Being a doctor is not easy, never thought it was. Right from the beginning of getting admission to medical school and working my way up to a senior GP has been fun, challenging, hectic and full of uncertainties. That is what has made my life super exciting. Everyday is new, every patient presents with a new issue. I will not complain of my job even when there is always something negative in the press.
What I have realised is that there is a lot of pain that people are living with. A spouse dies leaving the partners completely destroyed. I sit and help them to cry. Left alone is not what they had envisaged. They can’t go dancing or shopping or golf or holidays. Their children live faraway and the only place they are confident to let out their feelings is with their GP. Sometimes a cup of tea in the corridor and sitting with our care champion, is a great way to let them feel comforted in the midst of a busy morning. The pain of loneliness is a lot to cope with.
Younger people have the pain of shame, guilt, not earning enough and so many other things going through them. Sometimes relationship issues, sometimes job, sometimes kids, financial in this day and age is taking a toll. I can do food vouchers but it hurts to think people need this. Sicknotes or fit notes as we call them these days helps to a certain extent and we do it all the time. Signpost them for counselling, sometimes starting medication can also help. There is a lot of help out there and we need to channel the patients in the right direction.
Not to forget the physical pain which is also too much for people to handle and so we come up with things like physiotherapy and medication. This objective pain may seem more real because one can see the x-ray and plaster cast but for the patient it is sometimes a double edged sword alongside the side effects of the drugs. More over opioids come with addiction potential due to which patients may not take it to the full potential and may still keep suffering.
I want to tell you my path as a doctor when I handle all this physical, emotional and mental pain of others. What do you think happens to my mind? I howl and sob at my patients plight quite often because I am helpless with them. I complain to the authorities when I can be bothered because I know the bureaucracy of the system and the blame game around the world. I sit with my peers and discuss any way out for patients in a safe way. I bring my problems home with me and check with my family if they have any solutions, my husband is also a GP which helps. I think GPs have to work hard to not get sucked in the sadness around them. They could wallow in it all day and get totally swallowed up in it.
Some days this blogsite is a let out for me and after reflecting here it helps me a lot. I try to keep myself happy and keep going.