Marigold, I hate you

I hate doing this job. I hate the place where I have to spend most of my time. I hate my current superior. I hate.

Since the doctor in whose shift I were volunteering went on a month long vacation I’m forced to spend my shift with Marigold. She’s only couple of years older than I am.

But years aren’t the problem. Years are years. You grow up. You get smarter, wiser. You’re once young and stupid. You learned not to be. Or you didn’t. But it’s your choice.

I hate your subjectivity, Mari. You’re an idiot. You’re not the God. You help people by sticking to clear, substantiated rules, that’s what you do. You don’t choose who to help. You help equally. You’re neutral. You’re white. That’s one of the symbolic purposes of your appearance. You’re above all. You do good. Objective good. Good for all; not God for all.

The first time I saw how ignorant, frustrated, bad and pathetic you were was that time when you didn’t want to write the report for a highschool student who came to your shift right from school because she had a tootache. You fixed her tooth, she was half an hour in your dental office and you didn’t want to write her that report, a document first of all, which proves that she was at your place at the exact time and not somewhere else during lessons, because she was in pain. But you didn’t because your tiny mind can’t acknowledge that it is not about grades, but about taking care of a juvenile individual, who’s not at home and not at school – so where is she? And what disguises me the most is that theatrical way of your abuse of professional position and how you enjoy doing it while regarding those patients as if they’re guilty and not in pain with an inappropriate explanation that you’re not obligated to prove anything for anyone – “why is she coming to me during lessons?”, is your question.

But you see, Mari, it’s not your problem. Your problem is someone’s pain, someone’s swelling, someone’s injury.

And you claim that you do good.

On the other hand Mari, you willingly referred a patient to a specialist under fake diagnosis of a disease he didn’t suffer of at all, just in order for him to pass the health commission and cure the disease he actually suffers for free. After I warned you what you did, you justified yourself as “doing a good thing and helping him”. I don’t want to mention that he’s actually very wealthy and known for it. But, it is not what we should issue. The real issue is – why is he different than that young girl? They are different indeed, but you don’t choose who to help and surely not break the law because of some subjectivity and bright self promotion. And not to say, lack of professionalism.

Beside not stepping on my side during that unclear pain treatment when you took out the tooth I was treating, there’s one ultimately disgusting thing that you did two days ago – you rudely rejected to help a patient who was late for her treatment because of transportation problems, since she’s living in the outskirts and has no car so she could come on time that day. Her bus was late, you were free at the moment, there was one hour still until the end of the shift and you didn’t want to help her. She was in pain, she came with her mother. She’s also a teenager. But you’re an idiot, Mari. You don’t know it, you never will, but you’re an idiot. By what you did, you broke the law. There’re three explicit cases and many referred to criminal acting in medicine. Unwilling to provide medical assistance is one of it Mari and you did it and if I’d told you so, you’d say that I’m exaggerating while rolling your eyes over me as if I’m maundering. We all studied it, but once again – you’re an idiot. You’re an idiot, Mari. You’re such an idiot.

Her mother was angry and insisted us to treat her because even when they’ll be coming back, they’ll have troubles with transportation and buses that are not leaving so often during summertime, and what’s even more important is that the girl’s in pain. Mari ordered me to take the patient and just left outside to smoke. I took the patient and did it in five minutes. I’ve put a medicine in her tooth and scheduled her for the next treatment. It was ended way before the shift.

I felt sad and ashamed of what I have witnessed. It’s not the way which it should be done. It’s not right. Doctor is above it all. He doesn’t choose, he helps if he can.

Calendula officinalis, or in English – Marigold, is broadly used as a traditional medicine by many peoples from ancient times until now on.  It is proved that it reduces inflammation and spasms. It is used for treating skin diseases, eye diseases and digestive problems. It is one helpful plant with curative attributes.

But I hate you Marigold, you make me feel at least uncomfortable while I have to listen to your molesting of others. You did noting to me, but I hate you, I hate you so much that I can’t wait to finish this all and never to see you again. You’re a shame to us, shame to our community, shame to our profession. You’re degrading us consciously, same as many other out there, but I’ve never been so close to someone like you nor someone like you were my supervisor, I hate you so much that I can’t even tell you that, because if I’d do you’d probably think that I’m jealous of you, but you can’t even imagine the number of ways I’d use to avoid becoming you. You’re a disgrace. I can’t even tell you how much I hate you, you wouldn’t get it. You just wouldn’t get it. You’re an idiot, Mari. I hate you.

