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.