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Blog Entries from Bolletje

  1. A change of scenery. Also, depression.

    Apologies all around, it has been forever since I posted last. A lot has happened in the last few months, which made me a little lax on the updates. When I last wrote, I had called in sick from my job because I couldn't cope with the ridiculous hours and bad working conditions. I took two weeks off to get some breathing room, then went back to work. This lasted for one day, after which I realized I just couldn't do it anymore. It was a hard decision because I loved my work, my patients and...
  2. Success and struggles

    It's been a while since my last post. All has been well on the studying front, but life has been hard as well. I've made it through my internship. I spent eleven consecutive weeks in med school without calling in sick once. I got good grades, great reviews, my mentor told me he'd love to help me apply for a job at his department and, last but not least, I loved being back at the hospital. But (and it's a big BUT) it's not all kittens and rainbows. As mentioned in my earlier posts, my...
  3. A coming out of sorts.

    It's been a few weeks since I officially received my medical license and swore the Hippocratic oath. At our graduation ceremony, we were each asked to prepare a short speech detailing something about our time as a med student that stood out for us personally. I don't do well with preparing speeches, I prefer to be spontaneous. But in the days leading up to my ceremony I spent a lot of time wondering. Would it be appropriate for me to mention my depression? Am I going to mention being on the...
  4. A glimmer of hope.

    It's been a month since my last update, which was rather bleak. A lot has happened in the mean time. For one, I started seeing a psychiatric nurse and a psychologist at my local health care crisis center. Usually wait lists are up to 8 months here, but I had the mixed blessing of being so acutely suicidal that I applied for an emergency referral, which means I had to get an appointment within a week. Which I did. Since I was so zombified from antidepressants, I was switched to...
  5. Unexpected little nuggets of wisdom

    People have a habit of giving advice when you really didn't ask them for it. Most of the times it's pretty redundant or even patronizing advice, but this was different. I worked a late shift together with someone I hadn't spoken to before. It was just the two of us in the office. Because it was a slow night, we had some time to chat, and when I told her about my hopes for a future in this workplace she told me this: "You're pretty quiet. In this society, where everyone always talks even if...
  6. I am exhausted.

    As promised, another update, just a little later than I had planned. I've been working as a doctor for nearly two months now, and I love my job. I honestly couldn't imagine anything more fulfilling, at the end of the day. But it is draining as hell. Ask any honest doctor about their first few months of practicing, and they'll vividly recall being terrified, exhausted, and devoid of any social life. That's pretty much where I'm at right now. I haven't hung out with any of my friends in well...
  7. Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?

    I'm anxious today. My short holiday is coming to an end, and tomorrow marks the day I'll be starting my final internship before graduating med school. I've been very excited about this, but ever so insidiously, The Fear started creeping in over the past few days. Maybe it's because I've been inside the house for too long. Maybe it's because I got ridiculously drunk last week. Maybe it's because I'm still not sure whether I should disclose my Aspergers to my colleagues. Whatever the reason,...
  8. Being me is exhausting sometimes.

    Time for another update! I'm nearing the end of this internship, and nearing the end of my time as a student. This fall, I'll have my medical license. I can't wait for the moment I finally get to call myself a doctor. Things are looking up, I'm getting great performance reviews and I get tons of compliments on my knowledge and work ethos. So why am I not happy? Because Someone said Something. I told the head of the department how much I love working here, and how much I'd love to stay. I...
  9. A touch of psychosis and another diagnosis.

    In keeping with the December theme, I figured I'd go with a rhyming title ;) Time for another update! Since my last update, my recovery from depression was going rather well. I wasn't depressed anymore, feeling better and less bleak, although I still didn't really feel like myself yet. And because life is full of little surprises, a month ago I experienced a brief psychotic break out of the blue. It was frightening, because I was very much aware that something was wrong with me, and I wanted...
  10. Exhausted and proud: part one.

    Delivered as promised: a new update! It's written in two parts. One written 10 days ago before my night shifts, one written today after working the graveyard shift 7 nights in a row. Part two should follow later today. I've been adjusting really well at the hospital. Before my night shifts, I worked on the same ward for a few weeks and really felt at home. I liked the staff, liked the patients, worked my ass off and felt happy for it. On my last day on that ward, the late shift nurses...
  11. Exhausted and proud: part two

    So, part two of my post. A few hours ago, I got home after working my first series of night shifts. 7 nights in a row, just me and a surgical intern to keep the hospital running between midnight and 8 AM. It's been terrifying, exciting, humbling and incredibly invigorating all at once. But mostly exhausting. In the last few months I was happy to have finally settled into a regular sleep cycle, but that all went overboard last week. Sleeping during the daytime just doesn't work for me, so I...
  12. First day back at uni

    I found my first gray hair today. I'm turning 31 in a few days. And today's the day I'm going back to university. After dropping out due to depression for the umpteenth time two years ago, I never thought this day would come, yet here it is. To say I'm nervous is an understatement. I had a fitful night full of weird dreams (including Optimus Prime, who apparently has a personal vendetta against me, turning into a cab and driving me far far away from my university building instead of...
  13. Ghosts of failures past

    So, yesterday I rebooted my medical career with a huge intimidating test. I left home way too early, so I had to stand outside the building in the freezing cold for 15 minutes because the doors weren't open yet. I knew no-one and as more people entered the stress and noise were getting to me. I felt a panic attack coming on, but did my breathing exercises and waited. It turned out that, through no fault of mine, I hadn't been registered for the test, so I had to fix that on the spot. More...
  14. I survived my first week!

    Well, the title pretty much says it all. I made it through my first week back in med school without any major problems. I attended all the classes, did all my assignments, found out most of my knowledge was just dormant instead of gone. My major thought this week was: Why was this so hard for me the first time around? Five years ago I never made it through the week without skipping at least one class. I constantly felt overwhelmed, couldn't stomach being around my fellow students, felt...
  15. Onwards!

    Another week has gone by, and it has gone by well. I got the results of my Super Important Test back, and I passed. So that's awesome :D I'm really looking forward to going back into the hospital to treat patients. Only two weeks from now! But first I have some more lectures to attend and tests to pass. As my next test gets closer, my schedule gets more and more packed and my stress levels increase. So far, it's a healthy dose of stress that allows me to thrive. I decided to quit smoking...
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