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On a bus.

Anatomic Pathology. How did I end up here? One lazy morning on June, jobless, TV show-less, I decided to come to the campus, you know, for the WiFi (Kampus A really has the best internet connection). I downloaded few episodes & save offline-d as many YouTube video as I could (I was struggling with the 64gb memory, how could people live with 16gb?). I was about to leave when I saw Mutia and a bunch of my friends came in. We haven’t seen each other for weeks because of the UKMPPD & we talked for a while. The inevitable “so, what are you doing during this free time?” question popped up. I poured out my thought & worries to Mutia (shout out to Mutia, if you’re reading). She then remembered that dr. An Sp.PA(K) has contacted her multiple times & asked for her help on the department’s accreditation. She wasn’t really interested and ended up offering me this job. I had zero experience on accreditation and at that time I felt like I was battling my own self, should I take this job? What if what if what if. There’s always room for what if, believe me. No matter how full and jumbled my head was.

Saying yes was a big leap for me.

This department has its own pull and I fall in love. The people are super warm and very welcoming. I was a total stranger, who came along in the middle of a very busy accreditation preparation, yet they made me feel at home. The work place, the dynamic between supervisors & PPDS, the microscopes! I’m in awe. Helping on the accreditation process means administrative works, but I ain’t complaining. I get to be in this comfy bubble, away from my worries, and get paid. They also include us in some PA-related activities, like lokakarya, seminar, & pengabdian masyarakat. A week ago they let us tag along in one of their biggest pengabdian masyarakat in Pamekasan. We did breast exam, pap-smear, Q&A session, with over 100 participants. On the way home I couldn’t stop smiling. It felt warm to be a part of something. Seriously I couldn’t be more grateful.

I’m always interested in subjects like Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology, Microbiology, etc., & watching it with my own eyes, I’ve never been so sure.

I want this.

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Flicker.

I’ve never felt this content. Weekends have never been this bright and cheerful. I had my dark & gloomy days before this revelation. The transition from being a very busy medstudent with crystal clear goal (getting pass through the UKMPPD) to a jobless fresh graduate, was hard. We’re doctors now, but we legally can’t do anything, because we don’t have any permits, yet. We have to wait til the end of the year for the internship program to start, and we’re left with 6 months of doing nothing. Some of my friends get creative. They work illegally at small clinics, sometimes hospital (I was like, where do you find the courage). I’m not against it (some people are), because we’re technically qualified. It’s the courage that I don’t have. 

Watching my friends pushed the boundaries and took any opportunity they got, while I just sat here, enjoying life, and getting fat, I panicked. Big time. I panicked because at that time I felt like everybody else’s moving forward. They’re doing something. Thanks to my deluded brain, I felt worthless, once again. Social media only sent my life into deeper & darker hole. Pictures & videos of other people making the most of their lives, walking from clinic to clinic, doing charity, with the snelli on…. Dreadful.

I came to a conclusion that in order to calm my nerve, I had to experience the so called “jaga klinik”. For the sake of my sanity. The opportunity came from one of my friends, Nanda. She offered me to shadow her for few days, to get the hang of things. She knew I had to familiarize myself with the surroundings, know where the place of every equipment, who’s who, and how the clinic operated. (Shout out to your never ending patience, Nanda, if you’re reading). When I was brave enough, Nanda kindly gave me her Saturday shift for me to cover. It was a small clinic with around 5 to 10 patients per day (very few patients compared to other clinics my friends worked in. See I’m always comparing, that’s why I can’t live in peace smh). The cases were mostly simple, flu, fever, gastrointestinal related problems, wound care, etc., and they often held a kind of charity for the community. The people were nice, too nice, the working hour was okay, and the fee was fair (90k per 7 hour). But I wasn’t happy. I spent friday nights googling the content of every medicine the clinic had. I tried to memorize the measurements, while my brain kept making crazy scenarios, I tried to push it aside. Weekend had become so stressful, because I kept anticipating, what kind of weird cases would I get today? What if I didn’t know how to treat the patient at all? What if  what if what if… Lots of the usual, stupid, disabiliting what ifs. When in reality nothing remotely close to emergency ever happened, and I somehow always managed to work on the diagnosis & treatment. 

Then I questioned myself, what was it that I was actually after? Is it money? I needed money but thank God I wasn’t desperate for it, (having two parents with economic background, they forced us (me & my sis) to make account & save up more than half of our pocket money each month). Is it for social purpose? Helping out people? Hmm not really. Is it to grow and expand my knowledge of medicine? This should be the one, but sadly I didn’t have much interest in clinical medicine. So it didn’t matter. Is it for social status? Well, there’s always that, but that wasn’t my main goal. Besides, I wasn’t socializing much. Is it self-actualization? Ding ding ding. I realize that I needed to prove to my neurotic self that I was able. That I was as qualified as my other friends. That, despite my anxiety, I still can function. Because the simple “I don’t like doing that” wasn’t reasonable enough to satisfy myself. Twisted ‘innit? The thing my funny brain made me do. 

So I let it go. I no longer work in the clinic. And that’s the most stupid, but probably the best decision I’ve ever made. I finally get to enjoy the free days I’ve been longing since clinical round began. I make peace with myself. And what do I do now? Another opportunity came from my friend Mutia. She offered me to intern in the Department of Anatomic Pathology. 

And that’s another story to tell 😉