Saturday, June 5, 2010

Reform Time?

As salaam alaikum,

I'm sitting here at the TMEC, trying to study cardio, realizing how long it's been since I've read an EKG. It's been about 10 months since I read an EKG well during my medicine rotation. You rarely get a chance to read EKGs in the other rotations. So that's the first few pages of the First Aid cardio section, and I'm recalling how good I used to be at reading EKGs and feeling like, at the same time, I may have to take an L for today for studying because my mind is in too many places right now...

...and then I feel my phone vibrate, ring. I think I know who it is, and it is her. It's my roommate. And I remind myself what I've been telling myself for a nice to her.

But then when I answered, it felt more natural. I was like, "Hey! What's up?"

Have you ever felt something come from within you that you weren't expecting? Yeah, that's what happened then. I was sincerely nice, sincerely happy to hear from her, talk to her.

And I was like, whoa, I just spent the last couple of months genuinely annoyed by her...what changed?

This is the first month in 13 months that I have not been doing some sort of clinical rotation.

This scares me, kind of, a lot. Did I become an evil person after doing my rotations?

It's hard to tell when the change actually took place. If I were to guess, I'd suppose it happened during surgery...reason #2409 why I will absolutely not go into surgery. I always said that surgery made me forget Allah (swt) in a way I never have ever before in my life...for hours at a time in the OR, the attending was the one that I answered to, and all my thoughts and feelings would surround getting the next pimp answer correct, all of my energy was put into that, for the love of my grade...instead of me learning and experiencing the wonders of the human body and the human intellect, for the love of God. So that was one thing...

I think surgery also made me a meaner, less patient person, and that just caused my roommate to annoy me. I needed a break from the clinical sphere, and so I got that, and I cooled down, more and more...and now, with ample time to think things through, I'm becoming a nicer person to her, and I genuinely like her more, as she is.

And it startles me because...I'm not done with experiences like these. I'm going to go into training, and I'm not going to have the luxury of months off for break. I'll get maybe a week at a time, and maybe two tough rotations back to back, all of these things. I won't have the break I have now to become a more normal person. I don't want to become evil!

I've been reflecting for a few months now that I used to be a nicer person...I feel like I'm getting back to it, but seriously, I don't want the world of medicine to render me evil spirited, impatient, intolerant...

So okay, I have a year's time to reform. I need to learn how to organize my space and time better so that I have a better space and time for devotion and worship, for self-reflection, no matter how pressed for time I am. I can't let my spirituality fall to the wayside like I have so many times throughout medical school. It's not cool.

I also need to be honest with myself, about where I am spiritually, religiously, and where I need help. I need help with most things. I have been needing for a long time someone to talk to, real time, about these issues...someone older and someone my age. I need a big sib in Islam, I think, someone preferably in medicine to help me navigate my life in Islam in residency, in practice. I've been going at things in life alone for a long time...I need a Muslim counselor that I can tell my life's story to, someone who will listen and help me organize everything and go forward from here in a productive way...

Because what bothered me the most about how my roommate annoyed me is that...I never used to be like this. One of my greatest attributes was that I was nice, "charitable" as I call it, even when people weren't the nicest or the most considerate back. I recognize that part of my change is self-preservation, but I liken my not being nice to my roommate as...I don't know, the sign of the complete degradation of my character and spirit, that I'd lost myself in a world of little redeeming value, and that if I don't reform soon, that's the world I'm going to live in...for time.

So, yes, it's time to reform. Alhamdulillah I realized it at this point before it got too far...

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