The so called internship finally starts. My anxiety level was off the chart & my instinct told me to flee many days ago. Save yourself you stupid mutt!!! But I didn’t (what choice did I have honestly, my mum could disown me). So I packed my bag for Madiun with my heart racing & bile rising everytime I ticked the list of ‘things I need to survive’ (including various amount of body shop lotions, perfumes, soaps, artificial plants, etc). I arrived at Madiun with a heavy heart but I still made a decent amount of time to decorate my room. The room I’m going to come home to, toss & turn & cry in, for the next 365 days. I put up warm tumblr light, photos, daily inspiring-non patronizing-made by true survivors of depression & anxiety- quotes, set up my speaker, put artificial plant & stuffed animal on every corner, and set the air freshener machine on –now my room smells like lavender & vanilla. I’d settle for no less.
Orientation days weren’t hard. We practically just sat in a room for hours, listening to basic topic like infection prevention, health insurance policy, the art of prescribing & discussing daily schedule during internship. On the third day my nightmare began. I got orthopedic as my first round, and as someone who’s not really into surgical lab I was helpless. Being in the outpatient clinic round means you have to come early in the morning (4/5 am) to do visite in all the wards & write down SOAP. The amount of the patient varies from 10 to 30 in each stase. I don’t really mind the early hour. It’s the feeling of helplessness in the clinic that I loathe. The supervisor’s rarely there & the responsibility of treating the patient (who have-specialty-competency-diseases) falls on dokter iship. A GP (general practitioner). For a non worrier it’s simple, just use the last therapy written on the medical record, prescribe exactly the same thing- with the same dose, then send them home. But for a doctor who has anxiety disorder it’s helpless. What if the disease progresses, what if I make the wrong decision by sending them home, the supervisors put so much trust –the amount of trust I don’t dare giving to my old self –on our inexperienced hands it’s overwhelming. I have the knowledge, but knowing and actually treating a patient ‘s not the same. I feel useless, stupid, worthless, like 6 years of medschool meant nothing. God I’m freaking out over outpatient clinic rotation, how’s my state of mind gonna be in the ER round good God have mercy.
Thousands internal battles later, I made it out alive, one day at a time. No one died. No complaints from the patients were made. They still smile at me the same, still shake my hand & say thank you. I have this one post operation ortho patient who -just out of the blue mentioned that her torso has been very itchy for a while. Out of worry (WHAT IF SHE’S ALLERGIC TO THE ANTIBIOTIC) I examined her. And there it was, the red dots lining up like Christmas tree on her back. I was almost sure that it’s Pytiriasis rosea. Feeling like I was very lacking in the ortho department, I decided to redeem myself & spent a fair amount of time explaining about it’s etiology, clinical presentation, & treatment choices. But still, I had to refer her to a dermatologist; the procedure dictated so. I wrote down the consultation sheet with my early assessment, hands shaking with excitement because FINALLY, for the first time in 3 torturous orthopedic days; I felt useful. I felt like crying when she thanked me with that genuine tone & smile.
Mind tricks. Ain’t no rest for the wicked aka my own manipulative mind. Future looks grim in a blink of an eye, then when I feel like I’m on my lowest point & wondering what am I doing with my life, what kind of useless, unworthy doctor I am, small moments like that bring a little light in this dark, inevitable tunnel I’ve been trapped in.
Mind tricks mind tricks. Ain’t no rest for the wicked.