Medicine is that way. You can get yourself in nadirs. It’s emotional, being a real doctor. You care about so much. You are attached. That’s the problem. Attachment leads to suffering and then to nadirs.
Truth be told, most doctors, myself included, hang a lot of their self-esteem on the doctoring peg. I’m not sure you can do this job and detach self-esteem from it. Maybe some can, but this goofy half-Italian/half German cannot. It matters.
I haven’t written here in over a week because I have been busy shoring up my peg.
One of the rules of publishing words permanently is to not do so when in an inflamed state. During the nadir, I almost broke that rule. I submitted a not-so-warm piece to theHeart.org. Smartly, the editor suggested letting it sit for 24 hours. That was a great decision. I ended up shelving it, but have kept it in a safe place (with an attached note to self). Maybe someday I will let it out. (Remember, this is the medical blog of an employed doctor that still works as a real doctor every day. You can’t completely let it rip.)
Something clicked in my head late this week. My imaginary friend and I had an important chat. He said, John, look around; listen to your wife (she has Hoosier sensibility); read your friends’ emails; hear your colleagues; see the good stuff. So I did those things. I’m blessed to have strong networks of support and a highly sensible imaginary bud.
So I wrote a post about seeing the good things in Medicine. About stepping back and noticing. I put it on theHeart.org, figuring that perhaps other docs might have gone through similar nadirs.
The title of the piece with the link is: When doctoring drags you down…
P.S. I have a lot of people to thank. You know who you are. And thank you. Emoticon.
One reply on “Nadirs and pegs”
Must have been a grinder John……I’m not a doc, but can relate to the passion one has for one’s profession. Don’t want to see something go sour when it really needn’t. The 24 hour rule has saved me many times……