The greatest

I’m so afraid. I’m facing the worst fear I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m so terrified that I could be life threatened. These are the thoughts in my mind while thinking about a problem I’ve been going through. This is the greatest. The greatest, bad thing happening to me right now. It is huge, and again – I’m so afraid of it.

While studying dentistry and some medical subjects, especially forensics, which I’m in particular fond to; at some point I started thinking about death. Law and medicine are often confronted, but forensics is the part of both medical and law sciences which questions, besides some other things – death. When the person is dead and there’s no one who’d speak in their name, forensics listen to body signs left there, the signs which’d tell the real story about it. I like the truth, especially the hidden one which can’t be just told, but the one you must seek for and look and listen carefully, and if you’re clever enough, you’ll find it and spread it.

Last week I was clumsy. As I said in my recent post, I got stabbed on an used needle. It was an irrigation needle in contact with saliva of three, for me unknown patients. All these years I thought that it can’t happen to me and it will never happen. I’m careful.

But my worst nightmare came true.

As I tried to put a cap on a syringe the needle broke through it and stabbed me. I felt the stab and saw the drop of blood. I washed and disinfected the wound. And now I pray.

That was the pressure I’ve never felt before, as if I’m going to explode. I came home and was quiet for tree days. Although I checked up patients’ records and saw no infective diseases recorded I can’t let that burdening feeling go.

The thing about specific virus hepatitis is that it often gives no symptoms although a person is the carrier. Some people never even feel sickness or any kind of discomfort.

In order to detect antibodies in my system, if an infection occurred, it needs to pass between 6 weeks and 3 months, at least. This will be the time I’ll fly above it. And keep thinking what if.

During last week I kept thinking about what my life would look like if the tests I’m about to take would be positive. I’m ill. Like I’m dirty. In my blood there is something bad, taken from another person by mistake while trying to help and do my job. I’m young. I’ll have no family, no children. People will be afraid of me. My family will feel unpleasant around me, so as my friends. I’ll be rejected once again. I cried. I cried so much. I missed myself. No one saw that; my mother kept talking me about some idiotic problems that are bothered by other people from my surrounding, such as my cousin’s bad grades. I though: “If you’d only knew…” I’ll die alone. I’m going to be a threat to anyone who’d approach me. No one would step out and help me if I were in trouble, bleeding, because I could easily infect them… and so on.

I felt so restless. I’ve been having a problem about which I couldn’t speak to anyone. If I’d tell someone in my closest family, for example my mother, she’d call her sister (my aunt) in despair and tell her about that and then it’d spread to my granny and my other aunt and then they’d contact me in horror to remind me once again how bad my current position is and how that happened, why weren’t I more careful, which are the last words I should listen about in that very moment.

I couldn’t keep it for myself and yet again, I couldn’t just yell about it either. Two days ago I was sitting in the living room with my parents. I told them: “I don’t want to do dentistry anymore”. On their question why’s that I answered partially with my problem which was bothering me so hard. I told them that I’m terrified of deadly, severe and life changing infections to which we are, as medical workers, exposed day by day.

Unexpected, I got the best comfort from my dad. I’m not sure if he figured out that my fear is quite real or not, but he comforted me with the right words. His action somehow released me from two things that were struggling inside of me. The first one was, of course, the actual problem I faced. The second one is the fear that he abandoned me long time ago. He didn’t. He was the one who felt. He didn’t tell me some irrelevant tales about others or overwhelmed me with some marginal everyday issues. He gave me some kind of logical explanation about the situation that could be mine… That was all I needed to hear at that moment. During this week I bumped to many people who just kept talking about themselves, their problems, other people problems… I had to listen to all of that and I couldn’t talk about my very own tragedy.

He reminded me that, once again, 2 + 2 in medicine is not necessarily always 4.

It may not be a strong theory. It may not be true. But my mind needs some explanation and someone to tell me that everything will be alright.

I’ll find out my equation in a month.

Thanks, dad.

