Musings From The OT: The Surgeon. (Housejob Diaries)

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Sleight of hand, sharpness of wits. Blood stained, sweaty browed, stiff necked, he stands. Yet he stands upright. Stance firm, piloting up to four instruments at a time.

The surgeon, almost arrogantly confident, always a little too loud, always sure of himself. So much so, that you can’t help but wonder whether it is in fact blind certainty, or a facade to mask any lingering doubts. His decision is absolute.

Hands plunged deep inside an cavity, searching, rearranging. The vibrations of the operating table jolt me back to my senses. A reminder that that’s in fact a human being, under the drapery and bloodstains. A realisation, that what he’s doing is no less than assisting the work of God himself.

 

“As a surgeon you have to have a controlled arrogance. If it’s uncontrolled, you kill people, but you have to be pretty arrogant to saw through a person’s chest, take out their heart and believe you can fix it. Then, when you succeed and the patient survives, you pray, because it’s only by the grace of God that you get there.”
– Mehmet

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Five People In My Life I’m Grateful For

 

…and what I learned from them.

 

The Unexpected Companion. 

The person who you’re lucky enough to cross paths with at the outset of an adventure and who sticks by you throughout the journey. They help coax you out of your shell, by their mere example and just the thing you need to push you out of your comfort zone. A person who, by virtue of their inner strength, show that an emotional display isn’t necessarily emotional vulnerability. You learn to read them, and they, you. Having weathered the same struggles, you remain allies for long after you’ve parted ways.

 

The Teacher.

The person whose logic and calming presence puts you back in the right place. A person who is a place to recalibrate your thoughts and feelings, almost slightly scaring you with the accuracy of their perception. A person whose silence speaks louder than their words, the volumes of which, astound you. They give you the patience and dedication that you didn’t know you deserved, and in turn, teach you to do the same for those who matter.

 

The Confidante.

The person with whom you don’t discuss the frivolous day to day, but things with depth and intertwined with such emotion that you would never dare to air in from to anyone else. Someone in front of whom your flaws are safe, and openness is the only way you know how to communicate. The person who teaches you acceptance, most importantly of yourself. Trust is key, and you can lay out your deepest darkest secrets, without hesitation or fear of judgment.

 

The Foil.

The person who isn’t quite like you, but in being different teach you to be a little more yourself. Or rather who unlock parts of you that you  never knew you had and just let it be. Who oil the hinges on your squeaky, awkward and let things move easily. They see the lighter side of things. Their strength lies in the fact that they’re someone for whom companionship matters, reminding you it matter for you too.

 

The Cheerleader.

The person who teaches you that to love and to rejoice in life are not outfits to be saved for special occasions, but something to bask in such that it shines through your being. They show you the importance of acknowledging your emotions, but greater still, to put up a smiling face against what the world throws at you.

 

 

 

Another post about Death.

Death is the ultimate natural disaster.

Mourners, wracked by the tremors of devastation, are momentarily devoid of reason. Some numb, some inconsolabe; all having lost something valuable beyond words. Friends and family stand at the edge of a chasm where a person once was; a gaping fissure in the landscape of their lives.

We grab our loved ones by the shoulders, or we hold their faces in our hands, and look into their eyes imploringly. Are you okay? Are you okay? We scan their bodies for scratches and other signs of harm. Seeing them intact brings us relief.

What’s done is done, so why do we do this? To look for that spark, for evidence that life is still there? Or with hope, that in reflection, we see that we still exist?
Next, some are moved to action, while others suffer a delayed reaction. Food, comfort and various arrangements; all are given priority. In the meanwhile, and a bit too late, word spreads. The damage is done; not even a blip in the radar of the globe. A momentary distraction, maybe. An uttered tsking or muttered prayer.

Then. Lives are rebuilt. Routines are reconstructed to the best of our resources. Life, not even the slightest bit ruffled by Death’s insult, goes on. The crevasse gives way to undergrowth, becoming less of an eye sore and more of a precaution, a wayward reminder. The void, while obscured, is always there.

