on my cheek, beside my mouth and underneath by chin. Thank God for goggles. 
  4. Blood on my shoe lace despite my shoe covering
Par for the course.  

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Adieu 2015

2015, I'm not mad at you at all. You were good to me and I'm thankful.
I started residency at my number one program.
I sailed through the first 6 months.
I got an awesome apartment.
I have the best coresidents.
My family is healthy.
I came out of med school induced depressed shell
I adjusted well to the lack of diversity in my program and little city
I spent my birthday with the people I love most
I completed drawing 1, painting 1 and painting 2 before residency started.
My family added a medical doctor, a nurse practitioner and another pharmacist all by the grace of God.
Best of all I no longer live in the darkness of depression. I have my days but I'm no longer in that black hole.

Keeping my fingers crossed, hoping and praying that things only get better.

I remain thankful.

Friday, December 18, 2015

JJC

I was randomly thinking of when i first moved here 13 years ago

  • I had no clue what a Coin Laundry was. For the longest time, i couldn't figure it out. I was like, is it where they go to to wash coins? But that didn't make sense. I don't remember asking anyone but I sha found out what it meant maybe 2 years after being here. 
  • Using the vending machine... I was in school wanting to get a snack but had no idea how. So i watched a couple of people, but wasn't exactly sure what they were doing, but didn't want to ask. Until a black chick came and used it, I figured she would be cool to ask as per her being a sista, for where. She was so snotty about it, gave me this irritated look and dismissively told me what to do. Winch
  • Getting soda from the soda fountain in the Cafeteria. Do i just hold the cup under the fountain or do i push something?  Most of it was the fear of making a fool of myself, but again i watched and asked questions. I learned very fast that the best way to go about things was to ask QUESTIONS! I figured i can look like a fool asking you once, but i never have to ask again, so that became my default, asking questions. 
  • Getting used to daily homework, quizzes, tests, projects in college, where you are only struggling for 20-25% of your grade in finals, as opposed to the whole grade which just one final exam like in Naija. 
  • How open Americans are with their personal lives. I was just like these people talk too much. I still can't get over one of my classmates in an honor class was telling me and our professor (there were only 10 of us in the class and we came early) about her cheating boyfriend and the professor asked if she was sure she didn't get an STI from her boyfriend and she responded by saying thankfully, she never slept with him because he had some scion scion on his penis and she wanted him to get tested. I couldn't in a billion years imagine that conversation happening between a college professor and a student in Naija! Make dem call call you Ashewo or runs girl. 
  • College students openly smoking during the day, both males and females, especially the females. I never saw a woman smoking in my life before coming here and the few guys i had seen smoking in naija was usually at night... under the cover of darkness. LOL. So that took a while to get used to. Color me sheltered. 
  • Professors wanting us to call them by their first name. I could never do it, never ever. Even till today, there are some doctors who asked to be called by their first names and i go right ahead and continue calling them Dr. XYZ. Naija people and respect, it's how my brain was shaped. 
  • Having an accent! Prior to coming here, the people who had accents to me where the deep speaking yoruba, igbo, hausa or calabar people. We had our Benin and Warri accents also. When i tell someone who grew up in Benin that someone was acting like a bini girl, they know exactly what i'm talking about and that includes the accent. Do you guys remember the recent video of a lady talking about how she used her Kpekus to make more. She was pissed and chewing gum in the video? That's a bini geh! LOL. Anyway, I was among the majority of "non accent" having Nigerian until i got here. Shock.com. At the end of the day, we all have accents. Someone should tell some Americans that. 
  • The bland tasting fruits and weird tasting chicken. Nothing tasted right. I almost lost my love for meat because of that nonsense. I actually don't like meat as much as i used to in Naija. 
  • In the same vein, getting used to eating large amounts of meat. In naija, you get your piece of meat and that's it. It's a wonderful day if you get two. Then i got her and you could eat only chicken for dinner if you to. Steak was the main course, with side dishes. That was so unreal. I can't lie that i didn't love it because i did. I was known for being a meat lover in my family. 
  • Learning to make eye contact while speaking to older people. This was one of the hardest ones to get used to. It took me years and years. In Nigeria looking at someone (an older person) while they are talking /lecturing/scolding you is a sign of disrespect. So you have grown wings?!  Americans on the other hand, consider you dishonest and suspicious if you don't make eye contact. It was bad! 
  • Walking by an older people, known or unknown and not greeting them or just saying Hi! Unlike Nigerians, Americans don't care if someone they don't know doesn't greet them good morning ma or sir. A real or fake smile will suffice. This haunted me up till med school. There was this older Naija transporter (move patients around) in the hospital, and he got to know i was Nigerian, he saw my name badge and asked me. I saw him pretty regularly, most times while i was with my team. The dilemma became how to greet him, should i say Hi or Good morning Sir. Ha! I tried Hi, smile and nod but only the proper naija greeting felt right. So eventually i gave in and even in front of my team, I would greet him properly. I did get odd looks from some of the residents but i was doing what my conscience and upbringing dictated. LOL. Next time when faced with that situation, I'll just greet properly and not stress myself about Americans looking at me funny. It just didn't feel right greeting an old Naija man, hi! I didn't know him outside the hospital and it most likely wouldn't have mattered, but it's ingrained. 
Mehn those early days were tough. It took me a good 2 years to adjust to being here. I was so homesick for Naija and Nigerians. I remember one day on the elevator surrounded by american classmates who never shut up of course, being so utterly irritated by the spree, spree, spree accent. I wanted to scream! Now the accents don't bother me and i'm "technically" a Nigerian-American, but  I will always be Naija for life! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

