February 26, 2013

Decibel fatigue

I've been filling my ears with sound lately: the TV has been going constantly while I study as a little white noise to keep my brain occupied.  Or, in the car, I listen to music or NPR as I drive to school and the hospital.  In the shower, I pick out an artist and listen to music.  On the weekends, I have a list of podcasts that I inhale while I do the dishes or other chores.

I've been filling my ears with so much sound that sometimes I forget to just sit and have quiet.  I realized that it's made it hard to write: I haven't had any nooks or crannies in my subconscious mind for little ideas to take root. 

I also haven't had much impetus to write.  I have actually actively disliked this rotation (first time this year!), which is a weird feeling but also reassuring.  I was starting to worry that I would like everything a little and that nothing was truly a strong "fit." But now, I can say with confidence: I will not become an anesthesiologist.  No way, no how.  I'm really glad we have this rotation though--it's amazing to think about what they do while surgeons go to work on the other side of the sterile drapes.  Patients' lives are in the hands of an anesthesiologist far more than they really are in the hands of the surgeon: yes, of course, a surgeon could easily make an error that could cost someone their life.  Anesthesiologists, however, literally push the limits of physiology on a daily basis.  They fidget with their monitors and dials to fine-tune someone's blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and heart rate during an operation, all the while remaining on the alert for the Worst Case Scenario.  To me, remaining forever at the ready (while most cases go well, which means long stretches of excruciating boredom) makes anesthesiology an awful mix of high-intensity pressure and slack-jawed emptiness.  I completely appreciate what they do, but it is not for me.

So much the better!  Now I can cross at least one thing off the list.  Okay, really two things--I guess I already crossed off Internal Medicine & its subspecialties as soon as I started surgery.

I already feel better.  I need to practice meditation and quiet mindfulness more...the constant auditory stimulation has been a self-imposed drain and I never realized it until I took it away.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it's a sign we're "growing up". I agree, I've really disliked family med, to the point that I dread going to clinic in the morning, but at the same time it's easy to see what some people love about it, the huge job they have as an advocate for patients, and how hard and important their job actually is. -Mimi