What a Day…Of Patients, Passion, and Striking ‘d Balance!

When we received an invitation encouraging us to work daily for the next 2-3 weeks, one day following a personal invitation to sacrifice my weekly day off (which is not even a weekend, but a mere weekday!) …and as the Mother of all Horrors, seeing my appointment book opened not only for tomorrow, but every single Thursday of this month – I was upset! I haven’t responded to the invitation yet…and just because I volunteered to work last Thursday, doesn’t mean I would volunteer for a whole month!

Speak of paksarela!

I worked continuously in October, and then again in November…just to safe on annual leave – history proved that working 21 days in a row (even when it was 14 days in a row) made me lethargic, grumpy, snappy, and just a horrible person overall – who just wants to Sleep whenever possible! Any wonder why I have been losing weight persistently in the past months…sighhh.
And my optimism ran very very low during those days. It took me breaks – planned & unplanned to rejuvenate & regain myself.

So, I made a promise to myself not to work on any of my Thursdays come new year…for at least the first 3 months! But right at the end of January itself, I broke that promise – just to make up for the MC that I took. And knowing 2 doctors were away during the time…
I definitely regretted voluntering for last Thursday, out of my goodwill – for the greater good of the team!!!


And so, after the past few weeks of cancelled Wednesday meetings post holiday season…it resumed today. After 2 hours plus and realizing my appointment (for not only tomorrrow, but all the Thursdays for the whole of February) was open…I was just feeling de-spirited.
I know I have to voice out.

Followed by hearing a sad news.

And as I resumed my day professionally by performing a home visit pre-work, even that became a drama! Pray that patient is okay…completely caught me off guard – for what was supposedly a simple injection administration – patient was unwell – just so happened to be.


I have to thank my patients for making me laugh today. Ohhhhh…the questions they ask! *wink*

So, this couple whom I suspected inhaled some laughing gas today (nahh…they just found something very funny on tv at the waiting room) was laughing at almost everything. They either found something I said funny, or were themselves cracking jokes.

After the consultation and discussions were over, there I was performing a procedure…which gave us ample time to chat, and among the things:

–  I joked about always carrying a lighter around…as I whisked it out of my bag for the procedure.

– They asked my age, which for once backfired when I tried to play the guessing game!
37 yo? I definitely welcomed the 31 yo guess.
After all the others’ which mostly averaged around 25yo… 37? *ouch*

– Doctor, are you married?
– When are you getting married?
– Do you have a boyfriend?

– What are your days off? Ohhh…you work almost everyday!
And your weekend work hours?

Pt – Do you even go out? Just to have fun?
Me – Sometimes…erm… rarely – busy, & getting too old :p
Pt – It is a tough job eh…you working till midnight and every weekend too.
Me – Not too bad, coz I love my job 😀 (and I truly said it with a big grin) I have the job satisfaction…though not much life (cheekily)
Pt – You are doing a good job, but you must take care of yourself too. You have helped us so much.
Me – Well…I’m just doing what I can. Because as doctors, we care…we want to help.
When you are happy…I am happy. When you are sad…I am sad.
Pt – So, was it your dream to be a doctor? Have you always wanted to?
Me – Yes…it is my passion. Since young. If not for that, I’d have quit and done something else long long ago…who wants to sacrifice sleep over work? All those sleepless nights during internship…hospital days especially.
Pt – You better get married soon. Or else, you will be lonely when you are old!
Me – You sound like my mom! :p


Obviously, they were my regulars…


And another regular patient, after my profuse apologizing for keeping them waiting so long today! And this isn’t the first time they have waited that long for their turn…yet, they faithfully return :p

Pt – So, what time do you finish today, doctor?
Me- Midnight.
Pt – So another hour…
Me- Have quite a bit of paperwork, will be here abit longer for sure.
Pt – Doctor, you work so late in evening hours…what about dinner?
Me- *laughed* (remembering I promised myself to eat proper meals, which as soon as my gastritis resolved & busy days began…I am falling back to my skimpy meal habits at work)
Pt-Why doctor, why are you laughing?
Me- Dinner? On days I work evenings, hardly…if lucky, in between patients. Else, supper it is 🙂


As I recall the light banters, and am typing this down, I remember the phrase sacrifice your days off – as if I haven’t sacrificed enough?
I don’t mind doing it for my patients. But not at the expense of my Health


As I said in my FB post of the day:
Money is not everything. A day off a week is the least to maintain a human being’s holistic health. Why oh why. .we who care for the health of others, are expected to be machines?

Money IS Important. Essential even! But if u have to work daily and risk your physical, mental, emotional & spiritual health…I would rather forego the extra bucks for a balanced life. I’m sure any normal human being would agree with me on this.

But why do people think we can be exploited? Sigh…
Too bad I am a nobody…so I can dream, talk, and be as visionary as I want to. .but nothing will change unless we are somebody nah? And the exploitation continues – everywhere…


Today, we believe God wants you to know that …there is a right time for each of the things you do.

If you try to live counter to your personal rhythms, you will expend more time and energy to get things done. Body and soul suffer when you force yourself to wrestle against your own rhythms.
Listen to your rhythms and follow them.

That’s what my message from God for the day says…what a nice end to the night knowing I am making the right decision.

Today was a very taxing day…a day when I realized the Most Important ‘item’ is indeed to Sharpen Your Saw! When working 8 days in a row ends up with worsening upper backache, reduced efficiency by taking longer to key in my notes, and after all the talking I have to do – wishing I could have some silent retreat…I know I have been exhausting myself!

Enough of 2 MCs in a month. I don’t want my health to suffer anymore from February onwards…even if it means being judged for refusing to sacrifice my off days by working. Sigh…how long more will we sacrifice for? Who are we sacrificing for? At whose extent – our own health!

It was nice to know some patients actually prayed for you when heard you were on MC…choooo chweet!
(well, that encounter warrants another ‘funny story’ on its own)

What I am trying to say is…I can be far from pleasing people or being a big earner to contribute to the economy of my team – but if I do not remain Happy and Healthy, I might not even be able to be part of the team – thus it is my utmost priority to Care for myself First.

Even machines need to be oiled & need rest-hours!

Say NO to being Burnt-out.
So that I can care for my beloved patients in return.

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