 

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Procrastination, Purgatory and the Pee-Yew

Exam season always feels like a sort of purgatory, between what we’ve been working for and what we’re hoping to achieve. The days leading up to the exams themselves turn into a listless monotony, that I’m forced to push myself through. While the overall aim is to be productive, something I wouldn’t say I’m failing at, my mind feels like sludge. I can’t help but find myself to be unthinking, almost robotic in my daily machinations.

It’s not that I haven’t allowed myself much introspection lately, but such is the curse of the med student, that when we do finally decide to get studying, it leaves little room for much else (thoughts and social engagement likewise). Rather, I have these little moments of self awareness. It’s like realisation in a dream that this is not, in fact, reality. The opposite would be more accurate, I suppose.

At 12.45 pm, lifting my third cup of tea of the day to my lips, I shuffle the pages before me and suppress another yawn. Half submerged in a blanket (I study in bed, yes, a terrible habit), I pause. Since the recent earthquakes in Afghanistan, I’ve been feeling (hallucinating, rather) the ground shaking at odd moments, a paranoia my loved ones have chalked up to anxiety, which I grudgingly agree to (it feels so real!). How can it not be strange and alarming to me that anxiety can manifest in such a way, when I’m not actually anxious (yet)?

In the evening, watching the sky change colour, I refresh my Facebook feed yet again, hopefully. It’s 17.15 pm as I listen to the azaans, some in tandem, other echoing each other. I happen to be in search of a date sheet; an as of yet unfulfilled promise by the University of the Punjab (or PU). This annual proverbial tug of war, between our queries and their vague responses, is something we’ve become used to. It makes us tense, and lull us into a false sense of security in alternations. The exams that we’re so fervently preparing for are apparently fast approaching, though without a deadline, we’re left working on estimations and guesses. Frustrated, I bat closed the window I’d left open, despite the cold. What is is about the chill that keeps you in your toes, yet turns you into a lethargic fool?

It’s 3.30 am and I’m scraping the bottom of a jar of peanut butter with pieces of biscuit that may or may not be stale, though at the speed I’m shovelling them into my mouth, this doesn’t seem to matter anyway. I love this time of night.

Despite how much I have or haven’t studied, at this hour I can close up shop; that is to say, chuck my books aside and just give up. I’m aware that doesn’t sound very motivational, but hear me out. There is solace in the fact that to stop before I reach my breaking point is a choice that is solely mine. And to start again, requires no motivation except my own.

Till then, I get to escape in sleep; that elusive mistress, adored by many yet obtained by fewer. The impertinent voice in the back of my head attempts to reel off all I have yet to do, but I swat it away as I bury myself under the covers.

Tomorrow’s a new day, after all. I’ll worry about it when it comes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I just realised I wrote  a blog post about two years ago, which is quite similar to this one! I suppose exam season feels the same every year.

Change and Other Clichés

20140619_232826 Looking in the mirror, I reapplied my lipstick, ran my hand through my hair a final time, now satisfied.

“Change is the only constant in life” -Heraclitus

While change is something that is always happening, the last two years have brought such a turn for me, which I can’t help but reflect on. I wouldn’t quite call it 180°… 120° or 130° maybe? Anyway, I’m convinced that my younger self wouldn’t be able to recognize, and would possibly despise the person I am now. I’ve managed to find myself saying, doing, wearing and various-other-verbs-ing things I never dreamed I would. Continue reading “Change and Other Clichés”

On Setbacks.

BiochemSucks

 

Good God, I thought, taking in the scene before me. A sizeable mass was covered by the floral quilt on the bed, moving only slightly. I noted sardonically the surrounding food boxes and empty junk food wrappers; tragedy stricken though she was, her appetite didn’t seem to have gone anywhere.  Amidst tissues, used and unused, lay a few textbooks. At least she hasn’t rendered herself completely useless, I was relieved to see.

Continue reading “On Setbacks.”