Things learnt.

I’m pleased to write that my eczema is starting to make progress. I went to see Dermatology 2 weeks ago and I have a new treatment plan now, I was offered oral immunosuppression again (which I will write about further in this post) which I refused and an admission to be stabilised which I also refused. For the past two weeks I’ve been going to the dermatology department three times a week to have various creams and ointments applied as well as taking Hydroxyzine tablets (a sedating antihistamine) which is helping break the itch-scratch cycle. I’ve found it hard to adjust to having to fit hospital visits to dermatology or else so regularly into my life again, I found it quite depressing the first week. But my skin is looking better; my arms definitely are anyway, my legs are still pretty awful – like open patches and rather purple instead of the usual red elsewhere. I have to wait until there are no more open sores before they can move onto the next step which will be occlusive paste dressings, most likely Viscopaste and I am not looking forward to this, they cannot currently do this due to risk of infection. They said I could possibly have UV light therapy to control it once I’m better to target the inflammation and also allows them to stop flare ups quicker so my skin hopefully doesn’t keep ending up like this. I don’t feel comfortable with this but have agreed to it for now purely because I’m hoping everything else will work so well that they will decide to hold off on light therapy.

Asthma wise things have been interesting I think, I’m feeling well at the moment but this was a different story about 3 weeks ago as I had an asthma attack triggered by nuts? there were nuts at home because it was Diwali, it was all quite sudden and I had tons of nebs, antihistamines, steroids, used my Epipen and felt a lot better but still dodgy for a few days later like my getting short of breath with short amounts of walking and slightly low O2 sats. I had asthma clinic the day after this episode and they think it was some kind of anaphylactic asthma attack type thing. Clinic was a mixed bag thinking about it now; I had a lot of bloods taken, having a CT scan this week and a few changes to my current meds such as increasing my steroid nebs. Immunosuppression was discussed again and I am still reluctant but agreed to consider it just out of not wanting to be a pain in the bum and agreed to having the blood tests to see if it would be suitable. I went to dermatology clinic a few days later and until then I was genuinely considering it but then the registrar and consultant became so keen on immunosuppressants again on my mentioning of having the blood tests that I felt I was about to be forced into it that I have closed myself off to the idea again. I don’t think immunosuppression is necessary.

Recently I have been volunteering in a befriending role for which I received training a year ago. I have found this surprisingly difficult and I have learnt not so good things about myself. I considered myself a very empathetic person until recently but I have found that the person has weighed me down and the dynamic is different to that of a friendship or other relationship with a loved one or else someone you are genuinely interested in rather than feeling obliged to be. I am finding myself to be quite a distant person, when I had initially so empathised with this person when they had originally emailed me, meeting with this person in person changed my feelings. I find myself becoming irritated and uncaring. There are reasons for this and primarily it is because it appears this person is stating certain things to fit in with me when I have given very little away about myself (during training we were told to maintain some sort of “professional” so to speak distance) I am freaked out by the fact they have found me on Facebook and sent a friend request before they met me (not knowing what I look like), keep contacting me by sending text messages and BBM messages outside of our meets with very whiny messages about what I consider not so significant accompanied by tons of sad emoticons. I have tried to encourage her to save things for when I see her in person but she is persistent. Really it is my fault, I am a non-confrontational yes-person who doesn’t like saying no to people or letting them down. I’m shocked at myself for how little I care about the things the person decides to burden me with. I regret getting involved with this project, the key words I associate with it are burden, obligation and (lack of?) empathy. Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for this person as I would for anyone in their position however severe or mild their condition, it is the way they go about things to get my attention. Ironically; the more they try to get my attention, the more they are pushing me away, I am very sorry to say.

This I guess self assessment leads me onto questioning my choice of career. I have wanted to become a doctor for a very long time, and I still do. I just don’t think I’m going to get into medical school and I think it is because I’m a horrible person who does not deserve it. I’m not fishing to be told the contrary, it is true, medical schools know exactly what they are looking for and I haven’t been able to demonstrate that in the past and from my experiences with befriending maybe I cannot demonstrate that as well I thought I maybe could. No amount of what I consider excuses that medical school is competitive etc, that still does not change the fact that I have already failed at getting a place to study medicine.

I am not articulate, determined, confident, intelligent or as empathetic as I once thought I was. These things; amongst others, I consider essential to be a good doctor and I am deficient in them. In short, I am not good enough and I cannot get that out of my head. I’ve tried to look at other careers to go into and I can’t find anything because in my (this sounds so cheesy) heart I want to study medicine so much and I need to let this go, fast. I ask myself why I still want to do this and the childish response is that I want to help other people. This career choice would be a selfish one for me personally as if I was ever successful theoretically in gaining a place and working in this field, the impact on my mother would be huge. I would feel guilty and I already do feel guilty about the fact I want(ed) to persue such a lengthy course and career that would take a lot of my time. I’m scared she could become more ill just so that I could satisfy my own happiness. I want to be there for my mum but I also want to be my own person and as I’ve said before I think I’m still discovering who I am.

I am also having difficulties with the whole frustrating thing of some people regarding me as a sick person and I most definitely am not a sick person. I want to be on the other side of medicine and help people both with knowledge I could learn and also my experiences as a patient (and as a carer). I just hate spending so much time, time in outpatients, taking daily medication etc. Sometimes I find myself wanting to snap and withdraw from it all so completely because I’m scared it’s going to take over my life forever.

Normality, is underrated. Simple things of being able to go to university around the same time as everyone else, not having to take so much medication or having to care for someone who relies on me so. It is hard not to take other people’s burdens into your own and I think I do this too easily and therefore I resent them when really it should be myself.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


2 thoughts on “Things learnt.

  1. Becca says:

    Oh Simi. First off, i’m glad the eczema is improving but so sorry it’s taking such a toll on your life. I know you’re not keen on immunotherapy, but whilst you’ve refused it now might it be worth looking at all the pros and cons and potential impact on your life without the pressure of an immediate decision?
    Now, med school. Being emotionally distant to your mentee does not make you an intrinsically bad person. It’s a really tough role to fulfill, especially when your privacy starts being invaded. If it helps any, I did mentoring last year and there were times where it was overwhelmingly frustrating and left quite a bitter taste. Do you have a supervisoor who supports you?
    The worries about med school rejecting you because ‘you’re a bad person’ whilst understandable sound to me like black and white thoughts from self doubt. You are not a horrible person- actually having insight to character flaws is a seriously good trait in applying for anything, but don’t blow them out of proportion or see them as defining characteristics.
    When I think of the Simi I know, she’s a kind and warm person. Just so you know.
    Sending huge hugs. You hang on in there and if you need a chat, you know where I am xxx

    • Simi says:

      Hi Becca, thank you for your kind words I apologise for the length of time I have taken to reply as I was finding it difficult to find the words.

      I have now spoken to the coordinator who has told me she will deal with it in the New Year.

      I hope you are managing okay, thinking of you I know you’re going through a tough time. *big hugs*

      Take care, xx

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