Pointless importance

I’m having a bad time.

This week I stabbed myself accidentally on the  needle that was already used. I got panicked. One day had to pass to get a bit of false relief and to convince myself that I knew who was that patient, although I knew nothing actually about her.

I stopped thinking. There’s no need to. If it’s my time – the be it.

Other thing I’m facing during my volunteering is again, inequality and lack of protection. As a volunteer I must listen to present doctor, who’s only 3 years older than I am. In return, I get 0% support from her side questioning some  professional issues.

There was one older doctor who went on a vacation and let me finish the treatment of  one of her patients. The patient came last week, although she was quite distrustful towards me. I explained her that there’s nothing to worry about, although I’m young, I’ve done those things a lot. I did the first step in treatment, and scheduled her for another one. The next time she came she made a complaint about me to another, present doctor, the one who’s a bit older than myself, to tell her how her head and neck are now in pain regarding to tooth therapy I applied, because she’s  neck discus injuries. I tried to explain to her that teeth has nothing to do with head or neck pains. It never happens because of the teeth, so she should see another therapist who deals with this kind of symptoms. BUT. BUT. BUT. I was rudely cut off by my older colleague who said: “Well, she’ll do it faster this time!” just to shake her off. She didn’t step on my side, trying to explain to the patient the real situation, but by that way accepted all what patient has said as true and put me in a bad position as a person who doesn’t know what she’s doing, beside she’s the one who actually mistreated the patient.

So, I finished my part of the job somehow and there was just cavity left to be filled. But at some point of this week patient comes rudely telling again that her tooth is in pain because “a student did it” and that she’s demanding another appointment for the cavity filling, since her ear is in pain also. Then my colleague doctor said: “OK.”

This answer had several meanings. OK – we’ll do what you say, although we are therapists and you’re a janitor in a local school. OK – you’re right, my younger colleague really doesn’t know what she has been doing and no one’s monitoring her. OK – we’ll listen to you and we won’t try to explain it to you in the manner you’d understand it. It is normal to feel some kind of discomfort to pain sensations in these situations, but my older colleague never wanted us to bother with her or her to gain our trust…

Although, the RTG said the tooth I treated was in a good state, filled and non – vital. The patient kept telling that her ear is in pain because of it. My colleague just didn’t want to listen. And I’m in a position where I MUST listen to her… She let patient leave without exploring what is the real problem that is bothering her. Again, it is another confirmation of my bad practice…

The pain patient suffered was real. It originated from some other structure, such us ear, temporomandibular joint or – another vital tooth from the opposite jaw which had pulpitis – inflamed pulp (nerve).

During this week patient visited another doctor who took out the filling I’ve put in that tooth. She took out the material and work I’ve put in it and she doesn’t even know who am I. It didn’t bring any relief. She came back to our dental office, still accusing me of mistreating her. My colleague said nothing in my defense. Absolutely nothing. Patient started practicing her own medicine so she’s put onion in that tooth because she’d heard that it’d help. Also she started taking anitbiotics by herself. My colleague took the treated tooth out, under the compassionate explanation that “she doesn’t want to molest the patient since she really understands what she’s been going through”. Which means that I screwed. I molested the patient. She’s the life-saver.

The tooth is out now. Nothing happened. Pain remained.

But, this patient was also a psychiatric patient… We saw that in her medical record the last time she visited us.

So the situation is like this – a psychiatric patient mislead two of my colleagues in a wrong treatment direction and both of them passed over my opinion so easily, so as my skill and presence. Although the lady wasn’t quite right, she gave them enough information to distinguish which structure is in pain, or better said, which one isn’t.

When I asked my colleague why did she take the tooth out she gave me no reply. She was quiet. I deserve no explanation. No apology. Even if I were wrong I deserve to know where I made a mistake. If I were right, I believe one small act of reasonable communication would be enough. At least. She gives no **** about that patient. Me neither, but I care about my work. I’ve done it and I’ve put an effort to do it right.

It is not about them, those two colleagues, or about me. It is about professionalism. We should be all united under the same goal and treat all the patients same, no matter if they’re insane or not. By listening to each other we keep our profession high without other, laic interfering.

I hate subjectivity. They all think it is about them. That they are important instead of what they do.