Block: Orthopaedics, week 3
My name is Grumpy, and sometimes I get angry.
The only problem is that as of late (the past three months especially) I have noticed that I am becoming more and more angry about more and more things, and it's really beginning to affect the quality of my life and my work.
As a person, normally (i.e. forgetting the past few months), I am quite calm and I don't have a particularly short fuse. I tend more towards being patient than impatient, and I'm not particularly prone to being over-emotional. Usually when I get angry, I don't show it at the time and I don't take my anger out on people around me (especially people who have done nothing to deserve it) - being prone to neuroticism, I tend to wait til I get home and then overthink it to death by myself. That's not particularly fun, but at least it means that I'm not perceived to be a dickhead by other people (hopefully).
Lately however, this is changing and I'm beginning to make it more and more obvious just how irritated and easily angered I am becoming. Matters came to a head earlier today when I ended up being short and quite rude with my consultant, something which I would never have seen myself doing before. The consultant, to be clear, had done nothing to deserve it - he just unfortunately happened to be on the receiving end of the past three months of my complete frustration and anger at so many different things. Luckily, I haven't completely lost all perspective, so a few minutes after being angry with him, I apologised and he was very nice about it. But that's not the point; this should never have happened in the first place. I'm not that guy. That's not me. That's not how I wish to be seen. But I can't seem to get back to who I really am.
What's even at the root of all of this? I would guess it's to do with the following factors (in no particular order):
1) Having had to work, since February, with a student with whom I have had a major personality clash (God, I hate that phrase) - genuinely, every time I see this person (almost everyday) my mood instantly dips and I don't perform as well as I want to.
2) Still not feeling like I've fully settled into clinical medicine - feeling stupid and behind virtually all the time. The lack of comprehensive feedback on one's progress definitely does not help.
3) The general negativity of the hospital environment as a student.
4) The usual longer term complaints: lack of a satisfying social life, no decent stress relief, missing my hometown, slowly hating my uni town more and more, feeling broke, etc.
5) Not having anyone to talk to about all of the above - apparently I have a "personal tutor", who I met once, nine months ago, with ten other students, for 30 minutes. I doubt he would recognise me if he passed me in a corridor and I certainly can't imagine talking to him about any of this crap. Never mind the fact that he doesn't even work at the same hospital which I'm on placement in and getting hold of any consultant as a student is the devil's own job at the best of times, let alone when you're based ten miles away from them.
Regarding point 1, thankfully I don't have to work with this person any longer after this term (i.e. next week). It's been a painfully long ten months, but at least it's coming to an end. But as for points 2, 3, 4, and 5, I genuinely have no clue what to do...and I don't see any of them changing anytime soon.
I just really wish I had someone to talk to, someone who's been through it all before, or who at least understands what I'm talking about without having an agenda of their own. I don't want to talk to anyone at the med school because I don't want to gain a reputation for being a "complainer" or "difficult", and even if I did, what exactly would I say to them? That I'm really tired of constantly feeling so stupid and that I wish I had a better social life and that I was back in London? I'm struggling to come up with a suitable answer to those problems myself, so what chance would a complete stranger stand?
Alternatively, if I can't change any of the above points, I wish I at least had a better way of coping with them...but at the moment all I can come up with is counting down the months til I finish here and hopefully move onto something better, but that strategy doesn't feel like it's working particularly well at all.
Deep down, what really disappoints me the most is that it's even come to this. I did not envisage feeling like this when I got into med school or when I first started here. Comparing the optimism and excitement of my first entry on this blog (a month before I started) with the general tone of my past few posts and how low I feel pretty much every day now, I just want to go back to 2012 and start over. Or at least apologise to that guy and tell him I really didn't mean for it to turn out like this.