Personal blog

2017…. you have been good to me!

(Personal pictures; london trip)

So I am back to the UK after a long vacation at home. I start work tomorrow. Fresh new start!

This has been such an exciting year for me. Honestly almost all the good things happened within these 365 days. Here goes my list…

(Marine drive beach, Mumbai)

(Best moments of 2017, personal pics)

Dreams, goals and wins:

1. Certified Anaesthesiologist. Completed my training and passed the exams.

2. Gold medalist. Completely unexpected. I secured 1st position in the university. My parents were proud and accepted the medal on my behalf.

3. My dream. I moved to the UK for work! It has always been my dream job.

4. I introduced the love of my life to my parents. (Its a big deal in India!)

5. Financial savings. Until now I had saved nothing.

6. I travelled, although within UK.

7. I bought a couple of bags I always wanted. (I am a little bit materialistic.. lol)

8. I met and socialised with most of my family members and friends. It was amazing because I have always missed out on this. This year I made special efforts.

9. I started a blog! I had given up on writing since almost 6 years.

10. I met a wonderful person. I have very few friends, but those are the people I love with all of my heart. I made a new friend this year who joined my inner circle. I count this as one of the best wins.

(Personal pics; England country side)

Aspirations, hopes and plans:

1. To complete FRCA exams.

2. To travel, travel and travel. As much as possible and within my means.

3. To get married!! Well its a little bit complicated.

4. To be a good person. Seriously!

5. Health. To exercise regularly and eat clean.

6. To dedicate my time for myself and my family.

Too many hopes and dreams.

This year has been exceptionally kind towards me. I woke up feeling happy this morning.

Well I plan to spend new years eve with a few of my friends at home. Life is unpredictable.

(Thailand vacation)

Live in this moment. Be happy. Let go of the past.

These are cliches…. but that’s what life is made up of…

I wish you all a very happy and blessed new year. Cheers!

Personal blog

The day I saved a life….

Its almost the end of 2017. I had one of my usual brooding moments, introspecting everything I have done and failed to do. Thinking hard about a bucket list I had stashed away.

I jogged my memory to find some adventure that I accomplished. Somehow even river rafting did not quite fit the bill. To be honest I have not travelled much except for education or work. And then it came to me.

So the most exciting and fulfilling thing I ever did was, I saved a life!

I was into my second year of training. Was posted in the cardiac catheterization lab. Routine cardiac stenting was going on. I was hungry and desperately waiting for my lunch break. Thats when I heard the code blue.

As I rushed into one of the suites, a woman in her 40s was on the operating table, gasping for breath. Clearly the procedure was complicated and one of the blood vessel supplying the heart had been punctured. There were no seniors around. As an Anaesthesiologist I immediately stood at the head end. I was terrified. The cardiologists immediately started chest compressions.

I had an adrenaline rush. And being newly ACLS educated, I started what I supposed to do. I supported her with oxygen. After 3 rounds of chest compressions there was very little hope. And then her venous line access came off. We had no way of administering drugs. I decided to take charge. I handed the airway management to one of my colleagues and immediately established an access on her foot.

Once access was in, drugs given and I could intubate her. So she was adequately oxygenated. And meanwhile we got a pulse. So we attached inotropes (medicines to increase heart activity and help maintain blood pressure). Cardiologist decided to shift her to ICU, and on the way she dropped her blood pressure again. I rushed to the foot end and lifted both her legs up. (To increase blood flow to heart). It kind of helped.

We came back and resumed rest of the cases.

A week later I went to the ICU to check on some other patient. And there she was, sitting upright on the bed, having her meal and talking to her son.

It was that moment, one of the greatest moments in my life. I contributed to saving a life. I was part of the team. Nothing can beat that feeling.

Its our job profile. I know. But I feel blessed to be a part of this process.

No matter how many adventures I embark upon in the future, it will always be one of my greatest.

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Nomadic stability

A place for my head to rest…

I shall be going home soon for a short vacation and I am certainly thrilled. Its been six months since I moved to UK and getting adapted to the chilly weather has been quite Herculian task for me. Being from a tropical country, I am quite a beach person.

In the past 11 years I have lived in 3 different cities. Mostly the hostel life as a part of medical training.

I have never owned any piece of furniture. However I love browsing through online or in malls and dream about how I would be designing my own space someday. Technically I still live with my parents, but my room and space has been taken over by my sibling.

My parents are extremely supportive in whatever I choose to do. In the culture that I grew up in a girl transitions from her parents’ house to husband’s. Well I am midway.

I cannot predict the future. Given my zest for education, it could take me anywhere. The idea of stability scares me in terms of life becoming too mundane. But keeping aside my fears, I do wish to own my space, a place that would represent calm in the chaos that surround me. A place I can eventually transform into a home.Well certainly that’s something I would be looking forward in the upcoming new year.

Home is where the heart is.

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Relative(s) rebellion

My tryst with social norms.

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I have grown up in a fairly modern Indian family. Having completed my medical school and specialist training in India, I moved abroad for further fellowship exams. My parents have been very supportive of my journey so far although my mother does worry about her ‘29 years old single daughter’.

My relatives and friends have always been very concerned about me. Well sometimes their concern overflows!

When you show up for a family event;

1. Everyone is surprised that you were able to make it inspite of your busy schedule. (Other people have jobs too, not just doctors!)

2. You are very pleasently questioned as to what have you contributed in this particular family event eg. cooking, decorations, shopping etc etc

3. Why do you have to go back to work the very next day?

4. The advice: being career oriented is fine, what about family life? Date a nice guy and settle down soon and have lots of kids before your biological clock ticks.

