Thursday, March 16, 2006

things left unsaid

You know, I've been thinking about what I said yesterday, when I joked that I had lost all ability to write. I was kidding around, but I also genuinely thought I had nothing to say.

Today, I realised I have plenty to say, but it just isn't anything profound, or funny, or especially entertaining. I suspect I may be editing myself, just in case you guys get bored with me. Now, as much as I don't want to send any of you into some kind of catatonic state, I also don't want to get too self-conscious, either. This is my blog, and if it's occasionally a blustering, bumbling and basically bloody boring blog....well at least you'll be proud of my alliteration.
There are three things on my mind at the moment, and they're sitting in the centre of my brain, taking up almost all the space. (The rest of the space is occupied by fat, if you believe my dear husband).
These are my current musings:
1) I have a karate grading in just over a week. I am going to attempt to get my first black belt. I am very nervous, and can't stop thinking things like - 'What if I freeze up, like I did that time last year?' and other self-destructive thoughts.
2) My daughter has had fevers, just fevers, for 4 days now. Although she isn't too unwell in herself, I worry a little. Sometimes being a doctor helps, because I can check her throat, her ears, her chest. However, I can also imagine all the rare things she could possibly have (and almost certainly doesn't have!).
3) One of my patients died this week. She was in her late 70's, with widespread cancer, and it was an expected death. But to me, every death is sad in some way, no matter what platitudes people mouth about 'it's better this way' etc. It would have been better for this stoic, beautiful lady to have done Tai Chi and played suduko and had the odd glass of wine, and lived in ruddy good health until she died in her sleep, aged 90, after a laughter-filled evening with her family. It would have been better that way.
I didn't ever get close to 'Marjorie'. When I told her, gut twisting, that her cancer had spread, Marjorie took it all in her stride. She asked, dry-eyed, about treatment options. I never saw her shed a tear, even during several home visits towards the end. I know Marjorie must have cried sometime. I honestly believe, though, that she was a woman who took what life threw at her and did the best she could with it - good or bad.
I was not close to her, but I had the privilege of attending to her in her last days. Marjorie, rest in peace.


TUFFENUF said...

You underestimate yourself. EVERYTHING you say is either profound, funny and/or entertaining. That is why you have so many readers. Since I have daily been reading your blog, I am in fear that you will stop blogging and make us buy the book! I really think you will be an actual author someday. As far as the things on your mind this week, 1)WOW, black belt? Quite an acomplishment. You will pass this test when you relax about it knowing that you have the correct moves in mind and body. 2)Your daughter, like a lot of children, (my son as well) have unknown illnesses and unexplained symtoms from time to time. Preston used to throw up and have migrain headaches. As they get older, whatever the cause, it seems that these symptoms pass. 3)You are a wonderful, caring physican. Just like my job for so many years, you see a lot of upsetting stuff. Seeing people die is very tough when you are such a sensitive person. Just remember why you went into this field of work, and that there are things that you have no control over. Don't let it give you PTSD! The other end of the death spectrum is that wonderful feeling when you save a life! You may have well been the one who gave "Marjorie" the strength to carry on and face her impending death with such fortitude. (sorry for taking up so much space rambling!) -Tuff

susan said...

Don't worry about it! Just type what you want and we will all read it and enjoy it, whatever you say. We just all wish we were young sucessful caring physicians with beautiful young children and a fashion-challenged husband, who grows pretty flowers and does karate and lives down under. So just keep doing what you do so we can all live vicariously through your blog.

Anonymous said...

I feel that was great things to talk about. I also liked you talking about Australia on Heathers blog. That was fun.

As you know I recently had a 83 young lady die on me. She was a great fun highly motivated person.

May they both rest in peace.

Paul said...

I came here from Heather's. Nice informative post you put up. And you have a nice joint, too. I'd like some of those triple chocolate muffins.

I'll trade you for some of Paul's Patented Meatballs...

Hope to see you around.

Motherkitty said...

Awww, Jelly, come here for a nice, big Motherkitty hug. You've had a hard week.

I think you are underestimating yourself. You are feeling unsettled because you have a lot of pressure on you right now. Everything will work out. Like Tuffy said, "You will pass this test when you have the correct moves in mind and body." So the answer is to get your mind in a serene place, accept what you cannot change, and just do your best.

I'm sure Marjorie appreciated everything you did for her. You say you didn't know her too well. Most physicians in the US do not make house calls. Your visiting Marjorie, especially before the end of her life, speaks volumes about the kind of wonderful, caring physician you are. You will probably say you were just doing your job. I'm sure your visits meant the world to her. Bless you.

I hope Laura feels better soon, and mom, you can stop worrying.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I stop and check everyday to see if you have written's just like stopping to check on an old friend. It doesn't really matter what they have to say, you just want to see if they're ok.

You will do fine with your black belt have come this far with karate and it was a hard and enjoyable ride.

It's normal to worry about Laura and to imagine the worst and I don't think we as mothers ever stop worrying about our children...ever.

Your patient's death is unfortunate and I don't like to hear of anyone dying so young...and I do consider 70 still as young. It's easier to accept death of someone in their 90's whose lived a long life. Working in a surgeon's office I have seen many nice people die of's a very sad thing to see and I can relate with your feelings about Marjorie's death.

John Cowart said...

Karate test, sick kid, death -- It's not that you have little to say, but that sometimes you feel too deeply to say it.

Flossy said...

We all love to read whatever it is you have to say - you may think it's nothing important, but just as in your job, when you write, it makes us all feel better :)

My grandmother is 86 years old, and to me, she will always be strong and active. She's in hospital at the moment, the doctors are still unsure what the problem is. But she too, takes it all in her stride. She has lived a full life, and been through so very much, that I think nothing phases her anymore. She is a role model to me, always has been. We have much to learn from older people I believe...

Gopher said...

Jellyhead I have days like that, I just don't post on those days or rather I post randomly, thus the name of my blog eh.
** Hugs ya close **

doubleknot said...

Hello, this is the first time I have visited your blog. I see your comments on other blogs and thought I would stop by.
After reading all the wonderful comments on your post there doesn't seem to be anything I can add.
Death is part of life. I have been with dying people and I don't know if anyone else feels this way but there seems to be a peace that fills the room and the heart that they have gone on to better things.

jellyhead said...

Thanks everyone for your reassuring words. It's good to know I am not inspiring too many large yawns!

Hi Paul! Thanks for stopping by.

Hi Gopher! I've been reading your comments on Heather's blog for awhile now...always such kind comments.

Hello Doubleknot! Thanks for saying hi.

Flossy said...

Hiya Jelly!

Glad you liked the muffins :) They go down a treat here too! I'll be posting more recipes soon...*lol*

Kerri said...

Today Jelly, you were profound, funny and usual. We are never bored and I'm very proud of your alliteration :) Silly, simple, sweet, sometimes solemn!
It must be heartbreaking to lose a patient. Doctors need a lot of courage to do their job. I'm sending a pat on the back your way for your compassion and courage. Keep up the good work Jelly.

Suzanne said...

I think it takes a special person to see the "life" in someone. Not just their existance in your office, but their whole essence, their 'soul' if you will.

Hope your daughter gets over whatever it is. She's in good hands!