IG

Do you follow me on Instagram? Do I know who you are? This question is for people who I know by their blog ID but have a different name on IG. Case in point, my darling Prism was on my IG for a long time before she was nice enough to identify herself. *side eyes to you, Madam* lol. I also found out  someone who I don't think is a blogger has been reading my blog for 5 years.

I want to get to know u guys. Add me, Identify yourself. You can ask, I don't bite in real life :), well 97% of the time.

Time to get ready for work.

P.S. I've had to reject requests from people who don't have any posts or followers. That's just too suspicious for this Nigerian brain. I'm really not looking for followers. Just want to know my peeps.


Jisos! Just re-read this post and the typos were out of this world. I didn't even understand myself. Typos have been fixed.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dysphoria

I'm in the hospital right now..... Just waiting. Waiting for new patients to arrive. Since this is the ED, it's not a matter of if but when. It has been crazy busy since I got here and I'm only just able to catch my breath. I don't think I'll ever be a fan of working at night.

My mood as been very wonky. Dysphoria is the best way to describe how I mostly feel. It's an uncomfortable feeling. There was a recent editorial in JAMA talking about depression in Residents. It was forwarded to us at our program. That same evening my mom asked me if I had heard about the article and if it was true. I said yes. She said she couldn't understand why residents would be depressed because we just finished medical school and this should be the best time of our lives. In my head, I was just like you are talking to a depressed resident. I just told her that it was very stressful both physically and mentally.

One of the things I've been struggling a lot with lately is feeling like I don't know myself.  I spent the last 4-5 years pretty much isolated socially, first because of how med school is set up with the constant studying, then eventually getting depressed where I was just trying to make it from one day to the next. I literally lost myself. But the sadness and depression and keeping to myself was familiar. I recognized that person. From time to time I would recall being very silly and goofy before med school. Times when i would spontaneously break into dance with my brother. Chatting nonsensical comical shit to friends. Constant baiting of and banter with friends. Those become distant memories of someone I could no longer recognise as myself.

Now that I'm in residency, while I'm not LA LA LA happy, I'm not caught up in the throes of depression. I hang out with friends and surprise surprise I'm often the life of the party. I've gained a reputation in my program for providing comic relief but I say what everyone is thinking but afraid to say or I'm just blunt.

People actually like me and want to hang out with me. Patients love me.....I had a 19 yr old tell me today that I'm the best doctor she's ever had and she wants to keep coming back to the ED just to see me. This is someone who could not wait to leave when she first arrived because she hates hospitals and going to the doctor. In all of these interactions I am myself. But I don't recognize this self. It's a weird feeling, not because I'm an unlikable person and I'm surprised people like me but because I'm not as introverted and uncomfortable around people/preferring my solitude as I used to be.

Part of that is learning to survive in Medicine. You have to be a people person and be comfortable dealing with new people all the time.......


***Ended up not completing the post yesterday because work.....

Lost my train of thought, so I'll just post as is.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fucking Liar!

Just found out that my pain in the neck patient and patient's mother 
are fucking liars
thanks to finally getting records
I can't stand people who purposefully
set out to lie,manipulate and bully their way
into getting what they want
even though it's not safe for them

This person made me lose sleep because
i was worried about giving the best care
without giving them what they were requesting
because it could freaking kill them
Not knowing from their first visit they were lying to me
After they will go around saying doctors don't care 

Fuck that! 

Here's to all the enablers out there
It's not love if you support someone 
in doing something that might eventually 
end their life. 

Fucking liars! 

But guess what, 
I still have to be professional and treat them like everyone else
Give them the best care possible. 
But at least i can put save my empathy for someone 
who actually deserves it


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