5. You can put in a central line, but can you cook as well?

6. The comparisons. When your cousins are married and well settled. Why can’t you do the same?

When you don’t show up;

1. She is always working. She never has time for the family. No respect.

2. She gives her job way too much importance.

3. She has crossed her ‘marriageable’ age.

4. Her parents are not bothered about her.

I do miss out on family events. I am never updated on family front. But I do try my best to be as involved as possible. Medicine is not about money or just a job to me. Its my passion. I am yet to strike the right balance.

They love you when you are gone, yet hate to see you leave…..

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The good, bad and ugly of medicine!

5133CD42-91A1-43C8-9013-2365FE6586FE.jpegIf only studying and practising medicine was enough to be appreciated for all the hard work and unsocial hours that go into it! Here comes the good, bad and ugly of it.

Well to summarise my journey, graduated medical school and followed it by my dream to specialise further. Too many many options to choose from, however limited by the entrance exams and rank based allocation of specialities. So I settled for my second favourite, Perioperative medicine.

As I entered into a tertiary care centre to start my residency, I met my new colleagues. All brand new medical school graduates. I was so thrilled to be a part of that group. So we go out as a group for dinner and introductions begin. Well if only names and native places were enough! We all had to be introduced as, myself so and so, scored these many marks in entrance exams, chose this speciality and graduated in this specific year. Well to be precise what that introduction meant was, “I am Ms Abc, I am intelligent enough to clear exams on my 1st attempt and smart enough to get into this speciality and that gives me a right to lord over all you less intelligent people”. Cool, isn’t it?

All throughout residency We learnt to prove how our respective specialities are better than others, how we contribute the most to patient care and so how we should earn more than others. And this attitude continues in professional practice as well. I am sure many will agree with me.

And I dared to learn intensive care and as predicted I was shot down by them as well. As if I wasn’t qualified enough to handle emergency patients ( well I specialize in acute perioperative medicine!) I had moments when I doubted myself whether I have turned out to be a good physician.

Eventually I struggled and achieved my dream job. And couldn’t be happier.

There is no good, bad or ugly in medicine. Every person involved in patient care contributes a great deal. Every speciality is designed to deal with specific aspects. We should all learn to respect that.

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love for humanity” – Hippocrates.

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Laws of attraction…

Its been a long long time since my last post.. Got busy with a few presentation and emergency duties…

Well this topic is not very ‘enlightening’!

To begin with the story, I met Sam (not the real name, of course!) when I was working last year. He was senior to me. The day I met him I was blown away. Not by his looks, by his personality, intelligence, style, nature and yes his looks. Sam has that kind of effect on everyone around him.

To me he was a greek god, whom I admired relentlessly. And hello! I am a Leo, headstrong and not so easily impressed! Also I am 29, so not so dreamy about guys. And to top it off I was in a relationship with a guy I love to death.

All my colleagues used to surround him every single day to chat about patients and everything else. And I desperately wanted to be a part of that group. I tried to initial resist the charms, but eventually gave in. People used to often ask me as to why do I blush around him, but then every female did the same. Oh god when he used to walk in the hospital every morning, so radiant, with a big smile on his face. On rounds, he used to teach us and explain all our doubts. He was the only person interested and capable of teaching us. So basically I admired him.

And sadly he left our hospital in 4 months. That was the last I would see of him. We bid him farewell with a heavy heart.

So then it began. We started texting each other. Just normal routine stuff like hospital gossips initially, later our likes dislikes. I didn’t quite realize when I developed an attraction towards him. To be very honest it was more of an intellectual attraction more than physical. I started texting him more often and he reciprocated as well. He began sending me his pictures and I bombarded him with compliments. He did reveal a little bit of his emotional side as well. I was happy to have him talk to me on a daily basis.

And then suddenly it stopped. Like it just came to a halt. I was puzzled. I was too proud to text him and ask. I was too proud to ask an explanation. I tried to forget him. But to be very honest he was stuck in my mind. He was always there in the background.

After a few months he spoke to me on social media, and these thoughts just came all back to me. Why did he stop talking? Why do I have this insane attraction even after 9 months? Why do I obsessively keep checking his social media?

I am not in love with him and I am sure of that. All I need is some closure….

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Vision, mission and my aggression!

The beginnings..

I have two words for you. Indian girl.

Career, life, finding a decent husband etc etc all choices are dominated by parents. Right from an early childhood the importance of being a doctor (noble profession) was reinforced on me.

At 14 being a full time student and part time leo, I found a new passion. Literature. Being a voracious reader and having a new found love for writing, I set my sights on the best college in the city of Mumbai.

Although there was a different blueprint of my career in making by my father. I distinctly remember the day I was summoned by him and before me lay the three year concrete plan that would lead me into the field of medicine, Oh that plan! It included how I had to be dedicated and disciplined in my studies, travel miles to attend expensive classes, cut off time with friends and yes the very important aspect, “no mingling with boys”.

My dad has surgically excised my love for literature with the very famous old adage, “it was my dream to be a doctor and due to lack of resources could not fulfil it, so its you who should do so”.

And so began my journey, endless classes, no boyfriends, lack of social life and sights set on a prestigious medical school.

All was well until I faced my worst enemy, the medical entrance exams!

David vs Goliath or more like thousands competing for a handful of medicine seats.

All was well until I fell in love…………..

(to be continued in next part)