I've been at work today and my brain is tired. I have had too many perplexing patients lately. I'm restless and fidgety and fretting over the unsolved mysteries of the day. I need to do some medical reading. But first, a blog entry. Blogging can be a real stress-buster after a tough day, don't you think?
There were some great moments in my day, busy though it was. I saw a young woman for a follow-up visit after starting treatment for depression 3 weeks ago. Last visit she was wan and sad and quiet. Today she was smiling and talking with animation - almost back to the person I have known for the past 5 years. Now that's a real joy to see!
Another patient today reminded me of something that never fails to leave me in awe - the power the human body has to heal itself. We doctors think we are curing people, yet often it is simply time, and the body itself, that turns the tide. Today I saw a lady for a check-up, 8 weeks after having a baby. During the delivery, she had an episiotomy done (don't read on if squeamish, OK!) which for non-medical people/non-mothers, is a cut made at the vaginal opening to allow the baby's head to come out more easily. When I saw this lady 8 days after childbirth, her nether regions were a mess. I had to control myself not to say 'Good God!' out loud. The stitching had been done messily, and the two edges of the wound had separated, so that a centimetre of raw flesh was on view. There were no signs of infection, however, and I knew the lady was a sensible person, who would return if there were problems. So I explained to her how things were, suggested salty bathes, and asked her to come back for check-ups. Today, at her second appointment since then, the scar is fine and pale, and almost flat. I unfortunately can take none of the credit. This lady's body did all the work. It is amazing and humbling to witness.
Perhaps you think I'm a little odd, being amazed and humbled whilst staring at someone's genitalia. I certainly thought I was weird, when re-reading the previous paragraph. But medical jobs turn people a bit strange and twisted. You become fascinated by rashes, intrigued by boils, inquisitive about phlegm. It's not normal, but someone's got to do the weird jobs. We can't all be well-dressed financial advisers or sensible librarians.
That was my day - mundane but satisfying, challenging but interesting. How was your day?