I’ve been struggling for weeks to come up with a topic to blog about. It has been brought to my attention that my posts as of late have been somewhat depressing. Well, sorry to all my readers out there, but that is my reality.
I wish I could write to you about all the amazing experiences I’ve had saving lives or about the special bonds I’ve made with my patients where they’ve hugged me and told me I’m the best doctor they’ve ever had. But that would be a lie. A big lie. Because the truth is most of my patients are kind of awful.
I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I take care of some interesting people. Prisoners. Homeless people. Drug addicts. Patients with severe psychological disturbances. And they’re not always nice to me. In fact, I get yelled at a lot. Sometimes my patients refuse to let me touch them, even to listen to their heart and lungs. Sometimes I’m a little afraid for my own safety. And it’s pretty rare to have a patient who is excited to be in the hospital and excited to have me take care of them.
And that’s okay. I get it. Sometimes my patients aren’t in their right mind. Literally. A lot of my patients have schizophrenia or dementia. A lot of them are under the influence of drugs. And the hospital can be a scary and unpleasant place. So I don’t take it personal.
But some days it is really hard to take care of people who don’t even want your help. Sometimes patients aren’t able to make their own medical decisions, and so you really do have to treat them against their will. And it can be really draining to give and give all day long. To work 12-14 hours days and be completely exhausted only to be yelled at by a patient. Or to never hear “thank you.” Or to be treated like a waiter and here complaints about how awful the food is.
The reality of being a doctor is much different than the dream. Like most things in life.
The reality can be crushing at times. I think though, that it is the knowledge that you have made a difference in each of these peoples lives. I often find that the most disheartening patients to care for need us the most. It helps me to say a little prayer for each of them before I go see them. Sadly, service professions rarely are all that we hope for but it is the isolated moments when we know we are making a difference that keep us going.
I agree! It can get disheartening, and frustrating, and emotionally exhausting to take care of people in the way that we do, especially in a situation like yours where those are the kind of patients you frequently have. I pray that God gives you strength to deal with that day in and day out, and hope that the few encouraging situations you come across makes it all worth it! You are doing a great thing!